New job, more cooking and how the two things finally connect.


Sunshine in October

I haven’t blogged for ages. You would think that the months I’ve had without confirmed employment, could have been spent blogging, creating, setting up a business from my kitchen table etc. I could have become one of those women who tell tales in glossy mags of how they founded thier dotcom empires as the result of getting a life knock. But what I found about being with no specific employ, was it became harder to do anything. And I mean ANYTHING. I was rudderless and energy less. Getting paid to do several things at once but nothing specific took all my spirit. I feel ashamed that while other people use difficult situations to spur themselves onto greatness, I used it as an excuse to sit around feeling sorry for myself and in the evenings lie on the sofa watching Lewis/Grantchester/Scott and Bailey.
On the other hand, lots of people did point out that I’d had a very full on job for ten years which had involved 24 hour thinking, planning, and in the latter months knowing I was steering an oil tanker through a gugrling stream, so I could afford to give myself a break for four months. Plus, my idea of ‘not doing much’ did involve completely renovating a room in our London home, settling our eldest son into secondary school and consulting on several brands also published at Hearst UK.
I also found time for two trips to France – the latter of which was an amazingly hot week in October with zip wiring, lake walks and plenty of cooking which as you know is actually one of my favourite things in the world to do. A glut of squash from our various neighbours meant I persuaded the entire family to eat squash soup with every meal. Plus I made a beef stew with squash and chillis for guests one evening.


Home made Calamari and squash soup with sage croutons

My love of food is well documented on this blog and on instagram and while in France most of my relaxing time is spent cooking. I even treated myself to a crepe maker this visit.


oh Crepes!

And as I’ve mentioned several times on this blog, things all happen for a reason. And on my return from France and a lovely restful week of genuinely doing nothing, I had a call to go and see my big big boss. He had some news. I’d been working on lots of interesting projects across Hearst for the last few months (from Elle to Digitial Spy) but my favourite temporary role had been dropping into Good Housekeeping magazine to work on their digital strategy and social media. The biggest selling monthly lifestyle mag in the UK was a very different beast to my old home on a relatively small title like Company. On Good Housekeeping everything was big. The office bigger, the departments bigger and best of all – there was food! Recipes to be tasted, tested and triple tested. An entire cookery department, hundreds of thousands of recipes on the website and things to instagram that I genuinely have an interest in. And the news from the big big boss – was that Good Housekeeping wanted me to stay permanently with them. To be their Digital Director! And so I have a new job. A fabulous new job that means although I won’t be hanging out with One Direction and wearing improbable fashions anymore – I will legitimately be able to live tweet while watching Midsommer and my French idyl is considerably more on brand than it was before. My ‘real’ life and my work life have finally come into sync. I can stop pretending that I listen to experimental indie music at the weekend and luxuriate in Buble’s Christmas without guilt. And best of all – I can bore you all with my food pics on instagram.

One last one….


Quiche for kids AND adults (one half without asparagus!)








A blog post about eating. Food. Yum.


I love it when a flan comes together!

It might be time to talk about food. In a list I often mentally compile of things I love the most, food would be well up there. The children and I like to play Sophie’s Choice for food – one food for the rest of your life and nothing else??? I’m torn between ice cream and pizza.

Anyway, suffice to say – I LOVE food. On that list it comes somewhere below my children, narrowly above clothes shopping and hovering around the same place as watching Take Me Out while wearing a onsie. In fact, watching Take Me Out, in a Onsie, with my children AND a giant bowl of salty popcorn is my Saturday night Nirvana (shhhh don’t tell anyone!)

And being in France equals an amazing opportunity to cook. I am time rich while there. I have a lovely big kitchen with massive work spaces. I have amazing produce given to me by various neighbours and friends. I even have an electric slicer with about ten different attachments for julienning vs grating! And for some reason, while in France my children adhere more closely to those Jamie Oliver ‘kids food’ guidelines (you know how he always does those recipes for minestrone soup etc that he claims his kids LOVE? Well, I’ve never met a kid yet who eats soup – mine look at it like the woman in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom looks at the plate when when they serve her monkey brains) BUT while they may not tuck into my home made Gazpacho – while in France the children will try all sorts of things that they never would at home. Some of their faves include confit duck, pate, chorizo and rare steak. Cous cous is still a swear word in their vocab though.

In our second summer in Gensac we were inundated with courgettes. We had courgettes from Serge. Courgettes from Sarah Bird at la Maison Des Chameaux and courgettes from Pete and Ness the only other english people in our village who like us to bring them Daddies sauce when we visit. They in return give us home made jam and fresh veg. I think we get the best deal!

Cooking in France has become my thing I do to relax. As I find it too boring to sit down and do nothing – chopping, frying, steaming and mixing are to me what lying on a sunlounger reading Fifty Shades of Grey is to others. So when I arrive I make oodles of Gazpacho (Jamie Olivers recipe and a load of salad dressings in old Bonne Maman jars. I make quiche with crab and shrimp, apricot tart, onion tart…. the year of the courgette glut I even pickled courgettes.

I make pain perdu, cherry compote, and at Christmas we feast on goose. And I have loads of great cookbooks full of french recipes which I try and ammend to suit our purpose. And my lovely nutrionist Petronella turns a blind eye when I go to her to get weighed on my return (you see people, its things like this that I drop in every now and then just to remind you that in real life I edit a fashion magazine – I HAVE A NUTRIONIST! She’s lovely helped me shift a stone many months ago but these days we meet up more for a chat than for any nutrional expertise but should you ever need one she’s here

Some times my husband tells me how happy it makes him to see me fully relaxed and chopping up shallots. And that’s nice. Cos I know that often at home I am like a banshee shouting and screaming and crying about how stressed I am or how messy our house is. Or I’m lying prostrate on the sofa watching Corrie on catch up with a glass of wine in hand too tired to speak. Or worst of all, I’m throwing myself on my bed surrounded by clothes that DON’T FIT and blaming everyone but myself for my lack of time to exercise *runs off attacks another packet of KP salted nuts…..

But in France – none of this matters. Its all fresh ingredients, home cooking and enough exercise for it not to matter really. And the satisfaction of seeing all my lovely creations on the table mean it doesn’t matter that my denim cutoffs and getting a bit snug! You should come for dinner. x


It is A TART!




Courgette rice and some easter eggs


courgette cake and courgette quiche


I’ve lost my bread!


More courgettes!!!