Good morning World. Spring has sprung!

springHey guys,
How are you? I know it’s been a while (my bad), but I’m back! I’ve been busy with writing and everything else in between, what have you been up to? The weather is getting brighter now and with Spring around the corner, it feels like the sucky weather of late has now come to a thankful end.

I’ve been slammed with a tonne of stuff, including edits for Book 2 of Screaming Snowflakes. Putting a red pen through your work is always a little difficult, but I’ve learnt to be ruthless (killing your darlings doesn’t hurt as much as it used to).

What else is new..? Oh yeah, I bought a whole bunch of cookery books, as I’m painfully aware that I needed to expand my cooking repertoire. Sure, I cook a mean curry, but what about all the other wonderful dishes that I love to eat but just have never contemplated cooking? That’s all about to change as I plough my way through the mini mountain of cook books that I’ve amassed over the past few months. Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Easy is a great to kick-starter to get you cooking easy curries (the title of the book says it all really). My favourite so far is the courgette yogurt. Yesterday I made a chicken biryani (my first one ever) and it was really rather yummy. That recipe was actually Manju Malhi’s, which I saw her cook on Paul Hollywood’s Pies & Puds BBC series. I’ll definitely be making that one again (it’s delicious served straight up with natural yogurt).

cookerybookEvery chef worth their salt (sorry I couldn’t resist) has a notebook packed full of their go-to recipes. Well, I dare not call myself a chef yet (despite my lofty ambitions), so I invested in a blank A5 notebook. Now this will mean little to you, but this is now my cooking bible of sorts. From this picture, you can see 1. my dedication to cooking and 2. the state of my terrible hand-writing. I know it’s seriously bad, but being used to working on my tablet, I very rarely pick up a pen these days (do any of you guys have terrible handwriting problems? Let’s revel in our inability to write pretty).

Speaking of Paul Hollywood, I’ve recorded his entire BBC series. Mainly because the past few months have been a little crazy busy and I wanted to really pay attention to his recipes and not miss a trick. So, every Friday evening (how rock and roll am I), I sit with my notebook making avid notes on recipes, tips and tricks that I can glean from Paul Hollywood’s repertoire. It’s such a fun series – did any of you catch it last year? Love the way Paul mixes informative sound-bites whilst showcasing his recipes, usually given a contemporary twist. And at the end of the show, he invites his guests to partake in the veritable feast he cooked up in that one hour show (what a kind man he is). I’m half way through, on episode 13 I think and I’m dying to try out his Tarte Tatin (I’m not a big fan of bananas, so will substitute with apples instead).

I was only supposed to spend 10 minutes on this blog and have noticed it’s now close to 12 minutes (I have to be militant with my time now right down to the minute). Before I sign off, just another piece of news. I discovered only recently that I’ve been chosen to be a World Book Giver on April 23rd 2014 (pencil that date in your diaries). More juicy details to follow, but do keep tuned, as I’ll be dishing out copies in Derby of one of my favourite books of all time.

Really must dash. Take care of you and keep smiling!

Much love,