I hope you’re having a great start to another fresh week. There a heatwave over the next few days, so I do hope you are keeping safe and cool, wherever you are.


As part of cultivating an attitude of gratitude (stop the eye-rolling, it’s a cliché but it’s true), I am going to start shout-outs for what I am thankful for. I am mentally picking out points I wrote about in my journal earlier today.


These past few weeks have seen me quite frankly, rather ill, as I recover from Covid. This, coupled with this heatwave and (literally) eyewatering hay-fever, means that even thinking about cooking is tough.

Read more: Latest post about Covid, Bath and Bridgerton


I don’t know about you, but I find that the actual thought of figuring out what to cook, to be a source of frustration. That’s not even taking into consideration the act of buying ingredients and then physically cooking dishes (jeesh, I am getting tired just writing about it). 


I have tried a few DIY cook-at-home boxes before and felt they were really good. I tried Mindful Chef a few months’ ago and have stuck with them, because their customer service is great and their dishes are healthy and delicious too.


Mindful Chef dishes I have tried in the past include jerk chicken with corn salsa, salmon with Provençal vegetables, creamy stroganoff pasta and stuffed peppers with almond and parsley crumb. Now, if I had been tasked with cooking any of these dishes of my own volition, I would have refused flat-out, because I would have thought they would be too much effort.


They’re not so faffy to make at all, which led me to come to conclude that if I have the right amount of ingredients plus printed recipe handed to me, I don’t actually mind cooking it. Add to that, the ease of ordering, super fresh ingredients, and ordering from Mindful Chef is a no-brainer.


Just to say, that this cooking funk set in around six months’ ago. I used to love cooking – a part of me actually still does. I just need to lift myself out of this cooking/baking funk, and all will be alright again. 


I have literally hundreds of cookbooks. It would be nice to actually use these beautiful cookbooks and not feel piercing guilt every time I glance at the groaning bookcase filled with books by Asma Khan, Nigella et al. 


The second big thing I am grateful for this week, is Derby Library. Libraries are so important and if you can show support to your local library, do it.


I have managed to locate three books on my To-Read-Mountain, at Derby Riverside Library, which means I am saving a small fortune on books. Libraries also have digital versions of books including audio-books, the latter which I am finding are a great way to constructively use your time when you’re cooking, or say, doing your nails.


So, thank you to my local library for being well stocked and for the staff there for being so helpful. I will be doing a few more book reviews too, so expect to read more about that in the coming weeks.


Speaking about books, how do you digest books, if you’re writing about them? This is what happens when I read. I pick up a book, read, finish book, then within 24-hours, I’ll forget about it.


Book reviewing is different from restaurant reviewing, because the latter is an engaging experience where you physically interact with the food. Yes sure, you do physically pick up a book, but you don’t actually do much else to it.


In the past, when I’ve sat down to write a book review, I’ve had to really think hard about what happened, what characters affected me, because I have quite simply, forgotten.


I have never annotated books before – the thought of writing in a book gives me goosebumps and not in a good way – so this one is new for me. So, I will start annotating the next book which is on my review list.


I need to order some fancy schmansy sticky post-it notes for that. This is of course an excuse to buy stationery, so I’ll let you know how I get on with all the book annotating fun.


Other upcoming plans this week include making birthday preparations which are always fun. I have a few places earmarked on my To-Visit-List, so I’ll be having a looksee at that.


Stay safe and cool, wherever you are.


All my best,