Thursday, July 7, 2011

Comfort eating (and dressing)

Duvet and Ice cream..sometimes it's the way forward.
My goodness, what a long gap from posting!  I had a smashing holiday but came back to some rather distressing family news and a mountain of work which has rather buried me recently.  You know sometimes when horrid things have happened or you've been really busy and suddenly you get some time to yourself and all you want to do is bury yourself in your bed with a hot chocolate/ red wine drip, a bowl of cheese and mashed potato and the box set of the West Wing?  Well I did that and then I sort of did that via clothes.

Comfort clothes for me are ancient blue jim jams from Primani and a stolen sweater from the Boy. In Yorkshire, they are pair of red flannel checked bottoms and a grey Harvard hoodie that should be owned by someone who is about 6 foot tall and 4 foot wide.  Not exactly hot stuff I can hear you thinking dear readers.

Something else that I find comforting though (when I actually manage to leave the house) is shopping.  Obviously not crazy Summer sales shopping, elbowing tourists in the face down Oxford Street, more pottering around a quiet town and happening upon a few purchases that seem to come out of nowhere and make me happy.  This is exactly what happened to me last weekend and what's more they are classics, things I'll wear again and again and I wasn't even looking for them.

H and M Conscious Cotton Collection
This is a stunner at £19.99 from Huh and Muh, reminds me of a gorgeous peasant top that Chloe did a few seasons also doesn't make me look a buxom milkmaid, always a winner.  Then came the real bargain..
....these lovely tailored shorts from Isabel Marant.  They are in a lovely dark grey linen blend and have flattering back pockets and a cute elasticated waistband.  Perfect for work or the weekend..and they were £69 as oppose to £217 full price. BOOM!

And finally, not something I often post about but a joint passion with fashion and cooking (and eating). The wonderful Liberty London Girl frequently puts up recipes she has tested and enjoyed, so I thought, why not share a few with you. I gave up carbs before Marrakesh....(bonkers I know but after all, this was a serious pool/ bikini holiday) so when I got back, naturally all I wanted to do was stuff my face full of bread, rice, pasta and tatties and this is one of my all time favourite recipes by the domestic goddess herself.  In her own words, here is Nigella with her Lemon Risotto.....*
Because we all look like this when eating pasta...
This is comfort food on so many levels. For one, risotto has to be one of the most comforting things to eat ever. What's more, although everyone goes on about the finicketiness and crucial fine-tuning involved, I find risotto immensely comforting to make: in times of strain, mindless repetitive activity - in this case, 20 minutes of stirring - can really help. What you don't want to do is make risotto for large numbers of people, which is why I've indicated that this serves two.


  • 2 shallots
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 300g risotto rice, preferably Vialone Nano
  • 1 litre vegetable stock (I use Marigold stock powder)
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
  • Needles from 2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 60ml (4 tablespoons) grated parmesan, plus more to sprinkle

    60ml (4 tablespoons) double cream

    Maldon salt to taste
  • Good grating pepper, preferably white
    Serves: 2.
    1. Put the shallots and celery into a Magimix and blitz until they are a finely chopped mush.
    2. Heat half the butter, the oil and the shallot and celery mixture in a wide saucepan, and cook to soften the mixture for about 5 minutes, making sure it doesn't catch. Mix in the rice, stirring to give it a good coating of oil and butter. Meanwhile, heat the stock in another saucepan and keep it at simmering point.
    3. Pour a ladleful of the stock into the rice and keep stirring until the stock is absorbed. Then add another ladleful and stir again. Continue doing this until the rice is al dente. You may not need all of the stock, equally, you may need to add hot water from the kettle.
    4. Mix the lemon zest and the rosemary into the risotto, and in a small bowl beat the egg yolk, lemon juice, parmesan, cream and pepper.
    5. When the risotto is ready - when the rice is no longer chalky, but still has some bite - take it off the heat and add the bowl of eggy, lemony mixture, and the remaining butter and salt to taste. Serve with more grated parmesan if you wish, check the seasoning and dive in.  *Between you and I, I often put add piles of rocket on top with a drizzle of garlic oil to garnish and double as a salad..and if you have carnivores, a handful of king prawns is a treat as well!xx

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