10 stocking stuffers for foodies.

Holly Illustration for Christmas cocktail

  1. Vanilla – real vanilla is transformative in cookies, cakes, custards, curries. This bundle is such a treat.
  2. Peter Luger Steak Sauce – the greatest steak sauce, from arguably the greatest steakhouse in NYC. Perfect with all kinds of meat – but try marinating a pork shoulder in the sauce over night and slow cooking for pulled pork perfection.
  3. Malden Salt – these beautiful pyramid crystals of sea salt have been hand drawn from the pans for over 130 years, resulting in some of the softest, mellowest salt money can buy.
  4. Mini Whisk – so useful, and pretty cute for a kitchen utensil. Salad dressings will never be the same.
  5. Cinnamon Sticks – because, well, look at them. Imagine these poking out the top of a stocking. Yeah. It’s like culinary set decorating.
  6. The perfect pepper grinder – a forever gift that will get used everyday.
  7. Cheese papers – because friends don’t let friends waste good cheese.
  8. Slipat – so useful for baking, so much more expensive than foil, you might not buy it for yourself – i.e. ideal gift, even though it looks utilitarian.
  9. Mast Brother’s sea salt chocolate bar. Gorgeous design. Delicious chocolate. Win win.
  10. Maple Syrup. The real stuff. In a mason jar. From fricking Vermont. Boom.

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10 food gifts to take to a party

Line of parcels illustrated for Christmas Stew cake recipe

  1. Peppermint bark – ruinously expensive, but totally delicious. It’s a classic.
  2. Quality Streets – The absolute British festive chocolate of choice. A flavor for every taste – I knew Jon and I were meant to be together when it turned out he liked the caramel coins, and did not like the purple ones with nuts in. Whaaat? We are so compatible! It’s a sign! Anyway, these are the Business.
  3. Crumpets – think outside the chocolate box. Golden and warm and dripping with butter, crumpets are the greatest toasted thing in the world. Bonus points if you have access to a fire, and gift toasting forks too.
  4. Boozy Maraschino Cherries – for cocktails, or, more likely, straight up snacking. No judgement. Also, props for the seasonal color.
  5. Walnuts and a nut cracker in the shape of a squirrel! – old school, and still the best – also, come on, Squirrel!
  6. Port – now we’re living the Dickensian dream.
  7. Salted Caramels – you know who didn’t like salted caramels? Hitler.
  8. Fancy truffles – that box! That box! Yeah, and great truffles, but seriously, that box!
  9. A wheel of stilton – there’s something about a whole wheel of cheese that makes it extra special and gift-able.
  10. A crate of clementines – the holidays simply aren’t the holidays without them. Everyone will be stoked that you brought these.

Holly Illustration for Christmas cocktail

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Not being Mary, and Clementine Bourbon Mulled Wine.

Cloved Orange

Let’s be honest. In the school nativity play, the role, The Role, really, is Mary.
She might not get a lot of lines, but she gets all the glory for sure. Glory, and a pale blue robe. Continue reading

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Quick pickled onions with Thanksgiving leftovers in mind.

Red Onion

Thanksgiving is great. Love it. Thank you, America. Especially for the sweet potato bake. But I’m not going to lie – I might actually enjoy the leftovers more than the dinner.

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Bourbon Cranberry Sauce and thankfulness and puppies!


What are you thankful for this year? That’s the question on the table today. Continue reading

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Pumpkin Soup and Not Worrying.


Things advertisers in my inbox think I need that I didn’t think I needed before I saw the advert, and now I’m not so sure: Continue reading

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Oozing pus chocolate cupcakes and a Rotarian Halloween

Oozing Pus Chocolate Cupcake

One Halloween when my husband was a teenager, he was picked to perform in a Murder Mystery night hosted by the local Rotary Club. “It was themed around classic Halloween characters – Dracula, Frankenstein, a Ghost. Someone got murdered, and the Rotarians had to guess who dun it.”

“So it was an undead murder mystery?” I checked.

“Yes,” said Jon, as though this did not strike him as odd.  Continue reading

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Penne with Pumpkin and sage breadcrumbs


So the big news is … My sister got engaged!! To Matt, the extremely lovely man she’s been dating since University. Happy doesn’t even begin to cover it really. It’s just good good news, happening to people who deserve to have their love celebrated in a Big Way. Continue reading

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Birthday Cheesecake

Birthday cheesecake illustration for baked cheesecake recipe

I suppose birthdays are the ideal time to take stock and make plans, assess progress, plan change etc. A time to get honest about what we want from life, and what we’re deluding ourselves about. Continue reading

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Sweater Weather, Unlikely Nudists and Chicken Parmigiana Stew


This, from Jeanmarie, who heard it from a man she met on a windy train platform on her commute into the city one early morning.

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