Going Pumpkin Picking

Pumpkin Picking at Farmer Copleys, Pontefract // Amy Elizabeth

Pumpkin Picking at Farmer Copleys, Pontefract // Amy Elizabeth

In pursuit of the completion of my autumn bucket list, we took a trip today to Farmer Copleys in Pontefract for their pumpkin festival. It really was the perfect autumnal day, with a whole field of plump pumpkins just ripe for the picking. There’s something so appealing about the bright orange pumpkins all nestled in a field, isn’t there? It just makes me want to light candles and eat pie and generally celebrate everything that’s great about this season.

We initially rejected a wheelbarrow because I was convinced we’d only pick up one, but they were all so delightful that I couldn’t settle on one single pumpkin so I ended up hefting three back to the car. I should have known that my indecisiveness and magpie-like nature would run riot when faced with a plethora of delicious squashes to choose from! 

Pumpkin Picking at Farmer Copleys, Pontefract // Amy Elizabeth Pumpkin Picking at Farmer Copleys, Pontefract // Amy Elizabeth

It’s so lovely to have these days with Ben already, even if he does tend to sleep through them (and look rather put out in the photos!) but I do already look forward to the days when he’ll be going around the field with me, weighing up the merits of different pumpkins. There were so many kids running about with painted faces and toffee apples choosing their pumpkins, and it warms my heart to think about doing that with Ben in the future. I so want to have seasonal traditions like pumpkin picking to look forward to every year, so there’s no doubt that we’ll be back to Farmer Copleys next year to pick up another pumpkin (or three!). 

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My Autumn Bucket List 2017


Autumn is always our busiest season, with weekends already getting booked up; I’m pretty sure that if I’m not careful I’ll blink and miss one of the best times of year. I’ve already been soaking up all of the autumn leaves on my walks around Leeds with Ben, but last year I found that my autumn bucket list really helped me make the most of the season. It’s even more important to me to make traditions as a family now, and autumn is the perfect time to embrace all of the seasonal traditions and get 

Host our Second Annual Friendsgiving 

Friendsgiving was one of my favourite days of last year. We managed to squeeze almost twenty people into our dining room (and when I say squeeze, it really was a squeeze!) and we feasted on pulled pork, mac ‘n’ cheese and pumpkin pie. It’s rare that we manage to get so many people together, especially in the run up to Christmas, and I’d love to do the same again this year. I’m already planning the menu and scoping out some invites… Last year I had just found out I was pregnant, too, so I’m looking forward to a few Friendsgiving cocktails, too! 

Take Some Photos of the Autumn Leaves 

I don’t think I’ve ever spent as much time outside as I am right now; I’m taking Ben on long walks a few times a week just to get us out of the house and fill the time. Which means that I have noticed the beauty of the changing leaves more than ever before. I’m hoping that it’s interesting for him to see the leaves changing, even if he can’t quite comprehend it yet. I’d love to improve my photography, and the beautiful autumn leaves that are surrounding us on every side right now will make the perfect subject for my efforts! 

Go Pumpkin Picking 

Last year we went apple picking, and it was such a fun day. This year, I’m hoping to scope out a local-ish pumpkin patch and pick up a Halloween pumpkin ready for carving. I know that Ben is a bit small to remember anything we do this year, but I’d love for apple and pumpkin picking to become traditions that we do every year with him. If only for the adorable photos of our baby boy sat on top of a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch… 

Knit a Blanket 

I’ve started a chunky navy blanket, which I think is going to take a fairly long time to finish as it’s going to be rather large. But cosy autumn evenings feel like the perfect time to commit to a hefty craft project so I’m not too daunted. I’d love to finish it before winter kicks in properly, and so I can free up some time for Christmas crafting when the time comes around.

Keep Up with My One Second Everyday Video 

I am *obsessed* with the One Second Everyday app right now. It’s such a lovely way to capture all of Ben’s little expressions and sweet little moments. I’ve only got about 10 seconds worth right now, but by the end of autumn I should have a whole minute of video of our lives together and I think it will be just wonderful to look back on – so I’m committing to it in a big way! 

Read a Scary Book

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Halloween is the perfect time to read a scary book or watch a scary film, but I’m too much of a wuss for scary films so it’ll have to be a scary book. I might have to start now if I want to finish by the time Halloween comes around, so if you have any recommendations of spooky stories that aren’t *too* frightening then hit me up! 

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Apple and Blackberry Turnovers

Apple and Blackberry Puff Pastry Turnovers // Autumn Baking // Amy Elizabeth

I adore the length of summer evenings, and every year I feel a bit disappointed when I notice that it’s getting dark as we’re sitting down to dinner, knowing that it’ll be months before we get those heady summer days again. August was so wet and grey here in Leeds, that it sort of feels like we’ve been in autumn for a long time, but the crispness in the air and the piles of leaves littering our front lawn are the true signals that the cosiest season of the year is upon us – and I’m determined to embrace it with open arms rather than with my usual trepidation.

Apple and Blackberry Puff Pastry Turnovers // Autumn Baking // Amy Elizabeth

Discovering the concept of hygge last year, along with most of the UK, helps to quell some of that disappointment that I feel at falling temperatures and fewer sunlit hours. Celebrating what is great about autumn rather than resisting its charms is the best way to beat the blues for me, and, of course, that starts with the food. More specifically, the perfect combination of apple and blackberries, which is basically the taste of autumn, is it not? Whatever way you serve this reliable old favourite, whether it’s in a crumble or pie, or in these puff pastry turnovers, the combination of warm apple and sweet blackberry is like a hug from the inside. Throw in a sprinkling of cinnamon and surrender fully to autumn, and all the delights it has to offer. Even better if you don your boots and a warm scarf, and go out and pick the blackberries yourself. I just bought mine on this occasion, but next year I am going blackberrying for sure, so there will be plenty more apple & blackberry desserts in my future… 

Apple and Blackberry Puff Pastry Turnovers // Autumn Baking // Amy Elizabeth

Apple and Blackberry Puff Pastry Turnovers
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cooking apple, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  2. 150g blackberries
  3. 2 tsp. cinnamon
  4. 1 tbsp. caster sugar (or more, to taste)
  5. 1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry
  6. 1 egg
  7. cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Place the apples, blackberries, caster sugar, cinnamon and a splash of water in a saucepan over a low-medium heat and cook until the apples are softened and tinged pink by the blackberries. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Roll out your puff pastry sheet and cut into 8 rectangles using a sharp knife.
  4. Place the apple & blackberry mixture in a sieve over a bowl to remove some of the liquid, as this can make your pastries soggy.
  5. Spoon a heaped tablespoon or two of the apples & blackberries onto each puff pastry rectangle. Fold over (or turn over, if you will...) until the mixture is sealed inside. Use a fork to press down and seal the edges.
  6. Mix the egg with a splash of water, and use a pastry brush to brush over the tops of your pastries. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  7. Bake on a tray covered in baking paper for 15-20 minutes in the centre of your oven until golden brown.
  8. Serve warm with cream or ice cream, or place on a wire rack to cool.
Notes
  1. If you can't find cinnamon sugar at the shops, you can make your own or use demerara sugar in its place.
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/
Apple and Blackberry Puff Pastry Turnovers // Autumn Baking // Amy Elizabeth

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Autumn Bucket List

autumn

This season, I am all about creating traditions. Now that we’re settled into our home, it’s time to start making memories here and I’d love to do start setting up some things we can look forward to every year. The summer is a loosey-goosey sort of time when anything can happen, but autumn and winter feels like a good time to have traditions. For all my joy at the crispness in the air and the crunch of leaves underfoot, there is the misery of endlessly rainy days and dark mornings to content with, so a little bit of excitement is only ever going to be a good thing. 

Read a Scary Book 

This one is more for me, but with Halloween on the horizon and plenty of time to snuggle under blankets and read by lamplight, a scary book or two is definitely called for. Last year I dipped my two into two of Stephen King’s classics; Carrie, which I didn’t find all that scary, The Shining, which I very much did. I’m thinking of reading HEX which came out earlier this year, but I’d love any other recommendations. The two scariest books I’ve read in recent times are I Remember You by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Bird Box by Josh Malerman – both incredibly creepy! 

Bake a Pumpkin Pie

I meant to do this last year but ran out of time, so I still have some canned pumpkin in my cupboard ready for a pumpkin pie adventure. I made a sweet potato pie last year, which I really liked but my colleagues couldn’t get on board with (I think more for the concept than the taste!) so I’m excited to try this instead and see what they think! 

Host Friendsgiving

The first of many, hopefully! We’ve already got the invites in the post and we’ll be hosting 20 of our nearest and dearest friends for a Friendsgiving feast on 19th November. I’m eschewing the traditional turkey roast for piles of pulled pork and plenty of mac ‘n’ cheese, but I’ll be serving up pie for dessert and decorating with mini pumpkins so I think it still counts. We consider our friends in Leeds to be very much a part of our family, but at Christmas we don’t often get to celebrate with them all because of everyone’s work and family commitments so I’m hoping this can stand in as our festive celebration and a chance to eat, drink and be merry! 

Finish a Blanket

I’ve abandoned my knitting over the summer, but I need to pick it up again ASAP. I have three friends with babies very much on the way so I need to finish at least one blanket during the autumn if I want to keep giving them to little ones of my acquaintance! Knitting is a cosy autumnal activity, so it’s not really a hardship – I’m imagining holing myself up in front of Gilmore Girls and knitting the afternoon away! 

Go on a Spa Trip

I’m cheating a little bit with this one, as it’s been booked for months but I’ve never actually been on a spa trip so I think it still counts as a bucket list item! A group of us are heading to Thorpe Park in Leeds for a weekend of spa fun in mid-October, and I’m very much looking forward to an excuse to laze around doing nothing with some lovely ladies. I wouldn’t be mad if this became a yearly tradition! 

Watch the Fireworks

We didn’t go and see any fireworks this year, so I’d like to catch a display this year. Bonfire Night is definitely one of the highlights of the autumn, and we’ve got a friend coming to stay that weekend for the Abbey Dash so I’m hoping it can be something of a group affair at a local display, followed by sparklers in the garden, plenty of chilli & jacket potatoes and maybe some mulled wine if we’re feeling festive. 

Go Apple Picking 

Another one I’m slightly cheating on, as we’re off this weekend but I can’t not include it! In the spirit of hygge, I’m trying to plan more outdoorsy things and apple picking is so delightfully seasonal. Wrapping up in scarves and hats, filling our pockets with apples before coming home to a roast dinner and baking those same apples into a pie? Can you think of a more glorious way to spend a Sunday? Because I certainly can’t. I’m also hoping to visit a pumpkin patch at some point, but we’re rapidly running out of weekends before Halloween! 

What’s on your autumn bucket list? 

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Caramel Apple Dutch Baby

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby // Amy Elizabeth

Is there anything more quintessentially autumnal than caramel apples? With Bonfire Night on the horizon, I felt that it was time to submit to my desire to eat all the caramel apple flavoured things, so I baked a caramel apple pie and rustled up this Dutch Baby for a Saturday morning breakfast. This is the best kind of breakfast – the kind that takes a little bit of preparation but not a lot of effort, and which really tastes best with ice cream. I aim for an 80/20 split of healthy/non-healthy food in my life, but when Caramel Apple Dutch Babies are involved, I’m willing to relax the rules a little (a lot). Cooking this up in the morning will make your kitchen smell delicious, and will tempt out any sleeping friends or relatives in the vicinity to join you at the breakfast table (or breakfast sofa, no judgement here). Serve with hot coffee, fresh juice and the aforementioned vanilla ice cream to get all those good autumn feelings. Then pull on your wellies and go and kick some crunchy leaves whilst you still can. Winter is coming, people. Make the most of autumn for now. 

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby // Amy Elizabeth

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby // Amy Elizabeth

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby
Serves 4
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For the Dutch Baby
  1. 50g unsalted butter
  2. 2 Granny Smith apples (although any apple will do, really), peeled & cut into slices
  3. 50g light brown sugar
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 160ml semi-skimmed milk
  6. 100g plain flour
  7. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
For the Caramel Sauce
  1. 125g caster sugar
  2. 2 tbsp. water
  3. 25g unsalted butter
  4. 75ml double cream
For the Dutch Baby
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet before adding the apples and sugar. Leave over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for around 5-7 minutes until the apple slices have softened and are fully coated.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and milk until combined, before adding the flour and cinnamon. If possible, use an electric mixer to whisk together - the more air you have in the batter, the better!
  4. Make sure the apples are in one layer (or thereabouts) on the bottom of the skillet and pour the batter on top. Quickly transfer to the oven.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes until your Dutch baby is all puffed up and golden brown! Serve immediately with caramel sauce.
For the Caramel Sauce
  1. Mix together the sugar and water in a saucepan. Place on a medium-high heat and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Turn up the heat and boil for 4-5 minutes until the mixture has turned a deep caramel colour. Do not stir!
  3. Remove from the heat and add the butter and cream. Stir together until smooth and leave to cool.
Notes
  1. If you don't have a non-stick skillet available, you can cook the apples in a frying pan and transfer to a pre-heated oven-proof dish before adding the batter.
Adapted from Food52
Adapted from Food52
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/
Caramel Apple Dutch Baby // Amy Elizabeth

 

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3 Cookbooks You Need Right Now

cookbooks  

Autumn is the time for new cookbooks, with a glut making their way onto our shelves and Amazon wish lists. There’s something about a chill in the air and crisp, colourful leaves underfoot that make you dream of days baking and braising, only to hunker down with your feast and a cosy pair of slippers. I’ve become somewhat of a cookbook addict in the last few years; my purpose-built shelf is now overflowing with piles of books and magazines, which have spilt over onto window shelves and into various piles around the house. They’re just so tempting, promising untold delights and mouth-gasms you can only imagine.

I’m trying to rein back my spending on cookbooks, in favour of actually, you know, cooking from them. Earlier in the year, I began to cook my way through the Joy the Baker cookbook, making all the recipes I’ve never got round to trying before. The process revealed so many recipes that I had glossed over the first few times of flicking through. There’s a lesson for life in there, somewhere. I’ve started to do the same with all my cookbooks, marking all the recipes I want to take a crack at with post-its and then slowly working my way through.

This new method has revealed a little more about my collection. Cookbooks have so many different functions, and not all of the books I have are really for cooking with. Some are purely for aesthetics. Some are to educate. Some are to inspire. But my favourites are the ones where I can’t wait to make every single thing in there. These are the cookbooks that you need, right now. You simply can’t live without them, I promise. 

Homemade Memories by Kate Doran

This is the baking book that I’ve been waiting for my whole life. Kate’s whole philosophy around baking is not just about how it tastes, but how it makes you feel. The baked treats of our childhoods bring back a special kind of nostalgia, of being covered in flour, helping out in the kitchen, waiting for special occasions. Some of the recipes are re-imaginings of the desserts and puds that you no doubt ‘helped’ your parents and grandparents whip up; others are home-made versions of favourite shop-bought treats, including bourbon biscuits, jaffa cakes and even a caterpillar cake! This book is an absolute joy to bake from, and I want to make everything enclosed in its pages – and have been working on doing just that. As an added bonus, the photos are beautiful. Just buy this book, okay? 

Everyday Super Food by Jamie Oliver

Look, even I am a little tired of the Jamie Oliver machine. So many restaurants, products, campaigns. But, you can’t deny that the man writes a good cookbook. I like Jamie’s style of cooking – it’s fast, fresh and full of colour. It feels really accessible, so it’s a great way to get into cooking if you’re new to the game. I’m usually sceptical of ‘healthy eating’ manifestos, which seem all the rage this day. Ain’t nobody gonna convince me that courgette is a substitute for spaghetti. It’s just not. I steer clear of chia seeds and kale crisps, for the most part, but I know I could do with eating a little healthier – especially after a decadent fortnight in the US of A. More vegetables. More whole foods. A few little substitutions here and there to get some more vitamins into my diet. As always, Jamie’s recipes are packed full of flavour and they make eating healthy seem a bit more fun than I’ve seen before. So far we’ve eaten a whole week’s worth of meals from this book and pretty much everything has been a winner. 

Related: Nigella has come out with her own version of this, Simply Nigella, which I’m also excited to get my hands on. 

The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book by Emily & Melissa Elsen

I was SO inspired when I went to the Four & Twenty Blackbirds shop in Brooklyn. It’s the cutest little place. Please go there if you get a chance. I mean, who doesn’t like pie? No one, that’s who. This book is an absolute dream, covering everything from sourcing ingredients and equipment to make the perfect pie, to seasonal recipes which will make your mouth water. Who knew that you could do so much with pie? The instructions are easy to follow, which is exactly what you need when you’re new to pie-making – pastry can be a tricky mistress. My success rate is a lot higher with this bad boy than with any other pie recipe that has come before, that’s for sure. Autumn and winter is a time for pies. Apple pies. Custard pies. Pumpkin pies. Every kind of pie. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop… 

Which cookbooks can’t you live without right now? 

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Apple and Blackberry Galette

Apple and Blackberry Galette

Blackberrying with my Dad is one of my favourite childhood memories. He seemed to me to be the oracle of blackberries, always knowing when and where we could find bushes of ripe berries. Once a year we would set off into the Kentish countryside, armed with empty ice cream tubs ready to bring back a haul. We would clamber amongst long grass, pricking ourselves on the brambles and staining our fingers purple. It’s engrossing work, picking blackberries. You can easily lose hours finding and selecting the best berries, and we would come back with piles of them, ready to be made into crumbles throughout the winter. 

Apple and Blackberry Galette

I’ve not been blackberrying for years, but I always think of those afternoons at this time of year. I’ve spotted a few rogue berries on the side of the road, but I don’t really know where to go for proper blackberrying around these parts. Luckily, we have a lovely greengrocers just down the road who have done the work for me so that I can still make this pie. Galettes are the easiest kind of pie – they’re *supposed* to look rustic and thrown together, which means more time eating and less time trimming pastry. Put this bad boy on your autumn bucket list – you won’t regret it. 

Apple and Blackberry Galette

Apple and Blackberry Rye Galette
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For the pastry
  1. 100g rye flour
  2. 150g white flour
  3. 125g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  4. 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 1 egg yolk
  7. 20ml ice cold water
For the filling
  1. 2 eating apples, cored, peeled & sliced
  2. 200g blackberries
  3. 4 tbsp. light brown sugar
  4. juice of 1/2 lemon
  5. 50g ground almond
  6. 1 egg, beaten
  7. Demerara sugar
Instructions
  1. Sift the flours and salt together into a mixing bowl, and add the grains at the bottom of the sieve. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Rub in the sugar and add the egg yolk. Mix together until the pastry comes together into a ball, gradually adding the water if needed.
  3. Shape into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Roll out the pastry into a circle about 30cm wide. Place on a baking sheet covered in baking paper.
  5. Toss the apple slices, blackberries, lemon juice and 2 tbsp. sugar together in a bowl.
  6. Cover the middle of the pastry circle with the ground almonds and 2 tbsp. sugar, leaving a 5cm-ish border. Place the apple and blackberry mix on top of the almonds, leaving any liquid behind in the bowl where possible.
  7. Fold the sides of the pastry around the fruit. Patch together if you get any cracks - it's fairly malleable!
  8. Place the tray in the fridge for a further 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 170C. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
  10. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the pastry is golden and the fruit is tender.
  11. Serve warm with cream or ice cream, or at room temperature.
Adapted from The Telegraph
Adapted from The Telegraph
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

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Feels Like Home

Ugg Blog Post 1

I’m sure that I’m not the only one that feels the need to hibernate now that the clocks have gone back and the evenings are pitch black. Pub gardens and picnics in the park have been replaced with nights spend on the sofa, fleecy blanket on hand. In the winter, home becomes a sanctuary, a cosy cocoon to protect you from the harsh vagaries of winter. Rather than heading out into the icy chill, it’s much more preferable to stay indoors – and to make indoors the best place it can be. 

UGG Australia are on a mission to inspire people to make the most of their time at home this season, and have collected some recipes and how-to guides for ways to spend your downtime over the coming months to be the best it can be – including some seasonal cocktails from yours truly! 

I’ve been a fan of UGG for a long time; I loved in my UGG boots at University and they’re still pulled out of the cupboard when it’s wet and wild outside, and cosiness is the order of the day. They were kind enough to send me these gorgeous slippers, too, which have barely left my feet since. It’s always a disappointment to go from the furry hug of these bad boys to my regular day shoes.

Ugg Blog Post 2

Homemade cocktails feel very decadent, but these are simple to make – whether you’re enjoying them alone or with friends. The cocktails I’ve created use seasonal ingredients which are at their best during the coming months – you can find the recipes here, but here’s a little taste for you: 

Winter Sunshine Cocktail

Citrus fruits are one of my favourite things about winter; although we associate their zesty freshness with summer they are at their best in the darkest months – a little gift from nature, perhaps. This cocktail combines clementine juice with vodka, limoncello and rosemary – and don’t forget the sugar rim! 

Spiced Rum Punch

This Spiced Rum Punch which feels like a warm hug in a glass. You can heat this through gently before serving, or drink as is, but the flavours of cinnamon, orange, apple and dark rum are reminiscent of the best parts of autumn and winter. 

As well as these cocktails, you can also pick up tips for blogging, illustration, beauty and a delicious recipe for Wild Blackberry Buns from other bloggers, so you can really make the most of slipper season. 

P.S. Find more cocktail recipes right here.

This post is in association with UGG Australia and I was compensated for these cocktail recipes, but I promise you that these slippers are the bomb-diggity and these cocktails are delicious and will impress your friends. That sugar rim, in particular. I’m tempted to put it on all of my drinks… 

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My Autumn Cookbook Wish List

Autumn Cookbooks // Amy Elizabeth

With the drop in temperature and the onset of darkness in the early evening has come a reduction in my social calendar. In the summer I was inundated with invitations; no one wanted to stay inside, they wanted to go out and play in the sunshine. For the first time in forever, I wasn’t juggling a mix of studying and working – I was free in the evenings and weekends for all sorts of high jinks and it was glorious to make the most of it. This could be the most carefree time of my life and it’s worth holding on to that for as long as possible. 

Next year I will be a married woman and working towards being a homeowner. The thought is both thrilling and humbling. Life seems to move at such a fast pace, especially during those heady summer months. Before next year, however, I have some respite. A time for hibernation and recuperation. A chance to charge my batteries and get stuck in to all of those creative projects that have been on the back burner whilst this grasshopper played all summer.

My weekends are gloriously empty, with only a few key dates peppered here and there, which means that it’s time to spend some serious time in the kitchen. This year has definitely highlighted that whilst I am a good cook, I am certainly not great and there are a lot of things I have never even tried to turn my hand to. I am excited to start, armed with my books and my wooden spoon. Here’s a little list of the books I’ll be cooking from this autumn, and a few that I have saved up on my wish list ready for when I run out of recipes. Can that ever happen? It’s best to be prepared, just in case. 

Top with Cinnamon by Izy Hosack

If you’ve not read Izy’s incredible blog, then you are seriously missing out. This girl has so much talent for both creating incredible dishes & bakes and for photographing them. It sickens me slightly that she is so accomplished and still six years younger than me but, petty jealousy aside, her book is glorious. Savoury and sweet, all photographed beautifully. It’s a piece of art as much as it is a cookbook, and although I have already tried my hand at the Swedish Chocolate Cake and am a convert to Courgetti as a side dish, there’s still so much more. This is the one, you guys. 

Crumb by Ruby Tandoh 

With the Bake Off sadly drawing to a close, I have a renewed excitement for all things kneaded and proved. I loved Ruby’s bakes on last year’s Bake Off and have since enjoyed her column on the Guardian, so I was very excited to snap up her new book when it was released this month. It’s only just appeared at my door and I’ve only had a cursory glance through, but this weekend I plan to curl up and read it properly with a notebook so I can choose exactly what to bake first. 

Homemade Decadence by Joy the Baker 

Joy the Baker is my food blogging idol. She is pretty incredible, and her podcast is one of my favourites. Her first book was so much fun to bake from – easy, indulgent, impressive food that didn’t take itself too seriously and provided a serious sugar hit. I’m excited for her second book, which is released on the 16th October. The tagline is ‘Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats’. Yep. I definitely need this book in my life. 

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Is it any surprise that a lot of this list comprises the work of food bloggers? Smitten Kitchen is one of the original and best food bloggers, and I have been a fan of her blog for years. It’s simple enough to encourage even the most novice of chefs and yet offers some great inspiration and new dishes that I have never tried before. Despite that, I’ve never owned her book (although I have given it as a gift) and I’d love to get my hands on it before she releases her next one! 

Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

I am always completely intrigued by Julia Child. What a fascinating woman she was, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking is truly her masterpiece. I love French food (who doesn’t) but I suspect my skills are a little lacking for it so I’d love to absorb this wildly-acclaimed book and get to grip with some techniques that will help me improve. French food is often incredibly rich and decadent, wonderfully so, which makes it a perfect project for the wintery months. I’ll let you know how I get on…  

The Recipe Wheel by Rosie Ramsden 

I first read about this book on Rachel‘s blog and was immediately taken with the concept – one, simple core recipe at the heart of its own ‘wheel’ with a number of variations to choose from depending on the occasion. I love the idea, and I think it might be helpful for using up leftovers as well. I hate getting stuck in a rut when it comes to our weekly meal plan, so this kind of book is perfect for me – I’m usually much better at coming up with occasional recipes than I am the regular, everyday stuff which actually makes up the core of what we eat. I’m definitely putting this one on my Christmas list, if I don’t splurge beforehand! 

Which cookbooks are you reading this autumn? 

 

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Autumn Sunshine

The sun was shining today, which made it the perfect opportunity to try out ankle socks and boots for the first time! The lack of sunlight this year has made me really embrace the pale, and I’m enjoying going for an English Rose sort-of look with rosy cheeks and my new red hair. My new hair colour is making it possible to wear all sorts of new colours, like this gorgeous textured green dress from Topshop, and it’s making me feel very autumnal! Plus, I’m a sucker for a flippy skirt. It does mean that all the pink and pastels I invested in over the summer are a little redundant right now, especially since I plan on going even redder over Christmas. I’ve got the bug now! If any redheads want to give me tips on what colours are best to wear, it would be much appreciated!

Dress, Socks & Necklace: Topshop, Boots: ASOS 

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