Friday 14 March 2008

A Year in My Kitchen

A Year in my Kitchen by Skye Gyngell has just been published in paperback by Quadrille. The hardcover (which is what I have) was the winner of the 'Cookery Book of the Year' at the Guild of Food Writers Awards 2007. It really is beautiful, the photography by Jason Lowe is fantastic, but I'm not sure it will be that easy to cook from - it is so beautifully produced that I doubt you would want it anywhere near your kitchen for fear of grubbing it up. Maybe best to be extravagant and get the hardback for the coffee table and the paperback for the kitchen.

The best bit is the 'toolbox' at the beginning which Gyngell describes as 'the nuts and bolts' of her cooking and it's a really useful reference for everything from herbs and lemon zest to tea-smoking and roasted spice mix. This is great for referencing but also for those flash moments (and please tell me I'm not the only one) of stupidity in the kitchen when you just can't work out how something is supposed to be used.

Although I did a Cordon Bleu cookery course (at the Tante Marie school of Cookery) I am an incredibly fussy eater and this book is pretty taste specific. The emphasis throughout is on flavour and the best use of seasonal foods - which, like the fantastic The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen by Nigel Slater, means that if you are having a complete blank on what to cook you can dip in to the appropriate season and see what could be cooking in Gyngell's kitchen. Spring brings 'Broad beans with mint, ricotta and crisp Parma Ham', for summer 'tea smoked fillet of wild salmon with pickled cucumber salad, autumn has it's own coleslaw whilst winter holds 'pan fried scallops with horseradish cream and winter leaves'. Sound tasty? then this is the book for you. And whilst these may sound quite showy and complicated this is one of the calmest cookery books I've read (probably helped by the aforementioned fantastic photography).

This is the perfect present for any foody - an really great treat to yourself. xx

Tuesday 11 March 2008

The Return of E45

I was rather suspicious when i started trying out the new E45 moisturiser. I like Nivea Soft and for some reason I always associate E45 with being more hardcore. When we were little Darling Miss C and I suffered from eczema - hers was a hundred times worse than mine but I now associate E45 with the various unguents that used to coat us during times of flare up... However, the new E45 Endless Moisture Body Milk is amazing. For lasting softness I have to admit that this beats Nivea Soft. It's really helped my dry skin - especially on the tops of my thighs and arms. I haven't used it today but my arms still feel soft from using it yesterday. Definitely worth trying - I've been converted.

I'm less impressed by my recent Clinique purchases however. Having gone into Boots to stock up on Clinique Clarifying Moisture Lotion 2 for Dry/Normal Skin which has really helped the dry skin patches on my forehead and unfortunately I got sucked into the 'buy three products and get £10 on you Boots card deal'. So, to go with the Clarifying Lotion I got some Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild (which you are supposed to use first) and some Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion.

The soap is fine - at least I feel like I'm getting more make-up and dirt off, although I now wish that I had got some Clinique Take The Day Off Make-Up Remover which Miss F bought at the airport, instead. This leaves your skin feeling amazingly smooth and although I still use a separate eye make-up remover this seems to get everything off completely. The Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion is nice and is not meant to be like normal moisturisers as it's supposed to react with the different dryness's in your skin to make sure you have optimum moisture. However, I feel it leaves my face feeling slightly taught and not that moisturised at all. I have been putting on my Origins face cream over the top which I'm sure is naughty but I don't want to go through the day with tight skin.

So I do feel slightly let down by my purchases - although they are definitely good items to have in my arsenal of products but when you are as poor as am you don't really want to be £50 out of pocket on products you feel that you could probably survive without xx
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© London Make-up Blog. All rights reserved.