Last week I was invited to pop along to the French Sole press day for spring / summer 2015, held at the beautiful Brown’s Hotel in London! Needless to say, I was in shoe heaven – kudos to creator Jane Winkworth and her team for creating some fantastic collections for next year. There were three main themes for next year’s French Sole selection, and by far the most feminine and romantic was Floral Daze.
I’d heard of gougères before I made them, but I could never really understand why people raved about them so much. Basically, these are cheese puffs, made from the same kind of pastry usually used for patisserie like eclairs or choux buns – except this is a savoury version. They’re just cheesy, pastry bites – but in this case, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Trust me when I tell you that these will be devoured in short order at your next party – and they’re so chic you can even serve them for something formal as well as a BBQ!
I’m a big fan of Burberry beauty, and a recent convert to Dior, and I picked out my favourite hot pink, baby pink and really red shades from the brands to create three simple Valentine’s Day looks!
From the top, Vogue is my latest lipstick purchase – an outrageously girly hot pink from Dior which goes nicely with their new limited edition spring Bloom nail varnish. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it makes a lasting impression!
For a more subtle and romantic look, one of my favourite neutral pinks is English Rose from Burberry – and now a matching shade of nail varnish has been launched as part of the brand’s neutral shades. I can’t wait to try it!
Finally, what could be more classic than a red lip paired with red nails? Dior’s 999 is probably the most famous red shade on the market, and was reformulated in 2013 for Dior’s 60th anniversary and based on lipstick 9, the first lipstick Christian Dior ever created. Rich, deep and flattering, the colour also comes as a nail varnish – both perfect for a Valentine’s Day look!
I’ll be doing a post on Vogue and Bloom and the two 999 colours soon, but in the meantime, how about I leave you with some pictures from my visit to Christian Dior’s house in Granville? It’s now a museum dedicated to the fashion designer, and is definitely worth a visit!
Another manicure inspired by Pinterest (specifically this one), this is pretty much a copy, except it’s matte. So, in essence, it’s a completely original idea I had all by myself. Hooray!
I’ve been totally obsessed with matte nails for ages, and it’s fascinating what a difference it can make to the overall look just to take off the shine. Somehow it looks more… I’m trying to think of a word other than polished, but I can’t. Holy contradiction, Batman!
At my local Boots, I found a grand total of three different orange polishes and ended up plumping for Maybelline Orange Attack, as it was the most vibrant. I always use Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus on my nails, as they are very weak and need all the help they can get. After that, a couple of coats of Orange Attack, then a couple of L’Oreal Confetti Top Coat, then one of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. Then, the finishing touch – a swipe of OPI’s Matte Top Coat to finish.
An easy, effective Halloween manicure that looks much more complex than it actually is. One word of caution – the Confetti Top Coat is incredibly difficult to remove! You have been warned… WHOOOOO! (Insert spooky sound effect.)
- A starry night manicure for Halloween (foodfashfit.com)
Halloween is fast approaching, and if you don’t want to go the whole hog with your costume, you can add some bold accessories to a simple black outfit to create a stylish and spooky look for any party! This year, I’m going as Medusa, and while my costume is nothing to speak of, I’ve been having a great time looking through the many accessories on offer from http://www.asos.com. Here are some of my favourites!
(Just click on the graphic to be taken to Polyvore, where you can find individual links to all of these items.)
Simply make your turkey or chicken soup using a carcass, covered with cold water. Add in extras like peppercorns, herbs (woody or hardy herbs like sage, rosemary and thyme are best), onions and carrots, and allow the stock for simmer for as long as you can – all day if possible. Top up as needed. When you’re ready, drain away everything except the stock, then add to a clean pan and bring to a boil. Simmer until the stock is a tasty soup – you may need to reduce down to a half of the original volume.
To give this dish pretty presentation, fill a bowl with shredded turkey or chicken, and thin cut, cooked vegetables (you can cook them in the broth while its reducing) cut into shapes. Add a sprig of rosemary – this will scent the broth as well as being a pretty garnish. If you really want to impress, serve the bowls as pictured above, then pour the turkey stock from a beautiful presentation jug right at the dinner table!
This is one of my most viewed photos on Flickr – I assume people are searching for it for a simple, cheap, potato recipe. Well, it’s certainly that!
It’s a tasty potato soup that in its most basic form only requires five ingredients – potatoes, garlic, onions, vegetable oil and water. You don’t even need to add stock, but seasonings might be needed, depending on your taste. I also added milk and some bacon strips to the top of mine. This soup is also better eaten the next day, and will serve around six.
- 2 white onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 5 small potatoes
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 pint milk (optional)
- Fried back bacon strip (optional)
- Finely chop garlic and onions together in a processor, then heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan with a lid, and add the onions.
- Sweat with the pan covered for ten minutes, then add the potatoes and a cup of water. Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer.
- Cover again and leave for 20 mins, checking the water is covering the potatoes. If it’s not, add a bit more. Continue to cook until the potatoes are tender.
- Add around a pint of water (around half a litre) and bring to the boil. (Note: if adding milk, reduce the amount of water used and add the milk at this point.)
- At this point, you can whizz the soup down to a fine puree or mash it to leave it slightly lumpy. Taste for seasoning. The soup is now done!
- Garnish with snipped bacon, as in the pic, or maybe with some chives. Or leave plain!
If you eat the soup the following day (recommended, as all soups gain more flavour the day after) then add some more water or milk as the potato tends to make the soup more solid the longer it sits.