Raise Your Glasses to 2011

2010 really was the most incredible year for me. It saw me realise my dream of writing a cookbook and after several years of hard work I finally got to hold my very own published work in my hands. It doesn’t get better than that. You told me how much you enjoyed the book when you read it and cooked from it and that means the world to me. As I wrote it I thought of you, thinking of you curled up with it in bed or wrapped in a throw in a favourite chair on a cold winter’s day, and splattering it with batter as you cooked from it in your steamy kitchen. And so to hear your lovely feedback is overwhelmingly wonderful.

It was a year of success and joy but also one that has shown the bittersweet side of life and the year drew to a close with the sadness of bereavement. As we all know, life is a journey, with its ups and its downs, its twists and its turns, and the best we can do is buckle up and ride with it, enjoying the exhilaration of the good times and holding on tight through the bad, trusting that this too shall pass. I’m ready now to accelerate into 2011 leaving a colourful trail of smoke behind me.

For you, I wish a sparkling year full of love and joy and happiness. I wish for you to dream wonderful dreams and for everything you hope for to find its way to you.

And now, as per the tradition it has now become on this blog, please join me in looking back over the last 12 months…



I made the most of this snow day with hot chocolate and crumpets and slow roasted belly of pork with Puy lentils.

Pork Belly and Puy Lentils


Book Image 1

In February it was all steam ahead with the cookbook and I gave you a sneaky peek inside.



Always up for trying something new I couldn’t resist these pig’s trotters when I saw them in a local supermarket. But what did I make of them? Read on to find out…


Popcorn 4

Who doesn’t love popcorn? Especially when it’s smothered in toffee.


Lamb Cutlets

Succulent lamb cutlets with a herb crust featured in May and they will definitely be featuring in my summer cooking again this year.


Kavey 2

In June I moved to WordPress and re-deisgned the blog which enabled me to do things such as starting a series showcasing all the talented food bloggers out there. Look out for many more to be featured this year.


Sardines with Basmati and Wild Rice

In the midsummer I was enjoying lots of simple fresh fish dishes such as sardines with basmati and wild rice.


Tuscan Style Bean Soup

Rainy days in August demand Mediterranean influenced soups such as this Tuscan Style Bean Soup, don’t you think?


Figs with Maple Syrup

I welcomed in autumn with a drool-worthy pudding of baked figs with maple syrup and vanilla ice cream. Definitely one to try.

Another highlight was being asked, along with Tom Aikens, Alex James and Liz McClarnon, to contribute to the book ‘When You Entertain’, a modern twist on the original Coca-Cola recipe book from 1932, which was written by the legendary American Hostess Ida Bailey Allen.



These colourful winter squashes inspired an autumnal dish and put me in mind of a seasonal friend, The Pumpkin King.

And I had the honour of my blog featuring in the book ‘Foodies of the World’ featuring the world’s best food blogs.

October also saw me cooking at the Salone del Gusto in Turin where I cooked my creamy sausage pasta from the cookbook for 30 or so Italian guests!



November was a very special month, seeing the release of my very own cookbook. As much as I love food blogs and my own little corner of the world wide web here on this site, there’s something very wonderful about holding a book in your hands, smelling the paper and turning the pages.

Cherry Pie Book Pile

But the cooking didn’t stop and as the weather got colder I warmed myself up with a Orange and Stem Ginger Crumble and I told you about my feasting at the witching hour at Halloween when I made ghoulash (yes, you’re read that right!).




The UK saw the worst December snowfall for but us Brits kept our stiff upper lip and I kept on cooking. Rabbit stew with a cooks treat of offal on toast was just the thing.

Wild Rabbit Stew

I’m looking forward to creating another year of memories and I do hope that you’ll join me.



  1. January 1, 2011 / 7:52 pm

    Lovely to have met you and shared a little part of 2010. Happy New Year, my foodie friend x

  2. Julia
    January 1, 2011 / 8:40 pm

    Oh it was so lovely to meet you too and I hope we get to meet again. Have a fabulous 2011 x

  3. January 1, 2011 / 8:54 pm

    Cheers to a really wonderful 2011. I know it will be for me! x

  4. January 1, 2011 / 9:25 pm

    What a lovely post, Julia. Wishing you all the best in 2011. Happy New Year!

  5. January 1, 2011 / 9:59 pm

    Happy New Year! I hope you have a lovely 2011.

  6. January 1, 2011 / 10:03 pm

    Congratulations on your successful year. Looking forward to seeing what you can do in 2011!

  7. January 2, 2011 / 8:00 am

    A fabulous trot down memory lane. Congratulations on a fantastic year…

  8. January 2, 2011 / 12:21 pm

    wow, what a great year it’s been for you, you should be so proud of the book… I can’t wait for my 1st year, it’s been a very exciting year for me too, meeting a new blogging community and i’d like to thank you for the inspiration along the way! Happy New Year!

  9. January 2, 2011 / 8:28 pm

    I remember those pig trotters well – I think I told you via twitter to go and get Fish and Chips!!! BTW just flicking through your book again, going to try the Slow Roasted Belly of Pork this week

  10. January 2, 2011 / 11:51 pm

    What an amazing year for you. 2011, I’m sure, will continue your cooking dream.

  11. January 4, 2011 / 9:35 am

    Congratulations on the cookbook, it must give you a huge sense of achievement. I’m relatively new to this blogging lark, and yours was one of the first that I found to see “how it’s done”, although I don’t actually do it like you, if that makes sense – inspiration rather than plagiarism. Although I have only been going a few months, I’m starting to get quite a lot of visitors, and have just been asked to contribute a recipe to a fund-raising cookbook.

    May you long continue, best wishes for the future, and a Happy New Year!

  12. January 5, 2011 / 3:01 pm

    Congratulations on the book and so glad it’s been a success and led on to other things. Wishing you all the best for 2011

  13. January 5, 2011 / 3:37 pm

    I saw your cookbook in store yesterday, it looks amazing and I cannot wait to order it. Congratulations the book really does look increadible. x

  14. January 5, 2011 / 5:37 pm

    Happy New Year, Julia. Congratulations on a very successful year and I hope 2011 is just as exhilarating!

  15. January 5, 2011 / 6:51 pm

    Great round up of the year – love your blog and especially how you get others involved, like in The Snow Day Bake Off recently. Happy New Year! 🙂

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