Hi, I'm Rachel!
It’s so lovely to see you here.
This is your place for gorgeous food, no fuss. Think of me as your light-hearted and reliable friend who'll help you to find useful and delicious recipes, kitchen inspiration and cooking confidence.
I grew up in the UK and have spent the last 13 years living in Dubai, where the sun shines pretty much all year round but for 4 months of the year popping outside is like sticking your head into a roasting oven! There are 5 of us in our family and we’re spread across the globe - #1 and #2 sons are now at college in the US and in Dubai there's me, my fantastic daughter, Hella and finally Rex, the world’s laziest and most neurotic dog.
Pull up a chair, grab a coffee and let me tell you a bit more …
HERE’S WHAT I DO
I cook - I have been squeezing a love of good food and cooking into a jam-packed schedule for the past 20 years which means that I always have ideas, strategies, tips and inspiration for making your food work - without it becoming a chore. And before we moved to Dubai, I ran a catering business in the UK - so food is what I do.
I experiment and learn - I cook a lot and I’m always trying out recipes and new ideas. To be honest, many of them get rejected and if they aren’t rejected they are almost always tweaked and adapted until I am sure that they are just right. Often my tweaks are to make things quicker, easier and less fuss. There’s no magic in what I do, but I enjoy the trial and error and the quest for improvement so that you can leapfrog to the end and reap the rewards!
I tell stories - Through my stories, I hope that you can get to know me. Our situations won’t be identical but there will be overlap and through that there’s connection and mutual understanding and the opportunity for learning, growth and all the other juicy stuff.
I share - As well as stories, I share things I’ve learned; I share things I’ve forgotten and then remembered again; I share things I’ve discovered. My hope is that some of these might be interesting to you and some might make cooking a little easier and less intimidating.
I keep it light - Sometimes life is dark and a bit miserable and I don’t ever want to add to that. I’m here to invite you to put less pressure on yourself in the kitchen; to recognise that the answers may lie in just slightly tweaking what you are already doing; to see that being a domestic goddess is neither achievable nor necessary and to have fun. Good enough is good enough.
FIVE THINGS ABOUT ME ...
- I really appreciate great coffee – There’s sorcery involved in the journey from the coffee bean to your cup of deliciousness. I love the ritual of it too – having a favourite mug, choosing a spot to sit, taking a moment.
- I’m embracing my silver hair – I started to go grey a couple of decades ago and I’ve been colouring my hair ever since. During the first lockdown, I began to play with the idea of going natural and was soon totally committed. God, I love my silver hair and honestly wish I’d done it years ago. And if you are thinking about ditching the dye, my advice would be, ‘you’ll know when the time is right’.
- I love exercising with kettlebells – It’s taken me a while to find the exercise that best suits me and now I’m a kettlebell devotee. What do I love about them? I can exercise at home; I can incorporate cardio and strength; it’s cheap and efficient; I’m stronger and fitter than I’ve ever been before. I guess it’s a no fuss solution!
- I listen to loads of audio books and podcasts – When I’m driving, walking and exercising I consume a lot of books and podcasts. It’s my time to escape and also to educate myself. Some of it is heavy; lots of it is just fun. Balance.
- I’m annoyed that I can no longer see anything without reading glasses – The low point was discovering that I couldn’t even open the correct door on my Advent calendar unassisted!
HERE ARE A FEW OF MY THOUGHTS ON FOOD AND COOKING
- We can all be confident in the kitchen and create gorgeous food with no fuss. We don’t need Michelin chef credentials to achieve that – just a small repertoire of recipes, an appreciation of what we like and what suits our lives and the permission to try.
- I can’t be your friend if you are rude/disrespectful/ignorant to the waiter.
- Experiment in the kitchen. Make it your own. Laugh at your epic fails and show off about your successes.
- Having said that, baking is closer to a science than an art. There’s no need to be intimidated, but follow the recipe with care and you can create delicious magic with relative ease.
- Everyone loves a roast potato.
- You only really need one fantastic signature dish to earn a reputation as a kitchen legend.
- Condiments can save a meal – chutney, mustard, sauerkraut, kimchi, pesto, soy sauce, sriracha, tahini, harissa, Worcestershire sauce, salsa… I could go on.
- Treats are really important and are there to be enjoyed. And these should be proper treats - never low fat or artificially sweetened ... and no apologies. A little bit of what you fancy is fine when it isn't every day.
- I never, ever swap in ‘healthier alternatives’ when I’m baking. Experience has taught me that it rarely ends well. I choose the real deal for treats and celebrations, with all their delicious gorgeousness. I just don’t indulge all the time.
- Leftovers are king.
- If it’s possible, try to cook and prepare at a time when you’re in the mood – it’s half the battle towards time spent in the kitchen feeling like less of a chore.
- You really can incorporate vegetables into every meal – just ask my children.
- There’s a rule in our house that you can’t ask about the next meal until the current meal is finished (and digested).
- So many memories are created around food – it’s about celebration and commiseration; comfort and adventure. Cherish those moments.
- For me, life is too short to skin a tomato or bake my own bread (and that includes worshiping at the shrine of sourdough). You may feel differently and that’s fine.
- Use food to reach out; to show you care. Food is not a substitute but it can help to mend a broken heart or re-build a bruised ego. It can also be the perfect ingredient to bring people together.
- Never underestimate the power of a garnish – it can truly lift the ordinary to the extraordinary.
- Food is a journey of discovery which broadens our minds and our comfort zones as well as our palates.
- It’s what you eat most of the time that matters.
- Cooking soothes my soul. It gets me through difficult times. It reminds me that the small, simple things matter and that food is the most powerful of connectors.
- I always bring home the leftovers that I can’t finish when I eat out – I hate waste and it makes for a great lunch the next day. To date, no restaurant has ever refused my request.
- Food is the answer. But it’s also not the answer.