Just Rolling Down This Road

Ok, so I have no idea what happened to January! Christmas is a blur of friends and family. I had 15 people over for Christmas dinner. Totally packed them in like sardines. It was a blast. Kids, dogs, friends of friends I have never met. It was the perfect mix of familiar and new. I cooked enough to feed 30 people and my neighbour Will cooked the about the same amount so we were eating Christmas dinner for days afterwards, as it should be.

My title is very apt for January my god I feel like my blood has been replaced by goose fat! So boringly and as usual and it only lasts about a week or two I am trying my best to be super healthy. I am not in anyway aspiring to be a vegan but I can definitely dip my toe in.  In a way I like the discipline of less ingredients. Not that there isn’t a gazillion different veg that are a available at this time of year. In fact January is wonderfully full of green stuff. Brassicas and all things hardy and dark green.

I have a couple of recipes to share with you this week. So simple and healthy and filling. I made whole roast cauliflower with a spice rub alongside a chana (chickpea) daal and sautéed kale, spinach with fennel. The vegan contingency were happy!

I leave you with a recipe and a few pics. Oh and Rufus got a new skateboard and insisted I showed everyone!

Have a lovely end of the month!


fennel and rocket salad KidsOven ruskateboard VeganSupper

Roast Fennel and Rocket Salad

I made this today because a Ridley Road Market stall was selling 3 fennel bulbs for £1. Its a delicious winter salad, you can add some shavings of parmesan or any sharp cheese. I think it will also work with a good goats cheese too.


  • 1 fennel bulb – sliced lenthwise
  • bag of wild rocket
  • handful of mixed seeds
  • handful of dried berries
  • splash of olive oil
  • a capful of red wine vinegar
  • Maldon sea salt and black pepper


Turn on the oven to 200C and place the sliced fennel bulb in a shallow dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt over then roast for 20 minutes. Until the fennel is golden and soft.

On a plate toss the rocket, berries and mixed seeds then place the warm fennel on top and drizzle with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.


If You See Her Say Hello

In the last couple of weeks I have realised that boy children are sort of like well, boy men! I feel  since he turned three he has decided to age mentally by about 20yrs. I have been working a bit more from home in the last week or so and if I even dare to get into a conversation with Pav (his nanny) he literally stands between us and shouts “Stop talking mummy and Pavlina, stop its not funny” Oh and he told Pavlina that he didn’t like it when we talked because we were “talking rubbish” Huh. Well excuse me Mr ‘I have slightly banged my knee and will act like someone has just cut my leg off for about 2 hours’!

I can forgive him though, he is surrounded by women all the time. Poor kid doesn’t stand a chance.  Last week I caught Lola painting his fingernails neon pink and green! Oh and lets just say he can walk in a pair of 4 inch heels like a pro!

Anyway aside from being bossed about and shushed by a three year old. I have had a really varied week or so.

I did a shoot with Phil Sills. His work is amazing and beautiful and I totally enjoyed the challenge of the day (slicing apple seeds in half and wiring them back into the apple). I also went to the last Street Feast with the kids inhaled pulled pork buns courtesy of Lardo. This in turn made me think of ribs, which in turn made me think of the fabulous butcher on Morning Lane. Halal meat and really reasonably priced and good quality meat. Off we tripped straight from Street Feast. Chicken wings and beef ribs were claimed.

I very rarely cook beef ribs. In fact I very rarely cook beef for myself and the kids and if I was to do a rib dish for the kids it would be pork all the time. I have done my research when it comes to short ribs.  Oh yeah Man vs Food…I am slightly addicted (I use the word slightly in the most untrue sense of the word). The trick with beef ribs is to make a rub. Then slow roast them uncovered for about 3 hours on a low heat 150C. Then make a BBQ sauce to coat the ribs when they come out of the oven.

I made a rub consisting of (you can do as you wish I just used what was in the cupboard and there are loads of recipes online). Mustard powder, sugar, dried thyme, smoked paprika, chilli powder, salt and black pepper. Quantities? I used less mustard powder and sugar then the rest of the ingredients…Sorry just taste it and amend if something seems a bit  too strong. You want a savoury sweetish smoky rub. Then coat the ribs and rub into the meat.

You can leave this rub on overnight give it at least an hour to flavour the meat. Chuck in the oven and then in a saucepan put a couple of cups of tomato ketchup, 2 crushed garlic cloves, a tablespoon of chilli flakes, two or three big dashes of worcestershire sauce, a tablespoon of dark brown sugar and a little water to loosen.  Simmer this gently for 20 mins or so. Coat the meat and then devour. Wonderful.

I leave you with some photos of said dish, well actually a photo of Tilda eating ribs. I wasn’t really happy with the photo I took of the ribs. I  also give you  my favourite recipe for Hummus. Make it and you will never buy it again..

Have a great week

Rachelle x

jammydodgers tildastreetfeast BBQWings streetfeast tildaribs


I watched the Ottolenghi Mediterranean Feast episode where he is in Tel Aviv and the amazing hummus which is a million miles away from the dull grey stuff you buy here. My recipe is a kind of inspired by him and that program and as usual slightly improvised by what was at hand. Its good though. You can use dry chickpeas, I am sure purists would be horrified at my use of tinned. Whatever!


  • 1 tin of chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 150 g light tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon  cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 100mil of ice cold water
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • t tables spoon of sambal olek
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of pine kernels (lightly toasted)
  • Fresh coriander finely chopped to garnish (optional)
  • Big fat pinch of sea salt


Place the chickpeas, tahini paste, lemon juice, cumin, ground coriander, crushed garlic, sea salt in a food processor. Whizz till all is combined into a thick paste. Then with the processor on pour in the water until you get a smooth paste.

Decant into a bowl and spoon the sambal olek on top of the hummus, sprinkle on the pine kernels and coriander then pour over a big glug of olive oil. Squeeze some extra lemon juice on top too if you wish…..I am writing this and now I am going to make it again…Its so good……Enjoy x

Me and Baby Got This Situation

Yeah sunshine. Actual real sunshine. Daylight, no grey, blue skies. It feels like Spring may have finally arrived! Whoop whoop. My god doesn’t feel like the longest winter ever?

I love London in the summer. I know it isn’t quite summer yet. Seriously 2 days of sunshine and I start planning picnics, friends over for BBQ’s.

The downside is the kids have already made me loose the will to live re: “Can I have an ice cream” Oh my god its only April! This is the constant mantra until September. Unfortunately for me, the Ice Cream van parks about 20 ft from my flat everyday come rain or shine.

As I am typing this TMC (The Middle Child) Tilda has sat next to me repeating over and over again the summer mantra. I say no she says (about 40 times) “Why?” By the 40th time I look up and say if you do not go away I will give your bike away to the first child I see when I leave here! She locks eyes with me and then backs off with a look that was far far beyond her years. It can only get worse!

Popcorn! I am kind of loving it right now. I am experimenting with various “dressings” Is that the right word? Do you dress popcorn? I have no idea but my popcorn is getting dressed at the moment. I don’t have a microwave and if I did I would still make my popcorn “old School”. My mum used to make it in a big heavy pan and throw butter and salt on it. Sunday night treat.

I was out out this weekend with my lovely friend and the kids nanny, Pavlina. I hadn’t really eaten before we went out. A few glasses of wine later and I am starving. Late night munchies have to happen.

I made this recipe up on the spot and my god it is soo good. Smoked paprika, butter, salt and sugar. I have no idea what to call it “Paprika Popcorn” I guess!

Enjoy and I leave you with a few pics from the weekend. Eton Mess courtesy of my lovely friend Sam Starbuck and the obligatory kids stuffing their faces!

Rachelle X

Paprika Popcorn

(Serves 4)

Not really a recipe. I would serve this at a little cocktail party. Not that I ever host cocktail parties.


250g popping corn

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the dressing

3 tablespoons butter

1 large pinch of sea salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 half teaspoons of smoked paprika.


In a large heavy cast iron pan with a lid, over a medium high heat add the vegetable oil and popping corn. Stir the corn so it is slicked in the oil. Put the lid on and wait for the popping to begin. When the corn starts to pop move the pan around on the heat, to make sure all the corn gets even heat and this minimises the corn over cooking.

When it starts to go quiet, take the corn off the heat and place all the ingredients for the dressing in a small saucepan. Heat until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved in the mixture. Tip onto the warm popcorn and mis thoroughly. Apply to face! X