House-hunting in Rome & Inspiration from the interwebs – May edition

House-hunting – the bane of my existence. While the past 12 odd years of moving across Europe (Germany-Austria and back, Germany-UK and back (a few times), UK-Brussels and back and, lastly, UK-Italy) have taught me a great deal about minimising the stuff we all drag around with us (well, except for my cookbook collection, but I am not willing to part with that) and to wrap my beautiful bowls I bought when we went to Japan carefully enough to survive a move half-way around Europe, the one thing I am still utterly crap at is house-hunting itself. I know what websites to use, what sleazy property agents to avoid, what questions to ask prospective landlords, what hidden costs to look for etc, but at the end of the day I struggle with the simple fact that, at least if you are renting in large cities, you will never find a place that ticks all your boxes. Now add a boyfriend to the

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Chickpea and Fennel ‘Risotto’

As is clear from a quick glance at my recipe index, I have a pretty big sweet tooth.  So much so that I rarely feature savoury recipes on my blog. The truth is, baking for me is relaxation and with a busy job and a fair amount of travel, dinner, while often delicious, typically involves me and Alessandro staring into our empty fridge and trying to come up with something decent to eat. I love cooking big meals for friends, but the occasions where we all manage to get together around our big dining table are few and far between. The other day, save for a bulb of fennel, some onions and garlic, our fridge and vegetable basket were empty challenging me to come up with something edible based on the little food we had to hand! A quick glance in the pantry and I found what would be the star of our meal – a jar of chickpeas! While

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Orange Mocha Marble Cake

While I am researching different eclairs recipes and different methods and ingredients for making pastry cream for a new recipe (which I am already very excited about sharing), I baked an Orange Mocha Marble Cake the other day to have on hand for easy breakfasts at home and to nibble on during the day. But before we talk about the Orange Mocha Marble Cake, I wanted to say that I was super excited to hear that my recipe for Toasted Rice Blancmanger was featured in the Guardian’s Cook section under the theme ‘WOBBLY’ last weekend! I absolutely love creating recipes and it is even better when others like my creations! Back to this marble cake – chocolate and orange is one of my favourite flavour combinations but the addition of coffee was new to me until very recently. I first came across this in the form of a Chocolate Orange Tiramisu at Jamie’s Italian which opened fairly recently in my

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