Rye, Walnut and Cardamom Crescents

Earlier today I heaved a rather large suitcase (heavy from Saturday’s frantic run around Brussels to buy various Christmas presents), a large bag, a laptop bag and a handbag onto the Thalys to take me home to my parents’ place in Essen, Germany. After 14 years of having to fly from various places in Europe to see my family, it is amazing to be able to take a direct train to go home, with no risk of delayed trains or bad traffic to get to the airport or long queues to get through security. Like every year, I am dividing my time between Germany and Italy and after spending Christmas with my family, I will be flying to Rome on Friday to join Alessandro and his friends and family for further Christmas celebrations and to ring in the New Year. After what can only be described as a very ‘full’ year, I am looking forward to a bit of downtime

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Double Rye Treacle Tarts

Alessandro and I have been travelling around Northern Laos and Northern Thailand for just over a week now. We have been getting up early to watch the hustle and bustle of the morning markets, wandered through the grounds of stunning temples, walked along the banks of the Mekong river, travelled on local buses so full people were sitting on rice bags in the middle of the aisles and swam in the turquoise water of one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen. While every trip comes with its own challenges, whether it be jet-lag, getting sick, over-hyped destinations, missed flights or buses – and this trip has certainly had its fair share of that as well – I am so glad we decided to go on this trip. Time seemed to have stopped while we are taking in our new (and temporary) surroundings with all their new-to-us sights, smells and flavours. Above all, it is so nice to spend

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