Hi there, lovelies!
I’m feeling particularly chipper today…you see, it’s my birthday. And I’m a firm believer in doing whatever you want on your birthday. So that’s what I’m going to do.
Luckily I work for myself on Fridays, so I was able to take the day off for some birthday fun. 26 is an important birthday after all, it deserves a lot of attention and celebration – well that’s how it goes in my head anyway…
I’m being joined by my beautiful mum, who always believes in taking full advantage of the birthday situation and took the day off too! We’ve decided to treat ourselves to a day of lunching and, well, I’m not quite sure yet. We’ll see where the day takes us…Then later this evening I’m meeting friends for drinks and dinner. It’s all going to be rather marvelous.
This year I firmly instructed Ben and my family to go easy on the presents (I have my Wedding coming up in 5 months, which doesn’t exactly come free). I did request a few cookbooks, however, and am super excited to dive into Good to the Grain and Plate to Pixel.
Another book I requested is Hungry, by Guy Mirabella. Not only because I adore Guy’s recipes (his cookbook, Eat Ate, is well used in my kitchen – do you recall this Rhubarb and Ricotta Tart? I do…), I also requested Hungry because Guy honoured me with a little mention in one of his pancake recipes. My family knows Guy and his Sister, Rosa, and I’m sure mum slipped in at some point about my blog. Anyway, it turns out he kind of likes it… *blush*
I can’t think of many more cooks or chefs that I would be more thrilled to receive praise from. Guy’s passion and talent, beautiful home-style Italian recipes, and his emphasis on cooking with family are all incredibly inspiring. And I love his new book, it’s divine. Just looking at the cover, clearly a rustic, casual family lunch, I melt with feelings of joy and warmth. As you devour the pages of Hungry you will be filled with a real sense of love – love for food, love for family, love for life. The full title is ‘Hungry, food from my heart’ – and it really is.
Last night Ben and I made a simple recipe from Hungry, the Walnut Pesto. Pesto is one of my favourite things to make, the process is very cathartic, and takes me back to renting an apartment in Ortygia, Sicily, for six blissful days two years ago.
I really enjoyed this recipe, which is said to be common in Genoa. The walnut addition gave an earthy and refreshing flavour. We served this pesto with spaghettoni and spinach leaves (which wilted perfectly and gave an extra hit of veg, snap). Next up, I am itching to make the Stuffed Squid. With the Lime and Cranberry Cake for dessert. Yes, lovely.
And so, as a Birthday treat, I am giving away one copy of Guy Mirabella’s Hungry to one lucky reader. What can I say, I’m a little excited about the mention and just want to share this beautiful book! I will announce and contact the winner in one week, on Friday 30th September (be sure to email me your contact details if you don’t have them easily displayed).
All you need to do is leave a comment below, telling me what is your favourite dish to cook for your loved ones. But you know what? It can even be a favourite dish you cook for yourself. As long as it’s made with love…