So then July just happened and BOY-OH-BOY – What a July that was?
It was VERY hot, like really very hot, like hotter than it’s been for ages and lots of sport was won by The British. It’s been quite the anomaly.
1. We started the month with a day trip to Box Hill – which you can read ALL about here.
2. We spent some time in people’s gardens, being very envious of people with gardens. This weather has been lovely but it really emphasises how sweaty our little flat is. Needless to say the next place we live will have outside space and me being a massive jinxer we’ll never have a summer like this again.
3. So Andy Murray won Wimbledon, oh how we all cried! To celebrate the final I made pancakes – banana buttermilk ones to be precise, I used this recipe from Family Feedbag. We tried to get Strawberries but EVERYWHERE on ‘The Roman’ had sold out! so had Raspberries instead with maple syrup and pecans – so not very British at all!
4. I went for a run, in shorts and it was good. In fact in July I went for 6 runs, which is the most runs I’ve been on in a month since records began (well last September when I got my Nike+ watch) I also discovered running in the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park – as it’s 90% woodland, it’s very shady and there is birdsong too.
Also two very awesome things happened on my last two runs. I saw Paula Radcliffe and I cried and then I tweeted her and she tweeted me back. I’ve always loved Paula, she is such an inspiration to me (and many others) The people of East London thought I was mad, running with a massive grin ear to ear and tears rolling down my cheeks.
AND THEN I ran 10k for the first time in over 4 years! It was drizzly on Tuesday morning, much cooler than it has been and I had the luxury of time on my side – so I just kept going. It made me realise how amazing East London is and how lucky I am to live here. The last mile I ran towards the Olympic stadium – very inspiring thinking of all the achievements that happened there last year and most recently at the weekend at the Anniversary games.
5. If you haven’t already seen this… feast your eyes on this BEAUT from Smitten Kitchen - Hot Fudge Sundae Cake. As if I didn’t love her enough already!
6. July was the month I became obsessed by Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce and served it on everything.
7. I had my Prime Time TV debut – sadly if you blinked you would’ve missed me! Back in November I was invited to be part of a focus group made from amateur bakers for a BBC Business Documentary series. It was pretty obvious it was The Apprentice but until this day the production company have still never told me the title – very cloak and dagger! It was an interesting experience watching the inner workings of a TV programme, which made me watch the series in a very different way but the months of waiting and worrying about what they would put in was agonising – it’s amazing how many ideas you have after the event! In the end it was 30 seconds and they showed me saying nothing but did describe me as a professional baker, so I’m happy with that! (I’m in the middle in navy and it looks like I’m holding court – there was no sound for this bit)
8. Ashley from Peach trees and bumblebees went on a weeks cookery course at Leiths School of Food and Wine, where I attended a Food Styling course in 2011. The following week she blogged everyday with a round up of what she learnt, watched and ate - Leiths Cookery Week. If you’ve ever thought about going on a cookery course this is an excellent read, it’s also an excellent read if you haven’t – lots of expert tips and delicious pictures of food to drool over.
9. Sainsbury’s sent me a bottle of their Jerk marinade to try. I used half the bottle to marinade 2 chicken legs and 2 chicken thighs, I scored the skins, covered them and left in the fridge overnight.
I then roasted them for 40 minutes at 180°c with lime halves which I squeezed over the chicken once roasted.
The marinade could’ve been a little bit spicier for my taste as I like it HOT! But it was an excellent base and had a really nice flavour. I served it with rice & peas.
10. Have you heard of Hollie McNish yet? She is a UK poet and spoken word artist who says everything I want to say and everything I didn’t realise I wanted to say and in such an excellent way.
These are some of my favourite videos from her: