Japanese-style Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos + Highlights from FBC2012

japanese butternut squash tacos
“Food: the unifying language of the world”

quote from Sumayya Jamil, speaking at Food Blogger Connect, London 2012

Last Friday saw me quite literally stumbling onto the 7.15 Edinburgh-London train. I am not the most co-ordinated of people (I can fall off a pair of flipflops), but my flawed proprioception couldn’t be blamed on this occasion. As I attempted to board the train a sudden shift in the ever-present wind blew hair into my eyes, and I had a heart-pounding, and nearly electrifying, experience as my foot slipped between the step up and the clearly marked walkway. Still clutching my bags and cup of tea I just managed to lurch forward into the carriage, my body tingling with adrenalin that you get from a proper near-miss. Yowz.

The reason I mention this seemingly random incident is that I also experienced the same all-body tingle later that day. But not due to clumsiness or wind-whipped hair. When I pushed through the imposing blue doors  into a sea of people at Food Blogger Connect I had that overwhelming ‘new girl’ feeling. You know,  the heart-pumping  anxiety you get when you walk into a room where everyone seems to know each other and you only have one shot at making a decent impression? I was that girl, but with fictional spots, greasy hair and a selection of slide rules and leaky pens poking out of my pocket. Yup, that nervous. Continue reading

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Roasted Fruit with Baklava ‘Crumble’


The culinary compensation for the recent rapid slide in temperature is the rapid rise in scrummy seasonal fruits – pears, English apples, blackberries, figs, plums, quinces. My Victoria plums are finished but next week I plan on raiding the local woods to claim a basket of brambles – free nippy sweeties to be eaten as I go, with any left going into jam, dessert and sauce-making. Even nectarines and peaches are still with us for awhile.

To welcome in these crisp and uber-flavoursome replacements for the succulent and summery berries, my Roasted Fruit with Baklava ‘Crumble’ is the easiest of recipes. But easy doesn’t mean unimpressive. Oh no. This light deconstructed baklava takes care of that.  Continue reading