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Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest, smile. William Cullen Bryant

I have long been an admirer of the uber-talented Heidi Swanson of 101Cookbooks, a big-time food and lifestyle blogger/author. Heidi’s approach to simple, clean recipes and photos are something to which I aspire. But I am also quite in love with her seasonal list of favourites. I have (mis)spent many an hour merrily clicking away on her links, finding inspiration and just sighing at some of her pleasing finds. I don’t wish to be a copycat, but for the past year I have been itching to share with you some of the things I like.  And today I am going to scratch that itch. Please don’t write in and tell me there are creams for it.

In my garden is the first, unassailable, hint that autumn is gathering.  As well as the steady thunk of dead twig-bound leaves on the conservatory roof, the second flush of my favourite clematis has come and gone, leaving a web of striking flower skeletons. Years ago I saw an over-wintering clematis with saucer-sized stamen, all curled up like sea urchins. It was incredibly striking, like seeing a priceless brooch below a plain and aged face (no smirking). To this day I have been trying to find out what kind it is. Do you know what it might be?

I am not into design or interiors but I saw this link on Heidi’s site and may have to rethink my fear of decorating. This Japanese-inspired collection of ‘repurposing’ ideas (my nomenclature) are do-able, practical and oh-so aesthetically pleasing. If I didn’t have the decorating skills of a colour-blind catfish I would be down to my hardware store in a flash. But I bet you are handier.

Two funny parody videos have got my attention: one old one (well, last year) that had me hee hawing to myself, and a follow-up one that also raised a big smile. And I am not a natural smiler. Both videos are suitable for children at heart, and are even related to food and mindfulness 😀

Sampled this at the recent Food Blogger Connect conference in London. I think the poor girl thought I might distract her and run away with her display.  Yesterday I had it with scrambled eggs. I nearly wept. A lovely, wholesome company with real ingredient products.

We were also really cooing over this amazing tea brand. They were spot on with the weather, serving their impeccable silver tip jasmine tea over ice. There is a link to stockists and ordering. If money were no object I would fancy their tea subscription. Now that’s a cool present.

Everyone and their dog seems to have a recipe for this lately, what with it being summer and all (just). But this particular one from myinvisiblecrown (great name) has gorgeous, swirly gluggable images. My first batch is cold brewing as I type. This recipe may just save you a small fortune.

A simply stunning online magazine. I know some of the contributors but I am not in any way biased! And this app is terrific, with loads of exquisitely presented recipes and ideas. A separate app for kids too.

If you are British you will be watching this. You Americans, you had your chance. The silver fox is back with us. And the squirrels too.

I am very open about peoples’ diet choices, and try never to judge. Which is a relief, I am sure, to the people I see who come in nervously clutching food diaries in their fear-drenched hands. Even so, I am not a huge fan of non-medically approved restrictive diets.  But I do like to keep an open mind. I just read this article from the fairly sober and non-hysterical Discover magazine. What do you think? What has been your experience?

In another life I would like to be a neuroscientist. I find books on this subject as addictive as some people find gaming or taking selfies (just no). But this study makes me think that loads of those books (piled under my bed) will need an urgent rewrite. Don’t you just hate it when long-held scientific theories are seemingly nullified by some white-coated guy with a fake stethoscope? Er, maybe that’s just me then…Still, it is a striking study and the implications are huge. Yes, really.

And a bonus link to some beautiful autumn quotes, including the one above.

What are YOUR favourite things right now? 

*The two opening images are of some Scottish thistles (with buzzy bee) and lupins just now fading in my garden. Proper post, with recipe, next time.

24 thoughts on “10 Things I’m Liking Right Now

  1. Stop posting these lists, I love them and cant stop reading them!

    1. A fellow list lover! Well, as soon as I posted I thought of another ten I should’ve included 😀

  2. Heehe, how appropriate…the clematis you are thinking of is often referred to as ‘dinner plate’ clematis (Marie Boisselot)…

    I’m into ruby red gooseberries and grey pebbles.

    1. Awesome! Thanks so much! I will be sure and order some for next year 😀 Loving red dessert gooseberries too. In your Dad’s garden?

      1. Yup, the gooseberry bushes (and brambles) are totally laiden with plump fruit. It’s a bumper crop this year in fact Dad has left us all with a years worth of beautiful fruit and veg to devour which gives us a lovely tangible connection to him 🙂

      2. What a beautiful legacy from your Dad. I bet you will have many gorgeous ways of feeding your gorgeous family with them. I hope to hear about your ideas for them next week! Aberdeen??

  3. I’m loving thunder clouds and raspberries, fresh picked tomatoes and ripe golden grass 🙂

    1. Well I’m loving your summer squash, looking out on my heavily-fruited apple tree and eating too many British cherries (in stock at Waitrose). Love your visual list!

      1. Oh I must go and get my self some cherries, I love them when they’re in season and soft juicy and sweet….mmmm. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

      2. Oh and you can have more yellow squash if you like?

      3. Yes please! You’ll see on the blog one thing I have made with them. Hint: They crunch!

  4. I’m loving peanut butter (Smucker’s) and the show Breaking Bad. haha, random. But so true!

    1. I’ve missed out on Breaking Bad but actually want get Netflix just so I can watch it!

  5. Fun to read about you favorites! Right now I am officially in love with Parmesan Crisps, and I can’t stop thinking about my recent trip to Hearst Castle and wine county in Central California 🙂

    1. You have such fun trips! Sure, we have castles, but alas no wine country. Note to self: book trip to France 🙂

  6. My favorite things right now are Sparkling Sake, spending the early morning drinking coffee and cuddling with my puppy, and Chai Tea.

    1. Wow, never heard of sparkling sake! Must rectify this gap in my knowledge soon (Dr Millar: if you are reading this, I’m talking about your husband!). Love your eclectic and delicious list.

  7. Thank you for a great roundup… love it when you share these things!

  8. Great links, Kellie! I feel like I need that chilli paste in my life immediately! I may just order a pot and see what I can do with it 🙂

    1. It’s really fab. You’ll love its smoky umami-ness.

  9. I just posted about the Gran Luchito Chilli Honey. I couldn’t get enough of that stuff at the conference!! Shame I missed you there.

    1. Yes, sorry I missed you too. I wasn’t feeling that great so kind of missed out on the social stuff. Next time!

  10. Love this, thanks for sharing! The chili paste looks amazing, and I’m itching for Tuesday so that I can watch the next GBBO 😉

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