Hello and Welcome!

Hello and welcome to my blog.

This is my very first one, so bear with me and enjoy reading about my adventures cooking all of the recipes from Nigella Lawson's new book 'Kitchen'.

From time-to-time I may post about things other than cooking, after all, Nigella does sell a lifestyle that most women would like have a slice of, so I would like to share a bit of mine - not quite as glamorous but fun none-the-less (may I add that most of my ideas and thoughts revolve around food anyway)!

Just to set the scene a little, I am based in Yorkshire, live with my husband and gorgeous toddler who is rapidly approaching his second year. I work in the events industry and love music, books, fashion, culture and of course... food.


Goddess Mx (meant in the loosest possible sense, believe me)!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Precious Paella

Around six months after Master M and I got together at university, we had an insane moment when we decided that even though we were totally skint students, it would be an ace idea to go on holiday to Tenerife. It was a brilliant holiday that holds dear memories for me. We slept all day, went out all night and drank cocktails that were too strong. Twenty years old and not a worry in the world. One of the bits I remember most about the holiday was a special meal we went for towards the end, when we pushed the boat out and ordered an extra nice bottle of wine and a seafood paella. I have mentioned before that I am not great eating food with bones, and nor am I fantastic with deshelling shellfish (although I am miles better now than ever before). I was horrified when our paella arrived topped with shellfish above the normal size, reaching out over the plate at me. At the time we had a laugh about it and went on to enjoy the treat. After the holiday, Master M took a shining to calling me 'precious paella' (don't know why) and this stuck for many years! So it was with a smile on my face that I decided to make Nigella's pantry paella.

The idea with pantry paella is that you are supposed to use odds and ends that you have lying around your kitchen. I had some of the ingredients but bought others, including pork to cook and leave to cool, as if I was using it as 'leftovers'. Amusing. I heated some oloroso sherry (or cream sherry to you and I) together with some saffron threads and left to cool. I then fried off some sliced spring onions and garlic in olive oil. Next I added arborio rice, a bag of frozen mixed seafood, peas and the pork. Chicken stock and the cooled sherry mixture were poured into the wok and the whole concoction was left to simmer for twenty minutes. The dish was garnished with lemon wedges and coriander, with a little sea salt. I had never made a paella previously, but the ease at which I made this surprised me. I did think the end result was more like risotto than paella, but next time I would leave it to dry out a little more. It did taste delicious nevertheless. Like holiday dinner at a nice harbour somewhere.

Today we visited some friends that we don't get to see enough of, so at Master M's suggestion, I made up some choc chip cookies. These were easy to make too - melted butter mixed with a combo of soft light brown sugar/caster sugar, vanilla extract, egg, flour, bicarbonate of soda and milk chocolate chips. I used an icecream scoop to produce blobs of the dough onto a greased baking tray and baked. The result was a yummy smelling house, and a tin of yummies to take over to friends to be consumed with a nice cuppa. And more for later!

I was honoured to receive a Stylish Blogger Award from Yummy Chunklet - check out her blog, it is full of fabulous food and I am hooked on reading it.

There are four rules to taking part - thank and link to the blogger who nominated you; share seven things about yourself; award 15 new bloggers, and tell them you have done it. I will be passing the baton to:


I have enjoyed reading lots of Stylish Blogger Awards on other blogs and am pleased to take part. The tricky part was thinking about what to write! Here is my best shot:

1. My maiden name was Livingstone and I grew up in a town called Livingston.

2. As a child I was an avid fan of all Australian soaps, especially Neighbours. So it was to my delight that my friend's dad was UK agent to the actors/actresses from Neighbours, as it meant that the likes of Jason Donovan and Natalie Imbruglia were often in our street.

3. I love music, but my all-time favourite band has to be The Levellers. I have seen this epic band so many times that I have lost count. One night when I was watching TV, my sister called to say that she, my two brothers and dad were backstage with the Levs as they had supported my brother's friend's band The Complete Stone Roses. The phone was passed to me so that I could have a chat with the band. I can't remember what I said but I think it was along the lines of 'I really loooove your music' (how corny)?

4. When I was twelve I ran away to Inverness, a three hour journey from home with only a pound in my purse for school lunch. My friend had genuine reasons to flee home, but I just went along for the ride. I liked a bit of excitement and apologise now for being a source of constant worry for my lovely parents (can I just add that we were delivered home by midnight on the same day we left).

5. My family are like the Von Trapps. They can all sing, my mum plays the violin and my brothers are keen guitarists. My brother Martin Livingstone has put his whole heart and soul into promoting his brilliant music - please take a look (sorry for the plug)! I play the saxophone (this has lapsed for quite some time) but sing badly.

6. I am a slave to advertising and have to try the latest fad. I get anxious if I have not yet tried a new chocolate bar, e.g Aero have an 'bubbly lamb' which I am itching to sample!

7. I would say I am an average looking gal, but I have modelled once. When I was seventeen and working at the local golf club, an entrepreneurial colleague asked me if I would model pyjamas that she had designed to be sold at upmarket department store Jenners in Edinburgh. I don't think I have ever been as flattered in my life. I very much enjoyed working with a gorgeous male model, and there was a life-size cardboard cut-out of me in Jenners for quite sometime, although the brand never took off (hopefully nothing to do with me)!

Until next time.

Goddess Mx


  1. Thanks so much for the lovely award x

  2. Thanks for the award too! Hopefully I can thing up seven things as interesting as yours! P.s I always enjoy reading your blog, keep up the good work! Jayne

  3. Thanks for the Award, I'm really proud of it! LOL

  4. Hi dear..Congrats on the beautiful award..very well deserved! Thank you for your appreciation of my work by passing it on to me..really appreciate it :)

    US Masala

  5. Congrats again on the award! You definitely deserve it. I love your "7 facts" about you!

  6. congratulations on the well-deserved award! and thank you for including me on your list of awardees - i'm flattered by your thoughtfulness!

  7. Really enjoyed reading your post, especially your comments about Jason Donovan and Natalie Imbruglia. I think I would have run away from home if it meant living in your street to get a glimpse of them!! Happy Sunday xxx

  8. Thank you! Really enjoying your blog. I do struggle with Ms Lawson's recipes sometimes, the deceptively easy-sounding ones ending up like playdough biscuits (last week's non-triumph). Hopefully you can help me avoid the pitfalls! x

  9. Congrats for the award!
    The paella and the cookies look wonderful. I cannot wait to give them a try.

  10. Thanks very much for the award. I'm trying to think of seven things.

  11. Congratulations on the blogging award. I'll have to check out some of the ones you suggest!

  12. Well done on your award - it's well deserved.

    Thanks for passing it on to me - I'm so pleased!

    Ps. Your 7 things are so interesting! A model in our midst :)

  13. What a great post! I love apella, and who doesn't love a good cookie!

    Have a lovely day!


  14. Oh, you have to check out one more blog, it's the Sarabeth dessert tri-fecta!



  15. What a fun blog you have and I look forward to reading about your adventure through Nigella's new book. This paella caught my eye and I am always happy to try a new cookie recipe! Congrats on your award.

  16. Love your blog! I shall be reading with interest as Kitchen was on my Christmas list and I didn't get it and keep thinking about treating myself ...

  17. Hiya! I hope that you are well. Thank you for your comments on my blog. I thought I would post the answer on your blog in case you didn't see it on mine.

    I got my Brit Award tickets on the o2 website just after Christmas. Like you, it has always been on my list of "things to do..." and was also in my top 5! It was a brilliant evening so definitely try and get tickets next year, so much fun! You will love it!

    Katherine Jenkins dress was totally gorgeous, wasn't it?! I love the colours and style!!

    Have a lovely weekend. xxx