Food tastes better with Love

The Waitrose Weekend paper has just told me there is scientific evidence that food made with love tastes better. Thank goodness….next time someone labels me a hippy for telling them something I make is all the better for that special ingredient, I can throw that back at them!

Seriously though, the idea that your mum’s spag bol or Sunday roast is better than even the most talented chef can create, has always fascinated me….is it because your taste buds have been brought up on those precise ratios of ingredients and cooking times….or is it because your mum prepares those meals with love? Well, as much as my curious mind may have tipped with the former explanation before, who’s to argue with the real scientists and say that love isn’t an important ingredient?

And in that vein, I’ve decided to share a whole load of ‘Made with Love’ recipes…. things we make at home all the time, and the things I look forward to visiting my mum to taste. Of course, you’ll have your own way of making lots of these I’m sure, but if the special ingredient really is ‘love’ then I hope these simple, hearty recipes will inspire you to add just that as you try them out……

Here’s a quick list of some of the recipes I intend to share:

  • Cottage Pie
  • Spaghetti Carbonara
  • Minced Meat Pie
  • Chilli Con Carne
  • Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Apple Crumble

Watch this space……

Ems x

P.S. Apologies for the drippiness of my most recent three posts…. never before have I spouted on about love and other such gooeyness so much (must be all those heart-wielding teddy bears everywhere)….. Normal service will resume with the next post.


Because it’s Valentine’s Day……. A little Love Token

So after our visit to the Miracles and Charms exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, and because I’ve been toying with ideas of crafty arty projects, today I made a little love token… being Valentines and all.

I’ve been thinking of ways to create little worlds from bits and bobs, and love the idea of making things from lost treasure (or rubbish if you prefer). I’ve always been fascinated by small, detailed things that I could squirrel away, none more so than the little Charlie Chaplin matchbox toy that my brother and I fought over as children (it WAS mine). And so I got to thinking about making little scenes inside matchboxes…… and I finally made one today…..

Adam and I are always joking around saying I love you THIS much, and gesticulating to show just how much….. I might reach right out to the walls, and then Adam might just hold two fingers about an inch apart and tell me he loves me that much on an atomic scale. He likes to try to trick me too by doing something similar and saying he loves me that much on a galactic scale….I usually fall for it or spend ages trying to work it out.

Anyway, with that in mind I have made this little love token inside a Swan Vesta matchbox, where a man standing on the whole world is stretching his arms out to say ‘I love you THIS much.’

I hope you like it, despite the sappiness. I’m planning to make some more, although perhaps less romantical, and perhaps get around to selling them on Etsy. Thoughts, suggestions and requests gratefully received!

Happy Valentine’s Day!


P.S. Thank you to Adam for taking the photos! xxx

More left overs…. this time, PUDDING

Our left overs feast surely could not be complete without a pudding of left overs…. And so it was that a massive pan of muesli, porridge oats, dried fruit, oranges and other larder left overs came together to make an insanely good batch of flapjacks!

450g butter
450g brown sugar
1 tbspn Maple Syrup
1 tbspn Clear, Eucalyptus Honey
1 tbspn Thick, Blossom Honey
1 tbspn Golden Syrup
250g muesli
200g porridge oats
2 generous handfuls of dried fruit
2 generous handfuls of nuts, chopped
1 dessert spoon of mixed spice
1 orange, sliced

First, we melted all the butter in a large pan……there really was a lot….

Next, we stirred in the sugar, syrups and honeys to make a big treacly goo, before mixing in the muesli, porridge oats, spice, fruit and nuts…..

Then, having greased and lined and greased again a large oven tray…..we smooshed the mixture in, pressing it down into one giant gooey flapjack. On top, we placed some thin slices of orange (mainly because that needed using up too), and then baked it on the middle shelf of the oven at 150 degrees for about 40 minutes.

We took out the tray once the top was lovely and golden, then waited for it to cool before chopping it into bite size squares.