Top 5 Cookbooks

Hello, Its me….talking about food AGAIN!  Here are, what I consider to be, the Top 5 cookbooks owned by yours truly.

Levi Roots  – Caribbean Food Made Easy

Product DetailsSince  discovering Levi Roots’ cookbooks, dinner times in the Essex house have never been the same.  I’ve experimented with so many new flavors and ingredients thanks to him and it has influenced so many of my new dinner ideas.  It also introduced ‘Gingered-Up Chicken Pasta‘ into my life for which I will be eternally grateful.

Jamie Oliver – Jamie’s Italy

Product DetailsI love all of My Oliver’s books, in fact I just love Mr Oliver in general, but this book is by far his best yet.  The Fennel Risotto is AMAZING.

Rachel Allen – Bake

Product DetailsRachel Allen has a knack of creating great ‘go to’ cookbooks. This book, along with the other two I own of hers, offer me mid-week dinner inspiration time after time.

Nigella Lawson – Nigella’s Christmas

Product DetailsOther than my Christmas pudding which is, and always will be, a Delia inspired one, Nigella Lawson has Christmas solved with this beautiful book. The Christmas cake is better than any you will ever find in a shop and the Mac and Cheese and Tiramisu recipes are so good I use them all year round.  Remember, a cookbook is for life not just for Christmas.

Joanna Weinberg  – How to feed your friends with relish

Product Details

This was a Christmas present from the Essex Husband and it showed me just how well he knows me.  The book is amazing, its not just recipes, its a guide to being the perfect hostess.  Tips to make your weekend guests feels as at home as possible, ideas on how to throw the perfect dinner party, there is even a whole section of flowers.  Its quickly become my household bible.

I just couldn’t resist joining in with this weeks Listography over at Kate Takes 5 – I do love my food porn after all. Pop and take a look to see what other cookbooks are being talked about, there are some really good ones out there!

Image Credits –


My Amazing Friend Paul

I have this friend Paul, and I think he is kind of amazing.  Now before tongues start wagging and rumours begin, let me explain why.

I met Paul just over 4 years ago at a football match, he was a friend of a friend and we had all decided to get together before the game in the pub for a drink, I though he was a nice bloke, mainly because he bought me a beer!  We became inseparable as group, I’ve even ended up marrying one of them, and 4 years on I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

But now back to Paul, little did I know on that first drunken meeting what a wonderfully caring man he was.  I found out after a while that Paul worked for McMillan Cancer Support while he was completing his Masters.  I didn’t pay too much attention to this at the time; a job is a job when you are a student isn’t it?  But then as I got to know my new friend a little more I learnt that cancer support was a cause close to his heart and this was more than a job for him.  As it turned out it was the start of his fundraising journey, and what a journey it is turning out to be.

2 years ago Paul took up running, I found this hilarious. To me Paul was my mate who I loved to have a post match beer with, now he was forgoing his drinking sessions in lieu of resting up for his run the next morning, ludicrous!  Not long after this he got a new job, a proper job, actually he got two jobs, buts that’s a story for another day; he left McMillan and joined the real world. But through his hobby he found a way to keep supporting them.

Now this is where we return to the bit part where I think he is amazing!  In the past 2 years Paul has taken part in untold amount of running events, the big ones being Run to the Beat, The Great North Run and in a few months The London Marathon.Macmillan Cancer Support

In order to raise money as much money as possible through these events Paul got creative. He knew asking for a fiver here and there could only do so much, so he started arranging events and competitions for us all to take part in.  He has hosted 2 ‘McMillan Darts Classics’, London based darts contests that have raised hundreds of pounds, and this year will see the biggest Darts Classic yet!  He has also arranged a quiz night to be held at Leyton Orient Football Club in April, which will include a huge raffle with AMAZING prizes that he, and his lovely friends, have worked long and hard to secure.

Doing this alongside holding down a full time job, keeping his beautiful girlfriend Emma happy and following his beloved O’s up and down the county really should be applauded – so that’s why I’ve written this post….just to say hats off to you Paul…… are amazing and I’m so proud to be your friend!!

If you would like to support Paul in anyway then you would make him, me and the many, many people that the money he raises goes to help, very VERY grateful. 

You could donate at just £1 and a message of encouragement would make his day.

Twitter – Re-tweet this story and spread the word of his wonderful fundraising

Raffle – If you are a company that would like to offer a small (or large) prize for the raffle please do contact me at or @AnEssexWife

My list of 5 – ‘The ones you’d never admit to’

Melina from Transatlantic Blonde recently made a suggestion that we should all share who is on our ‘list of 5’ – I think this genius!

The ‘List of 5’ always provides a good talking point when with friends, a heated debate is guaranteed when the subject is raised. The American sitcom Friends even managed to make a whole episode around the subject in ‘The One with Frank Jr’!

Now it’s quite easy to make a list of 5 celebrities you would like to be romanced by (I would say sleep with, but I’ve heard a rumour my Mother reads my blog!) so I’ve taken my own spin on this list and have set about creating my own version ‘The list of 5 – The ones you’d never admit to’.

This idea came about during a conversation with a childless friend about our taste in men changing as we are getting old.  Gone are the bad boys we lusted over in our late teens/early twenties (think Colin Farrell and Robbie Williams) and in were men like Jamie Redknapp that we could settle down and raise a family with, in our dreams of course.  I happen to mention my love of a certain

Mr Bloom, with his adorable smile and charming accent, my friend agreed saying she loved his last film.  It was only then I realised that she was talking about Orlando when my heart was reserved for the welly boot wearing gardener of CBeebies fame!

I knew I could not be the only one lusting after him and after a quick Google search I found I was correct –there were hundreds of mums commenting on how much they’d like to get their hands on my Mr Bloom!   One person even confessed their love for Mr Tumble!!!!

So it got me thinking who is there out there I like the look of, that, until now, I have been too embarrassed to admit too! Well here we go;

  1. Robbie Savage – He may have hair like a girl and two left feet, but for me he is lovely.Sean Lock
  2. Mr Bloom – He certainly does make CBeebies worth watching.
  3. Sean Lock – This I accept is a little strange, but he could laugh his way into my heart bed.
  4. Max Branning – Its the ‘bad boy’ factor in play here again I’m sure.
  5. John Bishop – You seeing a theme here? I do like a man who can make me laugh.

They may not be your mainstream heartthrobs, but they do it for me! So then ladies and gentlemen, put your fear and shame aside and lay your cards on the table. Either version of the list of 5 will do – but I’m dying to know them both really!