{ Fresh coffee (in my all-time favourite mug), a couple of slices of banana bread, & a little portion of berries and ripe nectarine, all enjoyed on the very first morning of a much-needed few days off. Is there anything in the world more peaceful than breakfast in bed? }


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I remember first clicking through to Emily’s blog sometime last summer, back when there were only three or four posts on it! It’s been so amazing to watch it grow and develop over the past year, and to see Em’s gorgeous style shine through more and more in her writing and photographs. Emily is also just about the sweetest, sunniest person you could ever wish to have as part of your ‘online community’ as I like to think of it, so she herself has been just a pleasure to get to know too! Dear You Love Em features a bit of everything- from make up reviews, to travel posts, ‘life lately’ photograph round ups, and the odd fun recipe too! It’s such a fantastic read. Earlier this week Emily answered a few of my questions all the way from Sydney, so now let’s get to know this wonderful lady and her beautiful blog a little better!

1. Will you tell us a little about what made you want to start writing a blog? And how have you found your first year as a blogger- has it been more fun/tricky/time-consuming than you imagined? :) 

I started blogging just under four years ago because I loved having a creative outlet to develop my writing and photography skills but my boyfriend at the time (a really nasty piece of work) was really unsupportive about anything I was passionate about (including my blog- boo!), fast forward four years and I got rid of him, and made myself a new blog that I am actually really quite proud of. At times I have struggled with tricky computer codes which I just do not understand (why oh why didn’t I study I.T at school?), and it can be very time consuming but I have finally got my blog into my daily routine and I really do enjoy it so it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I think its love…

2. What do you hope your readers take away from your blog, when they visit it?

Honestly at the end of the day I just want to make a space that give people a bit of escapism from their everyday life. Sometimes I worry that no one else enjoys reading my blog and then I’ll find it open on mums ipad and know at least she gets a kick out of it haha …


3. Do have a favourite kind of post to write? :) I love your travel posts especially!

Thanks Rosie! I love my travel posts too – they always bring back a sense of nostalgia and a flood of memories. It really depends on my mood though, recently I have fallen in love with my ‘Sunday Smiles’ series because it gets me thinking back on the week that’s been and be grateful for all the little things. I also have a ton of travel posts coming up, this week there will be Prague and Venice so stay tuned!


4. How do you deal with a case of writer’s block, if you ever get one? Is there anything you do, or anywhere you go that’s always a sure fire way of sparking your creativity? 

Love this question! I feel like the moments where I get most of my inspiration occur within the realm of the every day. People watching at the bus stop, people who listen without just waiting their turn to talk, someone going out of their way to help you, that sort of thing. Also, elderly people who go jogging are really inspiring.

5. Tell us a little about your beautiful home city of Sydney! If you were writing a travel guide, what would be your top three recommendations for places to eat, drink, and visit in the city? :)

Oh I am so in love with Sydney its ridiculous- I live 20 minutes from the city, the beach and right next to the bush so it really is the best of both worlds! My top things to do are: 1. Do the Bondi to Bronte beach walk and make sure you bring your camera along with you (or if its in the summer bring your swimmers!) 2. Go to Balmoral Beach and grab the best fish and chips in Sydney at ‘Bottom of the Harbour’- bonus points if you eat them on the beach. 3. Catch a ferry to Cockatoo Island (located in the middle of Sydney Harbour so the views are to die for), grab a cocktail, sit on the deck chairs  and reminisce on how great I am for sending you to such a great place haha… but seriously.


6. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? (I love asking people this question, I think it’s such a fun one!)

Something with chocolate, or dumplings. Or anything where melted cheese is involved.

7. What’s made you smile most in the past week?

Hot Yoga- I know, the idea of doing awkward stretches in a room with people sweating sounds absolutely bizarre but it was  truly AMAZING. I finally get the whole yoga thing- I felt emotionally and physically better for days after. Also the moment I realized I had parked in a one hour parking bay and actually been away for seven hours and didn’t get a parking ticket- winning!


8. Let’s so some either/ors to finish of! So- do you prefer peonies, or roses? I am just going to put it out there and confess I just had to google ‘peonies’ to remind myself what they were, so I think that must mean roses by default. Plus, they have that whole oh la la I’m so romantic connotation to them – unless of course they are yellow which is meant to be for your sick grandmother. Bold or nude lipsticks? Bold, bold and bold! I am so pale that nude lipsticks make me look sickly, and I usually stick to the black/grey/white assortment of clothes so bold lips bring a nice little pop of colour. Sweet, or savoury? Ohhh my I have the sweetest tooth in the world- and you know what, its awful. I even dream of cookies and chocolate. Yeah, that’s a thing. Would you rather sit down and watch a movie, or binge watch a TV series? Alright, I think its time for another confession again- I am absolutely obsessed with Vampire Diaries (I know I’m late to the party) but its wonderful and I aaaint even sorry about it! Do you prefer summer, or winter weather? Summer all the way- I feel like I try to pretend winter doesn’t exist and wear sandals … and it hurts. Driving, or being driven? Driving unless my boyfriend is involved, and then he always drives (so chivalrous! Swoon) Are you an early bird, or a night owl? Early bird- I am incapable of sleeping in on weekends and pass out like an old lady at around 8pm every night- I know, I am wild. Introvert, or extrovert? Extrovert!

** Head over to Emily’s blog now and say ‘hi’, and don’t forget to follow along with Dear You Love Em via Bloglovin‘! :) **

p.s. If you’d like to see your own blog featured here on Cider with Rosie, click through to the Sponsor page and book up an advert! Now taking advance booking for early 2015 for the Ultimate Advertising package!

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Right now we can’t stop dreaming about moving house, and heading further into the countryside. Where we live now is lovely, but it’s kind of neither one thing nor the other. It’s not got a busy urban feel (where you can walk down the road to grab a coffee, or ever even consider leaving the car at home for the day) yet isn’t quite proper countryside either. Jason’s been desperate to move somewhere truly rural for a good couple of years now, and all of a sudden I’m right there with him. This little house of ours has served us well over the past few years and we love it so much, but I think we’re starting to outgrow this space. Once our wedding is out of the way, I think it’ll be time for us to start thinking about spreading our wings. Until then, we’ll just have to keep dreaming…

1. A basket-full of freshly laid eggs (for poached-egg mornings, & pancake weekends)

2. A littl’un and a kid (the very picture of an idyllic childhood)

3. A feast caught, cooked, and eaten all outdoors (what better way to spend a long, warm summer evening?)

4. A collection of tomatoes, straight from the vine (perfect eaten just as they are, with a sprinkling of flaky salt between each bite)

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Let’s start this week out with a simple loaf of bread. Proper bread- the good stuff- homemade, with a dark crackly crust and soft, tender crumb.

Soda bread is something of a revelation to me. I’d never tried it before making it down at River Cottage a couple of weeks back, and it has to be the easiest bread going. No kneading necessary to create flavour and structure (bicarbonate of soda plus some live yoghurt or buttermilk take care of all that for us), and it’s as delicious as it is quick to put together. I made this loaf a couple of days ago, and it’s still going strong as toasting-bread now! Soda bread has this amazing ability to taste intensely savoury and salty when served plain (and eaten with butter and other savoury toppings) and yet as soon as it’s smothered in jam or something equally sweet, its rich, dairy flavour comes out and it tastes almost cake-y! It’s kind of like a two-for-the-price-of-one recipe, and there’s nothing I love more than that!

The lovely folk at River Cottage have said that I can share their soda bread recipe here on Cider with Rosie, and I’m so very glad because it really is too good a recipe not to share! I must tell you, whilst we’re on the subject of bread, that all of the bread-making techniques I learnt down at River Cottage have been life-changing! We try to be quite moderate about how much bread we eat at home, and so I like to try and make from scratch any bread we do eat because we really want to make it count. This pizza here was made according to the techniques we were taught at River Cottage, and Jason categorically stated that it was the best pizza I’d ever made! And I’m certain I’ve tested pretty much every ‘best ever pizza dough’ recipe going and had Jason act as guinea pig for all of them, so that man knows his stuff!


Now, let me tell you the recipe for this beautiful soda bread! I’ve made a little video to go along with the recipe, so do give it a watch to see a step-by-step for how to make this most simple and heart-warming of loaves.

500g plain white flour {plus a little extra for dusting}
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp table salt
400ml buttermilk or live, whole fat yoghurt {plus a couple of extra tbsp milk if necessary}

- Preheat the oven on to 200 degrees celsius, and place a tray into the oven to heat up.

- Measure out 500 grams of plain white flour into a large bowl, then add in the 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda. Use a whisk to mix it all together, and get rid of any lumps in the flour.

- Stir in the teaspoon of salt, and mix that in with the flour. This recipe makes quite a salty bread, so you can dial back the salt by a quarter of a teaspoon or so if you’d like. Use the back of a spoon to make a well in the centre of the flour.

- Measure out the 400 millilitres of buttermilk or live, whole fat yoghurt, and slowly pour it into the flour mixing as you go. If the mixture still feels particularly dry when it’s all been mixed in, add in milk a tablespoon at a time. The dough should be, as Hugh describes it, ‘just this side of sticky’.

- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and then shape it into a round. Transfer it onto a sheet of parchment paper, then firmly press the floured handle of a wooden spoon into the surface of the dough to get that distinctive soda bread cross!

- Slide the dough on its parchment paper onto the preheated tray, and then put it into the oven to cook for about 40 minutes. When cooked, the soda bread should be a dark golden brown colour, and will sound hollow when tapped on the base.

- Let it cool for a couple of minutes, then crack that baby open! It’s best eaten fresh on the day it’s baked, or toasted for a few days after that.


Do tag me in on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag ‘#ciderwithrosiecooks’ if you have a go at making the loaf yourself, so that I (and River Cottage!) can take a look! I’d so love to see :) Thanks again to my friends at River Cottage for letting me share the recipe here. Oh, and for anyone who might fancy learning more about bread themselves, the course I took (with Boden, earlier on in July) featured elements from the Advanced Bread Making course. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

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