See this? This is the face my dog pulls when I focus all my attention on photographing oranges, rather than on lavishing him with love. Isn’t it a heartbreaker? It’s the eyebrows that really get me. He looks like an advert for the RSPCA. That little stinker really knows how to throw a strop.

This week’s been a pretty good one, if a little rainy. (Can we be done with the rain now? I want it to go. Or turn into snow. Either would be fine.) I’m glad it’s Friday though. This weekend I’m taking my Mum out for a birthday surprise (a photogenic one, so expect photos! Mum- I know you’re reading this- there’s your first clue!). We also need to have a clean up of the house (laundry, dusting, you know the drill) and I plan on doing a little baking. Here’s a little list of what’s made me most happy, in this past week…

1. Seeing Jason more light hearted and joyful than I’ve ever seen him before. Some big burdens are being lifted off his shoulders right now, and it’s making my heart light to see him so happy.

2. The look on Teddy’s face when I caught him stealing biscuits from the big bag of dog food we keep under the stairs. He looked so faux-nonchalant, it made me laugh.

3. Buying in ingredients to bake sweet goods over the weekend. On the menu are Deb’s granola bars, and oatmeal and raisin cookies.

4. Watching a little robin sing his heart out on Monday morning, sitting on a branch above my car.

5. Seeing the crocus bulbs I planted up a couple of weeks ago begin to pop their heads up out of the soil.

6. The prospect of Facetiming with Tania this weekend, seeing Freya for vintage market-shopping and cake-eating later on in February, and going to the ballet with my best friend Jo next week!

7. A new (ginormous) jar of Nutella. Pure happiness. Jason said to me ‘Can I actually get a look in with this jar, please?’. We’ll see…

8. (Kind of) mastering the art of rough puff pastry. Next challenge: homemade shortcrust that doesn’t shrink as soon as I put it anywhere near the oven…

9. Wearing a floaty skirt and no tights out to dinner, and not being cold in the slightest. Mild (if rainy) Januarys have their merits.

10. This week’s dog-walk wildlife count. 4 deer, 2 woodpeckers, and 1 squirrel so rotund I’m surprised the branch he was running along didn’t snap under his weight.

Three (travel-themed) posts I’ve loved reading this week: Tania’s first collection of photos from Sydney // Malgo’s post about her favourite thing to do in Norway // and Freya’s first thoughts on India, and some beautiful misty photos.

What’s made *you* happy this week? :)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



Bess was the first blogger I ever met in real life. We met up in Guildford station before heading to brunch with several other local lifestyle bloggers. I was running late (as per) and remember thinking how glamorous Bess looked with her red lipstick on. Thoroughly English is just as fabulous as its author – it’s funny, and intelligent, and well-informed. My favourite posts to read are Bess’ recipes. Her food is uncomplicated and unfussy, and reading recipe posts always always leaves me feeling ravenous. Bess took some time out last week to answer some of my questions, so without further ado, let me introduce you to my sweet friend and her beautiful blog!

1. What made you want to start writing a blog? Do you remember what your first post was about? (And, importantly, is it still live? ;) I know so many people delete their first post in shame!)

‘I don’t think it’s still live, but it probably should be. TE has developed so much over the last 18 months, just like I have. I don’t want to go back and take down the awful pictures or terrible wit. I liked it at the time, and hopefully it would still bring pleasure to someone out there. That being said, I wouldn’t trade in my writing knowledge or DSLR now I have them!!!’

2. What three words would you use to describe Thoroughly English?

‘Food, photos, sarcasm…’


3. Do you have a favourite type of post to write? (I personally love your recipe posts. They’re so classic, and unfussy, and always read so beautifully.)

‘Definitely recipes – I think so many people are scared of trying things in the kitchen (particularly when they involve a boiling vat of sugar syrup) but it’s really honestly, truly just not that hard. I try to show that there’s nothing to be intimidated by. I think pictures are really important, because if you know what something is supposed to look like, it gives you all the more confidence that you’re doing it right. I also try and mention the times when things didn’t go according to plan – such as ‘Kale Crisps’ (yeuck). It’s okay not to like something, even if it’s a super hyped up fad of the moment. I’m not perfect and I f-stuff up quite a bit, but at least I can tell you what not to do!’


4. Do you have any goals you’d like your lovely blog to achieve over this next year, or are you excited to just see where it takes you?

‘I’d like to become more food focused, as food really is the place I can pour all of my creative energy into. It’s also something that I do with Daddy TE – which makes it all the more important to me. Since I’ve become a grown up, he’s taught me so many things that I couldn’t have learned anywhere else (sometimes literally – he’s a bit of a clever old sod). For instance, he grew his own sugar, and learnt how to crystallise it – how insanely clever is that?!

A lot of my friends think I’m crazy  - particularly when I say I want to do something unconventional, like make chocolate from scratch! I’d love to find readers who love food like me, and want to come along for the ride. (But it’s never going to be a food blog – there’s always room on TE for shoes and soppy moments).’


5. You’re living in beautiful York right now, I believe? How does it compare to Cambridge and Oxford, the other gorgeous cities you’ve been lucky enough to call home? :)

‘York is beautiful – but very small! I’m lucky because there’s a huge independent scene so there’s a great variety of places to go and people to meet. Both Oxford and Cambridge were University towns for me, so I never really experienced them as a resident would. This is the first time I’ve had to carve out a home for myself away from everyone I know, so it’s pretty scary!’

6. What’s made you smile most in the past week or so?

‘Probably making a hidden design heart cake for a Valentines recipe series I’m working on. It”s completely inspired by O with all of his favourite ingredients. Which is funny, because I took it to work and he never saw it! (Oh the tribulations of a blogger-non-blogger romance)’


7. Now for some quick fire questions! Do you prefer sweet, or savoury? Cooking at home, or dining out? Winter months, or summer months? Favourite film? Most loved book? Dream holiday destination?

‘Sweet AND savoury – hello, salted caramel?!
Dining out, but experimenting at home. Making a standard meal without props and photographs doesn’t justify the washing up…
Winter. As I have lupus the sun and I react pretty badly. Give me snow and a log fire every time.
Dangerous Liaisons. (With a sprinkling of Gladiator on hormonal days)
Oh. Um. No. Can’t choose. Harry Potter for sick days, Phillipa Gregory for light reading days and any kind of fantasy or magic for escapist Sundays under a blanket.
Southern USA. All for the foodie culture and cowboys. I want to go for three weeks and gain ten pounds.’

8. And lastly, let’s play a round of ‘desert island discs’! If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring with you? You can bring two albums/CDs, two books, ingredients to make two meals, and one luxury item.

‘Shania Twain – Come on Over (blame Daddy TE for that) and anything by Luke Bryan.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, War of the Roses (Conn Iggulden)
Definitely a full roast chicken, with carrot, parsnips, pigs in blankets, crispy Yorkshires and mountains of gravy. If I can’t have that twice, then also salt and pepper prawns and pillowy special fried rice. And sweet chilli sauce – but my recipe, not the yacky white sugar supermarket stuff.’

Thank you so much lovely Bess! Head on over to Thoroughly English now, and start following along with her adventures! :)

** This ‘Sponsor spotlight’ post is part of the Ultimate Advertising package. If you’d like to see your blog or business featured here on Cider with Rosie, click here or in the Sponsor tab at the top of the page! The next available Ultimate Advertising package will begin on the 6th May (they’re being snapped up super fast!) so there’s no time to waste in reserving a slot! **

Posted in Let me introduce you to..., Sponsor spotlight

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



This is a recipe for how to make jars of sunshine. It feels kind of strange that Seville oranges are in season during January, when they look and taste (to me at least) like the warmest of July days. A longing for the warmer months is starting to creep up me just now. I can feel it. It always comes about during this part of winter, when the sun is at its most feeble and it seems like a lifetime ago that we were able to set foot outside the front door without a hundred layers on our backs. When I can’t even recall what it feels like to have heat on my skin, and strawberry and peach season seems a million months away.

This curd is my antidote to all that. It’s simple to make (no thermometers needed), and is so incredibly versatile. So far I’ve eaten it with yoghurt and porridge at breakfast time, by the spoonful at lunchtime, and this afternoon I’ll be baking it into a birthday cake for my Mum. I also have some leftover eggwhites in my fridge, which I’m planning on whipping up into a meringue and pairing with the orange curd, whipped cream and crushed ginger biscuits as a wintery take on Eton Mess.

Now let’s make orange curd, and pretend that the sun is just around the corner…

Seville-oranges Juicing-oranges Juicing-Seville-oranges Seville-orange-curd-recipe Seville-orange-curd2

Recipe adapted (barely) from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall for the Guardian.
200ml Seville orange juice. Approximately 6/7 oranges if juiced by hand, fewer if juiced with a machine.
400g granulated sugar
125g unsalted butter
Zest from 1 Seville orange (or from 1 regular orange, for sweeter zest)
2 eggs + 2 extra yolks, beaten

- Place a couple of inches of water in a large saucepan, and set a heatproof bowl over the top of it. The water should not come into contact with the bottom of the bowl. Turn the heat up medium-high.

- Cut up the butter into cubes, and place in the bowl over the heat along with the sugar, orange zest, and juice. Heat gently for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved, the butter has melted, and the mixture is amalgamated and glossy.

- Turn the heat under the pan and bowl down to the lowest setting, and wait a minute or two. (The original recipe didn’t call for this, but it negates the fear of the mixture being too hot and scrambling the eggs, which is never a bad thing). Then pass the beaten eggs through a sieve and into the butter mixture, whisking gently with a balloon whisk as you go. When the eggs have been full incorporated into the butter mixture, turn the heat under the pan back up to medium.

- Heat for a further 15 minutes or so, whilst the mixture thickens. Stir fairly frequently with a wooden spoon, to distribute the heat evenly through the mixture. After about 12-15 minutes, test for ‘doneness’. Dip the spoon into the curd. It should be thick enough that it coats the back of the spoon in a layer a couple of millimetres thick, and there should be a visible channel left in the curd when you run your finger through the mixture on the back of the spoon. It will thicken dramatically as it cools, so don’t fear that it’s still rather loose in texture. (n.b. The original recipe states that a sugar thermometer placed in the curd should reach around 82 degrees at this point.)

- Pour into sterilised jars whilst still warm, and set aside to cool. Refrigerate once opened.

p.s. The photos of the curd in jars were taken whilst it was still fairly warm and fresh off the heat. It had cooled and thickened a little, but is still a pretty good representation of how the curd should look when finished cooking and ready to be put into jars.

Seville-orange-curd1 Seville-orange-curd Seville-orange-curd4


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



I’ve been starting most weekend days recently with porridge. For the first 20+ years of my life I wouldn’t touch the stuff with a bargepole, but then I discovered that my boyfriend makes the World’s Best Porridge, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I don’t know what he does to make it so great. It’s like magic. Lately I’ve been adding a spoonful of jam (my favourite is strawberry, though apricot is lovely too) and pairing it with a little glass mug full of fresh coffee. That’s how this weekend started out- with porridge made by Jason and coffee made by me; both enjoyed whilst listening to the rain falling hard outside.

The rest of the weekend was spent in our usual style. You know- going on muddy walks, baking sweet things…*eating* sweet things. We also listened to old albums that took us back to our first few months of dating (You Me At Six’ second album) and started watching Hostages as a way of filling the void left by our beloved Homeland. It’s okaaaaay…but not brilliant. Toni Collette just can’t compete with Claire Danes and her trembling chin, if you ask me.

Weekends spent like this are my favourite. Ones without plans, where we can lazy about to our hearts’ content and move at our own pace for two whole days. Even Teddy slows down at the weekends these days, and is happy to sleep in late and wait until midday before heading out on a walk. Here are a few photos of our weekend, if you’d like to see…

EspressoBreakfast-Cider-with-Rosie Jason-and-Teddy-in-the-rainCider-with-Rosie-Weekend-walk8Jason-in-the-rain Cider-with-Rosie-Weekend-walk7Cider-with-Rosie-TeddyCider-with-Rosie1

^^ Can we take a minute to appreciate Teddy’s face in this photo? Have you ever seen so much joy contained in one facial expression? He just loves walks. And rain. And puddles and mud and smells and running and…^^

Ripples-on-puddle Cider-with-Rosie-Weekend-walk4Pine-treesCider-with-Rosie-Weekend-walk6 Berries

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Read from the beginning >