Cellandia’s Christmas giftlist & WISH list…

From everything sweet & savoury to gorgeous home making gifts, it’s all out there… For me though I have a few things that I cannot wait to get a piece of but that I also cannot wait to give..

I am absolutely in love with the gorgeous HAM products but especially the awesome mugs that the lovely Jo has created and brought to shelves across the nation. From the ‘Wine Tasting Rabbit’ to the ‘Superhero Rabbit’ it’s hard to not love them and it’s hard to not smile… I think a set of these will look amazing in my new cottage in Barnes and I can’t wait to get my order in….


Wine tasting rabbit £12.50


Moving on in a very practical sense and I must admit that a set of kitchen knives has been high on our list and after a fair bit of research I feel that Stellar James Martin has brought together a collection of knives fit for both amateur and professional designed to suit the lifestyle and cooking that you do… check out the collection, I will definitely be adding a set to my list for the man of the house and of course the chef!

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plenty_video._SX342_SY299_To tickle those tastebuds, I have been so excited about the new Ottolenghi recipe books… Plenty & Plenty More… Yotam takes you on such a mouthwateringly exciting journey with food, delving into all the various techniques we use in every day cooking: grilling, roasting, steaming, braising, mashing and baking. A fantastic culinary journey… these books needs a home in my new kitchen!


Then something for the little dreamer in the house… who is fascinated by life at just 17months and I thought could be introduced to this… Walnut Toy Farm… which you can buy here.


Walnut Toy Farm

and a set of these would be gorgeous too… buy your set here.


Animal Nesting Dolls


credit to Izumi Idoia Zubia, such a beautiful and creative gift

Each book (ring bound) includes 8 collages / pre drawn environments and 4 patterned papers with various big and small shapes to be cut… could have the children occupied for hours….








We must not forget the cat, of course if money was of no object then I would be spoiling her with this… Check it out in detail here.


Dog Shaped Cat Scratching post £695


I will be filling my house with gorgeous scent of Résine Candle from DIPTYQUE and it’s gorgeous scent of pine needles, I just love the smell of Christmas…that and our wood burning fire…. 


Diptyque Résine Candle £26-£40


I met the wonderful people behind the gorgeous brand iBBi at the Daisy Trust Christmas Fair and was immediately in love… Not just with their mantra and keeping things close to heart, working closely with the artisans that create each piece with all the love & care in the world but also because each piece of tableware to each throw has been made so beautifully and with such intricacy, there’s not much to not love… a beautiful collection of these ramekins would make such a special present, for in the kitchen, living room, dresser or bedside table….img_5659_1_ img_5630_1__1


Katie is a lovely lady and she designs some gorgeous stationery and along the way I have spoiled myself with a few of her beautiful paper treats… From one stationer to another, I just love the simplicity but the vintage look of her Navy Stripe Notebook and for just £8.00 it will make a splendid gift for anyone that has too many ideas, too much of the time… like me!



I’m really getting into my chevron designs… and I’ve been looking for something for a while. This one here 993-115-G67s

is just awesome and it comes in at such a good price £75.00 (W170 x L230 cm)…Check out those lines… and they even do a doormat, cool hey?

So the man likes chocolate and it would be rude not to… I think I might make this for Christmas as a treat… What do you think? For the recipe, click here.


Bloomin brilliant chocolate brownies


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Christmas wouldn’t be the same without lights and I really like these this year… you can buy them here

To top it all off I shall be cooking up a feast on Christmas day, our very first Christmas in our new home – what better way to celebrate! Not without the help of these two… mainly Delia with a side helping of Jamie8173GpRMkZL._SL1500_


Watch this space for more exciting new gift ideas and also a few of the homemade kind too. X



Thirty First October Twenty Fourteen… for you MUM x

So every year, on the 31st October people from all over the world celebrate Halloween. All the little mights, ghouls and goblins gather, the witches, devils and vampires unite and everyone lights a pumpkin and eats a few treats, well to put it bluntly thats sort of what happens…

Halloween or Hallowe’en (/ˌhæləˈwn, ˈn, ˌhɑːl/; a contraction of “All Hallows‘ Evening“), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a yearly celebration.

Olivia and Pumpkins 2013

Little O at 3 months, Cleaver Sq 2013

Olivia and Pumpkins 2 2013

a happy little cat and some happy looking pumpkins 2013

For me and for my family, it is just that, a celebration… My darling mum passed away on October 31st 2003 and being everything that she was and continues to be to us all, she was unbelievably inspiring and creative too. So with every year that passes, I have so much more to celebrate and so much more of a reason why. However you think of Halloween or All Hallows Eve, it’s history and story are dedicated to remembering the dead, those that have left us and for me this ignites even more passion in making each Halloween that much more special. The true meaning of Halloween and its origins have been lost over the years and of course influenced by todays society, also various religions and faiths have formed their own and slightly different traditions. What I find most poignant is that although the idea of lighting a gourd, turnip, suede or pumpkin to so many might seem ridiculous but its origin and purpose was to create a symbol of life that had passed, to welcome the spirits back, as All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saints Day “is when our world is closer to theirs” …. It is the candle inside the pumpkin that is magical and people would display their lit pumpkins or Jack-o-Lanterns in windows and doorways to welcome back the sprits, and to me, I find that rather special…


Pumpkins for tonights celebration!


This year we are celebrating with all our local Kennington friends in Cleaver Square… There will be Chilli for the grown ups and sausages and buns for the kids… A gathering where the kids can eat in between their trick-or-treat rounds and haribo feasts but also a chance for us grown ups to enjoy a glass or two of wine and celebrate! Little O is dressing up as a little pumpkin and I cannot wait to see her staggering about  with her other little buddies later tonight! Being another special day on All Saints Day (my birthday!), I made cake too, I mean why not? There is always an excuse to eat cake and today an even bigger one!


My halloween special, for you Mum (& Me!)


I was totally inspired by Jamie’s roasted pumpkin seeds too, so I’ve done mine with smoked paprika and chilli flakes and you will be surprised – they are damn good and very moreish! I actually carved another pumpkin just to get more seeds to roast…! See here for the recipe…








So here’s a little Halloween wish to all of you and to everyone that has loved and lost, to all those that have left, may you enjoy the spectacular glow that tonights display of lit pumpkins, all over the world create. Happy Halloween.



we are in for warm halloween this year!





I love Indian food, the authentic Indian food and all the spices and ways you can tenderise meat and give vegetables an exciting and vibrant twist… I especially love all the Indian breads, from roti to chapati’s to naan breads and then of course paratha’s. All of them used to bring the delicious curried meat or veg to your mouth is all part of why I love Indian food. I am no way an expert and I am no way a culinary genius. I am probably a cheat like most other Brits here in London but I will try and use as fresh as possible and from scratch as often as possible. Rick Stein’s recent journey across the sub-continent of Asia exploring all the most wonderful dishes we are so familiar with but everything else we’ve never heard of and more… The BBC Two series left you wanting to not only rediscover Indian cooking but re-stock your spice cupboard and travel India for months on a taste adventure if anything! However it did and continues to inspire me to be a little more exciting when I cook.

The latest is a Lamb Biryani recipe, a mixed rice dish using spices and meat or veg and then baked in the oven… Here I used a recipe from Jamie Oliver, made using your leftover roast shoulder of lamb… Which I posted earlier here… Stein uses chicken in his recipe here which I’ll try next, he also often suggests using mutton… However, I think that another way to use up your leftovers is great, so I went with Jamie’s…The lamb is already tender and you make the stock from boiling up the bones and then a gorgeous heavenly sauce is made from ginger, chilli, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, cumin, ground cardamon, garam, mustard seeds (anything else in your curry powder) and mango chutney. Then you layer rice, spinach, lamb into your oven dish and cover with another layer of rice and is baked in the oven.

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For a dinner party, I served the Lamb Biryani with a minty cucumber Raita, warmed Chapati’s and to start some homemade Vegetable Samosa’s washed down with some Cobra beer… ! We loved it and our guests did too, definitely one we will do again. Thanks Jamie and thanks Rick for all the inspiration!

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nothing quite like LAMB…


Slow roast shoulder of lamb

This is so simple and yet so mouth-wateringly tasty. All you need is a shoulder of lamb, sea salt and a hot oven which has been pre-heated to 200 degrees, you put your lamb in for 30 minutes, then after that you leave your shoulder in the oven at a lower temperature of 160 degrees for 4 hours.. In a baking tray with nothing but salt, you let the lamb do its thing… I love lamb with couscous and home made tsatziki but traditional roast veg always works well too.



wonderful EGGS…


Oeufs en Cocotte…Eggs and crème fraîche are all you need for this super-simple yet very tasty dish. You can also throw in almost anything savoury you find in your fridge. Try serving it with plenty of crusty bread. Here I’ve added chilli to the eggs and to follow some crispy pancetta & melon. Eggs take about 15minutes in the oven at 180



Egg on toast with spinach and mushrooms… and that’s it pretty much, you can add cheese to your spinach or even marmite to your toast..



Eggs with Aspargus soldiers… theres nothing much to it really, just make sure the asparagus isn’t overcooked and still has a crunch… Little O especially loved this.



Poached egg on a bed of crispy kale with lardons… this is super tasty and really easy too… Steam your kale and fry your lardons, when they start to crisp up, season with black pepper, chilli and basil and then add your kale and wait for it to crisp up, about 10 minutes, it will turn a little darker too. I use a poacher for my egg here, its cheating i know, but just works out better… Enjoy!


we all love a bit of DAL…

We really do all need a good dal from time to time and here I have my version of your standard but oh-so-delicious dal, totally inspired by Chloe, whom I’m sure I will mention again.

The word dal is also used to name the thick stew prepared from these pulses, an important part of IndianNepaliPakistaniSri LankanWest Indian andBangladeshi cuisine. It is regularly eaten with rice in southern India, and with both rice and roti (wheat-based flat bread) throughout northern India and Pakistan as well as BangladeshEast India, and Nepal where Dal Bhat (literally: dal and rice) is the staple food for much of the population. Dal is a ready source of proteins for a balanced diet containing little or no meat.

Here the dried yellow dal, whether chana for a smoother texture or moong for a more textured stew is left to soak in water for a minimum of 30 mins and then rinsed a few times in about 3-4 changes of water or until the water runs clear.

Prepare your ingredients…

  • 250g/9oz chana dal/moong dal (yellow dried split peas), rinsed until the water runs clear
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • Thumb size ginger, peeled and chopped or grated
  • a bunch of curry leaves, off the stalk
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped into quarters
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1-2 red chilli, sliced (I like to see flecks of red in mine, but chop finer if you prefer or add more/less)
  • ¾ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp Nigella/kalonji seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 900ml/1¾ pints water 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh coriander to garnish

In your saucepan, which is on a low heat, add the oil, onion, chilli, spices, cumin seeds, Nigella seeds, ginger and curry leaves and stir so everything is covered and combined. Nothing quite beats the smell of fresh and dried indian spices over heat really! When your onion starts to soften add your dal and stir through so they are nicely covered. Once everything has had a chance to mix through and together, add about 900ml/1¾ pints of water to the pan, stir until boiling and then turn the heat down, cover the saucepan and let simmer covered for about 30-40mins or until lentils are just tender, adding more water if necessary.

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After you have let the lentils simmer for that time and most of the water has evaporated, and let simmer some more but stirring now, rather vigorously so has to smooth the lentils to a more dal texture or paste, adding more water if necessary. Season and taste as you go. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with some fresh coriander.

I love to serve with warmed chapati’s…



Nothing like SAGE…

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One of the main reasons why I wanted to post is because I love to share all the things that make me feel happy, that get me thinking and make me want more. Most of it is food, so that’s exactly where I will start, if I may, with one for the older kids and adults….

Pasta with Garlic & Sage Butter

  • 25g butter
  • a good glug of olive oil (this helps to stop the butter from burning)
  • a handful of fresh sage leaves picked from their stalks
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped finely
  • pasta of your choice

Here I have added fresh rocket with a drizzle of lemon and some steamed broccoli so you can add whatever you want really. The key is to not let the butter or garlic burn…
Put a large pan of salted water onto boil for your pasta. Take your smaller saucepan and put on low heat, add butter and olive oil and all the sage leaves, you must keep an eye as you really don’t want the butter to burn.After about 10 minutes add your garlic to the sage leaves and a good pinch of sea salt, keep the heat low and keep stirring to keep anything from burning.  What you want is for the sage to turn crispy and almost black, but you must keep stirring. Should be about another 5 minutes, then add your pasta to your water and get your plates ready. Test a sage leaf by checking it’s crispiness, when ready, switch off the hob.
Drain your pasta when al-dente and put back into the saucepan along with the buttery sage & garlic mixture, a good glug of olive oil, salt & pepper and anything else you fancy.
Lardons, Parmesan, Rocket are great with this dish.

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