Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Hello food friends, my new website is www.miriamnice.com (trying to say this quietly so I don't make blogger sad...but I've gone to wordpress...sshhh) xx


So excited that my sister-in-law's article has just featured on major wedding blog site Rock My Wedding! It was a completely brilliant day and a total honor to be asked to make their cakes.
The design process (for the cakes alone) I think took about a year, but I'm not complaining; I got to taste them too and what better excuse for churning out cake after cake than in the name of research!

This Summer they will have been married a year and even now I cannot believe how much detail and creativity went into everything from the flowers to the cufflinks to the giant Japanese fish windsocks.
Do go and see the full account from my fantastic sister-in-law here: http://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/full-disclosure/


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Ooh c'est nouveau!

I often get asked "so what kind of food do you do then?" and I am usually pretty stumped for a decent answer. Mostly I just panic and say "whatever you like" or "everything!" and fling my arms about enthusiastically so that they think I'm quirky and they move away.

The truth is I eat almost everything (although there are a couple of flavours for which the jury is still out on whether I like them or not; things like aniseed and liquorish). Most of the time I am perfectly happy in the kitchen hurling something together from whatever the hell I can find, a style of cooking which doesn't often fit with one particular type of cuisine. 
The list of the dishes I have not yet attempted however, has sparked my imagination recently and I announced to Richard that I would be making chips for dinner for no other reason other than that I had never made them before.
As a kid we never deep fried anything, ever. We weren't raised on a diet of quinoa and sea kelp or anything, in fact we had fish and chips many times, but they were always from the local chippy. I think it was probably the fire risk involved and perhaps the tricky business of having to dispose of large quantities of waste oil afterwards that meant the first time I successfully deep fried anything I was 25 and was tasked with making falafel for someone else's Lebanese dinner party (mild panic ensued). 
So, last week on a whim I fired up a large pan of vegetable oil, looked up a recipe and dug out a thermometer. I found this hairy bikers recipe and it worked a treat! The only change I made was to leave the skins on, after all I wouldn't want to miss out on those minerals! 

Other things on my culinary bucket list are doughnuts, puff pastry, pork pies, tempura, fresh noodles, onion bahjis, oh and I've never boiled a crab or a lobster. 

What's on your list, I'd love to know. What foods have you eaten loads but never actually made from scratch?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Bonjour Brighton!

"When we get back to our house can we lay out a load of ingredients we need to use up and then you cook something out of them? Would that be fun for you?" 
Of course it would! I didn't spend my teenage years watching ready steady cook everyday after school for nothing! I'm always up for a creative culinary challenge (and particularly any excuse to show off).
Naomi and Martin are two splendid newly weds who live seconds away from Brighton beach.
They were married on the same day that Richard and I met. The only significance in this fact was that the first time I saw Richard he was looking particularly dashing in a suit. In fact come to think of it, I also happened to be wearing a suit then, and a top hat, as we met after the wedding at a Halloween party where I had decided to dress as an undertaker. 
Anyway, back to the kitchen! Richard and I arrived back at Naomi and Martin's to find a whole host of vegetables, jars and tins laid out on the dining table. I requested a piece of paper and a pen and after a moment of deliberation I somehow managed to scribble down a very vague 2 course menu for 4. 
Everyone chipped in and we made corn cakes with refried beans followed by mushroom chilli with rice (which was more of a ratatouille in the end). 
Whilst I was frying the corn cakes Naomi and the boys devised a little song and dance consisting of lots of shouting the letters M.I.M and "Go FOOD" with cheerleader type actions and intonations. This (not surprisingly) fast descended into tremendous fits of giggles to the point where I'm surprised we served anything at all. 
We had a lovely evening, their home is a wonderful, welcoming space, full of homemade furniture, pictures painted by family & friends and a very particular collection of pebbles from Brighton beach - selected only if they clearly resemble
a letter of the alphabet. With the letters obtained thus far Martin is able to write the phrase "gone swimming x" completely in pebbles for Naomi to discover.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Monday, 13 February 2012

Pain au Thé

Oh dear... how long has that been there?...
"Look what I found at the back of the cupboard" I've just found a Christmas Pudding (please do not ask me to look at the use by date). Sadly not only had it almost completely dried out but Richard doesn't even like Christmas Pudding. Problem is I don't want to throw it away; I might get called Scrooge or the bin man might shout  "You've killed Christmas" when he finds it in the wheelie bin. So I took a risk and made this cake. Risks are good, and this risk tastes particularly super spread with butter.

Store Cupboard Tea Bread
300g of Christmas Pudding (roughly crumbled into small chunks)
100g of other mixed dried fruits and nuts (use whatever you have - sultanas, almonds, apricots, goji berries from an abandoned graze box)
200ml of strong black tea
125g of sugar
1 egg
125g of plain flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

Leave the mashed up Christmas pudding and mixed fruit to soak in the tea for a few hours or overnight.
When you're ready to bake the tea bread preheat the oven to 160°C. 
Grease a 25cm x 11cm loaf tin and line the base with a piece of greaseproof paper.
In a small bowl whisk the sugar and egg together until well combined and then fold through the soaked fruit. Sift in the flour, baking powder and spices into the mixture and fold everything together and then pour it all into the loaf tin and bake for about an hour and a half. After the first 30 minutes cover it with tin foil and continue baking. Serve cold, sliced spread with butter. 


At the back of the fridge...

"What do you mean 'there's nothing in the fridge'?"
For a surprisingly scrummy lunch take 1 tortilla/wrap/flat bread thingy, spread with Greek Yoghurt (or white sauce) and then top with whatever sliced veggies you like. Mushrooms, leeks, onions, spinach, peas all work well. Add some fresh herbssalt & pepper, grated cheese and a little ground nutmeg. If you've got any cooked or cured meat dice that up and sprinkle that over too.
Pop in the oven until the cheese has melted and the 'pizza' starts to get a little singed at the edges. 

I made the one in the picture with a leek which was going a bit bendy, mushrooms which were getting rather wrinkly and a stub of old cheese which wasn't much use for anything else and honestly it was bloody good. The nutmeg brings the white sauce-onion-cheese combo together and really reminds me of Flammkuchen which is served at festivals and street parties in Germany.