Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Monday, 31 October 2011

I cannot believe how beautiful the autumn colours are this year - perhaps they are always this beautiful and I never noticed it before. Driving around the countryside this weekend it was such a breathtaking to see the orange, yellow and red hues on every tree. I was spoilt on Saturday as my lovely Mum treated me to afternoon tea at one of my favourite teashops - Teapots in Olney. What a feast with had with sandwichies, cakes, macaroons, scones and fresh berries and cream - and of course lots of tea to wash it all down with. What a treat!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Our village is holding a children's halloween party tonight and as I have finished all my books (hurrah!) I had time yesterday evening to make a halloween cake for them - well a halloween gingerbread house to be precise. I used a pattern from the internet and had not realised quite how large the house was going to be when assembled - it is certainly a monster house! I put lights inside and used halloween cupcake wrappers to make little fences around the edge of the board. All very cute. When Sacha came home from work last night, I was busy tiling the roof with Golden Graham ceraeal - I think he thought I was slightly crazy but I was having so much fun!!!! Happy Halloween everyone

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

In addition to working on my lovely doughnut book I have also been working in the last few weeks on a fab children's book which is being published by Cico Kidz next year (our in Spring and available to pre-order on Amazon now - click here for a link). It is a joint book by several authors and I have done the cake pop chapter. So much fun and I am so pleased with the pictures of the pops that came through yesterday! You will have to wait a while to see all of them (the sheep pops are my absolute favourite all time picture from all of my books!) but in the meantime here is a sneak peak at the goldfish pop - complete with fish tank setting! Thanks Cico for the lovely opportunity to work on this super cute book! So thats book 10 now - when John and Gregg said Masterchef would change my life, they had no idea how much!!!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

I am in the final stages of my doughnut book - only 5 recipes left to go - hurrah - it will be so nice to get it finished! My favourite recipe so far has been the doughnut croquembouche - sneak peak of my home photos of it (not how it will look in the book I assure you!!!) - but I am quite pleased with it! It would make an unusual wedding cake or birthday cake, don't you think?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

This is the sampler I stitched on holiday - Lizzie Kate's Halloween ABC. It was such a fun project to stitch. I loved the little owl and pumpkin in the middle the best! I impressed myself by how fast I stitched - just goes to show what you can achieve if there is bad weather and very little else to do!

Monday, 10 October 2011

I am just back from a lovely week's holiday staying in a cottage at the very southern tip of Scotland on the Rhins Peninsula. I can safely say that the weather was dreadful - it rained every single day and was very stormy (see photos below for evidence)! That said, the bad weather meant that we had no choice but to stay in our lovely cottage and watch DVDs, sew and cook yummy suppers. We managed to watch all 6 Starwars films (I am slightly ashamed to admit this) and I stitched a whole Halloween sampler (picture to follow - it is very cute).