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

Thursday, 22 March 2012

My brother phoned earlier this week and said he had just seen my milkshake book on sale in the shop opposite his flat in Brooklyn.  That's impossible I say - its not out for another month yet.  But then I checked on Amazon and he was right - it is out a month early!  What an unexpected treat.  So here it is - my new milkshake book.  This was such a lovely project to work on - how could anyone not like drinking loads of milkshakes!  Here are a few of my favourite pictures - don't you just adore the watermelon "telephone" on the recipe page and these are my mini milk milkshakes served in old style school milk bottles.  Too cute for words!  

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

 Yay - my popcorn book is on sale now!  It was featured a few weeks ago in the Washington Post Express magazine in an article on popcorn to eat for the Oscars with a couple of my recipes - click here if you want to read the full article on their website.  I was also made to do a popcorn video by my publishers to promote the book.  Eeek!  Have not dared to watch it back but if anyone you want a peek at my making popcorn in my kitchen - here it is!!!  Try not to laugh too much                                          

Monday, 19 March 2012

It was my Step Mum's birthday at the weekend and this is the cake I baked for her - billowing roses (including some unusual  orange and yellow stripped ones), pink tuile fabric and pretty pink beads and ribbons.  I finally got the chance to use the copper food colouring with my airbrush kit and it looked quite fine indeed!  It is the second cake in a week that I have made that looks a bit "hat" like! I am wondering if that might perhaps be a future topic.  Actually my next book - I am sure you will be pleased to here - is Cheesecakes - 60 recipes!  My word - what a lot of cheesecake.  I have done 8 recipes - 52 to go.  Anyway Happy Birthday Liz - hope you had a lovely day xxx

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

 Here are the latest pictures of my beautiful niece Hunter - isn't she a peach!  What a happy smiley baby.  I can't wait to meet her soon xxx

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Three translations of my gluten free book have arrived - if I had to guess I think they are Italian, Dutch and Swedish (or Norwegian).  Linguistic blog readers - feel free to correct me!  Very cool to see my recipes in words I can't even read!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

 I have two new books out at the moment - this is the first which has been published by Cico.  Technically speaking it is not "my" book as I only wrote the cake pop chapter but I am proud of my contribution all the same.  It is such a cute book and has lots of other recipes by people I admire such as Annie Rigg and Suzannah Blake so my little recipes are honoured to be in such esteemed company.  Below are a few pictures of some of the pops - aliens and sheep - the sheep are my favourite!   The book is very child friendly and has great step by step methods with illustrations and also uber cute cartoons - don't you just love the sheep with the mixing bowl!!!!  It is available to buy on Amazon and in good book shops - click here for a link

Monday, 5 March 2012

I have a lovely afternoon on Saturday baking this cake for my friend Tena's birthday - it was such a pretty project to work on and my baking Mojo seems to have returned.  The cake itself was lemon drizzle with lemon curd and vanilla buttercream and it was sprayed pale turquoise with my airbrush kit -  I do love my new toy so much - I even sprayed small sugar flowers the same colour to match and covered the top of the cake with them.  The end result was quite pretty indeed (even if it does look a bit like a large wedding hat!)  Tena loved the cake and I didn't stay long enough to see it being cut (which would have been just too sad) - instead I went and took part in a 2 hour Zumbathon (I must be mad) to raise money for charity.  I think I might have been better off staying to eat cake as I am very stiff today!  Hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Given my Dad's recently interest in stain glass windows after our birthday present to him, we decided to take a slight detour on the way back to Hamburg to visit the Minster at Bad Doberan - just breath takingly beautiful and so very old -  I think it was built in the 1300's.  The swan sculpture outside the entrance, may have eluded to the potential inside the building but I don't think anything prepared us for the sheet beauty of the glass and ceiling paintings.  Hopefully the pictures of the glass will be a nice inspiration for my Dad who may, if I ask nicely, one day make me a little piece of stained glass for my cottage!  If you ever find yourself on the North German coast - not too far from Rostock -  I definitely recommend a visit to this very special and beautiful place.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The positive when life deals you a bit of a rough patch is that it makes you realise how lucky you are have lovely friends and family to pick you up and dust you down.  The last few months have not been particularly good ones (as you may have gathered from the complete lack of blog posting on any form of regular basis - so sorry to all your lovely blog readers).  I have however just returned from a wonderful trip to Germany with my lovely friend Maren who took me for a rest and some much needed TLC at the most amazing spa I have ever stayed in (actually I have stayed there once before so a return trip makes me doubly lucky!)  There was something about swimming in a mother of pearl lined pool and luxuriating in the 35 degree whirlpool bath that made problems just melt away and I am feeling soooo much better.  There were many highlights of the trip but my buttermilk pancake breakfast was the best bit (not a brilliant photo as I was trying to be discrete in such a posh dining room) - so light and fluffy and I so wished that they would have given me the recipe (sadly not an option!).  My room had a perfect view over the sea with a desk at the window and if I ever needed somewhere to sit and write a novel, this would be the place!  Thank you Maren for a lovely weekend - I am now ready to get back to blogging again!