Food & Drink

Good food has always been a passion of mine, a love that (as you’d expect) has only grown since we moved to France. There are so many great ingredients on offer in our little corner of the Limousin and the choice of cheeses alone is enough to have me heading for the kitchen!

But my passion for food started long ago. I have so many fond memories from childhood of cooking and baking, but in my early 20s, I never seemed to find the time to cook. For a while, I drifted away from the kitchen and it was then I knew something had to change…

Cook with Jamie

Cook with Jamie

In 2012 I set out to rediscover my love of cooking, embarking on a year of exploring new recipes and dishes. I set myself the challenge of cooking a different recipe (picked at random) from the book Jamie Oliver’s Cook With Jamie each week.

It was part of a much bigger challenge that I called Eats, Shoots and Reads, which also saw me taking daily photographs and reading a new book every month. It was a great year, which involved cooking so many different recipes (and read a lot more than I normally do!). Some dishes turned out great and others… not so much. But it got me back into the kitchen and I learned so many new techniques!

Find out more about my challenge at Eats, Shoots & Reads.

Zeenees Cakes

Zeenees Cakes

In the years after my challenge I cooked more and more, but it was baking that was my real passion. Whenever I got a new cookery book it was always the cakes, pastries, desserts and sweets that captured my imagination.

I started baking cakes for friends and family and found I loved the design and craftsmanship involved. My bakes became more elaborate, experimenting with different fillings, fondant decorations and sugarcraft.

In 2015 I turned my hobby into a part-time business and started my own wedding and celebration cake company called Zeenees. I still run Zeenees from our kitchen in France today and I love the variety of working on a website one day and then baking a 4 tiered wedding cake the next!

To see some of my favourite bakes, check out the Zeenees gallery.

What Next?

I’m really enjoying cooking with a whole new set of ingredients since we moved to France. At the moment that just means making increasingly elaborate meals for my husband and creating new flavour combinations for Zeenees. But I’m sure that there are new food adventures just around the corner.

Since relocating to France we’ve started growing a lot of our own fruit and vegetables and I love being more self-sufficient. There’s a huge satisfaction from eating your own produce and there’s so much you can grow at home. I have no doubt that before long I’ll be experimenting with jams and chutneys and other preserves to make sure nothing goes to waste.

So who knows, perhaps my next big food adventure will be along those line… or failing that maybe I should get into home brewing!