Summer loving (and Autumn coming soon too!)

Well …. where do I start. I thought I would be blogging to my heart’s content but, somehow, the time has flown by and I have been busy making cakes and producing buffet food for some lovely people so haven’t been here for a while!

Birthday cakes, in particular, are flying out of the door. All very different; chocolate, vanilla, carrot, multi-coloured – yes, multi-coloured – check out the Rainbow cake for a very special birthday boy on Facebook. Brilliant fun to make and very exciting to be experimenting with colours.

I really enjoy producing food for lots of people, so particularly like doing parties. Themed parties are always a bit of a challenge, but researching and preparing food to bring back memories of a certain era or tastes we may have forgotten is all part of the service. I also enjoy gathering accessories to bring everything together, for example the vintage cups for the trifles made for the 1950s dance. There’s so much out there and all very readily accessible, and the little touches can really make the event that little more special.

Retro trifles for Cheek2Cheek's 50s do!
Retro trifles for Cheek2Cheek’s 50s do!

Most of all, I’ve enjoyed the seasonal produce which has flooded my kitchen. I’m lucky enough to have my own supplier – aka dad – whose garden overflows with goodies throughout the late Spring, Summer and through to Autumn. Marrows, tomatoes, beetroot, beans, and more, all organically grown and abundant, and perfect for vegetarian dishes. Usually I hate the term ‘vegetarian food’ as it can put dedicated meat-eaters off. But Italian cooking encompasses a vast array of dishes which are vegetarian, tasty and have guests coming back for more. Take, for example, melenzana or zucchini parmigiana; aubergines or courgette, sliced, battered and layered with luscious tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan, then baked until the mozzarella oozes. In effect, a vegetable lasagne! So tasty and equally good cold – in a sandwich with thick bread and plenty of butter! Tomatoes are now in abundance and beautiful when ripe, chopped up and mixed with day old (good) bread, salt, olive oil and oregano. Spruce up with feta cheese, olives and cucumber for a lovely summer lunch. So simple, so tasty.

If you have a favourite summer or autumn recipe I’d love to read about them, drop them on my Facebook or Pinterest pages!