« Previous | Main | Next »

A recipe for success

Post categories:

Jennifer | 14:11 UK time, Friday, 27 January 2012

Hi everyone,

Just a short-ish blog from me ahead of the weekend, I'll have more for you next week.

I hope that this weekend will live up to the last. On Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in a project that my friend Lucy has undertaken as one of her New Year's Resolutions. I say lucky, because this project is all about one of my favourite subjects: food.

Lucy has decided to take on the enormous task of cooking every single recipe in one of her cookery books. As someone who has a lot of celebrity chef cookbooks on my kitchen shelf, I know how rarely I actually get around to cooking any of the recipes from there, let alone ALL of them! It's a mammoth task.

Every week she is inviting different friends to dinner so that she can tick off some more recipes, so last weekend it was my turn to sample her culinary delights!

As part of her three course meal, Lucy served avocado with prawns and a cool tomato salsa; coq au Riesling (which had been made with an entire bottle of wine!); and a deliciously rich white chocolate mousse. She even decorated it with little spoons to look like oars, as she knows how much I love rowing! I wolfed it down.

A white chocolate mousse

Lucy's delicious white chocolate mousse!

Lucy has now cooked 51 recipes from her book and has 194 to go. Hopefully that means that I'll get another invite somewhere along the line to come and try some more of her delicious cooking!

Reading Xiaowei's blog, it looks like she's a pretty good cook too - those dumplings look mouthwatering!


Once again, Xiaowei's language is very clear, descriptive and funny! I laughed at the line: "Maybe the lions just feel too chilly to dance there." I don't blame them!

I've just picked out one sentence where the context of the words you use doesn't really fit what you're describing:

"However this was often the most boisterous moment in the street: dozens of younger families like us mushroomed outside to get a taxi home (until 15 years ago private cars were not spread yet taxi were quite affordable in my city)."

In English, the word "boisterous" is often used to describe people - you often hear people complaining that their children are being too boisterous. I think instead you could use the word "lively" here, and so the sentence would read:

"However this was often the liveliest moment in the street."

The word "mushroomed" is a great word to use, but perhaps not here. It means something which grows in number very quickly - think of mushrooms growing in a forest and how quickly they sprout up. Instead you could use the phrase "piled out into" (which has the sense of many people gathering and pushing), or even the word "rushed", which would give more of a sense of urgency.

Finally, the word "widespread" should be used instead of "spread".

I look forward to your last week of blogging!


Here are the answers from the last piece of homework:

My sister Wendy moved house at the weekend, so all of the family had to come and pitch in. She had lots of boxes which were jam-packed with books and ornaments - they were really heavy! I was really tired after a late night on Friday, but lifting boxes early in the morning really blows the cobwebs away! She couldn't manage on her own, so having the family around to help was a real necessity. After we moved everything to the new house, I was surprised at how quickly Wendy unpacked and had the place looking fantastic - she's got a keen eye for interior design!

Well done to everyone who got it right, especially those of you who have tried to use these words in your comments. There'll be more homework next week.

Have a great weekend everybody, and let me know if you eat anything tasty...


mammoth task - big job
culinary delights - delicious food
wolfed it down - ate something very quickly
mouthwatering - delicious looking


  • Comment number 1.

    hi Jennifer I am new to the bbc, I also have really interesting stories so how can i blog my stories? thank you

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Jennifer,

    Today's post sounds tasty. I cannot wait to tell you that I love to eat and find special menus to cook. I prefer Thai ingredients, herbs, and seasonings that make me mouthwatering at all time. Boiling and grilling are my favorite methods for cooking because of convenient preparation and easy to eat. The example of boiling is Tom Yum Kung that is filled with a variety of tastes such as sour and sweet. The ingredients comprise of shrimps and other Thai herbs especially coconut milk. More interestingly, another menu is Tom Ka Kai that is highly recommended as well. It is composted of various Thai herbs, seasonings and chicken. Both menus are going to serve with a dish of hot Justmin rice. You can taste all of these menus whether they are your favourite dishes or not. It is worth trying indeed. By the way, I do not want to explicate about grill menus since it is normally cooking similar to other nation receipts. Finally, I do love your cooking style and the way of adorning food which is so creative. I really want to tast, but let 's me get absorb in your food picture first. Sometimes, I try to cook western food as well, but it is hard to find ingredients here in Thailand. Anyway, I have to go now. Bye Bye. see you around.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Jennifer,

    Thank you for this fascinating post. I enjoyed reading it and was enormously attracted to the white chocolate mousse. Hmmm....smells sweet. Fabulous food like this would never fail to please people.

    I am a housewife. Making foods for family has been my full time job for a long time. And yet, I am still struggling to think of the menus of three meals for a day. What the problem is that those all creativities which I think I had when my children were young has disappeared as they became grown ups and left home for their own lives. Sorry to my husband though....^^ Things that simple and taking less time are what I'd like most to cook these days. But your post of today made me to think of my limited culinary skills. I have to unfold one of my cookbooks and try to one of them for today.

    Anyway, you are lucky as you have a like-minded friend and participate in the project which is one of your favorites.

    I will look forward to your next blog.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for your as usual informative suggestions on improving English. I am sure all the readers here get benefited from your inputs. By the way, I was thinking of your friend who cooks delicious food and invites one of her friend every week. This sounds very interesting. I can't wait to hear what she cooks next.


  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Jennifer,

    Send to Lucy my best wishes for the left recipees. She is very courageous. I appreciate watching all entertainments on TV showing people preparing meal. Sometimes, I am surprised on how then can mix ingredients and make delicious foods for theire guest. I thought I could be inspired, but till now, nothing has happened.



  • Comment number 6.

    I love eat, but I dislike cook and write about food (it increases my appetite). My friends joke that it's better dress me than feed me, because I eat a lot. If you know it will you invite me?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.