Monday, November 10, 2014


Now that I'm a little more settled I've finally found some time to get down to some baking, something I've really missed doing while being at university.  I had a good think and realised that I'd never actually baked a lemon drizzle cake before, so I decided it was high time I gave one a go.

The lemon drizzle cake
I wanted to keep things relatively simple so I used Mary Berry's all-in-one method.  As you could possibly guess from the title of this post, I'm a massive Bake Off fan and I especially love Mary Berry.  Her recipes are simple and reliable, perfect for home cooking as you know if you follow the recipe it will turn out exactly as you expect.

The ingredients
For this lemon drizzle cake you simply add the self-raising flour, softened butter, caster sugar, eggs, baking powder, milk and grated lemon rind to a bowl, then mix until you have a smooth batter.  Pre-heat the oven, grease a baking tray and bake the tray bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until it is brown and risen.

The finished product
For the glaze you just need to mix lemon juice with granulated sugar and drizzle over the cake while it's still warm.  Cut into squares and enjoy with a nice cup of coffee (I acquired this habit while in Germany where 'Kaffee und Kuchen' - coffee and cake - is very popular).

Well-risen, a nice crumb and not a soggy bottom in sight!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween Fondue

You're probably wondering what makes this fondue particular to Halloween.  Well, rather than using a fondue set or a bowl I decided to use a pumpkin!  Not only does this dish look really cool, it tastes awesome too!

The ingredients
The pumpkin
Once you've carved a lid off the pumpkin and scooped out the centre, put the lid back on, place the pumpkin on a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven.  As my pumpkin was reasonably large it needed 1 and 1/2 hours in the oven, but baking times will vary.

While the pumpkin baked I peeled and chopped up the potatoes, par-boiled them for twenty minutes and heated some olive oil in a roasting tin in the oven.  When the pumpkin had fifteen minutes left I put the roast potatoes into the bottom of the oven.  I then turned them and transferred them to the top of the oven when I removed the pumpkin.

The potatoesIf, like mine, liquid has gathered in the bottom of your pumpkin scoop as much out as you can before adding the cheese and creme fraiche. I used cheddar, emmental and comte (but gruyere would work too).  I also added a crushed clove of garlic and a finely chopped shallot.  I also recommend adding a couple of tablespoons of white wine to give it a little something extra.  I used a white Rioja but most dry white wines would work well.

Return the pumpkin to the oven and bake it for another 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.  Remove the pumpkin and the potatoes from the oven, season the cheese, grab some slices of some nice crusty bread and dig in!

The fondue

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

One Year On

I know it's been a while but I'm still here and still cooking!  The last month has been a little hectic and I just haven't found the time to write a post.  I guess I'm writing this post to update you and give you a snapshot of my life at the moment.  At the moment I'm sitting in my living room overlooking Southampton water, a beautiful view except for the odd passing container ship.

I can't quite believe that my blog is now a year old, the time has gone so quickly and so much has happened.  I've not only graduated but in the last month I've got a job, moved to Southampton and started work.  I'm still moving around a bit, but hopefully I'll have sorted out a more permanent home by Christmas.

Now that I'm no longer in Cambridge I debated whether to change the name of my blog, but after much consideration I've decided to keep it.  For one thing 'Little Southampton Kitchen' doesn't have quite the same ring to it! For another, by keeping the same name it will always remind me of where I started.  Since I now have the luxury of an oven, a grill and more than one hob I'm going to start attempting some more adventurous recipes which I couldn't really have made before and where possible I'll suggest simplifications.

In the last month I have become a huge fan of 'Jamie's 15 Minute Meals' as they are perfect weeknight meals.  I generally get home between 7 and 8 and the last thing I want to do is spend ages cooking, so these meals are perfect as they really are super quick (if not quite manageable in 15 minutes).  They normally take between 15 minutes and half an hour to prepare (especially the first time you try a recipe), but they are simple to follow and you end up with delicious and healthy food.

My only criticism would be that the portions are a little on the small side (especially as my job is quite active and the days are long), so if you're cooking for 4 as the recipes suggest you may want to bulk up the portions with a little extra pasta if you can.  I tend to cook the full amount, which tends to make 2 good portions for our evening meal and leaves enough for a couple of smaller lunches to take to work later in the week.

I've tried quite a variety of the recipes from this book, so the photos below are just a snapshot of the meals I've prepared over the last few weeks.

Prawn Linguine
This is a great dish, seriously simple, yet delicious.  I especially love the use of saffron and cinnamon in the seasoning.

British Burgers with salad pickles "and things"

I love Jamie's burgers so much I've made them twice!  The burgers themselves are so simple to make and taste heaps better than anything you can buy pre-made in a supermarket.
The "and things" refer to the tomatoes, pickles and yoghurt dressing.  Having spent a year in Germany I am a massive fan of pickles, so any recipe that includes them is a winner with me!  As for the yoghurt and Worcestershire sauce, it makes a lovely change from the usual ketchup or mayo.
Next up is a chicken caesar salad.  This is possibly my favourite style of salad and I love making the dressing myself as it is always tastier than the ready-made sauces you can buy.  I didn't stick to the recipe on this one as I had some bits and pieces to use up but it actually worked out quite well.  I thoroughly recommend the addition of some roasted red peppers to the salad.

Chicken Caesar Salad
The final dish I've got to show you is the falafel wraps with grilled veg and salsa.  People often think that vegetarian cooking is boring or not filling enough, this recipe proves them wrong.  It's super tasty, really filling and there's no meat in sight!  While Jamie says the pickled red cabbage is optional I would highly recommend getting hold of some as it really is the perfect thing to top off this excellent dish.

Falafel Wraps, Grilled Veg and Salsa

To top it all off - pickled red cabbage!
I think this post has pretty much summed up my life at the moment.  I'll try and write another post soon but I'm not making any promises.  I really want to get back into baking, something I haven't done nearly enough of recently.  I've got a few Halloween-themed ideas but any suggestions from you guys are very welcome.  Keep an eye out for my next post, until then Tschüss!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My favourite thing - Sunday roast

If you were to ask me what my absolute favourite meal was I would have to answer, roast lamb, with crispy roast potatoes, gravy and a pile of vegetables.  As I will soon be leaving home I am using my last few weeks here as a chance to learn some more useful skills from my mum and, of course, this includes cooking a roast dinner from scratch.

I chose to roast a leg of lamb as it's one of my favourite joints of meat.  The first thing you have to do is prepare the meat, cut away any excess fat and gristle from the edges of the meat.  Then score the meat, season with salt and pepper and stuff the slits with sprigs of fresh rosemary.  By wedging the rosemary into the slits the meat will take on its great taste, something which is often lost if you just sprinkle it on top.

The prepared lamb
Roasting times will vary depending on the size of the joint and you will need to allow some extra time if you aren't keen on eating your meat rare.  While the lamb was in the oven I prepared the vegetables.  I chopped up the potatoes into quarters before parboiling them for ten minutes.  I then roasted them in lard on the highest shelf in the oven for 55 minutes.  I also boiled some carrots, beans and broccoli.

Prepare the veg
When it came time to check the lamb I stuck a long skewer into the centre and removed it to check the colour of the juices.  They shouldn't be too bloody, but if you don't like your meat rare/pink then you should make sure they run clear.  Once I was happy with the way the lamb was cooked I removed it from the oven, covered it with tin foil and left it to relax for about fifteen minutes.

The roasted lamb
To make sure your potatoes roast nicely you'll need to remove them from the oven halfway through cooking and use a spoon to turn them over so that they crisp up on both sides.

Nothing beats crispy roast potatoes
While the meat is relaxing you should have enough time to make some gravy.  I made a red wine gravy which was really tasty and made a nice change from your everyday gravy.  Use equal amounts of butter and plain flour to make a roux - melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat then vigorously mix in the flour until you have a smooth paste.  Very gradually add some stock, stirring constantly to prevent the gravy from going lumpy until you have enough.  I then added some red wine, some of the meat juices from the roasting tin and seasoning to taste and left it to simmer for ten minutes or so in order to let it reduce and thicken.  Stir occasionally to stop it from forming a skin or sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Once the veg is ready all that's left to do is carve the meat and serve!

Heaven on a plate
A roast dinner may seem like a lot of effort, but with planning and practice it really isn't as hard as you think.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Foodie Film Friday - The Hundred-Foot Journey

This week's foodie film Friday is actually about a film I went to see only last week and is still on in cinemas.  After seeing a trailer for 'The Hundred-Foot Journey' I decided that it was definitely a film for me.  Just a warning that this review does contain some spoilers.

While it is a very enjoyable film, featuring some great food, I wouldn't go with high expectations as it is fundamentally a romance film with a rather predictable plot.

The Hundred-Foot Journey - film cover

The film is based on an Indian family who set up a typical indian restaurant in a provincial French town right opposite a Michelin-starred restaurant.  This leads to some fierce competition and a Romeo and Juliet-esque relationship.  The cliché romance and poor French accents aside, I really loved this film for the food, from the sea urchins at the Indian market in the initial scene to the French markets later on, with their stalls piled high with fish and mushrooms, including my personal favourite - chanterelles.

My favourite scene in this film has to be the one in which Hassan and Madame Mallory make an omelette with an Indian twist.  I love how something as simple as an omelette can be made into a tasty delight by adding a few carefully selected ingredients.  It's one of my go-to dishes when I'm hungry and want something quick to make and is a great way of using up leftovers.

You should definitely eat before going to see this film, as even on a full stomach you will find some of the scenes make your mouth water.  It's a shame about the predictability of the storyline, but what the film lacks in plot it more than makes up for in food and beautiful scenery.

I would give this film an overall rating of 3/5 - it was a lovely, light-hearted film
As for how serious the film was I'd give it a 3/5 (where 1 is serious and 5 is lighthearted) - although it was fundamentally a rom com there were some more serious elements highlighting the importance of keeping in touch with reality and your roots, an important message in my opinion.
This film scores a 3/5 for food content as it features a lot, but is not always the main focus of the film.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Truly Scrumptious

Just because I haven't been blogging much recently does not mean I haven't been cooking!  Yesterday was no exception.  I decided to do a spot of baking and finally got round to making macaroons, something which I have been wanting to try for ages.

My first macaroons
Having never made macaroons before I decided to keep it relatively simple, choosing this recipe for chocolate and raspberry flavoured ones.  In general it was easy to follow, however it was a little tricky in places as, this being my first attempt, I was not sure how thick the almond and sugar paste should be, nor what a macaroon looked like when it was ready to come out the oven.  So with a little bit of estimating and educated guessing I produced my first ever batch of macaroons.

I actually weighed out all my ingredients in advance, something which I often don't do, so that I knew I had everything ready to go.  Sieving almonds and icing sugar is easier said than done, although the point is to get rid of any bits of almond which are too large.  I managed not to burn my simple syrup and the meringue looked as it should.

When it comes to food colouring I will have to do a little more reading.  The recipe recommended 1/2 teaspoon of red food colouring which was certainly not enough to produce the bright colours shown in the picture.  A lot more would have been needed to get anywhere near that colour, however I'm not sure what effect that quantity of liquid would have on the mixture.

Folding the meringue into the almond paste was tricky as it took longer than I expected owing to the consistency of the paste (I may have needed to make it a little runnier by adding more egg whites) but it seemed to work out fine.

The meringue and almond paste mixture
Next came the fun part - piping the macaroons!  It is very difficult to pipe a circle just two and a half centimetres in diameter so some of my macaroons ended up being a little larger than planned but I don't think it mattered, I just made slightly fewer than the recipe suggested.

Before baking
They need to be left for half an hour so that a skin forms on the macaroons before they are baked in the oven for 14 minutes.  After taking them out I would definitely recommend leaving them to cool before using a knife to scrape them off the tray as hopefully they will crumble less.

Fresh out the oven
In the meantime I set about making a ganache.  Now, for my birthday I was going to post about a lovely cake I made with a ganache coating, but my ganache failed not once, but twice and while delicious it was not blog-worthy, so that was the end of that idea.  Fortunately I was able to produce a lovely ganache yesterday simply by using a chocolate with a lower cocoa content.  Previously I had used Lindt 80% dark chocolate which hadn't melted properly and caused the ganache to split and go lumpy.  This time I used Sainsbury's 53% dark baking chocolate and the ganache turned out perfectly!

The ganache
I needed less ganache and more jam than the recipe called for but that really wasn't a problem.  I got the piping bag out again and piped generous amounts of ganache around the edge of the macaroons and went back filling in the centres with raspberry jam.  If you want your macaroons to have a stronger taste then I would recommend adding some flavouring along with your food colouring, although not too much as you do still want to be able to taste the almonds.

Pipe a ring of ganache
Fill with jam
All that was left to do was sandwich the macaroons together.  I can confirm that macaroons are definitely best enjoyed fresh!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Foodie Film Friday - Ratatouille

Sorry this post is late, it may not be Friday but I hope you enjoy it all the same!

This week I decided to do some cooking to go with my film.  I recently bought Rachel Khoo's second book 'Little French Kitchen' and found that it contained a recipe for a French 'tian', the dish actually featured in Ratatouille which apparently isn't a real ratatouille at all!  For a proper ratatouille you are meant to cook the vegetables separately before combining them, whereas for a tian you arrange the vegetable slices and bake them all at once.  Anyway from the first time I saw this film I fell in love with the dish as it looks divine, so here is my attempt at a 'tian provençal'.

For five people I used an aubergine, a courgette and around 6 plum tomatoes.  I cut them into thin slices using a mandolin and the slicing attachment on the food processor.

Thinly chop the vegetables
The base is made up of three large onions, diced and fried until soft.  You then cover them with a layer of sliced vegetables.

The onion baseCover the onion base with vegetables

All that's left to do is arrange the sliced vegetables on top.  I decided to arrange them in a repeating, circular pattern, as in the recipe.

Arrange the vegetables
Fill in the centre with the remaining sliced vegetables.

Ready for the oven
Then drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle over some salt and bake in the oven for half an hour or so.

The finished tian
Although the preparation for the tian takes some time, I love the simplicity of this dish and I think this really is captured in the film Ratatouille.  The way Remy talks about flavours is great, how you can take two delicious flavours, combine them and turn them into something even better.  It really sums up what cooking is for me, taking ingredients I love and creating something even more wonderful from them.

Aside from the excellent food the characters are loveable too and the plot is not only funny but really captures the imagination.  When you combine Pixar and Disney with food you really do end up with a match made in heaven.

Ratatouille film cover

My overall rating for this film is 4/5 - I really do love this film
I would give this film a 4/5 for seriousness (where 1 is serious and 5 is lighthearted) as it is after all an animated film centering around a rat who can cook.  However, I do love the fundamental message of the film which is that anyone can cook.
Since food features a lot in this film, from soups to omelettes and of course, the title dish, ratatouille, I am going to give this film a 4/5 on the foodie front.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The first post in forever feat. scotch eggs

I know I said I'd try and schedule some posts but (clearly) that didn't work out!  Anyway, I'm back off my travels (for now) and have found some time to write a post.  I've been wanting to try making scotch eggs for a while now and being back home in a proper kitchen seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Scotch eggs
They were actually remarkably simple to make!  I followed the Baker Brothers' recipe and it worked really well.  While boiling the eggs for around 6 mins I made up the sausage meat to go around the eggs.  I used pork mince, fresh thyme, ground mace and English mustard along with some salt and pepper to season.  Once I'd mixed all that together the eggs were done.  The easiest way to peel them is to place them in a pan of cold water, then once cooled continue to run cold water over them while peeling.

Although they said to use plain breadcrumbs I decided to use some left over from another day which also had some lemon zest and oregano in them and it really did improve the taste of the outer coating.  It's also worth noting that I prefer not to use shop-bought breadcrumbs, instead I like to cut of the crusts of bread and whizz them up in a food processor for a few minutes to make my own, I find that they are less dry and make for a more interesting texture.

Once the breadcrumbs and eggs have been prepared lay out a small square of cling film on your work surface (large enough to wrap round your egg) and divide the mixture up to ensure you use roughly the same amount for each egg.  Spread one portion out over the cling film using the back of a spoon to form an oval shape which is roughly the same thickness all the way across and which will fit round an egg.  Place the egg in the centre and gather up the cling film so that the sausage meat coats the egg.  Remove the cling film and remember you will need to use your hands to mould the sausage meat, cover up any holes which have formed and to form a seal.  Place the coated eggs on a plate and leave them in the fridge to firm up.

Sausage-coated eggs
For the next stage you'll need three plates and a bowl.  Cover one plate in plain flour, one in the breadcrumbs and leave the other free for the finished eggs.  You'll also need to beat a couple of eggs with some milk and place them in a bowl.  Roll the sausage-coated eggs first in flour, then in the egg mix followed by the breadcrumbs before rolling it in the egg and breadcrumbs for a second time.  Place the eggs on the empty plate and then put them back in the fridge to firm up again.

The coated eggs
While the eggs are firming up in the fridge I heated the oil in a deep fat fryer.  I placed the eggs in two at a time for about 1 minute and forty seconds and transferred them to an empty plate after draining.  The eggs will then need to go into a preheated oven for ten minutes or so in order to cook through fully.

The finished eggs - fried and baked
The eggs turned out beautifully, with slightly runny centres and crispy outer coatings.  The eggs are best eaten fresh with a salad but they can be put in the fridge to eat another day.  If cooked just right the centres will still be a little gooey even the following day.  However, I will admit that there is a certain element of luck involved in cooking scotch eggs as you can't see inside.  I advise making an extra egg if you can which you can cut open after it's been in the oven to check the progress of the eggs, if the meat isn't quite cooked through then you can fold it up again and pop all the eggs back in the oven.

A perfectly gooey centre
All in all scotch eggs are definitely worth the effort as when you make them yourself they really do taste a lot better than the ones you can buy in the shops.  I'll update this post when I try them again.  Next time I hope to try a couple of variations on this more traditional recipe, perhaps with a black pudding instead of sausage meat, or falafel for the veggies!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cambridge Smokeworks - review

I'd seen lots of announcements that the Smokeworks was going to open and was delighted that it happened to be while I was briefly back in Cambridge, so on opening night D and I went along to give it a try.

From the outside the Smokeworks looks modern and inviting.  Once inside we were shown downstairs which had a cool industrial feel to it.  With good use of mirrors to make the area feel more spacious and a couple of cute alcoves with seating, the downstairs area was a lovely place to sit and eat.

The exterior of the Smokeworks

The interior of the Smokeworks

And if you don't have time to eat in (although with the speed of the service this really isn't an issue) then almost all of the food is available to take away.

We were quickly seated and presented with a small, yet appetising menu.  With just 12 dishes on the menu to choose from and the promise that anything we ordered would be delivered to the table at the same time it actually took us longer to decide on drinks than food.  Smokeworks has a great range of beer and bourbons to choose from, with milkshakes for those with a sweeter tooth.


D decided to try a 'piston head kustom lager' (a Swedish beer) along with a shot of whiskey, although not being a fan myself I can't remember which one!  I did however try and thoroughly enjoy the beer and would definitely recommend it.

They certainly delivered on their promise of slow cooked food, delivered quickly to your table.  My bbq pork spare ribs and D's smoked pulled pork bun were delivered to our table in under 10 minutes along with the sides of beef dripping mash and herb seasoned fries.  It was all delicious! The smokiness came through nicely, but wasn't overpowering and the meat itself was lovely and juicy.  You also don't have to wait for someone to come round, if you need anything you can simply twist one of the big red switches on the wall to get their attention.  I thought this was a great idea, especially as their seating was divided between the two floors.

bbq pork spare ribs with herb seasoned fries
I also decided to try out their interesting range of condiments. While the BBQ sauce was delicious and the chipotle sauce was good for a bit of spice my favourite by far was the sweet, hot mustard, a great combination which left me wanting more!

The condiments
I should probably add that there is a very tasty sounding vegetarian option on the menu, a halloumi, mushroom, lettuce and tomato bun (as well as the sides of slaw, fries and pickles).

My only criticism was the lack of a side salad option as I felt it would be nice to have something a little greener on the menu.  Otherwise the Smokeworks delivered both on the quality of the food, the speed of the service and the price.  With main dishes ranging from £5 to £14 and the option of a £20 platter at the top end and sides from £2 to £4.50 the meal really was good value for money.  I would highly recommend visiting the Smokeworks as soon as you get the chance!

If you want to find out more about them you can go to their website or follow them on twitter.  You can't book so just pop along to 2 Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3QA if you want to give them a try, they're open from 11:45 - 22:30 from Sunday through to Thursday and 11:45 - 23:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Slow-Cooked Pork

I honestly had every intention of posting more the past couple of weeks than I have.  But with my time at university coming to an end I just wanted to enjoy the time as much as possible, which meant that blogging and other things that I could do from home have been put on a back burner for a while.  Now that I've graduated and moved back home I'm going to write up the posts on the last couple of meals I cooked in my Little Cambridge Kitchen.

This term, to my delight, a slow cooker found its way into my possession.  I therefore began to experiment and have to say I loved it, this slow-cooked, glazed pork was so easy to make!

Slow-cooked, balsamic glazed pork

For two portions you will need:
Around 225g pork loin
1/2 tsp ground sage (rosemary also works well)
salt and pepper for seasoning
a small clove of garlic
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp soy sauce

All you need to do is combine the sage, salt, pepper and garlic and rub it over the pork.  Place the pork in the slow cooker with 1/4 cup water, turn the slow cooker on to low and leave to cook.  I scaled down this recipe and left the pork to cook for a little too long so be careful.  Originally the recipe served 4 and you were told to cook the pork for 6-8 hours, I left it for 5-6 and that was too much.  I would add the glaze after the pork has cooked for 3 hours, check it again after 4 hours and leave it to cook for a little longer if necessary.

While the pork is cooking combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small sauce pan - brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water, soy sauce.  Heat and stir until the mixture thickens.  Brush the pork with the glaze during the last hour of cooking.  If you don't have a brush just do what I did and add the glaze to the slow cooker, then turn the pork every 15 minutes or so to make sure it is coated in the glaze.

Half an hour before the pork is done boil a pan of water and cook some brown rice.  5-10 minutes before the pork is ready steam some vegetables in the microwave.  Once everything is ready, serve and enjoy.

The finished dish
It seems strange that I will no longer be cooking in my little kitchen any more, but while I will miss it I'm excited to be living back at home again where there's an oven and a grill which will give me the chance to try out lots of recipes which I haven't been able to before and get back to some baking which I really miss.

During July I'm going on holiday for a few weeks so I apologise if I am unable to post in that time.  I'm going to try and schedule a few posts but having never tried it before I can't promise it will work, check back every now and then for me to see if it's worked!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Foodie Film Friday - Eat, Pray, Love

I know it's been a long time since the first of my 'Foodie Film Friday' posts but now that exams are over I can get this going properly.  So this week I am reviewing 'Eat Pray Love'.  For those of you who haven't seen it, it is a film about an American woman, Liz, who decides to go travelling in order to get her life back on track after a messy divorce.  She spends a third of a year in Italy - Eat - a third in India - Pray - and a third in Bali - Love.  I realise that this film is not entirely about food but it does feature prominently!

Eat Pray Love film cover

While in Italy Liz (played by Julia Roberts) decides to indulge herself, learning the language and enjoying copious amounts of Italian food.  The part of her journey spent in Italy is my favourite of the three because it is exactly what I like to do when I travel, pick up some of the language, sample the local delicacies and, if possible, get to know some locals to show me some things off the beaten track.

In Italy Liz's experiences range from enjoying the quiet calm of her small apartment as she sits down to a simple meal of asparagus and eggs (something which I am very partial to as you may have noticed, whether it be for  breakfast or brunch), to the hustle and bustle of Naples as she tries an authentic Neapolitan pizza.

Food is also something which brings people together throughout the film.  In Italy not only does she go out to restaurants to enjoy a meal with friends, she also tries to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for them.  You should never underestimate the value of food in helping to forge friendships.  Last year I met many of my closest friends over a beer and we cemented those friendships over food, whether we cooked or baked it together or went out to eat in a local restaurant.  Food is a very personal thing and by sharing the experience of eating it with someone you can really get to know them.  I will forever treasure the memories of our dinners in Bamberg, because even though we came from all over the world and had experiences of lots of different cuisines, cooking, baking and trying new food brought us together.

Eat, Pray, Love book cover

After watching the film (several times!) I finally got round to reading the book last year.  However, rather like with Julie & Julia I was rather disappointed.  I felt that Liz came across as far more self-centred in the book than in the film and not being spiritual myself I found it very hard to empathise with her experiences in the Indian ashram.

So on to my ratings:
Overall I would give this film 3/5 because although I adore the part set in Italy and I have been inspired to travel to Indonesia at some point, I find the part set in India less interesting.
As for how serious this film is (where one is serious and 5 is lighthearted) I would give it  3/5 as it is a fun film but it does make you think.
As food is only featured in one third of the film I will have to give it a 2/5 on the foodie front.