Not At All Authentic Thai Green Curry with Butternut Squash


When I give recipes for Italian, French or British food you can assume that they’re at least somewhat authentic, as I’ve lived in all those countries and have some idea how their food is supposed to taste.

The closest I’ve been to Thailand though, is the Thai takeaway at the top of our road, so I make no claims for the authenticity of this dish.  I can however tell you that it is indescribably delicious and actually fits in pretty well with our recent health kick. If you’re actually Thai though, I suggest you turn away now.

I got that basics for this recipe from our favourite jeweller Abigail Percy via a Facebook conversation but have modified it using my own imagination and the instructions from the green curry paste bottle.


(Enough for 2 greedy people + leftovers)

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium red onion (sliced)

2 cloves garlic (pressed)

1-2 tbsps Thai green curry paste (or to taste)

1 x 14oz can coconut milk (I used low-fat)

1 x handful cherry tomatoes (halved)

1tbsp brown sugar

1tbsp Thai fish sauce (or to taste)

1/2  a butternut squash peeled and chunked (I used nearly half a large squash and roasted the rest to make BNS risotto later this week – you could also use sweet potato/yams or pumpkin)

1/2 pound peeled uncooked prawns/shrimp

Any other vegetables (I added some mange tout – French beans or baby corn would work well)

1 x bag spinach

Big squeeze of lime juice

Chopped spring onions/scallions and coriander/cilantro to garnish



Heat the oil in a wok and then gently saute the onion until soft but still retaining some shape.  Add the garlic and curry paste and swoosh around the wok a bit to release the flavours. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until softened (you may need to turn down the heat for this, so that the curry paste and onions don’t burn).

Add the coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce, bring the broth to the boil and add the butternut squash. Turn down to a simmer (I covered it with a lid) and cook gently until the BNS is softened, about 10 minutes. If you need to add extra liquid you could use chicken stock/broth or water.

When the BNS is cooked through, stir the prawns and the other vegetables (but not the spinach) into the broth. Cover the curry with a thick layer of spinach and top with a generous squeeze of lime. Steam the spinach over the curry for around 3 minutes and then stir it into the sauce.

Garnish with chopped coriander and spring onions.

We ate ours with brown rice (Trader Joe’s does microwaveable pre-cooked brown rice in vacuum packs, which is SO convenient).

And it was incredible.


Wrist Worms

Aren’t these great?  I so need a pair as I get cold sitting at my glass desk (who on earth thought a glass desk would be a good idea?) in winter.  And yes, I should be able to crochet some myself but can’t find a pattern this cute anywhere.




Wrist Worms by Sandra Juto are available here


A New Me

Or a post full of SOMETHING. MUST. BE. DONE.

We’ve talked a bit about weight loss before but this time I’m serious. I’ve had enough of being fat and unfit and I want to embarrass myself into doing something about it by blogging about it.

As of this morning I weigh 172lbs (12stone 3lbs)  which is NOT GOOD for someone who’s only 5ft 1ins tall. In fact, as my Wii Fit never fails to delight in reminding me, I am obese.

Here I am this morning in my work out clothes



I could win the Olympics for yo-yo dieting and have tried every regime under the sun.  Last year I had some success with Weight Watchers, but have managed to put most of that back on again.  In fact I’m currently nearly at my heaviest weight ever.

This time though I don’t want to count points, or calories or carbs or avoid certain foods. I LOVE food (as you’ve probably worked out) and restricting my eating in any meaningful way always ends up in a big fat fail for me.  I also don’t think I eat that badly – we cook a lot at home, so most of our food isn’t processed; I eat plenty of fruit and veg; and I don’t like the taste of soda or really junky foods.  But I do know I eat too much, and have been known to binge if there’s a pot of ice cream in the house.

Over the last month or so though, I’ve been reading a lot about the science and psychology of overeating (particularly white carbohydrate addiction), so this time I’m going to approach things in a slightly different way.

Based on my reading here are my new weight loss rules.

Paola’s 5 Rules of Weight Loss

1. Do a bit of exercise EVERY day

2. Cut right back on/avoid refined white carbohydrates, fats, salt and artificial crap

3. Eat as much fruit & veg as possible

4. Try to eat slowly and meaningfully

5. Cut back on portion size

We’ll be talking a bit more about each of these elements over the next few weeks and what is working/isn’t working  for me and I might refine these rules along the way. On the 6th of each month I will weigh myself and post up photos so you can see any progress.

I know we’ve been here before, but this time I’m really determined to keep going with it. I also have an added incentive.  Last week week I signed up to do a triathlon at Lake Chelan on July 18th 2010. Since at the moment I can barely run, I am rather daunted by this prospect at the moment, but it really is focusing my mind. And hopefully the long deadline means that I will be a completely different person come July.

Wish me luck!

Oh and coincidentally (since I’ve been planning this post/new regime for quite some time now) Megan Not Martha has just written up a long post on how she managed to lose 25lbs this year using a similar regime. We meet up occasionally to knit, and I can testify that she really does look amazing.


Go Fug Your Room – is this right for Elle Deco?

I don’t usually like to use unknown people for ‘Go Fug Your Room’ – it’s generally far more satisfying to diss celebrities and famous designers – but I have to admit this recent photoshoot in Elle Deco UK  of the New York apartment belonging to Leif Sigersen, a Danish set designer, left me rather befuddled and confused.

Sigersen is described as a collector of ‘weathered vintage pieces and quirky accessories’  who has turned his home into a ‘showcase of stunning displays’.

Or has he?


This looks like a particularly squalid student bedsit. 



Since when does a pile of leather sandals piled up on a rusty radiator equal either interior design or a ‘collection’?


Aren’t kitchens meant to be for cooking? And isn’t this all a little unhygienic?


And who does all the dusting?


I think the plants must have died of depression.

So, I can just about get on board with the restrained colour palette and use of texture, though it’s not exactly my cup of tea; and there are probably some very interesting vintage pieces in with all the old junk and I genuinely think the photography (by Ditte Isager) is delicious and redolent with atmosphere.

I could probably be persuaded to classify this as conceptual art if you asked me nicely, but seriously, does it count as interior design and decor? And if it does would Elle Deco like to come and photograph our basement?

Really interested to hear your thoughts.


Back with a BANG – on the cover of Ideal Home!

I bet you’re all chewing your nails with anxiety wondering what has happened to mirrormirror recently given that I’ve hardly mentioned it at all over the last few months. (Actually the way sales have been going I reckon you’ve even forgotten it exists).  I’ve hinted at stuff going on behind the scenes but haven’t been able to tell you the full story until now, when I can REVEAL. EVERYTHING. Aren’t you excited?

As you may know I have been running mirrormirror from Seattle with the help of someone back in the UK, who sends out all the orders, deals with customer and journalist queries and generally keeps the show on the road.

At the beginning of the summer my colleague Diane decided that she could no longer fit mirrormirror into a hectic freelancing schedule which increasingly involved lots of week-long business trips to the US (and who can blame her?) so I was casting around to find someone else.

To be perfectly honest I thought the chances of finding a replacement were slim to non-existent.  Most of my friends back in the UK either don’t have the space or have too many work or other commitments to fit mirrormirror in and I was in no position to interview someone I’d never met before for the role.

A vague and sad plan crystallised, involving me running the shop down over the summer, hoping Diane could manage one last Christmas and then transferring everything to the US in the hopes that we’d get our green cards through quick and I could open in the US early in 2010.  And after struggling so hard to keep the shop going through the Minx’s babyhood and our move to Seattle I bet you can imagine how happy this plan made me feel.

Now, I am not a believer in anything very much, but sometimes the world really does move in mysterious ways.  In August this year I hooked up, through the magic of Facebook, with an old college friend and his wife who we’d lost touch with a bit following our move to Seattle.  And it just transpired that said friends had moved to a big house very close to Cambridge where the mirrormirror stock was living, and my friend’s wife was casting around for something to do now that the youngest of her FOUR kids (yes, she is also crazy) is going to pre-school, and said friend’s wife is one of the nicest, most efficient and well-organised people you could ever meet. And bingo! mirrormirror is BACK.

Which is fortunate as today we just got our best bit of press coverage ever.


The Cut Steel Garland by Atelier LZC is featured prominently on the front cover of December’s Ideal Home magazine (see it on the back of the chair in front)

  and also inside


while the Tree of Life is also featured in the same article