scottish shortbread

National Shortbread Day

I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth but I can never resist a good homebaked shortbread. So much better than shop bought and so incredibly easy to make. The moreish nature of the Scottish biscuit is achieved through a mix of three parts flour, two parts butter and one part sugar. How simple is that? To celebrate National Shortbread Day let’s take a look at one of the nation’s favourite sweet treats, starting from the very beginning. 

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business writing by hand

Three ways to improve your business writing

You love what you do. At some point, you took the final step into self-employment.  Your work is your passion and you love sharing it with others. Working for yourself is easy right?

Not quite. We both know that running a small business is bloody hard. We might be good at what we do, but we don’t always have the skills to handle technology issues, complete admin tasks and market the business in the way it deserves.

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writing podcasts

Three great podcasts to improve your writing in 2018

I am an obsessive book owner. Cookery books, writing books, marketing books – the collection outgrew our home years ago and is now slowly taking over the office. As a food writer and small business owner, I am constantly on a journey to increase my knowledge and improve the service that I offer my clients.

As much as I love the printed word, there are some fantastic development tools available online. From professional blogs to a downloadable pdf, the opportunities for learning are limitless. For me, 2017 was the year of the podcast. I love the flexibility of listening as and when it suits me, they certainly make the washing up a more interesting task!

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Alpine cheese recipe

An autumn dish with Summerfields Alpine from Botton Creamery.

Long-term followers of my work will know that my love of words started with a devotion to food. Occasionally I get to combine the two again. This is one of those times – an invite to enter the Love Cheese Challenge with a unique cheese recipe. A box loaded with delicious cheese was hand delivered to my office at The Natural Entrepreneurs Workspace. Let me tell you, not much work was achieved that day.

All three of the cheeses for the Love Cheese cookery challenge are fine examples of the quality on offer from British producers. However, my particular favourite is definitely the Summerfields Alpine from Botton Creamery.

Bursting with deep, nutty flavours this Comte-like cheese immediately inspires thoughts of woody thyme, hazelnuts and sharp apples. It reminds me of a previous recipe from my food history blog – a pumpkin and apple pie baked in 1685 by ‘Accomplished Cook’ Robert May. This 17th-century pumpkin pie combined winter squash, sharp apples, thyme and nuts to make a savoury version of the dish we know today.

So with those component parts in mind, here is my vegetarian cheese recipe using Summerfields Alpine.

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blogging for business

Should you be blogging? Why the answer might be no.

As a copywriter who helps business owners to write blogs, you might be surprised to hear me say that not everyone needs a blog section on their website. In fact, it’s a conversation that I have with almost all of my new blogging clients. These are some of the most common responses that I hear when I ask,  “why do you need a blog for your business?”

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Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby…

Oh, I’m sorry. This is a business site. I forgot the rules there for a second. So, no sex. How about religion?

No?

Politics then.

No politics either?

It can be tough as a business owner, when the world tries to force you into following a set of rules. Many people will advise you to take the safe route. Don’t express a strong opinion, you might alienate a potential customer. But passion can be strong, staying quiet frustrating. 

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Fundraising Event for Childrens Cancer Charity

Every Wednesday morning I attend a breakfast meeting at The Novotel in York. It is a referral based networking group, one of the more formal forms of networking that I engage with.

That doesn’t mean we’re not able to have fun though. This weekend the group are holding a family friendly music festival at The Red Lion, Upper Poppleton. Visitors will discover great live music from local headline bands; entertainment for the children, beer and food. 

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