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Sidcup mum's cookery book hitting the shelves after food blog spotted

PUBLISHED: 10:47 21 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:55 21 March 2014

MiMi Aye with baby Thida.

MiMi Aye with baby Thida.

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"I have a child, I have a job and I don't have much time for faffing," says MiMi Aye.

MiMi Aye's cookery book.MiMi Aye's cookery book.

They may not sound like the words of a cookbook writer but for MiMi, over-complicated recipes are strictly off the menu.

Her first book, simply called Noodle! aims to put 100 soups, stir-fries, salads and snacks on the table for even the most inexperienced cook.

“My friend said my recipes are good for people who like to mess about in the kitchen,” she joked.

A year ago, MiMi, 34, would have scarcely believed she would be seeing her name in a bookshop.

Cookery was a hobby fitted around her full-time job as a legal editor and she had just had her first child.

But her food blog, meemalee.com, that she had been writing since 2009 had not gone unnoticed.

She said: “An agent and a publisher approached me on Twitter to ask me if I wanted to write a book and I said yes.

“I was just about to go on maternity leave and I stupidly thought I would have a lot of time.”

MiMi started writing the book at home in Sidcup just after the birth of her daughter Thida last February.

But working around the demands of a baby was not as easy as she hoped.

“It wasn’t even having the time but being able to concentrate through the sleep deprivation,” she said.

Although she couldn’t pick out a single favourite from the book, MiMi said Burmese recipes were close to her heart because of her heritage.

She has lived in Sidcup for most of her life but her parents moved over from Burma just three months before she was born.

Regular visits back to their home city of Yangon brought her into contact with authentic recipes that instilled a permanent love of noodles.

Burmese food was cooked at home and MiMi and her siblings were taught the language and raised as Buddhists.

Although she has returned to legal work, MiMi already has her eyes on her next project.

“My ultimate ideal is to write a Burmese cookery book but at the moment it’s a bit niche,” she said.

For now, she has enough on her plate with one-year-old Thida and a full-time job.

It is also a special year for her and husband Simon Stirrup as they celebrate their 10th anniversary.

Noodle! will be on the shelves in May, launching MiMi into the world of promotions and signings.

She said: “It’s such a weird thing because I’m not Nigella Lawson or Jamie Oliver and this is completely new territory – it’s a bit embarrassing.

“If I just encourage one person to cook that’s good enough for me.”



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