Saturday, 5 December 2015

Paleo-ish Mulled Wine



Christmas is here! As far as I'm concerned, from the 1st of December I can definitely start cooking all things Christmassy. I also become obsessed with Christmas crafts - do you like the snowman bauble I made for my friends? I gave them one each as a little Yuletide gift, and they really liked it. Although what they probably enjoyed more is the fact that I made mulled wine for them! Here's my recipe for it (perfected over the years!).

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Not your typical Spag Bolg!


It's not a very handsome picture is it? Definitely not my best photo... because I was just aching to taste the sauce, and not focusing on photography at all!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Recipe for National Egg Week



Do you like my little egg caddy? I love it, especially when it's full of hen's and duck's eggs, like today. 

Ode to Quinces



Last week, I had a paper bag full of quinces in my kitchen - what a treat! I discovered this magnificent fruit in a nearby farm one crsip Autumn day, about 2 years ago. I bought some because they smelt divine even though I had no idea what to do with them. Since then, I have cooked these beauties many times and I never tire of them.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Pulpetti (meat patties) baked in tomato sauce


Anyone who is familiar with Malta knows that pulpetti (meat or fish patties) are part of the local cuisine. I'm not a huge fan of fish, but I do like a meat patty. This is how my my mum used to cook meat patties - baked in tomato sauce - and they were one of my favourite dishes growing up.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Ideas for Strawberries



This post is a bit late, as strawberries are no longer in season (though you can still get some in supermarkets). At the peak of the season, I managed to get my hands on some lovely strawberries. Plump, red, juicy and sweet - they really did not need anything done to them, but sometimes I felt like adding something to them - sugar is normally a classic, but on a primal diet, that's out of the question, so I came up with a few more ideas.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

My Primal Journey



Hello everyone! It's been a while since I posted a recipe, but I thought I'd check in and let you know what's going on in my kitchen. I started eating primal (that's Paleo + dairy) around mid-April, and I thought that I would share with you what that has meant for me and what the journey's been like. 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Paleo mini quiches


I'm sorry for the lateness of this post. I took some lovely pictures of this recipe, which I have been looking for since last week. I've now conceded that I must have deleted them accidentally, without having saved them onto my computer first... silly me!

I made this recipe because, since turning paleo (I still eat dairy though), breakfast has been a bit difficult. It's surprising how the morning rush tempts you to eat a quick bowl of cereal and get on your way. But cereals are full of two things which I am trying not to eat: grains and refined sugar. Have you ever checked the labels on cereals? They're all full of sugar - yep, even those supposedly healthy bran cereals that taste like cardboard! Somehow, my resolution to get up 10 minutes earlier each day to prepare a healthy breakfast doesn't always work, and yoghurt with seeds and fruit gets boring after a while. So I started making these mini-quiches on Sunday evenings so that my breakfast is ready for the next couple of days. They contain dairy in the form of Parmesan cheese, but if you don't eat dairy, feel free to eliminate it.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Paleo blueberry muffins


One of the hardest things for me about being paleo is the lack of bakery goods. Eliminating grains from one's diet means that traditional bread, cakes, muffins and biscuits are out of the question. Healthwise, this is great. But when you crave a muffin?... 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Paleo mackerel with rhubarb sauce and roast cauliflower



I've been feeling a little bit out of sorts lately, and I know I haven't been eating as well as I should. So I've resolved to eat clean a little bit more. I'm not really a follower of the paleo diet. I'm Mediterranean, and the prospect of the rest of my life without real bread, pasta or pizza somewhat depresses me! Having said that, I see the benefits of a paleo diet, and I have also felt its effects in the past - and it does make me feel full of energy! So, I guess when I eat clean, I loosely follow a lacto-paleo diet. I try to cut out grains, refined sugar , processed foods and most other things that paleo dieters do not eat, but I will not deny myself a good plate of pasta if I happen to be at an Italian restaurant and I feel like it! It's an indulgence, and perhaps an unhealthy one, but extremism is not good in any form.

Anyhow, this was one of our dinners this week: mackerel with rhubarb sauce, roast cauliflower and a salad.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Spaghetti with scallops and chorizo



I've had scallops and bacon, and I love it, but when I saw Nigella Lawson's recipe with scallops and chorizo, I knew I had to try it. Of course, I fiddled with it and this was the result. Here's what I used for about 4 portions:

150g scallops
150g chorizo sausage, sliced into rounds
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter
½ glass of dry white wine
500g spaghetti, cooked
chopped parsley, to garnish

In a frying pan, I dry-fried the chorizo till crisp for about 1 minute on each side. I discarded the oil it released. In another frying pan, I melted the butter and cooked the shallot, then added the scallops. I cooked the scallops briefly on each side until just cooked. Then, on high heat, I added the wine and the cooked chorizo. I let the wine bubble and reduce, then I added the just-cooked and drained spaghetti. Don't drain the spaghetti till absolutely dry or rinse them, otherwise they will not absorb the sauce! Serve garnished with chopped parsley. Bon Appétit!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Soup for this chilly first day of Spring





Spring has truly sprung, as evidenced by these beautiful blossoms on the tree in our garden. However, the weather is still quite chilly, even on this first day of Spring, so today I made some soup.

The name of this soup is Kosksu. You might notice that the name is similar to "couscous", which is probably because the traditional pasta shape used in this soup looks like giant couscous. It's a Maltese soup, so to me, this reminds me of home, and Spring, when broad beans (a central ingredient in this soup) are in season in Malta. Here in the UK, I've had to substitute some of the ingredients as I can't find all of them. Nonetheless, the finished product is often very similar to the original that my mum used to make, and still makes, every Spring.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Risotto with pancetta and roasted butternut squash



 
Last week, I wrote about how to prepare a butternut squash and said I would post a recipe for it. I used that squash in a lovely risotto.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

How to prepare butternut squash

 


Fact 1: I love butternut squash
Fact 2: I hate preparing butternut squash (I normally do it the lazy way and buy frozen chunks!)
Fact 3: I cannot resist a food-related bargain

These three facts recently combined and the result was that I could not resist buying the squash pictured above when it was priced at 45p. It also resulted in this lovely squash lurking in the back of my cupboard for the last three weeks or so. Which is fine - unless it has any blemishes or the skin is pierced, squash can effectively be stored for weeks in a cool, dark place. But this squash was speaking to me now (not really, it's just a figure of speech!). Every time I opened the cupboard, there it was, staring longingly at me and saying "Cook me! Eat me!"

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Welcome... and Chicken Soup

Hello and welcome to my blog! I hope that this will be the start of a regular sharing of my experiments in the kitchen, as well as my thoughts about anything to do with food and cooking.

This year, it's been a cold, dreary and wet February. When the weather is like this, germs abound. Unfortunately, last week both my husband and I were ill with cold and flu symptoms. My energy was low and I was feeling pretty rough. Even our appetites were reduced - something which rarely happens! On days like this, the only thing I crave is chicken soup. I genuinely believe that it makes me feel better. So, in true placebo style, it works!