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"To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day."

Somerset Maugham

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Smoked salmon dip with dill and capers

Email from Mum this morning: "Just went to your blog to look for your smoked salmon dip recipe. It's not there. Can you email it to me? Or why not put it up? It would be an easy one for you to add."

She's right. This is a really quick and simple dip that always gets a thumbs up. It is great as a sandwich filling, on toast or with crackers or oatcakes. I often make it to take to work for lunch, for picnics or as a something to serve as nibbles before a meal. It also makes a great filling for quesadillas (see below).

You can use light cream cheese if you prefer but the consistency will be a bit thinner. This is ok if you are using it as a dip or spread, but not great for quesadillas.

Oh, and Mum - it's not my smoked salmon dip. It's Dad's. Credit where it is due. He won't mind though, I stole it years ago.

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Healthy recipes for the new year

All aboard the healthy bandwagon. Destination: New Year. Route number: 2013.

How are your new year’s resolutions coming along? I have five. I have already broken 3. Oh well, I am doing better than I was this time last year, by which stage I had broken all of them.

This post is somewhat out of character. I do not usually jump on the healthy bandwagon. Especially not in the most miserable month of the year. But I was encouraged to at least think about healthy food this week (even if I haven’t eaten any) because I wrote a guest post for MPN Online suggesting healthy recipes from across the blogosphere.

In the process I was reminded that healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. I started by trawling through my own blog for healthy recipes and was pleasantly surprised to find many more than I was expecting.

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Diana Henry's Thai sweet chilli sauce

My sister will be surprised when she sees this. I have always berated her love of the shop-bought stuff. But when I read Diana Henry’s introduction I was intrigued:

“So much better than anything you can buy. It doesn’t have that cloying flavour of commercial bottles, but barks at you with biting, fresh taste.”

This led me to the list of ingredients, which looked very promising. And she is right, it is so much better than the shop bought version. Indeed, it might as well be another sauce.

The recipe is from Salt, Sugar, Smoke: How to Preserve Fruit, Vegetables, Meat and Fish, a lovely book full of recipes, tips and techniques for the home preserver. “I am a home cook” writes Henry, “I don’t have masses of special equipment and I don’t do things on a grand scale.” Her style is approachable and encouraging, showing that preserving isn’t just for “elderly ladies in floral pinnies or country-based downsizers with a vehicle big enough to transport several dead animals.”

I made this first to use up some chillies which my flatmate, Jen, had grown on our kitchen windowsill.  I liked it so much I decided to make it for Christmas presents in place of my usual jams or chutneys.

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Anthropology of Food Christmas Party

Last Saturday we had a Christmas party for our Anthropology of Food course. One of my classmates, Maria, kindly hosted the event and the idea was that everyone bring something that is eaten in their home country at Christmas.

Well, rules are made to broken and I was the first one to do so. I was planning to make this:

... a canape my family almost always have either on Christmas Eve or Day in Australia, though I can't speak for other families.

Instead I made this:

... which we have never had on Christmas, but I couldn't find the pork mince I needed in Sainsbury's and I felt like making the tart.

Juliana also broke the rules with a palm heart pie, which like her was Brasilian, though not Christmassy:

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Guest blogging for MPN


Sorry I have been so quiet lately. Working four days per week, going to uni one day and trying to get all the work done on the days leftover has been taking its toll. 

I have still been writing a bit, but elsewhere...

At the beginning of this year I did a food writing internship which turned into a longer term role with Media Production Network, a US company who make short cooking videos for several local papers in the Greater Boston area. The videos are accompanied by a short article which is printed in the paper and online. That is the part I was writing. 

I decided that I couldn't continue with that role once I started studying, but I have still been guest blogging for MPN once a fortnight on my favourite things from the world of food blogging.

Here is what I've been writing. Take a look.