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"... there’s no despair in a seed. There’s only life, waiting for the right conditions – sun and water, warmth and soil – to be set free. Every day millions upon millions of seeds lift their two green wings."

Janisse Ray

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Friday
Apr012011

Middle Eastern mezze no.1: hummous

 

One of my favourite of Dad’s meals from when I was younger was his Middle Eastern mezze selection – spicy lamb mince with pine nuts, falafel, tabbouli, hummous, babaganoush, tzatziki, olives and feta served with flatbread for making DIY wraps or just mopping up the juices.

This Middle Eastern medley is now a regular part of my own dinner time repertoire, mainly because I like taking the leftovers to work for lunch. I often break it out for parties too because the mezze style is great for picking and dipping, mixing and matching, forking or wrapping.

Over the next week or two I am going to share all of the above recipes with you so you can create your own mezze selection, and where better to begin than with what is arguably the most well-known and ubiquitous of Middle Eastern mezze – hummous.  

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Friday
Mar252011

Beef and Guinness pie

 

Fellow blogger, Jo Romero, has dedicated her little corner of the web to one of my favourite things – comfort food. So when she asked me to do a guest post for her blog, comfort bites, I jumped at the chance.

Comfort bites for me means hearty and warming foods like pies, stews and casseroles; those things best eaten when it is cold and miserable outside. And if I had to choose it would be a pie every time – stew with an added bonus, pastry. As you know, I am a big fan of pastry!

Most traditional English fare is very comforting indeed, hardly surprising given the weather we have to put up with. So for my guest post I chose an old British staple, the Beef and Guinness pie.

You can read my guest post here, and while you are at it have a look round Jo’s blog, there are lots of delicious recipes to try.

For those who prefer to cut to the chase, I have provided the recipe below. Makes four individual pies or one large pie for four.

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Saturday
Mar122011

Fernandez and Leluu supper club

Updated on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 12:30PM by Registered CommenterVix

The boyfriend doesn’t take well to surprises. He had been in a strange mood all day. I had put it down to a silly squabble we had had in the morning, but it turns out that he was anxious. I should have taken the hints; he had been desperately trying to gather more information on where I was taking him that evening.

I wasn’t letting on much, but he had managed to ascertain the following: 

  • It was not The Streets concert in Brixton (disappointing)
  • We were heading East
  • There would be food involved
  • He could wear trainers (he didn’t)
  • He needn’t wear a shirt (he did)

But it wasn’t enough. When I stopped the cab a mile too far down the road without explanation it all became too much.

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Wednesday
Mar092011

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Sticky apple balsamic spare ribs... sort of

I say ‘sort of’ because when one reads the name of a dish in the title of a post, one probably expects to find the named ingredients to be central to the dish. I am sure Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall thinks they are, but I do not have apple balsamic to hand in my cupboard. Indeed I have never in my life come across it. I imagine most people are in the same position.

Actually a quick search on the internet suggests that I have been living a somewhat sheltered existence. The fact that I have never seen apple balsamic in any supermarket does not mean it is not widely spread and abundant. Those two words produced no fewer than 1,200,000 results on Google. In fact, I could quite easily have purchased it online a few days earlier had I done this simple search then not now, post-making, cooking, eating.

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Wednesday
Mar022011

Skin-on chips with Bloody Mary ketchup and celery salt

It is unusual for me to post two nights in a row, but I really had to move the pictures of sausage stew down the page a bit. A friend of mine told me that at first glance the thumbnail on Facebook looked like the inside of a Portaloo after a festival. She quickly followed this up by saying that when she looked closer she realised what it was and it sounded delicious. Note she said "sounded" not "looked". 

The empty fridge problem endures, but I have a notepad full of recipes that I have cooked and photographed, but haven’t got round to writing up yet.

I would like to say that I chose the skin on chips because I just couldn’t wait to share them with you, but the real reason is that they are straightforward and require little in the way of a preamble. Still, for those of you who liked the look of the Bloody Mary ketchup I posted a few weeks ago, this is a nice way to use it up.

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