Botanically identical to tender-skinned summer squashes, winter squashes are my unsung hero of autumn-winter eating. Not only do they keep well – you can forget about them for over a month and they will still love you – they are just about the most useful and delicious of the cold weather crops. Butternut squash, acorn, Delicata, kabocha, Hubbard, sugar pie, red kuri, spaghetti, Hokkaido – and loads more – their tough unyielding armour holds rich, sweet, nutritious flesh. Continue reading
Obviously as you are reading this blog on some kind of device through the modern voodoo that is the Internet, you don’t need to be convinced of the value of New Media. Blogs, websites, Twitter, Facebook (still a hold out on the latter), Reddit, Google+ etc are the way many of us get current, useable information. No more waiting for the 6 pm TV bulletins or morning newspapers to find out what is happening/has happened.
We also get to ‘meet’ some fantastically inspiring kindred spirits who, without the Internet, we would never know. Continue reading
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, lived a girl. She was an ordinary girl. Not a wallflower, but not a high-flyer either. She was loved by her family, got on well(-ish) at school, had the requisite number of boyfriends and breakups, and battled the occasional outbreak of pimples with spot cream and floor gazing. In short, ordinary. But one day, empty of wallet and loathe to keep tapping a generous-to-a-fault father for yet more money, she decided to get a Saturday job. So, armed with a short resume consisting of kid’s movie reviewer for the town newspaper, church choir member, and zero retail experience, this girl left the house. More in hope than expectation. Continue reading
Those checkout aisles at the grocery store can be a nightmare. Not only do we have to negotiate tempting pocket-money magazines with eye-catching headlines (“Is Pippa MIddleton Engaged?”; “25 Worst Beach Bodies”), but also serried rows of come-hither confectionary. Ahh, those crispy, colourful packages containing a black hole of happiness. Mmm, it’s only little. Just rip off the wrapper and dive on in: to over a third of a days’ worth of added sugar and fat.
And that’s if you stick with one modestly-sized bar or bag. Kinda makes the trolley-load of kale and quinoa a bit redundant. *Wince* Continue reading
When it comes to food, does your inspiration well ever run dry? I must admit that, even though I teach about healthy eating for a living, I am sometimes stumped when it comes to snacks. If I am feeling a bit peckish I am as likely as the next person to be tempted by anything random, easy or rubbish that happens to have made its way into the house. Months’ old marshmallows from a summer barbeque (s’mores of course), old tortilla chips that need reviving in the oven, cheese of dubious age lurking in the inner recesses of the fridge: anything is eligible. Of course I always try and have more suitable grazing fodder around. I really do. But sometimes you want something that seems, well, a bit delinquent. Do you ever feel that way? Does your inner-child ever want to come out and wreak havoc in the kitchen?
I probably really shouldn’t call this a hummus, but dip just sounded so tentative, so boring. And this faux hummus is anything but boring. How can anything this colour be boring? I ask you. It would be boring if I blathered on about how ridiculously healthy it is (although it is). Or how well it goes with any dipper, from lowly tortilla chips to freshly cut market veggies (it does). But it is not at all boring to hide in the kitchen and surreptitiously eat a saved back bit with a teaspoon, while simultaneously plating up a meal for 6 people (I have). Never-mind the telltale purple moustache. Hides the real one. Continue reading
“When it comes to food, I’m inspired by the raw vibrancy of fresh produce and food markets, and that wonderful symphony of tastes, aromas, colours and sounds all teasing the senses at once. The tenderness of baby cos lettuce leaves, the perfume of peaches and mangoes in summer, the versatility of pumpkin and sweet potato, the aromatics of freshly picked herbs, and the colour and diversity of the market people and their food.” Liz Posmyk aka Bizzy Lizzy of Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things
With a philosophy like this, saying ‘yes’ to a guest post opportunity from Liz was one of the quickest and easiest decisions I have made for awhile. Although she is much more ‘hands on’ with the growing ending of things than I, Liz and I share a very similar passion for fresh and seasonal food.
Lucky Liz has shared her love of good food through a newspaper column in her hometown of Canberra, as well as her own radio show. She has also worked at the sharp end as a fresh market centre manager too. But I know her best through her fantastic blog, bizzy lizzy’s good things. Here she shares articles about food producers, fellow cooks and recipes emphasising not only the best of Australian produce, but also handed-down recipes from her Magyar heritage (including all the tricky-to-pronouce titles!).
Liz asked me to chat about my connection with food and how I use it in my work, and share it on my blog. And of course you can’t do a guest post on a food blog without a recipe to go with it So, I have shared an easy and healthy twist on the vegetable tart. Although I have stupidly given away the secret ingredient in the title! Please go visit Liz to see the recipe and look around her lovely blog. And thank you Liz, for this tremendous platform to share my work with your many readers. Follow me Down Under!
The past week has seen a lot of spring related posts and articles popping into my inbox: recipes flaunting tender young vegetables, some pastel-tastic decorating ideas. Even a white (!) tarmac-scraping trouser suit stared back at my disbelieving face. But I really shook my fake fur hat-wearing head at this one, allegedly taken in Stockholm – a city not really known for its floaty miniskirt-friendly weather. Yes, I am wearing a hat indoors.
I think you will have surmised by now that it is snowing here in Edinburgh. March ruddy 19th and we have horizontal snow and sleet. Continue reading
I can’t really remember the first time I had hummus. Being raised in a Deep South commuter town, whose main highway was hemmed in with strip malls, Burger Kings and Dairy Queens, I seriously doubt it was there. We did have - and it is still there today – a lone Greek restaurant, but I only ever remember the ubiquitous but very pleasant Greek salad, with its starchy ‘garnish’ of yogurty potato salad as a sop to American tastes. But hummus? I don’t think so. This was the era of aerobics and low fat after all. If I had been more adventurous, and less figure-conscious, I would no doubt have found the hummus and been hooked from the get go. Restaurant hummus is always far superior to that we can make at home. Or, so I thought. Continue reading
Last post’s long and winding road to broth was probably a step too far for some of you. Although extremely gorgeous with the toasted Asian aromatics and the lightly seared vegetables, I have inserted into the post a welcome sentence, in bold: If you want to take a shortcut you may skip the first two steps and just pop everything in the pot as per a ‘normal’ stock. So, if you looked at the Really Useful Asian Broth recipe and thought “stuff this,” maybe I can persuade you to reconsider. Or at least read down to the tamarind meatball bit. Continue reading