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
Don’t you just love it when you come across something that does double, or even triple, duty? I’m not talking about moisturiser, or Swiss army knives (which if the latter is really swish will do about a 36 jobs, including scale fish and remove the hook – cool Crimbo pressie?). As always, I am talking food. This food specifically, cocoa granola. Continue reading
Like you, I think I am pretty well up on world cuisines. This is despite being more of an armchair traveller these days – at least to on the pulse, exotic or slightly dangerous places. My favourite holiday destination is Cornwall. Not quite cutting edge. Or dangerous. Unless you count being bitten by a crab while dangling a pole over the harbour wall at Padstow. Ouch!
I am lucky that, over the years, my adopted city of Edinburgh has transformed from a culinary backwater of scampi in a basket (if you were lucky), overdone salmon (again, if you were lucky), and truly awful Chinese takeaways, to a capital city hosting not only a clutch of Michelin-starred restaurants, but also many affordable eateries, showcasing stunning Scottish produce (write to me if you want some names). Continue reading
As I write, Hurricane Sandy is set to bear down on the east coast of America. From coastal New Jersey to slightly more northerly Massachusetts, pretty much everything has shut down for the time being. This Frankenstorm, with its spooky Halloween timing, full moon and clash of warm and cold weather systems, has seen Presidential electioneering suspended (those annoying campaign phone calls will doubtless continue) and transport and public services halted. For goodness sake, even Wall Street has been abandoned. But I daresay, barring serious structural damage, trick or treaters will be out in force come Wednesday. Continue reading
There are some people who don’t like leftovers. That may even be you. It is sometimes me: as I am not a teen-aged boy I don’t understand the appeal of leftover pizza. But leftovers make sense. Make enough at one meal to do for another: whether chilled and eaten the next day, or wrapped, labelled and tucked in the freezer,
never to be seen again to be eaten later.
I do fight my irrational inner distaste of leftovers, tucking into leftover stew or curry (which admittedly always taste better the next day) and forking through salads made from leftover grains with added bits and bobs. All very worthy, time-sparing and cost-conscious. But, hmm, how do I put it? A bit dull? Yes, a bit dull, at least sometimes. I think I might not be alone in this. That’s where this recipe comes in. But first a confession of sorts. Continue reading
Hands up who is already struggling with lunchboxes? Don’t be shy. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Oh, I see. Quite a few of you… You, in the banana-coloured shirt – oh, that is banana, sorry – sobbing silently and clutching your temples: it’s okay. You are in good company. Almost everyone fears the dreaded lunchbox… And don’t we tell our children that facing our fears makes us stronger?. ..Don’t stand too close to that open window. You’re making me nervous. Continue reading
To mangle the well-known quote from 18th century diarist Samuel Johnson: “to tire of Tuscany is to tire of life.”
I know you are all busy people on a Sunday, so just a quick post to see you through the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee festivities. Along with yesterday’s two White Chocolate Treats (one with freeze-dried strawberries and the other with rose water) we will be mainly munching on these Chocolate-covered Strawberries. The kick? Once again, I give you Sichuan peppers. Continue reading