I am a planner. Well, whenever I can that is. I look for interesting recipes, write grocery lists and plan weekly meals. Usually. Though there are times when I just can’t be bothered. Stuff just happens. It’s been almost a year since moving back to Malta and we haven’t stopped. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out doesn’t even begin to describe. So for the past few months I have given up on planning meals all the time. Giving this up for the most part has not been as hard as I anticipated. I know – I’m surprised at that myself to be honest but I gradually learnt not to fuss over the little things. To an extent. Cooking and baking are meant to be stress-busters for me. Whereas lately they were completely stressing me out! And I was letting them do that. I almost made my kitchen my enemy. Say what?! The fact that I’ve been running this blog for four and a half years now has somewhat increased the pressure, even though it remains my beloved hobby and my rock. Phew.
So I decided that when it comes to buying fresh produce I was going to relax. My thought process for the past few weeks has been something like this: deep breathe, let the notepad go, let the pen go, make the journey to the veggie truck, pick the best fruit and veggies you can buy, think of some recipes while you linger, chat to the nicest people there, pay for the stuff and walk away slowly. And it’s working. It is. I feel freer and I cook whatever I want when I’m home. The kitchen is not my enemy anymore. At least for now!
Continue reading Mushrooms with Fresh Garlic and Tomatoes
I wish I was a morning person. (Is anyone out there a morning person? Any good tips of how to be one?) Being an insomniac doesn’t help so as much as I love it when the sun shines on spring and summer mornings, and as much as I love a good sunrise when I manage it, mornings suck the life out of me. There are two main things that make my mornings great though: food and holidays. And somehow these two things always seem to go well together. One of my Italian holiday resolutions is to never miss my cappuccino and cornetto. The guy behind the counter recognised us as the slightly timid ‘stranieri’ later a.k.a ‘Maltesi’ who looked as if they never tasted good coffee in all their lives. Which, by the way, was partly true. The Italians know their coffee, true. And almost everything on holiday tastes great.
I did say almost.
Continue reading Frittata
It seems as though the Sun left us for a while this morning, and it could not come back out from the gloomy clouds for the rest of the day. Rain is also on the menu, but I am not minding it one bit. Last week was hectic but absolutely lovely. My friend’s visit was a success. We went to loads of places around Malta and she seems to have enjoyed her holiday here. Now I’m taking a little time to adjust to my routine again, but I’m happy and I have a rest-day planned. I will be cooking though and I can tell it will be good as the temperature also gave me a rest and I will be savouring every second.
For today’s lunch I will make an Indian-inspired recipe for buttered chicken and will work on that as soon as I publish this post, and plan to make this as a side. I think it will pair up well with the chicken and frankly I think it will make a delicious side to any other dish.
Continue reading Peas with Fresh Garlic and Parsley
These past few days have been good. The clearing process of our extra bedroom in preparation for our very special guest next month is almost in full swing. I say almost because it’s really kind of stop-and-go. Tuesday was my most productive day so far. I cleaned, cleared, swept, mopped, dusted and my vanity area now smells of perfume – in the bad sense though! I was so tired by the end of the day
as I am right now after an intense baking and photography session that I broke a perfume bottle. It flew right across the furniture, over my head and onto the floor. Boo. Glad to say it wasn’t anything expensive but it was a gift and still I was a bit upset. Those bottles are resilient though – I’m truly impressed. I don’t know anything about their manufacturing process but the bottle just cracked in half. There was a minimal amount of glass shards in the end so there were no unfortunate accidents, thank goodness. However the smell…woah…it has been making me dizzy and no amount of cleaner has made the smell dissipate. It’s still there and still going strong. How my insides felt this morning as I woke up I really cannot describe.
Continue reading Jerk Chicken
When I woke up this morning I kept reminding myself that it’s Thursday (not Sunday) and a public holiday on the rock. It’s not as quiet as one might hope, and to type this I had to close the window in my study. It’s easy to focus now and I *am* calm. Which brings me to a recipe made best when you have a good thirty minutes of peace. So tell your partner in life to babysit the kids and the pets for a little while and spend some time in the kitchen with me.
One of the things I love about Malta is the fruit and veggie trucks you see dotted around the many towns and villages on the island. I love going to the one near to where I grew up in Birkirkara. I love visiting my mum too
which goes without saying and of course, going there brings back good memories. I have been meaning to post the following recipe and the above photo for ages so here it is. It’s starting to get warmer here now and we’re already finding plenty of spring and summer produce. I’m finding good quality strawberries too which I macerate in lemon juice, some sugar and pepper too. Delicious.
Continue reading Broad Bean Risotto