So today morning, while helping my beautiful Mummy with some errands, something happened. I kept running into friends and neighbours telling me how much they enjoy reading my blog and about the recipes they like. Neighbourhoods change, but visiting my parents feels like going back home. People there are mainly very friendly and many of them know me from when I was a child. I love feedback, and before you roll your eyes at me (I can see you) I appreciate all kinds. Done properly. You know what I mean. I love writing on here. I don’t get too personal, mostly because I don’t want to make my friends and family uncomfortable or make them feel uneasy in any way. I want people to talk to me at the end of the day!
One year goes by so fast. I find myself saying this repeatedly these days. A year ago I was told by a good friend of mine about a little tearoom and cafe’ (thank goodness) in the heart of Naxxar. You should go, Anna said, you definitely should. So that’s basically how Flora’s, which I think must have been open for just around two days, went straight to the top of my places-to-visit list. I had moved to Malta with J the previous summer and was looking for quaint independent places where I could have good coffee and a piece of cake (or two) while chatting to my mum or for just reading a book. Needless to say, discovering Flora’s felt as if I hit the jackpot.
Continue reading Flora’s Tearoom: One year Anniversary
I think the day has finally come. The day when I can dare to say that the air is crisp and fresh and autumn is here. Can this be true? I don’t know about you but to me this kind of weather makes me want to eat mushrooms. And pancetta. And pasta. Thank goodness these three stars go so well together. All they need is some kind of sauce. Now I’ve got a little confession to make. When I’m in a hurry I make a simple tomato one with a few other ingredients thrown here and there, but I’m not a huge fan. I will eat it because I like it. That’s all. What I really really like is a good cream sauce. Alas, that’s not the healthiest thing on Earth (what a huge disappointment) so instead, that is when I have the time I make bechamel.
Some people ask me what are my go-to things I make when I’m hangry. This is not a typo, it’s a word apparently, though my search for it in the dictionary was unsuccessful. It’s a mesh of two words: hungry and angry. It wasn’t on Merriam-Webster, but boy have I experienced this before. And I’m guessing that you have too. It happens when I want to eat but I’m pressed for time or when I really want to munch on something but I just don’t want to be bothered.
The following recipe is what I go for when I want the kind of lunch that doesn’t necessarily make me crave anything else as a snack. I do make this very often, that is, whenever I have an avocado or two in the house. I seem to buy my local greengrocer’s weekly summer haul of avocados.
I must ask for a discount next week. I also need to remember to make a bowl of guacamole. Tomatoes and chili peppers are now at the top of my shopping list.
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.
I don’t know whether I’m going to give Mr. Daniel Young a fit if/when he reads this! Let me start by apologizing profusely if I did, but this mock of a pizza is something I quickly whip up when I’m either in a hurry or when I have run errands all morning and just want to chill out when I return home. Better than grabbing some greasy concoction from anywhere I say. These days I admit I would make soup or the traditional Maltese minestra (a richer version of the Italian minestrone) which fills me up until dinner time, as long as I have made it beforehand. When I slack on the prep, or when only pizza will do – without the time it takes to make a decent dough, I make this or anything similar. Before I go on,
as I very often do I have recently posted an updated version of my proper pizza recipe here, so give it a go if you have some time to spare today.
We just had a late-ish lunch, and this is what I had. See? I *can* be good…sometimes. When I took the picture I didn’t add any dressing.
I totally forgot about it. When we’re having salad I usually throw everything in one big bowl, mix and we help ourselves, but lately I have been prepping the veggies in different containers and we then add what we want at the table. I know that it might appear a bit of a faff, and I confess that sometimes it is, but for days like today, when I had some time to myself in the kitchen, I decided that in the long run (well, for today and tomorrow at least) it’s easier to keep the veggies separate. Storing them in the fridge separately will keep them fresher for longer and will give me the freedom to use them as they are for cooking if I choose to.
Today my salad had lettuce, watercress, baby spinach, plum tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of tuna chunks, 2 strips of anchovies, Kalamata olives, chickpeas, an egg and some basil on top. For the dressing, I had some ranch today but I usually prefer a simple concoction of EVOO, lemon and a pinch of pepper. It’s Summer. Finally.