I can’t believe that it’s September already, and I’ve not written anything on C&T since the start of August. There were quite a number of reasons for this – one of which is that frankly I haven’t been trying new recipes or doing any baking. (I feel an updated Coffee Date post is on the horizon…)
Although this blog is practically here to profess my love for the kitchen, our summer months here in the Med are too much, as in there’s way too much heat and humidity in the air already. My adding to it in the house is no help at all. So I’m taking a break.
However this won’t last long now – I know I have to get back into the swing of things very soon, so this simple salad is a good way to start.
Continue reading Halloumi, Plum tomato, Mixed Greens and Baby Spinach Salad, and a Mustard Dressing
So last Friday I announced that I’ll be posting a pasta recipe every week. Today I’ve decided to make it an event. Why not?! So if you are a food blogger and you love pasta, this can be the space for you. To participate in this weekly event, on a Friday or during the weekend, I invite you to write a post on your blog accompanied of course by a pasta recipe. What you need to do next is very simple:
- Include a link to your post in a comment on my post for that week.
- Include a link to my post in your own blog post. Don’t reblog the post. A simple link will do.
- If you use Twitter promote your post with #PastaFriday so everyone will be able to see it.
Easy. This event will run up to October 2nd, at least for the time being.
Now onto this recipe which I have promised you ages ago but never got round to it. It’s an off-the-cuff one simply because everyone does pasta salad differently. Everyone comes up with many variants most of the time. I have to be honest here: there has been a time (I suspect that it’s not over) that this became one of my regular go-to suppers as it’s easy to prepare and good for transport. Also it’s a good one for making use of things I just want to use up. I open the fridge and voila you have a meal. I have made it during these hot months for friends coming at the house at the last minute, especially during those intermittent weeks where I skipped my otherwise regular grocery shop.
Continue reading Picnic Pasta Salad and a Special #PastaFriday Event
First things first: Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a good start to the year and also hope that the rest will be better still. Though it can be really depressing. All those parties and with great food during the holidays, then…boom…everything’s gone (except the Christmas spirit of course) and everyone’s back to normal. I bet you heard or even thought the dreadful D word (yes..diet) a million times already, and it’s not three days after New Year’s Day yet.
This is a tricky one I know but we really need some heart-warming food, especially in this cold weather. And let’s face it, dieting doesn’t mean eating for two weeks and starving for the rest of the year. Well, it could be an interpretation of this to some people, but I don’t think it’s the healthiest one. (Oh, and please please please, don’t be mean to others by making them not eat too!) To be honest, after the holidays I don’t crave heavy foods, not even the sweet stuff. Also, lately I’ve had some veggies in the fridge which needed to be either used or thrown away, and you know how much I hate throwing food away if it still can be cooked. I had quite a lot of parsnips and some carrots which were waiting to be made into a nice thick gooey soup.
Mentioning carrots, a friend of mine recently asked me if this season’s pick were sweeter than usual. It’s like eating a whole packet of sweets she said, which made me think back. J made a big batch of carrot soup about a week ago in which I couldn’t help adding loads of fresh pepper. So for now I am definitely off carrots, in large quantities that is! But somehow I love parsnips. Although sweet, they have a hint of spiciness. I’ve read that parsnips are only grown in colder climates, ergo there’s no way I will find them back home, so I intend to make the most of them here. They are good for you anyway…
The following is a recipe for a parsnip soup with a twist. It’s also got some mustard in it which gives it that wintery kick and some paprika for smokiness and is food for the soul. Well that’s how I think of it. This soup is very forgiving so as long as you taste it along the way to adjust the seasoning, it will taste great. Unfortunately I have no alternatives for parsnips, but you’re invited to my place anytime for lunch. Ooops…I have to keep my word now, don’t I?! For this Parsnip, Paprika and Mustard Soup you’ll need:
- 25g butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 450g parsnips, chunkily diced or cubed
- 1 leek, roughly chopped
- 3 medium potatoes, quartered
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1.5 litre vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons wholegrain or Dijon mustard, heaped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- pepper, to taste
- In a medium sized pot heat the oil and butter, then add the parsnips, leeks and potatoes. Stir until the vegetables are coated well, keep an eye on it for around 5 minutes and add the paprika. Stir again.
- Add the stock, let it boil, then leave to simmer for around 20 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Blend the whole lot either with a hand blender, or pour it into a free-standing one to mush it up.
- Now is the time to add the mustard, sugar and pepper and taste it to get the seasoning right. You’ve got it.
Invite 4-6 people for lunch and serve immediately with some fresh crusty bread on the side.