Before I start writing a post for this blog, I also browse through my old photos as well as the more recent ones. There’s always a throwback in there which for some reason has either escaped my noticing it, or has lost its turn to be replaced in line with a new recipe or an exciting book review. There’s nothing I like best other than to spend my winter afternoons and early evenings in my study, reading or writing and sipping hot chocolate. In summer I just can’t get my mind to concentrate much. Aprile dolce dormire, the Italians say, dolce dormire roughly meaning a sweet sleep. So while C&T HQ keeps on working on the writing, recipes and other miscellaneous photos, I can spend some time sorting through my archives.
Continue reading Quick Lentil Salad
Spring has truly arrived on this little island. The Sun was out beautifully this morning and it was a lovely day. Temperatures are so mild during the day, but we still need to keep the jackets out for the evenings. It’s the perfect weather. Not too warm, not too cold.
During the past few days I’ve been feeling as if I had a nasty fall packaged with a good blow on the head, leaving me with a headache and some bumps, lumps and scratches. Said fall could have been a result of a serious lack of concentration. My mind could have been somewhere else. It could have happened…
Continue reading Vegetable Soup, or a variation on Minestra
Hi everyone. Hope you’re all doing well. It’s been such a hectic few weeks for my family and so C&T had to take a step back this time round. Before talking about food, as we almost always do here, I just want to ask one question: did the Azure Window really and truly collapse? I just can’t believe the footage I’ve been seeing over the internet. It’s been a long time coming but now that it’s no more I still can’t get my head round it. I’m glad I managed to see it and take some photos a couple of years ago. Such a pity. The weather during these few days certainly hasn’t helped. That and other factors for sure. I don’t want this post to be too wordy, so I’ll stop there but it’s a sad day.
This rough weather calls for a roast. I love roasting anything, especially when I have to feed a group of people. How easy is it to place everything in a roasting pan and plonk it in the oven, and just let it do the cooking for you. I do understand though why some of my readers write to me asking me for tips. Believe me when I tell you that I have burnt many a roast throughout the years before learning some useful pointers from the pros. I think there are a few important things to keep in mind. Using a roasting pan in which whatever you want to roast, meat, veggies or both can stay snug but still with some little space to spare surely helps. You want it to roast not broil or poach. When using chicken pieces, I always cover the dish with kitchen foil and then uncover it during the last 15 minutes or so. My Maltese heritage always tells me to pour some stock at the base of the pan, mainly due to an innate fear that my food would dry up if I don’t. It almost is a recurring dream this! Such as the one where I open the fridge and/or pantry and it’s completely empty.
Continue reading No effort Chicken legs for one with Leftovers
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a good break over the past few weeks, and that you enjoyed the holidays. It was a very busy time here of course, and my kitchen worked overtime this year. I’m so happy that it did though. I also had the time for some baking for family and friends. There was no better time for switching on the oven and turning on the heat. It wasn’t that cold in December, but let me assure you that January has started off with a kick. We’re feeling it here in Malta this week. It’s going to be a cold weekend. Some are loving it, relishing it even, others are fuming
excuse the pun because they’d rather be sweating it out in August.
Continue reading Restorative Chicken and Vegetable Broth
While apologising profusely for not posting a recipe, or anything else really during the past few days, I can say that the busiest time of the year for me has officially started. It began a few weeks ago to be honest, but only now I am feeling it. It – as in what-the-heck-I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing type of thing. What’s worse is that Christmas food is at the bottom of my list, and that almost never happens. I have, with the help of my lovely mum, put up some decorations, tree and all, but as much as I have decided not to stress about the trivial things, I’m stressing more as a result. Does that happen to you too? Mind you I cannot complain too much you know – I am prepping for a simple meal and I just have to see that I have all the ingredients I need. That’s all. However as much as I’m trying to put on my Nigella anxiety-lessening supercape, I’m failing miserably. But things can only get better. (No, I’m not quoting D:Ream.)
Continue reading Roast Pork Loin with Caraway Seeds, Lemon and Garlic
Happy Woman’s Day to all you hardworking ladies out there! I’ve been wanting to post this for ages, but other recipes, thoughts, musings and other tasks have grown and surpassed it for some time. But here it finally is, and about time too – it’s one of my favourites and this is a good reminder that I must make it again. This recipe undeniably always brings me to one of my dear friends in Michigan, who makes a beautiful meatloaf. Good times!
Continue reading Meatloaf
These past couple of weeks are turning out to be so weird. What a way to start today’s post, eh? In the spirit of Halloween I am still feeling like a zombie. Sleepy (strong anti-ear infection medication does that to you, trust me) and generally very light-headed. I meant to post a recipe yesterday, but my to-do list went out the window in the afternoon since I didn’t feel well at all. The situation hasn’t improved much. My ear still feels like someone’s lighting a lighter in it and to top it all off I get stabbing pains at intervals, as if someone is literally poking a needle into my eardrum. Not fun. Babies are prone to getting ear infections, I am constantly hearing right now. True. I’m not a baby but I still feel miserable. Poor things (little ones not me), no wonder they constantly cry in pain.
Let’s move on to the more cheerful things, shall we? I have two pieces of good news. I have my new desk! I am so pleased with it. I almost couldn’t believe it was here while watching J and his dad assembling it in the study. I am really enjoying working in this room even more. It’s my haven. Nearer completion we plan to purchase a comfortable reading chair to place next to the window. Can’t wait. The second piece of news is that I am waiting for a number of cookbooks to arrive, all of which are for review. I’ll be happy if they all make the cut, so we’ll see.
Continue reading Lentil and Chestnut Soup, life updates and some thoughts on ‘Simply Nigella’