I’ve always said that, for me, the hardest part of writing recipes is not really the recipes themselves, but the introduction. I’m never happy to post something without one. I think food, like most of the things in life, has to have some kind of context, no matter how small it might be.
Now when I say ‘small’ I don’t mean insignificant. I never mean that because to me that’s somewhat disrespectful. Eating with your partner, spouse, friends, or even alone is never a small thing.
I don’t want to sound too philosophical here. Leading busy lives means that sometimes we might skip supper and/or lunch with others. That’s one reason why I like to have people over for supper. Sometimes I do it on the spur of the moment, on a whim, when I know my pantry and fridge are stocked for that week. Sometimes I even wing it, without many ingredients to hand. We all have those days where all we want is to be alone, and for the most part I lunch alone, but nothing beats a full table.
Continue reading Fettuccine with a simple tomato and red pepper sauce
The other day I posted one of my favourite entries in C&T on my Facebook page. It was an assignment for a Blogging University course (which has now ended) that included a quote. I remember not knowing what quote to choose, but being a creature of habit, and thus feeling like a hobbit most of the time, I decided to go for one from Tolkien’s masterpieces. I got loads of positive feedback for that piece and the recipe I included in it is one that I make again and again. I’m sure you’ll agree that a walnut and banana loaf cake is one of the most comforting bakes around. That and a scrumptious cup of thick hot chocolate.
So you won’t find many recipes on this blog that venture too much out of my comfort zone. C&T started out, and still is I think, a place to share what I cook at home, primarily in a small kitchen, as the ones I had back in the UK. Now I have a somewhat larger room to play in. I am lucky and I like the space, though it wasn’t easy to adjust to it.
Continue reading Indian-Inspired Kerala Stir-Fried Beef and Rice
This post is supposed to go up tomorrow but I have some totally unplanned time today to write. Tomorrow will be a busy day and anyhow something happened this afternoon which I feel deserves a mention. So if you don’t mind sticking around just for a little while, I would like to share something with you. Some will not like me after this but in this space I’m allowed to speak my mind and get to the personal stuff once in a while. Don’t worry, you will find a recipe at the end of his post, but you will have noticed that by now in the title. Here we go.
If you know me personally, or even if you come by my blog or Facebook wall once in a while, you will notice that I take many matters to heart. C&T is mostly about food and I understand that’s why many people come here. Hopefully you stop by because you like the recipes and photos, and my occasional rants about food, and I’m always glad when you pop in and say hello, both on this blog and also anywhere else you can find me on social media. Reading comments is something I hold dear and I don’t take these for granted. No blog comes to life without readers, both the regular ones and those who visit sporadically. I have been criticised many times, and that’s OK. Really. I do get upset sometimes but I am learning to let some things go.
Continue reading Warm Tortellini Salad (#PastaFriday) and something that bothered me today.
I’m sure that summer’s officially here, one, because it’s almost unbearably hot, and two, because I buy chicken by the bucket, or whatever expression you might choose to put instead. There are tonnes of reasons for which this happens. The first one that comes to mind is that it makes a perfect meal for when I have people over for supper. So I keep various chicken pieces in the freezer at once. This past week I went to the butcher twice; they were on my list for both trips, simply because I had guests last Saturday and I ran out of chicken breasts. As I must have mentioned somewhere before on C&T
but I must do so again I would rather have the dark meat bits. The meat next to the bones is generally more tender and juicy. However lately, since the turn in the weather, I much prefer grilling or pan-frying a marinated chicken breast. The marinade bit is most important. It’s amazing what some extra virgin olive oil together with freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper does to a piece of meat, and to vegetables! Place the meat in a dish, marinate, cover with cling film in the fridge for a couple of hours. Grill, serve with a simple salad and voila, you have a meal. Right there.
This recipe is a little different, in that you don’t even need a grill pan and there’s no marinade prep but it’s easy. I like it because it resembles a curry without the extra spice. It comes in handy when you know you will feed a group of people who undoubtedly have various likes and dislikes, or even allergies and/or intolerances. As months go by I am often finding myself in this predicament, which can be a headache on one hand, but a positive thing for me, meaning I’m reconnecting with people. It’s been almost a year now since I moved back from Surrey. Unbelievable.
Continue reading Country Captain Chicken with Rice