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
I was going to write an entirely different recipe today, but that is taking so much of my time on this rainy busy day, that I just had to forgo the idea. Instead let me give you a deliciously hearty recipe for a soup that is easily becoming a staple in my house.
A few months ago, my bro-in-law J2 awarded me the guardianship of some of his cookbooks, a role which I take very seriously, by cooking from them myself, as it should be. It made me think of this beautiful bean soup, especially because today the rain is coming down hard on this island, and it looks as if it’s staying for the next couple of days. It’s annoying but truly we need it. I feel sorry for all those who need to venture out. The roads are crazy with traffic and I just received a message from a friend saying how soaked she got. Stay safe and avoid extra driving everyone. It’s not nice out there.
Continue reading Neapolitan-Inspired Bean Soup
Earlier this week, on one of my regular visits to the greengrocer, I spotted a small amount of artichokes in one of the crates. I remained calm on the outside, but inside I was dancing my happy dance! And they looked too lovely not to buy. Some ladies in the shop gave me so many strange looks, as in are-you-mad-they-are-still-so-expensive kind of looks. What they don’t know is that I missed them so much when we were still living in the UK, where they cost double the price and most certainly they didn’t look as beautiful as the ones we get in Malta. Anyway I certainly don’t regret having them for dinner later that day! I mean, would you?
Continue reading Mediterranean Stuffed Artichokes
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’
By mere coincidence I’m posting a delightfully simple Mexican soup recipe, well loved in this house, because I’m putting it out there right now – it’s got chocolate in it. This is my take on what is still one of my very favourite cookbooks. Jack has published another book after this, which I still need to see, but I think that her first book deserves to be a classic. There is no need to write a second positive review because by now I’m sure you all know how much I like the recipes and Jack’s honest way of writing. She is a master at turning a few simple ingredients into something special, with the help of a little bit of chocolate. It does make a difference so don’t be afraid to add it.
Continue reading Mexican Bean Soup
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