Tag Archives: winter

Stuffed Baked Aubergines

Baked Aubergines and Marrows (8213)

This week will be a stay-in week. Lucky you, I hear you say. Honestly, I would love to be out and about though, instead of being stuck with a very painful ear and throat infection that’s really making me lose both my patience and hours of precious sleep. I wasn’t even going to post anything for the next few days, but C&T really needs some love, care and attention right now, so here I am. I love being here, sharing recipes and cooking tips, and writing. Also I learn so much by reading comments and blogs by my favourite people. It’s totally worth being here. Even if half of my face is a mess and telling me to rest. Now.

However it’s going to be a rainy week they say, and what better excuse than to spend some time in the kitchen and bake. A very good friend of mine and her daughter gave me a couple of cake recipes which are the bomb. They are so good that I plan to share very soon. I just love it when people share their favourite recipes with me and in turn allow me to share them with you. I will give them a mention of course when I do just that, because that’s my style and I like to keep it that way. Come back for more later, but in the meantime onto today’s dish.

Continue reading Stuffed Baked Aubergines

Advertisements

Two Simple Recipes: Vegetable Soup and Garlic and Chilli Kale

Garlic and Chilli Kale with Chunky Vegetable Soup (8631)

It’s still reasonably cold in the Med and I’m still nursing a very bad cold. My neighbour’s kid is having a ball running amuck right above my head, most probably sitting on a desk chair and sprinting across the corridor. Either that or playing boċċi. Who knows? Can’t imagine the grief he’s giving his mum, but I can definitely picture the grief he’s giving me!

So just when my head starts to ache I decide to post two recipes on C&T. Simple stuff but they are just the things I want to eat when I’m inside with quite some time to spend in the kitchen. There will be plenty of chances in the future for chips. That’s exactly what’s keeping me going! *Checking my forehead for fever*

Continue reading Two Simple Recipes: Vegetable Soup and Garlic and Chilli Kale

Yellow Corn Soup

Corn Soup (9632)

J and I just returned from Ghent (or Gent), a delightful medieval town approximately 50 minutes from Brussels. Last Friday I spent a good number of hours doing some exploring while J was at the university attending a seminar and giving a lecture at the end of the evening. So I was pretty much left alone for a whole day. The tram journey into the town centre was so much fun, although I was practically stuck to my map counting the stops. Everything was in Dutch. But hey, I was up for a little adventure. The weather was so rotten however, that my plans for major exploring/walking/taking-plenty-of-photos went down the drain. All was not lost though; I found a charming salad bar and sandwich shop (tucked away in between the touristy restaurants and shops) which I almost missed. LKKR is a small family business run by Dahlia and her husband, both lovely and friendly. This is the place where to have a healthy, delicious, homemade lunch, plus coffee, of course. You could also have a cookie if you wish like I did on that rainy morning.  I liked the place so much that I just had to take J for lunch there on Saturday. I felt so in-the-know! Soup was on the menu for him – it was *cold*. I had a chicken curry sandwich. Just what I needed. If you’re in Ghent, do yourself a favour and go. Prices are reasonable and if there’s no seating inside, you can take a table outside, people-watch while wrapped around a cozy pink blanket you will find on your chair. Nice. The frites, mussels, fish stews and waffles can all wait until you arrive in Brussels. Even nicer.

Continue reading Yellow Corn Soup

Easy Noodle Soup

Noodle Soup from Express (7068)

This recipe – or various variations of it – is what I go for when I want something warm and comforting, with a little saltiness and some veggies thrown in, and whenever I’m eating alone in the evenings. I generally prefer to eat my main meal for lunch and keep things very light during dinner, say for example Greek yoghurt with honey and some fruit, porridge (yes, porridge), a salad or simply a warm drink before bed. It’s got nothing to do with strange diets or the likes; it’s just something that works well for me.

Continue reading Easy Noodle Soup

Berry Crumble

Berry Crumble (8101)

These days I rarely have impromptu suppers at home but when I do I don’t even think twice about making this recipe for crumble, or adaptations of it. Crumbles are so versatile, plus they take almost an insignificant number of minutes to assemble. The baking takes a little longer but you don’t have to do anything while it’s in the oven anyway. It takes the pressure off cooking, especially when you know you have a standby recipe for emergencies.

Berry Crumble (8098)

This is technically not a typical seasonal recipe, but I thought to include it today because for me this time of year is all about emergencies, and a great pick-me-up during stressful times. I know that for many of you Christmas preparations can be a nightmare, but I hope the work and planning that goes on behind the scenes is ultimately worth it. I dare to say this is one of the healthiest recipes in this blog, excluding those times when there’s cream involved, of course – however it is Christmas so there’s nothing wrong in a little indulgence!

Berry Crumble (8100)

For the topping you need:

  • 125g butter
  • 60g jumbo oats
  • 40g flaked almonds
  • 30g sunflower seeds
  • 70g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 75g light brown sugar

For the fruit mixture:

  • 500g frozen blackberries (mixed summer fruits would also be a good option)
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 50g vanilla sugar or caster sugar

Preheat your oven to 200ºC/Gas mark 6. Melt the butter and put to one side.

In a bowl combine the oats, flaked almonds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and brown sugar.
Place the fruit of your choice in a round shallow pie dish and sprinkle the cornflour and sugar as evenly as possible over it. Move the dish about to mix. (You’ll need the cornflour to absorb some of the juices since the fruit has been in the deep freeze for some time.)

Stir the melted butter into the topping (dry oat mixture), and spoon this on top of the frozen fruit on top. Do not cover completely as to end up with some of the fruit peaking out of the topping. It will look really pretty!

Bake for around 25-30 minutes. Serve this alone or with double cream during the colder months. (In Summer it’s perfect with ice cream.)

Enjoy!

Rob x

(Recipe adapted from Nigella Express, Chatto & Windus, 2007.)

Mushroom risotto.

Mushroom-Risotto-(5164)

You know you have a winner when you cook something again and again without minding that much. This is one of my go-to recipes whenever I don’t want to think about fancy dishes or when I’ve had a tiring day. There is some prep work involved and some stirring, but you could always get someone to help with that! You can use a mixture of fresh mushrooms and it’s even better with some dried porcini soaked in a little hot water. (Don’t even dream of using the canned stuff, and if you do please don’t tell me.) I like to use chestnut mushrooms because they are tastier than the white button mushrooms. (I don’t buy porcini often!) Anyhow, you will get more flavour from the grated cheese and fresh parsley later. This is a simple but delicious winter dish. Serves 4.

  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 250g arborio
  • knob of butter (approx. 25g)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 2 tablespoons grated cheese (Pecorino or Parmeggiano)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  1. Pour the olive oil and butter in a large-ish saucepan and add the onions, garlic and mixed spice. Stir until everything is coated by the melted butter.
  2. Add the arborio and 1 ladle of stock, and stir until this is absorbed by the rice. Continue to add 1 ladle full to 2 of vegetable stock at a time while stirring often. Add the mushrooms when you have used around half of the amount of stock. When you have finished adding the stock and the rice has absorbed it you should end up with a creamy consistency. If it is too dry try adding more stock.
  3. Remove it from the heat, add the grated cheese and parsley and mix these into the rice. Call everyone to the table and serve at once.

A note on something completely different: I will be away for a couple of weeks, but will be back with some new recipes as soon as I’m back in Surrey, just in time for the run-up to Christmas. Enjoy!

Rob x