Country Ham Salad Recipe

In Dinner On June 12, 2012 3 Comments

The husband and I have been doing a fair amount of traveling recently Amsterdam, Dublin, London and most recently a week long holiday on the Greek island of Rhodes. While discovering a new city or relaxing on a beach somewhere ranks pretty highly on my favourite things to do, airport travel, funnily enough, does not.

However I have to grudgingly admit the airport food is getting a little bit better. Gone are the days when a flight from Glasgow meant the choice of Burger King or a slightly dried up sandwich. In Edinburgh I actually enjoy going to Eat before a flight, as they do light and tasty meals.

Ham Country Salad

I have been wanting to recreate their Ham & Potato Summer Salad for a while, it’s pretty simple and it’s a salad that can be great for dinner not just lunch :)

Fresh Mint Tea

In Recipes On April 1, 2012 4 Comments

While in Amsterdam I noticed that in our hotel beside the coffee and tea there was a glass full of mint. At that time in the morning I thought nothing of it, and filled my coffee cup. (I don’t often do a lot of thinking before my morning coffee).

But then on our last day we stopped in a cafe for one last coffee before heading to the airport. On the drinks menu was Fresh Mint Tea.

Fresh Mint Tea


In Recipes On March 15, 2012 2 Comments

Recently Matt and I spent an amazing long weekend in Amsterdam.

Part of it was undoubtedly being on holiday for the first time since Christmas, but I think there was also more to it.

You can’t really beat a weekend of sunshine…


Improve Your Food Blog: Eating your own dog food

In Improve Your Food Blog On February 18, 2012 2 Comments

Do you eat your own dog food?

Don’t worry, I am not about to suggest that cracking open a tin of dog food is in any way going to help you help you find an audience and keep them.

Lord Baxington

However in the software industry the term “eating your own dogfood” may well have just that effect.

Chicken Orzo Risotto

In Dinner On February 2, 2012 2 Comments

It’s weird the way naming conventions in food work, isn’t it?

Orzo is a type of pasta, it’s small, and sort of rice shaped – like a pine nut. One of the best things about Orzo is that like rice you can use it to make a very fast risotto type dish, called an Orzotto.

Chicken Orzotto (Pasta)

In Italian orzo means barley, so back in 2010 when I made a risotto using pearl barley, it too was called orzotto. While pearl barley cooks into a delicious risotto dish, you can’t say it’s fast. It takes longer to cook pearl barley than it does to cook rice.

Risotto is a firm favourite in our household, but the rice version takes a bit long for a week night meal. This is where Orzo (pasta) steps in.

The New New Year Resolution

In Recipes On February 1, 2012 2 Comments

January is typically the time of year where you make heaps of resolutions. But now we are into February, how many have you kept?

Like most people I wanted to start to eat healthier and work out more. At both of these I failed miserably.

Kohlrabi and Corn Salad
No salads eaten…

Even Healthier Hot Cross Buns

In Bread, Breakfast On January 29, 2012 12 Comments

Back in May 2010 I made wholewheat hot cross buns and I got a pretty good reception on them.

It’s not exactly the right time of year for Hot Cross Buns but I gave them another go, but then breads and sultanas never really go out of season!

Golden Hot Cross Buns straight from the oven

So how can I claim these are healthier than my wholewheat 2010 buns? Well this time I substituted coconut oil for butter, low fat coconut milk for milk and Light At Heart sugar for, uhm, sugar.

Light at Heart, Stevia based sugar

I guess I should be up front about it – I was given Light At Heart sugar for free by Tate and Lyle, however I had been hearing about stevia based products for years and been dying to try them. Unfortunately until December 2011 they weren’t allowed to be sold in Europe! The good thing about Stevia based sugar is that it’s half the calories of normal sugar but it’s all natural. (i.e. Not weird Splenda type stuff that was invented in a lab).

Bacon and Kale Simple Calzone

In Bread, Dinner On January 9, 2012 9 Comments

For some reason calzone seems so different from a normal pizza, it’s a nice change when you get bored. I kept this recipe simple by using a bread mix instead of measuring the flour and yeast out myself.

You can choose which ever fillings you like for this recipe – but I have to say I love the way the kale cooks up in this dish – delicious! And how can you ever go wrong with bacon?

Lunch! Half Bacon & Kale Calzone

I thought I would try putting together a slideshow of the steps for this recipe, I’d really appreciate it if you check it out and give me some feedback!

For the best affect select the “Show Info” button on the top middle-right of the screen during playback.


Learning new cooking techniques in 2012

In Recipes On December 30, 2011 9 Comments

In terms of food blogging this year has been a bit of a wipe out, I dropped Daring Bakers, Daring Cooks, making my own bread, ice cream and french macarons. I stuck to simple dishes when I blogged at all, that were either left for hours to slow cook, or were ready in a matter of minutes.

While this was necessity – you can’t plan a wedding while still working a 40 hour week and have time to keep up with the making, photography and posting cycle.

In 2012 I want to get back into pushing the boundaries a little. As much as Daring Bakers and Cooks was really great at pushing you to try new things, I did spend an inordinate amount of time pushing myself to make things that I would never have eaten if I had the choice. Like those marshmallow disaster cookies. I cried over those, tears of anger and disappointment.

While I am not sure I necessarily want to go through anything like that again – you don’t learn if you don’t push the boundaries. Learning new recipes is all very well and good, but really what you need to learn is new frameworks. Ideas that catapult you out of your everyday dishes, like learning to make bread – once you have the technique millions of new recipes are open to you.

Roast Aubergines with Pomegranate

In Dinner On December 24, 2011 3 Comments

Last Christmas I asked for a copy of Ottelenghi’s Plenty. The plan, as with all good plans, never came to much – but the idea was to kill two birds with one stone:

  • Matt and I would eat a more healthy vegetarian diet, at least a number of times a week.
  • And next time I had my best friend (and vegetarian) over for dinner I would have a wealth of different recipes to choose from. Recipes that I know and love myself.

However it didn’t work that way and the book ended up on the shelf (in fact it was lost in the basement for a period), when I finally opened it up – I was in a panic.

Somewhat stupidly I had just agreed to do a Christmas dinner for my friends, for the first time to anyone ever. I had given myself less than one week to prepare. I’d had an entire year but my vegetarian repertoire was as pathetic as before. I read Plenty cover to cover, I scoured the internet, foodgawker, the guardian Christmas food sections, but found nothing that looked special enough for a vegetarian Christmas meal.

Roast Aubergines with Buttermilk sauce and pomegranate