I feel like I need to make it up to you after the last blog post. So many words, no pictures.
So I figured, the way to a mans heart is through his stomach. Why should my readers be any different?
I know there are people out there that see food as a purely functional thing: fuel for energy and all that. Then there are those healthy, organic, you are what you eat types. Me? I’m an emotional eater. To me, food is an expression. Of how you are feeling, how you feel about others. I can connect most, if not all, of the important events in my life to food. I’m often told its a product of my southern European upbringing- we tend to show affection through food. We cook huge meals for loved ones, we bring cakes & biscuits, we are constantly offering more. Major life events- christenings, weddings, even funerals revolve around food. In the case of the latter its a way of those close to the mourning family to show their sympathy and support, by ensuring they have a proper meal prepared for them after the funeral. It’s probably why I often eat my emotions and why I can lift my mood with a macaron or lemon tart (or block of chocolate. Or…you get the drift). And its also why a bad meal can put me into a bad mood. If I’ve taken the time to sit down and enjoy it and its disappointing, it can ruin my day. I’m not a food snob though- I can get as much satisfaction out of a Big Mac as I can out of a three-hat degustation.
So in this spirit I’m sharing some of the culinary highlights of the past few weeks.
In the words of Faux Fuchsia, vegetarians look away now.
Just a little snack. This, my friends is a Tomohawk steak from Costco. It’s like a T-bone on steroids. The meat is melt in your mouth tender and it only requires a bit of salt, pepper & a smudge of olive oil, nothing else.
Best thing about cold weather?
Four words: Lamb shanks. Slow Cooker.
There is no great secret here- I googled a “lamb shanks slow cooker” and did a mish mash of the first few recipes that came up. Seasoning with salt and pepper. some red wine and vegetable stock, a few carrots and done. Served with mash (because to do otherwise is a sin punishable by death). I have a very close relationship with my slow cooker- we get along famously. It’s a Breville and I love it because I can brown the meat in the pot (it can be put on the stove then straight back into the slow cooker). I bought it just after I had A and I used it constantly last winter. Looks like its going to get another work out this year.
After something more exotic?
How about a chicken and preserved lemon tagine? This is from Moroccan cookbook, which I now cannot find but will post the name of when I do.. The simple version is chicken thighs, potatoes, preserved lemon, pitted green olives, harissa, chermoula & chicken stock all go into the tagine and then come out a couple of hours later ready to transport you to gastronomic heaven. With some buttery cous cous on the side of course (If you’re one of those healthy types you could use quinoa, I’m not going to judge. Actually, that’s totally a lie.)
Comfort food more your game?
These are the reason I married my husband. Look, M is a great guy and all, but his real talent lies in home-made pizza. Makes the dough from scratch and he cooks it in our wood fired oven. I can forgive a lot of a man that can make a pizza as good as this. But don’t tell him I said that. His bread is phenomenal too, but I’ll save that for another post.
Something sweet to finish
If you’ve been living under a rock or you don’t have Pinterest (which is kind of the same thing), you probably won’t recognise these. But they are a big deal among the crafty set. It’s cake in a jar. I attempted them for A’s first birthday party. I cheated and used Betty Crocker vanilla cake mix, but I have been reliably informed that it wasn’t to any detriment of the taste (it was an easy crowd, what can I say?). They are twee but they’re also cute and the kids went nuts over them.
So there you have it. A preview of a few of the reasons why my clothes don’t fit and I now hold a gym membership.