Courgette & Basil Soup

Now we live somewhere with a garden, I decided I wanted to grow my own vegetables this year. I dug up a very overgrown flower bed, bought some seeds and a small plastic green house and had a go (I did save a few seeds from vegetables we’d eaten such as squash, pumpkins and lemons). The spinach and chard are ready to be eaten and we’ve already made a start on the spinach, I’ll harvest a bunch of chard this weekend for next week. The first vegetable to really make an appearance though were the courgettes. I bought a variety seed pack, we had a couple of gorgeous pale green ones first and today I harvested a bright yellow one! It is beautiful!

Courgette and basil soup

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Cidered Gammon Hotpot (A Slow Cooker Recipe)

I recently became the proud owner of my pops’ slow cooker. It was hidden in the garage until my mum found it, the very same month James and I said we’d actually, really, buy a slow cooker this coming pay day (relationship goals..ha!). Obviously we did not need to buy one due to this good fortune and I’ve been slow cooking up a storm ever since.

My favourite slow cooker moment was 8 km into a 10 km run at about 6:30 pm when I realised how hungry I was, only to remember that dinner was in the slow cooker and ready at 7 pm. Thank goodness for slow cookers. This was the dish that was cooking but prepare for an onslaught of slow cooker recipes.

Cidered Gammon Hotpot

This recipe came from a lovely (and cheap) little book titled ‘200 Light slow cooker recipes‘. I can only apologise for the shoddy photography lately; I mean, it has never been great but time seems to escape me at the moment and I quickly grab a snap before serving dinner. I also really need some plates that aren’t red.

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Spiced Winter Vegetable Cous Cous

I mentioned a little while back about cooking a birthday dinner for my friend Jenny, when I shared the dessert recipe ‘Chocolate Heartache Cake‘. Well here is part of the mains, we had grilled meat (steak or chicken) with this spiced winter vegetable cous cous, an Ottolenghi recipe (bound to be delicious) shared by one of my favourite blogs, Orangette. It was so good that I also made it as a side dish to accompany the rhubarb and ginger roast belly pork that I cooked for mother’s day; which I promise to share soon, it would be criminal not to (it was to die for). Don’t be put off by all the ingredients and stages in this recipe, once you’ve cooked it once, you’ll have it down. It isn’t complicated at all, there is just a few spices involved; it is worth it though, trust me.

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Lemon, rosemary and chicken tray bake

Flavour of the week: Rosemary, possibly my third favourite herb and a must on roast potatoes in my opinion and always paired with lemon, they make for such a great couple.

Still Reading: Black Like Me – John Howard Griffin, I’m  not even a quarter of the way in and completely hooked. This is compulsory reading in schools in America and is an incredibly brave task to have undertaken.

To the task at hand, the tray bake; it is the ultimate lazy Sunday roast, you put it all in at the same time in the same dish for an hour and check on it once or twice. If you’re out for the day prepare it in the morning or the night before and just pop it in the oven when you get home and a tasty roast will be on your dinner table an hour later.  Continue reading

Tahini, lemon and pomegranate tagliatelle.

Flavour of the week: Without a doubt tahini. The earthy, nutty gem of a paste.

Book of the YEAR: A Homemade Life – Molly Wizenberg. I will write a whole post about this book and her amazing blog ‘Orangette’ soon but having just finished reading this book I am beyond happy, emotional, dying to get in the kitchen and unable to wait months for her next book. I’ll save the rest for my next post. Stay tuned.

This weekend I have spent the weekend in Southampton, the city where I went to university. I stayed with my ex housemate of 4 years Hannah who has been a source of food inspiration throughout my years at university and since, sending me a recipe every now and then that made her think of me. Usually chocolate based, of course. Hannah and I had the best time (well, I did), we went for a wander in the sun, followed by Sprinkles (the best ice cream joint in Southampton) where I had a scoop of hazelnut and a scoop of Ferrero Roche and Hannah had a scoop of mini egg and a scoop of peanut butter topped with hot chocolate sauce. Delicious.

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