Thursday, 23 April 2015

Artichoke Barley Risotto

I love the texture of barley, especially in risotto, so when I found this recipe, I used it as a perfect excuse to opt for pearl barley instead of arborio rice.

Artichoke Barley Risotto
(Serves 2)

1 tbsp oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup artichokes in oil, drained
1 1/2 cup pearl barley (or arborio rice)
800ml vegetable stock (more if needed)
100g feta, crumbled
Handful fresh basil, finely chopped

- Heat the oil in a medium pan, and soften the garlic, allowing it to release the flavour, for a couple of minutes. Then, add the artichoke, and fry for a few minutes.

- Pour in the barley, and stir until coated, pour over a ladleful of the stock and stir until it has all been absorbed, repeat until there is no stock left. Add more if the barley isn't quite done by the time you have used up the stock.

- Swirl through the crumbled cheese and basil, and allow for the cheese to melt a little before serving.

Serve up in bowls, garnished with some extra cheese and basil, and enjoy!

Remember the Game of Thrones popcorn last week? Well! This week, it was the Snow/Stark popcorn that was made: Popcorn with butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and dusted with icing sugar aplenty, because it is the kingdom in the North, and yet they are (mainly) lovely, warm-hearted people!

Winter is coming! Somewhere.... This was delicious!

So far this week has gone by pretty fast, and guess what? It's Friday tomorrow! Any plans?

Tonight I have just been chilling, currently I am reading Carlos Ruiz Zafon's "The Prisoner of Heaven" - so addictive! Especially since he keeps all the chapters more or less to five pages or under, which just triggers the little bookist in me going "OK just ooooone more chapter", and then - dang! 50 pages read, hah ^ ^
The weather here in Glasgow has been marvellous this week, it's amazing what big a change it makes *smiles* I hope you have a lovely evening, and a great weekend to come x

Original source:
Good Mood Food, p. 51

- Jules

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Apple & Beet-Soup

There is still a bit of a chill in the air.... At least at my side of the world!

Usually... A few hours after I have cooked something, the recipe is long since lost in the data-base that is my memory. I cannot help it! It probably doesn't help that I seldom cook the same thing twice, buuut you know!

This one however, is easy, it's intriguing, healthy AND it is soup! Look at that colour, so vibrant, perfect for a season when blossoms are springing up from underfoot, and the gusts of wind still nips at your face a little....

Now, you can choose to either finely chop the fruit and vegetables and serve it as a stew or a broth, OR you can whizz it all up either with a stick blender or in your food processor, I did the latter... just to see what colour it would end up being.

Apple & Beet-Soup
(Serves 2-3)

1 tbsp neutral oil (sunflower, rapeseed, etc)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cooked/roasted/pickled beets, chopped
2 red apples, chopped
1/4 savoy cabbage, sliced
850ml vegetable stock

- Start by heating up the oil in a medium-sized pan, add the onion and soften for about five minutes.

- Now, add the beets and apples, and swish about for a little bit, before adding the remaining ingredients. Pour over the stock and sommer until the apples are tender, it shouldn't take more than about 15 minutes.

- Time to decide! Serve as a stew or whizz up to serve? Either way, you're going to want some good bread for mopping!


I found the fruity undertones in this lovely, and I love how the beet didn't shine through too much... just enough!

This weekend I was unfortunate enough to have my bag stolen, and so the weekend has pretty much consisted of getting everything sorted with getting new keys cut, cancelling bank cards and the like, such. a. hassle! But sunshine, friends and good food along with music has helped. And the customer service I received was absolutely fantastic. So much support and it definitely makes life a little easier when things like that happen.
Next week better be less chaotic!

I hope you have had a great weekend! Did you get up to much?

Some friends wanted to get rid of a fish tank, and I now have two! Along with it was also a little lost Zebra Danio that has since moved in with my goldfish Seamus and Finnegan, I have named him Pepe, and it seems I name my fish based on the nationality of my current flatmates at the time, haha!

Original source:
Good Mood Food, p. 65

- Jules

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Teòclaid Foileagan

So I tried translating "chocolate pancakes" into Scots Gaelic... and probably failed... At least I got your attention!

But don't worry! Even if teòclaid foileagan is the correct name for it, it is a helluva lot easier to make them than to pronounce it, I just thought I'd peak your interest!

Teòclaid Foileagan
(Makes a small stack for 1, or 1 large pancake)

1/2 cup flour (I used chickpea flour)
1 egg
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp syrup of choice (I used agave).... or two if you want!
1/3 tsp baking powder
Butter or oil for frying
PS. if you feel sneaky, you can also add 2 tbsp of Kahlua or Tia Maria to it! I saw it mentioned somewhere, sadly I didn't have any at hand...

- Simply mix all the ingredients together for the batter and add a splash of milk if it is too thick for your liking. Leave to sit for about five minutes.

- Heat oil or butter in pan on medium heat, and fry either small pancakes or a big one! If making a big one, I would suggest covering the pan with a lid so that the pancake cooks through quicker without burning or sticking - also, I might be quite impatient... Not sure if I have mentioned that before *starts whistling*

The other day, I went over to some friends' to watch the new episode of Game of Thrones, and this season, we have decided to try and make a flavour of popcorn every week representing one of the kingdoms in the series... Geeks? Us? What are you talking about?!

This is.... the Martel popcorn! Popcorn, chilli oil and ground nut oil, honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground coriander leaves and ginger! Exotic, sweet with an underlying kick to it!

Sorry for having been so quiet on here this week, the days have taken it out on me... Will try and recuperate and get back to normal as soon as! I hope you have a fantasmic weekend ahead x

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Creole Aubergines


Now, before I give you today's recipe, I must state that I actually looked up the definition of creole, don't laugh at me! Every day is a school day, some say *smiles*


1. A person of mixed European and black descent, especially in the Caribbean.
2. A descendant of Spanish or other European settlers in the Caribbean or Central or South America.

There you have it! I found this lovely recipe in my funky Caribbean recipe book by Mr. Roots no less... I decided to take on - the aubergine, because it isn't my favourite vegetable and have to be either grilled to mush or cooked until nice and tender for me to like it. And you know what? This here dish is really lovely! Just remember to soften the aubergines before the other ingredients go in, et voila!

Creole Aubergines
(Serves 2, or 4 as a side)

2 tbsp oil
1 large aubergine, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red or green (or half of both) bell pepper, chopped
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp whole pepper corns (or 1/3 tsp black ground pepper)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
400ml chopped tomatoes in sauce
1/2 cup water

Rice, crusty bread, yogurt, creme fraiche or sour cream to serve
You can also garnish the dish with some coriander or parsley leaves if you have them at hand!

- In a medium casserole, heat up the oil on medium high heat - toss the aubergine in and stir occasionally. Let it soften for 5/10 minutes and add more oil if necessary.

- Now, add the garlic, onion and pepper and soften for another 5 minutes, then sprinkle over the salt, pepper, sugar, cumin and smoked paprika. Stir for a minute before tipping in the tomatoes.

- Use the container for the tomatoes, and pour in the water, making sure you get the rest of it out, and pour it into the pan - simples!

- Turn down to a simmer and let it bubble away for 10-15 minutes until all the flavours have meddled together.

I hope you enjoy this nice and light dish as much as I did, and if you want to add protein to it, I am sure both chickpeas and chopped mushrooms would work great in this casserole!

Last night, I had three lovely ladies over for a little cheap and cheerful mezze, and it was a lot of fun! Lots of pitabread, cheeses, olives, hummous (so much hummous! *smiles*), fruits, sundried tomatoes and other antipasti. It doesn't take much preparation to have yourself a spread of epic proportions. Oh! And I also made some Pineapple Water that I added some frozen berries and a few drops of stevia in, and it worked a treat! It's good to make the most out of the fruit, and the pineapple water is easy to mix with other juices if you for example want to make spritzers, or just drink eu natural perhaps with a bit of sugar and a squeeze of lime?

Today, I might be going to this hip hop night in town (random, I know, but it sounds like so much fun!). How has your weekend been so far? All good I hope! *hugs*

Original Source:
Spice it Up! p. 107

- Jules

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Cucumber & Chilli Relish

Relishes, use them for burgers, to spice up salads, or serve as a side along many a different main meal....

This recipe here only asks for a few ingredients, and you can serve it straight away! I was hungry after work and a little session in the gym, and so I simply served it over bread topped with an egg, but I reckon it would add a great crunch and freshness to for example delicious home made bean burgers, yum!

If you like it hot, why not use 1/3 Scotch bonnet? I myself can't say I am that brave...

Cucumber & Chilli Relish
(Makes 1 small bowl, easily doubled)

1/2 cucumber, cut in half and core removed, sliced
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp sukrin gold, xylitol or brown sugar
1 tbsp dill, either dry or fresh (finely chopped if using the latter)
1 tbsp white wine winegar
A drizzle of salt

- Guess what? You just toss all the ingredients into a bowl and swirl them about until mixed well, and it is ready to serve! How easy was that?

Also, I just want to add that this relish is not too hot at all, I reckon I could have used a whole red chilli, but then again, it all depends on the type of chilli you use.

Do you have any good relish recipes for me to try?

I hope you have had a lovely week so far! Do you have any plans for the weekend? A friend and I went to a pub quiz last night, and it is the first time it has only been two of us, but we managed to not come last (second last is still something!), and it was a lot of fun! As for the rest of the week, I'll just improvise *smiles*

Original source:
Spice it Up! p. 107

- Jules

Monday, 6 April 2015

Vegan Chickpea Waffles with Antipasti

My friend sent me the recipe for buckwheat waffles with a lovely salsa, but... being impatient as I am, and intrigued by adding antipasti to waffle batter - I decided to experiment with the new gram flour I bought not long ago. Gram means chickpea!

And you know what? These are the best vegan waffles I have ever attempted thus far! They held together really well, and because of the oil in the batter, they wont stick to the iron - score!

Vegan Chickpea Waffles with Antipasti
(Makes about 1 and a half big waffle, probably about 4 small American ones)

3 topped tbsp gram/chickpea flour
1/2 cup soy milk
2 tsp neutral oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
Salt and pepper
3 sundried tomatoes (I used the oily ones), finely chopped
2 artichokes in oil, finely chopped (can also use 4-6 pitted olives)

To serve: Sundried tomatoes, cheese, pesto, aivar, hummous etc.

- Heat up the waffle iron.

- Let's get down to business! In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, a bit of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Fold in the soy milk, oil plus the sundried tomatoes and artichokes/olives.

- Once the iron is hot, pour a ladleful of the batter on and close, cook for about 3 minutes or so, until golden and cooked through, and repeat with remaining batter.

You can easily double this recipe to make sure you have enough for two or three people, you're going to want to! I immediately regretted not having made a bigger batch of these as soon as I'd had one. I simply served it with some more sundried tomatoes, but the waffles are suitable for any antipasti topping or spread!

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Friday, 3 April 2015

Marzipan Kolibriegg or Humming Bird Easter Eggs

One of my favourite Norwegian Easter treats... are these marzipan eggs coated in chocolate and topped with sprinkles. We call them "kolibriegg" or humming bird eggs, which is weird because I am pretty sure the average adult humming bird is smaller than one of these sweets, wingspan included!

Either which way - they don't sell them in Glasgow, so I had to take it in my own hands and make sure I got my annual fix, as I missed out last year.
Instead of sprinkles though, I dyed some dessicated coconut yellow instead of multi-colour cake sprinkles, and it worked a treat!

NB! I used about 80g ground almonds because I used a large egg white. For vegan, you can replace with vegan egg substitute or syrup or choice, such as agave or maple.

Marzipan Kolibriegg or Humming Bird Easter Eggs
(Makes 5)

For the marzipan:
50-80g ground almonds (start with 50)
30g xylitol, brown sugar or Sukrin Gold (I used Sukrin Gold)
4 drops stevia vanilla or vanilla creme (optional)
1 egg white, or egg replacer, or syrup

25-30 g dark chocolate
1 tbsp syrup of choice
(I also used a little bit of cocoa butter to make the mixture more liquid)

Cake sprinkles OR dessicated coconut for rolling in
I used 1/3 cup dessicated coconut that I added a tiny splash of yellow food colouring to, a pinch of turmeric, and a little bit of vanilla extract - worked a treat!

- First, mix together the ground almonds and sweetener, then stir in the egg or egg replacer/syrup. You can use a spoon for stirring.

- You should end up with a slightly sticky dough, make sure to wet your hands with water when dividing them into 5 pieces and shaping into eggs. Once the eggs are done, you can make the dyed coconut if you are using that, if using sprinkles - move onto choooocolate!

PS. place the coconut/sprinkles on a plate so it is easy to roll the marzipan in it.

- Now, melt the chocolate over a "water-bath", but make sure to switch off the heat once melted so the mixture doesn't go dry.

- Coat the marzipan with chocolate - I did this by placing them one by one on a spoon and rolling them gently into the mixture.

- Now this is where it gets messy: Roll the chocolate covered marzipan in the coconut or sprinkles until lightly coated! Place either on non/stick paper or a serving plate. Repeat until all the eggs are done, and cool for a while until serving.

You can keep these in the fridge for a couple of days, and they'll get a little more solid then.

I wish you a happy Easter! And if you don't celebrate this holiday - you can always make these in different shapes if you want. Mmmmmmmarzipan!

Original source:

- Jules