Sunday, 26 July 2015

Three-Year Blog-a-Versary!

....And currently I am stuck with no way of uploading the newest photos for recipes that I really am wanting to share with you *Sigh*

So I thought I'd go for the second best thing, and post a re-cap of the years gone by - perhaps it will inspire you to take a deep dive into my archive?

Falafel, my staple Dahl recipe, Sloppy Joe's, Pesto and Courgette Soup, Lentil Lice, and Norwegian skillingsboller

I started out posting up a lot of meat recipes as well, so for all you omnivores out there, feel free to check out the other recipes. I decided to mainly post vegetarian recipes as I now haven't eaten meat in almost five months.

Healthy Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mocha Cupcakes, the BEST Gingerbread Biscuits, Healthy Sweet Potato Brownie Mud Cake, and a less healthy Texan Chocolate cake here, my Top 5 Burger list, as well as a delicious Teriyaki dish.

Then I discovered that photos tended to look prettier if I took them vertically and not horizontally - you learn something new all the time!

Chocolate pudding (healthy even!), Summer Rolls, which I somehow called Spring Rolls - ah well! Norwegian Waffles, No-Rest Yogurt Bread (insomnia bread? Not quite, ha!), one of my favourite soups - Vichyssoise, along with a fragrant Indian-inspired Biriyani.

We have gone through seasons, celebrations, and holidays of sorts here - and I think it is really nice to have something like a blog to look back on... How the cooking has changed since I started, and how many delicious ingredients I have been introduced to over the handful of years I have been really passionate about cooking (the flame still going strong!).

Crab Tostada, Red Onion and Fig Reduction, Breakfast times, Pineapple Water, Clementine Softies, and St. Lucia "Lussekatter".

The reason for why I am posting so many photos here, is just in case anything should catch your attention, cause depending on what you are craving each day - you need something to just hit the spot! I tried to pick a varied collection here.... I hope you like it!

Edamame Sloppy Joe's, the face behind the blog, Potato Cakes with Smoked Salmon, Snicker Marbles, Spiced Bulghur, Peanut Brownie for One.

How about you? How do you think you have come along with your cooking? Have you found it easier to be more adventurous over the years, or had to adjust to a diet at all? I say everything in moderation, as long as you get your protein as well as your five a day - treat yourself every now and then! *smiles*

....Speaking of which... Stop counting calories! Granola - Perfect for yourself in the morning, or as a little present! Chia Puddings, Dark, Creamy Coconut Hearts, more breakfast (feat. Spice Cake), and a Peanut and Soy Stir-Fry.

A taste of Italy, German-inspired vegan Black Forest Chocolate, Roti Wraps (or pita) with Chilli Chickpeas and Chutney, Protein Bars in disguise, Ricotta Pancakes, and the first ever vegan cake I have made, it disappeared within minutes!

Peanut Marbles (the amount of marbles I have made over the years is silly really - but they're so good!), Savoury Pancakes with Home Made Mango Chutney, Artisan Crackers for those cheese and wine evenings, Banananice Cream, Easy Bean and Lentil Casserole, Fruity Flan Cake.

Over the years I have discovered so many amazing food blogs, and they have also had an impact on me, would you be interested if I wrote a list of my favourite food blogs at all?

Stir-Fry with Blackberries, Gul Kake (or Yellow Cake), Home Made Marzipan, Pear Pancake Stack, (Secretly Healthy) Frosted Banana Cup Cakes, and Katrina's Single Lady Banana Split.

As life goes on, food will always be a big part of life, having one of those bucket-of ice cream days, get together for a pick-me-up dinner, having a group of friends setting up a Pot Luck, come rain or shine - good food always makes bad days less... bad and good days even better!

Delicious Rainbow Salad, Citrus, Ginger and Coconut Smoothie, Peanut Butter and Tomato Sandwich, Coconut Pancakes... Needless to say I have caught up on coconuts since I started cooking - when I was little it wasn't my thing, unless it came in the shape of coconut macaroons, but now - anything coconut goes! The best Gluten-Free Bread ever! And last but not least the light Peanut Truffles.

The months before I became a vegetarian, little meat was consumed, which is probably more or less visible in the last couple of pictures here, and this from a girl who used to not even like onions...

Kolibri Egg (or colibri egg marzipan for Easter), Apple and Beetroot Soup, PB & J Smoothie, my Avocado plant - which I am slightly worried about at the moment... Fruity Berry Terrine and Tanzanian Mchicha.

So there you have it! A rather lengthy re-cap (for which I apologise...). I hope the pictures aren't too small!

Hopefully, I will keep on blogging in the future, I just need to get either the laptop or the USB for the cameras fixed so I can get going.

I hope you have had a great weekend, and that the Sunday is treating you well. I went to a fair yesterday and then a festival in town (it is all happening!) I love having both Saturday and Sunday off, I used to take it for granted, but now when I only get that every second week - I make sure to make the most of it! I made friends yesterday too, and there was this fantastic band called the Muldoons Ragtime Jazz that played as well.... So good! What have you been up to?

All the best!

xox Jules

Monday, 20 July 2015

Deconstructed Pesto Pasta

...Pesto - delicious right?

I have come to like to make deconstructed pesto as well, due to not having a proper food processor, and as long as it has all the components, you'll still enjoy the delicious combination of garlic, basil and parmesan!

The downside of making your own pesto, I find - is the price of pine nuts.... So in order to save a bit of money (aka treat myself to an extra cappuccino when I am out and about *cough cough*) I decided to just used what I had at hand - hazelnuts, yup! It worked a treat, and the roughly chopped nuts gave the dish a bit of extra texture as well, which I reckon you might like!

Deconstructed Pesto Pasta
(Serves 2)

1 1/2 cup uncooked pasta
1 tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 pieces of Quorn fillets (can also use prawns or chicken)
A bunch of basil, finely chopped
2 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
A big handful of chopped nuts: Either pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts etc.
30-50g grated parmesan (depemds how parmesan-y you like it really! I used about 1/2 cup)

- Start by cooking the pasta as instructed.

- Whilst you're waiting for the pasta, make the rest of the dish! Heat the oil in a medium frying pan and fry the fillets or protein of choice, then add the garlic, and fry for another few minutes until fragrant.

- Chuck in the chopped nuts, as well as the basil and parsley. Now, drain the pasta and add to the frying pan along with the parmesan. Stir on low heat, season to taste, and once it's all combined well, it is ready to serve!

Also, I would like to apologise for the lack of posts over the last week - it isn't that I haven't been cooking, because I have! But my cameras (yes, both of them...sigh!) have been less than cooperative in terms of getting the photos over to my laptop. Actually I am starting to think it is the computer there is something wrong with! I will try and sort this out though, so I can post more frequently again *smiles*

Hope y'all are doing well and had a lovely weekend!

Original source:
Good Mood Food, p. 129

- Jules

Monday, 13 July 2015

Meadow Road

"I do apologise, but I toasted the bread for you - I hope you don't mind", one of the guys working there told me as I was handed one of my new favourite things - the vegetarian platter. A few minutes prior to that I had just wondered why I hadn't asked to have it toasted, and I was just really happy that he'd taken that extra time to do so.

...No matter how low on silvers I find myself with by the end of the month - I always find myself sneaking off down to Meadow Road. A cafê that is humble in appearance but holds bold flavours, and it happens to be situated less than ten minutes away from where I live - a blissful curse, as I know I will be spending too much money in there, oh well!

I stumbled upon it one fine day when I went the opposite way from where I normally go. Intrigued, I looked in but it wasn't until a few weeks later that I went in. As I had made my order of a cappuccino, I was told that I didn't have to pay until later on - a nice touch I thought. It feels good when you are trusted in cafês, as well as not having to fiddle with change over the counter as you have only just entered, with the potential chance of dropping them all on the floor... at least this can wait until you're finished, and can make a quick exit (I am a bit of a cluts, and although this hasn't yet happened, I probably jinxed it just there).

A black, matte ceramic cup with matching saucer was placed in front of me, and the first impression was that it seemed a lot of care went into the making of coffee there, but holy smoke! It was served at perfect drinking temperature straight away, so I didn't have to wait for it so as to not burn myself - and this also prevents the milk from burning. The intense taste of the coffee hit my taste buds, but an instant later its smoothness accompanied it, a caffeine symphony made in heaven (or this case)! I also must point out that this is the only place I have been served a decent soy cappuccino (if you know of other places, please give me a heads up!).

Upon my second arrival, I had brought a friend along for a catch up - as it was around lunch time, we decided to share the cheese and the vegetarian platters, as well as trying some of the cakes (She had the delicious frosted ginger cake, and I went for the pistachio and rose infused one, delicious!). Since then, I have brought many a friend along, in fear of them not discovering it for themselves as it is a slightly hidden gem.

Plated up beautifully on wooden chopping boards, garnished with dressed seasonal salads, chutneys for the cheese. The vegetarian platter (which I assume is vegan as long as you don't have butter with it) consisted of home made delicious dishes such as beetroot hummus, roast red pepper tapenade, as well as sundried tomatoes accompanied by the aforementioned delicious bread! Perfect for someone who has just turned vegetarian, actually... even one of my omnivore friends highly approved!

The savouries, I was told - are all made on site, and the cakes and bakes are provided by Bakery47. Have you tried their peanut butter swirl brownie? They are delicious! Especially when shared with a friend, a cup of coffee on the side. The cafê and deli only opened in late January this year, and so it has only just begun, but my - I cannot believe it took me a good three months to discover... At least I have made up for it since, dropping by on most occasions I get. They also have their own little deli counter, where the dishes are, as well as quiches, veggie- and non-veggie sausage rolls are found. I had one of the vegetarian haggis rolls the other day and it was great! Especially with the neat little Summer salad featuring freshly chopped strawberries and balsamic vinegar.

The atmosphere is modern, yet rustic all the same, with (surprisingly comfortable!) bar stools and high tables along the windows, and the art on the walls is by one of the friends of the guys who run it - the girl's got style, as her down-to earth pieces add that little something too it, and goes perfectly with the interior. There are also a couple of pictures by the same artist for sale in the shop should you be interested!

Customers there seem to be of all ages, and they all seem to have the one thing in common - the appreciation of a really good cup of coffee. In addition to their nifty design, delicious beverages and food - the music there is great! Sure it varies from day to day, but usually it is the tunes that you know so well from back in the days (think 70s and 80s... the songs with that beat that just lifts your spirits) - other times, they might play alternative electro. One time when I commented on a song there I really liked and I was the only customer there, they ended up playing the entire album afterwards.

Meadow Road is all about the little extra that just make you feel welcome, at home. So no matter what occasion, whether you are flyin' solo or catching up with a friend, this place will see you through to the end. Should you feel adventurous, you could try one of their V60 and aeropress coffees or special blends; the fellas will give you advise depending on what type of coffee you like and they are always happy to help.

This is one of those places you'll be sad to leave, secretly cheer if it starts pouring down when you've just finished your coffee (Oh no! It seems like I need to get myself another cup of 'cino, what a shame....) and you have to stay for another while, and that leaves you feeling good hours after you've been there.

This was playing as I left earlier today, ha!

Need I say more? By now, you have probably have found yourself tying your shoe laces, just about to head out in search of this place, or if you live in another city, country, perhaps even continent - somewhere that could resemble it one way or the other. All I can say is that it is the best cup of coffee you'll ever have!

Meadow Road
579 Dumbarton Road, Partick

All photos featured © Meadow Road

Monday, 6 July 2015

Mediterranean Hummous

Hummous - something I have promised myself I will stop buying from the shop and rather make a big batch of each week!

Not only is it whipped up in five minutes, but it is great knowing what you put in your food - not to mention the varieties you can make, depending on what you feel like using!

This week, I decided to go for a Mediterranean style flavour. I have been hooked on sundried tomatoes and artichokes in oil lately - so simple, SO delicious, and somehow it fends of my craving of seafood (my only craving since going vegetarian).

Now, I was more than please with this result as it ended up tasting like one of my favourite red pepper hummouses (hummousi? Ha!) Wait.. Now I am imagining little hummous mice - ahhh! Anyhow, in short: This has never seen a red pepper at all, but it is creamy and delicious!

Don't have tahini? No problem, just add a little bit of oil instead!

Mediterranean Hummous
(Makes 1 big bowl!)

400g tin chickpeas, drained
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil (or the oil from the antipasti)
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp tahini
Juice of 2/3 lime
4 sundried tomatoes, in oil
4 pieces of artichoke, in oil
A little bit of salt to taste

- Simply add all the ingredients in a deep bowl or a measuring jug, and use a stickblender and whizz for a few minutes until it gets that infamous hummous texture - yum!

- Serve up with cruditês, pitta bread and other snacks.

Perfect for people all ages! Speaking of which, do you like my new snack boxes? I saw them in the shop and couldn't help buying some, I've got one truck shaped one too... I have never been one for pink and hearts anyway.

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules