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Source: Creamy Pea & Spinach Pasta: A 10 Minute Meal – DeliciouslyElla


I have to be careful when it comes to chilli, alas, but this recipe from Deliciously Ella looks and sounds mouth-watering.

These chilli and chive chickpea pancakes are my go-to quick lunch or supper at the moment. They take about five minutes to make, need just five ingredients and taste amazing! They’re the simplest, most fantastic…

Source: Chilli and Chive Chickpea Pancakes | Deliciously Ella

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

 


Μελομακάρονα — Honey Biscuits or Macaroons

melomakarana

There are rather too many sweet treats in Greece of which I’m not a great fan. For instance, I don’t like Baklava (Μπακλαβάς), Halva (Χαλβάς) or Galaktoboureko (Γαλακτομπούρεκο), which is a custard-filled pastry with syrup); it’s something about the texture of the first two that puts me off, and the custard one has rarely been good when I’ve bought it from a bakery. I’ve tried, heaven knows, I’ve tried.

But Melomakarona (Μελομακάρονα) are different, especially when there is enough honey syrup to make them moist. They are a Christmas indulgence over here and often given as presents.

This is a traditional recipe by Maria Pantzelioudakis from her previously mentioned cookery book. One of the ingredients is ‘alisiva’ which is designed to make the biscuits ‘crunchy and crumbly’. It is made using clean ash from burnt wood — bet you didn’t expect that!

Ingredients

720 ml olive oil
240 ml orange juice
125 g walnuts, finely chopped
grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
125 g cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder/soda
120 ml alisiva (see below for how to make)
1 kg flour (approx)

Syrup

1 kg sugar
480 ml water
240 ml honey
juice of one lemon
2 sticks cinnamon

Method

First make the syrup. Boil together the sugar, honey and water for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and the cinnamon and leave to one side to cool

Next make the alisiva. Boil half a cup of clean ash with 2 cups of water. Once it has come to the boil, remove from the heat and let the ash settle. Finally, strain and the clear liquid is ‘alisiva’. This recipe requires 120 ml of this liquid.

Now make the biscuits. Place all the ingredients except the flour into a large bowl and mix. Gradually add the flour and knead the mixture lightly. Be careful not to knead too much as this will make the biscuits hard. If necessary, add more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Shape into ovals agout 3/4 cm thick and place on a greased baking tray. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 30 minutes until the biscuits are golden. Remove from the oven and pour over enough cold syrup for the biscuits to soak up. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and arrange on a platter.

Prepare to be be enamoured!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


One year I was so bored with the usual tat for Christmas and the lack of anything different that I created An Italian Christmas, having discovered that the Italians traditionally eat fish at this time of year, especially on Christmas Eve, The Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Visit Cooking with Nonna for several Italian fish recipes for Christmas, but not until you’ve read my recipe for Kedgeree below!

 

This image was created using one of my textures and a photograph I took of some Cretan fish which we barbecued. A friend had brought them over and did give us the Greek name but I’ve long since forgotten what it was! The closest I can give you is whitebait.  They were delicious cooked on our barbecue, an interesting ramshackle affair built by Mr FND with some of the rocks dug up from the garden.

Smoked Mackerel Kedgeree

I don’t know whether Italians ever have any form of Kedgeree at Christmas but since I currently have a craving for it, I thought I’d give you my adaptation, which uses smoked mackerel and common or garden rice rather than Basmati. Incidentally, it’s not a genuine Indian dish but hails from the time of the British Raj.

Serves 4 with average appetites (2 with greedy appetites like me and Mr FND).

Ingredients

450g pack cooked Smoked Mackerel

50g Butter

200g Long Grain Rice

1 Large Red Onion, sliced

3 Eggs, hard-boiled

1 tbs Curry Powder

2 tbsp  Fresh Parsley

1 pint Fish Stock

2 tsp Nutmeg

2 Lemons

Olive Oil

Method

  1. Tear the parsley into pieces.
  2. Remove the skin and flake the smoked mackerel fillet.
  3. Hard-boil the eggs, shell and cut into quarters.
  4. Slice the red onion and use a frying pan to soften in oil.
  5. Add the curry powder and nutmeg and stir. Cook for a minute or two.
  6. Add the uncooked rice to the mix and stir until the rice is coated with the oil.
  7. Add 3/4 of the fish stock and leave on simmer for as long as you would normally cook rice. Test whether the rice is cooked. Add more stock as necessary but don’t have it ’swimming’ in stock. Turn down the heat.
  8. Add the butter and stir until it has melted.
  9. Add the mackerel flakes and the egg quarters, half the parsley, stir and season to taste. 
  10. Turn up the heat a little before serving in your favourite dish and decorate with the rest of the parsley. Serve with slices of fresh lemon.

Like all my recipes, this is only a guide. If you want to add more eggs or less curry powder, for instance, feel free.

Available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Garlic is for Heroes Postcard
Garlic is for Heroes Postcard

There’s a taverna down the road from us in Chorafakia called Sunset. Not a name to conjure with, I grant you, but you can glory in a burnt orange sky while eating delicious home-made food.

The owner-chef, Maria, was born in 1950 in the mountain village of Semprona and arrived in Chorafakia at the oh-so-young age of 16 to marry Jacob Pantzelioudakis. She likes nothing more than providing traditional Cretan recipes using fresh food. She grows her own fruit and vegetables and rears  her own chickens, lambs, goats, rabbits and more. When so many tavernas this side of Crete (north-west), cheat their customers with mass-produced moussakas heated in a microwave, it’s a relief knowing you will be served freshly cooked food every time.

In our early years here, we were naïve enough to eat in a taverna at one end of the Venetian Harbour in Chania. I had moussaka and Mr FND had a steak—what was he thinking of! The first had been microwaved to within an inch of its life and had evidently first seen the light of day a week before. The second had seen service at Chernobyl. We sent both meals back. We already knew that the Greeks like their meat well done but this well done? They tried again with exactly the same result. Even Mr FND’s Retsina was grotesque. We gave up and went to complain, and saying we refused to pay. There was a huge furore with the restaurant owner, the chef and us. We were accused of scamming them. I won’t continue but you get the picture. Needless to say, we have never returned.

MussakasMeMelitsanesKePatates01The best moussaka I have eaten here in seven years was cooked by our friend Stela when she invited us to supper. I no longer order moussaka anywhere. I lie. There is another taverna in one of the nearby villages that does a mean moussaka. But it’s still not as tasty as Stela’s.

The following recipe is adapted from Maria’s self-published cookery book, Maria’s Recipes. Sadly, we had an accident a few months ago which meant that part of the book has been blighted by water damage. What is even sadder is that Maria has not been able to afford to do print run for the last couple of years or I’d buy a further copy.

There’s Taramasalata and Tzatziki but have you heard of Skordalia? It’s a garlic dip and fans of garlic will want to double up the following quantities. In fact, to serve four, I’d suggest you quadruple the ingredients!

skordalia-maria

Photo of Skordalia Dip from Maria’s Recipes with evidence of the water damage and torn pages!!

Skordalia (Σκορδαλιά) Garlic Dip

Ingredients

3 medium potatoes
3 slices of brown bread
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
salt & pepper to taste

Method

Peel, boil and mash the potatoes. Soak the bread in water then squeeze hard to remove excess water and place together with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Drizzle with olive oil.

Yes, it’s that simple! It can be served as a dip but is most often served as a side dish with salted cod. However, it goes well as an accompaniment to most fish, meat or vegetable dishes.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Venetian Harbour, Chania © Sarah Vernon

Venetian Harbour, Chania © Sarah Vernon

This photograph of the Venetian Harbour in Chania, Crete, was taken by me on this occasion and not Mr FND! My idea was to create a watercolour with the gentle lines of a preparatory drawing showing through.

My first layer was the bluewatercolor from Angie Makes in Photoshop’s Normal mode. This I followed with the Beguiling-18 texture from 2 Lil’ Owls in Linear Burn. As you can see, I’m getting a lot of mileage out of those two backgrounds! Next came the Venetian Harbour which I put in Screen mode. To create the line drawing, I used the Trace Contour tool; this is not the best tool in the world but since I wanted the bare minimum showing, I knew it could work. To top it off, I used another 2 Lil’ Owls texture, 2LO Confetti 8. Putting the latter in Multiply mode was the perfect finishing touch.

The original harbour photograph © Sarah Vernon

The original harbour photograph © Sarah Vernon

The last time I tried to create a watercolour effect with this photo — some years ago now — it was disastrous and very obviously ‘Photoshopped’ using their ‘watercoloor’ tool. Not a good idea. I’m much happier this time round!

Incidentally, the mosque in the centre of the picture is the Mosque of the Janissaries, now an art gallery. If you ever find yourself in the harbour, by all means have a drink but don’t, whatever you do, eat a meal. The quality is appalling and you would be better off going up the side streets to find good, authentic food. Most important of all, avoid the taverna that sells very pink and very green cocktails — coloured fizzy water at best! We were each offered one for free having allowed the owner to do a quick run round the harbour on my mobility scooter. Never again!

Here, for your delectation, is a recipe for what looks and sounds like an excellent green cocktail from MyBestCocktails.com:

minttu

Minttu

Ingredients
1 oz Malibu Rum
1 oz Cuban Rum
1 oz Batida de Coco
2/3 oz Midori
1 oz Pineapple Juice
6 leaves Mint Leaves

  1. Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Pour into a tall glass with some ice.
  3. Enjoy!

No, I’ve never come across Midori either!

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Originally posted on arecipeforgluttony

I am sharing this recipe because it is something super easy & fast you can make to add to a meal which will take it from ordinary to something really special. Pickling vegetables need only take 10 minutes and they add wonderful acidity & depth of flavour to all sorts of dishes and snacks without much effort. Don’t think pickled onions, although they are a great thing they are way too strong for most dishes. Quick pickled vegetables should be crunchy and still taste like themselves but with an acidity from the vinegar which does not overpower.

I often make some to add a bit of depth to a starter. For example, the photo above is scallops marinaded in wasabi with pickled fennel. The scallops are rich & creamy, the wasabi adds heat & the pickles give crunch and acidity. They are great with a terrine, or any cold meats, cheeses, seafood, grilled meats and even spicy dishes such as a curry.

The amount of pickling time will depend on the vegetables, how you cut them and the flavour you want to achieve. I often pickle radishes as they take on the liquid easily and we always seem to have them in the fridge. Thin slices only need about 5 minutes in the vinegar to have a lovely acidic flavour but retain a crunchy texture. I eat them with sushi, on salads, with cheeses and on…

via Pickled Vegetables – in just 10 mins | arecipeforgluttony.


I've no idea what Ron's soup looks like but here's an approximation from Wikimedia!

I’ve no idea what Ron’s soup looks like but here’s a rough guess from Wikimedia!

Originally posted on Ron’s Rants

The soup will be puréed so no need to be obsessive about cutting up the veg**. For a veggie version just omit the chicken cube and the bacon.

**But see Update footnote.

Ingredients:-

500g (pack weight), Leeks, trimmed, halved lengthways, washed if needed, and sliced across

3 Sweet Spear carrots, sliced

3 rashers Sainsbury’s Butcher’s Choice Sweetcure unsmoked back bacon, fried in a little oil, cooled and chopped into small pieces. Retain the oil.

2 Kallo organic veg cubes, softened among the leeks

1 Knorr chicken cube, grated

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 litre of bean stock, if you have it. If not, boiling water. Bean stock is light on flavour but will contain nutrients from the beans

½ litre boiling water…

Read original: Leek, Potato, Bacon, and Soya Bean Soup… | Ron’s Rants…


No news on computer but this recipe always cheers me up. Take care and keep laughing!
Sarah x

First Night Design

Apricot Mousse
Apricot Mousse

I originally posted this apricot mousse recipe last Christmas. It’s such a delicious alternative to the heaviness of Christmas pudding that it’s worth repeating, especially as I have now designed a matching artwork!   It serves equally well as an accompaniment to mince pies or pudding in place of brandy butter or cream.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 8)

1/2 cup • 4 oz • 115 grams Dried Apricots
3 Eggs
3/8 cup • 3 oz • 85 grams  Caster Sugar (superfine)
1 cup • 1/2 Pint • 284.13 ml Double or Whipping Cream
Amaretti Biscuits

METHOD

  1. Soak the dried apricots overnight in a pan of water that just covers the fruit.
  2. Cook the apricots in the same liquid until tender.
  3. Strain the fruit and blend to a purée.
  4. Beat the eggs and the sugar until the mixture is thick enough to leave a trail.
  5. Whisk the cream until it is thick…

View original post 93 more words


Still raining? Still not the Spring-going-into-Summer weather you’re hoping for? Warm yourself up with one of Ron’s luscious soups. And keep your fingers crossed that this time tomorrow I will have my computer back from the hospital!

Ron's Rants...

I thought it was time I cobbled up a new vegetarian soup recipe as I tend to stick with two favourites lately, Roasted Cauliflower & Potato which, frankly, is amazingly good (I’ve made it with King Edwards and with Rooster, and I prefer Rooster, though both are very good – not just my opinion, by the way), and Cannellini Beans and Vegetables .

If the Cauliflower and Potato has a downside, it’s a

View original post 881 more words


Apricot Mousse
Apricot Mousse

I originally posted this apricot mousse recipe last Christmas. It’s such a delicious alternative to the heaviness of Christmas pudding that it’s worth repeating, especially as I have now designed a matching artwork!   It serves equally well as an accompaniment to mince pies or pudding in place of brandy butter or cream.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 8)

1/2 cup • 4 oz • 115 grams Dried Apricots
3 Eggs
3/8 cup • 3 oz • 85 grams  Caster Sugar (superfine)
1 cup • 1/2 Pint • 284.13 ml Double or Whipping Cream
Amaretti Biscuits

METHOD

  1. Soak the dried apricots overnight in a pan of water that just covers the fruit.
  2. Cook the apricots in the same liquid until tender.
  3. Strain the fruit and blend to a purée.
  4. Beat the eggs and the sugar until the mixture is thick enough to leave a trail.
  5. Whisk the cream until it is thick (soft peaks).
  6. Fold the apricot purée into the egg and sugar mixture.
  7. Fold in the whipped cream and place either in the refrigerator or the freezer.  Or eat straight away!
  8. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle with crushed Amaretti or Almond biscuits.

Please note that if you freeze the mousse, you will need to defrost it for at least 6 hours.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Food and art are the stuff of life.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

The Flash Cook

Those of us who have been to art museums lately (ahem . . . or some time in the not-so-distant past) have squinted at our share of incredibly literal titles for works of art. You know, Woman with a Hat orVase with Twelve Sunflowers.  I’m sure someone who knows a lot more about art than I do can provide some reasonable explanation for this but, as a layperson, I find it curious that an artist would take so much time to paint something and then choose to give it a title that reduces it to its components.  There was a time when paintings were given titles that directed your viewing experience in some way – The Happy Accidents of the Swing  or Starry Night. Those two titles help you interpret what you are seeing. In case you thought that the woman in the swing was freaked out…

View original post 679 more words


Sounds delicious!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


This ‘Depression Cake’ recipe should prove useful at a time when we’re all struggling to survive on so little … and it actually looks delicious!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

This Sunday will be my husband’s birthday. Each year, Brett looks forward to just one thing; a cake that his grandmother made him every year since he can remember. Even when he left home in 1982 to join the Navy, Grandma Johnson would bake this cake and ship it to where ever he was station. When she passed away in 1997, I pick up where she left off.

The cake that she would make was called an “Eggless, Butterless, Milkless Cake“. What it really is a Depression Era cake. Depression cakes, also known as “War Cakes” date back to World War I. The recipe  was in a pamphlet distributed by the United States Food Administration in 1918 entitled “War Economy in Food“. War Cakes are listed under “Recipes for Conservation Sweets.” The United States Food Administration stressed the importance of reducing sugar…

View original post 502 more words


Source: piarecipes.blogspot.com via First Night Design on Pinterest

I adore Sweet and Sour Chicken.  Actually, I adore anything sweet and sour!  Click here for the recipe.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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