Making Sonal’s spice mix..


IMG_5366.JPGA couple of days ago I reblogged a post from Sonal’s blog of a fabulous spice mix that she had made and was offering as a giveaway…but sadly only to people on the US :( so….I made my own…and it’s lovely!!!

IMG_5373.JPGMy kitchen smelt fabulous yesterday as I toasted the spices…



I also got the change to use one of the cinnamon sticks that the lovely people at Just Ingredients had sent me…


IMG_5381.JPG…and I got to use the milling tool on my NutriBullet to grind the spices, it’s such a brilliant piece of kit!

And now I have yellow turmeric stained nails so I now feel SO authentic!!! Ha ha!

I tested the spice mix in some roasted veggies last year, as part of a huge Indian feast I made, and it tastes GOOD!


IMG_5367.JPGThank you, Sonal xxx

Home Made Curry Spice Melange : A Holiday Giveaway from my kitchen for USA residents.

Elaine @ foodbod:

Check out Sonal’s fab post – dedicated to little old me :) xx

Originally posted on simplyvegetarian777:

There was a time, few years ago when I got hooked to the store bought curry masala. It was just so convenient. Add to your curry paste and the curry is ready without taking out the boxes of 6-10 spices to blend in. This was the time, when I never thought of blogging and making my own spice blends. Now I make most of my spice blends at home. And I can say that I can completely vouch for my spice blend and the market bought ones stand nowhere closer to this. I also want to mention that, I haven’t copied this from anybody else. I copyright it as mine ! I forbid anybody to use it for any commercial purpose. On the other hand, make it for your family and friends!

This was made on the special request of the guests visiting us from Brazil. They wanted some curry…

View original 458 more words

Roasted tomato and garlic sauce: flavour overload!

IMG_5298-0.JPGThis is something I do quite regularly that I thought I’d share: I’m very lucky to have the local market that’s on my doorstep, the fruit and vegetables are so fab, and I always buy several trays of tomatoes; they are Β£1 per tray, how good is that?? I have bowls of them out in my kitchen (always at room temperature to really enjoy their true flavour) and I pick at them constantly, or add them to salads, or do this with them..

I fill an oven tray with tomatoes and garlic cloves, sometimes sprinkle rosemary/thyme and a bit of salt over them, drizzle with olive oil and roast until they start to brown. I then take them out and allow them to cool a bit, remove the skins from the garlic cloves and scrape it all into the blender – everything, including all the juices and herbs and oil. Then whizz it up and it makes a perfect, tasty sauce.

IMG_5303.JPGIt’s gorgeous to eat as it is with a spoon, or to use as a pizza or pasta sauce, or eat with some roasted vegetables as I did today.


IMG_5302.JPGI roasted chopped courgettes with garlic cloves, all sprinkled with Aleppo chilli flakes and drizzled with olive oil – nice!


IMG_5299.JPGI also sprinkled hemp seeds over the final dish for some protein and goodness.


I did it: I made a homous pie!!!! (Gluten/sugar/dairy free)

IMG_5261.JPGThis has been going round my head for a while, I’ve wanted to make a nut crust pie after seeing Kellie’s plus I’ve wanted to try making a homous pie and see what homous does when it’s baked and today was the day!

IMG_5271.JPGThis is my first attempt and the crust did come out quite thick, but it worked, that’s all that matters!!!

IMG_5278.JPGThe crust is based on the same principle as the crackers I’ve made before which are basically nuts, seeds and an egg, plus you can add herbs and spices to add more flavour. Having pressed the ‘dough’ into the lined pan it then needed to be baked blind, for about 1/2 and hour at 140C, before adding the homous and already roasted beetroot slices, and topped with za’atar. It was then baked for a further 20-25 minutes.

IMG_5272.JPGSo what is the baked homous like, I hear you ask? Have you ever tried warm homous? Basically, the flavour becomes even richer and weirdly, it becomes very filling, although the nut crust added to that too. I’ll definitely make it thinner next time.

It’s a big thumbs up from me and I’ll be developing it further in the near future….:)



IMG_5153.JPGSo, the other things I came home with from the Good Food Show on Saturday was….garlic, garlic and a bit more garlic!! As if I don’t already have enough garlic in my house!!! I do love it though and I get through so much, I can never have enough in my kitchen…that’s my excuse anyway!

IMG_5149.JPGFirstly, I bought this gorgeous violet garlic tress, isn’t it pretty? I’ll let you know how it tastes once I’ve tried it.

What I did like was the lady who was on the stall selling this garlic stated that in France people don’t consider garlic as a condiment, but as another vegetable. Fabulous!!! I’ve now decided that I am definitely French!!! All the more reason too keep eating LOTS and LOTS of garlic :)

IMG_5155.JPGThe other things I bought was some more black garlic, it really is so tasty, and some elephant garlic, the huge cloves. These were from the The Garlic Farm in the Isle of Wight, they have a huge array of everything garlic on their website, I could happily order it all!!

So now my kitchen boasts a whole lovely selection of different garlics, how wonderful!!

IMG_5153-0.JPGYou’ll definitely smell me coming! Yum yum yum!! Unsociable maybe but I tell you something though, my boys have both had a couple of horrible colds each recently, and I haven’t had one! This garlic stuff really works :)

What a fab show!

IMG_5103.JPGOn Saturday, myself and Selma had the great honour of visiting the BBC Good Food Show in London as guests of Barbers Farmhouse Cheesemakers. We were given press passes and were thoroughly looked after and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! (Does anyone look good traipsing round an exhibition??!! Honestly, I look like a bag lady…..!)

The guys from Barbers told us all about their cheese making history whilst we happily tasted their fab cheeses, especially their 1833 cheddar which is the king of their selection; it’s the story that you want it to be: generations of farmers and cheesemakers in Dorset, farming their own cows, using original cultures to make the cheese, experimenting with new cheese ideas as well as ways to use the whey too.

IMG_5158.JPGThe coolest one was that they use the whey to make vodka!!! (A bit wasted on me as a non drinker but Selma happily obliged with tasting….) how cool is that? Definitely teaches you a lesson in not wasting the by products from whatever you’re making.

IMG_5107.JPGThey also make a hard goats cheese and a smoked cheddar via their Wookey Hole brand and they were both lovely too, very very tasty, we definitely went back for more of them..


IMG_5160.JPGThe Barbers stand was set at the back of the exhibition stall where this year the World Cheese Awards have been held and you have never seen so much cheese in all your life, tables and tables groaning with hundreds of different cheeses. I mean, look at the size of some of those cheese blocks, you could build a house with them!! Amazing!



IMG_5105.JPGAnd so many categories for judging and happily Barbers had great success with their cheddars.

So, readers, watch this space for some experimental recipes including Barbers cheeses, and I’ll be back later to tell you what else we saw and sampled, and what else I came home with from the exhibition….but for now, it’s cheese time….:)

Happy Monday xx

Let’s call it a tasty tangy tagine :)

IMG_5094.JPGAs I walked Bob this morning (and got VERY VERY wet!) I was running through what I had in the fridge and what I might do with it all; I decided to roast the two aubergines whole and use the flesh with a collection of lots of other bits and pieces I had to use up, which is what resulted in the recipe below.

I also chopped and roasted courgettes, shallots and garlic in one pan, and baby plum tomatoes, salt and garlic in another, which I then blended to a sauce, and had a brunch of the lovely roasted vegetables topped with the roasted tomato and garlic sauce and some leftover homous…there’s no photos of any of that because I was too busy eating it all!! I can honestly tell you that it was all very tasty though :)

I guess you could call this another tagine? It’s a great big pot of loveliness full of healthy tasty goodness..

IMG_5102.JPGMy pot of everything

2 medium aubergines, roasted, peeled and roughly chopped
300g frozen peas
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, chopped into chunks and roasted
500g passata
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped
1 bunch coriander chopped
2 tsp cumin
4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Splash of olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon

Chuck it all in together – EXCEPT the butternut squash – in a large pan over a low/medium heat, bring it to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 30-45 minutes until a you’re happy with the consistency and flavour.

Add the butternut squash at the end to absorbs flavours whilst keeping its shape and not breaking down completely in the mix.

IMG_5097.JPGI eat it like this, with no additions, but you could eat it with quinoa, rice or pasta, or as a sauce with a jacket potato; you could also add some grated cheese to melt over the topped or add a blob of Greek yoghurt to stir through it.


IMG_5093.JPGI’m bringing this to this week’s Fiesta Friday – do visit Angie’s page and check out her AMAZING Courtesan au Chocolat pastries!! And a big thank you to this week’s co hosts, Tracy and Stephanie, thank you ladies :)

Have a great party and a great weekend xx