It’s Bob time!!!!

It’s been a while since you’ve all seen Bob, so what better day for him to say hello, than today, his birthday…my baby Bob is now a whole year old!!!!

IMG_8422-0.JPGHe’s been with us for 8 months of that time, and it’s been a wonderful 8 months, he’s such a lovely boy – more Bob photos coming up, if you’re not into dogs, I’d move on now…:)

IMG_4771.JPGRemember this? This is when he first arrived..

IMG_4759.JPGBoy, hasn’t my baby grown??!!

And my two baby boys together..

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IMG_8019.JPGHave a great week xx

The week that was…

This week there has been the usual activity in my kitchen, the usual flurry of herbs and spices…so much fabulous flavour and amazing aromas used in a whole array of dishes.

I made some batches of sweet potato, carrot, chickpea and kidney bean chilli with my own creole spice instead of the listed spices on my previously made chilli; mixed some red split lentils and frozen peas with some zaalouk; and made a red lentil dal to fill a customers freezer with fabulous healthy meals. As well as several boxes of goodness cubes for snack time :)

IMG_4761-0.JPGI also mixed up my own spice mix, including sumac, paprika, garlic and lemon powders which I used to marinate some chicken for my boys – I’m told it was very tasty which is fab, makes me very happy!

IMG_4762.JPGI used the same spice mix mixed with some added nigella seeds and olive oil to roast my aubergine last night too..

IMG_4738.JPG…and of course, turned the leftovers into a dip!

All in all, a nicely productive week! And in case you’ve missed anything over the last couple of weeks, check out my posts for..

Spinach and mixed nuts cakes

Baingan patiala

Spice mixes

Harissa

I hope you’re all having, or have had, a great weekend xxx

Some more harissa..

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IMG_4432.JPGI made another version of harissa last week, this one differs slightly from the last one I made as the chilli seeds remain instead of spending hours removing them from the dried chillies – as much because I forgot to take them out!!! Plus there’s a slight difference in the added spices, no carraway seeds in this one. Packed with flavour though :)

IMG_4439.JPGThis recipe is inspired by the recipe in the ‘Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous’ book by Ghillie Basan.

Ingredients
200g dried red Indian chillies
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp sea salt
3-4 garlic cloves
Some chopped fresh coriander
Olive oil – enough to make a paste

Method
Soak the dried chillies in warm water for 2-3 hours, drain them – and remove the chilli seeds now if that’s what you would prefer!!

Put everything in a blender and whizz it into a paste.

Store in a clean jar and add a layer of olive oil over the tip of the paste to preserve it.

Keeps for up to a month.

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IMG_4436.JPGI add mine to fresh homous and various recipes.

IMG_4437.JPGEnjoy!

Loving the colours and the flavours..

I’ve already made several things in my kitchen today, including several spice mixes, some from existing recipes and a couple of new ones that I’ve made as experiments. Spices are such a great way to add flavour to so many dishes and they bring so many health benefits too, and all with no extra calories!! Even better :)

I already have HUGE amount of herbs and spices in my cupboards, and recently I ordered some more unusual ones to play with…so this has been part of my morning…

IMG_4616.JPGI love how the pot looks before its milled, I love seeing the layers of the herbs and spices, it reminds me of those jars of coloured sands you can buy at the seaside!

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IMG_4615.JPGDon’t they look cool?! I’ll let you know how my new mixes work out :)

Saturday nights Indian feast..

IMG_4516.JPGLast night I filled the table with an Indian feast for myself and my boys, a wonderful spread of food and flavours, but it didn’t lend itself to photos I’m afraid, I needed an extra pair of hands for that! So I can only share with you the shots from the leftovers of one of the dishes and tell you about the others!!

I made a chicken madras for my boys – the recipe also lends itself easily to becoming vegetarian, just swap the chicken for your choice of vegetable – I roasted sprouts with a jalfrezi spice mix, and roasted cauliflower with a tandoori spice mix, made crispy mini roast potatoes, Shruti’s garlic naan bread and this wonderful vegetable dish for me, based on Abby’s baingan patiala.

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IMG_4515.JPGI followed Abby’s recipe and added 5 chopped long red peppers and about 200ml of passata too, and it was VERY tasty :) With my versions of teaspoonfuls I probably doubled all of the spices too!!! Yum!!

IMG_4517.JPGSooooooo much better than an Indian takeaway! It was clean plates all round – and after all that effort, it was all gone in under 20 minutes – isn’t that just the best compliment ever??

Also made this week…

This is a selection of the other goodies to come out of my kitchen this week; some of you will have seen some of them already on Instagram, for everyone else, I hope you enjoy some new ideas..

I made up some fresh batches of chermoula recently, having not made some for a little while, and have enjoyed adding it to all sorts of dishes, I do love the flavours, I’d forgotten just how good it is!!

Chermoula marinated aubergine and paneer..

IMG_4398.JPGCauliflower also marinated in my freshly made chermoula..

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IMG_4399.JPGAubergine and solo garlic roasted in my sumac and citrus spice mix..

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IMG_4440.JPGRoasted carrots, red onion and garlic dip with chermoula..

IMG_4442.PNGRoasted winter squash dip with added chermoula..

IMG_4441.PNGFreshly made labneh with fresh chunky apple sauce..

IMG_4424.JPGSo much fun in my kitchen!!!

Spinach and mixed nuts cakes..

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IMG_4426.JPGMy last post was a week ago celebrating my first year anniversary of blogging; I’ve cooked and made lots of different foods in that week but haven’t been ready to post anything as I’ve been so overwhelmed with all of your lovely responses to my post that I haven’t wanted to move the post down the page! I know, silly really…sentimental thing that I am…I just loved your comments and your support so much. Thank you all over again xx

So, of all the creations that have come out of my kitchen, I now have to decide what to share with you today (they will all come out to play at some point over the next week though, rest assured) and what to bring to this week’s Fiesta Friday, so how about my spinach and nut cakes and my mezze brunch today…

IMG_4482.JPGHere we have a trio of dips, left to right:
Roasted butternut squash homous with creole spices
Sweet potato and chermoula dip
Aubergine and garlic roasted in my own spice mix and whizzed into a dip with tahini sauce

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IMG_4484.JPGAnd with the carrot sticks and roasted butternut squash, my spinach and nut cakes:

Ingredients

250g bag baby spinach
Handful almonds
Handful cashews
Handful brazils (all raw nuts)
3-4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons cumin
4 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons paprika
Salt and pepper
1 egg

Method

In a food processor, chop up all of the spinach and garlic
In a small bowl blender, chop the nuts until the form a crumb
Then mix everything together with all of the rest of the ingredients
I then spooned the mixture into my mini loaf silicone baking trays and baked at 180C for 25 minutes
They’re nice warm, but they set more when they are cold and its therefore easier to pile dips on them!

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IMG_4415.JPGYum yum yum!!!! What more can I say? Perfect if you’ve got a bag of spinach to use up like I did!!

Time to head over to Friday Friday and meet all of my wonderful blog friends for the fabulous weekly blog party, co hosted once again this week by the fabulous Julianna and Hilda…check it out, and consider co hosting, it’s great fun, just let Angie know, and whilst you’re there, check out her amazing Chocoflans! Wow!!!

Have a great weekend xx