Christmas craft gifts – ahead of the pack

In an attempt to be uber-organised this coming Christmas (with a toddler and a what will be 3 month old) – that should be an achievable goal, right?

So I have thought of some frugal, alternative craft gifts for friends and family:

  • Rosemary salt
  • Rosemary and Parmesan biscuits
  • Lavender pouches
  • Tomato and oregano sauce

The idea being that most of the ingredients are from my very own collection and cuttings that my daughter helps cultivate (well digs with her spade and pours dirt all over the pathway)- but practically the same!DE9oJIcW0AEm-sB

Here we go…

Kitchen garden revisited

Although I’m happy to see the end of the rain for now (the weeds think it was just divine), it has meant a significant bloom in my garden which I’m wishfully hoping will encourage my veggies to leap into action.

And thankfully my herbs have heeded to that plea and headed skywards.

I’m sure I’ve waffled on before but I am passionate about my desire for an extension in some way, of the kitchen into the garden, creating a continuous unbroken road of food from earth to table and table leftovers to replanting in the ground.

From something that can start as mere seeds from last years crop, to snippets of existing plants (and delighting in my neighbour’s wayward rosemary hedgerow), the kitchen garden can be whatever and however big and grand or tiny and surprising as you wish to make it.

So I’m thinking of some delectable, desirable dishes to use up the flurry of oregano, rosemary, coriander, parsley and basil playing home to my garden for this year.

herb

 

 

 

 

New year and a bit of Moroccan spice

A new year, new start and so much to keep me going. And sorry I’ve been out of touch, busy, busy, busy.

Saw this photo on Pinterest (thanks to http://bit.ly/KFyYdX for the link) and it reminded me of a recently inspired dinner party we had – doesn’t it just conjure up the exotic?

bf785b67467d07a52814b895ad338a67

Last weekend we hosted a friend to enjoy my Middle-Eastern cuisine feast. And it lasted 2 meals and then some. We had:
Halloumi cheese (no other cheese would suffice i promise)
Moroccan lamb meatballs with apricots and harisa/yoghurt dip
Marinated chicken skewers with coriander
Fragrant cous-cous with dried apple
Chickpea, pomegranate, mint and cumin salad…
…and some other delectable givings.

What thoughts and ideas do you conjure up when you think of middle-eastern cuisine?

Do share…

A rather romantic stroll in the market

I have an idealistic view of the culinary world that thankfully I can spend all I want (and all day in my head) where I visit romantic European outdoor markets and country stalls in my dreams.

The idea of fresh fruit, veggies, bread and pastries, wandering the many stalls crammed with cheeses and colourful fresh flowers.

I have luckily been to an actual few over the years – Rome being among my favourite; dried herbs patted around the outdoor tents, strands of egg pasta, plastic crates packed to the high with glossy vegetables.

The fresh look of produce, the passion and drive of stall holders in their many and the array of choice is a novelty I don’t feel I have locally to me.

If only Rome could come to Luton!

Share with us what your market dream would be and I will gladly keep the dream alive…

Bringing the outside inside

The Kitchen Garden concept is an essential part of my cooking and I urge it to be yours if possible too.

By growing herbs (and vegetables when and where I can) in the small space we retain outside our flat, I adore the development in watching seeds burst and grow to become a fully-fledged ingredient.

I encourage whatever space you have to use as your outdoor kitchen.

The fresh smell of wafting herbs around the home can conjure up an utter sense of relaxation (and a rumbling tummy).

Do you have a Kitchen Garden and a photo you would like to share?