Tins at the ready

There can be as much fun in preparing for baking as there can be in eating the delectable end product –fact!

Loaf tins at the ready
Tins at the ready

Ingredients on their way to make a scrummy madeira cake…
Madeira cake ingredients

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Keep calm and well, just keep!

I love a leftover of almost anything – food scraps, a sad carrot, a mystified packet of tortilla wraps, jar contents, etc. Almost nothing (and I mean nothing) is wasted in our house. By the end of the week, the fridge is bare and ready for another week of culinary discovery.

I have continued to strive for such pleasures in the freezing of almost anything that will fit into an ice cube tray.

So red wine, rosemary and beef stock cubes become a handy compliment to a dish, be it beef mince-based or gravy (and a house that smells of roast and merlot is perfection in my book).

Now I have included the lush green, speckled landscape of pesto which has been carefully divided into said trays, ready for pasta and bruschetta evenings.

Before we left for our quick Australian dash a few weeks back, I had three rather sad looking bananas that I was tempted to throw but was dreaming of a better life for them.

So after some careful research and a really hungry tummy (I’m always thinking of baking mind due) I mashed the bananas equally, divided into freezer containers and they are now ready for defrosting and popping into a loaf or better still, a delectable muffin, in the future.

I have said in a previous post that we bought a shelved freezer a few years ago as we live in a flat and space is of the essence. We spent a bit on it (under £200) but it has saved us so much money in not wasting food.

Waste not, want not is a mantra I just don’t think people adhere to as much as they could. This is certainly my homefoodphilosophy.

So before binning the entire contents of your fridge (and if you’re not confident in what you could do with your leftovers), research, ask a friend or better still, use that creative mind to build a concoction of food combinations and you never know where it may take you!

Bon appetite!

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?

Better and happier eating

I won’t lie, the range of ‘lighter’ options to use in cooking I find bland, not appetising and I crave for flavour.

I believe that ‘healthier’ options sometime compromise (to a degree) on making food tasty, appealing and almost guilt you into buying them. In my book, this is a big no.

I’m not going to preach on the right and wrong way, as we all should ideally have an understanding on ways to make our eating healthier, rather than having to buy the no fat, low calorie, salt free alternative.

This can be found in the way you season food, the oil you choose to use, the way you cook your veggies, the meat you buy and the quality of other ingredients – these can make a big difference in creating a ‘healthier’ outlook.

Healthy is great, that’s not in any doubt, but I don’t feel healthy should be promoted in the way we are often bombarded with propaganda spiel from experts on TV and in the celebrity world. What a lot of nonsense. Who on earth would find meals entirely made of liquids satisfying (unless you have no teeth and can’t chew, then this would be reasonable).

Human bodies exist so they can cope with pasta (gosh), salt, sugar and fat. It is in how you choose to use these elements that make the real difference.

It is also about reasonable exercise and activity that goes along with eating all the amazing food we have at our disposal – and options like walking, yoga, pilates and stretching are all exercises that are beneficial and not too daunting. They appeal to me and I don’t think I’m doing too badly.

I eat baked goods (and so much chocolate) but I also love veggies, good olive oil and seasoning within reason.

So please have your cake, eat it well, enjoy and savour it.

Homefoodphilosophy comforts

We all have those essential dishes that make us feel like we are wrapped in a comfy blanket on a Winter’s day whether it actually be warm or cold outside – that meal that brings pleasure, memories and a smile to your face.

One such food that always fills me with joys of comfort eating is Tuna Morney, made and perfected by my late mother, given and passed down (I like to think) to me and cooked as often as I can for myself, my beloved husband and anyone else who eats at our table.

It is so simple and contains only a few ingredients that provide a massive taste blast.

Flaked tuna in brine, a touch of mild curry powder for warmth and essential spice, chopped and sautéed brown onion, mixed together with a homemade béchamel sauce. Served with or beside pasta or rice (but the former is a preferred favourite) and a handful of plain, salted crisps for needy dipping.

Could not be more perfect x

How to create taste without eating

Food and good coking to me is largely about how you describe what you are looking at, how you start the cooking process, the passion and words that make you feel like you are eating the meal then and there, a smell you can conjure up without having a single morsel in front of your nose. No picture, photo or image is ever going to truly capture what’s on the plate, but with words, the taste is always there.