Homemade comfort food…

… at its best!

Pasta with 3 types of Italian meat and a cheesy white sauce, sprinkled with nutmeg & black pepper…

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Mince – the versatile meal

What can one say about mince – is there nothing it can do?

• Spaghetti
• Lasagne
• Burgers
• Tacos
• Chilli con Carne
• Meatballs

Ok, so largely an American/Italian/Mexican influence, but once cooked any remaining leftovers can be frozen and put away, with a simple key added ingredients, its versatility comes into its own again once defrosted.

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!

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…

Comfort eating part 2

It cannot be denied that comfort eating is a pleasure always.

And after a rather heavy Italian inspired cook-fest this week, we didn’t fall short of comfort.
this affect – I make no apologies for pasta eating en mass.

Spaghetti Bolognaise is one such comfort. A meal that can be cooked with a blindfold on, where smell is your guiding sensory pleasure until the very first eaten morsel where taste then takes over and consumes you whole-heartedly.

As a parting gesture for my father and brother before they head to the land down under, I cooked up a batch mid-week for them, my husband (and me of course), a meal much loved and one remembered at times created by my mum, with the full knowledge it would be devoured.

I don’t do diets or pretend I eat only fruit and veg – I’d honestly starve. I eat what makes me happy and pasta is one such thing. Everyone should be able to enjoy food for their pleasure and not a societal requirement – lettuce leaf meals, what on earth is a lettuce only meal?

Don’t ever assume that pasta is satanic or ill advised, I will not hear of it – carbs make us feel full, give us energy and help create a wholesome and fulfilling meal.

At my house, you will always leave gastronomically satisfied.