Monday, February 25, 2013

Shitake and Pancetta Farro Risotto

I was reading recently about how wonderfully healthy farro its high in protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium and, of course, fiber. It is a whole grain wheat and one of the first grains that was cultivated, it has even been found in Egyptian tombs. It became less popular over the ages as other strains of wheat were grown, but in recent years it has become popular again and is being grown in Italy. It has a starchy quality to it that lends itself well to being made into a risotto. It can also be cooked and added to salads, used as a yogurt topping or as a breakfast cereal. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Granddad taught me ....

My Granddad went home today, and I wanted to do a wee post in tribute to him and what he has taught me ....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Teapot bird feeders

Today we made these simple, bird feeders you simple heat a packet of gelatin into 1/4 cup of water, mix with one cup of bird seeds add to cookie molds, with string. Add 1/2 add a looped piece of wool or string then add more. Allow to cool then hang on the tree's and wait for the birds, well probably the squirrels :-)

deciding where to hang them :-)

Who else loves watching the birds, and who is excited for spring :-) 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Aviyal (South Indian Vegetable and Coconut Curry)

Aviyal is a traditional South Indian dish I remember my Mum in law telling me that it was one of her favorites, it is often served at weddings and festivals. When we were in India last month my Aunt came from the village to visit. She is a lovely lady and now after being married nearly ten years and meeting quite a few times with my not so good Tamil and her English we manage to communicate. She's in her 50's but so active and full of live and humor. She puts some of the younger folks to shame:-) with her energy levels, she is also a wonderful cook. I got this recipe from her but I did use coconut milk as its hard to get fresh coconuts locally, but it tastes pretty close and the hubby approved.


  • eggplant about 4 little ones found in Indian stores, or a larger one cut into chunks
  • one drumstick if you have but not necessary
  • one tomato chopped
  • one green chili, cut in half
  • one big plantain chopped or 3 small green ones
  • one cup water
  • 3/4 can of coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • one red chili
  • a handful of fresh curry leaves - you can find these in the Indian store in the case of this recipe they are needed. 
  • a pinch of mustard seeds

  1. boil all the above vegetables in water for about 10-15 minutes until soft
  2. then grind the coconut paste, with the cumin and chili
  3. add to the vegetables with the coconut milk, slowly stirring on a low heat for 5 min
  4. heat a little canola oil and pop the mustard seeds with the curry leaves and add to curry
  5. enjoy with rice 

Here's me and Auntie 

This is her laying rice flour on the roof to dry with the kids, the coolest thing is she grew the rice and made the flour, this flour is used to make iddiapam. See below, almost like an Indian rice noodle, its eaten with curries or with coconut milk and sugar often for breakfast.

These banana flowers were also grown in the village and the flowers carefully picked to make a tasty stir fry with. 

The kids have been sick this week with a cough and cold, hopefully it will leave the house soon. 

Have a lovely start to the week everyone :-) 

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Strawberry and Pistachio Firni

When we went to India recently I had the pleasure of meeting Sanjeeta from Lite Bite I adore her, such a humble person and so talented she is now also a professional food stylist. We had a lovely lunch with her and her family and she gave us Firni a Rajasthani dessert from her home state. I made it with strawberries like Sanjeeta did and added pistachios, see the link for her wonderful recipes one with mango and one rose. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Special Hot Chocolate

After reading this blog post about George Washington's hot chocolate cup I just knew I wanted one, I found this cup on etsy its German from the 1800's and thought I would make a special wee chocolate in it. I made chantilly cream, whipped cream with a dash of vanilla and used Cadbury's hot chocolate from the UK. Once in a while we need to treat ourselves to a special drink and sit and sip.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Asian Minced pork, Vegetables and Noodles

This is such a great dish it was inspired by a lovely blog Eating Pleasure - Little Inbox based in Malaysia, one of my favorites for Asian recipes. The original recipe called for black fungus which I didn't have and not really sure where to find it.  I may even go as far as to say its one of the best noodle dishes I have made, following Authentic food blogs from different area's of the World makes all the difference in taste compared to someone from another countries spin on it. Just my humble opinion reading food blogs from around the globe and cooking from them makes our meals so much more fun.

Friday, February 1, 2013

South Indian filter coffee

One of my favorite drinks in India is South Indian filter coffee its made with a little stainless steel filter and a coffee and chicory mix. Coffee is grown in a few places in India in fact last time we visited we visited a plantation in Coorg, its mostly Robusta that is grown that is then mixed with Arabica. Here's a link to a wonderful article about India's coffee industry in the Seattle Times . The filter makes a small amount of concentrated coffee like a shot and its added to hot milk and then poured from container to container like the guy above is doing. Its quite an art :) and it creates a great foam on the coffee. My hubby used to do this to coffee when we were dating I thought he was crazy until I went to India, now when we go I always order it. 


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