I don’t travel abroad very often, (especially if it involves a plane,) since my beloved country has wonderful beaches, beautiful mountains, breathtaking islands all within a 4 hour driving range. That is why now that we (Greece) have put ourselves in a bad position, the “developed” northern part of Europe is moving in for the kill…. Noone, no matter how wealthy, wants to spend all their lives in a dull, cloudy environment, and so our nice beaches & failing economy make for the ideal target. OMG, I am becoming like my granfather, rambling off-topic, talking politics in a food blog… let’s get back to cooking & its relevance to me recent travels. Every time I do end up venturing outside of Greece, I am reminded that the true value of the experience is meeting new people, experiencing different ways of life, & seeing diverse cultures. Food is always a big part of any culture, & my recent trip to the Middle east was filled with new flavors & experiences. I loved the spicy teas they treated us to everywhere we went, and the amazing dates that were abundantly present. I had cheese & chocolate made from camel milk and the best lamb I have ever tasted, always accompanied by a fragrant rice side-dish every time I ordered it. One of the dishes that impressed me the most, was this fragrant starter that seemed so representative of the local ingredients and cooking style. This dish however stuck with me and I share with you my attempt to recreate it. Enjoy.
Let me start by saying that I’m glad to be back after a long time. I miss cooking for the site and I hope you all missed me…
On that note I’d like to say how amazing Lauren has been in keeping the blog up and running by herself and …our blog has become gluten free focused???
My oh my, I thought the day would never come especially since I am a known bread-junky.
However since no one should be eating gluten anyway, I am happy to play along.
So, for this post I start easy since I am a bit rusty in the kitchen. I include this condiment that’s going to transform the flavor of many dishes you might usually prepare. This sweet tomato jam goes well with almost anything you can think of. Most sandwiches, especially grilled cheese. Almost everything that comes off of a bbq, particularly vegetables like portobello mushrooms and pork chops. I found that it pairs nicely with most bean/rice combo salads, noticeably chickpeas.
Guacamole… not many things to say about it. Simple, delicious and versatile, we used it for our chicken burritos. It can also accompany a variety of dishes or be used as a dip for chips and vegetables. Easy to make, the only thing that is important is to have nice ripe avocados that will mash simply with a fork.
— I’d like to add that I think mel has really understated this dish. Yes, ok, technically it’s not a main… but I couldn’t stop eating it! I actually made it again today & took it into work, nothing to go with it, just guacamole all on it’s own… I kind of feel bad for my colleagues since I like to put double the garlic, chili, onions & lime that mel puts. What can I say, I’m a big fan of the intense! My point is, make it, it’s super delicious & incredibly healthy. — nickey x
I have this love for stuffed vegetables that can’t be explained. Something about them being wholesome, comforting, filling & completely delicious.
As luck would have it for me, now is the perfect season for pumpkins. You know, that same amazing vegetable that we carve into faces. Stuff into pies. Bake into cookies. Puree into soups. Mince into a casserole. The possibilities are endless. Recently I’ve even been pondering making pumpkin & cream cheese muffins. Maybe even a pumpkin cheese cake.
So, these amazing, delicious, round & wonderfully orange vegetables have now been turned into a container for the most incredible stuffing. I’m telling you, I love what Mel does with food. Every single time.
Any way, these baked stuff pumpkins have all sorts of amazing things in them. I ate a whole bowl of stuffing prior to them being ready, and then still managed to eat an entire pumpkin on my own. Scooping out that incredible orange flesh with every bite.
Two orange coloured soups in less than a week…. shame on me. I’ve also had two orange backgrounds on my desserts…. and the leaves are starting to go orange as well. That’s the leaves on the trees I mean.
…I’m lying about the last one, no orange leaves. Yet.
I’m sorry about all the orange though, I’m not however sorry about the second soup. I make no apologies.
It’s cold, that’s all I’m saying.