peach & rosemary preserve

peach, rosemary & white wine preserve... gluten-free

I think I’ve got the canning bug. Although of course I just had to wait until all the good fruits were out of season before I decided I wanted to try to preserve them.

Still, managed to get my hands on some peaches.

Here’s my dirty little secret though. I didn’t reach for those nice, fresh, just ripened peaches with that beautiful yellow coloured flesh…. I wanted my peaches close to death. All soft & squishy. Starting to turn colour. Completely unappetising to eat with that horrendous overly-rippened-now-starting-to-rot mushy thing going on.

Want to know why? These are usually the sweetest & make the best jams. Doesn’t do wonders for my pictures though… but holy toledo Batman, that flavour is GOOOOD!

What I’ve got here isn’t your typical preserve either. I mean, it’s not something I’d put on pancakes in the morning. It’s more for toasted english muffins, or paired with brie & prosciutto. It’s for the more savoury of pairings with the earthy undertones of the rosemary & the slight hint of spice from the pepper corns. Personally, I’d like a little less sugar in the recipe, but then we start getting into the realms of adding more pectin & it’s just not something I want to deal with.

I think maybe I’m going to start going crazy with the preserving process & start getting ready for homemade christmas presents. Continue reading

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cabbage & caramelized hazelnut salad

Let me share with you all a problem I have been facing the last few years. I have developed an amazing craving for nuts & seeds that is bordering on an obsession. I put nuts in my salads, my rice, I eat them with honey & I put them in pastry bases. My favorite way  lately is using funky nut butters like almond or cashew as spreads on anything I can find… the other day I was dipping walnuts in cashew butter! However healthy they may be, they are still on the top of the list for the most fattening foods you can eat.

Example:
100gr of almonds = 600 calories
100gr of sugar = 400 calories
100gr of ice cream = 200 calories.

This explains why I can’t lose any weight when all I eat are “salads”. That being said though, I’m not gaining any either…. and if we’re taking into consideration the type of calories begin consumed, nuts are amongst the healthiest forms of calories you can get. See, it’s all about which is better for you.

This recipe today is an amazing combination of flavors & very healthy in the modified way I present it here…. instead of eating the whole thing myself & just sprinkling some cabbage on top of a bowl full of nuts

– mel

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almond hummus & pita chips

Finally. Snack FOOD!

I told you I had a craving for pita chips. These things are so deliciously crunchy & perfect for vegging out, watching a little stand up comedy.

Paired with almond & roasted red pepper hummus…. well it’s just divine.

Yea, Mel & I had a little veg. A well deserved putting-up of our exhausted feet. Moving is hard work (especially when one of you is a hoarder, not naming names).

I honestly think I deserve a medal for pulling this off. Trying to cook in our kitchen whilst it looks like an obstacle corse was interesting to say the least. I can’t wait to restore order to it. Looking at all my dishes strewn across the counters is unnerving.

Still, I promised I would do something really good with those gluten-free pita breads we made, & I’m pretty darn good at keeping my promises. Especially when they coincide with my cravings.

Right, back to packing… see you all on the other side of the move! xxx

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for the garlic lovers

All I have to say is… Mel was not best pleased with me this morning.

I’m not sure which upset him more, that I was using noisy kitchen gadgets, or that the whole house smelt like garlic. Most likely both.

Now that I think about it, Mel doesn’t like a lot of garlic even on the best of days. I can clearly recall occasions where he’s come into our bedroom at night & been completely distressed by the fact that my garlic breath had taken over the whole room. I know this because he was upset enough to wake me up over it.

Me on the other hand, I never understood what the big deal was with garlic breath. On other people it doesn’t bother me at all. On me, I couldn’t care less. There are so many worse smells out there to complain about. Coffee breath for one. The fear of having coffee breath means I will never let my pockets run dry of gum. If I think I’ve been overcome by it, I will keep a fair distance from the person I’m talking to & just try to keep my responses to the bare minimum, single syllables if I can get away with it. Cigarette breath is another one. I can’t stand that smell, and you can forget about kissing altogether. Blech.

The moral of the story is, carry gum. Or breath mints. Just because your breath doesn’t bother you, doesn’t mean someone else isn’t offended. I may think my garlic breath is nothing to fuss over, but Mel disagrees each & every time.

Didn’t stop me getting on a garlic kick this morning though. I went a little garlic crazy to tell you the truth!

First on my garlic list was a traditional Lebanese garlic sauce. It’s this smooth, creamy, rich sauce that is usually served with meats & it is just to die for. When made properly, it almost has the consistency of mayo except it’s a little lighter. I usually go overboard with it when I’m in a restaurant & just slather it on to each & every bite of my grilled chicken.

The second on the list today is a roasted garlic paste. This one I like to keep in the fridge because it makes my life a little easier. I can throw a teaspoon of it into a salad dressing, or put a little in my sauces whilst cooking. It goes great with a little lemon & chili over grilled broccoli. Or even spread on toast with a little avocado. It’s all the fun of garlic, but in a much more mellow form.

And lastly, well, there’s garlic olive oil. For when you just want a hint of it drizzled over your rice, bread, veggies, or anything else you might drizzle oil over.

Yea, I wasn’t lying when I said I went overboard with the garlic……

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