white chocolate, cranberry & pistachio bars

Let’s be honest, as soon as you know you’re going on holiday, you slack off. Whether it’s work, chores, to-do lists….. we all do it.

This is a recipe that I’ve been sitting on since before I left for the States. I’d had every intention of uploading the pictures & posting them upon my arrival…. but clearly seeing as I’m now back in Athens, that plan failed. What can I say, I’m only human after all.

These bars are really easy to make & will keep for a couple of weeks as long as they are stored in a cool, dark place in an air-tight container.  Continue reading

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fragrant couscous with panfried pork chops

I remember a few years back, sitting in the kitchen with my cousin Peanut one morning & having a discussion about nutrition & diet. She said something then that will forever stick with me. What she said was, that if you sit & take a good look at food & colour, you will notice that all the things that are generally considered to be unhealthy are all shade of beige. Pasta. Bread. Potatoes. Chips. Etc.

the couscousShe then continued on by saying that the more colourful our plate, the healthier we eat. Just think about all those beautiful colours out there. Pomegranate. Avocado. Plums. Cherries. Lemons. The colours are endless & all of them have some amazing nutritional value to offer.

the pomegranate The point I’m trying to make is, bring colour to your meals. Lots of it.

pistachiosI still can’t get over the purples & greens of the pistachios. I can’t help myself, they are beautiful. As for Mel, I’m still trying to work out what inspired him to make this dish. I can’t figure out whether he was drawn to the middle-eastern undertone brought in by the spices. Or perhaps he was looking at it from an angle of trying to be healthy. Or maybe, if like me, he’s secretly a colour junky. It could very well be all three, maybe I should just ask.

the feastWhat we’re sharing now are these mouth watering, pan fried pork chops accompanied with the fragrant couscous with pomegranate, pistachio & sumak. One word…. yum.
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red rice & quinoa salad

So I’m sitting here & licking my wounds, metaphorically speaking of course. I always joke that most people have no idea how to drive in the rain, especially in countries where it rarely rains. I have always found this tremendously funny… until today of course.

The day started off all well & good with a very full day in the kitchen, bar the sink full of dirty dishes left over by one of the other chefs. I wasn’t to appreciative of this but 15 minutes spent over the sink with hot water & plenty of suds took care of that pretty quickly. 54 vanilla cupcakes, 54 chocolate cupcakes, 44 red velvet cupcakes, 15 double chocolate chip cookies & over 300 mini cupcake tasters. It wasn’t a 10 hour day again, but it was exhausting.

I was a little nervous to begin the day after Lefteris & I had a talk, he’d told me how I’d been a bit afloat the previous days & it seemed as though I wasn’t really focused. Needless to say I panicked & stepped up my game. Of course I’d warned the owners of the bakery that I’m prone to making mistakes but I tend to get into the swing of things pretty quickly. It was a nice change of pace & I got completely lost in my own world. Singing along out of tune to all my favorite songs on my custom play list & getting completely covered in flour & cacao. My dream job. Really. Is it bad to tell people that you love your job? Any way, I love it & I wont apologize for that, in fact, I insist that everyone also be as happy for me as I am.
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pesto pasta

A nice light pasta salad is the perfect summer dish I feel. We’ve got one or two up our sleeves, but today I’d like to share with you Mel’s pesto pasta. It’s simple, straight forward, & completely delicious. He also goes light on the garlic so you can eat it on a date. If you’re going to do that, I highly recommend packing a picnic basket and heading to the park or the beach.

As for me, I’m quite content just hovering behind him & stealing pasta bits out of the colander & dunking bread in the pesto. I think he’s learnt he can’t leave me unattended in the kitchen, ever.

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pistachio thumbprints

Midnight cookie cravings. Do you know how they come about? I do. Dinner was eaten hours ago, after which I slyly mention that I could go for something sweet. Hours later whilst I’m watching telly & Mel is hiding behind his computer screen, the thought of the sugary mystery starts creeping into Mel’s mind. It takes over like a planted seed that starts rapidly growing roots, worming into every inch of his conscious. The next thing he knows, he’s googling recipes that include some random ingredient we have stashed on the ‘treasure’ shelf, & he doesn’t have a clue why. Twenty minutes later, he’s in the kitchen pulling the ingredients off the shelf & yelling at me to go check his computer screen to make sure nothing has been over looked. Of course this is the point where I excitedly jot them down on the pink speech-bubble-shaped-post-its on the desk & run back to the kitchen to join him. At this point I’m about as hyper as a kid in a candy store & grinning my evil little grin from ear to ear. (my plan worked).

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