roasted beetroot salad with spicy candied walnuts and goat cheese

This has become my favorite winter salad. I make sure to get a piece of every ingredient on each mouthful because this combination is an amazing experience. The catalyst that combines everything so well are the candied walnuts so make sure to include them… they are not just for show. You can either make them with maple syrup, which in my opinion gives them a more complex flavor and is easier to handle, or with sugar for a more crunchy result. For the walnuts, you can multiply the recipe and make these for your own indulgunce or give as a gift.

(mel seems to think this is an acceptable use of a dish cloth, to permanently stain them for the easy removal of the beetroot skins) – nickey

(in his defense, it worked a treat… doesn’t change the fact that the towel was still destroyed) – nickey

– Mel

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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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grilled chicken, sweet fennel, spicy rocket & fresh spinach salad

You can’t pick your family… Luckily though you can pick your ingredients, & that seems to make up for it all.

Comfort food, I could go for some of that. Something that makes me feel good on the inside & good about myself. It’s not about eating the most unhealthy thing you can find when you’re upset, it’s about eating something that makes your taste buds dance & scream with joy.

Hot, grilled chicken & wilting spinach leaves with a citrus dressing do that for me. That does it for me every time. Bread-pudding does that for me too. A giant bowl of whole-wheat pasta & tuna with a mustard & lemon dressing does it too.
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