Saturday, 23 November 2013
I try and make pumpkin pie at least once a year, round about Halloween. I love pumpkin pie and try and vary the topping, I've been told that whipped cream is the traditional topping, but I like to bend the rules, sometimes having it plain, sometimes with candied nuts and this year with white and dark chocolate chips.
Proper food for the soul!
Warming, comforting and delicious.
Oh, and a complete cinch to make. Join me.....
800g cubed stewing beef
3-4 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks slightly larger than the beef
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 lg onion, peeled and sliced
large handful of frozen peas
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 glass of red wine
1 glass water
salt and pepper to taste
gravy granules to thicken (eg Bisto Best)
Place all the ingredients except for the gravy granules in a suitable ovenproof dish, cover with foil and bake at Gas mark 3 (150 deg C Fan oven) for about 2 hours.
Uncover the dish, then stir in the gravy granules, enough of them to start thickening the gravy, Bake for a further 30-40 mins until the sauce is thick and the stew beautifully browned.
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
The older I get, the more difficult I'm finding it to lose weight, whereas years ago I could afford the odd slip-up (or three!) and still lose weight, now I find it's nigh on impossible. I really don't want to live a life of severe restriction, I mean fair play to those that do and succeed, but it's just not for me.
What is life without chocolate?
I have been trying however, to cut-down on 'bad' carbs, white flour, white rice and the like. But today a chocolate craving appeared out of the blue. I could have had a couple of squares of dark chocolate, but I wanted something comforting, warm and gooey.
Cue a recipe that a friend of mine, Jane, shared with me a few years ago. I altered it slightly by using coconut oil instead of butter and adding a couple of tablespoons of coconut milk to slacken the mixture slightly.
Jane's Gooey Low-carb Chocolate Pudding
30g ground almonds
30g coconut oil, melted
pinch of baking powder
pinch of bicarbonate of soda
drop of vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut milk
2 tbsp Cocoa.
Simply mix all the ingredients together and place in a coconut oil oiled ramekin.
Bake at 180 deg.C (Fan oven) for 15-20 mins.
Dig into the middle to find the molten, coconutty, chocolate centre and, above all, enjoy!
Sunday, 6 October 2013
It's a beautifully sunny Sunday here in Birmingham, I'm sitting here, still in my pyjamas, contemplating this blog. I always find it fascinating that I don't actually know who is reading, why you enjoy visiting here (At least, I hope you do!) and what would make you a return visitor.
I suppose to find the answers I need to return to why I write this blog and who I am.
So here goes.
I'm a British- born Cypriot, food-loving, gym-going, photography-loving, book-reading, fun-loving, hard-working mother of four grown-up children.
I write this blog primarily as an online resource that my children can consult when they need to know how to cook our family's Cypriot recipes.
I am constantly reading, always have a few books on the go, currently reading a book on 'mindfulness' and also a 'Fat-fast cookbook', what can I say? My tastes and current 'obsessions' are varied!
So If you like Greek/Cypriot recipes, delicious recipes, healthy recipes and new ideas....you are completely in the right place. If not, stay anyway, we can get to know each other! And please, introduce yourselves! You can contact me via the comments, or my email address on the 'contact me' section above. I'd love to know what you'd like to see more of here.
I'd especially like to welcome my new followers, via google and Bloglovin, I hope you enjoy the time you spend visiting.
Where's the coffee?
It's that gorgeous cup of Keto-coffee pictured above, from the 'Fat-fast cookbook' I was telling you about earlier.
I've been reading lots about the health benefits of coconut oil and am trying to use more of it.
The keto-coffee is just a cup of hot coffee, 1 tbsp of coconut oil and 2 tbsp of coconut milk, whizzed up with a stick blender until deliciously creamy.
It's quite subtle in the coconut department and I feel positively glowing with health already. Well maybe that's stretching it a little too far, but you know what I mean.
Hope to see you again and don't forget to contact me and say hello!
Wednesday, 2 October 2013
'Oranges and lemons say the bells of St. Clements, When will you pay me say the bells of Old Bailey.....'
1. Place 1 lg orange and 2 lemons in a heatproof bowl, cover with water, then cover the bowl with either clingfilm or a plate. Cook on full power for 20 minutes. Alternatively boil the fruit, covered in water for 2 hrs. Your choice.
2. Carefully halve the fruit, remove as many pips as you can, then whizz in a food processor until smooth, skin and all.
3. Mix together 225g sugar with 6 eggs.
4. Add the pureed fruit, 250g ground almonds and 1 heaped tsp baking powder.
5. Place into a buttered and lined 21cm springform tin.
6. Bake at 170 deg.C fan oven, gas mark 5 for about 1hr, you may need to cover it after 40 minutes as it browns very easily.
7. When cold, remove from tin, make a glaze by adding a little orange and lemon juice to icing sugar. I also added a drop of orange flower water
(Hey, you can take the girl out of Cyprus.......)
And cover the cake.
Beautiful. And the Greekest non-Greek cake I've ever tasted! Does that make sense.....;)
Wednesday, 7 August 2013
Every time the bread basket was brought out there were always a few barley rusks (Dakos) brought out too, something we're not used to. We grew quite fond of them, nice and crunchy and spread with the olive spread that's very popular there.
A novel way of displaying the kolourakia (sesame topped bread rings) Always a source of pure joy when we found them still warm from the oven.
This cake is called 'Revani', it's the same cake that us Cypriots call Kalonbrama or shiamali, a semolina based cake, flavoured with mastichi and drenched in syrup. Here it's also topped with coconut, a delicious addition.
Portokalopitta- orange cake. I didn't even try this! I mean, I physically couldn't eat any more. Sad about that....
Have you ever seen such a beautiful waffle? Not very Cretan I know, but still very, very delicious....
The obligatory Greek salad and tsatsiki. Love, love, love!
Fresh, huge, juicy peaches at the grocers...
Frappe (cold, iced coffee) with ice-cream - My new holiday love.
Huge, beautiful fresh prawns at the hotel's bbq night, don't think any of us will forget these in a hurry! Just gorgeous!
My selection of Greek desserts, again at the hotel's bbq night...There is chocolate baklava, orange and chocolate sponge and kataifi soaked with syrup, topped with cream and pistachios...
Yup, chocolate baklava, it's true......
And the biggest galaktopoureko ever, the same size as a side plate, it took the two of us to eat it. Phyllo topped cold custard slice, drenched in syrup...
Now you see why I'm back at the gym with a vengeance!
But it was all so, so worth it!
Thursday, 18 July 2013
Tomorrow we're off on our Summer Holiday to the Greek Island of Crete.
We're going All-inclusive for the first time ever, which basically means that we've paid upfront for all meals, drinks, snacks, ice-creams that we consume in the hotel.
While I'm really, really looking forward to it, I'm also wary of returning to the UK looking like some huge brown ball!
But, never one to do things by halves, we're going to (hopefully!) enjoy ourselves and deal with the fall-out afterwards.
I shall, of course be taking lots and lots of photographs, which I hope to share with you as and when I can.
Take care and see you (properly) back here in a fortnight.
Enjoy your Summer wherever you are.