When I was growing up I thought Mexican food was all about tacos out of an Old El Paso box. Now, I’m not going to say I never use the packet option - I do, cos I really think it’s yummy – but fajitas made from scratch would have to be my …
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Mussels, without a shadow of a doubt – are my absolute favourite seafood.
They are full of glorious, meaty flavour. I love how they sound as you swish them around in a pan, the clickity clack as the shells hit the edges.
They look wonderful too – the shells all black and shiny. And amazingly, in Australia anyway, they are super cheap!!!
However, mussels aren’t all fun and games.
The reality is, it takes a fair bit of work to prepare them, and sometimes the rules surrounding whether a mussel is safe to eat or not, can be really confusing.
But, don’t be afraid! Once you get a hang of how to prepare them, cooking is a breeze. The best news is …. Mussels are sooooo worth the effort!
So, here are a few tips to help you prepare mussels …
It’s so freezing outside that I thought I should share with you a soup recipe that has become one of my all-time favourites. I adore leeks and seeing as they are in season, now is an ideal time to whip this up. I really didn’t like the idea of chickpeas in soup at first – but although it only has a few ingredients, the flavour is amazing. I originally saw this made on a Jamie Oliver cooking show way back when. I’ve made it my own and no longer need the recipe to guide me. Everyone I have served it to has been impressed
So – introducing …
Leek and Chickpea Soup
2 tablespoons of butter
3 desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
2 cans of chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
1.5 – 2 litres of chicken stock
Butter chicken is one of those curries that won’t scare those opposed to heat and is great for kids. Not a chilli in site!
While curries are a bit famous for taking a very long time to cook – this version is actually quite quick (on the table within 40 minutes, including preparation) and doesn’t require going to the supermarket to purchase 10 different kinds of spice.
It’s a bit of a cheats version – but don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for that! This uses a store-brought mild curry paste. Some brands of these are better than others. I find Sharwood to be superior and the flavour is really fantastic. It’s all fine to spend a bit of time on the weekend grinding up your own curry paste, but it’s not something for during week.
You’ll notice that the quantities are enough to feed a small army – and that’s because I was cooking it not only for our dinner, but also as additional meals for my dad to put in his freezer.
So, why not cook a large batch – serve it up for dinner, then pop the rest in an air-tight container for the freezer. It’ll give you a night off when you can’t face cooking.
Over the past few months I’ve been trying to figure out what makes cooking such a challenge for people. Why don’t more people love compiling the evening meal as much as I do?
So, I asked a few of my friends on Facebook about what makes cooking challenging for them. Most of them said it was time that made it hard to get a meal on the table. Others said it was the financial stress of having to cook for a large family. Other said recipes had too many ingredients or were too hard to follow. All very useful things to know for a food blogger like me.
But, while I can create and write simple recipes that taste great and are good on the bank balance, like yesterday’s pasta with pancetta, olives and basil – I was wondering what I could do to change the mindset that cooking is just a means to an end – something that has to be done.
I’ve decided, it’s all about how you feel when you cook. Busy schedules, screaming kids – all while dealing with hot pots and timers and everything else that goes along with cooking. Yeah, that sounds terrible to me too!
So, I came up with a recipe to help you think of cooking as not only a means of feeding your hunger, but feeding your soul:
Today is Uforic Food’s first birthday, and as you can see, it’s the start of something new!
As a birthday present, the blog has received a complete makeover! What do you think?
Personally, I love it!
Over the past 12 months I have learnt a whole lot about blogging. I have posted more than 100 times and have a bunch of dedicated followers, who I thank so much for joining the Uforic Food community and the journey so far.
In the last year you have watched me dish out 30 Recipes in 30 Days – which was an awesome challenge – as well as share countless stories about my love for food, how it has grown over time and some of my family’s secret recipes.
But knowing that this big milestone was approaching, I have taken the time to think about where Uforic Food is going.
I decided the most important thing to me is to inspire people to cook, despite the fact that life is busy and hectic and crazy and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I want to help you be a success in the kitchen.
Food that is full of flavour, but quick and kind on the budget – that’s exactly the thing I love to eat mid-week and this pasta dish is perfect.
First, lets talk flavour – olives, pancetta (or bacon is a fine alternative) are an awesome combo accompanied by tomatoes and some nice fresh basil. No basil in the house? Parsley is fine too, or even some baby spinach leaves.
The best thing about this is it’s something everyone can whip together as long as you have some form of pasta in the cupboard, tomatoes (canned or fresh), some form of bacony meat (pancetta, bacon, even some ham or salami would work really well) and some fresh herbs or other greenery. Even the olives are optional – although I think they are the highlight of this dish. I used huge green pitted olives which I sliced – but you could use kalamata olives, or even black ones – whatever is handy.
As for price and time – I think you can see it’s not something that’s going to take ages to cook – including prep, absolutely no more than 20 minutes. There’s very few ingredients and flexibility to use up what you have in the fridge – so in the cost stakes, it’s very economical too.
Ok, enough convincing – more recipe writing! <a href="”> Read More…
Who doesn’t love Mexican food? It’s fast, it’s simple and it’s packed with flavour. I love this recipe because it doesn’t have oodles of ingredients, but that doesn’t mean it’s short on flavour. It has slight heat from the green chillies, so if you’re planning on serving this to your …
Irish stew is a casserole that has been the key to keeping hungry people’s tummies warm and full for a very long time. It’s simple to make, with few ingredients and is ideal for your slow cooker. The first time I ever ate it was at an Irish pub in my …
This was the first risotto recipe I ever made, and while I have done many more since, this delicious combination has stood the test of time. My first attempt was back when I was a 23-year-old sub-editor working the 3pm to 12am shift at a daily newspaper in a country town in New …