Monday, 14 March 2016

The weekend I turned 30.....{Fish Pie Stew}

Well I made it to 30. Amazing! I had a fantastic weekend with lots of fun and laughter and I can honestly say I feel very blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.

So now that the celebrating is over its time for me to put my head down and overhaul my lifestyle a bit. I have been trying to loose weight for so long and I always put it off or had an excuse. Time to get focused and get exercising!

This is a new-ish recipe that has become a really nice staple evening meal. I started off by making the original but I've changed it around a bit to make it a really nice alternative to fish pie, It's also much less time consuming so there's that as well...

Fish Pie Stew 

Inspired from the recipe here 

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
3 sticks of celery, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
175ml white wine
300ml chicken stock or vegetable stock if you prefer
1 tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste with 1 tbsp cold water
200g raw prawns 
300g fish pie selection (the one I used had smoked haddock, cod and salmon)
small bunch flat leave parsley, chopped
300ml half-fat crème fraîche
150g new potatoes, already boiled and slightly squashed with a fork

heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion and celery until soft. add the garlic and cook for another minute them pour in the wine and simmer until most has disappeared. p
our in the stock and cornflour mix and simmer for 5-10 mins, stirring often until thickened. season, then add the fish, new potatoes and most of the parsley. simmer for a few mins until piping hot, then stir in the crème fraîche. serve with a sprinkling of parsley. you could have this with some bread, but I find that the addition of potatoes makes this plenty filling. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

To be a woman...

This blog is fundamentally a cooking blog and a blog about food. However, It is also a place where I can write what is on my mind or my heart.
Today is International Women's Day and I thought it was important to mark that. I am always aware of how lucky I am to have been born into a time and place where being a woman does not make me a 2nd class citizen, where I am not constrained by certain expectations, rules or a culture that does not allow women to flourish.
I am very aware that I came from a line of strong women who have always encouraged me to do exactly what I wanted to do. I am blessed with two strong minded and intelligent sisters and also a brother who absolutely, positively affirms and nurtures our strength and independence as females.
I am blessed to have the love of a man who totally believes that I can do anything I put my mind to and never feels threatened by any success I achieve. A man who I have chosen to love and to spend my life with without having to sacrifice my independence or integrity.
I am proud to work for a charity that fights tirelessly for women's rights throughout the world and everyday I see amazing examples of women positively changing and evolving their families, their communities, their governments and lets face it the world.
As some guy once said "with great power, comes great responsibility" and yes we do indeed have a responsibility. We have a responsibility to be bothered to go and vote, to engage with society in a positive way, to educate and equip ourselves and to be positive role models to the future generation. We have a responsibility to actually understand what being a feminist is and to "own it" and realise its not always about burning bra's and shouting the loudest.
We still have a long way to go to achieve gender equality worldwide, but I like to think slowly but surely we are getting there.
Image result for International womens day
International Women's Day
Happy International Women's Day 

Monday, 7 March 2016

Dusting of the cobwebs; Barbacoa Beef

Well its been a while, a long while since I have written on this little blog of mine. I think I just got a bit disenchanted with the whole "blogging thing". I went through a bit of a tough time at the end of 2015 - I stopped cooking, I stopped writing and I found it very difficult to find joy in anything let alone nourishing my body. 

But life has seasons and I feel the sun on my face more now. I feel hopeful about life and about the future. Life is good and my love of food and cooking is burning bright. My fingers itch to share recipes and at the end of the day this is all I want this space to be - somewhere for me to share my recipes and my thoughts from my little kitchen. I'm not interested in numbers, shares, likes what I care about is the people who have said "I tried your recipe and we still make it regularly" (thanks Lia) and then a very dear friend (Hi Lucinda!) sent me a really lovely message about my blog just as I was about ready to shut it down completely and it has stayed with me...

So who knows how long this will last... we shall see!

Its good to be back 

This is my recipe for Barbacoa Beef which is so tender and so flavourful - its my favourite thing to put in a Taco!

Barbacoa Beef 

1350g beef stewing steak, cut into chunks 
2 tbsp coconut oil 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
2 tbsp chipotle chilli paste (I got mine from Sainsburys)
2 small green chillies, finely chopped 
1 small onion, chopped 
juice of 2 limes 
2 tbsp cider vinegar
3 bay leaves 
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp oregano 
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
500ml beef stock
300ml mexican / spanish beer 

brown off the meat in the oil and then add all the other ingredients into the pan. you can the transfer this to a slow cooker and put on low for 5-7 hours or just leave on a low heat for 3-4 hours. its ready when the beef is tender and most of the liquid has gone. using two forks shred the beef and let the beef soak up the remaining juices. remove the bay leaves and serve the beef in a taco with a bit of salad and avocado