Thursday, 28 February 2013

Make! Shakshuka: a great brunch/lunch dish!

A few years ago my sister gave me the first Ottolenghi cookbook and I haven't been able to shake my obsession ever since. I love the chefs behind this legendary London eatery because the innovative flavour and texture combinations they always seem to come up with in their dishes never fail to delight my palate. For my birthday this year my sister and her family gave me the latest book 'Jerusalem' (which I had been hoping to receive since it came out - thanks!) and I have been poring over the recipes and accompanying images thinking, what to make?

The other day I thought I would make us a brunch of shakshuka, as I had all the ingredients to hand and we felt like some good spiced-up eggs! It was really tasty and pretty quick to make.

There are a lot of variations on the shakshuka recipe but the one in the Jerusalem recipe book is similar to the one shown here on the Guardian website. Adjust the herbs and spices to make this as spicy as you like. I tend to make things a bit less spicy these days, so that it's palatable for my son, but my husband and I often add chilli oil and salt at the table so that we don't miss out on the kick we like.

Nice soft yolks. Serve with bread and enjoy!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Favourite baby bath products: Earth Friendly Baby Relaxing Organic Lavender Shampoo & Bodywash

I recently picked this up at Whole Foods and I have really liked using it for my son's bath time. The product is marketed as being healthy for skin, largely organic and friendly to the planet, which are factors that appeal to me, but mostly I liked this and bought it because of its gorgeous scent! Chamomile really comes through as does the lavender, and the smell is not at all synthetic like some body washes can seem. My son is anything but relaxed in the bath - more like shrieking with glee - but nevertheless this smell is soothing to me at least! 

The bottle lasts a long time as you only need a little to wash your little one. I think it cost around £4 at Whole Foods but I noticed you can also pick up the brand online from Boots. I look forward to trying some more of their products if they are as nice as this. 

Make! Easy tandoori chicken

My favourite daily recipes are ones which require little preparation time in return for maximum taste, so this is something I've been making a lot recently.
  • Preheat oven to 220 deg (210 for mine, which is a fan oven)
  • I use 6-8 chicken thighs with the skin removed for this, but you can use breast, legs, wings or the whole chicken chopped up. I've concluded thighs work best though!
  • Put chicken in a mixing bowl and douse liberally with white vinegar. Make sure it's all covered.
  • Sprinkle tandoori masala over the chicken generously and mix around to make sure all surface area is covered.
  • Spoon over about 2 tablespoons of greek/natural yoghurt and mix in.
  • Place chicken pieces on a baking tray and cook in the oven for around 40 minutes or until cooked through. 
The hot oven will make your chicken nice and crispy on the outside but lovely and tender on the inside. I like to serve with lemon wedges, a crispy salad and rice or chapattis. Do try - it couldn't be easier!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Make! Cath Kidston fabric kitchen blind

When we moved into our flat we had this sort of a random blind in our kitchen over a recess, which further inspection revealed to be hiding the boiler. Now this would have been fine had the blind not been even uglier than the boiler itself, but it was made from white cotton fabric and it had absorbed all kinds of kitchen grease and dirt. Yeeeeeeuck! Thankfully no picture of the 'before'.

Now I have finally replaced my blind with an oilcloth or 'tablecloth' fabric blind I made in this fun Cath Kidston cowboy print. You can buy the material here on her website. Oilcloth is great for the kitchen (and not just for table coverings) as it's easily wiped clean due to its plasticky coating. It was incredibly easy to make as i just cut the fabric to size and used a blind kit with an adhesive strip to attach the fabric.

Have you come up with any interesting decor solutions recently? Please share in the comments!

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