"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Thursday, October 6, 2016

In The Kitchen

 Well, September flew by.   I hope yours was a good one.
 I've been spending more time in the kitchen than ever, the family meals and the starving after-school teenagers will do that!
I really love cooking and I'm into a routine of getting my work done in the morning so that I can spend the better part of my afternoons toddling around the kitchen range, baking and roasting and stirring.
Kitchen string.
 It's that glorious time of year... APPLES.  There's nothing quite like the smell of them baking, with cinnamon and a bit of honey.
 I decided to try a new apple cake recipe for the Rascals.
 I find I source most of my recipes from the internet these days, but I sort of miss the days of buying a few cookbooks a year.
Any suggestions for a new cookbook are most welcome.

 I've been whipping up very simple meals.  Lots of vegetables with lean sources of protein:
Sautéed spinach, easy.

Salad and faux-fried fish...
I toss the fish fillets around in ground almonds (gluten free).

Simply bake the fish, with some olive oil drizzled on top.
325 until done through.

I used a nice filet of sole.
 I don't eat pasta at all but I sure do cook lots of it, it is the favourite of my Rascals (and their friends).
Basic tomato sauce.
Cooked with olive oil, shallots and herbes de provence.

Lunch prep.

Salad with loads of peppers and grape tomatoes, with eggs for protein.
 The Rascals complain loudly when fish is on the menu, they don't seem to care that it is brain food, kids!  To console them I'll whip up a batch of oven-baked french fries, using white potatoes sliced to thinnish matchsticks.  My new trick is to cover the fries with some roasted chickpeas, vegetables and chunks of feta... getting some protein and veg into those Rascals is sometimes a battle.
Roasted chickpeas and vegetables.
Scatter over a platter of home-made frites, top with chunks of feta.

Polished copper is Mandatory.  
 Hope you're enjoying your time in the kitchen these days.
Love,
Dani

37 comments:

  1. Hi Dani, lovely to get a nice kitchen post! Hope you have been well. That apple cake recipe looks similar to one that I make, except mine has yoghurt in it, plus the apples go on top, sliced.

    After our holidays etc., we are trying to get back to more healthy eating - in our case 'no white at night'. Of course, this weekend all bets are off! For the first time in over 20 years we will have family with us for Thanksgiving (apart from we 4) - looking forward to it! I even had to order 2 extra dinner plates of our wedding set as we'll have 10 at the table(s). Luckily they came on time.

    I'm going to try that chickpea dish sometime, I only ever use them for making hummous but that sounds delicious. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Patricia please try the roasted chickpeas they are so good. Rinse a can of chickpeas really well, dry in a bit of kitchen towel and then roast with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and whatever spice you feel like, they are very good with harissa or herbes de provence.
      How fun that you're having family for Thanksgiving! I love this holiday, I think because it's all about the food. Christmas is a whole other level with parties and presents, so much to organize. This is just about feast and family, what could be better.
      I'm also having 10 for dinner, I'll be setting the table tomorrow. I hope yours goes really well, have fun! xo

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  2. I love this post! I think you and I are alike in some ways. I love to spend time in the kitchen chopping, stirring and roasting. Not many things make me happier! Your stove is so beautiful. I always love seeing in it pictures.

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    1. Susan we are definitely kindred spirits... it's the best kind of day when I can go at my own pace in the kitchen, with work and other chores behind me. I do love that la Cornue range, it's just a joy to use, the ovens are fast to heat and there are plenty of burners, definitely my dream stove, no regrets on that choice!
      Thanks Susan xo

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    2. Stunned by you two, can't think of much worse!

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  3. I love the fall kitchen, I love to fix things that do their simmering in the oven. I'm also getting into sheet-pan meals, they look copious because everything is spread out on a pan and roasted together, chicken pieces, potato wedges, onions, parsley... and then when that's cooked, top with baby arugula and drizzle with plain yogurt. Loosen everything with a spatula before serving, just in case!

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    1. Fred I think you'll agree with me, everyone says summer cooking is easy but I hate the bbq and autumn is the time to really get into the groove in the kitchen, so much better than summer. Summer is for drinking wine and eating little snacks, autumn is for proper meals.
      Just did a sheet pan dinner tonight to share with MrBP while we watched the baseball game, chickpeas, cauliflower, yellow pepper, orange pepper, all sprinkled with curry, cumin, hot chilli and olive oil, roasted up in the oven, my gosh delicious. Fed the Rascals pasta to avoid the loud complaining over cauliflower.
      Your recipe sounds delicious shall be trying that tomorrow evening, thank you! xo

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  4. Beautiful! I love cooking for my family too - though I mostly cook Pakistani fare. It's pure joy to make delicious meals for them - and then to have them each express adoration over the food, my skills as a chef, etc. 😉 With just me surrounded by three men in our household, home is definitely where the hearth is. A very merry October to you! ❤️

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    1. maqsad would love to come around your house for dinner! Nothing better I agree than cooking for those men with the true appetites, I don't think my son ever turned away a meal when he was home, and thankfully MrBP is not one of those picky guys.
      Our son will be home on Saturday and hungry as soon as he walks through the door I'm sure, can't wait. ;) xo

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    2. Next time you're in Chicago, give me a heads up so we can have you over for dinner! 😘

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    3. maqsad, would love that :)

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  5. Love that copper pot - I think you should give her a name - the pot that is. Apples have been playing a major role in our home as well - as has squash and pumpkin. Here at the cottage for Thanksgiving - will go to the apple orchard tomorrow as I am going to make a squash and apple side-dish for the turkey. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! Anna x

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    1. Anna that's a good idea, let's think on a name, you can help me, so lovely to hear from you and I bet it will be gorgeous at the cottage this weekend. I miss going to an apple orchard, we haven't been for years, what a good idea. I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving! xo

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  6. There is something about fall and getting back in the kitchen isn't there? And yours always looks so very civilized! The only new cookbooks I've bought are the Gwyneth Paltrow ones. I know lots of people don't like her but I do and her recipes are always a treat. xo

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    1. Jen, funny you're the second person this week to recommend GP so maybe I should try one of her books? People say she is the new Martha but with a sense of humour! ;) I hope your weekend is shaping us nicely, thanksgiving crept up on us didn't it? xo

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    2. Dani you may very well like the GP books as you are a bit more creative and healthy in the kitchen than I! I ADORE her first book, her chicken and dumplings and stir fry chicken and blueberry muffins are regulars here. The other books didn't match our shopping or eating habits, but I thought the third more intruguing than the second. Worth a look for sure!!! :)

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    3. Thanks Amy I'll have a look at those :)

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  7. i have decided that i might need to start kitchen planning bc we end up ordering or going out so much more than i would like bc we have nothing in the house or we can't be bothered. it goes against the grain for me to plan to much but it might be healthier. I haven't been inspired by any new cookbooks truthfully but perhaps go old school? find an old delia?

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    1. Naomi I should source a Delia because what I know of her is that Nigella often references her... so there's something to it, thanks for the recommendation.
      I would say that you might be happier if you had a few things you could whip up easily from the pantry, anytime I've had to rely on take-out or going for the dinner for the sake of hunger I just feel very unhappy. I would love to to do a post on pantry meals, but off the top of my head- if you have canned chickpeas on hand you can rinse them and then roast them with herbs, spice like black pepper, hot chili, throw on some veg and add in a carb like rice or pasta, or the heavenly home-made frites. Of course you're in London which makes take-out and going-out so tempting, so many options! But you're right it would likely be healthier and also save you a bundle. xo

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    2. please do that post - i think even if one cooks - one gets into a rut

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  8. I am new to reading your blog and am really enjoying it. Love the food ideas! I made sole meuniere last night but will try your recipe next week - much healthier!

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    1. Thank you Sarah. I don't know, sole meuniere is very delicious!

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  9. September has been a big month for us with our son starting his new school and every one trying to find his mark and a routine... We're nearly getting there but the cooking part is challenging for me. The weeks are completely different from what they were when we were living in Luxembourg and I have not adapted yet. I have yet to start meal planning again and I am not sure what I am waiting for. I am not yet totally familiar with my new way of shopping as well as food I find the most easily, this does not help me to be firm on the food planning...
    Time is flying, but I must say we enjoy our new life and we savour it still :-)
    Steph

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    1. Steph so happy you're enjoying your new life and the rest will fall into place as you find your feet! XO

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  10. Well you know me, I need a map to get to the kitchen, I utterly loathe cooking, it stuns me that you and so many love it! Hubs also loathes cooking, we really need a cook.
    Your kitchen however, is so utterly beautiful.

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    1. Tabs you need a cook for sure. I have friends who both hate cooking and the whole meals thing is utter misery for them. I think big batch cooking is a good solution because at least you'll have it over with and can pluck things out of the freezer for dinner most nights. XO

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  11. Your kitchen remodel is so amazing. Mr. Hex is very busy with work right now so I'm usually eating on my own. Now that summer is over I'm doing a lot of spiralized sweet potatoes (so yummy with smoked paprika).

    I am amidst a flurry of nesting before my busy professional season starts in January. Mostly the "poor woman's remodel" of fresh paint.

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    1. Hex there's much to be said for fresh paint! Great time of year for some nesting. These spiralled potatoes sound interesting, I'm guessing there's a gadget for that. I'll look for one when I'm next at the kitchen store. XO

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  12. What do you use for cleaning and polishing your lovely copper, Dani? Thanks for any insight into copper care.

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    1. Hi Jeannine, I use barkeeper's friend, the powder, I find it works best. I also polish my copper quite frequently, a couple of times a week, otherwise it gets out of hand. I sometimes use a lemon, cut in half and dipped in salt, to polish the copper. It does nearly as good a job as the barkeeper's friend. Fine salt works better than coarse.
      There's nothing nicer in the kitchen than shiny copper ;)

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  13. DH will only eat fish he has caught, on the same day it came out of the lake. I have never tried ground almond though, I believe he'd take to store bought fish if it were prepared that way. Thanks for the idea!

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  14. Hello Dani,

    Your food always looks so appealing and healthy and I just want to find myself in your kitchen, at your table, eating one of these meals with your fortunate family.

    You are so right about the glorious apple crop at this time of year. We've been nibbling on Gala and Fuji apples (crisp and juicy), and our Frankentree's apples We've also been feasting on pears. Our tree had a bumper crop this year.

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    1. CD how lucky to have a tree! I have some local apples from my organics box that I plan to bake into a pie today, the smell alone is worth it. Thank you CD XO

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  15. Dani, Your food sounds amazing! Those rascals are a lucky bunch. Everything looks so fresh too. I finally am in the cooking mood now that it'd getting cool here. Love apples and have been making a ton of harvest salads with them. My favorite cookbook right now is the Malibu Farm Cookbook. Lots of simple and very fresh recipes! I just got a ton of good cookbooks at our used bookstore. Great stuff and Sophie Dahl's books were ones that I got there and are also great. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving! xx Kim

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    1. Kim that's a good tip I think I'll have a look at a used bookstore for some older cookbooks, people often get rid of them. Are you finding your routines are different now that your oldest son is away at university? I still have two at home so it seems I am cooking for an army sometimes. But when my older daughter isn't here mealtimes are noticeably changed, only the three of us.
      Thank you Thanksgiving was great! XO

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  16. I love apple season. So many possibilities....
    I still buy the cookbooks then find myself pulling up recipes on the internet. Oh,the shame!

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