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Showing posts from June, 2015

Meatless Monday - Aubergine Tarte Tatin

I was getting into a panic as it was Sunday and I hadn't cooked anything I could use for a Meatless Monday post! I had eaten various veggie options but nothing very new. So I decided to head to my usual source of ideas (Pinterest) and came across something new - an aubergine Tarte Tatin. Tarte Tatin is a French dessert usually made with apples where the tart is cooked upside down, with pastry on top and the apples underneath at the bottom, where the apples (or other fruit) are caramelised in butter and sugar first.

You must be wondering.... a savoury tatin? How does that work? Well, quite similarly to the sweet version with some tweaks (plus I of course as usual tweaked the Pinterest recipe as I didn't have all the ingredients and I thought it was missing some elements!)

So what went into my Aubergine Tarte Tatin and how do you make it?

Barcelona - Pan & Oli - Crazy Crazy Bravas

As you may have seen, I am on a "best patatas bravas" hunt - especially in Barcelona (using the TimeOut list as a reference). I was fascinated by their description of Pan and Oli's which topped their creative patatas bravas section with the following description:
"The best ideas sometimes spring from need. Carlos Ortiz, chef of this little bar/restaurant with very serious intentions, had to prepare a meal for 400 people one day. Salvation came with this idea: patatas bravas whipped up and served in a glass, a tasty potato confit slow-cooked for five hours at 60° C, and then topped with a sauce made of garlic, chilli and paprika. A small yet great variation." I at least wanted to try the bravas so I convinced the hubby to go for a pre lunch snack to try the bravas and then wander on into another area of town as there didn't seem to be much else around the Barcelona Sants station area. In the end, hubby spotted the menu and couldn't resist so we stayed f…

Barcelona - Districte Born to try their bravas & enjoy their pan con tomat

I am on a mission to try as many of the patatas bravas on the Time Out Barcelona list as possible! One of the places on the list (I had already been to Elsa y Fred the previous time we went to Barcelona) was close to our Air BnB place this time so we headed to Districte Born to check out their bravas. And of course eat a few other things whilst we were there ;) I must say their coca bread pan con tomat came close to rivaling the amazing bread at Elsa y Fred!

Read on for more.....

Meatless Monday - Mozzarella & Sundried Tomato Ravioli with Asparagus & Walnuts

Another Monday, another Meatless Monday, another experiment in our kitchen inspired by a trawl through Pinterest. I spotted asparagus walnut ravioli and ran with it, adding my own twist and creating a vegetarian filling (no idea what the filling was in the recipe, or the sauce, I tend to just look at the picture and the title to get ideas).

Here is the result of our Sunday experimenting, so pretty and so amazingly good!

What went into it? Well the filling was basil, buffalo mozzarella and sun dried tomatoes.

The sauce was pesto, chopped mixed tomatoes, asparagus and walnuts.

Nice - Rene Socca for Socca and Pizza in Old Nice

I was starving on the way from work the other day, when we were waiting for an appointment to view and apartment (we are house hunting again!) Whilst Chez Pipo is my favourite spot for Socca in Nice, I would say the Rene Socca is a decent back-up plan in Old Nice. I am still to try a few other famous spots like Chez Therese and Socca d'Or, I hope to soon though, and of course I will tell you about them.

But back to Rene Socca.

The way it works at Rene Socca is you queue up and order your food which you can then take away or eat there, but if you eat there you have to order drinks. We did of course.

I didn't take a picture of the other side where the display case is full of things they deep fry for you with things like fish and veggies and all sorts. This is the pizza and socca side. 

Nice - Deli Bo Boutique on Rue Fodere for yummy dessert!

You will have seen my pictures of the shop here on my Deli Bo post, but here are some of the treats I bought for my husband who had been away for 3 weeks. Deli Bo now has 2 locations, the original Deli-Bo where I had afternoon sweets with friends, and the shop where you can buy all their goodies.And I picked up enough cakes for a couple of days as I am dreadful at deciding things and tend to just buy everything rather than have to choose.

Here is my usual collage of all my choices!

I can confirm they are all as tasty as they look.

Meatless Monday - Spinach, Asparagus & Mushroom Frittata

Meatless Monday time! :) I realised I was going to be away for two weeks, had just been away for work and so only really had a Sunday to get two Meatless Monday posts together. So we had an experiment day, a vegetarian experiment. I as usual turned to Pinterest for some inspiration - my "Vegetables" board and came across a frittata with what I thought was sun dried tomatoes on top (but it turned out to be bacon when I read the detailed recipe but I stuck to the tomatoes).

So what did it end up being? A spinach, asparagus, mushroom and onion frittata for G and in mine I also added sun dried tomatoes for extra depth of flavour. And we had loads of funky tomatoes so I added a side tomato salad with basil from the balcony. You can find a load of the things we cook on my "Homecooking" board. 

Here are the ingredients that went into it:

Read on for more as usual....

Toulouse and around

This is a post I put together for my wedding guests, as the wedding was in the Tarn department, just to the east of Toulouse. I thought it might be a good collection of information for anyone thinking of heading to the South West of France :)

Places to visit

This region isn't a place many people normally come to visit but has a lot to offer. If you are into history like my husband is, the Cathars were huge in the area and there are lot of old Cathar castles etc to visit.

The wedding is taking place in the Tarn department. Here is a link to the Tourist board website for the Tarn:

Within an hour or so of Toulouse / Lavaur

Lavaur and surroundings

This is the town next to where my parents live. Worth a visit, and there are also more things in the area too. Here is an overview of tourism in the "Pays de Cocagne" area:

Lavaur itself is also lovely, with a gorgeous gothic cathedral and we love going to the Sat…

Home Cooking - Breaded Chicken, Lemon potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, tomato salad & peas

We went a little crazy cooking the other night. G had been away so we fancied going kind of all out for dinner on the Saturday. He had been to the market so we had stuff to work with!

We hadn't made breaded chicken in far too long and we love them! And we made lovely mixed tomato salad, griddled asparagus with lovely mushrooms, and lemon roasted potatoes.

This was an amazing dinner!

Istanbul - Gelik if you are staying at Sheraton Atakoy

I am my mother's daughter when it comes down to it. I do end up chatting to all sorts of people. This time it was the Istanbul taxi driver whereas I had been told they don't generally speak any English. This one did, he had even worked in cargo so close to my world. He called me a feminist for having a job which was a first for me. But we had a chat about various interesting topics including food.

He recommended trying Gelik Restaurant as we were staying at the Sheration Atakoy. So being the feminist that I am, I did as I was told and we had dinner on the night I arrived at Gelik which is just around the corner across from the garage. We enjoyed our meal indeed, everything was perfectly pleasant. It is very old school and there were lots of local families there too.

Here is my usual food collage.

Nice - Joe & the Juice @ Nice Airport

Nice Airport has been under renovation since I got back from Singapore but with good reason - i.e. to open up all sorts of new places to eat! I am especially excited about there being socca from Chez Pipo there soon! A couple of places are already open, one of which is Joe and the Juice, in the departure area of Terminal 1. On the way to Bangkok (a work trip so not much time to enjoy the city unfortunately) I decided to try it out rather than eat a load of rubbish in the lounge. You will have to forgive me for the bad pictures though! Was rather sleepy ;)

There is a wide range of juices on offer, and coffee and shakes, and shots.

Full selection of juices as well as a select few sandwiches that you can then customise (you know me, of course I customised it).

The guys behind the bar work at lightening speed, it is impressive to watch. You give your name when you order and they call out for you. You can then take away or sit down for your meal / drink.

Meatless Monday - Our First Attempt at Pizza using Gabriele Bonci's recipe

OK I warn you guys, you better sit down and get comfortable as this will be a long one. You all know how much I love pizza. Actually I am not even sure love is a strong enough word. I adore pizza! But somehow we had never made it at home. How is that even possible? Well of course there are loads of good pizza places in Nice and it is just easier to go sit and have a lovely meal at our favourite spots, and well, we are lazy! Because pizza is a long process guys. Very long. It took us over 24h to prepare the first night of pizzas, and then we had it the next night again when the dough was going on 48h old.

We used the pizza dough recipe from Gabriele Bonci's book called  Pizza: Seasonal Recipes from Rome's Legendary Pizzarium - follow the link to buy it on Amazon. You might also remember Pizzarium from my post about our visit to Rome in 2013 when Pizzarium was in their vegan / vegetarian month and we loved it, Bonci was featured on the Antony Bourdain Rome Layover episode.

All t…

Istanbul - Cukur Meyhane for a lovely dinner

We had eaten out in the area near our hotel the night before and it was nice but we wanted to go into town and try something else when we were were done visiting Hagia Sofia. I had asked around on Twitter and my lovely friend put me in touch with Sharky over at Sharking for Chips and Drinks who gave me some food and drink tips.

One of these tips was Cukur Meyhane which we really enjoyed - check out all the lovely dishes we had:

Read on for more detail about our experience at Cukur Meyhane...

Istanbul - Solera Winery / Wine Bar for good Turkish wine

Before going to Istanbul I received some great tips from Sharky  (read his post on 10 tips before you go to Istanbul) and one of them was to go for a drink at Solera Wine Bar. Very glad to have followed his advice (and gone there early) as we had a lovely few glasses of wine and some mezze.

We were fascinated by the idea of Turkish wine and exploring it so we asked the knowledgeable Solera Winery waiter for advice (he seems gruff at first but warms up). I wanted a nice dry white of course, so asked for that and was given a couple of options.

G started with a Turasan (Emir grape) from Kapadokya. Light and dry but with some fruit.

And I had the Turasan Narince from Kapadokya. Very nice. We enjoyed both glasses very much, a very good surprise. Mine was wonderfully mineral-y and flinty.

The Solera Winery staff came around with mezze and we chose a few and they cost 6 Lira each, around 2 Euros. They describe them as traditional and fresh and we enjoyed them all. Up top is the aubergine stu…

Meatless Monday - Asparagus, sundried tomato and pesto pasta

Back to pasta for Meatless Monday, sorry for that ;) But at least we made the pasta ourselves!

We had picked up two bunches of wild asparagus when we popped over to Italy for a Ventimiglia market shop. We are utterly obsessed with them! And I went to my usual trusty Pinterest source for ideas of how to incorporate them into a pasta dish. I found asparagus, pesto and sun dried tomatoes and couldn't resist, especially as we had also bought sun dried tomatoes and pesto!