Smoked Almond Pesto and Jamon Penne

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pasta

Why hello, do take a seat. Stay a while, enjoy yourself.

I’d like to take the time to enjoy things more, I find that we all tend to rush and run about way too much. I’ll admit, there is always a huge amount of things to get done and so little time, so why not take the time on things you enjoy to really make it worth it?

Like spending time with the family or even catching up on your favourite TV show, whatever makes you happy you should try to do more of it. Quick and easy dinners make spending time on more important things easier, and I have quite a lovely one for you here!

The amount of time this dish takes to whip up is as long as the pasta takes to cook. The penne I had took 11-15mins.

The key here is fresh quality ingredients. Beautiful delicate 12 month cured Jamon Serrano from Spain is a perfect fit for this as the flavour explodes when cooked quickly with the vegetables and coated in the gorgeous easy pesto.

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Dark Chocolate and Ginger Cookies – The Sweet Swap

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So the lovely Sara from Belly Rumbles and Amanda from Chew Town hosted a new food blogger event this year called The Sweet Swap.

Basically a huge bunch of food bloggers sign up, then get paired with 3 food bloggers each.

We all whip up our best creations and post them off to the lovely people we were matched with, and in turn wait “patiently” for the 3 sweet treats that are headed your way.

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I had a few issues creating what I wanted. Of course the fact that I left it a bit late didn’t help when things went wrong.

Let’s just say I’ve come to terms and accepted the fact that fudge and I, shall never work together. No matter what I did, how I tried to make it, how many times I did it the fudge just would not set.

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Plan B: Cookies

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Cook With Jamie: Baked Lamb Shanks

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I’ve decided I don’t really know much about cooking. I read a lot about food and I “know” some stuff but do I REALLY know stuff?

I’ve worked in hospitality, in restaurants and cafes. So I have experience there.

And I have a passion. A passion to learn and create and experience food as all it can be.

 

But if you asked me what the perfect temperature is to cook an egg at for it to be perfectly soft boiled, I’d tell you that I don’t know and there are a lot of variables to take into account and a lot of different opinions on how to get the perfect soft boiled egg. Also I don’t really eat eggs that often. I could tell you a couple of opinions which I’ve read which then you can trial yourself and see what works best for you though.

And if you asked me a question regarding the best way to cook a steak, or the best potatoes to roast I would give the most accurate answer I know. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m correct. Doesn’t really mean I’m wrong either.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I have opinions and experiences with food and although I think that this way or that way might make the PERFECT such and such, I also believe that there is more then one way to make something perfect.

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To the point though! These lamb shanks areĀ perfect. Once again I’m blown away by a Jamie Oliver recipe. This one was really easy so any Tom, Dick or Harry could whip it up.

More importantly, it’s easy to tell when it’s done. When the meat is falling off – devour it!

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You can find this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie book, or on his website here

I love any recipe that you can chuck in the oven and forget about until the timer goes off. Looking at the sky today, it seems like a very good day for lamb shanks! Mmmmm…warm….falling off the bone and melt in your mouth lamb shanks!

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Jamie Oliver’s Crunchy Raw Beetroot Salad with Feta & Pear

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As recipe 1 of my Cook With Jamie challenge, I’ve decided on something on the easier side.

As the plan was to have steak for dinner, I thought this salad would go perfect with it. This is the sort of salad that is delicious any time of the year, the feta melts in your mouth and gives the salad a nice creamy texture, paired with the fresh crunch of pear and beetroot drizzled with a nice citric zing.

Gotta give Jamie cudos, he knows his flavours! Pah as if any of us doubted that any way.

Quite nice and simple, finely cut beetroot and pear (or apple as stated in the book, I used a bit of both) tossed with a lemon olive oil dressing and topped with a crumble of feta. It doesn’t feel too summery so it was really enjoyable on a winter’s night.

As the first recipe is ticked off and we have a full belly with smiles on our faces, I think this is going to be a great adventure for the both of us.

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