Friday, 7 February 2014

February kitchen

I did entertain the idea of a super-healthy month food-wise (what with February being only 28 days long) but it's cold, it's wet and it's grey. So although we're not indulging ourselves on a Christmas level, we are eating things which help keep the cold out. And things which put a smile on our faces (and quite possibly a pound or two on the scales).

I am trying to stop eating supper though. It's something I never really did until meeting Jay and it's a habit I want to break. However, I do like to finish off my evening meal with a little something sweet and that's never going to change. Nor would I wish it to.

We eat veggie meals several times a week. The other night it was big flat mushrooms stuffed with breadcrumbs and stilton then baked, a green salad and garlic bread. This week we'll be making our own baked beans (so much nicer than the tinned version, and lovely with toasted sourdough). Having said that, I do love these giant Greek baked beans. They taste of dill and are less sugary than the British version.

I'm also a fan of these root vegetable crisps. Let's face it, they're probably no healthier than potato crisps but are delicious (hence the empty packet). I could try making some myself but the thought of slicing vegetables with a mandolin scares me a bit too much.

This week we're having salmon with asparagus - yes, it's out of season but I picked up a pack very cheaply so I'll see how it tastes - satay chicken drumsticks, Thai salad and a roast of some sort. The Oriental stuff really appeals to me at this time of year. A bit virtuous; fresh-tasting mint, coriander and lime with the heat of chilli.

Speaking of chilli, we finally put all our home grown and dried ones into the food processor. Then made the mistake of removing the lid and breathing in. Cue gasping and spluttering and backing away towards the sink. But now we have our own (very potent) dried chilli flakes. To be used sparingly.

I spotted this storm lantern at the charity shop last week. I do love a lantern, and this one's folksy, Eastern European design meant I couldn't resist.

It's never been used; the instruction leaflet was still inside so after a good clean and polish I hung it on a hook on the door. It was made in what was Czechoslovakia so must be at least 20 years old.

I don't think it'll ever be lit indoors. Burning paraffin appeals to me about as much as slicing parsnips with a mandolin.

Maybe one day when we have a house with a porch to sit out on...

Have a great weekend and enjoy your food and home comforts. 


  1. What a find - such a beautiful lamp. Storm lanterns seem to be seeking you out at the moment!
    What recipe are you going to use for the baked beans? (Or are you winging it?) I made some homemade beans (as husband is rather a Heinz fan and I wanted to lure him away) a few months back. They were tasty (the bacon bits especially) but not quite right. Loving the big mushroom dinner - nicking that for next week's meal plan, ta! xx

    1. Hello! Yes, lanterns do seem to be appearing everywhere. Maybe it's a sign or something...
      I just make up the baked bean recipe to be honest. Mixed herbs, ideally some bits of pancetta - apparently maple syrup's a good ingredient but we've yet to try it. The mushrooms were a hit, especially as Jay's mum was over and she's vegetarian. The Stilton was in the freezer (Christmas leftovers) so we felt quite resourceful and smug using it up!
      Hope you're having a good weekend x

  2. Oh yum ... your weeks menu sounds delicious and what a find that beautiful lamp was ... it is truly gorgeous ... enjoy your weekend ... Bee xx

    1. Same to you! And I am pleased with the lamp... I turned up to work on Monday morning and apparently it had just been put out on display. My manager said he knew I'd go straight for it!
      Hope you're having a good weekend despite all this rain x

  3. Love that lamp (and how come I never spot anything as fab in the charity shops here?). Not sure I'm enjoying food quite as much as I do usually. I made the decision to go vegan (we're vegetarian anyway) in February which so far has resulted in cooking different meals ('No eggs? No cheese? No way!') and baking some dodgy looking cakes. Those beans look delish, though.

  4. Ooh, are you vegan just for February? Or is it a permanent thing?
    A friend of mine is vegan - a lot how easy you find it depends on whether you have a decent natural food shop nearby (and how strong your willpower is!) I tried it once and failed, although I don't really eat red meat and am trying to reduce my dairy intake. It's supposed to be extremely good for you - especially if you do yoga too. You'll never age!
    Trust me, we get an awful lot of tat in local charity shops too. Occasionally there's a gem. Right place, right time I suppose!
    S :)

  5. Those beeans look delicious Sarah, reading this post has made me rather hungry despite having finished dinner not so long ago. I think I need to get cooking some different things, I think we have got into a bit of a rut this winter and need to branch out with some more yummy recipes.
    I did try Emil you on Saturday to say sorry but I have been a bit of a silly billy as I deleted your email with your address by mistake! I had your parcel all wrapped up and ready to go and then felt rather frustrated with not being able to send it to you. So sorry, please could you email your address to me again.
    Brilliant lamp find, I love the folky flower painted on that beautiful red, I can just image it lit on a balmy summer evening sitting on a porch sipping something nice ;o) sorry once again about the email, you will have your parcel this week xox

    1. Hi Penny - No worries, I'll email you again.

      We're going to try and cook more from our (extensive collection of) recipe books, even if it's just once a week. I love it when you try something new and it becomes a favourite!

      Will be in touch with my postal address x

  6. I love home made baked beans, partly, I'm ashamed to admit, because adding a tablespoon of maple syrup gives them the delectable sweetness that's missing these days in the righteous salt-and-sugar-reduced tinned versions!
    I was struck by your "Maybe one day when we have a house with a porch..." - does everyone have a "Maybe one day" dream? Mine is to have a garden with a small orchard....

    1. I'd like that too - for some reason I always envision it with my washing blowing on the line strung between the trees! Oh, and a few chickens pecking about...


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