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Monthly Archives: April 2013

A Beautiful Box Of Goodies

Getting a parcel in the post is a surefire way to put a smile on my face. It’s great when its a present from me to me (cookbook, obviously), fabulous when from a friend or relative, but nothing can top the feeling of getting a parcel full of unfamiliar foodie goodies from a complete and utter stranger. Especially when it’s sent by someone who went above and beyond the call of duty and delivered unto me an amazing Foodie Penpal Parcel. Christine (or @Dashinista on Twitter) did a fantastic job and really hit the nail on the head from the guidelines I gave her.

Wrapped up beautifully in a pastel pink box, black tissue paper and pink ribbons, I felt like some spoilt spawn of a multi millionaire on their birthday, itching to get beneath the layers and find out what delights this pretty little package contained. When Christine had asked what foods I liked and my eating habits, I was pretty specific in describing my love for spice and chocolate but that I was also trying to lose a bit of weight at the moment, so I was delighted to see all these in my parcel:

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First up were some great spice mixes: You Must Be Jerking, Magnifico Meatballs and A Toast Sensation, from the online shop The Spicery. The jerk seasoning was delicious with a real depth of flavour, and I can’t wait to try the other mixes, especially as I love meatballs and am always looking for new ways of flavouring them. There was also a sample packet of ground star anise which I’m very much hoping to use in a cake once I get hold of an oven ( less than two weeks to go!). Having never heard of The Spicery before, I now have a feeling I’ll be a regular customer of theirs.
I also got a balsamic and oil salad dressing which will come in very handy to dress salads while I’m trying to lose weight, some chocolate coated rice cakes (strangely addictive, must be the chocolate!) for healthy snacking, some white chocolate and raspberry chocolate bites (really tasty and from a Turkish coffee shop near to Christine) and some jasmine tea pearls from Teapigs. I was really looking forward to drinking this tea despite the fact I betray my country by not enjoying tea at all (England I can only apologise) as it smelt so good when stewing in hot water. I guess my tastebuds just don’t fully get tea, as to me it tasted bland but to The Boyfriend it tasted like sherbet. I can’t tell you how gutted I was that I was missing on what he described as healthy liquid sugar, but I guess me and tea just don’t get each other, no matter what shape, form or flavour. Christine also included a voucher for Graze which I’ve now cashed in and received a little box of snacks at work – another lovely little present in the post – and 4 weight watchers recipes that she regularly uses. Combine all this thoughtfulness with ribbons, heart shaped post its, gorgeous ‘eat me’ labels and a pink box and you have Foodie Penpal utopia. Being so overjoyed at this parcel upon receiving it has insured me to up my game on sending out parcels so I can spread the joy. Christine – thank you, a delicious and inspiring parcel that I’m fairly certain I’ll never be able to match, but it will certainly be a lot of fun trying!

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Baking, Books, Cooking, Food

 

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You Must Be Jerking

Hear that sound, devoted blog readers? Yes, that is the sound of yours truly scraping the barrel. Not content with no blog entries for several weeks, doing barely any cooking and completely neglecting my reputation as cookbook obsessed food eater and blogger extraordinaire, I’ve now resorted to stealing titles from food products in a bid to lure you in with a witty title. Sorry.
With The Boyfriend being back its safe to say we’ve been busy attempting to get the house into reasonable shape so time for cooking has been in short supply. I’m now also ready to throw my slow cooker and George Foreman grill out of the window, so fed up am I of having to cook in them. I look back on a couple of months ago at the bright eyed and bushy tailed blogger (that would be me) joyfully stating that having no oven would force me to use my imagination and that it needn’t be a total nightmare, and cringe. What was I thinking? I’ve now reached my limits with the damn things and have spent a great deal of what free time I do have staring at recipes and photos of baked goods, so desperate am I to whip up a batch myself. The good news is we should be buying an oven at the weekend to last us until we can afford our new kitchen next year. In the words of Kool And The Gang, celebrate good times come on. Oh the possibilities!

Before I get ahead of myself though, let’s focus on what I cooked this week. I use the term ‘cooked’ very lightly. Last Friday I came home to my foodie penpal parcel (which was AMAZING by the way, and will be blogged about later this week) which happened to contain a sachet of jerk seasoning called ‘You Must Be Jerking’ from an online shop called the Spicery. Deciding to jazz up our Monday night salmon, I marinated two fillets in the jerk seasoning, left for a couple of hours then popped on the GF grill. It was delightful and considering the heat from the grill, wasn’t overcooked at all. The marinade was fiercely spicy, warm from the allspice and with an almighty zing from what I’m not 100% sure. It totally transformed the salmon and made a healthy meal much more interesting. The Spicery is definitely getting a repeat order from me; please check them out if you’re in need of jazzing up some plain meals. With a Jamaican seasoning, there was only ever going to be one appropriate accompaniment to this salmon and that was, of course, rice and peas. Not that any self respecting Jamaican would even consider using Uncle Bens Express microwavable rice like I did, which comes out a bit spongy, but it was the nearest I could get. I promise to do it properly next time I make this to do the legendary dish justice. Jerk salmon and rice & peas – salmon need never be boring again.

PS: I know the salmon looks burnt in the photo but it absolutely wasn’t, the jerk marinade is just very dark.

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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Cooking, Fish, Food

 

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