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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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Lamb Overload

Yes I’m back. I’m sorry to say that you can’t get rid of me that easily. The Boyfriend works away a lot and cooking then writing about it is what keeps me from long distance relationship insanity! So now he’s gone again its back to trying out new recipes and taking risks in the kitchen. And lucky for you, he’s gone for flipping ages so I’ll be blogging like no ones ever blogged before!

Yesterday for The Boyfriends last day at home for 4 long months, we rustled up a pretty scrummy roast lamb dinner. The trouble is, The Boyfriend, god love him, can’t just get a modestly sized lamb joint for the two of us, oh no. Instead, we ended up with an entire leg of lamb that could have easily fed 10 people. I should never let him into a supermarket without a chaperone. Sweetly, he did suggest he brought it so I could use the masses of leftover meat for dinners throughout the week, which would sound lovely if he didn’t know I don’t really like lamb all that much. Me thinks someone just wanted to pig out on lamb.

So what did I do today with some of the leftovers? Naturally I turned to the queen of leftovers, Nigella, and knocked up an Anglo-Asian lamb salad straight from the pages of Express. I’m finding myself more and more drawn to salads these days after a couple of very successful ones which regular readers may remember. I have some weight to lose for the summer so to enjoy healthy low fat food is now a complete and utter blessing. This fusion salad incorporates the Britishness of roast lamb and red currant jelly with the spiky flavours of Asia and while nothing ground breaking, is pretty damn tasty. The dressing is sharp, sour and spicy and includes chilli, spring onion, soy sauce, red currant jelly and rice vinegar. Coat the lamb in the dressing then toss through a plate of salad leaves. Rather poetically, I went for lambs lettuce as my salad of choice and I suggest you do to. You don’t want a leaf with a strong flavour as the dressing packs quite a punch. Nigella cooks lamb steaks fresh for this salad, but leftover roast lamb also works, making this a super speedy dinner after a long day at work and an excruciating legs,bums and tums class!

Now all I need to do us work out what else I can use that lamb for. 3 servings down, only 7 to go!

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