Tag Archives: salad

Thank goodness for hungry boys

A full belly makes a dull brain.
~ Benjamin Franklin

I met Annisha in my first few weeks at university, and somehow we stayed friends despite our awkward first conversation in class (I was shy and not so good at reading faces; she was having a “don’t talk to me!” day). 6 years later, I am sooooo glad we can roll off the couch in laughter, cook together in the kitchen, attempt singing French songs while in our pyjamas… you know those people with whom you can sit at a bus stop waiting for a late bus, and have fun the whole time? She is like that for me.

Wellington was blessed with warm sunny skies today and we made the most of it! We had coffee with Haidee at Espressoholic, then spent the afternoon strolling past the buskers on colourful Cuba Street, eating a late lunch, traipsing in and out of shops…… ahh, perfect! No urge to buy much however, except a very CUTE secondhand book “Accommodating Brocolli in the Cemetery – or why can’t anybody spell?” by Vivian Cook :-) On the back of this book is printed: “It is a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word.” (US President Andrew Jackson). Ahhhh, language, words, English, I love you, even though you are one of the craziest languages in the world.

Passed this cute wall and window by Swonderful (a funky Wellington shop) and couldn’t resist snapping a photo of it:

Nish and I made dinner tonight for 3 boys (2 of them my flatties) and ourselves.

The cookbook project continues… from Tessa Kiros’ “Falling Cloudberries”:
#26 Greek-Cypriot Salad – Page 188
#27 Moist Chocolate Cake – Page 374

From the talented cook Nish:
Baked chicken with lemon, chilli and herbs

Salad: ‘generous’ is the way I would describe it – feta, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, oregano, onion, garlic, red wine and vinegar (the recipe had called for red wine vinegar which I didn’t have… oops)… for some reason I could imagine a large Greek family huddled around a table eating this.

Chicken: wonderful, fresh and flavourful with the lemon and chilli, browned and just yummy.

Potatoes: always the perfect complement to food, spuds. These were salted and herbed… heartiness.

Cake: butter, sugar, eggs, chocolate, flour, rum (used in place of brandy, which the recipe called for)… and a thickened sugar syrup poured on the top of it when it was cooled, to moisten it. I found this ok, but certainly not the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had ;-)

Sure glad the boys were here to help eat everything. Nish and I were way full from our 3pm lunch and could hardly stomach our food – and the glorious 3 boys sat eating, even saying the food was delicious, while it all disappeared into their skinny selves.

Balance is salad and brownies

Food is an important part of a balanced diet.
~ Fran Lebowitz

In line with the title of this post, I’m going to write a little about our flat’s fair & balanced dinner tonight. It was a tip-toe dance in the form of salad… brownies… (and vodka in the middle).

Nothing from the cookbook tonight. I found a pasta recipe somewhere online – and oops, neglected to snap a photograph of it (careless me!) – but let me tell you, if you have no meat or vegetables in your fridge, you can opt to dress your penne rigati with a cup of vodka, a cup of chicken stock, half a cup of cream, a tin of tomatoes, fresh basil, shallots & garlic (these proportions for a sauce which serves 4). Your penne will take to its red gurgly gown like a fish to water, and smile and curtsey on your tongue. I kid you not.

This random salad here? If you are interested, this is roughly (from memory) how it was composed. I didn’t measure anything sorry, so you will just have to cross your heart and fingers and trust in your ability to make magic. This is how I make salad most days, with what I happen to have or grab in the vegetable aisle – and with the knowledge that I do not need skill or steps in salad-making, I need to put together the finest of fresh things and let them perform.

    chicken fillet, cubed
    cajun seasoning
    dried oregano
    capsicum, sliced
    a few dried apricots, cut into thin slices
    fresh mesclun & spinach
    1 lemon wedge
    salt & pepper to taste
    Method to my madness:
    Drizzle some olive oil into a pan, and add chicken cubes when the oil is hot. Season with cajun, oregano, and a pinch of sugar. Fry on high heat until the chicken cubes are nicely browned. Lower the heat and cook until chicken is well-cooked, but not to the point that it becomes dry.
    Remove chicken from pan, and set on a plate to cool slightly. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary, and fry capsicum slices on high heat until they are scorched in places. Remove from heat to cool slightly as well.
    Add the chicken and capsicum to the rest of the salad ingredients, and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the entire mix.

Emma and Claire came over tonight and made what I call their Imagination’s Brownie. They made it up (how do people successfully make brownie without a recipe?? I am amazed!) It was impossibly rich (containing 1 entire block of dark chocolate for 6 of us… golly) – and totally wonderful. Lucky flatties and me! :-)

And here it is, the weekend… have a great one. Hope it is sunny where you are (we are sorely lacking in sun at the moment, tis a disgusting stretch of unreal so-called Summer).

Summer is here!

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
~ Wallace Stevens

Our dinner tonight tasted of Summer. Truly.

The good Matt did pretty much all the cooking… fresh fruity salad adorned with cashews + walnuts; monkfish seasoned with herbs + spices and cooked on the bbq; a glass of Gewürztraminer each. His parents were here too, and we joined hands to say a prayer before partaking of our meal. The sun streamed in through the windows and the wind carried faint strains of a choir singing somewhere…

What else is there to do afterwards but melt some chocolate, add in dashes of vanilla, black pepper, cinnamon + nutmeg and dip strawberries in the mix.