Saag paneer

Saag paneer

I’ve always quite enjoyed Indian food, but it wasn’t until I moved to England that I gained a full appreciation for the cuisine and its myriad of tasty dishes.

Having a ‘curry takeout’ or going for a ‘curry’ is one of the most beloved of meals in the U.K and it’s reflected in the number of Indian restaurants that can be found in any one location.  In the small Worcestershire town that Adam and I lived in, there were at least half a dozen places you could get a curry.  Over the months I quickly developed a deep love for saag or palak paneer – most commonly, a mildly spiced spinach dish served with chunks of cooked paneer cheese.

The versions I’ve had so far here in Australia haven’t quite matched up to what I’d eaten in England, so the other week I decided to have a go at making the dish myself, adapting a recipe from the BBC’s Good Food website

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Ribolitta

Ribolitta

That first taste of autumn arrived at the weekend.  Stormy rain rolled through on Friday night, lashing windows and dropping the temperature.  By Saturday that’d broken up into scudding showers that blew in with force along with a cool wind. It resulted in lamps getting turned on early, candles being lit and my favourite cosy clothes being pulled out of the cupboard for their first wear of this year.

That sort of weather always make me crave warm, hearty meals and one of my favourites is ribollita – a Tuscan bread soup. It’s packed full of vegetables, is bursting with flavour and is my go-to recipe whenever someone says they feel poorly…

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Baked ricotta with olives

Baked ricotta with olives

The other weekend I was invited to a housewarming, birthday party and farewell gathering all rolled into one.  We weren’t having a proper sit down meal, rather a selection of small bites, with each guest asked to contribute something.

Knowing the fail safe cheese board was probably taken care of, I decided to take a flick through one of my most reliable cookbooks – The Australian Women’s Weekly Best Ever Collection. There, I discovered the recipe for baked ricotta and olives, and decided to give it a go…

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Plum and vanilla slice

Plum and vanilla slice

A few months back I treated myself to a copy of the National Trust cookbook.  Adam and I had National Trust membership while we were living in England and I have so many fond memories of spending days exploring the Trust’s beautiful old houses and stunning gardens.

We hosted a group of friends this weekend gone for a summery barbecue and I turned to my National Trust cookbook for some seasonal inspiration when it came to dessert…

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Pasta primavera

Pasta primavera

A few weeks ago Adam declared he was craving pasta for dinner. I love pasta, so it didn’t take much convincing to get me on board too!  It was as the weather was starting to warm and neither one of us fancied a rich tomato or cream based dish.  Searching for some inspiration before heading into town to do some food shopping, I started poking around online, looking for something that would meet our pasta craving, without the decadence of a ragù.

I stumbled across a recipe from BBC Food and it was a hit the first night I made it.  I’ve since whipped up the same dish a few more times and I’ve got a feeling it’s going to become a firm favourite in our house…

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