Hippies. That’s what I used to think of when I thought of lentil burgers. They reminded me of living in Eugene, Oregon, which was nice. They reminded me of patchouli oil, which is not. And so, I never used to eat them. But ever since I actually tasted a lentil burger, they only remind me of all that is delicious and healthful about lentils. Lentils are considered one of the five healthiest foods on the planet, with high levels of protein, fiber, iron and folate (natural-occurring folic acid).

mmm... lentil burgers...

Jonny and I first made lentil burgers a couple months ago, after I finally overcame a bizarre intolerance to legumes that I’d internalized during grad school. I was eating vegetarian at the time, and as soon as I knew I wouldn’t blow up if I ate lentils, I wanted to eat them daily. (more…)

It’s been a little while, hasn’t it? Life sometimes gets in the way of blogging, which I think is a good thing, because it means time away from the computer — always healthy. I meant to write a post immediately about this amazing Kung Pao chicken recipe by Use Real Butter, not only because it is so delicious, but more importantly to tell you the exciting news that inspired the meal in the first place.

Last Friday morning I was standing in the kitchen watching a pot of water boil when Jonny suddenly came galloping down the stairs. His face was flush, and with the hugest smile ever he told me he’d received an unconditional offer to do his Master’s degree at Middlesex University. We immediately grabbed hands and started jumping around the kitchen and whooping like little kids. This awesome news deserved a celebratory meal! (Doesn’t all good news?) (more…)

It was St. Patrick’s Day a few days ago. My original plan was to make some sort of Irish Car Bomb cupcakes to celebrate, but I’m trying desperately to reduce my refined sugar and alcohol intake, so I opted for a less decadent baked good instead: Guinness quick bread. Why quick bread? Because I am hungry and impatient and didn’t want to wait for a rise and a proof and a second rise, etc. I typically have good luck with these easy bread recipes, however on Wednesday luck’ o’ the Irish was not with me — even despite my Irish heritage and the fact I was wearing green. Quick bread is designed to be simple and provide near-instant gratification. You can literally throw everything into a bowl, stir it about 50 times and shove it in the oven. 50 minutes later you have steamy fresh bread to slather with your sweet fresh butter!

Guinness Quick Bread with fresh homemade butter, yum!

If only it had been so easy on St. Patrick’s Day… Having all but one of my ingredients on hand, I set off to find one can of Guinness. In London this would have taken me about five minutes because around every corner a news agent is selling singles of the Isles’ finest booze. (more…)

I came across a recipe for fresh butter on The Simple Spatula the other day, and it inspired me to try it for myself. I have made butter only once before. It was 1985. I was wearing charm necklaces and knee-highs and saddle shoes and still had naturally platinum blonde hair. My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. McGee, was teaching us about food science. I remember little about this section of lessons apart from a series of glass jars filled with different food bits (apples, cheese, oreos) that we monitored every day for mould growth, weird smells and other changes that make wide-eyed 5-year-olds squeal…. And I remember making butter.

We sat in our sharing circle on the itchy, brown standard-issue school carpet and tried to sit still as Mrs. McGee explained that we were going to change the milk in the giant mason jar she was holding into butter. And then she started to shake it. She shook it to her left and right and above her head, and after a little while, she passed it to one of my classmates. And shaking commenced. I don’t remember how long it took 13 kindergartners to churn butter, but I remember holding that huge glass mason jar full of cream in my tiny paws. My finger tips barely reached around the glass and I remember how carefully I had to shake it for fear of dropping the thing and ruining the butter experiment for everyone. And sure enough, by the end of the afternoon, we had created butter. (more…)

Flex! Mussels are the seasonal food of the week and I freakin’ love mussels so that’s what we ate for Friday night dinner. I’ve heard lots of horror stories about people preparing mussels for their friends and, later on, the lot of them battling their digestive demons. So I made sure to take proper care not to poison Jonny or myself. I gave my fresh mussels a good rinse in cold water, removed their beards (ouch!) and tossed any broken or unresponsive creatures out (if the shell is half opened and doesn’t close after a couple minutes in the water or a nice tap on the counter, it’s no good).

How on earth did I create a steaming mussel dish for two for less than a fiver? Well, even though restaurants like to charge a lot for them, you can get them for incredibly reasonable prices. We picked up a bag of fresh bivalves for £2.02 today (on special £2.29/kg, normally £3.49/kg), and with the fresh linguine (£1.19 for 250g), parsley (79p), lemon (15p) and a baguette for some garlic bread (89p) we came in at just pennies over £5. (more…)

Fact One: Nothing is better than eternal happiness

Fact Two: Baking a Cake is better than nothing.

Conclusion: Baking cake is better than eternal happiness.


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