Friday, 28 January 2011

Saffron Saturday Start


Sweep into your Saturday along a golden road,
And welcome the banana beauty that’s soon to unfold.
Another weekend, a special day,
A time for joy and a day to play!
Wonderful Saturday, Saffron sweet,
In you there is mystery, an unfathomable treat!

These Saffron laced pancakes will give a golden glow to everything in your day. Saffron’s earthy hay like fragrance is unmistakable and is commonly used in Indian and Spanish recipes, two of my favourite cuisines. If spices were planets, saffron would be the sun. Saffron brightens our moods and its numerous health benefits make it a perfect ingredient to include at the start of any day, especially Saturday.

If our early decisions at the start of our day are full of self-love and kindness toward our bodies, well we’re in a good place to face the challenges of living in a sometimes, frenetic world. If in contrast we bid aurevoir to breakfast, um, “Houston we have a problem.” For giving ourselves a few moments to enjoy one of the most quiet and reflective parts of our day, with a delicious plate of gorgeous energy, which is indeed what good food gives us, we say hello to a reality where calm is present. So that if anything should go amiss, and chaos twirls her dizzying head, we’re strong enough to manage melodiously! Phew . . . .

“Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there.”

This week I read that women, 5 in 10 in fact skip breakfast, in contrast 3 in 10 men! It got me thinking, I spoke with a few girlfriends and aside from make-up and getting children ready for school, no one seemed to have any other reasons. I’m a real believer in Breakfast, and think it’s something we should ALL experience everyday! 

Special tip - Make the batter the night before beautiful breakfast, left in the fridge over night, and ready for your ease to cook in the morning, you'll be glad you did, your day will blossom into a purple joy!

I hope you enjoy them and wish you a lovely and happy weekend!

FFX


Saffron Saturday Pancakes

SERVES 4

Rice flour 100g
Egg, 1 medium
Banana, 1 peeled, and mashed
Milk 100ml
Saffron, 7 strands
Lemon juice, 1 tbsp
Sweet freedom 1 tbsp
Coconut oil for frying

SERVE - raspberries and passion fruit with the zest of an orange for extra golden zing!

WHISK in a bowl rice flour, egg, banana, milk and sweet freedom to form a smooth batter.
GRIND saffron in a pestle and mortar, to form a powder.
SPRINKLE over the batter and pour in lemon juice, stirring well.
HEAT frying pan, when hot add coconut oil, ½ tsp per pancake.
LADLE one spoonful of lovely batter into the pan.
FRY over a medium heat for two minutes, flip over and fry for a further minute.
LEAVE to one side in a warm place and repeat 3 more times as above with the remaining mixture.
SERVE with raspberries and passion fruit, with some honeyed Greek yogurt.
ZEST an orange and scatter generously. Vitamin C never felt so good!
GOLDEN starts to any day make it a happier one!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Cooking Incognito

A delicious dreamy moment awaits . . . . it takes minutes!
Like a bird flying for the first time,
Like fruit falling from a tree,
Like the time you knew it felt right,
Ah! These times are meant to be.


A wheel of Camembert! The ideal shape,
A cheese wonder, perfectly matched  by a grape!

Cooking incognito?
Impossible! 
Try, go see and bake. xxx

Create in your Kithcen!
It’s an impossible task, Cooking Incognito, for everything we do, we are in some way linked. Our  special touch, our thoughts, our love, our way all make something that little bit different, unique, extraordinary even. Cooking, what we choose to cook, and how we choose to cook, reflects part of our deeper selves. In the kitchen we welcome an opportunity for peaceful times, through a methodical process, that is not only grounding but also an essential part of healthy everyday living, we celebrate life.

At the moment I’m doing jury service, it’s an eye-opener to another world, far from the warmth of my kitchen; instead a 1970’s décor holds the core of future, law, judgement and order, the paparazzi churlishly loiter outside ready to catch people in their demise or perhaps total relief. 

Cook with love and flow





It’s not appropriate for me to go into any detail, suffice to say that if you’re reading this now, isn’t it lovely to have freedom? And choice. I’m so thankful for that, it makes me feel like I have wings;-))

"He who neglects to drink of the spring of experience is likely to die of thirst in the desert of ignorance." - Ling Po

Feel free in the kitchen
Through  cooking often we nurture a sense of care and kindness, why? Because in our current modern world of convenience, why would we bother to cook otherwise? If not to express our love for others and ourselves? It baffles me why some Chefs turn into hard headed anger machines, for me cooking is about flow and is as fluid as the stream that meets the river, in the same way that the oil meets the pan, how we choose to respond to the rising sizzling heat, undoubtably effects the end result. Yes the kitchen gets hot, yes sometimes things reach boiling point, sometimes we need to try a recipe a few times to get that sense of flow, though afterwards the simplest joy is unveiled - a movement of scoop, and fork to mouth action brings harmonious nourishment.

I’m sharing a simple and absolutely gorgeous starter, or dessert? Depending on how you choose to dress it up, think choice, think happiness; for a savoury sensation with gentle though accomplished pear sweetness awaits. 
If the idea of cooking sometimes gives you a sense of trepidation or sends shiver down your spine, you’ll appreciate the gentleness and simplicity of this recipe. It’s wonderfully manageable and teases your taste buds from the moment you begin to unfold its majesty, providing you like this gem from France. The buttery and confidently delectable – Camembert.

In this recipe the mellow cheese is embraced by the fragrant light touch of dewy pear sweetness; a splash of my favourite Mirabelle plum jam and ten minutes in the oven, awaken an opulent ooze of magnificence that is worth savouring. A few tears of your favourite whole-wheat bread later and some great company, for goodness sake, do cheesy moments get any better than this? I’d love you to try this one, and find out.

Special tip – Choose Camembert that looks plump and is soft to the touch. Avoid wheels with cracked rinds; it’s a sure sign that the cheese didn’t age well. As with all cheese, Camembert is best enjoyed at room temperature, let it breathe a little before cooking with/ or eating, to air any scent of ammonia that may be present.
My husband and son mopped this joy up in minutes!
Before I say adieu, I’d like to thank everyone who got in touch about the pear pancakes, which were enjoyed by Margorit in Guatemala among other places! It brings joy to my heart to hear from you all.

Huge FF Hugs,

FFX

Incognito Pear Camembert


Serves 2-3 
Camembert wheel 250g
Mirabelle jam (St Dalfour) Gorgeous sugar free jam!  1 tbsp
Pear 1 cored peeled and diced
Bread to serve

PRE-HEAT oven to 180’c.
UN-WRAP Camembert from its packaging and place back in its wooden container.
SPREAD over Mirabelle jam.
SPRINKLE over pear.
BAKE in the oven for 12 minutes and surrender.
SERVE with torn pieces of whole-wheat bread.
SALUTE to freedom and happiness.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Pear Dreams





























I feel a pear moment coming on! Upon waking, memories of distant dreams fade fast, they often do, nestling snugly back into our subconscious and so we welcome waking dreams instead and today mine happen to be pear dreams;-)
Have a pear for Breakfast

The moments before breakfast are very special indeed. Our tummies are tranquil and ready for refreshments; sipping tepid water with a squeeze of lemon is a perfect first greeter. First impressions count and this is no less true for our appetites, breakfast is like a booming bear hug for our bodies, filling us with warming energy. What we choose to eat or not eat effects the rest of our day hugely, so lets choose well.

Works a treat!
Today for breakfast I made these beauties. The idea for a simple, light, loving and cleansing breakfast has come full circle, the Pear Pancake has arrived! This is my favourite seasonal breakfast, I’m sure you’ll love them too. With my nifty corer the pear was like putty in my hands, if you come across one they're worth parting with few pounds, they make light work out of de-coring.  

After a few minutes of grating, whisking and frying, whoa, joy of joys! The fruity affair that ensued was mouth-watering and with a happy spoon of honeyed Greek yogurt and some favourite fruits later, mmm, a melody so gently sweet and soothing played its beautiful way through my taste buds.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Walt Disney

He was an enigmatic creative, a maker of children's dreams. Our early experiences shape our relationship with the world, true for children, and now, in the same way, true for us in mornings! The way we treat ourselves is so important. Make time for breakfast, in doing so cravings, tiredness, snacking surreptitiously and dieting will fade into a distant faraway place, out of sight, out of mind!


Special tip – Our bodies bloom brightly when we eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, pears are beautiful right now, and eating one alone is a better way of absorbing important nutrients rather than popping a pill. Pears cleanse our livers too! Choose fruit everytime!

Wishing you all a Happy Friday. If you make these over the weekend please let me know, I’d love to see a photo, post on the Feeling Food FB page.

Love,

FFX

Pear Pancakes
ooh these are delicious!
SERVES 4
Rice flour 100g
Egg, 1 medium
Comice pear, 1 peeled, cored and grated
Milk 100ml
Sweet freedom 1 tbsp
Coconut oil for frying

WHISK in a bowl rice flour, egg, grated pear, milk and sweet freedom to form a smooth batter.
HEAT frying pan, when hot add coconut oil, ½ tsp per pancake.
LADLE one spoonful of lovely batter into the pan.
FRY over a medium heat for two minutes, flip over and fry for a further minute.
LEAVE in a warm place and repeat 3 more times as above with the remaining mixture.
SERVE with favourite fruits and some honeyed Greek yogurt.
ALL who eat these will be delighted.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Thank you Tuesday

Good morning on a clear blue-sky day! I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported Feeling Food Blog in the Dorset Blog Awards! Thanks to you Feeling Food hit the top spot! I love writing and sharing this blog with you! What makes it so special for me is receiving your comments, suggestions and ideas, thank you for those and please keep sending them! I see 2011 as a year of possibilities and joy, I’d love Feeling Food to continue to grow, so if you haven’t already, please also join the Feeling Food Facebook page, here is the Feeling Food Link, . Please also share with any friends who you think may like a slice of the pie too;-)) XXX and a massive warm hug! Blue Monday has passed, phew . . . And . . .

Amber and softly sweet, like sunshine splashing over oceans deep,
When paired with rosemary, Wow, you leap!
There’s a recipe longing, it’s yours for keeps!
What an orange delight!
 So say goodbye depressing days!! And hello to thank you days! I’m hoping that another day, perhaps some time in Spring, will be offered as the happiest day of the year, it’s all about balance after all!

Moods matter, blue is beautiful - depending on how we see the world!
Sure we all have a lot in common, we have changing appetites, favourite weather, many varying moods, special comforts and depending on the time of year and your chosen company – these things like the weather, never stay the same, so it’s anybodies guess which particular day may unite us in misery, and surely that again is down to the individual!

There's a Lion-heart in us all!
Mr. Jack Frost is lingering, his accomplice the effervescent Mrs. Rain follows merrily in toe, and so hearty fuel feels very right this time of year. Hearty dinners leave us feeling warmth from within, offering renewed energy and better still warm feet! This kind of food is tastiest when it’s wet, cold and damp, as it is today, so instead of bemoaning this weather, lets be thankful that it makes warming food taste so much better. However, this particular dish won’t leave you feeling like a tired camel, instead light and bright. Phew!

I love chicken in it’s many guises, chameleon like it lends itself to worldwide gastronomy, Tandori style is a true favourite, Coq au vin cooked with a cube of pure cocoa solids is also deeply satisfying, and now after a creative cooking session last week, I’ve fallen for Dijon Amber Chicken!

It’s so simple to make, I’m sure if you like chicken, you’ll love this too. For my vegetarian friends fear not, this recipe is equally delicious without the chicken – different yes, deeply delightful, absolutely! Simply scatter over some toasted pecan nuts and some other favourite nuts. I love pleasant surprises and this dish is full of them, it sings eat me and will seduce your taste buds toward a mellow resonance where a sprinkling of soft satisfaction is followed by a creamy chive cacophony. Ooh it’s yumtastic.

Turkey would work well in place of the chicken too. The endless choices we have in the kitchen  are heavenly, cooking isn’t a chore, it’s an art form and a way of expressing oneself in a true and nourishing way. Recently I was amused to watch my friends cat, Toto sip from a vase instead of his freshly filled bowl. We all have our own preferences; I think it’s important to respect everyones choices.

Special tip – When a friend or loved one mentions a favourite meal or ingredient record it! This is gold dust for future times, people appreciate thought more than anything; take time to relish the wonders of the written word.

Dijon Amber Chicken


Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter

Chicken Breasts 2
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Making choices, is what will make your cooking special. 
Whole-grain or Dijon? It's up to you!
Dijon mustard/ wholegrain is delicious too - 1 tbsp
Greek yogurt 1 tbsp
Butternut squash, cubed
Sweet potato, cubed
Dried Rosemary 2 tsp
Cream cheese 1 tbsp
Green beans 100g
Garlic 2 cloves crushed/ or try the Gourmet Blend brand, they’re wonderful!
Seasonal leaves, a few scattered
Balsamic glaze, a drizzle
Seasoning

PRE-HEAT oven to 200’c
MIX Dijon mustard and half of the olive oil in a large bowl, season.
PLACE on a baking tray.
SQUEEZE garlic into the same bowl and blend remaining oil.
SEASON generously and stir in butternut and sweet potato.
SCATTER on the same baking tray.
THROW over rosemary and bake for 25minutes.
REMOVE from oven and cover with foil for five minutes ( this will give you juicy and tender chicken )
SIMMER green beans for 4 minutes in salted water, then drain.
SPOON a delightful dollop of cream cheese in the centre of your plate and arrange your supper artistically, finish with a final swizzle of balsamic, take pride here, why?
BECAUSE YOU’RE WORTH IT;-))

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Golden

“I tentatively sliced the golden crisp ball and a teasing ooze of milky mozzarella spilled over onto the avocado, trickling toward the coriander. Marvelous mozzarella, mindful I twirled my fork, wiped up some tomato juices, and enjoyed this golden moment.”


With the simplicity of three bowls, one with rice flour one with whisked eggs, and the third with whole-wheat breadcrumbs, you’re a few steps away from an almighty oozilicious wonder. 

Go dippy with dipping!
I love the simplicity of this recipe; it’s methodical and indulgent.  The dipping is sequential and calming – a smooth white ball transforms into a potentially golden moment in less than a minute.  Though even better still, like all good things, they are best prepared when given a rest;-) These beauties need at least an hour in the fridge to chill out! So you may find another golden moment! Gold is such a timeless colour, like classic dishes, that become woven in time, life should be full of some such moments.

If 
our eyes are the windows to our soul
I’d say 
our mouths are the doors to our truth. 
THE DOOR TO THE BAPTISTRY OF S.GIOVANNI FLORENCE at The V&A
known as THE PORTA DEL PARADISO,
To you and I, THE GATES OF PARADISE!
Treat your door with golden TLC – and welcome healthy, nourishing and nurturing morsels.  Sometimes we eat the wrong things, are bodies tell us so. This year I’m listening more and urge you to do the same. When hunger calls, listen, eat well. Emotional eating is a different story, feeling full doesn’t happen. Often our Feelings signal deeper needs, embrace them, Feelings are a good thing;-))


Special tip – Whilst dipping your mozzarella, entertain happy thoughts – relish the repetition and know that our thoughts are the true bearers of our reality – watch them, pay attention and golden moments will abound!

For this recipe, you’ll be thankful for a food thermometer, it keeps it simple, instead of worrying whether or not the oil is hot enough, if you can’t get your hands on one, when you think the oil is hot enough, drop in a bread crumb, it should sizzle nicely. Baby mozzarella varies in size, so if it’s on the small size, use 16, though some brands seem like toddler mozzarella, in which case use 8. Adjust number of balls depending on the size of the mozzarella; I love - available from most supermarkets, 8 is plenty, though a few extras won’t go to waste!


What makes this sumptuous delight mouthwatering is the contrast of fresh flavours from the salad ingredients, don't be shy with your amounts here. Follow the recipe and add a few of your own favourite seasonal leaves and any other fruit and veg you think may work. 

Apparently women and men who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday, look 2.1 years younger than those who don't. More importantly we feel better with balance - and trust it's all about Feeling Food!!!

Golden Mozzarella with tomato and avocado relish

Serves 4

Baby mozzarella, 16
Rice flour, 200g in a medium sized bowl
Eggs 3 large whisked in a medium sized bowl
Whole-wheat breadcrumbs 200g, in a medium sized bowl
Vegetable oil, 250ml
Beef tomatoes, 1 cut into chunks
Avocado, 2 de-stoned and cubed
Coriander, a small bunch, leaves only
Lemon, the juice of one
Seasoning

ROLL mozzarella balls in rice flour; this may be done in batches.
DIP them into whisked eggs, so that they’re wet all over.
ROLL over the breadcrumbs, to coat all over.
REPEAT the process and enjoy the transformation of a modest mozzarella towards crumbly gorgeousness.
PLACE all fully crumbed mozzarella onto a large plate/ tray and refrigerate for at least an hour.
HEAT oil to 140’C in a saucepan, minutes before ready to serve.
DEEP-FRY balls for 3 minutes, again you may do this in batches.
PLACE on kitchen towel.
MIX all salad ingredients and spoon them onto plate.
SERVE the golden wonders and enjoy majestically.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Petra and Petals


If Love is ever sustaining, which I believe it is, where best to find it? Definitely not locked away for special occasions, no Sirree! It is here with us now, every step of the way, right here, right now, feel the beat in your heart? That’s as good a place to start as any, and with every breath you take the possibility to feel love grows! Like the most beautiful of seasons, soon to come, my favourite being lustrous spring.

Now past and present are all around us. Big Ben chimed a new year not less than a week ago; our resolutions will us to make this a healthier and fuller one. All the while we move into 2011 with hopes and dreams that we may not have realised yet - these may soon be unravelled and discovered, and what joy there is in discovery. In discovery we find truth, and through friendship we learn grace. When I think of grace, a few friends spring to mind very quickly, and I’ve written this post for one in particular, who sadly died in December. It’s for a beautiful young woman named Petra, she gave the world much more than she knew, and I was fortunate to know her. Her grace and generosity of spirit are an inspiration and it is without doubt that another Angel lights our night sky, twinkling.   

A poem for Petra

Where floating flora is falling free,
In the river of life there you may see,
A radiant Angel of lavender hue,
A girl with a smile, the friend we once knew.

Most beautiful flowers seem never to know,
How much love they bring, wherever they go.
Now gently serene,  your memory we will never tire,
You were ceaselessly enchanting, like an acrobat on a wire.

And what happens when their petals fall and float?
They flutter and dance towards the most silent note.
What then, for their brightness once in bloom?
A world without colour, is surely one of gloom?

We share our memories to bring thoughts that heal,
Through our tender goodbyes, we surrender, we feel.
When I see beautiful flowers, it is of you I will think,
Your heart was so generous, the brightest pink.

xxx
A rose amongst Xanthe Pom Pom's

I hope everyone is feeling rested and restored, and ready for some lovely warming recipes. For me January is a month of cleansing, with gorgeous spices sprinkled over silky scallops, sumptuous celeriac and firm white sea-bass, that is as fresh as the frost falling – all these juxtaposed to December’s traditional chestnuts, hearty game, pleasing pates and dense fruitcakes, make January a lighter, though spicier month for sure.

The first recipe I'd like to share with you in 2011 was a favourite of Petra’s, who though no-longer with us, leaves a lasting and heart warming legacy. It is fresh, beautiful and vibrant, cook with love for your dearest of friends and cherish today, it is with close family and friends that everything is best.
Often our favourite flavours reveal much about our characters. Is it any wonder our appetites remain ever changing? Much like our relationships, when we add the right balance of ingredients magical things happen.
Sea bass Petra's way is deliciously light, and after the prep work of making the sauce, you're good to go, it's a matter of minutes before a delicious delight - it makes for a perfect fish supper for friends as you'll be able to relax and forget about cooking, before quickly pan-frying the sea-bass. When buying sea bass, choose wild if possible, making sure that it’s line or net caught, as with all fish avoid the treachery of trawling. Lets protect fish from extinction - now is a good time to enjoy this sea gem, though not between March to June as they are spawning, it's important we adhere to this in order to protect  declining stocks and support our eco-systems.

Special tip – Be a conscious shopper. Petra gave me a bright yellow bag that wraps into a tiny bundle. I carry it with me in my handbag, ready for shopping, we can all make a difference if we make the simplest of changes, say goodbye to carrier bags and hello to Mother Nature!

Sea bass in many ways are the fashionistas of the Oceans, their skins are snake like in appearance, shimmering with a pale iridescent sea green tint, the French refer to them as 'the wolf of the sea' and as the Queens favourite fish, this truly classic fish is oceaniliciously, deliciously lovely, Petra's way. Be sure to kindly ask your fishmonger to scale and gut the sea bass, give an extra wink and smile before asking him to remove the gills as well. This is lovely served with lightly steamed mange tout, drizzled with sesame oil, brown rice and a sprinkling of salt. Oh, and if you don't have a good non-stick pan, now's a good time to invest in one, the difference it will make to your cooking is gastronomic.

Sea bass Petra’s Way


SERVES 4
sea bass, 4 fillets
extra virgin olive oil, 50 ml
limes, 3 juiced and zested
water, 50ml
Thai fish sauce, 2 tsp
Pineapple, 100g cubed
Passion fruit 2, pulp removed
Ripe mango, 1 stoned and roughly chopped                                                                                                                                                            
Garlic cloves, 4 bashed
Red chili, 3 deseeded (temper this to suit your taste buds - the sweetness of the fruit balance the heat of the chili)
Coriander leaves, one small bunch
Mint, 2 sprigs, leaves only
SPRINKLE salt over the skin side of the sea bass fillets and leave to one side. This will give you a lovely crispy skin, that tastes delicious!
MIX all the remaining ingredients in a blender and blitz for a minute or so, until silky smooth.
HEAT
PAN – FRY the fillets for five minutes skin side down.
TURN fish over and cook for five minutes on the other side.
HEAT sauce in a pan for a few minutes until gently bubbling.
TRANSFER fillets onto your favourite plates.
SERVE with sauce, best shared with a dear fiend. Whoever is lucky enough will truly appreciate this; expect good conversation, as sea bass is a good source of omega 3.
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