Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Blue berry?

A Cornish field of bluebells

Why blueberry when your juice stains purple?
Why when cooked your sweetness doubles and colour intensifies,
And gently oozing droplets stream like a capsule of vivid colour bursting?

When stirred into a batter a pancake of dizzying deliciousness delights,
Tempting taste buds toward a blooming blueberry blitz.
I have never forgotten my first blueberry moment...

I love journeys, the photo above was taken on a recent expedition, a happy cream tea Viv's Tea Garden led us to the spot above and the view was breath taking. Bluebell meadows are a moment of splendour and no more is true for taste adventures. Through cooking a flavour finds a new way of expression and a taste that was once familiar, becomes totally different – think apples/ in a pie – mushrooms/ in a stew – bananas/ baked.

Happily stir a puckered blueberry into an oat and buckwheat batter and watch as it sinks gracefully, then twirl a sliver spoon, mix it all up and one by one drop dollops into a hot pan – breathe deeply and smell this fragrant simmering sweetness as it transforms….
Watch for the bubbles!

And take great comfort in these few moments, that just as batter bubbles and becomes a soft pancake so too do we in any given moment - we choose to change our thoughts, our moods or any experiences really, by adding a few new ingredients, trusted favourites or by simply turning up the heat – everything changes.

In pancake terms;-) Every true change involves an action – in the simplest of forms.

Today a blueberry pancake changed my life!

No question is certain without an answer that involves inspiration. By being present miracles unfold and the deepest purple stain becomes blue, or not!?

This recipe is a wondrous weekend wake up, it’s also gluten-free, for those who need it to be so – in which case, choose gluten-free oats and gluten-free baking powder. If you’re like me and don’t mind waking up a little earlier midweek then you’re in for a treat any day of the week.

Be sure to cook these in a non-stick pan – if you don’t have one they really are a worthy investment and will save you a great deal of time in the long run, as well as improving the results of your lovely efforts. Try serving these with some freshly cooked crispy bacon and fruit, a candidly unapologetic gastronomic start to a day that invites dreams to come true. 
Crispy bacon meets refreshing fruit to stir you into a balance of nourishment
Life is full of possibilities and here’s to breakfasts that start the day as we mean to go on, heavenly;-)

Happy day to you.

Sinead xxx

Blueberry pancakes
Mouth melting moments of banana work a treat alongside sweet blueberries

Buckwheat flour, 100g
Oats, 50g
Baking powder, 1 tsp
Salt, a pinch
Sweet freedom, 3tbsp (or soft brown sugar)
Milk, 170ml
Butter, 25g melted
Eggs, 1 beaten
Vanilla essence, 1 tsp

WHISK egg, milk, vanilla essence, sweet freedom and melted butter in a bowl.
POUR in buckwheat flour, oats and baking powder, stir until well combined.
DROP in blueberries and enjoy this moment, then stir well. (to save time in the morning, you may leave the mixture in the fridge overnight and loosen with some more milk in the morning) 
HEAT a non-stick pan and with a tablespoon drop in batter.
WATCH out for little rising bubbles and then flip over until gorgeously golden on the other side.
SERVE as you wish, be it with bacon, maple syrup, fruit or yogurt, whatever you choose - savour each mouthful!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

It's all in the jeans?



Dearest Readers,
I'm posing a few questions today and would love to hear your thoughts - but first let the wonderful Radish take centre stage!



Consciously see the beauty in the ordinary - ordinary is often EXTRAORDINARY!


Radishes, pinky punchy balls of earthy fire, are ripe for the picking right now. Their subtle heat is a gentle reminder of the changing seasons upon us – roll on Summer!


Is happiness determined by our feelings? Does what we eat truly effect our moods? Or are we genetically programmed to be happy/ miserable? The answers YES, YES and YES. Recent research suggests 'a happiness gene' lies at the heart of contentment - if this be so, the gene 5-HTT has a lot to answer for! And woe betide you if the gene hasn't worked its magic on your DNA.


The' long' version of the gene bequeaths a happy existence whereas the 'short' one is truly the short straw! 

Genes aside - self acceptance and finding what makes us happy and making good informed choices certainly raises the barometer of joy - by nourishing and nurturing ones body self esteem and happiness get a boost - we can all empower ourselves regardless of the "long and short" of it. Good news!

Find a good fit and your already half way to happiness!
Salads, bright fresh green ones make me a happy camper, especially at this time of year. We can't swap our genes, though we can wear comfortable “jeans” because we CHOOSE to and we ALL deserve too. 

The good Abraham Lincoln said wisely “We are as happy as we make our minds up to be.” And I for one agree.

With this lightest and loveliest of suppers happiness is there for the tasting! Bright pink radishes and crisply fresh peas, sweetly mixed with a refreshing mint and crème fraiche dressing, topped with Halloumi, ah flavours and nourishment in abundance.

There is joy to be found in the simplest observations and lightly searing halloumi that turns from pale cream to golden ooziness is pretty close to cooking contentment. When I made this salad the other day it was received with delight. Certain suppers stir smiles more easily and this is a sure winner.

Halloumi = Happiness!

Couple with pinkest radishes and gorgeous green peas we have a light and lovely dish which is challenging for even the most ardent Ebenezer’s!

Happy salads and summer days.

Happy Halloumi Pea and Radish salad
Eat green, feel great!

For the crème fraiche and mint dressing
Crème fraiche 110ml
Mint 2 tbsp
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Seasoning
For the green pea salad
Cucumber, ½ peeled and cut into chunks
Radishes, 12 sliced
Fresh peas, 75g
Edamame peas, 75g
Mixed salad leaves 100g
Halloumi, 250g sliced into desirable size
Olive oil, 1 tbsp

MIX all dressing ingredients together and season.
SIMMER fresh peas and edamame in salted boiling water for 3 minutes.
DRAIN and plunge into cold water, to keep them a lovely shade of green.
HEAT a pan and add olive oil.
PAN-FRY Halloumi for a couple of minutes on either side, until golden.
MIX remaining salad ingredients and stir in cooled drained peas.
POUR over dressing and serve onto plats with slices of Halloumi.
HAPPY days with Halloumi.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Hope for breakfast

Waking to golden peaks and spice

If being happy wasn't enough, being hopeful is apparently better for your health and appetite. Happy souls relish chocolate and treats more often, whereas their hopeful friends, looking to the future, are more likely to graze on fruits and salad and fish and lightness! Negative people, in total contrast are most drawn to junk food, any surprises there? Junk food, sugar loaded and bursting with all things fat, gives that instant feel good hit of comfort, though like all quick fixes never lasts.

If your goal is to live a good life, moderation, that old buzz word, is key – obsession in any form is unhealthy, so rather than forbidden fruits, welcome the wonderful variations that the seasons bring in healthy abundance. This month we welcome asparagus, rocket, samphire, European cherries, outdoor rhubarb, chives, parsley, mint, crab, scallops, sea trout. We will soon be awash with beautiful berries and it is hard not to get excited about summer fruits, when does a strawberry ever taste as good than on a long summers day?

Our feelings, our appetites and our moods, very much like the British weather are subject to change. By being prepared we can handle almost anything, for me preparation begins at breakfast time. I can sense by my first actions in the day whether or not I need to slow down, and by simply being in the moment I find peace. Eggs are a universal morning ingredient, in India I relished their gorgeous curried boiled ones, in Michigan my Aunt Kate’s blueberry pancakes remain an all time favourite and now these spicy scrambled wonders have become a current favourite. Moments of whisking and minutes of cooking give a breakfast worth savouring. 
If your fuel is love filled from the start, so too will your day.
When we're hopeful we notice beauty in surprising places!



I have a gift to share with all London based foodies, I’d love to stretch it to you all, as I know my readers stretch from all over, though for now London bound it is. This weekend there is a wonderful foodie fantastic exhibition taking place right in the heart of London. If you fancy a day of culinary delight use this code when purchasing your ticket and you’ll get a brilliant reduction. Details follow . . . 
 Real Food Festival - Earls Court
London 5-8 May 2011
DISCOUNT CODE: RFF76
A standard Adult ticket of £11.00 (saving £9 on the door price)
A ticket and a copy of the brand new Real Food Festival Cookbook for £17.50
2 tickets and a copy of the cookbook for £26.00
A VIP Ticket for £30.00 (saving £20 on the door price) which includes a RFF book, goody bag, festival cocktail and access to Mrs Paisley’s Lashing VIP tent
Discount code is RFF76 which should be entered when making ticket purchases online at www.realfoodfestival.co.uk

Happy week and brilliant breakfasts to you all!

Love,

Sinead xxx

Summer Spiced Scrambled Eggs

Olive oil 2 tbsp
Cumin powder, ½ tsp
Paprika, 1 tsp
Red chilli, 1 finely sliced
Spring onions, 4 roughly chopped
Fresh coriander, 1 small bunch chopped
Eggs, 8 whisked into frothy joy
Sea salt, to sprinkle
Indian Black pepper, one good scratch

HEAT non-stick pan and pour in oil.
ADD red chilli, spring onions and fry for a minute to release flavours.
SPRINKLE over spices and pour over whisked eggs.
STIR gently until the eggs form golden soft peaks and turn of heat just before cooked.
SEASON with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt and lightly stir once more.
SERVE immediately and sprinkle over coriander and some extra slices of chilli if you feel like it.
BEAUTIFUL breakfast for a beautiful day.
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