Tag Archives: recipes

My Weekend Inspiration….

21 May

A lot of people ask where I get my inspiration and ideas from. It’s usually the first thing they ask me if they know about my blog. Apart from being influenced by all the amazing restaurants we visited in Cape Town recently, I get inspiration every day when I go out running with Rufus (the dog) and occasionally The Washer Up comes too.

It’s when I get time to think about ideas and things come together somehow. I’ll try to explain: on Saturday I saw this apricot on the ground as I was running past a field that normally has a Shetland pony in it. The pony is not there anymore but we always look to see if he’s come back.  I noticed that there were two apricot trees laden with fruit that were just about ripe. One had fallen on the ground so I took some pictures of it. I wanted to take some more close up pictures of the tree with the fruit on it but I am a bit short and would have to climb on a fence to get the shots. A job for The Washer Up definitely.  He was coming running with us on Sunday, I would have to wait.

Further on I saw these roses and had to stop to photograph them. The coral one is so beautiful I can still smell it now when I look at the picture, can you?

These apricot roses caught my eye aswell. It must be an apricot thing. So now we have apricots and roses, in my head I mean, not physically. I didn’t steal them, honest.

Next I noticed that the almond trees have started to bear fruit (or nut) and you can see little furry green pods all over the branches. These protect the young green almond inside. So almonds join the apricots and roses in my head. What does apricot, rose and almond say to you? To me it says, Moroccan, Middle Eastern exotic, floral, sweet pastries. Or even slow-cooked fragrant tagines sweetened with dried fruits and topped with crisp, toasted almonds. Or lightly aromatic Tabbouleh or couscous salads studded with jewel coloured fruits and crunchy nuts and flecked with bright green fresh herbs. So that is where my mind is going on that one. Watch this space, I am getting apricots in my organic veg box this week.

Oh and he got the apricot tree shots by the way….

Sunday was all about photographing baby fruits and getting excited about future summer recipes. The creative process begins now. There are baby persimmons to think about.

Watching pomegranate flowers turning into fruit before your eyes.

Baby quince with their furry skin just beginning to show.

And tiny little bunches of grapes peeking out from under the vine leaves. Lots to think about.

We also saw a farmer harvesting his red potato crop on the way round.

Very exciting, we had been watching them grow for a while but had no idea that they were red until now. Aren’t they lovely? He also had some enormous spring onions growing next to the potatoes. So I’ve now opened a new file in my head that contains red potatoes and spring onions.

There are also some beautifully vibrant green lettuces that are desperate to be included somewhere too.

On the way back home we went to a new organic farmers market that is held every Sunday morning in Coin. My friend Judi had told me about it, so we went to have a look. It’s a local initiative to encourage people to buy fresh fruit and vegetables from their neighbours rather than supermarkets. All the stallholders live in Coin and have private small holdings. Some are organic and some are not but it is all clearly marked.

And guess what the first organic stall we came across was selling?

Oh yes, red new potatoes. It’s the little things that make you happy isn’t it. We bought a kilo, I have no idea what I am going to do with a kilo of new potatoes but they were 50 cents, so I couldn’t ask for half could I?

They also had some young garlic at the back there. So this file now contains, baby new red potatoes, spring onions and spring garlic. It has got to be a potato salad with those ingredients. But not a rich mayonnaise heavy potato salad, I’m thinking more of a light wine and stock cooked potato salad with olive oil, herbs, spring onions and garlic. It’s a French thing, I’ve seen it on Barefoot Contessa. I may have to try roasting some too as I have bought so many….

It’s only a small market but there was a local potter doing his thing and we also bought some of these deliciously sweet little organic strawberries.

They have a special destiny in a separate mental folder that I will share with you tomorrow…….


Sorry for the lack of posts…..

21 Feb

We have been eating lunch and dinner every day in different restaurants but I have not had the time or the WiFi to post anything. What I have to give you is a coming soon, a little teaser of what’s to come. Enjoy….
Tempting cakes at Voila in the new Cape Quarter…

The Washer Up feeding the elephants in an attractive green poncho and bandana combination…

Stunning cakes at Ile de Pain in Knysna….

A delicous pink sparkling on Valentines Day….

A stunning tomato risotto at Sand at The Plettenberg….

Startled monkeys….

Baked Camembert with green fig preserve, honey and almonds amongst the vines at Bramon Wine Estate Plettenberg.

Exotic birds…

Beautiful hotels…

The best Portuguese custard tarts in the world…

Meet Piccolo, the cutest dog in Montagu….

A sweet potato brûlée tart with asparagus at Haute Cabriere…..

An amazing tomato and boconcini salad at Reuben’s…..

A gorgeous fig and frangipane tart with goats yoghurt ice cream from Bread & Wine…..

And much more to come…..


My 7 Links Challenge, Pass it on…

21 Aug

There’s a challenge going around the blogosphere at the moment called The Seven Links Challenge. I have been nominated by four different bloggers over the past few weeks and I am very honoured, if not a little apprehensive, to be thought of for this.

I would like to say a massive thank you to the lovely ladies who passed this on to me, starting with E from Legally Blissful, who has just started law school and is following her bliss. Tiffany from Como Water a kindred spirit with a positive soul, Tanya from Chica Andaluza my fellow guiri living the dream in Andalucia, and last but by no means least Sawsan from Chef in Disguise my Middle East meets West kitchen guru.

This is the Challenge:


To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.


1)     Blogger is nominated to take part

2)     Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.

– Your most beautiful post
– Your most popular post
– Your most controversial post
– Your most helpful post
– A post whose success surprised you
– A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
– The post that you are most proud of

3)     Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part

So here are my “7 links”

Most Beautiful Post…

Chocolate, Fig & Almond Rosewater Brownies….

Or Beautiful Almond Blossom & Amaretti Biscuits

Are you noticing a theme here? I like pink flowers….

Most Popular Post….

Chargrilled Broccoli & Beans with Garlic, Chilli & Sweet Soy Rice Noodles…..

This was featured on Freshly Pressed, the front page of WordPress and had 45oo hits in 2 days. Very exciting!

Most Controversial Post…..

Mint Julep Peaches Via Iran….

This was featured on Foodpress and got quite a lot of hits. I didn’t think this was controversial but I received a comment saying that the book I was reviewing “Reading Lolita in Tehran” was considered by most Iranians to be“baloney”.

I’d just like to point out that all the opinions on this blog are mine and mine only and the last time I looked freedom of speech and expression were legal, at least they are here.

Most Helpful Post…..

Thai Squash Wonton Soup & Spring Rolls….

I don’t know how helpful it is but there’s some pictures of how to fold wontons and spring rolls. And the filling is delicious!

Most Surprisingly Successful Post….

Spanish Onion Soup on the Beach…..

I was really surprised when this made the Foodbuzz Top 9 and ended up at number one. It was the first time I had been featured anywhere. It’s my Spanish take on the classic French Onion Soup.

Or Indian Lentil Dhal with Potato Stuffed Parathas

This one of my really early posts but it still get loads of traffic now through search engines. It must be something to do with the way it’s titled or something, I don’t know.

The Post That Didn’t Get The Attention It Deserved……

Halloumi Tikka Kebab with Turmeric & Cardamom Risotto & Tamarind Syrup

This is definitely one of mine and the The Washer Up’s all time favourite dishes. The texture of the halloumi that has been marinated in yoghurt & spices is a revelation and the complex balance of  flavours makes it a real winner.

The Post I am Most Proud Of……

Definitely Grandad’s Pickled Onions..

They’re amazing and so is he….xx

Okay so now I have to pass this challenge on to 5 other bloggers. I have chosen these five because they are blogs that I enjoy following that are quite new to me and I am really interested to see what they come up with from their archives.

Beth Michelle

Pease Pudding

The Sometimes Zoo

Sunshine & Smile


Beloved Green

That’s 6, I know. If you get a chance you should check out their lovely blogs, if you don’t know them already.

And I look forward to seeing your gone but not forgotten posts…

Ratatouille & Goats Cheese Tartlets Recipe

13 Oct


Ratatouille is another one of those forgotten 70’s/80’s dishes that got a bad reputation through over exposure and people making terrible versions with undercooked, too chunky, watery veg. The secret to delicious ratatouille is to chop the veg small enough and all the same size so it cooks down and to flavour it with lots of great seasonings.

Ratatouille & Goats Cheese Tartlets Recipe

Serves 2  Vegetarian

  • 1/2 pack frozen puff pastry (defrosted in the fridge overnight so it is still cold when you use it)I use Wrights which comes in 2 blocks.
  • 3 slices of goats cheese per tartlet (about 1/2 cm thick)
  • 1 or 2 tbsp olive oil  (to brush the tartlets)
  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
  2. Flour your board & rolling pin and roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick and cut out two circles from a side plate or bowl about 15 cm diameter.
  3. Score a frame of about 1 1/2 cm around the circle with a sharp knife (Do not cut all the way through) and brush the frames with olive oil or beaten egg. Prick inside the frame all over with a fork.
  4. Bake for 12 – 15 mins until golden brown and remove the middle circle of pastry so it looks like a big vol au vent. (More 70’s flashbacks!)

Scored Pastry Circles

Cooked Pastry Shells

Meanwhile make the ratatouille:

  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 red chilli deseeded & chopped
  • 1 small aubergine diced (about 1cm dice for all the vegetables)
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1/2 courgette diced
  • 1 big tomato diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • a handful of basil chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • a few sprigs of thyme leaves
  1. Cook the onion over a medium heat until translucent then add the garlic & chilli and cook for 2 mins more.
  2. Add the aubergine and red peppers, cook for a few mins then add the courgette, tomatoes, tomato paste & thyme leaves and simmer for about 10 mins until vegetables are tender.
  3. Add the basil, salt and pepper, stir to combine and taste for seasoning.
  4. Fill the pastry shells with the ratatouille ( You will probably have some left over) then top with the sliced goats cheese, drizzle with olive oil & bake for about 6 mins.

You can serve the tartlets with a rocket salad for lunch or I served them with some new potatoes for dinner. The leftover ratatouile can be used as a side dish, as a sauce for pasta, with a cheese omelette or on a toasted baguette with cheese…

Rustic Ratatouille Tartine

Walking For Inspiration

18 Sep

This is basically a food blog set up to share my insane love of food with like minded people. We live in a small village in Andalucia & every morning we take our crazy dog Rufus for a walk in the “campo”. We walk past small farms growing fruit & vegetables which inspires me to cook with seasonal produce & come up with recipes using these ingredients.

I am a vegetarian but my partner Allen is not. We eat vegetarian food at home all the time and we are constantly surprising ourselves with new delicious dishes. I am really conscious of not being a “vegetarian” blog as I want everyone to try these gorgeous dishes & not even notice that they are vegetarian!

Rufus At Home

food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

Pease Pudding

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Chica Andaluza

Sometimes Up a Mountain in Andalucia and sometimes Down by the Sea on the English South Coast

Tony Ward on everything

The gospel according to me!

Agrigirl's Blog

Placemaking for Healthier Communities and a Healthier Planet

Kitchen Operas

Gluten-Free Deliciousness

for the love of yum

A girl who loves to cook fresh, fun, and global cuisine.

The Path To Authenticity

Mind, Body & Spiritual Growth