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Sunday
Mar162008

monthly mingle - spring fruit sensations

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one of the things i love about blogging is the inspiration it provides me with. however, inspiration is only half the story. taking that exciting spark of an idea and turning it into something on the plate in front of me, is the real challenge.

and this is where blogging events come in – a challenge is issued and then it's time to start thinking what to cook so you can participate. and even if the timing doesn’t quite work, or the idea you’re working on wasn’t quite as delicious as you’d hoped, then it’s great to see what everyone else managed to come up with.

meeta’s monthly mingles are always fabulous for inspiration and i am delighted to be hosting the next monthly mingle on her behalf. the theme is spring fruit sensations and you need to get involved. whatever fruit is in season where you live and whatever you fancy doing with it, be it sweet or savoury, i want to know about it!

here’s how it works:

  1. create a dish that fits the theme of “spring fruit sensations”
  2. post about it on your blog anytime from now until 7 april (entries must be in english, please).
  3. link to this post and send me details (see below)

once you’ve posted your dish, send an email with “spring fruit sensations” in the subject line to: abby (at) eattherightstuff (dot) com by 7 april with the following information:

  • your name
  • your location
  • the name of your blog and its url
  • the name of your dish and a link to the relevant post
  • a copy of the main photo of your dish (if you use one)

let’s get cooking!

some fruit dishes to help inspire you:

 

Thursday
Mar132008

a life-changing ragu

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there are a number of meaty dishes which i love eating so much that i’d struggle to be a vegetarian, simply because i’d miss them too much. one such dish is a good ragu, either for spaghetti bolognaise or a classic lasagne.

however, i have discovered a vegetarian alternative which is absolutely packed with flavour and has the tomatoey earthy richness that i demand from a ragu.

this puy lentil and mushroom ragu was inspired by two recipes – luissa’s fettucine with mushroom ragu and francesca’s puy lentil lasagne. i made the ragu this morning with the intention of turning it into a lasagne to feed to my friend julia tonight. but i couldn’t wait that long to try it, so my first sampling was with spaghetti for lunch and it was good. damn good.

so, the question is, do i turn some of the remaining ragu into a lasagne and share it with julia, or do i keep it all to myself? i can probably divert david from having any by telling him it’s “just lentils.” i’m not often selfish with food but i do feel that i need to spend a bit more time with this ragu before i share it…

the terrible thing is that there is over 1.5kg of the stuff sitting in the kitchen, so it’s not as though i’d miss out by showing a little generosity. so i shall be generous – i will share it with ruth at once upon a feast and it can be my contribution to presto pasta nights.

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Tuesday
Mar112008

barrafina, w1

it’s odd but if i am ever asked what is my favourite type of food is, it really wouldn’t occur to me to say spanish, but when i think about my favourite meals in recent months, it has been london’s spanish restaurants that have been exciting me.

and thanks to barrafina i am very excited. barrafina is the sister restaurant to fino, which is a long-standing favourite of mine. barrafina is a stylish tapas bar, modelled on cal pep in barcelona. it has a mere 23 stools placed around an l-shaped bar, behind which are the metal hot-plates (plancha) on which, much of the food you eat will be grilled.

arrive early and expect to queue. but don’t worry, the queuing is no hardship – a glass or two from their excellent wine list and possible a few tapas to stop your tummy from growling too loudly and the time will fly by.

in addition to the items on the menu there were a number of specials on offer, several of which we decided to try.

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Saturday
Mar082008

the lure of a new cook book…

 

it intrigues me how some cookery books cast a spell upon me when i’m flicking through them in a shop or at a friend’s house but, once they are mine, they stop singing their siren song.

this happened when i bought the moro cookbook, the first book by sam & sam clark. it sat on my bedside table for many months, being looked at regularly but never quite capturing my imagination sufficiently to cause me to try a recipe. but then, as if by magic, i was captured once again and all the dishes that had jumped off the page and begged to be cooked were jostling for position.

this chorizo and spinach paella was the first to make it onto my table and is one of the dishes that i make most often from the book. i now own all three moro books and have gone through this same process with each of them. well, not quite all - moro east remains resolutely silent. if you have any particular recommendations, do let me know, i’m not good at being patient.

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Wednesday
Mar052008

march foodie profile: neil armstrong

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as you’ll know, this year i want to make space on my blog to explore the huge range of food-related careers that exist and how they affect the way that people cook and eat.

this month we’re hearing from neil armstrong who lives and works in london. he also publishes a fabulous variety of  food-related podcasts, recipes and photos at gastronautics.  

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