Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Returning after a long break

After a very long break I am. Due to study and work commitments I have been terribly busy over the past year. It is time to start again with a new home and a new academic year lurking around the corner. I have found inspiration in the new home. The kitchen is tiny, but has a door opening to the back garden - which is perfect for al fresco dining! You can guess that I have been mainly cooking BBQ food and salads.

Recently I travelled back to Nueva Andalucia where we visited over a year ago. The holiday was very different this time round. First, the sun was shining much stronger and warmer. Hence the peeling back that is probably freaking out my colleagues at the office. Second, it was a hen holiday! A first for me and such an hilarious experience. "What happens in Marbs, stays in Marbs..." But I shall reveal that there was a lot of sunbathing, lying in the pool, tinto de verano, delicious food and some racy entertainment.

Spanish food seduces me again and again. The tangy anchoa olives, vinegary boquerones, salty chorizo and creamy ensaladilla rusa. All of this flushed down with a cold glass of tinto de verano. La Casera was a revelation to many of my travel companions and goes perfectly with pretty much anything - red wine, vodka, gin or on its own! Speaking of the creaminess of ensaladilla rusa, I have been making it a lot lately and I mean A LOT. It has become a staple BBQ dish and a favourite of the Boyfriend and his family. I had the chance to get the recipe out again in Spain, when I was cooking a simple BBQ feast for fourteen people, yes FOURTEEN. It went down a treat, although the Spanish potatoes were nothing compared to the local Scottish spuds. I did catch a few people having it for breakfast too.

Back to the new home. It is a lovely ground floor maisonette with two bedrooms. The sudden increase in space has been a real surprise for me. I can say that not all my clothes lie on the floor in Ikea bags anymore. The kitchen is very compact, but as long as it is just one person cooking at a time it is very functional. Me kicking the Boyfriend out of the kitchen has never been a problem for him anyways.

I am trying to think of food revelations I have had in the past eight months. There are not many I can think of, so it is fair to say we have probably been eating quite modestly. The winter months passed by with stews and casseroles in the oven. To the list of stews and casseroles I have recently added Chicken Cacciatore, which is the perfect dish for the week before pay day. Chicken drumsticks are cheap and tasty and it is easy to make a big portion of "the hunter's chicken." Lovely with rice, pasta, potatoes or with some crusty bread. Recipe will follow.

During the spring and summer months I started all the grilling. Chicken drumsticks have been a favourite on the BBQ menu too, with various different rubs. Another favourite has been pork ribs, bought unmarinated and rubbed or marinated with pretty much anything that can be found in the cupboards.

In a few weeks we are hosting a BBQ party to celebrate moving into our new home and the Boyfriend's birthday. This means a lot of food will be needed! I am thinking experimental salsas and huge bowls of salad. Update will follow. Wish me luck!


A new start on the recipe organisation front too. I have bought myself a lovely Moleskine Recipe Journal, which has proved to be very useful and I really enjoy filling it in. I wish there was more space for main course recipes though. I think it is going to be full in no time!

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