14 April 2014

Chicken Zorba

This recipe has been in my family for years. So long that I have it written in my first ever recipe book (when I was about 14) and we still eat it now. My favourite way to eat this is with warm flat tortillas, salad, strips of cucumber and tomatoes. A great thing to have prepped ahead of time (marinade the chicken anywhere from 30 mins to overnight) for a spring/summer lunch and it's what we had as our first lunch in the garden in our new flat.

Chicken Zorba

serves 4 (light lunch)

4 chicken breasts
1 tbsp vegetable oil
juice of 2 limes
1 level tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tumeric
handful of mint, chopped
pinch of salt
150g Greek yoghurt
170g houmous

1. Mix the lime juice, spices and salt together in a bowl or bag big enough to marinade the chicken.

2. Cut the chicken into thin strips, mix with the lime juice and spices and marinade for at least 30 minutes.

3. When you are ready to eat mix the yoghurt and homous together and put into a serving bowl.

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken for 8-10 minutes or until it is cooked through.

5. Sprinkle with mint and serve with the houmous/yoghurt mix, tortilla wraps, and salad.

7 April 2014

The Cottage - The Finished Bathroom

So it has been ages since I have written an update about the cottage and that's because all of a sudden it was finished and we had a one week slot when Joe was free to get everything moved back in and it's all been rather surreal. The finished cottage is absolutely beautiful and I can't believe I ever doubted our decision to extend the bathroom. What we have now is a gorgeous family bathroom that is actually fun to be in, with a huge bath and enough room for the little boys to have a full-on fun bathtime rather than squeezing in one at a time.

So here is what it was like before...

This is taken standing in the doorway
Taken from the same angle as the above photo

The whole bathroom from the new doorway

It is so light and airy now. I'm particularly pleased with the flooring which is Unnatural Flooring in Savannah which we also have in the downstairs bathroom. Incredibly easy to wipe clean/dry, warm and comfortable for bare feet or for babies to lie on and really smart looking and (supposedly) long wearing. I also love the long brick shaped tiles which make the bathroom look as big as possible.

2 April 2014

Flourless Chocolate Cake

As a rule I generally run away from anything free-from, vegetarian or remotely specialist. Not that I don't like these things when I have them I have just grown-up in an omnivorous house where I was (am still am) mocked as being the fussy eater. So although I've seen recipes for flourless chocolate cakes around I've never tried one until my bff Florence casually dropped a slice round when we were in packing hell. Usually I would have made my husband eat it as I'm trying to lose weight but I absent mindedly broke the nose off the slice and nibbled it and it was absolutely amazing.

Cake pretty much leaves me cold (less so since having a baby) and chocolate cake doesn't excite me very much either. It's too cooked for me - if I'm going to have chocolate I want truffles or Dairy Milk or mousse, something smooth, and flourless chocolate cake is just that. It's incredibly rich, easy to make and the perfect thing to make for a decadent pudding when you don't have a lot of time.

Florence gave me this recipe taken from her friend so I can't claim it - this makes two cakes. I used one for my lunch party and have frozen the other but if you really want you could stick these together with cream, raspberries or even chocolate icing but I think one at a time dusted with icing sugar and served with double cream is the perfect way to eat this.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Makes 2 cakes

360g dark chocolate (we use Bourneville), broken up
150g salted butter, roughly chopped into cubes
5 tbsp caster sugar
100g ground almonds
5 large eggs, separated

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. You will need two springform cake tins greased and lined.

1. Melt the chocolate and butter - ideally in a bowl over boiling water but in a microwave if not. When it's all melted together, remove from the heat stir in the ground almonds.

2. Beat the sugar and egg yolks until creamy and pale and stir into the chocolate mixture.

3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the cake mixture.

4. Pour into the prepared cake tins and cook for 20 minutes but check after 15. These are best slightly undercooked rather than over, as they continue to cook a little as they cool.

5. Leave to cool in their tins for 15mins then on a cooling rack. Depending on which recipe you read you can either serve this still warm, completely cooled or even left over night. It's delicious no matter what you do.

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