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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Monday munchies – Tuna patties


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My grandmother used to make wonderful tuna patties, complete with left over mashed potato. We, however, never seem to have any leftover, but I love me some tuna patties. Fortunately, this recipe from Korean cooking site Maangchi doesn’t use mashed potatoes. As an added bonus, it’s quick to prepare, doesn’t require shaping or refrigeration time. Score!

The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of onion, but some people have a giant spring onion plant in their kitchen that needs to be used up. Personally, I actually prefer it with the spring onions.

1 small can tuna, drained (about 140g drained weight)
1/4 cup chopped onion/spring onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg
1 tsp sesame oil
1-2 Tbsp plain flour

1. Heat a non-stick with 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil or butter.
2. Dump everything in a bowl and stir to combine. You may need more flour to make it all stick together, but remember these won’t need to be shaped, so will have more of a batter consistency.
3. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture in the heated pan and fry 3-4 minutes per side until done. You should get about six patties from the mixture.


In my kitchen – March 2013

After my last IMK post I kept thinking of things to include in the next one. I then promptly forgot about all of them. (Note to self: Start writing things down.) So here we go with a bunch of random stuff I found around my kitchen today!

In my kitchen…

IAIN BURNETTis a box of Iain Burnett chocolates bought for Valentine’s Day. We’re finding the milks a bit sweet, but the lemongrass ganache has been a firm favourite of mine. (Photo from Alexeeva & Jones)

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are these small Chinese tea cups, bought from our local Asian grocery store for £1 each. Perfect for dipping sauces or frequent drinks of Celia’s ginger tea.


is a bunch of spring onions. You may be asking yourself what is so special about a bunch of spring onions? Well this bunch was grown by taking the roots of a supermarket bunch and sticking them in water. Plain water! What you see above is about a week’s growth. I’ve already trimmed them several times, but they just keep growing!

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are a few bars of Pacari and Amedei chocolates – my favourites from the tastings I went to at Alexeeva & Jones. Apparently, Amedei only make 20,000 bars of the Porcelana each year, so if you’re looking for bar 7692, you’re out of luck. It’s mine, all mine! OK, maybe I’ll share it with the husband.

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is a giant bottle of fish sauce. Bought for the great meatball Olympics of 2012, I used one tablespoon in some Vietnamese meatballs and the bottle has been sitting on my bench ever since. Please send me some recipes to use it up!


is a bag of maca powder and a bag of chia seeds, part of my new healthy eating regime. The maca is an acquired taste, but I’m slowly working my way through both bags.


is a book by food anthropologist Katarzyna Cwiertka detailing the shifts in Japanese cuisine throughout the centuries. I’m not finished with it yet, but so far it’s been interesting to learn how Western influences have changed the landscape of Japanese food and cooking since the 1850s.

What’s happening in your kitchen this month?

Thirty-six Thursdays – Make mince pies


Like many things on my 36 before 36 list, I really couldn’t tell you why I wanted to make mince pies. Perhaps it was the girl in my old office you used to bring in delicious home made mince pies every Christmas. Or perhaps I just haven’t been that impressed with the supermarket offerings in recent years, which leave a fatty coating in my mouth. Or perhaps I just wanted the satisfaction of making my own.

Do you know how long it takes to make mince pies? Three days. Minimum. Unless you buy a jar of mincemeat. But no. I had to make mine from scratch. Fortunately, Frugal Feeding has a wonderful recipe for mincemeat, which I went with. I was slightly sceptical about the inclusion of an apple, but the finished product tasted delicious and smelled just like Christmas. Note to self: Make sure container lid is properly sealed when shaking mincemeat.

Frugal Feeding also has a recipe for shortcrust pastry which, going through a gluten-free phase at the time, I didn’t go with. Big mistake. I am not going to link to the pastry recipe I used because it really didn’t work for me. It didn’t roll out well and came out very hard and brittle. It may just have been me – I am not known for my pastry making skillz.

Despite the rock hard pastry, I would definitely like to try making mince pies again. If anyone has a foolproof shortcrust pastry recipe, please let me know. Also, does anyone have any suggestions for using up leftover mincemeat?

Monday munchies – Emergency soup

emergency soup

So how are we all going with our New Year’s resolution to eat more healthily? Unfortunately, over a third of us would have broken our resolutions by the end of January. A quarter of us wouldn’t have even made it a week! And last week’s Valentine’s chocolate and candy binge would not have helped. Or was that just me?

Regardless, it’s never too late to start over! And Amy’s Emergency Soup will definitely help you get back on track. It’s easy, delicious, nutritious and keeps really well. It is the perfect end to those cold February days we keep having. Because my husband in a carnivore, I added in some leftover roast lamb on the second night, which worked well. But the vegetarian version is equally good. Enjoy!


4 cups of mushrooms – I used chestnut, but use whatever you like
3 carrots, chopped
1 brown onion, diced
1 parsnip, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
1 cup barley, pre-soaked and drained
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 head celery, chopped
2.5 litres vegetable stock
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt, pepper and fresh parsley, to serve

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  2. Add onions and garlic and cook until onion is translucent.
  3. Add the parsnip, leeks, carrots and celery, and cook for a few minutes until softened.
  4. Add the stock and the barley and bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  6. Serve with fresh parsley.

In my kitchen – January 2013

Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial does these great posts every month showcasing all the wonderful food she’s made, grown or received as well as nifty foodie items she’s bought or been gifted.

Unlike Celia, there’s not usually a lot going on in my kitchen so this is likely to be my first and last “In my kitchen” post, but here’s a few random items currently sitting on my counter.

In my kitchen…

…are home-made mince pies. Yes, I made them myself from scratch. Yes, including the mincemeat. No, they weren’t completely inedible.


…is a box of Xocolat chocolates, a Christmas present from the husband. We stumbled across their shop tucked away in a small alley in Vienna a few years ago and bought a couple of boxes. The husband declares them the best chocolates ever and I have to say they are among my favourites.


…is a jar of Corsican honey, a gift from l’Abeille. I have no idea if Corsican honey is better than any other sort of honey, but I’m on the lookout for recipes that will showcase it, rather than just smearing it on toast. Any suggestions?


…is a box of chocolate from Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé in Hungary. I discovered this chocolatier a couple of years ago during the Chocolate Week exhibition and knew I wanted to try more of their wares. I decided to buy myself a box for Christmas. So far, I’m not disappointed.

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…is a box of English Breakfast tea from New English Teas, a gift from my parents-in-law. I usually have a cup of Earl Grey in the mornings, but this stuff is so good I’m seriously considering switching to English Breakfast.

English tea

…is this fat separator from Oxo. I bought it before Christmas and have used it a few times. It does a wonderful job at separating the fat from the meat juices after cooking a roast, making gravy preparation so much easier. No, I am not being paid to say this.


So what’s going on in your kitchen at the moment?

All pictures my own, except those clearly taken from their respective company’s website. Those would be the decent, in focus photos.