Polenta-Crust Pizza

Hello everyone. You might notice that after a couple of years, I’ve changed the look of my site! It felt like it needed a fresh start for fall, so I decided to update it a bit.


I mentioned in a previous post that the past few weeks have been extremely chaotic. Here’s the news: we’re moving! After 6 years in London we are moving outside of the city. More details coming on that soon. Although it’s several weeks away, I’m trying to be strategic in my food planning/prep so that we have to move as little food as possible, especially heavy stuff like cans. I’m also meal prepping like mad, as we are spending a lot of time on the go at the moment, and eating without planning = expensive and unhealthy meals.

On this occasion I decided to use up the 250g of polenta we had lying in the cupboard. How did I come up with the idea of a pizza with polenta base? I’m also trying to go through all of my old magazines at the moment — mostly delicious, which I’ve had a subscription to since 2013. I’ve detailed this process on the blog before; I try to cull magazines every two years but tend to do it seasonally. I’m determined not to take any magazines with me in the move, so I’ve been going through them and tearing out recipes I like (yes, I know there are numerous ways to sort digitally, but I’m not there yet).

This one caught my eye. The base is 250g polenta, plus 1L of liquid (400ml stock and 600ml milk). Unlike making pizza dough from scratch, this comes together quickly (make sure to keep stirring otherwise the mixture will clump). You can experiment with the toppings. I used the vegetables that recipe called for just because I happened to have that around and not much else. Cheese-wise, I only used mozzarella on top with a bit of cheddar in the base.

I don’t think it tops our regular homemade pizza, but it was certainly tasty, and very filling. It’s particularly good for gluten-free eaters.

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Scallop & Roasted Tomato Spaghetti

I’ve only been back in the UK for a week and a half, but my month home in Nova Scotia feels so long ago. It’s been an incredibly busy time since I returned — more about that coming at some point soon.

This is the only dish I will be writing about from our time in NS this summer (though see other pics here).

This was such a delicious meal. I loosely based it on this this but just sort of improvised as I went. This is really proof that the best meals are often the simplest with good ingredients. The scallops, tomatoes, and chives were all local. I lightly sauteed the scallops and roasted the tomatoes, and then tossed everything together with some butter, olive oil, some salt, and a big squeeze of lemon. Amazing — light, yet comforting, and delicious.


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August 2018 Favourites

Happy September! One of my favourite months. 🙂

I had a big long list of favourites that I was compiling throughout the summer, but it has disappeared. That’s a shame as I have largely been off the internet for most of the past month, so don’t have as many links to share! Here goes:

◌ Enjoyed Tallulah (available on Netflix).

◌ The low-down on milk(s).

◌ Speaking of which, we’re loving Peaky Blinders and very much enjoying the return of ◌ Ozark.

◌ Quite the story

◌ LOVE this.

◌ Currently reading this and loving it. Read Less last month and it was very good as well.


Nova Scotia Plates

We recently returned from our annual summer trip to Nova Scotia. We feel extremely fortunate to be able to return for a summer break. Here are some of my food-related pictures from the trip! As you can see we ate as much fresh seafood as possible. A couple of other updates are pending. 🙂

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Amazing beer BBQ chicken made by my aunt
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A Syrian meal!
Had to include my beloved perogies.

Firecracker Chicken

This recipe immediately caught my eye on The Kitchn one day. It’s for a chicken dish but as you can see, I served this with egg noodles and sauteed eggplant/aubergine. This was excellent — a dish that I will be adding to my regular repertoire. It has a huge depth of flavour. I have one major gripe with it though: the amount of hot sauce. I’m not at all convinced that it required using up a whole bottle of Frank’s. I think the flavour could be very similarly recreated using other ingredients/homemade hot sauce, which I will experiment with and report back.



Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Even though we made it almost 7 years ago(!), H. & I still regularly talk about this amazing cake. What is it about certain meals or dishes that sticks in your mind? I’m convinced that it is in largely, or even wholly, emotional. We made that cake in a particular time, in a particular place, with berries we’d picked ourselves. We have never been able to recreate its amazingness, but it’s not for lack of trying.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love strawberry season — one of my favourite fruits, and one of the few I can still eat in raw form following numerous adult-onset allergies in recent years. In one of the very few cooler nights we have had this summer to date, we decided to turn on the oven and make this cake. I loosely followed this recipe (found by Googling), minus the cream topping, but there were a couple of issues. The recipe was missing the number of eggs, which I didn’t realize until I got started. We guessed 3 (it’s 2, as you’ll see from a comment that was added). I don’t think this made a big difference, particularly as we were using medium eggs. We also thought that the cooking time seemed too high/too little, so we lowered the heat slightly after the top of the cake (not pictured) got quite dark, and baked it a bit longer than the 25-35 minutes suggested.

It didn’t particularly photograph well, partly because some of the cake stuck to the bottom, so it looks a little hacked up in the photo. However, it did go down a storm and satisfied our craving for a not-too-sweet berry cake — perfect for any time of the day, breakfast included, I’d say!

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Shrimp Tacos

Who doesn’t love a shrimp taco? I certainly love tacos of any kind, and these were no exception. I used the shrimp frying recipe/method described in my friend Meaghan’s post here, which worked perfectly. It really does make a difference to batter the shrimp. I made my own slaw, very similar to the one I describe here, with chopped red cabbage, chilies, coriander, fish sauce, and a pinch of sugar. Topped it off with a little bit of lime mayo and some chopped spring onions, and corn tortillas. To me these reach near perfection — a great combination of salt, heat, crunch, and acid — and are somehow very refreshing for these incredibly hot evenings we’ve been having in London.



June 2018 Favourites

It’s July! Already. The UK has been having some of the most spectacular weather I’ve experienced in my 7 years here. It’s been hot and sunny every day now for weeks, and it’s set to continue. It’s definitely one I will remember, for many reasons (more details on that at some point soon). I’ve decided that I want my summer 2018 mantra to be explore — new places, new things to cook, new books, etc. — but explore according to the principles of the slow movement (“slowing down life’s pace”): focusing on the present, less technology, more quality time with friends and family. Here are a few favourites.

◌  Saveur‘s summer guide to berries.

◌ Devoured the podcast Septic, which takes a new look at a terribly sad tragedy that happened in Virginia in 2015.

◌ Lots of great salad tips from Dinner, A Love Story.

This book absolutely floored me. A beautiful, heartbreaking, punched-in-the-stomach kind of novel.

◌ Other books I’ve enjoyed: Sunburn and Homegoing.

◌  Gin popsicles? Yes, please.

This home, a converted bus, is stunning (via swissmiss).

◌ Very cool underwater museum.

◌ My sister got me onto Wild Wild Country and now I want to do nothing else but discuss it. If you have a Netflix subscription I highly recommend it. Be prepared for one of the most bizarre, engrossing stories of your life.



Eating & Drinking in Liverpool

My 18 months commuting between London and Liverpool has come to an end. Most of my time up north was spent working, but I did manage to sample several of the city’s bars and restaurants. Liverpool is a fantastic city and I will always have good memories of it. Here are my recommendations.

92 Degrees – Coffee taken seriously. Convenient location too.
Bean There – Comfy, reliable cafe on the corner of Penny Lane & Smithdown Road.
Belzan – Fairly new place on Smithdown. Small (used to be a laundromat), with small plates (I have very mixed feelings about small plates!), but impressive food.
Bold Street Coffee – Recommended for coffee and breakfast.
Filter & Fox – Great spot downtown for a quick bite to eat, glass of wine, and/or coffee.
Host – Delicious Asian fusion food on Hope St.
Leaf – A jack-of-all-trades place. Good for a coffee, a drink, brunch, or an evening meal. Very relaxed vibe.
Lunya – Award-winning Catalonian wine bar/restaurant. Only been here for drinks but there was an impressive selection.
Maray – There are two of these, one downtown and one on Allerton Road. This place has some of the most unique and delicious combinations I’ve seen at any restaurant. A worthwhile treat.
Mowgli – “Indian street food.” Very tasty.
Neon Jamon – Perhaps my favourite restaurant in Liverpool. Excellent Spanish tapas, excellent service, great atmosphere.
Penny Lane Wine Bar – A classic!
Philharmonic Pub – Another classic, a must-visit pub (and the location of Paul McCartney’s impromptu concert in the recent Carpool Karaoke video!).
Root Coffee – Nice to stop in before, during, or after errands downtown. Big spot with plenty of space.
Tiger Rock – “East Asian hawker food.” Delicious, big portions, friendly service. A+.

Lemon & Poppy Seed Loaf

This is the first thing that I made from Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s new baking book, Sweet. Longtime readers of the blog will know that I love Ottolenghi’s food, so I was excited to receive this book for Christmas. Unfortunately, it is the North American version, which came with a long list of errors (seriously, one whole A4-sized page, with tiny print), mostly to do with cooking times and temperatures, but some regarding ingredients. That is seriously disappointing, to pay so much for a cookbook and then have to consult a printout each time to make sure you’re properly following instructions.

Anyway, onto the loaf. If I had to choose one loaf to eat for the rest of my life, it would probably be lemon. I think the reason that I have not featured many on the blog so far is that H. is not a big fan of lemon loaves…………………OR SO HE THOUGHT!

As usual, I cut the sugar slightly, and in my humble opinion, it could even do with more cutting. I didn’t make the glaze, but it didn’t particularly need it, especially as it would just add sweetness (if I was making this for an occasion other than everyday eating, I would add it). The texture is excellent, the poppy seeds adding crunch, and the loaf is very zingy. It’s definitely not the sickly sweet cardboard lemon loaf that I’m sure many of us have had before! Find the recipe here.

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