Italian-style tuna and bean stew (with optional mussels)

IMG_2192 croppedStill  no kitchen, but things are moving along. Today, the carpenters magically constructed our built-in seating area, which is exactly as I had pictured it in my head. I showed them a photo of the kind of thing I wanted and they built it to fit the space – the seats even lift up so that we can store our outside cushions beneath them. When it comes to anything that involves a drill or a screwdriver, shall we just say that it’s better if I just stick to making the coffee, and it always amazes me that people can just knock up something like this from some apparently random pieces of wood in the space of a few hours. Continue reading “Italian-style tuna and bean stew (with optional mussels)”

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A view from my cupboard (and spicy tomato, kale and bean soup)

IMG_2117After weeks of raking around the UK, house-sitting for various moggies and doggies, and catching up with friends and families, we have finally moved in to our new house in Cornwall. I use the term ‘moved in’ very loosely. Our stuff has been delivered from storage and we are camping on the ground floor while the upper floor is gutted and made beautiful again. We hope so, anyway. Continue reading “A view from my cupboard (and spicy tomato, kale and bean soup)”

Skink in the bedroom (and Thai peanut, ginger and lime salad)

IMG_2029I’ve been on holiday for the last week or so. My very old friend Sally came to stay, so we had a few days away before heading back here, and managed to cram in shopping, walking, sunbathing, swimming, a day trip to Greece and quite a lot of news ‘downloading’.

Thankfully, the weather was kind to us, but has since taken its usual May direction – showers, storms and high winds, interspersed with patches of hot sunshine. Up here on our high ridge above the sea, we are still having cold evenings and nights, so although we’ve put the log baskets away for another year, we’re well and truly snuggled up under the duvet with at least two cats on the bed, just in case the temperature plummets. Continue reading “Skink in the bedroom (and Thai peanut, ginger and lime salad)”

Salted almond & cranberry granola

IMG_1938 (600 x 450).jpgI’ve just noticed that it’s been nine days since I last posted anything on this blog – really must do better. I have thought about it several times – I’ve even taken photos of things I’m cooking, with the intention of posting them. Unfortunately, things conspire against me – either the dish I had great hopes for turns out to be mediocre or it tastes nice but looks like a dog’s breakfast once it’s on the plate. More often, I get half way through cooking something, the phone rings or someone calls round, then I get distracted and remember about photographing the rest of the process about five minutes after we’ve finished eating the evidence. Continue reading “Salted almond & cranberry granola”

Smoky Puy lentil and bean soup (vegan)

WisteriaI feel that spring is springing. The wisteria on our south-facing fence is out in full bloom, the bougainvillea is in bud and we had a pair of Cretzschmar’s buntings passing through the garden yesterday. I’ve never seen them before – they were so pretty in their rather eye-catching salmon pink and pale blue liveries – I had to pore for ages over the photos in our Mediterranean bird book to identify them. Any day we should be receiving visits from hoopoes and bee eaters, then we’ll know that summer is truly on its way. We had our first giant wasp in the kitchen this morning – no doubt house hunting, so I hope he eventually decided on a different neighbourhood. Continue reading “Smoky Puy lentil and bean soup (vegan)”

Pumpkin and spinach coconut curry (vegan)

IMG_1679.jpgJust for a moment, we thought Spring had sprung, but we’re back in front of the fire after being lulled into a false sense of security by a couple of days of warm sunshine. Now we are back to rain and hailstones with winds from Russia and Bulgaria, which are by no means tropical even before they’ve swept down over our very snowy mountains. Continue reading “Pumpkin and spinach coconut curry (vegan)”

Spicy lentil ‘shepherd’s pie’ (vegan)

IMG_1601.jpgAnother grey day, though it hasn’t actually started raining (so far). I feel a day of catching up with a few jobs coming on, interspersed with a spot of light blogging activity. I think we are having a 5:2 day too – I was put off eating any breakfast this morning by having to deal with the regurgitated remains of a mouse – at least I think that is what it started life as – which had been left in the middle of the kitchen terrace, so I’m off to a good start. (Thanks guys). Continue reading “Spicy lentil ‘shepherd’s pie’ (vegan)”

Vegetable ‘Harira’ (vegan)

IMG_1581.jpgWe’ve just about recovered from our horrible Monday dinner experience, so Veganuary is back on track for now. We ate out with some friends last night and I managed to cobble together enough vegan-friendly items from the menu to form a very presentable meal. I may  yet make it to the end of the month without giving in – at the moment, the only thing I am really craving is cheese. Luckily, the cheese choice here is not exactly exciting, so that’s helping my cause – if I were within a stone’s throw of Neal’s Yard Dairy or Paxton & Whitfield, it would be quite another story and very likely that I would be found face down in the nearest wheel of Brie.
Continue reading “Vegetable ‘Harira’ (vegan)”

Carrot, banana & apple muffins (vegan)

img_1481-600-x-416Day 2 of our vegan adventure and now we are starting to get organised. Supplies of some types of fresh food are not reliable around these parts, particularly in the winter, so it is sometimes difficult to plan ahead.

This morning, when we were out for a walk in the absolutely glorious sunshine we are enjoying at the minute, I popped into the little Migros supermarket in our marina, which often stocks items that aren’t available elsewhere. Triple score. Beansprouts, fresh coriander AND oat milk. I feel a Thai curry coming on.

When we first decided to take part in Veganuary, I had a trawl through some vegan websites to get some ideas of what we might eat (largely because we were going on a trip to Europe, and I thought I might bring a few goodies back with me).  Although I did find some good ideas, many of the sites seemed more like a chemistry lesson than somewhere I might find a recipe for something nice I would like to eat. Continue reading “Carrot, banana & apple muffins (vegan)”

Courgette (zucchini), ginger and lemon muffins

IMG_1406.jpgWhen I was raking through the fridge for forgotten and unloved veggies to go into our diet day minestrone, I came across a few courgettes that were looking well past their sell-by date. One went into the soup, but that left two more, so I was trying to think of something slightly different to make with them. (I’m sure you must all think that dinner at our place entirely revolves around using up tired fruit and veg, and that you’re all hoping to goodness you never get invited. Not true, honest Guv, but I just hate throwing things away.) Continue reading “Courgette (zucchini), ginger and lemon muffins”