Sunday, 14 July 2013

Cooking up a storm in a heatwave..

Vanessa and I have always been passionate about food, I wouldn't necessarily say we are "foodies", that seems to conjure up an image of someone who would never try a battered Mars bar and I don't think Vane or I could ever vow to that! We just love the whole ritual of picking out lovely ingredients, cooking and sharing (and of course eating!)  delicious meals and recipes.  It is quite common for us to text or email each other pictures of what we're having for dinner, a  mouthwateringly yummy looking ice cream we may have just bought, or even a nice veg display in the market. In fact if you follow us on twitter you may already have noticed this! I must admit though that with so much going on, (starting a business and doing up our house to name but a few..) I have become a little lazy in the kitchen of late. In fact you could say, I have been stuck in a bit of a culinary funk.

I am very pleased to say though, that this unexpected and utterly wonderful heatwave we are having appears to have snapped me right out of it and I'm back to relishing time spent cooking

What is it about the sun? Perhaps it's the prospect of al fresco dining, or the fact that, at least for me, it seems to recharge my batteries.  Quite contrary to basking lazily in the sun, I seem to become much more productive with all that extra vitamin D.  I just don't tend to feel as tempted to go for the "same old" dinner option even after a day spent running around the garden with two little ones. With Vanessa living in Tuscany, I should already have it engrained in my mind that the best food is always the simplest..meals shouldn't take forever to prepare to be delicious, but on a grey day I find that harder to remember! 

So, to celebrate my new re-found love of all things are some pics I took of what I made for the family this weekend. 

We started off with a lovely greek salad...This is one of Jamie Oliver's recipes..super quick, super easy and it screams out summer!

As a snack in the afternoon I made some deep fried calamari rings with lemon and garlic mayo. I'ts actually the first time I have ever tried making these, which means I've missed out on years of a very tasty and super quick starter/snack. I am not ashamed to say I did not make the mayo from step at a time people..but I did add garlic and lemon.

My little girl seems to be loving the whole jam jar trend (she loves having all drinks and snacks in them) and was delighted to see her portion of calamari served up in one. 

For dinner it was Spaghetti con Cozze al Sugo Bianco (I confess that does sound a bit "foodie" in Italian but it's actually just spaghetti with mussels in a white wine sauce.) I have always loved spaghetti alle vongole or spaghetti with clams when we are visiting Vanessa and the family over in Italy and wanted to have a go making it here but we couldn't get any clams on Saturday so we went for mussels instead and found an amazing recipe in "The River Cafe Cook Book".  I am a bit sad I have only just come across this book as I have to say, apart from sunshine, it has to be one of the best remedies for even the worst of culinary funks! 

So there it is, my Saturday in, Sunday, it's barbecue day and apart from my offer to marinade the chicken, my husband is taking over the cooking....Here's hoping the heatwave lasts. In the meantime, Pimms anyone? Or perhaps it's time I tried something new...Any suggestions welcome!