Phew its been a while!
Its been pretty tricky finding the time to write of late. First little N was poorly then we had family staying so it’s all been a bit of a whirlwind. Excuses aside and without any further ado, here are the things that have made me happy in the last week or so.
THE CRISPY CHICKEN SKIN DILEMMA
I reckon that I cook a chicken once a week and although the chicken meat is a delight, the real treat in my humble opinion is the crispy buttery chicken skin.
On ‘chicken day’ B and I can be found huddled over the freshly cooked bird pulling off skin and drooling like cave men – forbidden pleasures. Problem is that B is often not home for the arrival of the chicken and so once I take my chicken out and rest him and then cover him in a bit of foil his skin is no longer crisp and it is a soggy disappointment to all involved.
After one more disappointment and some ‘googling’ B came up with a plan. Whip of the skin and tear it in to pieces then shove it in a nice hot oven for about 15 minutes. You guessed it – ‘crispy craspy’ chicken skin. We almost suffered third degree burns in our rush to eat this wonderful discovery – very happy days indeed.
Best eaten hovering over the oven, very quickly, in a clandestine fashion
The arrival of a beautiful pink box of Tipsy Mallows heralded the start of a very tasty Saturday. I came across Tipsy Mallows, from East Lothian at the St Andrews Fine Food Fayre a couple of weeks ago and raved about them here on the blog.
To summarise – Tipsy Mallows are simply pillows of joy – all soft and bouncy and sweet. There were six considerably large mallows in the box: Caramel Shortbread, Gin & Elderflower, Amaretto Crumb, Rum Pear & Ginger, Chocolate & Cherry, Peach Bellini.
We all settled down in front of Disney’s Pinocchio and a pair of scissors, essential for large mallow snipping, on a Saturday afternoon for a tasting session. They were all beautiful and we each had our favourites. For me the Caramel Shortbread won hands down – perhaps this was due to the streaks of caramel streaked through the mallow (reminded me of Scottish Tablet). Brian chose the rather sophisticated Rum, Pear & Ginger as his favourite – the ginger gives a lovely pleasant after glow. For who is four, it was Chocolate Cherry all the way (she didn’t quality to sample many of Tipsy Mallows offerings for obvious reasons.
You couldn’t eat a lot of these beautifully infused mallows in one sitting but I think that they would be great as an after dinner treat at a dinner party.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL FROM SPAIN
It is Callum Henderson’s mission to bring us the best quality olive oil from Spain. Callum bought a house among the Spanish olive groves and so understandably most of his neighbours were in the olive growing business. It is this co-operative of olive farmers who grow, harvest, extract and bottle this Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spain.
The arrival of 900 Novecientos Extra Virgin olive oil through my letter box thankfully reminded me of what Olive Oil is all about and rescued me from the cheap bland olive oil I was buying from the supermarket.
This wonderfully peppery oil needs to be given some serious undivided attention and so I have consumed most of my samples in the simplest of ways – dipping quality crusty bread right into it and rediscovering just how good olive oil can and should taste.
Aceites Novecientos were recently awarded a Gold Medal at the International Olive Oil Competition held in New York receiving a score of 9.5, the fourth highest score of the competition and the highest awarded to a Spanish Oil. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from a mixture of picual, picudo and hojiblanca olives.
Check it out for yourself – http://www.extravirginspain.weebly.com
ALMOND MILK and HOT BANANAS
How is it possible that I have not come across this wonder milk before. Almond milk has revolutionised my porridge experience as have hot bananas but we will get onto that in a moment.
First off this milk is ludicrously low in calories but high in Omega 3 which is awfully good for you. It has a whiff of almonds in the taste which is no bad thing but best of all it is lovely and creamy and it makes my porridge seem positively sinful instead of the saint that it is.
I used to make porridge and then chop my banana into the finished product. In terms of bringing out the full potential of the banana this is an epic fail. Chop the banana up into small chunks and pop it in at the start so that it heats up with your porridge and goes all soft and melty. Voila – banana porridge! I love discovering new things no matter how simple they are.
Share your food discoveries with me – always interested to hear what you lot have been up to.