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So excited – treated myself to the new Jamie Oliver recipe book that was on deal in Waterstones!  It looks fantastic, loads of lovely meals and recipes, and I love his family-style sharing way of presenting food and eating it.

Can’t wait to try some out!  Anyone else made any of his 30-minute meal recipes?  Where should I start?

I love the sound of the kimchee slaw that goes with this green curry…

Or maybe his Swedish style fish cakes with zingy salsa…

Or this gorgeous platter of smoked salmon with beets and cottage cheese…

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Over Christmas I have been unwell, and am still now not fully back to my ‘normal’ self.  Food and eating has suffered in our house, that is until N picked up where I’ve left off and started cooking more and more. 

My love affair with food is currently on hold, but I am hoping with winter starting to dwindle and the promise of spring (tiny bright green chive shoots are poking through the soggy soil!) that all that will be rekindled.  It has, however, been a delight to have N cook so often.

So this is why I have not posted anything in so long, I just haven’t really felt up to it.  But in the last week we have cooked some nice meals, and I’d like to share some of them over the next week.  A delicious mezze-stlye birthday meal for my mom cooked by myself and the little sister, a not-your-ordinary birthday cake, a simple Ploughmans lunch, and a comforting onion and brie tart.

Plus – I am getting married, and that I am very excited about!  It means a wonderful day with family and friends, bound together by the eating of good food – so a wedding feast to remember needs to be dreamt up.

A quick hello at the end of long day.  N and I have had a lovely week of cooking and eating – we’ve made fairy cakes with butter icing and raspberry jam…pink gooseberry and nettle fool…pasta with homemade fresh tomato sauce and basil dressing…and pea, mint and taleggio risotto. 

I’ve spent hours stood in my vegetable patch munching on so many peas that I couldn’t eat anymore….picked juicy strawberries that have never reached the kitchen…tidied the allotment and watched ladybird larvee turn into ladybirds…and been to a lovely garden party in Walton Lea’s walled garden.

ladybirds

Who would have ever guessed that a blog about eating locally would have involved a post about the Trafford Centre.  I am, however, only human, and I have a weakness for spoiling my little sister.  For a fifteen-year-old girl, especially one from the middle of rural Gloucestershire, there can be nothing better than a trip to the Trafford Centre when visiting ones big sister.

I am not really prepared for a visit to the Trafford Centre, I find it rather crowded and overwhelming, and far too stifling.  We had to refresh after a couple of hours and rehydrate with a quite good smoothie.

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After a looooooooooong day, a couple of bags and quite a number of hours later the shopping part was over.  N finished work and met us for dinner, which was at the request of the little sister – Tampopo.  She revealed she had already read their menu online a number of times, and knew exactly what she wanted.

tempura vegetables

tempura vegetables

We shared some starters – Tempura Vegetables with plum sauce, and Goi Cuon (delicate spring rolls – not the deep fried version – filled with rice noodles and vegetables) with a soy and ginger dipping sauce.  My favourite of the tempura vegetables were the green beans, but as N pointed out that’s probably because they were mostly batter :0)  The Goi Cuon were so fresh and scrumptious, and by complete chance I have a book out from the library on street food which has a recipe for them – one to try soon I hope!

Goi Cuon

Goi Cuon

For mains N had Singapore Noodles – curry sauce with chicken and prawns.

Singapore noodles

Singapore noodles

The little sister chose a vegan Japanese noodle dish – Yaki Udon – with red peppers.

Yaki Udon

Yaki Udon

And I went for Chap Chai, which is Korean rice noodles with cucumber and shitake mushrooms.  De-lish!

Chap Chai

Chap Chai

So, although this isn’t the homemade, seasonal, locally distinct food that I normally like to cook and eat, it was a fun night out and made the little sister very happy.

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My little sister is as I type getting on a train down south – her very first solo train journey (she’s only 15) – to come and stay with us for the week.  I can’t wait!  I am so excited.  Living about 3 hours from my family means that we don’t see them a great deal, well not as much as I’d like, and with a 15 year old sister I would very much like to spend more time with her.

I have been planning her week based around eating and shopping!  Hopefully I will have some yummy food to post about later this week, probably with an Asian twist (she’s dying for some sushi!) and most defintitely vegetarian.  I am also hoping that she will take some fab pictures of my garden and house as she is the talent behind the newly created TheGreenOrchard photography blog – make sure you take a look!

greenorchard

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

My Pictures

All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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