19 August 2014

Sablés à la Lavande (French Lavender Biscuits)

Today as I start my holiday in France, I'm sharing a recipe that evokes my childhood summer days growing up in the south of France, surrounded with lavender bushes. The aromatic qualities of lavender and its floral flavour makes it a prized ingredient in the kitchen. A little lavender goes a long way when cooking, and its perfume can easily be infused into ingredients. 

These easy to make French lavender biscuits (in French, sablés à la lavande) are crunchy and fragrant. I love them with a cup of my favourite tea on a lazy Sunday afternoon. These are sophisticated yet simple and quick to prepare. 

  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g sugar
  • 150 g self raising flour
  • 1 farm fresh egg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried lavender flowers

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. 
  3. Add the egg and salt and mix until well combined and smooth.
  4. Add the lavender flowers and stir slowly into the mixture.
  5. Fold the flour into the mixture until well combined.
  6. Shape small balls and put them on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes in the pre-heated oven. 
  8. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack before serving.

What is your favourite herb to cook with?

13 August 2014

Fitting in Fitness When You Have Children

Anyone with children will tell you that squeezing exercise into an average day is like trying to get toothpaste back in the tube. When you look after children, staying upbeat and wildly enthusiastic all day about pasta necklaces or pee-pee that didn't go on the floor this time, can be exhausting. It’s enough to make you reach the end of each day feeling like you’ve run a marathon.

However, that marathon is often an emotional and psychological one which includes plenty of rest-stops along the way where, quite unintentionally, you find yourself grazing on their leftovers or gorging on sugary snacks or coffee for a quick-fix energy boost. Plenty of other mums, just like you, survive like this, and just like you, they too reach the end of the week feeling shattered. For the sake of your sanity and your health, something’s got to give.

09 August 2014

Turkish Chicken Skewers

Turkey is a beautiful place. In 2008, I travelled to Istanbul, Gallipoli, Troy, Pumakkale and CappadociaTurkey is modern enough to be comfortable yet traditional enough to be interesting. There I learnt that Turkish food is diverse, exotic and full of surprises - just like the country itself.

Today I'm sharing a simple and improvised chicken recipe with Middle-Eastern and Turkish flavours. While the marinated chicken is tangy and moist, the fresh salad adds crisp and texture to the dish. 

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