Category Archives: Personal

Genoa and Cinque Terre

A selection of photos from Genoa and Cinque Terre, summer 2012. No effects or colour enhancers used.

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And me..eating pizza of course

And me..eating pizza of course

 

All photographs copyright EatNowTalkLater © 2013. All rights reserved.

Summer Breakfasts

My six week holiday is coming to an end as I go back to work on Monday (and become a student again!) I have had such a brilliant holiday and seen so many friends, so thank you to everyone! I have surprised myself with how busy I’ve been, and so I have to apologise to all my followers for disappearing from Eat Now Talk Later recently. I’m sorry!

But now I’m back! It’s really hard to get back into blogging when you get out the habit and I wasn’t really sure where to start! So I’m just starting with a few photos of some of my favourite breakfasts from this summer.

Those of you who know me well, know I am NOT a morning person. I treasure my sleep greatly so I always resent the mornings. But, if you invite me out to brunch, I suddenly become all sociable! Ooh I do love a cooked breakfast!

Apologies for the quality of these photos, they were taken on my phone. 

Huevos rancheros at Banners, Crouch End. A lovely brunch with my darling friend Dasha. In the background you see gingerbread pancakes with bacon and eggs.

Toasted bagel with wilted spinach and a poached egg. Homemade brunch with my sister Danya-Zohar.

Birthday pancakes I made for Mr L, topped with nutella and banana.

Birthday pancakes for Mr L, this one with cottage cheese and honey.

Okay, I admit it. I love houmous and baked beans together!

The Perfect Weekend Breakfast

Homemade hash browns, poached egg and grilled tomatoes, with a cup of Yorkshire Tea. 🙂 What more could you want?

I have to give full credit to my boyfriend for cooking this delicious breakfast. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to have a meal cooked by Mr L, you will understand the waiting, hunger, and anticipation that accompanies the delight of the meal. He whizzes about in the kitchen, creating enticing smells, bangs and crashes. I wait and wait and occasionally peep in to the kitchen to see what’s happening; and widen my eyes and bite my lip watching the pile of washing up grow!

Eventually, it’s ready! And it is always a marvellous delicious treat, more than worth the wait!

I could compare the feeling to the scene in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when the children are waiting while the dad is crashing about in his room fixing up the old battered car. Days and days go by, and eventually a new, shiny, colourful, amazing flying car comes out!

Okay, so breakfast was not quite that dramatic! But, still you get the picture. Yum yum!

Purple Brussel Sprouts

Food Club this week was Christmukka (Christmas and Hanukkah) themed. We had some delicious foods, including mulled cider, potato latkes, mince pies, my sister’s delicious christmas tree brownies, and spinach and artichoke dip (from Elly of VCBT).

Amongst other things, I made brussel sprouts. Is this your idea of food hell? Well, I know they are not the most popular vegetable for a lot of people, but they are traditionally eaten at Christmas and personally I like them! The problem is that too many people boil them until they are soft and smell like farts. Yes I said farts.

Brussel sprouts are so much better paired with garlic (I’m Indian-Italian; every meal starts with garlic!)

Purple sprouts seem to be relatively newly available.  The first mention I can find of them being available to us in the UK is from November 2010. When I saw them in Tesco I have to admit I was a bit excited! They are beautifully rich in a reddish-purple colour.

I boiled them for a few minutes until they were just starting to soften and then fried them in butter, olive oil and plenty of garlic. They lose some colour when boiling and the water turns purple!

My first impression when eating them was that they were slightly sweeter and less ‘cabbagey’ than normal sprouts. They were really quite tasty and everyone at food club thought so too!

My conclusion is that they are really tasty and worth a try; excitingly new and full of colour! However don’t give up on the regular green sprouts; we don’t want to make them redundant!

Cherry Tomato and Aubergine Pasta


This is a super speedy, cheap and easy recipe. It is also a healthy vegetarian meal, involving two of my favourite vegetables, both from the same family (nightshade).

I just love tomatoes and you will always find them in my fridge, as well as tins in the cupboard. When we were kids, my sisters and I shared a children’s cookbook; we used to love making one of the recipes which involved cutting the top off a tomato, scooping out the inside and mixing it with cottage cheese, then putting it back in the tomato. It sounds pretty simple now but it was delicious and exciting when I was younger!

I also really like aubergines, but I’m a bit more picky about how they are cooked. Lots of recipes and websites recommend taking off the peel from larger aubergines as it can be bitter, but I actually prefer the peel to the inside. I don’t think I need to tell you how much I love pasta! I could eat it every day!

If you’re not a big fan of the aubergine, you could easily do this with sliced peppers or courgette instead.

The best thing about this recipe is that you can cook the tasty sauce in pretty much the same time as the pasta boils! Great if you’re in a rush but don’t feel like beans on toast!

Cherry Tomato and Aubergine Pasta

Start to finish time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
300g Cherry tomatoes (or a tin of cherry tomatoes), halved
100g Aubergine, small cubes
1 tsp tomato purée
1/4 tsp paprika (optional)
1/2 tsp dried basil
salt & pepper

100g pasta per person

1. Boil plenty of water for the pasta.

2. Heat the oil in a separate pan on a medium heat. Add the garlic and fry until it starts to golden, then add the aubergine. Cook for about 3 minutes and then add the cherry tomatoes.

3. By now the water should be boiling, add some salt and then your pasta of choice. Turn down to a simmer and cook for the time stated on the packet, usually about 12 minutes.

4. Use those 12 minutes to add the remaining ingredients to the sauce: the paprika, basil, tomato purée and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on a medium heat stirring occasionally. Water will come out of the veg, but if it starts to dry up add a bit of water. Taste the sauce now, and if it is a bit tart, add a pinch of sugar.

Serve with grated parmesan or your favourite cheese.

If you love tomatoes as much as me, check out my previously posted recipes:

Roasted Red Pepper and Cherry Tomato Soup
Tuscan Style Spicy Tomato Soup with a Poached Egg
Mozzarella and Pesto Puff pastry Squares
Bloody Mary Cocktail

I’m finally getting involved with Presto Pasta Nights, this week hosted by HoneyB at The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s HoneyBunch! Check it out on Friday for the round up of lovely pasta recipes.

Cornish Delights

I’ve just come back from a lovely, relaxing, mini holiday in Cornwall; a beautiful place with its own fascinating history.

My particular interest in Cornwall, (as you may have guessed) was in its delicious and unique foods! I successfully stuffed myself for 4 days, eating fish, cooked breakfasts, pasties, scones and much more. The delicious choices are endless, there are so many places to eat, and snack. Definitely do not go there on a diet!

Here’s a few of my favourites from our little indulgent trip:

Fresh Fish

Having a long coastline and plenty of fishing villages means that there is a substantial selection of fresh fish and seafood restaurants. Rick Stein has even opened 4 restaurants in Padstow, Cornwall, as well as a fish & chips restaurant and seafood bar in Falmouth. The flavour of the fresh fish was absolutely delicious, the tastiest I have ever had in England.

From top left cockwise: fish pie at Polpear cafe, The Lizard. Rick Stein's fish & chips in Falmouth. Fresh fish sign at The Lizard. Traditional English Breakfast of smoked haddock and poached egg at the Camilla House, Penzance. Crab, prawn and smoked salmon risotto, East Looe.

Cornish Pasties

Although there are some earlier mentions of pasties (dating as far back as 1200), the most known history of pasties is that they were designed for the tin miners to eat at work, so that their dirty hands would not touch the food. The delicious beef, onion, potato and swede filling and main pastry casing would be eaten and the hard crimped pastry crust would be discarded. The traditional Cornish pasty even has Protected Geographical Indication in Europe, so that you cannot label it Cornish if it hasn’t been made there. These days you can get all sorts of fillings, I had a chicken and vegetable pasty in Falmouth, but there are also vegetarian, wholemeal, and cheese ones. As a tourist in Cornwall, the pasty is pretty exciting! I passed many pasty shops in every town, even the small villages seem to cater for the pasty craving visitor!

A selection of pasties from all around Cornwall

Clotted Cream

Clotted cream is made from the fat from full fat milk, boiled off and then cooled. For my non British friends – it is a delicious, thick, sweet cream which is traditionally eaten on a scone as part of a cream tea, with jam and tea. If you haven’t tried this yet, it really is the most scrumptious English treat in existence! There’s plenty of recipes online if you want to try and make it yourself.

In Devon, they spread the clotted cream first and then the jam, however in Cornwall they do it the other way around! I have to agree with the Cornish way!

Selection of cream tea from all around Cornwall

Other

And here’s a few extras I just couldn’t resist posting, plus a few pictures of the beautiful Cornish scenery.

Left: Summer fruit brioche pudding with Cornish ginger ale custard. Right: Beetroot and pear bruschetta with feta and pine nut salad. Both at the Old Sail Loft, East Looe

From top left clockwise: The Lizard, the Lizard cliffs, East Looe at night, St Michael's Mount, East Looe at sunset, The Lizard blackberry bushes, The Lizard cliffs, East Looe boats.

The Peels, Seeds and Stalks.

Am I the only person who thinks vegetable waste is really beautiful? I love the mixtures of colours and textures that comes from the remains of your cooking; the bits you would throw in the bin or compost.

For The Love of Cookbooks


I love cook books, if they were cheaper or I had an endless supply of money I would own every cookbook possible. The best thing about them has to be the pictures. My two sisters and I often sit in the lounge simply looking through the books, chattering about how delicious the recipes look. It is quite dissapointing when you order a book and it arrives and only every 5th page has a photo. Dear Chef, please show us more photos! Gratefully, Vered

My first cookbook was Claudia Roden’s ‘The Book Of Jewish Food’ which I received as a Batmitzvah present when I was 12. I never cooked anything on my own at that age so it sat on my shelf for several years. Nowadays, I like to flick through it here and then. Some of my favourites these days include Lorraine Pascale’s ‘Baking Made Easy‘ (I have made her banoffee pie many times) and the small BBC Good Food ones, (my sister Danya introduced me to these as she owns almost all of them – a bargain at £5 each and bursting with photos).

I often browse the book section in charity shops, as this can be a great way to find cheap used recipe books. The idea that someone else has used it and passed it on is quite romantic to me.

Yesterday, I found a wonderful cook book in the pound shop: ‘The perfect Marriage. The Art of Matching Food & Sherry Wines from Jerez’. It has a foreword and special section by Heston Blumenthal. It consists of tapas style recipes from 15 different chefs, including Marcus Wareing, and each recipe comes with a suggestion of the best accompanying sherry.

Of course, I bought it. I read my new cook book all the way home on the bus. The photos are pure food porn! Some of my favourites of the exciting recipes are:

  • ‘Deep-Fried Watercress’
  • ‘Foie Gras with Chilli Jam’
  • ‘Masala Crab cakes with Crab Mayonnaise’
  • ‘Cardamon Rice Pudding with Honey & Cumin Glazed Figs’
  • ‘Crispy Lamb Rolls with Caramelised Sweetbreads’

Hungry yet? I was!

The Food of Love

Last week I cooked a special birthday dinner for Lewis, my boyfriend. It’s become a bit of a tradition that we cook each other a special meal on our birthdays and always try something a bit more excited and difficult than the time before. I already posted about the homemade crab ravioli he made me here.

I spent a whole day researching recipes looking for ideas and 3 hours actually making the meal. I cooked 3 things I’ve never cooked before: crab, monkfish, and meringues. I really enjoyed making it and luckily it went down a charm!

If you’d like any of the recipes please let me know and I’ll write them up!

The starter: Crab salad with avocado and prawns served with crostinis

The main: Monkfish tail with butter bean mash, sautéed fennel, grilled courgette and a roast cherry tomato sauce

Dessert: Rose water meringues in Eton mess

Here’s a few pics! Let me know what you think.

Crab salad starter

I roasted the cherry tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, dried chilli and parsley, and a pinch of sea salt

Monkfish tail with butter bean mash, sauteed fennel and grilled courgette, with a roasted cherry tomato sauce

Rose water meringue eton mess

Calories don’t count on my birthday

Last week was my 24th birthday. I usually think birthdays have a compulsory anticlimactic feeling, and tend to think it was over too quickly, and I didn’t even get to eat much cake/get enough attention/lounge around in my pjs. However this year, I can truly say that my birthday was a brilliant day and I enjoyed every minute of it!

When I woke up, the first thing I thought about was what to have for breakfast; bran flakes, I thought. And then I remembered, calories don’t count on my birthday! So my usual morning calorie mathematics and bowl of bran flakes were out the window and the carb overload began!

The day went like this: onion bagels in the morning, followed by pizza and fried zucchini at lunch, and then foodie heaven for dinner.

I met my family for lunch at l’artista in Golders Green, North London. It is an Italian restaurant, and is truly Italian all the way through. The food is great and the staff are slightly crazy, loud Italians! You cannot miss it if you are in Golders Green, just follow the scent of frying garlic!

I hadn’t been to l’artista for ages, and would usually pick a new restaurant to try out for my birthday. But this year I felt like going back to our classic family-outing restaurant. When my sisters and I were growing up, we loved to go out to eat. However, my parents kept these outings to 5 times a year; once on each of our birthdays. We very rarely broke this cycle, unlike now, when I have to stop myself from eating out more than once a week! So the smell of frying garlic and pizza outside l’artista has always had very sentimental and happy memories for me.

Anyway, we sat down for lunch and gave our orders to the very Italian waiter. My half-Italian dad likes to order in Italian which always makes me very proud! Being my birthday, I can have whatever I want! So I order a Fiorentina pizza (spinach and egg), but clearly the egg yolk is the best bit so I ask to have two eggs! Because I can.

We also order a tricolore salad and some fried courgettes/zucchini to share. ‘Do you remember how we always used to come here?’ I asked my family, smiling.’Why did we always come to the same place?’ My parents thought about it for a minute. ‘Because you three all loved Italian food, and the food is good, decently priced, near home and best of all they do the birthday thing!’ Oh yes! The birthday thing! If it is your birthday all the waiters/waitresses bang on drums and other loud musical instruments and sing you happy birthday! As a child, this is a great moment of pure birthday attention!

As our lunch came to an end, my dad started to get restless about needing to get to work. He started the tapping the leg and following the waiter with your eyes dance, trying to get the bill. ‘Come on’ he muttered. My mum responded with ‘Shh, we haven’t done the birthday thing yet!’ Haha, subtle. I thought they meant they hadn’t even asked for it yet, and I thought about it and about my dad needing to get to work and I said, ‘You know what? I think I’m getting a bit old for that anyway, don’t worry about it’. And just as I finished my sentence, the lights went down, the music came on, the drums came out and the waiters started singing along to the loud ‘happy birthday’ music and clapping, and the whole room turned to look at me and started clapping! I loved it! I’m definitely not too old after all!

After lunch I went shopping and then came home in time for my surprise dinner from my boyfriend, Lewis. I believe that even Gordon Ramsey would have no criticism of this meal. It was so perfectly designed, executed, and presented, I was absolutely in FOODIE HEAVEN.

My favourite dish was home made ravioli with fresh crab and chilli prawn filling covered with courgette and tomato, and tiger prawns. It was delicious.

And then came the weekend which did not disappoint. Especially as my baker sister Danya was  in charge of my birthday cake. And boy did she impress me! She made two types of cupcakes, lemon and mocha and decorated them all beautifully and professionally. Needless to say there is NONE left!

All in all it was a great birthday.

However today is no longer my birthday, and therefore calories do count, and I’m back on the bran flakes…