Three more days until school is out for the summer.  Can’t wait.  I’m tired.  This is partly because it has been a loooooong term and partly because it was a reeeeally good weekend.  🙂

Fatigue is not conducive to blogging so I shall be back with flatbread and babaganoush and a couple of summer cocktails once I’ve perked up.   


Glen Feshie

We went walking down in Glen Feshie a couple of weeks ago.   Wonderful day.  Sunny skies and gorgeous scenery.  Unfortunately, the light was so bright my pictures didn’t come out well at all.  Got a few of my pup enjoying himself though.  🙂


There’s No Other Way

There’s a recipe for Chargrilled Broccoli with Chilli and Garlic in the Ottolenghi cookbook.  I’ve made it a few times and it is fabulous.  It’s also a bit of a fouter though and on week nights I usually can’t bothered with it.  So, a few months ago I took the basics of the recipe and simplified the whole process by foregoing the chargrilling thing and just mixing steamed broccoli with a rather pungent oil.  The result was that D has told me in no uncertain terms never to serve him broccoli in any other way again. 

Nuff said, methinks.


Broccoli with Chilli and Garlic

(serves 4 as a side)

4 tblspn olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1/2 red chilli chopped finely

Pinch of salt

Large head of broccoli, cut into florets

  • Add the oil, garlic and chilli to a cold frying pan.  Turn the heat onto medium.  Fry the garlic and chilli until the garlic begins to sizzle.   Turn the heat off and leave on the stove for another minute.  Pour the contents of the frying pan into a glass bowl and whisk in the salt.
  • Meanwhile, steam the broccoli until cooked to your liking.  I usually like a bite in my veg but for some reason I prefer this dish quite soft.
  • Toss the broccoli with the flavoured oil and serve immediately.

Lamees’ Palestinian Musakhan Roll

A little later than intended, here is my second post in aid of Refugee Week.  Today I’d like to share a recipe that was kindly sent to me by the Scottish Council for Refugees.  On the Friday 19th June, 2009 the members of the Maryhill Integration Group are publishing “Heart of the Home” a book of recipes* from refugees living in Scotland.  The following Musakhan Roll is Palestinian Lamees Tayyem’s contribution to the book.  I’ve never met Lamees but, thanks to the Refugee Council, I know a little about her now:

Cooking is a great way for Lamees Tayyem to keep memories of her Palestinian homeland alive. Forty-five year old Lamees lives in Sighthill with her husband Iyad, a poet, and their sons: Atif, 20, Mahir, 20 and Faris, six. The family came to Glasgow in the year 2000 after being forced to leave their refugee camp in Syria. The family now have permission to stay on in Scotland indefinitely. A volunteer Arabic teacher, Lamees also assists with the asylum and refugee team at St Rollox as well as being an active member of the International Women’s Group in Sighthill. Since arriving in Glasgow she has gained a reputation for her culinary skills and often cooks for events hosted by the Scottish Friends of Palestine. Lamees said: “We like our lives in Scotland. Life is much safer here. Maybe one day I’d like to take my sons back to Palestine to see where they came from.”

Musakhan Roll is a kind of Palestinian casserole made with chicken, bread, spices and vegetables and it was utterly delicious.  I’ve published the recipe below in the exact form that I received it.  The only changes I made when cooking the dish myself was to use chicken thighs cut into thirds and ground allspice (couldn’t find whole). 

Lamee’s Palestinian Musakhan Roll

(serves 6)

One large boneless chicken, cut into pieces

Three Arabic flatbreads or six pita bread (my new love – shall post a recipe very soon)

Six medium onions chopped

Half a cup of olive oil

Six teaspoons of Sumac

One teaspoon of salt

Half a teaspoon of pepper

Two teaspoons of allspice (not ground)

Half a cup of pine nuts (optional)

One cup of water

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Cook the chicken pieces with the cup of water in a pot for 30 minutes.
  • Add salt, pepper, allspice, onions, and olive oil to thechicken while it’s cooking. Wait until around five minutes
  • before the chicken is due to be ready and add all your sumac to the pot.
  • Cut each Arabic bread into four pieces (or open up each pita bread).
  • Take one spoonful from the pot and place into a piece of bread and then roll it.
  • Grease a baking dish with olive oil and place the rolls in the baking dish. Add your pine nuts to the top and bake at 250C for 20 minutes or until bread is golden coloured.
  • Serve with a side salad of yoghurt and enjoy.
*  The Kitchen Cookbook is a fantastic new collection of international recipes  collected from members of the Maryhill Integration Network. Come and get a taster with workshops and activities for the whole family. Organised by Maryhill Integration Network in partnership with Culture and Sport Glasgow, NGARN, conFAB and local primary schools.  For more information: 0141 946 9106


I eat eggs most mornings now. They keep me going until lunchtime. 

These ones are beauties, bought from a guy who has hens running around his back garden up Tain way.  The top middle one had three yolks.  THREE!

For the Flickr Daily Rituals group.

PS Returning to the Refugee Week theme tomorrow with a lovely chicken dish from Palestine.


I was recently contacted by the Scottish Refugee Council asking if I would like to participate in and raise awareness of Refugee Week 2009.  The campaign aims to raise awareness of refugees’ contributions to society through a wide range of cultural and educational programmes nationwide.  A worthy endeavour, thought I, and accepted the invitation without hesitation.

I’m particularly taken by the Simple Acts campaign encouraging people to do one little thing to understand the experience of being an exile a little better.  This could be to read a book by a refugee, cook a dish from a country or even to simply define what “refugee” means to you.  Anything which raises your own awareness and understand of the experiences of refugees.

So though June 15th – June 21st is the official Refugee Week of 2009, I am designating the next week as my own.  This shall be my Simple Act.

Shall begin today with a meme.  The rules are quite simple:

  • Think about what home means to you.
  • Titled “What Does Home Mean to You?”, post three photos which represent “home” to you and write a little about each one. 
  • Include a link to the Refugee Week website: http://www.refugeeweek.org.uk
  • Tag five others to do the same.
  • That’s it. 

Here’s my one to start.  Haven’t done one of these in a long time!

What does home mean to you?


No surprises here!  It’s only been a year since I got my pup but I feel like he’s been with me forever.  One of the best parts of my day is coming home to him.  Before I’ve even stepped out of the car, he’s staring down at me from the bedroom windowsill and wagging his tail so hard his entire body moves from side to side.  If I had a tail, it’d be wagging at that point too.

My Storecupboard

There had to be something food related in this.  Cooking is what I do to relax and I know I’m at home when I have all of my favourite herbs and spices and condiments and tins at hand ready.  It may look like chaos to most folk but I know where everything is.  🙂


I’ve lived in three other countries and enjoyed the experiences very much.  In fact, I adored Finland so much I almost made it my permanent home.  In the end though, I felt the need to come back to Scotland and be near my family.  But what surprised me slightly when I returned was realising how much I’d missed the country itself.  From the food to the people to the landscape, being away from Scotland for so long really helped me realise how much I love it. 


I tag:

Lucy of Nourish Me

Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes

Becky of Girl Interupted Eating

Helen of Food Stories

Johanna of Gourmet Green Giraffe


This nubbly, nutty bread has been gracing my breakfast table this week.  I’ve been enjoying its crumbly texture and earthy taste very much indeed.  Perfect with cheese and jam or topped with scrambled eggs.

The recipe is adapted from one in Allegra McEvedy’s book Leon (a current favourite of mine not least because it comes with free stickers).  She uses a mixture of five different herbs and spices all of which are claimed to encourage breast milk production hence McEvedy’s name for the loaf: Breast Feeding Bread.  Not feeling the need to lactate myself, I made fennel the star of my own loaf. 

Looking forward to eating this with a bowl of soup when the autumn comes around again.

Spelt and Fennel Bread

1tspn dried fast action yeast

300ml warm water

300g wholegrain spelt flour

200g strong white flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 tspn fennel seeds

1 tspn carraway seeds

100g mixed nuts, bashed into pieces

3 tblspn olive oil, plus one to grease the tin

  • Rub a loaf tin with a little olive oil.
  • Whisk the yeast in the water and leave for 10 minutes until starting to froth.
  • Sift the flours and salt into a large bowl and mix in the fennel, carraway and nuts.
  • Add the yeasty water and olive oil to the bread and mix to form a dough.  Knead for 5 minutes until smooth.
  • Shape dough into a loaf and place in tin.  Let risein a warm place for 4 hours until doubled in size.
  • Bake in a 210 oC oven for 50 minutes.
  • Remove from tin and cool.