Hey does anyone else have a lot of trouble getting out of bed and feeding themselves sometimes? Yeah me too. BUT I’ve basically gotten the cheap, easy, fast ramen thing down to a T by this point and thought I’d share it with you guys. It can be made very easily for any type of diet, including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian.
Time: Will vary depending on your ingredients, but at minimum it’ll take about 5-10 minutes.
For just a soup base+noodles, you will need:
A package of cheap-ass ramen noodles - throw away the seasoning packet or save it to use with something else. Buy in bulk if you don’t want to go to the store every time you want noodles. If you’re gluten-free, get rice noodles or another gluten-free option.
Miso paste - I got mine for about $3, and it lasts for a very long time in the fridge. Pro tip: it’s cheaper at an Asian grocery store or market if you have access to one.
Stock cube/paste - around $2 at my local grocery store. I went for low-sodium chicken stock cubes, but you use your preferred type.
Water - about 2-3 cups for one portion depending on how big your bowl is. Remember, if you’re adding in extras, the liquid level will rise. I’ve made that mistake way too many times.
If you want extras, some good options to mix and match at your preference/budget/convenience are
Bean sprouts - super cheap at the grocery store. Just throw a handful in and call it a day. I like mine to still be a little crunchy so I do it in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Snow peas - ditto to the bean sprouts. Extras can be frozen.
Onion - I typically use half or a quarter of a white onion cut into thin slices, and tossed in the broth asap because I like it a bit more tender. Freeze the rest if you’re not going to be using it within the next few days.
Green onion/scallions - 1-2 will be good for one portion. Slice in thin disks, or on an angle if you’re fancy. Also you can use both the tops (green) and the bottoms (white), but that’s to your preference. I typically use these as a garnish, but you can add them in whenever you’d like.
Bok/pak choi - one of my favorite vegetables in the entire world. It can be found in most grocery stores nowadays, but is much cheaper at an Asian market if you have access to one. Cut off the very bottom part and then cut the pieces in half length-wise. Throw them in at the beginning if you like them softer, or in the last 3 minutes if you still want them a bit crunchy.
Spinach - just chuck in a handful whenever. Spinach can also be used frozen and is often cheaper to either buy it already frozen, or buy fresh in bulk and store it in your freezer to have forever. Get those vitamins!
Shredded carrot - you may not have the time/energy to shred carrots. Buy the pre-shredded kind and freeze whatever you have left over.
Corn - use frozen.
Mushrooms - slice thinly or buy pre-sliced. Add to broth toward the beginning.
Tofu - silken tofu is usually the best option for this, but use whatever it is you have/can afford. Cut into small cubes and add whenever you’d like.
Chicken - use leftover cooked chicken to add to your soup or slice a raw chicken breast thinly and poach it at a gentle simmer in the broth for 7-10 minutes or until it is white and opaque. It does take a little extra time, but you don’t actually have to do anything while it cooks and this will add extra flavor. Pre-marinated chicken is good for this as well (look for “Asian” flavors like soy, sesame, ginger, garlic, chili, etc.). Again, more expensive or time-consuming if you’re marinating it yourself, but it’s up to you.
Shrimp - use pre-cooked frozen shrimp to save time and just dump in a handful. Buy the frozen stuff in bulk. Or, like with the chicken, poach raw shrimp in the broth until they are pink and opaque.
Garlic - either use a garlic crusher if you have it or just toss in thin slices into the pan with a little bit of veg or sesame oil for about 2 minutes, before you add your liquid. I buy pre-crushed frozen garlic that comes in little cubes and just pop them straight into whatever I’m cooking. There’s also that pre-crushed/chopped garlic in a paste or little jars. The pre-prepared stuff is more expensive than just buying bulbs of garlic BUT it will last you a while and saves a lot of time and energy.
Ginger - same as the garlic.
Chilis - chopped into thin disks. Take out the seeds and white part inside the chili if you don’t like it too spicy. Add as a garnish or into the broth if you like it a little spicier.
Hot sauce - use your favorite brand.
Chili oil - I got mine for about $1.50 and it’s a must-have for me in my soup. I drizzle a couple teaspoons on top when my soup is all done.
Soy sauce - light or dark soy is fine. Add as much or as little as you like.
Sesame oil - this is quite strong, so a little goes a long way. Use about a teaspoon.
Fish sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine/mirin/sake - these are great flavors but may be a bit harder to find and tend to be a little more expensive. Use about 1-2 teaspoons if you have it.
Cilantro - throw the stalks into your broth and strain them out afterward or just use the leaves as a garnish.
Lemon or lime - a squeeze to taste.
Sesame seeds - sprinkle on top.
Like I said, all the above ingredients are simply suggestions. It’s up to you to decide what you want, what you have the time and energy for, and what you can afford. This is just to show you the range of options.
Prep whatever ingredients you’re using (slice/chop/take out of freezer). If you’re not using any, just go to step 2.
Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil. If you have an electric kettle, this will make the process much quicker.
Add in your stock cube and miso paste and cook for about 2 minutes until they dissolve. You may want to stir a couple times just to help it along.
Add in whatever vegetables/protein/additional flavorings above suit your fancy and cook to your liking.
Add noodles and cook for 3 minutes.
Put food in bowl. Don’t worry about making it pretty. Garnish as you like.
Put food in mouth.
Put any leftover soup you may have into a tupperware or thermos and take it to work/school the next day. Or save it for 3-4 days in the fridge and heat it up when you’re hungry.
Another pro tip: you can make the soup base in bulk and freeze whatever you don’t use. when you want soup but don’t want to go through the whole process again, stick the frozen soup in the microwave/melt in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil, add in your noodles/extras and you’re good to go.
This is something people either seem to have known about forever, or they find the concept so weird that when you mention it they just look at you funny and back away slowly.
Slice up some apples, grab some peanut butter, and use the apple wedges to scoop up the peanut butter. There’s a bit of an art to manipulating the peanut butter, but it’s one worth mastering because omnomnomnomnom.
a potato, wash it if you need to. Stab a bunch of holes in the top or
slice a cross halfway through it. Microwave on high for a few minutes
then stab it with a knife to see if it’s soft inside, it’s different
depending on the size of the potato and the power of the microwave.
Once you know the rough time, you can just do that.
- vegan butter/marg, hummus, crushed garlic or garlic salt, cashew
cream cheese, brewers/nutritional yeast, chopped fresh chives or spring
onion, the list goes on
Instant couscous like you can get in most supermarkets is super quick and easy to make. It tastes like pasta (because it’s made of the same stuff), and you can flavour it however you want.
Boil water, pour a cup of boiled water for every half cup of couscous, leave it for a couple of minutes, add a pinch of salt if you want, and fluff it up with a fork.
For flavourings (if you want them) you could just add a dab of vegan butter or margaraine, a teaspoon of mustard, or a splash of whatever stirfry, curry, or pasta sauce you have in the cupboard.
Instant noodles are awesome. The instant noodle cups are rough on the environment, so I try to avoid the ones with the styrofoam cups at least, or use noodles you can cook on the stove or in the microwave instead.
Sometimes finding your preferred noodles that don’t use animal unfriendly oil can be a bit of a challenge, but they’re out there! And there’s a whole range of noodles to choose from that cook almost as quickly as the instant variety (my favourite are these awesome ones made from sweet potato starch that are so springy you could use them for slingshots if you weren’t busy nomming them because they’re AMAZING with peanut sauce).
The flavour options can vary too. I’ve come across a fair few ‘chicken’ noodle packets that were accidentally vegan. If you just got plain noodles, or you’re mixing it up a little, here’s some of the easy sauces I like to use.
Sweet chilli sauce - make sure you drain the noodles for this one
Soy sauce - combined with sweet chilli sauce it’s really frickin’ good. You can drain the noodles or keep the water, either’s good.
Veggie stock - one cube to a cup of noodles (with water)
Barbecue sauce - just a little bit sweetens the noodles up nicely. Drain the noodles.
Peanut butter and soy sauce - A tablespoon of peanut butter, a splash of soy sauce, heat in the microwave (to melt the peanut butter) or stir straight through hot drained noodles, nommy. Add a bit of chilli if you like it spicy.
Frozen mixed veggies will also cook in roughly the same time as the noodles so long as they’re small, if they’re bigger, just put them in a few minutes earlier and then add the noodles to the boiling water.
You might find you like nuts and seeds in noodles, I prefer them in noodle dishes with thicker, more complex sauces, but that’s a personal preference.
Small TVP chunks will cook in roughly the same time as the noodles, and they flavour easily.
Sandwich type constructions
The humble sandwich. Cultures all around the world have developed technology to wrap some kind of delicious bread type scaffolding around other types of deliciousness. Pita pockets, Tortillas, Bagels, Burgers, Subs, the list goes on.
Some easy things to stuff in your bread type scaffolding:
Fresh tomato slices, fresh Basil (optional), and hummus. It’s super simple and it’s delicious. Also great toasted.
Banana sandwiches. I don’t know if this is a New Zealand thing only or what, but seriously, dry bread, or margaraine, or whatever, and banana slices. That’s all. It’s divine.
Avocado and tomato. With a sprinkle of salt and a splash of lemon juice if you’ve got it. Also fabulous toasted.
Tabbouleh. If you can get it easily ready made from the supermarket, this goes great on any kind of bread related construct. Also goes fabulously with hummus.
Falafel. Microwave a few spoonfuls for a minute or two, add to bread, add tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, mustard, hummus, whatever. Devour.
Cracker type things
There’s all kinds of crunchy crispy nommy things out there - rice or corn cakes, rice crackers, water crackers, the list goes on.
Stuff to put on them or dip them in
Peanut butter - surprisingly nommy on corn/rice cakes
Hummus - unsurprisingly nommy on everything
Fresh tomato (awesome with fresh basil)
Olives - There’s two kinds of people in this world. The ones who love olives, and the unlucky ones who don’t have the joy of olives in their lives.
Sliced banana - especially good on rice/corn cakes
Sticks, chips and dips
Stuff to dip with -
Toasted pita bread
Mini spring rolls (raw or cooked)
Stuff to dip in -
Hummus - it comes in a million flavours
Pesto (just need to find a vegan one, or make your own :) )
Salsa - home made or store bought
Sweet chilli sauce
Much like the humble sandwich, perhaps even pre dating it, we like to put stuff on bread, all kinds of bread.
Peanut butter - seriously. Just go buy some peanut butter and eat it
Bananas - yep, sliced bananas on toast is amazing.
Fresh tomato - Add salt, pepper (if you like it), and it’s divine
Avocado - mashed on toast with a fork, a pinch of salt, and some lemon juice, it’s divine.
Marmite - So about half the western world will know what I’m talking about. The rest will be dazed and confused. Google it. It’s awesome. Half of you will instantly hate it. Half of you will become helpless addicted to the magnificent mountain of b vitamins that is marmite. Also related to vegemite.
Baked beans - Heat em up, pile em on.
They’re cheap, they’re crunchy (cept for the giant soft ones, which are awesome in their own right), and they’re little edible bows. what more could you want? They’re usually vegan friendly, but it’s worth checking the bag just in case.
Yep. Grab some veggies, I quite like cauliflower and broccoli, put them in a covered microwave safe bowl and heat on high power for a couple of minutes. Then add whatever sauces you like (there’s a whole bunch listed here)
If you don’t have a microwave or don’t want to use one, just add about two cm (just under an inch) of water to a pot, add the veggies and cover. Bring to the boil on high heat, let it boil for a couple of minutes, then drain the water and the veggies should be cooked and nicely crisp.
Lentil sweet potato curry with warm naan, lime, coriander and jasmine rice 😊 For the curry I used 1 cup of red lentils, (rinsed beforehand), 1 tsp of ginger, about 2 tbsp of turmeric, dash of chilli powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin, 1 small diced onion, 2 gloves of crushed garlic, ½ tsp of garam masala, 2 tbsp of lime juice, 1 cup of chickpeas, 1 cup of kale and one cup of diced sweet potato and carrot. I put the lentils, onion, garlic, sweet potato and carrot on first to cook with water and a dash of coconut milk. Good for the earth, good for your health and good for the animals 🌱🌏🐷🐮 Please do what you can when you can
Ingredients: - Skinless, boneless chicken breasts -Rosemary -Black Salt (the edible kind, not the witchy kind) -Pepper -Garlic, crushed -White Wine -Lemons -Olive Oil
1) If you have the flaked black salt, gently crush it into workable pieces. If you’re using dried rosemary instead of fresh, grind it with the salt in a mortar and pestle (or food processor - I prefer working it by hand so I can have more control over the consistency). Preheat your oven to 450 degrees (Fahrenheit).
2) In a baking dish, combine olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic, and zest from the lemon*. Place your chicken breasts into the dish and coat them with the oil blend. Slice up your lemon and give it a nice squeeze over the dish, then add the slices to the pan.
3) Place your chicken into the oven to roast until done - the internal temperature of the chicken should be at 165 degrees (Fahrenheit). About halfway through roasting, add a splash of white wine to the pan (both for flavor and to help keep the chicken moist).
4) Serve, garnished with a sprig of fresh rosemary and a slice or two of grilled lemon. Excellent with rice!
*Tip: If you want to ensure plenty of flavor in your chicken, it’s best to make the oil blend ahead of time. In a jar or other container, add fresh rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and a slice of lemon. Cover this with olive oil and allow it to rest. By infusing the oil in this way, you’re guaranteeing a flavorful chicken!
It sometimes amazes me how sometimes a single, seemingly simple plant can do so much for us both magically and practically. And sometimes, these very same plants are used as much for decoration as they are used for medicine, food, and magic! It’s difficult to see anything to dislike about rosemary, and many witches are agreed that rosemary is one of those “necessity herbs” - that is to say that if there had to be any kind of herb in the cabinet, it should be rosemary.
This hardy shrub has been used for medicine and food for about as long as humanity has lived in the Mediterranean and Asia, and has been cultivated worldwide because of its survivability. It is fairly resistant to cool climates, and thrives in areas with milder climates. Various cultivars have been developed, either to increase flavor and leaf size, to increase flower production, or to allow it to grow as ground cover.
Its medicinal properties are varied. As a tea, rosemary is excellent for providing relief for mild headaches and congestion. As such, this herb is a great cold and flu remedy. When made into a tincture, rosemary can help with migraines and can help regulate menstrual cycles. The tincture can also be used to help with heavy blood flow during menstrual cycles and can be used to help alleviate the symptoms of menopause.
The Greeks and Romans made use of rosemary for helping to improve memory, as well - wearing a sprig of fresh rosemary or sleeping with it under a pillow is said to help a student retain more information. This tradition continues today, so much so that rosemary oils are bought en masse by students during exam season.
In food, rosemary has many uses, but is typically used to flavor stuffings and meats, while also imparting a strong aroma. The flowers are also edible, and sometimes used both as a garnish and cooked.
Because of its characteristic scent, rosemary is also frequently used in cosmetic products and incense, as well as cleaning products, further enforcing its versatility!
Traditionally, rosemary is worn in remembrance for fallen warriors and soldiers, giving it an association with both memory and death. This goes back into the past as well, with sprigs of rosemary added to a casket before burial to protect a deceased loved one in the afterlife and to protect the grave site.
Rosemary has a strong association with protection, and is used in incense much like sage for smoke cleansing and purification. Its shape naturally lends itself well to making brooms and besoms, adding an extra punch to cleansing spells involving those brooms. On top of all of that, it has been used to assist in exorcisms! Because of these associations, rosemary can be used as a substitute for frankincense!
During the middle ages, rosemary was used as a love charm, worn by all attendees to a wedding. For bride, it was also a fertility charm.
For sympathetic magic, rosemary can be added to poppets, bags, and jars for fertility, love, luck, lust, protection, cleansing, money, so on and so forth. Taking dried, powdered rosemary and using it to feed these spells is particularly helpful, and is fairly easy to come by.
All of these same associations can be used in the kitchen for tinctures, oils, and foods. For new witches, rosemary is not only potent, but also very easy to enchant as it takes up intention very well!
The list goes on and on. In short, rosemary is exceptional for nearly any spell and purpose. Whether experienced or new to witchcraft, spend some time with rosemary and see what kinds of benefits it can bring to you! It is certainly an herb perfect for witches of all paths!
Can you give us the secret formula for that yummy soup 💔👩🏽🍳
just the basis of any soup recipe! (Celery and onion on the stove w olive oil till they turn glassy) then add diced tomatoes, bell peppers, any pepper u want if u like heat, crushed garlic + anything u want really, then add in the veg broth to the consistency you like. Season, slice and toast your tortilla in the oven till crispy and add along with chopped avo, sour cream and chives to the top 😗 really easy
I came down with an annoying cold today: sore throat, tired, achy, irritable… So, in addition to the usual extra rest and vitamin C, I thought, why not help things along with a spell?
The following is not a spell for healing; it is a spell for killing the thing that ails you - a curse for whatever virus or bacteria dares sicken you.
- Instructions -
1 small jar
salt(s) (I used a combination of table salt, garlic salt, and a handful of pieces of the large, chunky ice-melting salt that sits in a bucket by the door to my apartment building)
garlic (in whatever form you prefer - I used powdered)
crushed red pepper (or some other spicy ingredient to give the spell more kick)
your own sick self
black thread or candle for sealing
Place the ingredients (excluding yourself, of course) into the jar. Amounts can be whatever seems best to you.
Looks like some kind of pretty sand garden, doesn’t it?
Now cough, sneeze, spit, or some combination of these, into the jar. Toss those germs into the mix! They shall serve as markers for their brethren.
Having done that, place the lid of the jar on tightly. Now shake the damn thing. Shake it vigorously. Pour all your anger and frustration and hatred for the germs into that shaking motion. Rattle ‘em up. And while you do, say the following words:
Be decimated, Be desiccated, And trouble me no longer!
Bind the jar with black string and/or seal with wax (I didn’t have a black candle on hand, so I opted for the string).
Keep the jar around, within easy reach, if convenient. You can shake it as often as you like. Look at the salt and imagine the germs shriveling up and dying - a satisfying revenge for the trouble they have caused you.
Important Note: This spell is meant only to help you overcome what ails you. It is not a substitute for taking care of yourself. You still need to rest, eat, and drink properly. And if the illness is serious, SEE A DOCTOR! Don’t rely on a curse to do it all for you. Being well is about more than killing germs anyway.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Dice the sweet potatoes into small cubes and place in a bowl. Add olive oil, salt, pepper and mix well. Place on a backing sheet lined with parchment paper, crush garlic and lay them in between the potatoes and bake for 15 minutes.
Take the potatoes out of the oven and meld butter in a frying pan. Add herbs and cook on low with the butter until they become fragrant. Add the roasted garlic and the potatoes to the pan and fry for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Okay, so this is the recipe for my mothers chicken soup. My mom is a kitchen witch and this shit works wonders on any illness I have ever had. So let’s get to it Witches. Chicken soup to cure all ills.
- [ ] Jewish penicillin, a recipe.( this is what my mom has ever called it. Supposedly she learned it from an old Jewish woman)
- [ ] About a cup each of Carrots, celery,onion (or leek, if you prefer) medium dice (add more veg if you see fit!! This is very basic recipe)
- [ ] 3 cloves crushed garlic ( you can use more if you want, this is an approximation. Also garlic helps with blood flow so, if you are using it as a remedy you can’t reeeeaaaaally have too much)
- [ ] 1-3 bay leaves
- [ ] To personal taste : salt, pepper, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and any other spices you would like
- [ ] How to do the thing:
- [ ] Early in the day ( this shit takes a while) take your whole chicken and place it in the stock pot. Just barely cover with water , add salt and pepper. Let it simmer until the meat is tender and falling off the bones. Use your handy dandy tongs to aid in this process!! Add vinegar and veggies and the bay leafs and other spices. Add more liquid as need it will reduce down quite a bit. Simmer for one and a half to two hours more (add more liquid if you feel it has cooked down too much) . Remove bones and serve!!!
- [ ] Note: you can add egg noodles to the broth at the tail end or make them separately and add later. (That’s where the colander comes in handy)Me, I don’t like noodles in my chicken soup, I know, I’m a weirdo.
The magic: While I cook this I visualise being healthy, I put my will in while I stir and think of my mother, warm and wonderful woman that she is. If you feel the need say a spell over it, weave your words as you stir ( clockwise). If you have quartz charged, set it near the stove or on the lid for the stock pot while you cook.
-Lay out your flattened chicken breasts (or turkey) on an oiled baking sheet, giving them a slight overlap, and spread with sundried tomato pesto mixed with crushed garlic and a little finely diced red chilli.
-Prepare your stuffing ingredients. I used spinach, diced mushrooms and diced red peppers then added some seasoning.
-Carefully roll up your chicken and sprinkle the top of the roll with oregano.
-Bake in a preheated oven at 200 Celcius for about 30 mins, or until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender.
-Slice the roll carefully and serve the pieces arranged so you can see the pretty vegetables in the middle.
Spontaneously made ramen the other night for the first time, and it was too bomb not to share. Recipe as follows:
- cook around 100g dry ramen or soba noodles + drain and set aside
- in a large saucepan put 3 cups of water, 1tsp veg stock, some crushed garlic, 1tbsp tamari sauce, some chilli flakes (add more or less depending on how spicy you want it) and some crushed ginger. Bring to the boil.
- reduce heat a little (medium-high) and add pak choy stems to the water for 3 mins (I used a small pak choy)
- add pak choy leaves & spring onion to the water and reduce heat a little more (around medium-low) for 3 mins or until pak choy tender
- add cooked ramen/soba noodles and stir together for 3 mins
- whilst soup is cooking, pan fry some tofu in tamari, 1tsp blackstrap molasses or coco sugar & some sesame seeds in a pan on the side.
- once everything’s done, pour noodle soup into a big bowl and add tofu on top. Enjoy!👌
So recently I got very sick, and had to move back in with my parents. This was disruptive in a lot of ways, not the least of which being that I had to move across the country (from Ohio to Arizona) to move back in with them. It’s also very disruptive to our lives. I’d been living on my own, and have developed my own habits and living style. It clashes with theirs. Still, I want us to live together in some sense of harmony, so for dinner tonight, I made this: my “Harmony” Honey Garlic Slow-Cooker Chicken!
- two pieces of chicken (some people use thighs; I used breasts cause it’s what we had)
- honey (your binding agent. It’s thick and sweet, and is the product of a lot of hard work. Channel that into your meal)
- teriyaki or soy sauce (soy if you want a little more of a kick to it, teriyaki if you want it sweeter)
- 4 cloves of garlic (every relationship, no matter how smooth, will have some element of bitterness to it. Combining the bitter garlic with the honey helps to bring both sides of it into your meal)
- onion salt (to taste)
- a dash of basil
- the tiniest bit of rosemary (for a little power-up)
Place the thawed chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker, and turn it to “low”. While the slow cooker is warming up, combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Stir together the honey and teriyaki/soy sauce first, either clockwise or counter-clockwise, depending on the intent you would like to put in it. I stirred clockwise to bind. Add in the dry spices, and crush the cloves of garlic into the bowl and stir it all together, then pour over the chicken. Cook until the chicken is cooked through (5 hours on low, 3 hours on high), turning the pieces over occasionally.
Serve with whatever side dishes you would like! I’m serving it with long grain rice and steamed veggies, cause I try to stay healthy, and I like rice and veggies :)
Ah, mud crabs. If you’ve ever been in a position where you’re walking along the riverside or the coast, minding your own business, and one of these ugly brutes comes snapping at you without warning, then this recipe is your retribution! These tasty appetisers are a Stros M'kai favourite, and will put to use the tasty inner remains of those pesky mud crabs. Revenge is a dish best served hot with sweet chili sauce!
You will need:
215g fresh crab meat
80g plain flour
75g panko breadcrumbs
1 red chili, seeds removed and sliced thinly
3 spring onions, finely chopped
Zest of one lime
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp ginger paste or fresh grated ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
Sweet chili sauce, to serve
Combine all the ingredients except the oil, egg and breadcrumbs in a food processor and whiz until ingredients are combined. The mixture should be moist but still hold together. If it is too wet, add more flour until it forms a paste.
Shape the mixture into circular patties, about 3" in diameter. In a bowl, crack and whisk the egg. Dip the crab cakes into the egg, then roll in the panko crumbs until thoroughly coated. Set aside on a plate.
In a deep pan or a wok, heat the oil until bubbles form on the bottom and it is very hot. If you are unsure about oil temperature, drop a few panko crumbs in. If they start sizzling immediately, the oil is ready. Put the crab cakes in slowly to prevent splattering, and deep fry for 2 minutes on either side or until a dark golden brown. Alternatively, you can use a deep fryer instead if you have one.
Remove from the pan and place on a plate lined with kitchen napkins to drain the oil. Leave to drain and cool for 10 minutes and serve with sweet chili sauce for dipping.
So, today my boo and I decided to make some bread, specifically focaccia. It was his first time making it and I’d only seen my momma do it before so it could have gone really badly, however I think it was a pretty good success.
Firstly we found a basic recipe on the interwebs and worked out what ingredients we needed:
Along with this we also decided to add three cloves of garlic because garlic is good. Plus one of my flat mates may be a vampire and I don’t want him eating my food.
SO! After a wee trip to our local ASDA we finally had everything (we needed flour and yeast because I was so unprepared.) We also maybe accidentally bought cookies. The first step was to prep the yeast.
1. Pour a little of the tepid water into a small bowl. Add the yeast and blend using your fingers. Leave the yeast for five minutes to soften and dissolve.
Ok so I messed up this step. I didn’t read the instructions properly and boo was busy sorting out banging choons on spotify so I ended up adding my yeast to the whole 300ml of water. However it didn’t seem to be too bad and it smelled super good so I just powered through.
2. Mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. You may like to transfer your mixture to a pastry board or other flat work surface at this stage and prepare the dough there, in traditional Tuscan style. Otherwise, mix the dough in the bowl.
Yeah I’m nowhere near fancy enough to have a pastry board so we did it ye olde English way. In a bowl.
3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and salt mixture. Pour the blended yeast and water into the well along with the olive oil. Mix thoroughly. Gradually add the rest of the tepid water until a sticky dough is formed.
This was really bloody sticky. Obviously I used my hands and even after vigorous washing they still smell like dough. MMMmmm.
4. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface. Gather any stray pieces. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, adding a little extra flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic and the dough no longer sticks to your hand. To see if it is ready, you can carry out the stretch test: pull off a piece of dough, it should be elastic enough not to break quickly when stretched out.
5. Next accumulate any stray ends and rough sections by 'chafing’ your ball of dough. Hold it and curve your hands around it, use your palms to pull at its sides gently while you slowly rotate it, letting your little fingers meet underneath. Do this for five minutes. You should be left with a neat, smooth ball.
6. Oil a bowl and place the dough inside and cover with either oiled cling film or a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size - about 1½ hours depending on the room temperature.
This was the point in the process where I remembered to take pictures. Also I messed up my elbow kneading the dough so boo took over.
That rose so much oh my word it was huge and the house smelled soooo good.
7. Use your fist to knock it back, then knead it again for a further two minutes.
8. Leave to rest again, but only for 5-10 minutes
It was at this point where I decided to go off recipe a bit and make up my own nonsense. I’d seen in other recipes that people had made a garlic and rosemary oil infusion to put on the focaccia and it looked goof so I gave it a go.
9. Add a few teaspoons of the remaining oil into a saucepan and then add 3 cloves crushed garlic. Once the garlic has browned, add the rest of the 150ml of oil, and then add three sprigs of rosemary. When it reaches its boiling point remove from heat immediately and save for step 11.
10. After proofing shape the dough by placing into a shallow baking tray, using your hands to spread it out to a depth of about 1.5cm/¾in, then allow to rise again, covered with a tea towel, until doubled in size - this will take about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
11. Strain the oil and save the rosemary and garlic pieces. Gently drizzle the oil onto the dough, don’t worry if it looks like there is too much, there isn’t. Then add the rosemary and garlic pieces and press into the dough with finger tips, creating dimples.
12. Sprinkle with sea salt/coarse salt and then bake for 25-35 minutes or until the top is crusty and cooked through to the base. Serve.
I’m not gonna lie, I forgot about the salt until about 15 minutes into cooking but I added it then and it turned out pretty well.
Voila! The finished focaccia! Made with love. I couldn’t have made it without @dommadude so thank you <3
Common names : Morel, True Morel, Sponge Morel, Common Morel
Physical appearance : The morel features a distinctive cap which
resembles a cross-section of a honeycomb. The deep pitting is a
distinguishing feature which differentiates true morels from false ones.
The stem is white to pale yellow whilst the cap is pale brownish cream
and can include grey tones. The cap and stem form one continuous
Edible parts : Stem and cap.
Best places to find : Favours sandy soils, usually under broad
leaved, hard woods. Can be found in pasture land, old orchards, woodland
clearings and recently burnt arable or forest land.
Time of year : Best harvested in early Spring.
Serving suggestions : The pitted nature of the morel’s surface tends
to accumulate a lot of debris and/or insects. Be sure to clean
thoroughly before consumption. NB! - The morel should not be consumed in
its raw state, as it contains a gastrointestinal irritant (hydrazine).
Parboiling or blanching these mushrooms will denature this irritant,
making it safe for human consumption.
Sliced and gently fried in butter with a hint of crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Also good for stews, soups and omelettes.
Other uses : These mushrooms are ideal for freezing and drying and
can be stored for a long time in these states. Morels have also been
used in Chinese medicine to help treat digestive problems and to control
phlegm. Modern scientific research is being carried out, into the anti
viral, anti fatigue and anti tumour properties of the Morel.
NB - Please be sure you know what you are picking. Many plants look
similar to one another and many can be poisonous! Please seek
professional instruction if you are unsure! This is all the more
important whilst dealing with mushrooms. Don’t risk your life!!!
I am blogging a foraging a wild herb profile every month throughout the year & listing what is available to for the current month in the UK. Please be careful when foraging and refer to a guide book. My favourites are Food for Free by Richard Mabey, River Cottage Handbook no.7 Hedgerow by John Wright & The Thrifty Forager by Alys Fowler. Also be aware not to over forage as you need to leave enough food for the wildlife.
Wild Garlic Allium Ursinum from the liliaceae family
Appearance & habitat: Wild Garlic is a tall hairless perennial plant which grows in large numbers in damp, acidic soils in shaded deciduous woods/forests in most parts of Europe, Northern Asia & Northern America. Leaves can be harvested in January (if it is mild).
The leaves are broad, elliptical, shiny, spear-like and can grow up to 25cm long. The stem is long and triangular shaped. The flowers are white, star shaped, in a round umbel with 8-12 segments. The plant gives off a sweetly pungent, strong garlic scent and tastes more like chives, and gentler than conventional garlic. They tend to flower before trees get their leaves in April to June, and this is what gives off the yeasty-garlicy smell that is a giveaway sign of wild garlic. The leaves are very similar to Lilly-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis), Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale) and Wild Arum (Arum maculatum) which are extremely poisonous so do take caution, only pick if it smells of garlic when crushed.
Culinary uses: Wild Garlic leaves can be substituted for garlic or spring onions, can be treated like spinach in eaten raw in salads, sandwiches, combined into sauces, butter, mayonnaise, dressings, soups, stews, omelettes, stir-fries, risotto, makes a fantastic pesto (see recipe) and can be boiled as a vegetable. Add it towards the end of cooking to preserve freshness. The leaves can be used as a wrap and compliments tomatoes. The bulb can also be eaten raw but digging up wild plants is not good for wildlife, the bulb is very small so is hardly worth the effort. The flowers can also be eaten as seed pods or flowers.
Nutrition & Benefits: Wild Garlic is rich in iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, copper, magnesium, traces of Selenium, antioxidants, Aallicin, Adenosine. Traditionally used as a spring tonic, to cleanse the blood and boost the immune system. It is beneficial for rheumatism, reducing high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, asthma, emphysema, digestive problems and cleansing the blood. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that protect against free radicals. The juice can be used as a household disinfectant but I wouldn’t advise this because of the odour it gives off. The juice is good for weight loss and applied as a poultice to areas of rheumatic pain, arthritic joints, boils and abscesses. It increases the blood circulation locally.
History & Folklore: Wild Garlic is an indicator of ancient woodland and has been eaten for thousands of years. The first use of wild garlic can be traced to the Mesolithic period in Denmark from a archeoligical find, and to Neolithioc settlement, Thayngen-Weier in Switzerland, where there is a high concentration of pollen within the layer of the settlement.
The vernacular name Ramsons is from Anglo Saxon Old English Hramsa and Ramsey in Essex and Ramdale in Lincolnshire are places which take their name from the plant. Hramsa means Rank derived from the butter and milk of cow which have eaten Ramsons to be bitter or rank. Ramsdale derives from the Norse name Raumsdalr, meaning Valley of the River Rauma in Oppland and Møre og Romsdal in Norway. “Raum the Old”, son of King Nor is the legendary founder of Norway who is linked to the Raumi tribe. It was grown in monastic gardens as food according to an account from the 16th century.
According to Essex folklore, the allium family is one of the most useful plants in curing illnesses. Aubrey 1847 “Eat Leekes in March and ramsons in May And all the year after physicians may play”
It is known as Bear’s garlic/leek in Europe as brown bears where partial to digging up and eating the bulbs when they awoke from hibernation.
Recipe for Wild Garlic Pesto
100g Wild Garlic leaves
50g Parmesan cheese
50g toasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon juice squeezed from half a lemon
Salt & pepper
Wash the leaves thoroughly and roughly chop with scissors. Pulse the pine nuts for a few seconds in a food processor, then add the leaves, olive oil & parmesan. Add lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste, if the pesto needs to be thinned add more oil.
Plants you may expect to find in June;
Borage leaves & flowers, Bellflower flowers, Bittercress, Brooklime, Broom, Common Chickweed, Common Fig, Common Mallow leaves, Common Orache, Common Sorrel, Darwin’s Barberry berries, Elderflower, Fairy-ring Champignon, Fat Hen, Fennel, Garlic Mustard, Garden Orache, Good King Henry, Gooseberry, Hastate Orache, Hawthorn, Hogweed, Lemonbalm, Nettle-leaved Bellflower flowers, Perennial Wall Rocket, Pignut, Marsh Samphire, Rampion, Red Goosefoot, Spearmint, Spear-leaved Orache, Stinging Nettle, Sea Beet, Shaggy Inkcap, Shepard’s Purse, St George’s Mushroom, Three-cornered garlic, Watercress, Watermint, Wild Leek, Wild Rose flowers, Wild Strawberry, Wild Thyme, Wood sorrel,.
Tunisian cuisine is rich in seafood (especially tuna), couscous, peppers, tomatoes, and aubergine. It uses meat in the form of lamb, veal, and goat. Spices are heavily used for flavor. Tunisian cuisine differs in one major way from other cooking in the region in that Tunisians like their food more spicy. Harissa is a condiment that’s often added for additional spice. It consists of crushed dried red peppers, garlic, and other spices like coriander, cumin, mint, verbena leaves, rose petals, tomatoes, and/or caraway oil. It’s a staple of Tunisian cooking and is added to dishes like falafel, sausage, stews, couscous or soups or meat rubs. Tabil (”seasoning”) also is a spice mix, using 2 large garlic cloves that have been peeled, chopped, and dried for 2 days with ¼ cup coriander, 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, and 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper. Pound these ingredients together in a mortar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months (although it will loose its spiciness as time passes).
Tunisia has a great many other spices used regularly in cooking. Thyme and rosemary grow widely and often naturally flavor meats as the animals graze on the spices in the fields where they are raised. Fish is often spiced with cumin when grilled and one of the national specialties, Mloukhia, is prepared with bay leaves. Stews are thickened with corete and one of the favored ways to spice when preparing lamb is rubbing it with olive oil, salt, fresh mint, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. As in most Arabic/North African cuisine, coriander, cumin, saffron, and sumac are very popular and are used in many dishes. Caraway seeds are often used to get spice into the dish, as are chili peppers.