Tag Archives: Inspired

Freeze it for the future…


Let’s continue our basil saga and add to our recipe book…

Frozen basil for cooking

When I’ve started growing basil on my window seal, I didn’t expect it to go so well that I’ll have to look into several ways of using basil as well as storing some for rainy days.

After trying basil infused olive oil and basil pesto…the next best thing is to prepare basil ready to use for cooking and then freeze it so it keeps for longer.

This is the simplest way of storing basil and completely ready to be used.

Ingredients: 2 cups basil leaves, 4 tbs olive oil. Whizz it all together until the leaves are finely chopped (you might have to add a bit more olive oil if the mixture doesn’t look smooth enough).

I’ve used one of my trays for ice cubes, heart shaped…hahaha, it doesn’t really matter what you use to freeze them as long they are frozen in the shape/quantity you would use them for cooking.

I like a light flavour, when I am cooking so I’ve only filled 1/2 of each heart cube. I’ve left them to freeze for two days after which I’ve transfer them into a freezing bag to store for longer in the freezer.

When cooking, I would just add them directly frozen depending on the dish. I mostly use basil in tomato based dishes, but it can be added to so many other recipes.

Hope you’ve find this useful, if you ever have too much basil on your hand.

Your Girl with their Apron,

Julia

Sour but so sweet


This year has been another great summer for our sour cherry tree, so it was a no brainier that we’ll do some jam…and oh, what jam we did!

Homemade sour cherry jam

This is hands down, the best so far…and yes, it does look like strawberry or raspberry jam, hahaha, but it’s not.

My secret ingredient is chia seeds, super healthy and your best friend if you want to use less sugar but you want the thick texture.

Ingredients: 2kg pitted sour cherries, 1kg caster sugar, the juice of 2 lemons. Bring to boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer slowly until it thickens, but not all the way. Make sure you do stir using a wooden spoon and the heat is always on low. Once it starts thickening and the juice has reduced at least 3/4, you can smash the fruit using a fork or a potato smasher.

Once you are happy with the texture, I’ve let it simmer for about 2 hours, you can turn the heat off and add 4 tbs of chia seeds. Stir and leave to cool half way, so not completely cold, before you store in jars.

I usually place the jars on a tray with greaseproof paper in the oven for about 10 minutes, this will disinfect the jars and kill any bacteria. Once the jam is stored and still warm, cover the jars with a kitchen towel and leave it until they cool down completely. Once a jar is opened, store it in the fridge until consumed.

I would love to see what other recipes you guys use for homemade jam. This has worked for me both times and the jam is absolutely delicious.

If you want to reduce the sugar, you will need to increase the quantity of the chia seeds to obtain the thick texture. As I have used the sour cherries, sugar was needed for a sweater taste, but for sweet cherries I would definitely use around 800g sugar and 6 tbs of chia seeds.

Let me know if you ever try the recipe.

Your Girl with the Apron,

Julia

Chocolate Quinoa Bowl


I was thinking this morning what to name this post and after a few minutes I’ve realised that this delicious new found breakfast option needs nothing else than to be called what it is…Quinoa, the best chocolate bowl you will ever taste.

I’ve used quinoa before but never in a sweet option, especially a breakfast one. Most times I cook it as a side to chicken or together with rice in the oven.

Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

One thing I can confirm is that the portion I’ve made, the one you see in the picture above was too much for me, but it might be perfect for you.

Ingredients/how to make this deliciousness

1 cup quinoa, 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup hazelnut milk, pinch of salt, 3 tsp maple syrup, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1tbs Nutella or any other chocolate spread. Fresh fruit to decorate and chia seeds, alongside a few chunks of dark chocolate. The ingredients are for two portions but you can easily get three or even four.

Rinse the quinoa with cold water, then place them into a hot pan and mix with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes, until the seeds dry a bit and become crispy. Add the 2 cups of milk and bring to boil, then let it simmer for about 25 minutes, mixing every now and then.

Once the liquid has been completely absorbed and the quinoa is tender, remove from the heat and add the maple syrup, cinnamon and chocolate spread and combine all together,

Serve warm or a bit cooled down, decorate with fruit and any seed you might be already using for your smoothie bowl. I love chia and flax seeds, but hemp seed is a good one as well.

Bon Appetite

Hope you enjoy it:)

Julia,

Your Girl with the Apron

The king of leaves


Homegrown Basil

My adventure started learning how to grow basil at home.

I love basil, the flavour, the smell…the taste in food, absolutely everything about it. After successfully growing my own basil from cuttings, I was a bit worried I wouldn’t be able to store it any other way besides drying them. So the research began…

Besides drying the leaves and using them in everyday cooking, I have also found how to infuse olive oil with basil leaves and then use to cook or as dressing for salads and cold plates.

I thought you will find it useful if I share how I’ve done it, as there are so many recipes out there, but this one worked for me.

Recipe/How to infuse olive oil with fresh basil/no cooking involved

First, wash the leaves well, my basil is homegrown/indoor, so I know exactly what’s on the leaves…NOTHING, but nevertheless they need to be clean. Once washed, the leaves are put in boiling water for exactly 1 minute, process called blanching.

Remove them from the hot water and place in ice cold water to cool down quickly.

Dry them on a paper towel, I’ve also used a paper towel on top to soak the excess moisture

Place the blanched basil leaves, olive oil and pinch of salt in a blender and mix until completely smooth.

This should be your final result

You can use immediately or store in the fridge for just over 1 week.

I’ve used mine straight away in making some delicious tomato sauce for spaghetti, the taste is absolutely amazing, nothing compares to it.

Especially that before I used to add leaves to my sauce but the flavour wasn’t always there.

See below measurements:

1.5 cup of basil leaves, pinch of salt and 1 cup olive oil.

If you want a stronger basil flavour, put 2 cups of leaves to one cup of oil, this will also make it much thicker, perfect for dressing salads.

Let me know if you have tried this recipe and what do you think.

Lots of love,

Your Girl with an Apron

‘TENEBROUS TOWER’ #2 – NO LIGHT


Dark light

For Part 1 click here….

He was shaking terribly and kept repeating the same words…’This is a nightmare…This is a nightmare!’

Suddenly there was silence…

He lifted his head and looked around…it was too dark to see anything!

Maybe it was a dream…a very dark dream.

Slowly he tried to stand up when he felt a cold touch on his shoulder…his heart turned into stone and for a few seconds he felt there was no air to breath.

This would be his end…

…and many years from now, someone lost as him would find his body and assume he was a homeless who starved to death.

He turned and saw an old man holding on to a half-broken stick with great difficulty to breath:

There is no way out of here…if that’s what you’re thinking about”, said the old man.

Who are you and what’s happening?”

The wooden floors started moving…the walls were breaking all around them and the tower roof opened up to the dark sky with the full moon looking down into oblivion.

What’s happening?”, James was shouting as loud as possible trying to hold on to the window seal.

the old man raised his arms to the moon letting his broken stick drop between the floor cracks…

There is no light at the end…just darkness…”, said the old man.

All of a sudden the floor was back to its old self, the walls stopped moving and the hole in the roof closed slowly, leaving the room in total darkness. James was still holding on to the window seal with his whole body trembling.

The old man sat down on the floor and covered his body with a blanket.

You too belong to it, now”, he whispered.

Belong to who?”, asked James scared.

To the Tower…we will never leave…”, he said closing his eyes and resting his head on the rough wall.

TO BE CONTINUED…


This post was written in response to Dark | Side | Thursday, a great new challenge that Andy is hosting every week:)

Do you have a dark side?

…or maybe want to try a different writing style?

Join us and share your dark side…

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 23.58.18

PS. #3 of the Tenebrous Tower coming soon…

From The Other Side,

Julia

xxx

My Red Page © 2015 All rights reserved

‘Tenebrous Tower’ #1


Haunted

He looked down into nothing…

The night covered everything with a dark silk blanket, that seemed to look more like a prison than a shelter.

All he wanted was to close his eyes and rest his body after a long day of walking in the sun…the journey he has chosen wasn’t easy but the destination will be his fulfilment of a promise he made a long time ago.

He looked at the old ceiling…it could collapse on him any minute. It was broken and old, the walls around the room were a thing of the past, you could see the metal that was holding the building together, rusty and ready to give up…

He didn’t think this through…he could have walk until the next village.

He was too tired and his feet were full of bleeding blisters…

The old façade of the Tower made him stop and he felt somehow drawn to it…he spent too much time exploring the inside and now he had no choice than to spend the night here.

He placed his sleeping bag in the corner, turned off the flash light and slowly closed his eyes.

it was a full moon and the silence around captured him into a deep sleep, until a suave voice whispered in his ears…”You are mine!”

His heart stopped and he couldn’t move…he was afraid to open his eyes..

This could be a nightmare…but it wasn’t!

He raised his head as he felt a cold touch over his body…he saw no one.

Suddenly a massive shadow was climbing up the wall from the corner of the window…slowly getting closer and closer…

He couldn’t stand up from the panic…

He pulled his knee up, closed his eyes and buried his face, continuously repeating the same thing…

This is a nightmare….This is a nightmare…This is a nightmare”.

…TO BE CONTINUED


This post was written in response to Dark | Side | Thursday, a great new challenge that Andy is hosting every week:)

Do you have a dark side?

Tell us all about it…

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 23.58.18


I would also like to add the photo in this post to Photo 101 Rehab…thanks Lucile for hosting it:)

From the Other Side,

Julia

xxx

My Red Page © 2015 All rights reserved