Party central last night (went to a family gathering, ate, didn’t drink alcohol, stayed up until 2am, no FOMO over here) so lots of cups of caffeine are keeping me afloat today which is fine, but I’m in a wierd headspace, somehwere between cranky, gloomy and optimistic. Surely, writing will ease the pain! So here are my five essentials should I ever find myself on a deserted island.
- A copy of a large cook book like Giorgio Locatelli’s Made in Sicily or Marcella Hazan’s epic collection of Italian recipes, The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Why? To gaze on them lovingly, remember the good times and drift off into another world for a while. That, and it’d come in handy for a hard pilow or for a fire.
- An umbrella or similar. Why? I burn. And it’s shelter. Or I can use the fabric for something if it breaks.
- A knife. Why? To kill and prepare food, if needs be. I’m starting to feel more pessimistic as the list goes on. Oh no.
- Photos of my family and friends, wrapped in sticky back plastic, held together on some string and I’ll wear them around my kneck or waist or hang them up like a little clothes line.
- A blanket. Why? Gets cold at night, plus I can used it as a dress, a towel, a bed. It’s an all purpose item. That and I’ll walk around with it like Linus. Alone on the island? Probably. #allthefeels #Linus4eva
Five Items – Daily Post
Lentils! Recipes to follow later on in the week.
Recipe suggestions for lovely lentils? Tell me in the comments.
Let me start by saying that this is not a sponge cake. It is a dense, rich chocolate hit. This is closer in texture and flavour to a chocolate pot, gianduja or Nutella, but so much more deeply chocolatey, and satisfying.
I tasted the 65% bittersweet torta with a cup of black coffee, at my fave Italian food shop in Dublin, Little Italy, as part of a chocolate tasting event. Quite the caffeine buzz so early on in the morning, but, hey, that’s just me living on the edge. 😉
On the day, Marcello, from Districts of Italy, a food distrubition company based in Wales, told me about its origins in Florence, its popularity in Italy and beyond, and the variety of torte available, not forgetting chocolate covered nuts and orange peel, chocolate discs and a vegan torta. There’s a white chocolate torta with spices but didn’t get to try it on the day so I’ll have to order it instead. Chocolate surprise in the post, much better than bills.
I got a few little 40g torta for some famlily who have the same feelings about chocolate as I do (there is never enough of the good stuff) and I shall be back to get more, if there are any left.
And, while on the subject of Christmas cakes, I’ve already spotted a whole range of Panetone and Pandoro. It’s all very exciting stuff, or maybe that’s my sugar buzz talking.
No surprises this year, planning ahead and on top of prep, like a real grown-up and it’s great! Means I can enjoy the holidays, the lights, the jumpers, the hot chocolates, the fleece onsie that I bought especially this winter. Are you getting ready for holiday celebrations?
Part of all that organising is food and the inevitable food presents. I give food. I like getting food presents. If we ever meet, and there’s a celebration involved, bring food! For food presents can do no wrong.
I had the oportunity to go to a chocolate tasting last week in my fave Italian food shop in Dublin and I’ll be writing about it during the week. Chocolate cake with no flour or dairy, just pure chocolatey goodness. Best present ever!
I really didn’t want to do anything except look after myself today. So I did just that. And it felt good. 🙂
Part of self-care for me is looking after what I eat. Good food gets me through the day the way coffee powers people through mornings. Good food will make a crappy day better, a bad mood lighter, a crampy Emma nicer!
Part of looking after numero uno was not doing loads. Instead of going to the shops again, I just made do with what I had left in the cupboard and fridge. A quick pasta that takes 15 minutes, 2 tins, half a bag of pasta and a couple teaspoons of dried herbs and I’m smiling in no time.
Quick Tuna and Tomato Pasta
1 tin of tuna in oil (olive oil, if you can get it)
500g tinned plum tomatoes
250g short dried pasta
1 level teaspoon each of thyme, oregano and parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Add the tuna and the oil to a pan, heat it through, then add the tomatoes and herbs. Let the sauce bubble away on a medium heat while the pasta is cooking.
Boil some water for the pasta, add some salt, and cook according to packet instructions. Drain but keep some of the liquid for the sauce.
If the sauce is a little on the thick side, add some of the pasta liquid. Then add the pasta and mix through.
Serve in big bowls with loads of black pepper, and goes well with wolly jumpers and slippers.
Rosso Authentic Woodfire Pizza, in Dublin, Ireland, use wood fire ovens (but of course) to cook pizza in no time at all. Their range of authentic Italian-style pizzas is to die for. Classics like Margherita and Quattro Stagioni are second to none, plus their more experimental ones like the Torino – smoked chicken, Gorgonzola and porcini mushrooms – are sublime . And, yes, that is a magical combination of umami goodness. Took the pics in a hurry, I was hungry, I’m sure you understand.
Got pizza recommendations? Do you like to make your own? What’s your fave?