Tag Archives: Parmesan

Battling through winter – and a return to my magnificent Italy

Let me start this post by apologising to all my lovely followers for being absent from our blogging world the last few weeks. I’ve been unwell, a nasty winter virus that seems to have lasted an age. Have you ever had a cough that you thought would never leave you??!

Fortunately we’re in our final week of winter in New Zealand. September heralds the beginning of spring. It may take a while for the temperatures to start rising but at least there are lighter mornings and evenings to enjoy in the meantime.

So how does one boost themselves after battling through winter and the horrible bugs that come with it? Well, my husband and I decided to sit down at the laptop and book a holiday. Always a sure way to lift my spirits.

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Dinner for Two – Roasted Butternut Risotto with Prosciutto and Sage

It was only a few months ago that my fellow bloggers were posting winter warmer recipes while my own blog was alive with fresh berries and all things summer. Now the seasons have shifted and it’s been turned upside down – winter in the south and summer in the north. But there must be balance in all things.

I have no problem with the change in season. As much as I love summer I look forward to winter – for two reasons. One is boots – laugh if you will but there is something very special about the first outing of winter boots once the weather cools.

The second, of course, is winter food. By the time autumn creeps in I’ve had my fill of salads and sprightly summer food. Time for a bit of comfort – dishes cooked long and slow in the oven, hot puddings, hearty porridge for breakfast and, of course, those fabulous autumn and winter vegetables.

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Chicken, avocado & watercress wrap – a cold chicken hero

For centuries cooks have been coming up with creative ways to use leftover meat. A couple of months ago I posted a recipe for pulled pork burritos using leftover pulled pork. A fantastic example of how the meat’s second outing need not be inferior to its first.

But perhaps my ultimate favourite in the leftover meat department is chicken. A fabulous meal is never far away when cold chicken awaits me in the fridge. Do I want to keep it cold and make a salad? Perhaps reheat it in a spicy sauce and put together a Mexican feast? Toss it through pasta with garlic and mushrooms?

And it’s not only the evening meal where cold chicken comes into its own. It makes a fantastic lunch or light meal. Earlier this week I made a tray-bake with chicken legs and tomatoes (which incidentally is one of my favourite meals and you can get the recipe here).

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Italy’s Amalfi Coast – Spectacular Positano (and a recipe for classic Aubergine Parmigiana)

Last week I talked about my trip to the Campania region in 2015 and some fantastic places to visit – Ravello, Pompeii and Capri. All well worth seeing and easy to reach if you’re basing yourself in Sorrento.

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Cruising the Mediterranean – a day in Athens (and a recipe for delicious Moussaka)

Athens – Greece’s capital and a city that was once the lifeblood of an ancient and powerful empire.

Athens was our last stop in Greece before our ship sailed back to Italy. It was also the stop I’d been particularly looking forward to. It has been a long held dream of mine to climb the Acropolis. When you embark on something you’ve waited so long to do the hope is that it will live up to your expectations.

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ROME, the Eternal City – and how to make a classic Spaghetti Carbonara!

Rome, the Eternal City – so named because the ancient Romans believed that the city would go on forever regardless of what happened in the world surrounding it.

I have been to Rome twice in my lifetime and on both occasions I was captivated by the city. We all know of its impressive history – empires and armies and gladiatorial conquests. The fact that any remnant of this ancient civilisation still remains today is something to marvel at.

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