Oh boy….

So, I entered NaNoWriMo, which for all you non-hipsters out there, is National Novel Writing Month. The basic idea is that over the course of 30 days in November, you write a novel of 50,000 words. That averages out roughly to 1700 words per day.

My face right now:

I made a start yesterday, but not in the best environment (a bar) and managed 500 words, so that relieves the pressure today……NOT. At the same time, I´ve also been doing a creative writing course which could´t want more blood if it tried. I was concerned that maybe it would suck the life force out of me, but it´s actually given me a bit of a kick. Not to say it´s easy, it´s BLOODY HARD. It´s day one and I have spent most of the time sucking my thumb, eating biscuits and wondering what´s on TV.

But I will persevere!

As far as food related happenings go, I´m going to be trying out some of the recipes from the Eat Well For Less cookbook I linked to in my last post.

Happy weekend all!

Apologies!

I am sorry for not writing in weeks! I have gone back to work and been rushed off my feet, then I was sick and blah…..

Anyway…

Food time!

So, the best thing I made recently was a delicious duck soup, with chillies, noodles and lots of delicious coriander. Is it me or does everything look better with coriander on top?

This is a recipe that was originally devised by Gizzi Erskine, but I adapted it slightly. Mainly because I was on my lunch break and in a rush, so I left out some of the ingredients and ´boiled it down´(lawl) to a much quicker time frame.

Please forgive the picture, my flash is far too bright!

Recipe:

1 x duck leg

Salt

Pepper

1 tbsp honey

100g noodles (any type will do)

1 litre chicken stock

1 inch of ginger, peeled and chopped

1 crushed garlic clove

2 tbsp oyster sauce

3 shitake mushrooms, or really, any mushrooms

2 handfuls of Pak Choi

4 spring onions, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped but not deseeded

A few sprinkles of mint

1. Roast the duck leg for about 45 minutes, until the skin is crispy. Pour some olive oil on top, to prevent it from drying out,

2. Mix together honey and soy sauce,  and marinate the duck leg in it. Cook gently over a low heat, until it is sticky. Then remove. Wait until it is cool then shred the meat.

3. Cook the noodles, drain them and leave to one side.

4. Put the stock, ginger and garlic in a large pan, add the oyster sauce, a splash of soy sauce.

5. Add the mushrooms, Pak choi, noodles, spring onions and duck.

6. Boil it all together, then serve with the mint and chilli on top.

Et voila!

I believe this is really healthy, and perfect if you have a cold. It´s the season, right?

And to leave you, a video of my boyfriend shuffling cards like a PRO.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10101035052977941&set=vb.61006015&type=2&theater

40 North

I would like to share with you all a fantastic place I discovered on my recent travels to the Outer Hebrides.

I visited my best friend who lives on the stunning Isle of Lewis, in a small city called Stornoway. On my final day, we decided to stop for lunch at a local deli/restaurant named 40 North just outside of the town centre. We came on good faith, a colleague of my friend told us she drives 20 miles out of her way just to visit 40 North.

Pulling into the car park, we discovered that the little deli is actually more of a picnic-cafe. You are invited to choose as much or as little as you want, from the freshly prepared food of the day, which is then priced according to item. When we visited, our options were ; Indian spice chicken breasts, honey glazed chicken breasts, smoked duck breasts, Mediterranean-style potatoes with fried onions, pakoras, quiche, beef sausages, smoked salmon, mini beef Wellingtons with cheesy mash and Mediterranean style olives and peppers in oil. I have saved extra sentence space for the tart that I fell In love with. A light filo base, with layers of chicken, balsamic onions, mozzarella, Parmesan, peppers and oregano. My mouth died of a thousand tiny food orgasms.

I chose half an Indian chicken breast, half a duck breasts, a piece of the tart, two pakoras and some potatoes. It cost me about £10 for the lot, which was extremely good value, as portion control is not strictly enforced here.

The owner told us she makes everything fresh on the premises, including the sausages which are made from her own beef. I love this idea, particularly as you can see the pigs, chickens and ducks roaming free behind the deli. I know some might find this off-putting but I like knowing where my food has been before I put it in my mouth.

It’s a novel idea, of choosing from a small selection, as much or as little as you want and paying accordingly. It worked well for me, considering I often have eyes that routinely tell my stomach ‘come on, you can do it, more, more!’

Plus, the setting. There is nothing more satisfying than sitting on a picnic bench, surrounded by animals and tartan-coloured mountains.

You can visit the website of 40 North here : www.40northfoods.co.uk

To finish, a little drop of music that will always remind me of driving through the island: http://youtu.be/9b4F_ppjnKU

Back to that

I have returned from Hong Kong. I had full intentions of posting whilst I was away I was far too busy.

Did I fulfil my food challenge? No, sadly I did not. I underestimated just how busy I would be and also, how much delicious food I would find on my way around the island.

I did try the famous moon cake, but it was the most disgusting thing I have ever put in my mouth. Lotus paste and an egg yolk in the middle? That’s not my kind of pastry.

So, without further ado, let’s begin.

I know I will probably be criticised for eating Western food in one of the culinary capitals of the world, but after a 13 hour flight, this burger place was the first restaurant we stumbled upon. It was also home to the best burger I have ever had in my life. This particular option was chilli chicken, with roasted capsicums, an onion ring, salad and a sourdough bun. Accompanied by fries, pickle and citrus coleslaw. My god, it was delicious. So good we went back three times just to make sure.

this was hands down the best sushi I have ever had, too. I was really lucky to be able to experience such delicious food. The photo shows a mango and fried shrimp roll, with fish roe and wasabi mayonnaise. There was enough for three people here and I ate most of it. It really was beyond delicious. I wanted to eat more and more until my mouth couldn’t chew anymore. The restaurant we went to was a chain called Misocool, but forget that, it was just phenomenal. It was fresh, vivid and wild on the tongue.

This was the sashimi selection we also had. It included tuna, salmon, prawn and sea urchin. I was never a fan of sashimi until I tried it at a hidden Japanese restaurant in Madrid, and I have never experienced anything so fresh before. It really is like having a sliver of sea ice on the tongue. It’s almost buttery with the taste of the sea, and it melts away as you swallow. This was not the best I’ve had, but a close, close second.

A fresh shrimp cocktail with chilli tomato sauce. Really simple, but so effective.

Oreo cake. Nothing else to say about that.

Extremely pretty biscuits in the Chinese equivalent of Harrods.

Hello Kitty cakes in a specialist Hello Kitty deli. Yep. Asia.

Tea for two in the afternoon, I tried such a delicious variety of teas. This one, lemongrass and ginger, was my favourite simply because of the camp teapot.

Now for something non-food related:

H-Town Food Challenge

Alright, so it’s not really a holiday if you don’t stuff yourself to the brim with local delicacies. So, I’ve set myself the challenge of trying EVERYTHING on this list:http://www.buzzfeed.com/regajha/reasons-every-food-lover-should-go-to-hong-kong-immediate

That means at least two per day. Maybe three. So glad I packed my leggings, I’m gonna need them.

I’ll be taking photos and making notes. 

Then, I will have a lie down, in a cold room. 

Wish me luck.