Yelly Eats

Comfort food for dindins

It’s been quite the tough week, this week.  I’ve got a lot on my plate in terms of the day job.  So it was fitting that today, of all days, I cooked adobo for dinner.   Nothing fancy.  Just adobo, rice and braised sliced greens in a bowl.  I had prepped the adobo earlier and it had been marinating for a few days in the freezer.  I brought it down a couple of days ago so that it could thaw in the fridge until I decided to cook it.  There is nothing better than making a dish that reminds you of home when you’ve had a relatively rough day.

Yum!

 

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Yelly Writes

It’s a struggle, isn’t it?

I remember when I was part of  Post A Day 2011.  How did I manage that?!

The goal (then) was to blog about something (and in my case, post a picture) every single day.  I did struggle most days but I managed to put together a few sentences that may have made sense to some people.  I managed.  There were days when I even managed to post more than one entry a day.  I tend to chatter, so I probably allowed myself to chatter online.

But these days, I find that I struggle.  Not with ideas for blog entries (I have a few hundred of those, I love food and can wax lyrical about it, I think!).  I struggle to find the time to sit down, gather my thoughts and write them down.  The eternal excuse is that it’s all my day job’s fault (I manage scientific conferences and scientific organisations for a living) and there are days (like today) that I can be too tired to sit and tap on my laptop about my favourite subject in the world.

Now, I constantly tell myself off when I allow myself to use this as an excuse for my non-blogging.  If I love food, if I love writing about food, I shouldn’t be limited by this piddly little thing called my day job.  When one is absolutely passionate about something one should pull out all the stops, right?

I need to find out if there are any blogging apps that will let me blog on WordPress on the go.  My experience with the WordPress app wasn’t very good (I had another blog, you see) and posting via the app messed up my margins and things.  Does anyone know any good blogging apps that will allow you to connect to your WordPress blog?

All suggestions are absolutely welcome.  I’m determined to blog more.  I’m sure technology has a way of helping me out!  Help!  Anyone?  Everyone?

Yelly Eats

New drink in town!

I went out today to look for things to buy…in other words, I went on a shopping spree (mainly for the kitchen: I got 2 spatulas and a cleaver!  How exciting!).

I went into Starbucks for an afternoon coffee break treat.  I used to go to Starbucks all the time because there were Starbucks coffee shops everywhere in Manila.  Not the same here.  If you don’t live in London, Starbucks coffee shops are few and far in between.  I remember going through a really bad Starbucks withdrawal period when I first moved to England because there wasn’t a Starbucks coffee shop near enough to visit every other day.  Anyway, I digress.  I saw the little advert signs about this drink at the beginning of summer but have never had the opportunity to try it.

I had a eureka moment!  I love this drink already!  I love hibiscus-based drinks and this drink just hit the spot.  I am in love with the Starbucks Berry Hibiscus Refresha drink.  Now available at a Starbucks near you!

Yelly Eats

Carrot cake!

I found something wonderful in the supermarket!  Shredded carrots!  And when there are shredded carrots available, a carrot cake will be baked!  Anything to save my hands from doing the grunt work!

The recipe needs perfecting and I may have to work on adjusting the measurements as this makes a VERY big cake.  But the cake has turned out pretty well!  I’m bringing this to work tomorrow to share it with my coworkers so I can get feedback!

 

 

Yelly Eats

Pistachio, coconut and cardamom burfis

We’re having a curry lunch at work tomorrow and we’ve been asked by the work colleague hosting the curry lunch to bring anything that we think will go with curry.   I’ve decided to bring roti bread (shop bought as I haven’t learned how to make them yet!) and pistachio, coconut and cardamom burfis.

I’ve always liked Indian food, but I must say that I’ve never really had proper Indian food until I moved to the UK.  One of the consultants who used to work for the government corporation I used to work for in the Philippines used to bring us Indian-inspired dishes and she introduced me to roti bread which I am now in love with!

Anyway, apart from the adorable roti bread,  I’m bringing pistachio annd coconut burfis to work tomorrow.  A burfi (or barfi or burfee, or borfee) is a sweet confectionery from India.  It is usually made with condensed milk cooked with sugar until it solidifies.  I saw this version being made about 5 or 6 years ago on a food-related channel on the Discovery Travel and Adventure channel.  It wasn’t until about 4 years ago, when I moved to England, funnily enough, that I had the opportunity to try making this recipe.  On the programme I was watching, it looked easy to make, and it was—very, VERY easy to make.  Most burfis ask for the condensed milk to be cooked in sugar until they harden, but as I am diabetic (and very lazy), I thought I’d try it without the long cooking process and the added sugar.  The condensed milk is sweet enough!

Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 250 grams dessicated coconut
  • 200 grams shelled pistachio ones (avoid the salted pistachios)
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 350ml sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

  1. In a small food processor, roughly chop the pistachios until they resemble small shards.  The chopped pistachios don’t have to be too processed because you do want to be able to bite into the occasional chunky piece of pistachio.
  2. Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and, using a mortar and pestle, grind the seeds into a fine powder.  I find this particular part of the preparation very therapeutic!
  3. In a large bowl, combine the 200 grams of the dessicated coconut (reserve 50 grams to roll the burfis in later), the chopped pistachios, the ground cardamom seeds and the condensed milk.  Mix until everything is well combined.
  4. With lightly oiled hands (because the condensed milk is very sticky!), scoop enough of the pistachio-condensed milk-coconut mixture to make a ball that’s about 1inch in diameter.  Once the balls are formed, roll them in the dessicated coconut you reserved.  Place on a plate or box to store.


The burfis can be eaten as soon as they are made but it’s much nicer if you refrigerate them for at least 2 hours before you serve.  These keep in the fridge for about a week.  Although, I very much doubt that they’ll last that long as they’re very moreish (moreish, or more-ish, is a word I learnedafter moving to England.  It means causing one to want more–usually food!)!

Yelly Eats

Gelato fix

Mother Nature has blown hot and cold fairly regularly in the past few weeks.  Last Saturday was the hottest day ever in England.  I was in London on that day and boy, did I feel the heat!  I’m Filipino so I should be fairly used to hot weather.  But even I was struggling in the muggy heat.  I was cursing the decision to wear jeans.  I should’ve work something lighter.  Even the dreaded leggings would have saved my poor legs and allowed for better air circulation!

Yesterday, as we journeyed to London, the sky was painted a slate grey.  Rain clouds were racing across the east Anglian sky and I was hoping against hope that I could get through my London trip without getting drenched!  That of course was a pipe dream.  As we dodged the raindrops throughout the day, by the time we got to Soho, it was quite evident that we had to take shelter.  We were trapped on Berwick Street!

When the rain finally let up (very temporarily), we thought it would be best to take shelter in the nearby Gelupo on Archer Street.  Gelupo is this lovely little gelateria in Soho.  They have lovely flavours and a lovely bright, crisp and clean interior that always seems to invite you in, whatever the weather.  I heard about Gelupo  from Helen, who is a food blogger that I follow on Twitter.  Based on her recommendation, I went to London and looked for Archer Street.  It’s that street that is behind the Gielgud Theatre in Soho on Shaftesbury Avenue.

Gelupo is primarily a gelateria and serves the most wonderful flavours!  But as you walk through the shop past the gelato counter with its lovely gelato and Italian pastries, past the freezers holding lovely gelato-based treats and frozen Italian pantry essentials (you will, on occassion, find a frozen baby octopus!), towards the back of the shop there is a lovely deli section that is filled with wonderful Italian treats, from arborio rice to bottles of extra virgin olive oil!

If you’re in London, going to Gelupo for a gelato fix is a must.  The staff are lovely and ever so friendly and they very generously let you taste the ice cream before you make your choice.  You also get a wafer with your gelato with the Gelupo logo on it that is too cute!  My absolute favourites are the bonet for its rich chocolatey rumness, sour cherry and ricotta with its lovely balance of creamy and tart, stawberry yumminess and, of course, hazelnut which is like having Nutella in ice cream form.

I had the stawberry and peanut butter gelato this time and it was sooooooo good!  It was like having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich flavoured ice cream treat!  Going to Gelupo is a treat each and every time and definitely recommend going there, whether the weather is gelato weather or not!  Any excuse for a Gelupo gelato fix is a brilliant excuse!

Yelly Writes

That Friday Feeling

I am at my desk and am staring at that little clock on my computer screen’s system tray area and I’m thinking, “There are only 15 minutes left to my lunch break!  Oh no!

I am experiencing my afternoon dip early.  My afternoon dip is me not really wanting to go back and do something work related.  Quite possibly because it is a Friday today.  There is certainly a lack of motivation in the air around me.  I am exhausted mentally and physically.  I feel very blecchy because I probably ate a dodgy tuna mayo sandwich yesterday from the sandwich van that comes around to the office.  I’ve always said buying food off the sandwich van was a dangerous exercise, but then again, I never listen to myself.  So now, I along with my stomach, am paying for it.

This is an especially special Friday because it is a bank holiday on Monday.  This means I’ll have a 3-day weekend and it means I can most certainly find time to bake!  I’m looking forward to being able to bake food for the gods during the longish break.  I haven’t had them in quite a while!

What do you do when you get an energy dip at work?  How do you cope?  I’d love the tips because frankly, today, I am not in the mindset to get out of this Friday funk.  I need a long holiday where I don’t do anything but not do anything!