Usually when there’s a weather warning out for our general corner of the world, it never actually hits our specific corner of the world. I suppose being tucked away between two mountain ranges and two rivers might have something to do with that, but be that as it may, this time around, it actually hit us. “Storm Gusts of 85-95km/h” they predicted and that’s exactly what we got – and more, what with our two usually so protective middle mountains acting as a perfect wind tunnel.
Alright, time to lighten up the wintery mood of our meals! While I’m honestly not fed up with Winter-themed comfort food at dinnertime yet, I’ve recently found myself prepping zingy, light and summery meals for lunch – looks like my inner clock is slowly but steadily ticking towards warmer temperatures while my tummy’s still kinda-sorta content being wrapped in a wintery comfort-blanket of sorts~!
The colder and nastier it gets outside, the more often my mind wanders off to about 2,800km west-southwest of here, to Madeira. Since there’s nothing I can do about shortening the actual distance on the spot, I can only tap into my recently refilled inner reserve of Madeira-Zen, roll up my sleeves and start cooking to bring a delicious little piece of the island into our corner of the world instead~!
While I was skimming over my list of the last few and the next couple of yummies on my to-cook list, I noticed how most of them share the same basic characteristics while being very different in the end. All of them are “warm” be it in the actual temperature, in their color palette or in the heart-and-soul ”warm”ing sense of the word. All of them are really quick and easy to whip up, and all of them – even my pick for this year’s Christmas Box of Chocolates~! – are packing a serious punch in the “Healthy” department.
With the season of shorter, darker and colder days having set up shop on our doorstep, I find myself digging deeper and deeper into my repertoire of bright and colorful lunchbox’able recipes and combinations to bring a bit of smiles’n’sunshine on Hubby’s and my desks during the day. This particular salad is something that makes an appearance on our table quite often, during the hottest as well as during the coldest and darkest times of the year, but of course it has the biggest “brighten up the day” effect on us during the November Nasties.
As promised, here’s the savory twist on last week’s “quince bread”! I’ve actually been waiting to share this one with you guys for almost a year~! You see, while we were on Madeira last year, we came, more or less by accident, by a Hotel Restaurant we just couldn’t pass on for once. As you guys might know, usually Hotel Restaurants are a last resort for Hubby and me while we’re traipsing across the island, but at that point we’ve actually been driving around that silly hotel in circles, looking for the Wine Harvest Festivities that, according to several sources, were about to go down somewhere in its general vicinity.
Hubby and I had a “Cherry Galore” dinner two weeks ago to close off this year’s cherry season with a yum- and photo-tastic menu celebrating cherries in each of the four courses. While I was going through my notes on previous cherry season-feasts in preparation for the gig, I immediately zeroed in on this recipe, sporting a few blotches and a between-stirs-scrawl reading: “re-do for blog!!! 1.7.2017”.
Oh yes, July’s here! Unless you’re part of the die-hard, anytime, anywhere BBQ crowd, in our parts this is the month to keep the embers fanned. Finally warm enough to sit outside for an extended period of time, too early in the summer to be in any real danger of being eaten alive by mother nature’s bad-hair-day experiments, and not yet hot enough to call the friendly guys with the giant butterfly nets whenever someone mentions open fire and coals.
You guys probably know how much I love asparagus by now, so you might be able to imagine the delicious – and extremely healthy, I might add – blast I’m having these days, running back and forth between my trusty pots and pans and the farmers market and all but rolling around in fresh asparagus and strawberries.
As usual, as soon as the temperatures are rising noticeably, people get too greedy with soaking up every sunbeam they can catch – and a lot of them not only catch some vitamin d… they also catch a cold. The annual bout of spring-colds is making the rounds and I for my part seriously don’t feel like joining the sneeze choir. Actually, since I’ve found myself flat on my (red) nose three times – three out of three times during our vacations (yay for AC’s on full tilt in hotels and airplanes…) – last year, I simply refuse to get sick this year at all~!