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My favourite Thai restaurant in Tokyo

After many average Thai food experiences, we tried our luck with Bangkok Oriental and haven’t looked back since.

Even though the restaurant is in walking distance to our place, we have actually never been inside, but get to enjoy the food thanks to Uber Eats.

The soft shell crab stir-fry and the glass noodle salad are firm favourites! 

Bangkok Oriental
1-3-1 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku

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Cookbook recommendations

Along the lines of my last blog post about my favourite local food-related small businesses, these are a couple of favourite cookbooks in our home:

Jerusalem: A Cookbook
by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi


I’m a big fan of Yotam Ottolenghi’s cooking and own quite a few of his books. This one’s my favourite – beautiful story telling interwoven with scrumptious recipes and stunning food photography. 

The Roasting Tin Around the World: Global One Dish Dinners
by Rukmini Iyer

This one is my husband’s favourite cookbook. Simple recipes packed full of flavour and cooked using only a roasting tin. He’s probably made 1/2 of the dishes and we have just ordered the next of the 4 Roasting Tin books the author has written. 

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Some of my favourite local food-related small businesses

If you follow my Instagram / Facebook Stories, you might have noticed my slight obsession with food.

These days it’s more about food we consume at home rather than out & about, so I thought I share some of my favourite local food-related small businesses with you:

Oishimon Organic Farm 

Oishimon in Saitama is run by Simon, a Dutch farmer. We subscribed to the weekly organic veggie box about a year ago and I still look forward to every delivery. Lots of leafy vegetables, salads, herbs, root veggies etc arrive every Tuesday on our doorstep.

Eco Hachi Living

Marisa of Eco Hachi Living makes beautiful reusable beeswax food wraps using Japanese fabrics. They are pretty much in daily use I our kitchen and make great gifts too!

Punk Doily

Pies – glorious pies! And sausage rolls.
Savoury antipodean style. 

These tasty beauties are a staple in our freezer. Yummy buttery crust, juicy fillings – each one of Punk Doily’s pies is a savoured treat in our house.

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Orecchiette with garlicky prawns & basil

One of my go-to pasta recipes for a quick & yummy meal.
I have also served this dish numerous times as a starter at dinner parties.

Feeds 2 people as a main dish or 4 people as a starter.

Ingredients:
– 150g orecchiette
– 50g butter
– 1 crushed garlic clove
– 150g peeled raw prawns
– Shredded basil leaves, a handful 
– Lemon

Get cooking:
Cook the orecchiette according to the packet instructions and drain.

In a pan, melt the butter and cook the garlic for a couple of minutes. Take care not to brown the garlic.

Add the prawns and quickly cook until pink. 

Take pan off the heat, add the drained pasta, shredded basil leaves and a good squeeze of lemon. Mix it all together and enjoy!

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My banana bread recipe

My favourite recipe to use up those super ripe bananas in my fruit bowl. 

Ingredients:
– 125g unsalted butter at room temperature
– 2 eggs
– 125g soft light brown sugar
– 225g flour
– Pinch of salt
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 3-4 ripe bananas – mashed with a fork
– Handful of chopped walnuts

Get baking:
Heat oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Beat the butter with electric beaters / stand mixer until white & fluffy (around 3 minutes).
Add the sugar and mix well.
Mix each egg in seperately and make sure they are mixed in properly.
Add flour, salt and baking powder and mix in well.
Fold the mashed bananas in followed by the chopped walnuts.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and level out.
Bake for around 45 minutes.
Insert a skewer into the middle – the cake is ready when the skewer comes out clean.
Cool cake in the tin for 10 min, remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack.
Enjoy!

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Quick chickpea, kale & chorizo soup

What’s a better belly winter warmer than a steaming bowl of soup? 
I’ve been making this one for years – it’s just so quick, easy and super yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas – drained and rinsed
  • 100g cured unsliced chorizo sausage – chopped into cubes
  • Dried chilli flakes
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 150g kale or cabbage – shredded

Get cooking:

Empty the can of tomatoes into a pot, add a can of water and heat up.
Once hot and slightly bubbling, add the chorizo cubes, chickpeas and a sprinkling of chilli flakes.
Crumble the stock cube into the mixture, cover and let everything bubble away for around 8 min.
Add the kale/cabbage and take off the heat once wilted.

Voila! All done!
Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy. 

P.S. The tea towel in the photo is available in my online store 🙂

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This month I’m … January 2021

WATCHING
Schitt’s Creek

I know, I know – we are a bit late to the party. Schitt’s Creek has been out there for a loooong time. Hilariously funny and great escapism from the real world.

COOKING
Comfort food


Is there anything better than yummy comfort food on a cold winter’s day? I’ll share some recipes later in the month.

READING
A Burning” by Megha Majumdar 

This book has been on my list for a while now – can’t wait to get into it!

GETTING
Cozy indoors

’cause lets face it: we are not going anywhere anytime soon…

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Glühwein (mulled wine) recipe

Right. Here it is. My Glühwein recipe.
I usually ‘freestyle’ it when I make mulled wine so I took notes when I made it again on Sunday 😅

  • 1 bottle of cheap red wine (honestly: don’t waste the good stuff on mulled wine)
  • 50-80ml brown rum (depending on how strong you like it)
  • 3 oranges
  • 2 star anis
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 7-8 whole cloves
  • Brown sugar

Juice two oranges and slice the third one. Heat the wine with all ingredients apart from the sugar in a pot on low heat. Add sugar to taste. Let it simmer for at least 30min, preferably longer. Don’t boil it!  Serve hot and be merry.

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THAT Butternut Squash Lasagne

I don’t think I ever had that many comments on any of my Instagram stories as when I posted a picture of the butternut squash lasagne I had just made. 😅

I’ve been promising to write up the recipe and share it with you ever since so here you go!

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Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 4 sausages – remove skins
  • 1 small onion – chop finely
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh basil – large handful roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp cream or sour cream
  • Large butternut squash – peel, scoop seeds out and slice thinly
  • Lasagne sheets
  • 1 ball of mozzarella – slice
  • 25g parmesan – grate finely

Make sauce:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick pan
  2. Break sausage meat into pieces and brown them all over, breaking up while it cooks
  3. Add onion and cook until the onion starts to soften
  4. Add paprika, season with salt and pepper and cook for a minute
  5. Add the tomatoes, cover and simmer for 15 minutes
  6. Add basil and let it wilt into the sauce
  7. Stir in cream/sour cream and remove from the heat

Make lasagne:

  1. Heat the oven to 180C
  2. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce into a baking dish, top with a layer of lasagne sheets, followed by a layer of butternut squash slices, followed by sauce and mozzarella. Repeat and make sure you end with sauce.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes then sprinkle with grated parmesan and put back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until the the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is nicely browned.

Vegetarian option:
You can easily omit the sausage for a yummy vegetarian version.

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This month I’m … September 2020

LISTENING TO
Ladies, we need to talk” – a great podcast for women, by women, that isn’t afraid to dive head first into the tricky topics we often avoid talking about.

TRYING TO GET
my cooking mojo back 😅
I love cooking and baking, but it’s been a bit much during the last few months. Fingers crossed! 

READING
The Mountains Sing
by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

GETTING EXCITED ABOUT
creating the next home styling video with Cherie Jones of Cherie Jones Design. Stay tuned!

Wishing you all a great month!

Alex x