Friday, September 12, 2014

SPICY MIDDLE EASTERN-STYLE CHICKPEA, BELL PEPPER, EGGPLANT, TOMATO AND TAHINI STEW (VEGETARIAN) - RAGOÛT MOYEN-ORIENTALISANT AUX LÉGUMES D'ÉTÉ, POIS CHICHES, ÉPICES ET AU TAHINI (VÉGÉTARIEN)


If you follow me via my Facebook page, you might be familiar with my daily " light & healthy supper" posts*. Well to make a long story short, I use this space to share with my fans the detailed desription of the humble, yet delicious, budget-friendly, wholesome and totally improvised meals I cook every evening.

Against all expectations, my quotidian dinner ramblings have become quite popular and a few of the people who enthusiastically read them have told me that I inspire them greatly. Many have even asked me whether I'd consider putting my recipes on the blog.
The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
- Sylvia Plath
Of course I'd love to be one of those hyperactive bloggers who publishes on a day-to-day basis and always feels the urge to put pen to paper or grab his/her camera, but unfortunately that's not me. You see, I'm a self-doubting perfectionist who has anxiety issues and suffers from chronic bouts of depression, so unlike many creative souls, I generally cannot be put under any kind of pressure or else my inspiration and mojo disappear. Stress and mood swings kill me and tame my inner fire. As a matter of fact, I am only capable of producing quality material when that big black cloud has ceased to hover over my head and I start to regain my self-confidence as well as my serenity...

Anyway, I have nonetheless been able to quickly take pictures of one of my modest creations that I'm happy to present to you today. This summery "Spicy Middle Eastern-Style Chickpea, Bell Pepper, Eggplant, Tomato And Tahini Stew" is really flavorful. Not only is it pleasantly fragrant, but it is also hearty, seasonal, inexpensive and easy to put together.

Nothing artsy-fartsy here, just straight-forward vegetarian grub for foodlovers who care about their well-being, the environment and the state of their bank account without compromising on taste and quality.

* In case you absolutely don't know what I'm talking about, I invite you to visit my "fan page" by clicking on this link.

Spicy Middle Eastern-Style Chickpea, Bell Pepper, Eggplant, Tomato And Tahini Stew
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, September 2014.

Ingredients:
1 Tbs Olive oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 Cloves garlic, chopped
1 Red bell pepper, cubed
1 Eggplant, cubed
1/2 Tsp Ground cumin
1/4 Tsp Ground allspice
1/6 Ground black pepper
2 Tomatoes, chopped
1 Tsp Tomato paste
400g Cooked chickpeas
3 Tbs Tahini mixed with 5 Tbs Water
3 Tbs Yogurt
A few drops of red Tabasco
1/2 Tbs Fresh mint, chopped
Fine sea salt, to taste

Method:
1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and then the onion. Cook the onion until translucent.
2. Add the garlic and cook for 1/2 a minute.
3. Add the bell pepper and stir-fry for about 4 minutes, then add the eggplant and stir-fry for another 5 minutes.
4. Add the spices, quickly stir and add the tomatoes as well as the tomato paste. Cook for 10 minutes, until the juices of the tomato have evaporated.
5. Incorporate the chickpeas, the tahini sauce, the yogurt, the Tabasco and the mint. Cook for another minute.
6. Season with salt and serve.

Remarks:
The tomatoes should not have dissolved completely - pieces should remain.
If you find that the dish/sauce is too thick add a little water.
The mint can be replaced by fresh coriander (a handful).

Serving Suggestions:

Serve this dish alone, or with couscous or basmati rice.

Ragoût Moyen-Orientalisant Aux Légumes d'Été, Pois Chiches, Épices Et Au Tahini
Recette par Rosa Mayland, Septembre 2014.
 

Ingrédients:
1 CS d'Huile d'olive
1 Oignon, haché
1 Gousses d'ail, hachée
1 Poivron rouge, coupé en dés
1 Aubergine, coupée en dés
1/2 CC de Cumin en poudre
1/4 CC de Tout-épice (poivre de la Jamaïque) en poudre
1/6 de CC de Poivre noir fraîchement moulu
2 Tomates, hachées grossièrement
1 CC de Concentré de tomate
400g de Pois chiches cuits
3 CS de Tahini mélangé à 5 CS d'eau
3 CS de Yogourt
Quelques gouttes de Tabasco rouge
1/2 CS de Menthe fraîche, hachée
Sel de mer, selon goût


Méthode:
1. Faire chauffer une poêle à feu moyen, ajouter l'huile d'olive, puis l'oignon et faire cuire ce dernier jusqu'à ce qu'il soit translucide.
2. Ajouter l'ail et cuire pendant 1/2 d'une minute.
3. Ajouter le poivron et le faire sauter pendant environ 4 minutes, puis ajouter l'aubergine et continuer à faire sauter (en remuant régulièrement) pendant 5 minutes.
4. Ajouter les épices, remuer rapidement et ajouter les tomates ainsi que le concentré de tomate et faire cuire pendant 10 minutes, jusqu'à ce que les jus des tomates se soit évaporé.
5. Incorporer les pois chiches, la sauce au tahini, le yogourt, le Tabasco et la menthe. Laisser cuire encore une minute.
6 Assaisonner avec le sel et servir.

Remarques:
Les tomates ne doivent pas s'être dissoutes - des morceaux doivent rester.

Si vous trouvez que le plat est un peu sec, ajouter de l'eau afin d'obtenir la consistance voulue.
La menthe peut être remplacée par de la coriandre fraîche (une poignée).

Idées De Présentation:
Servir ce plat seul, ou avec du couscous ou du riz basmati.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

BLACK AND WHITE WEDNESDAY #142 - MY CLASSY ITALIAN WINE JUG PART I


Vintage Italian Wine Jug
- Noble Pewter -

This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". This week it is hosted by Cinzia at "CindyStarBlog" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).

Friday, September 5, 2014

HELLO SEPTEMBER, I HOPE YOU'LL BE KIND AND GENEROUS...

Shit… I’m waiting for the sun to shine.
- Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver

And the rain just keeps on falling, soon all I know is drowned
Oh, water I’ve got plenty, but it’s the sun who makes me live
We’ve been waiting so long for the sun to shine, but the rain keeps falling down.
- Siena Root
All summer long the sun has kept us waiting. And waiting we did. Endlessly. But sadly, to no avail. That mean bastard didn't want to share his warmth and brilliance with us! Instead, Mr. Grey Weather and Mr. Torrential Downpour paid us a dismal visit and inundated us with their pitiful tears of doom and moody melancholy.

Weeks - and eventually months - passed and the rain just kept on falling, threatening to drown everything. Sunshine was inexistent, as if it had totally been erased from the surface of the earth. Often, when I gazed out of my window, I had the impression that it was November and not July or August. Dreary post-apocalyptic skies made our mood sink and our joyfulness disappeared. From morning to evening, Monday to Sunday, gloom and despair were our companions.

It was quasi-impossible to go out for walks, sit at a café terrace or on the balcony, swim in the lake or plan any outdoor activity unless you were well-equipped and willing to brave the deluge (wind, showers, hail, storms, etc...). I think I have never experienced such rotten atmospheric conditions before.
By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.
-  Helen Hunt Jackson, September
Anyway, now that September has arrived and autumn is knocking on our doorstep, things have changed for the better and light has entered our lives again. Oh how soul uplifting it is to see the world in technicolor once more, spend some quality time outside and enjoy the warmth of our beloved fiery star on the skin!

Hopefully fall will be jovial and hold its promises as there is nothing quite like All-hallown summer to soothe our bruised soul and ready us for the upcoming winter...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

BLACK AND WHITE WEDNESDAY #141 - MY BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN WINE JUG

- Elegantly Vintage -
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.
- Omar Khayyam
This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook" who is hosting this week's edition.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SPITFIRE PREMIUM KENTISH ALE: COMPLETE PROFILE

A quart of Ale is a dish for a king.
- William Shakespeare
Origin: Kent, UK. 
Produced By: Britain's oldest (founded in 1698) and most popular brewery (they produce more than 5.5 million gallons of beer a year), Shepherd Neame Limited from Faversham.
Status: Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale is a standout brew and is the biggest ale success story of the last decade (Shepherd Neame's biggest-selling cask conditioned ale). Besides, it also has Protected Geographical Indication, just like Champagne and Parma Ham.
History: Originally produced in 1990 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Spitfire is now a permanent feature on the Shepherd Neame portofolio.
Awards: Winner of a gold medal and Best Strong Cask-Conditioned Beer of the World at the Brewing Industry International Awards.
Colour: Clear, rich, darkish amber with orange and copper hues.
Smell: Clean, dry, malty, slightly bitter with hints of buttery popcorn, nuts, grass, fruits (apricots & bitter oranges) and flowers.
Flavour: This traditional British beer is wonderfully hoppy and minerally, and has aromas of bread, yeast, apricots, nuts with hints of cinnamon, toffee, raspberries, red grapes, marmalade, pepper and a enjoyable bitter as well as a grassy aftertaste and a sweet honey and caramelly flavour that lingers for an eternity.
Body: Medium, but with a nice dryness.
Carbonation: Medium with rather sharp bubbles.
Alcohol Content: 4.5%
Cost: Not the cheapest beer on the market, but not ridiculously expensive either.
Food pairing: Perfect with good old English grub like fish and chips, cheese and onion crisps, cheese (Cheddar, Red Leicester, Lancashire, Caerphilly, etc...) and crackers, pies, coronation salad, roasts, fish (poached salmon & haddock), grilled meats and even oatmeal cookies or shortbreads. It also pairs splendidly with Asian food (as long as it's not too fiery) and dishes such as quiches, pâtés, terrines, omelets, savory crêpes or continental cheeses that are not too overpowering (Edam, Tilsit, Cantal, young Gruyère, Comté, Beaufort, etc...).
Verdict: Refreshing, smooth, elegant, well-balanced, intensely flavorful and pleasant. A magnificent and highly recommendable ale.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

9 YEARS OF PLEASURE & PAIN: AN ANTI HOLLYWOODESQUE ODE TO MY BLOG

Today, my blog celebrates its 9th year of existence. My oh my, I simply cannot believe I have been blogging for this long! Where have all those years gone? It feels like I just started blogging yesterday when in fact, I hesitantly hit the submit button for the very first time 3285 days ago.

I clearly remember that moment. My heart was racing and pounding in my chest, my body was shaking with excitement and as I was stepping into the unknown, a feeling of anticipation overwhelmed me. A new era was starting and nothing would be the same anymore.

Week after week, my passion grew. The more I created and partook in this collective craze, the more I became enraptured by the addictive realm of blogging and networking. It turned into an obsession. After only a few months of online frenesy, I knew I was seriously hooked and even if at moments this activity exhausted and challenged me to the highest point, I could not withdraw from it - to tell you the truth, I still can't pull back from it now.
I hate and love. And why, perhaps you’ll ask.
I don’t know: but I feel, and I’m tormented.

- Catullus 
My blog, my lover, my killer. I adore you, yet I hate you. You give me so much, but you are also incredibly demanding and ungrateful. Although you nurture me and help me bloom,  sometimes you are indubitably a curse and you suck me dry like thirsty a vampire, martyrize me and feed my insecurities. Life with you isn't always pink and glamorous, yet you continuously bring the best out of me, force me to overcome my fears and face my demons. I'm forever indebted to you...

Having said that, Rosa's Yummy Yums would never be what it is without its followers (old & new), and therefore I wish to thank all of my faithful readers, loyal friends and occasional visitors for following and encouraging me throughout my ups and downs, personal struggles, ego-boosting successes, exhalirating moments of pure genius and depressing periods of self-doubt.


Your limitless generosity, kind and encouraging words as well as heartwarming compliments are always welcome as they enlighten my life, cheer me up and give me the energy to stay the course and continue sharing with you my nerdy fascination for the culinary world, the art of photography and prose writing.

You are my muse - my source of artistic inspiration - and whenever I lose all my confidence and I am ready to weakly capitulate, you never fail to get me back on track, give me a reason to persist, fight even more fiercely than before and surpass myself. Similarly to a talented chief conductor, you know how to supportingly lead me in the right direction and towards harmony.

My blog's digital symphony would be a complete cacaphony if it were not minutely ochestrated by the soothing metronomic rhythm of your thoughtful comments arriving in my inbox, cheerful tip-tapping of your fingers on the keyboard and the gentle click of your mouse!

Please take note that Rosa's Yummy Yums is going on a summer hiatus and will be fully functionning again after the 17th of August...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

BLACK AND WHITE WEDNESDAY - VINTAGE ENGLISH TABLEWARE


The cup was empty, but I didn’t drink it because nothing is impossible to drink. So instead, I drank nothing. Nothing is impossible to drink, except nothing.
- Jarod Kintz, Sleepwalking Is Restercise