Sunday, 13 September 2015

Kitchen and Cookbook

I have been working this weekend, so you will have to forgive me with what is going to be a short post on two subjects I quite like - my kitchen and cookbooks.  

In the past five years, I have lived in three different places and therefore cooked in three different kitchens.  The first was in my flat when I lived in Glasgow.  I had a really tiny eclectic kitchen which I absolutely fell in love with. I made a little film of it before packing up for our inevitable move to Wales. Then we had the kitchen in my rented abode; and finally our new place also in Wales, it's not my dream house or my dream kitchen - but it is home and its where I want to be most of the time.  
So I share with you a glimpse of my kitchen from the hallway.  Some posts you may be interested in reading that are related to my new Welsh kitchen and more recently vegan month in my kitchen.  I do have to point out, although I have started to get back into cooking again, I have come to realise that I am not in 'into this space', as I want to be.  Its simply because its dark.  The window looks out upon a wall, the wall that separates our home from the neighbours. So I am not looking out at the garden or a pretty view, but this mostly disappoints as there is hardly any natural light coming in, which means the light indoors always has to be turned on when I am in the kitchen, even to make a cuppa tea, so it feels really un-natural and brings me down a little.  And please don't be deceived at how bright it looks in the picture above, the flash was on and the shutter was real slow to catch the light. 

Anyway, to brighten it up more and make it more welcoming to my psyche, I have ordered some wall paper border.  I hope to share it with my readers when it arrives, I am pretty excited about it, small things make a big difference and slowly I will put y stamp on it.   

Next the prompt for Vegan Mofo yesterday was favourite cookbook, its hard to choose one - but I a huge fan of the vegetarian chef and cookbook writer Nadine Abensur. Nadine  Abensur is perhaps the number one vegetarian cook who has influenced me and got me cooking out of the so-called vegetable box, injecting bold beautiful flavours into traditional fare, but also experimenting with worldly ingredients.   If you haven't checked out her cookbooks and your a veggie, then I would recommend that you do so.   She to me is what Ottolenghi is for some cooks.
I discovered Nadine Abensur  - Queen of the Greens accidentally through a cookbook called Cranks Fast Food.  Its a vegetarian cookbook that helped me through my student days, but it also instilled in me confidence and a love for experimental vegetarian cooking. This cookbook opened my eyes  to new ingredients such as black sesame seeds, couscous, harissa, preserved lemons, sumac, tahini - ingredients that we as vegetarians an =d vegans take for advantage now, as well as innovative recipes with chickpea flour, pesto made with greens other than basil, and interesting eats for the early 1990s like Beetroot Risotto and Sweet Potato chips.

Here are other recipes that happen to be vegan from some of Nadine Abensur's cookbooks. 
Spiced Aubergine, Tomato and Chickpea Pancake
Courgette Pakoras in a Spicy Tomato Sauce
Aubergine, Chickpea and Coriander Salad
Strawberry, Lettuce and Black Pepper Salad
New Potato and Green Bean Salad

27 comments:

  1. I remember your adorable little Glasgow kitchen. I'm sure you'll be able to make your current kitchen charming as well, if not exactly the same.

    The book sounds interesting; I love to be inspired by cooks who are "chefy" and creative. I think I'll see if they have this one at the library.

    PS: I'm not sure if they're supposed to, but the links to your previous kitchens are both going to the same Glasgow post.

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    1. Thank you Rose, Its amazing I used to grumble about the small space then but then fell in love with it. I am sure it will happen with this kitchen in time too. I sorted the link, thanks for pointing that out, most appreciated - your the only one who said.

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  2. I feel for you with the light issue. My house is dark especially the living room but the kitchen too has a light on at most times. I've painted the walls white and one of them bright orange and that has helped cheer it up. I've not heard of your cookery book author before but those meals sound amazing and so flavourful.

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    1. Thank you so much, means a lot - I don't mean to be a groany moany, but it does impact on my mental well being a little. I think a bit of light paint would make a difference.

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  3. The thing with the light I really understand - my last kitchen was exactly the same. I was looking through some old pictures from there and everything looked like it was in semi dusk!

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    1. Thank you so much Joey, I don't wish to moan - as I do like the kitchen itself and all my stuff accumulated over the years in it, its just the dark brings me down.

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  4. I have to check out that author, thanks for the recs! I really like Ottolenghi's vegetarian stuff (where vegan, or veganisable of course!). My kitchen window looks out on to a fence, there is zero view. My sister's view is all green hills and kangaroos!

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    1. Ah sometimes its about the view, but sometimes its about the light. I have lived in places were I have had no view of anything, but neighbours house, but there was light. We are both envious of your sisters view :)

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  5. You make all of your kitchens lovely just by being in them and making great food.

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  6. I really like your kitchen, it seems very big and practical. Too bad for the lack of natural light. I hope the wall paper border will improve things for you =)

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    1. Thank you Babette, Its a reasonable size, but not that big really, I am hoping small adjustments will make me warm to it

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  7. Lovely post, Shaheen! One woman's problem kitchen is another woman's space to die for! But we must make the best of what we have. I love that you have space for a table and chairs in your kitchen, yo would love my outlook onto our garden! Yes, Cranks, I have their early books, a great standby in younger, poorer years!
    I'm looking forward to getting back into 'real' cooking as the days get cooler and the nights draw in.

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    1. Thank you Lynne. So true...but as you say we make the best of what we have. Its a breakfast table that we recently purchased. It was more for chopping space, rather than to eat at, but we like it. You must check out Nadine Abensurs cookbooks, very different from the traditional Cranks cookbooks - she was their chef for year. Hope you get back into cooking, I know what that is like, I am now trying to find love for gardening, will be next year now.

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  8. It looks to me like your kitchen is very bright and cozy but sounds like you would thrive with an outdoor kitchen too!

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    1. Your kind veganvarg, but honestly it is not bright at all. I think my husband managed to get it in good light with the flash on the camera, it really is quite dark, hence the reasons I did not take any pics of things inside it to share.

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  9. I will certainly be on the lookout for that book!!!!!

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    1. Hope you find any of her books Jennifer, I rate her quite highly, but that is me

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  10. Hi Shaheen, You have a lovely kitchen! I'm sure once you put your stamp on it you'll feel the difference. Have a great week! :)

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    1. Thank you Emily. Yes, I think its needs my stamp and will do so in time and more lighting, the tube light is awful.

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    2. Keep your head up, it just takes time. I can understand, I have one good window in my kitchen and only get good light during the summer. It seriously plays with my psyche at times, it's dark at high noon. So I painted it buttercup yellow, put some plants, and a fish tank....next step the horrible tube lights! :)

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    3. Thanks Emily x Means a lot, I don't really want to grumble about my kitchen, its the one place I spend most of my time, so you cn imagine how much it means to me that it is right. The tube lights here would make a change, but its money and time,,,,I have only been here a year, so plenty of time for changes.

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  11. though the light is not what you are after, it does look a very homey kitchen and I am glad you have a nice space to cook in - I would love to paint our wall in our backyard but never got around to it - my parents' kitchen looks out to the driveway and wall but they have lots of plants there - you seem great at having cute little touches in your kitchen - am sure if you get some time you might cheer up the view outside your kitchen

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  12. actually I just noticed you have plants on the window sill which hopefully cheer up your view

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    1. Thanks Johanna. It will get stamped on more as time passes by. We don't have much prep space in the kitchen either, so we picked up a breakfast table (and chairs to boot) more for prep/chopping area, than sitting and eating at. I don't mean to grumble, but its far from perfect, but its mine and yes, we must make do the best with what we have. I am thinking about painting the wall too, or maybe putting some planters up there next year. Thanks for the encouragement x

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  13. Nice to see your kitchen shaheen. Yep, I def agree about light /natural light, it makes a big difference. Our kitchen is at the front of the house facing north, and looks onto the street. There is quite often a big van parked outside which makes us feel hemmed in. And lots of people walk along our street and always look in the house (to be fair, I'd do the same, hehe). But Our front yard is filled with pots and a buddliea so that helps create a screen. Yep I Reckon painting your outside wall a bright colour and growing something up it would help too.

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    1. Thanks Lou. Your comment is much appreciated and Yes I think I'd prefer privacy in my kitchen, rather than people looking up or in, so I must still be grateful for what I have.

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