Just sharing a photo of the chicken tacos I made the other night, cos they came out very photogenic πŸ˜… (and delicious! πŸ˜‹) The supermarket did try to thwart me by not having any fresh coriander in stock. I used the semi-dried stuff instead, which wasn’t ideal, but didn’t ruin it.

a plate of chicken tacos, lying open

Tonight I cooked Colombian chicken and rice, using this recipe from Skinnytaste. It says you can use turmeric instead of annatto seeds, but (not to sound snobby…) I wouldn’t recommend it. Order annatto online if you have to, cos it makes the whole dish πŸ‘πŸ»

a close-up of a dish with chicken, rice, beans, capsicum, spring onion all mixed together, tinted orange by spices, in a white-coloured bowl

Ever read Harry Potter and found yourself longing for the delicious-sounding beverage Butterbeer? Well have I got good news for you: this YouTube video walks you through making it, from an old Elizabethan recipe. Nothing like that creamy soda crap at Universal Studios, either.

Cast-iron pans: my thoughts, five weeks on

I grew up in a household that used cheap, non-stick pans and replaced them when they stopped being non-stick enough to be useful. When I moved out into my own place, I bought my own cheap, non-stick pans and started doing the same thing. However, there was always something unsatisfying about it. It seemed so wasteful to throw whole pans away (which is probably why my “no longer fit for use” pans are still in an out-of-the-way cupboard and not in landfill even though I don’t use them), I always went through months of frustration about my eggs or whatever sticking to the surface before I’d bite the bullet to replace them, and you have to wonder about the environmental concern of loads and loads of pans being manufactured that have a useful lifespan of only one or two years.

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Five years ago I decided to stop eating mammal meat, and while this has mostly been no hardship, one thing I have missed is ham and cheese croissants. The other day I saw these vegan ham slices on the supermarket shelf, and today I finally gave them a try. They’re perfect 😍

a small plate with a ham and cheese croissant, and a package of Tofurky smoked ham slices

Made these enchiladas for dinner last night πŸ˜‹ Vivian keeps raving about them, and threatening to gobble up all the leftovers before I can even have any for my own lunch… 🍳

a cast iron frying pan containing cooked chicken mince, capsicum, chillies and beansfive rolled wrap breads in a roasting pana roasting pan with five enchiladas in it, covered in tomato puree and shredded cheese a roasting pan with five enchiladas in it, covered in tomato puree and melted cheese

πŸ“· Took advantage of the cooler weather today to whip up a batch of chicken stew in my pressure cooker. Packed full of veggies and utterly delicious πŸ˜‹

Close-up of a bowl of chicken stew, pieces of carrot and potato visible in the broth

Tonight I cooked this Thai-style lemongrass and coconut soup. The link to the original recipe is long lost to me, but I make a broth out of about 2 tbsp lemongrass paste, 2 tsp minced garlic, 2 tsp minced ginger, 40mL lime juice, 20mL fish sauce, 15mL soy sauce, 10mL honey and two finely chopped bird’s eye chillies with three cups of water. In that I boil some white fish, chopped vegetables and rice noodles, and once those are done I stir through light coconut milk, then serve 😊

Close-up of a bowl of light-coloured soup, with some rice noodles, red capsicum and carrot identifiable

Native Australian crops

Earlier this year I read Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu, which is a pretty interesting primer on Aboriginal ways of life pre-colonisation. One of the things that stood out to me personally was all the native crops that used to be cultivated here, things like native millet and rice. One of the perennial problems in Australia – getting worse with climate change – is long periods of drought requiring careful water management, something that is not very compatible with growing imported crops like cotton or Asian rice.

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πŸ“· The misir wot I ate for dinner tonight! πŸ˜‹ I basically follow this Spice Cravings recipe, but I use more tomato paste. Served over rice, garnished with a little dried parsley (it was the best of what I had). Delish!

A close-up picture of a reddish lentil-based dish, atop a bowl of rice.

photo of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society. See her homepage here.