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Leftover mashed potato cakes

Leftover mashed potato cakes

It’s my 9th blog birthday (9!!), and unfortunately this year I haven’t been organised enough to bake a cake. Instead, I’m pulling something semi cake related out of my drafts – I’m ashamed to tell you how long this post has been lingering in there, so let’s just move on!

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Ricotta gnocchi

Ricotta gnocchi

I lovelovelove gnocchi but I rarely make the potato version because it’s so difficult and time consuming to make.

You know the drill – you need to use potatoes grown and harvested by virgins under the light of the new moon, cooked gently over the flame of ten blessed candles, and kneaded with the delicateness of an butterfly wing, otherwise your gnocchi will be forever cursed to be heavy and gluey.

Fortunately potato gnocchi is not the only gnocchi in town.

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Roast pork loin with cous cous and prune stuffing

Pork loin

Ohhhh look it’s a cooking post. It’s been a while – because gasp – I’ve barely been cooking anything decent.

In fact, this roast pork is from Christmas lunch. Shameful, I know.

Yes, I don’t know what’s going on either. I’m just being lazy. Fortunately I’ve been stocking the freezer with plenty of prepared meals (shhhh they’re fancy ones, okay) so at least Alastair isn’t going hungry.

Personally I’d be happy with toast every day if I didn’t get nagged to eat proper food. Toast is great. Toast is the best food. Toast & me 5ever.

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Olive oil poached salmon

Olive oil poached salmon

Disclosure: Sponsored by Olive Oils from Spain.

Guess how many varieties of olives there are in Spain?

50? 100? 200? Keep going.

There are actually more than 260 varieties, and this is only one of the reasons Spain is the WorldLeader in Olive Oil: producing, commercialising, and exporting this wide variety. From all those olives, different Olive Oils can be produced, resulting in a huge range of Olive Oils with different aromas, flavours and uses.

I took the opportunity recently to use Olive Oils from Spain in a dish where a high quality and properly stored Olive Oil is incredibly important as the cooking medium – Olive Oil poached salmon.

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Roast goat leg with chimichurri

Roast goat leg with chimichurri

So peas are the most evil vegetable in existence (and if you don’t think so, you are wrong). As I said in an IG comment this week: peas hide under your bed so they can murder you in your sleep and they kick puppies for sport.

It’s true.

And if peas are the most evil of evil, then parsley is the evil understudy.

Really, what do people *do* with parsley apart from pushing it to the side of their plate and trying to ignore it?

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Lamb pilaf with green almonds

lamb pilaf with green almonds

What’s green, furry and grows on trees?

I know that this sounds like the beginning to a terrible joke, but I do have a serious answer for you: almonds.

I’m going to be completely honest and tell you – I had no idea that immature almonds came in a fuzzy green pod. It’s not something that had ever crossed my mind. So when I saw some, I had to buy them.

Green almonds appear very briefly in early spring, and consist of a fuzzy outer shell and a soft white seed surrounded by a jelly-ish inner. After they are harvested, they eventually shrivel and harden and lose their furry coats.

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