Pear upside-down cake with a caramel topping

Love fall baked desserts pervading the warm kitchen air.  I’ve made this recipe a few times with apples, pineapples and figs as the main attraction, but this time I thought to try it with pears.  The results? Flavorful, tender and scrumptious.  Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and enjoy the cooler nights and warmer days of Autumn.  It is a very basic and simple recipe that comes together in no time.



Thai Basil Chicken

When there’s a slight nip in the air, my taste buds crave comfort foods.  Whilst many long for an endless summer, I anxiously await the drop in temperatures.  You see, summers on the East Coast of the USA are hot and humid; I’m not a fan of air conditioning, but in this part of the world, one cannot live without it.  I welcome Fall with open arms, there’s just so much to look forward to.  This Thai Basil Chicken curry was the first dish I cooked when the weather turned.  I wanted to use some of the Thai sweet basil that I had in the garden, I also wanted to test the Thai chilies – be warned folks, they are pretty hot, so handle with care.  It is National Curry Week in the UK, so what better way to showcase this week satiating your taste buds with a glorious aromatic curry.



Farfalle with White Eggplants and baby portobello mushrooms

The end of summer is fast approaching, (technically Autumn is officially here, but it still feels like summer).   As we herald in the Fall season, we must come to terms with the inevitable fact that the garden is slowly but surely getting ready for its deep slumber.  To give you an idea, this year’s yield was chock full of veggies with beets, white eggplants, garlic, onions, various colored tomatoes, carrots, okra, peppers, swiss chard, zucchini, squash and pumpkins to name a few.  I’ve already harvested fresh herbs for the winter.  There are various methods of doing this, everyone does it in a different way.  I like to freeze some of my herbs that I chop up and place in an ice cube tray.  I then add either olive oil or stock and freeze the cubes.  I pop them into a ziploc bag, date them and enjoy them through the winter months.



Zucchini boats with sprouted tri color quinoa and corn

Those of you who have been following Safari of the Mind this past summer will know that I’ve been inundated with fresh vegetables from the garden where I volunteer at.  We have about 6 raised beds with an assortment of vegetables.  There’s nothing quite so satisfying than picking your own fresh produce that you’ve toiled so hard at.



A simple but scrumptious Toffee recipe

Allowing oneself life’s simple pleasures every so often is high on my agenda.  Sometimes I go through phases when I allow myself such indulgences.  My no-guilt period goes flying out the window, I crave carbs and sweet delights.  I try my darnedest to adhere to rules I set for myself, but they don’t always work and I fall off the wagon.  Do you ever find yourself in such a dilemma?  I know I do.  This was a case in point.  I had taken these moreish toffee squares for a dessert on 2 different occasions and naturally I made a batch to keep :)  They were quite a hit.  The recipe is very simple and pretty versatile.  You can add whatever strikes your fancy.



Cuban Pork Roast

We had a real hankering for a roast of sorts this past weekend.  Except for a whole roast chicken with trimmings, we don’t tend to cook roasts as much as we used to.  We do enjoy a nice lamb roast every once in a while, but it had been years since I’d cooked a pork roast.  So I thought, I’d go all out and cook it Cuban style, complete with black beans, rice and plantain rounds pan-fried in olive oil for sides.  Let me tell you, this pork roast was extremely flavorful, tender, smoky and juicy.  It had just the right amount of seasonings, spiciness and zest to make it a one hit wonder!  It is all in the marinade folks (which I left overnight in the refrigerator).  Look at that charred  top, I loved it.   Serve it up with Cuban mojitos and you’ll think you’re on the beaches of Cuba, with island music ringing in your ears🙂



Chocolate Beet Cake with chocolate ganache

I’m presenting another recipe today using some of the fresh produce in the garden.  A moist Chocolate cake with beets. This is a wonderful cake with the intense, rich, deep-dark flavor of chocolate!I must confess when I first heard of it, I couldn’t imagine beets in a cake, but you’ve got to believe me on this one.  The beets make this cake moist without really overpowering the  taste.  Think beet cake is strange?  Think again.  Much like carrot cakes and zucchini breads, this beet cake fulfills all that and more.