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I love my kitchen. Granted I could do with it being a bit bigger, ok well A LOT bigger, like BuckinghamPalace size bigger, but it’s my kitchen and at the moment, it works well enough for me.

I have most mod cons, a dishwasher that was handed down to us and other appliances that have been treated with kid gloves to make sure they last us as long as possible and I have other gadgets and gizmo’s that I haven’t even used yet.  A food processor that was given to us as a wedding gift is sat in its box in my father’s garage because we simply have NO ROOM, hence needing a bigger kitchen.  I also have a steamer and rice cooker, again they are wedding presents (we’ve been married 8 years folks) that are still sat pristine in their boxes hidden away until the time of their unveiling!

My dearest freezer...

 

We have a number of serving dishes, some mismatched crockery, flasks, other bits and bobs, pots and pans and a gazillion mugs. I can’t wait for the time when I can sort these things out and regain some peace in the chaos that lurks behind my cupboard doors.

I’m sorry to report that recently, we lost our fridge-freezer to the big fridge-freezer yard in the sky.  The freezer part was so broken and mangled that everything in the fridge would just freeze up and we ended up with a lot of waste that just broke my heart.

After scouring the internet to check out prices, brands, sizes and then going on a ‘reccy’ mission inWhiteCity,Manchester, we settled on buying two separate appliances.  I didn’t want the same thing to happen again and feel quite happy that if something goes wrong with one of them, then that is the is the only one we have to replace.

 

Because I didn’t have a working freezer for such a long time, I have to admit now that our freezer is absolutely my most favourite appliance.  It holds an incredible amount of food that I batch cook amongst the usual suspects like ice cream, fish fingers, some vegetables and pizza!!!  It sits in the utility room which reaches temperatures of -15ºC in the dead of winter but being a BEKO, it can withstand fluctuations of outside temperature from that extreme to much higher ones.

I absolutely cannot do without my freezer and want to know what YOUR favourite appliance is and why you can’t do without it! Feel free to comment below with your recommendations!!

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Mast o'Khyar - a refreshing yogurt and cucumber dip

When you think of summer, you think of lazy, hazy days spent in the garden with the patio table adorned with melon, strawberries, and crisp crunchy salads and of course, the barbecue that had been shackled away in the garage is brought out and fired up to host a mouth watering array of burgers, kebabs and sausages.

It certainly does make for lovely weekends that seem to pass by all too quickly but what if, just what if, salads and barbecues are not your thing and you’d rather have a plate of devilishly hot food regardless of the roasting temperature outside?

In Tehran, the sun soaked capital of Iran, temperatures can soar up to 40°C + and yet people will still slave over that hot stove to make the ultimate hot meal – something that would only be considered here in the cold, dark autumn or winter months. One of my fondest memories is that of being in my grandmother’s house in a small village in the south of Iran a few years ago. It was sweltering as we had no air conditioning and we were hungry! A table cloth had been laid on the floor and my grandmother had made heaps upon heaps of steaming hot food from casseroles to plates of rice and baked bread only to be cooled down with a small bowl of yogurt by the side. I remember my senses being seduced by the rich aromas of cumin, cinnamon and turmeric and my mouth waters even now when I recall the taste of my grandmother’s cooking.

For me personally, even in the height of summer, nothing will satisfy my appetite more than a hot home cooked meal especially one that evokes memories of happy days in the sun so to share with you, I have added my recipe of one of my favourite Iranian dishes, Musama Bademjan (chicken with aubergine) in the Recipes section!

For the Mast o’Khyar (pictured above) you need:

500g plain yogurt (strained or greek preferred)

1/2 cucumber, grated

1/2 small onion, grated

2 tspn dried mint

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients and chill in the fridge for two hours before serving.  This can be as a side to a main dish or enjoyed on it’s own with pitta bread for dipping!

Enjoy!

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