Thursday, October 15, 2015

Honey and Soy Belly Pork Slices

In our house we like nothing better than a good roast pork.  However, if it's a roast belly pork, then that tops the bill every time.  It's the one meal that I can guarantee has everyone sitting down in 2 seconds flat.  The key with cooking belly pork is to cook it long and slow.  This means that the fatty layers in between the meat have time to melt down into unctuous  deliciousness....  I have a variety of recipes that use belly pork slices, including this one from Nigella which uses potatoes, onions and belly pork slices; however, I recently came across a new recipe that may blow Nigella out of the water...
 Make up your marinade and coat pork and leave overnight.


200g Slice of Pork Belly
1 Tbsp Grated Garlic
1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
1 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
¼ Cup Orange Juice

For Glaze – 2 Tbsp Honey

 Dipping Sauce
  1 Tbsp Sweet Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp Golden Syrup

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Glaze the Pork with Honey and roast for an hour, glazing with more Honey every 15mins.

Allow to rest for 30 mins.

Take the left over Marinate and add the Sweet Soy Sauce and Golden Syrup, mix and place over a medium high heat in a pan. Reduce to a thick dipping sauce, this should take about 10 mins.

How to eat!
It's great with a simple boiled rice and a wonderful Asian slaw.  Or make up a veggie broth, add Pak Choi, asparagus, broccoli florets, some chilli flakes, soy sauce and noodles before slicing the pork on the top and garnish with a sprinkling of coriander.

Photo: Peony Lim

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Monday montage

So summer is pretty much done, but here in London we've been enjoying some pretty spectacular sunny days...a real Indian summer. I know it won't last and I've been making use of these extra days of sunshine to prep my autumn and winter wardrobe. Ankle boots, check. Warm wraps, check. Jumper dress, check. Oversized cosy jumper, check.  Here's some of my favourite looks for chunky wool knits this season...


Friday, October 09, 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful


I've been doing my 'Reasons to be Cheerful' posts for a while now and thought I'd explain where they came from. There has been some research done in America that reveals that if we spend just a few minutes at the end of the day reflecting on things that have gone well, on the positive aspects of the day, rather than the negative, then we deal better in the long term with stress and anxiety.
They learned from their research that thinking about positive events in a systematic way can be healthy and suggest that instead of ruminating about negative things, we try to ‘savour’ - relive, enjoy, and share - the positive events of your day.

It’s a habit that doesn’t come naturally however, warn the experts. As humans, an evolutionary survival mechanism leads us to instinctively pay closer attention to all things negative - potential risks and threats.

But the ‘three good things’ intervention can help to overcome that, say Bono and Glomb, who conducted an experiment to prove the effects of the rule. “After three weeks, stress levels and mental and physical complaints declined by small but significant amounts. Moreover, on days when participants focused on good things, they were better able to switch off stressful job-related thoughts in the evening at home.”

“Sharing positive events with others creates connections between people and bonds them with one another, further reducing evening stress,” add the researchers.

“Ultimately, this also improves sleep, which our ongoing research suggests leads to greater alertness and better mood - which in turn leads to more positive things happening the next day.”
Participants in the study also noted that they felt more productive and creative at work after trying out the ‘three good things’ rule.

So - with all these good reasons to focus on the positive, what's stopping you....? From the very small things to the big events, relish them all.   Here's my three things from last weekend...

1.  The late afternoon sunshine slanting across the garden.  The soil warm from the day's rays, the raspberries plump and round, sliding easily from their anchor.  The warm, sharp explosion of taste in my mouth and a memory that is awakened by the taste and smell - I'm a small child in my Grandad's allotment, sneaking raspberries from the canes and eating them quietly in his warm, wood smelling shed. There is a moment, fleeting, of pure unadulterated childlike happiness.

2. To pick the last of the summer produce.  Reaching high up into the branches of the fig tree, feeling the soft fruit under my fingers; twisting the ripe apples from their boughs and feeling their comforting heavy weight in my hands.

3.  The waves on the pebbles, swooshing and cackling, back and forth.  The sun, warm on my face and limbs.