comments 19

My favourites and your favourites of 2008

Israeli Cous Cous

Your No. 6!

One thing I have learned in my time as a food blogger, is that you and I don’t always agree. As hard as I try, things I love don’t impress you, and things that I think are meh, you sometimes think are great.

I don’t intentionally publish meh posts, but I do fall out of love with some of them. I look with a critics eye, and think, that photo? What was I thinking?! I could have done this better if… yadda yadda.

Now, what is that about? Why do you love them so? I love salmon fish cakes, but, top post for 2008? Really?!

Anyway, I forgive you. We don’t always see eye to eye, and in the interest of each of us getting a say, I am going to share my favourites and yours. Let’s start with yours, as you vastly outnumber me, and I don’t want a fight. There’s power in numbers.

  1. Salmon Fish Cakes – I love salmon fish cakes, and clearly you do too. It’s your number 1 recipe for 2008! I can’t help but wish I had better photographs for this post though. I must make these again, and blog again.
  2. Spiced Chickpeas with Spinach – I do like this recipe. It’s spicy and warming, and lovely in this weather, all tucked up in a pita with some yogurt.
  3. Prawn Curry (again) – This is one of my favourite recipes on the blog. Up until the start of 2008, I almost made this weekly. It turns out that you can have too much of a good thing!
  4. Pea & Ham Soup – Not my recipe, but Heston’s, I spotted this on the Times Online. Full of flavour and colour, it was a pleasure to eat.
  5. Roast butternut squash, coconut & chilli soup – You loved this last year, and you still love it this year. I am very happy that you do, as it was one of the early recipes that I blogged nervously.
  6. Israeli Couscous with onion squash, haricot beans & pumpkin seeds – A nice salad for a cold day, spiced and smokey wth paprika.
  7. Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Spinach Curry – This, I love. I made it on a whim one evening, in a friends house. We had a lovely evening, and for that reason, it warms my heart to think of it.
  8. Chicken of the Woods Fritters with Wild Garlic & Walnut Mayo – An experiment, playing with the wild, without getting any scratches. This was very tasty indeed, and I look forward to playing with more wild treasures, that I will hopefully forage for myself this year.
  9. The taste of summer – Israeli cous cous – Israeli cous cous sure is popular! This is a fresh summer twist on the autumnal one above.
  10. Some amateur cheesemaking – homemade paneer – If you can’t bring the horse to water… or whatever the phrase is, an experimentation with goat’s milk, resulting in a lovely fresh paneer. This year, I am planning homemade ricotta.

Well, that’s actually quite a good list, although, I wouldn’t have Salmon Fish Cakes at number one. But, where’s the pork belly? The chorizo? There’s a few in your list that make mine, so I’ll not duplicate. Here are some additions that would make my Top Ten.

  1. Slow Roast Pork Belly with Cider & Lentils – Oh, pork belly. It had to be my favourite thing this year. In sandwiches for lunch, at Le Cafe Anglais, or my version, slowly roasting for four hours in my kitchen. If you want me to do anything, bribe me with pork belly.
  2. Rhubarb Fool – I loved this. Fresh with memories of childhood, sweet and bright pink and luxurious with cream. I am looking forward to when the forced rhubarb will be available, so that I can make this again.
  3. Homemade Pizza – I love homemade pizza, it’s such fun to make. Your flat will be like a sauna, and everyone will be full, but you’ll have a great evening, and you’ll have nicer pizzas than most places on the high street.
  4. Braised Sausages with Potatoes & Puy Lentils – One word. Comfort. Perfect for winter, wrap yourself up warm, make yourself cosy, and tuck into braised sausages with potatoes and puy lentils, washed down with a robust glass of red.
  5. Braised sausages with lentils

  6. Chorizo & Kale Carbonara – Earthy, colourful, and full of flavour, this will ease your January blues.

So, that’s it! And now for 2009. I’ll do my best to make this blog worth reading. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit. I am always delighted when I hear that you’ve tried something and enjoyed it. Keep the commments coming, I love your feedback.



Filed under: Random


Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.


  1. Yum! I like all the readers top ten and all of yours too! Can’t believe there wasn’t any pork belly or chorizo in the readers faves – wtf? Would surely be in mine :) I gotta agree with the masses on the squash, chickpea and spinach curry – YUM!

    • Helen – thanks! I know. Pork belly & chorizo make up the 30% of my body that isn’t water ;-)

      kattebelletje – oh great! do let me know :-)

  2. Dan Coward says

    Oh my God, those pictures of the Spiced Chickpeas with Spinach and the Pork Belly have just made me switch off my computer and leave the office to go find good food…

  3. I would definitely also have added the sausages & Puy lentils – that picture is stuck in my head forever as a paragon of deliciousness!

  4. Great post Niamh – you’ve really been busy in the kitchen this year. I’m definitely going to have a crack at making your rhubarb fool when the season allows… Looks utterly delicious!

  5. That’s a great post, I love seeing all the pictures at once. I think my favourites are closer to yours, the pork belly looks amazing and your rhubarb fool inspired me to make something similar.

  6. Thanks Peter! Enjoy.

    Dan – thanks for the compliment. Hope you’d a nice dinner! :-)

    Jeanne – thank you!

    Amy – cheers! Forced rhubarb will be on us within a couple of weeks. Can’t wait!

    Ginger – thanks! Very nice of you to say. I love including lots of photos. Colour, colour, colour!

  7. That pork belly is my favorite! Makes me want to change what I was planning for lunch this weekend :) They are all great, I love what you do with food!

  8. If you see this in time: at last I have a chance to visit Borough Market for an hour or so this Friday pm.

    Got some questions!

    If I visit THREE stalls, what should I not miss?
    Best place for fresh fish -going on to dinner and my hosts would appreciate that
    Heard of any Ghanian food there?


    • Hello!

      Oh, only 3?! Hard to say but I never miss Shellseekers scallops, Brindisa for essentials (or a chorizo roll) and a coffee at Monmouth…

      There’s a really nice fish stall in the market itself (can’t recall the name but you really can’t miss it, and shellseekers for hand dived scallops and other shellfish.

      I don’t know of any Ghanaian food there, sorry.

      Have fun!

  9. realfoodlover says


    Thanks for the link to Lactofree. I was diagnosed as lactose-intolerant last autumn. I cut out all diary but missed yogurt so much, I have ecently re-introduced it!

    I also miss cheese like mad, and know understand that hard cheeses such as parmesan are generally OK. Crikey, – there is so much confusing info out there!

    Also people really vary – and it’s quite a subtle undertaking to see what suits and what does not.

    Did you try Lactofree cheese? It sounds intriguing. Was it OK? Did it work?

    And congrats on your blog-fame. I think one award leads to another, hence this snowball effect. Just keep blogging and continue to be yourself – it’s all good!

    • Hi there! Thanks for your comment and your lovely kind words :-)

      Like you, I was diagnosed quite late and it takes a little while to get used to the restrictions.

      Lactofree is a very useful product. I tried the cheese – it’s quite mild and I didn’t get ill at all. It reminds me of an edam or something similar. I’ll definitely be trying it some more and doing some culinary explorations!

      The info is indeed confusing and not helped by the fact that everyone can handle a different level of lactose intolerance.

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Over to you! Your comments - I would love to hear from you :)