This post is a sponsored post in partnership with British Gas who are running a No Place Like Home Competition, where you can win £100 John Lewis gift vouchers, a personal chef to cook for your family worth up to £1000 and lots of other prizes by tweeting @BritishGas describing the one thing that makes your house a home, together with the hashtag #NoPlaceLikeHome.

I love home and I love it more as I get older. When I was younger I didn’t give a fig. I travel so much it is deeply important to me that reconnect and that I feel at home when I am there. I need to maximise and immerse in the time I have, the first few days after a long trip I hardly leave. When jet lagged especially, I don’t always feel like myself (and I am jet lagged as I type this, so I know).

I pine after a home of my own, increasingly in recent years, but for now, like most other Londoners, I rent a place that I need to put my stamp on. My home is centred around my kitchen and my living room. Together, they would fit into my bedroom, they are both tiny, but I love those spaces, to the point that I frequently fall asleep on the sofa because I don’t want to go to bed (yes, I am over 5, but you know!).

The first place I head when I go home is my kitchen, often with a plan that has been fermenting for the previous few hours. On sleepy days, I make something quick and satisfying that will speed me to the sofa to catch up with whatever series I am hooked on at that time. Because that is the kind of thing that I can only do at home. 

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One thing that I love to make when I am home and want to relax is my speedy snacks, often midnight feasts when I am working too late or am jet lagged. I love to deep fry pasta, my favourite pasta crack (deep fried dried pasta tossed in parmesan, paprika, sea salt and oregano). I love to make a speedy guacamole or a quesadilla. To pimp some firey instant noodles from Chinatown with a fried egg, spring onions, frozen peas & sweetcorn and chilli oil. Or, to blister an aubergine over a flame on my hob until smoky and tender, and make a dip, usually moutabal. 

Moutabal is a wonderful flavour packed Middle Eastern dip that packs a lot of punch and is relatively speedy. It takes 10 minutes to blister and smoke the aubergine. Allow it to cool in a plastic bag, then peel, and combine with tahini, lemon juice, cumin and garlic. Season, top it with pomegranate seeds and maybe a little bit of parsley, and you are good to go. Then there will be no place like home.

Be sure to let British Gas know on Twitter using the #NoPlaceLikeHome hashtag to win! I bet for most of you, No Place Like Home is in the kitchen, just like me.

For your chance to win £100 John Lewis gift vouchers, a personal chef to cook for your family worth up to £1000 and lots of other prizes , enter the British Gas No Place Like Home Competition, by tweeting @BritishGas describing the one thing that makes your house a home, together with the hashtag #NoPlaceLikeHome. Further details and Ts & Cs on the British Gas Website here. Easy, right?! 

Recipe: Moutabal

Serves enough for 2 snacking – you might want it all for yourself though

Ingredients:

1 large aubergine
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (adjust to taste)
Pomegranate seeds of half a pomegranate
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan and ground or 1/2 tsp ground cumin (first is better)
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Good extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

Toasted flat bread or pita to serve

Method:

Toast the aubergine over a gas flame using a tongs until the flesh is soft and the skin is burned.
Allow to cool a little in a plastic bag, then peel the skin off and discard the skin.
Mash the flesh with the cumin, garlic and tahini. Add the lemon. Season with salt.
Serve with the pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of olive oil on top. Some parsley works very well too if you like that.
Serve with torn toasted flat bread or pita.

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Niamh

Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.
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