eat | asparagus

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One of my favourite parts of spring is that it is asparagus season. It is a weird sort of vegetable but its vivid green and crunchy brilliance which requires so little to make it delicious is perfectly spring. There are so many more varieties of asparagus in Italy I am quite intrigued. There are a variety of thicknesses and sizes and then of course white asparagus too. I have memories of the horrid canned wormy version of this as a child but I thought that I should experiment with these too, although I have yet to brave it.

One of my random ‘goals’ has been to eat as much asparagus as possible before the season ends.

This is what has been appearing in my kitchen:

>>> an Italian abundance bowl with cannellini beans and oven roasted tomatoes

>>> inspired by Joy the Baker’s asparagus and pistachio dish I made a heartier warm salad with asparagus, lentils, peas, hazelnuts and feta which I have to say tasted freaking amazing!

>>> Tania’s lentil falafel with a side of lightly fried skinny asparagus.

>>> And a quick and light seasonal mac and cheese.

springtime mac and cheese

Ingredients

This is roughly how much I use per person, just add for each person you are cooking for.

  • 50g dry pasta, I use a penne made with 25% vegetables but whatever you prefer.
  • 150g asparagus
  • 60g peas, frozen
  • scoop of ricotta
  • teaspoon of pesto
  • olive oil for cooking
  • additional seasoning as you like

Method: Get some water boiling and throw in the pasta. Once the pasta is in throw in the chopped asparagus into a pan and lightly fry to your preferred texture (I like mine with slightly al dente). When the pasta is almost done throw in the frozen peas. Drain peas and pasta, add cooked asparagus and then stir through ricotta, pesto and seasoning. Boom meal done in the time it takes to cook pasta.

Have you made any different asparagus dishes lately? Any new or old favourites?

thinking about style

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With a new season comes that deep ‘want’ for spending all my pennies on some clothes that fit the season better. I’ve never been the wisest shopper, buying things that I love but don’t necessarily suit me or are ‘special occasion’ numbers or things that are a little boring but ‘practical’. I also wouldn’t say I am the most stylish person. I am not particularly adventurous. I lean towards a little safe. I don’t throw random things together and look good. But honestly, I kind of like the simple silhouettes, the idea of a daily uniform, the idea of wearing a tshirt with a knock out accessory. I just don’t alway pull it off.

On another note in the last six months with not having a regular job my ‘daily uniform’ has been either pjs (when it is cold and I don’t need to leave the house) or my jeggings and a tshirt/jumper. Honestly, I am a fan of the latter but think even that could do with a little bit of ‘shuzhing’ (is that how you spell it). Maybe some actual jeans!

At the same time I don’t have money to go and buy a while new wardrobe and I am wanting to work towards appreciating enough. So, I am sort of jumping on the whole “lean closet movement” that has been around for ages on the blogosphere in different projects but seems to be picking up more lately. Although I have pinned thousands of items onto my ‘wear’ board In reality I don’t want to own hundreds of items of clothing. What I do want is to feel stylish, sophisticated and (oh I am getting old) comfortable! So I am going through what I need and want and working on defining my style and considering the stylish people I can emulate. I think the Olsen twins are the current winners – jeans, tshirts, floaty blouses, blazers, a little bit boho, maybe drop the heals.

I’ve made a ‘general style’ pinterest board to help solidify things in my mind. It features a lot of denim/chambray, simple dresses and neutrals with some fun elements like a bright mustard or patterned shoes. And stripes. I love stripes. I think the bulk of items I own already lean this way (gratifying to know that after 30 years I am finally getting there), but probably also a few items which I might clear out.

With summer on its way though I think there is a bit more room for playing (see my summer style board). A few more fun patterns, perhaps a pair of denim shorts and I love a good maxi (although I think I am covered on that). Some bolder colours – I love a bright orange or pink – but still with lots of cool neutrals.

So far I’ve bought a new maxi (stripes), two pairs of sandals (as I someone brought none with me when we moved!) and two new t-shirts (tell me I am not the only one to kind of get a new batch every year). I hope these items all last a while. They are basics with some longevity in terms of a uniform. I will be on the look for some new trousers though too as my black jeggings recently gained a hole in an undesirable spot.

How about you? What are your thoughts on the lean closet? What are your key pieces or everyday uniform? Are you drawing up a shopping list or do you just go to the shops and buy armfuls of lovely? Who are your style icons? Where is your favourite shop for buying t-shirts? I still don’t think I have found them. And how do you combine a minimal closet with seasonal trends? Do you or is that an old way of thinking?

happy friday

happy-friday-spring-flowers spring-flowers-st-jamess-park4 spring-flowers-st-jamess-park3 spring-flowers-st-jamess-park2 spring-flowers-st-jamess-park1 And then spring came!  What isn’t there too be happy about.  The blossom in St James’s Park are amazing.  It is like they just popped up over night.

Otherwise it has been a very busy week.  I am working on my website/blog for my portrait photography services and will hopefully have that with you in the next two weeks (or sooner if I am really on it).  It has taken me a while to get to the point where I feel that I am ready.  But I think there is always a nagging doubt in your own creative abilities when you want to charge people for a service/product.  I’m excited to share it with you soon.

I also have to admit with putting all these projects out there (have you seen the sidebar widgets for Post Production and my photo gatherings?) I have been a little anxious.  Failure is always an option I suppose but putting multiple projects out there to fail at the same time is pretty daunting!  Added to that Tim has handed in his notice to give up teaching at the end of the academic year.  I am so so so excited for us to collaborate on projects and for him to have the opportunity to pursue some of his dreams but of course there is a little bit “crap I will be the only ‘steady’ income earner”.

I am pretty sure the excitement will all return next week but in the mean time I am taking my anxiety, recognising it and doing a lot of deep breathing.

Here are some links for you:

  • I am taking photos at the Inkygoodness Beermat Launch party next Tuesday.  You should come along if you are in London.
  • My motivation for this week.
  • Blog of the week: Yes and Yes.  Sarah has soo much good advice, you might get lost.

 

Have a lovely weekend!

primavera su burano

My first video! A little montage of spring on the Venetian island of Burano.  It is such a beautiful island.  It was a perfect spring day when we went – really warm with a bit of a breeze.

I recorded this on my phone with the android app Camera Illusion.  I’ll share a post on Posts Production soon giving an overview of the app if you are interested.

It is going to be a bit of a Venice week ahead with maps and gelato and stylish Venetians so hope you enjoy.