During the recent Bank holiday weekend most people view such times as a luxury to get away from it all. I feel it is a luxury as well however, I prefer to view it as - a luxury of time; regardless if I can find myself taking a holiday or not.
For me, times like this are to enjoy what your alive for! Cherishing, yourself and simple pleasures that take very little effort. Basking in the sunshine and spending time turned off from the world electronically. I live it as a life of peaceful simplicity with, above all, laid back comfort. From chill’in my comfy, charcoal grey sweatshirt, sipping copious amounts of delicious tea, and finding time for something artsy. Be it reading about food history, colouring- yes I colour; why should it just be for kids? To be cooking ridiculously easy comfort food that brings me no end of joy.
On that note I thought I’d share what I like to indulge in during my luxurious times of simplicity. Just being able to have time, is decadence; which for most of us is all to rare! From breakfast to late afternoon starting with my Green Tea and Blueberry Muffin recipe. If you haven’t christened your BBQ grill yet for this season, I encourage you to try my easy green tea marinade one evening for your supper. This marinade goes great on just about any meat/fish you can imagine. I can’t have anyone going hungry so I include them both for you to give a try, coming up with combinations that work for your tastes. Both are equally great to knock up in 10 minutes flat and very, yummy, healthy and simple; Enjoy Xx
Green Tea & Blueberry Mug Muffin:
Serving 1 Large Mug
Butter, melted- 2 Tablespoons
Green tea, cooled- 2 Tablespoon
Vanilla- 1 Teaspoon
Brown sugar- 3 Tablespoons
Self Raising Flour- 2 Tablespoons
Ground Almonds- 2 Tablespoons
Cinnamon- 1/2 Teaspoon
Fresh Blueberries- 3 Tablespoons
Cream Cheese- enough to make a frosting if desired
Matcha Green Tea- 1/4 Teaspoon
Lightly grease inside of a large mug with olive oil, set aside.
In a medium bowl combine all ingredients, mixing until combined.
Pour into large mug.
Place in 1000w microwave and cook on high temperature for 1 minute 50; or cook for 2 minutes on 800watts.
Take mug out and while cooling make your frosting, if desired, by combining cream cheese to suit your taste; I use 2-3 Tablespoons as I am greedy! Add in the Matcha green tea powder; if you would like a slightly sweet taste you can drizzle in 1/2 teaspoon honey or agave syrup. Whip all together with a fork and add to the top of your blueberry muffin.
The delight of the fresh blueberries that have bursted open during cooking, staining the muffin a beautiful mottled colour palette of blues and purples, offset by the delirious looking Matcha frosting of pale green, which happens to be the same colour of the inside of raw blueberries; makes me ridiculously happy to see visually.
The next recipe is very special to me as it is a take on a family recipe that has been through six generations. Although, I’ve given it my twist this recipe stays true to it’s roots and heralds my Uncle Jack. Every year, when I was a child, we would have a large family gathering and my Uncle Jack would have his homemade BBQ pit on the go.
It was a bit of a crazy circus but I loved this annual event. Paper lanterns hanging from trees withfairy lights and candles. Coolers of fizzy pop cans, glass beverage dispensers with fresh still lemonade and lemon slices. You were guaranteed lots of traditional home cooking, children running everywhere, swimming and desserts piled high to the sky on tressle tables that seemed miles long. Well, it did take up his whole garage and half of the back garden; he had a 1 acre garden!
My uncle would have literal, very large, metal garbage cans, clean ones! Full to bursting with chicken in one, pork in another, and beef ribs in the last. No, I do not have an overly large family but being Italian we love our food and get togethers would last all night. Heaven help us if we ran out of food; it would be insulting. Being the kind hearted man my Uncle was he would also open our BBQ up to the neighbourhood and anyone who was walking by. Why? Just because! Nothing else brought my Uncle greater joy because to him there was no greater gift than to show human kindness and being appreciative for what we were fortunate to have. Simply, it’s just how we show love to others- we feed you silly and it’s a foundational belief of my own that I carry and pass down to my children to this day.
Green Tea Marinade:
Serving- enough to Marinade 6 halves of chicken, 4 whole fish, 8 fish portions/fillets or 1 Kilo of Calamari/Prawns
Olive Oil- 1/2 cup
Cider Vinegar- 1/2 cup
Green tea, brewed and cooled- 1 1/2 cups
Salt- 1 Teaspoon
Boullion cube, any flavour to compliment the meat/fish of your choice- 1 small cube or 1/2 of one large cube.
Fresh Parsley, chopped fine- to suit your taste.
Fresh Mint, chopped fine- to suit your taste.
In a large bowl or container with a lid; combine all ingredients. Whisking thoroughly. Once combined add in meat/fish of choice and marinade for at least 2 hours for meats or 10 minutes for fish/seafood.
There you have it simple, quick, and healthy food made with Tea, what could be better or more luxurious than that? Simply, just happy memories with whom you choose to make them with; Enjoy Xx