All About Peas!

As a veggie lover, I can always seem to find a way to incorporate root vegetables, legumes, and fresh garden herbs into any dish. Finally, I've returned from holidays (which was wonderfully relaxing) and one of the first gatherings that we had was more of an impromptu get-together—a farewell for a couple of our friends commenced as they are relocating to a new area for a big move to Turkey  

The new year is ideal for embracing changes so I decided to make a plant-based meal (which is typical for us, however not the norm for others) to give a few veggies that often get a bad reputation the spotlight. Peas were one of them and I made a split pea hummus to go along with our homemade meze feast. Meze is traditionally (Middle Eastern and East Mediterranean) similar to tapas, it's several small one dish servings. 
This light meal is enjoyed with great conversation and of course, our mezes also generally involve laughter and contentment in abundance.  
Over my holiday, I went through the blog and e-mails collected from FT readers and I noticed many questions about how I know about different traditions, cultures and one was even about how I celebrate certain holidays. Although some of these questions have already been answered if you've followed my blog at least in the past 5 years, this year I plan to provide more inspiration and cuisines from places where I grew up and from my cultures. My parents together are of several cultures and since food (both traditional and gourmet) is just as important and much apart of how we express ourselves as my love for fashion, home décor and entertaining want to show more of that.  

I have been vegetarian/pescatarian now for about 13 years yet it doesn’t deter me from cooking various cuisines for others. It also helps that I have plenty of people around that don't mind being tasters when it comes to commentary or just filling their bellies. 

As a child, I grew up eating mashed peas but I only liked the way that my mum made it because it was slightly different and more flavourful than most. Peas are starchy and easy to alter just as potatoes, therefore you can make a multitude of recipes with this vegetable. I used my childhood memory as inspiration to create a split-pea hummus, which not only provides a plentiful amount of nutrients and antioxidants for your body externally and internally, however it's also a delicious side. View the recipe here.
FASHION TALES BLOG-food blogger - pea mash dip recipe

Hopefully this will give you inspiration to add more peas to your life or at the very least more vegetables 
Eating your vegetables, namely peas will also give you iron, fibre and keeps your heart healthy due to the high percentage of lutein, non-provitamin A carotenoid, this means that it's an antioxidant that protects your cells from oxidation. 

Do you eat peas? What is your favourite vegetable? 


Countryside Cooking

I have been sitting on creating this post because I wanted to try a handful of recipes ahead of time. Then, I forgot about posting and I came across Mimi Thorisson's French Country Cooking (a storytelling recipe book) again over the holidays and decided to write this post.  

From succulent poultry to seafood, you will find fantastic regional food to indulge in and learn about the author as well as the French in the process. Even though I am very keen on French cooking since my mum cooked it occasionally but to be honest, I have not cooked much French cuisine myself really at all. Only in the past two years have I prepared the most French style cooking in my kitchen, beyond homemade macarons. I was only partial to French style baking, more for technique, that is until I read this book.
This was one of the loveliest French country style cookery books I've seen in a long while with very approachable recipes. Ingredients range from everyday items to speciality grocer listed items. The recipes are simple and inviting, many dishes reminded me of sitting at the long family table when my parents would entertain, even on weeknights with their friends. There could be a simple homemade bread but there was something so special about everyone being around the table conversing and eating together. Thorisson's book brings fond memories of her childhood to life and interesting people crossing her path with inspiration through her cooking. The book brings a certain 'je ne sais quoi' to the kitchen that naturally the French can do so well. 

"This book is the book that wrote itself." Mimi Thorisson 

I really enjoy books that express an author's personality, and it's even better when there's such a fine story of history with beautiful details unfolding with every page turned. This book does just that and begins with a lovely tale of how Thorisson and her husband came upon the place they call home, it was mere fate, the author shares. 

The home is a generously spacious one in a little French village, St Yzans, a place that caters well beyond what you'd probably imagine a traditional home in the country to be. Did I mention that their wonderful grand old home, No 1 Rue De Loudenne also has a restaurant? The old house they bought used to be a restaurant long ago and she and her family decided to revive it once more in their own way. 

If you haven't figured it out by now, yes, I adored this book very muchit's certainly one to have in any Francophile's culinary arsenal. This is why this cookery book deserved its own post. 

Buy This ...  
If you enjoy being in the kitchen baking and cooking, period. 
If you are a seasoned cook, a home cook, or anyone who aspires to cook gourmet dishes that not only look incredible but are actually good, you will love this.  

Caution: If you don't know your way around the kitchen or if you don't have any ramekins, cast-iron skillet, deep baking dish, and a Dutch oven in your possession, then you might want to sit this one out. However, there's no time like the present to take on the challenge.  

 I was given an advanced copy of this book via the publisher. As always, all opinions are expressed honestly and my own.


December: In A Glance

Hi there, lovelies! How was your Christmas? I hope that you had a marvellous holiday and looking forward to ringing in the new year. We had friends and family over, some stayed long past the weekend whilst others came to spend the Christmastide with us as we end 2016 and celebrate the new year. This was one of the best Christmas holidays that I have had in a long time, so I am very thankful. 

Above: Looking forward to testing out new skincare from *L'Oreal, Centrepiece decor, December family brunch with gravlax and black truffle bits, I made delicious madeleines for our holiday party and wrapped some for guests, Miniature Xmas tree number 2, Winter Cleaning: preparing to organise my cosmetic corner and purge unnecessary products, Baking with rose petals (more to come soon), Our Christmas tree decorations.*Press samples. Below: Christmas lunch table setting, Travelling accessories, Outfit details with sparkled boots. 

Life, Balance, & Changes: 
2016 has been a different year for me with the blog, and with personal and professional transitions occurring this year, even in the most positive ways, I have often felt so behind in the blogging world. However, it's always a comforting feeling to know when people appreciate the hard work that you put into posts and from the bottom of my heart, all of you FASHION TALES readers mean so much to me.  

Blog Anniversary: Year Seven 
As I am away travelling and enjoying time off for the next two weeks, I have been reflecting on 2016. Life has been so eventful that I had almost forgotten about my blog anniversary this month as well. Happy Birthday, FASHION TALES!  

It has been quite a long journey, and even though this year was a much slower pace for the blog, that wasn't the case in some of the opportunities that I've been given due to having this platform. I am looking forward to 2017, and I am grateful for all of my readers that continuously come back and support my blog by reading, commenting, e-mailing, and sharing my posts.  

Here's wishing you a festive season and a prosperous new year! 

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