Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens............

Gentle reader.... I have been writing this blog for around 18 months now, maybe once a month, sometimes less. I would love to have a little person in my head that I could dictate my thoughts to, but alas it is only me being able to squeeze out a little of day to day life to opine when I get a spare moment. I have been doing loads of cooking, always time for that.

My favourite things this month ;

1. Laoganma Chilli Sauce

Available at most Asian supermarkets, this is an brilliant condiment. Fragrant sichuan peppercorns, chillies and onions, it has an amazing nutty, roasted flavour, lots of bite and perfect to add to stir-fries as well as using at as a dip for steamed gyoza.

2. Black Vinegar

I love this stuff!! Chinkiang or black vinegar is made from rice and aged for at least 12 months. It's kinda stinky and malty and full of umami. Again great to dip dumplings in, a splash added to chicken noodle soup lifts all the flavours. Mix a little with honey, minced ginger and a drop or two of sesame oil to baste duck.

3.  Mawson's Sarsaparilla Cordial.

The Marmite of the cordial world if such place exists, probably only in my head, would have to be sarsaparilla. I have been drinking this all "summer" long with fizzy water. Makes a wonderful jelly for liquorice lovers.

4. Figs

Cut in half, splashed with Stone's Ginger Wine , topped with a crumble of finely diced dried figs, demerara sugar and crushed pine nuts, hot oven for 10 minutes, serve with clotted cream, heaven.....

5. Barwhey's Cheese

A delicious hard, cow's milk cheese from Scotland, reminds me of a great parmesan, nutty, slightly crumbly but creamy. Makes the best welsh rarebit and I use the smoked version in quesadllas.

Would love to hear what favourite ingredients you are using at the moment and hope you are having a wonderful summer.

Love Food X