Aisybee written, photographed & pasted together by Aisling.

My Favourite Way to Make: Halloumi!

Posted on February 28, 2015 under Food, Photos

halloumifinished

Guess who is back with fully functioning Internet?! It is me! To celebrate, I am getting back into blogging. I have a lot of cool things planned for March. I’ve also decided to start a new little series called “My Favourite Way to Make” which is kind of what it sounds like. I’m just going to share my favourite way to prepare every day foods. Nothing fancy. Just good old staples. I think it’s cool to see what people eat on a day-to-day basis, and discover new flavour combinations.

First up: halloumi. Before moving to the UK, I’d never even heard of it. It is a salty cheese with a high melting point and a structure that lends itself to squeaking. This makes it very similar to the cheese curds we use for poutine in Canada. At first, that is what I used it for, before discovering its many uses.

During my Lebanese cooking phase, I was a bit lazy and fried the halloumi for my salad in the recently used chicken pan. That evening, a taste sensation was born! And now I replicate this whenever I want a salty, crispy snack (as you can probably guess, celiacs do not get to eat deep fried food very often… and even though this isn’t deep fried, it has that ~feel~).

It’s very quick, very delicious and very easy!

I start by heating some oil in a pan, then adding some chili paste (I picked up some from Sainsburys). The photo shows 2tsp, but I usually like a bit more of a kick. It really depends on how much of a chili spice you enjoy!

chilisauce

While this is heating up, I slice the halloumi. You want it so it’s not so thin that you cannot flip it without it breaking, but thin enough that everything is going to get warm without burning the outside.

I pop them into the pan. Then it is time for spices. I throw in some garlic, of course, because everything is better with garlic. And a bit of black pepper and paprika. Do not add salt. The cheese is salty enough on its own. I imagine adding salt would make this taste awful. I am quite a big fan of salt and halloumi on its own can often be a bit much for me.

The real star of the spice show here is cumin. I don’t know about you guys, but I rarely use cumin. But I became a bit addicted after aforementioned Lebanese cooking spree. I really just sprinkle a ton on. It is such an interesting flavour.

halloumipan

And… that’s it, really. Just wait for it to fry up, turning occasionally, until the cheese is a golden brown. You may need to add a bit more oil to the bottom of the pan because the liquid you see above will evaporate.

Personally, while it is rather nice hot, I prefer to let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes after removing it from the pan, so the outside becomes a bit cooler and crunchy, while the inside is still a bit warm. Yum.

So, that is my take on a very simple staple food! Let me know your favourite way to prepare halloumi if you have one!

London Bloggers’ Meetup for Wild Hearts!

Posted on February 25, 2015 under Event

drinks

Recently, Jasmin invited me to a bloggers’ meet up in London. It took place this last Sunday. I am not a London-based blogger, but Brighton is only a stone’s throw away. So, I am pleased with the invite!

Besides being a chance to meet other bloggers, the meet up was to benefit WildHearts. The charity provides loans to women in developing countries to start businesses. I am all about the education and economic empowerment of women (CAMFED is my chosen charity to support).

buttons

The event was lovely, and I met and chatted with a lot of great bloggers. Make sure you give Jasmin, Katy, Rachel, Laura, Ioanna, Miranda, Charlotte, Alina, Izabela, Charlie, Lucy, Bec, Jenny, Holly, Lauren, Etta, Valeria, Sam, and Sophie each a visit.

As a nice surprise, we had a raffle, with prizes provided by Debenhams. I was lucky enough to have my name chosen for a Henry Holland coin purse. Wooo.

Also I accidentally wore the same outfit as this chair:

chair

Thank you, again, to Jasmin for hosting the event. I hope to go to more meet ups in London soon!

Video: A Bit of an Update

Posted on February 22, 2015 under Aisybee, Personal, Video

About two years ago I decided I wanted to make videos. I didn’t want to just talk at a camera, though, so I made them a bit like little documentaries, using footage I had shot elsewhere and voice overs and stuff. I aimed to post one every week… and then I burned out after week 2. Womp womp.

Anyway, I’ve decided to pick it up again, with a bit of a less ambitious goal in mind. Obviously, if you read this blog, you know what I have been doing the last few years, so you probably don’t need to be updated. But there’s also lots of me being a complete dork, so if you enjoy awkward people, give it a watch!