The feeling of cooking

A quick throw back to 2012 in Moniaive, Scotland. The days when Jas ran a restaurant and I ran the house kitchen 😉 This photo brings back so many good memories and it goes without saying that yes, I do love cooking!

Jas asks this amazing question to himself: What’s nice about being in the kitchen?

It’s hot, washing dishes (yes we still wash our dishes, no dishwasher intended to make an appearance in our kitchen), getting burnt, maybe cutting your fingers and the list goes on and on…

Ok so forget all about that and let’s focus on the beauty and satisfaction that it brings. It brings a sense of relaxation, family unity, learning and excitement in trying new things. For us, all of these overcome the hard bits and make us keep wanting to produce more.

It is not the easiest task in the world when time is restricted but we do give home cooking a priority. We love to plan in advance, turn some music on, sometimes a good glass of wine and start preparing dinner for everybody to enjoy. This can be the simplest dish on earth, still one can enjoy the making of it and bring a happy feeling to the table.

From another point of view, the fair truth is that cooking can become a boring routine that we HAVE to do every day. I see it happening out there, at times it becomes so dull that one just turns away and either head straight to the nearest take away or simply skip meals. Not justifiable at all!

We wish to encourage taking control of our eating habits and routines. When we’re in control and choose that what we feed ourselves becomes a priority, then this makes it so much easier to know what to cook on an everyday basis. The dull feeling disappears and is replaced by eagerness to eat what my adventurous little hands have prepared for me. Yum!

Rob

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Happiness is homemade

I saw this clock at a local coffee shop and it immediately struck my eyes, of course whatever’s homemade does!

Then I go without hesitation and say that home is where the heart is.

One of the things that really makes our tiny flat a home is the actual gathering around the table and eat a good home-cooked plate of food. For this reason we spend a lot of time in the kitchen and this was inherited from our families. Whether it was for a cuppa, a sandwich, lunch or dinner; everyone ended up in the kitchen. We love it and still do it with our own family.

So how can we make our kitchen as hospitable as we can?

Jas remembers at around 3-4pm, just after his dad returns from work and siblings return from school, mum would make tea and bake cakes like apple pies or the maltese traditional qaghaq ta l-ghasel (honey rings) and he recalls these moments as special ones. Everybody brings his own day to the table, chatting about what happened and what’s next, it’s amazing! His family still carries on the tradition and Jas misses this dearly.

Now having a family of our own it is great to share that simple little cuppa together, at least we try our best to find that time, because we know that our children will come one day, open the fridge and ask for that beautiful tea and get ready for a catch up.

We truly believe that the more hands on we are in the kitchen, the more we can learn and create beautiful family moments together.

How do you make family time worthwhile? Send us your own on our facebook page. We’d love you to share beautiful family moments with us 🙂

Rob

How do we know which is the best recipe?

With all these recipes that we come across every time we type in what we’re looking for, I doubt it if we really know which one is the best one. I guess it makes a difference and depends on the mood we’re in, the time we have on our hands and the state of our appetite.

Bad news is that unfortunately not all recipes work, boooo!

I know! :/

Even worse is that they can leave us disappointed and demotivated if the dish doesn’t turn out right, believing that it was our fault or we’re not capable enough to cook!!

Recently we came across a chicken recipe online where it said that chicken needs  to be roasted for 2 1/2 hours. We naturally think that if you follow this kind of recipe, you won’t be able to find the chicken in the oven after that amount of cooking time!!

This is what brought this blog to come alive. Be really careful which recipes to go for. Look out for reviews at least so there’s proof it does work.

Also, seems like the recipe trend nowadays are these fast-forwarded, short clips which seem to be an excellent way to attract the eye and make us believe that that recipe is the perfect one for us. Don’t take me wrong, I have nothing against these commercial video clips but to my eyes they’re not real. They just show me massively edited parts of the whole process plus a rapid subtitled cooking time. Also, I still need to pause the clip all the time to write down ingredients and follow method, nah not for me!

So, would I really believe that these kind of recipes work?

A tried and tested recipe with real time and real home environment is what robandjas are all about. It can be really tricky to watch a whole 10-15 minute video recipe, however to my opinion; you are guaranteed a recipe that works and nothing beats authenticity if you really want to eat a good plate of food.

What do you think? How do you choose a recipe? Does it always work? Leave us comments on our facebook page, we’ll be very happy to hear your views.

Rob

Where did all this food passion come from?

“Well, I have been brought up in a tile laying family business so that is definitely not where it all began!

I remember I used to work as a waiter at this restaurant in Mellieha, Malta. It is a very popular tourist destination so working hours were very good at the time and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

After several years of doing different types of jobs, being part of a kitchen team was what I was really looking for. So I then decided to join the one and only culinary school in Malta at an older age than the rest of my school mates. I had covered 20 different subjects including Kitchen, Pastry, Restaurant, Marketing and Budgeting.

I wanted to take it further so I carried on studying until I achieved my City & Guilds qualifications and was awarded a Higher Diploma in Food and Preparation Service. This was a cold short dark day in the middle of November in 2001 when we had the inauguration of achievements presented to us by then MP of Education, Louis Galea. My diploma meant everything to me, I had to strive through so many challenges being an elder student and finally my works had paid off.

I then spent a year working experience as an apprentice in England. The excitement and build-up of adrenaline that the kitchen gave me was something to look forward to in each and every shift so I never looked back and carried on wanting to expand my experience by doing more work travels around the globe.” Jas

On the other hand, myself, I had home-economics as a chosen subject in my secondary school. I always loved mixing up ingredients together and do sweet recipes for my mum and dad. I never took it further though but had always worked in restaurants and hotels so food had always played a major role in my everyday life. Then I met Jas and here we are now combining these two flavours together to create one appetising dish!

That is our story in a few words, however, remaining on the main concept of home-cooking you don’t need to have achieved anything to be able to put together a decent family meal. At the end of the day we all get hungry, run out of cooking ideas and do recipe disasters. This is why we’re here to support these challenges as we face them along with you every single day!

Rob

Dinner’s ready – Service please!

This is what you hear all the time if you’re in a busy professional kitchen, plus the rumbling noise of the ticket machine creating a lovely long decorative thread of tickets ready to be shouted for – SERVICE PLEASE!

At home, we won’t get any of that luckily.

We encounter some sort of service every day, from our daily super market shopping through to our dining table. When it comes to service in our house, to facilitate our day to day cooking experience, we find it important to know what utensils, at least as basics do we need to be able to enjoy our meal properly. These will include all condiments that we love to have always available, such as our seasonings and sauces.

So basically to finish off discussing about the 3 basic kitchen foundations – Food, Preparation and Service – we can conclude by saying that if we get this recipe right, our cooking and dining experience at home becomes much more easier to the point that take away food will be seen as an outdated option!

Tried and tested and guess what?

It works!!

Rob

Fresh start or is it?

After a brief break from recording videos and writing that little weekly blog, we are back .. HOORAY!

We really hope you had a great time over festivities and indulged yourselves with as much tasty foods as possible.

We certainly did!

So what’s new, what’s old and what’s next?

My bump feels like it had tripled the size of what I left it with a couple weeks ago, Jas seems like he still can’t get enough of his Christmas pudding and little C’s chit chatting skills are increasingly developing at a very fast rate! We are now left with one countdown away as the ‘big-baba-day’ is fast approaching so we are truly back in all force to come up with more video recipes as we await for the final crescendo.

A new year – a new start, but is it really? I almost ask myself, why do we have to wait for this particular time to start something fresh? Is it the greatest excuse to make it happen? Personally I love the New Year as it really does feel like a fresh start however resolutions were never something I’d talk about. I’d rather work them out and keep upfront with possibilities and new ventures throughout the year than linger on and on and on until THAT day arrives to get me motivated.

So, whilst we welcome 2017 with open arms – whether for you it is a fresh start or just another year – we want to wish you success in what you’re driving for and of course the best of health to never give up!

Please share our work so we can keep this going with all of your support, thank you x

Rob

One of Jas highlights – inspiration for a Christmas meal alternative

Happened in the beautiful little village of Moniaive, south-west of Scotland back in 2008-2010.

This 36-cover restaurant was the heart and soul of Jason. He designed the kitchen himself, produced home-made cracking food from the freshest of the local ingredients whilst managing a team of eight people to run this brand new Scottish-with-a-Mediterranean-twist restaurant. See the local newsletter review below 🙂

Regretfully it only lasted 2 years as an opportunity was offered in London at The Savoy and had decided to take the next adventure on board.

One of the most popular dishes at the Three Glens was the Veal Osso Buco which was also featured in this review. This is where this week’s recipe comes from and we highly recommend it to be tested.

If you’re looking for a Christmas meal alternative, this is it!

Osso Buco – translated to literally a “bone with a hole”.

Ok, so this really reminds me of my good old childhood food fun. We used to love eating its marrow (mudullun in Maltese) but not before blowing it out of the bone hole and seeing it splashed onto the plate, or elsewhere really!

Veal might not be the cheapest option for a budget meal and this particular recipe might take longer than what you want to do on a regular evening, however Christmas and New Year are just around the corner and it would be a great treat for all the family.

Just a nicely cooked, delicate piece of meat which literally falls off the bone before you even dig into it. Highly recommendable!

jas-article-newspaper-jpg
Head Chef and Manager of the Three Glens in Moniaive, Jason Azzopardi has come a long way since he first started in the restaurant industry.
Hailing from Malta where he learned the trade, Jason has worked for top fine dining restaurants in Malta, England, Ireland, Scotland and Australia.
He has maintained the position of Head Chef since the restaurant’s opening in December 2008 and  has watched it go from strength to strength as its popularity with local food-lovers grows.
Jason advocates the use of fresh, local produce which he combines with herbs and spices to create honest dishes with an Italian Mediterranean twist that are full of flavour.
“I let the food speak for itself”, he says. The Three Glens, situated in the eart of Moniaive, where the Craighdaroch, Castlefairn and Dalwhat glens meet, caters for all tastes and appetites.
It’s a la carte menu is a favourite of discerning local diners, while the wide range of pizza and pasta dishes are both satisfying to the stomach and the pocket.
Jason makes pizzas and breads fresh from the wood burning oven imported from Italy when the restaurant opened in December 2008.
The Three Glens is a 36-cover restaurant: small and intimate it creates a homely feel in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

Rob