Monday, November 22, 2010

Crazy Chocolate Cake

I'm writing this post in honour of my dear and loyal friend Vanessa. Although we've known each other since our kindergarten years I cannot say that we were the best of friends in our primary school years. Actually we were arch enemies! I think what really made me dislike her was because she spoke loudly all the time and to this day I dislike persons who need to voice their opinions loudly. There's nothing better than having a smooth talking person. On the other hand she disliked me because I had said something offensive about the boy she used to fancy. These complaints sound so silly now but that was our childhood. In the secondary years we somehow found out that we got on very well together. By that time Vanessa had mastered the art of speaking quitely and I could enjoy her company without any headaches. Today I'm posting a very old recipe - a recipe which Vanessa shared with me in our secondary years. We used to go crazy on this cake. I used to eat it all by myself. If I'm not mistaken I think it was my first try at baking.
This recipe of hers contains some unusual ingredients but it somehow makes a lovely cake.
Last Sunday I felt like trying it out again after having forgotten it for all these years and I've realised I still enjoy eating it. Here it is - don't expect a spongey chocolate cake. If you like chewy cakes - the maltese pudding style then, this is your cake. It has no eggs and no butter. It is also very easy to prepare.


3 cups flour
1 and 1/2 cup sugar
half a cup cocoa
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

1 and 1/2 cup water
2 tsp vinegar
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla

Then add the above ingredients to the dry ones until you've got a smooth brown paste. Bake in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes. So easy!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Alleys in Zabbar

More often than not, streets and alleys reflect the history of a particular place. These alleys can be still found in many old villages of Malta. Last summer while strolling through Main Street in Zabbar I got captivated by the number of enchanting alleys that could be found offshooting from it.
These alleys known as 'sqaqien' in Maltese are etched in Zabbar's village character. They are still throbbing with humanity and the houses in these alleys have remained untouched by touristic development. The narrow streets are haunting and enchanting, with some of the best quintessential Maltese architecture that one can see. Our ancestors designed these narrow winding alleys because they offered shade from the scorching summer sun. Today we're witnessing the decline of these historical alleys. High buildings are replacing the alleys that reflected the history of that place. As you can see in the photos below each alley has particular characteristics that distinguish it from other alleys...

'One sometimes encounters fine architecture discreetly hidden away, such as the one in Sqaq Berqi, an offshoot of Main Street.'

As I was leafing through a book about Zabbar the above quote caught my attention. What struck me is that 'the fine architecture' that the author is referring to happens to be an 18th century house which used to belong to my husband's grandparents. In the photo, on the right page of the book you can see the house in its heydey.

This is how it looks today. I had the occasion to explore this lovely old house which I'm sure has seen so many generations grow and dwell inside it. It has withstood the ravages of the two world wars. Indeed, it's a pity that now it's up for sale waiting for someone to give it its due attention.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Crispy Chicken Pieces

Hello friends time is flying so quickly - we will soon be celebrating Christmas. Although my life's very busy taking care of little Zack I still find time to cook something different each day. A few days ago I prepared these sizzling chicken breast pieces and thought of sharing my recipe with you. They're very easy and do not take long to prepare.


2 Chicken Breast pieces
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 tbsp porridge oats
4 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 tbsp Parmeggiano
4 tps flour
1 tbsp Cajun
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp oil
In a small dish or medium sized bowl, whisk eggs, black pepper and salt.

Cut the breast pieces into smaller bite size pieces.

In a bowl combine all the dry ingredients together. Place crumb mixture in a bag. In the meantime coat chicken, one piece at a time in the egg mixture. Next dip the chicken pieces in bag with crumbs and shake to coat.

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat (adjust when needed). Place chicken pieces in frying pan.

These pieces can be baked if you prefer a healthier option.