Welcome to My Emerald Kitchen, where I’ll be blogging about cooking delicious food at home. I’ll be posting all kinds of recipes, from easy lunches to dinners to impress and all in my kitchen at home in Ireland. You won’t need any fancy gear, or massive ovens, just basic tools you can buy at any local supermarket. I’m not a professional chef and I never took any training, everything I learned I got from just going through all possible cookbooks, trying out new flavors and watching cooking channels.
I first started blogging after watching the movie ‘Julie and Julia’, and started blogging about all kinds of things. It wasn’t until 2013 that I decided to only focus on food, as it’s my biggest interest, and on January 1st 2014 ‘Tine at Home’ was born. When I started my blog I was living in a beautiful apartment in Antwerp, Belgium. It was the first time I ever lived by myself and had to cook on a daily basis in my tiny but efficient kitchen. I loved every part of it: the old crooked tiles, the dodgy stove, the high ceilings, the squeaking old wooden floors. I cooked for my family before moving to my own place but I was able to blossom more and experiment with flavours when I lived in Antwerp, as I didn’t have to worry about having a completely ruined meal and ending up with hungry parents and siblings banning me from the kitchen forever. I also started learning more about food photography and buying quirky plates and cutlery in the may antique shops in Antwerp.
In the summer of 2015 I moved to the Emerald Isle, where I continued to blog about my culinary adventures there, while discovering everything Ireland has to offer when it comes to food, whether it’s visiting local farmers or simply recommending great places to eat.
What kind of recipes do you post?
I try to focus on seasonal ingredients as much as I can. By eating seasonal and local you are guaranteed to have fresher foods that didn’t have to travel halfway across the world to get to your home and you’ll also support local farmers, butchers, fishermen and so on. I also sometimes post movie recipes, as I have a big passion for movies and am always looking for great food in film.
How healthy are your recipes?
I don’t limit myself to one particular way of cooking, so you’ll be able to find recipes that are vegetarian, vegan or have meat or fish in them. I simply cook as I live, which is a life filled with variation and creativity. Some days I’ll crave juicy burgers with bacon and greasy sauces, other days I prefer to keep it light with a healthy salad or veggie meals. I do try to calculate the healthiness of my recipes when I write them and I always get quite good results, with the exception of my desserts, but then again those aren’t the kind of things you eat every day and everyone deserves to indulge in less healthy treats every once in a while, just do it in moderation. Which is what I try to do with all my recipes too. Some will have mayo in them for example, or sugar, but they are never the main part of the recipe, and are usually used in small quantities.
If you want to make my recipes even better, you can always pay attention to the following things:
– Use whole-weat pasta, it’s much better for you than the other kind
– Don’t use too much butter or olive oil in your pans
– Always let your pots and pans heat up before adding anything and only add butter or oil once the pan is hot, then wait until the butter and oil have heated up as well before adding meat, fish, .. If you add it all together, your ingredients will soak up all the fats, which is not what you want.
– Try to avoid tinned or canned foods, if there is a fresh, or even better: biological, alternative available: go for it!
– Moderation and variation is the key: try to eat vegan or vegetarian at least once a week
– Quality: always be on the lookout for the best ingredients you can get, find fresh fish and meats, veggies and fruits and don’t always stick to the same supermarket, but also pau your local farmers and butchers a visit. I know exactly which place to go to for the best veggies, where to get the best breads, fish, meat, so I get my foods from at least 5 different supermarkets and I know the best bio shops, butchers, cheese and fish shops in town.
– Don’t be cheap. Don’t go for the cheapest brand, go for the one that offers great value for your money. Healthy food often costs more, but you get more benefits from it too! You can’t put a price on your health, so even if you are living on a budget (which I have done for a year), make sure you don’t sacrifice too much just to save some money.
– Last but not least: know your own body. Go to your doctor for a full check up at least once a year to find out how your body is doing
Why you won’t find any time indications on my recipes
You’ll notice I never post how long it takes for a recipe to be done, that’s because of very simple reasons. For one, it depends on your own skills how long it takes to chop veggies or make the preparations. I’m quite the slow chopper myself so anyone who has mastered the right chopping technique will always get it done a lot faster than me. But the most important reason for me not to post the timing, is because I don’t think time should be an issue when you cook. I could spend an entire day in the kitchen if I want to.. Obviously, if a recipe has to marinate for hours, you’ll be able to read it in the recipe itself, but other than that, don’t spend too much time looking at the clock and simply enjoy cooking!
I hope you’ll enjoy this website and find the perfect recipe for a lovely meal at home!