best of the bendy fork

In the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed a lack of lovely recipes dropping into your inbox. The excessive heat here in Malta has led to a lack of cooking and more using what’s in the freezer or living on ice lollies. In addition, I’ve begun a journey to improve my mental health, hormonal health and overall gut well being. So naturally, this involves looking at a lot of things and adjusting routines, self-care as well as and possibly most importantly diet. This week I did a food diary. Thought I was marvellous for my varied dinners, light lunches and copious pints of water. Only to be told “You eat too many carbs”, like pasta, rice, cereal and of course bread. “But I make everything from scratch” I protested without much luck. So I am now on a gluten-free two-week eating experiment. And no, I’m not one bit happy about it. I am in what my mother would call a “sulk”.

You may say, but isn’t it a good thing? or It will allow you to look at different kinds of cooking. And you may be right. But for now, I’m in a sulk and craving a slice of gluten ridden cake. So I’m here drooling over my fellow blogger’s divine recipes as well as some of my own personal favourites from the blog this year. This summer has seen some cracking family-friendly recipes such as Emma’s Chocolate sauce, beautiful Lybian herb bread, cooling coconut and lime ice lollies, perfect picnic veggie sausage rolls and a Portuguese holiday memory with my mixed mushroom tapas.

Now as the heat begins to cool, schools reopen and the thought of hearty tummy-filling dishes begins to stir. It will be back to some slow cooking, instant pot wonders and hearty healthy family meals. Old favourites will be making a reappearance such as Irish Boxty for the slow weekend lunches; Pasta Bake on the busy school days; tummy-warming temple food like Asian noodle broth, study food stuffed potato skins and the house favourite my Guinness Pie (with a gluten-free pastry no doubt)

But let us not kid ourselves, I am a woman of 0 willpower and a firm believer in the good things in life while having a body built for comfort as well as good health. Balance, there must be balance! And so some of my favourites on the something sweet train are most certainly going to stay on the menu, possibly tweaked to gluten-free variations. I have had some really gorgeous, healthy and sinful treats on the blog this year as well as old school traditional teatime treats. Yoghurt surprises & pots are perfect snacks yet kind of sweet. My mum’s traditional tea brack has everything Irish, welcoming and comforting you can imagine. The banana and peanut butter bread is a triumph in the school lunch box. (I have this school term batch already in the freezer). And who can forget the array of gorgeous biscuits, cookies flapjacks and ice cream?

The Bendy Fork Blog is not some gourmet foodie, I’m just about beautiful family food. Yes, I may have to tweak a few things on my current adventure into the relationship of food, age, menopause and mental health. But taking this look back at all the gorgeous food I have shared. I’m not half as sulky as I was at the beginning of this post. And I haven’t even mentioned my favourite dry rub, quick sauces, chutneys or dips that are handy for any home cook or busy house. Oddly enough my favourite blog post is not actually a recipe. It’s still a review I wrote about my fantastic knives called choose your weapon. (What can I say, I like practical kitchenware). After 125 posts here on the Bendy Fork, I hope you are still intrigued with what recipe might land in your inbox, enjoying the content and like some of my favourites above. Till next week, when I promise I have something very cool for you. Stay healthy, eat something you love in the company of good people.

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