21 February 2010


Sometimes all it takes is sitting in a wild field, feeling the sun warming your skin and and being able to  hear the gentle breeze rustling the grasses to bring you back to your senses.
Saturday here was hectic, that feeling of forever being behind on the long to do list and every inch of the house needing some cleaning (but where to find the time).Was feeling grumpy and slightly short tempered with little people bickering (and the Mr. leisurely reading 'work' papers on the sofa),  the choice to go out to the countryside on Sunday really felt great. To explore a new part of the island (Bidnija) and to let the kids run wild and invent their own games. Do feel revived now and ready to start a new week.
Upon returning from our day out we enjoyed some chili con carne and corn muffins, its been at least two years since I had made either and I had forgotten how good and warming they are, a little taste and smell of home.

p.s. The house in the above small picture has the view shown in the first large photo, wouldn't that be something to wake up to!?

Chili Con Carne
3Tbs Olive oil
1 large Onion chopped
3 garlic gloves crushed
750 grams ground beef
3 Tbs tomato puree (paste to some conserve to others)
1 green pepper chopped
1 red pepper chopped (can add in a yellow pepper too, for some extra colour)
2-3 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
20 grams cocoa powder 
600 ml vegetable stock
500 grams chopped tomatoes
2 Tbs cider vinegar
2X 400 gram cans of red kidney beans 
(you can also soak 400 grams dried kidney beans overnight then boil for an hour and strain)
salt and pepper to taste

step 1. fry onion and garlic in oil, medium heat. step 2. add beef mince fry for 10-15 min  step 3. add tomato puree, chili and spices cook for a further 5  min Step 4. add stock, tomatoes, cocoa and season. Let simmer for 30 min, finally add the chopped peppers. 

Serve in a bowl (over over rice) with a side of sour cream and topped with shredded cheddar cheese. Also very good served with warm cornbread. 

2 cups white flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups yellow corn meal (can also use polenta)
1/2 cup sugar
step 1. Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly and set aside. 

step 2. In  a separate bowl mix
2 eggs
2 cups milk
220 grams melted butter

step 3 Mix the wet into the dry and bake as muffins for 15 min or till golden brown. You can also bake it for longer in a bread tin.
serve with butter and honey if warm. these are not very sweet muffins. 


  1. Wasn't this weekend glorious! Glad you guys got out to enjoy it. Sicily has a lot of those same rock walls.I love how they crisscross the fields. Amazing how nature can revive us all so quickly isn't it?! have a good week.

  2. Wonderful! the photos are stunning! hum... corn muffins... would not mind one just about right now... Have a lovely week.

  3. I think it will be a while before we can get out and feel the sun warming our backs!! It's snowing here (again) and bloomin freezing!! *sigh*

    Might just have a go at making your recipe...warming food sounds really good to me right now!!

    C x

  4. Hi Juniper, this looks great! Beautiful photos and great post, as usual.

    Take care,

  5. Yes, I would not mind that kind of view in the mornings or before sunset. I know what you mean, have been grumpy on Sat, too... but Sunday made it all good as well, sunshine and 1 hour of skiing with the tall girl...

    The recipe sounds delicious, will have to come back to it, we haven't had Chilli con Carne for quite a few years here, too!

    Have a great week with some "work paper on the sofa"...

  6. I'm starting to fall in love with Malta. The pictures are wonderful. It looks a bit like Scotland doesn't it? But would be a much warmer place to spend the summer. Hmm Might do that in the future.
    Hope you enjoyed the Chili, must try to make corn muffins next time we're having chili con carne.

  7. What I wouldn't give to sit in a field and feel the wind in the grass. Can I come sit with you? We don't have that luxury at the moment here in snowy Colorado (where, typically, we're in the midst of a February deep-freeze). After emerging from the flu, I could really use some sun on my face and the smell of the fields in my nose.


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