Thursday, 14 July 2011

Parcels, presents and spice

Raindrops on a flower, beautiful!

I’m an all weather wanderer, me. I love all seasons and embrace the warmth that follows chilly winter. I saunter in frosty climates, enjoying the snugness of cashmere jumpers and thermal vests ~ I cherish the long chats with friends over hot broth (my Dad’s recipe) and buttered bread.  I can’t imagine an eternal winter though and love the changing seasons; summer without winter just wouldn’t be as sweet. Floaty dresses, floral patterns, freshly cut grass, picnics, leaves on trees and what of berries and cherries? Peppers and peas? Asparagus and apricots! What would we do without these?!?

A very wise and inspiring teacher, Vanessa Ewan, once said to me ”It is hindsight that is our greatest teacher.” Over time I've come to appreciate this sentiment more and more. Summers warm climate and gentle stillness is a great time for reading and personal reflection, here’s one on broccoli ~

Florets filled with love,

Deep green and generous-
You beckon me to bite,
And leave tummy feeling light!

The recipe I’m sharing today is a summer present from me to you:) Gorgeously crispy parcels, filled with summer flavours and fulfilling on all levels. Your mouth will enjoy each mouthful, for within the filo pastry, layers of sustenance and deliciousness await. 
The double whammy of calcium from both the broccoli (one of the best vegetable sources) and cheese echo strength for our bones and yum yum time for our taste buds.
A gorgeous mix of summer goodness and spice!
I’ve always loved spices, as a child my Mum used them often in her cooking, curry was a family favourite and was enjoyed at least twice weekly. Spices are a great way of enhancing flavour, I’m thinking of the little life within me and have heard that by introducing a wide range of tastes and flavours, which will be passed through his first drops of amniotic fluid – womb food, I've decided to call it! In reality, what I'm eating so is he! I know it may seem incredible and a little OTT, though from experience, my beautiful son, who has a great and varied appetite was enjoying mild Korma's from 8 months and his 1st birthday breakfast of smoked salmon on soda bread soldiers was a total triumph – we’ve never had a problem with fussy eating and I’m sure spices and trying new foods out often is part of the reason why. Being present, one cannot help but enjoy the seasonal gifts that sustain us throughout the year.

Keep spicing up your life; adventure in the kitchen creates excitement in life.

Broccoli and Cheese Parcels


Broccoli, 300g cut into small florets and stems thinly sliced
Olive oil, 1 tbsp
Shallots, 2 thinly sliced
Cinnamon, ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds, ¼ tsp
Nutmeg, a wee scratch
Cream cheese, 100g
Grated mature cheddar, 50g
Cherry tomatoes, 4 quartered
White pepper, ½ tsp
Sea salt, a sprinkle
Filo pastry, 100g
Butter, 25g melted

PRE-HEAT oven to gas 5, 190’C, 375’f.
STEAM broccoli for five minutes until tender.
HEAT oil in a pan and add shallots and spices, stirring for three minutes or there about, enjoy the gorgeous aromas befriending your kitchen.
MIX in a bowl the broccoli, cream cheese, chopped tomatoes, grated cheddar and the cooked shallot spice mix.
CUT filo into 30x15cm rectangles.
BRUSH a sheet of filo with butter and place another sheet on top, brush again.
SPOON over two tablespoons on broccoli mix onto one end of the rectangle sheets.
FOLD over the edges and roll into a roll, similar in shape to a spring roll.
REPEAT with remaining sheets and broccoli mix.
PLACE rolls on a lightly oiled baking sheet/ or one lined with grease proof paper, and brush each roll with a final stroke of butter.
SPRINKLE over a few drops of water, this will give an extra crispness to the filo.
BAKE for 20 minutes until golden and present your summer rolls with splendour.
GREAT served hot or cold.


  1. The pacels look great and the stuffing sounds so yummy! Loved your post.

  2. Thank you:) The sun is shining here today and I'm going to make another batch. Hope you're having a great Friday:)

  3. So yummy, and your writing just so special, evocative of love....can't wait to try these parcels......

  4. Beautiful Alice,

    Thank you for your lovely comment. It's great to see you on this page:) I'm sure you'll love these parcels, fresh, seasonal and totally delicious. And gorgeous, just like you:)

    Huge love,


  5. Hi, this recipe looks great and I will try making the broccoli and cheese parcels when my parents come over for tea this weekend. However I was wondering, at what stage do you add the broccoli to the other ingredients? I might have missed something when I read the recipe so please let me know if this is the case.

  6. Dear Daniel,

    I'm delighted you like this recipe and I'm sure your parents will be very impressed:) The broccoli goes in at the mixing stage - I've made that clearer and really appreciate your comment.

    I'd love to hear how they go, feedback helps me refine and make the recipes even more delicious.

    All the best,



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