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Life Indoors: 5 Ingredients 5 Meals

By April 23, 2020 Editor's Picks, INSPIRATION
21st APR 5 Ingredients 5 Meals19 (1)

Are you loving or loathing cooking these days? Many will be truly enjoying the extra time to focus on cooking new creations in the kitchen while others may find their patience running thin and wishing they could go to a restaurant. Whether you fall into the love or loathe category, everyone could use some help in the recipe department. On days when you’re looking for something simple and delicious but lack inspiration, here are 5 recipes that are quick and easy and only require 5 ingredients!  Let us know how you go!



1. Salmon and Spinach Gratin with Creamy Potatoes 

600 gms Irish Potatoes
800gm of Spinach
5 Smoked salmon fillets
300ml of Double Cream
15g Unsalted Butter

Peel and chop your potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt and potatoes into the water and cook for 15 minutes. Strain the potatoes and set aside. Add a tablespoon of butter to a frying pan at medium heat, then add the spinach, a pinch of salt and pepper and turn lightly until the spinach is wilted. Ensure that the the spinach does not get too wet.  Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Add the spinach, potatoes and salmon to a large baking dish, arranging them so that potatoes and spinach are on the base of the dish and the salmon is sitting on top. Heat the double cream in a saucepan adding salt and pepper. Stir well and then pour the all the contents over the salmon and potatoes. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and the cream has got a golden hue to it. Serve and enjoy.



2. Black Bean Broccoli and Chicken Stir fry

240 grams of chicken breast
3 tbsp black bean sauce
Half cup broccoli (You could also replace this with sweet peppers or chopped kale)
3 tbsp peanuts (roughly chopped)
200 grams egg noodles

Chop up the chicken breast into half an inch chunks. Do the same with your broccoli or other vegetable of choice. Boil a pot of water and when it comes to the boil, add the egg noodles to the pot for 2 minutes then drain and set aside. Add some oil to your wok or frying pan and lightly fry the chicken until cooked through, then set aside. Then lightly stir-fry the broccoli (or preferred vegetable) for 2 minutes before adding the chicken, noodles and 80% of the peanuts back into the wok. Pour in the black bean sauce and ensure you toss the noodles well so that they are well coated and the ingredients are evenly distributed. Serve the noodles with a sprinkling of peanuts on top as a garnish.



 3. Squash and Coconut Curry

500gm Squash
1 tin Coconut Milk
3 tbsp Curry Paste of your choice
1 tin of chickpeas
Small bunch of Coriander stalks

Chop the squash into half an inch chunks. Heat a frying pan with a 2 teaspoons of oil and then add your curry paste. Then add the squash and chickpeas to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the tin of coconut milk and once the milk is bubbling, cover the frying pan, turn down to low heat and cook for 20-25 minutes until the squash is thoroughly cooked and the coconut milk has thickened. Roughly chop the coriander and sprinkle on top then, serve on its own or with rice. Easy and delicious!

Sweet Potatoes on a Cutting Board

4. Sweet Potato & Beans Chilli

3 Sweet Potatoes (peeled and cut into half inch chunks)
1 tin of Kidney beans or black beans
1 large white onion
1 Tbsp Chilli Powder
Vegetable Stock cube

Finely chop the onion and then saute in a frying pan until soft. Mix vegetable stock cube with 3/4 of a cup of hot water and add the chilli powder. Add more or less chilli depending on how hot you like it. Add the sweet potatoes to the frying pan and then pour the vegetable stock over the dish. Cover and cook until the potatoes have softened, then add the tin of black beans. Let the ingredients summer and reduce down. Optional extras include a squeeze of lime and roughly chopped coriander to amp up the flavour. Either way, this is a tasty and filling dish that can be served on its own or with rice or tortilla chips.



5. Hummus
Tin of Chickpeas
3 tbsp Olive oil
3 tbsp Tahini (if unavailable you can also use 4 tbsp sesame oil or 3 tbsp natural smooth peanut butter)
3 Garlic cloves
Salt and Pepper to taste

Making hummus is very simple. Chop the garlic finely or mince it in a garlic crusher. Add all the ingredients into a blender and whiz them all together until you have your desired consistency. Some people prefer their hummus very smooth while others want a bit more texture.  Serve as a side to your main meal or eat as a healthy snack alongside sliced raw vegetables or crackers.



This post is part of a Les 100 Ciels blog series titled, Life Indoors. Each week we will be posting on a range of topics to inspire you as you carry on your life from indoors. With the Covid-19 virus spreading around the world, the vast majority of us will be living vastly quieter lives and it is clear that now more than ever before, the importance of focusing on our shared humanity and community is integral. We are committed to continue to engage and support our community. If there is any topic you’d like us to write about, do get in touch and we’ll include it on our blog if we can. With love, The Les 100 Ciels Team

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Summer Dishes

By August 16, 2019 Editor's Picks, IN THE MEDIA, INSPIRATION

When the weather is hot and humidity soars, eating can sometimes feel like a chore, especially when your recipe repertoire is full of dishes that leave you feeling hotter than your were! At this point, it’s good to have a little recipe refresher and seek out some inspiration from some of the best summer food friendly meals around. Here are a few of our favourites to get you inspired!



Watermelon and Feta Salad

One of our all time favourite foods for a starter is watermelon and feta salad. This is so simple to make and is always a welcome start to a summer meal with friends.

Half a large watermelon
Feta Cheese
Mint leaves
1/2 red onion
tbsp Olive oil
Pinch of Salt

Scope out of the watermelon and cut into cubes about an inch thick and then cube the feta into slightly smaller pieces. Chop red onion roughly (chop into smaller pieces if preferred). Tear up mint leaves and add all ingredients into a bowl, tossing lightly with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. For extra ‘wow’ factor, retain the watermelon shell and once all the salad ingredients are well combined, transfer it back into the watermelon shell for a delicious and impressive starter!




Gazpacho is essentially a cold soup, which for some can be off-putting at first, but if given a chance, this dish is brimming with flavour and is so refreshing in summer that we could not leave it off our list. Use your ripest tomatoes and give it a try- we’re sure you will love it!

7 ripe Tomatoes
3 Cloves Garlic
1 red onion
1/2 cucumber peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Parsley or basil for garnish (dependent on preference)

Chop up all the ingredients and place in the blender. Add your olive oil and vinegar and blend all ingredients into a puree. Leave the mixture in a covered bowl to stand for 30 minutes at room temperature. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Strain the puree through a mesh sieve and place the mixture in the fridge to cool. When thoroughly cool, pour gazpacho into bowls and serve with lightly chopped basil garnish. Tip: Prepare gazpacho a day in advance so flavours can develop fully.


Salmon Fritters with Citrus Creme Fraiche

Salmon fritters are the perfect comfort food when a heartier meal is desired that still feels light enough to eat on a hot day. The citrus dip is the perfect partner to the dish to keep it all feeling light and fresh.

8 Smoked salmon slices
Spring onion (chopped finely)
1/2 onion (chopped finely)
1/2 cup flour
1 large egg beaten
1 /2 cup creme fraiche
1 large lemon
oil for frying
rocket for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Break up salmon slices and mix together with onion,  flour and egg in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a frying pan. Parcel out 1 tablespoon sized portions of the salmon batter and flatten in hand. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side and then take out of frying pan and place on absorbent paper. Repeat until all batter has been fried. Cut lemon and squeeze into a bowl. Add creme fraiche, spring onion and mix until all are well combined. Serve salmon fritters on a serving tray on a bed of rocket with extra smoked salmon slice and a dollop of citrus creme fraiche.



Spinach & Tomato Quiche

A quiche and salad on a warm day is something of a British summer institution. Eat your quiche piping hot or have it cold from the fridge as a yummy leftover.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups fresh spinach leaves 
4 large eggs
2/33 cup milk
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese (or other cheese of your choice- feta cheese is also very nice)
1-2 medium tomatoes (cubed)
2 cloves garlic
mixed bag of lettuce
Store bought easy roll puff pastry (can also use short crust pastry)
1 Egg white (beaten)
salt and pepper
 to taste

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Unroll your pastry and lay out on a 10 inch pie dish making sure to pull it up and over the edges of dish. Wilt the spinach with the olive oil in a hot pan adding salt and pepper to taste. Add the spinach into the pie dish and then add in half the grated cheese. Beat the eggs and add the milk and crushed garlic. Pour this on to the spinach and then add the chopped tomatoes on to the top of the mixture. Finish off with a layer of the rest of the cheese. Layer a beaten egg-white wash over the edges of the pastry to ensure it bakes golden brown.  Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until a fork comes out clean from the centre of the quiche. Serve with a side of green salad tossed lightly in olive oil with salt and pepper to taste.



Vietnames Spring Rolls

Add an asian flavour to your summer with these spring rolls that are so delicious you won’t want to share them with anyone! They are also so easy to make yet look impressive when prepared so you are sure to delight and surprise your guests with your skills in the kitchen!

Firm tofu
Rice paper wrappers
1/2 head of cobb lettuce
1/2 a cucumber
2 Carrots grated
Spring Onion
Fresh mint, coriander, thai basil

For dipping sauce
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1/2 tsp chilli sauce
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp chopped peanuts

Chop your cucumber and tofu into 1.5cm depth strips and about 4-5cm long. Chop the lettuce and all your herbs finely. Dip the rice paper in a bowl of warm water for 3 seconds ensuring it is fully submerged. It should come out of the water slightly firm so that you can easily lay it flat on to a ceramic plate. Starting at the edge of the rice paper closest to you, add all your fillings in very small amounts. If you have too much filling, it will be difficult to roll and the fillings will easily fall out. Once you have added all your fillings, pick up the edge of your paper closest to you and roll it tightly over the filling. Repeat until you have the desired number of rolls. For the dip, pour all the ingredients into a small bowl and stir vigorously. Place rolls on a serving dish with the bowl of dipping sauce.


We hope this has given you a few ideas for summer dishes. If you try them out, do let us know how you found them!

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Les 100 Ciels travels

By July 24, 2015 Travel

Our must-see places in Florence.

Florence is renowned for old masters and history, but it’s also a living city with a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. Handsome and historic, it’s bursting with quirky shops and quality crafts, making it one of Europe’s most civilised weekend destinations.

We spent a busy week researching the latest yarn trends and technology at the Pitti Filati fair, so we were glad for some time to relax and sight-see at the end of the trip.

Read on to see what we got up to in beautiful Florence, showing you our favourite places to shop, eat and visit!



Where to shop: UB

This quirky store on Via dei Conti is a treasure trove of goodies, full to the brim with antique decorations and retro furniture. Seek out a hidden back room with the most amazing collection of vintage wallpaper, including 60’s floral designs and geometric prints.







Ub Firenze / Via dei Conti 4r – 50123 Firenze – IT |


Where to shop: Ottod’ame

The beautifully merchandised Ottod’ame sits on Via della Spada and houses a wide range of fashion brands with a concept store feel. While we visiting there was a stunning ‘White Like Milk’ display, showcasing their all white styles along side pops of graphic colour.






Via della Spada 19r |


Where to eat: Gusta Pizza

You can find Gusta Pizza in one of our favourite areas in the city, just south of the river and surrounded by lovely boutiques and antique shops.

This rough and ready pizzeria makes the most delicious pizza, it’s definitely worth a visit. It’s definitely service with a smile here, the staff are so friendly and welcoming. *They also make heart shaped pizzas!

Top tip: Take out your pizza and eat on the steps of the Basilica di Santo Spirito and people watch the evening away. Follow with an alfresco drink outside one of the bars on the Piazza Santo Spirito!




46R Via Maggio


Where to eat: Gelato Santa Trinita

Let’s face it, you can’t to Italy without sampling the local gelato. This Gelateria has the best in Florence (and that’s saying something!) and sits on a corner with views of the river and the Ponte Vecchio.

Top tip: The Sesamo Nero gelato is a must-try. This mysterious grey ice cream tastes better than it looks (something along the lines of hazelnut but with a more intense flavour).


Piazza Frescobaldi, 11/12 R

Where to go: Boboli Gardens

Walk off the pizza the next day with a day out in the sun at the Boboli Gardens. Enter through the magnificent Palezzo Pitti and you are welcomed by the most beautiful landscaped gardens full of statues, fountains and even mazes.

Spot the pistachio coloured Kaffeehouse, perched halfway up the hill. It has the typical trompe l’oeil frescos on the walls and we could quite easily imagine ourselves living there!





Entrance is €10 and this includes entrance to the Forte Belvedere and Giardino Bardini.


Where to go: Il Duomo

The cathedral of Florence is known for its distinctive Renaissance dome. Its name Saint Mary of the Flower refers to the lily, the symbol of Florence. The entrance fee allows you to roam through the Cupola (the dome) and the Campanile (the bell tower) and the views are breathtaking from the very top.

Top tip: Visit 23 Via dello Studio to see where the artists and stonemasons devote their time to maintaining and conserving parts of the historic building.






What to see: Forte Belvedere

If you can tear yourself away from the stunning views, Forte Belvedere is currently showing the Antony Gormley HUMAN exhibition until 27th September. His beautiful cast iron figures are displayed throughout the grounds, adapting to their surroundings and differing in relation to their location and position.






Photos courtesy of Pinterest

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