Spoonful of Sugar

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Cheating a bit..

So this was work not home but it is the first wedding cake I've ever done and whilst not being entirely happy with it, I was a bit proud that I managed to do it whilst the boss was on hols.

Smitten Kitchen's Strawberry Summer Cake


I made this a couple of weeks ago. It was lovely!!
This was my version:



Oh Leon Leon, how I love you Leon!

This is the book that brought back the mojo. I've cooked and cooked and cooked and loved eating from this.
I love it. It's fresh, simple food, fast. I am totally inspired..

Sadly I didn't take photos of last night's dinner which was Chicken with preserved lemons and olives and Sunshine Salad.

Papas Con Bravas, Italian Broad Beans, Courgette Ceviche

Fried courgettes with green sauce, roasted cauliflower with turmeric, 30th b'day salad

Cooking tonight's dinner (after all the chopping!)

Lots of stirring pans all at once :)

Spicy fried fish, 30th b'day salad, roasted cauliflower, broccoli with cashews, garlic and chilli.

Love it.. so many more things to try.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Hot dogs for tea

Somehow I feel far more justified in giving the kids a couple of hot dogs for tea (and not a lot else) if I serve them up in freshly home-baked rolls.. 
There. I did it. I blogged again. BAD blogger.
Must play catchup.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Sticky Lemon Pork and Brown Rice Pilaff

In a word.
I made this for tea tonight. YUM! I stuck it in the intellichef and it was really really good.
I was a bit stuck as to what to stick with it but fell back on an old fave that I discovered in my original weight watchers days.. not because it's that healthy as it stands, but it's really tasty.. Find it here

Then quite lamely I stuck peas with it at the last minute as I needed something vaguely green in there and only had broccoli in the fridge (that was green) which I wanted for the weekend.. can't win them all. Didn't distract from the loveliness that much ..

Fry off some onions gently in butter (oops - mushrooms sneaked in there again..), then stir in the rice, s&p and cinnamon

Add luverly slurpy homemade chicken stock full of goodness..

This is the pork thingy - Fry off pork which is coated in flour and paprika, add rosemary, garlic and bay, then wine. Boil for a minute, add lemon zest then simmer for an hour. Add lemon juice.
Rice - done. Baked in the oven for an hour till it's all delish.

Dinner. With peas. Ahem.

Oh blimey

Oh deary me. Nearly two whole months have passed again.
Here's the thing. I get (racks brains for who that I know has been allowed a link to this little bit of me..) pretty depressed from time to time.
I chose that word carefully because it's not about being fed up or sad or grumpy or cross. It's about being disfunctional and dragged down and stuck in a cloud of loathing and desperation and desolateness. There's a made up word for you..
Anyway. The relevance of that to this is that I know now that when I get like this, when everything is conspiring against the wobbly balance board that is my emotional wellbeing, I lose interest in food.
Who'd have thought!?
The really tragic part is that I don't lose interest in eating. I just get less picky about what I consume, so no magic diet  and skinny sized clothes either. Dammit.
Anyway. That's my excuse. It's been a bad couple of months for foodiness. I'm working on it. Given that foodiness is most of what I am and do nowadays I need to pull it back from somewhere..

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Alternative to pizza

I knew I'd have some feta left from last night's Jme Peri Peri chicken meal, so planned in Feta, Spinach and pine nut pastries for the grown ups tonight.
Soften onion in butter (The more observant of you may spot a bit of stray mushroom in there too)
Toast some pinenuts - the recipe doesn't say toast, but frankly all nuts are better toasted I reckon

Mix Feta, Spinach, Balsamic vinegar, the pine nuts and the onion

Dollop into the middle of a scored, glazed puff pastry sheet (Don't use reduced to clear, past their best, shoved in the freezer ones...)
Bake and enjoy

Strawberry and Nectarine Pie

We had some slightly shrivelled nectarines that needed using fast, so after a bit of googling I thought I'd try strawberry and nectarine pie.
I remembered seeing a generic fruit tart recipe in Rachel Allen's Home Cooking and as I'm not that great with pies I thought I'd take her advice. Results were good but it was a bit weirdy at the time!

Cream together butter and sugar

Add an egg

Beat another egg separately and then mix half in. At this point I stopped using the recommended dough hook.. I mean.. Dough hook?

Sift and stir in flour, knead briefly and spilt into two discs. Fridge for an hour.

Mix strawberries and nectarines with cornflour and caster sugar

Ignore cleaning up and go and investigate large pile of boxes that lovely postie just delivered

Pop to chippy to get lunch as it just feels like that sort of day

Roll out pastry (HA HA HA HA HA HA... good luck) and line pie plate

Dollop on fruit mix

Cover pie with pastry, seal and glaze with the other half of that egg from earlier. Stick in oven.

Play with new toy for a while

Admire pie
Eat Pie

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Poor neglected blog

Hello poor bloggety blog.. you've been neglected for a while! Life went and threw us a doozy. There's been some comfort cooking, there's been some grief induced not eating, there's been a lot of can't be arsed-ness.

I thought I'd rummage out some photos of what has been worth photoing and then make a new start.

Spicy Tortilla Lasagne

A snickerdoodle in the making

Royal wedding cupcakes

Royal banquet

Wedding watching bacon and sausage sarnie station
Lemon cake

Lamb Biryani

Monday, 11 April 2011

Food or figure?

Oh this is such a dilemma

I've just reached my "if you put on another half a lb missy, it's diet time" size

I've never been a dieter. Not till I was 30 and the post-2-babies weight just had to go because I couldn't take it anymore.

Now though? I guess with all the other hang ups that being a post-30, post-2 babies, chocolatier, surrounded by yummy mummies lady brings, it kind of matters. And I like me less when I'm wobbly. I move faster when I'm not. I'm bouncier. I feel perkier. And if I'm honest, a little bit smug.

There is only one real problemo with all this. I like food. Lots.
Don't get me wrong, I can make Weight Watchers far more interesting than many people who stick to the ready meals it sells. I wouldn't be writing a food blog if I couldn't. But it's not my ideal.
I truly believe in all things in moderation. Sometimes though I'm not very good at moderating myself. Why would you want to with all the fab things to eat in the world that have way more calories than they really should.
I can stick to a diet and lose the weight but then I want to indulge in the food and drink that I want, when I want it. Then the weight comes flooding back. The (low) levels of exercise I achieve at the moment are quite frankly, all I'm ever going to achieve. I have not a lot of time to spare and I'm damned if I'm going to fill it with something I don't enjoy!

What's a girl to do?

Oh. My tea last night? That might have something to do with it..

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Seeking inspiration

It's been a quiet week food wise. Nothing remarkable or even that worthy of mention. Quite a nice veggie biryani to clear the fridge but that's about it.
Yesterday I gave myself a kick up the bum and got out recipe books and filled them with scraps of paper in all the "must make!"s.
Then I made a lime and ginger cake (BBCGF) and a batch of our favourite flapjacks. I use a Jamie recipe that he wrote for red nose day a few years ago and put cranberries and apricots in. The kids love them.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days

I was a good girl at the dentist last week so I bought myself the above book as a treat..
First bakes from it happened today -
Blueberry cake (minus the pecans) and Snickerdoodles as a gift for our nursery manager who is going on maternity leave..

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Celebration meals

Not the big party sort, but the treat yourself sort.
Other half came back from a working away so dinner was prefaced by a cocktail (or two) and there was steak involved.
As he brought back a bottle of Absolut Raspberri (gotta love Duty Free) I found a recipe for a Koi Yellow
4 Parts Raspberri Vodka
2 parts Lemon Juice
1 part Simple Syrup
1 part Triple Sec
Shake with ice, strain and serve.

For dinner we had another Jamie 30 minuter.. Ribeye Steak with Dan Dan noodles..
The usual chaos ensued:
 but the result was definitely worth it!