Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Down time



Brunch today at the Wild Cafe in Bath. Avocado on sourdough toast; pancakes with bacon and maple syrup; fresh orange juice, and Earl Grey tea. Making the most of my leisure time before starting a grown-up full-time job on Monday. Eek! 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Nordic





Today I went for coffee with a friend, and received this belated birthday gift. It's full of traditional recipes that remind her of growing up in Sweden, and I can't wait to give some of them a try. Just need to decide whether to make cinnamon buns or tosca cake first...

Oh yes, it was my birthday last week! And before that I took Little P to Paris! We have a lot to catch up on. I'll post again tomorrow. 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Freedom








Before you get mad at me, I have a good reason for not blogging in almost a month - well, two good reasons perhaps. The first has been finally finishing my degree (only four years behind schedule after having Little P), so as you can imagine I have been trapped at my desk for the last few weeks. The second is that, after my final exam a week ago, I have been busy celebrating. The weather has certainly helped, and I've enjoyed sunny pub garden drinks, nights out with uni friends, and a great weekend with my guy that included a very late night, and a very lazy Sunday at the spa. Think I need to make the most of this before real life kicks in...


Saturday, 26 April 2014

Saturdays




Today was a trip to the cinema followed by a visit to the toy store; then sandwiches and cake with our new monster friends. As good as it gets when you're 6.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014



Smashed avocado with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. On sourdough toast. With balsamic glaze. One of my favourite little lunches.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Blueberry and White Chocolate Muffins



This recipe comes with an(other) apology. With my dissertation deadline looming ever closer, I'm afraid blogging has taken a bit of a back seat...so has cooking, for that matter. But last week saw my final EVER lecture, so I'm now studying from home and trying not to get too distracted by a) the sunshine b) trashy TV or c) cleaning the oven, aka anything that seems more appealing than sitting at my desk. 

To celebrate our last lecture, I took in a batch of these muffins. They went down well - although a bunch of sleepy students at 9am will probably appreciate any snack given to them. They're perhaps not as healthy as your average breakfast muffin, so leave out the chocolate if you like, or eat with abandon as they are: 

Makes 12 muffins

150g self raising white flour
100g self raising wholemeal flour
100g caster sugar
1 tao bicarb of soda
1 medium free-range egg
250ml milk
90ml vegetable oil
150g blueberries
200g white chocolate, broken into chunks

Heat the oven to 180°C.
Combine and mix together all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except for the blueberries and 150g of the white chocolate. Try to do this in as few movements as possible, otherwise you'll knock all the air out of the mixture.
Using a metal spoon, stir through the blueberries and chocolate.
Pour the mixture into a 12 hole muffin tin lined with paper cases, and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. You can check with a skewer to see if the centres are cooked.

Remove from the oven, take the muffins out of the tray and leave to cool on a wire rack. 
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 50g chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water - or in the microwave, on a VERY LOW setting for no more than 30 seconds. I burnt my first batch by forgetting Mary Berry's wise words: "chocolate will melt in a child's pocket". Oh Mary, why did I forsake you?

When the muffins are cool, embrace your inner artist and drizzle the melted chocolate over them in a fancy way. Leave to cool and harden.    




Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Baked Rosemary Polenta Fries


Confession: I had to Google (or 'google' - is google a verb nowadays?): "Is polenta a carb?" in the making of this post.



Does that sound stupid? Carbs are a confusing place.

Well it turns out that polenta is a wholefood, and one of those 'good carbs' that is full of fibre and protein. So we can feel good about that. 


We can also feel good about cutting it up and pretending that it's potato.

These crispy fries are actually baked not fried, giving them more healthy little brownie points. They're also wonderfully easy to make, even more so if you use ready-made polenta.


If you're using the grain from scratch, just cook it according to the pack's instructions to make a firm polenta. The quantities I used were 100g polenta combined with 400ml water, a generous amount of grated parmesan, and approx 1 tsp dried rosemary. Heat in a saucepan for around 4 minutes until thick. Leave to cool a little, then turn out onto a flat surface and shape into a square-ish shape - this is quite a satisfying job if you do it with a few pats of your rubber spatula (!) 

Heat some olive oil on a tray, in an oven heated to 200 degrees. 

Slice your polenta into thick or thin fries, depending on what you fancy. I went for thick but would try thin next time, as the resulting fry has a firm texture that would hold it's shape well. 

Place onto the hot tray. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and toss to coat them in the oil. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and crisp.

Potatoes? Pah! 

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