Sunday, 25 September 2011

This Morning

The realities of being a student kicked in today. Namely, having to overcome a hangover to do some intial reading and get my timetable sorted. This is it.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Sausage, Lentil and Sweet Potato Bake

Sorry guys, quiet blog week...I've been having an induction week at uni so it's been pretty hectic. I'm finally getting round to studying my English degree-just four years behind schedule after having Wonderboy! As you can imagine that will be taking up a lot of my time from now on, but you'll be pleased to hear I am going to try and keep Miss P's Kitchen in business-there seems to be going back now, as I can't seem cook a plate of food without the compulsion to take a photo of it! Mind you, if this week is anything to go by, not a lot of eating has actually taken place. So tonight called for a much-needed comfort meal.

Makes 2 portions.

Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, then fry some sausges until browned on the outside. I used chipolatas, in which case use 3 or 4 per person. Remove from pan and keep to one side.

In the same pan, on a low heat, add 1 finely chopped onion, 1 crushed garlic clove, a generous pinch of dried chilli flakes and a small pinch of paprika. Cook for 5 minutes or so until softened.

Add 100g dried red lentils that have been rinsed in cold water. Add 1 large sweet potato (or 2 small ones) peeled and cut into chunks.

Tip in 1 tin of chopped tomatoes. Season. Add the sausages back to the pan and mix all together.

Now move this all to a bakng dish, top with some grated mature cheddar and bake in an oven pre-heated to 200°C for approimately 25 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Serve with green vegetables.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Saturday Stuff

A great Saturday with Wonderboy. Lazy morning involving movies and dens. Hyper afternoon involving swings and conker hunting. Cosy evening involving chicken korma and X Factor.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Light Reading

Took pity on this stack of Good Food magazines that were about to end up in my friend's recycling bin. Some of them are 10 years old! She had the best of intentions to take out her favourite recipes and categorize them but never got round to it, and finally gave up the dream...
I already have a pile of other editions that I was planning to do this with. It hasn't happened yet. So I figure it would take at least another 10 years for me to get round to doing all of it.

Steak in Ale with Potato Dauphinoise

The first signs of Autumn get me very excited. Not just because it's the only season that truly co-ordinates with my hair colour. Or because I am a huge fan of walks in the leaves, bonfires, crisp misty mornings and rainy afternoons. No, I think what truly excites me is that it is the onset of stew season-stews, soups, pies, casseroles and all that is filled with gravy-like comfort.

I'm off to a pretty good start this year with this steak cooked in ale that a friend and I shared at the weekend, over a bottle of hearty red. I made a creamy potato dauphinoise to go alongside..just because. I'm not suggesting you eat this everyday, but it was damn good!

To make the dauphinoise (roughly 4 portions) - thinly slice 4 large potatoes. You want the pieces about the thickness of a pound coin. Place haphazardly into a buttered baking dish, adding some fresh chopped garlic (1 clove) and generous seasoning as you go. Pour over 300ml double cream, top with some grated gruyere cheese and pop in oven pre-heated to 180° for 1-1/2 hours.

Before you get the daupinoise in the oven, make a start on your stew. Mine was done in a very relaxed fashion, whilst chatting away, so the measurements aren't the most accurate. But it's stew right, how badly can it go? Again this made about 4 portions.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan or casserole. Add one finely sliced onion, 2 large peeled and chopped carrots, approx 12 mushrooms, sliced, and 1 crushed garlic clove.

Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes until softenened.

Now add approx 500g diced stewing steak (or similar) and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stir in 1 heaped tbsp plain flour and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the meat is starting to brown.

Now pour in half a tin of tomatoes and most of one 500ml bottle of ale (I used Old Speckled Hen)

If you have any fresh thyme add a couple of sprigs at this stage. If not, 1/2 tsp of dried thyme will do. Add some more seasoning.

Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave simmering for about an hour.

Loosen your belt.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Cheddar and Chilli Bagel

Today was the Wonderboy's first day at school. Well, afternoon. It's safe to say I was definitely more nervous than he was! After dropping him off I came home, cried, made myself this immense bagel, then felt much better. Meanwhile he was having the time of his life running around and making friends, unaware of how pivotal this day in his life was and how hard I found it to loosen the apron strings. He can't wait to go back tomorrow! Phew.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Easy Chocolate Cake

Now I'm not professing this to be the best chocolate cake recipe. To make a really good, moist cake it is always better to use fresh chocolate. But this is an excellent fallback recipe which uses cocoa powder, so you can whip it up if you don't always keep chocolate in the house (or if it doesn't hang around long..) It also bakes quickly so is great to make with kids, who are not the most patient of cooks!

This will make enough to fill two thin 20cm cake tins, or one deep tin if that's all you have. Then you can ice the two sponges together, or ice the top of one large cake as above.

175g of soft (room temp.) unsalted butter
3 large eggs 150g self-raising flour
175g Castor sugar
30g of cocoa powder
1 teaspn of vanilla essence
2 tablespoons of milk

Pre-heat oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Put all the butter into a good-sized mixing bowl and, using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, beat until creamy. Add the sugar, beating all the time until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Break the eggs into another bowl or jug, add the vanilla essence, and beat together with a fork. Pour this mixture a bit at a time into the bowl containing the butter and sugar mixture.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder over the butter, sugar and egg mixture.

Add the milk. Then gently fold the flour and cocoa mixture into the rest of the mixture, until thoroughly combined. You want to do this in as few movements as possible though, to ensure there is lots of air still in the mixture.

Pour the mixture into your tin/s and bake for 15-20 minutes.
The cake is done when the sponge springs back when gently pressed in the centre; or is starting to brown on top and has shrunk away from the edges of the tin.

Turn out onto a wire rack and let the cake cool completely before you filling or icing. I made a simple chocolate butter icing using 125g unsalted butter at room temperature; 400g icing sugar, sifted; 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, sifted and 3-4 tablespoons of milk. Thoroughly mix together before using.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Love Food?

I don't believe in God as such. But if I did, I would ask the big guy for a massive favour and let it be sunny on Sunday for this festival at Dyrham Park.
To be honest, I would probably ask for more than that, but it's a good a place to start I guess.

Thursday, 1 September 2011


Last week-a lovely catch up and reminisce with old school friends. It seems to be a time for moving onto bigger things, so the meal was a celebration really...especially for beautiful Skye, who has managed to land a real grown-up job in Dubai! Sophie is going to Australia, Sorcha is heading back to Leeds to finish her medical studies, and I...well I'm off to university in Bristol. Not quite as far, of course, but nonetheless exciting for me!

Nothing says good luck like a novelty sized bottle of champagne!

Maybe ignore the terrible photo I took of Sorcha's chilli, which was much tastier than I have done it justice here. Just look back at the pretty girls!

Now toby and I just need to plan some kind of round the world trip to visit everybody next Summer..


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...