Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Posh-Sounding Pepper and Garlic Fettucine with Ricotta

It sounds like something you'd get in a nice Italian restaurant. Well, I'm sure you can get it in Italian restaurants, but it's actually incredibly easy (and probably a lot cheaper!) to make at home. All it is, is cook the pasta, and then keep it warm while making the sauce, which takes literally two minutes.

Also, for lunch today I had bulghur wheat with diced carrot mixed in. A very random combination, but a very nice one too. I thought the colours looked lovely and Autumn-y together, so I took a photo!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Hash of a Corned-Beef Hash

I did make a hash of opening the tin of corned beef. It took three of us to do it in the end. But in my defence, the little tab you're supposed to roll round came off. But we got there in the end! I'm glad we did, it was a very nice meal. I cut the potatoes a teeny bit too big, so they took a little longer to cook, but that's a minor niggle really. A Mary Berry recipe, and a recipe that I will be repeating. Few ingredients, most of which you're likely to have hanging about the house anyway- beef stock, butter, onions, potatoes, corned beef and seasoning. Well, you might not have corned beef. But five out of six aint bad! 
It might not be the best looking dish, but trust me, the taste more than makes up for it.

Remember, don't judge a book by it's cover!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Pizza, but not as you know it...

I'm aware that the title makes this post sound quite mysterious... But it's not. Unless you've never heard of French Bread Pizza, in which case it is mysterious. On the slim chance you haven't heard of them, let me explain. Basically, a baguette, cut into sections with normal piza toppings. Sounds simple, but it's a very nice, and very filling tea! First, I spreas mine with some tomato sauce I made a few days ago, then sprinkled it with oregano. Then sliced tomatoes, chestnut mushrooms and parmesan. Grill 'em for 10 minutes, and they're done. I know it's Saturday, but they are the perfect midweek supper. Be warned though, if you use a lot of cheese it's like molten lava after being so close to the grill! I didn't have a lot of cheese left, so no problem there tonight!

Right before one of them fell over...

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Extra Egg Fried Rice

I call it extra, because, if you read my last post, you'll know that I wasn't going to post today because I was having leftovers for tea and I don't have anything with me for any craft projects. But, I made egg fried rice for lunch to use up the last of the pancetta I got for the Venetian Stew (see earlier posts!). Along with the pancetta, I added spring onions (which also wanted using) and peas. I cooked the rice yesterday, as egg fried rice is better made with cold, cooked rice (top tip!), and finished it this morning, which took all of about 10 minutes. Give it a go! Delicious, and along with my apple and other special Müller yoghurt-cookies and cream this time-, a very good lunch!

The making of...

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Red, White and Green

No, I didn't get the colours of the Union Flag wrong. When I was making my lunch today, I realised that it was very red, white and green! I had a pesto omlette, with a few basil leaves and tomato ketchup, and then tomato soup. Which was a bit more orangey, but hey...
Not that appetising yet...

And after I ate tea, I realised that that was also keeping with the colour theme of the day. With a bit of purple thrown in, because it had aubergine in. I made Sam Stern's Bubbling Baked Eggplant, which I've had before (the recipe was ticked!), but couldn't remember. I also made the sauce this time, as opposed to using passata. It was very good, I can't think why I haven't made it more often! I also made one very small variation- using chilli infused olive oil instead of normal. It gave it a little tiny bit of spice to the sauce, and I think it was the right decision!

Look what a mess I made serving it!
There won't be any blog posts for a few days, as I'm having the leftover Special Rice and Tomato Soup tomorrow, and the leftover of today's tea on Friday. Do have a look at my earlier post if you want to see the soup!


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

An Amazing Amalgam

Last night, I made Nigella Lawson's Venetian Stew again, which of course, I'd already blogged about. But last time the salt overflowed the spoon, so it was over salted. Which, as you may already know, is the one thing you can't correct in cooking! But it still tasted fairly decent, especially when paired with the stew. I also put the water on to boil at a better time this time (as I was using less due to halving the recipe), so the consistency was better. I just had to take a picture!
It looked more golden in real life, but the lighting in my kitchen isn't brilliant...
Lunch today was Sam Stern's Cumin Cauliflower, as I had some cauliflower left from Sunday's roast. It only takes 20 mins to bake, and less than a minute to prepare, so you could easily do it in the morning. I also had a special edition Muller Corner- the chocolatey orangey one. Delicious.
And finally, tea tonight was Special Rice Tomato Soup, from one of my student recipe books. I think I must be the only student with 13 cookbooks and a pile of paper recipes... It called for a handful of rice, and I used a portion size (50g), which I think was too much as it was a bit risotto like! I enjoyed it though, so I can't say I'm too bothered by it. And it didn't say to do a basil garnish, but I have a basil plant, and basil and tomato go so well together. I think it made the dish!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Good ol' English Roast

My parents came to visit this weekend. I ate so much yesterday, cooking a roast today seemed a little bit mad! But I can always eat a roast dinner, and I haven't had one in ages. I can't even remember the last time I had one, with all the trimmings. I did what I could in my little oven anyway! I had a chicken thigh in the freezer, so that was meat taken care of. For veggies I had roast potatoes cumin cauliflower- not strictly English, but it was so good! I hummed and haahed over whether to have roasties or mash, but the potato was fresh, and dried mash keeps for ages, so I went with roasties. They could have  with longer to be more 'roast' like, but everything else was done. They were still good though. The cumin cauliflower was a Sam Stern recipe. I planned to have cauliflower anyway, but thought I'd give that a go. Glad I did. No roast dinner is complete without stuffing. Mine was out of a packet. I would have loved to make my own; that's not to knock packet stuffing though, which is still very tasty! All that topped off with gravy. And a Hotel Chocolat chocolate for pudding. Perfect.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Pancakes, Soup and Noodles

Not together. That would just be weird...

So for lunch yesterday I made pancakes, as I haven't used my special pancake pan in a while. I tried a new recipe, and they tasted good! However, the batter was very 'thin', so I ended up making little scotch type pancakes with the last bit of batter. The shop near me didn't have any berries, so I had a combination of golden syrup, fudge dessert sauce, Nutella and mango chutney. Again, not together. That would also be weird...

Not so appetising at the moment...

Tea yesterdat was Sam Stern's Minestrone Soup. It barely fitted in my saucepan, and I had to use a saucepan to eat out of because my bowls were too small. I felt like a true student at that point! It was unusual to use spaghetti and macaroni, as the recipes I've tried usually use a 'soup pasta', like conchigliette, but the recipe was delicious all the same!

And finally, tea tonight was Japanese Shiitake Noodles; a Good Food recipe. My mum sent me it, as I wanted a recipe to use my Soba noodles. The recipe we usually do is a Nigella Lawson one, with soy sauce and sesame seeds. I still have some noodles left, so you might be seeing that very soon. The only bad thing was that the supermarket didn't have any pak choi, but it was still good. Very healthy as well, so that was a bonus.

All ready to go!

Bubbling away, nearly done...

Fill me!

                                                                             Ta da!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Very Nice Venetian Stew

Two posts in one day! You lucky people. I would have written about this tomorrow, but it was so delicious I had to share it with you now. For tea, Nigella Lawson's Venetian Stew- an amazing mixture of borlotti beans, pancetta, raisins and onion, over cheesy polenta. I was going to use the other half of the borlotti beans to make a salad of some sort, but I think I'll make this again next week. It was lovely to eat a nice, hot bowl of something while there's a thunder storm raging outside.  It's that good. I even managed to get some photos of my Le Crueset style pot. Can't get any better!

P.s. I did take some more photos, but, once again, technology has failed me...

Look how steamy...

...look how yummy!

Nice Noodles and Cool Curry!

Bad aliteration. But good food! For lunch yesterday, instead of the usual salad, soup or sandwich, I had noodles. I didn't use a particular recipe, just threw in some things I thought would be nice. So, I had: egg noodles, crunchy peanut butter, spring onion, stir fry sauce and chestnut mushrooms. Delicious. Only one pan to wash up as well, as I put the mushrooms in for a minute or two with the noodles. I've never cooked mushrooms like that before, but it worked quite well- they were soft, but still with a little bit of bite. As I have more noodles sitting in the cupboard, there might be some variations on this theme appearing quite soon!

There are spring onions in it, honest!
It doesn't look like much, but honestly, it was yummy.
And for tea, I made a Fruity Curry Sauce from the 'Essential Student Cookbook', and put it with some potatoes I wanted to use. It was a mix of normal baking potato and sweet. It was so filling, even though it was just one of each type of potato and the sauce! 
 As you may be able to see on the table, the bowl was so full it overflowed a little bit...

Monday, 15 October 2012

Pesto Photo!

So last night, after posting that I'd deleted the risotto photos before uploading them, I remembered something... It made two portions so there was some in the fridge! So I took a photo of that. It's not as good as the ones in the Le Crueset style pot, but it still look delicious. Well, I think it does. So without further ado, I give you, Easy Peasy Pesto Risotto!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Easy Peasy Pesto!

Tonight's tea was Pesto Risotto, a cut out recipe from Good Housekeeping. I absolutely LOVE pesto. Can't get enough of it. But, funnily enough, I haven't had it in ages, so tonight it tasted even better than usual. About now is where I'd upload the photos. I took three, in various stages of cooking it in my lovely Le Crueset style pot. But they didn't upload on to my laptop properly. And I'd already deleted them off my camera, so they didn't get uploaded again with the next lot. Just when I'd started getting photos on here again! Oh well, there'll be other meals I suppose. 'Til next time!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

A Very Exciting Moment

Cooking tea today was very exciting. Other people probably wouldn't have found it so, but I did. Today, I got to cook with black beans! The supermarkets near my house have never stocked black beans, so sadly, we've always had to bypass recipes that used them. But now I've moved away to university, both the big supermarkets nearby stock them- along with all kinds of other exciting ingredients (but they're for another day!). I made a Black Bean Chilli, from a little student recipe book my mum sent me. It was very yummy, and I even had an indulgent teaspoon of creme fraiché on it! (Well, it was low-fat...!) It does look like more, but it went all lovely and melty when I put it one the warm chilli. If you come across a recipe containing black beans, this recipe also suggested red kidney beans or borlotti beans if you can't find them. I wish I'd have thought of them before...

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

We have photo! A bit of a faff, but still, we have photo! This was my tea tonight. I absolutely love gnocchi, but I've never made it from scratch before. It was really easy, but seems impressive, and it tasted amazing- even better. The sauce was just as easy- melted butter, lemon juice and garlic. It was a Sam Stern recipe- I've had the book for ages and I can't believe I've never tried it. The only thing I would say is to chop the garlic, not just crush it. As the only cooking it gets is while the butter melts, it's practically raw. Raw garlic is not good... If you like gnocchi, I would urge you to try making your own. Honestly, it's so easy, and quick. Sure, you have to bake the potato first, but you can just leave it in the oven and go do something else. Try it- I dare you...

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Gone but hopefully not forgotten!

Just a quick update. Sadly, still no photo uploading. Sigh. I'decided to still tell you what I'm making though. You'll just have to use your imagination a little bit. Tonight, I'm making a pizza, base and everything. I'm doing a thin and crispy base, so no rising time, which is good if you're in a rush. Not that I am, I just like thin and crispy. I haven't decided whether to go with a 'white' pizza or to use tomato sauce. Either way, my other toppings will be pickled jalapenõ slices, grana padano cheese and fresh rosemary. So technically, it would be a green and white pizza... I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow, hopefully with a photo or two!

Thursday, 4 October 2012


I wanted to show you something crafty, because I'm going to be doing a lot of 'food' posts, so I looked through the old photos on my laptop and came up with this!

They actually serve a dual purpose, due to the photo difficulties I told you about in my last post... I don't have any craft books with me (sigh), but I remember that they are a Nikki Trench pattern from Super Cute Crochet. Even though this wool wasn't the original colour used, I think they look rather cute. I've made several chicks for gifts from this pattern, as they are quick and easy to make. They actually come from part of a family, with mummy chicken and daddy rooster, but I haven't got round to making them yet. Maybe one day...

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Photos and Food

So, as promised, I have been taking lots of photos of all of the food I've been cooking. I take them on my phone, because it's easier to upload them, and the picture quality is about the same (if not slightly better) than my camera. That's all well and good, when I can connect to the internet! There aren't any wi-fi networks around, and my 3-G is quite slow. When I tried to upload some photos this evening, it didn't work at all. Bad times. But rest assured, I'll try again tomorrow... there will be a proper post soon, I promise!