Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Pizza and a Party

Like most people, I like pizza. I much prefer homemade; it's less greasy for starters! Plus they're pretty fun to make. When I'm at home, we quite often make them on Saturdays. We do the dough for the base in the afternoon, then it's ready for when we want to eat tea. I didn't quite do it this way when I had pizza on Saturday, but similarly. You might remember me saying that when I made the dough for the flatbreads to have with the pearl barley broth I made last week, I made the whole amount of dough even though I wouldn't need it all. It's hard to divide quantities for dough, and it's always handy to have extras in the freezer so it seemed silly not to. As the dough was one which could be made into lots of different things, including pizza dough, I decided to use one to make one of the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall pizzas which were just a few pages further on in the book. I plumped for the beetroot and cheddar one (so I could buy smoked mackerel and have smoked mackerel and beetroot sandwiches- SUCH a good combination!). I simply got a portion of dough out of the freezer at lunch time and by the time I wanted to use it it was thawed. Now, I am all for variation and experimenting, but I do have a sliiiiight problem with something being called a pizza if it doesn't have tomato sauce on... this one did, but some of the Hugh recipes didn't. I'm sure they're nice, and I'll still try them, but to me it's not really a pizza!

The lighting is very bad, but there was literlly no other space to put my plate! The beetroot and cheddar were layered with mozzarella and onions before being baked. I also did sweet potato chips... no recipe, just half a sweet potato (it was giant!) baked in the oven on the very top shelf for about twelve minutes with the pizza. Of course, if you cut the pieces thicker it would take longer. I know that is a rectangle, which isn't traditional pizza shape, but I couldn't find a tray big enough to make a decent sized circle to get the filling on! Oh, and I would just like to mention that for the cheddar, I used a cheddar Babybel! As they were on offer, it was the cheapest way of buying cheddar, and one Babybel was just the amount that I needed. Plus I then had five more to eat for snacks. Wins all round I think.
That was the pizza, now for the party. I'm currently in  a house with five other students, and on Sunday we had a Christmas dinner before we all went back to our respective homes for the holidays. The meat we had was venison, which we all really enjoyed. The accompaniments were roasted parsnips, red onion and carrots with honey, roasted potato wedges, a mix of baby corn, sugarsnap peas and carrots, green beans with bacon, pigs in blankets, carrot and swede mash, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. We also had some Cadburys Marvellous Creations chocolate (I only hd one square to try because I knew there would be lots of food) and some tomato and cheese flatbread bought by two of our guests. Totally random, but hey, that's a student dinner for you! I think that's it! There were way too many vegetables, even with ten of us (We had four people join us; a girlfriend, two best friends and a former resident of the house!) but leftovers are the best part of big dinners like this. It's just not the same without leftovers! After we got the accompaniments from the shop, we prepared them together whilst drinking mulled wine and listening to Christmas music. One of the songs of which was Feliz Navidad meowed by cats. How people come up with such things I'll always wonder... Then while everything was cooking we watched the Harold and Kumar Christmas film. Such a festive afternoon and night. I love Christmas so this was the perfect way to end the week for me.

Also, with the meal we had some mead, a treat from one of my housemates. It was Lyme Bay 'Christmas mead' ordered from the internet (you can get it for £9.95 per bottle from Amazon) and it was so nice! It was just like drinking liquid honey. You could actually taste honey though, it wasn't just sweet and sugary. I'd definitely have it again. When I looked online, Lyme Bay do quite a lot of varieties which I would also like to try...
Very missmatched table heights, cutlery and serving dishes, but it's all part of the fun!

This is more to prove that I don't always spend time making my food look pretty ;)

Afterwards, we had a bonfire. We dragged two sofas outside and toasted marsmallows, and after a while we had my Christmas cake (by the way, I thought I had posted a photo of the finished product but I was mistken! I don't have one on my phone but I will try and figure out a way of getting one on here because I am rather pleased with the result.) I was SO full afterwards, but it was totally worth it. A great start to the festivities.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Freestyle Friday #19, Brownie Bites and Barley Broth with Flatbreads

Last night was my university's Christmas lights switch on. I ate before I went so I wouldn't be tempted by all the food that was there! My ingredient to use this week was a few new potatoes, so I decided simply to make potato cakes. But flavoured not simply of course ;-) Potato cake one was inspired by something I saw on Masterchef: The Professionals. It was a dish that had raisins and capers in, so I added the last few of my raisins and a teaspoon of capers. For cake two I mixed mustard into the mash and put a piece of ham in the middle. Number three was a little bit of mozzarella surrounded by tomato and basil mash. Number four was supposed to be an egg in the middle of plain mash, but I didn't leave enough mash to surround it... So I just mixed it in with the potato! In for a penny, in for a pound... However, I did use some of the white for something else. I tried to make a little tart base with a crushed cracker... But to be honest I couldn't be bothered to properly crush the cracker because I was getting short on time (despite starting in plenty of time!) It did kind of work though! Definitely potential there... I spread the last of my genuine French pâté on top, which softened and melted just  a little bit. It was unusual as I've never had pâté warm like that, but it was good.

Left to right: eggy mess cake, tomat, basil and mozzarella cake, ham and mustard and caper and raisin. Plus my tasty little tart. And a carrot. I needed some veggies in there!
Melty mozzarella... yum, is all I can say!
My mum and dad are visiting tomorrow, and I wanted to make them a little something. Last Christmas I received the Snog Healthy Treats Cookbook, which I still haven't used, so I decided on the chocolate brownie bites. All you do is blend walnuts, cocoa powder or cacao powder and salt, then blend in agave nectar, vanilla extract and dates. Roll them into little balls, make a little indentation and pop on a fresh raspberry. Done. I will admit, I used tinned raspberries. If I made them again I would use fresh, as the tinned ones kind of turned into pulp! I haven't tried one yet, but I am looking forward to it. I have also never used agave before, so am looking forward to trying it for that reason as well. I am quite excited that now I have the agave nectar I can make other things from the book as well!

Soooo not as neat as the ones in the book, but I prefer the homemade look to be honest!

Last up, my barley broth and flatbreads. My narrowed down choices for tea this week were cauliflower curry and pearl barley broth- both from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Veg! book. I plumped for the barley broth, but thought I would make the flatbreads that were suggested to go with the curry anyway. I already had all the ingredients, and I would have had bread with the soup anyway, so it seemed a natural conclusion. The dough recipe was actuall 'the magic bread dough', which can be used for different things such as pizza bases, flatbreads, pittas and breadsticks to name a few! I made the whole amount of dough and portioned it up to freeze. I'll have three portions spare from the soup, and I already have an idea for one of them... You'll see. I like the flatbreads because once you've made the dough, it is literally three minutes tops to cook them, which I could do while the soup was simmering. So it worked well all round.

Doesn't look pretty, but it tasted ten times better than it looked. It is also a coincidence because on a Paul Hollywood cookery programme I watched today, he had never used nutmeg in a savoury dish, and this had nutmeg in. It was good!

Nice brown spots, just as it should be. And yes those are nibble marks you see at the top...

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Freestyle Friday #18, Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken, Smokey Sunday and Christmas 'Cake'

I haven't posted these things separately, as I've cooked them, because I've been very busy with university work lately. Well, I'm still busy, but I do have to have a break sometimes I suppose! I'll start at the beginning. That's always a good place to start.

Freestyle Friday number 18. I did a soup, because I had planned to do mulligatawney soup this week (I'll get to what I actually made in a minute!) and I won't take you through my entire thought process, because believe me, that would be a looooong post, but I didn't, but I still kinda wanted soup. So I took all the random things I had and put them together. Half a carrot, half a serving of my messicani pasta shapes and some broccoli were what I started with. Ah, the broccoli. I had been having it with my roast during the week, just chopping a few florets of as and when I wanted them. But here's the thing, I sometimes nibble when I chop. Even raw broccoli. And I happened to discover that broccoli stalk is quite sweet, and very nice to eat. So along with the last few florets that were left, I grated the stalk in as well. The carrot I just chopped into smallish chunks, a little bigger than the pasta pieces. To make the soup, I just cooked the pasta in chicken stock (as I didn't have any vegetable) and then added the other things to it. I also ended up adding a couple teaspoons of capers and some chopped pickled jalapenos. Oh yes, and the 'croutons'! I also had potatoes with my roast, and while they weren't really something that needed using, I added one nonetheless. It was only a new potato, but it was quite a big one! I was originally going to grate it in, but I actually cut it into tiny cubes and baked them with some mixed herbs while the soup was cooking. I hadn't intended them to be croutons, but I realised when I put them on top that they kind of were!

The tray is for security as I carried it to the table... it was a very full bowl...
I turned the heat off as soon as I added the grated broccoli, and the residual heat just tenderised it. One of the Freestyle Friday dishes I am actually rather proud of!
Sweet and Sour Chinese Chicken, come on down! This is what I made instead of soup. It took a long time and some help to decide, but I am so glad I made it. It starts off as the 'usual' sweet and sour chicken, in that it also has pineapple and green and red peppers in. But it also has lychees in! I am a big fan of lychees, but I have never had them in a savoury dish before. Okay, I know this isn't the most savoury dish in the world, but you get what I mean. The sauce is also made with the juice from the pineapples (and lychees in this case), again, as per usual. But in this recipe, you mix them with two tablespoons of cornflour before adding to the stir fry. I really think it makes a difference, the sauce was lovely and thick and just delicious. Also, in terms of being unusual, the chicken was marinated beforehand in rice wine and soy sauce, and then browned before stirfrying. The recipe said 30 minutes minimum... I did mine at lunch time so it had three hours! I'm sureit would have been fine with less though. Again, I could definitely tell it was different to usual. It just goes to show that sometimes the little things really do make a difference.
It is hard to take photos when cooking this type of dish as everything goes so quickly, but I had to get a snap of this, just because of the festive colour scheme- and NO, it ISN'T too early to think about Christmas!

This is when the sauce was thickening, so I did have a second to get another quick shot.

There is rice under there, I promise!

All that's left to say about this is that I am really glad I have it for the rest of the week.
Also, I know I said I wouldn't batch cook ALL the time after placement, but I seem to have gotten into the habit of it! Not sure how that is going to go... will have to wait and see I suppose.
The next two posts are Christmassy, and I know it's November but I don't care. I love Christmas, I really do.
Now, this I am posting because it was just really tasty, and is very similar to our traditional Christmas morning breakfast.

I wasn't going to put it on my blog, hence the bad picture. It is simply scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toast. I bought the smoked salmon for a pasta dish I had last week, and used half of the remainder to make a smoked salmon cream cheese sandwich, and froze half for this for a special smoky salmon start to my Sunday. It was worth the wait. The only thing we really do differently at Christmas is that we have English muffins instead of toast. I am looking forward to it already.
Still reading? Not got bored? If you're still here, you'll be glad you got this far when you read about this next (And final!) thing. Now, having already established that I am a die-hard Christmas fan, it probably won't surprise you to learn I love Christmas cake. I wasn't sure what to have for lucnh today, and after another lengthy thought process came up with this. Christmas Cake Baked Oatmeal. I have oats every day, so if I don't have them for breakfast I get antsy. Hence why I wanted them for lunch. I used the basic method of half a cup of oats, 65ml of milk and then went to town with the Christmas add ins: mixed dried fruit, chopped hazlenuts, cinnamon, allspice, mixed spice, ginger, almond essence (for the marzipan bit!), vanilla essence, a teeeeeny bit of treacle and a glacé cherry. I think that's it! And the baking powder and bicarb to make it extra cakey. Bake in a greased ramekin for twenty minutes, et voila- Christmas cake! I honestly cannot stress enough how much this smelled and tasted like Christmas cake! I just can't. Words defy me for how Christmas cakey this is. I am definitely going to be having this again. So, if you are as Christmas mad as I am, and start waiting for next year on December the 26th, this one is for you. If you only ever try one of my suggestiond, make it this one, I PROMISE, you won't regret it!
It's healthy Christmas cake in less than half an hour, how can you not love it! (If you were feeling indulgent you could always chuck a spoonful or two of glacé icing on top!)

There were scrapings, just another reason to love this.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

A Ravishing Roast

Before the Ravishing Roast, I just have to tell you about last night's meal. I thought I'd photographed it on my phone, but I haven't. I'm sure your wild imaginations will conjure up some sort of image. You may remember the chocolate pasta dish I had a while back. It was a Nigella Lawson recipe, and it had caramel sauce and toasted pecans and it was divine. Well I bought the rest of the chocolate pasta back with me to university, and I used some of it last night. I made the recipe which was suggested on the packet; a savoury dish made with cream cheese and smoked salmon. As we threw away the cardboard bit of the packaging, I was winging it a little, but I think it turned out pretty well. All I did was cook the pasta and then stir in the smoked salmon and cream cheese. I actually used quark (which is basically a low fat cream cheese) as it was cheaper than actual cream cheese, but it worked fine. I also bought the supermarket own brand smoked salmon trimmings, and honestly they were pretty fine too! The fact that they were in really small pieces actually made it easier to mix in, and meant I didn't have to chop it up, so I think it worked out for the best really. I'm also quite pleased because I thought I would use all of the pasta, but I still have some left. I've got some ideas, so stay tuned on the chocolate pasta front...

And now. Onto the ravishing roast. Once I decided I wanted a roast this Sunday, I had to decide what meat. Originally, I was thinking beef, and then doing a similar thing to the Chicken Challenge (the first post of which is here. The other posts about it are pretty much straight after.). But then I realised I'd had beef for a week already with the beef stew. So that can wait! I went for gammon in the end. I mostly have gammon as a steak with pineapple, and I don't very often cook that, but I do really like it. I chose to do Sam Stern's Cider-Baked Gammon. He did suggest apple juice as an alternative... I ended up with orange juice. I'm not sure how to be honest. But I think it worked well, as the glaze had marmalade in. I could also have used honey (which I had), or apricot jam (which I didn't). Also in the glaze was English mustard and brown sugar. After mixing the mustard and marmalade together, I added half of the sugar and then tasted it. I wanted to retain the spiciness of the mustard, so I didn't actually add any more.
I mixed this while the joint was poaching in water and some of the orange juice, with an onion. After it had had it's poaching time, I put it in a roasting dish and scored the skin in a hatch pattern. Usually, you score the fat, but mine had hardly any, just a little bit in some of the gaps, so I just scored the flesh. Then I stuck cloves here there and everywhere, and spread on the glaze.
The roasting time was 45 minutes, and I basted with leftover glaze every 15 minutes. I did ANOTHER thing while it was poaching, I prepared a rather colourful side dish. It was a suggested side dish to go with the recipe, and it sounded quite up my street, so I thought, why not. It is a mixture of red cabbage, an apple, an onion, cinnamon and wine vinegar (I used white). There was also the option to add brown sugar, but I left it out. It was quite easy to prepare. Aside from finely chopping the cabbage, all you have to do is roughly chop the apple and onion, then layer everything in a casserole-type dish, sprinkling with cinnamon every now and then.
It looks like a purple brain to me... anyone else? No?


And after... And...
... here is the meat! As I served my portion for today first, I got the charred bit on the end... cook's treat! Which I saved until last of course.
Annoyingly, I also forgot to take a photo of the finished product on my phone for the blog, only on the ipad for instagram (my username is anniebellaaa if you want to check it out!). There is also some broccoli and new potatoes under all that, you can juuuust see the broccoli peeping out in the top right hand corner (it's a bit shy). I really, really enjoyed this. Not in the least because it tasted fab and it was pretty and colourful... it made the house smell like Christmas! I think it is because we always have a ham for our Christmas Eve buffet, EVERY year. It may be only mid-November, but it did put me in a little but of Christmas spirit... along with the Christmas songs I listened to earlier... anyway. A pretty great end to the week I'd say!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Carbonnade and Cakes

If you read this  post you will know that I have been having the long-awaited beef stew for tea this week. As I haven't done a Freestyle Friday in a while, I decided to do something a little different with it yesterday. It wasn't terribly exciting, but it did taste good. I made the stew into a cheap version of beef carbonnade. In the proper version, you take slices of a baguette, dip them into the stew 'juices', turn them over and lay them on top. Then bake the whole thing until the bread starts to crisp up. I however, used supermarket own brand wholemeal bread! No it obviously wasn't quite the same thing, but I don't care... I never said it was an authentice carbonnade ;) Now, the only photo I took was blurry, and I didn't realise until afterwards (I was hungry and in a hurry to eat!), but I do have something else to show you...

... the cakes! It was one of my housemate's birthdays on Tuesday, and as per tradition when it is someone's birthday (friend/flatmate/housemate/stranger on the street...) I always make something. This time, I decided on (with a little help from my mum!) traditional fairycakes. I did put my own spin on them though... The recipe book simply covered the cakes with buttercream, but as I had some rather special jam, I thought I would go one step further and do the whole wings thing and everything. The jam I used was raspeberry and vodka flavour! I thought it would be perfect for a birthday treat. They all went in less than a day, so safe to say they went down very well indeed.

Sprinkled with a little icing sugar to finish.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Beefy Bundles

I have a confession to make. I know that I always say that I try the original recipe before I change things... well today I broke that rule. I FINALLY made the beef stew that I have been wanting for ages, and it is supposed to have butternut squash in it. But I used pumpkin! While they are still around in the shops I thought I would give it a go. I have seen it on a few recipes that use pumpkin that if you can't get pumpkin, then to use butternut squash. But I have to say, I don't think they are quite the same... pumkin is much less sweet, and has softer flesh. I would definitely like to try this stew with butternut squash in, as I think it would go very nicely with the beef.

Although this takes a few hours to cook, you can just leave it be. The only thing you have to do is stir after two hours, then give it another 30-60 minutes; just until the meat is tender. There is quite a lot of chopping to do beforehand, but it is the kind of recipe that is perfect for a long weekend afternoon.
Along with the beef, onions and garlic and other vegetables I added tomato pureé, wholegrain mustard, beef stock and a little bit of soft brown sugar.

Autumnal colours, quite pretty I think.

Finally, this is it. I give you a beefy (should be beefy butternutty!) bundle of warmth. It is about 5 degrees outside, raining on and off, but something like this will certainly ward off any chills.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Blonde Brownies, a White Wonder and a Cold Weather Comfort

Hi everyone! I have been at home for about a week and a half, hence the lack of posts. I still cook and make things when I go home, I just completely forget to write about them for some reason. For instance, I made a rather cute bat decoration for Halloween, and an iris folding bell decoration for Chirstmas. I'll just have to be a little unseasonable and write aboout them when I next go home and can get a picture of them.

One thing I did manage to get a few photos of was the Blondies I made for a work colleague. A Blondie is basically what I said in the title, a brownie made with white chocolate, so it's blonde! The nuts in this recipe were pecans, but as we didn't have enough I topped up with hazelnuts and peanuts.

You can see in the photos that they have the perfect (in my opinion anyway!) blondie/brownie texture; cakey round the edge and on top, but slightly more soft and squidgy in the middle. I like nuts in my brownies to provide a bit of crunch in the squidginess, and I think all three nut types worked well, despite not being quite what the recipe said!

Another thing I got a few photos of was the Christmas cake my mum and I made. I am just waiting for the photos to be sent to me and you can see it! It is the same one as last year, but I don't care. It has Amaretto in it. Who wouldn't want that again?!

I made my Christmas cake today, and that you can see now. It is a Good Housekeeping recipe again, but a different one from last year. This one is a White Christmas cake. I have eaten one before, but never made one so I thought I'd try it. The first ingredient on the list is 300g of mixed dried pear, apple and peach. I planned to do 100g of each, so I got a bag of dried apple and a bag of dried pear. But could I find dried peaches anywhere? No. And believe me, I looked EVERYWHERE. I talked to my mum about it, and she suggested golden sultanas as a subsitute. I knew I could get those because I came across them in my search for the peaches! I was curious about this, but they do indeed taste different to normal sultanas. I had been ever since I first heard of them, so I'm glad that is cleared up. The other fruit in the cake is apricots. The only nut in it is Brazil nuts, but I have a special nutty decoration planned to get more in! Also, the only spice is allspice... so it doesn't reall sound very Christmassy but I'm sure it will taste good anyhow.

I think it looks quite Autumnal! There is a secret layer of candied peel halfway through which I forgot to photograph, but trust me, it's in there.

It will stay snug in the paper and tinfoil for two weeks, then I'll start feeding it with brandy. I just must remember to buy some more brandy as I used the last of it to soak the fruit...
I don't know if I have mentioned it, but I have been hankering after beef stew for a good few weeks now. I planned to make it as soon as I finished placement, but I went home, and when I came back a few days ago, I wanted something lighter! So I made an Oriental Pilaf.
All the ingredients simmering away. And yes I know I'm a dried fruit maniac and I add it to everything, but the raisins are supposed to be in there, I promise!
The white cubes are tofu. I have cooked with tofu a few different ways, but never like this. It worked quite well, as the thick liquid sort of coated it like a sauce. I liked the texture of this, thick and, for want of a better word, gloopy. That doesn't exactly conjure up a good image, but it was just right for this slightly chilly and rainy day. A bowl of thick, slightly spicy rice with a hint of sweetness was just what was needed.

It is supposed to be served with satsuma segments, but as I didn't get any satsumas when I went shopping I had peas instead to get a vegetable in there.

My usual forward preperation!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Post Preview: Pseudo Subway!

If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know that I generally use my phone to take my photos. Well, my phone may or may not have gotten very, very wet a few days ago and is currently unusable... But I have a camera! However, I do not have the connector cable. I knew exactl where it was until last weekend when I decided to have a good tidy up and sort out. I went to use it today, and lo and behold, it's not there. Moral of the story: never tidy up... I'm joking; I actually quite like to clean... anyway. I have the photos of tonight's tea on my camera as I didn't know I had lost the cable, so I will write about it when, and I mean WHEN I find it. But just a little taster to keep you interested...

I'm not a huge 'fast food' fan, but I do like Subway. I also have a great love for Indian food. Put the two together. Magic. Subway are currently selling a Tandoori Chicken Flatbread, and I decided to make my own (cheaper!) version. So I have something to write with the photos I'll say no more, but I will just say that it was very, very satisfying and tasty... so watch out Subway ;-)

Monday, 14 October 2013

Cool Cookies

The cookies I mentioned in my post yesterday, are quite literally cool. I made Fridge Cookies! It is quite a strange method for making cookies, as it starts off rather like making pastry; by rubbing butter into flour. I must admit, this is one of my favourite kitchen jobs, and has been my 'thing' for as long as I can remember!

My 'breadcrumbs'!

After the butter is rubbed in, you add the rest of the ingredients, which are sugar, an egg, vanilla extract and finely chopped walnuts. Although I did just crumble my walnuts...

Then you shape the dough into a log and chill it for eight hours. I just put mine in the fridge overnight, and it was absolutely fine. It was a big log, it barely fitted in the fridge! It had the whole bottom shelf to itself and it had to go diagonally/ The recipe does make 50, so I'm sure you can imagine. My log made 52 and a bit. Am I the only one who finds it satisfying to get more out of dough/mixture than the recipe states?!

The giant cookie snake!

After the dough has chilled, you just slice it thinly and bake for 10-12 minutes. They do spread a little, but not a lot. I got 20 on a baking sheet and they were okay.

I think they look like pieces of nougat, and they look like it even more when they are unbaked. They are now all ready and waiting to go into work on Tuesday and be demolished in a few hours. If they are enjoyed though, I can't complain.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

A Riotous Rainbow

It took me a long time to choose this meal. As in 45 minutes of looking through recipe books. Leaning towards one recipe then changing my mind and leaning straight back the other way. But I eventually landed on this one- a lentil salad. I know, I know salad when the weather is cold, again! But this is, for want of a better word, a 'manly' salad. Big and beefy and filling. Well, it doesn't have beef in, it has gammon, but you get my drift... Anyway...

When I realised I had been looking at recipes for 45 minutes, I just went for this recipe because I was fed up- not of looking through recipes (I could never get fed up of that!), but with myself and my inability to make a decision. It was one I had earmarked, but I wasn't totally happy. It was tainted my all the undecisiveness. In the suggestions bit after the recipe, there were quite a few options to add in, including ham/gammon/crumbled bacon. I love gammon. And when I went shopping I just had a quick look at the gammon, as I expected it to be quite pricey, so I was very surprised to see little joints for £2 to £3! I looked through them all as there wasn't many, and picked up the cheapest at £2.07. Even though it was an extra cost, I think it was totally worth it as it made me happier with my meal and at the risk of sounding 'chef-y', I really think it contributed something to the salad.

My lentils, before I started cooking them.

The ingredients list simply stated 'finely chopped'. I sliced mine at a jaunty angle. Why not?

So colourful! Spring onions, tomatoes, a huuuge red onion and fresh mint. I kept the tomatoes quite chunky to add variety, as there were quite a lot of little and finely chopped things. There was a choices of herbs to add (parsley, mint, basil or coriander), and I noted them all down on my shopping list, and decided to just pick whichever one I felt like at the time. It just so happened to be mint.

The lighting really doesn't do justice to how colourful this salad was, I really wish you could see it! And that was another reason to be happy about the gammon, it just added another little bit of rainbow!
As it is my last week on placement next week, I am making biscuits to take in to say thank you. I started them today, but to save confusion I'll do a whole post about them tomorrow.