Friday, 25 March 2011

Spring Break!

I'm off on holiday!

Well, no, I'm not. But I am going home for the best part of a month, and my friend is coming with me for the first week, so I'm going to be a tourist with her. Thus, there will be no blog posts for at least a week - I'll be far too busy buying magnets and going on boats. Sorry! Well, I'm not sorry, but you  know. Standards of politeness and all that.

Anyway, here are some pictures of little snacks and meals that didn't deserve their own posts but ought to be here all the same.

Apple pie:

(Yes, that is a Kuhn Rikon knife. Yes, they are awesome.)

Tomato relish (this was to go with a curry but the curry went a bit wrong. That's why there was no post on Wednesday...):

Prawns, french fries, salad and garlic mayo:

Banoffee ice-cream with caramel sauce (this was amazing):

Lemon "souffle" (It was mousse.) - I didn't like this, but it looks pretty and my friends thought they were good.

Cheesy crumpet - best breakfast/lunch/snack/supper ever:

....Apart from this: a cheese, ham, and fried egg sandwich:

Pastrami and red onion pizza - this was surprisingly delicious:

And finally, a Belgian bun. I've never been sure what it is that's so Belgian about them, but they are delicious.

Have a lovely week!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Picnic food.

Sorry about the silence - I know all three of my readers must be parched from the lack of posts recently. Truth be told, I was going to make up some excuse about being horribly busy what with it being last week of term and things, but honestly it's just been practically tropical and I've been outside all the time.

So what with the lovely weather and everything, I've barely been  near a computer. Today, however, I make an exception. We had a picnic today and (naturally) I provided most of the food - thanks go to my friend Louise for the breadsticks and popcorn.

I made bread and butter and tomatoes:

Nothing's better than a salty tomato. (Nobody agrees with me on this.)

These random smoked salmon parcels that I found at the bottom of my freezer (I hope they were mine...)

And, my pièce de résistance: chicken and bacon salad.

The best thing about picnics in general, I think, is they way you pack everything up. So I had salad in one box, bread in another, a tiny twist of salt in foil, and butter in a little pot. It satisfies my OCD side. Sadly, though we forgot some important things for a picnic (only one of them was my fault) - a rug, a ball, and boiled eggs. Next time!

However, the best thing about this picnic in particular is that it almost completely emptied my fridge/freezer! And tonight, my friends and I are all getting together to finish off what's left. I know there's going to be fish fingers, chicken wings, burgers, and wedges on the menu (so far). So fingers crossed, it'll all be gone by Saturday and I can go home with a clear mind! Yes, I do take food that seriously.

And as an aside (ooh, alliterative) I had a lemon cheesecake milkshake the other day.

I don't know how they made it but I have a suspicion they threw some lemon cheesecake and some milk in a blender and whizzed. Whatever, it worked.

On a scale of one to yummy? The milkshake, a 17. The picnic, due to the lack of boiled eggs, a 16.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Weekend food fun.

And what a fun weekend it has been. This week is my last week of teaching from my first year of university, and I'm determined to enjoy myself, even if I do have to empty my freezer at the same time.

I've been wanting to try these for ages but couldn't really justify the price - I think they're usually about £3. Luckily, this one was on sale for a quid....

It's a bit like a very posh pot noodle. You add some boiling water and give it a stir. That's it. It was nice, though sadly lacking in prawns - I think there was about three in the whole pot. I gave it a sploosh of lime juice and soy and snipped in some sad-looking coriander that was lying in my fridge, and it took it to another level, it really was good.

To celebrate St Patrick's Day (Woo.) I had some friends over and we had sausages and potato salad.

It was wonderfully summery, and it matched with the weather. It was certainly the least Irish and best way to celebrate St Paddy's Day.

My tea on Friday was linguine with onions and parsley and chilli and garlic. It was delicious and simple.

On Saturday we went to Ikea. Before I left home, it was a good two-and-a-half hour drive to Ikea, and everyone hated it. Now, it's a fifteen minute bus journey and it's a fun day out. It's possibly one of the best things about being at uni.

Especially the food:

That's a prawn and egg open sandwich. It was on this really seedy black bread, it was so so so good. I've always known prawn and eggs were a good combination - indeed, Marks and Spencers used to do a sandwich that I was sometimes allowed for a treat when I was little, but they stopped making them years ago - but I have often been pooh-poohed. Now we know, don't we? Yum.

My friend Iveta made me a Lithuanian dish on Saturday - it's a bit like spaghetti Bolognese but with cabbage. Sort of.

Anyway, it was delicious, and it had loads of Worcestershire sauce in it which I find hilarious since I've always imagined it to be strictly English.

Cream slice for pudding. Three words:

Best. Food. Ever.

I was watching umpteen food videos on YouTube on Sunday (There are some seriously bad ones out there. Who needs to know how to make a peanut butter sandwich?) and I saw one for a tuna melt. Now I know how to make a tuna melt, but it got me thinking. I had tuna-cheese-on-toast. I ate it with some pickled jalapenos and it was great.

Tea last night was stirfried cabbage with noodles and some ginger chicken (From the freezer!).

This was good too, though nothing special. And I do have tons of cabbage left.

Told you it was a fun weekend!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Smoked haddock

For a quick tea on Wednesday I poached some smoked haddock - well, I don't know if it was poached as such - I shoved it under the grill, so perhaps it was grilled. But it was in milk... Well, call it what you will, I still cooked it.

Here it is, all golden in its bath of milk and wine and nutmeg (and tons of butter, obviously).

I thickened my pan juices (Gosh, I sound like a right ponce) and put in way too much parsley. Then I wreathed my lovely haddock with broccoli (because I'm just so healthy, man,) and then very artistically smothered the whole lot in parsley sauce.

Yum. I ate it with toast. Heavily buttered, naturally.

It was good, though not all that filling. More toast is called for, I feel. And it would have been nice in a pasta bake, I should try that.

On a scale of one to yummy? About a 15.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Recent Eats


Finally, I have handed in my essay, tidied my room, done my laundry and now I can get back to the more important things in life. Food, and telling pretend people about it. Life is fun.

So obviously, there's a massive backlog of deliciousness that we have to get through. I'll be brief on each one; hopefully this will just be a luscious food-porn-picture-fest, but fasten your seatbelts nonetheless.

A week ago (a WEEK!) I had a rather pleasant surprise dinner made for me by my friend Iveta. Well, all right, it wasn't that fancy. It was some ravioli from Sainsbury's, and I made some cheesy garlic bread to go with it.

It was nice, and we had some fancy tomatoes with basil and chilli on them that really were nice; but the filling did taste suspiciously like sage 'n' onion stuffing. Perhaps they got their mixes mixed up.... Naturally the cheesy garlic bread was awesome. I don't know when it wouldn't be, really.

This is the best ice-cream ever:

It's Caramel Cinnamon Waffle. See what I mean?

On Friday, it was a Jane Austen Society meeting (I told you I lived the life of a crazy student) and we thought we'd make cakes: I made a lemon sponge.

It was really good (Do you know why? Because it had lemon curd and buttercream in the middle, and also icing on the top. That's why.), and there was enough left for afternoon tea with my mate Tomás:


On Friday night, I made stirfried prawns with beansprouts and cabbage. Naturally, using prawns out of the freezer. It was really nice (if really quite spicy), and I felt really healthy and worthy. But then we went to the Jane Austen meeting and there was lots of cheese and oatcakes... Oh well.

On Saturday my friend Louise wanted to go to the farmer's market, and I couldn't resist a request like that, could I? I got to hers about 12 and she was just having lunch. I have to admit, I'd forgotten about breakfast and lunch and things like that so she very kindly treated me to one of her specialities: naan bread pizza.

 And do you know what? It was delicious. She claims not to be able to cook, but I think that's not true. She managed to get four duck legs for £3 at the farmer's market and treated us to a lovely roast dinner on Sunday (I provided the swede.)

Rewinding a bit, I wisely remembered my failure to eat breakfast the day before whilst preparing for a hard day in the library on Sunday, so I had a bacon butty.

Cor. That, I think, is the ultimate food.

Then, of course, I had bacon left over and cabbage left from my prawns, so what did I make? Well, cabbage and bacon, obviously.

Now THAT is good food. I used to eat that all the time at home, but I don't seem to much up here. I don't know why though, it's just delicious. Now I do have a confession to make. There wasn't very much cabbage left, so I was still a bit hungry when I'd finished, delicious though it was. I may have caved and had a hotdog. But it was totally worth it!

Nearly there: sausage and chips, with way too much salt and vinegar:

And the perfect spring welcoming food:

 So good.

Speaking of spring, here's the weather one day, and then the weather the next day. It's seriously confusing, I feel like I'm on a film set.

With all that, you must be dizzy. I'll leave it at that! It was a good weekend. (Week.)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Essay? Yum.

Just a quick upate to let my three readers know I've got lots and lots of work to do so there probably won't be a post until Wednesday, sorry. Just, y'know, so my mum doesn't think I've died, slumped over my laptop in despair.

Here's a pretty picture instead:

On a scale of one to yummy? The cheese: 20. The essay: 1.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Rösti and salmon

I've been craving rösti for some time now. 'Well, no more!', I thought to myself as I bought some potatoes.

Along with my rösti, I had some salmon. Let me clarify - a while ago Marks and Sparks had a deal on where you could buy three packets of fish for £10. Naturally, being the freezer-addicted fish fan I am, I took advantage, and along with some sea bass and the squid you saw last night, I bought a packet of 'Lightly Smoked Salmon Fillets'. I've seen them around a lot recently - I think they're pretty much smoked salmon but you have to cook it. Anyway, I just wasn't sure what to eat with them. Now with normal smoked salmon I love this idea I got from Tessa Kiros's book Falling Cloudberries - it's very Swedish. You have the smoked salmon, then a small pile each of red onion, capers, dill, lemon sections, and chopped hard-boiled egg white and yolk. She suggests serving it with potato pancakes. Now, I can never be bothered boiling an egg, If I'm honest, and I don't like dill. But the onion and capers are really good with the salmon.

Anyway, I didn't have any normal smoked salmon, did I? So I decided to just slice up my salmon fillet and fry it really quickly - y'know, just so I didn't get food poisoning. It's never fun when that happens.

Alright, so I didn't have any red onion either. But the spring onions sufficed, and I had some sour cream too. It was really good, actually - rösti are so easy to make and they're delicious. I should definitely cook them more often. Any suggestions on what else to eat them with?

On a scale of one to yummy - a 15.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

'Quick Calamari Pasta'

So you remember my delicious pasta that I ate with prawns? It was hardly a long time ago, come along now. It was yummy.

Anyway, you'll remember also that I planned to make one of Nigella Lawson's recipes, called Quick Calamari Pasta. Well, I'm sure you'll be delighted to know that I made it just last night. (Naturally, I had squid in the freezer or I wouldn't have made it otherwise. I am boycotting any recipe that doesn't use at least one thing from the freezer.)

It was pretty easy, really - you just put the pasta on to boil and while it's cooking you fry some spring onion, chilli, and garlic in oil until they look a bit soft. Then you add the squid, let that fry for two minutes, add some white wine, let that bubble for two minutes, then add a blob of butter and some pasta cooking water. The you drain the pasta  and mix it with the sauce and some parsley.

Obviously it looks nothing like the photo in the book, but - it was possibly the best pasta dish I've ever had. It was amazing. So simple and yet so deeply salty and sea-ey. I livened it up a bit with a squirt of lemon and some pepper - I put pepper on everything - and seriously, I could have eaten at least twice this amount. Yumboes. My only quandary was whether to put more chilli in or not - it wasn't very spicy but then again it would have taken away from the squiddiness if it were.

On a scale of one to yummy? About an 18....