Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Seven Vegetable Tagine

Hullo! What a fine day it is today. I even went bare-legged and I can happily say I haven't got hypothermia yet.

On Mothering Sunday (Yes, I know it was ages ago, I've been on holiday, all right?) I actually remembered, for once, and did something. I cooked! Now, I know what you're thinking. 'Gosh, Emily, what a hardship for you. How did you cope?' But really, you know, my mum's terribly fussy so it was quite difficult. She doesn't like meat or fish (apart from the occasional prawn butty) or anything excessively rich or cheesy, or anything vaguely oriental and soy-sauce-y. Now do you see? That's everything I love! How on earth do I cook something under those circumstances?

Handily, I was able to reach a fortuitous conclusion.  She loves curry. BUT. I was not going to cook curry. That would be too obvious. I went Morrocan. I plucked from the recesses of my brain a wonderful recipe I picked up when I was in Marrake -

Oh, all right. I just saw the recipe in Olive and thought 'Yeah. Okay. Cool.'

It worked out perfectly actually because in the end the spices smelled fairly similar to a curry (naturally she wasn't allowed in the kitchen) and so we led her down the wrong track. Do you see? My sister and I enjoyed it very much.

I'm not sure why the sugar's out.  But anyway.

I think the seven vegetables were potato, butternut squash, carrot, courgette, tomato, chickpeas and green beans. I think. I suppose I could just check on the recipe but that would be too easy.

It called for preserved lemon, which I didn't have. I don't think I've even ever seen them in a shop. But anyway, I found something - Oh! that's why the sugar's out! - that says you can sort of make emergency preserved lemon, as it were, by frying some sliced lemon in olive oil, salt and sugar. But I couldn't really taste it in the tagine, so I just shoved some extra lemon in too.

We had it with some couscous and some harissa and yoghurt.

It was a bit runny, but it was really good. And it tasted lovely with the olives in, as well.

It also made a fabulous soup the next day, whizzed up with some cream.

On a scale of one to yummy? A 17.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Spring Snacks

I'm back! Well, I've been back for nearly two weeks, but I've been far too important and busy to update my blog. Honest. Also our internet died.

I have a surprising lack of photos. I'm not sure why this is. Perhaps I thought 'Shall I fetch my camera? Nah, I've taken plenty of pictures, and there'll be plenty of more opportunities...' nearly every time I ate. Though obviously I haven't written anything for two weeks so there are quite a lot; I meant relatively.

Anyway, I'll stop waffling now. It wouldn't make sense to sort these chronologically; partly because they're too erratic and partly I can't remember what I did every day. So we'll sort it into meals. Keeping up? (Also despite the title it isn't all snacks. Naturally. I just like alliteration.)


We ended up eating out a lot for breakfast. Now this is mostly because I love the idea of eating breakfast somewhere else. But it does have some reason behind it: my house is so far away from anywhere that you can't just hop on a bus or walk anywhere. On a weekday, your only hope of getting out of the house is to catch a lift with my mum or stepdad on their way to work. Obviously, they leave pretty early. So me and my friend usually fell out of bed and straight into the car - thus the need for breakfast whenever we got to our destination. Honest!

Breakfast in a box! The novelty of this was almost better than the actual thing, though it was pretty tasty either way.

Eggybread with maple syrup and pancetta. This was delicious and felt very posh, but there wasn't much pancetta. It was good anyway. Iveta had a smoked salmon omelette which was also delicious.

All day breakfast butty from Costa - mm, classy. Good though. Let's face it, when is breakfast bad?

Lunches and snacks

Gosh, I'm enjoying these little subtitles. It's almost like I'm writing something worthwhile.

Smoked salmon and Philly jacket potato: (You may have noticed by now my addiction to smoked salmon and bacon. Get used to it.)

Scampi and chips at Vinegar Jones. Oh yes. I know how to treat my guests.

Now this was silly of me. We went to a lovely little restaurant/café called Fat Olive for lunch and I foolishly ordered a steak sandwich. Now it was nice, and I do love Fat Olive, but I just don't really like beef. I still don't know what possessed me to point and say, 'I'll have the steak sandwich, please.' Oh well, I snuck it into my bag wrapped in a napkin and my stepdad enjoyed it later.

This is more like it - onion and goat's cheese quiche with salads. That red cabbage salad is amazing. I've been trying to work out the recipe for years.


Yes, that does mean an evening meal, not the drink. Nor afternoon tea, I'm afraid, despite my Englishness.

This isn't actually holiday food: this is what I had on our 'clearing out the freezer' supper. Chicken wings, a burger, fishfingers, smiley face, french fries and peas. Mmmmmmm, protien.

My first tea back! Toad in the hole made by my revered mama.

 And again, my mother's cooking - this time chicken tikka. Yummy scrumboes.

Sweet treats

Poached rhubarb and ice-cream. One of the only puddings I like - usually in restaurants I'll go for cheese over sweet things. And while we're on the subject, cheese with fruit in it is a travesty. I'm all for a wedge of Brie with grapes, or Lancashire and a Cox's Orange Pippin, or Stilton and pears; but fruit IN cheese? No. Just... no.

Sarah Nelson's Grasmere Gingerbread! There's nothing quite like it. Though that's not for lack of trying. 

This, too, is back in Glasgow - a student staple, apparently - five-minute chocolate cake. You make it in a mug in the microwave. Can you believe I ate this after our freezer-clearing fandango? I can't.

Well! I think that's enough for now. I'm boring myself, so God knows how you are. There's more but they deserve their own posts. It's been a good holiday so far!