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Monday, 30 March 2015

Chicken And Mediterranean Veg

I'm on holiday! Well, I've been on holiday for a week and now I'm working as an office junior to make money to fund my cookware addiction (I've got my eye on a spice grinder and a good few cookbooks, including Jerusalem (Ottolenghi), ONE (Florence Knight) and Polpo) . . . also a slight shoe addiction . . . clothes in general really. Fortunately for my love of sleep, it's still only a four day week with the bank holiday.

I've just bought the Hairy Bikers' other two dieting cookbooks and have been cooking from them all week with plans for more recipes over the next fortnight. This recipe is inspired by their easy chicken bake (book 2) but I couldn't be bothered to stuff the chicken as it seemed an odd and rather pointless mix (grated courgette, cheddar and sundries tomatoes) and this style of recipe seems to be fairly standard across all recipe books and blogs - I saw another similar recipe on delicious.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb

Where to start? I had an amazing time in London and I'm not sure how to compact it all down into one post, so instead I'm going to write two as my time with Isabel (a friend of mum's) was very different to the days that I spent with my friends from college. I spent all of Saturday with Isabel and we went to Borough Market to buy food for supper. Wow! Borough Market is incredible!!! It was very busy but there's so much to see. We bought some delicious salami from Canon and Canon (I believe it's all British charcuterie, which is quite cool) and from another stall we got some unbelievably good parma ham and burrata. For the main course decideon slow roast shoulder of lamb was decided upon (recipe below). Going to The Ginger Pig's stall for the lamb, we almost received goat instead! There was only one shoulder of goat amongst 5 or 6 of lamb and they looked almost identical so it was an easy mistake to be made - fortunately we noticed it had the wrong label as the man picked it up.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Don't Say Never Trust A Skinny Cook: Cod With Parma Ham And Roasted Veggies

So, this is another Hairy Dieters recipe and I have to admit that I didn't make it myself (mum did) but it tasted delicious and I need something to post for you today! I chose the recipe as one that I wanted to cook over the next few weeks whilst I'm at home. I'm hoping to stockpile some completed blog posts so that you all have something to read whilst I revise for my exams in May. I was in London this weekend, which is why mum cooked, and I had an amazing time - check back in a few days to see what I was up to as I post about Borough Market, the amazing meal I ate at Polpo, and Minyi and mine's now traditional trip around all of the food halls in London! 
A very full but bright plate!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Don't Say Never Trust A Skinny Cook: Teriyaki Salmon

I'm sorry this is a couple of days late but it's for a good reason - I had an essay to write and a pop-up shop to run and I'm pleased to say both were successful. The shop was on Monday and after a very long day (I had to get up at 6:15 - the horror!) I'm pleased to say we raised just shy of £1,100 to Teenage Cancer Trust! My next post will either be a frittata for next Monday's Don't Say Never Trust A Skinny Cook or it'll be about my trip to London (tomorrow 'til Sunday) and the amount of food I eat on it! One of my friends was highly entertained when I showed her my to do list and after a lot of food shops and restaurants there was "a museum" with a question mark after it!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Don't Say Never Trust A Skinny Cook: Thai Red Curry

I've been wanting to make red curry for a while but have never gotten round to it as I wasn't sure what to put in the dish other than not wanting duck. Recently I got the Hairy Bikers diet book as it was part of a deal on Amazon and I couldn't spot another book I wanted in a hurry (it was 3 for £10). Well, I'm so glad I got it - the recipes are amazing and food that I'd want to eat regardless of the fact that it's healthy and good for me. They counted calories to lose weight so that's the only nutritional info given but you can see just by glancing through the ingredients that there's nothing bad in it. They say that this recipe is 286 calories without rice (50g of uncooked basmati rice is 176 calories so the total calories in the dish is 462), which is nothing short of miraculous for a thai curry. What's even more miraculous is the fact that it tastes incredible and very similar to regular thai curries, I might have to give my green curry the same treatment next time. For once, I don't think I've made any changes to the recipe, it's pretty much perfect just the way it is. Actually, i've changed the cornflour to water ratio as it's like concrete - whatever you do don't leave it alone before it goes in the curry or your spoon will be stuck!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Red Nose Day Fairy Cakes

Have you been watching the Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief? I have and while some of it's been comedy gold (Dame Edna Everage needing secateurs to remove a cookie tin, anyone?) I definitely think the proper version is the best. However, I also love Comic Relief and watch it (or the highlights) every year as most of the special sketches are great. They raise so much money for good causes and this year I've supported them by buying red noses, nail stickers and funny mugs as well as a cupcake cases kit. A kit which got me thinking - how could I incorporate my love of baking into a blog post which would help people raise money for Comic Relief? I'm not doing a bake sale, quite simply because I'm running a pop up shop to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust (Monday 16th March 2015 at the UoM Student Union - come along and buy some amazing (and cheap) clothes) and I have a couple of 2,000 word essays to write before the Easter hols, but you might be holding a bake sale and so I'm here to help.

These cupcakes have a hidden surprise in them - crack one open and you'll reveal a red nose! I made my cakes using a Red Velvet batter (I left out the colouring and added it only to the last bit of batter reserved for the centres) but this recipe is going to be just a regular mix to make it easier for children to get involved. If you want to make Red Velvet then by all means do - this is my recipe - just make sure you leave the colouring 'til last! I have a silicone tray of tiny spheres (bought in the hope that I'd make chocolates) which cost a few pounds off Amazon. If you don't have that then use a few cupcake cases to bake the coloured batter and then whilst they're hot tear them up and mould the cake into balls - you'll need to work quickly!

As I feel I'm about to fall asleep at my desk I'm going to love you and leave you until the morning when I shall finish and post this. Otherwise the rest of it might look something like this ygtfgxbhjfgsilubjknmd"SLVmSP"DVMDFSPKBjmdfgoiajhbnd and we don't want that!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Don't Say Never Trust A Skinny Cook: Boeuf Bourguignon (No Mushrooms!)

So, the title says no mushrooms but you can add 250g of button mushrooms (according to my mother chestnut mushrooms would be wrong). You're probably also wondering how Boeuf Bourguignon can be healthy, well that is because (again, according to my mother) the only bad bits in it are the flour and red wine! Whilst you don't use much of one you do use a lot of the latter (no prizes for guessing which) and it makes it taste so good. I was sceptical about making this as I don't really like stews but Liam wanted it and I said I'd give a mushroom free recipe a go. I'm glad I did - it was filling and yummy in equal measures. The recipe is based off Olive magazine's Skinny Beef Bourguignon, which apparently only has 281 calories per portion, though I suspect that doesn't include the potatoes they suggest you serve with it.

Obviously, you're probably dubious about making this on a weeknight, and I'm not going to suggest you make it to eat tonight, rather that you make it tonight and eat it tomorrow as the flavour will only get better. It's probably 40 minutes in total of hands on work and it just sits is the oven for a couple of hours, which is where the magic happens and the beef becomes meltingly tender and the flavours meld together in perfect harmony. It might look slightly odd when you take it out of the fridge tomorrow (beef stock tends to do that) but pop in back in the oven and it'll sort itself out.