Peach and blueberry pudding revisited

A few years ago, hubby and I attended a book launch/cooking demonstration by Bill Granger at Waterstones in Piccadilly.  Bill was promoting his then latest book, Bill’s Basics.  He signed a copy of the book I purchased, ‘Dear X and Y, I hope this inspires many great meals together!’

I was flicking through the book earlier and started tearing up upon seeing the note. How did I get from trying out countless new recipes on a weekly basis to eating chili con carne four days a week, every second week?

In that book, is a very simple recipe for a pudding- peach and blueberry, in a cakey batter.  I made it for our good friend Stavros and his parents when we visited them many years ago.

Here is a link to the recipe.   I made it this evening with the Bear.  We served it with cream but it would also go well with custard/ice cream.

Peach and blueberry pudding

It reminded of old times, when this blog was actively updated and I had the time/energy/inclination to test new recipes.

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Asian-style fried egg

I don’t like eggs.  Never did, never will.  However, I have had to embrace eggs, which started a few years ago when I did the Whole-30 program.  The white-part doesn’t bother me as much as the yolk. Runny yolk? I really don’t see the appeal.

I have expanded my egg repertoire to include scrambled, omelette, boiled and fried (add ‘to death’ to each cooking style).

My Asian-style fried egg is quite palatable. Hubby is a fan.  I can’t really take credit for it.  My family back home is known to cover pretty much everything with sauce – soy, ketchup, chilli.  I took mum out for breakfast at Carluccios last summer when my parents visited.  She ordered scrambled eggs and then asked quietly in my ear if they served chilli sauce.  Bless.

Here is the recipe for my Asian-style fried egg.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • Fry lite
  • a knob of butter
  • two eggs
  • 1/2 tsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp kicap manis (dark soy)
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of ground white pepper

Method:

  1. Heat a non-stick pan and spray with Fry Lite
  2. Add the butter and leave it to foam
  3. Break the eggs onto the pan (side by side) and leave to cook until the egg-white turns crispy around the edges
  4. Season with the soy, kicap manis, salt and pepper
  5. Fold the sides of the eggs until the form a parcel/overlap and flip over
  6. Leave until the yolks are cooked through
  7. Remove from the pan and serve with a squeeze of chilli sauce

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January 2017 round up

I only made one resolution for 2017.  To clock up 3,650,000 steps by the end of the year.

Neither 2015 and 2016 were particularly good to me, therefore towards the end of last year, I decided to treat the transition to January 2017 not as a brand new year, rather a typical month which followed the end of a previous month.  If that makes sense.

I felt very strongly about using up our pantry staples in January without having to do big weekly Ocado shops.  We managed rather well, I must say.  There were some takeaway meals and we did eat out at the weekends, but by mid last week, our cupboards were almost bare.  I promptly organised an Ocado delivery which drew big cheers from the Bear.

Speaking of whom, we have all been sleep deprived as the Bear struggles with night terrors.  This has given me the added excuse to indulge in coffee.  Far too much, unfortunately.  That, plus I’m an early starter at work.  The coffee band-aid saga continues. I was doing well with packed lunches until last week.  I fell ill and it proved too much of an effort.

A few photos of what we had to eat in the last few days.

Clockwise:  (1) Lamb burgers, mushroom and red onion relish, sweet potato fries, salad (2) The Bear’s bowl of homemade meatballs, cheesy pasta (not pictured – a bowl of salad) (3) Kale, peppers, mushroom stir-fry topped with fried egg and sweet chilli sauce.

Here’s a quick meal plan for the week ahead:

Monday 30/1 – Udon noodle, prawn and veg stir-fry for hubby, egg and prawn fried brown rice for me

Tuesday 31/1 – Salmon, brown rice, veg stir-fry

Wednesday 1/2 – jacket potatoes, beans, salad

Thursday – 2/2 dhall, omelette, fishcakes

Friday – 3/3 leftovers

Did anyone watch Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Show last week? Jamie recreated a River Cafe dish for Michael McIntyre.  Scallops, borlotti beans and tenderstem broccoli.  It looked fab and I’ve been dreaming about it since.  Might be a project for the coming weekend.

The food plan for February is to gradually decrease my sugar intake in preparation for Lent which is only a few weeks away.  The Hubby and I recently discussed reducing our intake of red meat – we have been eating chili con carne and lamb curries recently!  I’m feeling better now and have my work lunches for the next three days prepped (quinoa, bulghur wheat + kale + grated carrots + boiled egg).

Hope everyone has had a decent enough start to the new year.  If anyone is still reading this, do drop me a line to share any food related resolutions you’ve made for the month/year/.

 

Kimchi mixed mushrooms and puy lentil casserole

It was a full-on week at work and I’m still getting to grips with how things run with my new employer.   I was in Sainsbury’s yesterday and really craved mushrooms.  Before long, my shopping basket had the following – shiitake, oyster and enoki mushrooms, a jar of kimchi and kale.

I made my go-to recipe for puy lentil casserole by Ina Garten (Barefoot in Paris) with the addition of kale, parsnips and ginger to boost the earthy flavours.

The mushrooms were cooked very simply as follows:

Kimchi mixed mushrooms (serves 2)

Prep and cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 200g mixed mushrooms (trimmed, stemmed, cleaned)
  • 1 tbsp kimchi
  • 1/2 tsp herb de provence
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a non-stick pan
  2. Add the mushrooms and stir in the oil for a minute
  3. Add the kimchi and herb the provence.  Leave to cook for another minute
  4. Season with salt (be mindful that the kimchi is salty) and pepper

Serve up the puy lentil casserole in a bowl and top with the kimchi mushrooms.

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Wendover Woods

As cooler weather sets in, the temptation to stay in and hibernate is rather strong.  Thankfully Hubby the ever sensible one talked me into heading out for a walk and a dose of fresh air.

I suggested a trip to Wendover Woods seeing it was a lovely, sunny Sunday albeit a definite crisp in the air. 

We packed a sandwich lunch for the Bear, wrapped up warm but foolishly left our wellies behind.

Parking starts from £1.70 for 2 hours.  We clearly picked a busy Sunday and managed to snag the last spot!  

It was rather cold. We only stayed an hour. A quick walk, lunch, a spot of running around and then off in search of coffee where the queue wasn’t a mile long.

Tomato, mozzarella, olives and basil

A simple yet tasty lunch.  These were prized beef tomatoes from our garden, topped with store-bought mozzarella, olives, basil, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. 

When I was in Asia, the Bear and Hubby showed me the tomatoes ripening in the veggie plot via FaceTime. I was so pleased that they waited for my return to enjoy the fruits of our labour together.

Meal plan w/c 4th April 2016

I’m on a mission to empty out the fridge before ordering groceries online.  Back to work tomorrow after having had two weeks off.  Hopefully all these meals will come together nicely.

  • Monday – leftover Mediterranean chicken, pasta
  • Tuesday – salmon, ratatouille 
  • Wednesday – chili con carne, brown rice
  • Thursday – steamed cod with ginger and spring onion, rice
  • Friday – leftovers