November 21, 2014 §
This week has been full of cooking prepared in advance: some very unsuccessful braised beef that was supposed to be Sunday dinner, and ended up being eaten on Monday; following Sassy Radish to combine previously frozen lentils, previously washed and shredded kale with a couple of sausages to make a super-quick dinner; parsnip risotto from this month’s Delicious, prepared halfway (in the Thermomix) and in the fridge, ready for dinner tonight (with more sausages); and a batch of April Bloomfield’s porridge, also made in the Thermomix last night, and reheated for dinner this morning. Oh, and brownies with marmalade, and, inspired by a friend who is baking crazy amounts of bread, I’m attempting to revive my frozen sourdough starter. Fingers crossed…
November 14, 2014 §
The online debate on home cooking, and feeling obligated to do it, continues with excellent pieces from Luisa (Wednesday Chef) and Olga (Sassy Radish). I also thought this post from Jenny at Dinner: A Love Story about lacking confidence in the kitchen was part of the same theme. And Jay Rayner is an enthusiastic advocate for getting in the kitchen to please yourself.
I am definitely cooking differently with a child, especially now she’s weaning. To get dinner on the table while minding her through the grumpy late afternoon, I mostly rely on something that can be prepared earlier in the day, or something from the freezer than can be easily reheated. The oven is a better option than the stove, especially because I can set it to turn on and off by itself on a timer – useful if I’m trapped under a sleeping baby when something should come out of the oven. I also lean on prepared food a fair bit - some prepared meals like lasagne and fish pie, good bought curry sauces, supermarket pizzas. I’m learning to dial down my ambitions – better to eat something simple or bought than to make something entirely homemade, but not get to eat until 9pm.
Some seasonal recipes to try out:
November 7, 2014 §
The tea loaf love continues. The one above is Justin Gellatly’s version from ‘Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding‘. It uses Earl grey tea and lemon zest and is beautifully fragrant as a result.
October 31, 2014 §
Hard to believe it’s the end of October – today was warm and sunny: it could have been June. Still, there are leaves on the ground, and soups and stews are starting to become a more regular feature of the menu.
October 24, 2014 §
Starting to look forward to winter now (and even countenancing the C-word – I made my Christmas cake last weekend).
Finally, my little girl is six months old today. Happy half-birthday, my gorgeous girl. It’s been so much fun getting to know you – I can’t wait for all the adventures we’ll have in the next six months.
October 17, 2014 §
I managed to get some autumnal baking in this week with grape schiacciata, plum and almond cakes, and oatmeal, raisin and coconut cookies. Hoping to get time today to finish off Mary Berry’s Bara Brith.
October 10, 2014 §
New food magazines keep popping up at the moment. If you’re lucky enough to live in the US, Jennifer Perillo is publishing her own quarterly magazine on Simple Scratch Cooking. If you’re in the UK, you can always buy her cookbook instead.
And in the UK, Toast, who organise foodie events, have a Kickstarter running to print their first magazine.
I love Shutterbean’s photos of meal prep (there’s also a post about how she prepares for the week ahead)
Justin Gellatly’s St John doughnuts were a major reason for me to hike across London to Maltby Street Market on the odd weekend. Then he went and opened his own bakery and cooking school, Bread Ahead, in Borough Market. They make the same impressive doughnuts in even more outrageous flavours. Meanwhile, I went and had a baby, and haven’t been back to either Borough Market or Maltby Street since. So this film about Justin and his ‘custard grenade’ doughnuts is *not helping*.
And while I pine for Bread Ahead doughnuts, it looks like Joy the Baker’s cinnamon sugar popovers might do the trick. (See also: Bea’s duffins).