Friday food links – 27 Feb 2015

February 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

Granola bar fail

Biggest food successes of the week were the roast beef last Sunday, done to rosy in the middle, sliced thin and piled onto bread with the onions roasted underneath it, some slaw and a thin smear of mustard. And the braised red cabbage with caraway, mustard seeds and red wine. The granola bars, however, didn’t hold together at all, so got crumbled up, baked for another half hour and put in the jar for granola over cereal.


Without a recipe:

  • Fish finger tacos, cabbage slaw, avocado
  • Breadcrumbed fish and chips
  • Roast topside of beef in sandwiches with roast onions
  • Egg fried rice with vegetables
  • Pizza with artichoke hearts and cheddar


Friday food links – 20 Feb 2015

February 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

Semla! Scandilicious recipe for Scandinavian cardamom buns, filled with vanilla whipped cream and Odense marzipan 😍

After a week of being cooked for, this week was a combination of new projects, and eating from the freezer. The week was anchored by a big braise of pork with tomatoes, and of beans on Sunday, which gave us pork and bean burritos, tomato sauce for pasta, and mashed beans for baby dinners. I ordered such a large piece of pork, that the other half is in the oven this evening for porchetta. Oh, and I made Semlor (see picture above), Scandinavian cardamom buns filled with vanilla whipped cream and marzipan, for Shrove Tuesday. I am completely converted – and they are even better with a thin layer of raspberry jam.


Without a recipe:

  • Pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs from the freezer
  • Burritos with braised beans, shredded pork, tomato salsa, and weirdly, stir-fried veg, which actually worked ok.
  • My mum’s pheasant casserole from the freezer


Pancake day – around the world

February 16, 2015 § Leave a comment

It’s pancake day! We all know that pancakes are made on Shrove Tuesday, the last day before Lent, to use up eggs, milk and butter that are fasted until Easter. But the tradition isn’t quite as straightforward as that. Pancakes are also associated with a pagan festival of the start of spring, their round shape representing the sun, which battles with the forces of winter, and triumphs when spring arrives. It’s also a very long time since fasting from dairy was commonplace in Britain. Starting with the dissolution of the monasteries and the creation of the Church of England in the 16th century (Wolf Hall fans take note!), the customs of the Roman Catholic church started to recede. According to Clarissa Dickson-Wright’s ‘A History of English Food’, the rules against the consumption of dairy during Lent were abolished in 1541, and by the time of Pepys, very few Lenten traditions were being observed at all.

Pancake Day must have been a very popular festival to have survived so long without the religious motivation. Dorothy Hartley in ‘Food in England’ distinguishes the English pancake tradition from the European one:

“Abroad pancakes are usually open and piled up together. In England, our pancakes are symbols of our insular detachment, for each is rolled up by itself, aloof, with its own small slice of lemon.”

But what to make if you’re not really in the mood for British pancake tossing? There are lots of other traditional bakes from around the world that celebrate the start of lent, and the last days before the fast starts before Easter. They all have similar ingredients, but in different proportions: butter, milk, eggs, flour – and in many cases, yeast too.

Friday food links – 13 February 2015

February 13, 2015 § Leave a comment

Hurry up, Spring.

A short one this week, because I almost forgot to put this post together, and because I haven’t bookmarked that much this week. I’ve also been treated to someone else’s cooking all week, with my Mum catering while she was staying with us.

Reading this week:

Friday food links – 6 Feb 2015

February 6, 2015 § 1 Comment

I really was just going to make a *small* batch of marmalade... Oops.

This has been a week of marmalade. I set out to made this ‘Good morning’ breakfast marmalade recipe with some blood oranges that were lurking in the fridge, along with lemons and a pink grapefruit. Despite conscientious pectin extraction from the membranes, and boiling twice, it still hasn’t set (I suspect because I didn’t have the crucial Seville oranges). So now I need some good recipes for marmalade syrup. These marmalade brownies are high up the list, as well as a marmalade and coconut bakewell tart from delicious magazine. I also plan to tackle some sort of marmalade granola (maybe this one). Next time, I’ll go back to my June Taylor recipes, even if she does make you segment all the fruit.

Recipes this week:

Without a recipe:

  • Spice Tailor Keralan coconut curry with fish, peas and sweet potato
  • Leftover braised beef ragu over pasta
  • Tomato sauce and Grandma Turano’s meatballs from the freezer
  • Burritos with black beans, avocado and grilled chicken


Friday food links – 30 Jan 2015

January 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

Porridge with cream

There has been a lot of simple without-a-recipe cooking this week, coinciding with a more concerted attempt to make proper meals for the little madam, as opposed to just assembling random bits on the fly. A roast chicken at the start of the week provided leftovers for two more meals, and the bones went into the freezer to make stock another day. It’s looking like it will be cold here this weekend, so I’m glad I’ve got some thick slices of beef shin in the fridge to braise slowly and shred into unctuous ragu.


Without a recipe:

  • Slow-roast chicken, roast potatoes in the same pan, broccoli and cauliflower cheese
  • Pasta with tomato sauce and chicken
  • Fried rice with chicken and vegetables
  • Sausages, potatoes and sweet potato, red onions roasted together
  • Fish parcels with sea bream, leeks and potatoes

Reading this week:

Friday food links – 23 Jan 2015

January 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

I hope she's hungry! #lifewithbaby

Winter is really here now. I think it took its time arriving, but there’s no real doubt now. Even in our sheltered corner, there’s thick frost on the ground each morning. I’m thankful there’s no snow though – we’re not equipped for it!

Recipes from this week:

Cooking without a recipe:

  • Chicken curry (Spice Tailor sauce) and dal
  • Pasta and sauce

And this week’s reading (which includes tidying up some old articles too):

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