Friday food links – 22 May 2015

Dulce de leche brownies

A flurry of cooking is about to take place, in preparation for our first all-comers Sunday lunch this weekend. These brownies are the first in line. Now I’ve posted a photo, I guess eating them all before Sunday is no longer an option! There was also a roast chicken last Saturday evening, which provided the backbone for the week’s eating – chicken pie, and risotto with the stock. There were also a good number of meals from the freezer, plus mopping up odds and ends of leftovers from last week.

Recipes:

Without a recipe:

  • Leftover pork and bean burritos
  • Pasta with leftover beef stew stretched into pasta sauce
  • Chicken pie
  • Asparagus risotto
  • Roasted rhubarb with orange – served with custard

Reading:

Friday food links – 15 May 2015

An abundance of strawberry flowers

I have a cucumber! A very small one, but there is a bona fide cucumber on my cucumber plant, so that must mean that summer is just around the corner, no? And my strawberries are covered in flowers. It could be a bumper crop, if I can keep the pigeons off them. It’s been a plain and simple kind of food week – lots of Americana. And probably not enough fish or veggies. But it’s all a work in progress. Isn’t every week?

Recipes:

Without a recipe:

  • Beef shin stew – from the freezer
  • Grilled salmon, mashed potato, chard
  • Takeaway pizza
  • Leftover dal
  • Burgers and grilled vegetables, excellent white bread rolls
  • Roast chicken, new potatoes, asparagus

Reading:

Friday food links – 8 May 2015

Morning world. Strawberry rhubarb porridge this morning. Glad to see the sun after storms overnight.

It feels a bit like we’re in limbo here at the moment. After a brief burst of warm weather in April, and then chilly temperatures again, most of this week has felt like neither winter or spring. The leaves are green, but we haven’t really had the little glimpses of summer that I associate with this time of year. So we are still eating stews, dal, porridge – the dishes of winter – and waiting for it to feel like it’s time for asparagus, peas, broad beans and artichokes.

Recipes:

Without a recipe:

  • Pinhead oatmeal porridge – made a batch, and reheated on several mornings this week
  • Sausages and jacket potatoes
  • Pizza – with confit tomatoes and roasted peppers
  • Lasagne – with slow cooker ragu from the freezer
  • Chicken Mole from the freezer (also slow cooker)
  • Chicken korma – Spice Tailor sauce
  • Slow cooker chicken stock

Reading:

Friday food links – 1 May 2015

I have two punnets of raspberries (about 300g). What would you make? I'm thinking cake....

What kind of week has it been? Busy, as I start to get back into the swing of work. Little E still has a horrid cough, so sleep hasn’t been great generally (although we did get only our second ever sleep through the night on Monday night). Lots more slow cooker meals this week. I’ve decided that on my working days our dinner should either be from the slow cooker, from the freezer or something made of leftovers. I can save the more creative cooking for the days when I have a bit more time to play with. I also found myself with some extra berries, so raspberry muffins were made for work colleagues, and there’s either a raspberry ricotta cake or raspberry friands on the menu this weekend.

Recipes:

Without a recipe:

  • Roast chicken
  • Sausage bap (for dinner? yes, really)
  • Pumpkin filled pasta (from the supermarket) with pesto and ricotta

Reading:

Very little this week, for some reason – lots of catching up to do this weekend.

Friday food links – 24 April 2015

Love the psychedelic colours that emerge in these @signesjohansen Queen Maud muffins

My first week back to work, and my daughter is one today – big milestones. I am trying to simultaneously raise my sights at work, and lower my expectations at home. Looking for ways to squeeze more out of each different type of time I now have – even when that means more fun, more relaxation, more sleep. Part of that is leaning on the slow cooker. I’ve really enjoyed cooking from ‘Slow Cooked‘ by Miss South. It helps that E loves slow-cooked meat of all sorts, and it’s soft enough for her to shovel it in pretty well.

Today’s mission is making some cream cheese icing and assembling the monkey birthday cake for E’s first birthday party. We’ll be having a warm spring vegetable salad, cheese bouikas from the Honey and Co. cookbook, and soup, then cake, and this evening, pulled pork from Slow Cooked over pasta.

Recipes:

Reading:

Friday food links – 17 April 2015

Magnolias everywhere

My last week of maternity leave has now come to an end. I’ve had a brilliant year, but I think the time is right to go back to work, and I’m confident Ellie is going to learn a lot at nursery that I would struggle to offer at home. So there has been a type of reverse nesting this week, preparing to re-emerge into the working world. This involves: a) panicking about being able to get everything done, get E to bed and still manage to get some dinner on the table (answer: buy a slow cooker); and b) very belatedly getting around to all sorts of jobs that require someone at home (sofa to charity – tick!). Fortunately, there has also been a bit of time to enjoy the sun, and do a little gardening.

Recipes:

Without a recipe:

  • Steak and wedges
  • Chicken risotto in the oven

Reading:

Friday food links – 10 Apr 2015

Yesterday's no knead bread, this morning's toast.

I’m now into the last two weeks of maternity leave, so this has been a week of firsts, lasts and letting go gradually. I am going back to work three days a week, so there will still be time for swimming lessons, walking to the park to see the ducks, and just lazing around on the living room rug. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that that our lives will necessarily be more planned and regimented from now on. Getting us both dressed and out the door for 7:30am, getting dinner on the table for us both, and organising shopping and deliveries will all be more challenging from now on. Considering a slow cooker, but also knowing that this is not a magic solution.

Fortunately, our last full week of freedom has been warm and sunny. We bought new shoes, went to Kew to see the magnolias in full bloom, rode around the supermarket in the trolley, and played on the swings in the park. The biggest hit with E for dinner (and lunch) was a very mild chicken curry with lentils and cauliflower. She’s been sucking it off bread, eating it by the spoonful and even getting her hands in the bowl and shovelling it in with her fingers. Our sea bass, potatoes and broccoli were summarily rejected in favour of more curry. I’ve also been hunting for some more prepare-ahead baby-led weaning options for when my preparation and imagination fail me (and pinning things I find here). Food52’s Cooking for Clara column is a good one – I made these baked beans this week.

Recipes:
* Earl Grey and Honey tea loaf – Justin Gellatly’s Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding
* Moroccan carrot salad – Diana Henry’s A Change of Appetite
* Baked beans – Food 52
* Chicken stir-fry and broccoli with ginger – Fuschia Dunlop’s Every Grain of Rice (a library one this, but I think I may have to buy it myself – see also Sassy Radish on this book).
* Chicken Adobado – Thomasina Miers’ Mexican Food Made Simple
* Banana cake for First birthday monkey cake in a couple of weeks – Smitten Kitchen recipe

Without a recipe:
* Chicken stock
* Chicken curry, loosely from the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook
* Saucy Fish sea bass, with new potatoes and purple sprouting broccoli
* Burgers and wedges

Reading:
* This piece on food in Homer, Alaska is a wonderful piece of writing, and is nominated for a James Beard journalism award (via Orangette)
* Apparently merveilleux are the new macarons
* Baking a cake for the first time can be daunting – here a cook (but not a baker) shares her worries
* The head chef at Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi restaurant left to be a school cook – inspiring stuff.
* Lots of sweet recipes appearing over Easter: carrot graham layer cake (graham crackers are more or less digestive biscuits); Ottolenghi on chocolate; Diana Henry on pistachios
* Lizzie at Hollow Legs has a new book out on Asian cooking – she lists her 5 essential ingredients here. (I must make another trip to Chinatown soon).