Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Book 100: Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje


Woo Hoo - hit my goal and it's still November, so I might even get a few more read before the end of the year... This was one I've been meaning to read for a while as I like Michael Ondaatje and a friend mentioned this was her favourite of them. When I saw it on the shelf in the charity shop I knew it was destiny, lol. I enjoyed it, parts of it immensely.  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dinner (Lunch): 19/11/17: Roast Chicken, etc


Despite the usual birthday tradition of not cooking on my birthday (unless it's the day of my annual feast), I cooked lunch today because we had a friend in from the US - but we kept it simple with a nice roast chicken and potatoes - a lot less effort that way. For dessert we had homemade icecream, which Sarah made yesterday during the big cooking extravaganza...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Almost Vegan Birthday Feast (18/11/17)


On a weekend near my birthday, it's been my tradition - I think for about 9 or 10 years now - to have a group of girlfriends around for a feast. Many of my friends are vegetarian, plus one of my friends who has been coming in the past few years is also allergic to gluten and dairy, which means that vegan food is a good starting place - and then of course, there's the gluten free addition. She's also allergic to most nuts, so that doesn't help either. These dishes are mostly vegan except for some honey in one salad dressing and the tortilla, which has egg in it. Also, dessert featured egg in a large way. But otherwise, pretty varied despite the restrictions (and yummy...) Sarah was home for the weekend, so helped me with the cooking.



This first dish (above) is titled "Surprisingly Delicious Moroccan Cauliflower Salad" - which made me laugh  - it uses cauliflower "rice", which was useful because the cauliflower steaks, which we've had before several times, generate lots of leftover bits of cauli. The tahini yogurt sauce was made with soya yogurt, so it was dairy free. Tahini has such a strong taste you couldn't tell it was soya yogurt at all... Recipe: BBC Good Food Magazine


This is a lentil and butternut squash salad; I've made it lots of times before. (BBC Good Food)


This is a new one, though - it's a parsnip and brussel sprout bubble and squeak cake. It was gorgeous - and very Christmassy seeming - I'm considering cooking it again for Christmas dinner. (BBC Good Food)


This is a simple tortilla recipe, cooked in the oven and cut into pieces - I've made it before for parties.(BBC Good Food)


Here we have a Caribbean Vegetable Curry (with coconut cream on top) which I'd been planning to make for dinner a couple of weeks ago and never quite got around to - we'll definitely have it again, though as it was really nice. Spicy. (Sainsbury's Magazine)


This was perhaps the star of the evening, despite looking so ordinary -it was a "Burnt Aubergine Vegetable Chili" - and had a really brilliant smoky flavour, due to the aubergine.  I made some rice to go with both of those dishes. (BBC Good Food Magazine)


This was a Spanish Vegetable casserole and was nice, though not nearly as interesting as some of the other things. (Tesco Vegetarian Magazine)


This one you may recognise from other postings - it's Niomi Smart's Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce, which we think is an excellent dish. (Eat Smart by Niomi Smart).

It occurs to me now that I should have cooked Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe "Tamara's Ratatouille", but then again, you can't have everything. Maybe next year.


Dessert was meringues, with lots of fresh fruit and some cream (or soya cream). I put cocoa in some of the meringues, so they had a kind of marble effect. I say "I" - it was actually Sarah who made the meringues - ironic really, as she doesn't even like them...

Friday, November 17, 2017

Dinner, 17/11/17: Pizzas


Homemade pizza night. Tasty!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dinner, 15/11/17: Red Chili & Broccoli Pasta


The kids and I liked this, Geoff less so. It wasn't my favourite pasta dish ever, but I thought it's simplicity was nice.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dinner, 12/11/17: Bolognese Stuffed Peppers (Good Food)


Very tasty and warming, served with salad I think (though not pictured with it). Definitely one to have again. I altered the recipe by adding rice into the bolognese mixture - made it lighter, also less meaty.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Dinner, 11/11/17: Celeriac Steaks with Salsa Verde


...and served with a garlicky white bean mash, which was particularly nice on the side. Yum. 

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Book 99: Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood


Another in the Hogarth Shakespeare Series: I read Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler - a Taming of the Shrew re-imagining this summer and it was ok, but not brilliant - this is much better. Indeed, excellent. This is, perhaps obviously, based on the Tempest, and it's very cleverly constructed as well as being an engaging tale in and of itself. It's also, perhaps surprisingly, as a substantial portion of it is set in a prison, very funny. The other Hogarth authors will have a hard time bettering this.

Dinner, 8/11/17: Mixed bean Goulash (Alex cooking)


And we made cornbread to go with it.  Yum. (The cornbread isn't vegan.)

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Dinner, 7/11/17: Creamy Lemon Cabbage Pasta with Garlic Breadcrumbs (Good Food)


We especially like the garlic breadcrumbs with this one - great texture contrast.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Dinner, 6/11/17: Butternut Squash and Bacon Soup


One of the things that's always a mystery to me is how food magazines can photograph soups with a garnish (like crispy bits of bacon) - they always fall to the bottom. The soup still tastes great, but the garnish doesn't float on top (unless it's chopped herbs or something).