Monday, October 12, 2015

Dinner, 12/10/15: Chicken and Olive Casserole

By the time I got home, there wasn't a lot of this left, though there was enough for a bit for dinner with some leftover pasta (Geoff made rice for everyone else, but there wasn't any left).  And a little bit for lunch one day in the week...  This was supposed to have capers in it, too, but didn't because when I went to add them, I found that the part jar I had in the fridge had fermented. Eww. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Book 97: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

Believe it or not, I'd never until now actually read any Sherlock Holmes (except pastiches). It's so much a part of our culture that I am familiar with most of the stories, but in terms of the actual books, nope...  Partly this is because I've never been a huge fan of short stories (though I think I may be beginning to come around on that), and I think there are only four full-length Holmes tales, this being one of them. That said, I'd probably read other Holmes, even short stories, as I found this very enjoyable, even knowing quite a bit about the plot in advance.  I picked this one up in a charity shop (not this cover, unfortunately, but I couldn't find the cover of the edition I have - there are hundreds of editions!) and decided to give it a go. I probably won't buy other ones new, but if I see them lurking around in charity shops, I might well pick them up.

Dinner, 11/10/15: Beef and Aubergine Tagine

When we had this before, I had made a note to add some of the veg part way through, and put in more lemons. I tried that this time, and I'd add that if I do it again, the veg needs to be added even closer to the finish time - like maybe only for the last hour. It was still very good, it just didn't add much in terms of texture...  Nice to have a slow cooker meal on the go, especially as I cooked two other meals for the fridge for Monday and Tuesday, because time will be tight on those days...

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Dinner, 10/10/15: Greek Frittata

This was lovely, and very easy. A good one to save away for a weeknight supper in future, for sure!

From the Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook. The first cookbook I ever owned (as a teen) was a Moosewood cookbook, a gift from a cousin. Not sure where that book is now, as I don't seem to have it any more. But when I found one in a charity shop recently, I jumped at the chance to acquire a newer one, with colourful pictures!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Dinner, 9/10/15: Courgette and Goat Cheese Pizza

Everyone loved this. Griddling the courgette slices (I sliced them really thin, with a mandolin) made sure they weren't too moist. Yum.

The recipe is from a book called Take One Veg, by the marvellously named Georgina Fuggle. I didn't use her pizza dough recipe, just my standard one. And I used bought passata.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Dinner, 7/10/15: Salmon, Peas, New Potatoes

(and yes, a few broad beans thrown in as well, because we didn't have that many peas in the freezer)

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Dinner, 6/10/15: Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese (with Bread)

Made this one at the weekend, so it only needed to be popped into the oven on the day - with our busy schedules, this is something we're doing more of. As Sarah and I are both doing a class at the gym on Tuesdays for a few weeks, this was particularly suitable for dinner, as I could easily heat a bit up when we got back from that...

Sunday, October 04, 2015

(Official) Birthday dinner

Official dinner, that is, not official birthday - she's not the queen... We went out to Jamie's Kingston, which was very nice. Good, solid, Italian food at moderate prices. I've never eaten in this high-end chain before, and it was definitely an experience I'd repeat. Can't remember exactly what everyone had, though we shared a "plank" of antipasti... I had fritto misto (fried fresh seafood) as did Geoff and a polenta cake for pudding. Alex had some sort of savoury pancake thing with spinach, Olivia had gnocchi, Sarah had slow-cooked duck leg. Everyone else had pudding as well, but I don't remember them all. There was definitely tiramisu involved somewhere...  Still a bit freaky to have an 18 year old, even with a week to get used to it!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Book 96: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Read most of this in a single day (aided by a train journey, but it was very readable as well). Told from the point of view of Maud, an eldery woman who is losing her memory to dementia, this is the story of Maud's friend, Elizabeth, who seems to be missing - and no one is doing anything. Of course, it's more complicated than that, and tied up in Maud's concern for Elizabeth is her memory of her own sister disappearing in postwar Britain around seventy years before. The writing is really wonderful - painfully like what it must be like to be inside the mind of someone whose memory is beginning to degenerate - the episodes from the past are clear and vivid; present day varies from complete haze to moments of extreme lucidity - and the stories - both the older plot line and the present day one are just right. A super book. 

Books in

Every time Sarah and I visit a new city to look at a university, we seem to end up in bookshops. Not a problem, in theory, but of course, it's virtually impossible to visit a bookshop without buying books... Here are a few from Reading. The Bees is one which has been on my list, and it was on the BOGOHP table - Sarah wanted a different one with that sticker, so it worked out well.  The Jane Smiley, I couldn't really resist as it was part of a Books for Syria promotion - authors and publishers had donated some books to the cause and 100 per cent of the cover price was going to Syria. Seemed churlish not to buy one, and this was the only one I fancied that I hadn't already read (there were only ten or so choices). 

Friday, October 02, 2015

Dinner, 2/10/15: Chicken Korma with courgettes

This is a family favourite - it's from the cookbook 200 Low Fat Meals by Judith Wills and is a nice, low-fat (but still creamy) chicken korma. I made extra this time for the freezer for one of our difficult nights...

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Book 95: Vendetta by Michael Dibdin

This is the second in the Aurelio Zen series, which I like, though I did find some aspects of this one a little confusing - some of the characters were a bit hard to keep straight. I'll definitely keep reading the series, though - I always like a bit of crime fiction interspersed with other reading, and this is a good series to include in all that.