Thursday, April 19, 2018

Book 30: The Dark Circle, Linda Grant


I've read a number of Linda Grant novels before, and have enjoyed them all. It's been a while since I picked one up, but this one intrigued me, as it was set in a sanitorium around 1950, just when TB was about to be pretty much eradicated in the UK - an interesting tale, with a curious cast of characters. A good read. 

Dinner, 19/4/18: Baked Aubergine, Fennel & Chickpeas with Sun-dried tomato paste


This is a dish we used to have quite a lot, but haven't had in ages - mainly due to the children's dislike of aubergine. No kids home for dinner tonight, so... and it was glorious. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it - very simple and yet very tasty. Could have used a bit of crusty bread on the side perhaps, but never mind, there's always another time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dinner, 18/4/18: Santorini style spaghetti (Keep it Vegan, Aine Carlin)


This spaghetti with lemon, capers, tomatoes & parsley was great, especially for a nice spring evening like we (finally) had. Will definitely cook it again, though I might throw the parsley in at the end of the cooking rather than sprinkle it on top, just to soften it up a little; it was quite sharp-edged. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Dinner, 17/4/18: Cauliflower & Cheddar Soup (Covent Garden Soup Book)


Someday, I will work out how to take interesting pictures of soup, but at present - no luck. This was a good way to use up the smaller bits  of cauliflower left from the cauliflower steaks the other night. Yum. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Dinner, 16/4/18: Suriname style curry (Vegan in 7)


This curry was, I'm afraid, pretty boring. It lacked depth of flavour, especially in the tofu, which I love, but which really needs something strong to carry it off. I think it could be improved by using stock in the cooking and perhaps curry paste instead of curry powder (and more of it), but whether it would be improved enough to make it worth trying again, I'm not sure. It's a shame; other recipes from this cookbook have been very good, so far. I served it with black Thai rice, which I thought went well in general - or would have, if the curry had been better.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Dinner, 15/4/18: Chicken & Potato Stew


This photo has come out very anemic and doesn't show the lovely yellow of the potatoes, from cooking them with saffron. This was lovely and tasty, the oranges and lemons in with the chicken and potatoes went really well, as did the Middle Easter spices. Yum.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Book 29: At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen


A historical novel by the author of Water for Elephants (which I very much enjoyed), this one set during the later years of WWII at a remote village in Scotland, on the shores of Loch Ness. A spoiled society couple and their friend travel to the village to search for the Loch Ness monster, for a variety of reasons, but of course the book isn't about that - it's about people and relationships and the monsters that walk on land.  Very compelling. I picked this up because the book I was reading wasn't really grabbing me (though I'm going to give it another shot) and then couldn't put this one down.

Dinner, 14/4/18: Cauliflower "steaks" with chimichurri sauce (Niomi Smart)


We really like this; we've had it several times before. The cauliflower is just lovely and the sauce is piquant and goes really well with it. I also made a cucumber and tomato salad and roasted the cauliflower leaves and stems with a little olive oil and salt & pepper to go along side.

Book in


I wanted to order something for Geoff from Waterstones, so of course I had to add in another book to hit the free shipping...  Decided to give this a try - another series (I think this is only two books, not three) by N K Jemisin. After really enjoying her Broken Earth trilogy of course I wanted to try something else.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Dinner, 13/4/18: Courgette & Feta Pancakes (Moosewood)


Served these with some salads (not all pictured) and some crusty bread. We're very fond of veggie type pancakes/fritters in our house - they feature regularly, in many varieties.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Book 28: Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller


This story, about a father obsessed with survivalism, who takes his 8 year old daughter to a remote cabin in the woods and tells her the rest of the world has been destroyed kept me gripped all the way through - the story begins with the daughter returned home again after many years away with the father, so on the one hand, we know something about how it will come out, though by no means everything. It sounds kind of grim and thriller-y, but it's not, really - it's more an insight into relationships, obsession and indeed, madness. A very good read. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Dinner, 11/4/18: Bombay Potato Frittata


As Olivia was away visiting Sarah, a meal using lots of egg was in order. I always enjoy a good frittata, and this one has potatoes cooked in turmeric and spinach and onions, with Indian spices. Yum.

Book 27: Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror by Chris Priestly


Been meaning to read this one for a while as it's one of the text's my class will read this year. It's excellent - very creepy and extremely gripping, despite being a children's book. Hopefully it won't scare them too much in the light of day. These are a combination ghost stories and cautionary tales and they are very well done. Might even have to seek out the other two in the series. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Dinner, 10/4/18: Chili Chicken Stir-Fry


I added some vegetables to this chicken stir fry - hey presto - a full meal (served with rice). 

A few days in Portugal


Geoff and I had a few days away over the Easter holidays, ostensibly as a 25th anniversary marker (plus, I like to go places and Easter is when I can). We spent most of it in Lisbon, with a day out to Sintra.  Sights included the Belem Tower, 


about a hundred million sets of steps like the one above (mostly up, which seems unlikely, but that's how it feels when you are there), 


the 25th April bridge, 



the Jeronimos monestary, 


the 25th April bridge again, at night, from a bar at the top of a multi-storey car park, 


the tile museum (very good, worth the trek out from the centre of Lisbon), 


which is housed in an old convent, 


the Pantheon, 


and on the day out to Sintra (these photos taken BEFORE the pouring rain), the Moorish castle 


and Palace de Pena.


All in all, lots of good things to see and do.