Sunday, April 24, 2016

Book 40: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

An excellent read, which I won't describe too much, as I don't want to give anything away. It deals with mental health, loss, family, grieving and I found it very moving. 

Dinner, 24/4/16: Chicken Traybake with Mustard & Creme Fraiche (Good Food)

Nice, easy, one dish meal - everything goes in together and cooks. One we've had before and will no doubt have again. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dinner, 23/4/16: Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Harissa (Family Style Food)

I've made this recipe before, but I changed it up a little this time, adding some chopped fresh spinach to the onion mixture and also, chopping up the leaves & stems (not the really thick central stem) of the cauliflower and roasting that separately as well before adding in to the mix. It was excellent, even better than last time. And if you left off the feta cheese sprinkle at the end, suitable for any dining vegans.

Book 39: Unnatural Death, Dorothy L Sayers (re-read)

This one I think I've only read once before, and though I remembered more or less how it was done (and by whom, though I think that's fairly evident from early on; it's more the how and why which are the issues) it was still an excellent read. Sayers always weaves a nice story and it's great fun to watch it unfold. Next up in re-reading this series is a collection of short stories, so I will probably intersperse with something else, though first, another book entirely!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Dinner, 22/4/16: Potato & Carrot Tart (Texas Coop Power Magazine)

My friend Sharon pointed this gem out to me some years ago, and we've made it a number of times - we all like it.  The recipe is here, though I've changed it - I make it bigger, basically, using 4 carrots or so - large ones - and more potatoes, however many I need to fill the tart dish. I adjust the rest of the ingredients up as necessary to go with the increased amount of filling. 

Book 38: Bloodlines by Jan Burke

I always enjoy the books in this series (the Irene Kelly series), and indeed, have read the early ones more than once. According to my reading logs/Goodread/etc, I have read this before (in 2008) but I didn't remember it at all - not even that sort of vague recognition you get when you know you've read something before but don't really remember how it all fits together. Which is fine; it feels like a brand new book, so that's ok.   There are only a few more of them, I think - I have two on my shelf to read before finishing off the series - and as far as I know, that's it.  This one was a little different than some as it tracks a very old mystery at different stages of life in some of the main characters (like Irene's mentor O'Connor, who we never actually meet, as he dies in the first book of the series). I really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dinner, 20/4/16: Pasta with Bolognese Sauce (Geoff cooking)

No recipe, just his usual (extremely tasty) ragu. With wholewheat pasta, though you wouldn't bet on it from this photo!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Dinner, 19/4/16: Spaghetti with Courgettes and Lemon (Good Food)

A very quick recipe, which doesn't even involve cooking the courgettes - you just grate them. Tasty and healthy. And I used my obsessive food blogging today to prove a point to my husband who said we'd just had this dish "a few weeks ago" - last occurance was indeed in March - 2015. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Dinner, 18/4/16: Minty Lamb Flatbreads (Good Food), Salad

A very quick mid week meal - I think it took about 20 minutes start to finish. We are lucky to have a local shop with loads of Middle Eastern goods, so the flatbreads are always available, but you could use pita breads or tortillas or something instead if you didn't have access to Khobez flatbreads.  Served with salad, not pictured...

Book 37: Clouds of Witness, Dorothy L Sayers (re-read)

As I mentioned, I'm re-reading this series in order. Trying not to simply whiz through them all, though the temptation is strong. Such an excellent series of detective stories. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dinner, 17/4/16: Cauliflower Fritters, Roast Cauliflower Leaves (delicious. magazine)

We had these a while back and thought them excellent, and in light of a recent conversation on Facebook about cauliflower leaves, I have been thinking about cauliflower lately and so decided to do them again.

Cauliflower leaves (and the thicker stem part of the leaves) are all perfectly edible, yet many of us throw them away without even thinking about it. I've used them before in a curry, and a friend recently used them in soup, but this time, I just (after some Googling by Geoff) washed them, trimmed off the really thick ends, sliced them up, tossed them in some olive oil with dill and garlic powder & seasoning and roasted them in the oven for about 20 minutes. They were really nice; next time I might try them with sesame oil and soy sauce, another suggestion. Cauliflower is an amazingly versatile vegetable and so many people never eat it in any other way than with cheese sauce (which, don't get me wrong, is also excellent).

Book 36: Whose Body, Dorothy L Sayers (re-read)

For some reason, I've had it in the back of my mind lately that I want to re-read the Lord Peter Wimsey detective novels; finally decided to act on this thought. Going to do them all in order, and I think I might hunt out the short stories (which I don't own) and slot them in place as well as I go through the series. I don't think I've read most of the stories (though I have read some), so that should be fun. I may, in my old (ok, middle) age, be coming around to short stories, which I never used to like much. Read most of this one last night in a single sitting, only the last chapter or so to finish off this morning. Think I will go to the next one straight away!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dinner, 16/4/16: Chicken Jalfrezi (Hairy Bikers/Dieters)

A curry we've had several times before - we really like the contrast between the main curry and the large vegetable chunks, which are only cooked a little at the end before adding to the main curry. And it's from one of the diet cookbooks by the Hairy Bikers, which means it's fairly good for you! Win-win.

Book 35: The Illusionists, Rosie Thomas

A good solid, historical novel. I was slightly worried from the blurb and subject matter that it would be a little too pot-boiler-y, but it wasn't at all, which was a relief. A story of life among some rather temperamental theatre players in the Victorian age, with interesting bits of magic, and some insight (perhaps) into middle-class life, but mainly a story of the characters, their personalities, loves, etc. Enjoyable!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Dinner, 15/4/16: Thai Style Spicy Rice (Ainsley Harriot)

This is a dish we've had lots of times, sometimes with turkey mince, more often with pork mince. This time, I added both bamboo shoots and bean sprouts to the dish to bulk it out a bit, and to avoid having to do some sort of veg on the side. Both worked well, I think; I may include them in future, too. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dinner, 14/4/16: Brussels sprouts and blue cheese pizza (Good Food)

As odd as this may sound, it was actually excellent. The sprouts weren't too strong (though I like sprouts anyway) as they were shredded before topping the pizza, so only cooked lightly. I added a leek as well, as I had one which wanted using up.  I made two pizzas, as we are hungry (some might say greedy) and with the second, I used other cheese than blue, as the kids aren't huge blue cheese fans (though I think it went really well with the sprouts).