Friday, November 30, 2012

November Round Up

What's for Dinner, November 2012

  • 30th: Thai spicy minced pork (Geoff)
  • 29th: Spaghetti Bolognese (freezer)
  • 28th: Squid with chili and basil
  • 27th: Hot and Sour Soup
  • 26th: Penne alla crudiaola
  • 25th: Sausages, mashed potato, carrots
  • 24th: Plaice, Baked Potato, Swiss Chard
  • 23rd: Artichoke and Bacon Tart, Salad
  • 22nd: Honey, mustard and creme fraiche baked chicken
  • 21st: Pasta with prawns & chili
  • 20th: Asian broth with meatballs and winter greens
  • 19th: leftovers
  • 18th: Chicken Chasseur (Geoff)
  • 17th: Birthday dinner party
  • 16th: Tikka pork chops with spiced sweet potato wedges
  • 15th: Jacket potatoes with toppings (Sarah)
  • 14th: Red prawn curry
  • 13th: Cock-a-leekie soup
  • 12th: leftover pasta bake
  • 11th: Roast Chicken, roast potatoes, carrots & parsnips
  • 10th: Crusty Pasta & Broccoli Bake (with leftover ham)
  • 9th: Lamb Steaks with tomatoes and olives
  • 8th: Honey and sesame chicken (Sarah)
  • 7th: Sausage and Aubergine Pasta
  • 6th: Chicken braised with cider and bacon
  • 5th: leftover ham, potatoes, salad
  • 4th: dinner at Friends' house
  • 3rd: Slow-cooked ham, Creamy Garlic Potatoes, Carrots
  • 2nd: Out to dinner, Bayee Village
  • 1st: Shepherd's Pie

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nov 28th: Squid with chili and basil

Source: Ken Hom, Top 100 Stir Fry Dishes

Notes: we liked the basic taste of this, but thought it would be better with fresh squid (I used thawed frozen rings from the Chinese supermarket).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nov 27th: Hot and Sour Soup

An ancient recipe of mine from a Frugal Gourmet cookbook I owned before I moved to the UK - about 20 years ago! We love hot and sour soup.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nov 23rd: Bacon and artichoke tart

Not a lot to say. A nice tart which was good both warm and cold. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Birthday goodies

Among the treats I got for my birthday (some of which are pictured, but others of which got put away before I thought to take a photo of them) was a new camera. It's not particularly fancy, but it has a much better zoom than our old camera and I hope will be able to produce some nice photos, once I learn how to use it. And it's red, which I love. The lily photo was taken with the new camera, but only on the automatic mode...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nov 20th: Asian broth with meatballs and winter greens

recipe source: Olive magazine

notes: This was lovely, though less out of focus than in the photo.  Would definitely eat this again.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy birthday to me!

This is the card Olivia did for me this year. I was told that although it was copied from a photo, the irises in the photo were pink, and there were lots more stems showing in the photo, so she's made it her own. She really is amazing...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nov 18th: Chicken Chasseur

Geoff cooked tonight, as it's my birthday tomorrow. Monday is not a night anyone does any complicated cooking, as kids have to be different places at different times. We often have something really quick or leftovers.  But tonight he made this chicken chasseur, which was very nice. It would have been lovely anyway, but the fact that someone cooked it for me makes it extra special!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sticky pear and ginger cake

It wasn't until after dessert that I remembered to take a photo!  We had this with homemade vanilla ice cream. Yum. It did take longer to cook than the recipe suggested, but otherwise, pretty straightforward.

Nov 17th: Birthday Dinner Party!

Not quite sure how I managed to have an entire dinner party without remembering to take any photos of the food except dessert, but there you go.  Here's what we ate.

Courgette, Potato and Cheddar Bread, Good Food magazine. I actually used part Lancashire cheese in this and part cheddar, because I had some Lancashire which wanted using up.  This was great - there was only a tiny bit left at the end of the evening.  The courgette in the bread (grated) made it really nice and moist and chewy.

Feta & green bean salad with slow-roasted tomatoes. Very easy (the tomatoes take a long time to cook, but they aren't hard). Also Good Food Magazine.

Soba noodles with aubergine and mango.  One I've been meaning to try from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi (which is a great vegetarian cookbook).  Sounds kind of odd, but it's lovely - the oriental dressing works brilliantly and the combination is just perfect. This one is served at room temperature, so it can be made in advance - excellent for a dinner party. 

Wild Mushroom and spinach lasagne, Woman and home Passionate about Food magazine.  I think I only used about 750g of mushrooms (if "only" is a word which can be used in this context) but that was enough. Worked well, a bit messy, but better as it sat for a while.  There is a tiny bit of this (one decent sized serving) left for my lunch this week.

Roast parsnips and sweet potatoes with caper vinaigrette. Another Yotam Ottolenghi recipe - the dressing was great, really added something to the roast veg.

Geoff kept saying there would be tons of food left, but there wasn't - there was a little soba noodle salad left which we ate with lunch today, and the lasagne I mentioned, otherwise, nothing really. Except cake.  Mmm, cake. (Blogging that separately)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Nov 16th: Tikka pork chops with Bombay spiced sweet potato wedges

source: unsure.Olive magazine, I think, but I could be wrong. 

notes: we weren't impressed with this way of cooking pork - it was a bit dry and the flavour wasn't great because it wasn't caramelised the way you'd get if it was fried or if it wasn't marinated. However, the sweet potatoes are great, and even my husband, who always complains about sweet potatoes, asked if there were more. We'll be doing those again. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nov 14th: Red Curry Prawns

source: Ken Hom for Good Food Magazine, Feb 2002 (Yes, I know, it is somehow both impressive and pathetic that it's taken me over 10 years to cook this recipe.  But I do have a LOT of recipes saved, and it's taken some of my kids a while to learn to like prawns...)

notes: Yum. I added green beans.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nov 13th: Cock-a-leekie soup

source: New Covent Garden Food Company, A Soup for Every Day.

notes: used some of the leftover chicken for this. It was tasty. It's soup. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bonfire Night, a bit belated

With bonfire night being on a Monday, the annual Scout fireworks were a little more distant from the actual day than usual, but we still had a lovely half hour watching them flash and sparkle. 

They are very hard to catch on camera!

Nov 10th: Crusty Pasta bake with broccoli (and ham)

Blogged this before back in January, when I also made it to use up the last of a ham.   We have also had it with no ham, and it's nice that way, too. 

Friday, November 09, 2012

Nov 9th: Lamb steaks with tomatoes and olives

Again, forgot to take a photo. It was tasty. We had a lot more tomatoes, probably didn't need so many. 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Nov 8th: Honey and Sesame Chicken

source: unknown

notes: Sarah cooked this - I didn't eat it, but everyone said it was nice. I did have some leftovers the next day, but there was pretty much no chicken in it by that point.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Nov 7th: Sausage and Aubergine Pasta

source: Prima Quick, Easy & Delicious, Summer 2012

notes: I thought this very tasty, despite the lack of rocket.  The kids didn't even mind the aubergine too much, as it didn't stand out.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Nov 6th: Chicken braised with cider and bacon

source: Olive magazine, Oct 2011

notes: yum. Added some mushrooms because I had them to hand. Had a lot of sauce, perhaps more than needed.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Nov 3rd: Slow Cooked Gammon, Creamy Garlic Potatoes, Carrots

The ham (gammon) was cooked in the slow cooker - on a bed of onions, using cola as the cooking liquid. I then put it in the oven for about 40 minutes with a mustard and brown sugar rub on the skin to get a bit of crust.  We love ham this way, and it makes several meals' worth, so you'll see it again soon!

The potatoes were a new-to-us dish; I've not had great luck with gratin dishes in the past - they just don't cook enough - but this worked brilliantly and was delicious. Not very low fat, of course, but once in a while...

recipe source: Good Food magazine.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Bird World

Grandma, Alex and I had a trip to Birdworld on Friday, and I borrowed Sarah's new camera to take with me - it has a much better zoom than mine and I wanted to have a play with it.   Consequently, I took a lot of pictures of birds, though I won't share lots of them with you. 

I played around with various shots, many of which were a bit blurry - still getting used to the camera, and I didn't use the flash a lot of the time, which makes it harder to have non-blurry shots.

The increased zoom was nice, though, as it meant I could get a lot closer to some birds than I would have been able to otherwise. 

There was a Hallowe'en grotto as well, which we of course had to visit, even though it was technically past Hallowe'en.  Just as well that we did, though, as there was a sudden hailstorm, which dumped loads and loads of hail on us...

Here you can see Alex standing by all the hail - a lot of it had melted away by this point, but this was a particularly shady spot, so there was some left.

There is also a petting zoo, so Alex was able to meet a goat and pet some mice, rabbits and guinea pigs.