Sunday, 29 March 2009

the boat race

Time was our boat race extravaganzas started at lunchtime at The Blue Anchor, and ended up in the Samratt in Putney, with various hijinks in-between. Breakdancing in broken glass outside of the The Duke's Head anyone?

We were young and zany, "somebody" would have a bag of miniatures some trolley dolly would've given him, "somebody else" would eat as much fizzing shellfish a pound could buy at six o'clock in the evening, and a smallish "somebody" would pay for a curry for three in Golder's Green, and yet spend all evening with his head wedged in a bin. Happy days!

Now we're middle class parents so it's all changed: First we line our stomachs with a cheeky sav blanc and leek risotto whilst magic slept like a dog.

leek risotto
Then we repair to Claire, Steve and Isla's flat to eat the finest cheese Claire can blag from work, and try and see the race from amongst crowd. We just about manage, and here's milo, ana's and her fizzy rose and the oxford boat streaking to the finish line from their chi-chi flat:

milo and the oxford boat
Not convinced? Well here's the view of the finish line from their balcony:

the finish line
Having sorted out Isla's dowry to our satisfaction, we repair home for a mini-meal of crispy chicken and cavalo nero to fill the space exotic cheeses and fizzy wine have left.

crispy chicken and cavalo nero
Naturally I can't get any cavalo nero because it's not in season. This is despite passing several healthy plants in the allotments between here and the farmer's market, so we 'make do' with kale. In many ways I presume this is what the war must've been like.

Food of the Milos
Not much to report; he ate a large chunk of Claire's extra-strong cheddar, managed to snaffle some smoked salmon (although I ate the blini), and had leek risotto for dinner. Of more interest Miss Brenda Baxendale, was the news that Steve's best friends own Montell's (or whatever it's called now). I shall get hold of some VIP passes for our next visit.

Rest now, I have work for you all later.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

lime chicken curry

The anas are feeling a bit under the weather so to cheer her up we have one of her favourite dinners, and one of the few dishes I can cook without needing the comfort blanket of the recipe near me - Lime Chicken Curry. Or Stir-Fried Chicken with Lime and Coconut if you are a dour East Anglian superstar housewife chef.

lime chicken curry
Food of the Milos
Having filled up on porridge for breakfast, and spurned halloumi for lunch, milo leads his mother a merry dance with fish fingers, sweetcorn, left-over rosemary and tomato sauce, and baked mashed potato. I think he ate most of it whilst ana took care of the 'yellow peas' for him.

balsamic steak with stuffed peppers

Another nice day, so it seems perfect weather for having a spring-like meal of stuffed peppers and steak for dinner. I'm mistaken, it's frickin freezing and not even the addition of the remainder of last night's mushrooms can disguise that fact. Definitely stews everyday next week if this weather continues.

balsamic steak with stuffed peppers
Food of the Milos
As Ellie came round for job club style tea and biscuits this afternoon, we're running slightly late so the milos get pasta with some defrosted tomato and rosemary sauce, with some cheese and pasta on the side. This time he eats it all, which is surprising given the amount of food he's been nicking out of the fridge.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

warm mushroom & halloumi salad with red wine vinagrette

Experimental cookery evening, and tonight we're trying a new salad. Ana 'loves' experimental cookery, but she's hoist by her own petard; the recipe is in her hand-writing in the black new zealand book. I bought all my Donna Hay mags back, so it could've come from either the original Aussie version of Delicious, or some random antipodean ladies mag. 'Zust' maybe?

warm mushroom & haloumi salad with red wine vinagrette
Anyway, we like but maybe we'll be keeping it for the summer?

Food of the Milos
Tonight he had a big bowl of the ratatouille with some wholemeal pasta, a kiwi fruit and a fromage frais.

Mrs White (does hand actions), we haven't tried him on tuna yet I don't think? I think it'll happen as we reacquaint ourselves with the fush. You're quite right about it all changing when they speak, and I'm dreading that day.

Brendas, surely B-Jamin' will be on goujons of whatever Davisss can hoik out of the river?

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

stir-fried noodles with beef & sugar snap peas, and ratatouille

Not together though, that would be horrid! No, tonight we have an old Bill Granger favorite from Simply Bill, only I've gone slightly off-menu.

I tend to use ginger puree rather than batons, as it doesn't burn (or stay crispy depending on how it's feeling), I add chilli and I didn't use sherry in the sauce. The first two are my own 'inspirations', the third because I forgot to buy any.

stir-fried noodles with beef & sugar snap peas

Food of the Milos
Meanwhile over in cloud Milo land, an article in this month's Observer Food Monthly alarms us enough to decide to try and funnel more veg into him, and like all good middle-class parents we opt for ratatouille:


Now normally I despise ratatouille, but this version from Saint Hugh involving separate pans for all the ingredients whilst faffy, is blydi marvellous.

So tonight he had:
Some of last night's pie, to mixed reception. He kept eating it, then spitting it out, going 'pie' and putting more in, before spitting it out again. He also had Hugh's four-pan ratatouille which he hearted (possibly to the max). Consequently one bowl has gone into the freezer, and he's got a bigger portion for tomorrow's dinner.

As you were.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

spinach and feta tart

After a weekend of curry and booze, a mini-step towards health with a pie from the current edition of Delicious:

spinach and feta tart

It's pretty easy and the dill is a surprisingly neat addition. I decide to scare ana with a Donna Hay-endorsed salad presentation. I recommend it to anyone, apart from ana who finds the lettuce 'challenging'.

spinach and feta tart - plated

Food of the Milos
For dinner he had the following:
Some of last night's Keralan Fish Curry, which he didn't like, a little too spicy for him, and the rest of the Cheat's Porcini Risotto I cooked for lunch, which he did like. Oh, and half a mango.

Monday, 23 March 2009

keralan fish curry

Apparently summer isn't on it's way, in fact after lunch it tips it down. Bloody weather! We combine warming up with our 'one fish dish a week' rule - this week, Nigella's keralan fish curry:

keralan fish curry

I've saved some to test on the milos for lunch tomorrow.

mother's day cooking extravaganza

It's mother's day and not only is Kayosaurus in residence, we're going to see new-mum Kendra with another batch of meatballs *and* for some reason ana is expecting something nice, even though she's not my mother.

First up, spinach and parmesan meatballs for Kiki and Brian:

spinach and parmesan meatballs

Whilst they are bubbling away, I do a light lunch for the ana's, kayosaurus and mikeledocus - lamb tagliata:

lamb tagliata

Leaving the Kay and Mike in charge of the milos, we pay a flying visit to Kiki and baby Finn, and return for tea, when Kayosaurus gets her favorite moroccan chicken stew with lemon and gremolata to accompany The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and I get to slump into a Luke Haines-induced coma.

moroccan chicken stew with lemon

Even more surprising, the weather is fantastic. Could summer be on the way?

a bad day

Fate like a fickle jade deserts me at about 3.00AM Saturday morning.

Having triumphantly played my first ever game of poker, and enjoyed excellently stupid and drunken gossip with Miss Lucy Ferguson et al, I arrive home at the aforementioned time. I'm a little merry. Twenty minutes later the milos wake up. And then at 6.45AM. I have to beg the ana's for a lie-in to recover slightly. Poker has killed me.

It's killed me to such an extent I can't face any alcohol until the beginning of the Wales game - for which I'd specially got in some SA Gold for me and Mikelodocus, who is up for the weekend. Further, I spend the day cramming baguette and Boursin down my throat as they are the only things I can eat.

Faced with hangover and Wales failing, we get a takeaway from Tiffin Box and watch a Magda-special DVD. It's not a great day for cooking, Welsh rugby or the russells. On the upside, the milos had a good day:

mikeledocus and milo

pasta bows with spring peas and prosciutto

Part of the trade-off for leaving ana home alone with the milos, whilst I swan off to Miss Lucy Ferguson's poker night, is I have to cook dinner for them both before I go. Although a spelling spaz, Bill Granger has some ace quick pasta meals for both sweet innocent children, and milo - ha ha!.

pasta bows with spring peas and prosciuttoI admit the peas were a gamble for both of them, but whilst ana eats hers the milo's post MMR lack of appetite sees me eating the ricotta and prosciutto, and him eating the pasta. I *swear* to you though Sarah, he does usually love it! This one's from Simply Bill.

moroccan carrot and chickpea stew

Healthy health health continues with our new plan of trying to have one vegetarian meal a week. Naturally given the fact we seem to be constantly overrun by both - particularly when my mum visits - anything that uses carrot and parsnip is considered a winner.

moroccan carrot and chickpea stewDespite the fact we seem to be continuing our 'orange/brown' themed food, it is quite nice and we'll definitely be having it again. None for the milos though - next time.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

thai beef salad

Resist the urge to eat the milo's no-stir tomato risotto and instead use the rest of the beansprouts and spinach to make a thai beef salad.

thai beef salad

Surely the pounds must be dropping off?

gay things in the kitchen #1: oven gloves

These are possibly the gayest thing I own in the kitchen, but I love them:

Behind the burns and holes they are floral Laura Ashley numbers which came free with Easy Living - the magazine for 'recipes, shopping, fashion and beauty advice and decorating news'.

I should be shot

pad thai

Having successfully recreated a small portion of last night's dinner for the milos to wolf down, I end up cooking my best ever pad thai!

pad thai

The only difference I could see was using instant noodles, and adding the eggs to the chicken rather than cooking them separately, oh and I used more lime juice than last time.

berry muffins

In honour of the arrival of Finnian James Zinzan Bolger, we bake some more berry muffins for the proud mother. Although I'm sure ana helped her out eating them.

Also note how the average muffin tray comes in sixes and 12s, but mysteriously Kendra only got four.

Monday, 16 March 2009

poached salmon & risoni salad

Sunny day, definitely time for the healthy life-style to kick in after a winter of pies. We start the week bravely with an experimental fish dish which as it turns out, wasn't too fishy at all.

poached salmon & risoni salad

Definitely needed some more salt in it, and ana decided it'd be better for a lunch with a lady friend who wanted to watch their weight. Please don't think I consider you fat should I ever cook this for you...

tomato sauce & pasta

Post swimming class lunch for the milos.

tomato sauce & pasta
He has a choice between plain pasta with gruyere, or tomato & rosemary sauce from the freezer. The cheese disappears in about three seconds before he faffs around with the tomato sauce. In true Victorian Parents style, we put it in the fridge for later and he goes to bed with no pudding.

He doesn't actually have pudding at lunch, but I feel we've sent a valuable message to him.

ragu with pasta

Return late from Derbyshire; take away is at least 45 minutes wait, so defrost what looks like a hot chilli from the freezer. It turns out to be a rich beef ragu.

ragu with pastaOn the upside, the freezer is slowly emptying.

gourmandising chez copestake

Once again Lia spoils us for the weekend with her usual fantastic cooking. We stuffed down Lasagne, vichyssoise in the grounds of Chatsworth, Cottage Pie, and Roast Duck for Sunday lunch, along with their homemade Sloe Gin. More than ever the salad diet is becoming urgent.

Just out of shot: roaring fire, sloe gin, Jeremy's 'special' own-brand peach schnapps, black lab with waggy tail, and portraits of a military man with a very small telescope, and a lady with fingers like Struwwelpeter.

toasted pine nut & sweet potato salad

Off to the finest of counties for the weekend, so a swift pre-drive lunch is required which also uses up fresh stuff. Miss D Hay to the rescue.

toasted pine nut & sweet potato saladThe milos refuse at the first hurdle...

Thursday, 12 March 2009

hearty vegetable cottage pie

The freezer cull continues with the return of the veg cottage pie, with Delia's cheesy leek topping.

hearty vegetable cottage pieOnly 4000 litres of assorted soup, and some liver to go...

pasta with italian sausage sauce

I can't remember where I got this recipe from; I think it may have been either Sainsbury's Magazine or maybe an OXO pull out because you're supposed to use their Italian stock cubes, but I can never find them.

Whatever, it was in the NZ black book. We used to eat it loads but I haven't cooked it for ages.

pasta with italian sausage sauce

I remember cooking it for Greg when we were in Dyers Lane, *that's* how old it is. The Milo's have pasta and sauce for tonight's dinner.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

beef stew with pumpkin

There are no spare food boxes for Kendra's care pack, so we decide to embrace the credit crunch and attempt to clear the freezer of frozen meals. By happy coincidence Lucy and Ben come a-visiting, so it's beef stew all round. Apart from Ben, who ate fish footballs and threw plum on the floor.

beef stew with pumpkin

Monday, 9 March 2009

balsamic steak with stuffed peppers

Combination of two Delicious recipes - the steak from about two years ago, and the peppers from this month's issue.

balsamic steak with stuffed peppers

Sunday, 8 March 2009

lamb tagliata with oven-roast tomatoes

Muffin-guilt and unemployment-fat force a move towards health with a Jill Dupleix salad special; rosemary, rocket and lamb make it seem far more summery than the reality of the frickin freezing weather at the park.

lamb tagliata with oven-roast tomatoes

At the park we (I) see one of our neighbours kids fall off the highest climbing frame right onto her face. Like all good Londoners I ignore and let her parents get on with it...

berry muffins

Seeing how the milos has decided he now doesn't like raspberries, we need to get rid of the five million punnets laying about. Thunder and lightening outside, berry muffins inside (and a sneaky lunchtime bottle of vino tinto).

Ana reads The Observer magazine.

a bad thing & parsnip crisps

You do a good thing, and follow it up with a bad thing. I blame Ana, she failed to take Kendra's care pack when she went visiting, so we ate it last night and left none for the milos.

meatballsGiven the meatballs just needed heating up, I attempted to make parsnip crisps to use up at least one of the pesky blighters cluttering up the fridge. They kinda worked, but were too crispy to support even a modicum of houmous:

parsnip crisps

Thursday, 5 March 2009

beef stroganoff

Bill's stroganoff recipe with the addition of some smoked paprika to jazz it up slightly.

beef stroganoffFor a good cook Bill is a poor speller - check out the window title on the link. Dolt!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

home-style chicken curry

A bit cold today, so racked up a warmish curry.

None saved for the milos, but maybe it's time he had his first taste?

squash risotto

Lunch with old friend from work, currently masquerading as some sort of traffic reporter for the beeb.

Naturally experimental cookery is the order for the day, if only to use up the big bag of veg my mum delivered on Monday.

smoked haddock pie with fennel & creme fraiche

To continue the 'orange' food theme we attempt to up our fish intake.

care pack for pregnant ladies

Seeing as Kendra is due this week, spend the afternoon cooking up a care package to put in her freezer - more meatballs and leek and potato soup:

Milo gets spare meatballs for tea:

Monday, 2 March 2009

pad thai

My mum and Dylan have been up all day, plus I'm a bit drunk from meeting Lee and Sean from Lime for a swift drink after work, so there has been nix preparation and something quick and easy is required.

lamb and pasta bake with roast cherry tomatoes

Clare and Isla, came round for Sunday lunch so needed something child-friendly and which could be ignored for two-three hours whilst it cooked.

Two portions left over for the milo's tea this week.