Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Hello, sorry for the delay updating, a combination of stag weekends and late nights kiboshed the updates last week. This weekend's Tewkesbury Vets tour to Dieppe probably won't help matters (although I may get a chance to eat more 'gizzards'), but I promise to answer all questions - wiggles-based or not - tomorrow.


prawn, lime and mango salad

Another salad-based dish from the black book which takes advantage of the BOGOF prawns I got in Waitrose this week. Again it's an old recipe Ana have vague memories of eating, and she's not sure she liked it last time.

I have quite clear memories of making it super sour and hot last time, so tonight it doesn't get the full quota of lime juice or chilli in it.

prawn, lime and mango saladCuriously the fact the mango wasn't completely ripe made it a much less sloppy affair, so a top tip there. Another top tip is even after two and half plates, salad doesn't really fill you up that much...

Food of the Milos
Despite it being half-term this week, we pack him off for a day painting and eating at Julia's before Ana picks him up and fill what space is left with some defrosted ratatouille. Lucy, I'm doing a bulk amount tomorrow so you can take some back for B-Jamin. That's if he's not sick of it by Sunday...

prawn, lime and mango salad - black book. I think it might well be either a Sainsbury's Magazine, or Waitrose Food Illustrated. Or Zest. Take your pick.

rosemary, brie and sun-dried tomato chicken

Given the less-than-lukewarm reception for last night's fish extravaganza, the ana's are slightly concerned by the prospect of another evening of experimental cookery. Lucky for her she's just forgotten she ever had it.

As it happens we used to eat this loads in NZ, I think it's from the Aussie original, and and it's similar to a dish her and Hannae Signey Natvik used to eat all the time in Hudsons.

rosemary, brie and sun-dried tomato chickenNext time I'll cut a hole in the top of the chicken so the brie doesn't run out quite so quickly, and rather than use our dodgy grill I'll bake it instead, but it's still a winner!

Food of the Milos
Having refused to eat anything but jelly at zoe's, ana suspects we're in for another bout of teething. She's proved wrong later however when somebody spends his time at claire and isla's stuffing himself with fish pie, yoghurts and animal biscuits.

rosemary, brie and sun-dried tomato chicken - Black Book. I think it's from the Aussie Delicious...

leek & goat's cheese frittata and seafood curry

Having spent the weekend Mick Jones' stag mainly eating gizzards in France (although I did have a monster paella during the tag tournament we played in. Actually how come over here staple rugby food is chilli or spag bol, but over there it's a jug of red wine and a paella? Anyway, I digress...), my first day back only *slightly* hungover starts off triumphantly with a leek and goat's cheese frittata for the milo's bank holiday tea. He naturally starts with an artisan loaf as an amuse bouche...

milo...before moving on to the main course:

leek & goat's cheese frittata
It then goes awry. Now I've wanted to cook this curry for four years, it looks amazing on the recipe card and fits in with our fish drive. However the end result bears no relation to the illustration - where's the coconut milk? Why is theirs dry and fried where mine is stewed and grey? Damn you Jamie Oliver!

seafood curry
Actually it's not 'terrible'; the bream is probably more 'fishy' than we'd like and was better sans skin, it was more disappointing really.

Food of the Milos
He has chips and risotto for a pub lunch in Richmond, and then the frittata for dinner. Chips are the hands down winner.

jersey royal, leek and goat's cheese frittata - Delicious, June 2009, p84
seafood curry - Delicious' Jamie's Quickies, August 2005

chicken with tomatoes, peppers & cous cous

Another old favourite from a few years ago that has fallen by the wayside, but now it's back with a vengeance. Not least because I bought the wrong jar of peppers, not that you could taste the balsamic vinegar they were preserved in though.

chicken with tomatoes, peppers & cous cous
It's one of those dishes you have to start the day before to marinate the chicken, but then it's really quick when you do make it, and the cumin seed and lemon marinade is really pungent.

Food of the Milos
Default pasta left-overs from last night for him, which is fine as it's gone by the time I get home, apart from some stray fusilli on the floor.

chicken with tomatoes, peppers & cous cous - Delicious' Jamie's Quickies, August 2005, Jamie Oliver

baked tomato & mozzarella pasta

Having ballsed up the chicken this week, and burnt the leeks for the pie, today I opt for something new but, ostensibly, simpler - big bad bill granger's baked tomato and mozzarella pasta from the marvellous Every Day.

baked tomato & mozzarella pasta
Despite being no different from the stuff we (ana) cooked at university, especially as I had to take the olives out because *somebody* doesn't like them, it's pretty satisfying, and there's enough for milo's tea tomorrow. Talking of whom...

Food of the Milos
After his usual gut-busting lunchtime blowout at Julias, the anas give him some now classic annabel karmel pizza, which he stuffs away like the gutlord he is fast becoming.

baked tomato & mozzarella pasta - Every Day, p127, Bill Granger
pizza - Top 100 Finger Foods, Annabel Karmel

pasta and pesto

Nothing to see here
It's the start of the vets touch season, so I don't get back until nine ish. By this time the ana's have eaten so I end up with pasta and pesto. Mmmmm

Food of the Milos
"PIE!" for monkey which he was okay-ish with, but not brilliant. Sometimes I don't know why I bother hand-crafting pie for him.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

chicken and leek pie

Part of the reason for getting a large chicken was to satisfy ana's appetite for chicken pie, which is fine by me because it's pretty aces. Because it uses leftover chicken all you've got to worry about is making sure you don't burn the leek and bacon whilst it slowly simmers away, although naturally I burn it talking to chocolate bear about next weekend's Tewkesbury Vets tour to Dieppe.

Having said that, once you mix in the flour and stock to make the gravy it doesn't really matter, and there's plenty left over for monkey's lunch tomorrow, and some for the anas.

chicken and leek pie
Food of the Milos
A better day today; he has a double boiled egg extravaganza after swimming, and we get some vegetable pie out of the freezer for dinner seeing as it's a cast iron winner.

chicken & leek pie - jamie oliver's christmas show 2008

coqing hell!

Hmmm, as if to mock me from last week's super-roast this week Sainsbury's sell me a chicken with a world record amount of blood vessels in it. Despite roasting away for seemingly a million hours (well Mr Hopkinson's usual method of a 15 minute blast at 200C, then whatever else at 170C till it's cooked), it still managed to make like Carrie when I carve. So it goes back in for another 20 minutes. And then another 20 minutes, the bugger.

roast chicken
When it eventually arrives we have it with salad of beetroot leaves (oh yes) and bread, mmmm as a midnight snack. Meanwhile, it's always nice to see Alan Alan of the Alan Alans getting work:

Food of the Milos
Weetabix for brekker with some banana slices, monkey has the rest of the risotto for lunch, before battling with him over pasta and ella's Italian Sauce. Given he's been swimming today, and we went for a walk to the pond to feed the ducks, he should be starving but the pasta is a struggle.

roast chicken - Roast Chicken and Other Stories, Simon Hopkinson

Saturday, 16 May 2009

leek risotto & pasta with asparagus, pesto and poached egg

Sounds like a double catch-up of fine gourmet fayre, but in fact this is just what we had today as last night we were double-lazy bastards: "we've got back into the habit of having a curry every week," the anas decide seconds before ordering a chicken tikka. After last week's same-old same-old old fashioned, I go with Achari Lamb which was amazingly pungent and fruity.

So a bad friday is balanced by a pretty good saturday although there is an air of having to deal with double service. ana's out with kendra tonight, watching her sister play a gig somewhere in Barnes so first up I've got to feed her and the magics - they both have leek risotto.

leek risottoOnce she's gone and magic is sleeping with the baa-lambs I have the asparagus pasta dish. I used to cook it loads when we were in Lacy Road and the reason it's resurfaced is because I saw the asparagus is in season. As you end up with three different pans on at the same time, and they all cook within 4 minutes, the key is to just make sure the bloody egg is runny. FAIL. Still it was nice to welcome back, and the new 'sesonality' kick did see me coming back with some baby beetroot from the farmer's market today so expect some sort of experimentation soon.

asparagus, pesto and poached egg

Food of the Milos
On friday ana tried him on some baked salmon and minted peas, it didn't end happily, however saturday is a winner; porridge for brekker, two-cheese omlette for lunch and risotto for dinner. Naturally he underlines his middle-class cred by pointing at the pan with the leek softening but *before* i'd put the rice in and loudly proclaimed "Geek" and then "Risotto!" He's mother is so proud.

leek risotto - Nigel Slater, Observer Food Monthly
pasta with asparagus, pesto and poached egg - Delicious, May 2005, p110

Thursday, 14 May 2009

baked salmon, minted peas and sweet potato cakes

It should be an ideal wednesday: good food and midsomer murders, everyone *should* be a winner unless... Unless, unless the anas go out for dinner with the girls from work leaving me with the experimental fish, and then those bastards from ITV cancel the midsomer. bastards!

baked salmon, minted peas and sweet potato cakes
Despite the looming disaster, things turn out alright dinner-wise anyway. Okay so the salmon was a bit bland, but the peas and the spicy potato cakes were aces - hurrah! If only I hadn't lent my Barnaby DVDs that very day...

Food of the Milos
He gets the other half of the defrosted ratatouille this evening, this time with jacket spud and his usual yoghurt and fruit puddings.

baked salmon, minted peas and sweet potato - Feed Me Now! by Bill Granger

moroccan chicken stew

Another cold day so we go for the ginger-tastic moroccan chicken stew. Usually it's a classic but for one reason or another it just doesn't quite hang together; the chicken's a little dry and maybe there's too much turmeric in the mixer?

Food of the Milos
Bereft of ideas we defrost some more of St Hugh's ratatouille and give it to him with pasta. It's another winner but it does mean I need to make some more tout suite.

moroccan chicken stew - Delicious, February 2008, p 28
ratatouille - River Cottage Cookbook by the divine St Hugh of Whittingstall.

chorizo & tomato salad and chicken & rice salad

Despite being really sunny suddenly it's fricking freezing. No matter though because we've got salad on the mind, and two old favourite recipes from the last couple of years - a spanish chorizo & tomato salad from the boys behind Fino, and a zingy chicken and rice concoction using some of last night's leftovers.

chicken & rice salad
chorizo & tomato salad
They go together really nicely for a biggish dinner although when I cooked them last year for the old C4 crew, somebody felt he could criticise the chicken - although I can't for the life of me remember what his point was...

Food of the Milos
It's all about the health for m magic tonight as he has a plain jacket potato with cheese, some tomato, avocado and she tries him on some roast chicken. It's all good apart from the chicken, which is just as well as it's pretty much my default lunchbox this week.

chicken and rice salad - Delicious, July 2008, p64
chorizo and tomato salad - Delicious, July 2006, p64
Are those dates spooky or what? Probably not...

roast chicken & tomato puff

It's a lovely day and having spent yesterday shopping and tidying in a haze of sleep-deprivation, today we have fun!

In the morning we go to the park behind The Idle Hour with some rolls and a couple of coffees from Orange Pekoe and play in the paddling pool, which is weirdly empty for such a nice day. When we get back monkey goes to bed and I make a tomato puff for a lunchtime snack, which also doubles as somebody's dinner later.

tomato puffIn the afternoon we go up to Richmond Park for an hour or so with our neighbours, Des, Ali and Layla, and generally lounge about the place while the kids play. The final piece in the jigsaw is to whack a chicken in the oven to the by-now-standard Simon Hopkinson recipe and let it slowly roast whilst me and Des play a swift nine holes.

I know we have roast chicken quite regularly, but there's definitely something summery about having it with salad and bread for dinner.

roast chickenOn an experimental tip I use my Le Creuset rectangular dish for the first time rather than the spanking roasting dish Kendra gave me, and for once I get loads of lovely juices for gravy, which are entirely wasted as we had salad. I'm going to have to use both in the winter because the metal one does brilliant potatoes, but there's not enough room in the stoneware for both bird and spud. Oh well.

Food of the Milos
Another good day; scrambled eggs for brekker, cheese rolls as a pool-side snack along with a babycino and some peach, plus a big slice of tomato puff (which he incorrectly identified as "PIE!") for dinner. And rest...

tomato puff - Delicious, June 2008, p152
roast chicken - Roast Chicken & Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson
cheese rolls - Ana's own family recipe

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


Friday night's gourmet dish is provided by Mr R McDonald after panther and magnus decide KFC was too busy. It goes some way to soaking the large amount of booze we drink around Shepherd's Bush. Best bar was the subterranean Ginlik, worst was Belushi's, which was truly god-awful.

Slightly hungover, and with the lovely Jude coming round for dinner we go shopping and get in a curry from the t-box. I think i'm getting a bit bored of the Old Fashioned, can life get any sadder?

Food of the Milos
Another hearty day of food, which at least counterbalances his week of really piss-poor sleeping. He seems to be eating for twelfty today; scrambled eggs for brekker, a smorgasbord of advocado, cheese and pear, and cheese on toast for dinner. He's definitely heavier.

On Friday he has scrambled eggs in the corner cafe on the way back from rhyme time, and for tea he had some defrosted ratatouille and baked potato along with his future wife, Isla.

toasted pine nut and sweet potato salad

More health, if you ignore the hearty dose of honey in the vinagrette. It doesn't look that filling, but I used two large sweet potatoes so there's absolutely loads to go round (me).

toasted pine nut and sweet potato saladFood of the Milos
Back to ana's fine pasta sauce and pasta, which is handy as he gourmandises most of it but like a good banana, leaves a little soupcon for me to 'test' whilst washing up.

toasted pine nut and sweet potato salad - Donna Hay, The Instant Cook, p49

lime chicken curry

Having submitted her to experimental fish last night (and about to subject her to another night of midsomer murders), the anas gets one of her favourites tonight - Delia's stir-fried chicken with lime and coconut.

lime chicken curryBoth curry and Barnaby are marvellous.

Food of the Milos
More vegetable cottage pie today, the fact he spends his time shouting "PIE!" leads us to suspect he might well like it. PIE!

stir-fried chicken with lime and coconut - Delia Smith, How to Cook Book Two

roast cod on spiced puy lentils

More health combined with ana's favourite meal of the week, the experimental fish dish - yay! Actually it's pretty good; the cod is coated in oil and curry powder and lentils are fairly chunky and spicy. It's a winner.

roast cod on spiced puy lentilsThe only downer is the bag the fish comes in makes the bin stink, and I'm bullied into bleaching it in the garden - boo!

Food of the Milos
Former housemates of ana louise mccarthy stop sniggering, ana cooks the magic pasta'n'sauce but, this is no swansea classic. She creates a brilliantly garlicky tomato sauce from Bill Granger's new book, Feed Me Now! It's freaking ace and I eat what's left-over.

roasted cod on spiced puy lentils - Delicious, Eat Your Way to Better Health supplement
tomato sauce - Bill Granger, Feed Me Now!

crispy chicken with cavalo nero

After a weekend of burgers and steak we're back to the world of health with Bill Granger's classic crispy chicken with cavalo nero. However this week, in a nod to Saint Hugh's seasonality mantra we have it with some amazing looking rainbow chard at the farmer's market.

crispy chicken with cavalo neroAs ever, I smoke out the kitchen crisping the chicken but the chard is great.

Food of the Milos
As it's a bank holiday I cook up a batch of hearty vegetable cottage pie, which is one of the milos favourites. He's a bit of a pickle, chucking it everywhere, but he still eats most of it so a smallish victory.

Recipe Sources
Crispy chicken with Cavalo Nero - Bill Granger, Simply Bill
Hearty vegetarian cottage pie - Delicious, January 2007, p27


Another beaut day so we finish the gardening via a trip to Homebase, and another barbie! I say another barbie, in reality I made double the mixture yesterday and merely added some hot sausage to the mixer.

the ultimate burger, allegedlyFood of the Milos
We figure burgers are perhaps a stage too far for the milos, so he gets a whole annabel karmel pizza to devour, and devour he does!

milos & pizzaRecipe Sources
Ultimate Beef Burger - Delicious, June 2009, p46
Tortilla Pizzas - Annabel Karmel, Top 100 Finger Foods

date night

We spend the day blitzing the garden, with the help of our neighbour Des and the McCarthy's. It's so nice I fire up the barbie for the first time *ever* in London Town! I've only been here the 13 years, so not too long then. To celebrate I re-create the ultimate beef burgers as a late afternoon smackerel.

Seeing as kayosaurus and mikeledocus are up for the weekend, me and the anas go out on a date. We don't book, naturally, but still manage to get a riverside table at The Depot thanks to an ace waiter who gives us the cover as the people who booked were late - yay!

The ana's go for crispy duck and watercress salad followed by a huge muddyfunstering chargrilled cote de boeuf with chips & bearnaise, and an Eton Mess style meringue confection. I had serano ham, green beans, poached egg and pork scratchings to start, chagrilled chicken and chorizo salad with new potatoes and stewed rhubarb and panne cotta. It was freaking marvellous!

Meanwhile on Planet Milo...
After hearty day attacking the plants with his rake and pouring water on everything, clearly the mynci is hungry because he has a dinner of five (count 'em) of last night's spicy meatballs. The gannet.

Recipe Sources
Ultimate Burger - Delicious June 2009, p46
Spicy meatballs - Delicious December 2007

Sunday, 10 May 2009

spinach & parmesan meatballs

Coming back from work only slightly delayed due to happy hour I go into full hunter-gatherer mode in Terry Tescos: Kayosaurus & Mikeledocus are up to look after magic whilst the anas work an extra day this week and there's two for one mince on offer, therefore we're having the spicy meatballs!

spinach & parmesan meatballsEveryone's a winner, or would be if at least tried to cook it in less than 400 hours. Also I must remember next time the fresh pasta from Terry T's is rubbash.

Food of the Milos
Somewhat controversially given he's not really taken to spicy food, apart from hot pepperdews weirdly, he inhales last night's thai fish curry. I wish he had some consistency in his likes and dislikes.

Friday, 1 May 2009

thai fish curry

The weekly battle to eat fish commences, and it's made harder because the weather has convinced us it's the weekend and fish just isn't a weekend thing. Unless it's battered and comes with chips.

The original plan was to eat Blackened Cod with Orange and Tomato salsa, which we used to eat a fair bit in New Zealand, but that gets sacked off in favour of fish curry from possibly the campest straight man in history, Bill Granger.

thai fish curryA case in point, as we all know Mikeledocus is a pretty fact-based dude - particularly around the BATTLES OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS - but even he burst out laughing when we were watching Bill at Christmas proclaim "I love a big tool in the kitchen". I digress...

Food of the Milos
More good eating from the magic today; he had chicken stew at Julia's, and he wolfed his chicken/turkey bolognaise. Honestly, sometimes it's like we don't feed him. Apart from wine of course.