Sunday, 26 July 2009

pasta with cherry tomato sauce

The anas and milos are off to the isle today so the morning is spent wearing him out in the park so he could sleep in the car on the way down. Luckily (for him), he was up at 0600 this morning so by the time they go after lunch he's a bit sleepy.

With an evening of golf lurking ahead I carbo-load with another hit of Salad Barnnaise for lunch (and a couple of glasses of left-over Prosecco) to fuel not only the nine holes, but also this monster update.

Golf and pub aside, I'm just about awake and sober enough to make classic pasta and cherry tomato sauce, although in an effort to cut down on the sheer tsunami of half-opened packets of random varieties of pasta, I decide on using the orecchitte up. To be honest it's not a great replacement, and we've still got quarter of the packet left.

Food of the Milos
Waffles and scrambled egg for breakfast (although not together), followed by a smorgasbord of cherry tomatoes, cheese and grapes as a pre-drive snack. He also has his usual intake of fruit flakes, puffs and babycinos.

salad lyonnaise - Delicious - August 2009, p80
pasta with cherry tomato sauce - Donna Hay - The Instant Cook, p58

crispy courgette flowers & ratatouille

Four AM this morning somebody decided he was going to get up and despite filling him up with milk and putting back in his cot, that was pretty much it. Lucky I'd bought two new Wiggles and Pepper Pig DVDs yesterday, although combined they only took us up to 0700, just in time for my driving lesson!

When I get back we do the usual saturday thing of going to the market and feeding the ducks, but as the weather is such a scorcher we tack on a picnic at the paddling pool before bed. Having thoroughly knackered ourselves out, the little monkey goes to bed and I knock up a ratatouille for dinner tonight.

The market also inspires our lunch - crisp courgette flowers and a glass of prosecco in the sun as a belated anniversary thingy. According to Bill, they're perfect for terrace dining - or eating in a sun trap city garden on the freshly-mown lawn.

The afternoon is spent in our paddling pool, pouring slightly Stizzy Mortlake Spring water onto the flowers and eating chocolate. With the monkey in bed, I leave ana with a bottle of wine whilst I head out for a quiet evening knitting and brass rubbing on Matt King's birthday/stag night part two.

Food of the Milos
Boiled egg, toast and a waffle for breakfast, babycino a packet of raisins, some cherry tomatoes and some of my sandwich for lunch, ratatouille and pasta for dinner. Oh and a chocolate mini-milk when we went to get lotto tickets. He was Brilliant today.

crisp courgette flowers - Bill Granger - Holiday, p29
ratatouille - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Cookbook, p105

fushty chups

Due to a three hour 'inspirational' company speech this afternoon, I'm running approximately three hours late today, so I pick up some fushty-chups from Tanya's on my way home. It definitely counts as our weekly fish intake.

I do like their stuff, it's v crispy, the fish is v moist and it comes in such large portions we only ever need a large for one to share between the two of us. To be fair though, I could've done with some more chips tonight...

Food of the Milos
Porridge and banana for brekker, fruit flakes as a mid-morning snack, and cherry tomatoes, avocado, cheese, apple and a waffle with maple syrup for lunch. For dinner he had a jacket potato with cheese, cherry tomatoes - his new crack - avocado, blackberries, raspberries and a peach yoghurt for tea.

salad barnnaise

Another Thursday and another night of The Mentalist and loafing about for me, and another night on the town for the anas, who tonight is out for dinner with kendra-kats. God, teachers eh?

Anyway, before the crispy salad starts going soggy I decide on Salad Lyonnaise for tea but crivens! I don't have a handy small baguette to roast in olive oil and rub garlic on, so I miss that out and fry the bacon with garlic instead. Now this may sound odd but I take some inspiration from Trixie Firecracker and decide if she can change a word and take a third (of the profits/credit), I decide the lack of bread means it's an entirely different recipe, therefore Salad Barnnaise! It's strangely nice, although I *am* a little drunk.

Food of the Milos
Weetabix and banana for brekker, philadelphia sandwiches, apple, yoghurt and raisins for lunch, and pizza and kiwi fruit for dinner.

salad lyonnaise - Delicious, August 2009, p80
pizza - Annabel Karmel - Top 100 Finger Foods, p28

sweet leek & ricotta lasagne

Addled with a cold and racked with snot, the last thing I want to do is go to a screening tonight, but it'd be impolitic not to attend so I half-heartedly trip off to London's trendy Leicester Square to watch Inglourious Basterds. I'm glad I did (although given I've signed an embargo I'll like to point out I make no judgement on the film whatsoever), and I have a really enjoyable drink with Kate Mew & HBH Hawkes from the Blueyonder crew afterwards. We spend a lot of time moaning about MSN.

Curiously I think I may have drunk my way through the cold and even better, when I get home the anas have defrosted one of the lasagnes in the freezer. She is the best thing ever, and in a teeny-tiny way it makes up for missing the first episode of Midsomer Murders.

Food of the Milos
The new-improved ana audit continues: two bananas, weetabix and two satsumas for breakfast, he surprisingly ate some of last nights vegetable tagine and cous cous for lunch, had a biscuit at Kate's, and had some defrosted shepherd's pie and a golden kiwi fruit for dinner. This really is very detailed isn't it?

sweet leek, tomato and ricotta lasagne - Delicious, September 2005, p31
tomato sauce - Delicious, September 2005, p32

sweet potato & chickpea tagine

The original plan was to use sunday's leftover roast chicken to bake a classic chicken and sweet leek pie, but unfortunately we ate all the chicken so it's plan b tonight - a vegetable tagine. As it turns out, a warming, ginger-infused stew is just what I need with a cold brewing, and the fact I got absolutely soaked cycling home in a storm this evening. The lightening was quite impressive though...

Food of the Milos
The ana's very sensibly have started noting down what monkey nuts is eating so this part of the blog should get easier (although what else is she going to do with her time?). Anyway, today little lord miloroy has a banana for breakfast, which he's suddenly got addicted to for some reason, marmite sarnie, an apple, houmous, crips and a yoghurt for lunch and some de-frosted tomato pasta for dinner. No wonder he's so blydi heavy.

sweet potato & chickpea tagine - Bill Granger, Holiday, p176

steak with cherry tomatoes & cannelini beans

The ana's are ill today, although this is apparently entirely un-related to yesterday's sunday roast. Consequently I take the day off for some Daddy Day-Care whilst she wastes away in bed. Inevitably this involves going to the pond to see the ducks in the morning (babyccino on the way), endless hours of wiggles and meg and mog on TV, and the afternoon in the park. Daddys clearly are the coolest!

Anyway, I'm knackered by the time we get him down and can only face cooking something quick. As it transpires I'm also in the middle of a big 'not throwing food away' kick, so decide to use the steak as soon as possible for this chunky bistro-type affair. The anas perk up enough to eat a large amount of it, drink some wine and complain about the fact I want to watch The Supersizers. Back to work tomorrow - boo!

Food of the Milos
Can't quite remember to be honest, I think he had some of the potato and leek soup we made the other day for lunch, and we may well have defrosted something but lord knows what. Sorry.

steak with cherry tomatoes & cannellini beans - Bill Granger, Every Day, p66

back on 'it'

Hello, it's Sunday but this Sunday - not the Sunday which follows, which was last Sunday. It's a long winded way of saying I'm a week late, but I'm back at the helm and in the next hour and half I'm going to get back up to speed. Still no pictures though, sorry. The ana and milos have gone to the Dinosaur Isle for the week and taken the camera with them, leaving me with half a bottle of Proseco, and two hours until my tee time at the golf course.

Right, lets go back in time....

Sunday, 19 July 2009

poached salmon and risoni salad

Another day, another battle in the war against being almost 28% fat. Fish salad it is, but at least it's one of those fish dishes which don't taste particularly fishy, getting the thumbs up from both of us.

It's also pretty quick, which is handy as I want to spend the evening slouched in front of the TV watching The Mentalist. Another thumb's up then - that makes three thumbs, but let's not get fixated on that.

Food of the Milos
As I pointed out yesterday - if you cook it, he will eat it. Although this obviously comes with caveats. Tonight's victory is complete because I know (and you probably know), the milos weakness is Pie. In all it's forms. And tonight he can't resist the lure of the shepherd's pie. Hurrah for me, btw.

poached salmon & risoni salad (although I use orzo - I think I've said that before) - Bill Granger, Holiday, p14

shepherd's pie

Three things happen tonight which determine tonight's feast: The ongoing challenge to move the milos diet away from just pasta, it's chucking it down when I cycle home so I want something hearty and warming and finally, the anas are out. AGAIN!

So whilst she's lording it up at Kate's with some pea and mint cold soup, pork with rhubarb sauce, and blueberry tart, (oh and cheese), I'm suffering at home in the cold. This calls for drastic action, and only two manly men can help me.

St Hugh steps up to the plate with his most excellent shepherd's pie recipe, and whilst that's baking away in the oven, Colonel Richard Sharpe kicks arse in India. It goes so well in fact, I eat three-quarters of the pie leaving the milos only enough for dinner tomorrow and one smallish portion in the freezer. In doing so we now go into tupperware crisis as we've now got a small pile of assorted lids, but no actual pots left. How does that work?

Food of the Milos
If you make it, he will come. And eat. At least if it's last night's spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce. His graze and chipped tooth must be playing on his mind though, because he still doesn't like me. He must be gay.

shepherd's pie - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Meat Book, p504
sharpe's challenge - sean bean and bernard cornwall.

roast chicken, lovely ladies and pickles

We're entertaining today - the divine miss lucy ferguson and the fragrant miss louise pepper are in attendance for a roast and some quality milo time. Unfortunately the 'quality' nature of their time with him is challenged by the fact for the first time *ever* he refuses to go down for his afternoon nap, and therefore has a very minxy look in his eyes for the rest of the afternoon.

roast chicken, lovely ladies and picklesHe kicked, screamed and shouted until he was blue in the face so we got him up. He didn't even look remotely tired, excessively pleased with himself particularly once the girls arrived which gave him easy access to houmous and crisps. Hmmm, we'll have to keep an eye on this one...

Anyway, clutching ovaries aside (discounting anas of course) I think it went well; we had roast chicken, cabbage, parsnips and roast potatoes. I was going to do a starter but ana pointed out girls like desserts more than starters, so we had eton mess. I should've cooked more though, it wasn't exactly hearty but maybe that's what ladies want?

Anyway just for L&L, here is the secret behind the lemony chicken:

Roast Chicken
Free range chicken
1 lemon
thyme or tarragon
2 bulbs of garlic, brutally crushed but still in their skins.

1. Preheat the oven to 230C. Wash the chicken in cold water then pat dry with kitchen roll. Put it in a roasting tray.
2. Smear the chicken with butter with your hands, season liberally with salt and pepper, and squeeze over the juice of the lemon.
3. Put the herbs, garlic and halves of lemons in the chicken cavity and roast for 15 minutes. Baste with olive oil, then turn the heat down to 190C and roast for another 45 minutes (or until cooked), basting occasionally.
4. Once cooked, turn the oven off and leave the door open for 15 minutes to rest.
et voila!

Depending on what's going down, after the initial 15 minute blast I turn the heat down to 100-120C, which means it takes a couple of hours to cook giving you (me) a chance to play a cheeky round over the river, or go out, or whatever.

Food of the Milos
Hmmm, it wasn't great. We thought after last week's roast he'd want another but he spent most of dinner flirting with Lucy and Lou rather than eating. He did eat a lot of crips though.

roast chicken - Simon Hopkinson - Roast Chicken and Other Stories, p36
eton mess - Jamie Oliver - Cook with Jamie, p396

Saturday, 18 July 2009

spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce

Another winner in the bank tonight; classic spaghetti and cherry tomato sauce. It's quick, it's tasty and it has the Brucie Bonus factor because the milos can have it the next day. What more do you want? Oh yes, another glass of wine...

Food of the Milos
Having recovered from his bout of vapours yesterday, today he fills up with cheese, weetabix, fruit by the punnet and jacket potato for dinner.

spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce, Donna Hay - Instant Cook, p

keralan fish curry

Well Lucy, it's a good point. Basically my commenting had fallen over *again*, I was trying to reply to Sarah's comments earlier but the farqing thing just wouldn't let me sign-in. I mean what the fuckity-fuck? Ridiculous.

Anyway, yes curry again only this time it's fish curry. The decision was made for us really as Sainsbury's packaging is so god-awful it was either eat it now, or let the fridge stink of haddocks until we get around to eating it.

keralan fish curryFood of the Milos
Monkey was on pickley form today, although he quite enjoyed his trip to the supermarket, and whilst ana was looking at flowers in homebase we spent at least 4000 hours in the showroom shower boxes.

Whilst he's sleeping I fire up a batch of leek and potato soup, partly to use up the left-over blue cheese kinger and virginie bought over the other week, and partly because it's usually a winner for him. Hurrah, it still is, and he has a biggish bowl with some baguette for dinner, fruit and yoghurt for pudding and then a lot of splashing in the bath.

keralan fish curry - Nigella Lawson, Delicious Magazine, Feb 2009, p83
potato, leek and stilton soup - Delicious Magazine, January 2007, p104

digressions & pad thai

Having given it the 'big' one to Saucepan and Davisss about my rowing machine prowess, naturally it all goes wrong today. Very wrong.

The machine absolutely breaks me into many small sweating and crying pieces. It's bad, but it turns out to be the highlight of my day given the quarterly vitals check up which preceded it. On the upside my resting heart rate is so low it's almost deathly. The downside is for some reason (two days of medieval curry/pizza/real ale/roast dinners perchance?), I'm 27.7% fat. Luckily for me Ogreg feels my pain, although is that necessarily a good thing?

The bad vibes clearly run in the family because the milos are struck low by dropsy or a quinsey or something, puking everywhere. An affliction only cured by an extreme bout of Meg & Mog on DVD.

Back to the point of this blog though; faced with incipient obesity I decide to cut out the booze during the week. However that witch McCarthy like a modern day Siren, lures me with a bottle of chilled vino blanco whilst I'm cooking pad thai. At least it's a good pad thai...

Food of the Milos
Having puked up his milk in the afternoon, the milos didn't really eat anything this evening but went straight to bed. Poor monkey.

pad thai - Donna Hay, Modern Classics Book One, p133

Friday, 17 July 2009

home style chicken curry

Friday night is curry night, and tonight we're saving money by not having a take-away; instead we've got an Atul Kochhar special from the Observer Food Monthly.

Now i've cooked this before and loved it, so I was really looking forward to it but I think the time I spent fannying around looking at chicken thighs in Sainsburys (sorry whag), wasn't time well spent. This becomes rapidly clear once i get home and discover my bone filleting isn't all 'that'.

Whilst being less 'meaty' than originally planned, it's still a good recipe and one I definitely 'Bridport'.

home style chicken curryFood of the Milos
After two night's of culinary victories, I'm delivered the equivalent of a kick in the cobblers when I get back tonight to find a plate of pasta and cheese on the table. It seems the ana's made the mistake of saying he was going to have fish pasta for dinner, forgetting 'pasta' in milo language means smothered in cheese and not a delicately spiced bowl of smoked salmon and rice-shaped pasta. Cobblers!

home style chicken curry - Atul Kochhar, Observer Food Monthly

Sunday, 12 July 2009

sunday roast & pasta and mushroom special

Sunday bloody sunday! Sadly we have to head home but before we do we manage to squeeze in an excellent sunday lunch at the gupshill manor, with dan, claire and sam in attendance. It was so excellent even the milos and b-jamin both quite happily eat their roast chickens, leaving certain parents disappointed at the lack of left-over roast potato and/or yorkshire pudding.

The journey home is fairly uneventful, and when we get back there's just time to feed a chatty blond baby pasta and cheese, let him splash in the bath and put him to bed.

With almost nothing in the fridge except some slightly dried mushrooms we have experimental pasta - kind of a combination of panther's patented garlic pasta and nigel slater's mushroom pasta. It's okay at best but what's more depressing is the routine of packing bags for work tomorrow. Boo!

Food of the Milos
Scrambled egg for breakker, roast chicken, potatoes and yorkshire pudding for lunch and cheese and pasta for dinner.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

medieval curry

With the medieval festival in full-swing, the girls head off to get their hooves trimmed leaving the gentlemen folk to watch a combination of the tour de france, and england's brave boys seize the initiative in the ashes. Oh, and go to a couple of parks to entertain the smaller gentlemen.

Brilliantly lucy's mum offers to babysit saturday night, so we head out to the hotspots of tewkesbury - a bizarre combination of chavvy chavsters, mad old locals and people - seemingly all either dutch or former members of Yes - in medieval garb. It didn't get any better as we got drunker so we take refuge in the Nirala.

We have:
1 x bottle of Rose D'Anjou
4 x cobra beers
1 x king prawn madras (the anas)
1 x korahi (daviss)
1 x chicken pathia (russells)
1 x lamb madras (lucys)
popadums/tarka/mushroom bhaji/garlic naan/plain naan

It was marvellous!

Food of the Milos
ana's are up with the lark and the milos/davisss & ben this morning after I'd spent a bazillion hours trying to get him back to sleep after his 0430 alarm call. He starts the day with oatabix and banana, marmite sandwiches for lunch and jacket potato, cheese and beans for dinner. Plus the usual intake of raisins and, for one day only whilst dads are in charge, some french fries crisps and some of my bacon and mushroom breakfast roll.

Friday, 10 July 2009

medieval pizza

Off to Tewkesbury for a weekend with the Baxendale-Taylors, however before we get there two controversial things occur:

1. I manage to chip one of the milos teeth, cut his nose and graze his elbow. I didn't do it on purpose - we were running with him in the pram, and stopping suddenly, which he liked! Unfortunately I forgot I hadn't clipped him in and on the third stop he kept going. He wasn't happy, and neither was his mummy.

2. We decide to take a risk and head down in the evening banking on the milos will sleep in the car and then transferring him to bed when we get there. Of course this doesn't happen and it's wiggles, singing and chatting away for the entire journey. Still, at least he's forgotten about his injuries, and was more keen on seeing ben, lucy and davisss than getting some kip.

Once we get him to bed, we have some amazing davisss taylor pizzas with the most crispy bases. Lord knows how he does them...

Food of the Milos
Having turfed him out of the pram I'm less than convinced he's going to eat anything but surprise surprise, he gobbles down some defrosted spicy parmesan meatballs, followed by summer pudding. Then a pot of raisins on the journey down, and some strawberries and raspberries.

crispy based pizzas - tratatoria de'lla taylorino. I recommend the olive and mushroom.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

roast chicken and salad

My much heralded round of golf with Des finally dawns. Whilst we're hacking around Duke's Meadows (and I'm picking up £6 winnings for closest to the pin), I leave the chicken gently roasting away in a variation of Simon Hopkinson's brilliant recipe.

The one thing I overlooked was the fact by the time I got back at 2200 military hours, my lovely wife and partner is collapsed on the sofa, having only sustained herself with sauvignon blanc and doritos. Oh well, at least I won £6.

roast chicken - Roast Chicken and Other Stories, Simon Hopkinson

happy anniversary!

Four years and counting, and what better way to celebrate than with fizzy wine, trampolining and a garden party? Or maybe some defrosted beef stew and the mentalist/psychoville? Can you guess who did what, can you, can you?

So it's bedtime for milo and slightly sinister telly for me, and the end of term party and hangovers for the anas. Still it's been an ace four years, although I'm slightly disappointed not to be invited to the school parents-teacher curry-themed party - surely that's the perfect venue to take any husbands you might have?

Food of the Milos
One of the reasons of defrosting the stew was to reintroduce the milos to something other than pasta or pizza. He used to really like it, but it's a vain attempt tonight. Still, more for me so sucks to him!

beef stew with pumpkin - Delicious

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

lamb tagliata

To make up for last night's death by fish ana's get one of her favourite summery salady things, Jill Dupliex's lamb tagliata. Which is odd as lamb isn't one of her meats of choice. Women eh?

lamb tagliataInterestingly tagliata means 'cut' in Italian, and Italians serve their steaks sliced and shared, turning a heavy meat dish into something more like a salad. No really, that's what it says.

lamb tagliata - Delicious, October 2007, p138.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

prawn fajitas with spicy tomato & avocado salsa

So that's summer over then? A minky day starts with drizzle, then tips it down, then breaks enough for me to get home, then starts again whilst we're talking to Des in the garden.

It's just as well because as I'm pre-heating the oven to roast the chicken a funny smell pervades the kitchen which directly leads to a new parenting rule: #257 Always check the oven for articles placed there by certain blond babies before turning the oven on.

Giving up on roasting chicken until I can get rid of the remains of the plastic measuring jug melted to the bottom of the oven, we try an experimental 'hob'-based dinner identified by the anas in this month's delicious: prawn fajitas with spicy tomato & avocado salsa.

It ticks many boxes: Quick, prawns are an unscary form of fish, and relatively healthy but the one downside is there's not nearly enough. Boo to health!

prawn fajitas with spicy tomato & avocado salsasources
prawn fajitas with spicy tomato & avocado salsa - delicious, August 2009, p107

Monday, 6 July 2009

chicken with tomatoes, peppers and cous cous

Nightmare day at work and by the time I get home I'm knackered and really can't be bothered to cook my original plan of a hearty roast chicken. However, chicken we will have because there's some breasts (Ooer) in the fridge, and a snap decision results in us having Jamie's classic chicken with tomatoes, peppers and cous cous. Although I forgot we didn't have any marinated peppers, so I make good with mushrooms.

It's pretty good but definitely peppers are better...

chicken with tomatoes, peppers and cous cous

Sunday, 5 July 2009

babs cabs birthday

A blistering saturday dawns and we head off to folkestone for mum's birthday. It's a great weekend; we spend the afternoon with friends in my mum's extensive grounds watching the monkey's splash about in the paddling pool.

Having knackered him out, we meet up with johnny and pam for a beer in saltwood, and a curry in hythe. We must be getting on because we only have a couple in each before sweet, sweet sleep beckons.

ice creamAfter spending sunday morning in the adventure playground on the front, eating ice creams we get home in time for the wimbledon final. Given how long it took, we survive on half of milos dinner and the residual fat from saturday's party food, whilst I knock together courgette and goats cheese soup for the week ahead.

courgette soup

Food of the Milos
et voila!

courgette and goats cheese soup - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Year, p159
pizza - Top 100 Finger Foods, Annabel Karmel

Friday, 3 July 2009

baked chicken, green beans and tomatoes

Kayosaurus and Mikeledocus are up for a weekend of Billy Elliot, and Wimbledon Men's Final Tickets - get them! Before they can Lord it over the rest of us though, I'm off to the press premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - get me!

By the time I get home after an hour waiting to collect my phone from security hell (my phone barely phones anybody, let alone discretely film a summer blockbuster for DVD purposes), the ana's have knocked up the now-identified Jamie Oliver chicken dish.

baked chicken, green beans and tomatoesStrangely though, I seem to miss out on strawberries and cream...

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

fast asian fush

Another beautiful day, slightly hungover from Geeky Tom's leaving do and with one day left on the salmon we opt for Fast Asian Fush, which combines a nice headache dampening spice kick and healthy fish. Mmmmmmmm - unless you're the ana's of course.

fast asian fushTo be fair it has a bad memory from being pregnant when she completely went off fish (like we were ever 'on' it), but tonight we narrow her dislike down to the sweet chilli sauce marinade. If I'm a allowed a next time I'll attempt my own chilli marinade with soy sauce...

fast asian fish - Delicious, One Month Healthy Eating Plan Booklet, February 2007 p10