Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Saturday, 27 March 2010

keralan fish curry & pasta with asparagus

keralan fish curry
pasta with asparagus

pasta with asparagus, pesto and poached egg - Delicious, May 2005, p110
keralan fish curry - Nigella Lawson, Delicious, February 2009, p83

Thursday, 25 March 2010

roast beef and digestives

No photo today, because I spent the day with my brother visiting my newly-out-of-hospital dad down in Portsmouth, followed by the great-leaving-aol-party.

Stage one went pretty well, Dad and Dan were on good form albeit highly smokey form (I stank on the train on the way home), and Maggie cooked up a massive and amazing roast beef for dinner before I went. I was pretty much stuffed until halfway through the leaving drinks. Luckily ana had left me some digestives to munch on when I got in, cold and tired from the night bus. Bless

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

roast chicken and rice salad

roast chicken and rice salad

roast chicken & three-rice salad (although I use one rice) - Delicious, July 2008, p64

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

toasted pine nut and sweet potato salad

Similar to last night's ratatouille, we've also had several sweet potatoes sat around the veg bowl for aaaaages, so in a continued effort to lose the winter fat we have one of the ana's favourite salads - roast sweet potatoes, tomatoes and pine nuts with a red wine vinegar and honey dressing, and spinach.

toasted pine nut and sweet potato salad
However just like last night *something* doesn't quite work. Initially I thought it was the aged nature of the potatoes - they were a little floury - but in the end I think it was the vinegar tasting funny. Not sure why though. I tried it without dressing and it was fine, but I can't believe vinegar goes off - does it?

Food of the Milos
Our eggs broke in transit this week, which means somebody has scrambled eggs for breakfast. Was he at Zoe's or Richmond park with Jenny today? Can't remember, but he did have ratatouille for dinner.

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

Monday, 22 March 2010

ratatouille and indian-spiced aubergine

The ingredients for Saint Hugh's ratatouille have malingering in the fridge for over a week so it's time to bite the bullet and actually make it. After a weekend of curry, pub lunches and booze, it's not a bad time to get back on the demi-healthy bandwagon.


Note to self: it doesn't work with wholewheat fusilli, although it curiously does work with trottole. I don't know why.

There is another advantage in having two largish aubergines to get rid of tonight, as the double helping means I can also squeeze out another portion of indian-spiced aubergine as a taster to convince the anas, and something for lunch for me. The tasting doesn't go well, but at least i've got something different for lunch tomorrow...

indian-spiced aubergine

Food of the Milos
The milos spend the day entertaining Kay and Mike so it's snacks-a-go-go for him, with some fish pie for dinner. He doesn't exactly wolf it down, but eats it all by dint of fact ana kept putting the spoon in his mouth.

ratatouille - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Cookbook, p105
indian-spiced aubergine - Delicious, March 2010, p83

Sunday, 21 March 2010

pasta with cherry tomato sauce

With the grandparents in residence, parenting is slightly easier today. There's tea and toast on tap, a fair amount of washing up and tidying gets done and, as we're suddenly relegated to third-class citizens (he told us he didn't like our faces this morning), we don't have to play hide-and-seek relentlessly all day.

Instead we all take a wander up to the garden centre on Upper Richmond Road for another phase of Operation Make the Grass Come Back to the Lawn. While ana and Kay look at bedding plants, the men spend a couple of hours sticking fingers into waterfalls/watering cans/buckets of stones/compost/statues/monkey puzzle trees before having a lazy lunch at The Treehouse.

It's a glorious day so we sit in the garden out back, in the sun, whilst monkey entertained himself in the bamboo jungle and we troughed on excellent food: soup of the day for Kay, sunday roast for Mike, sausage and chips for Milo, herb crepe with curried lentils for the anas and smoked haddock on mash and hollandaise for me. The only downer was the impact two pints of Meantime had on my energy levels for the rest of the afternoon.

As we'd eaten out nobody is hungry until quite late, but a quick mercy dash to the shops for puff pastry to make a tomato tart with the kilo of cherry tomatoes I brought this week ends in Meantime-tiredness-induced rage. I got over-excited by half-price prosecco and forgot the cocking pastry. Lucky we've got a cherry tomato-flavoured ace up our sleeves:

pasta with cherry tomato sauce

Food of the Milos
Sausage and chips for lunch, obvs, but I can't for the life remember what he had for breakfast OR dinner. Damn this micro-brewed pale ale!

pasta with cherry tomato sauce - Donna Hay, The Instant Cook, p58

Saturday, 20 March 2010

saturday take-away curry

This morning doesn't begin well. Actually it does for one of us. Technically Melissa is ana's friend, therefore technically I'm a guest in their house, which means me and my pants remain in bed, leaving anas in charge of the blonde one who has gone into overdrive with Melissa's kids.

Luckily by the time we get back to Mortlake, Kayosaurus and Mikeplodocus are in residence and ready to begin their grandparenting duties which is a life-saver. The ana's have a much-needed rest, and I nick off to play rugby in the rain.

By the time I get back, full of Guinness, ana's hangover hasn't really gone and I'm a little too woozy to wield extra-sharp knives so we decide to try a new take away: Holy Cow in Putney.

It's okay-ish. Kay likes her Murgh Korma more than Tiffin Box's, the ana's weren't convinced by her King Prawn Jafrani but did like the Tarka Dhal, Mike liked his Murgh Magalore (although it's not clear whether that was because of the flavour or the extra-chilli) but I thought it was so-so. All in all a draw, so we'll have to make final decision next time the in-laws are in town.

Food of the Milos
A hale and hearty breakfast of boiled eggs, soldiers and bacon at Melissa's, this combined with various snacks meant he skipped lunch and went direct to snoopy-snooze. He had some reserved gnocchi for dinner.

Friday, 19 March 2010

nordic fish hotpot

We're visiting Melissa and Chris' tonight, so after a brief stop at Gordon's Wine Cave for Tom's birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAGE - it's time for the brompton's maiden voyage on public transport: The 19.02 to Surbiton.

Once there things start to look dicey. We're already pre-warned Melissa is cooking fish but the mound of salmon, herring and what could be codses or maybe haddockses looks quite challenging. The challenge level goes up to 20 when the lid is lifted on the final dish as it's quite-to-very fishy. However, despite the pungent fishy aroma it's bloody marvellous - definitely one to steal and perfect with lots of crusty bread.

Food of the Milos
The anas are at work again this morning, so he spends the morning at Claire and Islas. The usual battle to get something down him for breakfast takes place, but for lunch he has a tortilla which he likes. Once at Melissa's he gets one of his faves, spag bol, and spends the rest of the evening exhibiting.

nordic fish hotpot - Jane Lawson, Snowflakes and Schnapps, p121

Thursday, 18 March 2010

oven-roasted pepper and garlic gnocchi

Hmmm, Saint Hugh's ratatouille or gnocchi? Ratatouille or gnocchi? Given the anas had made a pepper and pasta sauce for milo's dinner tonight we go for the gnocchi on the basis the courgettes are more likely to survive in the fridge, but the peppers and tomatoes aren't. It's also less for me to do, so I can get some more back-updating done on the blog.

Still haven't managed to fix the cocking camera though - I don't know what's going on with it...

oven-roasted pepper and garlic gnocchi

Food of the Milos
Despite having his milk when he woke up at 0530, the monkey didn't have any breakfast at Julias, apart from a croissant and a rice cake. He DID have a lunch of sausage, chips and veg (sausages are his crack after all, closely followed by chips), and then the first of probably many of his mother's classic pasta sauce recipes, with some blueberries.

oven-roasted pepper and garlic gnocchi - Delicious One Month Healthy Eating Plan, February 2007

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

lamb tagliata

After last night's fishy stodge-fest (which I stunk work out with at lunchtime - the ultimate office sin), we opt for an old favourite which is both light whilst still packing a punch: Lamb tagliata.

lamb tagliata
However cycling 11K home these days means I'm usually starving and if I want to keep the weight off I need to curb my sandwich-making urges. A salad, lovely though this one is, isn't going to cut it, so we turn it into a two-course feast with the last of the mushroom soup.

I've given up with the International Fraternity of Friendly Brompton Owners Club, I think I'm the only member.

Food of the Milos
Back to Julia's today and for once he has some breakfast, Ready Brek. Vegetable pasta for lunch and some of last night's fish pie for dinner, so the smell of undyed smoked haddock was worth it.

lamb tagliata - Jill Dupleix, Delicious, October 2007, p138

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

fish pies with leeks and prawns

Technically we should've had this last night, but I couldn't be cracked.

The theory behind this one was because on Friday, whilst I was out living it up at a Victorian Fancy Fair with Magnus, ana tried the milos on a Little Dish Fish Pie, which he wolfed down. So we decide to try a an experimental fish pie recipe, to see if he (and we) still play ball.

Featuring whiting, prawns and undyed smoked haddock (and as it turns out, not quite enough potatoes), it's a pretty impressive first attempt:

fish pies with leeks and prawns

There's loads left for him, some for the freezer and probably enough for me to have for lunch tomorrow. Even madder, this is apparently, my first ever Ramsay recipe - that can't be right can it?

Brompton Watch - 11 today, No members of the International Fraternity of Friendly Brompton Owners Club, although one lady did look at me oddly as I was attempting to wave at her.

Food of the Milos
After spurning some waffle, he had apricots with porridge for breakfast, marmite sandwiches, avocado, tomato and MORE salmon for lunch, and tuna with spaghetti at Zoe's for dinner.

fish pies with leeks and prawns - Gordon Ramsay, World Kitchen, p114

Monday, 15 March 2010

teriyaki beef with vegetables & mushroom soup

With the fridge groaning from yesterdays delivery, and doubly so as we failed to cook dinner as we were socialising with our neighbours, dinners this week will be cooked in order of greatest mass of ingredients.

Naturally there is a caveat to the new theory as I'm knackered, so if A is "recipe with the most goods in the fridge" and B is "whatever's quickest", the sum is teriyaki beef:

teriyaki beef with vegetables

One of the few problems with online shopping is the accurately guessing the weight of the steak game we play each time. This time we lose, but a veritable mountain of peppers and baby broccoli more than compensates.

Whilst the beef if marinading, I get some soup on the go for lunch this week - Saint Hugh's mushroom soup, with the secret ingredients of rice.

Brompton Watch - A record 15 today, must be the springlike weather! Sadly there were no members of the International Fraternity of Friendly Brompton Owners Club. Again.

Food of the Milos
The anas are working today so it's an exciting day at Julia's today - apricots, chocolate cheerios, rice cakes, chicken and veg for lunch. Jacket potato, avocado, cheese, a kiwi fruit and SMOKED SALMON for dinner. It's like we're bringing up Little Lard Fauntleroy...

teriyaki beef with vegetables - Delicious, March 2010, p122

Sunday, 14 March 2010

mother's day

A beautiful Mother's Day starts well, has quite a strong middle and ends slightly drunkenly next door.

Tea and toast in bed is followed by my first trip to Sainsbury's of the day and then poached eggs on toast for breakfast, which we all eat together - kind of anyway. Now I've been through several top tips for the perfect poached eggs and I've *finally* found one which works every time. No vinegar, no over swirling, no nothing in fact - all you do is put the egg in the boiling water for 10 seconds before you crack it. The immersion makes the egg slightly gloopier which keeps it together more in the pan. Marvellous!

A morning spent rescuing the garden is followed by a lovely smoked salmon on rye bread (with IOW garlic horseradish) and fizzy wine for the parents whilst the milos are snoopy snoozing.

Post sleep we take a second trip to Sainsbury's before heading over to Des and Ali's for a cup of tea. One cup leads to another, and another trip to Sainsbury's, before Des cooks lamb chops for us all and we eventually get home at 23.30. We're only slightly foxed.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

beetroot risotto

Due to a mix-up with our posh friends being unable to co-ordinate their Smythson iPhones and various East European nannies (yes kiki and beth, I am looking a you), we get the devastating news early this morning that book club is on tonight! This is a triple bugger as I'm only a third of the way through it, ana hasn't even started and we've not got a babysitter.

Luckily technology comes to our rescue. As I'm out tomorrow with Magnus twirling our moustahes at a Victorian Fancy Fair, the anas go to beth's and I stay here. We review using Skype and I get to eat a double portion of beetroot risotto without anybody pulling faces. And I include both Good and Bad Lucy's into that equation...

beetroot risotto

oven-cooked beetroot risotto - Delicious, June 2009, p85

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

roasted chicken with chorizo & cabbage

Ker-ist, it's even colder today, if that's possible - although maybe I shouldn't have sat in Golden Square reading at lunchtime, with only a thermos of chilli to keep me warm?

Anyway, it's either potato & mushroom stew or experimental chicken tonight - hmmm, what would annoy the anas least? Experimental chicken with chorizo cabbage from a Waitrose recipe card it is!

roasted chicken with chorizo & cabbage
Other than edges of the cabbage getting slightly burned, and the fact I didn't have sherry or brandy so had to make do with sherry vinegar, it's pretty good. Definitely a spring/autumn dish as the chorizo and cabbage is quite earthy.

Brompton Watch: 6 - no members of the International Fraternity of Friendly Brompton Owners Club.

Food of the Milos
It's a Julia day today, but he continues to have fallen out of love with breakfast. Cottage pie for lunch, jacket potato, fish fingers, avocado and cherry tomatoes for dinner.

roasted chicken with chorizo & cabbage - Waitrose Everyday Recipe Card

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

hot chilli

Chaucer never mentioned it being this cold, and we've still got a month to go until we go on pilgrimage! Whilst we wait for April showers to pierce the roots (which is a medieval metaphor for sperm fact Nuns Priest fans), we make do with a classic hot chilli to ward off frostbite.

I can't believe we haven't had chilli for over a year, leastwise it's not in the blog and I couldn't find the Delicious quick recipe, so I had to go back into my miiiiiiiiiiind! It's a fairly fluid recipe - curry powder, chilli powder, garam masala, ground cumin, paprika, etc etc and the secret ingredient. A secret. Okay, grated chocolate...

hot chilli

Brompton update - a new record today with 11 bromptons on the road. Sadly nobody is interested in the International Fraternity of Brompton Riders Wave of Friendship, until I physically accost a chap on a midnight blue version at some lights on Kensington High Street and force him into conversation.

I also discovered Bad Lucy is another member of the ana-anti-beetroot gang. She is now dead to me.

Food of the Milos
Toast for breakfast, rice cakes, smoothies and raisins and then a marmite sandwich (which he didn't eat) for lunch, with apple slices and cheese. For dinner he had roast chicken, roast potato, mashed potato, yorkshire pudding, broccoli and spinach at Zoes, with a Callipo ice lolly. He didn't eat the spinach.

hot chilli - my mind.

Monday, 8 March 2010

spaghetti with garlic and spinach

After yesterday's blow-out, and bearing in mind somebody WILL NOT go to sleep tonight, we go for something quick and dirty with the added benefit of using up the massive bag of spinach cluttering up the fridge. As it's cold as hell, it gets some of kayosaurus' mini-quadruple-heat chilli, which backfires when I get about three in the last spoonful.

However, the ongoing taking-decent-pictures-of-the-white-pasta-bowls issues might be finally broken. Well, it least they're slightly better than the recent run of over-exposed botch jobs.

spaghetti with garlic and spinach

Well, *slightly* better then.

Food of the Milos
Having refused breakfast he accedes to a Humzinger and a couple of plain rice cakes. About 20 cherry tomatoes, scrambled egg and Minky Moons at Kiki's, an afternoon snack of apples and cheese and spicy meatballs for dinner. And some grapes.

spaghetti with garlic and spinach - Bill Granger, Every Day, p99

Sunday, 7 March 2010

sunday luncheon with peter magnus leary

It's a beautiful spring sunday, and after a quick trip to for some lawn rescue (and hopefully two virile raspberry plants which means we won't have to pay for any berries this year), we're back for a double-experimental-gut-busting-lunch with la Leary.

Naturally it comes with added challenging ana points as beetroot reminds her of worming medicine, so she's not happy with the arrival of the borscht.

beetroot borscht
Sadly the soup was the only peaceful part of the lunch as due to a slight miscalculation we have to get monkeynuts up. Consequently we quickly move from a salon style intellectual powerhouse of conversation to kindergarten, with repeated hiding beneath the table, and demands for crisps. Still, the tarragon-stuffed chicken (utilising my new-found knife skills) is definitely a success.

tarragon stuffed chicken
Just as well as I've got a load of marscapone & tarragon stuffing in the fridge then. Afterwards, there's just enough room for tarte tatin, and then coma for the rest of the day.

tarte tatin

Food of the Milos
Fruit bread for breakfast, followed by porridge and apricots. Scrambled eggs for lunch and spaghetti with cheese for dinner. Plus crisps (obviously), half a tonne of grapes, rice cakes, smoothies and some apple.

beetroot and apple borscht - Delicious, March 2010, p40
stuffed tarragon chicken with cannellini bean stew - Delicious, March 2010, p46
apple tarte tatin - Donna Hay, Modern Classics Book 2, p170