Thursday, 28 April 2011

angela boggiano's spinach and parmesan meatballs

With the Royal Wedding - and consequently a long, sunny weekend at home - looming, and one day to go until payday, we're in tactical overdrive tonight.

We need something cheap, preferably free, and quick so we can spend the evening packing and tidying this evening, to enable a swift getaway in the morning. The extra-veggie-tastic meatballs from a couple of weeks ago it is!

As you can see we've run out of spaghetti, so we're using up a random bag of ruote pasta - much to Ana's chagrin.

Food of the Milos
Breakfast: Chocolate Rice Krispies, toast and butter;
Lunch: He made and ate Union Jack cakes at nursery, and consequently didn't want much bolognese at lunch, or pudding;
Dinner: Meatballs, although this time he bucks the trend and has it before we do, mainly because it's spent all day defrosting. This version must provide at least 10 of his five a day.

spinach and parmesan meatballs - Angela Boggiano, Delicious, December 2007, p46

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

mozzarella, peach, basil and parma ham salad

Hello mozzarella, peach, basil and parma ham salad my old friend, we've come to eat you once again. It's sunny, we need to detox after Easter at the Taylor-Baxendale's, and there's only a month to go until Canada, so it's salad-time. From now until fracking doomsday if Ana's got anything to do with it...

Feel the weight just falling off.

Food of the Milos
It's back to school for two people, so long faces all round today.
Breakfast: Cheerios, apricots, toast & nutella;
Lunch: Chicken, mash and veg, although he avoided the carrots and parsnip, followed by two yoghurts;
Dinner: Sausages and mini-veg, followed by another yoghurt.

mozzarella, peach, basil and parma ham salad - Delicious, 2005 now the Parsley Book

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

bill granger's chick pea and tomato soup with chorizo

Everybody out of the office + sneaking off early + Billy G's super-quick soup + BodyBlitz = a thoroughly relaxing and early-ish night.

Although it's later ruined by watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead, and *somebody* waking up about three times between 0230 and 0400am.

Food of the Milos
Ooooh it's the first day at gymnastics for Milo, and he loves it - yay! Next stop, second row for Wales.
Breakfast: Nibbles;
Lunch: Dippy egg;
Dinner: Fish fingers, Thomas the Tank Engine pasta shapes, yoghurt.

chick pea and tomato soup with chorizo and green chilli - Bill Granger, Delicious, February 2008 p68

Monday, 25 April 2011

heston's pea & pancetta spaghetti

After a scorching weekend of playing garden cricket, doing silly indie dancing and trying to unlock the flavour in many cans of lager (mmmmm, warmish fizzy, brown water), we need to detox.

It's still lovely and sunny, and there's a spare packet of pancetta lurking in the fridge so what better way to start (yet another) new regime of health than with Heston's pea & pancetta spaghetti? Obvs we have it with more fizzy, brown water and a chilled glass of rose...

Due to the fact pay day isn't til Friday, we're going to try and make meals using only what we've got in the house, other than buying salad because we're one day short. And bread.

Food of the Milos
Seeing as we start the day in Ashton, and end it in Mortlake, and it being Easter, it's yet another slightly odd day of food, but odd in a good way. Sort of.
Breakfast: nibbles, cheerios, toast;
Snacks: two bowls of weetos, most of his haul of easter eggs, a smoothie and two rice cakes;
Dinner: pea & pancetta spaghetti, and *gasp* he ate his peas

heston's pea & pancetta spaghetti - Waitrose Weekend, 16th September, p10

Sunday, 24 April 2011

easter at the taylors

Easter holidays - what better reason can there be to head to the country with good friends, eat fine food, unleash the flavour on numerous tasty cans of brown fizzy water, play an intense garden cricket test, bounce on a trampolene, dance in a silly way, eat antagonistic sandwiches (or not) and shoot each other with Nerf guns? It's what the Easter Bunny would've wanted. Particularly a pissed-up Easter Bunny who likes air-powered guns.

In attendance: Lucy, Dave & Ben (obvs) / Rob, Sandy and Tilly / Greg, Amanda, Cerys and Harry / Us / Claire, Dan and Gracie.

What we ate:

Thursday: We turned up a day early, and were treated - treated I tell you - to an experimental curry. It was Black-Eyed bean curry from Anjum Anand's new book, and whilst Dave didn't look like he wanted to cook it at the time, it was actually v tasty - recipe please Lucy!

Friday: With most people in place, Lucy knocked up a lovely, summery roast butternut squash and feta salad for six, as you do. Well, five as Dave doesn't like butternut squash... This was followed with more salad for dinner, in this case Oliver Rowe's chicken, tomato, tarragon, bacon and sourdough salad, with Bill Granger's salt-roasted new potatoes. With Dave on bacon duties, and Greg on chicken-pulling-apart-duties, and Rob on being an anaemic, whining veggie tosser duties, it's a triumph!

Whilst highly tasty, and with the added health twist of the addition of pumpkin and pine nut seeds, it's not the best base for six hours of getting hammered on red wine, champers and dancing to The Stone Roses.

Casualties: Rob had to be taken to bed - vegetarians, tsk!

Saturday: Ohhh, it's scorchio! For lunch we take advantage of Lucy's bulk buying of the local fayre (not Pork Scratchings, the other stuff) and have pasta with Worcestershire asparagus and poached egg, along with a selection of meats and cheeses:

We don't have pancetta (to appease that Nazi Rob), but more interestingly I experiment with poaching and then immersing the eggs in iced water until I'd cooked them all. Oddly it works a treat, they're all perfectly runny and I felt just a little bit like a proper chef.

After a soggy, storm battered egg hunt we get we get a take out from the Thai Emerald for dinner.

Casualties: Pretty much everybody

Sunday: Everybody's off today, although we decide to hang around for another night. I manage to have two lunches, Dave's antagonistic sandwiches AND Lucy's antagonistic feta salad - hurrah! Even better, for dinner Dave cranks up the barbie with an amazing marinated chicken.

Casualties: Nobody, although I think we're all feeling a little brackish. Next stop, Greg's birthday BBQ

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

roast chicken and salad

Curiously I'm feeling slightly brackish today, and it's not just sleeping on the slightly-deflating inflatable bed that's done it - there's definite post-boozing *boilk* on the ride to work. I suppose that's what you get when you combine lots of fizzy lager-style lager with, essentially, salad for dinner.

Anyway, as we're off to Ashton for the weekend, tonight we're using up as much as possible from the fridge so we don't have to throw it all: Left-over roast chicken and salad ahoy!

Because we're terribly green, we take one for the environment and also use up the last of the cans of lager/bottle or rose. We are v virtuous.

Food of the Milos
With Hannae and Kornelius in residence for most of the day, Milo has his second pub lunch in a row, and also maximises the opportunities for ice creams. Which is odd as Kornelius is only just one, and in no position to eat ice creams...
Breakfast: Nibbles, and lots of them;
Lunch: Sausage and chips in The Brown Dog, ice cream;
Dinner: The remainder of Tilly's macaroni cheese from last night.

roast chicken - Simon Hopkinson, Roast Chicken and Other Stories, p36

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

ottolenghi's roast chicken and three-rice salad, tomato, red onion and creme fraiche tart & green salad

What do you do when you're unexpectedly inundated with an influx of foreigners?

With only Hannae Signy booked in, the surprise arrival of Ellie, Dr Robert Manwaring and Sandra Joy Pitcher forces a change of plan. Faced with three more guests the only answer is to cook our next two planned meals, in one night, viz Ottolenghi's chicken and three rice salad for everybody except Rob. And tomato, red onion and creme fraiche tart for everybody including Rob.

Not a bad result given we had to make numerous runs to the shop for repeat top-ups of booze, and it's marvellously lovely to see everybody! The tart does push dinner back an hour or so though, so something to bear in mind there.

yotam ottolenghi's roast chicken and three-rice salad - Delicious, July 2008, p64
tomato, red onion and creme fraiche tart - Delicious, 2005 or 2006, now the Parsley Book

Monday, 18 April 2011

roast chicken and salad

Not much of a blog tonight. Ana's out at Ellie's visiting Hannae Signey B-wankershill, who is over from Norway for the week, and whilst me and Milo drop her off in deepest, darkest Chiswick, I've got a chicken roasting in the oven.

With Ana out of the house, it does mean a) we've got loads of chicken left-over for ottolenghi's chicken and three-rice salad later this week, and b) I can indulge in mopping up as much chicken juice from the bottom of the pan with bread as I like, without shame or reproach.

Food of the Milos
Even though nursery is off, it's still busy as Milo has two playdates booked in for the day:
Breakfast: Pre-breakfast nibbles, dippy egg and soldiers;
Lunch: Spaghetti bolognese, a bowl of pineapple pieces and a Fab lolly at Kate's;
Dinner: Fish fingers, corn on the cob, sweet potato wedges, followed by ice cream with strawberry sauce and 100s and 1000s at Sam's.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

angela boggiano's mascapone, prosciutto and rocket pizza and giacobazzi's cotechino al'Inglese

After the relative sloth of Saturday, today we're running at 1000 per cent:
  • We go shopping;
  • We deal with a mountain of washing and tidying;
  • We complete last week's gardening extravaganza;
  • We go to Palewell Park and whilst Ana runs around Richmond Park, me and Milo play netball.
All this in scorchio temperatures - can it really be summer already? Anyway, having completed stages 1-3, we're in need of some vital energy and further inspired by myveryfavouriteItalianissueofDelicious, we get experimental with the cover-recipe: mascapone, proscuitto and rocket pizza.

Now I've destroyed far too many pizza bases to bother making my own anymore, so we use ready-made ones, which also makes it quicker and easier for Milo to get involved with doing the toppings. We do one with olives and one without:

I have to say, they were pretty darn toothsome with the mascapone really giving them a unexpected freshness. Note to self though, remember to stick the tomatoes on the bottom rather than try balancing them on top.

With Monkey in bed post-cavort around the park, we have our third recipe from the May 2007 edition of Delicious this week! Do bear in mind when you look at this I had a selection of normal Yorkshire puddings in the freezer, but Ana somehow managed to buy a huge, all-Beef Dripping Yorkshire pudding, for 5p in Waitrose...

Again, like the spaghetti alla carrettiera, it's an old favourite and one I usually have when Ana's away. It's a lentil and garlicky sausage stew from the Hampsted Deli Giacobazzi's, and despite sounding quite heavy, it's pretty light but is packed with lots of flavour. You don't need to eat too much of it, which is just as well as it means Milo's got plenty for dinner tomorrow.

mascapone, prosciutto and rocket pizza - angela boggiano, Delicious, May 2007, p102
cotechino al'Inglese - raffaele and renata giacobazzi, Delicious, May 2007, p56

Saturday, 16 April 2011

angela boggiano's spinach and parmesan meatballs

And we're back to a full house again - harrumble! To celebrate we have a massive - and I mean massive - bowl of meatballs, plenty of vino (once Milo is in bed) and get stuck into our new Televisual addiction: The Walking Dead.

We can do the shopping tomorrow, but this was a pretty handy dish to finish off all the wilting veg in the fridge, which had the bonus of making it really thick. To the usual carrots, celery, onions and garlic in the source, this batch had courgettes and broccoli bunged in. So that's one dish with all five (six if you include the spinach in the meatballs) of your five a day on plate - and not a goji berry in sight!

spinach and parmesan meatballs - Angela Boggiano, Delicious, December 2007, p46

Friday, 15 April 2011

jill dupleix's spaghetti alla carrettiera

Work has finished early for our office move, it's baking outside, and the mighty Ospreys are on the red button service - how many more excuses do I need to bunk off at 1530?

Actually getting home early has the added bonus of meaning I'm able to cook up a batch of Angela Boggiano's by-now-classic spinach and parmesan meatballs ahead of Ana and Milo's triumphant return tomorrow, tidy the house, go to the corner shop for a couple of cold brewskis and cook an old, old favourite from Jilly D - spaghetti in cart-driver's sauce:

Basically it's tuna, dried mushrooms (wild or porcini), garlic, pancetta and parmesan and it's one of my very favouritist dishes. Having not cooked it for ages, it only popped into my head after moaning the other day about the lack of an Italian special edition of Delicious this year. This one's from 2007, which I think is probably one of the best editions.

jill dupleix's spaghetti alla carretiera - Jill Dupleix, Delicious, May 2007, p80

Thursday, 14 April 2011

warm chilli chicken vietnamese noodle salad

After last night's demi-triumph in The Blue Anchor pub quiz with Miss L Ferguson* (although curiously nobody knew why we'd called ourselves Sarah Lund's Jumper), it's all about the health tonight.

I've been looking forward to making this all week for a few of reasons:
1. It's really quick and easy;
2. There are enough ingredients for lunch tomorrow;
3. It's healthy enough to off-set last night's beers;
4. I love a spicy asian salad.

Actually, it's fairly bloomin' good. I didn't have any coriander (for some reason), and there wasn't enough cucumber, but I did add the small bag of sugar snap peas Ana kindly left me in the fridge. All in all, definitely one we'll be having again this summer:

The only downside was the fact I ate it all, so it's pitta bread for lunch tomorrow - yay?

warm chilli chicken vietnamese noodle salad - Delicious, May 2011, p20

*We came third AND I didn't fall off my bike this time, so a definite improvement on our last outing.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

bill granger's giovanni's sausages with potatoes and rosemary

Is there anything better to cheer up a man left alone whilst his wife and son go globe-trotting for the week, than a hearty plate of sausages and sort-of chips, and a Napoleonic swashbuckling epic on t'telly?

Who needs spouses and kids anyway?

giovanni's sausages with potatoes and rosemary - Bill Granger, Simply Bill, p77

Monday, 11 April 2011

bill granger's chick pea and tomato soup with chorizo

You will no doubt be all glad to know we've finally got our lives back. With Ana and Milo's Easter trip to the Isle of Wight imminent, we've got no choice tonight but to put a second - and final - three hour shift in to finish Forbrydelsen. OMG it was worth it, and with enough loose ends to keep us awake for another hour arguing about it...

Anyway, with three hours to go we need something quick and given the sudden rain squalls, hearty. Come on down Billy G's by-now-classic chick pea and tomato soup. With chorizo.

So, with the Danish crime drama *finally* over (until the second series starts that is) prepare yourselves for a torrent of updates.

chick pea and tomato soup with chorizo and green chilli - Bill Granger, Delicious, February 2008 p68

Sunday, 10 April 2011

the first bbq of the year!

And it's only cocking April! Anyway, after our last attempt which ended in a shambles of bitter recriminations and arguments about the length of time it takes to cook a sausage simply to satisfy a (then) two year-old, this year we're singing from the same hymn sheet.

Milo helps make some of la Boggiano's brillo burger mix, whilst the BBQ does it's turning charcoal into ash thing, we pre-cook the sausages and sweetcorn, and Ana deals with the chilling of booze (and juice). What is not to like?

ultimate burger - angela boggiano, Delicious, June 2009, p46

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

spicy beef and courgette cannelloni

Ooooh, another dish from the latest issue of Delicious which - if you're a regular Delicious reader - wasn't the yearly Italian Issue. Quelle horror! Maybe they've run out of Italian recipes?

We've planned this on the basis Kay & Mike are up, and of course the inevitable need to feed Milo the next day, but whilst it was tasty and both the tomato sauce and beefy filling were both fairly easy to make by crikey, stuffing the cannelloni was a right pain! Still, it was very tasty, and the combination of creme freche really tones the beef down to almost veal-y levels.

We had it was a lovely salad:

Actually, although it was easy (stuffing-small-tubes-of-pasta-which-don't-hold-their-shape-when-cooked aside), it did take forever to make just because of the various stages, so bear that in mind. I think it's a weekend dish tbh.

spicy beef and courgette cannelloni - Delicious, May 2011, p24

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

feta and mint tabbouleh with crispy chorizo

Get us! Another day of glorious sunshine, and another refreshing-yet-filling salady dish to enjoy whilst watching grim Scandinavian crime drama! Tonight, it's an experimental tabbouleh which looks amazing:

It tastes pretty good as well but to be honest we've got previous with bulgar wheat which has prejudiced Ana against ever trying it again. However, given we need to get rid of the kilo in the cupboard, she'll have to put up with it one more time before we switch to cous cous.

feta and mint tabbouleh with crispy chorizo - Delicious, May 2011, p23

Monday, 4 April 2011

ottolenghi's roast chicken and three-rice salad

It's funny the things you discover when you start SEO-ing everything. Who knew one of our favourite summery salads was a Yotam Ottolenghi creation? The girls at work were getting excited about his cookbook last year, but I've never been that impressed with the odd recipe which has turned up in Delicious over the years, but clearly I've been wrong because we love this one.

You notice by cooking it (and I added rocket because we had a huge bag left in the fridge), I'm implying it's summer *even though* it's still technically speaking spring. Suck it up kids, there's nothing like unseasonably sunny weather to bask in the park in!

Question though, what are all these people doing in my park, and where were they during the iron-cold winter? They shouldn't be allowed...

yotam ottolenghi's roast chicken and three-rice salad - Delicious, July 2008, p64

Sunday, 3 April 2011

happy mother's day!

After two days of boy-stuff (including indie-dancing with Lucyfer and Septimus Page, a hearty game of rugby, Finn's birthday and a farewell drinks for the lovely, fragrant and divine Jacqui and TVS Collins), today it's all about the Ana Louise. And quite rightly, too.

After a mini-lay-in (in as much as you can have a sleep when you've got a loony three-year-old running about next door), Ana gets the next part of her Mother's Day treats - smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for breakfast:

Following a mid-morning coffee and mini-macaroon from Orange Pekoe, we head out for a walk in the sunshine to the pond (via the flower shop), and a cheeky drink in The Sun Inn. Back home, we've just got time for a family roast, another couple of Killing's and then bed.

Food of the Milos
Breakfast: The usual nibbles, followed by toast;
Brunch: Smoked salmon and scrambled egg;
Dinner: Roast chicken, broccoli, cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes