Thursday, 31 May 2007

Puy lentil and roast tomato salad with chicken

Tonight we had a quick tea of chicken with some very easy puy lentils and roast tomato salad.

Puy Lentil Salad
4/6 tomatoes halved (drizzle with oil)
100g puy lentils
1/2 lemon juice
1/2 garlic clove
1/2 small red onion, sliced
handful of coriander

Heat oven to 180°c & roast tomatoes (I put the chicken in for 15 mins first, then added the tomatoes for another 15/20 mins)

Cook puy lentils in a pan of cold water for 20 minutes then mix lentils with lemon juice, garlic, onion & 2 tablespoons of olive oil (*).

Serve & eat.

(*) not necessarily required as I forgot this!

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Feta & Olive Tarts

Based upon this Good Food recipe, tonight I made us some tarts.

Upon the puff pastry base I put some feta, little drops of pesto, a small amount of shallot, sliced tomatoes and a little more feta with a drizzle of olive oil.
Baked for 20 minutes on 200° then garnished with some olives & basil and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Tasty but the pesto did run so quite a lot of the taste was taken over by it.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Salmon burgers with basil and lemon mayonnaise

From Something for the Weekend by Simon Rimmer (click link for recipe)

Even Hubby, who doesn't like fish, thought they were tasty...

Some bargins and a bank holiday brunch

So this morning we popped over to Liverpool to buy some bin bags! and came home with a few bargains from Monsoon.

Numero uno - a rather nice corset (£65 reduced to £10)Numero dos - a new t-shirt for Hubby (£30 reduced to £5)

Numero tres - some brown cord trousers for Hubby (£75 reduced to £5)
So a spend of £20 and a saving of £150! and some nice catalogue posing on the balcony ;)

We then came home & made some Huevos rancheros for lunch which is basically an onion, some garlic, a red pepper (which we didn't have) and some chilli cooked down then a can of chopped tomatoes is added. After 5 minutes add 2 eggs, cover & cook until the eggs are done just like you want them. Served with some wholemeal pita it makes quite a healthy tasty meal.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Green Thai Curry with Greens

A Simon Rimmer recipe from Delicious magazine (June 07) - for 4 people

The paste (though it needed more chillies)
1 tsp each cumin & coriander seeds
5 Thai chillies (I used normal green ones, but only 2 - next time use 5!)
2 shallots (roughly chopped)
2 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
4cm ginger, grated
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
Finely grated zest 1 lime
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp palm sugar (I used golden brown normal sugar as we couldn't find any)
splash vegetable oil

Dry fry the spices & then grind with pestle and mortar. Put in blender & add the other ingredients.
And the veg
400ml can coconut milk
3 courgettes, thickly sliced
250g shelled broad beans
250g asparagus
10 fresh basil leaves

Warm some oil in a pan & add 40g paste and cook for 2 minutes.
Add coconut milk & simmer for 5 minutes
Toss courgette in oil & griddle for 2 minutes each side
Add courgette to the curry & simmer for 6 minutes
Add the asparagus & broad beans and cook for 3-4 minutes
Stir in the basil

Our dinner...

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Creamy Spinach Pasta

1 onion
1 clove garlic
Soften in olive oil

Add a generous glug of vermouth or white wine

Add spinach (wilted) & a glug of single cream & parmesan.

Serve mixed into tagliatelle.

Not bad as a quick meal.

Monday, 21 May 2007


But not the tooth rotting kind.

Today I bought Candie Payne's first album I wish I could have loved you more - sister of Sean Payne (drummer in The Zutons) and Howie Payne (ex-The Stands frontman and up coming solo artist). Very sixties-esque but very fab & quite addictive.

Sunday, 20 May 2007


Thats what we are. Absolutely bushed.

From the piccy I very quickly posted last night (from the Radio 1 website) you probably know we spent most of yesterday in Preston at the Big Weekend.

We were out at 9am as parking was on a first come, first served basis so via a petrol stop, a little breakfast break & a slight de-tour we got to Preston at about 11am. We parked in the college car park and took the park & ride service to Moor Park. We stood in the queue for about half an hour before gates were opened & we got in. The first band we saw were the Pigeon Detectives in the In New Music We Trust tent - they were very good, energetic & I would pay to go & see them again should they play near home sometime.

We then wandered around & waited to see The Fratellis who, as usual, played a great set. My only complaints at this stage in the day were that 1 - I have not been in such a 'smoky' atmosphere for years, everyone seemed to be blowing smoke our way, eugh. And, 2 - some people are soooooooo darn cheeky. We waited for 30+ mins in situ to see The Fratellis & we were by no means close to the stage yet for the full set people were forcing their way past, knocking me off my feet to get forward into the crowd that was jam packed full. Grrrrrr.

Anyway, annoyances aside, we went on to watch some of The Gossip, Hubby likes them but I have to say I am not that keen. A bit of LCD Soundsystem, again Hubby likes them but I dont see the fuss really. I mean they are not offensive, maybe its just not quite me.

We caught half of the Kasabian set which was enjoyable. Not a band I have listened to much but the songs were ones you just kind of know. We heard some of Razorlight too but am not really a fan of them either!

We decided to leave before the Scissor Sisters as they were playing the main tent and we would not have seen them and we weren't prepared to be squashed alive again so we headed off home.

After getting back at about half nine we got a call for duty at the Zoes Place midnight walk - we had offered to be reserve stewards, so at 11pm we headed back out to Liverpool to marshall the near 400 walkers. I think we got home & went straight to bed at 4am.

So, yes. We are absolutely bushed.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Sunday, 13 May 2007

A big shop

We've been to Tesco today for our weekly shop - the first we have done for a while as we have been living on the contents of the cupboards & freezer with the odd shop here & there. This means that last week I only made a few proper dinners - a feta salad cous cous & another fiorentina pizza.
This week I intend on cooking every night and I am determined to take part in my first 'bag weekly challenge - this weeks ingredient is asparagus. Especially since we got 2 bundles of asparagus in Tesco for 10p each.

Here is our vegetable haul for the week:
Most of that veg is now cooking in the oven as batch cooking commences with a large batch of ratatouille (2 peppers, 1 red onion, 2 courgettes, aubergine, tomatoes & one bunch of asparagus).
Tonight I will make a chilli as Hubbys sister is coming over for tea.

Monday we will probably have round one of the ratatouille with some cous cous.

Tuesday will be a lentil bake (must remember to wash the lentils).

Wednesday I aim to make a quiche with the other bunch of asparagus.

Thursday I will use some more ratatouille to make a pasta bake with some mozzarella & olives

Friday we will probably have the left over chilli.

On Saturday we will probably eat out as Hubby won us two tickets to the Radio One Big Weekend next Saturday in Preston - hmmmm I could make us a picnic.... will have to get my thinking cap on there!!

Anyway, I will try & report back mid week with some pics seeing as I have been a bit absent recently.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

The National Day of Meh-e-co

Apologises for my bad accent there! But yes, apparently yesterday was the National day of Mexico (thanks for the tip Toast!). However we were a bit short of time & preparation yesterday as we had to have a big clean for friends of my mum & dad popping around for the first time since we moved in two years ago and I went for a big chop, my locks are now short, a bit layered and more versatile.

So the poor excuses over, for tea we had some tortilla chips served with a layer of bean salsa, a layer of tomato salsa and cheese - served with spring onion as the chilli I *thought* we had was not as edible as it once was. Served with sour cream, guacamole & refried beans.
For the main course we had fajitas - the filling was quorn mince, peppers and red onion, chopped tomatoes and a mexican seasoning. Again, served with sour cream, guacamole & refried beans.
We forgot the Corona too but made up for it with a very nicely chilled white wine.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

I love pizza

Our favourite pizza restaurant has to be Pizza Express & we own two copies of the Pizza Express cookbook. One Christmas I bought my Hubby one & yes, snap! that very same Christmas he bought me one.

I've used it quite often for its dough recipe & more often than not make my favourite Pizza Express pizza - the Fiorentina.

The dough is soooooo simple & reasonably quick to make so long as you have about an hour & a half to leave it to rise. I enjoy the bouncy texture of it:
To make the Fiorentina, the base is covered in the basic tomato sauce (1 onion chopped finely & softened in a pan with some garlic, throw in some tomato puree, then 400g chopped tomatoes and a pinch or two of oregano + seasoning - leave to simmer & reduce). On top of the tomato sauce you need to add some spinach, cubed mozzarella & some finely chopped garlic.
Throw it in the oven - ours takes about 16/18 minutes at 220° - 10 minutes before its ready add an egg... and hey presto one very tasty & satisfying Friday night in.
Serve with some black pepper & grated Parmesan and a large glass of white wine. Bellissimo!