Autumn chili

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I was inspired by a recipe in the London Times. My version has more red wine, uses butternut squash and white beans instead of kidney beans and I added a tin of beef consommé to make it really deep and rich. This is the kind of food you should be eating at this time of year, when you are caught on a dark afternoon walk home without a coat and you realize the weather really has turned. This stew will warm you up!

Recipe

Whole roasted cauliflower

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I can’t help it. I want to roast every vegetable I see. Boiling and steaming is so boring and I love the charred flavours and texture of roasted vegetables, instead of that ever present possibility of overcooking. Plus, let’s be honest, you can just forget about roasting vegetables, and so get on with the rest of your life while they transform themselves in the oven. I needed inspiration for some dull cauliflower the other day, and then was inspired by the options I read online until I just mixed them up and went for it.

Recipe

making the best of it…

Yesterday was the first full day off together that Handsome and I have had in over four months, I think it is probably five. Our lives are a whirlwind of driving, staying in hotels, commitments to work, kids, family, the bloody dog! There may be days in the past five months where I haven’t had to drive 4 hours plus per day, but I can’t remember them! And even if they did exist, there was still something else on that day that required our full attention,  for some or all of the day, so we go to bed exhausted, we get up exhausted. Most of the time, the alarm goes off at 4am and when we fall into bed at 8pm it’s a luxury, but it’s usually much much later.

October is is a milestone for Handsome and I. It’s when we decided to give it a try, against all the odds that were stacked against us Continue reading making the best of it…

Roasted cherry tomato pizza

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Sometimes the best ideas come out of nowhere. We had a massive surplus of cherry tomatoes at the end of the summer and we couldn’t eat them fast enough. Handsome had been saying that he was craving pizzas, so I had a couple of ready to bake pizza bases in the cupboard, plus I had some lovely fresh buffalo mozzarella hanging out in the refrigerator with no recipe in mind. Add to this some fresh basil from my garden and I started to get an idea… I thought about doing some fresh tomato sauce for the pizza, using basil and chopping up the tomatoes in the food processor, but it seemed such a waste of the beautiful little tomatoes that I knew I had to do them more justice. Cue the idea for roasted tomato pizza. This was far better than we could have hoped for. And it was so FRESH! All these lovely summer flavors on one hot and savory bread base. If you have any tomatoes left, try this now!

Recipe

balsamic roasted red onions…

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I needed something rich to brighten up and otherwise boring roast chicken. I will often roast some onions with my chicken, as the smell is so heavenly, but I wanted to try something else to really jazz them up. One of the great things about roasting onions is the lovely caramelization. So thought I… how can we make them even more caramelly? Even more sticky and delicious??? Balsamic vinegar folks… Add balsamic, garlic and a little olive oil to some quartered red onions and you are inviting good eats into your life… Just try it…

Recipe

roast lamb with double garlic and rosemary…

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I wanted to share this in the spring, but lamb is so expensive here that I was buying smaller cuts, which never turned out quite right. This recipe deserves to be made for lots and lots of people, with the biggest leg of lamb you can find. This gives the garlic pieces poked inside plenty of time to cook through and infuse their flavor into the surrounding meat, so that the lucky person who gets a bite with a carmelized shard of garlic gets an unexpected roast garlic taste explosion that they won’t forget. This is a mixture of a Jamie Oliver and a Delia Smith recipe. Delia goes for the little shards of rosemary and garlic inside, Jamie promotes a sticky rich garlic rosemary glaze on the outside. I think the sweet and delicate lamb gets a boost from both, and ever greedy, I can’t make my mind up which is best, so I just combined them, to excellent results!

Recipe…

wage war against the machines…

It’s official. My head’s going to explode. Nothing bloody works. I can’t get any work done because the computer is waging a war against me that I will never… ever… ever… be able to win.

Yes everybody, I am at work writing this blog post, but that’s because it’s the only thing my computer will let me do. The internet doesn’t work. I can’t connect to the server, so I can’t access my files. If I call up IT, they will likely advise me to turn my computer off and on again. Why is that one of the most irritating pieces of advice ever given??? Continue reading wage war against the machines…

realistic recipes…

I read somewhere that successful cooks (you know who I mean, the ones who actually think up excellent recipes good enough to make millions in wonderful books with their photos on the front page) pay professional (home cook) testers to try out the recipes to make sure they work.

So if you are like me and you have bought a book from one of these lofty idols and tried out several of their recipes, you will know that they certainly DO NOT always work and that you may be left feeding your unfortunate family a meal that tastes kind of… well… nasty!  Continue reading realistic recipes…