First things first, the oven is finally fixed! Yes I had a little dance around the kitchen once it was done, I’m not ashamed to admit it! To celebrate this fine occasion (and also that little known occasion Valentines Day), the boyfriend cooked me what can only be described as the best roast dinner I’ve ever had. Big talk, but in the words of Beyonce, “he talk like this coz he can back it up”. I may moan about his lack of grown up taste buds, but he can sure knock up a great roast dinner. We went for pork, crackling was perfect, meat juicy, roast potatoes were heavenly, sausage meat stuffing divine, veg nice and crunchy and gravy delicious. It’s going to be pretty tough to top that one. To make this divine dinner even more appealing, he cooked cheesy mushrooms to start (from Jamie Olivers 30 Minute Meals) and bought some Haagen Dazs ice cream (strawberry cheesecake). Screw dainty sized, overly priced meals out in an atmosphere less restaurant, this is my idea of romance, cooking a meal that satisfies and makes you feel happy.
Anyway, onto todays cookbook challenge recipe. How To Eat is Nigella Lawsons first cookbook, and while I worship The Lawson, this book I hardly ever use. It may be down to my love of food photos, as this book has none. Shallow of me, I know, but I like knowing what the end result will look like, and also enjoy perving over the beautiful plates, kitchenware and linens that Nigella is fond of putting in photos. One day I will have a kitchen like Nigellas, filled with pretty pretty kitchenware and chilli fairy lights! So much of How To Eat is full of entertaining style food, which I don’t really do a lot of so for the challenge I had to pick out 3 standard dinners for weekday use so that I could make the most of this book. After yesterdays blow out, today needed a healthier alternative, and this beef soup was tucked away in the low fat chapter. I marinated a steak in some asian ingredients, infused some beef stock with ginger, dried chilli and garlic, cooked the steak then chucked some cooked noodles in the stock with some sugar snap peas, sliced up the steak and served everything together. It was ok, nothing too special but for a mid week low fat meal it did the job. The beef was really tasty and very tender, but the stock just didn’t really have any flavour. Still, it’s good to know its low fat and the amount of sugar snap peas means I feel a lot more virtuous than I did last night!
I’ll forgive Nigella for this transgression, I have had very few duds with her recipes so will put this one down to a lacklustre stock. Out of all my cookbooks, hers are my favourites and usually the most used. The food is uncomplicated, tasty and doesn’t apologise for putting flavour and satisfaction before virtuosity. I understand the importance of healthy meals, and eat them regularly, but if you’re going to treat yourself, Nigella’s books are the ones to turn to. In my eyes she eats like a real woman, without the guilt so often accompanied with women when eating say, a chocolate cake. Life is for living, and food is for eating. She also writes beautifully and often comes up with sentences about food that can be applied to so many other areas of life. One day I’ll have to dig out some of her quotes to put on here, as I often find them pretty inspiring. I also highly recommend her website, ( http://www.nigella.com ) which has tons of recipes (both hers and Nigella fans) and regular updates from the lady herself. Always remember, any woman who is happy to be filmed sneaking to the fridge late at night to eat cake is someone you can rely on when it comes to cooking!