Monthly Archives: September 2012

Mamma Mia

The Sopranos has a lot to answer for. I’m down with the excessive use of the f and c words (after all who hasn’t got frustrated and used them?), nudity (after all, we’re all born naked), adultery (after all, we all have crushes) and gory,violent murder scenes (after all, who’s not found out their fiancés shopping them to the Feds and then had them ‘taken care of’… oh just me then). What I cannot abide is hearing about all of the amazing food Carmela is cooking and then not being able to eat it myself. Ziti, lasagna, meatballs and gravy…. Oh it’s enough to make me think I should be reborn as a Mafia bosses daughter. The risk would be so worth it. Luckily, I don’t have to resort to such desperate measures; as you may have heard there’s a new Nigella book out which I’ve already blogged about. If you’re in the UK you might have seen her on telly on Monday night looking absolutely amazing and cooking up delights such as Nutella cheesecake and tagliata with Tuscan fries. If eating food like that results in looking like she does at 52, then I need no more convincing that a macrobiotic diet belongs solely in the depths of hell. Away with you Gillian Mckeith! Tonight I got to grips with the delightful sounding lamb ragu from Nigellisima, which after describing to The Boyfriend over the phone while I was cooking it, was told he was glad I was making it while he was all the way in South Africa. It’s safe to say he’s not a big fan of Italian food, so while the cats away and all that. This is my version of playing away, eating truckloads of pasta, which is much better on the conscience, not so much on the hips. I first knew I loved Italian food shortly after I passed my driving test when me and a school friend would go into town during free afternoons and have lunch in this delightful Italian cafe tucked away in a side street. Enter into my life proper Italian lasagna, strong cappuccinos and ammeretti biscuits. Bliss. After learning to drive and then eating this food, I felt like a proper grown up for the first time ever. I’d only just met The Boyfriend around that time too, so even more grown up points for a silly, naive 18 year old!

I should get back to the lamb ragu. Unlike a traditional ragu which is cooked for a couple of hours, this is simple and takes no more than 30 mins from chopping your shallot to serving up. I should note now that if you want traditional,authentic Italian food then buy a different book as this one’s all about Nigella’s unique and tasty spin on the cuisine. After all, this ragu does contain Worcestershire sauce and red currant jelly, two items you’d be hard pushed to find in an Italian nonnas kitchen. Nonetheless, this ragu tastes lovely and was a satisfactory end to a busy and emotionally draining Friday at work. The recipe calls for dried mint and oregano and these herbs pack quite a punch, leaving a zingy, fresh feeling in the mouth which goes really well with the minced lamb (shocker, that, lamb and mint tasting good together). Add to that a sprinkling of fresh mint when serving and you’ve got some added zing. I used tripoline pasta which as The Lawson would describe it, is like tagliatelle with a ra-ra skirt on and the thick, minty sauce clings really well to the stuff. This dish just reaffirms my love for Italian food, and its good to see that it isn’t just us Brits that love the combination of lamb and mint. Now all I need is a good excuse to whip up a Nutella cheesecake….



Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Books, Cooking, Food, Italian, Nigella Lawson


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Stirring Things Up

Have I mentioned before that I’m a fan of Nigella? I like to keep it quiet, I don’t want to seem obsessed in any way, shape or form, but a new Nigella book is Big News in my home, much to The Boyfriends despair. So naturally as soon as payday hit last week I had to have it, as much for comfort reading as for the recipes. The great thing about Nigella is that she writes about food and life so well and while she may be minted herself and married to Charles Saatchi (net worth of £120 million), she clearly remembers what it’s like to be ‘normal’ without pots of money and fame. Plus, she loves food and sees no shame in gluttony or excess. My kind of gal then. So today’s recipe is from her new book Nigellisima which is dedicated to Italian food, which she fell in love with after spending a gap year in Italy. I’d like to say that I could have such an affinity with Italian food, what with being born and raised in a town with a huge Italian population and stuffed with Italian restaurants, but despite this I’ve never really ventured too far from the favourites the English have adopted. Well not anymore, not armed with the new Nigella tome anyway. So last night I spent my evening stirring up Chilli Crab Risotto over the hob while the rain hammered away outside. Nigella seems to think that stirring constantly for 20 minutes is quite relaxing, but I have to disagree as I just find it tiresome. However, risotto requires constant stirring so I had little choice in the matter. I really love chilli and freshly cooked crab is seriously tasty, but unfortunately the shops had no fresh crab so I had to downgrade significantly and go with canned crab. I’m not sure of the culinary credentials of canned crab, but taste wise it’s not so hot and lacks the lightness of the fresh stuff and tastes a bit too strong for my liking. Still, needs must and I was determined to cook this recipe. In general, it was a fairly good dish, with creamy rice, hints of white wine and a little bit of attitude from the chilli. I wouldn’t make it with canned crab again as it was too fishy and I can see how fresh crab woud turn the dish from fairly good to great. It was topped off with a few rocket leaves which gave a nice peppery heat to the risotto as well as making me feel a bit healthier.

Speaking of healthier, tonight I went for my fail safe ‘need to make up for an excessive weekend meal’, Greek yoghurt chicken. I use the word Greek very loosely, I’m pretty positive that a Greek person would find this severely lacking in authenticity, but it does contain Greek yoghurt so just go with it. All it is really is a chicken breast, cooked plainly in a way of your choosing (I usually grill it) with a big portion of vegetables and a tub of Greek yoghurt turned into something vaguely resembling tzatziki. The great thing about this meal being so unauthentic is that whatever you have in your fridge you can pretty much chuck in. If you have mint, cucumber, lemon and coriander you can quickly whip up an authentic tzatziki, but if you don’t have all of these then why not chuck in some spring onion, red chilli, garlic or parsley. If its a herb or spice, give it a go and chuck it in, although the mint is non negotiable. It must contain mint as this packs in a lot of flavour on what is essentially a dinner of plain chicken and veg. The yoghurt makes this dish, I can easily go through an entire 200g tub on my own when smothering my cooked chicken, but don’t feel bad about this as the yoghurt is stuffed with healthy natural ingredients. Except the sea salt, but lets live a little eh? Gradually add the ingredients to the yoghurt and taste it along the way as everyone has different tastes, I myself cram it to the brim with mint leaves as it tastes so fresh and zingy on the plain chicken. This weeks version contained spring onion, chilli, mint and lemon juice with some Maldon sea salt and black pepper. Remember too that there are no carbs in this meal so to fill up you need to pile the plate up with vegetables and salad, which will make you feel exceptionally virtuous. You’re welcome.




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Rainy Day Cooking

Rain, some days I do love it and today has got to be one of those days. After nearly 27 years of living in England, I’ve gotten fond of the stuff, more out of necessity than anything else, otherwise one may go mad. Plus it gives me an excuse to get in the kitchen to cook something warming and satisfying to counteract the drizzle of the weather. It’s been a busy weekend and I’ve not had much time to cook, spending my time instead on downing shots and trying to drunkenly befriend the police force, so some rainy day cooking was called for. Note to readers by the way, the police aren’t impressed when you stroke their high vis jackets and try to sympathise with them by despairing at all the drunken idiots preventing them from doing such a fine job. Irony not being my strong point after a few cocktails. I do not remember this incident but unfortunately my friends do.

What food then could help soothe such humiliation? I took a gamble on Baked Potato Soup from America’s Most Wanted Recipes – Favorite Restaurants. Not exactly a snappy title and let’s not even get started on the misspelling of favourite, but a great cookbook nonetheless. I bought this on holiday in Florida a few years ago after having a dawning realisation that once I was home I wouldn’t be able to eat the food I loved on holiday. It doesn’t matter how much you may love sophisticated French food or the traditions of Italian cooking, American food dishes up meals people really want to eat. After all, a great burger is the stuff of dreams and impossible to turn down. There’s no pretension, just tasty food that may also give you a heart attack or embolism if eaten on a daily basis. If you don’t believe me, then you clearly haven’t been watching Man vs Food. This cookbook takes classic recipes from some of Americas biggest chain restaurants and tells you how to make them. So if you want to know how to make Red Lobsters cheddar biscuits, Subways sweet onion sauce, or even KFC’s original recipe chicken then this is the book for you. Unfortunately there is no guide on McDonald’s cheeseburgers or fries, although this is more likely a blessing in disguise. This soup recipe comes from The Hard Rock Cafe, which I’ve been to but did not have this soup. It’s pretty straightforward to make and I can happily say that baked potato soup, despite sounding pretty boring, is delicious and very comforting on a rainy day. However, with comfort comes a big calorie hit, and this soup is no exception. Bacon, potato, cream and cheddar, this soup certainly isn’t good for your waistline but what it lacks in nutrition it makes up for in taste. It’s creamy, thick from the potatoes and has deep salty crunch from the streaky bacon. If you wanted to make this soup a tiny bit healthier you could leave out the cheese as still tasted gorgeous without it, but really, it would be like getting a Diet Coke instead of full fat alongside your Big Mac meal. The damage has well and truly been done. Don’t get up on your English high horse either, stick to American style streaky bacon as you won’t get the super crispy ribbons that shatter under your fingers with English style bacon. Overcome your patriotism just this once, and leave our bacon for glorious weekend bacon sarnies. If you see this book around and love eating out in America I urge you to give this book a go, everything I’ve cooked from it has been very, very edible. Do check out the website as well where you can find this recipe and many more:


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Posted by on September 23, 2012 in Books, Cooking, Food, Lunch


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Pears, Pastry and Pain

It’s fair to say it’s not been the most successful of weekends. Looking forward to a quiet weekend in preparation for the busy week that lies ahead of me, I was hoping to spend my time quietly baking, watching films and finally having hours of spare time to finish the book Wicked Girls. While I got the baking side of things dealt with, everything else took a back seat when the migraine struck. Oh how I hate those bastards. Anyone who’s been unfortunate to have them knows they are more than mere headache, and in my case they make me feel like my foreheads been clubbed with a baseball bat and then make me feel nauseous without the relief of actually being sick. There goes the reading and film watching! All I could do was lie under the duvet in the dark, sobbing and desperately wanting The Boyfriend back. I’m not ashamed to say that I have a ridiculously low threshold for pain (The Boyfriend still hasn’t forgotten the time I exclaimed that a napkin had hurt my nose – in my defence, it really had) and when faced with proper pain I’m reduced to crying. Such was the extent of the crying that I couldn’t even venture out to the shops to get painkillers thanks to the puffy red eyes and an alcoholic looking nose. Irresistible! I most certainly wouldn’t hold up under torture. Or being threatened with a napkin with scarily pointy corners. Rather heroically though, throughout the pain I still managed to get my baking done even when standing up meant feeling slightly woozy. This migraine wasn’t going to completely ruin my weekend, damn it.

First up was my very first attempt at a savoury tart. I’m not entirely sure what drove me to so desperately want to cook one but I spent plenty of time leafing through my Delicious magazines to find one, and inspired by Great British Bake Off I really wanted to make some pastry. So I made a cheddar, onion and courgette tart with homemade shortcrust pastry. I used to be intimidated by the idea of making my own pastry, but shortcrust is actually very easy, all you need is plenty of flour and then crumble through half the amount of butter to flour and add a few splashes of water. Easy. I’m not really a big fan of courgettes, having only ever eaten them in big, slimy chunks, but this tart contains grated courgette which I’m much more comfortable eating as the texture is so different. While this tart does take a bit of time to make, the oven does most of the work so you just need to be militant about checking it’s progress in the cooker. My verdict on the tart was that while the filling was cheesy and contained plenty of goodness from the veg, I just wasn’t won over by the pastry. Filo, puff, sweet, all pastries I can happily get on board with and eat plenty of, but shortcrust just seems so bland and dry that it feels completely pointless as something to eat. I know the taste comes from the filling and the pastry is there to hold everything together but even so, it’s nothing to get excited about. However, the topping of melted cheese on this tart does go someway to make up for the shortcrust, so don’t let this put you off. I’m hoping this will be tasty cold as part of my lunch throughout the week. If you want to hunt this recipe down you can find it in the August 2010 edition of Delicious.


Again inspired by Bake Off, I decided to make an upside down cake which was one of the tasks in the competition a few weeks ago. Going with my gorgeous Primrose Bakery book, I made ginger and pear cake which smelt wonderful in the oven. In the book, they say they bring this cake to the bakery counter in the autumn when the nights start drawing in and there’s a chill in the air as its ingredients are just made for chilly nights. You’ve got ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and of course, pears, which I love. This week has definitely seen a shift in the weather, and even though it was actually quite nice yesterday, I wanted to welcome in the autumn by baking this cake. We’ve had such a mediocre summer that I’m actually looking forward to the cold and crispness of autumn and winter. Bring on the jumpers and Ugg boots I say and let’s all hunker down in the kitchen with casseroles and warming roasts. The upside down cake is perfect for cold weather, with the mouth tingling from the ginger and spices, stodgy comfort from the damp cake and then a sweet coating of caramelised pears and stickiness from the melted sugar and better. Bliss. Plus, it means the pears are soft no matter what, which is a blessing as while pears taste gorgeous when just ripe, they have about a day in which they are perfect. If you don’t eat them on that exact day, they will either be too hard or too mushy. Fact, pears are tricky, but I still love them. The most impressive part of me baking this cake is that it doesn’t look all that different to the professional version, which makes me a very happy lady. Especially as while making it I felt like someone was drilling into my head with a Black and Decker. So maybe I wouldn’t hold up under torture, but knocking out a cake and a tart under the circumstances surely makes up for my low pain threshold, right? Luckily right this minute I have Nurofen Express coursing through my veins, a roast chicken in the oven and the Observer Food Monthly to inspire me, so the weekend is finally starting to look right, albeit on the last dregs of it. Happy Sunday everyone!


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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Baking, Books, Cooking, Food


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Another Day, Another Birthday Cake

Chocolate. Fudge. Cake. Are there three words in the English language that go together, flow together, as perfectly as those three? It’s a close call with Cheese. On. Toast, that’s a given, but for the sheer decadence the former brings to mind, it’s a winner. So when asked to bake a birthday cake for a colleagues sons seventh birthday, chocolate fudge cake is what instantly sprung to mind. After all, what child, or indeed person can resist this cake? I’d been itching to make this cake again and it’s fortunate for my thighs and arteries that I baked this for a specific event and not just on a whim one Sunday afternoon, as with this cake it really is very easy to talk yourself into having another slice. As you may remember from an earlier blog, the cake from Nigella Bites is a favourite of mine so this is the recipe I went with today. It’s the definitive chocolate fudge cake and I would never think of straying from this recipe, so neither should you! The recipe does contain some unusual items that you might not expect to find in a cake, like sour cream and corn oil, but go with it as they help keep the cake super moist. Put your faith in Nigella and you shan’t go wrong! It’s simple to make which is a worry if you have little self control and time on your hands like I do, but great if you just want a simple, delicious cake without putting too much effort in.
Nigella suggests in Bites that this glorious cake serves 10 or 1 with a broken heart. I can see all too clearly how true this could be. It’s been many a year since I’ve suffered from a broken heart (Robbie leaving Take That in the nineties- ’nuff said) but having had a terrible week and pining for The Boyfriend, the temptation to dive head first into this cake until I’m hallucinating on a sugar and cocoa serotonin high is overwhelming. Death by chocolate, but what a way to go! Still wanting to stay on this mortal coil though, I resisted, and while I may be selfish with a disdain for the general public, I’m not stooping as low as taking cake from a child. So taking the high road, I decorated it with chocolate buttons so as to remind myself who this cake was for. Great British Bake Off it’s presentation isn’t, but for me and my cackhandedness it’s a good start. The challenge now is to get it into the office tomorrow without it ending up all over the windscreen or having the buttons slide off. Maybe it’s time to invest in a proper cake box. The end result with this recipe is a moist, cocoa rich cake, sandwiched together with silky smooth chocolate buttercream and then smothered in it. The smell of it alone as you walk into the kitchen tells you it’s going to taste divine.

When I first made this cake, we’d just moved in together and given free rein in the kitchen I knew I had to make this. No reason, no occasion, I just wanted a big cake sat in the kitchen to say ‘this is home’, regardless of the fact that a big cake like that was too much for the two of us. I should have moved a stoned teenager in with us and then the problem would have been solved! Top tip that I discovered though when this cake started to lose its freshness – pop it in the microwave for a short blast and you’ll have a warm, moist cake that tastes even better than a cold fresh slice. Grab some squirty cream and you’ve got heaven on a plate. Reason enough to make this cake, heartbroken or not.



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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Baking, Books, Chocolate, Cooking, Nigella Lawson


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For The Love Of Chocolate

I’ve made no secret of my pure, unadulterated love for chocolate. It’s been 26 years but my love for the brown stuff shows no sign of abating, and nor would I want it to. Unluckily for me though, this week chocolate has not loved me. I don’t know what I’ve said or what I’ve done, but clearly I’ve pissed the chocolate gods off in some way, shape or form; what else could explain the disasters that have befallen me this week? Before I tell you of the heartbreak and distress that I have suffered, I should probably start with the more savoury stuff. Some of my lovely workmates came over for dinner earlier on in the week (this blog entry features these cheeky scamps heavily I’m afraid!) and rather than stressing myself out by cooking something time consuming or complicated I decided to take advice from my all time favourite, Nigella Lawson, and make a simple tray bake. It was Spanish chicken from Kitchen, and the only effort required of me was to chop up some chorizo, red onions and sweet red peppers and chuck them in a roasting tray with some chicken thighs, olive oil, new potatoes, oregano and orange zest. Minimum effort, maximum taste. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again, you can always rely on Nigella. I was worried the dish might be a little dry but the amount of spicy paprika oil provided by the chorizo was enough to prevent any dryness and gave everything shed loads of flavour. Plus the skin on the thighs was nice and crispy due to the high oven temperature, perfect. The dish even introduced one of the girls to the delights of chorizo, so as well as feeding I like to think I’m also educating! This yummy main was followed by chocolate lava cakes with a salted caramel centre (this sounds so much sexier in French- moulleux au chocolat coeur fondant caramel sale – swoon) which came from The Little Paris Kitchen. Then things started going wrong. If only I was capable of following instructions To.The.Letter. Being the maverick that I am though, I fobbed off her advice to fill up the ramekins with the cake mix and then pipe salted caramel into the centre of the uncooked mix, and instead filled the ramekins up by a third with cake mix, dolloped some caramel on top, then topped with some more mix. A silly, silly mistake. After baking until juuuuuuust right (thank you Goldilocks), I attempted to get the fondants out of the ramekins. Instead of cakes with an oozy caramel centre, I ended up with a thin layer of chocolate cake covered in salted caramel and the rest of the cakes stuck in the ramekin. Oh sure, they came out eventually with a little prodding and poking, but the effect of cutting into the cake and a soft, oozing centre flowing out was lost. Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry would be less than complimentary. Luckily for me, my workmates are not Paul and Mary, so I may have gotten away with it, but Masterchef it ain’t. When the entire structure of a pudding collapses, you know you should have just manned up and tried to get to grips with a piping bag instead of taking the easy way out. They looked a mess, so no photo this time. Despite this disaster, the ladies seemed o enjoy it, and that’s the good thing about friends, they don’t judge you on your ability to hold a chocolate fondant together. That’s one of the positive sides of having a boyfriend who works away for long periods of time: you find out who your real friends are and which ones make an effort to talk, meet up, send texts, or just get me so trollied that I can barely even remember my own name or that my boyfriend is on the other side of the world.

Onto my second chocolate disaster. Once again, this was for one of my lovely workmates whose birthday it is on Monday, so what with it being a big birthday I decided to bake a cake for her. I do feel for my workmates, I’m regularly bringing in various baked goods to force feed them with, whether they regard themselves lucky or unlucky over this is hard to say as they may well be very good liars. Until they say stop, I’m going to keep bringing them in. This cake was Coca Cola cake from Marian Keyes lovely book Saved By Cake, and was chosen because the birthday girl is a coke fanatic. It’s hard to put down in words how much she loves the stuff, I’m not even sure I can fully comprehend her love for it, but I imagine it’s similar to my overwhelming love for chocolate. This is a cake that would be absolutely perfect for kids what with it containing coke, chocolate, mini marshmallows and topped with fizzy cola bottles (not such a perfect cake for the parents though I guess, what with toddlers likely to still be screaming and rolling around the floor from an intense sugar high at midnight) but is just as enjoyable for childless adults. The cake itself was lovely, damp with a gooey stickiness from the melted marshmallows, strong cocoa flavours and a hint of the fizzy stuff (you must go for the full fat coke, Diet would simply be wrong and pointless when you look at all the other ingredients). The icing though, was another story completely. Made up of butter, coke, cocoa powder and icing sugar, I just could not get it to thicken and set. It didn’t help that I had exactly the amount of icing sugar stated in the recipe, so adding a bit more to thicken the runny sauce was out of my hands. I was covered in flour and chocolate so a trip to the shop was out of the question, I just had to pour it over the stacked cake and pray it all went OK. It did not go OK. While some of the icing stayed put on the cake, the majority ran off the cake and gathered in a pool on my cake stand (which in actual fact was the lid from a Celebrations tub), which ended up looking like a very big boat in a small, muddy puddle. Again, my presentation skills need some serious improvement. Fizzy cola bottles saved the day though and I arranged these as prettily as my unartistic hands could manage. This morning upon waking I was in a foul mood, and on asking myself why I realised it was because of the failed icing and the cake looking a mess. I invest way too much emotion into my baking. Either that or life’s so great right now that bad icing is the only cloud on my horizon. But I think it’s the first one. In the end it didn’t matter too much as Cokehead seemed to really enjoy it and with lit candles and a sparkler the pool of icing didn’t seem so bad. Its the thought that counts, right? In baking, mistakes are easily made and I need to learn to not be so ridiculously hard on myself and just enjoy doing it, then subsequently eating it.



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The trouble with eggs

Oh mayonnaise, what are we going to do with you? You taste very nice in your little jars, but so many cookbooks and chefs tell me that homemade mayonnaise is even nicer that in the interests of tasting delicious food I feel it is my duty to make some. Trouble is that these same chefs and cookbooks also tell me how darn difficult it is to make it from scratch, hence our reliance on the good old Hellmans. In the book I’m reading at the moment, Lunch in Paris (not a cookbook but a true story about an American falling in love with a Frenchman and food in Paris, peppered with a few recipes here and there -right up my street) , the author describes meeting her new beaus family and mother who, calmly in the middle of conversation, whips up a bowlful of mayonnaise to go with lunch. She made it sound so easy, the swine, that I just knew right then that I had to try myself. The meal it revolved around was supposed to be pan fried salmon with lime and coriander mayonnaise and crushed potatoes again with lime and coriander from my new book French Brasserie. Unfortunately my attempt at mayonnaise went disastrously – I added the oil too quickly to the egg yolks so instead of a bowl full of pillowy, creamy mayonnaise I ended up with oily egg yolks that had the same consistency as grease. And I had no extra eggs to try again, so I ended up grilling the salmon in foil with lime, ginger, chilli and coriander and accompanied the fish with the potatoes described earlier. While tasty, it lacked the je ne sais quoi that I had anticipated from the homemade mayonnaise, and in my bad temper I’d seriously over cooked the salmon. Bugger. So to say it wasn’t the most successful evening spent in the kitchen would be an understatement. Nigella quotes in one of her books that she grew up making mayonnaise and never knew it was difficult until someone commented on her ability to do it. This is why I love her, so unfazed, so blasé at the tricky side to cooking, and encouraging you, as she would phrase it, to feel the fear and cook it anyway. True for life outside the kitchen too, just do it. One day, homemade mayonnaise, I will return to overcome your tricky ways.

Despite what the rather misleading title of todays blog would have you believe, I’ve also had a successful crack at the eggs this week. This success came from Nigella Bites, which is one of my favourite offerings from The Lawson. When a cookbook has chapters like ‘TV Dinners’ and ‘Trashy’, you know you’re going to be eating well. Favourites from this include the chocolate fudge cake (simply amazing, if you only make one recipe from Bites, this is the one) and the meatballs and pasta. I got Bites from EBay secondhand when I first moved out of the parents home and I really love that there are splashes of food on some of the pages. The Boyfriend thinks its gross, but being the dreamer that I am I just think of the happy meals a family or couple had using this book. Or maybe they weren’t such great meals if they ended up selling it on eBay. Hmmm. Dinner tonight from this gem was masala omelette with coriander chutney and chapatis, which is in the breakfast section but between you and me, this ain’t no breakfast. What it is though is tasty with a big chilli smack in the face which I very much appreciated after a tiring day of work. The omelette is taken up a notch with chopped spring onion, chilli, garlic and some Indian spices, and eaten wrapped up in chapatis with a big dollop of coriander chutney. So easy and ridiculously tasty. The chutney provides most of the spice, which is sharp and nasal clearing but not the sort of spice that turns your mouth into a volcano. It’s manageable. The chutney just involves chucking a few chillies, herbs and coconut cream in a blender with some lime juice so is very simple, and likely to not even be a chutney at all. It contains my two favourite herbs which are mint and coriander. God, I love them. They smell glorious and transport me to tropical shores every time I get a whiff of them. They also taste stunning, alone or together, and I’m rather partial to eating them on their own while waiting for something to cook. What a freak. The time/flavour ratio for this dinner is off the scale, it takes no time at all yet delivers a really flavourful meal that wakes your taste buds up. The perfect recipe then, to get me amped up and excited about the release of Nigella’s new cookbook next week. This is an obsession I’m happy to continue for a little while yet!



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