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Week 43: Sweet Potato, Tomato and Courgette bake

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
27/Oct/2010

This recipe came from an old issue of Slimming World magazine, from October 2008. We decided to follow it almost to the letter. The only changes we made were to use sweet potatoes instead of normal potatoes, ordinary tomatoes instead of plum tomatoes, grated cheddar instead of parmesan, and a mixture of fresh parsley and dried herbs instead of a handful of fresh herbs. The intention was to follow the recipe closely but now I list the substitutions, we did make more changes than I realised.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced.
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced.
  • 1 small courgette, sliced.
  • 1 red onion, diced.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
  • herbs.
  • salt and pepper.
  • A handful of grated cheese.
  • 2 medium eggs.
  • 150g quark.

Method:

Fry the onion and garlic until soft. Put the slices of sweet potato into a pan of boiling water, bring back to the boil then turn off the heat. Simmer for about 4 minutes then drain.

Beat the quark and eggs together, adding the onion, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.

Layer half of the vegetables in an oven proof dish, then pour over half of the quark mixture. Place the rest of the vegetables on top, followed by the rest of the quark mixture. Finally sprinkle with the grated cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes at gas mark 6.

Verdict:

The original recipe claimed it served 1 as a main course but we shared it as a side dish. Even then it was a large portion.

Some of the vegetables were still slightly firm so I next time I might cook the potatoes for slightly longer and possibly fry the courgette slices for a minute or two to soften those too.



Correct Spelin

Story location: Home / computing /
25/Oct/2010

Oh the irony. This captcha appeared on my website earlier this evening.

Ironic Captcha



Open Arms, Coventry

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /
25/Oct/2010

The Open Arms pub in Coventry held a food and drink tasting evening tonight to show off their new menu. We found out about it from their mailing list. It sounded too good to miss so we went along to see what the new food was like.

I'll have to admit that I liked everything I tried. They brought the food out, cut into bite-sized portions, and we were allowed to help ourselves. The first taster was an 'onion ring loaf' which came with a goats cheese dip. We managed to have a few pieces of this, both the onion loaf and the dip were tasty.

Beer-battered mushrooms were next. The batter was slightly peppery and it worked well. The next starter was pate, which was nice but was just a normal pate. The hummous which followed was much better - there were two kinds: spinach and piri-piri. Both were good but the piri-piri hummous was the better of the two.

The main courses were represented by a root vegetable pie, which was nice for vegetarian food, and slow-cooked lamb, which was very tender and fell off the bone very easily. There were also pieces of sausage on sticks, to give a taste of the sausage and mash. The sausages were slightly smokey, probably from the bacon, but they also tastes slightly salty.

The desserts were particularly nice. The carrot cake cheesecake was slightly crunchy and could have done with slightly more defrosting but it tasted great. The chocolate orange truffle tart was very rich and solid. It tasted slightly spicy which worked well and balanced the sweetness.

We don't eat out very often but the new Ember Inns menu looks good. Unfortunately none of their pubs are within easy walking distance which means if we go out, I can't drink with the meal. We'll probably go back again, either for their new menu or their sunday menu which also sounds good.



Week 42: Green tomato risotto

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
20/Oct/2010

This was based on a recipe from the Cottage Smallholder website. It's a great way of using up unripe tomatoes. We made a few changes, such as a pinch of dried herbs and a sprig of fresh parsley to replace the 'savoury'.

Green tomato risotto with meatballs

The meatballs had turkey mince, grated cheese, breadcrumbs, finely diced chilli and seasoning.



Week 41: Tuna, Cheese and Leek Oat Bake

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
14/Oct/2010

Put 175g porridge oats, 200ml milk and 200ml of chicken stock in a pan and bring to a simmer. Add 100g of grated cheddar and stir in.

Thinly slice and fry 1 medium sized leek, 1 medium onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Stir into the cheesy porridge. Season if required. Mix in 1 tin of tuna (drained).

Pour into a non-stick baking tray and bake at gas mark 4 or 5 for about half an hour.

Tuna, Cheese and Leek Oat Bake

The recipe was made up as we went along but the end result was good. It was a bit sticky but adding some flour to the mix might help there. We were originally going to make a thick oat based stew but when the mixture became very thick we decided to bake it to see if it came out solid. As you can see from the photo, it did.



Montmartre

Story location: Home / Blog / france /
11/Oct/2010

There was a festival taking place in Montmartre with a food market spread out over several streets. We encountered the parade on our way back to the hotel on the saturday afternoon.

 

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Louvre

Story location: Home / Blog / france /
11/Oct/2010

 

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Paris, October 2010

Story location: Home / Blog / france /
10/Oct/2010

 

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Montmartre at Night

Story location: Home / Blog / france /
09/Oct/2010

When we arrived at Montmartre, a food and drink festival was in full swing. There was a really impressive firework display on the Saturday night.

 

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Pantheon

Story location: Home / Blog / france /
09/Oct/2010

Photos of the Pantheon in Paris.

 

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Week 40: Chicken and ratatouille pie with cheese and peanut pastry.

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / recipe_a_week /
07/Oct/2010

This was inspired by a recipe in The Creative Vegetarian Cookbook. We made a few changes, such as adding chicken (which was in the fridge and needed eating) and using the vegetables we had available in the house.

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 60g butter
  • 120g self raising flour
  • 60g grated cheese
  • 60g ground up salted peanuts

For the filling:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 courgette
  • ½ leek
  • 3 medium tomatoes.
  • pinch of chilli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • 2 chicken breasts

For the sauce:

  • 40g plain flour
  • 40g butter
  • 300ml milk

Method

  1. Mix the pastry ingredients together.
  2. Chop the chicken and vegetables and gently fry until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables have softened.
  3. To make the white sauce, make a roux using the butter and flour and slowly add the milk to make a thick sauce.
  4. Mix the filling and sauce together and pour into an oven-proof dish.
  5. Roll out the pastry and cover the filling. Brush with some beaten egg.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes at gas mark 5.

Chicken and ratatouille pie

Chicken and ratatouille pie



Bear with hat

Story location: Home / Blog /
07/Oct/2010

Emma recently started knitting. The first thing she made was a scarf. The second project was a tiny berry-patterned hat (the green at the top of the hat represents leaves). The hat is being modelled by the toy bear we won from the lucky dip at the Coventry Beekeepers Association stand at this year's Godiva Festival. The bear is sitting on the scarf.

Bear with hat