Jet setting.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Ouch, it's 5.15am.
The only reason I am up so early is because I'm off to Rome today. Won't be able to blog for a bit but I promise to come back with loads of food tales and deliciously naughty pictures!
Miss you!
L. xxxxxxxx

Moving Day.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

First year of university is over. Sniff. I've left halls, packed my life into boxes and I'm back at home. Packing was hard, but not as hard as leaving the wonderful people that made my first year such an experience. I won't go into detail, but will probably post some comfort food recipes later this week, that helped me let go of Loughborough.
What I want to briefly post about today is one of my lovely friends, who I will be living with next year. She is the one and only, gorgeous and talented Frances Mitson. If you don't know her name already, get to know. You won't regret it. There aren't many videos of her on the internet, but if you search you will come across a few gems. 

Such a beauty.

This is a more recent one, sounding just delicious with Nijinxky.

I didn't tell her I was posting this, hopefully she'll get a surprise from you, readers, when you decide to let her know that you love her music as much as I do.

L. xxx
PS: Expect good food soon. Back at home now so get to use Mother's home grown organic ingredients!

The Jack Sandwich

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Yesterday was my boyfriends birthday. I was unaware before I met him, that there existed a 'Birthday Eve', a 'Birthday Day' and a 'Birthday Boxing Day'. Clearly I was of ignorant before he came into my life so I swiftly jumped to attention for the 3 day birthday marathon. Birthday Eve required a monster sandwich. A sandwich tailored for a man. A sandwich tailored for Jack. 
Requested ingredients: Ham and herby cheese.
Ingredients needed:
3 slices of bread per sandwich (I would suggest a nice crusty bread but Jack requested triangle sandwiches so had to use regular bread)
Punnet of cress
Punnet of micro leaf garlic chives (J is a big fan of garlic, only add these if you are too)
3 Sun dried tomatoes
5 Green olives
4 Slices herb crusted ham.
Half a pack of Le Roule (or Bousin)

This is a herby, garlicky MANWICH! May not be for everyone, but if you're into these flavours you will certainly be into this sandwich. 

Begin by spreading the cheese on the outer two pieces of bread. Then chop the cress out of its punnet and add to both slices.

Place the sun dried tomatoes on one side and two slices of ham on the other. 

Then chop your olives in half so they sit nicely in the middle of the sandwich.

Cover both sides of the middle piece of bread in cheese, place on top of the ham covered bread. Add more ham and the chopped olives onto the middle slice of bread. Then chop the micro leaf garlic chives out of their punnet and sprinkle on too.
Then simply place the last slice of bread on top and you have the Jack Sandwich.  

Naughty in every way. Only to be consumed as part of three day birthday celebrations. Any more and it's sinful!

A birthday recipe that will enchant all tomorrow, promise!
(Also won't need a supply of mints for hours after too...)

L. xxxxx

Less food, more alcohol.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Forgive me today readers, I haven't got time to post a well thought through and nurtured recipe. This is simply because its the end of fresher year and I'm going to drink some cider and bottle of cheap wine. Yes, yes sounds terrible - "WHERE IS OUR RECIPE" I hear you shout, but doubtless I'll learn never to do this again, I'm sure.
Even though I'm not writing about food, I didn't want a day of silence. So I'm going to show you what I'm wearing tonight. It is always nice to start out looking reasonably dignified... 
Both blazer and dress are from New Look. Ask anyone I know, my wardrobe is practically a walking New Look - students savior. The blazer is an old one, but you can get the dress here. Bargain. I really like mesh dresses and this one is just the right amount of flesh flashing for me.

I've also gone for a rocking/self indulgent pout. All should sport this with pride. 

As you can see, I've coupled my outfit with scary, smudgy black eyes. I love eyeshadow. I've used Collection 2000 'Silver Storm' from Superdrug today. Collection 2000 is another wonderful value student brand. 

So long readers, into the abyss of alcoholic units. May have to do the dreaded tomorrow and eat something heavily fried to recover. I'll let you know how it goes... 

L. xxxxx

Girly Fish 'n' Chips.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Don't be put off gents, this dish isn't covered with glitter and served with a handbag pooch (and equally ladies don't be offended, I don't believe those to be the defining characters of 'girly'). My version of Fish 'n' chips just swaps the deep fried batter for lemon zest and chopped foliage. Making it a little girly I guess. However, this is delicious. And a Euro 2012 patriotic winner according to my boyfriend.

Ingredients, will serve 2, takes 40 minutes:
2 River Cobbler fillets (I was surprised with three in my pack)
2 Potatoes
1 Lemon
Handful of flat leaf parsley
Chilli flakes
Salt and Pepper 

Before I start my blog I would just like to draw your attention to the chopping board that my mother has given me.

No more chopping board stealing for me! I can stop being one of those people.
Now, to begin preheat the oven to 180c. Then cut your potatoes into chip-like shapes. I've left the skins on mine for an effect that lands somewhere between rustic snobbery and healthy.

Lightly oil a baking tray and whack them on. Cover in salt, pepper and chilli flakes. This will make them taste delish. And makes them look cool.

These stay in the oven on their own for 20 minutes before the fish joins them. I used my 20 minutes to lazily prepare my fish in the following way:
Chop up a handful of flat leaf parsley and then press each fillet down in the parsley, do this on both sides. Then grind on a little salt and pepper and sprinkle on chilli flakes. A squeeze of lemon juice on each wouldn't go amiss too. Make sure to only use half of your lemon at this stage. You'll need the rest to serve.


I also decided to grate a little lemon zest on each fillet too, just to add a lovely fragrant taste. How I love the word fragrant. 

Make sure by the time you have finished with this half of the lemon it looks utterly violated. If it doesn't, you haven't got your moneys worth. Go back to the fish and squeeze/grate the life out of it.

Wait until the chips have been in for 20 minutes and then put the fish in the oven too. Leave in for 15 minutes until both chips and fish are ready.
Plate up together. I've served with rocket, a hearty squeeze of Ketchup and lashings of lemon juice. I recommend you do the same!

Enjoy with the football or Desperate Housewives repeats. See, it is a winner for everyone.
L. xxxxx

Student Dining: The Downfalls.

Monday, 18 June 2012

I love the challenge of student cooking. I am surprised and delighted to find myself succeeding with many of my dishes amongst the empty value vodka bottles and fridge pets (more commonly known as mould to the wider population).
However, making good food in a student kitchen can be challenging.To try and minimise these challenges for future student cooks I would like to issue the following warning list:

Future students/shared flat dwellers BEWARE:
- People will not share the same levels of 'clean' as you do. If you are messy, people will hand you a bin rota. If you are clean, you will hand bin rotas out and they will probably be graffiti-ed.
- In the summer, your fridge will probably melt. This actually happened to my fridge in the winter too. Just make sure throughout the year you do not keep any absorbent items on the bottom shelf. The loss of cake is particularly sad one.
- Make sure that you realise samples of food in a supermarket are not just samples. When combined, they are a meal. A free meal. And when smuggled into your pocket, they are ingredients, free ingredients.
- It is a sad but undeniable fact that when living in shared accommodation, people will steal from you. The most likely items of pilferage are milk, bread, sugar and butter. If you want to identify and shame the thieves of your food, I suggest laxatives.
- People will cook weird smelling stuff. Take Febreeze. You won't regret it.
- To all hopeful student cooks, do not use the fridge space of others to store your ingredients. It is an unwritten rule that this action gives the initial fridge space owner the rights to eat your food/throw it on the floor. Trust me, keep to your shelf.

These warnings should keep you safe for a while. And remember people once you finish univeristy you might get your own dream kitchen!
Now, if we are talking dream culinary wishlists please see my kitchen fantasies here.
If anybody is feeling like giving me a very generous birthday present, please chose any of the kitchens above. Present will have to be particularly generous as I will also need a house to put the fancy kitchen in too...

Personal fantasy over.
Stick to my advice, and occasionally the a advice of the frog. You won't go wrong.

L. xxxx

Gooey Triple Chocolate Brownies

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Today's post is a devilish one. In fact, I'm going to give it no more introduction than the following picture.

Speaks for itself really, doesn't it? I made these bad boys for Father's Day and I received a VERY warm welcome from EVERYONE - they simply went down a treat. I've gone off a BBC GoodFood recipe, that you can find here.
To reach the brownie heaven pictured above you will need:

275g plain chocolate
85g milk chocolate
85g white chocolate
275g unsalted butter
325g caster sugar
175g plain flour
85g pecans
1 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence

Quick note for the students - drop the pecans and you have a very affordable piece of heaven!

To start, preheat the oven to 170C and line a tin, approximately 30x20cm.

Then put the plain chocolate and butter in a microwavable bowl and microwave for about a minute, checking and stirring the mixture every 10-20 seconds. You should really put this mixture in a dish and place over a pan of simmering water to melt but that is more washing up and more hassle. I say whack it in the microwave and just make sure it doesn't burn.

Mix thoroughly until it looks like the picture above. Which seems a little naughty to look at directly...
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl and set aside. Then stir the sugar into the melted chocolate. Go on to add the eggs and vanilla essence. Then fold in the flour.

After you have your basic batter, add the exciting bits. For this particular recipe they are as follows:
Chopped and broken pecans. 

Chopped milk chocolate.

Chopped white chocolate.

Isn't it looking beautiful? Quick note, when eating the brownies, it is such a delight when you bite into a big piece of chocolate so I've chopped my chocolate into fairly big chunks, I recommend you do the same. Also, you may or may not have found substandard chocolate when chopping it up (as I did), feel free to eat this. In no way do I recommend using substandard chocolate in this recipe!
After the mixture is all made up, pour it into the prepared cake tin. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy the baking smell, this recipe is particularly easy on the ol' olfactory.
When ready, the top should be firm but the inside should feel soft when cooked, I like mine particularly gooey, so I give them a little less time, about 22, or 23 minutes. Let the brownie cool in the tin and once cooled, cut into squares and remove.

Attractive little minxes aren't they!

Enjoy these with friends, family or with the delightful pair that is Ben and Jerry.
Quick piece of advice, kids. Don't make chocolate brownies in a white top. It is just ASKING for trouble.

And another thing. For the love of God, lick the bowl!

What do you mean, I have something on my face...?

I hope you love these as much as everyone else seems to!
Back tomorrow with more kitchen adventures.
L. xxxxxx

Cooking coma.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

I'm at home this weekend. I popped back for Father's Day and a general visit for everyone. Kindly, my mum gave up her kitchen and ingredients to me for the day.
All recipes and adventures will follow soon but for today, I'm just giving you a very, very quick update. You'll be pleased to know (I hope) that I'm still alive and cooking, readers. However I am absolutely knackered as I've just finished my fifth dish of the day.  So excited to share them all, but for now all I can muster is a picture of my lazy/crazy baking barnet.

You may be excited to note that I've been cooking in a proper kitchen. Nice surfaces, tasteful crockery, no mould... 
So I have lots of exciting posts to follow! Tomorrow will be especially naughty, so it is worth tuning in for!
Lots of love, a very full, satisfied and looked after L. xxxxxxxxxxxx

A Seven Minute Meal

Friday, 15 June 2012

Today is an incredibly easy meal. It took me seven minutes to make. And if that isn't quick I don't know what is.
You will need (serves 2):
2 handfuls of penne pasta (preferably 5 minute cook)
1x packet of mushroom and thyme puy lentils. New and lasting love for puy lentils since I used them in my Student Dining week, for another lentil recipe click here
2 generous scoops of ricotta (substitute with cream cheese if necessary)
Handful of flat leaf parsley.

I actually found this recipe on the back of the lentils pack. I'm always on the lookout for what brands think their product will work well with. I like to try and then judge. Don't pretend you don't judge too...
Begin by putting your pasta in a saucepan of boiling water. Time for five minutes. I would recommend draining at four, or four and a half minutes, just so the pasta isn't too floppy. Nobody likes floppy.

Then chop up your parsley. Make sure it is pretty fine as this is to scatter on top of the pasta.

To heat these particular lentils, you put them in the microwave for 50 seconds. If you have the same brand as I do, do this now. If not, heat your lentils in some other fashion. 
Once the lentils are heated, drain the pasta. Add two generous scoops of ricotta. Add even more if you like your pasta super creamy.

 Then add your lentils.

Scatter parsley on the top and you are done. Speedy Gonzalez. I can promise you that. 

This dish was nice. Just nice. I would not employ a more exciting adjective than this because I feel that my lentil packaging has missed a trick. A pan fried bacon or chopped chillies trick. It felt as if something was lacking. If you don't like your dishes creamy MAKE SURE you add something extra. This was a very mild one.

Enjoy, deviate from the recipe and cook readers, cook!
Home now for this weekend so many kitchen delights to come. Properly measured ingredients and everything!

L. xxxxxxx

Really Red Risotto

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Today I've adapted a BBC GoodFood Risotto, which I like to pronounce Ris-oh-toe, rather than ris-ot-oe. Makes it sound more pretentious without having to add an unobtainable price tag.
You can find the original recipe here, but I have deviated a little to make it extra red and extra delicious.
For my version you will need (serves 2):
150g Risotto rice
400g Chopped tomatoes
Half an onion
Half a red pepper
1x Vegetable stock cube (to make 500ml of stock)
Handful of flat leaf parsley
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Begin by preheating the oven to 180c. Then chop up your onion. It doesn't matter if it's not that fine, just roughly 'em up. Heat a pan of olive oil and soften your onions for about five minutes.

Add the risotto rice and fry for a minute more. Then add 200ml of vegetable stock (or white wine, but as a student, wine is utilised for helping me to only have foggy memories of how sticky the union floor is). Stir until absorbed. And make sure it is properly absorbed or you'll have crunchy and non-creamy risotto. Not a good texture readers, I can assure you.

Mystical (slightly steamy) shot of the stock. 


Whilst the rice is busy soaking up your liquid of choice, dice up your pepper. I like to get mine pretty small, but again dice to whatever size suits you.

Once all liquid is absorbed and all peppers are diced, add the tomatoes, pepper, the rest of your stock and a little salt and pepper.

Once this is done, you may notice (as I did) that there was a little excess liquid. I decided to drain this off as I wanted a risotto, not a minestrone. I still stand by putting in a whole tin of chopped tomatoes though, just to make it really red and not forgetting really tasty!
Now, if you have an ovenproof pan feel free to use that. As I only have limited resources I made good use of my glass ovenproof dish and a little foil. Simply transfer the risotto into the dish, cover with foil and put in the oven for 25 minutes. 

Whilst in the oven, chop up a handful of flat leaf parsley and grate a little cheese. Parmesan recommended but any will do really. 

Take the risotto out of the oven and add your parsley/cheese combination to the mix. Stir in and put back in the oven for just 5 minutes. The cheese will melt in and the parsley will give it a lovely fragrant taste. How can you resist?! 

Serve with more parsley and even more cheese to taste.


And there is my Really Red Risotto. Also really easy. Students, you have no excuse not to make it and instagram a photo to your parents. See, you can live on more than beans.

L. xxxxxxx
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