Friday, 29 June 2012

What to Eat this Week



I've missed a couple of weeks as we've been on holiday.  We didn't go very far, just twenty miles away in the Derbyshire Dales and but wasn't a resounding success,  We (Me, Fluffrick, both Mums and two dogs) were staying in a very pleasant cottage that was supposedly dog friendly, personally I would only regard it as dog tolerant. I completely understand the rule of no pets on the furniture, but this is the first time I have encountered a rule about no pets in the bedrooms and that didn't end well for us.  In brief a spooked Hagrid vaulted the stair gate at the bottom of the stairs, ran up to our bedroom and in his attempt to clamber under our bed knocked the radiator off the wall.  We ended up cutting our holiday short and coming home the next day.  We did all get a break, but not quite the one we intended.


But now we are back and so is "what to eat this week".  So in the veg box this week we got, the lovely tomatoes above, courgettes, an aubergine, red onions, a pointed cabbage, flat green beans and sweet potatoes.  We were meant to receive spinach rather than sweet potato, so I had to jig the menu a little and drop the Spouffle.


FRIDAY
Pizza - well that is if I get off my backside and start proving some dough


SATURDAY
Sweet potato and Peanut gratin with salad - another lovely recipe from Hugh which I tried last week and everyone said they liked. 


SUNDAY
Roast Chicken with potatoes, stuffing and vegetables.


MONDAY
Chicken with rice - using the leftover chicken, this is an Allegra McEvady from Economy Gastronomy.


TUESDAY
Spaghetti with a salmon, mushroom and cream sauce - especially asked for by Mum, previously blogged about here


WEDNESDAY
Vegeree - another recipe from River Cottage Veg Everyday.


THURSDAY
Veggie Sausage and Chips.


I'm watching the European Athletics Championships at the moment from Helsinki which puts me in mind to look at my Nordic Bakery book and rustle up some yummy Scandinavian treats. 

Monday, 11 June 2012

Easy Apple Cake

This is a really easy, but very delicious Apple Cake.  It's derived from a Delia Smith recipe for Sticky Tea Bread, I think from her Frugal cookbook, although I don't stick to her instructions.

Ingredients:

150ml Water
150g Caster Sugar
75g Sultanas
100g Butter
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
175g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 Large Egg
3 small or 2 large Apples


Place the water, sugar, butter, sultanas and bicarbonate of soda in a saucepan and heat gently.


The mixture will froth up, don't let it boil over.  Let it gently simmer for 10 minutes, so that the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved and the sultanas have plumped up a little. You can use this time to peel and chop the apples into 1cm dice.


This is where I diverge from Delia's instructions (she would leave this mixture to cool), but you have to work quite quickly.  Add the flour and baking powder to the hot mixture and mix well, then add the egg and mix again.  Finally stir in the apple and tip into a greased 20cm square tin.  And place in an oven preheated to Gas Mark 4.


No cake mixture looks particularly appetizing before it is cooked.  And this is quite a wet batter.    As the batter is warm before it goes in the oven it only need to be cooked for 30 minutes.  If you let the mixture cool before adding the egg, flour and apple, it may need cooking a little longer. 


Here is the finished result, great eaten warm, but also keeps well and is lovely cold.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

What to Eat This week

So what are we going to eat this week?  I do have a process for the weekly menu and it starts with the veg box delivery on Thursday.  This is what we received this week...

New Potatoes, Onions, Salad Leaves, Lettuce, Cucumber, Carrots and Spring Greens.  I have to admit this is not the most inspirations selection I have ever received, but it made the decision that Fluffrick will be having salad for lunch an easy one.

Of late my trusty copy of River Cottage Veg Everyday has been my first port of call when deciding how to make best use of the weekly veg box.  It is a wonderful book with a vast selection of great veg recipes, the Spouffle has made a frequent appearance on the weekly menu.  

So what is actually on the menu...

Friday
Tartiflette - veggie style made with potatoes, onions, cheese and double cream

Saturday
Salmon & Prawn Skewers and salad

Sunday
Roast Chicken, New Potatoes, Carrots, Spring Greens and Stuffing

Monday
Chicken Biryani and Naan Bread - this is not an authentic biryani more of a spiced Chicken rice really, but very yummy

Tuesday
Chilli Cheese Polenta with Tomato Sauce - courtesy of Mr Fearnley Whittingstall

Wednesday
Toad in the Hole (with Veggie Sausages) with Carrots, Spring Greens and Onion Gravy

Thursday
Macaroni (well Penne actually) Cheese

I also plan on making a simple Apple Cake at some point this week, which I will document if I can get the camera working again.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Someone Loves His Duckie


We had a meeting with a dog trainer last week, we're referring to it as Hagrid's Gentleman Training.  He definitely is not the most social of dogs, but we hope that with some training we can make him a happier boy.  One suggestion the trainer gave us to improve our bond with the Big Lad was to play with him more.  The trainer had several different toys to play with and the one Hagrid loved the most was a pink squishy octopus; sadly we have not been able to locate the same toy, but Duckie has been a more than adequate alternative.


A few times today we have a mad five minutes playing with Duckie and jumping around the living room.  I have made Hagrid another tuggy toy, but nothing matched up to his Duckie.  We are also hoping to reduce Hagrid's pulling on walks and so for the first time today we walked him with a Halti and for the first time we actually took him for a walk rather than him taking us.


He really is a lovely lad, but as we know next to nothing about his history before he came to live with us, we will probably never know why he reacts so much to other dogs. But it just makes us love him and want to help him all the more.
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