Bye bye blog…

I stopped writing posts for this blog in March and thought I could just let it disappear into the blogosphere or whatever, but I thought I’d better make it formal and let any readers know (it’s hardly had any views recently though) just to be polite.

This was my first blog and served as a good introduction into blogging but after starting another one soon after, I don’t feel as though I have the time to dedicate to this. Plus a lot of the time I’d rather get on with the eating of said food rather then thinking ‘Oooh, this would make a good post for the blog!’ and getting a camera out and writing down an official ‘recipe’ when a lot of the time, my everyday food is just me chucking ingredients together into an edible meal.

Ta-ra and Happy Eating!

 

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Beef and Vegetable Pie

I love going home-cooked food – my mother makes a really yummy pie which is incredibly easy to make, plus all the winter weather made me crave it more, so I had a go myself. Again there’s not ‘strict’ recipe but I’ve sort of put together one if you want to follow it.

Beef and Vegetable Pie, serves 1-2

YUMmo dinner!

-Some chunky diced beef (you can buy this pre-pared easily), about a few hundred grams (or you can just judge by eye how much you need)

-Puff pastry (I used Jus-roll ready made kind) thinly rolled out and enough to cover your chosen ovenproof dish

-Onions

-A selection of vegetables such as carrots, celery etc.

-Salt and pepper to season

-Liquid stock (Chicken/beef/vegetable)

-Cornflower (or plain flour)

1. First season the beef with salt and pepper and let it marinate for a little while if you have time.

2. Seal the beef in a well-oiled hot pan until brown on all sides. This should only take a few minutes. Leave aside to rest.

Sealing the beef

3. Use the same pan (with all the beefy juices) and gently toss in some chopped onion.

Onions

4. Gradually add in your other chosen ingredients – I didn’t have many vegetables left as it is the end of term so it was slim pickings! Once the onions have started to caramelise, add in a good mug or two of liquid stock. Let it simmer gently for 20 minutes or so. You can also put your meat back in now along with any juices escaped.

Pie filling

5. When you are satisfied with the taste, turn off the heat and stir in some cornflour (I wasn’t going to buy it just for this so I settled for plain flour that was already in my cupboard). Add it in slowly stirring continuously so that the filling does not become lumpy.

6. Roll our your puff pastry to the thickness of about a pound coin and prep your ovenproof dish – spoon in a good amount of filling and ensure it is all covered by the pastry. Bake at about 200 degrees Celsius until the pastry is golden brown (I was a little impatient after half an hour so mine doesn’t have as good a crisp as I would like, but I was hungry…)

YUMmo dinner!

I ate mine with a little bulgur wheat (cooked in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes). Enjoy!

> I would love to hear about your favourite pie combinations below in the comments so feel free to type away!

What’s in my freezer?

Following on from my previous ‘What’s in my…cupboard/fridge?’ post, I thought I’d include my lovely freezer drawer so it wouldn’t feel left out! I had a some trouble filling this at the beginning of term because I wasn’t really sure what to put there (hence why I only have one freezer drawer out of a possible eight). But I’ve accumulated some bits and pieces over the last month and a half so here it is.

I only recently cottoned to the fact that ovens cook pizza and chips really easily, so here’s my one stop super quick (but not super healthy) dinner – a margherita pizza (spinkled with mixed herbs is yummy). Oh, and french fries for when I feel like them.

(although my potato ‘chips’ are very yummy too).

I also bought quite a few pre-prepared salmon fillets when I first got here – after I asked my mother how to cook them they didn’t seem so scary.

I think the trickiest thing for me personally was adjusting to cooking meat and fish because that was sort of a category I wasn’t very familiar with (apart from the occasional roast for the family). So I had to find out how to make one-size portions work for me because fresh fish and meat is important to me.

      

I also have some big fat chicken legs, king prawns (buy one get one free at Tesco’s) and another batch of bolognese sauce. My aim is to finish this for when I go back home for Christmas. That shouldn’t be a problem. Apart from that, there’s not really anything else in my lone freezer drawer. I’m welcome to any suggestions for useful staples as always!

Nigel Slater’s Dish of the Day

Image taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nd36s

I was really inspired by this programme on a few days ago – Nigel Slater takes seasonal produce and designs dishes based on his weekly shop. This really appealed to me because the first time living away from home has really made me appreciate how much planning you really have to do just to prepare some simple meals. You have to balance your meat and veg and take things out the freezer in advance, that’s a lot of ‘food prep thinking’ I don’t normally have to deal with! So the ‘Dish of the Day’ programme really made me more excited to try new things and find different ways of cooking the same old things. Hopefully I will be trying some new ideas out of my ‘comfort zone’ in the oncoming months!

Until then, I would love to hear tips on any favourite recipes or one pot recipes that are quick to rustle up after a long day – please feel welcome to comment below!

The Great British Bake Off

One of my favourite shows is back, The Great British Bakeoff – Series 3! It’s a great contest to find Britain’s best amateur baker and you may find inspiration or some useful tips! Here are the links for episodes 1 and 2.

Episode 1

Episode 2

I particularly enjoyed episode 2 on bread and will definitely be up for trying the eight-strand plaited loaf and maybe some bagels too! Let me know what you think of the show in the comments below.