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I got this recipe off the internet as a carrot-based recipe. Our opinion was that it had promise but was too carroty (and too ricey). This is the modified version which just got enthusiastically hoovered up by B (though if he hadn't given up on counting calories for the day I suspect he wouldn't have eaten it all - for those interested in such things I reckon it works out as around 120 calories per 100g).

Picture under the cut )

Serves 2 as a main.

1 tbsp cumin seeds
200g carrots, sliced
200g parsnips, sliced
100g turnip, sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1 tbsp olive oil
125ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3-1/2 cup dried rice
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
30g feta cheese, crumbled or chopped as your cheese allows
Pepper to season

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
2. Grind the cumin seeds to a powder (toast first if you feel keen)
3. Combine the sliced vegetables, onion, chickpeas, olive oil and cumin in a roasting dish. Stir to coat everything with cumin and oil.
4. Pour over the stock and lemon juice, cover with tin foil, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
5. If using a rice cooker, put the rice on to cook around now, otherwise start cooking the rice after about 25 minutes.
6. Remove foil and return to the oven for about 10-15 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven, toss in the rice, sunflower seeds and feta cheese. Season with pepper.

In other news. The NuWho rewatch is suspended until NLSS Child feels up to Blink. She has seen bits of this in the Internet and a few years ago it led to a whole "I can't take showers because of falling statuary" panic, made the more bizarre because we own no statues, let alone any in the bathroom. She has agreed to watch it on a weekend morning (it having been made clear that not washing isn't an option), but I'm away this weekend so it may have to wait until next weekend.

Meanwhile, she has to read a number of different sorts of book for school, and has selected The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy as her humour book (a choice endorsed by her teacher). This has led to a certain amount of defensiveness on tame layman's part. He is currently forcibly playing her the radio series on the grounds it is superior and she should listen to it before reading the book.
purplecat: (dinosaur)
I have a huge backlog of things I was meaning to blog about and, in particular, pictures off my camera I was meaning to post. So for starters:

Dinosaur Cupcakes and Other Creatures )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
This is [livejournal.com profile] phina_v's recipe, as requested by misc. Primeval fans.

4 Mars Bars
4oz Butter
200g (or 230g) slab of Dairy Milk Chocolate
3oz Rice Krispies (or own brand rice pops or whatever)

1. Melt the Mars Bars with 3oz butter. I generally do this in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water but I'm told Mars Bars can be melted direct in a saucepan.
2. Stir in the rice krispies.
3. Place in a buttered baking dish (I also line with baking parchment).
4. Melt Dairy Milk and remaining butter. I generally reuse my previous bowl.
5. Spread over base.
6. Leave to cool. We put it in the fridge to speed up the process.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/27244.html.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
This is [livejournal.com profile] phina_v's recipe, as requested by misc. Primeval fans.

4 Mars Bars
4oz Butter
200g (or 230g) slab of Dairy Milk Chocolate
3oz Rice Krispies (or own brand rice pops or whatever)

1. Melt the Mars Bars with 3oz butter. I generally do this in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water but I'm told Mars Bars can be melted direct in a saucepan.
2. Stir in the rice krispies.
3. Place in a buttered baking dish (I also line with baking parchment).
4. Melt Dairy Milk and remaining butter. I generally reuse my previous bowl.
5. Spread over base.
6. Leave to cool. We put it in the fridge to speed up the process.

Yesterday

Feb. 21st, 2010 12:26 pm
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
I discovered I had no mushrooms for my pasta bake and so substituted an aubergine and it worked!

I post this mostly so [livejournal.com profile] the_ladylark can be proud of me and her teaching skills!
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
My sister-in-law is American (Texan to be precise) and I offered to do Thanksgiving this year. However, she had now arranged to go back to the States to see her family but is, nevertheless, sending her husband and children to me. The upside of this is that I do not have to recreate an authentic Thanksgiving only one which conforms, more-or-less to the children's memories. The downside, of course, is that I won't have an authentic American around to help out.

Turkey I can manage.

Should I buy cranberry sauce or try to make it? I'm not a jam or chutney maker and I'm appalling at gravy but I can manage simple sauces. My in-laws always have mashed sweet potato for Thanksgiving - would it be sacrilege if I roasted the sweet potatos? Is there anything else I need to include?
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
Watching the Kamikaze Cookery sous-vide mini-episode made us wonder what temperature our steamer works at?

The episode advised sous-viding vegetables at 83C - high enough to break down the starch but too low to break down the pectin.

We acquired the steamer because I put it on a Christmas list having been... err.. impressed by some celebrity chef or other using one. B's younger brother, instead of buying the "put over the top of a saucepan" thing I'd envisaged brought us a stand alone electrically powered one.

I now only boil vegetables in extremis, ditto rice. They taste much better out of the steamer and, although they take twice as long (four times in the case of rice), they require absolutely zero supervision.

So what temperature is the steamer at? It's probably somewhat lower than 100C since the steam is rising up from below and there's stuff condensing and dripping down. However I doubt it's as low as 83C, somewhere in the 90s I'd guess.

Note to self: acquire thermometer.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
I previously reviewed [livejournal.com profile] cairmen's Bloodspell movie. He's now branched out into cookery shows. Yes, you read that right, punk fantasy to cookery - honestly it makes sense!

Episode 1 of Kamikaze Cookery came out yesterday but we only just got around to watching it. I guess I can most easily explain it as cooking getting the Brainiac treatment. In episode one (which is only 10 minutes long so you're hardly going to waste a big chunk of your life if you check it out) they look at cooking the perfect steak (for which you'll need a digital thermometer, vacuum cleaner and a blowtorch). B. has been muttering ever since about probes and temperature gradiants - I have a nasty feeling he thinks he can speed the process up. Anyway if you're at all interested in cookery or, more importantly, the science behind cookery then its worth checking out.

There is also a blog if you want somewhere to vent about Jamie Oliver.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
One of the things we rather miss about Edinburgh is the Festival and so it was nice of Manchester to celebrate our arrival by instituting a Festival of its own. That said we have dismally failed to arrange to see Monkey, Journey to the West. However, since both B. and I were working from home today we decided to try out Heston Blumenthal's Chilled Summer Treats. Braving wind and rain we arrived at the Festival Pavilion to discover these were ice cream. We beat a hasty retreat to a nearby Italian restaurant. Some time later we were warm and well-fed, and the rain seemed to have stopped, so we felt more up to incredibly expensive ice cream.

It must be said I have never, in the past, had to purchase a ticket from a box office (including providing my surname) in order to be allowed to buy ice cream. So it was a novel experience. 10 pounds poorer we took our tickets outside to the brightly coloured ice cream booth and sympathised with the sou chefs on the weather and poor turn-out. B. had mushy pea sorbet with mint sauce and candied bacon. He said it was nice but he was expecting it to be a bit more in your face pea-y. I had a chocolate wine slushicle (I've never heard of a slushicle before but it looked like a popsicle, complete with plastic packaging you squeezed it out of and could then drink the left-over juice from) with a gold-leafed, chocolate topped shortbread. It was very nice, distinctly good dark chocolatey with a hint of wine - despite being a dark red colour so I'd expected a more prominent wine flavour. According to my napkin it was based on a recipe from 1710 when Chocolate Wine was considered an aphrodisiac. We sat in a specially built little wooden faux beach hut (complete with canned wave and seagull sound effects) and peered out at the wind-swept vista of Manchester's financial district. Actually it was remarkably reminiscent of childhood visits to the sea-side having that flavour of "we will enjoy the beach despite the rain and the gale".

We've been vaguely considering booking a meal at the Fat Duck for our 10th wedding anniversary (over a year a way, but it never hurts to plan). We're still vaguely considering it. The Sorbet and Slushicle were fun, distinctive and tasty but hugely expensive which probably sums up the Fat Duck's Tasting Menu.

More bento

Jul. 5th, 2007 01:56 pm
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
Lot's of these Bento sites say things like "morning prep time 10 minutes". It's clear I don't have 10 minutes in the morning*. The best I'm going to manage is taking pre-packed boxes out of the fridge and throwing them into my rucksack. Since I worked from home yesterday I gave myself a long lunch-break and cooked more rice. This time I moulded it into "onigiri balls" using salted damp hands (although no one gives advice on how to do that - I ended up running my hands under the tap and then grinding salt into the palm of one) - this is supposed to give the rice more flavour, and I certainly found it pretty dull in my previous bentos. I put one into my box this morning and it seemed more palatable, although there was less of it. I also bought some onion bhajis so added one as well. I'm not sure what goes in onion bhajis - onion, obviously, the rest looks kind of lentilly to me and, knowing very little about nutrition I'm going with an assumption that lentils count as carbohydrate (I'm still vaguely trying to go by the bento proportion guidelines). I also hard-boiled three eggs (not yet used) and made up two pots of greek salad (one of which went into todays lunch).

I'm not sure about the combination of greek salad, rice and onion bhaji - the bhaji seemed a bit after-thought-ish when I ate it.


* actually this morning I did end up with 10 minutes but only because I was running late anyway and discovered the slow leak in my back tyre had reached the weekly point when it needs to be pumped up. By the time I'd done that it was clear I would miss the train and so might as well wait 20 minutes and then set off in time for the next one.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
Today I basically made a Greek Salad (in a 300ml pudding basin). Since these basins don't look exactly water-tight (or even that securely fastened and I have a bicycle ride followed by a train journey before reaching work) I patted all the ingredients dry on a paper towel before packing (esp. the feta cheese and olives which were stored in liquid). This wasn't nearly as time consuming as it sounds - 300ml isn't a lot and I just sort of emptied the ingredients onto kitchen roll and then rolled them about a bit. I added another 150ml pot of rice. Proper bento involves little refillable sauce containers for dressings which, lacking any real bento accessories and not having had the foresight to save the soy sauce fish from commercial sushi offerings, stumped me somewhat. Then I remembered potion bottles!! in particular some tiny plastic ones. Rumaging in the kit room produced a suitable candidate marked (and this bit is for FnHers only) on the bottle - although mysteriously it had the alchemical sigils for All Heal on the top. So I filled this with lemon juice. Despite a suspicious blue tinge in the potion bottle lid, this was still yellow when I poured it over my lunch. In total that made 450ml of lunch which I suspect is plenty in the normal run of things though I'll see how hungry I am when I get home.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] neadods wrote a post about Bento on Thursday. I had never heard of Bento although B, japanophile that he is, had and was quick to inform me that the quality of the Bento you prepare your husband is indicative of how much you love him. Hmm...

I'd been feeling that I ought to do something about packed lunches to both save money and improve the general healthiness of my diet but I don't really like sandwiches and, partly as a result, certainly couldn't be bothered to prepare them. However, suddenly, here was a whole packed lunch methodology that a) avoids sandwiches and b) fetishises tupperware (and I'm a woman who adopted (and still uses) a whole "organise your life" methodology on the grounds that it let me buy more stationary). I spent the weekend eyeing up Bento Box sets on e-bay. Most of these are too cute to live but some are rather stylish (although naturally I can't find any of the really good-looking ones when I specifically go looking). I also realised that, even if I resisted spending money on real bento accessories, I suddenly had an excuse to purchase the various tupperware accessories from Lakeland catalogues that I've never been able to think of a use for*.

I cooked curry on Sunday, so I made extra rice and stored it in the fridge. Yesterday I cooked up a mushroom and aubergine "veggie gloop" from the Sainsburys Vegetarian Cookbook on the grounds that it looked like it went well with rice and I quite like cold aubergine. Advice on portion quantities in bentos varies but I went for providing a 600ml lunch consisting of 300ml carbohydrate, 200ml fruit and veg and 100ml protein. I packed a 300ml plastic pudding basin full of rice but this looked like a huge quantity so backed off and filled a 150ml pudding basin instead. The aubergine and mushroom thing fitted neatly into three 250ml screw top pots (it was pretty gloopy and I only had 250ml screw tops so that quantity was pretty much fixed). I then part filled a 300ml pudding basin with cubed cheese and grapes. So the proportions are all wrong though I reckon the overall quantity was about right and I stuck with only 100ml protein. I wouldn't have wanted more rice though, 150ml was plenty. In fact I feel pretty full and being, as I am, very short, I might try cutting back to a 500ml lunch. I was going to photograph it (photography seems to be a big part of the general bento fun and games - although perhaps not when packed in "misc. tupperware found in the cupboard") but I distinctly heard Bill scoff (something about this being altogether too much like hard work) so gave up on that idea (and any idea of expressing love through "bento-packing for husband"). Incidentally, if you feel that a lot of pudding basins are being mentioned this is true. A tupperware inventory taken on Sunday evening revealed a vast number of unused plastic pudding basins purchased in a fit of enthusiasm from Lakeland at some point. I think I had some idea of making Christmas Puddings in them but they are all way too small and Christmas pudding still gets made in pyrex bowls.

* two of my former flatmates were horrified to discover my mother had a whole room full of carefully washed and stacked margarine tubs and yoghurt cartons. At that point it became their mission in life to prevent me placing small pots of left-overs in the fridge. They traced this impulse back to war-time rationing and theorised it was passed down from mother to daughter.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
Adding to my repertoire of steamer recipes I have the following adaptation from Gary Rhodes

Layer sliced onion, pork loin and apple in individual pudding basins seasoning each layer with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Slosh in some white wine, cover and then steam for an hour.

B. bought two electric rings from Argos yesterday, so this wasn't strictly necessary but I'd already bought the ingredients and the original recipe required an oven (and pastry).

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