Wednesday, 16 February 2011

One-pot wonder

I was minded to write this by a post on the glorious blog Words To Eat By (subtitle: "because parents need to eat, too" – we do! We do!) in which the talented Debbie Koenig expounds on the infinite versatility of the ‘en papillotte’ method. And while I will be giving this a go in the very near future, I was reminded of my own ‘one method fits all’ recipe. I think I first got the idea from Nigella Lawson (I have a hard time with all her simpering and pouting but I love her ideas). The basic premise is this: place vegetables in dish, place protein on top, drizzle some oil, add some aromatics, put in oven, walk away, drink wine, watch telly, chat with significant other, enjoy enticing aroma, eat.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Muffins 101

“Did you know you can make cupcakes out of anything?”

I’ve probably seen The Cat in The Hat (the Mike Myers version) more times than anybody on the face of the planet  (let’s just say my Gorgeous Boy likes what he likes), but I really love the scene where Cat’s giving cupcakes the infomercial treatment. Who wouldn't like a Kupkake-inator of their very own?

Anyway, point is, the same can be said of muffins. And there’s really not much nicer than a basket of warm, fragrant, moist, crumbly muffins for the breakfast table – possibly accompanied by some nice homemade smoothies. They only take about 10 minutes to get to put-in-the-oven stage, too.*

(I should state right at the outset that I’m talking about muffins, here, not those over-sized, over-sweetened cakey things sweating in plastic bags in the cafe at the leisure centre.)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Dinner, as it happens

5.08pm – We get in from Art Club. Dinner on the table by six? Hm, OK then. Drag out the griddle pan from a tightly packed cupboard and set it to heat on the stove while I put coats away, exhort children to tidy shoes, extract laundry from machine and change to drying mode, tidy shoes myself, check book packs, insert Power Rangers (Operation Overdrive) DVD and locate swords.

5.20pm – The griddle pan is smoking alarmingly. Quickly slice four courgettes and drizzle some olive oil on them before placing them in the pan. Zest and juice a lemon over the top of some chicken breasts and add salt and pepper.

At this point Beautiful Girl gets an inkling that dinner might not be fish fingers and baked beans. Commences exhortations to provide same as an alternative to whatever ghastly concoction I might be about to come up with.