Monday, 28 November 2016

MPM: 28th November 2016

Well, here we are, Monday again. The weeks slip by depressingly quickly. I have lots to say but my blogging mojo has been a wee bit lacking of late - I must get my portly arse into gear.

Meals all planned and ready to go though:

Monday: pan fried salmon fillet, courgetti with pesto

Tuesday: pasta with mussels and potatoes (a bump from last week)

Wednesday: soooooooooooup

Thursday: we're out for celebratory sushi

Friday: D is out and I shall curl on the sofa with filled pasta tossed in butter, Parmesan and black pepper and those Gilmore Girls.

Saturday: chicken Tartiflette

Sunday: a tagine (stew) of merguez sausages, root vegetables and chickpeas

Talking of merguez, take a look at these beauties:

D's sausage making career continues to go from strength to strength - these were amazingly tasty. It's labour intensive mind you - Sunday afternoon was entirely given over to the endeavour - but, oh my, the results were delicious.

Monday, 21 November 2016

MPM: 21st November 2016

I have Paris themed posts to share with you; they currently lurk, slightly disconsolately in my drafts folder waiting for a bit of final TLC. Much like their author really - I have been doing plenty of disconsolate lurking since we got back from our trip. Call it post Paris / pre Christmas ennui.

In the meantime, there is always meal planning.

Monday: smoked salmon omelette

Tuesday: an old favourite! Oven baked red pepper and chorizo risotto. This is one of my most visited posts so if you haven't ever made it - why not? Literally tens of people can't be wrong!!

Wednesday: soup

Thursday: Rachel Roddy's weekly column in The Guardian is always well worth a read, and her recipe this week tickled my pickle so much that it had to go straight on the meal planner. Behold, mussels with potatoes and pasta. Simple and seasonal.

Friday: steak sandwiches

Saturday: veal chops with cauliflower cheese. A dish inspired by one we ate in Paris.

Sunday: D's career as a sausage maker continues apace; today he is going to attempt merguez. I will probably make some sort of couscous accompaniment.

Whatever you're cooking (and eating) this week - have a good one and stay warm!

Friday, 11 November 2016

Learning to fly

So here I am in Paris. Bonjour!

We arrived yesterday, after a mercifully brief flight from Manchester airport. Good lord, but I hate flying. I was relatively blasé about it as a youngster but something about getting older - awareness of own mortality, exposure to 24 hours a day news which is invariably crap and creates a permanent, swirling void of anxiety deep in the soul - has done for me. I find myself borrowing my mother's technique of keeping my eyes trained on the face of the stewardesses or, if none are within sight, the obviously more seasoned travellers, to check if they are reacting to the variations in engine sound. But then, I think everyone is trained to act cool on aeroplanes, to studiously yawn over the newspaper wearing a faintly bored expression, regardless of any inner turmoil they may or may not be experiencing.

But we made it, we are here, and the gluttony has already commenced. Also, the cultural experiences. But mainly the gluttony.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

TWTWTW: Bangers

This week it was Bonfire Night in the U.K. An occasion on which we celebrate, through the respective mediums of bonfires and fireworks, the fact that a bunch of nefarious Catholics were foiled in their attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

(Desperately tries to resist urge to make ironical comment on this given the current state of British politics).

Anyway, certain foods are traditionally associated with Bonfire Night. Sausages, or bangers, for obvious reasons. Chilli con carne (slightly less obviously). Parkin - a rich, sticky, spicy cake (again, don't grasp the significance of the connection. But any excuse to eat gingery cake). Our household being nothing if not predictable, all these foodstuffs were on the menu for the weekend.

I was thwarted in my attempt to make parkin by Waitrose rather rudely failing to provide adequate stocks of black treacle, but I produced a damp gingerbread loaf instead which was almost an acceptable substitute. It was D who really triumphed in the food stakes this weekend though, by using some of the new kit he got for his birthday to produce his very own sausages:

Just look at these plumptious little beauties! At my request, he made a batch of boudin blanc, which is a traditional French sausage consisting of pork and chicken, a combination of warming spices and milk and eggs which give it a light, moussey texture. It turns out that making sausages is neither easy nor clean nor quick, but it does give a person a certain smug glow. Also on the agenda for the next couple of months, plans are afoot to create a house sausage recipe (he is thinking pork and juniper) and some spicy merguez.

In other news, we leave for Paris at 5am on Thursday morning, for a long weekend of Gallic indulgence. And when we get back, we have plans in place which will hopefully mean that this blog goes back to being as much about weight watching (as opposed to Weight Watchers-ing) as it is about food. Colour me excited.