best ever cheese on toast

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I know, I know. You all know how to make cheese on toast: make toast. add cheese. Not hard, right?

This, though, this is Tom Kerridge’s cheese on toast. Which means that it is the actual best ever thing it is possible to do with the combination of cheese and toast. I would not lie to you about this.

How to win at life: make extra. Keep it in the freezer. Suddenly remember about it 3 weeks later.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

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beetroot smoothie

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Surfing is hard. This weekend, I’ve waded repeatedly into the Atlantic (wearing nothing but a swimsuit, a wetsuit, some wetsuit shoes and a layer of bloody-mindedness) and still failed to do more than topple sideways off a surfboard.

On the plus side, though, I’ve an interesting collection of bruises to add to my usual set (I’m quite clumsy, and normally too distracted to actually look where I’m going), and the knowledge that I can go in the sea, in February, near Scotland, and not die. I feel quite invincible.

I expect you could achieve the same effect – minus the bruises, and the risk of frostbite – just by drinking this beetroot smoothie. No-one who drinks smoothies made of vegetables can ever get sick, surely. Also, try drinking it in front of your colleagues. They will look at you in a new combination of awe and horror, which is quite fun to see.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

potstickers

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I’ve been thinking a lot about escape lately: daydreaming about hideaways like this one; booking flights to places I’ve never heard of; wondering whether I’d like to work in Malawi for 16 months, that sort of thing.

Not so much escaping from, but escaping to. I want to go to the edges, the wild places. To get lost in unfamiliar cities, eat unfamiliar food. The kind where you aren’t 100% sure what the words on the menu mean, and you have to fervently hope they won’t turn out to have been “tripe” or “sauteed brain”. That kind.

I suppose if someone else had made them, potstickers would be quite good mystery food. You can put pretty much anything inside them, after all. I go for minced turkey, and bright flavours like coriander, ginger. No tripe.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

aubergine cheesecake

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Oh, this is good. I’m quite tempted just to leave it at that – I’m not feeling particularly inspired this morning, and really that is all you need to know – but that would be a bit lazy, no?

The recipe’s from Plenty More, Ottolenghi’s second vegetarian cookbook. It took me a few times leafing through before any of the recipes really caught me, but I’m glad they did. Just like Plenty, everything I’ve cooked from the book so far has been absolutely the best thing you can do with [insert ingredient here]. And that cauliflower cake that’s been everywhere recently really is as good as it’s made out to be. Even if it is nearly impossible to take a decent photo of.

Intersecting the two categories of “delicious” and “doesn’t look completely mad”, then, I bring you this aubergine cheesecake. Just a bit more photographable, although not much. There’s only so much you can do with tin foil.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

pistachio biscotti

pistachio biscotti

I am so incredibly excited this week! I booked flights on Monday, and in less than a month (!) I’ll be flying across to spend the whole weekend with two of my very favourite people in the world, with nothing to do but drink wine and eat snacks. It will be bliss.

It’s a lunchtime flight, as well, so there’s a small chance I’ll be able to pack something tasty beforehand, not something I usually excel at.

Last time I went on a plane, I bought a chocolate orange. Then I ate the chocolate orange. The flight was an hour and a half long. I’ve no excuse.

If I manage to stop eating four of these every time I walk past the tin, there still won’t be any left to soak up my airport champagne with. This makes me very sad.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

squash and caramelized onion tart

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What a day! It’s ten to five, and my shoes are still wet from walking to the station at seven this morning. That is a long time to have damp feet. I may have developed trench foot.

You don’t want to hear about quinoa today, do you? No. I didn’t think so. You’re right, it is too rainy for double broccoli. How about something with eggs and cheese in?

Actually, aside from eggs and cheese, this tart has loads of my favourite things in: roasted squash, caramelized onions, sage. In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve called it a tart because quiche sounds a bit, well, 70s. In fact, it is a quiche. I know this because of a scribbled post-it in my recipe notebook, instructions from my mother: Quiche: 3 eggs. Top up to 2/3pt with milk. Add stuff. And this is exactly what I have done. The tart started out life, though, as a much more elegantly-named galette, and so I felt I ought to let it keep some dignity.

Recipe after the jump.
Continue reading

breakfast frittata

breakfast frittata

This last month, I’ve mostly posted about cocktails. If you don’t drink, or just don’t like cocktails, I can only apologise. I didn’t intend to mostly post about cocktails; it’s just that that seems to be all I’ve made in the last month or so. On the rare occasions we’ve actually eaten at home, dinner has been whatever vegetables are in the fridge with whichever tin of pulses are at the front of the cupboard, which I can’t imagine you’re particularly agog to hear about.

Mostly, though, I’ve been eating elsewhere. With friends or with family or with colleagues – or on my own, on a train between a class in one city and cocktails in another. So I’ve not really been cooking all that much. Cocktails, on the other hand – made loads of those.

Next year (which is now this year, alarmingly), I’m looking forward to things slowing down a bit. One class has finished, and another has moved a day to the right, meaning that my in-out-in-out of the flat pattern will no longer be the exact opposite of John’s. We’ll get to eat together again! I’m really looking forward to spending more time with him, to being able to see my friends in places which aren’t the gym, and to having more time to spend here, with you guys.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

french 75

 

french 75Just in case you haven’t drunk all the champagne (or prosecco, or whatever) already, here’s my very favourite thing to do with it. It’s deliciously grown-up, easily celebratory enough for new year’s eve, and easy enough to keep pouring well into the small hours.

french 75
Recipe from circle of misse. If you don’t have any simple syrup, there’s no need to buy a teeny bottle from the shop. Just put equal quantities of sugar and water in a saucepan and heat til the sugar’s dissolved, and boom: simple syrup. It keeps pretty indefinitely, too.

2/3 oz gin
2/3 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Champagne or another sparkling wine

Put the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a champagne flute and stir. Top up with champagne.

sherlock & watson

sherlock & watson

It’s not snowing here, but it’s been increasingly dark and drizzly, and it’s starting to feel like this Sunday’s solstice has been far too long coming. Luckily, this is at its best drunk huddled under a pile of blankets. A fire would be a good addition, or if you have a wood-panelled library you should go and sit in that.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading