Because I don't often feel inspired to cook in the same way I do to do other things.
But in the holidays- the longer ones at least, I sometimes do want to cook. Today was one of those days and I have gone a bit mad and made four different things. I love the part of cookery programmes where they sit down and look at cookery books-in fact that is the part I love about Nigella Lawson cookery programmes-and last night I did that. Monty Don, Nigella Lawson, Nigel Slater and Dan Lepard were the books I looked at last night. After a trip to Sainsbury's and then the local grocer's ( I keep hearing about people living without supermarkets and like the idea but have a long way to go!) I was ready to cook!
The first recipe was chocolate chip cookies from Nigella. The recipe made a very thick dough, like the cookie dough you buy. (My only previous experience of cookie dough) I made four to start with and have put the rest of the mixture in the fridge. The reason for the sweet treats is that my Dad is visiting tomorrow so I thought I could cook a few in the morning. They worked well and were nice and soft. (Like the ones you buy!)
The second recipe was flapjacks from Monty Don. Simplicity itself-except if you use a cake tin with removable bottom, in which case halfway through cooking you will have to take it all out of the oven, and use a bunch of wet tea-towels to hastily remove the toffee that is dripping onto the bottom of that oven. Back on a baking tray to catch the drips. Once I got them out I wondered how I would get the sticky stuff off of the baking tray. I poked it with a knife and it came away in lovely winding strings of amber coloured deliciousness. I ate a little bit but threw the rest away as my teeth can only take so much! The flapjacks seem ok. (Just tasted one and they are very toffeeish!)
Third recipe-lemon polenta cake from Nigella again. It has ground almonds and polenta (of which I had to buy a huge amount just to get the 100g I needed so more polenta recipes on the way) instead of flour. It had three eggs but it still seemed too solid so I added another one. Once baked it has lemon sugar syrup drizzled over it. I made some with the 'golden icing sugar' I found in the cupboard. Luckily I tasted it before drizzling as it looked horrible. Tasted horrible too-I think it was the weird sugar. So I started again with another lemon and normal sugar and it was fine. I have not tasted this one yet so can't report on whether it is good or not.
Fourth recipe-shepherd's pie by me. Easy and not as time consuming as all the cakes. It is cooking now ready for our tea!
This is almost live blogging. Have just eaten the pie and it was really tasty. I used lardons as well as beef mince and I think they are what made the difference. About to have lemon polenta cake for pud and then will not be able to move for a while! Cake was yummy!
The healthy green accompaniment to the pie.
My attempt at food styling! I love this plate. I think it is from a charity shop in Scotland. The blue is really dark and the print slightly blurred. I like it with the yellow of the cake.
If you read all that then you deserve a piece of cake!