Tag Archive for recipe

Bouncing Forward

I think I’m a cup half full person.  I can’t decide when that came to be true, because it wasn’t always so.  But I think I definitely am.  It was possibly started by my bosses in my second ‘real’ job after university.  No problems, just challenges; no bad days, just ones that could have been better if…  So cup half full can be learned, i think.  And maybe I learned life was more fun, and there were infinitely more possibilities, if that was usually true.

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A Day Off :-)

Woke up at 0600.  Got up at 15.15.  My friend Emma would refer to this as a duvet day. :-)

I did then unpack, do the washing, make my first ever loaf of bread (from the book that was a previously mentioned present), and write some Christmas cards*.

I haven’t made the bed yet.  I know.  I always make the bed!  But there didn’t seem to be much point today.

Oh the bread?  Bit doughy but a decent enough first attempt:


*I know.  I don’t do Christmas cards.  But this year I’ve some people I particularly need to thank for stuff, so they are really thank you cards!!


Complete aside: the bagel recipe

So, I’ve been asked for the bagel recipe.  I found one online that was very similar but that one had American measurements.  So, hoping that Daniel Stevens and Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall won’t mind me reproducing this in return for a major plug for the book, Bread, from which it came:

Buy it on Amazon

Here is their recipe (or thereabouts) for 12 bagels.

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 5g powdered dried yeast
  • 10g fine salt
  • 250g warm water
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 50ml vegetable oil, plus extra for coating

To finish

  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • Poppy or sesame seeds (optional

Makes 12.

Mix together all the ingredients to make dough.  Kneed it until it’s a ball and elasticy.  Round into an oval shape and put it in a bowl, lightly coat with a tiny bit of oil, and cover loosely with cling film.  Put the bowl somewhere warm and leave it until its doubled in size – about an hour.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into bagels, either by rolling into sausage shapes and joinging the ends with a little water or making a ball and stretching a hole into the middle with your fingers.  Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and put back in the warm place until they’ve doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200degrees.  Boil a big pan of water and turn it down to a simmer.  In batches, so they can float, boil each bagel for one minute on each side.   Drain and rest on a tea towel to dry.

Reshape as necessary, brush with beaten egg, and add the seeds on top if you like.  Then bake for 15 minutes until golden.



One step forward and…

Well.  Um.  What did I do today?  Nothing.

Made myself get up at lunchtime.  (Lunchtime!  Had been surfing net since 7am, honest). Made an omelette.  Turned on tv.  Head ached.  Paracetamol.  Noise and lights too much.  Went back to bed less than an hour after I got up.  Slept for 3 hours.  Got up because someone was coming., which was nice.  Back in bed again by 7. Waste of a day (except the visitors).

Guess its payback for yesterday.  Ok.  Well.


When I got home yesterday, I made beef stew. (No wonder I slept well last night!!)  It’s tricky to know what to cook that’s easy, will feed lots of people (because I’m not happy about them still bringing things), is packed with veg (because that’s what I’m craving) and is, um, nice. This was my first proper cooking.

Beef stew.  With a lonely tin of Guinness that I found in the fridge to liven it up.

Use any root veg you like: I had potatoes, parsnips, carrots, red onion, shallots, and a leek. And diced beef (lightly sealed) tinned tomatoes and, if you have them, maybe a handful of pearl barley and/or lentils. Chuck in your favourite herbs and a can of Guinness (instead of red wine, not as well as!). Cook on 180 for about 2 hours.

Eat with bread.  Or rice.  Or baked potatoes.  Yum.

I made loads of it though, so if you’re coming over for supper tomorrow, this is what you are getting.


No fireworks, great brunch

Weekends are weird.  They’re like weekdays, with less people and no logic.

There are firework parties going on everywhere tonight.  I can hear at least 3 of them.  The idea of a warm coat, baked potatoes, rich hot chocolate (with a shot of something even more warming, perhaps) around a bonfire with fireworks is almost tangible.  But I can’t do standing around nor crowds nor the loud unexpected this week.  So.  I texted one of you all through the live rugby match you were at, and then watched Casualty instead.  A&E at Hospital Number 1 wan’t like that…

from www.bbc.co.uk: search for "Casualty"

The rest of today is probably best told in pictures.  As a bonus, it comes with a recipe from Libby, inspired by Nigella.  This was seriously good.

Unroll a pack of bought puff pastry onto a greased baking tray. Fold over each edge to make a border. Spread a thin layer of tomato puree. Line with pre-cooked-but-not-yet-crispy bacon. Cover with thin slices of tomato. Sprinkle liberal amounts of mozzarella. Bake until the cheese is golden. Serve with an egg on top. Utter, utter yumminess. Thanks Libs! xx

And since Libby was cooking, this just left the rest of us to do the hard stuff…

Hand/eye ball from MM, solution by JE.

Brunch was followed by a fab excursion to the-pub-around-the-corner, and then a two-hour sleep that it was hard to get out of.   I know the power nap is pivotal but… as I may have mentioned… it’s getting boring.

Next week it all changes.  Things start getting back to normal.  I’ve decided. Therefore it shall be.

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