Sunday, May 24, 2009

Speedy French Toast

As I mentioned, Mr A is in Paris for the Bank holiday weekend, and I am very jealous. I have taken to using google translator to write in French to one of my friends, though she started it, and I have also indulged in my newly discovered love of French Toast.

I have actually been craving it, in one form or another since Foodycat posted her delcious sounding Torrijas almost a month a go! A month is a long time to be craving something, and when the something arrives, it has big shoes to fill!!

Though I am very busy marking, I needed some down time, as well a break from sitting at my desk which is killing my back/shoulder/neck for whatever reason. I decided that last night was the time for French Toast action.

Needing to be speedy, and without enough Sherry to make Torrijas, I hastened to Speedy Nigella (Nigella Express), for her Doughnut French Toast. I didn't use thick white bread, just a normal pan loaf, and forgot to half the number of eggs, as I was only serving me, but it worked a treat. I let the bread soak for 5 minutes total, not 5 minutes a side. Delicious. Egg, vanilla and sugar. A wonderful supper.

This, however, did not satisfy my craving.

Breakfast this morning, I needed more French toast. I wanted something different, more breakfast-y. My weapon of choice, Nigella's Orange French Toast. Again I halved the recipe, remembering to only use one egg, though for the amount of bread (two pan slices)I could have used two. Now this was fantastic! Marmalade, cinnamon, egg, oranges. It was almost like Spanish Macaroons in French toast form! This was a winner, enjoyed with lots of syrup and two cups of tea. I am picturing lazy Sundays making this in my dressing gown, reading the paper and relaxing. I hope Mr A likes marmalade! (If not, ah well, more for me!)


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Zucchinni and Mint Fritters

In a break with tradition, my title is not a quote from Jane Austen, as I really don't have a lot to say that relates to Jane Austen, but am mainly posting because of the delicious lunch/dinner that I made myself today!

I am still in the throws of marking, though the end is nigh, sort of. Mr A is off to Paris for the Bank Holiday weekend, so I am very jealous and wish, more than ever, that I could be there too! Perhaps next year.

Back to food. I came home from work hungry as I normally do on a Saturday as I work 8-2.30 without lunch. I wanted something substantial but light at the same time, as well as being quick and easy, also making use of the zucchini's I had the the fridge. I picked up some goats cheese feta and some labneh on my way home, and decided that Zucchini and mint fritters were the order of the day. The recipe is based on one that a friend, P from mdw, posted ages ago and it has since been languishing in my "recipes I must try" folder. Today was its day.

4 small zucchini's (about 400g, grated
150 g feta, crumbled (or goats cheese, as I said I used goats cheese feta, so the best of both worlds)
Small handful grated Parmesan
Small handful of mint, finely chopped
Half an onion, grated finely
2 eggs
about 90 g plain flour
A generous amount of cracked black pepper

Combine grated zucchini with the cheeses, mint and black pepper.
Beat the eggs and add to the mix along with the flour. Mix well.

Heat oil in pan. Add heaped dessert spoon dollops of the mixture into the pan, flatten and cook about 2 minutes each side until golden.

Serve with labneh and more pepper, or they are great on their own. Freshly squeezed lemon would not go astray.
Makes 12-15 fritters.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

"My feelings will not be repressed"

Three times in one week! I think this is a record for me!

I had my annual review this morning, and all my anxiety regarding it was relatively unfounded, and while it wasn't "wow! you are amazing" it was good and I will consider the comments of my reader. Some of the comments were a bit strange, but she suggested I needed to take a step back from the material and not get too caught up in the story. I think the story is the best part, and I can't help feeling for them, as I am feeling some very similar things myself at the moment as the long-distance thing continues. Obviously we are not at war, and Mr A isn't fighting or even in the Navy, but the similarities are there. I have also managed to convince them that I am on track to submit next year, which is good. Now I just have to convince myself!

In more exciting things, and continuing with the chocolate theme, I made some delicious muffins earlier in the week. I have decided that they are to be called "Chocolate Brownie Muffins" as I kind of made them up.

Following a basic Muffin recipe (Plain flour, bi-carb, 2 eggs, 125 ml oil) I added 100g dark brown sugar, a block of dark chocolate, melted, a tbs milk, a few oats and a packet of dark chocolate chips. Baked for 20 min and cooled in the tin. ( I tried to take one out earlier and it wasn't firm enough). They probably would have benefited from some walnuts, but very delicious and not too sweet.


Monday, May 18, 2009

" doubt not that you are an adept in the science yourself"

You will be amazed and astounded that I am keeping my promise of more regular blogging.

An overwhelming desire for chocolate and a curiosity at Just cook it'schocolate mousse, I decided to give chocolate mousse made out of only chocolate and water a go.

It worked....sort of. The chocolate didn't go grainy as the chocolate-hates-water theory suggests, but it didn't thicken either. I beat it for 40 minutes, once my arm died, with an electric beater. The texture changed, and it was full of air, so I put it in the fridge and it did get thicker. It was delicious and I will try it again for better success. I think it might have been due to my scales being unreliable and therefore getting the chocolate/water balance wrong. But still delicious and almost virtuous, it was half water after all!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

"A faithful promise! "

I seem to open all my posts with a disclaimer about what a slack blogger I have been and promises to improve greatly in the near future. This hopefully will be true this time as Semester (thankfully) draws to a close.

Things have been busy and tiring lately, but good. I am enjoying tutoring for the most part, and (legitimately) got to talk about Nelson in class a few weeks ago. I stopped at pulling out my Nelson figurine and placing him on the desk next to my 'nothing says "hello, sailor" quite like ruby red lipstick' pencil case. I am hoping to maintain some semblance of sanity so that the students can't claim special consideration on the grounds that I am mad.

It is annual review time this week, so while I am nervous I had a pep talk from my supervisor on Thursday and I am hoping the positive reinforcement lasts until Thursday this week.

I have incidentally been spending a lot of time on the Internet, procrastinating, but also just to give me little breaks in between marking and the like. I have therefore been reading every one's blogs, and as such was inspired today by Foodycat's most recent post to make something delicious for dinner. Out of the ingredients in the recipe I only had Haloumi, which didn't stop me. I had zucchini as a replacement for sausages and eggplant and grape tomatoes for peppers. I laid them all on the tray with two cloves of sliced garlic, a little olive oil and a good crack of black pepper. I let it all roast away for 15 minutes or so and then ate (ashamedly most of it!) with a good squeeze of lemon. Lovely!