Saturday, September 21, 2013

Little bit of baking (again!)

I made Miranda's bakewell biscuits this weekend and they are lovely - despite being slightly larger than anticipated!

We also had a new veg box. We're trying to use everything each week and that does mean being slightly creative - not all the veg is easily usable as accompaniments. So this week I used up all the extra tomatoes making this (well, not this actual tart - this was the first one I made some time ago)

and we also had a shed-load of courgettes which I'm hoping to turn into this....tomorrow.

We also had mushrooms, broccoli, a savoy cabbage, sweetcorn, apples and pears. Lovely stuff!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Romanesco Cauliflower

Last week's veg box was again great - the best item in it though was this

It is apparently a Romanesco Cauliflower and you prepare and cook it as you would a cauliflower - not quite such a strong flavour though and it was loved by everyone in the house. More please!

We also had more beetroot (this time roasted and eaten with nectarines and salad leaves with a dressing), fennel (thinly sliced over the salad!), and more regular items like tomatoes, mushrooms, bag of salad, leeks and fruit. We are still just about managing to either eat or prepare food for the freezer to use up the box each week - I need some more tomato based recipes though!!!

I also made the next set of biscuits over the weekend - coffee and walnut biscuits. I'm sure that Leo would like me to point out that he put the walnuts on the top of the biscuits. Onto the next one!

The Ballet Programme

The NSO have another concert coming up in November - it's being referred to as an all Russian programme, but in my mind I'm calling it the ballet programme. We're playing excerpts from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet Suites (yes, including the theme from The Apprentice!), Petrouchka by Stravinsky and Piano Concerto No 2 by Shostakovich.

Petrouchka is another ballet - again with a slightly strange and surreal plot, and we're just getting used to the music at the moment. It is not too long and I wanted to try and find a version of it on You Tube, but just found it in 4 sections rather than all in one video, so I'm not going to post it here. Wikipedia had a very full synopsis though which is here.

The piano concerto is a piece I thought I had not heard before, but recognised it within a few bars as being the music used by Disney to set the story of the steadfast tin soldier to in Fantasia 2000. I proclaimed this quite proudly to my desk partner at rehearsal and then thought I perhaps should have been a bit more circumspect about revealing my shabby musical knowledge! But I did find a video of it (it is only the first movement of the concerto) - it isn't a ballet, but there is a ballerina in it!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Homemade Bourbon biscuits

Yummy yummy! These are also from Miranda's biscuit book and taste really great. As you will from the photo though, some of the precision in these biscuits lies in ensuring that they are cut the same shape and size. Yes, well that was a fail for me. I tried to use a measure to make them more accurate, but had nothing that I actually felt comfortable putting against the dough, so they came out as a lovely variety!

Also, the filling was very soft - I think I possibly should have waited until it firmed up slightly before filling the biscuits, because the biscuits ended up absorbing some of the filling and were soft the next day. The flavour was still great, but the texture not so much. I will have to try them again!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Start of the new year

Well, new school year anyway - I thought it sounded a bit more positive than 'end of the summer!' This week has certainly been the end of the summer though - the mornings suddenly seem that bit darker and cooler (although the afternoons are still baking!), and although I've managed to stave it off for another week, my evening appointments will be starting again - orchestra on Monday, Rotary on some Tuesdays. I've had a lovely summer doing bugger all in the evenings (apart from games on a Wednesday which has continued throughout) and had time to do more baking and sorting out. It's going to be difficult getting back into the old routine again, but I'm sure it won't take long!

This week has been a bit rough and ready too - our new childminder is away on holiday and the holiday clubs stopped last week so my Mum and her husband Chris came up to help out with the boys Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday ready for them both to start back at school (well, school for Zachary and new nursery for Leo) this morning. She had a big plan - Nottingham Castle Monday, Sheffield Tuesday and Crich Tramway Museum Wednesday. Needless to say they ended up in Nottingham all 3 days and still didn't manage to reach the Castle!! I think they all had a good time - Mum doesn't see the boys all that often and although they pretty much ran her ragged, she does love being with them.

We also had a new veg box this week - lots of delights, but nothing that I'm going to turn into a cake at the moment - although typing this did remind me of this recipe. We got a lot of tomatoes this week and my Mum brought some from her garden too - mmmm tomato cake!! They're not plum tomatoes....never mind, might still be able to make something of them!

Some other bits of my week in pictures -

Flowers from my Mum

Lower fat treacle tart for pudding club

Very tasty - but I think I'd still prefer a version with just golden syrup in it! This one had a tablespoon of black treacle, grated apple and half-fat creme fraiche in the filling.

And finally, first day of school photos. For some reason it is incredibly hard to get my 2 boys to stand together (but not in front of each other), hands by side (no hands in front of face) and smiling (usually it's one, then the other, then both but one is by then doubled over in get the idea). I managed to get this photo

by also agreeing to a kung fu photo!

They both had a fab time today.