My job now comes with a commute, so I am trying when I can to make big meals so that I can freeze half of for easier week night meals. We both love risotto but it takes take to make so often I can’t be arsed. And I don’t like to freeze rice because of the risks of food poisoning. So barley risotto is a fab way of getting that indulgent risotto hit from the freezer.
My initial foray into barley risotto was via otelenghi, and I cook his tomato version regularly. But I also love it with mushrooms, with veggies and with sausage. I’m fact I think a sausage barley risotto has to be an ultimate comfort food dish so it pays to get the best, up your sausage game (oo-er)…and try game sausage!
Since my first visit to Turtle Bay last year, I’ve been back a few times. Mainly to the one in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. So when I was invited to Turtle Bay Oxford Road, which is far bigger, it was a no brainer.
I’ll be honest I’ve never been to the Oxford Road site because I thought it would be heaving and too loud for my old lady pretensions. But I was really surprised when we walked in. It was a Sunday evening so was full of diners rather than drinkers. The chap behind the bar was lovely, and chivvied us along to take advantage of the final 90 seconds of happy hour. This gave me my first look at the new menu and I was thrilled to see that they have finally added the non alcoholic cocktails to the happy hour offer. Earlier in the year when I asked about it I was given an ‘are you crazy look’. But it did irk me when my non-alcoholic ways meant that my drinks cost more than Andrew’s mojitos. So that is fab news and they have added to the non alcoholic offering in general (which was really good already- one of the best I’ve found in terms of choice) which makes me even happier. Continue Reading
Autumn is definitely starting to creep in: I am wearing socks, there is a nip in the air and the apples have arrived. It is great having a friend with a cooking apple tree, and every year I try and think of new things to do with them. Last year, I made jars of apple chutney using this recipe and it was great- I will make more this year as my toasties are crying out for it. This year, I decided to try apple oat cookies.
Oat cookies are good all year round, they can’t be beat in autumn. You can spice them up to give them a seasonal twist, and using apples makes them like little portable apple crumbles that you can enjoy at any time of the day!
Me and tea have a complicated history but long story short I drink chai, mint tea and some herbal teas if they don’t taste of dust. But I keep trying, which is why I went to a tea mixing workshop at Bird and Blend in Manchester* and I’m now obsessed with their blends.
I bought quite a stash for me and my friends – including my own spiced, chocolatey blend- and it got me thinking about different ways to use teas. Continue Reading
Last year when I was too poorly to cook, I would sit and create new flavour combinations and recipe ideas in my head, that I could try once back in the kitchen. I added to my list whenever inspiration struck and two recipes were easy winners: my gin and orange cake (the buttermilk sponge has been a real winner with Andrew) and spiced fig brownies.
I thought that I would downsize my bakes and revisit muffins. It has been years and years since I last made a muffin, but they make perfect sense: great for a packed lunch, no waste and no opportunity to accidentally eat the whole of a big cake. Not that I would ever do that you understand…
My fabulous team at Wigan gave me an equally fabulous hamper when I left them (love you guys 😚) and it included my first ever jar of hibiscus syrup. I’ve had hibiscus in things before but never cooked with it. This jar has ginger and pepper in it to give it some zing, but weirdly the aroma makes me think of cola. Does anyone know why that is? It’s good though, and I am having fun experimenting with sweet and savoury dishes using it. Yep savoury, I will report back on that experiment soon. Continue Reading
It’s not a chicken kebab recipe. It’s a hot weather winner!
Sooooo, it’s been a while since I posted anything on here. I blame the heat. It literally sapped my soul away. I didn’t want to cook, I didn’t want to bake, and I certainly didn’t want to write.
I think I am in the minority when it comes to this heat. I don’t mind it on holiday when I can chill out, but when I have to function as a normal grown up, day in day out, it gets a little tedious. So I am pretty happy to see the a couple of times this last week 🙂
So I am easing myself and you back in with this quick post. No fancy photos (although lets face it, I am never fancy!) and no recipe as such. Just a quick chicken kebab which I made in the middle of the heatwave when I realised we had eaten nothing but salads and cereal for about two weeks. Worst. Foodie. Ever! Continue Reading