Saturday, 28 February 2015

Global Scouse Day. Just to let you know!

Hello again everyone! I appear to have lost two followers. That's sad - I wonder how I offended them? Maybe by not posting often enough - but I am posting most days over at The Teapot as I follow 40 Acts. I hope that some readers here might find my 40 Acts posts interesting too.

Still, I am what I am, and this blog is what it is. I'm grateful for you lovely readers and commenters who remain faithful, so THANK YOU to you 

Food news from last week:
I made the chorizo bake thingyIt was very nice (although it was spicy - maybe I put too much paprika in it!) but I added some passata as well. I think that was a good addition and we both enjoyed it very much. We had it with some rice. I didn't cook it in the slow cooker in the end - I prepared it on Sunday evening and just popped it in the oven for 30 minutes or so when I got home on Monday.

We didn't have the veal dish  on Thursday in the end, as we thought we were going to a friend's for a drink. I thought it would be better to have something I could put in the oven to cook slowly while we were there so it was ready when we got back. I pulled out some beef cheeks from the freezer that I'd bought earlier this month
In the end Alison was ill so we didn't go. But the beef cheeks were yummy with mashed potato and some mixed vegetables. Veal for Sunday this week.

This evening we are going to Clermont for a pot luck supper. You can read more about it (and find a recipe for scouse) over on my post at The Teapot.
And, by happy coincidence I discover that today - the day when I am introducing scouse to the Clermontoise - has been nominated Global Scouse Day:

SUNDAY: We're having the veal au raclette that I'd planned for Thursday.

MONDAY: Tartiflette (recipe in English) - I suspect it's a bit too cheesy for some of you! I'm actually going to cut down on the cheese, up the meat factor (by using gammon steaks that I brought back from the UK), and have a salad with it too. Slightly  healthier!

TUESDAY (fasting) Vegetable (and a tiny bit of pork) stir fry. No recipe for this...Just pork and loads of veggies (carrot, onion, pepper, courgette, mushrooms, celery, leeks) stir fried and then a sposh of sweet chilli sauce added at the end. A few noodles to finish.
WEDNESDAY: Sausage bake. Prepped on Tuesday for Mr FD to heat through before I get back from dancing. If it's anything like last week I will be knackered! We learned a new dance (called "Celtic Kittens"!) which I found to be really fast and complicated (though other people didn't. Sigh).

Don't be fooled by the slow beginning. That's just to lull you into a false sense of security!

I'd spent all week practising two other dances that we'd learned and we didn't do them! NOW I've got to spend this week practising Celtic Kittens to try and batter it into my thick skull and slow feet!
Maybe this is an alternative interpretation of a Celtic Kitten:

SAUSAGE BAKE: Cook some pasta (about 150g for 2 people). Cut up about 100g sausages and fry till browned. Mix cooked pasta, sausages, half a carton of passata, 100g chopped broccoli & any flavourings you wish (I'm thinking some pesto) Put in oven proof dish. Top with mozzarela. Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted. I'm using merguez sausages for a bit of spiciness but ordinary chipolatas would be fine. 

THURSDAY: Monique & Michel from across the road are coming for dinner. We'll have River Cottage Warm Butternut Squash salad, a beef casserole-y thing with Dauphinoise (or maybe mashed) potato, and Mr FD's Pannetone pudding, made with choc-chip pannetone.

FRIDAY: (fasting) : Chicken legs with sweet potatoes. Another throw-it-all-together-and-stick-it-in-the-oven dish. Possibly not very fasting-fare but never mind. If I only have my soup midday it won't be too bad.
Marinade 2 chicken legs in a mixture of 0.5 tbsp honey and 0.5 tbsp soy sauce and O.5 tbsp mustard. For about an hour. Then brown the chicken in a little oil. Then put in roasting tin with 1 chopped sweet potato and 1 chopped red pepper. Cook in oven at 190°C until browned and cooked and slightly charred round the edges. I'm thinking of adding onion wedges too.

So that's it! Food planned!
Just an update: My scouse is smelling good, the pickled red cabbage is made and I have also made a Canterbury Pudding Tart - as Mr FD is from Kent & lived in Canterbury for most of his childhood. Here is the recipe

GILL: As ever, the place is set at the table for you - rather like Elijah at the Passover feast!
Maybe, one day, you will surprise us all!!

FISHCAKE RANDOM: Was the cake made? Was it enjoyed by all? I bet it was!

TRISH: I'm glad you enjoyed the salmon. It's always nice to know that I've introduced a new dish to someone. I enjoy experimenting so it's lovely to hear if others enjoy the food too.

POMPOM: I always enjoy reading your comments on the LOLcats pictures. Which one caught your fancy this week?

Sunday, 22 February 2015

First we eat...then we do everything else.


Hello, hello, dear Readers. I know I have been neglecting this blog a little, but I am trying to post every day over at The Teapot about 40 Acts of Generosity for Lent, so you can pop over there should you wish to.

I need to say a big fat Dormouse welcome to two more new Followers. How lovely!

I hope you enjoy your visits to Fat Dormouse Getting Thinner (or not getting thinner, as I am eating rather too much chocolate covered popcorn!)

This week I have again used recipes from my recipe collection - it's nice to be discovering old favourites like yesterday's Rigatoni Sausage Bake.
This was yummy, and - although it's high in calories! - will be  revisited again. I think it could be easily made vegetarian with Quorn/vegetable sausages or with lentils in place of the sausages. I guess it could be vegan-ified too, with appropriate vegan substitutes.
TODAY: I had planned to make a beef casserole and had bought the meat and everything...Then I discovered I had a box of casserole in the freezer...So I am going to  use that up, and then freeze the meat I have and use it to make a steak-and-mushroom pie for Monique & Michel when they come next Thursday for a meal. I'd like to make steak-and-ale pie (typically British!) but as Monique doesn't drink alcohol I think it best to avoid the ale component.

MONDAY: Pork, sweet potato and chorizo bake. Actually this isn't the recipe at all, but looking at the recipe I had planned on using, it requires an aubergine which I haven't got, and more time than I will have tomorrow evening. Not the best planning ever! This recipe I can throw together tomorrow morning and put in the slow cooker.

TUESDAY: (fasting) Potato and broccoli curry. At 310 calories a serving we might be able to run to a little rice too. As I'm not working it will be no breakfast, soup for lunch and this for dinner.

WEDNESDAY: Back to dancing (must practise today!) so late home. Mr FD will be charged with cooking up a bag of frozen duck-potatoes-and-green-beans mix from Lidl (with extra green beans. And possibly extra duck too.) Quick but delicious! I may also throw together another chicory- red-onion- and-orange salad which we really enjoyed last week. 

THURSDAY: Grillades de Veau et raclette - this is a French recipe from a little recipe booklet. I know veal is considered bad form by a lot of people, but raised responsibly the veal market does mean that the little boy calves who are born on dairy farms are at least not wasted and slaughtered for no reason. This way they are used and not "wasted".
Peel & chop 2 cloves of garlic and 1 onion. Heat 10g butter, & add .5 teaspoon of cumin and the same of ras-el-hanout spices. Mix for 10 seconds, add the onion & garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes or so. Add the juice of half a lemon and about 10 cl of stock. Bring to boil for 5 - 7 minutes. Meanwhile fry the escalopes in oil/butter 1 minutes each side. Cover with the sauce & then cover each escalope with a slice of raclette cheese. Continue to cook for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.Alternatively pop the frying pan under the grill until the cheese is bubbling.

FRIDAY: (fasting) Vegetarian stuffed peppers (peppers stuffed with vegetarians?) I can prepare these in the morning for Mr FD to pop in the oven for when I get back after teaching in Roanne. I can't find a recipe, but basically you stuff your peppers with a mixture of cooked rice, chopped cooked courgette and celery, chopped tomato, a big spoonful of boursin-style cheese and a dab of harissa. Topped with a sprinkling of grated cheese and baked for 40 minutesor so. Plus some kind of salad. 


Once again, thank you for your lovely comments.
Several comments about the gifts I sent to Joy for Send A Little Love - from Jane&Chris, Joy, Tracy and Kezzie.

FrugalinFrance - I go to kiné twice a week for my back/shoulders. It does help and I find that if I don't go I have more problems. Luckily my dioctor agrees with me and is happy to continue to provide prescriptions for kiné sessions.

I hope Michelle feels under less pressure at the moment. Remember to b-r-e-a-t-h-e, my dear!

PomPom - did you make the pork chop recipe? I'm glad you like the Lolcats - I will provide another at the end. Sad about the cat allergies - I'm allergic too, but I'd rather have the sniffles and the cats than neither! 

Gill & PomPom - I'll set an extra place at the table for you! You're very welcome.

Trish - did you like the salmon? We didn't have it in the end - with rice left over from the Basque Chicken, I made a sort-of paella with some cod instead. 

Kezzie - you're right! Chicory IS amazing, and we seem to be eating loads of it at the moment. Usually braised in the oven, but that salad was delcious also.

FrugalinFrance - the turquoise eyed kitten you admired is bitey Bib, who I rescued from the Michelin site two years ago in June. She is sweet. But bitey.

Aril - I'm hoping to organise the things I've got to send today. Or maybe on Tuesday. That includes Maggie's calendar which will be out of date before she gets it at this rate!!!

I hope everyone has a lovely week - I will be posting at The Teapot during the week, but back here again next weekend with the menus.


Wednesday, 18 February 2015


At the moment my daily blogs will be over at The Teapot, as I'm blogging about my efforts to follow 40 Acts this Lent. Do pop over to see what I've been up to!

Happy Days to you all!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Winner! Winner!!

By my “random generator” - i.e. look at the number of comments, randomly pick a number between 1 and the number, (It was 16) scroll down and count until you reach that number…(Only counting Kezzie as 1 comment)  - the winner of the GYB Giveaway is Aril.

You have won the book "Le Petit Théatre des Grands Gateaux". Can you let me have your address please, Aril?

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Receiving A Little Love. Sharing a Little Food.

My post about the lovely things Joy sent to me is over at The Teapot.
Suffice to say, Pomme & Bib were very excited about A BOX!!!!!!!

It's my box! Mine, I tell you!

No, I think you'll find it's MY box!

Yesterday's quick curry, using chorizo, was okay, but nothing to write home about. I'm not sure it's a recipe I'll be using again, however.

TODAY: We're having a recipe that I found on the Innocent Smoothies website, which no longer exists. (the site does, but not the page) It purports to provide 3 of your five-a-day. Falafels with imam bayaldi and tzatziki. I'm possibly going to make some Jamie Oliver garlic and herb flatbreads too. This recipe gives the falafels and this one gives the imam bayaldi and tzatziki (just ignore the steps which include lamb!!) I think it's all yummy enough so Mr FD doesn't roll his eyes and say "Wot, no meat?" But I do have some chicken spring rolls to have as a starter, which were on special offer at Carrefour!

SUNDAY: Basque Chicken from the Sainted Delia. I've cooked this several times and it is nom-nom delicious! It has peppers in it, but we'll also have roasted chicory (which is a new discovery for me. I love it!) and some carrots to pump up the vegetables.
MONDAY: Crispy salmon with leeks and courgettes - probably with some sautéed potatoes too. It's a quick recipe as I don't get home till quitelate on Mondays.

TUESDAY: Chicken with chilli and leeks - Cook two onions & 2 leeks in a smidge of oil until soft. Add 2 chicken breasts & cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Add 2 tbsp chilli jam/ sweet chilli sauce. Mix together. Pop in a casserole dish. Stick in the oven (190°C) for about 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked. We're having this with some sweet potato wedges and green beans.
:WEDNESDAY Penne with leeks and salami We appear to be eating our body weight in leeks this week. I hope I've bought enough!! We'll have this with a chicory-and-blood-orange salad.
THURSDAY: Dead-easy salami tart with a tomato, onion & chickpea salad
Unroll a sheet of ready made puff pastry. Fold the edges over to give a "rim". Prick base all over with a fork. Spread with a jar of aubergine pesto/ home made (or otherwise) tomato sauce/whatever is in the fridge. Arrange slices of salami and tomato on top. Bake at 200°C for 20-25 minutes.

FRIDAY: Griddled aubergine & courgette gratin. It's a fast day so Mr FD will have to lump the no-meatiness of this. He can have a slice of ham with it, if it offends him so much!

I will reply to your comments but Blogger (or maybe my computer!) is being dead slow today and I'm getting verry frustrated. TTFN. Back later!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Sending A Little Love

Hello, hello, hello dear Readers, and a big Fat Dormouse Welcome to Jade from Bohemian Musings. She fell for the pictures of the cats - and who can blame her?!

I recently took part in a "Send a Little Love" swap, organised by Mad About Bags. It was fun to send things to someone else. And - bien sur! - to receive a parcel back!! I was paired with Joy from Daisy Row and here are the things that I sent to her:

Something red - three handmade cards (two red, one a bit risqué!)

Ooh, look! A nekkid lady!
Just in time for Valentine's day
Something heart shaped, or heart themed: I found this little tray which fitted the bill nicely.
Something delicious to eat: Joy is successfully following Slimming World, so who am I to sabotage that?! So I sent some sugar free mints, made fairly locally, and a fridge magnet featuring Roquefort cheese (which is not made locally - but Mr FD and I passed through the area recently)

Something hand-made: Well, what else but a piece of zentangle inspired art?! Joy asked for something knitting-themed. Yikes! I found a lovely design to copy on the internet. The zentangling is my own, but the idea came from Ellen Wolters' beautiful design on Flickr. I also sent a rather Gallic-style blue-and-white striped scarf which I found in Roanne (no, NOT in Noz!!)

I have opened my presents from Joy too, but you will have to wait for another post about those gifts. Probably written on Saturday, as tomorrow will be a bit busy...teaching in the morning, from 8.30 to 12, kiné at 2.15, shopping and then another lesson from 5pm to 6 pm. Home for quick (chorizo) curry. I am dubious about this recipe, but I will trust Good Housekeeping!

Thank you again for your comments - they are always really welcome!
all commented on those cat photos! They are lovely cats, I have to admit, although George can be a wool stealer when I'm knitting. (By the way Maggie, I loved your blanket for SSC) 
liked the look of the tagine, as did JANE&CHRIS - did you make it, Michelle? And was it well received? Better than here at Dormouse Towers I hope!!
sympathised about my "wot, no meat?!" husband. To be fair, he is often open to vegetarian, or "meat-lite" meals, but obviously he was having a Carniverous night!

both liked the sound of the Pork recipe. Let me know how it goes, won't you? I'm saving Froogs' Rarebit Pork for another time, but it sounds yummy. We have a chicken-y week (with touches of salami) next week. I'll let you know what we're eating at the weekend.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Pork en papillote recipe.

I got a bit miffed with Mr FD yesterday - I'd come straight in from work and started preparing the vegetable tagine that I'd planned: roasting the butternut squash before adding it to the sauce (which I think was important to the flavour) and peeling the shallots, and all the other stuff necessary. He comes in, sits down and watches TV.
"What's for dinner?" he asks.
"Vegetable tagine"
A mou of disappointment. "What, no meat?"
I went into a bit of a rant, I'm afraid. Sigh. 

In fact I thought the tagine was very nice - I added some green beans and some tomato passata to the sauce, and I think that wasnecessary. Otherwise I think it would have been a tad meh.

Anyway, for Mr FD and those who want more meat (!) here is a very simple, quick pork chop dish. Frugal Queen has another delicious sounding pork dish on her blog too. But here's mine:

drizzle of oil

2 pork chops
handful of coriander leaves
pinch of chilli flakes
100g butter, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a good squeeze of orange juice and zest
1 lemon, juice only
splash of white wine

4 garlic cloves, kept whole

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
2. Heat the oil in a griddle pan and griddle the pork for 2-3 minutes on each side.
3. Place one pork chop in the centre of a large sheet of foil. Top with the coriander leaves and chilli flakes.
4. Arrange the butter slices on top, season and then add the orange juice and zest, lemon juice and splash of wine. Place 2 whole garlic cloves alongside each chop.
5. Wrap up the foil to make parcel. Do the same with the other.Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
6. Break open the parcels to serve, squeezing the roasted garlic cloves to give a garlicky paste to smear over the chop.