Abandoning River Cottage for the Week!

We've all gone slightly Zumba-mad here in St Just...There are four of us (middle aged) ladies who have decided that Zumba is the Way To Go...Cathy brought her DVDs from England, when she came over this time, Clare and Alison have bought copies too. And me? Well, I'm lagging behind a little. While I enjoy the Beginners session, I still don't feel ready to move on (I have only done it twice!!) - the others are, as far as I can tell, Zumba-ing away every day. My knees certainly found yesterday's workout a little tough! Having said that, I do love dancing, and this seems a fun way to try to get a bit fitter. It would be great if we could find an instructor to come to St Just, but I can't see that happening.

Anyway, on with the Important Things...FOOD!
I'm starting to see the fruits I love arriving in the shops - I know it's not the season yet, so I'm not buying them; they'll still be fairly tasteless. But I can begin to look forward to strawberries, melons, and nectarines. I don't know which is my favourite, I love them all! I don't really enjoy much winter fruit, so when the summer berries arrive it's heaven!

SATURDAY: Yesterday I had planned to make turkey burgers, but in the end, instead of mincing the turkey escalopes, I hammered them thin to make turkey rolls. Gilles-from-Shopi (he's a good friend, and the owner/manager of our local mini supermarket) gave us a couple of boxes of not-quite-out-of-date Apericubes
which are little cubes of flavoured cheese spread. I used several of the tomato flavoured ones, spread on the escalopes, before wrapping them in dried ham; I used several of the garlic & herb flavoured ones in the cheese sauce to go on the gratin of bette stalks
 I used the leafy part in place of chard in the soup on Friday, but the stalks are a bit tough for that. However, baked in a cheese sauce, they're not bad. I made Hasselback potatoes too, which are my Favourite Potatoes du Jour!
SUNDAY: We're having a salami tart (spread puff pastry with Aubergine pesto, slice tomatoes over, lay slices of salami on top and mozzarella if you have it. I don't. I have grated Emmenthal. Oh well.) We're having this with chips and salad.
MONDAY: I won't have much time to go shopping this week, and Mr FD can't go till Thursday, so we're using up bits that are around. It won't do us any harm! I have a couple of lamb steaks in the freezer, and I made a batch of houmous for lunch today, so Lamb steaks with houmous mash seem to be a sensible option for dinner tonight.
TUESDAY: Piri-piri baked sausages tonight. These also use baked vine tomatoes (see recipe above) As I've got some courgettes, I may roast some courgettes for yesterday's dish, and have them with the left over bettes, saving the tomatoes for tonight.
WEDNESDAY: Something fairly quick is required - probably fresh pasta with a homemade tomato sauce. I'm pretty sure there's some in the freezer, which I can jazz up with a few veggies (grated courgette's usually a good one for this) and a splash of chilli sauce!
THURSDAY: Last week I bought a butternut squash. Not because I'd planned to use it, but because they're a seasonal veg here, and it's coming to the end of the season, so I thought "Grab one while you can!" I'll make spicy butternut squash soup for the weekend (there's an annoying ad, but you can skip it) but for tonight, I'll probably make a buttternut squash risotto.That's one recipe, but I usually use the Slimming World recipe below:
 FRIDAY: I bought some Italian tortilla wraps in Noz a couple of weeks back. I love chilli in wraps - so MESSY! So I think I'll make a stiffish chilli (with meat, dammit! Sorry, Mr F-W...River Cottage doesn't get a look in this week) and some guacamole, and make wraps for a messy Friday meal...No!  I've just remembered, it's Good Friday, and for some reason, I feel I shouldn't eat meat on Good Friday. (I'm originally Methodist, not Catholic, so it can't be that!) So, maybe we'll go for Kamchatka, with peppers and tomatoes, and baked eggs, and have the messy chilli meal next Saturday.

Spicy chilli and butternut squash risotto (makes 4 servings)
Bring 852ml/1½ pts stock made with Vecon to the boil in a saucepan. Meanwhile, spray a large non-stick frying pan or saucepan with Fry Light. Add 1 finely chopped red onion, 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic and 1 deseeded and finely sliced chilli, and cook gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Increase the heat under the frying pan to medium and add 255g/9oz of Arborio or risotto rice to the pan, along with 140g/5oz chopped butternut squash. Stir in a ladleful of the hot stock.
Wait until the stock has been absorbed, then continue to add a ladleful of boiling stock at a time, as soon as each addition of liquid has been absorbed. Stir constantly to prevent it from sticking.
Add the stock in this way until the squash and rice are creamy and al dente (tender, but retaining a bite). Season, stir in some parsley and serve.


  1. Wow. I get really hungry when I come over here!
    I've been doing Zumba with a friend at school. We started out with more people, but we have been the two left standing (and shaking!) We are getting better and better. The first day was HARD and I can't believe we've lasted since January. Keep going! It's worth it. I've been going to another dance/exercise class as well and it's so nice because it is all women my age (close) and we all approach it with the same respect and surprise (we can do this?) I'll pop over to the teapot now, Mouse!


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