How cool are you?!

 Oh,I'm not cool at all! It really is hot here! Yesterday we headed out to the mountains beyond Clermont, hoping it would be cooler there, but it was still about 34°! We had a lovely day despite the heat - I'll blog about it over at The Teapot in the next couple of days. I'd left a meal cooking in the slow cooker so it was good to get back to a meal. I had made an Italian Vegetable Bake - except I didn't put the bread in. I thought it would go soggy, which I didn't fancy very much. There was a lot of juice, so maybe the bread would have soaked it up. But we had it with bread, so we soaked up the juice that way instead.

We were staying at our friends' house overnight, as they were away and it is the Fete Patronale in the village. This means that right outside the house there are two sets of dodgems and a roundabout. Plus associated smaller stalls. The noise from the fair goes on well past midnight, so we always try to get away at least on Saturday night. Sunday night can also be bad - maybe we'll head out to other friends tonight, if the noise is too bad! So we were able to eat out on their terrace, sharing a bottle of artisan beer and enjoying some cheese that we bought on our trip out.

Workwise, this coming week is the lull before the storm - thankfully I have work coming in, but it's going to mean I'm really quite busy. There is  two days of (potentially) 8-hour's of teaching (but possibly reduced to 6) in Clermont, followed by another 8 hours on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday will then be filled with phone lessons and preparation. It's good, but I feel like it's almost more work than I wanted! Mr FD - who is no longer working in the office, but is working from home - will therefore be in charge of food for three days a week, at least! 

So...what's planned for next week?
TODAY: Stuffed pork tenderloin, with gnocchi and veg from the freezer, and braised endives. The pork fillet is stuffed with a mixture of mustard, cheese and chopped gherkins - which frankly sounds a bit bizarre, but there you go! The recipe says "With flavours inspired by the classic Cuban grill sandwich, this recipe is as delicious as it is impressive" We will see. - and served with pan fried gnocchi. 

MONDAY: Simple pesto tart: puff pastry, spread with pesto, covered with salami and marinaded red peppers, served with salad. 

TUESDAY: Pork from Sunday, ratatouille and pasta.

WEDNESDAY:Coconut and squash dhansak - this apparently provides 4 of your 5 a day fruit and vegetables. Excellent. Half to eat and half into the freezer.

I may well make Jamie Oliver's flatbreads to go with this. They are delicious and easy to make too.

THURSDAY: It's Mr FD's birthday! We'll be going out with friends - probably to La Poste around the corner. 

FRIDAY: Slow cooker lasagne - I've got some bolognese sauce in the freezer so I'll use that. 

SATURDAY: The rest of the lasagne. If I've planned to use it, then we can only have half of the dish that I have made. Otherwise we'll eat more than half and the rest will languish in the fridge because I don't know what to do with it and then it will go mouldy and I'll throw it away. I always mean to freeze the 1 portion meals and then have a Choose-your-own meal day, but forget. I wasted some delicious duck ragu sauce that way. Kicks self.

 As I do, at regular intervals, I am trying to eat more fruit and vegetables - it's reasonably easy in the summer, as I adore melon, and have been having it with my breakfast, but as the peach/melon season draws to a close I'm reduced to apples (I only like a few types), or bananas (not my favourite fruit really). I tried some purées 
but I really didn't enjoy them. I think I may use the others in a cake.
I could start buying frozen berries and having those with yoghurt, perhaps. And again upping the vegetables with each meal. This is something I keep resolving every few months or so, but then I forget! Still, I think we do generally eat more healthily than many people: certainly more adventurously!

My friend - who by her own admission is not a good cook, and who has two slightly fussy children - does not eat anywhere near as adventurously as us. Their meals seem to consist of raclette, crepes, frozen-fish-and-vegetables, or steak-frites. Or possibly chicken nuggets and pizza. Certainly food seems to be on a limited timetable. Quite often I won't cook something that we've had again (even when we've really enjoyed it!) for months, as I am too busy trying out lots of new recipes!! What about you? Do you cook a lot of meals over and over, or do you like to have somethingnew and different?

However, this is not an ingredient that I have tried cooking with!


Once again, thank you for your comments!
JAN & KEZZIE admired the idea of a cupcake maker, especially for Hawa out in Africa. I hope she does manage to buy one. Judging by what she told me her diet out in Senegal is severely limited - fish and rice, mostlt - so I like the thought that she can have cake occasionally.

MRS TUBBS - thank you for your compliment on the Gruffalo cakes...though I think you're being too generous to call them "cute" looking! I think the best we can say is that they require imagination...!

JAN also suggested ginger scones. Now there's a thought! I like ginger and have a lot of crystallised ginger left over from making my white chocolate and ginger cheesecake (which I've not made for months!) I could try them. I made a lot of gingerbread crocs recently, using a crocodile shaped cookie cutter I was sent in a swap. They were good. 

KEZZIE: the South Foreland lighthouse is lovely. It's certainly worth a visit if you're in the area.


  1. Have copied that squash and coconut recipe, looks gorgeous.

  2. It sounds like you are heading into a really busy time. Please pass on birthday best wishes to Mr FD when the time comes. I'm sure that your local restaurants are way beyond any of the 'gastro pubs' in the UK and that you will have an amazing meal. Jx

  3. I'm not cool at all but I did enjoy this post and the first...veg bake looks great! I'm terrible about cooking...just not fun and too much trouble for one.

  4. I think I'll come for dinner on Monday.
    It's hot here, too. I'm wilting.


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