Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Theatre Eating

Wow, everyone's blogs are full of lovely Thanksgiving recipes. I'm currently craving things related to cranberry and turkey! Thankfully, Olives, my favourite deli in Oxford, had a Thanksgiving special yesterday: turkey, cranberry, brie, stuffing and rocket. It was quite good, but I wasn't convinced about the stuffing. Or the turkey. Next time, I may just get brie and cranberry, which I think is an awesome combination (see M & S brie and cranberry parcels for further details!).

Last week was a week full of sandwiches and eating out, in fact, as I was stage managing West Side Story at the Oxford Playhouse. It was a great show, but as usual, left me completely exhausted, and with zero chance for cooking. In fact, pretty much every meal last week was in a restaurant, or some kind of take away.

I had at least three different baguettes, the winner probably being tuna with sundried tomatoes, tomato chutney, rocket and roasted vegetables. I had soup, I had pizza, I had bad pub food, I had meals that weren't really meals but snacks when I could fit them in, or were purely made up of biscuits and sweets (cookies and candy if you prefer!) and I had meals that I can't even remember.

I had great Chinese food at Sojo which Giles Coren adores. The boy and I shared a beef and aubergine dish, a spicy prawn dish, some duck and egg fried rice. It was good - but not cheap.

I had a great sag paneer at Chutneys where we all ordered more food than we needed to make sure we got free poppadoms!

On Friday night I went home for part one of mum's 50th birthday, and had more Chinese food. But this was Chinese for 25 members of my family - including lots of very hungry teenage (or grown up) boys. There was more food than you can imagine, a whole table groaning with it. And I loved being able to sit down and relax during a meal! Plus, the boy survived the introduction.

On Sunday I went back for part 2, a catered brunch, entirely made up of canapes. The food was amazing:
Shots of fresh orange juice
Shots of smoothie
Tiny expresso cups of porridge
Tiny cocktail glasses of granola and yogurt
Welsh rarebit
Quails eggs on toast
Lemon cake

Lovely. But this week I've been cooking finally. More on that to come...

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Oxford madness - and some pasta

In the holidays I forget how crazy term time is here in Oxford. I think I'm going to have tons of time to do all these fun things, like cooking and blogging, and then term just runs away with me. This week I met my thesis supervisor and he reminded me how much work I still have to do my thesis (30000 words at the end of April!), and he set me some much more urgent deadlines to get me going. Plus, West Side Story is about to start. I'm the Stage Manager and the past week and the one to come are just filled with theatre time. Oh, and I have another class that requires lots of reading, I have college things to do, I have friends to see, and a boyfriend who I want to spend all my time with. So, it's busy.

But, I still have to eat. Occasionally, I still have time to cook. Even more ocassionally, I remember to take photos - with my iPhone these days, as my camera has died :( and on Thursday night, I did.

In my freezer I had some salmon baked with pesto on the top. I love this when mum makes it at home, but often by the time I get it back here and heat it up again, it's fairly dry. So, in preparation for this, I opted to turn it into a pasta sauce.

I roasted a red onion, whole cloves of garlic, a courgette and some broccoli. It's amazing how much vegetables shrink down when you roast them (especially when you over-cook them slightly because you are not paying attention).

I combined all those veggies with some pasta - I'm currently on tubes - and the pesto salmon. I then added lots of Parmesan cheese and black pepper, as both of those make (almost) anything taste better! And it really was pretty good.

I ate it curled up on my sofa watching TV and drinking wine with my housemate, which was the perfect way really, even if it meant I failed to do any of the job applications I had been intending to work on that evening. Never mind...

I'm going to send this to this week's Presto Pasta Nights which is being hosted by Kait of Pots and Plots. It's one of my favourite blogging events - there are just so many things you can do with pasta!

Thursday, 5 November 2009


One of my housemates eats the same thing every day, pretty much. Same breakfast, same lunch, and one of about three dinners. I couldn't do that - I'd just get bored. I love thinking up new things to cook all the time.

But when I look at the things that I've cooked recently, there doesn't seem to be much that's new. I frequently return to things that I know I've mentioned on here before. So my aim for the second half of term (we are half way through now!) is to cook different things, and to blog about them. So watch this space!

Meanwhile, here are some photos of some old favourites that I've made recently:

Couscous with spicy harissa dressing, roasted veg, chicken, apricots and pine nuts - yum!

Thai green veg curry
Cheesecake - decorated with witches hats for our Halloween Party