Prune and apricot compote

I think prunes are a bit like sardines, not really everyone’s favourite and sadly suffering from poor reputation. But I like them (not that there’s really any food I don’t like). And now that I’ve had a little more free time on my hands, I’ve been keen to experiment a bit with different things for breakfast. And prunes have been one of those things; prunes stewed with apricots, some orange rind, honey and a generous squeeze of vanilla paste. And its made a really nice (and healthy-feeling) change having some compote with natural yoghurt and muesli for breakfast. Ok, the whole soaking overnight thing is a little bit of a faff, but it’s really only a case of a little forward planning, and once you’ve made the compote, it’ll keep happily in a sealed container in the fridge for a week or so, there for a healthy breakfast with some yoghurt, or a semi-healthy dessert with some vanilla ice cream. Continue reading

The meal I nearly forgot to blog about

I was looking forward all week to cooking dinner for friends, taking photos and being able to blog about it. However, caught up in the cooking, the anxiety that everything turned out ok and the impatience to start eating, I completely forgot about the blogging. Or at least I did until we were just about to start eating the main course and one of my friends says, ‘So Fleur, are you going to blog about this meal then?’ Arghhhh! I’d forgotten to take photos of theย  starter I’d been so pleased with. Fortunately I could still get the main in and the dessert though. For the starter I made some Piadine, an Italian flat bread, which is so quick and easy to make, yet really impressive. The dough gets rolled out into rounds and then fried in a dry frying pan or griddle pan for a few minutes each side. To go with the bread I made a large platter of Prosciutto, goats cheese and balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes. (In place of a photo of the starter I’ve provided a rather cute photo of one of the two dogs I’m dog-sitting for this week whilst the owners are away skiing. So I am also house sitting, which means a bath, an en-suite, a tumble dryer, six gas hobs and a double oven. For a student, this is such luxury!) Continue reading

Getting acquainted with freedom

Ok, so the word ‘freedom’, and a rather unappealing picture of a risotto, (which, trust me, tastes so much better than it looks) don’t really seem to match up too well, but bear with me…. Having come down from the post-essay relief/euphoria, life feels a little strange. I’m not used to this freedom of being able to choose what I want to do! For the last several months piles of uni reading and essays have pretty much made all the decisions for me. Yes, ok, I do have another pile of reading to do, (even bigger than the last one), and a dissertation to write. But I’m having a little break just now to recover from the latest set of essays. And the freedom feels very strange. Shall I write on my blog? Or read some other blogs? I do really need to do some course reading, but then maybe I could just read a cook book for a little bit? Or I could watch a film? Or go shopping? So many choices!… I’m awareย  I may well be sounding a little sad by this point, but I just haven’t quite adjusted to a life that’s no longer governed by essays yet. Continue reading

Baking again post essay hell!

I’m so unhappy about how long it has been since I last posted! I have spent the last month struggling like crazy with some essays for uni and doing little else but write essays, eat and sleep. But the essays are finally in and I have my life back, at least until the work all starts piling up again. (Although it seems I haven’t quite escaped the essays yet. They seem forever coming back to haunt me in moments of panic when I feel convinced I’ve submitted a copy with a glaring error. Did I definitely remember to change that sentence I wasn’t happy with from purple back to black? And that word I’d highlighted in red? What if that last minute change I’d made to a sentence in a final proof-read had a massive mistake in it? And did I definitely check my references thoroughly enough?… But there is nothing I can do now except hope like mad that I didn’t submit anything horribly wrong, because I’d have noticed right? Wouldn’t I?! Continue reading