Saturday, April 01, 2017

Cookery Calendar Challenge: March

This month I cooked two recipes from James Martin's Masterclass, which is one of the many books I have on, ahem, extended loan from my mum! First up was polenta with wild mushrooms and parmesan. I chose this as I have been keen to try polenta, and also wanting to try and incorporate a few more meat-free dishes into our diet. Unfortunately, I overlooked the fact that I'm not a great fan of mushrooms, and so perhaps this wasn't a wise choice!

I also didn't realise that the cooling time required for the polenta was a lot longer than the cooking time for the mushrooms, as the recipe wasn't clear on how long to cool it for. Having already ended up making it on a night when I just wanted a quick dinner, because the mushrooms needed using, I'm afraid impatience got the better of me and I forged ahead with the frying of the polenta "squares" despite the fact that they were clearly collapsing as I tried to cut them. So, it was not a successful dish but more down to user error than anything wrong with the recipe! The Husband raved about it, and I must admit whilst texturally dubious, the polenta tasted delicious, although I think anything with that much butter and cheese in it would! I want to try and use the polenta again, with proper cooling time, and as there is plenty left in the bag, I may well do!

Next up was tandoori cod steaks. The fillets I got weren't as thick cut as I'd expected, I think cod loin would have been better, but this was a brilliant dish. The spice mixture was easy to make, and I had all of the various ingredients in the cupboard from previous curry recipes. After marinating the fish for a few hours, it cooked under the grill in ten minutes, and was full of flavour. I always enjoy curried fish when I choose it from a menu, and it was great to be able to recreate that style of dish at home. A great way to incorporate more fish into our diets, and a recipe I'll definitely be returning to again.

In a bid to use up some of the polenta, I tried to make these sweet potato fries from the BBC Good Food website this week. Alas, mine turned out dusty, rather than crunchy, so I continue on the hunt for a way to make my home-cooked sweet potato fries taste like the crispy coated ones I have eaten elsewhere! Any suggestions welcome!

The Cookery Calendar Challenge is the wonderful creation of Penny at The Homemade Heart, do use the button below to check out the other posts and see what recipe books people have been dusting off this month.

first things first

The first of April.

Last month was the first month since October when I didn't complete the running challenge I signed up for. Whatever bug I've had seems to have really wiped me out this time, and I decided to stop trying to push myself to carry on with it when my body seems to be in need of some rest. I'm hoping to get back out soon, especially now the weather is nicer, as I always feel good when I've been for a run, but for now I'll try and get back to full health first.

Monday marks The Husband's first day in his new job, having finished at his previous role on Friday. It will be big changes for him, travelling by train, working in a new organisation, taking on a more senior role. It is very exciting but having been in his last job for several years it feels like a major transition. 

For me, life has hit a gentle lull of routine. T and I pass our weeks with regular trips to the library, the swimming pool, walks to the park and visits to my parents and Grandad. Time is flying by and he is looking more and more like a little boy rather than a baby. It's easy to feel that there is nothing new happening, but every week brings changes, a myriad of tiny firsts, that are so small, and happen so quickly, I barely notice them. Then suddenly, I look back, and realise that he is doing so much more, and growing up before my eyes! Here's to noticing the little firsts that April brings, as well as the big ones, and savouring the smallest moments.