Sunday, 21 October 2012

Stir-fry night! Total chaos in the tiniest of kitchen with about four different dishes going on in the same kitchen, switching round on the four hotplates. Everyone was leaning over and seasoning their pasta while Niamh and I were boiling up some noodles making it a somewhat hectic atmosphere to cook in but definitely a friendly one. In true studenty style our stir-fry was a mixture of whatever we could find in the fridge:

  • tofu
  • peppers
  • chicken
  • prawns
  • carrots
  • broad beans
  • cabbage
I would have taken a picture of the finished dish with egg noodles but of course I was too hungry to remember and had the "NOOOOOOO" moment half-way through so...sorry.
Anyway, in true french fashion, we spent the evening drinking wine and talking in our broken French. Instead of the regular romantic/chickflick movie-night however, Niamh and I found ourselves checking out food blogs and brainstorming amazing ideas for dishes which I hope will make an appearance here very soon. I am so excited about some of the inventions we came up with - growing up in a household which wasn't particularly adventurous with food, the meat, potatoes and two vegetables formula making a regular appearance, there are so many things I am yet to try and where better place to start than the south of France? In fact, we started the very next morning after seeing a recipe for oatmeal pancakes on this blog (one of our all time favourites) and decided to make our own version. We mashed half a banana, used a tablespoon of fruit yoghurt and small pot of natural yoghurt, a teaspoon of cinnamon, splash of milk and a sizeable cup of oats (I would be a bit more specific except I can't really remember due to the pretty slap dash way we kept adding things). It was enough for two huge pancakes plus this mini one which I managed to burn in the 5 minutes Niamh took to leave the kitchen to get some plates. Oops. 
...the extra minutes added a unique smoky *cough* burnt *cough* taste and crispy texture. After, we topped off with raspberries, the rest of the banana, flaxseeds, honey, and rest of the fruit yoghurt. After getting up pretty late (reading food blogs into the night) we gave ourselves roughly 7 minutes to wolf these down with some green tea. Pancakes for breakfast were totally worth the funny looks I got when running to my lecture to make it on time!

It was another friend's birthday yesterday and this time because there were around 15 of us, we decided to cook for everyone. A friend Zoe came up with the amazing suggestion of something I can't even pronounce but it is called ropa vieja. It is a dish she tried once with her family and is perfect for large gatherings but definitely one for when you have a lot of time on your hands! For the cake, we watched a video on youtube and decided to give the microwave a go with a few additions of our own...

The kitchen was a total bomb site as neither of us are particularly good at clearing up as we go along! 

The result of about 20 minutes of picking all the pork and turkey meat apart...

Zoe and I are so proud of our cake, we doubled the recipe and made two pudding bowlfuls and then sandwiched them together to make what unintentionally looked like a spaceship. The giant craters in the cake also added to the space image. We couldn't find any self raising flour which may have created the huge holes, and we also overcooked the bottom of the cake so it was more of a giant biscuit. Overall we were mainly pretty darn pleased with ourselves. We sandwiched blackberry jam and the ganache (melted chocolate, honey, creme fraiche and LOTS of cinammon) in the centre, and for the outside we smothered the cake in ganache, topped it with sliced canned pears and drizzled over a glaze Zoe made from the leftover syrup in the tin. By the time we finished cooking and were ready to eat, I wasn't even hungry from "tasting" the ganache for about 4 hours straight but goodness it was good. The trials of cooking.

Finishing off with a shot of the wrapping in action...

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