My Funny Valentine

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day where I say to Tim: “It’s just a commercialised, Americanised cold-hearted event thought up by Hallmark in order to sell more cards” while inside I’m thinking “pleeease do something for me!!” I honestly don’t want much. I meant what I said about it being commercial and tacky. Well Tim, bless him, completely exceeded expectations and not only got me a card but also got me (even though I told him not to) a beautiful bunch of flowers – delivered at work! So, for one of the few times in my life, I got to be that smug gal who walks home clutching a bouquet.

For my part, I made a rather nice dinner last night. Nothing too taxing – a free range bird, some potatoes roasted stickily in garlic, some frozen peas. But also the nicest thing to eat, to be honest – there is nothing so simple but also celebratory as a roast chicken.
Above: The only thing I love more than roast chicken is planning what I’m going to do with the leftover meat. Because chicken breasts are very expensive, having the cooked meat to toy with is rather thrilling.

Above: At the behest of Nigella’s Feast, I chopped potatoes into cubes and roasted them with olive oil and garlic cloves. After a while I threw in some cauliflower, because you all know how I feel about this particular member of the brassic family. I must admit, every time I took the tray out of the oven to have a stir, I ate more and more of the sweet, sweet, crispy bits…we were rather lucky that there was anything left for dinner.

For dessert, however, I put in a bit more grunt. I had a concept, which didn’t entirely materialise as I thought it might…but hey. It’s the thought that counts on Valentine’s Day, right?

Above: Admit it. If you took this photo yourself, you’d be quite proud. I don’t think I’m too forward in thinking it would not look out of place on a much more chi chi food blog. Especially when you take into account the fact that I don’t take particularly good photos in the first place. I like this so much that I’d better actually tell you what it is – Pomegranate Ice Cream. Monumentally easier to make than the name would suggest, you merely stir icing sugar in the juice of a couple of ruby-red pomegranates, add some cream, stir some more, and freeze. It tastes heavenly. Almost unfathomably good. And it comes out a very pretty, Valentine-y pink colour.

Look what happens when you stir it!

Above: Ooooooooh.
To augment this, I made some flourless chocolate brownies, (the recipe for this, along with the ice cream, can be found in Nigella Express) and the Barbados Cream from How To Eat. Barbados Cream is equal quantities of cream and Greek yoghurt stirred together briskly, with dark brown sugar sprinkled over, left in the fridge overnight. It tastes amazing – creamy and tangy and intensely caramelly.

Above: Pa-da! Yes, that is a heart made out of berries. To be frank this didn’t turn out how I’d hoped, visually, I think I was yearning for some kind of Donna Hay style-presentation. Considering I don’t like Donna Hay all that much I guess I shouldn’t try and channel her, especially considering how generally cack-handed I am – it could only end badly. Luckily everything tasted good. According to the flatmates (the night wasn’t toooo romantic) the brownies are amazing, which is always nice to hear about something you have baked. Everything tasted great together, even if it didn’t look so pretty.

I have been making other stuff lately:

Above: I mentioned in my last post about how enamoured I am with my new yoghurt maker. I am LOVING having yoghurt around (like chicken breasts, and, well, everything, yoghurt is pretty expensive) and used some of it in this Greek Yoghurt Cake that I found in Jill Dupleix’ New Food. It is a very easy to make, and bakes into a large, golden, fragrant cake. I was pleased with how the whole ‘dust-icing-sugar-over-cut-out-shapes’ went, but to be honest I was even more pleased with how good it tasted. I made this on Wednesday in order to herald Kieran’s brief returning to Hadfield before he went back to work in Napier.
Above: I made this for dinner the other night. Burmese Salad from the Healthy Salads book, grilled potatoes with tumeric, steamed beet greens (or pinks as they ought rightly to be named), and meatballs flavoured with, inspired by a recipe in New Food, sake. It was pretty great, not to mention totally, smugly healthy.

Above: Our entire flat (which now includes my cousin Paul, hoorah!) got really quite drunk after pudding last night, which means that it was No Fun getting up for work this morning. However it is in complete sobriety that I wish you Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers (but I love you every day of the year!)

5 thoughts on “My Funny Valentine

  1. Kay says:

    Looks and sounds fabulous. Still waitin’ for the Valentine’s delivery service to deliver here …… In a totally predictable fit of domestic apathy tonight, I opened a packet of mesclun, added carrot, avocado,tomato and sliced smoked chicken breast and tossed in a random amount of balsmaic vinegar and basil oil. Now, THAT’S ridiculously easy enough for any fool to do – and it soooo passed that test. Oooooh, an Italian comment on your blog. That must make you an internationally renowned food writer. (I think he might have said, “Don’t eat too much….”)


  2. Glossy says:

    That meal sounds delicious! I must try the ice cream.I’ve tried the flourless brownies before but I think I cooked them for too long – they were a bit dry yours look great.


  3. thewench says:

    That photo of the pomegranite is amazing! I love the little squiggles…. I really love your blog, it is great to see what can be achieved on a small budget; very inspiring!So glad that Tim got you some flowers; you deserve it! I had to buy my own…. đŸ˜‰Keep up the good work, I love it!


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