Tag, You’re It!


I always used to lose when we played tag at school (don’t even get me started on piggy in the middle!) Any long-term readers of this blog don’t need another vitriolic diatribe on how PE scarred me for life, but what I’m trying to blunderingly say is that not all forms of tag are bad. Particularly the sort you can play from the comfort of your own computer.

To the point, the lovely Erica (she of the delightfully named Oh my! Apple Pie! blog) has ‘tagged’ me to describe myself in six words. She did it herself, lots of others have, suddenly it’s my turn.

But first, while I deliberate – roasted cauliflower.

Above: I would never turn down cauliflower blanketed in cheese sauce, but secretly (okay, not so secretly at all, would I stop talking about it already) I think this is my favourite way of eating it. Roast florets at 200 C (give or take) until charred and smoky and slightly crispy in places and more delicious than you could believe possible from looking at this innocent white vegetable.

Above: This monumentally comforting dish comes from a Vegetarian Mediterranean cookbook that I got for Christmas from a family friend, and is a lot more delicious than its innocuous ingredients would suggest. When Tim and I got back to the flat yesterday – our trip home what very whistle-stoppish in nature – I made this for dinner. Already a simple recipe, I’ve simplified it further, because I’m lazy as heck and want to wash as few dishes as possible.

Baked Tomato Pasta (for 2)

300g spaghetti or fettuccine
400g can crushed tomatoes, or the same weight of passata (superior, but more difficult to find)
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 or 2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed
grated cheese to top

Bring a large, ovenproof pan of salted water to the boil. Once bubbling merrily, add the pasta, and let it cook away till relatively tender – about 12 minutes does it usually. While this is happening, set your oven to 180 C. Drain the cooked pasta, and return it to the pan (off the heat), while you stir in the garlic, tomatoes, and capers. Sprinkle over as much grated cheese as you like, and bake for about 25 minutes or until burnished and golden and…well, you should be able to tell by looking at it that it’s done. Maybe serve with a salad on the side if you are doing the “proper dinner” thing, otherwise I like it eaten out of a bowl with no accompaniments.

This probably serves more than two, to be honest, but what can I say. We are growing lads. Plus, without leftovers, you can’t discover the charms of a pasta omelet…something I always dismissed as some kind of over-fangled modern cafe-style horror, but actually it turns out to be rather delicious…

Above: This was the best photo I could get, as the rising steam kept fogging up the lens and I was too hungry to let it cool into eggy rubber. For some reason though ,when I see this picture I think of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which Tim and I saw for the first time last week (truly bizarre, but nice to see the so-often parodied scenes in their original context). I don’t know why, there is just something planetary about the look of it. Anyway, it tasted out of this world (ba-doom boom!) and meant that the pasta didn’t go to waste. The recipe comes from Nigella’s Feast, and makes for a very simple, cosy supper served with warm buttered toast. (I know, so much for lightening up.) All you do is let a knob of butter sizzle in an ovenproof pan, add the pasta and some eggs and a splash of milk – I used four eggs because the pan was rather large – let it cook a bit before flashing under the grill to cook the top. I sprinkled it with a little grated cheese, too.

Right, me in six words. For what it’s worth…

Passionate – I’m not talking your everyday passion, I’m talking passionate to the point of one-eyed bloody-mindedness. I’m passionate about things I love, I’m passionate about things I hate. As I say to Tim, (often!) “I’m not exaggerating, I just feel very strongly about things!”

Bendy – I could do the splits at age three, I can do the splits now, and I plan on being able to do the splits when I’m eighty. If that doesn’t define me, what does?

Nervous – As with being passionate, I’m not fooling around here. I’m a very nervous person. There is so much that I’m afraid of. Examples…praying mantises (even cartoon ones, heck, even the words make me shudder), natural disasters, and brain aneurysms have all kept me awake in clammy fear at night. All too often. Which segues nicely into –

Imaginative – I have a very, very vivid imagination. In fact I tend to overthink situations regularly (which makes for more nervousness as I imagine every possible eventuality to a situation.) It does make for some nifty dreams though. Have you ever dreamt you were a white rabbit, chasing through a forest after an orca whale, in the name of unrequited love?

Silly – I am very, very, very silly. But never just for its own sake – it always (unfortunately or otherwise) comes from a place of real silliness.

Self-absorbed – yeah, I am a bit. Frankly, I enjoy talking about myself. Why else would I tell you what I cooked last night? Or indeed, how self-absorbed I am?

I’m pretty sure anyone who would be interested has already been tagged by now, but in lieu of this, why not check out the other food blogs on my blogroll to the right. Reading them is always inspirational, whether to cook or to take better photos or just to eat and eat and eat some more. Or click on the links of the people who comment me (although I’d say comment #11 on my last post looks distinctly spammy, maybe give that one a miss.) I may not be any good at tag, but leapfrog isn’t so hard – jumping from blog to blog is a great way to discover amazing writing. But don’t you forget about me!

6 thoughts on “Tag, You’re It!

  1. Kay says:

    Checked out comment #11 -Looks like it has been translated on the computer from (at a guess) Portuguese to English. Probably not spam – just an enthusiastic Brazilian (why does the thought of an enthusiastic Brazilian make my eyes water…?). Am about to make another pot of my (now world-famous) vegetable soup as I’m on soft food since a painfully expensive visit to the dentist yesterday. Mercifully the drugs worked and the procedure was relatively pain free although I’ll have sensitive teeth for a while. Any recommendations for soft food at room temperature?


  2. Kevin says:

    Roasted cauliflower is so good!! Baked pasta with golden brown melted cheese on top is also really good. The pasta omelet sounds really interesting. I will have to try it.


  3. Laura @ Hungry and Frozen says:

    Amy – don’t have time at the mo but look forward to digging through my archives 🙂Mum – I’m pretty sure it’s spam lol. Spam is pretty clever these days. Hope your teeth get better soon 🙂 xoKevin – Another roast cauliflower fan! At one stage I was making it almost every night LOL!Marc – the omelet sounds odd but is worth a try 🙂 I love cold canned spaghetti though, so who am I to judge!George – thanks 🙂 once of the nicer thing about “growing up” is no more PE!


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