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Last weekend we had the most lovely food all weekend – and, obviously, all meat-free.  We had Mr Rigg’s parents over for lunch on the Saturday so it was quite a challenge for us to come up with something we thought they would love, as they both really enjoy meat and fish.  We decided on a curry feast and some little nibbly bites to start.  Then on Sunday we seemed to eat well, or at least what I would consider to be eating well.  See what you think.

Saturday 28th January

beluga lentil goat cheese crostini

Beluga lentil crostini.  It’s always nice to do something a bit special when you have guests, so we made these little tiny nibbles, a lovely recipe I’ve been wanting to try from 101 Cookbooks.  They are small toasts topped with a goat cheese and herb mixture – utterly scrumptious!

Now the pictures get a bit less lovely as I was testing out my new phone and rushing to get everything out!

Jamie Oliver Rogan Josh vegetarian curry

We made Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals vegetarian Rogan Josh curry – it’s got butternut squash, cauliflower, spinach and chickpeas in it and is utterly delicious – one of our favourite meals to cook.  From the same meal in the book we also made the lemon pickle (I thought it was disgusting, but everyone else said it was quite nice in small amounts with everything else) and carrot salad (I leave out the almonds and don’t add much chilli).

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I have just got my first smartphone so this is my first attempt at writing a blog post from it – fingers-crossed it works ok!

We are making a vegetarian curry for tomorrow’s lunch with my in-laws, so wanted to give it a night to ‘mature’ its flavours.  It also means we have less to do in the morning.  Have a lovely evening!

I have been really enjoying Sophia Dahl’s TV series The Delicious Miss Dahl.  Last week she made a delicious vegetarian curry and dahl and knowing what a curry fan Mr Rigg is I thought I would make it as a treat last Friday night.

So I got all the ingredients – sweet potatoes, the spices to make the garam masala from scratch etc.  When it came down to making it I followed the recipe and had fun making the aromatic garam masala spice mix by grinding it up in my loved-but-under-used pestle and mortar. 

I seasoned the sweet potatoes and onions as instructed with the the spice mix – but not all of it.  Then I tasted it and couldn’t really taste much, so decided to add in all the garam masala.  On final tasting it just didn’t taste of anything.  I was devasted. 

Watching Sophia Dahl cook this recipe I could imagine how it tasted…and yet there were none of those lovely flavours I had dreamt of.  I am sad to say that the curry was saved by a jar of Patak’s Balti sauce after a quick dash to the Co-op.

In the end it tasted ok, but was greatly lifted by Unicorn’s dahl (divine!) and fragrant rice also care of Sophia Dahl, which was delicious.

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Friday was N’s birthday, which could mean only one thing – a fantastic weekend of good food.  I sat down and imagined if I were N, what would I want to eat for my birthday weekend.

So the feasting began on Thursday night with a curry from our favourite takeaway.  The British favourite of chicken tikka masala, with poppadoms, mango chutney, onion relish, and garlic and coriander naans.  We balanced this, of course, by having brown rice…

We also made chocolate brownies, enough for N to take to work and for us.  Following Nigella’s recipe from her book How to be a Domestic Goddess, we baked a tray of chocolate brownies with enough chocolate, sugar and butter to use of one’smonthly recommended allowance.  Three and a half bars of 70% dark chocolate…one and half pats of butter…and what I can only remember as a jug of sugar.  But seriously, these chocolate brownies were heavenly.  It really matters what chocolate you use – if you used Bourneville it would taste of Bournville, so make sure you buy the best dark chocolate you can afford. 

brownie debris

brownie debris

When I came downstairs on Friday morning to examine the insides of the brownies after N had taken half the tray to work, I thought that I had undercooked them.  It looked (and tasted) like the liquid mixture I had scraped into the pan before cooking.  These brownies improve with age.  In fact, the centres of each square almost transforms into a truffle, it is so dark and dense and soft.  I will post the recipe another day as it is one everyone should try.

N finishes work early on a Friday, so I laid out the table with all his cards and gifts (the bunnies spent their pocket money on two jars of sweets from our local old fashioned sweet shop), hung a string of balloons across the living room, and piled chocolate brownies into a mountain, dusted them with icing sugar and stuck in some candles.

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My birthday present to N – the best sirloin steak I could buy from Little Heath Farm, with melted blue cheese and chips.  I admit, the chips weren’t homemade, but there is something intrinsically scrumptious about the finest quality steak served with frozen chips – perhaps they serve to highlight how incredible the steak is.

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As you might imagine, but Friday night we couldn’t eat another thing.

Saturday evening we made homemade pizzas (which had been planned for Friday tea, but were pushed on a day due to the last minute revelation of steak and chips).  We ate the pizzas standing up in the kitchen straight from the oven, served with thin slices of Parma ham, crisp wild rocket, torn basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  They were so delicious that they were eaten up before I had a chance to take a photograph – such is the way with truly divine food – you just can’t wait to faff around with the camera, you just have to eat it straight away, hot from the oven.

Next weekend it’s my birthday, which means another excuse to eat more good food…yum.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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