Food highlights of the weekend

I started my first post-university ‘grown-up’ job on Monday and it totally wiped me out. I’m almost embarrassed at how exhausted a day in the office plus commute was leaving me – I think I’ll partly put it down to ‘new job nerves’!

As I didn’t have a lot of time to cook and bake during the week, I tried to make up for it this weekend. First off, and I get that this can hardly be considered cooking or baking, I made a melted chocolate tartine using dark chocolate with bit of ginger in. Sorry about the photo quality, all the photos in this post were taken on my phone.Good bread, warm gooey chocolate… it was the highlight of my Saturday afternoon (I’m cool with how sad that might sound.)

Dinner on Saturday was amazing, and this time there was actual cooking involved. I cooked a whole chicken in my big cast iron stew pot (which I secretly wish was a turquoise le creuset one – maybe one day…) with some tomatoes, spices, honey, preserved lemons, onions, carrot and chickpeas. To go with it I steamed some basmati rice with a few cardamon pods (I have finally mastered steaming rice…happy days!) and it was just such a tasty meal and really comforting, which I needed! I didn’t take a photo of it last night, with the rice, but we had the leftovers tonight with whole-wheat giant cous cous and I was happy all over again.

I finally got round to making my first batch of stock since learning how to do it at the cookery school and realising how much of a difference using home made stock makes. I’m actually feeling a little smug about my stock right now.

Vegetarians look away, there’s a carcase in the stock pot!

This afternoon I made coconut, banana and chocolate muffins, which were ok, but not my best and which I forgot to photograph. So imagine a muffin, golden brown, with perhaps a chunk or two of melty dark chocolate poking out, in a spotty muffin case…

And finally, I made pecan and maple syrup ice cream. I’ll say this quickly because it’s painful but I scrambled the custard! I figured that would be my ice cream ruined and worried that it was just going to end up tasting of egg. But a good bit of sieving to remove the lumps (the many, many lumps) and into the ice cream maker  – accompanied by a large amount of praying that my ice cream would turn out ok. And huzzah!

Still a little bit melty – far too impatient to wait until it hardened in the freezer before trying it

The pecan and maple syrup ice cream was amazing! I think it’s got to be my new favourite thing. And knowing that I now have a tub of it in the freezer is reassuring because everything is always better with ice cream. Especially pecan and maple syrup ice cream, because pecan and maple syrup is possibly the best flavour combination there is…especially if the pecans are super toasty and nutty-sweet. Turns out all that scrambled custard induced anxiety was worth it.

I should probably give a little credit to my Mum here, for suggesting I make maple syrup and pecan ice cream in the first place. She is a genius in my eyes right now. Thanks Mum.
And here’s some siamese strawberries….


9 thoughts on “Food highlights of the weekend

  1. This just shows that being exhausted can make you surpass yourself!

    Fleur, have you ever thought about posting a poem about cooking on your blog? That one about baking a cake and transforming your mood??

    • I hadn’t thought of it at all…I’m not sure I have anywhere near enough confidence! (Inner voice goes… ‘what if they laugh at me?’) But then, maybe anyone reading this blog with an interest in baking would be able to find some small way of relating to the poem…except for the stress of the scrambled custard, being in the kitchen definitely picked me up this weekend… it was so therapeutic it even cured a hangover!

      • Of course people would love reading anything you write about food, even if they usually don’t read stuff that doesn’t go all the way to right hand margin. Go for it.

    • Thank you!…There were definitely moments when I wondered why on earth I was trying to cook so much and tire myself out even more…I may well regret it all tomorrow when I’m struggling to stay awake at my desk!

  2. Inspiring….would love the recipe of the chicken casserole…where do you find the whole wheat giant couscous? Myriamx

    • Definitely, I shall try and photocopy it for mum to give you tomorrow…The cous cous is in the waitrose Love life range, down with the pulses and nuts and dried fruits and things, near the cheese counter and the red wine! We’ve also be trying out their quinoa and bulgar wheat mix as a cous cous/rice alternative…we made a sort of tabbouleh with it tonight and some of the left over chicken, orange, walnuts, parsley, a little chilli…it was good! xx

  3. Pingback: ‘something chocolatey….’ | Les Délices de Fleur

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