My New York based tall blonde American friend Gabriela tagged me in that quiz that’s been going round – so here goes!
1. What is your biggest fear? (It can be silly or real) Dying alone, fire, drowning, my horse/mum/sister getting hurt or injured, spiders, the end of my garden when it’s dark.
2. If you were onstage at a karaoke bar, what would you sing and why? Oh heck…probably that song that Bridget Jones sings [really badly] in the film, so I could re-live the moment :p
3. Do you write in print or cursive? In all honesty, I don’t know what that means :p is it like, do I write in capitals!? If that’s the question, then no.
4. Have you ever been fired from a job? Nope 🙂
5. If you could go to the Olympics for any sport, which would you choose? Dressage, or gymnastics, cos it would AWESOME to be that bendy!
6. How many cell phones have you owned? Hmm…my first one, a tiny Nokia, a pink flip phone, another phone, my current phone. You count.
7. What’s your sign (wink wink)? Gemini 🙂 And if you’re Chinese, I’m also a dragon! Or a horse…I can’t remember which….
I now tag the first seven commenters to answer the same questions 🙂
Bah, I have TWO recipes today! TWO! TWO!
But I’ll get to them later.
Firstly, I want to make y’all go to this link, cos it’s funny 🙂 and it reminded me of a) being boyfriend-less (running is better than a bf – read the link and the world’ll make sense :)) and then it made me remember b) why I should be GLAD I am lonely and single – I can cook whatever I like, I can turn the light on in my room when i get up early, as opposed to worrying I’ll wake up Mr Boyfriend with the light, I can choose to travel round the world [if the desire strikes…], I can see chick flicks in the cinema without moaning, I can use my passenger seat in my car to seat my bag (aka junk and rubbish) instead of a lump of human. And above all – I can have a Huskey dog named Princess PuffleBomp*, and no-one will complain 🙂
*it goes well with my alter ego, don’t you think? ‘Princes Freya the Third, PhD’ <- as I’m known by Amazon :D)
How about you? Are you a single lady, or did someone put a ring on it?
Moving on – Recipe time!
Chocolate lentil and chickpea stew:
Chocolatey, nutritious, and ever-so comforting 🙂 (makes one serving, although the more veg you add, the bigger the meal…)
– 100g cooked chickpeas (I got mine from a can)
– 25g uncooked red lentils
– approx. 1tbsp cocoa powder
– 1/3 ish of a stock cube
– 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– approx. 1tbsp tomato puree
– 1 tsp maple syrup (or agave, or whatever)
– 1-2tsps dried thyme or mixed herbs (I can’t actually remember what I used…!!)
– 1-2 tsps molasses (optional)
– veg! As much or as little as you want. I used a mix of butternut squash, carrot, parsnip, leek and broccoli, all cut into small-ish, even sized chunks.
Also, do note that I don’t measure spice/flavouring ingredients, I just wing it, so measurement are approximate 🙂
1) Chop all the veggies:
Ugly parsnip optional:
And gather stuff together:
2) Throw everything into a saucepan:
3) Put it on a medium-high heat (I used the ‘less hot’ of the 2 Aga hot plates), mix it all around and cook it for a few mins, stirring lots and lots so it doesn’t catch.
When it’s all fragrant (it should be fragrant – alternatively, just give it a few mins then move on :p), add in enough water to aaaaalmost cover, but not quite:
4) Put a lid on it (maybe leave a little crack open for steam escape purposes), have it on a medium ish heat (you want it simmering) and let it do its’ thaaaang for about 40mins, or until the lentils are cooked and the veg is very soft, almost mushy! Keep stirring it during that time every now and then, so everything gets cooked evenly, and if it runs out of water, add more. After all, a little too much water is better, because you can always put it onto a high heat and steam the water away.
Yes, it is an ugly dish, and probably not something you’d want to cook for a crowd to impress them with your incredible culinary skills – purely cos they’ll think you just sicked up on a plate and called it dinner. BUT, it IS delicious! So much so, I made it the next day too 🙂
I used aubergine and brussels sprouts instead of leek and carrot and broccoli, which was fine – but I did forget the garlic, and it wasn’t quite as nice without it. Remember those cloves, folks!
Recipe Two time 🙂
Spicy Pumpkin, Red Lentil and Chickpea Smush:
Is it a soup? Is it mush? I’m not sure. It’s yum though! I wanted something lentil-y for lunch, and I also had *40g* of chickpeas from my can left over (from yesterday), so I made this 🙂
– 50g red lentils
– 40g cooked chickpeas (ie the rest of the can, if you made the previous recipe twice :p)
– 1/3 ish crumbled stock cube
– a large 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
– 1/2tsp – 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp ish garam masala
– 1 garlic clove, minced or finely chopped
– 100g canned pumpkin (English people – go to WAITROSE for your pumpkin!)
– approx. 1 tsp molasses
2) Fry the chickpeas and garlic in spray oil/oil for a few mins on a medium heat:
3) Then add the lentils and spices, and fry til fragrant. Then, add in the stock cube, dissolved in hot water. I don’t know how much water you add, but it needs to be enough for the lentils to cook in. They should cook for about 20-25mins or so, and the mix will look something like this:
4) Get yo’ pumpkin and molasses:
And stir them in:
Heat it up again, and serve it in a big old mug, a la me 🙂
I actually can’t believe how delicious that was!! Spicy, comforting, full of flavour – absolutely perfect for the minus–degree day! I was a sad, sad woman when I finished it 😦
I’ve been on a cooking kick actually 🙂 Tonight I made a majorly modified version of Mama Pea’s pumpkin tofu curry, which I’ll show y’all next time 🙂 I’ve also been making a ton of frothy cappuccinos, using good ol’ Vincent the Vita Mix! With this fabby coffee:
They are incred 😀 who needs Starbucks right?
I also made THE most delicious pancakes the other night! i mean, really:
And to go with lunch today, I had soya yogurt with mushy pear (a baby ripe pear, cooked with vanilla essence, maple syrup and water, til it went soft and caramel like):
As well as ketchup roasted veg:
BUT the biggest event the past few days has been the SNOW! And lots of it!!
Ok, so fair play – if you live in the Arctic, or Canada, this is nothing. But to England it’s a Big Deal 😛 Heck, Chika’s whiskers were frozen the other morning!!
Hannah – no more complaining! That’s TIG rolling in the snow!
Snow land 🙂
Below – standing – full weight – ON the water bucket, showing how thick the ice was!
Horse people – have you ever tried that trick of putting a ball or something floaty in water, to stop it freezing? Does it work?
And to round off this epically long post – here are the usual cat pics 🙂 Until next time!