Monday 23 March 2015

BBQ Pulled Pork Pasta

A while back I mentioned everything I was cooking was using up awesome ingredients. Well, you've seen the salted caramel - now's the pulled pork. The thing with pulled pork is it generally makes quite a lot, and as much as I love it, after a couple of days of pulled pork baps, I'm ready for something else. So the leftovers either get forgotten about in the fridge until they go off, or plonked in the freezer.

Last time we made pulled pork, we made tons and only had one dinner of baps out of it. One box went into my epic pre-Christmas mac 'n' cheese, and there was a smaller box left. I had an awesome Covent Garden pulled pork earlier in the week and it got me thinking about those leftovers, and I decided to invent a pulled pork pasta bake. I wanted something comforting and tasty (duh), but also incorporating that BBQ-ness that is associated with pulled pork. So it was a little improvised, but I think it worked. The good thing with this is it'll work with however much pulled pork you have left - I mean, if you have an entire pork shoulder then you might not want to put the whole lot in, obviously. But leftovers. You'll be fine.

Thursday 19 March 2015

Thai Chilli Beef Salad with Crispy Noodles

A couple of weeks ago we went to Westfield London for the day to partake in a cooking class. Bit random, I know, having a cooking class in the middle of a huge shopping centre, but weirdly it worked. Once we started the class, I was so absorbed in what we were doing that I didn't think about where we were once. I basically had an 'Oh yeah, we're HERE' moment when we left.

The guys at L'atelier des Chefs put on a few days of cooking classes back in Feb, covering everything from burritos to salads. I would have been happy to attend them all, but sadly I wasn't allowed. Also, like, work and life and stuff.

We worked with a chef as a group to make a Thai Chilli Beef Salad, each of the class members taking on a different task, from chopping veg to frying the beef to plunging the rice noodles in hot oil. We had the last job, which was probably the funnest - it's addictive watching the spindly noodles blossom up in the deep fat fryer. Basically, deep fat fryers are super fun. But also not a toy. My lawyers tell me I can't promote them as such any more.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Homeware snippets

It's been a month now since we moved and I'm ashamed to say we still have some unpacked boxes. We set ourselves a target of a month to get totally sorted and we haven't really achieved that. Luckily though, we have a spare bedroom, so all the unsorted stuff can hide in there until we have a spare five minutes to finish sorting it. Turns out? I have a lot of shoes. Like, a lot. I thought I'd finished unpacking them then I found a whole box of shoes I'd forgotten about. But on the plus side, BONUS SHOES! Hooray!

I've been obsessing about homeware for freaking months now, and collecting various bits and bobs, so it's been so nice to start putting it all away and finding a place for it all. There's a little furniture painting we have yet to do - spoiler alert for our exciting Easter weekend plans - but after a couple of trips to Ikea I feel like our flat's become pretty cosy.

The nice people at George at Asda offered me the chance to choose a few bits for my new home, and I jumped at it. Their homeware is seriously lovely and really reasonably priced, too. It was actually a little hard to choose homeware before moving in, but we've found a place for everything. I did get more vases than I could possibly need though, hence buying all the flowers. And so many bowls. Matt keeps putting pennies in them, I need to introduce him to the concept of pot pourri, I feel.

One of my favourite things are the pillows and furry throw, which we have lovingly christened The Pelt. I am basically always cold so am a bit addicted to burrowing underneath it of an evening. And the globe lamp is so unusual - we've set up a bar in our living room and it's ideal. God, we're cool.


Sunday 15 March 2015

Mother's Day chocolates

Hotel Chocolat got in touch recently to ask if I'd like to choose some special chocolates to send my mum for Mother's Day, and I of course said yes. Obviously the main reason was because I like to give my mum nice things, but it didn't hurt that choosing the chocolates involved testing them. It's a hard life, but someone has to do it.

Sunday 1 March 2015

Liquid courage.

This was supposed to be a post about the pretty corners of my new flat, but it turns out that it takes longer than a week and a half to get a flat looking pretty - especially when you're trying to combine two people's things, along with working full time. It's getting there, and this weekend we've really made progress - there are books on the shelves, and more boxes are empty than full.

The thing with getting there is when you're almost there, you discover yet more piles of things. We're lucky enough to have a garage with our flat (which is SO handy) so this afternoon we said 'Hey, let's bring in the last few boxes' and now we have a pile of boxes in our hallway again. Sigh. But when it's all finished, gosh, it'll be good! I'm looking forward to sharing some photos - we have lots of plans and what we have completed is looking good so far.

The opportunity to review a bottle of wine from Roberson Wine couldn't have come at a better time, though. Unpacking gets a bit rubbish after a while, and a large glass of red does take the edge off rather. 7 Rue de la Pompe was a very tasty bottle - the blend of Grenache and Syrah grapes was a bit more acidic than I'm used to, but the sharpness was surprisingly pleasant. Roberson Wine have a huge selection of different bottles, including old and rare wines, and they make a point of selling something a bit different to the shelves of the local supermarket. Don't get me wrong, I love a £5 Cab Sav like I love disco, but it is nice to have something a bit different and unusual every now and then.

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