About me

After being diagnosed with a long list of food intolerances seven years ago, I was forced into getting more creative in the kitchen.

For me, the best recipes are those which are easy to prepare and deliver heaps of flavour, perfect for sharing with friends and family without having to single anyone out because of a specialised diet.

My love for cooking and adapting recipes for my own dietary requirements has given me the incentive to share tips with others who also live with restricted diets.

I hope you find a bit of cooking inspiration from my blog. Please feel free to comment and post any questions...

Friday, 29 April 2011

Upstairs, Downstairs

Group meals in halls are always a bit of a spectacle. Whether you're all eating the same dish or not, expect there to be hurdles. Having half a dozen people all trying to use one oven, 4 hobs and a microwave can often resemble a game of twister, but with a lot more mess, higher risk of incurring 3rd degree burns and a depressing lack of cooking utensils and cutlery leading to the use of a can opener to stir boiling pasta.

When I'm not snowed under with assignments, cooking for groups of friends is something I will always make time for. After enjoying the quiet of half empty halls the last few weeks, one by one, people are heading back up with the intention of "working" for the last week of the holidays. This means hungry and appreciative mouths to be fed, followed by other people doing the washing up, win, win!

Tonight's dish is 'tomato and herb encrusted salmon with Mediterranean stuffed aubergines topped with melting mozzarella'. This will definitely beat the last group meal that came together haphazardly at 10pm one night just before the Easter holidays. Dishes including pasta in curry sauce, tinned soup bulked up with frozen veg and left over birthday cake were resorted to after the takeaway we ordered from did not infact exist.

Living in halls, having friends in several different flats throughout the building proves to have both positives and  negatives. Cooking a basic meal where all the ingredients can be quickly gathered and brought to one flat or ordering a takeaway together as a group are simple tasks. Cooking a large sunday dinner for 6 in two ovens 3 floors apart however...

This is the feat that we attempted in February and after 3 hours we did manage to sit down to a glorious feast of whole stuffed chicken, cooked on a bed of winter vegetables and dressed with rashers of bacon, yorkshire puddings, herb stuffing, vegetables and a home-made gravy the boys wanted to swim in!
Thankfully the lift was co-operating that day, as heating up the fat in one oven, preparing the vegetables in a kitchen several floors below and then transporting honey roast parsnips and potatoes on sizzling trays may not have been so successful if we'd had to take the stairs. The house manager would probably not have been impressed by an avalanche of roast potatoes cascading downwards, followed by two teary girls either. A sunday roast without the potatoes is incomplete for any englishman.

A small mention to the Royal wedding today as Wills and Kate tied the knot, inducing a procession of street parties across the country. My modest salmon is celebration enough for me, possibly with a toast to the newlyweds with a gin and tonic or a glass of cheap plonk-the alcohol is running low. After hearing that a lot of people have dressed up in their best outfits to watch the ceremony in the comfort of their own homes, I regretted not bringing my tiara to Uni. Then again, I did watch the wedding whilst on the treadmill in the gym. Perhaps that would have been taking accessorizing a little too far, a fascinator instead perhaps???