I didn’t have a blog post for this week. I made a cake! And every single photo I took of it looked like I’d taken it with a toy camera. So, that wasn’t going to work. I took a look through my Instagram feed, and turned up a few photos that never made it blogward. I thought I could try a bit of a photo party with those – it’s a new idea for me, but let’s give it a whirl.
First of all, it’s been my birthday! I managed to carry the celebrations over a few days, starting with a surprise cake when I went out to dinner with my work buddies. That sneaky lot. I had a load of cards, including one depicting me as a monster playing drums (so true to life), and my mum made me the traditional Smarties cake. I’m one lucky blogger.
I’m more of a cook-at-home kind of gal, but sometimes (especially hangover times) I like to get out and have someone make me a sandwich. There’s a place near my flat called Siempre, and the G man and I head down there every so often to check out what their menu’s up to. This is a Vietnamese style chicken sandwich with a cup of curried chickpea soup. Not pictured is the fruit smoothie that actually does help a hangover better than Irn Bru does. Sometimes I still have the Irn Bru, because sometimes you need to drink ten teaspoons of sugar suspended in a bright orange liquid.
What have I been making? All sorts of things! I tried one of those curry kits – not something I’d usually pick up – and I have to say that in twenty minutes I had a pretty good curry, as promised. I did, of course, mess about with the directions and serve it with noodles and gomasio sprinkled over the top. It’s very brown, and not the prettiest to look at – much like that photo of the brown risotto. It was mushroom and asparagus, made with real chicken stock, and I made it with my special risotto spoon. Did you know that risotto spoons existed? They do.
I also made these raspberry cheesecake brownies, from Joy the Baker’s new cookbook, and Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Laksa. That’s another recipe I messed around with – I’ve made it a few times, and it’s great for getting a quick fix of veg when I feel like I haven’t been eating enough. This iteration had a lot of green veg, including mange tout, asparagus and broccoli. So good. I think I snuck some leftover broccoli into the salmon pasta up there – that was a real ‘what’s left in the fridge’ dinner. And, yes, that’s a bowl of popcorn up there. It’s not fancy, it’s plain old microwave popcorn. I’m intae popcorn these days.
Wool! Well, yarn. This is made of the scrap edges of fabric, which would otherwise go to waste – I’m part of the upcycling movement now, you know. I haven’t made anything from this yet, being utterly preoccupied with my peacock blanket (42 feathers done!).
Oh, go on – a photo of the current state of the peacock blanket:
I have six balls of the black and red yarn to work with – I was originally thinking a cushion cover or covers, depending how it knits up on 12mm needles, but I’m wondering now if I could fashion some kind of punky waistcoat. Sometimes life is one long string of decisions.
I’ve been making purchases, also. These are three that I thought worthy of Instagram – a limited edition artichoke and smoked ricotta pesto (it was good, but I missed the basil), a pot of Lucky Charms (exactly as awesome as I remember) and a book of writing exercises and prompts that I found for 99p in a charity shop. It originated in the library of Glasgow Uni, the uni I went all those years ago, so I feel like it was meant to be.
I bought my dad a mushroom growing kit for Christmas, and after a few months (and without any preamble), he sent me this picture. How cool?
The world’s driest lime and the world’s largest naan bread. It’s been a mixed bag. That lime, though. Soooo dry.
Things not to get confused on oven-cleaning day.
My pal Amy had to move away from the UK to the US, and neither of us is especially happy about that. However, it *does* mean that she could send me this amazing care package. I’m savouring it and trying to make it last – I have cheesecake plans for those graham crackers. I also object to it being pronounced ‘gram crackers’. What? Are people not called Graham in the States?
Finally – people at my work are pretty serious about their mugs.