Mar 19, 2014

Christmas 2013

Hi, it's me again. I'm alive.
As I've been such a terrible blogger I thought I'd do a quick photo round-up of my Christmas to try and make up for it.
I know it's a little late, it being mid-March and all, but forgive me...

Sistaas trip to London

I had a lovely New Year's at our house in Cornwall, making a nice change from the craziness that is usually New Years Eve.

View of St Michael's Mount from the house

I promise once my MA is done I'm going to try and make a real effort to start posting more again!
Not too long to go now, I can't believe it's 2014 already, time is going so quickly, I can't keep up with everything...

Nov 16, 2013

Butternut Squash, Lentil & Goat's Cheese Salad

Did you know that butternut squash is actually a fruit?! Apparently aubergine and cucumber are also fruits, which has really surprised me...
Anyway,I love butternut squash. It's one of those foods, like sweet potato, that are delicious but also healthy and nutritious, and can be used in loads of recipes.
It's a seasonal fruit (apparently!) that can be used in a wide range of dishes, from roast dinners to salads, as I have discovered.
This salad is really delicious and is quick and easy to make. The butternut squash and lentils go really well together, and are complimented by the balsamic vinegar dressing. Perfect for both summer and winter!

Ingredients (to feed roughly 3 or 4 people):-

1 butternut squash
1 red pepper
1 onion
1 tbsp chopped sage
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
Jar of artichokes
Jar of char-grilled peppers
250g puy lentils
70g bag of wild rocket
100g french goat's cheese
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 200°C then start by chopping up the butternut squash, red pepper and onion into smallish chunks.
Mix together in a bowl with the olive oil, sage and seeds, then put on a baking tray to roast in the oven.
Cook for roughly 30 minutes, moving them around once or twice, until they are nice and tender.

Take the roasting vegetables out of the oven to add the artichokes and char-grilled peppers.
Put back in the oven to roast for another 5 or 10 minutes.

When done, tip the roasted vegetables into a big bowl and stir in the lentils and vinegar. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes before adding the goat's cheese.

Once cooled, add the goat's cheese by crumbling it in, and then the wild rocket.

And serve!

I'm thinking of using butternut squash in a curry recipe soon, will make sure to document any results!

Nov 3, 2013

The Chilli Pickle, Brighton

I know, I know, I've been terrible with blogging again. I've been ridiculously busy, what with work for my MA, a new job, and just the general hecticness of life.
Luckily I managed to fit in a little visit home last week, which was really nice, but I still don't feel that I've had enough time to do all the things that I would have liked to.
Anyway, this post is a little delayed, being from a few weeks ago when my Mum came up/(down? my geography really isn't great...) to Brighton to visit and to stay the night.
We had a really nice day, having lunch at a little cafe in the North Laines and then going to the cinema to see Le Weekend which I enjoyed.
In the evening we decided to go out for some pre-dinner cocktails before heading to The Chilli Pickle, a much talked about Indian restaurant with a twist that I had been wanting to go to for some time.
Our choice of cocktail venue was the Merkaba bar in Myhotel, a trendy bar which just happens to be right next door to The Chilli Pickle on Jubilee Street (please excuse the somewhat grainy photos, I found myself without camera so had to improvise and use my iPhone camera).

This photogenic cocktail was the Palace Pier Punch, consisting of Appleton Estate V/X, crรจme de banane, Galliano, lime, pineapple, and passion fruit syrup.
I particularly liked the added touch of the passion fruit and the jelly baby (both of which I proceeded to eat as soon as I'd finished the cocktail).

Next I went for the Sugar Daddy: Stoli Gala Applik, Stoli Salted Karmel, apple juice, lime juice, vanilla sugar, and all topped off with soda water. It was good.

Apres cocktails we headed next door to The Chilli Pickle.
I was very hungry by this point and the smell as soon as you walked in there was overwhelming, I was stealing glances at everyone else's food to see what they had that could possibly smell so good.
We sat ourselves down and attempted to make a decision about what to order.

The restaurant inside is very cool, they've got the interiors just right, being trendy but not too formal and unwelcoming.

In the end we managed to narrow our options down to the Tamil Masala Dosa and the Tandoori Chicken Platter, both of which we shared between us.
The Tamil Masala Dosa is basically a crisp South Indian rice pancake filled with spiced potato, curry leaf and ginger, and served with two different accompanying curries and a spicy green coconut chutney (all delicious).
The Tandoori Chicken Platter consisted of a chicken curry which was cooked just perfectly, alongside coriander and chilli naan bread and some sort of yoghurt dip.
I can't quite decide which my favourite was, although I really liked the Dosa, especially as I'd never tried it before.
The meal was accompanied by a fresh lime pickle and a bottle of their special red wine...

We took our time over our meal and somehow ended up being one of the very last tables to leave...

Sometimes restaurants that have been built up and anticipated so much can disappoint a bit, but The Chilli Pickle comes highly recommended from me.
I'm looking forward to trying out something new on the menu next time, although there's always a temptation to stick with what you know and love...