Uni Creative Cooking

I may not have had a moment to spare to blog between my first & second week of university (how is week 2 over already??), but I have at least not neglected to make some nice dinners! So I thought that this might give you some ideas and encouragement that eating well doesn’t have to take a long time or a lot of money!
Wine bottle rolling pin!

The above two pictures are my puff pastry. Home made…. of course! Technically it’s rough-puff, find the recipe on BBC Good Food, although all it really is, (I adjusted the amounts) is about 125g good quality flour, 125g butter chopped up into little bits and mixed through, then adding a little cold water & mixing it together with a fork. There’s a special way to roll it… but it still only takes 10 minutes plus some chilling time!
Warwick uni in autumn

Speaking of chilling, let’s take a moment to breathe. The campus is at its most beautiful in autumn, which is a welcome break from the stresses of returning to university life, as long as you remember to look around you. Cycling too is doing me some good, getting out in the open air and doing some exercise…
Epic smoothies

To keep the healthy-living routine I started making what i call “epic smoothies”. There is a brilliant little discount grocery shop around the corner, so I buy whatever fruit is on offer and make some big fruity smoothies! Good job there’s no ice-cream in the house, or these would probably become a lot less nutritious…
Bread making

Like pastry, bread isn’t hard to make either, and it also takes very cheap ingredients. I mean, you’ve got flour Β in your cupboards already right? You should… it’s so useful! I frequently whip together a pizza dough and leave it to rise while I do some work. Go for 125g strong white flour, 125g plain white flour, big pinch of salt, half a packet of yeast, and start adding warm water until you have a dough…. leave it to rise… and prepare your favourite toppings! Simple as that. Oh, and if you don’t have a rolling pin… then see above for wine-bottle technique!

Sausage casserole

The other thing I always have in the cupboard is Napolina Spicy Bean Salad – here I chucked it in with some chopped up cooked sausages & fried peppers & runner beans (home grown, mmm…) and make a very quick sort of ‘casserole’. But often I find they’re even a great substitute for meat, and they come in their own tomato spicy sauce, so perfect for bean burgers, quesadillas, and hardly need anything adding to them…

Sausage casserole
Jam making!

I even found a bit of time to make jam! I know… I’m a bit crazy. But since I found an elderberry bush just near my new house, some reduced fruits at the supermarket… and actually jam only takes 3-5 minutes to boil. That’s hardly long, is it? My recipe
Tea and lectures

After all that, I need a cup of tea! When I’m finding it tough to keep myself doing work, I generally find that if I pick up my books and move to a cafΓ© I’ll probably have more success. And failing that, tea with a friend usually puts life in perspective!
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