Steaming hot toad in the hole, mmm...

I like the idea of food being hearty – it conjures up the notion of a nourished heart, food helping the mind & spirit as well as having physical health repercussions. Not that I’m a comfort eater, I have never been able to eat much more than I feel like (there has been a half-packet of chocolate biscuits sitting in a tin in my room for too long now. Time to call in reinforcements…”Seb…?”). But a good healthy meal can do wonders for the way I feel, and a lot of this is through the cooking process! Ah, if only students stopped pretending they don’t have time to cook. You can watch Come Dine With Me and cook at the same time you know… 😉

'Hearty' pasties

Now these pasties really are hearty, since I couldn’t help myself but cut out little hearts and stick them on when Seb was making them! Ahh, simple pleasures. Since Seb was making tuna pasties and I can’t go NEAR tuna (cat food!!) I chopped up some veggies (peppers, onion, boiled potatoes, sugar snap peas, sweetcorn) and mixed in some cheese sauce for my filling… yum!

'Hearty' pasties

[to make cheese sauce mix together equal quantities of butter & flour, about a tbsp, in a pan over a low heat, then add milk while mixing with a hand whisk or fork to get the lumps out, keep adding milk until the lumps have gone and it’s fairly thin then thicken up over heat and finally add cheese!]

Sweet 'n' sour

This week has been a sweet & sour one, and when you’re feeling tired and overworked it’s easy to crave junk food – exactly what your body DOESN’T need. My solution? Home-made favourite take-away! I have also been craving vegetables, so thought I’d try cooking with some cabbage for a change, as well as peppers & sugar-snap peas. To accompany: home-made egg fried rice.

Sweet 'n' Sour

Tonight though, I took advantage of Seb being off revising for imminent exams to buy in a load of sausages and make toad-in-the-hole, with mashed potato, fried cabbage with peas & mangetout, and red wine & onion gravy. Find out how to make the perfect yorkshire batter here. As my housemates all came home, some with friends & boyfriends, I was aware that some find it a little odd that I should cook up quite time-consuming food just for myself. But on the contrary, cooking for myself is my favourite way of relaxing while doing something active and rewarding & taking care of myself.You can see my steaming toad in the hole at the top, but here is another colourful view:

toad in the hole

And one last treat, my favourite pudding of all and the ultimate “comfort” food if I do have one. Cheesecake. Lime & stem ginger cheesecake (with ginger nut biscuit base). Only the simplest of cheesecakes – icing sugar, philadelphia & cream – so sweet, but it does the trick.

Cheesecake

I have made a very exciting acquisition this week too, a new Good Food Society apron! Unfortunately my camera ran out of battery before I could get a good photo, so this will be my next thing to share. Apart from that, I’m just counting down the days until my exams are over, 2 weeks today! And soon after, it’s real Italian food and real relaxation… 🙂

NB: If you want any of these recipes in detail, just ask me and I’d be happy to tell you! Just email charliefothergill [at] hotmail.co.uk Also, I made a new ‘about page’. Hope you like it!

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