Hello and Welcome!

Hello and welcome to my blog.

This is my very first one, so bear with me and enjoy reading about my adventures cooking all of the recipes from Nigella Lawson's new book 'Kitchen'.

From time-to-time I may post about things other than cooking, after all, Nigella does sell a lifestyle that most women would like have a slice of, so I would like to share a bit of mine - not quite as glamorous but fun none-the-less (may I add that most of my ideas and thoughts revolve around food anyway)!

Just to set the scene a little, I am based in Yorkshire, live with my husband and gorgeous toddler who is rapidly approaching his second year. I work in the events industry and love music, books, fashion, culture and of course... food.


Goddess Mx (meant in the loosest possible sense, believe me)!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

All brownied out

I feel like I am back into the swing of this Nigella challenge thingie again, having made quite a few of her dishes from 'Kitchen' of late.

Earlier in the week I made Chinatown chicken salad - an explosive dish with loads of red chilli, fresh ginger, rice vinegar, sesame oil and a touch of sugar as a dressing. The salad bit consisted of salted peanuts, iceberg lettuce, beansprouts, spring onions, red pepper, cooked chicken, coriander and tortilla chips. This salad is so crunchy that I had to go and sit in the kitchen to eat it, as hubby and I were annoying each other with the sound effects!

The next salad I made was not so good - chicken caesar. The dressing was raw egg beaten with garlic oil, extra-virgin olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice and salt. Romaine lettuce was torn up roughly onto plates with the chicken, seasoned, sprinkled with toasted pitta bread and drizzled with the eggy dressing. It was o-k but not as exciting as the chinatown. It tasted too healthy, which to me is a bit of a let-down.

My dad came to visit this weekend, and in 'nurturing' mode, I thought I would make something really wholesome - a kind of kitchen classic. I have flicked past risotto bolognese in 'the book' many a time, but it fit the bill for the purposes of this weekend. The meat sauce began with a mush (in the food processor) of onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, bacon and anchovies which was heated in butter/olive oil, before adding minced beef to brown. Marsala was the next ingredient in alongside processed tomatoes, tomato puree, milk, bay leaves and beef stock (I was unable to source veal stock as the recipe suggested). The dish was put in the oven for an hour to work its magic. Once out of the oven, the dish was placed on the hob (low heat), arborio rice added, followed by ladleful after ladleful of stock until the rice was cooked. I then seasoned, added butter, parmesan and then served. I liked this dish a lot, but maybe it was trying too hard. Perhaps less is more.

I always think it is nice when you have guests to have a tin of something sweet to snack on, so I made everyday brownies. Double bonus here as they made the house smell like domestic bliss - hmmmm... I melted butter over a gentle heat, added light brown muscovado sugar, sifting in cocoa powder, plain flour and salt. I then whisked up some eggs and vanilla extract and mixed these through the mixture with chunks of milk chocolate. This heavenly pool of chocolate was poured into a foil-lined baking tray and baked for the required time whilst I did a mighty-fine job of scraping the bowls satisfyingly. Once baked and cooled, the sliced brownies were sprinkled with sieved icing sugar. I think I overbaked these a little as they lacked the gooiness within, but no matter as they were gooood anyway. I have packed my dad off with the rest as I have had more than my share and need to eat very healthily next week to achieve anywhere near my holiday body by next Sunday (hello francais)!

Goddess Mx


  1. That chicken salad sounds like it has a lot of wonderful flavors! It looks great!

  2. What a truck load of food you made this weekend. Everything looks really delicious. Salads are a favorite of mine.

  3. You were a busy bee, Karen. Nothing like ending your series with a rich brownie!

  4. The Chinatown salad looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  5. You have been busy!!
    The Chinatown chicken salad looks and sounds lovely, as do the choc brownies!

    Have a great day!

  6. Looks like you had a busy and delicious week! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the recipes. It's interesting because I own Kitchen too and now I can suss out what recipes are hits. Chinatown salad looks like its on my to do list..

  7. It's great that you're making so many recipes from Kitchen. I borrowed it from the library for 3 weeks and just flipped and flipped through it without making anything! Just almost made the Devil's Cake. :)

  8. Wow! Your Dad is incredibly lucky. The bolognese sounds like it would be a rich dish especially with the marsala in there and those brownies look so dark and delicious. I don't know how many times I have overbaked brownies!

  9. Brownies are such a crowd pleaser - your dad is a very lucky man. I made brownies today too - or sort of brownies but I suspect they are not as good as yours were.