Hitting the krumpli zone

This week’s recipe was rakott krumpli (recipe is second result at the link), a rather delicious layered casserole from Hungary, containing potato, bacon, sausage, hard-boiled eggs, sour cream and a hefty dose of paprika. Delicious!

For once, I did not have to make any changes to the recipe — ingredients or procedure — at all πŸ™‚ The casserole turned out brilliantly — rich, creamy, flavoursome and very filling. I got five pretty decent portions out of this, which should be immensely helpful given the distinctly chilly temperatures England is currently experiencing. Winter is coming!


The other big recipe I’ve done recently is Norwegian almond bars (third result at the link), which I made last Friday. Even though I didn’t manage to completely combine the potato with the other filling ingredients (I was feeling a bit under the weather), it all worked out in the baking process — as the recipe intro said, it was impossible to tell that there was any potato in there at all, even though I hadn’t peeled it before boiling or mashing (extra fibre, ye ken). It tasted pretty darn good, too, although it was more of a tart or cake than ‘bars’ because I used my trusty spring-clip cake tin, not having a rectangular receptacle of the right size to hand. Oh well πŸ™‚


Thessaloniki and Puglia β€” Diane Seed

Mount Athos My summer passed in a blur of azure Mediterranean seas – first Sifnos, then Ischia, Sardinia and Corsica. I followed this by flying to the UK in August to cook and play schools with my grand-daughters, while Georgina was busy working, and I began to feel I needed to get home and settleΒ […]

via Thessaloniki and Puglia β€” Diane Seed

Artistic endeavours!

I’ve started work on designing the cover for my little original novella! I already know that I want a photo of the Yorkshire Dales to form the background, so I’ve been poking through Wikimedia Commons to find some interesting pictures to potentially use in the mock-up of the cover which I’ll be sending to York Publishing Services along with the manuscript (I’ll be taking their advice on copyrights and so on for the final background photo).

I’ve also been drawing a few Triceratops heads (my protagonist is a Triceratops shifter, because Triceratops = awesome!), with slightly mixed success — the front view and three-quarter view turned out ok, but my attempts at side view were…not so great. I was using a fairly detailed plastic Triceratops as a reference, so it’s probably lack of practice more than anything else behind the wobblyness. I have to admit that I’m having trouble working out how to upload a photo from my own computer to a WP post, so I can’t show you my progress that way 😦 Oh well πŸ™‚

(Not much to say on the food front this week — I just did pasta with peas and bacon, but I am planning to have a bash at Norwegian almond bars, Hairy Bikers style, later this week)

Loafin’ around

Made pork meatloaf as this week’s special, using an Austrian recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ Big Book of Baking πŸ˜€

‘Twas mightily delicious — perfect texture, very juicy, not at all dry, excellent flavour! I did mess up a little on the sauce to go with, because the stock which I’d poured around the base of the loaf before baking it didn’t reduce as much as I’d expected, and I didn’t let it reduce enough in the saucepan I poured it into afterwards, so when I added the sour cream the sauce was still pretty runny. Tasty, though, so I don’t mind πŸ™‚

I got four hearty portions out of this, so I’m happy πŸ™‚

Also, it’s the fourth anniversary of my creating this site today! Yay!

Oh me oh my

Not much to say on the food front this week — I just worked up a batch of fusilli alla ciociara (creamy pea, ham + mushroom sauce, yum yum) because it’s a quick, easy standby that tastes really good ^^

It’s been a bit of a wild ride on the computing front — updated my personal laptop to the latest version of openSUSE last week, then on Saturday night just gone a very weird glitch (possibly a hardware fault) meant I ended up having to reinstall the operating system! It didn’t do my anxiety issues any favours at the time, but I’ve got things sorted out now ^^ Which is a good thing, because that little novella I wrote is currently in the hands of a trusted friend for beta-reading, so I’m gearing up to design the cover — or at least a mock-up thereof. I intend to take advantage of the skills of York Publishing Services’ cover design team to get a good, professional look, but I have a pretty clear idea of the general style and layout that I want, and I’ll be doing a bit of digital art that I’d really like to include in the final cover in any case — for symbolic reasons, relating to my protagonist’s feelings of isolation/not quite fitting in (said protagonist is partly based on my own experiences of being autistic — sadly, I can’t turn at will into a Triceratops though… D: ).

A Strombolian flavour eruption

Back to making stuff out of recipe books this week, although not diet ones — I don’t have a copy of Hairy Dieters Make It Easy yet, and it’s getting towards rib-liner weather, so I’ll be charging around in Hairy Bikers’ Big Book of Baking instead.

The first recipe from this endeavour is stromboli — a sort of rolled-up pizza. Delicious! I made things exactly as the recipe stated, and it turned out brilliantly πŸ˜€ The tomato sauce was just the right amount (after the cooking-down) to cover the bread section, and the prosciutto and mozzarella filled things out to perfection. I used one pack of the cheapest prosciutto I could find in Sainsburys (at Β£1.50), so I only had five slices to play with rather than the eight given in the recipe. This worked pretty well, but next time I make stromboli (and there *will* be a next time, because it’s delicious!) I might get two packs, giving ten slices in total — vivamus cibum!

(Note on the title: the reference is to a type of volcanic eruption known as ‘Strombolian‘, after the volcanic island of Stromboli in the Mediterranean — this type of eruption is characterised by ejections of incandescent cinders and small pieces of solid matter to relatively low altitudes)