With yesterday being exactly a week until Christmas, I indulged in a little bit of festive excitement in the form of The Great British Bake Off Christmas Special. It made for very pleasurable viewing indeed. Inspired by Paul and Mary's festive bakes, I found myself craving the likes of Stollen and Mincemeat Streusel (Mary's ingenious traybake alternative to thrashing out batches and batches of mince pies).
Cooking & Lifestyle Blog
With exactly two weeks to go until Christmas day it is most definitely time to start getting into the festive spirit! I love a good roast around this time of year, not only is such a meal hearty and warming, but it is also pretty simple. Just prep the veg and meat and then pop it in the oven to do its thing whilst you chillax with a glass of mulled wine in front of a Christmas film...seasonal perfection!
As it continues to get colder and darker and Christmas approaches, oven cooked meals are certainly an appealing prospect. With its comforting batter and juicy sausages, toad in the hole is one of my all time favourite winter meals, especially if served with roast potatoes and winter greens such as kale. What's more, toad in the hole is easy to make and asks for little more than sausages, some flower, some milk and a couple of eggs – perfect if you are running low on money towards the end of term or saving up for Christmas pressies.
The praises of mug cakes are many; not only are they a beautifully quick and deliciously sweet pick me up, but they can often be made using simple cupboard ingredients, which is why they are perfect easy recipes for students. All these things mean that in a matter of minutes you can be enjoying some first-class home-made comfort food, all without having to endure any last minute dashes to the shop in the cold and rainy weather – always a bonus.
I don't know about you, but one of my favourite things about winter has to be cosying up in warm, wooly jumpers accompanied by good friends and a plateful of homemade food hot from the oven. Things may be a little more draughty away from home, so being at uni is even more reason to indulge in warming feasts. If you are looking for a filling and healthy winter warmer, look no further than this Chilli Con Carne with Crispy Jacket Potato – another one to add to the list of fantastically simple recipes!
So far this week three things have happened to confirm to me that summer is definitely over and winter is fast approaching. Firstly in a stubborn bid to avoid turning our heating on until November at the earliest, making a hot water bottle has become part of my night-time routine. Secondly, after leaving work on Monday to meet a friend for coffee I climbed the steps out of the underground to find that it was almost dark already, and it was only 6.30pm – the night’s are indeed ‘drawing in’ as my Granny would say. Thirdly, just this lunch time, after venturing out to buy her lunch in the pouring rain my work-mate Emma returned to the office, took her boots off to dry near the radiator and stepped into her handy work-slippers. Yes people, winter is on its way!
I am so suggestible when it comes to food! The Great British Bake Off episode on Bread – talk about food porn – had me craving that awesome freshly baked bread vibe you only get when you do it yourself. So I had a look for a yummy homemade bread recipe and turfed up this tasty focaccia – thought I would try something a bit different from your classic loaf…
Is it really autumn already?! Depressingly that makes it months since I donned my massive backpack, grabbed a trusty Lonely Planet guidebook and stepped onto a plane bound for a sun-drenched two weeks in Thailand.... sigh.
As I sat down to choose the third recipe in my series of Top 10 Simple Recipes for College Students, I thought to myself ‘what do all students like to eat?’ And what was the first thing to pop into my head? Yep, you’ve guessed it, pasta! So I set out to find a tasty and delicious pasta recipe that is easy to make and definitely a step above the pesto-and-pasta classic! So roll up your sleeves, step into the kitchen and rustle up some Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Macaroni, perfect comfort food as the evenings start to draw in!