It's that time of the year again: leaves are starting to change colour, sweaters are reappearing and students are going back to school. Now is the time when everybody re-evaluates his or her budget, and for most students that means spending the bare minimum on food. Well, as a fellow student, I can tell you that a small food budget means much more than eating canned soup every night! It's completely possible to cook beautiful and delicious meals with little money.
Cooking & Lifestyle Blog
It's that time of year when nervous hands will be opening exam results envelopes, hoping that those extra hours spent playing Grand Theft Auto instead of revising ecosystem nutrient cycles hasn't ruined their chances of getting into Molecular Biology at Cardiff.
For this week's simple recipe, I thought we would jet off to the sunny climes of South-East Asia. Reputed for its use of fresh ingredients and wealth of incredible flavour combinations, cuisine from this part of the word is both distinctive and delicious. What's more, the use of fresh ingredients helps ensure that recipes are often rich in varied nutrients, boosting their health credentials.
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!
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.