Foodie Corner

I always keep a little jar of instant coffee in my car in case the houses I clean at ever run out (it’s hard to spend a whole day cleaning without sustenance!), and as I was running low, when  I saw this ‘Millicano’ coffee half price in Tesco the other morning I bought it.  You can’t see from this photo, but it’s instant coffee with real coffee added, and claims to be the ‘Best Instant ever’.  If it hadn’t been on offer I wouldn’t have bothered, but I’m really glad now that I did.

Instant coffee’s always claiming to be ‘As good as the real thing’, but we all know it’s nothing like it … or at least it wasn’t – until now.  When you add hot water to this stuff, it actually looks like real coffee, and when you get to the bottom, it’s got that thin layer of coffee film you often get with cafetiere coffee.  Most importantly though: it tastes great!  It’s not the real thing, but it’s a damn good substitute!

I don’t eat a lot of red meat (I’m living with my dad at the moment, and if I cooked a steak he’d be there with his head in the pan, so it’s easier not to bother), but when I occasionally house-sit, my dinner’s always a steak and some good red wine!  I’m not a big fan of Tesco meat I’m afraid – I’ll usually go to my local butcher, Waitrose or Sainsbury’s, but I just happened to see this a few weeks ago.  It was ‘New’, and I have to say, it was delicious.  I’ve not had one since to compare it to (in case it was a one-off), but this one was excellent.  (Sorry, the photo’s chopped half the pack off but I can’t work out how to fix it!)

They had “Coronation Coleslaw” in Sainsbury’s recently, but I find ‘bought’ colelsaw too greasy/slimy, so made my own instant version.  Either grate your own carrot/cabbage or buy a bag of coleslaw mix, then make the dressing.  I used salad cream, a little natural yogurt, raisins and some ‘normal’ curry powder to taste.  Just mix it all together, add the carrot/cabbage and that’s it … done!  A nice, refreshing twist.

I paid an unscheduled visit to Pizza Express a couple of weeks ago, but due to not being able to upload photos properly at the moment (it won’t upload any photo I’ve taken on my iPhone all of a sudden), I’ve not been able to get these up before today.  My wonderful new web guy has fixed something up temporarily, but the sizing still isn’t right, so that’ll be a challenge for this week.

In the meantime, I just wanted to say that even though I’m not vegetarian I usually have the Fiorentina pizza, but on the night I went (by myself), they had 2 courses for £10 so I had this tomato/mozzarella salad too, and (apart from the basil dressing being too salty) I have to say that it was the best food I’d ever had in there.  The pizza was cooked just right, and the salad was SO fresh and tasty that I have to admit to having woofed the lot. Accompanied by a large glass of Barossa Shiraz; it was a fine meal!

I also wanted to put this other photo up too.  The bowls are quite small but look large on this photo (in case you think I’m a pig!).  This is a meal I knocked-up a recently in less time than it would take to do something that took longer …

The sauce took only minutes to prepare and was made in the same pan I’d cooked the penne in.  (This is the most basic version, but you could add nutmeg, chilli, finely diced onion/shallot, olives etc, etc if you’ve got the time/inclination.)  I just took the skin off a couple of sausages (there’s such a great variety of spicy/smoky ones these days, it makes sauce-making so easy), and popped them in the pan then broke them up with a spoon so it was like mince.

I then fried them for a couple of minutes before then simply slinging in a tin of my favourite ‘instant’ sauce: Sainsbury’s Chair De Tomate with a pinch of sugar, and simmering it for a couple of minutes before adding the penne back in, popping it in the bowl and grating pecorino and a healthy whack of black pepper over the top.

You know how I love Twitter?  Well, quite by chance while I was looking for a photo on Google, the arrow hovered over a gorgeous photo which gave me the name Babaduck.  I clicked on it, and what I found was this: http://bit.ly/ifaKTP which is the most delicious site/blog/recipes and one which – if you like food – I’m sure you’ll love.  I haven’t even had a proper look at it myself yet, but I soon will!

PS Last week’s Foodie Corner has the recipe for peanut butter cookies (using only three ingredients). Older posts are currently in their individual weekly blogs, but the plan is to copy them all into ‘Foodie Corner’ so that you’ll be able to see everything ‘foodie’ together.  Keep watching for that!

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