Sunday, 17 April 2011

Garlic Herb Chicken Skewers

Garlic herb chicken with pita bread
In my last post I promised to show one use of the pita style bread that I had made. Usually I would just cut it open and fill the inside with whatever I am eating, but for this meal, I was a bit more lazy and just put everything on top and folded it over.

I made some garlic and herb marinated chicken, and cooked it under a grill on skewers. It would taste even better on the BBQ, but it was a bit cold for that. Now that the weather is warming up, I will soon have the BBQ out.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Pita style bread

Pile of cooked breads
I promised to post some recipes, and I mentioned some lovely recipes I had made. Here is the first for a lovely pita style bread. I won't say it is pita bread, because I just made them on the spot without any real recipe, but they did the job, and tasted wonderful.

There is a slight problem with me coming up with things on the spot, any measurements probably won't be accurate since I just guess afterwards. For this it doesn't matter too much, the recipe would be constantly changing due to weather, flour, or whatever. Dough recipes tend to be like that, so it's best to start with a rough number to follow then adjust until it "feels right". This should be a particularly dry dough, we don't want the inside to puff up like bread, we want a nice pocket of air with some gorgeous tasting bread around it.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Almost done

There is about a week left until the deadline for my final project for university. It constantly feels like I'm butting my head against the wall. I'm really not sure if I will manage to get anything decent done in time. Everything is just piling up on top of me and I have nowhere to hide from it all. I have some pictures of things I've cooked recently but right now I'm a bit too stressed to make any meaningful posts, perhaps later today or tomorrow I will post some. Right now I think its mini-cheesecake time, those things are lovely. They are just store bought ones, but I'll definitely be making some when I have the right ingredients. Once my project is done I'll have a bit of time to relax while I study for my exams. then during exams I'll have some money to make some lovely food. I can't wait to be making good food.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce

Baked egg in sauce on pasta
Lately I've been sleeping more and more, so I haven't really done much work. That's a bit of a worry since I'm only 2 weeks away from my deadline, so I really need to focus on studying. Unfortunately that means I have less time to cook.

This recipe is a very quick and simple dish, it tastes great. I didn't think it through properly before making it though, so I put everything together in the pan which meant that on the plate it looked hideous. I forgot to take a picture of it on the plate before eating the whole thing at once, since it tasted so good. (Edit: Apparently I didn't forget, I just forgot that I took the pictures. They have been added in now).

Friday, 25 March 2011

Chilli Con Carne

A tasty, filling, cheap chilli.
I did have something in mind to talk about, but my mind has completely gone blank. I guess that's what I get for attempting to blog at 5:30am. My cupboards are getting bare, my freezer contains a single leek, and the fridge has 1 egg and two carrots. Bleak times indeed. Luckily I have some photo's of previous meals I've made, hopefully they will carry me over to when I next get some money and can start making some *real* recipe posts.

When there's need for a cheap and tasty meal, nothing beats chilli con carne. Well, some things might, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. I've read about people arguing about whether chilli should have beans in it or not, I think it should, otherwise you're just making a spicy Bolognese sauce. My normal chilli is a bit different to this one, but I used what I had on hand. It tasted great, and that's the main thing that matters.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Recipe Search? Summer plans.

When I can't remember how long ago I last posted, it's time to post again. I was recently reading about what other people think of the google recipe search, it's a good read for any food blogger. As anyone might figure out from my older posts(here and here), I have the rich snippets working on my recipes, although it required quite some effort even after looking at how two popular plug-ins implement them (the recipe wiz and recipeSEO). It has been noted that Google's recipe search may not find your recipes even if you use the rich snippets if you don't have enough pages implementing them, or not enough of the page implements them. Not to mention that blogger, owned by Google, doesn't have any simple way to add rich snippets, I have to add mine by hand in the HTML editor each time (I have a template saved to my hard-drive that I use in an external HTML editor because it colours things nicely).

I have a ton of take away menus strewn about my floor, not because I eat take away meals often but because some of them have interesting meal ideas. I will be attempting(in the future) to recreate these meals in much more tasty and healthy way. It's a shame that the take away restaurants are expensive and poor quality, some of the food sounds really amazing. So look out this summer for my take out meal inspired recipes, I'm sure they will be a tasty and healthy way to enjoy take away favourites.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Eggs and rice, Two ways!

Image of Finished dish
Egg and rice in two different ways
I've made some truly terrifying foods out of curiosity, boredom, or lack of resources. I seem to remember a sandwich that contained ham, cheese, chocolate spread, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and possibly peanut butter, liberally sprinkled with vinegar. There is a line between adventurous and insane, I'm fairly sure I know what side of the line I was on when that idea came to mind.

The recipes I will show now are far from that, they were actually really good. That's saying something, since I don't like omelette and one of the recipes has an omelette. I wish I had taken pictures while I was cooking it, but I didn't plan to post it to begin with. I do have some lovely pictures of the finished dish though, so you can enjoy those instead.

Future plans

I thought now would be a good time to give a rough idea of my plans  for the next few weeks(and some long term goals).

  • I made omelette today, as I mentioned in my last post that I might. I will post the pictures and recipe later.
  • I have some pictures of food that I have made in the past week, I will organise those, and write up the recipes.
  • I will post those recipes either 1 or 2 a week, with smaller posts during the days I don't post recipes.
  • The reason I don't just post recipes every day is because I can't afford to buy enough food to make different dishes every day, otherwise I would.
  • In May I will be posting some BBQ recipes (and pictures of my gigantic BBQ).
  • When I leave university I will hopefully post recipes more often, and continue to post on days that I don't post recipes.
If anyone has noticed parts of my page appearing and disappearing from time to time, I was playing with the layout to try to get it just the way I wanted it. I'm not sure whether I'm completely happy with it yet, so it might continue to change a little bit more.

I also want to mention that from now my post url's should make more sense, they will have more to do with the recipe contained in the post, if there is one.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Fluffy White Meringues & Rich Yolk Meringues

Piture of meringue slice
Fluffy White Meringue

As a student a person will do many silly things. My most recent silly thing was to buy a box of 30 eggs with no clear plan on what to use them for. I guess that I thought I would make some cakes that used eggs, or something like that, but I used up all my flour making breads so that idea has fallen through.

However, this means that I have had a chance to brush up on my egg making skills, I haven't made plain eggs for a long time, so recently I've been practicing my poached eggs, fried eggs, boiled eggs and scrambled eggs. I don't make omelettes because I didn't like them when I was younger, perhaps I will make one this week to see if I like them now.

So when you have a big box full of eggs and not much else, what comes to mind? Of course it's meringues. I already had meringues on my mind anyway thanks to Emma's post on finding a good meringue topping for a lemon meringue pie at There's no crying in pastry. So here is some meringues I made today.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Today, rather than doing university work

Today, rather than doing university work, I have:

  • Commented about roast potatoes on Simply Homemade.
  • Almost made myself sick by eating too much of a rich egg concoction with an empty stomach.
  • Tried to link my blog to my Facebook page here. I think I almost have it set up to display new posts, but the like button on my blog works just fine.
I will fix my first post to use the Hrecipe microformat stuff later today, and I will hopefully remember to post a couple of recipes for eggs, but be warned, one is the extremely rich one I mentioned earlier.

I think I like doing things this way, one or two recipes a week, and then a few short posts in between. It gives me something to do, and hopefully is pretty interesting to read what I get up to during the week.

Friday, 18 March 2011

And finally...

Got the Hrecipe microformat rich snippet to work. I started with a recipe formatted using RecipeSEO. It is a plug-in for wordpress, however there is an on-line tool on the website which gives you the code to use in other blog platforms like blogger.

After getting the formatted recipe, I decided I wanted to personalise the layout, re-arrange some parts of it, and add in a few things that it didn't. I quickly found that I don't like blogger's "edit HTML" part of posting, and copied the HTML into my own editor to work on.

If anyone would like some basic recipe rich snippet code, let me know. It's useful to have in the post template and fill in as you go along, but it will require small amounts of html editing for each recipe. The advantages are that your recipes will turn up in google's recipe search, which will be nice.

Just a quick update today, might post some more later after I sleep. Still working on the design/layout of the blog, looking a lot better already though.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Simple pasta with tomato sauce recipe

Picture of pasta with sauce.
Pasta with spicy herb and tomato sauce.
Although I want to be posting only one recipe per week for now, this week I will make an exception as I want to test out how 'Rich Snippets' work with my recipes. It seems to be a lot of work, but it should make my recipes more accessible from Google's new recipe search, which is good.

I decided to go with an easy classic this time, pasta with a spicy herb and tomato sauce. Though the name of the sauce is the same as the one from my last post, the sauce is actually different, mainly because the intended use of the sauce differs between the two recipes. That being said, there is actually quite a lot of similarities between the two recipes.

My thoughts and a Giant Steak Sandwich

Picture of finished recipe.
Giant Steak Sandwich
First of all, I'll introduce myself. I'm Matt, currently 21 years old as I'm writing this, and a student at university. I have enjoyed cooking ever since I was small. Unfortunately, being a student, I haven't got much money, so until I leave in a few months the recipes I post about will be simple foods that fill the stomach on a tight budget. I will update this blog with a new recipe each week.

I will show you all my favourite foods, simple tweaks to make common meals taste much better, and experiments with cooking that I do.
For my first recipe it will be something my house-mates dubbed "The Manwich". This is due to the relative "man-sized" portion of things, but I will go for the slightly more conservative name of giant Steak Sandwich. It contains a couple of steaks, cheese and some mushrooms in a spicy herb and tomato sauce.