Thursday, 14 August 2014

So Long, Farewell!


And it was awesome.

The down side is, we're not going to be able to continue with this blog anymore...

Life is getting busier than it's ever been, and as we're no longer living in the same place it's just become too hard to coordinate things (as you may have noticed from the increasingly infrequent blog posts!). Seeing as we're no longer undergrads, it would also feel a bit cheaty continuing to write under the title of 'Uni Food'!. We sincerely promise to keep cooking though, and who knows - maybe we'll see you again in the future...

What we're doing next:

I'm going to be staying at Royal Holloway for a masters course in Medieval Studies, but I'm currently working with the college's Magna Carta 800th anniversary team. I'm writing about politics and Magna Carta over the centuries for an app to guide people around the site where Magna Carta was agreed in 1215, and it's been a really fascinating experience.

I'm currently job-hunting for food writing/editorial work in London; my ambition is to write my own cook book. I'm also not ready to give up blogging, and so am going solo with a shiny new website called Bryony's Kitchen, which will be awesome. Do follow me there for a variety of culinary exploits!

A huge, huge thank you to everyone who's followed, helped and supported us throughout the last few years. We couldn't have done it without you! xxx

Friday, 11 July 2014

Hey Pesto

Pesto is one of my favourite things ever - I usually have jars of both red and green in the fridge at all times, plus spares in the cupboard. And for some reason that I don't quite know, I'd never made my own until this week. Our basil plant was growing out of control, and there was only one thing to do...

- 50g pine nuts
- 50g fresh basil
- 25g fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- 150ml olive oil
- 50g veggie parmesan
- 2tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper

1. Fry the pine nuts (without any oil) until lightly toasted and golden brown.
2. Tip everything into a food processor and blitz! Season to taste, and enjoy.

If you have a bit more time on your hands, you could always roast the garlic first - or even try using wild garlic if it's in season. Pesto is super versatile - use it as a dip, stir it through some pasta or add it to a pizza. It'll also keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

MORE CAKE - Lemon & Elderflower Swiss Roll

So I'm still revelling in having the time to bake, and also loving all the fruit, vegetables and flowers that come with Summer. This recipe is inspired by that - specifically, the tiny, fragile elderflowers whose fragrance hits you every time you walk past a bush at the moment. They're only in season for a short time each year, so make the most of them while you can!

For the Sponge                                                       For the Filling and Decoration
- 3 medium eggs                                                     - 2tbsp lemon curd
- 75g caster sugar                                                   - 100ml double cream
- zest of 1 unwaxed lemon                                     - 1tbsp elderflower cordial
- 75g plain flour                                                       - 1tbsp icing sugar
                                                                               - ½tsp lemon juice
You'll also need a 20x30cm baking tin, greased and lined.

1. Start by pre-heating the oven to 220°C. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and thick (this will take at least 5 minutes with an electric whisk).
2. Tip in the lemon zest, and gently sieve in the flour, a little at a time, using a large metal spoon to fold them in.
3. Evenly pour the mixture into the tin, and bake for 9-10 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch.
4. Grab a sheet of greaseproof paper a little bigger than the cake tin and sprinkle with caster sugar. As soon as the sponge is out the oven, transfer it to the paper and peel off the lining paper from the tin. Make a small cut 2cm in from one of the short sides, then gently roll up the cake from the end with the cut. Allow to cool completely.
5. When the sponge is cool, unroll it and spread on the lemon curd. Whip the cream with the elderflower cordial and spoon it on top, then re-roll the cake as carefully as you can.

6. Mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice, then use a teaspoon to drizzle it over the cake. For an extra bit of pretty, you can grate over some extra lemon zest and use the icing to stick on fresh elderflowers.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Ultimate Beans on Toast

Everybody loves beans on toast. It's a student staple, and is perfect for a quick hunger fix at the end of a long day. But it doesn't have to be just emptying a tin into a saucepan - with a few more basic larder ingredients and an extra five minutes, you can transform it into something spectacular.

Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- ½ a red chilli
- 1½ x 400g tins baked beans
- 200g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- handful fresh parsley
- 4 slices bread, toasted and buttered
- handful grated cheddar cheese

Alternatively, you could just use two tins of Heinz 5 beans, though they're a bit more expensive unless you can get them on offer.

1. Pour a dash of olive oil and a knob of butter in a saucepan, and add the onion, garlic and chilli. Cook for five minutes until beginning to soften, then tip in the kidney beans.
2. Add the baked beans and simmer, stirring regularly, until they're beginning to go slightly mushy (or however you like them - this is my preference). Add the parsley and a twist of black pepper.
3. Pour the bean mixture over the toast, and sprinkle over the cheese. Enjoy!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Banana, Chocolate and Butterscotch Muffins for celebrating THE END OF OUR DEGREES

WE DID IT. I have no idea how, or what we'll get out of it (degree classifications don't come out for another month...), but in the meantime I'm catching up on sleep and all the things I've had to put off to write essays, like cooking and painting and walking and watching TV and BAKING! Fraser's calling it my rehabilitation, and I'm enjoying it immensely. So this weekend I made these...

Banana, chocolate and butterscotch muffins. They're based on a Nigella recipe - I first made them years ago with Andy, and they're sooooo good. You can vary the flavours however you like - I intend to try them with blueberries, or you could be super indulgent and go for a double chocolate chip variation.

Ingredients (makes 12):
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 250g plain flour
- ½tsp bicarb. of soda
- 1tsp baking powder
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g Green&Blacks butterscotch chocolate
- 50g butterscotch pieces

1. Start by preheating your oven to 200°C, and lining a muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Mash the bananas (I find the best things for this are a fork and a casserole dish lid), or tell a friend if they'll do it for you they can have the first muffin. Works like a charm.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the oil 'til they've come together. Add the flour, bicarb, baking powder and sugar and stir well.
4. Tip in the mashed banana, along with the butterscotch and chocolate (chopped), and stir through.
5. Dollop the mixture into the muffin cases. Don't worry if you make a bit of a mess - I seem to be incapable of doing it without getting cake mix all over the tray/my hands/the cat...

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. I recommend you check them after 20, and if they're not done turn the tray around to make sure they get an even final blast. Once they're out, they'll need at least 10 minutes to cool before you demolish them - if you can wait that long...

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Simple Summer Breakfast

Hello! I'm so sorry for being MIA recently - finals are life-consuming and I've literally been living in books and essays for the last two months. I haven't even been cooking (I've been home and Mum's been looking after me), so there hasn't been much to blog anyway... BUT, I have discovered a super yummy breakfast, that's quick and easy to make and provides good work-fuel to boot. RHUBARB.

Rhubarb is one of my favourite summer fruits, and at the moment you can buy it everywhere (if you're in Egham, we also sell it at the fruit and veg market on Tuesdays). It takes all of five minutes to cook, and then you can use it with anything.

- 4 sticks rhubarb
- 2tbsp caster sugar, or to taste (the general rule is half sugar to rhubarb sticks)
- natural yoghurt, to serve

1. Wash your rhubarb and cut into inch long pieces. Place in a microwaveable bowl with the sugar, then microwave for 5 minutes. Stir, then cook for a further minute or so ('til it's as soft as you like it to be). Voila! You now have stewed rhubarb.
2. Serve with natural yoghurt for a brilliant breakfast. If you have some around you can also grate over some nutmeg, or even add your own granola for an added crunch. The rhubarb will keep for a few days, so you can make enough to keep you going for a while.

My last essay's due on Friday, so after that it'll be back to regular posting while we run around in the sun and do lots of cooking. Enjoy, and to anyone else doing finals, good luck!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Super Seedy Flapjacks

Revision is mind numbing. 

But only two more weeks of drowning in post-it notes and going over things I've already done, and then it's summer, so can't really complain....


All this work hasn't made it particularly easy to get much cooking done, let alone blogging. I've been living off freezer food, toast and takeaways. 

The most exciting thing that's happened in my kitchen this term was Alex managing to set fire to some butter in the microwave. Apparently that's possible... I think it was the fact he put it in there still wrapped in metallic foil. Oh dear.

I did manage to bake myself some revision fuel though: 
Super seedy energy boosting flapjacks.

I made mine with gluten free oats, but you can use ordinary ones as well. This recipe is incredibly easy and very quick - you could probably make this in around an hour's revision break.

Here's what you need:

150g Rolled Oats
50g Pumpkin Seeds
50g Sunflower Seeds
100g Sultanas
3 tablespoons Golden Syrup
100g Butter
2 Bananas, peeled and chopped
75g Dark Chocolate, broken or chopped into small pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and use greaseproof paper to line a small roasting tray, or a square baking tin, or even a round cake tin if you don’t have anything square.

2. Weigh out the oats, the pumpkin seeds, the sunflower seeds and the sultanas, and mix them together in a bowl along with the sliced bananas.

3. Melt butter and golden syrup in a saucepan over a low heat – make sure it doesn’t boil or burn – until the butter is all melted and the mixture is completely combined. Turn off the heat.

4. Tip the bowl full of mixed ingredients into the saucepan and stir until they’re covered in the syrup-butter mixture.

5. Put the flapjack mixture into the lined tin and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden on top. Take it out of the oven and set aside to cool.

6. Now its time to melt the chocolate. I do this by putting a small amount of water in a small saucepan, placing a ceramic (non meltable) bowl on top, and placing the chocolate in the bowl. As the water starts to boil, the bowl heats up and the chocolate melts. Make sure the water doesn't boil too much or the water will boil over. 

7. Once the chocolate is melted, use a spoon to scatter the melted chocolate artistically over the flapjack (you can tell from the photos I’m really bad at this. But who doesn’t love big chunks of chocolate?) Leave the flapjack to cool completely, then cut it into even sized bars. Enjoy!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Time to Salsa

Like most students, I absolutely love fajitas, and have done for a very long time (as you can probably guess from how dated that post looks, wtf). They're quick, easy and incredibly tasty, and always feel like a treat.

That doesn't mean they have to be quick though. Don't get me wrong - they're great any way - but if you find yourself with a little extra time, it's super easy to do a couple of little extra things that make all the difference. In particular: the SALSA. It's super easy to make, and adds an extra element of luxury and impressiveness when you serve everything up. 

- 100g tomatoes
- ½ a chilli
- 5 spring onions
- 1 clove garlic
- juice of ½ lime
- handful fresh coriander
- salt and pepper, to taste

1. If you're lucky enough to have a food processor, throw everything in and blitz (though not until it's a purée - aim for general salsa consistency!). If you don't, that's completely fine, you just need to chop everything finely then mix together in a bowl. 
2. That's it. Serve with fajitas or anything else you fancy, and enjoy!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Stuff My Mushrooms.


It's seven o' clock as I write and it's still light outside. Which is lovely. 
This time of year always makes me want to go wandering round National Trust properties and do lots of studying. It's sort of lucky that I have a dissertation and a whole bunch of exam revision to do really... (I also got to go to a National Trust place this weekend - Ightham Mote, it was lovely-pictures below.) 

These lighter evenings make it an awful lot easier to take food photos - living in a flat in halls with awful neon lighting doesn't make for particularly appetising ones. But, tonight I was in the kitchen making dinner, the light looked lovely and I just had to get some photos. 

 Basically, I love mushrooms. (Bryony doesn't! Which means that if we're out and she has food with mushrooms in I always get to eat her mushrooms, so I'm not really complaining...) These are my rice stuffed mushrooms. I've blogged stuffed mushrooms before, but these ones are different. Possibly better.... 

But you'll just have to make both recipes and try them out for yourselves... 

Rice stuffed mushrooms (to serve two as a main or four as a side):

150g long grain rice 
2 white onions 
6 spring onions 
2 cloves of garlic 
2 tsp mixed Italian herbs 
1 stock cube 
4 flat cap mushrooms 
A liberal handful of grated cheddar cheese 
A knob of butter and a dash of olive oil 
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Cook the rice (You place in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for about fifteen minutes until the rice is tender. Don't stir it too much or the starch from the rice is released and it goes all gooey. Drain the rice in a colander, and rinse it through with hot water.) 
2. While the rice is cooking, finely chop the onions. Heat a knob of butter and dash of olive oil in a large saucepan, and add the onion. Fry gently. 
3. Slice the spring onions and add to the pan, along with the dried herbs and a crushed stock cube. Stir in thoroughly. 
4. Crush the garlic (using a knife, or a special garlic crusher if you have one) and add to the pan. 
5. Cut the stems out of your mushrooms, chop these and add to the pan as well. 
6. By now your rice should be cooked. Add it to the onion/garlic/spring onion pan, season with salt and pepper and stir through thoroughly. Turn off the heat. 
7. Place your mushrooms in a reasonably high sided dish or roasting tray, and add a generous spoonful of the rice mixture to each mushroom. If there's any left in the pan after you've run out of room in your mushrooms just stuff it into the gaps between them in the tray, burying the mushrooms. Top with the cheese. 
8. Place the mushroom/rice tray into the oven and cook for about twenty to thirty minutes until the cheese is melted and golden. 
9. Take the tray out and serve the mushrooms. I ate mine with parsnips, but I think this would go really well with cheesy leeks, or even as a side to go with a quiche or a tart.