Sunday, 3 July 2011

Day 99 and 100


Right down to the wire I have completed my challenge... unfortunately my final 2 recipes were not my favorite and the panacotta turned out too runny so it just splodged on the plate... Sourdough, red mullet turned snapper, panacotta....and I have finished!

Today is the day before America's independence from us in Britain... after 4years of sitting by and watching them celebrate this holiday I decided it was finally time to join in... we are having a dinner party here and I am teaching one of my fellow swimmers Jamie's carbonara, I made hummus and cake...these are my lil american tasties!!
I figured it was time to embrace my Americanisms and join in! Everyone is bringing their own special dish and we might end up having enough food for the rest of the week!!!
I will post a sum-up tomorrow after my dinner party :) 

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Day 96 and 97

Theres something fishy going on here...

Dinner after a relatively good practice and a massage yesterday; lasagna with squid and mussels... not really sure I can say I will make this again, I do not like squid or mussels much but hidden in the tomatoes and onions with pasta I didn't hate it...

On the side I had the salmon wrapped in newspaper, this one I loved!! I didn't do a whole salmon...taper time warrants small portions and just for me as a side to the lasagna needed a small piece of salmon.. but this one I will make again, I loved the taste. 

Today however I finally bit the bullet... SARDINES... 

If you see where they started and how they got to where they finished you will see the apprehension I experienced..I am not much of a fish person in the first place and so just sitting in their fishy form in stage one freaked me out... but then to de-head, gut and bone them added to the already vomit worthy process..

However all that being said, I actually didn't hate the final product! I have a whole bunch left in the freezer but I might have to leave it a while to debrief from the experience before I make them again! 

Finally for dinner today I used the Skate Wing recipe only with tilapia... Even if I do say so myself it was to die for!!! We saw the movie Transformers and I needed something quick before I went to a meeting at the crisis center and this was the ideal taper time meal... it was almost fish fingers, only it was 10x better because I had made it!! I made a lime- creme fresc dollop, together with the spinach and fish was perfect for a quick and easy meal.
This only leaves me with one fish dish and the panacotta dessert, together with the baking of the sourdough left and the challenge is complete... WHOOPPIEE!!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Day 95

So very nearly there...

With only 5 days left and a good cracking last few days I feel like even if I don't find the Japanese Mooli or  maybe not try the sardines (they are really testing my mind with a huge blockage right now, I still can't get over the sardine taste thing) I have really accomplished what the premise of this challenge really was...TO LEARN HOW TO COOK!

Yesterday I branched away from Jamie for one of our Monday switch out meals..
Spinach and artichoke dip with homemade pita chips
Salad with parma ham, mozzarella, strawberries and Jamie's lemon and honey dressing
Pasta with spinach, cream-cheese and sun-dried tomatoes
Pineapple with mint sugar (Jamie's recipe!)

Another epic Monday night dinner complete and a success!! After the beach on Sunday I am a little bit burned but I did manage to make the salad dressing sunday night-- I am not sure this was one of my favorite dressings but we are nearing the end of Jamie and I guess the left overs were left over for a reason!!

Today I managed the celeriac and chicken in flour for dinner followed by the chocolate cambridge cream custard... 

I didn't have a blow torch so the bubbly sugar on top didn't turn out exactly like I had wanted, however it tasted FABULOUS!!
So my executive decision is to miss the Japanese Mooli Salad until I one day run into them at a store somewhere. I have checked Mother Earth, Publix, Fresh Market, and Wards and none of these markets have them..
 I think either tomorrow or thursday I will have an eclectic fish dinner and finish the last few fish recipes, and I will finish with the Lasagna and roasted rhubarb for the last I said Challenge- possible- I will get it done!! 

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Day 92

Dinner w Krystal!!

Chicken in Milk, braised greens and Cannoli...another EPIC dinner with Hall Pass on demand, after practice and a wonderful lunch date with Ashley, over to see Marco as he recovers from his hospital visit and then home to make a rather large dinner...

The chicken and greens were amazing!! I cannot believe it took me so long to make it, although the chicken in milk kinda scared me..a lot... again Jamie knows what he is doing!!! perfect juicy and succulent!! 

The cannoli might look like a dead loin chop covered in blood but that is actually the chocolate that made the ricotta turn brown and the raspberry sauce that looks like blood and although I am not a huge fan of the actual cannoli itself this also turned out very tasty!!!  
Lots of people out of town this weekend so Carter is here to stay again!!! I freaking LOVE this pup!!! so beautiful...beach tomorrow with Ashley and Kori! Super excited and ready for a relaxing day after a long long week!!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Day 91


Today I battled through 5 different things on my list leaving me now with 14 left in 9 days... 

As I said yesterday challenge is still on and except for the Japanese Mooli, I still believe it is possible...if only I had stayed in a couple of those nights I ate out; crunch time might not be so crunchy!

First today I started the sourdough which will take 7 days to complete so right on 2 days before the end of my challenge... the flour and water are collecting yeast from our air as we speak and should start bubbling tomorrow...this process is long but very easy!

Next  I had lunch today taste-testing the final Oyster and then substituting fresh figs with the ones in fresh market for the salad ...needless today the fresh ones would be 100times better than these but for now that will do...the salad itself was good and tasty but as I said fresh would definitely be key for those months when figs are in season!! I will be running to the store as soon as they are!! 

Next on my busy cooking day was the pork cooked in wine with fennel seeds, I roasted this before practice, which I was very grateful for when I got home and it was ready for me to re-heat and eat with some rice and fennel!! YUMMY!!! 

Finally today I finished with one of the desserts...lemon curdy pud...I wasn't sure I would like it as I used to only really eat desserts with chocolate in but surprise surprise Jamie did it again...SPECTACULAR!!! 

14 to go in 9 days: Count Down..

1) Lemon Pickle
2) Japanese Mooli Salad
3) Bashed pine nut and basil dressing
4) Lasagna
5) Salmon in Newspaper
6) Skate wings
7) Sardines
8) Red Mullet
9) Chicken in Flour
10) Chicken in Milk
11) Braised greens
12) Cannoli
13) Chocolate Cambridge Cream
14) Pannacotta w roasted rhubarb

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Day 90

YIKES CRUNCH TIME... ten days to go and some serious cooking needs to be done... 19 dishes left with  the sourdough which takes 7days and 4 desserts... 

Today was perhaps one of the longest days I have ever experienced! From practice on Wednesday night to my In-House training shift from 8pm-12midnight, to my phone shift from midnight to 3 (which was off the hook!!), quick nap,  to practice from 7am-930am to the hospital to visit my friend with a ruptured spleen and ruptured kidney til 2.30pm.....I might just say now.... EXHAUSTED!

Needless to say Wednesday was sans cooking but tonight I managed Jamies friend Jethro's tart and the beef and dumpling stew. So here goes the rest of the week...

Saturday dinner with Krystal, Sunday dinner for our True Blood party and tomorrow I am on call so I will get some serious cooking in... 

I am struggling to find figs in season and the Japanese Moli for the salads...I will keep trucking..

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Day 88

Sorry I have been so MIA, travelling to Santa Clara this weekend completely took me away from my cooking...

I raced over in California, not anywhere near where I need to be at the end of the season but right on my in-season time for the 100 backstroke. Although I am no where near satisfied with my performances I have come home with a new outlook on training...ITS GO TIME!

Back to the cooking I made the baked peppers today with the steak medallions and shallots, quick and easy meal to start me back into the swing of I only have 12 days left...not only is it crunch time in the pool its crunch time on my challenge!! 

Dinner yesterday with the usual Monday crew and Rodion by Conor and Joyce was perfect pancake breakfast dinner, just what I needed after a long redeye home with pretty much an hour of sleep!! I really need to learn how to sleep better...

I'll be back soon :)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Day 78

Loving my new living room layout!!!!

After re-arranging my living room I have a much more homely feel and cooking is defs easier with the house clean and looking GREAT!! So friday was chili con carne with a chocolate pudding with an orange in the middle... unfortunately the pudding turned into a big splodgy mess on the plate because the pudding basin wasn't big enough for the orange!!! haha... but it did taste absolutely spectacular and you even got the taste of orange in the chocolate!! 

The chili had a few moderations with no beans as I really am not a bean fan at all... and a little less chili powder than called for but it was also fabulous, I even used cinnamon -which until now I have wretched at the thought of- and I liked it!!!

Then today I made the steak and Guinness pie for lunch after a good breakfast and I was so full for the rest of the day!! I might have used a little too much Guinness but other than that it turned out well. 

Finally I made the walnut and apricot bread, which I didn't really think I would like but again I got to trust Jamie! It was awesome and the perfect little snack before bed! While watching how to train my pet dragon!! BEST day :) 

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Day 75


This week I have seriously been slacking on the cooking... I have been busy with a lot of different things although this weekend I did manage the cherry bread and monkfish and asparagus..

...Monday was "switch-out day" with PVK, Conor and Joyce- my turn but I wanted something AMAZING that I know I do well instead of the stragglers that are left in the book so I made a shepherds pie (Jamie style!), my famous baked brie and white chocolate torte for dessert and it was FABULOUS!!! hehe... 

So I still have a ways to go, after helping train the newbies at the crisis center on Tuesday from 515 to 1130pm I didn't have time to cook dinner and last night was an Olive Garden date with Levar, tonight was a bento night with Ed and Rex!

Back to cooking tomorrow even though I am on call, and next week is just as busy with my trip to Santa Clara so I think I am going to be cutting this very close but I still think I can do it!!!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Day 68

Yummy dinner!

After a very relaxing day I made myself some Lamb and Tomatoes with Eggplant! It was delicious!!! 
Whoop!! With the left over roasted garlic I also made the roasted garlic and vinegar salad dressing ready for my lunch tomorrow.. Got to get back to watching some serious trueblood season you later gator! :) ...

31 dishes left with 6 of those being desserts!!! Getting almost close to the end.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Day 67

Elderflower cordial day

Yesterday was perhaps the most productive I have been in a while, practice in the morning, nap for most of the day...dinner with Krystal and the on call all night...

I had ordered some Elderflower cordial from amazon along with some muscavado sugar and today was the day to use them both!!

I made the elderflower jelly in the day and it looks FABULOUS today, and we had the Japanese pork with a plum center over rice and spring onions and for dessert we had the blueberry and elderflower yogurt..although neither of us really like coriander (or cilantro for you Americans) or star anise, we actually didn't hate diner!! 

Half way through the movie 'Little Fockers' I got called out for a heart wrenching care team with the crisis center and didn't get home until 230! Needless to say practice this morning was a little rough!

Nap time now!!

Ps, I was very impressed with my skills in keeping the bubbles in the jelly!!! Jamie is always right!!! 

Friday, 27 May 2011

Day 62

Dinner with Lables!

One of the most wonderful women in the world came over for the accelerated program for med-school Laurabeth Guenthner has been studying all week for a test she had today so what better way to end it than with a Jamie meal...

Unfortunately we devoured the chicken too quickly and I forgot to take a picture but I made the chicken, leeks, cream, cannellini beans and marjoram with potatoes... with the artichoke and grapefruit salad to start and the pineapple with mint sugar to finish..
The only pic I remembered was the salad!

With wonderful conversation and the promise of a fabulous cake on sunday I went to bed very happy! ...only one thing on to worry about now.... 20x400 freestyle in the morning!

Good night everyone, I need some rest!!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Day 60

On-call tonight.

On call for the Crisis Center as associate tonight so a quick dinner makes me feel less stressed, I don't want to have the oven and burners on and then be called out to a crisis!

So I made the Roasted halibut with Lemon, Anchovies, Capers and Rosemary with the Swiss Card and Cannellini beans and rice.

Still not really a bean fan, its just a texture thing...don't like them! But the rest of the meal was good!! YUMMY and healthy...after speaking with the nutritionist the other day I feel like I am back on track with the portion control and really starting to understand a balanced meal.

Also I got some ice-cream for a kids style Smushin from Jamies Kids Club section...after that set today and today in general I need to go back in age and be a BIG KID again!

Day 59

Tables still upside down!!! 

Tuesday was Ben's day to cook, and cook he did!!! Challenge PVK vs Hessen was ON and it was too close to call... Ben had peppers filled with cream cheese wrapped in bacon with the BIGGEST homemade burgers known to mankind and corn on the cob, with Derby Pie for dessert..

Food coma!

The Derby Pie almost didn't find room in my stomach, but after the first bite I knew I had to find space, it was delicious!! Thanks Ben!!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Day 58

Turned Tables with PVK

Well over half way and the tables turned tonight... PVK cooked an amazing meal of marinated chicken and salad and wild rice with cookie sandwiches turned milkshake for was wonderful to enjoy such a delicious meal cooked by someone else! We have a deal to do it more often now...I'm next! On it like sonic. YUM

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Day 56 and 57

Epic Sunday Roast

Saturday unfolded with one of the hardest practices after Friday's great day in the water. I was so tired and my hips felt like they were scraping the bottom of the pool.
Then straight to the first day of Crisis Center training..I am now an in-house-trainer so at the end of their training I will be coaching up the newbies while they are on their observation shifts and first few shifts.. its so exciting seeing all my crisis center family and catching up with them all, and seeing all the fresh new faces who are scared and excited all at the same time!

Lunch was a quick artichoke salad before the estates pool party.
I much preferred these artichokes to the baked ones the other day, they fit well for a quick easy lunch and they are good for me!

Sunday was the epic feast I have been waiting for, with Matt Shead in town (possibly one of my favorite people in the world!) a full english roast was on the menu. Roast beef, potatoes, carrots yorkshire puddings and I said.. EPIC. Everything went to plan and I ended up serving 11 people!!! Wasn't expecting so many but hey I had enough food, after buying 7.5lbs of beef with a little beef and potatoes left over..

Success, except something over smoked in the oven and I smoked the whole house and I might have needed a little more gravy as the house was getting full of people and I started stressing that the food wasn't yet ready!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Day 54

Steak Sarnie and Blue Morphs

Recuperated from the meet and back on the grind, my Yorkies now look like Yorkies and I think I might be ready for this EPIC meal that will be my first English Roast on Sunday.

Brian and I went to the Butterfly museum today, the number one attraction in Gainesville and one that I have yet to see, today was the day! I had a favorite for sure with the Blue Morph, he was so pretty and he landed on my leg. It really was beautiful in there with many different species of butterflies, if you are ever in Gainesville you should check it out!

So today was a quick fix steak sarnie for lunch, with four days over half way and only 34 dishes left to go and 8 desserts I believe I have this challenge by the horns...only problems will be that I might have left all the hard ones til the end! If I continue to eat out I might not have enough days... but I will not quit that easily if it comes down to one last day of inviting the WHOLE team over for a random table of food then so be it, but I don't think it will come to that!
Also yesterday was brownie day, it was needed!! So I made some cheesecake swirled brownies, YUMMY!