Sunday, 16 January 2011

Best dinner in ages!

Hey folks.

Happy 2011!
Its a bit late, but I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and have had a good start to 2011. I know I had a good time, it has really helped to have a couple of weeks break from everything to sort my head out. I'm determined to start 2011 with a whole new me!
I don't really make resolutions - I never manage to complete them, and I'm always disappointed in myself, so instead of 3 or 4 resolutions, this year I just have one - To have no regrets.
I want to get to this point next year, look back on 2011 and, no matter what has happened through the year, to be happy that I did the best I could in everything.

I don't know how that will turn out, but I've started off well. I've already made a start on uni work that isn't due in for ages, and I've started eating a little more healthier - well, sort of. I mean I've been cooking proper food recently rather than just reheating freezer/processed food. I'm going to a recruitment day on Tuesday so that I can hopefully get a part-time job, I'm looking after myself more and my friends are taking me shopping for some clothes so that I can actually feel like I look good.

So, enough about that, onto the main reason I'm writing this post. I've just eaten the yummiest meal I swear I've ever made.
Last night I made bolognese, and though it was nice, I didn't really fancy it again tonight. I had a huge bag of onions in the fridge just waiting to be used up, so I decided to make a soup. I really only had one option - French Onion Soup.
I used Delia's recipe with a few very minor changes. I used red onions, instant beef stock, and I skipped a stage or two. I'll write the rough recipe below.
I figured after that I'd probably want something sweet, and I have a pile of apples on the table and some bananas which if I don't use up soon they'll have to be baked into something or they'll be unusable.
I decided on baked fruit. I'd never really tried it and I have a pretty sweet tooth so I looked through my cupboard for something extra. This is what I found:

I have a jar of chocolate mincemeat which mum gave me to turn into mince pies but I never got around to making, and a jar of choc-o-toff sauce that I bought from the Christmas markets.

Firstly I cored the apple (I only had a knife rather than a corer for this and I'm surprised it worked well) then I filled the cavity with some mincemeat. I cut through the skin of the banana a couple of times, laid it on foil and spooned a little bit of the choc-o-toff sauce over it before wrapping the foil up loosely.
I placed both in a baking dish in the bottom of the oven for as long as I could at between 140C and 160C (my flatmate was using the oven too, so I wasn't too specific).

While that was cooking I made a start on the soup. Slicing 700g of small red onions takes a while but it was worth it. I heated up 2oz of butter and a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan until really hot. Then I threw in the onions, a couple of cloves of garlic (I dont have a crusher so it usually ends up sort of crushed/chopped/smooshed), and half a teaspoon of granulated sugar.
I fried this off for a while in my really big pan on a high heat (its so hard to tell on electric cookers) until the onions were really soft and the bottom of the pan was turning brown and sticky.
I poured over 2 pints of hot beef stock and simmered for as long as I could stand until hunger got the better of me. I think it was about 45 mins to an hour.
I did a couple of piece of cheese on toast with it and it was nommy. I had another small helping and there's even enough to freeze for two more servings.

I then had my baked fruit. Wow. I doubt I'd like baked bramley apples like my grandma makes, but a baked eating apple with the mincemeat and the banana and chocolate....Its one of my new favourite puds. And so easy to make!
As I'm writing this I'm drinking a bottle of Brother's Toffee Apple Cider...just to demonstrate how sweet my sweet tooth is...its my fave cider lol. I don't think I've met another person who actually enjoys it.

Anyway, that was my lovely dinner tonight. I'll be back soon!


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