27 January 2008

"I'm Not Crying...It's Just Been Raining On My Face"

I'm sorry to again be bearing tidings of stuff other than joy, but you should probably know that one of our goldfish died yesterday. I'm not sure if it was Laurim or Taura (our flatmates named them, inspired by such amalgams as Bennifer and Brangelina and TomKat and...Speidi) because neither fish had any particularly distinguishing features. Laugh if you want, and I completely understand why, but our goldfish were pretty gorgeous, and I'll really miss little Laurim-or-Taura. Their bowl is right beside the computer so as I would sit here a-blogging, they would swim around merrily or bob around as though they were saying hi. We got the fish in early September, and despite being unable to hug them, we became very attached to them. So now we are down to one. But really - I'm not crying..."I've just been cutting onions...I'm making a lasagne...for one."

Somewhat callously, this segues into what we had for dinner the other night - Tuna and Beans, or Tonno e Fagioli. (Too soon?)

Above: This is a deceptively simple meal, taken from Nigella Express. (Yeah, again from that book. What can I say, I'm a kid with a new toy.) It barely needs a recipe - some red onion, sliced and steeped in lemon juice, mixed with some canned cannelini beans, canned tuna, olive oil, salt, pepper, and parsely. It is surprisingly substantial yet light at the same time, and would, I suspect, make a lovely filling for pitta pockets or the like. Also, did you know that cannelini beans are an excellent source of complex carbs? For every serving or so, there is something like 23g of carbs but almost no sugars. Result!

Above: To go with, one of my big food addictions (what am I saying, it's an addiction across the board), roasted cauliflour, which I teamed with some steamed brocolli and capers. To roast cauliflour, simply place florets in an appropriate dish and leave in a very hot oven - I usually go for 220 C - for about 20 minutes or longer. It will look slightly brown in places and somewhat wizened. Don't fret, this is normal. In fact, this is to be welcomed.

Above: Finally, I grilled some tortillas which I had brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with some za'atar that I got for Christmas. Za'atar is a fragrant mix of thyme, sumac and sesame seeds, and tastes lovely and smoky once it has been under a hot grill. I wanted to say something about how we broke these into shards and ate them with our fingers as a relaxed starter but it sounded so laughable that I think I'll leave it out.

Above: Another dinner. As you may guess, my Chicken, Bacon, and Mushroom Pie has a little "L" on it. I think this picture nicely demonstrates the cuteness of these wee pies, which also hail from Nigella Express. Despite the extravagant title, this recipe was one of the few I could find on my trawls though cookbooks that seemed to match what we had in the cupboards. It also tasted seriously, seriously good.

Above: Ooh, floor pie! But for real, these pies are SO great, and very simple in execution. I think it is the inclusion of Marsala in the filling that really gives it an edge. Plus I'm a sucker for anything encased in pastry. Which would explain so much.

The green stuff on the side: Cabbage with Cumin Seed, which came from my Jill Dupleix book, New Food. This was a Christmas present from my Nana, one I was super excited to recieve because I have heard really good things about this particular author. Although I still have no idea how to pronounce her surname (I'm guessing it's not Dew-plee-icks though.) This book was published in 1994, which means it charmingly waxes lyrical about Balsamic Vinegar and how overused sundried tomatoes are (look at me being a food snob, I was eight years old in 1994!) Anyway, Dupleix has a lovely, breezy style of writing, and lots of fab looking recipes. Unfortunately as I read through the book there were pretty much NONE that worked with what ingredients we had, apart from this cabbage recipe. Which was delicious - very simple and healthy, with great flavours. As well as that there was MORE roasted cauliflour, with roasted beetroot, some of the Moonblush tomatoes, and avocado.

This time next week, Tim and I will be in Auckland hotly anticipating the Rufus Wainwright concert which is on Monday the 4th. With any luck I will be able to meet him and convince him to be my future wedding singer. If I was rich enough, I'd just pay him to follow me round everywhere, singing.

R.I.P Laurim-or-Taura. If nothing else, I can be glad that he didn't look like...

...Blinky, the three-eyed fish from The Simpsons.


  1. Sooooo where did you dispose of the fish - and does the other one know yet?

  2. Those pies really were quite fantabulous!! They were better than Big bens which at $1.60 a pop are suprisingly satisfying. Never again shall I return to the days of packaged dairy pies...But maybe on a night out I could be tempted back to the dark side.
    Sweet Sweet Pies. Poor Emma who cannae have them.
    R.I.P Laurim (or Taura)

  3. Hey Laura,

    Sorry to hear about your little swimming friend :(
    Your food looks AMAZING as usual girlie. Loving those pies (drool!!). Thanks for your comment on my blog. I made the tuna and beans from HTE, which is on my blog (in the B section), but mine went disasterously wrong! LOL.
    Anway, chin up :-)

    Amy xxxxx

  4. I'm sorry about your fish! :(

    On the upside though, I LOVE floor pie!

    xox Sarah

  5. Roasted cauliflower is a revelation, have never liked cauli, always thought it so bland, until I found a recipe by Ray McVinnie that roasted it with garlic and parmesan. Haven't looked back - I love it!!!!!!!

  6. Mum: Unfortunately I had to do the flushing. Not a nice job! The other one seems perky enough, but a little lost - I think they like to have a buddy. Oh my gosh now I sound like a crazy goldfish lady...

    Tim: I'll believe that when I see it! But thanks :)

    Amy: Even if it went wrong, it still looked good :) You are motoring through HTE!

    Sarah: Thanks. You got the Simpsons quote lol.

    Linda: Have you tried cauliflour roasted with ground cumin - it's in the low-fat section of HTE, it's what got me onto roasting the stuff. Sooo good! Garlic and parmesan sounds fab too.

  7. Hope you enjoy the parcel - you will have to think of lots of ways to use the pickled pink peppers promptly as the use-by date has passed, (thereby keeping them affordable).

    In honour of the birthday boys (tomorrow) we went out to the only French cafe open in Pukekohe today (Anniversary weekend) and had the most amazing croissants and almondine and blueberry tartlets. I can soooo appreciate cooking done by others.