Run rabbit, run

Well, it ran as far as into the pot and into my tummy. First dumplings of the winter to top off my rabbit stew as well, and homemade sticky apple cake for pudding. It’s been a day of proper winter food and I have thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful. This eating early lark at weekends is well worth doing as well – lovely to eat at 5pm and then have the evening to relax and let my stomach settle. On weekdays I rarely eat before 8pm because of getting home from work and having to cook, but it never occurred to me to try to eat earlier at weekends. Also, eating earlier means two meals a day instead of three, which won’t do my waistline any harm.

I recommend the sticky apple cake – and I can believe it gets better when it has been sat around for a day or two (lucky, as it’s massive and I would not want to have to chuck any away. I had mine slightly warm from the oven with some half fat extra thick cream and a cup of tea – in front of the fire with a cat on my lap and Elementary on the telly – I couldn’t help but be relaxed after that! The only tweak I made to the recipe was to replace the grated nutmeg with a generous shake of mixed spice, as I am slightly addicted to it.

I also made a soup version of this lentil dahl. I never bothered weighing things out but the ratio of water to lentils was greater in my version than the original recipe, I used butternut squash instead of sweet potato, half a tin of tomatoes instead of fresh, and I sprinkled in some cinnamon as well at the end. I blitzed the lentil mix before adding the spinach, so the soup has stayed a beautiful smooth orange, with fresh green leaves wilted into it. I imagine this will be a very substantial lunchtime soup, so I won’t bother with the naan bread accompaniment, but I do keep a stash of oatcakes and natural peanut butter in my drawer at work in case I need something to bulk out my soupy lunches.

Dinners this week are fully planned: tomorrow will be a traditional fireworks night dinner (traditional as it’s what I used to have when I was little – and I must admit I hated it then but love it now – I remember always feeling that the dinner was much too dry when I was young!) of sausages (pork and leek on this occasion), jacket potato and baked beans. Quick and easy to cook as I plan to go swimming after work, so won’t be home until late (even Andrew can manage to stick sausages in the oven and microwave a couple of spuds).

My mum is over for dinner on Tuesday night, so I am planning a feast from Nigellissima – mainly because I want to make the Nutella cheesecake (we can have a slice each and she can take the rest of it home to my brother so I am not tempted to scoff the lot). For the main course I am going to make Nigella’s smoked mackerel pasta – she does it with linguine but I found some super cool curly long pasta in Ocado (as shown on the cover of her book) and as I find that kind of thing pathetically exciting, I will make it with that instead. As I don’t have any marsala I won’t bother with that, and I don’t fancy the sultanas in there so I will leave them out as well. Hope it’s tasty, but if not, there will be more room for the cheesecake!

On Wednesday and Thursday I have planned beef casserole and fish pie, but I might can the idea of casserole after having the stew tonight and make a beef curry instead. If I can get a beef massaman paste (the Barts ones are usually excellent) then I will do that. Actually, writing that has convinced me to make the curry. I have some naan in the freezer as well – poifect!

So that’s the plan for this week. Rather surprisingly I lost half a pound this week – I say surprisingly because I managed to eat loads of chocolate and biscuits every day. I enjoyed each and every mouthful, but I would like to behave better this week (apart from the Nutella cheesecake of course – I cannot wait to get my teeth into that!).

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