New year, New house, New job, New food!

5 Mar

It has been far too long since I wrote a blog post. But it’s okay, because I have ample excuses. I love that word, “ample”: it reminds me of apple pie (see, I’m such a foodie!) and bountifulness at the same time. So basically LOTS of apple pie! I thought that I just made up that word (bountifulness), but no, it turns out that bountifulness is a real and yet another awesome word. Along with perspicacious, micturating ( I discovered this word in an article in KiaOra magazine of all places!) and salubrious. Check out some other wonderful words here. A word of warning: this blog is chock full of hyperlinks, since I have so many stored-up-exciting-foodielicious-linguisticky-things to say. Click on them, don’t click on them, it’s up to you. I found them interesting, so hopefully you will too.

So, back to my grovelling excuses. BFG and I bought a house! We settled in December, promptly left the city to be with my family over Christmas for two weeks, and then moved in on January 4th, before starting work again two days later. It was a hectic but very exciting time. We LOVE our new house. Well, it’s not new. It was built in the early 1950s, so it’s approximately the same age as my parents (sorry mum), but it has been fully renovated. New paint, new kitchen, new insulation, new plumbing, new wiring, new decking: you name it, it’s probably new. There was even brand new ready rolled grass on the front lawn. We were extremely lucky to find this house in the current market and so, we are very thankful.

Excuse number two is that I started a new job a month ago. It is a much more varied, more exciting job, which should make much better use of my skills and experience. It’s always a bonus to be using your degree(s) or at least some of the skills that helped you to finish said degree(s). And yes, I have more than one… Not sure why. It’s like buying more than one house and trying to live in them both. Anyway … The only slightly problematic thing about the new job is that it’s in a different location and therefore much harder to get to on public transport from our new place (or even from our old place, to be honest). Only a teensy one and a half to two hours on public transport… each way. Yes. Ever so slightly annoying. This means we need to buy a second car.

This leads me to my third excuse. I have been spending a lot of time commuting, trying to fit in a run or two when I get back quite late from work (Boot Camp is not really happening at the moment, as I can’t make it there on time), looking for a new car and unpacking boxes. This doesn’t leave time for much else.

So, there you have it. But, I’m back and will be attempting to post something once a month minimum. There. Now that I’ve thought it and typed it, you’ll have to hold me to it.

There have been LOTS of things (mostly recipes, but also stored-up-exciting-foodielicious-linguisticky-things ) that I’ve wanted to blog about, so I have lots of material to share with you.

The one I’ve chosen for today is a new recipe from a new recipe book. I already have far too many cook books, much to BFG’s dismay; especially since we’ve had to try to downsize our worldly possessions in order to be able to fit them into the new house. So, I have been restricted to one shelf of cook books, which BFG thinks is generous, and I think is … a start. Needless to say, he wasn’t too impressed when I came home from work with a new French patisserie recipe book. But, it was a bargain, I tells you!

So, I decided to win him over with my first attempt at Tarte Tatin. This is a classic French recipe, which is a slant on apple pie. Huh, I really do have apple pie on the brain. It was created by accident in the 1880s, when Stéphanie Tatin, owner of the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, overcooked some apples for a pie. On realising that they were close to burning, she put some pastry on top of them and baked them anyway. On taking it out of the oven, she flipped it over. So what she ended up with was essentially an upside down apple pie, with the bonus of all that gooey caramelised sugar.

It was surprisingly simple to make. You basically caramelise some sugar, add butter, slosh it into a tin, put cut up apples on top and then pastry on top of that. It called for puff pastry, which I didn’t have. Instead I used two sheets of ready rolled sweet pastry, which worked very well. Once it’s cooked, you then place a plate on top of it and flip it over (carefully, so as not to burn yourself with either molten caramel or the hot dish) and voila: Tarte Tatin yumminess!

The recipe is from this book, though I was lucky enough to be able to buy it much more cheaply through a deal at work. Did I mention that I love my new job?

Here are some pictures of my creation alongside the recipe book version.

It’s a great way to use up apples that are going soft, along with some basic ingredients that you probably already have in the cupboard. While it’s not the healthiest of desserts, it’s also not the most unhealthy. It does have a generous portion of fruit, at least :)>.

I am finishing off this blog post while sick at home. I haven’t been sick for a while, which has been great. But, BFG was home sick a few days ago and obviously passed on his boy germs to me. It’s a bad head cold and I’m not all that hungry, but I have, nevertheless, been craving comfort food. Speaking of which, I made my famous Banoffee cupcakes earlier this week for my new colleagues. I’ve realised that I was very remiss in that I didn’t add a link to the recipe in that blog, so I have now done this and it is also here.

I had left over caramel icing, so I am craving some sort of caramel concoction, which has led to me spending countless minutes (hours?) searching for a recipe for a caramel loaf or caramel cake. Mostly, I found cakes that look AMAZING, but that are just vanilla cakes with caramel icing (like this and this and this). What I am lusting after is a caramel flavoured cake that I can then spread my caramel frosting onto. I know, decadent, right? Not surprisingly, one of the many options I played with for a blog title would have included the word “hedonist” :).

The closest I could find to caramel cake bliss were this recipe and this one. But I reckon I could just as easily add caramel or even brown sugar to a madeira cake recipe. I have also been thinking about experimenting with caramel yoyos or melting moments. I will let you know how that goes once I’m well enough to don my pinnie again. My new office is certainly full of foodies, so there will be plenty of people to foist my food experiments onto.

In the meantime,  Bon appétit!


2 Responses to “New year, New house, New job, New food!”

  1. Sally Burrows March 5, 2014 at 4:43 am #

    Enjoyed reading all you news and views. Don’t know if I’m brave enough to attempt the Tarte Tatin. Looks bloody gorgeous X

    • missnomadic March 5, 2014 at 4:56 am #

      It’s actually really easy. Google it and give it a go :).

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