Sunday roast -family time

This just came up in conversation in the Funtime foodie household. There is a come dine with me on the telly and one of the contestants entertained the others by cooking a Sunday roast and it felt a bit weird. We regularly have a Sunday roast, usually about once a week 🙂 and it’s a nice time for all of us to spend together. Sometimes, my mother in law who is close family to us invites us for one and it is a great occasion where we often are force fed too much wine and food and throughly enjoy the experience. The common denominator is family with the roast. I would actually find it strange and a slight violation to have a none family roast. There are so many environments you can enjoy with your friends, pub, evening meal invite, whatever you have fun doing during the day, but there is a side to me that feels the Sunday roast is a special time for a busy family to spend quality time together and the roast dinner symbolises this.

So, if ever you have an invite for a Sunday roast dinner, I reckon the person giving you the invite is paying the ultimate compliment about your relationship. They see you as family 🙂

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It was all Greek to me.

Everyone who sets off with a target in mind has set backs where it doesn’t go to plan, and sometimes you can look forward to that perfect meal and be slightly disappointed. I had high hopes for my Greek pasta, and it tasted great, but there was a key ingredient I added that I couldn’t taste, namey the block of Feta that was added. Considering this is one of the strongest flavoured cheeses, it took a supreme effort on my part to nullify it’s flavour, but I managed it.

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The inspiration behind Greek Pasta was a lovely meal I had on a recent holiday in Zante, and like a lot of foodie’s when this happens you are naturally going to want to recreate it at home.

Basically, I needed to make the following flavours blend:

yellow pepper

Feta

Tomato

Onion

(Optional olives and capers, alas not unanimously liked in my household so not included tonight)

It DID have the most amazing tomato and pepper flavour, so for anyone Veggies and Vegans included, omit the feta, fry the onion, chopped pepper, carton of chopped tomatoes and half tube of tomato purée and mix through with the cooked pasta and it should do nicely for a week night. If it were down to me, bung in a few capers and chopped olives as well. In the revised format without feta, it also transforms into quite a healthy recipe, which is a bonus.

My wife is a coeliac, so we actually use Gluten free pasta as well. I will have another go in the future, possibly without the chopped tomatoes and just use a quarter of a tube of tomato purée. Anyone who reads several of my recipes will come to learn tomato purée is an ingredient I like to use. Strong flavour and dirt cheap.

If at first you don’t succeed, eat up as it was probably still a 7 out of 10.

The Ultimate Power of TripAdvisor

imageWhere on earth did this come from? I’m sure if I looked into it, I could find the origins of TripAdvisor, yet it seems we have always had it, and now it is so powerful. Unless you’re a high street restaurant, Pizza Express, Nandos, Cafe Rouge etc , it is your lifeblood. In a recession, people want to make their money work harder, and if they have limited time, during the week, it’s a chance to enjoy quality time with friends and family. When my wife and I are able to eat out together, once a month, sometimes Less often, we are no exception. It’s time away from work, responsibilities and a chance to truly relax and have the best meal you can at the time. Tripadvisor is a must in the quest to get it right first time with your food. If you’re paying an extra £20-£40 to eat, it needs to be better than what you have at home, and now as there is so much anecdotal evidence, restaurants have no choice but to be on top of their game. Speaking to waiters, they know exactly where they are in TripAdvisor, with some even asking for reviews if you are complimentary at the end. (I’ve never been a fan of this. It comes across a bit too desperate.)

We, like many, use it a lot to improve the odds of having a great meal, but for a restaurant, it is petrifying as they cannot relax, as they are only as good as their reviews past and present. It keeps the good ones on their toes, and maybe that’s not a bad thing.

I Cannot believe it is butter!

I’d struggle to find better people to have Sunday lunch out with than my wife’s mum, dad, brother & partner, and of course my wife and son.

If you are ever bang in the middle of the UK, Nuthurst Grange in Warwickshire provided the best Sunday lunch out I have ever had (a 9.5). What sealed it were the perfect flavours that went into the small details, namely the canapés, mint sauce (home made by a part time waiter), bread that was baked on premises and it’s accompanying spread below.

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After deliberation around the table, we ascertained that it could be done by whisking butter that is at room temperature and seasoning, then maybe creating with the help of an icing bag, finishing with delicate peppercorns. It tasted fantastic!

At the end of the day it’s butter, but taking care on the small details completed the experience to make a truly unforgettable meal.

Looking ahead for the blog :)

imageObviously, being a Friday night, I’ve endeavoured to and succeeded in having an amazing meal. ( End of the week, it is a criminal offence to not set out to do this :)) It is our chicken satay, simple and possibly my favourite home recipe. More to follow in time including this mouthwatering treat written down at some point. I have to say I’m buzzing with ideas about this blog. I like that I can write about something I am really passionate about. This has potential to be an exciting journey and I look forward to where it takes me. For any readers, stick around. There will be some v. Tasty recipes and some fun musings on my favourite topic – Yummy Food.