Friday, 30 March 2012

How do you like your Salmon cooked?

Typically, the first meal I've cooked, bearing in mind I'm going to be blogging about it later, went slightly wrong! My lovely friends turned up to babysit, so I decided to cook and eat with them before heading to the pub. I used a recipe from Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals. It was tray-baked salmon, cooked with asparagus, romano peppers, chilli, cherry tomatoes, with pancetta. I made boiled new potatoes with some rosemary to go with. All looked very nice, smelled good, but when I plated up I realised the salmon wasn't really cooked! Hidden under all those vegetables, I guess it needed to be slightly higher up in the grill. Me and Him decided to put ours back in for a bit longer, but our friends - polite, or just starving? - thought it was nice that it was undercooked, like sushi! So they ate it. It did taste good.
And nicely set us up for a few glasses of wine.

Salmon with asparagus, chilli, and tomatoes...

...romano peppers, and topped with pancetta.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Quirky Birthday Cakes

First I'd just like to show off some of the birthday cakes I've made for my kids. Cakes made from various recipes, then decorated by me. Usually accompanied by a glass or two of wine. Asking 'what cake would you like for your birthday?' can be dangerous! Watch this space for Bowser's Castle Cake, coming up in April!

rosetta, tinkerbell, 4th birthday cake
A Fairy Cake - Rosetta from Tinkerbell

dragon cake, 5th birthday cake, boy's cake
Dragon Cake

3rd birthday cake, sleeping beauty cake, princess cake
Sleeping Beauty Cake

75th Birthday Cake for Grandma - 75 sweets instead of candles.

chocolate cake, 6th birthday cake
Mario Cake

tangled cake, princess cake, 5th birthday cake
Rapunzel Cake - Tangled

All my Birthday Cakes can be viewed on my Pinterest page.

The Cooking of Science. Or, the Science of Cooking.

So. I'm a scientist. Or at least, that's what I do for a job. Which means, I can follow a protocol - a list of instructions in a certain order, adding things to each other, incubating at a certain temperature, which (eventually) gets a result. Same with cooking. Except you can eat it.
Whilst training to be a molecular biologist (i.e. frequenting the many pubs of Cork) I didn't how to cook.
Then one day, Noreen, my sister, took me to Tesco, bought me some mince and a jar of Uncle Ben's Szechuan sauce. She showed me how to chop some onions and peppers, chuck in the mince, add the sauce and there was dinner. Easy!
Gradually, since then, I've become more and more interested in cooking, progressing from Chicken Supreme sauce in a packet, to now cooking for my friends and family. I'd like to say 'from scratch' but I'm not quite making my own pasta or growing my own vegetables. Not yet anyway. Now I like to feed people, and still follow protocols, better known as cookbooks!
I just enjoy it! If it's just a quick dinner in the evening for the two of us, a meal for the kids and the in-laws, or a few friends around with some wine, I like it. It gives me pleasure to see people enjoy something I have created.
So, let's cook!