There is much to feel guilty about...
...telling the toddler that a mouse ate the chocolate from her party bag (in my defence it was a) delicious and b) surely this is ok for the sake of her teeth?)
...neglecting my blog for too long (though to be fair I have been cooking - just not writing about it til now)
Oh so many things.
And then a girls' night in, a week or so ago, when I turned to a Delia standby even though the post it notes sticking out of the top of my Nigella collection (yellow for 'made', white for 'still to try', orange for 'ran out of yellow') seemed to taunt me with my disloyalty every time I turned my head.
To be fair, between work and the toddler there was no time for shopping so it was a case of what's in the fridge? And what on earth can I do with that little lot?
The answer is roasted vegetables with couscous and a harissa style dressing - though (as is my wont) I didn't so much follow the recipe as use it as a guide. The veg were aubergine, sweet potato, red onion, field mushrooms and baby plum tomatoes, as that's what I had and that's what I like - oh and a stray red pepper found its way into the mix as well. I'm not sure what the recipe advises but I do this bit pretty often (great with a piece of salmon) so I went slightly off piste, learning my lesson at the end when I went for the traditional slug of balsamic to bring out the flavour of the caramelised veg - and realised that n a fug of exhaustion and absentmindedness I had accidentally used sake instead. Um...Japan meets the Med anyone? Er...fusion?
Luckily you couldn't really taste it and the rest was easy. Chop some feta and mix into the cooled veg (Delia says goats cheese but a) there was none in the fridge and b) feta seemed a safer bet as goats cheese seems to provoke strong and not always positive reactions. Plonk (not a culinary term I have heard Nigella or Delia use but hey ho) on top of a bed of couscous and whack some rocket on top. Whip up a dressing of olive oil, lime juice, tomato puree and cayenne pepper (you are meant to use cumin too but I'm not a great fan - so I didn't) and hey presto. Supper for four, demolished faster than you can say "sorry Nigella, promise to use one of yours next time...honest."
For pud fresh strawberries and a batch of Ms Lawson's Rocky Road (see earlier entry - this time I remembered to turn off the heat before adding the marshmallows so they didn't melt - hurrah). Made enough for a small army - but hey, it was a girls' night and hey, it was chocolate.
My husband was singularly unimpressed with what we left him - just one little teeny tiny little square. Oops