A (Working) Week’s Worth of Sandwiches

Barn is currently benefiting from my temporarily unemployed status as, with more free time available, I’ve come over all house-wifely.

Don’t worry, past experience says it’s not sustainable.

However, for now, one of the areas to which my Stepford attention has been drawn is Barn’s lunch.  He takes sandwiches to work (when he remembers to), and without fail what he makes is sliced cheddar cheese in between slices of pre-cut white bread.

Dull.

just cheese

Now I’m the last person in the world who would object to cheese, but c’mon now…this is not the way to do lunch.

This is why the Radically Overhauling Lunch League (current membership : 1) needed to be initiated.

The agreed rules of conduct are as follows:

  • it has to be sandwiches as the nature of Barn’s work means truly eating on the go – no chance to sit with boxed salads, plates or cutlery
  • eggs are not welcomed by colleagues due to the farty smell they emit, both before and after consumption
  • no tinned fish of any kind, or smoked salmon (whaaat?!)
  • no lamb (again, whaaat?!) 

I can safely say the project has so far been something of a success; Barn’s lunches are now, apparently, a major topic of conversation between colleagues in the car each morning.  Methinks they need more going on in their lives 😉

Without further ado, let the lunches commence…

roast beef with horseradish mayo

Wholemeal ‘Thins’ with wafer thin slices of roast topside of beef, de-seeded and chopped tomatoes, peppery rocket and watercress leaves and a generous helping of horseradish mayonnaise.

ham & swiss cheese (jarlsberg) with mustard mayo

Seeded rolls spread with wholegrain mustard mayonnaise then filled with thickly carved roast ham and Jarlsberg cheese.

roast chicken salad

Wholemeal rolls filled with roast chicken chunks, crisp sweetcorn kernels, finely sliced spring onions, de-seeded, chopped tomatoes, and a generous helping of chives, all bound together in creamy mayonnaise.

roast chicken and bacon

Multi-seed rolls filled with slices of roast chicken, crispy bacon and Jarlsberg cheese, on a bed of fresh lettuce and sliced tomatoes, finished with a swipe of English mustard.

triple cheese and rocket

Multi-seed rolls with triple cheese filling (grated red Leicester and grated mature white Cheddar mixed together with chive Philadelphia cream cheese) on a bed of crisp, peppery rocket.

So that concludes a week’s worth of tasty sandwiches – do any of them appeal to you?

x

 

Quick and Tasty Beef Koftas

Looking for a winning dish for dinner?

Cooked beef koftas

In that case, you should know that these beef koftas are almost effortless to whip up; the bulk of the time it takes to make them is actually the 30 minutes chilling time. Winner.

They don’t seem that effortless to the people eating them, who will demonstrate their appreciation of your ‘slaving’ over dinner by showering you with attention and affection.  Win, win.

They’ll probably do the washing up too.  Win, win, win.

Of course, they taste amazing too.  Win, win, win, win.

Well, would you look at that!  It would appear that the beef koftas are quadruple winners!  There’s clearly no need for you to continue your search for a dinner dish, which is happy news, because by now you must be very hungry.  I shall delay you no longer and will proceed to tell you how to make this scrumptious meal…

Kofta ingredients

Serves 3-6 people, depending on accompanying dishes

Ingredients
500g minced beef
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
2-4 green chillies, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
1 egg
a handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon harissa paste (If I’d had harissa paste in the stores I’d have used it, and the dish would have benefited from it, so I’ve included it here)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 wooden skewers
Music

Done your onion and chilli chopping?  Ok then, let’s get this show on the road…

Mix ingredients by hand

Throw everything (apart from the skewers) into a bowl and use your hands to mix well.

Shape onto skewers

Divide the mix into 12 rough balls then form into oval shapes on the wooden skewers (or make into patties if you don’t have any skewers).

Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Beef koftas

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or grill and cook for around 8-12 minutes on a medium to high heat, turning to ensure they’re browned all over.

Job’s a good ‘un!

Beef koftas with Mediterranean dips

Served here with a minty cucumber sauce*, pitta bread and a selection of Mediterranean dips*.

x

* Recipes to follow shortly 🙂

Subway BMT Sandwich Cake

A cake to say thank you and farewell – after all, why buy someone lunch when you can get them a cake shaped like lunch instead?

A footlong honey oat
A footlong honey oat

A foot long chocolate vanilla marble cake, filled and frosted with milk chocolate Italian meringue buttercream, covered with caramel flavour fondant and topped with hand tinted coconut flakes and sugar sprinkles.

 

Sliced meats
BMT

Layered slices of hand crafted fondant pepperoni and salami (both vanilla flavour), and modelling chocolate ham (strawberry flavour)…

 

cheese, but not toasted
cheese, but not toasted

…with fondant cheese slices (orange flavour) on top.

 

BMT
and plenty of salad.

Hand crafted fondant tomato (tutti frutti flavour), cucumber (apple flavour), green pepper (kiwi flavour) and red onion slices (vanilla flavour); liquorice olives and modelling chocolate lettuce (lime flavour).

 

and three chocolate chunk cookies
I’ll have three cookies* as well please.
*Not real cookies

Cookies shaped from caramel fudge flavoured fondant, hand tinted and studded with real chocolate chunks.

 

That's perfect, thank you
That’s perfect.  Thank you.

Lunch set out on a printed sugar sheet tablecloth, completed with a message of thanks written in edible ink on a gumpaste napkin with an edible printed logo.

x

The Further Doings of Monkey

It’s been a manic day for me but it appears Monkey was able to chillax with his friend, who came round to help open Advent box no.23.

Day 23 Monkey, Friend and Mooch

It’s a good job she was there to help fend off Mooch, who had decided that this time the box was hers and kept trying to make off with it.

Day 23 Monkey & his whilstle

Monkey fantasized, with a faraway look in his eyes, about a crazy night out, reaching for the lasers, blasting on his new whistle, and showing off the moves he practised yesterday.

He would even be able find his way home again with the aid of the handy integrated compass.
Or he could use it on his camping adventures.
x

To Marcus

It probably wouldn’t have been your first choice to spend your 17th birthday with your mum, your Grandma and your Auntie, it’s highly unlikely that flowers would have been top of your gift list, and you may well have preferred pizzas with your mates to a home cooked birthday meal with family.  However, relations, blossoms and chicken cannelloni are how today panned out, and I am glad.

I’m glad we continue to come together, just as we did on the day you refused this world – to hold you, to hold each other, to remember, to grieve and to laugh.  Yes, to laugh.

Because, you see, although there is dreadful sadness within the few memories we have of you, there is also much joy.  Your tiny life was so pure, and bizarrely, so complete.   From the moment we knew of you there was a change in all of us, and when you left, you brought us together in a way that had never been before. Of course we’re not glad or happy to take flowers to your grave, to wonder what might have been, but it would be dishonest and a disservice to your memory if we allowed the ending of your life to negate everything else.

It’s impossible to explain the depth of the changes you wrought – you were a catalyst for so many remarkable things, and for so many members of your family.  What I can tell you is that I write this today as a far more complete, confident, secure and loving person than I would have been had you never existed.

I’ve always baulked when people talk about you with words like ‘tragedy’ – your existence was not a tragedy, it was a gift.  I know that for some people (a lot of people) our ability to recall humorous incidents and moments from that time is incongruous with their own expectations of grief.   C’mon though, it’s funny that your Auntie suddenly realised the item slapped into her hand by a nurse, and with which she had mopped my face throughout my labour with you, was in fact a wet sanitary towel.  Needs must in an urgent situation I guess!

It’s not like we all fell about laughing there and then, but her recollection caused a twinkle of a smile in later days and was a welcome lightness in the dark.  People find it odd that we can talk of you with joy and without crumbling, but there was a perfectness to you that would be diminished if we only dwelt upon the pain.

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