Guardian Girl

Dip/stick

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on September 29, 2009

Today’s photo is a self-portrait because I couldn’t leave the house in what I was wearing. Would you take me seriously if you bumped into me around the office wearing this?

If I’d only had a coral Margaret Howell blouse, some drawstring moleskin trousers and perhaps a tiny pair of hips, I’d be looking chic today. Oh, and a pair of clear-rimmed specs. But these garms are the closest I could get and, as you can see, tracksuit bottoms (Fat Face 1999 – not really Best Dressed material) an orange top, cropped Primark shirt and fancy-dress glasses do not a professional lady make. I changed into black h-h-h-harem pants and swapped the shirt for my beloved Farhi by Nicole Farhi covering-up mannish shirt thing so I looked less like I’d soiled myself, added a big scarf to make it look like I had some kind of intention for my appearance and headed off to the bus stop flowingly. I do look like a psychodrama workshop facilitator today but that’s probably better than looking like a plain old psychodrama. Today I’d like to add an extra dimension to my snap by providing the soundtrack that was going on in my head as I looked in the mirror. For those who have spotify: http://open.spotify.com/track/1Vchex0xowRj9k59RLvRfo.

Step out

Step out

 

Stay in

Stay in

Dinner last night, on the other hand, was a steaming success. It was Hugh’s Muhamarra recipe, a very tasty affair involving walnuts, bread, olive oil, baked red peppers, chilli flakes, lime juice and caramelised onion chutney because I couldn’t find any pomegranate molasses. Once I was on Guardian Soulmates – why not, since I outsource every other decision in my life to the Guardian, let it choose me a lover as well? I met this guy and Jesus Christ was he a bore. He was even more smug than me. He was sick with the nation because it promoted cultural low-browism by celebrating Harry Potter. I unfortunately hit upon the subject of his difficult relationship with his father within ten minutes of meeting him – purely accidental – and the tense diatribe that followed was a terrifying to behold, and highly awkward to react to over a conversational pint of Strongbow. Anyway I went home after a while and shortly afterwards decided to choose my own menfolk. But the point of this story is that he harped on at great length about how amazing pomegranate molasses is, and how you can use it to add depth to any flavour, and how you can get it any Turkish shop. But I was in Sainsbury’s in my tracksuit (because I’m now running everywhere in order to maintain this experiment without growing out of the last remaining giantsize harem pants) and I couldn’t find any, so I just bought some Taste the Difference chutney instead. It’s a bit soapy to be honest. ANYWAY, the dip is stunningly delicious. You must make it. If you can’t be bothered to do the bits involving the peppers, the paste made with all the other ingredients is delicious in itself. Walnutty oily rich wonder with bread dipped in. I ate plenty of it before I added the peppers. Hugh told me to add the rest of the ingredients after the peppers but I rebelliously ignored him. I was wating for the peppers to cook so I thought I may as well get the rest ready.

Also I used my hand blender! If you’ve been reading from the start you’ll know this is a great thing as it marks my triumph over the emotional scars I earned during an egg white incident.

Here are the photies:

Muhamarra

Muhamarra

 

Muhm-muhm-ahhh

Muhm-muhm-ahhh

 

I know it looks kind of like a feline production here but that’s just any ungarnished dip for you isn’t it? I added extra chilli flakes, chutney and cumin so it’s got quite a kick. It’s making me mildly perspire as I eat the remains for lunch while typing this.

Conclusions:

  • I’m taking a long moment to appreciate the fact that I changed out of that heinous outfit before coming to work.
  • I strongly recommend trying the dip.
  • Peeling red peppers is pretty tricky even after doing the oven/plastic bag trick but the dip doesn’t appear to have suffered by having skins in it.
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Thursday 6 August

Posted in Fashion, Recipes by guardiangirl on August 7, 2009

Hehehe, check out today’s outfit. I don’t have a fur stole to hand so I had to make do with the tiger I’ve had since I was eight or so. I thought of pinning him to my shoulder but this might have been distracting for the others in the office, so I just balanced him there for the photo and then he went back in my bag. To be honest I removed most of the accessories – bar the belt – once the shutter had closed.

I quite like what the woman in the picture is wearing but if you’re going to go mad on accessories like that, they really need either to coordinate or clash properly, or you just look like you’ve gone mad.

Coordinate

Coordinate

 

Reprobate

Reprobate

 The jumper is FARHI by Nicole Farhi menswear and is lovely for belting cos it’s made out of very soft, draping fabric.

I got the loopy bit of the hairstyle on the wrong side of the head. Before this project began I thought I knew my left and right, but I get muddled up between cameras and mirrors or something. It’s OK, I’ll pick it up eventually.

I was extremely excited about getting home because I was making Dan Lepard’s rocky road rock cakes. Gahhhh, just look at the recipe! I’d been looking forward to this all week. My usual casual chopping style left mine looking more like Alpine goat-path cakes after a mudslide, but we know it’s what’s inside that counts. I was a bit more careful about my measurements than I have been before after Dan Lepard linked to my blog on his baking forum and a legion of po-faced bun experts came barrelling over the brow of a cyberhill brandishing rolling pins and admonishing me for using the wrong equipment and overcooking stuff. I think they were being helpful. So yes, I was more careful (more careful, not necessarily actually careful) about quantities. However because I used such big chunks of chocolate and walnuts, the dough couldn’t really be made into golf ball-sized scoops. This is where I used my initiative and made one big blobby cake in the bottom of the tin instead, which I then cut into smaller pieces after it came out of the oven. I couldn’t wait for the chocolate topping mixture to cool before I stirred in the marshmallows, which meant they melted into a marbled swirl. I’d just walked six miles in the bucketing rain, hadn’t eaten since lunch and was standing over a pan of  hot, glossy, ribboning chocolate gloop to dot it with little-fluffy-cloud marshmallows. How was I supposed to wait for the thing to cool? I also tasted it liberally before it made it to the pouring stage, by which I mean I ate nearly all of it – along with the marshmallows and peanuts that didn’t go into the recipe. This meant that by the time I came to eating the rock cakes, I already felt slightly sick. But that didn’t matter because the cakes were so, so good. Eating a mouthful was like inching into a just-too-hot bath – a spreading feeling of semi-religious pleasure tinged with the slightly guilty suspicion that what you’re doing probably isn’t that good for your veins.

arrghghhghhghhrghrgrhhgr.

I put what I couldn’t eat in the freezer, but not before I had a second go at them after they’d cooled, thus making myself feel sick twice in one evening. Some people never learn.

Another great thing about these cakes was that they were easy to make, even for me, and the process was quick – except the whole palaver of getting things to this and that temperature (I hear in some places they call it ‘cooking’), which I could afford to ignore because I alone had to eat the result. Oh yeh, and also, if you make them, do put at least some salted peanuts in (I used a mixture of peanuts and walnuts) cos it makes them taste of Snickers.

I turn 30 in a few months and I might actually bake my own cake just so that I can have a whole mountain range of these. I could get in some real goats to climb around in this mountain range, as I love goats. It’d be like a budget version of the Arctic scene, complete with snow leopard, that I heard Jocelyn Wildenstein had in her house. And I could get some surgery for my birthday too, so I look more like my cat, George. My life plan is suddenly coming together.

Rock cake

Rock cake

 

Boulder cake

Boulder cake

 

Conclusions:

  • What a brilliant day! A tiger on the shoulder and the most enjoyable-ever chocolate cake stuff in the belly.
  • The path to enlightenment isn’t a path after all, it’s a stream – of condensed milk, melted chocolate and butter.