First February Weekend

It's been a busy first weekend in February....

Auxy Remix:

Auxy is an app I use all the time. Recently, the company that make the app have been running a “Beat the Clock” competition, which I've had a lot of fun entering, and even had one of my pieces shortlisted. This weeks challenge was to remix a previous winner's short track, in to a full length piece. I spent most of my Saturday lazily working through ideas, and piecing together my remix:

Sunday Walk:

Keyhaven is one of my favourite places to visit for a walk: the view across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and the Needles is stunning, and despite the bitterly cold wind, it was a beautiful day to take some photos across the water too. I took lots of pictures with my new Canon 80D, and a few with my faithful old Nikon D5100. It was nice to get some more use out of my new wide-angle lens.

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Sunday Lunch:

Even when I'm cooking for just myself, I do love a good Sunday Lunch. Today's lunch included pan friend pork chop, rainbow carrots and baby parsnips all served with a side of roasted cauliflower and broccoli cheese.

Honestly, my only regret, was not going full veggie: the roasted broccoli and cauliflower cheese was hearty, and tasty enough to be the main dish — there was no need for meat at all frankly. The trick to keeping this recipe big on flavour, but cutting down the calories is to roast the broccoli and cauliflower before stirring through the sauce and baking again. The big flavours of the roasted vegetables mean you need less cheese and less sauce, which is great for keeping the calories low.

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese — Recipe:

  • Half a head of cauliflower
  • Half a head of broccoli
  • 12g butter
  • 12g flour
  • 225ml whole milk
  • 25g parmesan
  • 25g extra mature chedder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few pepper corns
  • a fine grating of nutmeg
  • a dash of mustard (english ideally, but any will do)
  • 1 shallot, skin removed and cut in half
  • Salt, pepper
  1. Split the cauliflower and broccoli in to florets, season with a little salt and pepper and roast until golden and a little crispy around the edges, around 10–15 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce, buy first warming the milk with the bay leaf, peppercorns, nutmeg and shallot. Melt the butter in another pan, adding the flour and stirring to make a roux. Let this cook out for a few minutes before adding a dash of mustard. Slowly add the warm milk, straining through a seive to remove the flavourful extras you added earlier. Stir until you have a silky smooth sauce, and let it gently simmer for a few minutes. Finally, strain through a sieve to remove any lumps.
  3. Melt the most of the cheese in to the sauce, saving back a little for the top.
  4. Stir the roasted broccoli and cauliflower in to the sauce, and tumble in to an oven proof dish. 
  5. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 10–15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden

This recipe serves two as a side, or one as a main dish. 

Putting this in to MyFitnessPal, it works it out to to be about 260 calories as a side, or 520 as a main. Your milage may vary.

Engagement:

My brother and his girlfriend — now fiancee — are engaged! I couldn't be happier for them both, but also, very happy for myself, to be gaining a new sister-in-law too. After two Christmases shared with Helen and her family, she felt like part of the Brombley's already, so it feels even more special that it will finally be official.