Friday, 30 March 2012

Pot Pie

Just experimenting. I wanted to make an alternative for my weekly Shane-ish pasty. The filling is grated/drained carrot & swede & parsnip and left over winter squash from last week. (Of course, 4 eggs and milk mixture too!) The combination isn't the best I've ever tried and I would use this combination but it was a good experience. This is going to be consumed in the next 4-6 days.
Another lesson learnt is that you are supposed to score bread dough before the 2nd rise instead of doing it just before baking it!

Sorry this post is ridiculously boring.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Dried fruit and nuts cake

Dried fruit and nut cake (recipe adapted from Mary Berry’s recipe
Packed with juicy fruits and nuts with a hint of lemon flavor. Crumbly but moist.

400g dried fruit (I used apricot, purple grape, green grape.)
300g nuts (I used hazel nuts, walnuts, almond)
150g self raising flour
70g brown sugar
1tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 lemon
50ml milk
80ml vegetable oil
2 eggs

1.    Cut dried fruits into 1cm cubes if they are big. Put dried fruits in a bowl. Add boiling water into bowl until dried fruits are covered. Leave for about 3 hours until fruits get plump.
2.    If necessary, chop nuts into desirable size.
3.    After fruits get plump, put all of it in a sauce pan and boil vigorously until the water reduces to less than 50 ml. Separate fruits and water with a sieve and cool.
4.    Prepare cake tin with baking paper on the bottom and sides.
5.    Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, lemon zest and stir until all is combined.
6.    Add milk, beaten egg, oil into dry ingredients and fold it in.
7.    Add nuts and cooled fruits, fold.
8.    Put the mixture into cake tin.
9.    Decorate the top with nuts if you like.
10.  Bake in 160C oven for 40 minutes. While baking, add lemon juice into syrup. After 40 minutes, take it out and cover the surface with syrup. Bake again for 20 minutes. When the surface begins to brown, cover the top with foil and bake for another 30 minutes.
11.  Leave to cool.
This is what you get.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

smell travels. A LOT

I can smell my neighbors after shave. My window isn't even open.

Friday, 9 March 2012

What I learnt from today's pasties.

  • Use 1 small onion finely diced. Try cooking it before packing.
  • 1 medium red potato Thinly sliced and diced
  • 1/2 Rutabaga Thinly sliced and diced (5mm cubes
  • Don't be afraid to put a bit more water in the pastry: otherwise it will be a bit too hard and will take ages to roll out.
  • Meat should be diced smaller (although, I have to admit that I prefer just veg pasties.)
  • don't be afraid to season well. (but not too much)
  • Don't forget to add salt in the pastry
  • Roll out pastry about a bit thinner than 2mm.
  • Don't try to pack too much but not too little.
  • Seal the edges tightly before crimping with two fingers on right hand and one finger on left hand.
  • Buy pastry brush.
  • Don't try to bake bread at the same time. Do it later.
  • Put filling in the centre (although this isn't the REAL Cornish pasty.)
  • Buy measure (Mine broke).
  • Put baking paper.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Holy fucking shitttttttttttttt

since when did all these people I used to know on facebook!?
It seems like fb is becoming popular in Japan too.
Gosh these people sure have changed a lot.


One similarity among all of these people is that they all have the same hair and make up. If they washed their face and dyed their hair black, they probably look the same as how they looked 4 years ago. :P

Sunday, 4 March 2012

I just want to get this out there...

I've been preparing for my presentation/essay for next week. The topic is "what are emotions and how far do you think evolutionary psychology successfully explain them?"

My answer to this is,


Friday, 2 March 2012


Here are some apps (all are free) that I'm finding very useful for my student life.

  1. ShopShop
This is a shipping list app. I tried several shopping list apps but this one turned out to be simple enough to use daily but well made so that I don't have to write "milk" all the time. You can just select one you wrote before. But for the ones that you only buy once such as bath towels, you can erase from the choises.
You can even see how many items you need to buy without opening the app as the number will appear on the top right of the icon.
I think this app prevents you from buy unnecessary food and saves you money and shopping time.
2. ToToDo
This is a to-do list app. Making a to-do list will make it clear what you need to do and that way, you are more likely to use time efficiently. (Unless you are someone like me who likes to be super lazy)You can tick off the things you have done which will hopefully save time wonder what to do next. Like the shopping list app, you will see how many things you need to do without opening the app.
This is an easy to use and helpful tool to keep track of your incomes and expences. You are responsidle for your money and this app is a good way to look after it. It is a bit difficult to figure out at first, but once you strat writing what you spend your money on, you will figure it out. It even has a simple calculator! The app will automaticly make a chart of how you are spending your money. You can take note of how you paid such as cash, credit card, debit card etc. As an international student, it's good that you can choose the currency.

Farmer's Market Madness!!!!!!!!

I used to buy all of my food from Tesco when I first came to Exeter. Now 8 months later, I hardly buy anything there. Things I regularly buy at Tesco are muesli, flour, cheese, and cans of tomato/beans.

Now I buy milk from the Real Food Shop (RFS) because it's locally produced.

I buy vegetables from the farmer's market on Thursday afternoons. They are organic and locally produced so low carbon footprints. If I run out of veg or want something specific during the week, I go to the RFS. Like last week, I  needed mushrooms because I wanted to make mushroom and onion cream spaghetti. (I had double cream left over from when I made chocolate raspberry cheesecake for a birthday party. ) So I went to the RFS and got 4 small mushrooms. That dish was really tasty.

What I love about the farmer's market is that they have seasonal vegetables that Tesco will never have.

Purple Sprout Broccoli

Red Curly Kale

Carnival(?) Squash
 I bought these this week to put in my Cornish pasties (only, mine aren't called "Cornish" but rather, "Shane-ish.")
Also because Tesco had cheese for a reduced price (3 for 2), I bought the following. If you don't get good cheese, there isn't any point in living in the UK, right?!

So today is a Friday. And what do I do on a Friday? I cook.

I had prepared pastry for my pasty yesterday. And today, when my class finished at 1pm, I run back to the kitchen and started the process.
I rolled out the pastry that I kept in my cupboard. I was concerned that I would be a bit too soft but that wasn't the case at all. It was in ideal condition to roll out. I was glad I didn't keep in the fridge because that would have probably made it too hard.

450g plain flour
140g unsalted butter (mix with fingers to make it crumby)
About 120ml water (add slowly to the crumb and assemble into a ball)

This ended up making 6 sheets of round pastry and a bit which I used to make an "S" shape to prove that I really made it.
BTW, as I don't have a rolling pin, I used the roll of plastic wrap. It works just as well.

After I rolled out the pastry, I filled it with vegetables that I had cut up. The veg were, of course, all bought from yesterday's farmer's market. My 6 pasties contain the random combination of the following: potato, onion, beetroot, kale, sprout broccoli and ricotta cheese. Also, I stole just a little bit of thyme from the Community Garden which is in the university.

I seasoned with salt and pepper but I should have put the salt in my hand and poured it and not poured directly on to the pasty so that I know I'm adding the right amount. The one I ate today was under-seasoned and I ended up putting ketchup on it.

Bake in the oven at 190C for 45 minutes and these are what I got.
First baked
Second half-kind of looks like Superman's t-shirt

Shaneish Pasty

The back is well baked too
The one I had today was sprout broccoli, potato, onion and ricotta.

Lunch for the next 6 days is now sorted.

But I need dinner.

So I baked my weekly bread too. And this turned out to be the best bread I have baked. I used the cake tin which was deep and big enough.
So my dinner was bread that came out of the oven 10 minutes before and cheeses from Tesco. I love my food.