as my regular readers will know, March is Q&A month – basically, ask a question and i’ll do my best to answer. I’ve answered one set of questions already from Linda, now to answer fuguee’s question:

Your most favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner items :) Nosy minds want to know! hehe

*chortles*… as fuguee (and others) well know – get me started on food and i simply won’t shut up! I’ll do my best to answer the question and not waffle too much.. (and 2 hours later i realise i have miserably failed. But i’m going to post this anyway. And if you’re hungry, don’t read this blog post, i mean it. You’ll finish it by licking the screen.) Answers behind the cut cos its so long – over 2,500 words! If you want to ask anything, feel free to – either in the comments here or at the original Q&A post

Breakfast

My usual breakfast is a cheap version of Ready Brek, sort of pulverised porridge. I have it with skimmed milk and sweetner, so its a pretty healthy breakfast. To offset that, at weekends, i have a slightly naughtier breakfast on Saturday (aka “Caturday”) which is bacon and egg butties. Although the bacon is grilled, which does help a bit (still fried eggs though).

But that doesn’t answer the question, really. My most favorite breakfast? hmmm. I think it depends mightily on whether i’m cooking or not.

If i’m NOT cooking, then a good (and i mean a good) fryup, a full English Breakfast is always welcome. For me, personally, that means smoked bacon (back bacon, and only the round bit from the middle of the back, cos i hate the fat off bacon – i give the tail and the fat to Michiel), some lincolnshire sausages (preferably walls, cos i love those), proper soft-set scrambled eggs (made to the Delia adaptation of the Escoffier method), garlic mushrooms (i.e. sliced or quartered mushrooms, in a pan with a couple of garlic cloves, a good wodge of butter, mixed herbs, and set on a low heat, lid on. Once the liquid has come out of the mushrooms, remove the lid and turn the heat up to boil the liquid off – then serve), fried tomatoes, some kind of carb – either a hash brown, potato cake, fried potatoes slices or fried bread, baked beans, coffee, orange juice, and finally toast or croissants on the side.

Failing that, i have a sneaky liking for McDonalds Breakfast, especially the sausage and egg muffins. (*hangs head*… ooh.. the shame! the shame!)

Funnily enough, if i am cooking, then the answer is the same. I love cooking English Breakfast for people, because its a crowd pleaser, but if i’ve cooked it, then it doesn’t taste anywhere near as nice. I’m not sure why that is – its not to do with the actual food, its to do with the fact that its bloomin hard work, balancing all the different dishes and getting them to come together at the same time, that when i sit down to eat it, I’ve actually kind of gone off the idea of eating, no matter how hungry i am. I just want to sit down with some coffee and have some quiet time. Unfortunately, i usually do this kind of breakfast for guests (so we only have it about twice a year, fortunately) and that’s the one thing that i can’t do. Its funny how it takes me that way – it’s not the same with any other kind of food, even a sunday roast, which is just as awkward in terms of timing and preparation and so on.

If i am cooking English Breakfast, then i do the same as i listed above, but usually with fried eggs instead of scrambled. Michiel prefers fried eggs, and fried eggs i can leave unattended for a few minutes. Not so with scrambled, they must be stirred. (a close favorite to English Breakfast for me, is scrambled egg on toast made from home made bread, which i often do make for myself at weekends, which is why i’m so adamant about the method. I also love cutting croissants in half, putting in a slice of ham, topped with cheese, toasting them under the grill so that the cheese has all melted, then topping with soft set scrambled eggs, putting the top back on the croissants and eating. Its messy, but OMG-Glorious.)

Lunch

Hm. the question of lunch/dinner is a difficult one. There’s Sunday Lunch, which for most people has connotations of a roast, and then there’s lunch during the week, which is a sandwich. So i’m going to treat this lunch as a midweek meal, something fairly light for the purpose of this question, and a heavier meal for Dinner, later in this post.

Again, what i usually have for lunch isn’t always my favorite. I often have a quick sandwich, ham and tomato or something, or boiled egg and soldiers, or even toast with some soup. But if i was going all out to treat myself? hmm. Some kind of salad would be lovely. I made a gorgeous starter for a meal for Mum and Dad a few years ago with duck breast, marinaded and lightly cooked on a grill, sliced and stirred through the salad with an orange based dressing as a warm salad. A bigger version of that would do very nicely. Some good soup – i like thick, hearty soupsminted pea soup is a popular one with me – or hot (as in spicy) thin soups. Beans on toast – don’t knock it – when its good, its very very good – always goes down well, particularly in cold weather. I like it with a little worcester sauce stirred through and plenty of black pepper crunched ontop. Oh, and the toast must be spread with butter, the real thing. It provides a barrier to stop the toast going so soggy.

When out and about, buying lunch outside the home, provided money is no object.. hm. i quite like subway’s sandwiches. I’ve had a few of those, when they’re on special. McDonalds quarter pounder.. i know, i know, they’re horrible, you know what goes into them, the fat and salt content.. i’ve ranted about the company often enough but.. you know.. there’s a reason they’re a bestseller. LOL. sometimes i cave. Burger king is a big winner with us both. Every so often we just absolutely have to have a double whopper with cheese.

Outside of that? hmm. I’m thinking back to the days when i worked, now, in Birmingham City centre. There was a bakery/patisserie near where i worked – sadly, its not there any more – that sold *THE* most gorgeous mushroom croissants – croissants, cut in half, with mushrooms and cheese inside, topped with a sauce, the top of the croissant replaced, covered with yet more cheese, so it was all gooey and gorgeous and .. yum. The same place also did a “Mexican Baguette” – a baguette filled with a dryish minced beef/onion/bell pepper mix, quite spicy and flavoursome, with spicy mayo and grated cheese, served hot.. it was heavenly. Absolutely heavenly. Philpotts opened a store near our workplace in the last year or two that i worked there. There were two sandwiches from there that i adored. The first was – and it sounds gross, but trust me, it worked – brussels pate on ciabatta bread, topped with avocado, cucumber and lettuce. That was lovely in hot weather, but a bit on the expensive side. The other was in the run up to christmas, again, on ciabatta bread – turkey slices, with cranberry jelly, mushed stuffing, and lettuce… Ohhh.. the memories. Sometimes at christmas i try to re-create this and its as good as i remember. Fantastic.

Dinner

oh now, this is a real *bleep* of a question. I don’t have a favorite dinner. What i have, depends very much on how i’m feeling. If i’m feeling low, its cold outside, and i want comfort food then its lincolnshire sausages, mashed potatoes, boiled whole onions and white sauce (this being comfort food dates back to my teenage years when it would be the last meal served at the weekend, often, before we headed back to hated school). I adore minced beef and lamb, so just about any variation on those is going to go down well with me. Cottage pie, shepherd’s pie, sauerkrautdish, spaghetti bolognaise, meatballs, chilli con carne, moussaka, lasagne, faggots & mash – all are well loved and cooked regularly, but i think one of my favorites is lamb and aubergine curry. Sadly its not something Michiel likes that much, so i don’t get it as often as i’d like. But for me, the fat comes out of the lamb, which flavours the dish wonderfully. The cubed aubergine sucks it all up, there’s raisins and peas in there, courgettes, onions and bell peppers, its smooth, rich, almost sweet, strongly curried, served with rice, and i just absolutely love it (and we’re well over due to have it again).

What else do i like? chickenwise, i love a dish Mum and I have been making for years. I talked in the last Q&A about the “Simply Delicious” files that Mum got me when i first started to learn to cook, and this dish was in there. Its Chicken breasts, with a wee pocket made in the breast, stuffed with some kind of soft cheese – garlic roule, or a soft blue cheese. Its laid face down in a casserole dish. Double cream and french mustard are mixed together, and poured around the chicken breasts, and the exposed breasts, peeking out of the cream like islands floating in the cream, are brushed with a combination of melted butter, dried tarragon and french mustard. Its absoluvely heavenly – the cream reduces down to a gorgeous sauce, and its wonderful with really good new potatoes and french beans. Sinful, but wonderful. I’ll have to post the recipe, Mum sent it to me the other day.

Veggiewise? Green Thai curry is a much loved dish in our house, and i usually do that as a veggie option. Nasi Goreng is another – I do what i call “Lazy Nasi  Goreng”, which basically comes out of a packet. Nasi Goreng is the indonesian version of fried rice. This is something i’ve learned from my mother-in-law – various vegetables, sauted, the packet (with the right amount of water tipped in too) stirred through, then cold, cooked rice stirred through the whole thing. It’s served with fried eggs ontop. The lazy version isn’t anywhere near as good as the real thing (I’ve written before about indonesian food elsewhere) but as a cheap, filling meal its pretty good, and since its veggie, its pretty healthy too. Except the fried eggs.

One thing i do love – and this will make Mum laugh – is Scampi and Chips. When i was a teenager, if we went out to a pub to eat, and it was on the menu, i would have it, without fail. Got to the point where it was so predictable. But i love them, the flavour, the crunchiness, the lemon served on the side. I is teh easeh to please! Its not something i ever do for myself at home though. i dislike deep frying food at home, although i will do it when i have to (e.g. loempia), but otherwise, i try to reserve eating deepfried food for outside the home.

I adore Chinese food. If you ever want to treat me to a meal (and you can’t stretch to Heston), then take me to a good Chinese restaurant. Or Thai. Or Indonesian. I quite like Indian, but if i had to choose, i’d take Chinese or Thai over Indian. Michiel wants to take me to a decent Greek restaurant sometime: he loves greek food, but its not something i’ve had a lot of experience at.

Pasta is something else i love. We eat quite a lot of pasta, mostly spaghetti. From the ubiquitous Spag Bol through to Seafood Pasta, Mushroom pasta, chicken pesto pasta, meatballs. We love rice as well, from the stuff served with a curry through to risotto. One of Michiel’s favorites is wild mushroom risotto. I actually tend to rotate my menus according to the carbs, not the meats – i mean, i try to vary it so we’re not eating, say, chicken or fish, three nights in a row, but i actually plan by the carb. So night one might be potato, night two, rice, night three, pasta, night four bread, night five back to potato. There’s so many variations within that that i find it easier to manage that way than trying to vary by meat. So – following the previous list – night 1 might be sausage and mash, night two might be thai veg curry, night three could be seafood pasta, night four may well be meatballs in wraps, and night five fried egg and chips. It works for us.

Pudding / the sweet stuff

I know you didn’t ask about dessert, fuguee, but you’re getting it anyway. LOL. I try not to eat too many puddings at the moment, because i’m trying to lose weight, but not doing too well. We’re on a tangfastic kick at the moment, and we both love those. Plus its Easter. All that chocolate!!

I love baking, though. And anyone who knows me knows i have a sweet tooth. Michiel doesn’t, though, or at least, not in the same way that i do. He does like proper Dutch Apple pie, and if i want to make him a happy bunny, i make that. I love cake, i’ve made quite a few over the years, from christmas cake through to chocolate cake (including a fabby chocolate beer cake for Sez one year), to coffee and walnut cake. I love biscuits too, both commercial and home made. I tend to do more baking at christmas cos then we can indulge without feeling TOO guilty. I adore anything to do with cinnamon, including cinnamon wheels – if i see those in a bakery, i’m gone. Or maple and pecan danish. Or a custard doughnut. Or…. ohhhhhh… *salivates*… a custard/Vanilla Slice.. Oh god.. a vanilla slice.. *melts into a puddle*..I have to steer clear of bakeries like that. They’re dangerous. *nods solemnly*. dangerous, i tell ya!! But if you do get one.. now listen very closely.. i will tell you only once.. there is a way to eat the slice. The keth way. do it this way or i will hunt you down and dangle vanilla slices in front of your nose without letting you eat one for LIFE. lift the top layer of pastry, with the icing on it. eat that one first. then eat the bottom layer. Do not, under any circumstances, eat the whole thing so that the custard oozes out. that is just.. *shudders*.. horrific. Don’t do it, you hear me?

Icecream is another favorite. Whether really good icecream on its own, or el cheapo stuff with squirty cream or pancakes or waffles with hundreds and thousands, or in a cone… i adore the stuff. But my absolutely all time favorite way to have icecream: a coke float. Its simple. take vanilla icecream. put in a big wine glass. top with coke. be careful, cos it’ll fizz up. fill it slowly. grab a teaspoon, eat the icecream slowly. slurp the coke. GORGEOUS. if you’ve ever had vanilla coke then you’ll know what this tastes like, its almost identical in flavour. This absolutely rocks on a hot summer’s day when you’re really hot and thirsty and stuff.

Okay, i got to stop with this. I’m hungry, and i just had a bacon and egg butty. (hey, it is caturday). I’m not really *hungry*, just lusting after a custardslice. I haven’t had one of those in absolutely yonks and now i reallyreallyreally want one. So i’m going to stop this before i remember something else i haven’t had in ages and really really want too. A girl can go insane with this kind of blog post!!!

If you’d like to know anything else (other than what i will do to get a vanilla slice right now) then feel free to ask – either here or at the original Q&A post!

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