Last week I ruined two dinners. The first, I had no idea fennel seeds strongly resemble licorice in taste (but little else, according to the internet) and added a heaped teaspoon of it, blindly following a recipe. When I later told my colleague of my dinner disaster, she correctly guessed Jamie Oliver on the first try, because apparently it’s common knowledge he loves fennel. It turns out Conor, and I, do not. We tried eating around the seeds, but with so many of them dispersed within the dish it was impossible to not gag after every mouthful. Eventually we called it quits and ordered pizza.
The next night I almost killed us by serving chicken with a questionable use by date. If consuming the meat itself wasn’t going to kill us, then the smell most definitely would have. We dumped dinner into boxes left over from the afformentioned pizza, and Conor quickly put together some pesto pasta, because we couldn’t possibly order pizza two nights in a row. We hate wasting food, and whilst I could wallow on my cooking fails, I’m going to choose to focus on the fact the other 5 dinners of last week were a success.
We’ve definitely made progress from one of our first meals as married people – glorified pot noodles with plastic crockery, and crisp sandwiches. Because we had just moved into our flat, and purchased a kettle that morning.
Baking on the other hand, comes a lot more naturally. When my Dad couldn’t make it to our official house warming, he sent me a care package of all my favourite foods (mostly fruit). These apples have been sitting our fridge for a while, and after Conors recent trip to Ikea landed me a corer, I couldn’t wait to dig through, stuff and bake. The apples are best served warm, with an optional, but highly recommended, pouring of hot vanilla custard. They take only 5 minutes to prepare and are one of my easy comfort favourites.
- 6 apples
- 8-10 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 60g milk chocolate, rpighly chopped
- Handful of raisins
- Handful of pecans, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas mark 4
- Slice the top and bottom of each apple, and remove the core using an apple corer. Place the apples onto a lined baking tray.
- In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, chocolate, raisins and pecans. Spoon the mixture into the centre of each apple, stuffing them to the top. Sprinkle on top some extra brown sugar, and place the top slice of the apple back on top.
- Place in the oven and bake for 40 - 45 minutes.
- Serve warm with an optional serving of custard or cream.