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Monday, 29 September 2014

Student Life

So I've been at university for what feels like an eternity but alas it's only been a week! Its been a roller coaster ride so far; with many ups and a some downs. 

Freshers week has this amazing reputation as being the best week of your life; it's not. You meet loads of lovely people, get an introduction to your course, attend events like Bunfight or Freshers Fair, the nightlife is amazing and by the end of it you are feeling extremely overwhelmed (as well as hungover, embarrassed from drunken nights, lacking in a lot of sleep and if you're really lucky you will have 'freshers flu' like me!). The only thing stable over that week was cooking. It's was my rock.  My detox time as well as my preparation time (whether it be for a lecture or night out!). The simple task of making something for breakfast which helped with the hangover, prepared you for that days activities provided routine and familiarity which the past week lacked. I certainty didn't realise how much university throws you in the deep end and cooking provided me with comfort. 

I have not had the time to cook intricate or expensive dishes or even go shopping so I have really been scraping together dishes from very odd ingredients! At the beginning of the week I made a really simple tomato sauce and used this as a base for other dishes for the rest of the week. 

Simple Tomato Sauce: 
Makes 4 portions. 

2 table spoons olive oil 
1 large onion, finely chopped
A pinch of salt and pepper
A large dollop of butter 
2 cans tinned tomatoes 
1 teaspoon red pesto (adds flavour) 

1) Put the onion and olive oil into a pan. Fry on a low heat until the onion is soft and caramelised. 
2) Add the butter and stir in until melted. 
3) Add the cans of tomatoes and pesto. Simmer for 15-20 mins. 

I then used this sauce to make: 
- Spaghetti with a tomato sauce 
- Spicy Sausage Bake (fry sausages in a pan until cooked, take off the heat and cut into chunks. In a large dish add cooked pasta, sausage, chilli flakes and tomato sauce. Mix together and then top with grated cheese. Cook for about 20 mins until heated through). 
- Ratatouille with chicken ( Cut 1 pepper, 1 courgette and 1 aubergine into 1 inch cubes. Fry the vegetables separately until brown and cooked through, add to a oven proof dish with the tomato sauce. Bake in the oven for 20 mins until heated through. Whilst it's cooking fry a piece of chicken. Serve the ratatouille on top of the chicken. ) 
- Moroccan Chickpeas with Rice ( add a tin of chickpeas to half of the tomato sauce and a tablespoon of tagine paste)

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