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Week 10  - Macaroni Cheese

Andy Mac cheese

Hey Macaroni!
What a lovely opportunity to make something that the family all enjoy.

I must say though that my track record of Macaroni, pasta and rice is not the best.
I would confess that after completing these recipes for a number of weeks, I now felt reasonably comfortable in my preparation.

iPad with recipe in shelf in front of me, ingredients on worktop all measured out accordingly. I even got to the stage of tidying up as I went.

The whole process was so much easier with a cold beer in view and music playing.

We had our Macaroni Cheese for lunch with a salad as it came out of the oven. The boys even asked for more, rather different to my Victoria Sponge.

Week 8  - Victoria Sponge

I am under the belief that Victoria Sponge had its origins at the time of Queen Victoria; well I can assure you there is nothing regal about my sponge!

In all my years, I have never witnessed children not just ask for no more cake but actually refuse that which is given to them... Where did I go wrong, good question?

The icing somehow was totally wrong, and the sponge itself may have been slightly overcooked.
At this time I do not feel ready to progress with the post-mortem.

Week 7  - Upsidedown Plum Cake

Whilst making my cake I recalled the chants of Big Daddy wrestling fans of years gone by "Easy Easy Easy", with my confidence sky high it must be time for a slip up.

Well not to be. Of course appearance is not everything thankfully. The one thing I thought I could make is cake, perhaps due to an additional desire to indulge in that which I have made myself.
The skill of making the Plum Upside Down cake went relatively smoothly.

Of course I did need the visual demonstration on 'Sorted' whilst I was listening to music through the iPad which I put on the shelf where all the recipe books are kept in the kitchen.
The Kenwood Chef saves me both time and energy, allowing me to delve into the fridge for a cold drink.

My work surface itself is also looking less chaotic, maybe the recipes I have been watching have told my subconscious that my work area does not need to be a war zone!
Having just removed the Plum Upside Down cake from the oven, I sense that I will do some criticising myself shortly, maybe a little more later, but let's wait until I test it out.

Week 6  - Sunblush Tomato, Rosemary and Garlic Rolls

Andy sundried tomatoes

Well, here we are at the half way stage, I would not declare that I am a natural just yet,

I do however recall where I put my apron!
That said I appear to becoming, dare I say it, "organised" My ingredients are on the worktop all measured out, my Kenwood Chef clean from its previous use. Is this really me?
This week’s challenge: Bread, (actually it is Sunblushed tomato, Rosemary and Garlic Bread Rolls) - can it be that difficult?.
The dough part of the recipe seems to be relatively straight forward (tempting fate here…).
I am sure that this is helped by the use of the Kenwood Chef both making the process quicker and allowing me to start the family lunch at the same time. I believe this can be referred to as 'multi-tasking'.
The next stage slightly more complicated but I made it through relatively unscathed. They looked a bit like rolls but tasted rather pleasant, perhaps some fine tuning is required but this is my best success to date!

 I have even had some enthusiasm by my son into a joint effort of making garlic bread together. Well one step at a time!

Week 5  - Vegetarian Pizza

Andy pizza

It looked like a pizza, it tasted like a pizza.

I felt this was the easiest challenge to date and probably the most enjoyable as well, as the family and I do like a good pizza! And it turned out, this almost was.

Perhaps for my next attempt I will make a slight change to the toppings.  And maybe, this will be the first recipe I will return to. I even made less mess in the kitchen than usual!

Confidence is growing in my culinary journey, even though it is still early days. Bring on the next round.

Week 4  - Peach Melba Roulade

Andy Peach Melba

Well Peach Melba…never ate it before and not likely again…

Whilst I committed myself to the task in hand, I feel that it was my least favourable dish to date.

At the beginning I had no idea what one tasted like, to be honest I was told the meringue was edible, although those that ate the dish tended to focus solely on the raspberries and peaches, basically the top of the creation.

Is this in the upcoming Weaver cook book, methinks not. Hey hoy pizza next.

Week 3  - Eaton Mess

What an appropriately named dessert in a Disaster Chef Competition!

Initially it all went according to plan – we had guests for dinner that evening meaning that my focus was somewhat distracted. I managed to get the meringue out of the oven successfully and put it on the top of the hob – on an area recently used to make custard – this ended up with my meringue being burned!  With a stiff British upper lip I scraped off as much as I could in a bit of a salvage operation.

The next phase, cream and strawberries, went rather smoothly. If I remain unconvinced that my presentation skills have improved… I am more and more confident

Week 1 & 2 - Four Cheese Quiche & Sausage Plait

My first culinary delight was finished in a little over 5 hours, the only real problem was to determine how big a wedge of cheese is?  I'm hoping that my sausage plait is slightly quicker and less confusing.  All said, my first attempt at quiche did not look that bad, better if you squint or look from a distance.