Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Valentine's Day Meal(s) & Pancakes

Valentine's Day this year for us was kind of overshadowed by hunting for a suitable wedding venue, so we didn't really do anything out of the ordinary: I cooked, but that is hardly unusual!

Our Valentine's meal was kind of in two parts: on Saturday evening I cooked a delicious free-range roast chicken, with roast potatoes, carrots, mushrooms (mushrooms popped into the roasting dish are delicious because they soak up the juices and take on a beautiful flavour), and decided to use up the homemade vegetable stock I had left in my freezer, by making this onion gravy recipe. It is very easy to make and went surprisingly well with the chicken. I blended mine and it turned out quite thick, so it was almost like a sauce - yummy!

The leftover chicken then made two wonderfully succulent and delicious sandwiches for me the next couple of days. This really brought home to me how much more economical it is to buy a whole chicken than to buy chicken breasts etc. We bought a (fairly small) free-range chicken from Sainsbury's for about £5.50 - this provided us with the roast, two lots of sandwiches, and I then made chicken stock from the bones which turned into a soup.

I made the chicken stock during the day on Sunday and it turned out much better than last time. I simmered it much more gently this time and it was much less greasy. I then used the stock in a favourite soup of mine - Egyptian Lentil Soup. I first made this soup after buying lentils for the first time on a whim, and it's been a favourite in our house ever since. Simple ingredients and ridiculously simple to make, it is filling and hearty and is wonderful served with some chunks of bread.


This is the first time I had made the soup with homemade chicken stock rather than a stock cube and I really noticed the difference in colour and flavour. It looked lovely and rich. It tasted pretty good too! I love the addition of the lemon juice - it gives it a real zing.
For dessert we had pancakes. My fiancé did the honours using the batter I had made earlier.

Yes, he cheated and used a spatula to flip them. We like our pancakes served with sugar, lemon and orange. Simple, but tasty!


  1. Amazing pancakes and flip! Here's another "Eat Delicious Food Day!" meal http://desigrub.com/2010/02/eat-delicious-food-day/

  2. Very lovely, but did you find a suitable wedding venue?

  3. Not yet, Janice! The venue we looked at (Coombe Abbey) is beautiful but way overpriced and they weren't willing to be flexible to accommodate our ideas of what we wanted. Looking at a couple more this weekend - will do a blog post on it fairly soon, as it does involve food too! :)

  4. I am going 'food tasting' for my son's wedding on Saturday night. He is being married in May at Friars Carse just outside Dumfries

  5. Wow, the venue is beautiful! And the room hire is a fraction of what it cost at Coombe Abbey - seriously it was £2000 just for the room hire - that was before you started adding on food or anything! Just to give you an idea of how ludicrous the prices at Coombe Abbey are!

    I hope you enjoy your food tasting!

  6. I agree with you, pancakes need to be served with sugar, lemon and orange :) It all looks great!

  7. I like the sound of the Egyptian lentil soup - yum.