At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Sweeeeeet...potatoes and courgettes. ;)


imageYes, the potatoes aren't from our garden I'm afraid...but that big courgette I'm holding there in my hand most certainly is. We've been growing courgettes for a few years now, and they always seem to do extraordinarily well...perhaps too much so, for last year they sort of overtook the whole vegetable plot and cost us our carrots and onions. :(
But hey, courgettes are a great vegetable...I know many might accuse them of being bland-tasting and boring, but I beg to differ! It all depends on what way you cook them and what you cook them with. And I find roasting them in lots of lovely olive oil - nestled alongside potatoes, sweet potatoes, and clove upon clove of fragrant garlic - a very tasty way to consume courgettes, indeed. Quite the opposite of bland in my view. :)
So if you, like me, have grown courgettes and are looking for an ideal and yummy way to utilise them which will not result in lots of disappointed and uninspired faces at the table - horribly reminiscent of those we are faced with on serving up other unpopular vegetables such as boiled cabbage or Brussel Sprouts - but instead will evoke lots of happy and appreciative "ummm!" might be worth giving this one a try. And of course please don't feel that just because you are not growing your own that you can't sample this one too...they're readily available in the shops as you probably already know. And anyway, this can be easily done without the addition of the courgettes of course; but I do love having them along with the makes such an interesting and delicious combination of tastes and textures. Whereas the potatoes are all lovely and crispy, the courgettes, and the garlic too actually, become delightfully squishy. ;)
You will need...(to serve about 4.)
about 4-5 good-sized potatoes
1 large sweet potato, or two small ones (small ones are easier to cut! )
about 6 cloves (at least ;) ) garlic (don't worry about peeling them :)
1 small courgette (or 1/2 of a big one :) )
lots of olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 190c/170 c fan.Wash the potatoes and cut them into wedges and sprinkle on a big baking tray. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into big, chunky wedges. slightly larger than the potato ones, as these take less time to cook. Add these to the tray. Thickly slice the courgette and add to the tray with the cloves of garlic. Drizzle olive oil generously over the vegetables and then toss them in the oil with a spoon. 
Position the potatoes so that their cut sides are resting on the tray. I usually rest the courgette slices on top of the potatoes in the tray; as I prefer the courgettes to be soft and squishy rather than crispy. The garlic cloves should be distributed evenly around the tray, but try not to place them too near the very edges, for they become quite hard and brown if overcooked. Season the whole lot generously with salt and pepper.
Roast in the oven for about 45 mins - 1 hour. Take the tray out of the oven halfway through the cooking time - you will notice that the potatoes on the edges of the tray might have become crisp and golden quicker than those in the middle. With a spoon, turn over the ones which have developed their crispy sides; but try not to move the ones which haven't. Drizzle over a little more olive oil and return to the oven. Check again when it comes to 45 minutes - if they are done, turn them all over again and toss the tray so they absorb the remaining olive oil, and then place at the bottom of the oven for about 10 minutes.
When you are ready to serve take the potatoes out of the oven and transfer them carefully to a big serving dish - move them with a spoon first before using a metal spatula to place them in the dish, so you don't lose any of those lovely crispy skins. ;)

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