A Perfect Student Cook Casserole

I love to cook. In fact, I like to experiment and I like to bake. Even more, after a stressful day at Uni, cooking is all I really want to do. Except when I don’t. Sometimes although the cupboard is stocked there doesn’t seem to be the right mix of things to make something yummy. No bacon bits for Carbonara, no noodles for stirfry etc. Sometimes I buy something different to break the cycle but am unsure what to do with it (Pasta sauce I hear you shout! Yes true but something Not pasta is usually the struggle!)

This is what happened last week. I bought 8 Cumberland Pork Sausages to have a creamy sausage pasta fest. In a mis-planning catastrophe (euphemism), turns out I had had too much pasta when it came to Friday night (happens way to often). I was going to make an omelette but had had eggs in the morning. Long story short, I found Pinterest (as always) and found this gem. An Italian style sausage bake. It had my two favourite words associated with food: Italian and bake. Although I adapted the recipe as always, I kept to the suggested timing (almost 2 hours) and was not disappointed. The vegetables I used apart from potatoes included aubergine carrots and mushrooms. Along with the olive oil I added a tablespoon of hot water and mustard and a mix of thyme, parsley and basil.

Italian Sausage Bake | Katie's Cucina

That was one hearty meal. With 8 sausages I had enough for 2 big meals and one mini lunch. Bread was a good accompaniment although the meal itself was enough. I guess hungry people could add couscous or rice, but the potatoes give the carbs you need. Definitely going in my fave recipes pile!

 

O.C.D – When is it a problem?

Today marks the last day of OCD Awareness week. Obsessive compulsive disorders. I call Emanuel, my sister and myself OCD all the time, but our OCD doesn’t control our lives. As I’ve grown older I’ve realised my tendencies to be OCD have increased, but that is what living with a perfectionist (sister) and artist (boyfriend) does to you I guess. I always wondered though, when will it be a problem? When do you diagnose OCD?

OCD is based on two principles: the obsessive thoughts and the compulsive action that aims to regulate these thoughts. One thinks of Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets.

Thoughts and images tend to be related to hygiene, or harm to oneself or others. Most sufferers find the images that plague them disturbing and to a degree know that they are unreasonable. However, they develop routines, and other compulsive behaviour to control the images. Hence the incessant washing of hands. In the case of the turning on and off the lights etc, sufferers believe these rituals are protective. The moment it becomes an issue is when the anxiety, and therefore the matching routine begins to interfere with one’s life. Some people have lost jobs, families and even their own sanity to the condition.

I have become a bit more sensitive to using the word. Using the word ‘obsessed’ to describe a love for One Direction, Juventus or Rugby, as well as using OCD to explain a habit may often trivialize it for many real sufferers around the world.

If you are interested in reading more about OCD or the research involved, click here.

 

The real deal – A flea market

Nowadays vintage is in. This means that what is being sold as vintage, is not really vintage, it just looks vintage.

However the real deals are still to be found in hidden spots around cities and maybe old villages. I heard of one such flea market called Steptoe on Steroids, somewhere in Rose Street.

Rose Street is not the easiest to find, its in a side street off the bottom of City Road, almost coming to Newport Road.  I went there on a cold Sunday morning after mass. I have started listening to mass in St. Peter’s in Roath and it was with a feel good mood I decided to go exploring. It was too early to go into town anyway.

I came across the sign without any problem, however the sign is the only indication that this garage is more than just a junk garage. Ranging on two floors, navigating your way through the store is not the easiest. Things aren’t laid out the way you expect them too. I like how you have BBC Wales (or some other station) on the ground floor, and then Queen’s Its a Kind of Magic playing upstairs, clearing from a vinyl record that was by the base of the stairs. Most impressive is the enamel signage that the owner has collected. Sadly, it isn’t for sale.

I fell in love with a number of old jukeboxes and cameras and would be tempted to buy one to decorate my house in the future. There were tons of bric a brac items too. I asked the owner whether he changed the items often, and he told me that he had an entire van to clear out! This is a place to go if you want to get nostalgic, lost or need a bargain. It opens every Saturday and Sunday and definitely worth a visit.

Did I buy anything? Yes, Yes I did. A game called Kan-U-Go which  my Dad had when he was a teenager and kept for us, for those rare Malta stormy nights!

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