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I've been really enthused about cooking lately, but was a little hampered by having neither the ingredients, nor the desire to walk to the shop and buy them. I picked up bits and pieces on the way home from work this week, and have started cooking. Made two really nice dishes last night and the night before.

Potato & Mushroom Bake

3-4 large potatoes
some sliced mushrooms
a finely chopped onion
300ml cream
1 cup chicken stock
bread/rice crumbs

Slice the potatoes and boil them for about 5 minutes, so they're just tender. Drain and layer with the mushrooms & onion in a casserole dish. Combine stock and cream and pour over. Top with crumbs & herbs - add a little cheese if you like. Bake for 30 minutes at 180.

Obviously, I used the Massell Chicken Stock powder, which is gluten free and contains no animal ingredients. I used Portobello mushrooms, and topped with rice crumbs - again because of the gluten issue. I used mixed dried Italian herbs. Mmmmm, tasty. Makes around 4 serves as a side dish - and given the amount of cream, you probably would only want to serve it as a side!

The other dish was "Eggy Tomatoes". I saw it in a cookbook, but ignored one key point. Basically, it's scrambled garlicky eggs in a tomato cup. You cut off the top and scoop out the innards of a tomato. Place the tomato under the grill for 10 minutes. The book said to discard the tomato guts, but I used them. Melt some butter over a low heat and add the tomato guts, finely chopped garlic, salt & pepper. Cook slowly. Beat eggs with some milk, salt and pepper and add to the tomato & garlic. Scramble over a low heat. Throw some baby spinach into the tomato shell, sprinkle some more around the dish the tomato is in. Spoon the scrambled eggs into the tomato shell, and over the surrounding spinach. YUM. Quite similar to a pipperade, which is a big garlicky, tomatoey, eggy dish with chopped capsicum and served in lettuce cups. Mmmmm.

Tonight I'm planning on making Stuffed Capsicum with Cauliflower Mash - the capsicums are filled with herbs, fetta and cherry tomatoes, and served with mash made from cauliflower instead of potatoes. I'm looking forward to trying it! Tomorrow night the plan is to make this fantastic Tuscan Bean Soup my mum gave me the recipe for - it's made with semi-dried tomatoes, butter beans (cannellini beans) and balsamic, and is amazing when topped with parmesan toasts.

\o/ cooking!!!