One of the downsides to blogging, I have noticed, is that other bloggers cook nicer stuff than I do. I spend much more time drooling over my keyboard and saying "I want what she's having" than I actually do cooking or planning delicious dishes of my own.
So here is a brief summary of some of the dishes I have been pinching from my friends in the blogosphere recently.
Laurie, from That's Not What The Recipe Says, is responsible for this delicious-looking baked oatmeal. She turns it out in enormous quantities for a church fundraiser, but I made a single batch just for us. Instead of raisins, I used what was on hand, which happened to be dates and dried apricots. It was lovely warm with milk, but almost better cool, when it set firm enough to cut into slices. Wonderful for taking to work to eat at my desk!
The reason why I had dates and apricots in the pantry, was that I made these raw food cookies from Laura at Hungry and Frozen. Unfortunately the drive shaft on my food processor snapped while doing the hard work on these, so I had to melt 30g of dark chocolate and knead that in to hold it all together. Very successful! So delicious you'd never dream that they were good for you.
From George at A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse and Kat & Matt at A Good Appetite, I got this pasta dish. George's was pear, goat's cheese and walnuts, with some spinach and rocket. Kat & Matt's was pear, proscuitto, blue cheese and walnuts with baby spinach. Mine was pancetta, pear, blue cheese and rocket. Paul didn't like the pear, and I wasn't totally convinced either! I thought the sweet juiciness was going to work well with the other flavours, but I actually found it a bit jarring.
Lastly, we have Deb's meatballs. Spaghetti and meatballs isn't something I grew up with but for some reason I was really craving it at about the time I saw Deb's post. I've made them twice now, and they are absolute perfection. The first time I used half of my last beetroot roll, the second time I used some stale rye bread, and both times they had an excellent flavour and the perfect texture. My marinara sauce needs some work though, so I will definitely be making these again!