Hi, I'm Tori (a.k.a. the Mad Scientist). I'm a student, so I tend to end up cooking just for me most of the time. A lot of my culinary-minded friends find cooking for one depressing, but I LOVE it. I get to experiment without the fear of feeding people something inedible (although I do that from time to time!) and I think it's taught me to be a better cook. Not everything I make is especially weird, but I struggle to make even the most basic recipes without adding a little something extra. I do have a life outside my kitchen, so when I find something I love I will share it with you, food-related or no. I have a particular soft spot for fashion, if you do too check out my outfit blog: The Daily Thread. Mad Scientist in the Kitchen is not about science, more about an inquisitive (and occasionally bonkers) approach to cooking. I hope you find something here that makes you hungry.

Moving On

As some of you know, I am spending next year in California. I am so excited and can’t wait to share all my adventures with you. As I will probably be developing the content of my blogs quite a lot over the next year, I have decided to make a bit of a change and combine my two blogs into one, over on wordpress. You can find me at http://afoxatlarge.wordpress.com/ as of today. All the usual content will still be there, with a few extras besides. See you on the other side! xx

Chicken, Preserved Lemon, Fennel and Olive Tagine

I needed something really easy for dinner a couple of nights ago - the sort of thing you could throw together and leave to do its own thing - and this is the end result. Enough for four, with leftovers.

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Coffee Cake for Coffee Lovers

I’ve been craving a really good coffee and walnut cake for a while, but all the recipes I see don’t seem to taste very much like coffee and come with that horrible, over-sweet butter-cream icing. Not my idea of tasty. So, armed with a large pot of coffee, I went to work on my own version, which went down equally well at teatime as for dessert. I used the Leiths recipe to make the actual cake, so use whichever recipe you would usually.

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Sorry, no photo. But you all know what chilli con carne looks like anyway, right? This is however, a pretty epic version thereof, even if I say so myself xx

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A Seasonal Pasta Sauce

If you grow asparagus, you are probably at the same point as we are at home where it is trying desperately to escape the vegetable patch. I looked in the fridge the other night and there was some fresh pasta and not much else, but I knew we were desperate to get rid of some asparagus. So, this is how I fed three hungry people on a Friday night: we could have done a lot worse xx

P.S. the idea for this was stolen from Smitten Kitchen (http://smittenkitchen.com/) and I reckon my portions would serve 3 very hungry people or 4 people who are not my relatives!

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Homemade BBQ Sauce

I have no idea why, but I was really craving BBQ sauce today. Although I am tempted to blame my housemates, one of whom made BBQ fajitas a few nights ago and another who keeps buying BBQ sauce and flaunting it! So, in order to prevent some seriously out of order condiment theft, I whipped this up. Use it for dunking, or try marinating some meat in it before cooking, either on the barbecue or in the oven xx

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Indian Potato Wedges

You know when you have a glut of something? Well, for me recently it has been potatoes. I keep forgetting I have them and start making something before I realise I should really use them up and try to figure out how I can fit them in to whatever I have started on. Usually it doesn’t work at all and I give up and tell myself I will use them tomorrow, but the other day I got lucky. I’d already defrosted a curry I’d made a while back and I thought about those horrible, fluorescent yellow potatoes, dripping in oil that sometimes accompany curry in school dining rooms. Then I thought about lime pickle and how I never have anything to eat with it. A short leap of the imagination took me to Indian-spiced potato wedges with lime pickle and curry for supper and I am so glad it did. Delicious.

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Not-Quite Carbonara

I went on a fridge hunt to discover I had: some Savoy cabbage, some chorizo, cheese, eggs and not a lot else. What happened exceeded expectations. Creamy, cheese-laden but flavourful and not too heavy (surprisingly).

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Easter Egg Hunt

It’s been a while, but I am back to cooking just for me and hence back to making sometimes experimental but always tasty things on a more regular basis. I hope you’ll think this was worth a bit of a wait.

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Hot Hot Cold

I attempted to make this Lamb, Fennel and Pomegranate salad (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/warm-lamb-and-farro-salad-with-fennel-and-pomegranate.html) a couple of days ago. As usual however my failure to remember all the ingredients coupled with an extreme lack of reverence for recipes left me with a slightly different outcome. Enough for 3 or 4.

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