Five vegetable soup

Another soup recipe that is a definite keeper and great for those days where you just want something warm AND light! In the meantime, I’m on the hunt for some kobo ereader reviews.

Five vegetable soup

Ingredients
2 medium-large red bell pepper
2 large leeks
1 large zucchini
1/4 portion of a pumpkin
2 large tomatoes
Approx 1 liter of stock – I used vegetable stock
Some garlic croutons and mozzarella cheese – optional
Olive oil

Method

  1. Wash and roughly cube all the vegetables.
  2. Add some olive oil in a pressure cooker and fry the vegetables on high for 1-2 minutes before adding in the stock. Cover and cook under pressure for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Once ready, release the pressure, remove the cover and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve warm or hot with some croutons and mozzarella cheese.
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Simple beef stew

I am beginning to fall in love with my pressure cooker and stews. Earlier, I have been busy cooking up beef bourguignon, Italian-styled beef stews and even vegetable soups, experimenting with spices and wines. Even Eva felt that they were yummy – “C’est bon!” she declares. Then again, just about nearly everything is yummy – except that cake I made previously (she refused to touch it – LOL – a testament of what a disaster it was).

If you’re looking for something quick and easy, which doesn’t require much time slaving in front of the stove and more time for surfing on Gateway computers, this is it. That is provided you have a pressure cooker. Just dump everything, wait for the liquid to boil, cover and activate by locking in the cover. Once the pressure builds, it’s a matter of leaving it to continue cooking while you go about doing other things. Me? While this was cooking away, I was busy changing Noah’s diaper followed by a good breastfeeding session. Once I was done and while my mum burped him, I dumped the vegetables into the pressure cooker (release the pressure first, naturally) and cooked it for a futher 10 to 15 minutes. That allowed me to check my emails and such. Amazing, no?

Definitely a tool I’d recommend to cooks out there! Oh, apologies for the lack of photos – everyone was too hungry and well, there will always be another time for pictures! Kekekeke.

Simple beef stew

Ingredients
1 kg stewing beef
2 cups fresh mushroom – quartered
5 medium sized potatos – peeled & cubed
1 medium sized onion – diced
3 medium sized carrots – peeled & cubed
100 gms streaky bacon – cubed
1 star anise
3 cloves
Some vegetable stock
Some olive oil

(B) Thickening
1/2 tbsp corn flour
1 tbsp water

Method

  1. In the pressure cooker, fry the spices, onion and bacon in olive oil until fragrant before adding in the beef.
  2. Fry the beef on high heat for five minutes before adding in the vegetable stock. Once the liquid comes to the boil, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Release the pressure and remove the lid. Add the potatoes, carrots and mushrooms. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes. Add thickening, then dish out and serve immediately.
  4. Release the pressure and remove the lid. Add thickening, then dish out and serve immediately with thick slices of bread or a side serving of rice.
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Glacé fruit-orange with almond rock buns

Glacé fruit-orange with almond rock buns

I had originally planned on making financiers and then somehow felt like baking up a banana bread. In the end, I ended up with about 30 over medium sized rock buns. Talk about a shift in tastes. That said, I must admit that the last time I made rock buns was a long time ago and I didn’t remember getting a moist rock bun. In fact, the ones I made in secondary school were, well, as hard as rocks!!!!!

Anyway, the original recipe called for dried fruit and ginger spice but I decided to keep things simple as I had glacé fruit (or candied fruit), almonds and some orange juice lying around. A trip a few days ago to the market saw me purchasing some candied strawberries and melon that are usually meant for baking or cooking. I roughly chopped these up and wash them to get rid of the sickly sweet coating. An addition of almond gave it some crunch. I threw in some orange juice for a light flavour and the resulting rock buns were moist, fluffy and not sweet at all – good for those of us who don’t have a sweet tooth.

Needless to say, these were a hit with Eva – she had four of them at one go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 Yay for homemade bakes!

Glacé fruit-orange with almond rock buns

Ingredients
2 cups self-raising flour
90 gms butter
1/2 cup glacé fruit – chopped and washed
1/2 cup chopped almonds
Slightly less than 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk & orange juice

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Sift the flour into a small bowl before putting it aside.
  2. Cut the butter into cubes and rub in the flour until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in the glacé fruit, almonds and brown sugar. Mix well.
  4. Make a well and mix the egg and milk & orange juice using a wooden spoon or spatula until you get a stiff, sticky dough.
  5. Drop tablespoons of the mixture on to a baking pan – no need to smooth them out as rock buns are supposed to have a rough surface. Space the cookies 2.5cm apart.
  6. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and leave to cool.
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Raspberry Weave

FO: Raspberry Weave

Venetian Harlequin
Warp
14 Four Seasons Gründl Sunshine
6 Louisa Harding Fauve (Purple)
12 Louisa Harding Fauve (Red-pink)
4 Four Seasons Gründl Sunshine
12 Louisa Harding Fauve (Red-pink)
6 Louisa Harding Fauve (Purple)
14 Four Seasons Gründl Sunshine

Weft
Four Seasons Gründl Sunshine
Bergère de France Bergerama (Red-pink)

Reed
7.5

My first weaving project in two years…

I’m still a little rusty but I love how this turned out. Am not too sure if I’ll give this away as a Christmas present so it’ll go into my stash of finished objects for now. In the meantime, I’ve started on a new project which features a new technique I picked up from scouring the forums. Hopefully it’ll turn out good! Am keeping my fingers crossed!

🙂

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Ricotta & lemon tart

Ricotta & lemon tart

Ricotta & lemon tart
Adapted from Hamlyn’s 200 Italian Favourites

Ingredients

(A) Pastry (adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe)
250 gms plain flour
50 gms cane/brown sugar
125 gms good-quality cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg, beaten
A splash of milk

(B) Filling
2 eggs
50 gms cane/brown sugar
175 gms ricotta cheese
200 ml cream
Rind & juice from 2 lemons

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease an 8″ tart/pie pan.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl before adding in the sugar and cubing the butter into the flour mix.
  3. Rub the butter with the flour, using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the center, add the egg and milk. Mix well until it forms a dough – add more cold milk if necessary.
  4. Cover and leave to rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
  5. When ready, remove from the fridge and roll out before covering the tart/pie pan. Remove excess dough from the top/sides, prick some holes in the base before pouring in the baking beans.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is set.
  7. Remove the pastry shell from the oven, put aside and immediately lower the temperature to 150°C.
  8. In a bowl, mix ingredients from (B) in a bowl and use to fill the pastry shell.
  9. Remove the baking beans from the pastry shell and pour the filling in before baking it for 35 to 40 minutes until the filling has set.
  10. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool. Serve as is or some fresh fruit.
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Completed.

The upgrade that is. With any luck, everything should be working.

Am wondering if I should do the same with my other blog but I have yet to find the right template. Haiz.

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Simple and quick pumpkin soup

(No pictures here because we were all too hungry and well, soup is soup. Hehehehe.)

For those days when it’s just too tiring to do anything else or for those lovely cool autumn nights, this is one recipe that is a pure keeper!

Simple and quick pumpkin soup

Ingredients
1 medium sized butternut squash (or any other type of pumpkin)
1 large red bell pepper
1 large yellow onion
Approx 1 liter of stock – I used vegetable & beef stock
Some croutons and fried bacon for garnishing – optional
Olive oil

Method

  1. Half the bell pepper, onion and butternut squash, and place the cut portions in a baking pan. Drizzle some olive oil over and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for half an hour or until the pumpkin is soft. Place aside to cool when ready.
  2. Place the bell pepper and onion in a food processor or blender together with the scooped out flesh from the squash. Blend until smooth – add some stock if necessary.
  3. Once the mix is smooth, pour into the stock and heat over a gentle flame until it simmers. Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve warm or hot with some croutons and fried bacon. My hubs likes his soups with a bit of cream and strips of hard cheese (Comte, cheddar, Colby, etc).
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