Tuesday, 31 August 2010

food: from our weekly menu- roast carrot soup

Every Saturday morning I sit down with a pile of cook books and food magazines and work out our menu for the week. I pour over the pages fantasising about long and involved dishes with time consuming sauces or desserts that take hours and many pints of cream to prepare. Then I make the list of practical, fast(ish) and varied meals that we will actually be having. Some meals will be 'Minnie Friendly' and others we will have once the babies are in bed. I try to include dishes that use in-season fruits and vegetables and also meat and pantry items that are on sale at the major supermarkets and stores. From this I write out our shopping list and also write up the menu on the big chalkboard in our kitchen. This way we all know what we are having. Of course there is the flexibility to switch it around or for some nights to resort to a cheese toasty because we are too tired to do anymore.

So I thought I would share some of our menu with you. This week we will be having this Roast Carrot Soup, with some toasted afghan bread on the side. Both carrots and stock are currently on sale at this supermarket.*

Roast Carrot Soup

  • 1.5kg carrots, chopped into small chunks
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 litres vegetable or chicken stock
  • Finely grated rind and the juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh coriander, Greek style yoghurt, toasted pita or afghan flat bread to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 220'c. Put chopped carrot in large bowl and drizzle with 1/3 of the olive oil - mix around so all bits of carrot are covered. Scatter the oiled carrot onto large baking trays (lined with baking paper), season to taste. Roast until golden and cooked through (about 25-30 mins but keep an eye on them).
  2. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in large saucepan over low/medium heat, add onion and galic and saute until tender (8 or so minutes). Add cumin and ground coriander and stir until fragrant (1-2 mins). Add stock. Bring to the simmer. Add roasted carrots. Blend with stick blender until smooth, season to taste with craked pepper and sea salt, add lemon juice.
  3. Serve soup scattered with a little lemon rind, coriander leaves, a dollop of natural yoghurt and toasted bread on the side.

original photo and recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller, pg 42, June 2010

* Please note that I am not promoting the supermarket - I am just letting you know where the items are on sale this week.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

my creative space: hats

As the sun begins to shine here after what feels like months of rain and grey skies it became quite apparent that the boy needed a hat. The winter beanies were not going to protect those sweet cheeks from the harsh sun. So I found this Purl Bee pattern online and rushed one up. When I say rushed, I mean it. The stitching is all over the place, the bias tape I made is very odd, and I had to trim the rim as I went because I did something odd cutting out the pattern. Minnie could have done a better job. But it fits. I have started some more better, neater ones.

It keeps the sun off his cheeks.

But it doesn't keep the dog off them...

Thursday, 19 August 2010

my creative space: more simple

I stole enough minutes this week to make a very simple appliqued top for baby Louis. It's a profile of our great big golden retriever Molly made using some cotton fabric fit for a boy. I used a straight stitch for the applique this time, rather than my usual zig-zag.

Simple. Fast. But not as cute as the boy in it.

More creative spaces found here.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

minnie and louis...

Minnie dotes on her little brother and her adjustment to his arrival has been fairly smooth sailing. I guess that given the age difference, Minnie is old enough to understand why much of my time has been consumed by caring for the baby. Generally she has been OK with this but of course there are days when she really demands time that I just don't have. There have been a few meltdowns but given she is the meltdown queen, it has not been a shock to our systems. I made sure that before Louis' arrival I had put in place some things to occupy Minnie when Louis was occupying me. We have craft baskets in almost every room, we have a new playroom that is 'craft central,' we have lots of new books and by bringing out some toys that had been packed away, we have new toys! If she has sticky tape and paper, she is a happy girl.

We have included Minnie as much as we can in the daily care of Louis by asking her to pick out his clothes and help with lots of the nappy changing. She loves to 'read' to him and tell him stories. She is teaching him to 'talk' so we often overhear her reeling off lists of words, all the while he listens so intently.

I can't imagine life without Louis and some days find it hard to remember that he has not always been here. But I guess that some days Minnie does remember those days in which we were able to dote on her 100%. So I think I will take a lead from the gorgeous Rachel and arrange a little outing just for the girls. I am sure the boys will enjoy some time together too.

PS - getting a decent photo of them can be really hard...

Thursday, 12 August 2010

my creative space: withdrawal symptoms

I am starting to get some major withdrawal symptoms as a result of my lack of sewing. Sewing with an attached 13 week old baby is not that easy. Since Louis' arrival I have literally sewn half a seahorse softie and mended 2 holes. That's it. Only today have I started to unpack my fabric stash. Before Louis was born we did some minor renovations in which I gave up a large sewing room in exchange for a tiny 'store room.' Selfishly our growing family demanded a larger playroom...

So my creative space is a very small room that, like some freaky tardis, houses a piano, a large IKEA bookshelf, a computer, a sewing machine, an over locker, a chest of draws, chairs, and so much crapola that you can hardly move. But in time (one day when Louis learns that he can sleep on his own) this is where I will get creative again. Where I may finish that enormous pile of WIPs and where I may actually get some stuff in the shop.

The photos are of the last thing I sewed before having Louis. I didn't know if he was a boy or a girl but I guess I had an inkling. You can not get much simpler that this applique. Cut a circle, fuse it on, sew around it, sew in and tie off your ends. Done. But sometimes simple is good.

More creative spaces found by visiting here.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

chocolate chip biscuits

I know they are called 'cookies' these days but when I was growing up we ate biscuits. We ate homemade ANZAC's, jam drops, afghans, and melting moments. And we ate cornflake and sultana biscuits, kiss biscuits and my mothers outstanding shortbread. Although I loved them all, sometimes I got a little envious of the girls at school with their perfect looking machine made biscuits. In primary school my brother used to sell his homemade cakes and biscuits to fund his mixed lolly addiction. Some days I swapped mine for a store bought biscuit. I would never do that now.

We made these chocolate chip biscuits a while back from here and although I thought they were OK, they didn't knock my socks off. So I am calling out for your help in the search for the perfect chocolate chip biscuit (or if you insist, 'cookie') recipe.

My tummy thanks you in advance.