Sunday, 23 September 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash and Rosemary Soup

I'm baaaaaa-aaack!

Last week I cooked something from a pretty awesome cookbook that my sister bought called 'Food' by Mary McCartney (yep, Paul McCartney's daughter).  It is full of tasty vegetarian meals and I have already bookmarked a few other recipes for the future (including a tomato soup for tomorrow night).

So on Wednesday I made a Roasted Butternut Squash and Rosemary Soup.

As I've mentioned previously, I love a good pumpkin soup and am pretty proud of my staple recipe which I blogged about here.  While I have my fave recipe, I am always looking for variations.  This recipe caught my eye because of the roasting of the pumpkin and the addition of rosemary.  I have heard that roasting the pumpkin before putting it in a soup is a great way to intensify the flavour.  Well, the flavour was definitely intensified.

The soup also had onions, carrots, chilli flakes, veggie stock and a couple of tablespoons of sour cream. (It was also supposed to have celery, but the celery I had bought a couple of days before was quite soft and floppy so I omitted it...)

While this soup was fairly easy to make, it was a bit more time consuming than my old faithful.  The roasting of the pumpkin took 45 minutes and then peeling the roasted pumpkin proved to be more difficult than anticipated.  Oh well.  It still turned out to be super delicious and I reckon it would be even lower in calories than my fave recipe due to the fact that it had no potato and no cream.  I think the carrots added a sweetness to the soup that I am not used to, yet I really enjoyed. So I will definitely be making this again in the very near future.


In other tidbits from my world, there is only one more week of this term.  This term has gone so much better than the first half of the year, but it is still challenging and I am looking forward to starting anew next year with a new class and new perspective and attitude.

The proverbial carrot that has been dangling in front of my nose to get me through the term has been my Bali trip.  Four days and four nights on a tropical and exotic location with two awesome ladies.  I can't wait.  I am a Bali virgin and after hearing about how awesome it is from every single person I know, I am looking forward to experiencing it for myself.

This is a picture of our accommodation which is pinned up on my board in the classroom.  Each suite has its own private pool.  Fingers crossed it is a true representation!


I love to cook, but sometimes it is nice to have someone else cook for me.  My sister planned a Mystery Meal a couple of weeks ago and it did not disappoint.

She cooked me a delicious Quorn Korma.  The gorgeous curry aroma that filled the house left our mouths watering and the curry was pretty yummy too (I have now learnt to eat AROUND the cardamom seeds, lol).

To top it off, we finished it off with an equally yummy dessert.



These lovelies were purchased to wear to the ball (which was last night).  They are GORGEOUS, but oh my goodness, they KILLED my feet!  I honestly think I need to accept that high heels should be in my past and instead embrace awesome sparkly flats.


And finally, it has been getting quite warm up here lately.  We would normally be in The Build-Up which is characterised by hot and sticky days.  However, we are having a lot of the hot and not much of the sticky, instead being hit by warm, dry winds.  This ultimately means that the Wet Season will most probably be arriving much later than usual - with our first Wet Season storms not predicted to begin until mid December!

So we have been spending quite a lot of time in the pool lately.

Bring on the Wet Season!!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Boring (and lazy and broke, lol)...

Sorry for my lack of blog posts lately.  I haven't cooked anything interesting lately and have been restricted by laziness and money.  Don't worry though.  I have a few exciting recipes I'm looking forward to cooking in the next couple of weeks!

In the meantime, here is something I printed out the other day and stuck up on my wall near my desk in the classroom to help me get through the tough moments at school:

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Happy Dad's Day

My dad is one pretty awesome bloke.  There is nothing he wouldn't do for his family.

So today I took great pleasure in presenting him with a superb bottle of Penfold's Grandfather Port (also known as a Rare Tawny) and I cooked him a delicious breakfast.

This was my first attempt at French Toast and I was impressed.  Sweet without being sickly and the addition of fresh berries was the icing on the proverbial cake.


Lentil & Vegetable Cottage Pie

Last weekend, I made another smashing (if I do say so myself) vegetarian dish.

Lentil & Vegetable Cottage Pie

It was super scrumptious and full of vegetably goodness.  I didn't do a calorie count on it, as I'm sure the mashed potato on top would have been a bit calorie rich (especially with all that butter!), but I still think it would have been a reasonably healthy meal.  For the 'meat' part it had lentils, celery, onion, carrots, peas, corn (I added the peas and corn, they were not in the recipe), sun-dried tomato pesto, passata and thyme.  A fantastic blend of flavours.  I also ended up improvising the passata for sieved tinned tomatoes.  I was very impressed with this dish.  It was super easy to make - the most difficult bit being the mashed potato (oh, and I must add that I did not use all 100g of butter in the mash.  I would have used at least half of that and it was plenty buttery!).  My sister said it tastes a lot like my lentil soup, which I think it is a great way to describe it.  I must say though that the addition of the thyme was crucial to the flavour.  Maybe I might add some thyme to my soup...

Served with a good helping of steamed veggies.


There's not going to be too many new dishes tried and tested this fortnight as my sister and I kind of over-spent during the last couple of days.  So it is plenty of veggies and pasta for a while...  Though I am looking forward to trying a few dishes from the new vegetarian cookbook called 'Food' by Mary McCartney very soon.