Sunday, 25 November 2007

Excuses, excuses, excuses

I can't believe it's nearly been two whole weeks since I last posted. Where is the time going?

We(*) have been quite busy recently though so if you'll allow me, I'm using that as my excuse. You see we moved into our two bedroom flat just over two and a half years ago. But until now it's really been a one bedroom flat with a spare room so full of junk you couldn't move in it. So we've emptied it, bought some carpet, have had a trip to Ikea, built some furniture, put pictures & blinds up and generally had a big clear out and have then (in a tidy manner, of course) have put back in what we need.

Its a really nice room now, even if I do say so myself. There is just one thing that's missing and that's a small 2 seater sofa. So another trip to Ikea is needed but we just need a vehicle bigger than out ickle C2.

(*) I say we but I'm sure Hubby will disagree. But seriously, nothing ever gets done with out a project manager/supervisor/general all round bossy boots ;)

Since making the christmas cake I have cooked, I just haven't had enough time to blog about it. So here is a little summary with pictures:

My first ever Toad In The Hole (Jamie recipe) - severed with the suggested red onion gravy it was delicious and I was very proud of my yorkshire pudding.
We followed this up with some Toffee Apple Crumble - in fact we've had this twice. Once made with normal eating apples and once with bramleys (rather than the 50/50 mix suggested by Simon Rimmer). We both much preferred the bramley only one as the sweet sauce is more than enough sugar to match the tangy bramleys.
I also turned this pile of chopped vegetables...
into one of our favourite soups - Lentil and Chestnut Soup
Ingredients
1 small onion
half leek
1 carrot
1 stick celery
2 tablespoons olive oil
225g red lentils
1.5 litres vegetable stock
225g cooked chestnuts

double cream to serve (optional & not really needed)


Finely chop the onion, leek, carrot and celery.
Heat the oil in the pan, add the chopped vegetables and let sweat until soft.
Add the lentils and stir, then add the stock.
Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are very soft (about 40 minutes).
Add the chestnuts and simmer for a further 20 minutes or so.
Liquidise (I used my hand blender) until smooth.
Sprinkle each full bowl of soup with parsley and lace with cream as required.

Consume with lots of crusty bread and butter.

Its truly delicious.

Whilst I've been AWOL we also had Children In Need day at work and that means one thing - cakes, cakes and more cakes. I made my cupcakes with pink & white icing with flowers and I also tried some vanilla shortbreads - they were ok but a little soft & not quite as nice as I'd expected. Here they are among some of the other cakes brought in by my colleagues...
And last, but not least. Here is a lovely sunrise we had the week before last.

7 comments:

Jules said...

You have been busy! I love the last photo. Your crumble looks especially good. Is it the one that Simon did on Something for the Weekend?

Claire said...

Hi Jules.

Yes, the crumble is the Simon Rimmer one from SFTW (I love the programme but haven't seen so many this series). It was really nice with some G&B vanilla ice cream :)

ginger@dinnerdiary.org said...

I really like the sound of the soup...I spent quite a lot of time perfecting my chestnut-shelling-skillz on Saturday so will give this a go!

Rosie said...

Gosh you been very busy indeed! Hmmm now I do like the sound of your crumble wonderful comfort food for this time of year. Very beautiful photo of the sunset :)

Rosie x

Claire said...

Hi Ginger. I use (as does the Nigella recipe) pre-cooked chestnuts - I'm not patient enough to shell my own :) If you wanted, you can pick then up in the supermarket - I get mine in Tesco for £1.99


Hey Rosie. The crumble is ideal for this nippy damp grey weather. You'll have to let me know if you make it!

Jeanne said...

Hi Claire

Hi there
I'm trying in vain to find your e-mail address as we'd like to invite you to take part in Menu for Hope, the annual event where foodbloggers raise money for a good
cause. Last year we managed to raise $66,000 and hope to increase that total again this time round. If you'd like to participate, please e-mail me asap and I'll
send you the details.

Regards,
Jeanne
www.cooksister.com

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Very interesting, never thought of using chestnuts in the soup.

Have a nice day, Margot