Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mid-week Meal: A Duo of Soups

One night this week I made two soups. You see for the 2 males in my house soup on it's own does not constitute a whole meal...that is unless it contains some kind of meat. I had a recipe for Curried Potato soup (potato anything appeals to me!) that I wanted to try. So I made that and also a seafood chowder which I just made up.
Seafood chowder
Sautee onions, diced carrots, celery and potato. Add liquid chicken stock. Simmer until veges are tender. Add chopped seafood(I used shrimps, mussels and monkfish). Bring back to the boil and add some milk. As I don't really enjoy seafood I can't tell you what it tasted like but the boys and Na'uli really enjoyed it. Paula did say he thought monkfish might not have been the right choice as it wasn't quite 'fishy' enough.
Curried Potato Soup
This recipe is from Australian Women's Weekly Potatoes
30g butter
2 T oil
1 large brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1t garam masala
1/2t ground turmeric
1t ground cumin
1t ground coriander
800g potatoes, cubed
4cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups water
1 medium brown onion, sliced
1/2 cup yoghurt
1. Heat butter and 1/2 oil in large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion softens. Add combined spices and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add potato, stock and water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potato is tender. Cool for 10 minutes
2. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a small frying pan and cook sliced onion until brown and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper.
3. Blend or process soup until smooth. Divide among serving bowls and top with yogurt and crispy onions.

Sofia and I had this soup(Sofia had 3 servings!) and we both thought it was delicious. I would definitely recommend this. It was just spicy enough without being too hot and the yogurt(I used thick greek style yogurt) was perfect to add a little creaminess and sourness.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mid-week Meal: Butter Chicken

I don't know about you but I'm always on the look out for new meal ideas. I thought I'd start sharing a few of the meals that I like to cook and perhaps you'll feel inspired to share some back. I'll aim for one a week but it will depend on how organised I am and if I'm pleased enough with my meal to put it out there!
Our meals
  • mostly contain meat (4/5 in my household are big meat fans) 
  • involve lots of veges
  • are child friendly (although that's easy for me because, thankfully, our girls eat almost anything)
  • are simple but nutritious, tasty and pretty well balanced
  • can generally be made within about an hour
Butter chicken-Diced chicken thighs. The sauce is a Pataks jar. I haven't tried making it myself. Maybe I will one day but at the moment that's one step less in the dinner making process and besides it tastes really good.
Rice-Sun Rice. Boil. Done.
Butter beans-fresh from Mum and Dad's garden
Naan Bread-this I DID make myself and here's the recipe...

Naan Bread
Dissolve 1 tsp yeast in 235ml warm water. Let it stand about 10 minutes until frothy.
Stir in 3T sugar, 3T milk, 1tsp salt, 1 beaten egg, 2 tsp minced garlic(optional), 1/2 cup grated cheese(optional) and about  6 cups bread flour. Knead until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.
Punch down dough. Cut into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place them on a tray in a warm place to rise again (I put mine in the oven on about 50 degrees c)
Preheat grill (I use a sandwich press). At grill side roll dough balls out to a thin oval shape. Brush both sides with melted butter and grill, turning if necessary. They should only take a few minutes each.
Family Verdict: well this was Sofia's plate at the end of the meal, so I think that's self explanatory!

Monday, March 21, 2011


My parents gave Na'uli these gorgeous kittens and mother cat for her birthday. Mum knitted them using a pattern from one of her steiner books.
They're so soft and simple, so not surprisingly the girls have fallen in love with them

Unfortunately my photos don't do them justice. Maybe I shouldn't have used the flash.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sweet Cardigans and Sweet Dessert

Blackberry and Apple Pie-one of my favourite desserts and made with apples from my parents orchard and blackberries foraged on our recent camping weekend
Just add cream...the taste of Autumn.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Birthday Girl

Last weekend our second daughter, Na'uli, turned two. She woke very excited in our camp cabin. She put on her new dressing gown and danced around singing "birthday, birthday, birthday".
Her big cousin Zoe was put in charge of making a birthday cake. She was quickly surrounded by an eager group of helpers...
Awesome. Thanks Zoe:)
We had planned to have a picnic lunch on our way home but the weather was not great and we didn't find  a suitable spot on the trip home so we ended up back at our place for an indoor birthday picnic.
Happy birthday little one.
The following night we treated the girls to a meal out at a resaurant.

An Autumn Outing

Well my posts seem to be few and far between at the moment. That's not to say that we haven't been busy and creative and productive around here. I'll do a few posts today to fill you in on what we've been up to in between feeling 'frazzled' by the recent earthquake.
Last weekend we decided to head out of town for a couple of nights camping before the weather turns too bad. We went to a camping spot a bit less than an hour from here and met up with Jen and her family.
The weather was a bit dismal with a low mist hanging around most of the weekend. Despite that the kids had a ball together
playing on the playground,
 whizzing around on their bikes, splashing in the river,
picking wild blackberries (later enjoyed with icecream)...
 being together as a family...
and more.
There was one person in the family however who had to have a fairly sedentary weekend!
On the Sunday, while camping, we began the birthday celebration of our little be continued in my next post.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Rattling and Recent Projects

Well it's been a while since I was here. But thankfully I am still alive to be here now. Once again our city was rocked but a fricken big (notice my extremely technical term there!)earthquake. We feel so unlucky to have had to go through that again but lucky that we didn't have to fear for our lives, we didn't watch our home crumble around us and we have all our family and friends safe and well.
Anyway I have spent quite a bit of time in front of the news and can never sit and do that with idle hands so I have managed to create a few things and finish off some others.
These three cuties are now all up for sale in my Felt shop

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Not an act of God"

Dean of the destroyed Christchurch Cathedral Peter Beck says the Christchurch earthquake was "not an act of God" – it was just "the Earth doing what it does".
"For me as a Christian, the act of God is in the love and compassion that people are sharing among each other.