Monthly Archives: November 2012

Crochet creations

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I seem to be playing with a lot of different projects at the moment. This week I have used some gorgeous chunky wool which I purchased in a sale with no actual project in mind. It is a glorious shade of orange with other autumn type colours and so I used a large hook to make some seriously chunky and warm boot cuffs for the cold weather which I think is coming this way.  I improvised a pattern as the wool was so chunky that I didn’t need as many rows as for the previous ones I made.

I have also been playing about with the pattern posted by the lovely Lucy at Attic24 for layered flowers. I am not sure what I will do with them yet but I find them very cheering. In my head I am seeing a big bag embellished with these along with some beads or maybe a plain crochet cushion with the little bit of brightness from these flowers. I have added more rows to my ripple blanket this week to as that is my ‘go to’ project at present when nothing else summons me and the less said about the large beaded bauble at present, the better – I must crack on and finish it for Christmas.

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Tomato, lentil and chilli soup

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This is lovely warming store cupboard soup – only takes around 20-30 mins to cook and is great to take to work for lunch with a wrap or crackers.

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Ingredients: can be varied according to what you have.

2 handfuls of red lentils

bottle or carton of passata or several cans of tomatoes

2 carrots – chopped

1 onion – peeled and chopped

mixed herbs 91-3 tsp to taste, or use basil or thyme as liked

ground pepper

4 cloves of garlic peeled

vegetable stock or water and stock powder (I use Marigold) to cover lentils etc well enough to cook.

red chilli flakes or chili powder or paste to taste – I like it quite spicy. I used chipotle paste in this batch and it was lovely.

Method:

Chuck it all in the pan and simmer until the lentils are cooked. Whizz to smoothness with a hand blender.

Spicy Cauliflower soup

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Needing inspiration for a winter lunch, all my fridge yielded was a sad cauliflower so a bit of thinking and a bit of googling resulted in the following recipe adapted from a variety I perused on the web. Quantities are not exact and a bit of ‘bunging it’ will make no difference. I was a tad suspicious of this recipe initially as I am not a bit cauli fan but it was actually gorgeous with layers of flavour and I made mine very warming by adding more chili flakes. For those trying to lose weight –  it is zero Weightwatcher  propoints as even the creamed coconut becomes negliglible once divided into 4 or so portions. 

Ingredients needed:

  • Roughly one large cauliflower or 3/4 of an enormous one – trim off the greenery and cut into chunks including the stalky bits.
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1 chopped onion
  • Spices – ground turmeric 2tsp, ground coriander 3 tsp, ground cumin 2 tsp, chili powder 1 tsp (or too taste)
  • Vegetable or chicken stock (I use Marigold Boiullon powder) enough to cover the vegetables as you can add more liquid later if necessary
  • 4 garlic cloves  peeled (or to taste)
  • pepper and salt to season
  • splash of lime juice (optional)
  • 5-20g of grated creamed coconut (optional but I think add a depth of flavour)

Method:

  • Either dry fry the onions and spices for a wee while to bring out the flavour or use a little olive oil or Frylight as preferred.
  • Add the cauliflower, carrot, garlic and stock to the pan.
  • Simmer for as long as it takes for the vegetables to soften (about 20-30 mins)
  • Blend with a hand blender until smooth (or not so smooth if you prefer it chunky).
  • Taste to check seasoning and add salt, pepper, lime juice and coconut to taste. I also added dried chili flakes at this point as I like it hot.
  • Enjoy.

Chocolate Orange Cake

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This is a Nigella Lawson recipe from her website (so you can get it from there) and the only tweak I have made is to substitute the sugar for half as much of the  ‘light’ sugar which reduces the calories a bit. If you cut it into 12 pieces, each slice is 5 Weightwatchers pro-points. It is a lot tastier than it looks – the flavour is reminiscent of jaffa cakes but much nicer than those hybrid little freaks and it stayed beautifully moist for the three days it lived! Be careful not to burn your oranges to the pan like I did – I was out there ‘watching’ them but somehow got distracted by more beaded bauble trickery 🙂 which I will show you when I finish it.

Chocolate orange Cake (Nigella Lawson)