Category: Litte Recipes

A Winter Warmer Recipe: Creamy Sweetcorn Soup

The last time I did a food post, the end result looked like turd.  And that made me stay-away from doing any more posts about food or cooking,  even though my husband and I do a lot of it, home-cooked meals is our thing.

While I’m not a big fan of the cold weather, I do enjoy winter warmer recipes, they are such a comfort and when the days are short and the nights are long, homemade soup is a must.  After all, isn’t there an old belief that said “Soup can cure any hurt or illness in this world”  If that’s true, then I better start cooking!

Our favourite is this squash recipe, which I cook a lot in the “er” months, and especially after the new year.  I actually made a big pot of it which we took over to our neighbours on bonfire night.  I’m pleased to say, it was a big hit.

And so since my theme for this winter is all about small joys (although to be fair, that’s always been a big theme in my life: to always focus on the small joys), I’ve been on the look-out for new soup recipes to try.  I’m sharing with you lovely folks, my latest find:

Creamy Sweetcorn Soup

I love sweetcorn, whether it’s in a can or a cob and I’m a big fan of corn soup.  It takes me back to my childhood where our cook made such delicious corn soup, it would make you want to keep asking for more.  I should really ask the recipe from her.

What you will need:

2 TBSP olive oil

50 g unsalted butter

1 garlic clove, chopped.

1 finely chopped onion

150g potato cut in very small pieces

200g sweet corn

600ml vegetable stock

50ml double cream

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1tsp fresh chives.

This is a very easy recipe to make:

  • All you need to do is heat the olive oil with the butter and once it has melted, fry garlic, onion and potato, until softened.
  • Toss the sweetcorn in and cook for a further two more minutes.  Add the stock, reduce heat when it starts boiling for about five minutes or until the potato is cooked through.
  • Stir in cream and season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Pour in food processor or blender until smooth.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of chives.

Click here for recipe source.

Every time I try out a new recipe, I always ask my little family whether it is a keeper or not, and this was definitely one.  Try it and you’ll know why.

Do you have any favourite soup recipes?

Do share.

Autumn Cooking: The Day the Husband Invaded My Kitchen

While summer is undoubtedly my favourite season, I do like autumn too.  I love the way the colours of the leaves change, from orange, gold, brown, taking long walks, bundled warm in our scarves and hats and hearing the crunching of the leaves under our wellies.  Then coming back home to a warm fire and maybe a mug of hot chocolate.

I think we’re settling well into autumn now, although you’ll never know we might just have an Indian summer … One can still hope.

I’m usually the main cook of the family.  But a few days ago, a close friend of ours gave us some vegetables from a relative’s garden which included marrow and beetroot and gave my husband ideas.  He loves marrow you see, and decided to try his hand at “stuffed marrow” last night.  Apparently, marrow is a winter vegetable.  I never knew that.

stuffed_marrow

He absolutely enjoyed it.  As for T and I?  Let’s just say we ate the stuffing 😉  To be fair though, I’m not familiar with this vegetable at all.  To me it looked like a giant cucumber.  T actually called it a “snozzcumber” (from the BFG), The Historian wasn’t impressed at all.

Still on a roll, today, he baked us a beetroot-chocolate cake.

cake_batter

This time, T and I loved it.

beetroot_chocolate_cake

He still has a couple of recipes up his sleeve, hopefully T and I will manage to eat it.  What I meant to write was, I’m sure T and I will absolutely without any doubt lick our plates clean 😉

Our word of the week is Autumn.

What’s yours?

The Reading Residence

A Food Post: When the Finished Product ends up looking like …

turd.

Or I could also call this post

“How to fail as a Food Blogger”

I don’t watch a lot of television, except when I’m ironing.  A few days ago, while trying to tackle a mountain of newly laundered clothes, I was watching James Martin’s cooking show on BBC.  He was demonstrating how to make chocolate eclairs and it looked so, so, so, so good and easy!  So I thought to myself, that looks like something I could do.

So when I found some quiet time, instead of picking up my book, I decided that this was going to be a Chocolate eclair day and that I was going to document the whole process.  You’ll never know, I may just be the next big Food Blogger (yeah right), so I grabbed my camera and set up my ingredients the way food bloggers would do it, except that I forgot to include one ingredient in the photo, but thankfully not while I was making it!

ingredients_littlesteps

(Note:  I only halved the ingredients since I only made do with what we had ready in our kitchen cupboard.)

Chocolate Eclairs:  Ingredients

250ml/9fl oz water
115g/4oz butter
200g/7oz plain flour
1 tsp caster sugar
pinch salt
4 free-range eggs
50g/2oz dark chocolate, chopped
150g/5½oz fondant icing sugar
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
450ml/16fl oz double cream

– Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

– Heat the water and butter in a saucepan until the butter has melted.

– Beat in the flour, sugar, salt until the mixture is smooth, then continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and glossy.

mixture_littlesteps

I know it doesn’t look glossy to me either.  At this point I was seriously doubting myself already.

– Set aside to cool, then spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a medium size nozzle.

eclairsbefore_littlesteps

I used a medium-sized nozzle, but when I first piped out my line, it looked too thin.  So I piped another line next to it, hoping it will look fatter.  But nope, as you can see from the photo above, mine still looked starved!  Nothing like the ones James Martin did on TV.

– Pipe 12.5cm/5in lines onto the baking tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.

aftereclairs_littlesteps

Well, the recipe did say golden crisp and brown!  When I first took it out of the oven, I muttered “Oh dear Lord, my eclairs look like turd!”   But then I remembered the chocolate and cream and hoped that once it’s covered in that, it won’t look turd-like.

– Remove the éclairs from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack.Meanwhile, heat the dark chocolate and two tablespoons of water in a saucepan until the chocolate has melted.

– Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl, then add the melted chocolate and water and beat until the mixture is smooth and thickened.

– Spoon the mixture into a piping bag.

– Whip the double cream in a bowl until stiff peaks just form when the whisk is removed. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle. Carefully insert the nozzle into the base of the éclairs and fill with cream.

– Pipe the fondant chocolate on top of the éclairs and set aside until set.

Recipe source here.

finishedproduct_littlesteps

I was wrong.

In spite the chocolate and cream on top, it still looked like turd.

Doc’s turd.

Dejected.

I offered my turd looking chocolate eclairs to the husband.

He said they looked delicious.

He’s either biased or blind.

Then he tasted it.

He said it was definitely delicious.

Liar!  I thought.

And went back to the kitchen and had a bite, then another.  Then decided to have another eclair to go with my tea.  Then ate another.  I think I had about three.  The husband had six.

Not bad I thought.

But it still looks like turd.

I sighed and checked the clock.  It was time to pick up little T from school.  She was whingy.  Wanting to cheer her up, I said I had a surprise for her.  She brightened up and immediately thought it was a new toy.  I disappointed her by saying “Nope, mummy baked you something special!”  And prayed that she won’t mention the similarity to something smelly.

Once home, I presented her with my turd-like chocolate eclairs.  She said nothing.  Phew.  Took one bite and at this point, I’m going to change the title of this post to:

HOW TO EAT A CHOCOLATE ECLAIR IN LESS THAN A MINUTE:

step1_littlesteps1. Hold eclair in both hands as pictured above.

step2_littlesteps

2. Take one small bite just to see if you like it.

step3_littlesteps

3.  Having established that the said eclair is indeed, yummy, take another bite.  This time as big as you can possibly can without ramming it in your mouth in one go.  That would be piggy!

step4_littlesteps

4.  Put the final bite in your mouth.  Try not to gag.

step5_littlesteps

5.  Lastly, don’t forget to chew with your mouth shut.

I was so pleased that when she asked more.  I actually gave in.  She had nine in total.  Yes, I know, bad mothering, and all this before dinner.

I guess my husband wasn’t lying after all even though it still looks like turd to me.

Do you think food bloggers also have this problem?

Their end product always looks perfect!

How on earth do they ever manage that?

They probably only post the perfect ones.

I guess I should stick to writing posts about life in the country then – oh well.

Cuddle Fairy

A Book Review: Michael Roux, Eggs

We are an egg family.  We love our eggs.  The husband buys a whole tray from the butcher, 24 eggs about twice a month.  Did I mention that we are only a family of three, discounting our cat and little pup?  There are two adults and one child in our little household.

That’s where we put our eggs, and it’s not even filled-to the brim anymore.

What do we do with all those eggs, you make ask?  I bake a lot you see.  My husband being the morning person, cooks most of the breakfast and I do the dinners mostly.  Little T loves boiled eggs with soldiers, my husband likes poached eggs and I love omelettes.

So imagine my excitement when I received Michael Roux’s Eggs book in the post.  It felt like Christmas has suddenly arrived early!  For those who are not in the know (like me), Michael Roux is a French born Michelin chef who opened a restaurant in the UK which later became the first three starred Michelin restaurant in Britain.

At first though, I was a bit worried that the recipes in this lovely hard-bound book (Did I mention I love books?  Our whole house is filled with books!) would only have posh recipes with ingredients I wouldn’t know how to pronounce let alone know where to purchase.  But no, all the recipes are doable even for a simple cook like me.

And it’s not all about breakfast recipes either, it’s got everything! From dessert, cakes recipes to how-to-make your own fresh pasta, would so love to try that.  For our first try, I asked my husband (he’s the breakfast cook remember?)  to try the following recipe:

Spanish Tortilla with Chorizo

100 ml olive oil

400g Desiree potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 red onions, roughly chopped

salt and freshly ground pepper

200g chorizo sausage, skinned

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp chopped flat parsley leaves

6 eggs

1.  Heat two-thirds of the olive oil in a frying pan, 20-22 cm in diameter and about 4 cm deep.  When it is hot, put in the potatoes and cook over for a medium heat for 10 minutes or so.

2.  In the meantime, cut the chorizo into 2 mm slices.  Add to the frying pan with the garlic and parsley.  Mix well, without crushing the potatoes, and cook for another 2 minutes.  Tip everything on to a plate and leave to cool slightly.  Wipe out the frying pan with kitchen paper, ready for cooking the tortilla.

3.  Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Heat the remaining olive oil in the frying pan.  Using a spoon, mix the eggs delicately into the cooled potato mixture, then pour into the pan.  Start cooking over a medium heat, stirring gently every few minutes with the side of a fork, as if making an omellette.

4.  As soon as the eggs are half-cooked, stop stirring, and cook over a very low heat for 2-3 minutes, until the underside of the tortilla is almost cooked.  Slide it on to a lightly boiled platter, then inert it back into the pan and cook for another 2 minutes, until both sides are cooked the same and the middle of the tortilla is soft.

5.  Slide the tortilla on to a plate and serve it whole or cut into wedges.  It is equally good served hot, warm or at room temperature, but not chilled.

NOTE:  We made-do with the ingredients we had at home.  On his way home from work, I asked the husband to buy some Desiree potatoes at Morrison’s, but they didn’t have them.  He told them what they were for, and was advised to get baby pearl potatoes instead.  On hindsight, they probably only said that to get rid of him!

Here’s my husband’s version:

He did say that the blog-post ought to be called “How to ruin a Michelin Chef’s Recipe”.  But I disagree, it was yummylicious and very filling.  I’m a happy bunny! 🙂

I’m drooling over this Mussels and Chive recipe:

We are going shopping tomorrow, must make sure all the ingredients are on our list.  I love mussels!

I am so loving my Michael Roux book, another one to add to my collection:

Click on the link for those who are looking for a simple recipe on how to make an omelette.

Do you have a favourite egg recipe?

This is a sponsored post.

Tamsin’s Choice: Carrots, Broccoli, Cheese and Potato Mash

We all try to be good mothers.  To do the right thing for our kids, make the right decisions, cook the right food.  But as mothers, we all know how difficult it is to make our kids eat vegetables.  As soon as they see the colour green, or orange, they run as fast as they can away from the table.  I don’t blame them, when I was a kid.  I too didn’t like vegetables.

So like the rest of the mommy population, I did what they all did.  I asked my favourite oracle: Google.  My oracle has yet to disappoint me.  Here’s a very delicious healthy recipe you and your kids will love too: Carrots, Broccoli, Cheese and Potato Mash.  Sounds lovely?  It is and yummy too!

–          You will need 300g of chopped and peeled potatoes.

–          One sliced and peeled medium carrot.

–          75g broccoli florets

–          4 tbsp milk

–          15g unsalted butter

–          &  40g of grated cheddar cheese.

Boil the potatoes and carrots for about 20 minutes, or until tender.  Then steam the broccoli until tender.  Or you can also add them to the pot of vegetables after about 12 minutes.  Once all the veggies are done, mash them up all together with the milk, butter and cheese.

Serve with chicken or any other food of your choice.  My little toddler loves it and so does my husband.

Recipe source: Click here.