Saturday, 16 January 2010

Yummy lentil soup

This is my all time favourite soup recipe and is really easy to make.  My mum made it all the time when my sister and I were little.

2 medium-large carrots
1 onion
1 cup of red split lentils
3 ham stock cubes
1800 ml (3pt) water, additional water is required for soaking and topping up
Crusty bread rolls

Makes 4 portions.

  1. Soaks the lentils in hot water for 10 minutes, then rinse.
  2. While the lentils are soaking, boil the water and finely chop the carrots and onion.
  3. Place the water, stock cubes, lentils, carrots and onions in a pressure cooker and bring to the boil.
  4. Use the pressure cooker seal, close the lid and when the pressure is reached add the weight, lower temperature to simmer. 
  5. Cook for at least 45 minutes, I usually open the pressure cooker once during this period to stir and add water as necessary.
  6. When the carrots are soft the soup is ready.  The lentils thicken the soup quickly, add water to the consistency you like.
  7. Serve in a bowl with crusty bread rolls on the side, now dip.

Perfect winter food.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Looking back at 2009

Most years I think about making a resolution, some years I do and most I don't.  Last New Year I  decided any resolutions had to be fun.  I know I'm never going to give up chocolate - EVER, a new year is supposed to be about hope and something to look forward to, so why make it painful. 

I achieved 5 of my 6 resolutions:
  1. Try 1 new thing, anything as long as I had never done it before. Completed, I went on a dressmaking course.
  2. Finish 3 new books. Completed within the first 2 months.
  3. Finish 2 arts or crafts. Completed but I still have 15 UFOs, something to work on in 2010.
  4. Sew an item of clothing. Made a dress for my niece.
  5. Take 'us' photos. This is the most important and the one I did not achieve.
  6. Go somewhere new in Britain. We went to new areas down south and to Northumberland. To the right is a photo from our weekend away to Oxford, and managed to fit in a trip to Bath, Windsor Castle, and we got see an not-so-old housemate.
This year I'm not making any new resolutions, I still have my 101 list to work through, see the sidebar to see the tasks I have completed so far.

Here's some places we visited in 2009:

Recognise this place? The location was used in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, only a couple of hundred miles north of Nottingham... Robin's ship must have got lost coming back from the Crusades.  It's actually Hadien's Wall. It was built in northern England in AD122, spans 150 miles from the west to east coast and was used as a border or customs post.

We spent a weekend with two friends (another not-so-old housemate) in the north-east of England. This sculpture is the Angel of the North by Anthony Gormley.

Ahhhh, the beach. It's not far from where we live but we do not visit enough.

The boy and I spent a weekend in London, click here to see the photos.

Until next time.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year

I hope you had a happy holiday.

For the third year the boy and I hosted Christmas dinner in our home, there were 7 of us including 2 family members who travelled up from London, and practice must make perfect because it was the easiest Christmas dinner we have made so far.

We did the big food shop on Wednesday at midnight, it was the best time to go - the store was empty, we got everything we wanted and did not have to get up at 7am to find a parking space.

This year we decided to make a fruit platter for the starter and let our guests graze before dinner, for mains we had the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, we then opened our presents and finally had Christmas or chocolate cake for desert.

We still made too much food, but my gingerbread biscuits were a success, two days later this is what was left. I baked around 50 gingerbread biscuits on Christmas eve using this recipe: I added the extra cinnamon and ginger suggested in the comments. 

On New Years eve the boy and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. We got together on the eve of the millennium and so to celebrate we went to the same city we were in 10 years ago, had a fantastic meal and at midnight we went back to the waterfront. We brought in the New Year in front of the clock with the horns sounding from the ships and watching the fireworks from the peninsula.  I loved it.

Here's a stitchery I made for my quilting groups 2008 challenge, we all had to pick a Christmas card we received for Christmas 2007 and make something using the design, but we were not allowed to talk about it. I chose this little soldier and came up with the border myself. 

- - - - - 101 in 1001 - - - - -

104. Choose wedding rings.
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