Butternut Squash Soup…


Last weekend we made soup, well I made soup and he sat on the side in the kitchen and watched.

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I thought that I would share the recipe with you, don’t be fooled though, the boy did not eat any of the soup, he held a carrot but what he didn’t do is taste or eat any of the carrot. He doesn’t do veg or soup, so soup which is veg? No chance

This is a very simple soup recipe, nothing faffy or fussy, just simple and easy, something that doesn’t take to long and that can be done on a weekend without loosing all of your day to cooking and cleaning up.

Ingredients are simply

  1. 1 med/lrg Butternut squash (diced)
  2. 2 med carrots (chopped)
  3. 2 med potatoes (diced)
  4. a tablespoon of butter
  5. Chicken stock 750ml – 1000ml
  6. salt and pepper to taste

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So the first thing you need to do is peel and chop all of the veg, then add the butter to the pan and melt it before using it to brown the vegetables

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This takes about 5 mins, once its browned, add the stock until it covers the veg, holding back a little for later, and then bring it to the boil.

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Allow it to boil for about 5 mins, then turn it down to a simmer, put the lid on the pan and then let it simmer for a further 20mins until all of the veg is very soft. Then blend the veg and stock together, I use a hand blender that in our house we call Brenda. If the soup is to thick at this stage add some of the stock that you held back.

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Then add your salt and pepper to taste, I also add chilli flakes to the soup to add to the flavour. I highly recommend that you try it with the chilli flakes.

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This makes enough soup for about 4-5 servings, I separate it off and freeze it to then take it to work for my lunch during the week, its fine to reheat in the microwave and freezes really well.

So to summarise, chop, brown, boil, blend, season, eat!

If I can do it anyone can, seriously I have made some really bad soup in the past, this is one that never goes wrong, and it tastes so fresh and yummy, nothing like anything you will buy in the shops.

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Baking.. Coconut Sponge


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This weekend we decided to do some baking, K had won a little electric whisk at the school fair and was desperate to give it a try.

I raked through the cupboard and managed to scrape together the ingredients for a coconut sponge, all K really wanted to do was mix the eggs, so I cracked them in a bowl and let him whisk away while I did the rest.

The sponge recipe was very simple and I would normally just shove it all into a bowl together and mix it until it is smooth but given that he wanted to whisk the eggs I mixed the rest together and then let him add the eggs afterwards.

Ingredients where as follows

  • 4 eggs
  • few drops vanilla essence
  • 200g butter (yep I used real butter – the only alternative I had was flora light, please don’t bake with flora light :P)
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • tsp baking powder
  • 50g coconut
  • Jam for filling
  • Icing Sugar for dusting

Mix it all together in a bowl, put in to two cake trays and cook in a moderate oven for about 20mins, until firm, brown and when you stab it with a knife it comes out clean, spread jam over the bottom sponge, place the top sponge on and dust with icing sugar.

This is so easy and like all kids my lad loves to bake, it means that he can ‘help’ and we can have something worth eating at the end of it.

K loved making this cake, he doesn’t eat cake or biscuits so he hasn’t eaten any of it but he loved the making and that is why we do it with him. Maybe one day we will make something and he will eat it.

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Pastry Pizza – The meal of teens everywhere


Tonight I used up the leftover chicken to make pastry pizza, basically I was to lazy to make anything particularly healthy and the teen loves it, the younger one won’t eat it but he won’t eat anything (sigh).

So to make this super easy gourmet (who am I trying to kid?) delight you need

  • A pack of ready roll puff pastry
  • Leftover cooked chicken
  • Red Pesto
  • Tinned grilled peppers
  • A ball of mozzarella

Leave the puff pastry on the side to get to room temperature and then unroll it, I find leaving it until you have forgotten about it and then making the pastry pizza in a panic as everything else is already cooked is just about the right amount of time, I guess its ten to fifteen minutes.

Spread the red pesto on the pastry to about the thickness of the tommy puree you get on pizza, then add the left over chicken, peppers and cheese, and any other toppings you feel like adding, this is great for using up all those leftover bits of sandwich meat that you may have knocking around in the fridge.

Stick it in the oven until it is cooked, its quite hard to judge when it is done especially when you are burning the chips you just did to go with as you forgot about the pastry and had to rush, but I am guessing about 10-15mins for it to be cooked properly in a med-hot oven.
When it is done it looks like this (but probably more cooked as I took this out a little early) chop it into pieces you get about 4 good sized pieced out of a sheet of pastry, its nice with salad but my daughter has it with a few chips.
Also good for kids parties as you can cut it into fingers and put it on a buffet.

Recipe – Flapjack


Everyone at work loves my flapjack and so do my kids so here is the recipe

100g Butter (proper butter none of that low fat rubbish)
1-2 tablespoons of honey (again proper honey not golden syrup)
100g sugar (caster or granulated doesn’t make a difference)
125g oats (I use porridge oats)
50g Self Raising flour
1 tsp of ginger

You can add coconut, dried cranberries, cocoa powder or any other dried fruit to it if you want

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl
  2. Melt the butter and honey over a low heat and add to the dry Ingredients
  3. Mix well, the mixture shouldn’t look to sticky if it does add more oats
  4. Pour onto a lined baking tray and press down with the back of a metal spoon until it looks smooth, it should be about 1- 1.5cm deep and a deeper tray like a square cake tin works best.
  5. Bake in a moderate/hot oven (about 180C) for 15-20 mins
  6. It should look brown on the top when you take it out of the oven
  7. If it looks wet in the middle give it a few more minutes
  8. Once out of the oven allow to cool before removing from the tin but try and slice it into portions whilst still warm.

Enjoy