Thursday, 27 January 2011

# 33 Some crafty news and a lovely Winter soup

My other blog has just been updated with some crafty news so if you'd like to know what I've been up to craftwise please click on the image above.

Today I want to share with you my favourite Winter soup and one I make quite often during the cold season. Here it is, Red Bean and Cabbage Soup delicious and comforting especially when accompanied by a slice of freshly baked bread.

On to the recipe:

1/2 of a butternut squash peeled and diced
1 small turnip peeled and cut into small pieces
3 or 4 medium size courgettes peeled and cut into small pieces
3 or 4 medium size carrots peeled and cut into slices
1/2 of a leek cut into pieces
2 cans of red beans
1/2 of a sweet cabbage washed and shredded
2 Knorr chicken or vegetable stock cubes

Put all of the above ingredients in a pan, except for the shredded cabbage, and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until all vegetables are tender enough to be blended.

Before blending add a little olive oil and season with salt if needed.

Add the shredded cabbage and let it simmer again until the cabbage is cooked, you can add a little water if the soup is too thick.

Serve hot and enjoy!


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

# 32 A blog award & other news

The lovely lady at Roundabout has awarded me with the Stylish Blogger Award you see below. Thank you so much :-)

The rules of the game say that now I must tell you 7 things about myself and pass this on this award to other bloggers, so here's some random information about me:

1 - I love living in the countryside. After 4 years of living in a very pretty, rural part of England nothing could make me go and live in a city again!

2 - I'm a handmade/homemade sort of person, 20 or so years ago I even made my own clothes.

3 - I enjoy cooking especially baking.

4 - I have a very sweet tooth.

5 - I like photography and carry my camera almost everywhere and take tons of pictures.

6 - I love to crochet and usually do so in the evenings while watching TV.

7 - Last but not least, I love my husband and son and just couldn't live without them.

I want to give this award to all the great bloggers/blogs listed on my side bar.

On another note, a friend of mine has finally launched her website showcasing her beautiful textile creations, all her own design. It's called The Stitch Loft and it's well worth a visit.

These last couple of days have been very cold but the upside to that is no rain and a lovely blue sky with plenty of sunshine. And to soak up a little of that sun I've been going for walks and have taken a few pictures and you know what there's already a few signs that Spring is on the way :-)


Spring is on the way! I can't wait to see what colour my tulips will be.


Thursday, 13 January 2011

# 31 Local walks

One of the things we enjoy doing as a family is walking and we're very lucky that we live in a beautiful area with some lovely places where we can do just that and there's plenty of choice too, by the river, along canals, in the woodlands, around lakes, etc.

Last Saturday we walked from our house to the Deer Park again, it's such a beautiful place and on a clear day the views are amazing. Then on Sunday we chose Woodchester Park because A. likes to watch the ducks in the lakes which were still frozen so he had a great time making sticks and stones skid and bounce on the ice and hearing the strange sound they made. Plus the sun came out and there was a blue sky up above which made it just perfect.

Deer Park, near Berkeley.

Deer Park, near Berkeley and view across the River Severn.

Woodchester Park.

Frozen lake at Woodchester Park.

Woodchester Park.


Friday, 7 January 2011

# 30 Creamy fish pie

Judging by the photo it may not look great but I promise you this fish pie is absolutely delicious and best of all so simple to make.

After reading and trying 2 or 3 different recipes I came up with my own simplified version which we all love and one which I now make often. Hope you like it too if you try it.

This is what you'll need to make a fish pie for 3 to 4 people.

3 or 4 cod portions or any other white fish (I used frozen fish)
2 fillets of smoked haddock, river cobbler or other
Precooked prawns (optional)
Carton of double cream
Plain white flour

Start by peeling and cutting the potatoes into large chunks. Place them in a saucepan, cover with water and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the potatoes are tender. Then drain thoroughly and mash them. Add a knob of butter and a little milk and mix well. Put aside.

Now prepare the fish by cutting it into small pieces, don't forget to take the skin off the smoked fish. Put aside.

Make the bechamel sauce by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepam, add 1 tablespoon of plain white flour and a carton of double cream. Mix well and keep stirring until it thickens. Remove from the heat.

Distribute the fish on the bottom of an ovenproof dish and cover evenly with the bechamel sauce. Spread the mash potato over the top and bake in a pre-heated oven until golden on top and bubbling beneath (this ensures the fish will cook through).

Bon appetit!


Wednesday, 5 January 2011

# 29 Splash of colour: January

Emma from Silverpebble is hosting another Splash to Colour to see us through the Winter and don't we all need it?

We had some light snow 2 days ago and although it's all gone now the weather forecast says there'll be more towards the end of the week, not to mention the cold and the grey cloud that never seems to go away!

So to cheer things up a little I leave you with a few pictures taken last year, hope you enjoy them :-)

Hidcote Manor Garden

Baddesley Clinton

Lyme Park

Biddulph Grange Garden