Transforming Vegetables (WPC – Transformation)

What better way to enjoy the cold weather then with a warming cup of soup. Last week I tried a new recipe of Roasted Peppers and Cauliflower. Topped with chili flakes and a handful of coriander leaves, it was simply FABULOUS!

It’s glorious how combining only a few vegetables with a stock over heat for a couple of hours transforms them into a completely different realm. Transformation is The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge this week.

And a HUGE Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends – may your turkey be hot whilst your drinks very cold!









Teasing all our Senses (OWPC: Food)

It’s more than simply just the food when eating out. This was very much the case when we were visiting Tallinn, Estonia. The ambiance in the 300 year-old restaurant complete with a true bread-basket together with the food was simply divine.

It’s said we eat with our eyes but on this particular night all five of our senses were tingling with delight. Food is the One Word Photo Challenge from Jennifer Nichole-Wells this week.

It’s all in the planning…

6am saw me showered and dressed in the kitchen with the oven already warming this morning and that’s the way it remained until 9.30 this evening. What an incredibly productive day as I was able to bake 16 of these Christmas Cakes today!

Christmas Cake Time - LOVE IT!!!

With these cakes today’s I added some dried cranberries to the dried fruit mixture and oh my, it really is the secret ingredient. When Hubby did a taste test for me a little while ago he all but went weak at the knees. Yes, my work here is done. 😉

My back is aching so much from being on my feet so long, not that my fall on the stairs on Saturday has helped, but I’m now hoping I can safely say that my Christmas Cake baking is complete for 2013.

No longer will my children look reminiscently at what was once was “our” kitchen, not just a production line, and ask… “mum, how much longer?”

Hot and Spicy in the Kitchen!

Following Sir Fergus’s and my little “incident” yesterday, it would seem both cats are staying out of my way today. Then again it may have something to do with the fact they both snuck out the door at 8.15 this morning into the cold, drizzling rain, quickly realizing inside really was a better option.

As if to prove being outside was not her idea, Miss Poppy decided the best place to sleep would be… Master Twelve’s pajama drawer. This I only discovered whilst putting away today’s washing. It’s a really bad habit of hers which is going to end badly one of these days. In the interim however she’s warm and toastie! 🙂

Poppy cozy and safe inside the drawer!

This was our plan last Friday, to stay warm and toastie. With the combination of cold weather along with a NID (Non Instructional Day) last Friday, our plan was to stay indoors, in our pj’s and just blob for the day.

The funny thing was out of the three of us, I was the only one who stuck to the pact, even with three visitors, lol! Miss Ten lasted until 2pm before she went visiting. Then Master Twelve decided he wanted pizza and not just any pizza. No, he wanted HIS pizza and WOW, what a pizza he made. Check this out!

Hot & Spicy Pizza Boy

Perhaps I’m a tad biased being his mother but he really has perfected the most wonderful pizza base which seems to begin rising as soon as he mixes it. Whilst it rose he too went visiting, returning later to make the final product, Ham and Cheese Pizza. Not only did it look good but it tasted mighty fine also! 🙂

Hot & Spicy Ham and Cheese Pizza

Looking at these photos now as I sit and ponder tonight’s dinner I’m thinking the time might be drawing near to add children to the “dinner making” rotation. Yep, I think this could be more than a good idea alas, I can hear it now when it comes their turn for cooking… “mum, how much longer?”

Middle Eastern-Style Chicken Kebabs!

Oh. My. Talk about a taste sensation! These Middle Eastern-Style Chicken Kebabs I discovered over at Tartine and Apron Strings, are just fabulous. Full kudos to Jennifer for sharing these tasty morsels. These are going to be a regular at this house for sure!

Middle Eastern-Style Chicken Kebabs

Originally I made them for a BBQ we were hosting but as it was “Hubby’s” BBQ he bought some chicken kebabs for the event so we ate these ourselves the following night with some drinks and some freshly made Greek Tzatziki. We didn’t even bother with salad, we just scoffed them down, dee-lish!

This recipe also gave me an opportunity to take the mincer I’d given Hubby for his birthday out for a test drive (he’d spoken about wanting one of these for the longest time now claims he never did – go figure). This was my first time ever at mincing, by practice I’m a food-processing kind of gal, but I have to say, I could easily become addicted. Particularly as I saw what other recipes could be achieved with a mincer – I have SO much to learn about cooking, lol!

The chicken went through the mincer so quick and easily that I added the onion, garlic and parsley leaves to it also. Woo hoo, what fun – I’ll definitely be doing this again with other meats and other foods. Watch out world, the Mincing Mama is coming through!

One recipe down, only a hundred or so to go. With there being at least two-inches thick of new recipes falling out of my recipe holder that I need/want to try, when I attempt to add a another new recipe even the cats give me a look that says.. “mum, how much longer?”

Food to sooth the soul!

What a productive day in the kitchen!

Unfortunately I realized too late, I think it was 1 or 1.30pm, that this being the first full day the children were back at school, I should have been sitting back with a bottle of bubbles enjoying the silence. Dang it!

All this cooking was the result of an early morning grocery shop, I kid you not! I dropped Master Twelve over at a friends, dropped Miss Ten at school, so continued on my merry way to the grocery store which was all but deserted. Just the way I like it!

Then once I’d begun unpacking remembered my trash was now being collected later on Wednesday’s so quickly transferred meats from the store-container to bags, removed all the superfluous packaging from everything else and checked the cupboard for old potatoes (man can’t those things become nasty!) and ran to the curbside. That’s three less bags for the-week-to-come so mission accomplished.

I then went on to make a double batch of Bolognese Sauce (lasagne tomorrow night Master Twelve informed on entering the kitchen this afternoon…), prepared and cooked a beautiful Baked Brown Sugar and Mustard Ham for dinner complete with baked vegetables and Cauliflower Gratin this evening, and this… Rosemary Nut Loaf just for something to nibble on! (Simply click on the name to be taken to the recipe, I hope!)

Rosemary Nut Loaf

OMG, it is fabulous with a gooey brie. I originally found this recipe in the Whitewater Cooks at home but have tweaked it with a little of this and that to what it is above. Dee-lish!

Now I just need my Pretty Purple Pepper Relish and it would be PERFECT!  Seriously… “mum, how much longer?”

Fresh Pink Salmon… YUM!

With all this wonderful fresh Pink Salmon now in our refrigerator there was no time like the present to learn what one could actually do with it. Darling Hubby and I are great smoke-salmon fans but fresh salmon, hmmmm

Well, I’d know sooner began pondering this question when a new blog post arrived in my In-Box from Karista’s Kitchen (this is one super talented lady so be sure to check out her blog) via Maya over at Alaska from Scratch (another amazing cook so be sure to check out her recipes!).

Maya is based up in Alaska with her family so certainly knows her salmon and has adapted this particular recipe from  Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute via Chena Girl Cooks, talk about six-degrees of separation huh?!

What was this mouth-watering delight you’re wondering? Well, it was Sugar-Crusted Salmon with Avocado Peach SalsaOH… MY… GOSH… it was simply FANTASTIC!

Sugar Crusted Salmon with Avocado Peach Salsa

Why I photographed this with the potatoes at the front I don’t know as I didn’t even eat the potatoes, the salmon, salsa and spinach were more than enough!

Darling Hubby and I were so impressed with the salsa – he apparently ate loads before we had dinner, whilst I finished off the left-overs for breakfast the next day – that took care of my fruit quota!

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been so impressed with a meal but this was right on the money, thank you so much ladies for sharing this recipe! With more pink salmon entering our lives more amazing recipes are needed but… “mum, how much longer?”