Monday, June 18, 2018

Red lentil and caramelised onion soup

I should have mentioned in the title that this soup also has a winter favourite, pumpkin.

I made this last week and ate it for three days! It perfectly matched the chilly weather we've been having. I swear this past weekend I achieved nothing except for the usual mundane house jobs. I am not sure if it actually stopped raining on Saturday. Perfect for lazing, with or without pyjamas all day, with the heating on to keep from freezing our tits off! 

We've just bought a Nintendo Switch gaming system for the kids of course, but I did waste a few hours playing Super Mario Odyssey. I am well and truly sucked in, and cannot wait to get my hands on Donkey Kong Country.

When Jake was a boy, he'd go off to school and I would sit and play with his Nintendo gameboy. Pokemon was my game of choice. I loved it.

Then when he was a little older, I would sit in his bedroom and play Doom on playstation when he was at school! 

Here I was thinking my gaming days were over!

Back to the soup...It's nice and thick so will stick to your ribs and keep you satisfied. I reserved some of the caramelised onions and used them for garnish, with toasted pumpkin seeds and feta cheese for some more flavour. 

I must say I forgot about the pumpkin seeds when they were toasting in the oven, as you do. I saved them just in the nick of time, they were crunchy and nutty, without having that obvious burnt taste. Don't forget to check your pumpkin seeds!


2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups cubed pumpkin
5 cups water or veggie stock
375 gr bag of red lentils(McKenzies)
feta cheese, for garnish
toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish(about a tablespoon per bowl)

How to cook your soup:

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10-15 minutes until soft and a light golden brown. Remove just under half of the onions into a bowl and set aside for the final garnish. 

Add the cumin, coriander and garlic to the saucepan with remaining onions and stir for 1 minute. Add the pumpkin, water and lentils. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for about 20 minutes, until the lentil are soft.

Use a stick blender to blend the soup.

When serving garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds, caramelised onion and broken up feta cheese.

If it wasn't so cold outside, I probably would have gone outside to get some fresh herbs to sprinkle on top, parsley, mint or coriander would be nice.

If you like a bit of heat, some chilli oil drizzled on top too.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Glenelg weekend away

Sorry for letting the crickets loose on the blog again. Life gets busy.

The weekend before last I shot off to Adelaide after work on Friday. I ummed and aahed about going a day earlier than I needed to, but I needed and deserved a weekend away by myself god damn it!

I arrived in Adelaide in peak hour traffic and made my way to Glenelg with a shitload of help from mum's GPS. I would have been LOST without it, I have no clue where I'm going in Adelaide!

The motel I stayed in was on Broadway, a fab spot with a couple of pubs down the road, a good array of shops, cafes and bars and a couple of supermarkets a quick walk away. It suited me down to the ground. I parked my car in front of my room and that's where it stayed until I left on Sunday morning. 

I walked to Glenelg's shopping strip, Jetty Road on Saturday morning. I had a relaxing walk around the shops, by the beach and walked back to Broadway along the beach front. When I got back to my motel, I even had a nap!

My god, these breaks away from my family, from my everyday pressures, sure make me realise how important these breaks away are!

I returned to the beach front on Saturday evening, hoping to experience a sunset, and I wasn't dissapointed at all. It was fabulous to do a heap of people watching, and have all the time in the world do my own thing and take lots of photos.

I spent all day Sunday, from 8:30am to half past 4 in the afternoon, at the Gymnastics SA training facility, getting my Gymnastic for All accreditation, and then drove the four and a half hours home! Hence, no post last week.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Winter soup inspiration

With winter due to make it's entrance at the end of the week, it's gets me thinking about soup. Gorgeous, warming, comforting hugs in a bowl.

Dunno about you, but it's starting to cool down a bit here, mainly in the nights and mornings. The winds are blowing through straight from the antarctic, with a numbing chill. The heating is on more often than not. Can I just crawl up in a ball and hide until spring?

Any day that has me reaching for a scarf or cardi (that's a cardigan, not a Kath and Kim chardonnay), makes me crave comfort food. I've posted a few soup recipes in my time here, so here's a recap for inspiration,  just incase you've been thinking about soup too.

Broccoli and stilton soup

Cauliflower soup  

Thai chicken noodle soup

Leek, bacon and potato soup

Red lentil and sweet potato soup

Chickeny lentil soup

For more comforting winter warmers make sure you have a look at my other recipe blog posts.

Follow me on instagram to see my #onemotherkitchen posts

Monday, May 21, 2018

Don't forget the camera!

A farm, a paddock for kite flying, a girl, dried up weeds and that golden end of a day. 

I've been wanting to share these photos, but I was reluctant because they weren't great. They were taken with my phone. It was one of those kick myself times, when I should have had the camera in the car. Just in case. Hindsight sucks.

Many times I have made a pact with myself to TAKE THE CAMERA. After this night, I have definitely changed my habits, and take the camera. Because you never know.

I went to coffee with a friend, which is weird to say, because I don't drink coffee. I had a pot of peppermint tea. She's a creative person, like me. We have great conversations about cooking, gardening, arts and photography. I never feel exhausted talking with her. Only uplifted and inspired. 

I talked about forgetting the camera. About not pulling over and taking photos when a view takes my fancy. Most of the time it's because I have the kids in the car, because my mind is on a mission to just get to the destination. She agreed, she used to do the same when her kids were younger. She even said that she does the same now, even though her kids are grown. 

Is it because life is so busy? 

Is it because I am only thinking of the end game, and not embracing what's happening right now?

I need to slow down. Do the things that make me happy. Fulfilled. AND take the camera everywhere!



Monday, May 14, 2018

Yallum Park homestead

Contrary to popular belief, usually those beliefs that go on in my own brain, I do manage to do shit away from the four corners (well six actually) of my home without the shitheads that relentlessly test my sanity. Namely, three kids, one who is an adult, and a equally childish husband. It is rare, and when the opportunity strikes, you can bet, I am jumping in the car like some sort of demented magician and disappearing.

I was under the impression that the Yallum Park open garden day finished at 2pm. So when I finished baking a sourdough loaf at 1pm and googled the actual times of a 4pm finish, I chucked on scarf, grabbed my camera and handbag and said, "hasta luego" to my people and dashed out the door.

Yallum Park is  an eight minute drive from Penola in South Australia's south east, gateway to the Coonawarra wine region.

The Yallum Park homestead is a Victorian mansion, built for John Riddoch between 1878-1880. John Riddoch was a Scotsman who had made it rich in the goldfields. It is one of the best preserved historic houses in Australia, boasting original wallpapers, 500 pounds worth of gold leaf trims, 11 Italian marble mantle pieces, cut glass door knobs and five acres of gardens, including 70 different types of conifers. 

Some of the noted famous people who haved stayed here are English novelist Anthony Trollope, King George V(when still the Duke of Cornwall), Adam Lindsay Gordon, and many other princes and political dignitories.

Along with the five hectares of garden, the house was also open for tours. The open garden day cost $8 per person, with a tour of the house and extra $10. I was not lucky enough to do a tour of the house, but caught a glimpse through the verandah windows of the well preserved bedrooms, with original carpets and furniture.

Yallum Park homestead and the way it has been preserved by the Clifford family is a credit to our region and is well and truly worth the visit if you ever have the opportunity.

I do love the drive to Penola, the trees that line the road are amazing and took a couple of photos along the road, of the gums making a cathedral arch, and the red growth of she-oaks on the way home. The afternoon light that made them more amazing is not justified in the last two photos.

I am ever so glad I took off in the car this day and saw it for myself. As I walked down the driveway and the house came into view, I was awestruck by it beauty. It is a vision and experience that can only be appreciated in real life. Breathtaking!

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