Curried Carrot Soup

Don’t you just love a bowl of warm vegetarian soup on these cold Australian winter evenings? Ooh, and pair that with crusty bread fresh out of the oven. Yum!

Here’s one of those delicious vegetarian soup recipes you might want to try. Quite easy to prepare and will be ready in less than an hour.

Carrot Soup

CURRIED CARROT SOUP

Olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
500 g carrots, chopped (approx. 7-8 medium sized)
1 potato, chopped
1 Tbsp curry powder
100g split red lentils, washed
2 vegetable stock cubes
2 cups water
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 lime

Heat oil in a saucepan. Sauté onion and garlic over medium heat for around 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add carrots, potato and curry powder. Stir well.  Add lentils, stock cubes, water, salt and black pepper. Stir well to dissolve the cubes, while allowing to boil. Simmer over low heat for approximately 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a bit.

Transfer soup to a blender and process until smooth. Then, return soup to saucepan to reheat.  Drizzle gently with juice and grated rind of lime, before serving with warm crusty bread.  Enjoy your yummy soup!

Fried Rice Last Night!

Hubby came home yesterday afternoon and had a cross between a late afternoon snack and early dinner, then said he probably won’t eat much for dinner because he was full.

With enough leftover boiled jasmine in the cooker, I decided to simply cook fried rice for dinner. One of my ways of recycling food that’s still too good to toss in the bin.

While I didn’t take notes during the preparing and cooking process, I will just do my best to recall how I made it. And since I didn’t really do exact measurements of the amounts of the ingredients I mixed in the dish, feel free to have more or less of the ingredients, depending on how you like it.

36624341_2133774273509200_8067632612794957824_n

LAST NIGHT’S FRIED RICE

Cooking oil
2 eggs, well beaten
A handful of chicken fillet
50g butter
3 cups cold cooked rice
1 brown onion, sliced
1 piece carrot, chopped to small bits
1 small can of corn kernels, rinsed and drained
A handful of frozen green peas
2 tablespoons fried garlic (we already have fried garlic, so I used that)
A handful of cooked prawns, shelled and each sliced into 2 or 3 parts
Soy sauce to taste
Tomato sauce to taste
Tabasco sauce (optional)
Salt to taste
Ground cayenne pepper (optional)

Heat oil on pan. Beat eggs in a bowl and season with salt. Fry well beaten egg in the pan until cooked. Take out of the pan, slice to small strips and set aside.

Slice chicken fillet into small parts. Fry in pan until thoroughly cooked. Roughly break up cooked chicken into smaller bits using a wooden spoon. Add butter and onions. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add carrots and corn. Stir fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add cold rice. Break up rice and mix well with the other ingredients in the pan. Add soy sauce, tomato sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt and ground cayenne pepper to taste. (You can skip the Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper, if you don’t like it spicy.) Mix everything well and cook over medium heat.  Continue to stir every now and then for about 10 minutes.

Add sliced cooked prawns, frozen green peas, and fried garlic. Combine well with the rest of the dish. Cook over low heat for another 5-10 minutes, stirring every now and then so the bottom part doesn’t get burnt.  Serve warm.

—————————-

Oh, by the way, hubby ended up eating dinner after this. In fact, he had to stop himself from eating much of this so he could still have enough fried rice to pack for lunch at work today. Lol!

Chocolate Mud Cupcakes

When somebody in the house is having a birthday, but work schedule is not letting you have a party, what do you do? In our case, we’ll just have cupcakes!

I found this simple chocolate mud cupcake recipe in one of my books, but as usual, I had to adjust parts of it to suit my preferences. Whatever works for you, right? So, here is how I made the chocolate mud cupcakes:

chocake

CHOCOLATE MUD CUPCAKES

Ingredients:
300g plain chocolate chips or cooking chocolate
300g butter (does not really matter much whether it is salted or unsalted)
5 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup self raising flour

Melt chocolate and butter in a pan on the stove, or in a bowl in the microwave oven. Stir well and set aside to cool a bit.

Beat eggs and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Sift 1/2 cup flour into the egg mixture, then fold. Sift the remaining flour into the same mixture and fold again. Stir in the melted chocolate and butter until well blended.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. (I prefer turning the oven on when I have already finished mixing the batter and just before I transfer the batter into the cake tin, as I find that if I start preheating the oven before mixing anything, it reaches the desired temperature waaaaaayy before I’m finished making the cake batter, so it’s just wasting energy for quite a while afterwards, until I put the cake in.) 

Spoon the mixture into paper baking cases in a muffin tin. This recipe should yield around a dozen cupcakes. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. The cupcakes are expected to be soft and gooey. Remove muffin tin from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the tin.

You can dust the cupcakes with cocoa powder or icing sugar, or decorate them with your favourite icing.

Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Ages ago, I came across a 1970’s magazine for youth/young adults. One article was about a fun outdoor activity with lots of games and fun. Since I was looking for ideas for games we could do at an upcoming outdoor event, there was a game in the article that caught my attention. It involved chocolate pudding, being fed by one blindfolded person to another also blindfolded person.

The first time we did the game, I had to buy a few cups of chocolate pudding from the supermarket. The game turned out to be a hit – lots of laughter from the players and spectators as well!

A couple of years later, we decided to do the game again at another event. This time, due to tight funds, I wondered if I could get a hold of a chocolate pudding recipe and if it would be the less inexpensive option. I did and it was, so I kept the recipe. Here it is:

chocolatepudding.png

CHOCOLATE PUDDING

INGREDIENTS
6 Tablespoons cornflour
½ Cup sugar
¼ Cup cocoa powder
4 Cups milk
1/8 Teaspoon salt
1 Egg, well beaten
1 Teaspoon vanilla

PROCEDURE
Combine the cornstarch, sugar, cocoa and salt in a heavy saucepan. Gradually add a little milk and stir to a smooth paste; stirring constantly add remainder of milk. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until mixture starts to thicken. Do not boil.

Pour a bit of the hot mixture into well beaten egg, beating while pouring. Add egg mixture into pan with remaining hot mixture. Stir until well blended.

Return to heat and cook until pudding consistency. Remove from heat. Pour into individual serving dishes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Optional: Add crushed Oreo cookies on top. You can also serve it with whipped cream instead.


Party tips:

This yummy snack/dessert is also perfect for garden themed parties or construction themed parties, if you are after foods that go well with the themes.

construction earth.png

For a construction themed party, you can pretend it is earth or top soil.

garden earth.png

For a garden themed party, you can ‘plant’ a piece of edible herb on top and add a popsicle stick with a name of a veggie or herb. Then you can pretend they are seedlings!