Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Hello, my name's Helen and I'm a courgette-a-holic.

After a bit of browsing yesterday, I found a recipe for curried courgette soup. It was on a really beautiful blog, and I copied and pasted it, closed the web page, and it was lost forever. So if this was your recipe, I give you the credit and apologize for my clumsiness! I could happily eat courgettes every day, but I think James would get a little bored.

Curried Zucchini Soup with Coconut Milk
adapted from Great Food Fast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/2 pounds zucchini (I used 3 medium-sized), sliced thick
1 baking potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 cups stock (the original recipe just calls for water)
2/3 cup coconut milk
toasted almonds for garnish
1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and curry powder and continue to cook, stirring constantly until fragrant (another minute).
2. Add the zucchini, potato and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender (15-20 minutes).
3. Add coconut milk. Puree with immersion blender or in batches in blender until very smooth and velvety. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Seasoning depends on stock and potency and freshness of curry powder (my soup needed very little seasoning).
This will be on my table tonight, as apparently courgettes can grow in one day. Amazing.
I have also found a pattern for a skirt that I'd like to make, I'm imagining it in a mossy-green thick cotton. Alas, it's an American pattern, so more searching is required for an English counterpart. I hate shipping.
One last thing, I am (as mentioned in yesterday's post) thinking about Christmas gifts already. One idea I had came from a bit of inspiration from Linen and Roses, where Fiona's sister made her a beautifully embroidered framed initial for her birthday. I thought this sort of thing would be ideal done on little purses or cloth bags, and managed to find some pretty templates for monogrammed letters, which I can embroider with flowers.
That's all for today, camera and photos coming soon I promise!

Monday, 26 July 2010

And the beat goes on

I've started knitting and sewing Christmas gifts (I know, it's too early to even think about the 25th), cardigans for family babies, little lavender pillows and purses for the ladies, and chunky winter-warmer scarves for the men. I really would like to learn how to knit socks, but just can't get the hang of double-pointed needles. Any tips? I've also been scouring craft blogs for ideas for printable gifts, and found some really cute seed packet templates here, which I've printed on the back of beautiful printable papers from Non-pareil DIY weddings (each of the projects has various papers and other downloadable goodies!), perfect for the green-fingered recipients.
On a more summery note, I've had vase after vase of heady-fragranced sweet-peas from the garden, and more courgettes than I can shake a stick at. Any recipes other than ratatouille made solely from courgettes?
I went charity shopping with my sister today, it's so nice to see her as for a few years I've been living away at university. I bought some beautiful egg cups in CK-style pink/blue/yellow/green, a pretty ceramic storage jar and a lovely old edition of Darwin's 'The voyage of the Beagle' for James' stocking (Christmas again, I can't help myself).
After a wonderful day, I was driving home only to be slightly annoyed by an arrogant motorcyclist who thought it necessary to ride 6 inches from my bumper with his headlights on full. Sometimes it's hard to keep calm.
Hope everybody had a lovely day!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Long time no blog

Well, finally finished university with a 2:1, not too shabby! Now I'm back living with James and his parents, with long days filled with housework etc. I didn't realise cleaning up after 2 people would be so much more work than 1! I also don't really know where the days go. I get up and washed and dressed, then start the cleaning, cooking, washing cycle and before I know it James is back from work and it's 7pm. Does anybody else find their days go this way?
I think I should start making time for more lovely knitting and sewing. Last week I made the Sunday dinner hostess apron from 'Weekend Sewing', written by Heather Ross whose blog can be found here. This week I'm starting on Christmas presents, I'm still very poor from student life, so it's homemade treats all round. I'm knitting little baby cardigans now, and for later in the year, I've seen some lovely Rocky Road over at Vanessa's blog Coco Rose Textiles which I think would look just perfect with some Christmassy ribbon. In fact, pretty much anything in a Kilner jar with ribbon round makes a wonderful gift.
Now that I don't live with Becky I have no camera again, but hopefully will resolve that soon...
Have a lovely day all, this should be the start of more frequent blogging!
Helen xx