Mulled Wine And Russian Tea Gifts

With all that’s been going on here, I have not had much time to be or feel Christmassy, or get far in the whole Christmas gift making endevour. One of the things I have managed to do, however, was prepare mulled wine spices and the tea-total version, Russian Tea spices, for our December food swap.

Spices

It made quite nice gift parcels, and even if you just make a batch for yourself, it fills the house with a beautiful aroma and makes a most delicious wine or tea. The tea is a wonderful alternative to mulled wine if you can’t drink or want an alcohol free alternative. It’s worth making, totally.

Carrot Soup And Butternut Squash Soup {{ Thermomix Recipes }}

*These recipes are written for the Thermomix, but can be made in any high speed blender. I cooked them in the Thermomix, but you can cook them on the stove too.

As soon as my vegetable stock was made, the day I received my loaned Thermomix, I set to work making two soups: first a Carrot soup, and then a Butternut Squash soup.  (And the beauty of the Thermie is that I did this in between putting my children to bed. That’s impressive.)

I am terrible at following recipes, but just these two times, I thought I’d make a special effort and follow the recipes from the Every Day Cookbook exactly, but I only kind of did, and here they are:

Carrot Soup And Butternut Squash Soup {{ Thermomix Recipes }}
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 5
  • Calories: 195.1
  • Fat: 17.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.5 g
  • Sugar: 2.8 g
  • Sodium: 108.8 mg
  • Fiber: 2.7 g
  • Protein: 2.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 54.7 mg
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Winter
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This soup could not be any simpler or faster. It tastes fresh and wholesome when just made, and even better the next day.
Ingredients
  • 40 g red split lentils
  • 1 thinly peeled strip of lemon skin
  • 2 cm fresh ginger
  • 300 g carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 50 g butter
  • 120 g cream
  • ]½ tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • a few sprigs fresh coriander
  • water or stock as needed
Instructions
  1. Grind lentils, lemon peel and ginger 20 seconds/Speed 10.
  2. Add onion, carrots, butter and stock paste or stock cube if using. Chop a few seconds/Speed 4½.
  3. Add water or stock to the 1 litre mark on the bowl. Cook 15 minutes/100ºC/Speed 2.
  4. Add coriander, salt and pepper. Add cream and milk (if using).
  5. Pureé 1 minute/Speed 10 until smooth.

The original recipe for this next soup calls for pumpkin, but we had Butternut Squash at home, so it became a Butternut Squash recipe instead, and it was totally fantastic.

Carrot Soup And Butternut Squash Soup {{ Thermomix Recipes }}
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner,
Cuisine: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A thoroughly delicious soup. Warm flavours and so easy to make!
Ingredients
  • 1 onion
  • half a butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 500g vegetable stock (2 cups, roughly)
  • Thyme, to garnish
  • cream, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Place onion into bowl and chop for 5 seconds at speed 7.
  2. Add butter/oil and saute for 3 mins at 100 degrees on speed 1.
  3. Add pumpkin and carrot and garlic and chop for 15 seconds at speed 7.
  4. Add stock and cook for 20 mins on 100 degrees at speed 1.
  5. Swirl some fresh cream over the top of the soup, and add a few sprigs of thyme to garnish (but be sure to eat it, it's the perfect herb for this soup!)

I think my favourite thing about Thermomix soups is that they come out so creamy and smooth, they look like you’ve emptied a pot of  cream into them, even if you’ve added no cream at all. Yum, yum, yum.

Vranameer Chicken : A Family Recipe

The moment I finished reading the topic for this months Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Recipes, I knew exactly which recipe I would share: Vranameer Chicken.

Welcome to the April 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Recipes

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants are sharing their recipes, their stories, their pictures, and their memories.

***

Translated from Afrikaans, Vra Na Meer means Ask For More. That’s what this is all about. Eating more cause it’s so yum.

Actually, some time after my mother’s terminal diagnosis, I sat down and asked myself what I would wish I could have asked five, ten, twenty years from now. One of the first things I thought about was this recipe.

My mother has never been big on food. She’s not much of a cook, and doesn’t particularly enjoy spending time in the kitchen – although she’s a fabulous baker! But this was a meal she would cook for us.

Be warned. It’s not what I would call healthy, although it could be made healthier, but it is really quick and easy and very, very, very tasty. It would particularly appeal to anyone who likes sweet and sour Chinese food.

I’ll have to try it again sometime with made-from-scratch ingredients.

Vranameer Chicken : A Family Recipe
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 3 - 4
  • Serving size: 1
  • Calories: 439
  • Fat: 5.3
  • Saturated fat: .3
  • Carbohydrates: 89.5
  • Sugar: 33.8
  • Sodium: 1146
  • Fiber: 3.2
  • Protein: 6.7
  • Cholesterol: 11.9
Recipe type: Main Meal, Chicken
Cuisine: South African
You could make this recipe healthier by making the mayonnaise and chutney from scratch before hand. The chutney you use also makes a difference to the flavour. Traditionally you use Mrs Balls Chutney (Amazon US), but any sweet fruity chutney works.
Ingredients
  • 6 to 8 chicken portions
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup chutney
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper
  • Herbs to taste
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C
  2. Brown the chicken and set aside in an oven-proof casserole dish.
  3. Sauté the onions gently for 10 to 15 minutes until they are soft and has a golden colour. Add the water and mix to make a 'soup'.
  4. Mix onion with chutney and mayonnaise, and pour sauce over chicken.
  5. Cover casserole dish and bake in oven at 180°C for an hour.
  6. Serve with fluffy rice and fresh, mixed salad.

***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon April 9 with all the carnival links.)

  • German Red Cabbage: A Family Tradition — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy shares her favorite dish and a part of her family’s history.
  • Rotisserie Chicken Recipes for Meal Planning — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama shares a new recipe that is in her family’s meal-planning rotation. Check out how she uses a rotisserie chicken to get through the week.
  • Grandma Wicken’s Sugar Cookies — Jana Falls at Jananas talks about how special her Grandma’s sugar cookies made her feel.
  • Recipe: Seed and Bean Burgers — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings shares one of her favourite frugal recipes that is also super-healthy and totally delicious.
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich — Lisa at The Squishable Baby PULLS dinner together for the kids.
  • The Best Banana Muffin Recipe (Gluten Free & Vegan) — Dionna of Code Name: Mama’s adventures in gluten free baking have not been 100% successful. But today she is guest posting at Fine and Fair to share a banana muffin recipe that will knock your socks off!
  • The Pierogie Mama Whips Up Strawberry Pierogies! — Bianca at The Pierogie Mama shares her family’s recipe for strawberry pierogies…a sweet, summery version of the Polish dumplings that she affectionately named her daughter after.
  • Mom’s Cookbook — Tree at Mom Grooves digs into the big book her mom created for her six daughters and shares a favorite family recipe.
  • Crispy Duck Confit — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama takes the liberty of starting a family recipe tradition with this super simple, totally delicious crispy duck confit.
  • Stovetop BBQ Chicken — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares a yummy BBQ chicken recipe that you can make on the stovetop in less than 25 minutes, fridge to table!
  • Twice-Baked Sweet Potato Casserole w/Bacon — Martine at Whey Beyond the Naked Truth shares a naked food twist on an old family favorite!
  • Strawberry Panna Cotta — KerryAnn at CookingTF.com shows you her favorite dessert, a quick and easy Strawberry Panna Cotta that she enjoys so much, she had it instead of a birthday cake this year.
  • Special crepes for a special day — Mikko at Hobo Mama is learning to cook his grandma’s signature holiday meal alongside his dad.
  • Three Favorite Family Recipes: To Eat, To Wash, To Play — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings is back with three family favorites: gluten-free shortbread, DIY powdered laundry detergent, and something fun for the kids: homemade “Flubber”!
  • Black Bean Soup Forever — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot shares a soup recipe that’s been around forever.
  • Do you want to know a secret? — SRB at Little Chicken Nuggets lets go of her mac and cheese recipe, a comfort food favourite for friends and family for years.
  • Creating Our Own Family Recipes — Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM shares how she’s trying to create meals that her girls will want to pass down to their own children some day.
  • Vranameer Chicken: A Family Recipe — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares a recipe that reminds her of childhood and more specifically, of her mother. It’s a South African take on sweet and sour chicken and what it lacks in healthy it makes up for in tantalising to the taste buds.
  • One Recipe, Three Uses: Dishwasher Liquid Detergent, Dish Soap, and Hand Soap — If you love saving money and time, you’ll love this green recipe from Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama, guest posting at Natural Parents Network.
  • Our Family’s Favorite Pies — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares recipes and tutorials for the quintessential American dessert.
  • Deliciously Easy Crock Pot ChiliLactating Girl shares her crock pot chili that is not only quick and easy, but awesome.
  • All-Purpose Crock Pot PorkCrunchy Con Mommy‘s simple “recipe” for cooking perfect pork in the crock pot is for whatever mood her family is in!
  • Family Rules: A Recipe for Harmony — Cooped-up kids + winter weather + frazzled parents can all blend together into a recipe for disaster. Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares what brought back the peace in her house.
  • Favorite Healthy Family Recipes — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares her family’s healthy eating experiences along with links to free printable vegetarian recipes that her family has created with love.
  • Grandma’s Banana Bread — Megan at The Boho Mama has early and fond memories of her grandma’s banana bread. It’s love in a loaf!
  • Family Comfort Food — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares a recipe handed down that moms have made for their kids, for regular meals as well as to comfort.

 

Festival Of Food – Nutritious Nettle Soup

Welcome to the Festival of Food Carnival. In celebration of the New Year and Healthy Starts, we’re sharing recipe ideas for healthy, nourishing recipes or anything you would enjoy this time of year. Hosted by Diary of a First Child and Hybrid Rasta Mama, you’re welcome to join us next time, or if you have a previously published recipe you’d like to share, add it to the linky below.

It wont be long now till we start seeing subtle signs of spring all around us, and when that time comes, so will the brand new crop of Nettles. Yes, Stinging Nettles. They grow in abundance all around us, and are regarded as a weed, but nettles, apart from being very tasty when prepared the right way, offer a wealth of nutrition and are a super food to get you through the winter to spring season changes.

Nettles are a rich green colour, revealing their extremely high iron and chlorophyll content. It is also very high in the minerals calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulphur,

copper, chromium, zinc, cobalt, potassium and phosphorus. Nettles also contain high amounts of vitamins A, C, D, E, and K as well as riboflavin and thiamine.

Nettle soup can be your best friend in the final trimester of pregnancy as you prepare your body for birth, and need to bulk up on blood-clotting vitamin K, which also then transfers to your baby through your breastmilk.

This recipe is my favourite for Nettle Soup, so as the seasons start to change, soon, dress warmly, and take a walk with a grocery bag, a thick pair of gloves and some scissors, and pick your dinner.

 

Nutritious Nettle Soup
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Foraged, Nutrition Supplement
Ingredients
  • Nettles, about half a grocery bag full
  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • Water, to cover
  • Tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Cream, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, potatoes and ginger, and fry gently till the onion is translucent and the potatoes are slightly crispy.
  3. Using gloves if you're touching the raw nettles, add the nettles to the pot and cover with water.
  4. Cook until the potatoes are softened, then blitz the mixture in a food processor or blender.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and dish up.
  6. Swirl a small amount of cream into the soup to thicken it a little, and serve with fresh buttered bread for a real treat.

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Please take a moment to visit the blogs of our other Festival of Food participants. The links in this list will be live by the end of the day, as participants are all in different time zones.

Stay connected! Be sure to “Like” the Festival of Food Carnival Facebook page.

Mushroom, Herb and Parsnip Pie Recipe

There is a new favourite recipe in town, and I cannot get over how good it is. Additionally, it’s a vegetarian recipe, and for a meatless recipe to hit the spot so completely is pretty unusual in our house. This is one of the babymoon, cook-ahead and freeze recipes we did, but obviously you don’t have to cook ahead! Hope you love it as much as we did. (You can find the original recipe here, but below you’ll find our simpler version with our own adaptations – for example we didn’t have shitake mushrooms on hand!)

Another thing – these are rough guides… if you have more parsnip or less potato, for example, it’s not going to be the end of the world. Work with what you have.

  • 850 g parsnips , chunked
  • 500 g potatoes , chunked
  • 2 carrots , sliced
  • 1 large leek , sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 75 g butter
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 250 g closed cup mushrooms , halved
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 250 ml red wine (optional, but the alcohol will burn off anyway)
  • 350 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary , leaves removed and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons milk
[pinit]

Directions:

  1. Boil the potatoes and parsnips until tender.
  2. Steam the carrot and leeks over the potato pan
  3. Meanwhile heat the oil and a third of the butter until foamy. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms and garlic and fry over a high heat until softened.
  5. Sprinkle flour on mushrooms and toss to coat.
  6. Add wine to mushrooms, along with stock, puree, cinnamon and bay leaves and bring to boil.
  7. Stir until sauce thickens and simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Drain the potatoes and parsnips
  9. Melt the remaining butter and gently fry the rosemary – this releases the sweetest, most amazing fragrance.
  10. Add the seasoned butter to the potatoes along with the milk and mash until smooth.
  11. Add the carrots and leeks to the mushroom mix and season.
  12. Place the mushroom mix in your freezer containers, then top with the mash. If you’re cooking immediately, grill it in the oven until it’s golden on top.
  13. If you’re freezing, wait for it to cool and freeze.

When you’re ready to eat it:
1. Transfer to oven proof dish
2. Defrost
3. Heat grill to high, and grill until golden brown, and serve with salad or vegetables.

English Cottage Pie With Cheese And Leek Topping Recipe

We have been getting so many leeks in our winter vegetable boxes that I’m starting to feel a little ‘leek-ed’ out, if I’m honest! I thought I’d try something different from the usual, and this recipe turned out to be an amazing winner! You’ll find the original recipe here, but here’s how we made and adapted it.

Cottage Pie Filling

  • 600 g lean ground beef or 600 g cooked beef , shredded
  • 2 onions , peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 ounce butter (25g)
  • 1 -2 tablespoon fresh mixed herbs, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or similar
  • 250 ml beef stock (OR 250 ml red wine mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar. We went for the wine, since the alcohol boils off anyway)
  • salt
  • pepper

Cottage Pie Topping

  • 1 kg potato , cut into small even sized pieces
  • 2 large leeks, cleaned and sliced into rings
  • 2 ounces butter (50g)
  • 2 -4 tablespoons milk
  • 4 ounces mature cheese, grated (100g)
  • salt
  • pepper

[pinit]

Directions:

  1. Fry the onions and carrots in the butter until they are soft.
  2. Add the minced/chopped beef and cook for about 10 to 20 minutes or until the onion and carrot have browned and the minced beef has taken on some colour and is firm.
  3. Season well with salt and pepper, then add the mixed herbs. Stir in the flour, and mix well.
  4. Mix the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce with the stock or wine and add it to the meat mixture, bringing it all to simmering point. Simmer until the stock has reduced by about a third, and take off the heat. Set aside whilst you make the topping.
  5. Boil the potatoes in slightly salted water then mash them well, adding half of the butter and all of the milk gradually. Season to taste. We don’t peel potatoes and carrots, because so much of the ‘good stuff’ is in the skin.
  6. Fry the leeks gently until soft and slightly coloured then stir the cooked leeks into the mashed potato mixture and give it all a good mix.
  7. Put the meat mixture into a large and deep well greased baking dish and spread the potato mixture on top; then sprinkle with the grated cheese. I put these into freezer containers, and left to cool, then put in the freezer.

To cook:

1. Transfer into ovenproof dish.
2. Defrost, then put into a pre-heated oven, 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for about 25 to 30 minutes until the topping is crusty, golden and bubbling.
3. Serve with an assortment of fresh seasonal vegetables and a jug of gravy or eat as is.

Batch Cooking For The Freezer: A Babymoon Menu

I’m really bad at OAMC – that’s once a month cooking for us novices – and once something’s made it into the freezer, it’ll stay there for ever and a day. We do prefer our fresh food, but obviously that’s not always convenient.  With our recent sickness the vegetables have been stacking up, and I had to do something with them all – that’s two weeks worth of veggies – so I decided to stock up the freezer with some healthy meals to give us a cooking break when we’ve had our baby and our family have been and gone.

Here are a few items off the menu I cooked in preparation for our babymoon.Read more: Batch Cooking For The Freezer: A Babymoon Menu

Pregnancy Friendly Alternative To Mulled Wine : Russian Tea

I adore Mulled Wine (Gluhwein). There’s nothing like the aroma of spiced red wine, cinnamon and cloves lingering over the house, but it’s been a few years since I’ve been able to indulge now, what with breastfeeding and pregnancy.

I’ve tried a number of different alternatives for Christmas and winter flavours, but so far this Russian Tea is my favourite of all, and hopefully you’ll enjoy it too!Read more: Pregnancy Friendly Alternative To Mulled Wine : Russian Tea

Just Have to Share – South African Vetkoek

Today I am going to ask you to trust me and go out on a limb. These little beauties are a South African favourite. They remind me of Friday nights at home as a child, when my dad would pick up the dough ready made from the corner shop. He’d prepare the little balls and I’d steal little bits when he pretended not to look. He’d make a huge big bowl full and we’d clamber around the big cream coloured serving dish eating these.

Read more: Just Have to Share – South African Vetkoek

Out the Box – Carrot and Clementine Soup

As the winter days fade into spring, we have a few final opportunities for thick and healthy soups.

I tried this soup because I happened to have all the ingredients from my Abel and Cole veggie box and was absolutely stunned by it. Utterly delicious.  I do suggest you try it!

Serves 2 – 4carrot and clementine soup

Ingredients

  • 700 g carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 50 g butter
  • 700 ml hot vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
  • ½  teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tbl spoons corn flour
  • 4.00 to 6 clementines, juice and zest of
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Sweat the finely diced carrots and onion in large saucepan with the butter – keep the lid on and keep stirring them until soft, for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the crushed coriander and heat through for about 2 minutes to release the fragrance, and then add the hot stock, ground cumin and ground ginger. (If you are using ground coriander add with the other spices and the stock.).
  • Bring to the boil and then cover the pan and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add the ground rice, clementine juice and zest – stirring well, and continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then liquidise in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Adjust the consistency by adding extra clementine juice or stock if the soup is too thick.
  • I don’t like clumpy soups and my husband doesn’t like smooth, so I pureed half the soup and added to back together so that it’s still a little chewy, but smooth enough for me!
  • Return the soup to the pan and reheat for 5 minutes or until piping hot but NOT boiling; remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve in pre-heated soup bowls with twists of clementine zest on top of the soup, as well as an assortment of dinner rolls and flavoured butters.

This soup freezes really well. Just take out of the freezer, pop on the stove, add a little water or milk to thin it down a bit and have a good dinner!

It also goes fantastically well with a Cardamom Braid.

If you try it, let me know what you think!