Wednesday, November 23, 2011

French onion soup

In Spring I glimpse the year.
Some days are cloaked in Winter's frosty chill, and others bask in Summer's skin-tingling warmth or mild Autumn breezes; and then there is the typical Spring day of humid heat with drizzles of both clear sunshine and warm rain. All of these days can be found within Spring's domain.
This week has had me reaching for porcelain bowls to ladle luscious, steaming soups into their snow-white bellies. Sometimes a soup may feel a little sylphlike and need a some added heartiness. For me, thick slices of fluffy bread smothered in bubbling golden-edged cheese do just that.

ease: 4/5.
prep time: 15mins.
cooking time: 1hour & 20mins.
total: 1hour & 35mins.

taste: 4/5. Great for warming the coldest cockles.

I love a hearty soup so I let this simmer down until it became like a drizzling caramel in thickness. The onion bring a savoury sweetness that is mellowed beautifully by the salty, gooey cheese and subtle bread. DO NOT skip the cheese toasts, it truly is what harmonises this simple soup.

My soup took longer than 20mins to reduce to my desired level of thickness, I also used vegetable stock rather and doubled the butter. The original recipe is linked below.
*Gluten-free if you use a gluten-free bread

would I make it again: Yes.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Egg in the basket

Some mornings find me with fresh eyes and a spring in my step, others have to beat through the cobweb of sleep with fists of savage sunshine and splashes of water so cold that I can feel each pore contract with a shiver. Today I was not only woken by sharp rays of light but also by my child's tiny hands as they kindly, and exuberantly, slapped me awake...and then slapped me some more for good measure. It's days like these I need a 'pick-me-up' breakfast; something cheerful, filling and most of all EASY.

My great-grandmother hailed from Britain, and this meal was something she made for my mother, and in turn, what my mother made for me. We refer to it as Egg in the basket, but I think it's more commonly known as Egg in a hole. I attempted to use my artistic licence by creating a heart-shaped hole, however my generously sized eggs overflowed and hid the heart beneath their egg-white hems.

To make this simple dish a little more 'top drawer', I sprinkled it with truffle salt which is, in my opinion, truly meant to be paired with the humble egg.

(For a gluten-free dish use gluten-free bread, pictured above is wholemeal sourdough spelt).

Friday, November 11, 2011

ANZAC biscuits & a happy birthday to moi

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

I've always felt fortunate to have been born on this date.
In honor of the fallen, Lest We Forget... 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Zucchini with herbs & goat's cheese

Too many moons have passed since my last post, and this time a tiny child is not to blame. After two faithful years my trusty laptop began to struggle with the vigorous tasks of photo and video editing. Programs like Photoshop and Vimeo became too much to bear so I had to say my farewell and welcome a new addition to my life. Whilst I was methodically searching the online marketplace my darling husband was doing the same and surprised me with an early birthday gift. To his credit my new black beauty (yes, I decided to name it after my favourite dessert, la bete noire) not only satisfied my 'specs' criteria but actually exceeded them, and despite its heaviness (just over 4kg, but with my newly acquired mummy arm-strength, it's fine with me) I am head over heels in love with it. What sold me? I was running actions that would cause my former-laptop to crash in one second! Click and hey presto, action complete. Ah, twas love at first edit...

So once again I will hopefully be back to my regular weekly posts. I am also contemplating spending more time on the photography-styling aspect, but of course, that depends on whether baby permits. In the mean time, please enjoy this easy, summer side dish in which the humble zucchini stars. I forgot to measure whilst throwing it together so the recipe is more like a 'guideline', feel free to ad lib :)

ease: 4.5/5.
prep time: 8mins.
cooking time: 10mins.
total: 18mins.

taste: 4/5. Best way to get zucchini into the husband.

The zucchini in this dish is a mere whisper on a breeze, so even those who object to its subtle taste should find no reason to grumble here. The creamy goat's cheese offers tangy-ness to the sweetness of the garlic, coolness of the mint and grassy anise of the dill. Hubby actually requests this side dish.
If you'd like some crunch I recommend adding toasted pine nuts.

would I make it again: Yes.