Day 56: Butter Chicken, Rocket and Things that Keep Me Up at Night…

It’s been a quiet day on the work front. I’m looking forward to going into the office for a bit tomorrow. I have managed to rig up a small table so that I can bring my work PC home because my Mac and our server are still not talking to each other. All the surfaces in The Cave are too high for me to sit at and work. When I first moved in here, I had to stand on a chair to see inside my pots when I cooked. I found my little el-cheapo kitchen island in storage and brought it back home, making cooking a little easier, although I still stand on tippy-toes to see inside my larger pots.

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Day 21: It Would Have Been Parole Day

Today marks the day the pre-extention-lockdown in South Africa would have been lifted. As many people have been referring to it, parole day.

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Day 8: Hippos, Ravioli and No Mona Lisa

Friday, Day 8 of 21.

I didn’t feel much like coffee mug traveling this morning. I woke up with a jolt and started working seconds after I opened my eyes. I only had my wake-up-warm-beverage an hour and a half after I woke up. This morning it was a Red Velvet Latte from Woolies. It has beetroot in it. Delicious!

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Thinking Back: With Age Comes Wisdom

COVID-19 has everyone is losing their minds on some level. If you’re not, then please share whatever Kool-aid it is that you’re drinking. I am suffering from migraines again, and my sleep is constantly interrupted. Last night when I couldn’t sleep, I found my mind wandering back to 2004, when just as I was about to leave for the airport on December 26th, the media shared the news of the tsunami that had hit Thailand.

I boarded the plane anyway, because I was going to Singapore and the news reported that the island country had not been affected. I was 24, without a care in the world and it was my first overseas holiday. Nothing was going to stop me – not even Mother Nature sending a potential follow-up tidal wave.

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Una Grande Serata

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren

In our case (that’s Eleanor and I), it was gnocchi…

Contrary to popular belief, I love cooking, and for the most part (barring one night I served a burnt offering to Charlie), I do it well.  The reason I don’t cook often is because I don’t have a proper stove.  I have a mini-kitchen, which is two plates and a small oven, which doesn’t heat evenly at the best of times.

Last night though, I outdid myself.  Nathan was away from home yesterday for work, so I told Eleanor I’d cook for her, if she saw to the boys.  I gave her a choice:  Moroccan or Italian.  She opted for the latter.

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Granted, I didn’t make everything from scratch, and know that traditional Italian pasta sauce is usually tomato-based, but I do love bacon and cream and I had to factor in the time of preparing everything, in an unfamiliar kitchen.  I did make up for everything non-Italian with a bottle of imported Prosecco of which I had a taste.

Prosecco

The menu was as follows:

Starter (Antipasto)

Charcuterie Board:

Salami, Pastrami, Ham, Blackberries, Raspberries, Almonds, Pears, Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Cheddar, Bread sticks, Yoghurt & Caramelized Onion Dip, Salmon & Feta Terrine, and Tomato & Olive Bruschetta

Charceturie Board

Main Course (Primo Piatto)

Gnocchi with Butternut and Peas, served in a Bacon & Cheese Sauce from this blog

Gnocchi

Gnocchi Served

Dessert (Dolce)

Chocolate Mousse with Raspberries (which I concede isn’t authentic Italian, but I couldn’t find Tiramisu or Panna Cotta anywhere).Dolce

Coffee (Caffé)

Cappuccino with Chocolate, Cranberry & Almond Biscotti

Cappucino & Biscotti

All in all, I think I fared well.  Eleanor was pleasantly surprised, and we had a lovely evening, just us girls.

We decided that travelling round the world, right at the dinner table will become a regular thing.  Here’s to the next destination!  Any suggestions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

I like to cook.  And bake.  BUT, I must really be in the mood to do so.  Like yesterday – when I finally tried out a recipe I received in one of the daily newsletters to which I subscribe.  The recipe was originally published on Cupcakes & Couscous – a food blog by Teresa Ulyate

I’ve shared the final image with a few friends who’ve asked for the recipe, so here it is, in full, with the photos being my own.  I halved it as it was only for The Toppie, The Bean and I.

Vegan recipe for Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

Ingredients
16 large tomatoes
4 red peppers
olive oil for drizzling
3 tbsp dried mixed herbs
salt and pepper
1 punnet (20g) fresh basil
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans, drained
4 tbsp tomato purée
1.2 litres vegetable stock (or water)
2 tbsp tamari

How to
Preheat your oven to 190ºC and lightly grease two baking trays.

Quarter the tomatoes and cut the red peppers into thick strips (discard the seeds).

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Arrange the tomatoes and peppers on the trays. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle the mixed herbs on top and season with salt and pepper.

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Bake for 30 minutes.

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Allow the tomatoes and peppers to cool slightly. Place in a blender with the basil, beans, tomato purée, veggie stock and tamari.

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Blend until smooth.

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Transfer the soup to a pot and heat. Check the seasoning, then serve with toasted bread.

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It may have been a simple meal, but it left me feeling like an absolute Masterchef!  Honestly, I’m not sure when the urge to cook or bake will strike again, but when it does, I sincerely hope I can replicate the feeling I got from making this soup.