Spicy tomato and butternut squash soup…

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After an unseasonably warm October, November is here and it is freezing! We’re all full of cold and in need of something to warm us up. Obviously, this means it’s a perfect time for soup! I love soup. I’m pretty sure I could live off soup… However, if you want something a little different, this recipe also makes a fantastic pasta sauce…

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Serves 6

•1 butternut squash
•6 tomatoes
•2 peppers
•2 carrots
•1 large onion
•1 courgette
•6 mushrooms
•2 sticks of celery
•garlic
•2 chillies

Roughly chop all the veg, and roast at 180*C for approximately an hour or until soft.
Remove the skin from the squash, an blend all the vegetables with hot water, until it is as thick/thin as you want it.

Don’t worry too much if you don’t have the exact ingredients, pretty much any combination of the vegetables listed will work and if I don’t something I leave it out! The squash can be replaced with pumpkin, and the chillies with chilli powder. Also, to make a more tomatoey soup either add more tomatoes or a tin of chopped tomatoes.

This soup is so easy and good for you! Let me know what you think…

Emma-Jayne xx

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Marmalade Ham and Soup…

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I tried something new today, I cooked a ham joint for the first time! It was really easy, and really tasty.

You need…
•ham/gammon joint
•marmalade

•carrots
•onions/leeks
•celery
•mushrooms
•potato
•stock
•red split lentils

Put the ham in a large pot and bring to the boil. Drain off the water, then cover with fresh water before simmering for approximately 30 minutes per 500g but no longer than 2.5 hours. Remove the ham from the liquid, reserving the liquid for after. Remove any fat from the ham and generously smear on the marmalade place in a pre-heated oven (180c) and roast until golden. It took mine around 45 minutes.

For the soup, chop all the vegetables and place into the cooking liquid with the lentils. Add any extra water/stock to ensure they are covered. Simmer until all the vegetables are soft the remove from the heat and blend.

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Chicken Soup…

I LOVE chicken soup! When I was little, I used to beg my mom to make it for dinner when she made a roast chicken (which was quite often!) Eating it now always reminds me of being home with my family. Plus Dan and Lillee love it too so I get to make it as often as I want! We usually have it every few weeks, but it varies each time depending what ingreadients we have. There are no exact measures for this as I never use them. Just use what you have/what will fit in the pot! I make a big pot which makes around 6 servings each time.

I use:

•red split lentils
•chicken carcass and some leftover meat
•2 chicken stock cubes
•potatoes
•carrots
•onion
•mixed veggies(usually a combination of…courgette, mushrooms, leeks, celery, sweet potato, squash, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, beans, lettuce, cabbage, garlic, aubergine…basically whatever I have that needs using! I personally don’t use peppers or tomatoes as I don’t think they work, but it’s up to you!)
•plenty of water!

To make it, I put the chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water and slowly bring to a boil. Leave it to boil for at least 5 minutes but you can leave it as long as you want.

Then remove ALL of the chicken, especially the skin and bones. Pass it through a sieve if your unsure, it isn’t nice to find a piece of bone plus it could break your blender!

Add the roughly chopped vegetables to the chicken-y liquid along with the stock cubes and any extra water if needed. Bring back to the boil before turning the heat down to simmer until the vegetables are tender.

When it’s cool enough to handle, strip the chicken meat from the bones and add to the soup. When cooked, blend untill smooth and serve with plenty of pepper!

If you want to, you can leave out the chicken and use vegetable stock cubes instead for a vegetarian version.

Or chop everything finely and don’t blend!

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Meal Planning Update…

it worked! well pretty much…we swapped the chicken to wednesday, and had the shepards pie on monday and tuesday as we were busy tuesday and had the chicken curry sunday because we were at my moms for her birthday on friday. but other than that it worked really well!!

sooooo this weeks meal plan is:

saturday- steak, mash, cream and mushroom sauce and vegetables

sunday – Roast chicken, dauphinoise potatoes and veggies

Monday – chicken dinner

Tuesday – filo parcels

Wednesday – beuf bourginon

Thursday – Leftovers

Friday – chicken soup

Emma-Jayne xx

Winter Days…

snowman

lillee fell over

cuddles

chilli

cake in a jar

lillee the ladybird

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china teacups and springtime flowers

tea for one

mommys little helper

cobbler

lillee's new quilt

butternut squash soup

Snow, snow and more snow! its been snowing an awful lot lately just here in staffordshire, so playing outside was a must. It’s all gone now, but we enjoyed it while it lasted. The comfort food was a hit in our house, especially the cobbler it may just become a new family favorite! The cake-in-a-jar was a huge success too something i’m definetly going to be making again.

January is traditionally a time to make resolutions. Out with the old and in with the new. New recipes, preparing new things for a special someones birthday in the near future and playing in the first snow of the year seems to me like a fantastic way to start everything off to me. And so, my resolution is this: Live well, laugh often, love much. (Bessie Anderson Stanley) I think we’ve made a good start so far.

Emma-Jayne xx

It feels like Autumn…

It’s a cold, windy day. There’s leaves carpeting the grass. The heating is on and a pot of soup is bubbling in the kitchen. I’d say Autumn has most defiantly arrived. I can’t say I’m 100% happy as this year we’ve had a distinct lack of summer, but I’m looking forward to snuggling up wrapped in warm blankets with my baby girl, warm baths and hot drinks before bed, bonfire night and seeing Lillee’s face when she sees the fireworks again,  soups, stews  and casseroles. Christmas is just around the corner, with all the twinkly lights and a turkey roast. and, for the first time ever I’m prepared to face Christmas head on.  Lillee has presents all ready to be wrapped and sent to Santa  I’m making a start on the hampers for everybody else and slowly but surely getting the house into shape ready to decorate when December comes. I have to say, I’m getting rather exited at the thought… Let’s just hope my preparation pays off this year.

Emma-Jayne x