Thursday, 17 November 2011

Learning to Cook

Saturday afternoon I spent 3 hours in the kitchen. I took on a couple of new recipes and loved it. Since moving out of the mr's mum's house in February I have done little cooking. Mike tends to cook, while I bake. However to begin with I had no motivation or care to cook. I lived off tuna and baked beans with lots of starchy carbs like bread, pasta and potatoes. Over the summer I lived off very little money, aiming, and managing, to save 100 pounds a week! This meant however that some weeks I only had 10 pounds for food, and often this left me with nothing for socialising or leaving the house at all.

Now that I am back to being a student, and not saving so tightly I have a bit more for food each week, and that means a suitable budget for buying extra food for cooking and baking! My cupboard has gone from bare and boring, to being full of the basics. Slowly, each week I have been stocking up on supplies and basic ingredients.

Other than collecting and saving online recipes, I have been working my way through the seasonal recipes of Sophie Dahls voluptuous delights, as I mentioned previously. So far this month I have tried Banana bread, lime and coconut muffins, chocolate and peanut butter bark and much more! As you can tell I prefer to bake desserts and sweat treats than conquer savoury dishes :) I leave that to Mike, and enjoy making dishes that I can pre prepare and eat throughout the week.

One of my favourite meals is soup. With a couple of pieces of crunchy toast and lathered in butter (or sunflower spread in my case!) However, other than tomato and basil, it is rare to find a good supermarket soup that doesn't include dairy as one of the key ingredients. Most soups are packed with cream, milk and butter to add flavour. This is quite annoying, and while I love tomato and basil to an extreme, it can get boring! So i decided to make my own :) I started out with a basic carrot soup, omitting the milk for soy milk. However I forgot Vegetable stock and it tasted revolting, so went straight in the bin! I love roasting carrots and parsnips throughout the week to eat with chicken, or on their own with some feta for a great and easy meal. So I always seem to have some about. I also often have coconut milk about as it is a great dairy alternative that I can add to curries and baking for a creamy, sweet taste. It is quite high in fat but very delicious!

So this week I googled a parsnip soup with coconut milk and found this one by Jamie Oliver. It got great reviews so I decided to give it a go, replacing the milk with coconut milk and the garam masala with normal curry powder. And I have to say, it is delicious!So,  if you are feeling hungry after reading this long and lengthy post then I recommend this filling soup! Why not do as I did and make it carrot and parnsip, by having 3 of each in the mix? :) Plus it's easy and great to freeze!

Abiento x

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