Sunday, 31 October 2010

House of Horrors

If this were Buffy The Vampire Slayer my house would be the library that resides over the Hell-Mouth. except this is England, there's no Sarah Michelle Geller doing Kung-Fu in my garden and nobody has bad 90's highlights or bomber jackets. There is however, an inordinate amount of bad luck and calamitous activity hovering over my house right now, but sadly no David Boreanaz with a gypsy curse trying to get through my skylight window.
After Freaky Friday (trying to keep with the theme here!) I thought maybe things would be quiet at casa de Kate for a bit but nothing is ever as simple as that and annoyingly ailments, especially the abscess on your mothers back that's potentially giving her blood poisoning cares not a jot that you have some ace blog posts and finely tuned witticisms that you'd been planning to pop up before the weekend.
So Friday was spent down at the hospital waiting while Mum had an operation on her back. There's a lot to be said about the NHS, I tend to wax lyrical about our health service because really, we are very lucky to have a free health service, but one thing the NHS need to put serious money into improving is the state of their coffee. It's like treacle, you could stand a spoon up in it, I only (gratefully) accepted a coffee from the staff nurse because I hadn't eaten or drunk anything for 7 hours and I was gasping like a fish washed up on the beach.
Anyway, disaster averted, this weekend I've been getting my strength back (ha) and catching up on my sleep, these parents, nothing but worry. 
In a premptive measure I have unplugged the doorbell, which is one of those marvelous ones that only rings when its plugged in, excellent idea in my opinion as it it cuts out the middle man with trick or treaters and also carol singers, so they can sing Hark The Herald Angels to their hearts content  and whinge and whine for sweeties as much as they like because I.Won't.Hear.Them. Plus I just know that if I did leave the doorbell switched on the little rugrats would ring it when the X Factor's on.
Halloween has never been something celebrated in our household when I was a kid (had you guessed?), the only time I ever really got into the swing of Halloween was at uni and that was just because it was another excuse to dust off the fancy dress and drink Lambrini until doing the Thriller dance seemed the next logical step in a litany of embarrassing Halloween activities.
With any luck (barring natural disasters and the like) I shall get the long promised recipe posts up tomorrow, although I've been hyping the damn things up for so long there's a danger it'll be a bigger anti climax than Katy Perry's performance on X Factor week before last (I don't mean that Katy, I still love you!).
Have fun tonight whatever you get up to, I like to think at least maybe one of my lovely followers will be watching Hocus Pocus in their pj's with a blanket over their knees..or is that just me? See you all tomorrow!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Dr Katie-Boo to the rescue

I'm away from blog city for 5 minutes and what happens? Apparently not very much!
Sorry for my absence as promised I will explain all.
We had the mother of all fright nights a few Fridays ago, when my Dad upon going out promptly had to reverse course and come back in and then collapsed in the chair clutching his chest.
Now, I'm not what you would call a practical person, nor when describing me would you list common sense as an attribute, but for a person who could make clumsiness into an art form, I am actually one cool customer in a crisis (I'll tell you about the time I saved the day during a hurricane on holiday another time).
While Dad was clutching his chest and turning blue, I deduced from my extensive medical training of watching ER, Greys Anatomy and House that he was in fact probably having a heart attack.
Fear not dear blogger's, after being whisked off to A&E and a four day stay in hospital they let him come home, and I have been honing my insufferable nurse act of him ever since. Poor bugger.
The Other Bowel Problems I mentioned before have throw a spanner in the works and I've been poorly for the last week or so and feeling a bit sorry for myself. However. Just two days ago I finished The C-word by Lisa Lynch, who I mentioned on here before. Lisa was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at 28, and Jesus H Christ what she went through in one year makes The Other Bowel Problems seem like a sniffle. Frustrating, painful and inconvenient and unpredictable as TOBP's often are I realised I would go through that ten fold to avoid what Lisa went through. So I've made a resolution to whinge less. Starting now. Or maybe tomorrow.
I know I promised a crumble post, and also a guest post, but as you can imagine things have been a bit frantic at casa de Kate but I've got a few good 'un's lined up for you in the next week. Dad's started a low fat healthy heart diet so I've been researching recipes for him, so maybe I'll do some gluten free healthy heart recipes for any gluten freers who have problems with their tickers.

Friday, 22 October 2010

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Hello! I thought I'd just pop my head round the door and say 'bonjour' so you wouldn't worry that I'd fallen off the face of the planet and call missing persons on my behalf. A series of unfortunate and unexpected events (not on the scale of Lemony Snicket, but still) have arisen and have kept me away from my dear old blog, but I shall be back on Monday to explain all and with a new recipe, until then Booty-ful Bakers..

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Captain Kate's Fabulous Fish Pie

As if I could be the captain of a trawler, good grief!

Serves 4
  • 450g/15 1/2oz Mixed, boneless fish cut into large cubes  I used a mixture of prawns, cod and haddock
  • 600ml Milk
  • I Large leek sliced
  • 100g/4oz Butter
  • 50g/2oz Gluten Free Plain Flour (Dietary Specials, Glutafin, Juvela, Doves Farm)
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh or dried parsley
  • 50ml White wine
  • 3-4 Medium sized potatoes for mashing
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Medium sized oven proof pie dish
  • Start of by frying your sliced leek over a low heat with the tbsp of olive oil and 50g of butter. Cook until they're soft, season to taste and leave them to one side for later. If you aren't big on leeks, one small white onion diced would be a perfectly acceptable substitute.
  • Pour your milk into a large pan and simmer over a low heat, plop in the fish and the parsley and poach over the low heat for around 4-5 minutes.
  • When its cooked, strain the fish out of the milk, keeping the milk to one side for later. Spoon the fish into your pie dish and mix the leeks through the fish.
  • The sauce that goes over the fish is basically a roux. Melt the rest of the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, stir in the flour quickly and cook for one minute. Your looking for a smooth, paste like consistency, it should look almost like a smooth cookie dough mixture, and when its cooked it will almost hold its own shape.
  • Stir in the milk you used to poach the fish a cup full at a time, using a whisk to stir the roux and milk mix so it stays as smooth and lump free as Cindy Crawford's legs. Its important not to add all the milk at once as you may not need all of it depending on the thickness of the sauce, judge for yourself whether you think its thick enough, your aiming for a sauce that's ever so slightly thicker than double cream but not so thick that you could spread it on toast.
  • Once your sauce is ready and waiting to roll, pour it over the fish, covering it evenly. Its not the most appetising looking sauce I admit, in fact it looks like wall paper paste but bear with me!
  • Boil your King Ted's until soft and almost falling apart when you poke them with a knife. Drain your spuds and give them a good mash, I like using a good wedge of butter in mine for nice creamy (but not sloppy!) mash. 
  • Spread your mash over the top of your masterpiece of a pie, you can use a fork like I did and make little patterns over the top of the pie, if you don't have endless hours to waste doing daft things like that, just smooth the mash over the pie. If you fancied you could top your pie with a good old handful of cheese for a cheesy-mash topping.
  • Bake in the oven for a good 30minutes, at Gas 6/200c. It should be golden on top when its cooked.
  • Dish up with some veg, shovel into your pie-hole, being careful not to burn your mouth on the near nuclear pie.
P.s. Its another sad day because I don't have a photo of the pie, I went out for dinner last night and wasn't here to take a snap when the pie emerged from the oven. However you can enjoy this picture of Flounder and Sebastian from The Little Mermaid (my all time favourite film), who, if they existed in the real world would have probably ended up in a pie by now.

Cod Piece

Fish and I aren't the best of friends. I go through phases of eating it two or three times a week, and then overnight I suddenly have a major aversion to it. I'm fairly fussy with fish even when I do eat it; I only eat filleted fish (I can't eat anything with a face), I can stomach prawns and crab, but the thought of being dished up a shrimp with its tiny face and beady black eyes still attached (which I would then have to pull with my own bare hands) makes me go cold and if you ever served me squid or something else with tentacles you would be forever erased from my Christmas card list (and probably my memory). Plus if watching Deadliest Catch doesn't put you off fish nothing will.
I have to confess that I actually don't like fish pie, which is today's recipe, but I can assure you though the recipe is good, and its been through several rounds of rigorous testing by my lovely Dad, who let me tell you is just about the fussiest person on the face of the planet (other than me).
I was umming and ahhing as to whether I would put this recipe up since I haven't actually eaten it, but I thought to myself, surely Jamie Oliver and Nigella don't eat every single one of their dishes before they go in their cookbooks (they actually probably do). Be reassured that I did do a taste test of everything along the way, the deconstructed pie as it were, I just couldn't bring myself to eat it after it was compiled!
Anyway, hopefully you do like fish pie! This is another easy peasy meal, and can be made the day before, covered with clingfilm and chucked in the fridge for the following night. Apart from needing a few ounces of G/F flour the rest of the ingredients are all naturally gluten free, hooray! It's also pretty purse all round good fish (I can hear your groans from here).
Anyway, I've got to dash, Katherine has just come back on the Vampire Diaries and its getting exciting!I have a crumble for you at the end of the week so stay tuned!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Glitter, Glue and Cupcakes too.

Breast Cancer Care Cupcake Topper (handmade by yours truly!)

Today is the start of a fairly busy week after a somewhat idle weekend. I've once again put off everything that needs doing and tried to force it all into one short week. Fortunately there are some enjoyable excursions as well as some must-go-to appointments so I cant complain too much.
Despite my weekend of leisure I'm still deeply knackered. Sleep has alluded me for various reasons over the past week and it's all catching up with me as I sit here with a glazed look in my eyes, drooling all over my laptop.
Sadly there is no recipe for today, but you can expect the usual ramblings from me plus some pictures of my Pink Cupcakes for Breast Cancer Care that turned out quite well despite a disaster with runny icing which resulted in 10 minutes of tantrum throwing.
Saturday evening was spent watching car crash telly a.k.a The X Factor, and making cupcake toppers. For anyone not up to date with recent baking news, cupcake toppers are basically tiny flags on sticks that you poke in the top of your cupcakes when they're cooked, all the big gun blogs are doing how to's for making your own cupcake toppers, but I thought I'd wing it and make my own, I did them all completely different so my cupcakes will look eclectic and kooky (I hope!) when topped with these bad boys. My cousin enquired if perhaps cupcake toppers were my new business enterprise, to which the answer was unfortunately no. As much as I love faffing around with glue and glitter I don't know that I'd make enough money from sequins on sticks to get a decent wage. Boo! If you want a step-by-step on how to make them I'd be happy to oblige.
I've popped a few pics up that I took of the toppers so you could have a gander at my handiwork (amateurish though it is!).  In the quest to get more people following I've hatched a cunning plan which involves t-shirts, glitter pens and a few not easily embarrassed family and friends. A while ago I saw a girl in a magazine who got her C.V printed onto a t-shirt and wore it everywhere in the hopes that someone would read it and offer her an interview or job. Remembering her I thought this might work for me, expect that I couldn't fit my entire C.V on a t-shirt even if I wanted too, but I've had a scope online and I could fit a few decent lines of text on a t-shirt (for £5.99 I can get it written in diamante!). I've already talked my dad into wearing one, I've just got to persuade a few more people, I might get them printed but I'm thinking with my semi decent artistic skills I could probably whip something up myself.
Anyway. Tomorrow I have a fish pie recipe for you, sometime in the next two weeks I have a guest post and some other marvelous bits and bobs that I think you'll like.
Before I go, just a quick word on commenting. Please don't be afraid to comment on any of the posts and recipes, I love (and fear!)  hearing your comments, although hypocritical this seems as I almost never comment on other peoples blogs. It's always good to get feedback on recipes, good and bad, so get typing folks! Also I want to hear your stories and sojourn's into gluten-free life and tell me your favourite recipes, you can email me or leave a comment. Thrilling as my life is (ahem) it's always interesting to hear other peoples tales, plus I can be subtly nosey without obviously prying into peoples lives!

How ace are these cupcake boxes? (pack of 2 from sainsburys)

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Pink Cupcakes

Thankfully I'm already totally in keeping with the Pink Campaign by Breast Cancer Care with my oh-so-pink blog. And here's another oh-so-pink and shamelessly girly Pink Cupcake recipe in honour of breast cancer awareness month. Make as many as you want, hundreds if you got the time and the man power (or woman power, depending on your household demographics). Take them into work,  school, college, uni, your reading circle, anywhere you please and ask everyone to make a donation per cupcake, they look so scrummy no one could possibly refuse and you'll have a tidy sum to send off to Breast Cancer Care, plus everyone will remember you as the pink cupcake extraordinaire, it's win win!
You can decorate the cupcakes any way you want to, you could use edible glitter, hundreds and thousands, or even in the shape of boobs a la Lisa Lynch. Just make sure they're fab, fun and PINK!
Send me any pics of your Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Cupcakes or any other charitable baking your doing this month in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness, Id love to feature your pictures on the blog so email them to me at the usual address.
now for the baking.
Above are a few pics of some previously made Pink Cupcakes, I'm baking my batch up at the weekend, so I'll post the snaps up on Sunday.

I've given the amounts for a big old batch of 24 decent sized cupcakes
  • 250g/9oz Butter
  • 250g/9oz Caster sugar
  • 4 Large eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 250g/9oz Gluten-free self raising flour (Doves Farm, Glutafin,Dietary Specials)
  • A few drops of pink food colouring (optional)
For the frosting
  • 160g/5 1/2 oz Butter
  • 500g/18oz Icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 2-4 Drops of food colouring
  • 3-4 tbsp Milk
  • Whack the oven right up to gas 6/200c, the cupcakes only need 20minutes in a super hot oven.
  • Line your cupcake trays with some down right delicious cupcake cases, I'm using some super girly pink flowery cases my mum bought for me which I featured in the post Something for the weekend.
  • Using the guns (which are probably very honed by now!) or a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
  • Add the egg a bit at a time, mixing after each addition. Now is the time to plop in your vanilla, and also your food colouring if your adding it.
  • Sift in the flour and give the whole lot a really good mix until the mixture is smooth, well mixed and lump free. 
  • Spoon into the cake cases and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes. they should be well risen and golden on top, if your unsure whether they're still cooked after 20mins, give them a gentle press (don't go in like a bull in a china shop because all the will in the world isn't going to make the cakes spring back if you've stuck you finger in them). The cakes should spring back to your touch. Still not sure? Poke a skewer in, if its got cake mixture on, pop back in the oven for a few more minutes. If its clean, remove the cakes from the oven.
  • Leave to cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool down for a while before you ice them.
  • To pass the time while your cupcakes cool mix up your icing. This frosting is best made in a food mixer, its smoother and creamier and saves some serious RSI aggro. Mix the icing sugar and butter together in the mixer until well combined, add the milk, vanilla and food colouring and give it a good whizz up until the whole lot is well mixed and the food colouring has been incorporated through the entire mixture evenly.
  • Ice your cakes and decorate however which way you like making sure yours are the most fabulous pink cupcakes on offer.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month

You may or not be aware that October is Breast Cancer awareness month. Although I already donate to Coeliac UK I also donate to Breast Cancer Care and Cancer Research whenever I can. It's becoming more likely that you know someone who has or has had breast cancer. In the UK alone 46,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and although more people are being diagnosed with breast cancer survival rates are on the up which can be attributed to improved treatment and earlier detection.  Tireless campaigning by breast cancer care means we are much more aware and savvy about checking ourselves for lumps and bumps and getting them seen by a doctor ASAP, earlier detection often means a better survival rate for many.
Donations and support from the public help to make it possible to fund new research , pay for support for breast cancer sufferers and their families and to run charities like Breast Cancer Care. So have a dig around in your purses for some lolly, or polish off the credit card and donate by clicking on the link below.

For anyone that hasn't had the pleasure of reading Lisa Lynch's blog Alright Tit go and have a gander, if Lisa's straight up humour, total matter-of-fact and honest way of writing plus her positive attitude in the wake of being diagnosed with breast cancer at 28 don't get you donating to this massive cause, nothing will.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Chilly Days Chicken Soup

Perfect for those days when your bundled up under a blanket and its cold and rainy outside. I've kept some of Nigella's original specifications from her chicken noodle soup recipe but changed a few essentials to suit my tastes. If you want to try the original recipe click on the BBC recipe search link under Links to Love.

Makes 4-6 medium bowls of soup
  • 1 Litre of chicken stock (I find the stock cubes quite salty, so I use the ready made liquid stock)
  • 1x200ml Can of coconut milk (full fat or light)
  • 150g/5oz Rice noodles (completely gluten free) if you can't locate rice noodles use spaghetti broken up into small pieces
  • 1 tsp Ginger (powdered or fresh, your choice)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Juice of a lemon or lime
  • 200g/8oz Chicken shredded, you can use left over chicken a la Nigella, or roast a chicken breast or two and shred, adding to the soup when cool
  • 100g/4oz Soya beans (you can find them in the frozen section in most supermarkets)
  • If your using stock cubes make up a litre of stock and pour into a large saucepan,if your using the ready made stock pour into the pan. Put the pan over a low heat to warm up.
  • Soak your noodles in boiling water, if your using spaghetti break into small pieces and leave to one side to add later.
  • Add all the ingredients minus the soya beans and noodles/pasta and bring the whole lot to the boil.
  • The chicken needs to be really hot before you add the beans and noodles/pasta. Simmer for 3-4 minutes to let the beans and noodles/pasta cook through. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • If your eating the soup then and there ladle into bowls and sprinkle a bit of coriander over the top (optional). Enjoy in your pajama's with your feet up and your favourite book.
Apologies for the half empty bowl in the picture, it wasn't until I was most of the way through eating the soup that I remembered I needed to take a picture!

Fairweather Vegetarian

Soup always reminds me of winter time and drinking cup-a-soups in bed with a cold. Annoyingly so many soups in the supermarkets have wheat and gluten in, there's only a scant handful that are GF and most of those are questionable concoctions. I know soup can be a bit of a headache to make sometimes, especially if you have to pre-cook vegetables or meat but its really worth making your own because at least you know whats going in it and you can tweak it to your own tastes, plus most recipes make a fairly large batch which you can freeze for times of famine or after a long and busy day when you to cook.
This recipe is a variation of Nigella's Chicken Noodle Soup as seen on Nigella's Kitchen last Thursday. Although technically I'm vegetarian, I could probably be described as a fair weather vegetarian, meaning that every now and then I have a sneaky steak or a cheeky chicken wing. If you didn't fancy the look of my roasted veg soup and are a bit more caveman then carrot eater this soup should tick all the boxes. It uses a whole tin of coconut milk so if your watching the pounds try using a half fat or 'lite' version, its just as yummy and no less creamy.
I know this is the second recipe for soup in less than three days, but I promise I have some solid meals lined up for the next week!
I hope you all had a good weekend, has anyone baked anything scrummy lately?

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Yummiest Carrot Cake Muffins In All The Land

* I'm making a conscious effort to list the measurements in imperial and metric so I cover all bases, and I've also realised rather belatedly I never put how many people the recipes serve, so from now on that will also be listed at the start with the ingredients. Oven temperatures will be listed starting with gas mark followed by celcius.

Makes 12 small muffins
  • 150g/5oz Carrots finely grated (about three small carrots)
  • 100g/3 1/2oz Golden caster sugar
  • 100g/3 1/2oz Sultanas
  • 225g/80z Self raising flour (Doves Farm, Glutafin,Dietary Specials)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Small lemon grated
  • 2 Large eggs 
  • 175ml Sunflower oil (use sunflower oil whenever possible, olive oil is too flavoursome an oil and it gives the muffins a sour sort of tang and after taste)
For the frosting
  • 80g/3oz Butter cubed
  • 250g/9oz Icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Orange juice (fresh or from a carton)
For the dairy free icing
  • 100g/3 1/2oz Icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp Orange juice
  • Pre-heat the oven to Gas 6/200c and line your cupcake tray with your cases and set to one side.
  • Using your own steam or a mixer powered by the national grid, beat the oil and sugar together.
  • Add your eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
  • Sift in your flour and cinnamon and grate in the lemon zest. Give the mixture a good mix/blitz. 
  • Fold in the carrots and sultanas with a spatula, making sure they're both evenly mixed through the cake ingredients.
  • Spoon into the cake cakes, until they're a two thirds of the way full, pop in the oven for 20minutes, pop a skewer in them when they're nearly done, if it comes out clean they're good to go, pop them back in for a few more minutes if the skewer is less then pristine.
  • When they're done turn them out onto a wire rack and get on with making your frosting/icing.
For the frosting
  • Whizz the butter and icing sugar together in a blender for 30seconds, adding in the orange juice and whizzing for a further 30 seconds until everything is well mixed and smooth. Smooth over your cupcakes and sprinkle with cinnamon.
For the dairy free icing
  • In a bowl mix your icing sugar and 1-2 tbsp's of orange juice, depending on how thick you like your icing you might want to add more orange juice. Beat unil the mixture is smooth and lump free, drizzle decoratively over your cupcakes a la Jane Asher.
Enjoy with your feet in a foot spa, your head in Heat magazine, safe in the knowledge that somehow, somewhere, probably in an alternate universe, cakes are viable as one of your five-a-day.


I don't usually like Sundays, mainly because my mum hates Sundays and I think its probably inherent. However today has been rather good. Apart from being a bonkers for baking I'm a bit of a WWI&II nut and my dad only decided to divulge today that he had a load of my Great Grandad McLean's papers etc from his time in the Royal Horse Artillery, (you would think either my dad or I would have inherited horse riding skills.We haven't) so I've spent the morning nursing a coffee and having a read through all of Grandad's treasures.  I know people get very bored by history so I won't put you to sleep babbling on about it, this is a baking blog after all.
Anyway, I've been trying to fine tune my carrot cake muffins which I think/hope/pray will be yummy. I just whipped up a batch for the post today and they're cooling as we speak so by the time I finish this post I can slap some icing on and whack out some pics. The good news is I've managed to sort my camera out, which just goes to show a good shake can fix most things.
I'm also doing a dry (or wet run) of Nigella's chicken noodle soup, tweaked by yours truly for the consumption of the gluten free public. Thats tomorrows post, I'm getting ahead of myself, back to the carrot muffins.
I've said it once and I'll say it again, the way I see it carrot cake is one of your five a day, plus with the 100g's of sultana's in this recipe your almost half way to fufilling your five a day quota, you'd just have to eat all twelve muffins to get there. This recipe (minus the icing) is dairy free as well as gluten free which calls for a double round of 'hoorahs!' I'm posting a dairy free icing as well as the regular dairy infested icing so you can pick and choose which you use.
Right, I've got to dash and give these muffins an ice and type up the recipe, ta ta for now!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

*Warning! You WILL need a sharp knife or a strong man with bulging biceps in order to chop some of the harder vegetables, if you have neither be prepared to set aside a good 45 minutes to axe through the veg.

  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Small butternut squash
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Big parsnip
  • 1 Small swede
  • 2 Leeks
  • 1 Large red onion
  • 1.2 Litres of stock, I use veggie stock but feel free to use chicken stock.
  • Pinch of ginger
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • You need the oven nice and hot to roast all your lovely veg so whack it up to Gas 6 ( about 200).
  • Now comes the workout. If your chopping the veg yourself please be careful, I won't be held accountable if someone loses a finger! Peel, seed and cube the butternut squash (your should be aiming for inch size cubes). Slice your carrots into chunky rounds, cube the swede and the parsnip and thickly slice the leeks. Quarter your onion and throw the whole lot into a large bowl with the olive oil.
  • Mix the olive oil through the veg with your hands until it is all well coated in the oil.
  • You will need either a big baking tray or two smaller trays. Tip the veg out onto the tray(s) in a single layer. Pop them in the oven for 50minutes to roast. You may need to turn them so they're evenly cooked and brown. When they're done, remove them from the oven and careful transfer the hot veg to a large pan.
  • Pour your stock over the veg and bring the whole lot to the boil. Once its bubbling away turn the heat down a smidge and season to taste, simmering for around 10-15 minutes more.
  • Transfer the hot soup mix to a food blender ( soup+bare skin=third degree burns) and whizz until smooth. Add the spices and whizz for a few seconds more.
  • If your eating your soup then and there, return it to the pan to heat through. If your freezing the soup, pour into freezer safe Tupperware, it should last at least 2months, defrost it thoroughly before reheating in a pan. Enjoy with a crusty gluten free roll, a blanket on your lap and an episode of Poirot.
P.s. Please excuse the photo, now along with the flash every snap I take has this sepia effect, in typical Kate fashion I cant locate the instructions, so I'm hoping if i give it a good shake it might just go back to normal.

Soup, soup, a tasty soup, soup!

Summer has gasped its last spluttering breathe and on cue the heavens have opened and England has been smothered in about a million inches of rain (not literally, or we'd disappear off the map). No one is happy about this apart from me, which probably has something to do with the fact that I don't have to venture outside to go to work. Thankfully the day I had to visit my new dietitian was the sunniest day all week, oh the irony! It was still cold so I was wrapped up like Eskimo Nell with three layers and a scarf to keep me thoroughly toasty. Beknowst to me the nutrition centre at the hospital is down the physio wing, and down the physio wing is the hydrotherapy the time I was called in to see the dietitian I was almost panting from the subtropical heat.
Did anyone catch Nigella on Thursday? I just watched it on the iplayer and I'm slightly worried that shes losing her touch. The opening scenes sees old 'gella emerging from the tube station, I may be cynical but I refuse to believe that Nigella Lawson the domestic goddess herself catches the tube, and then later on she struggles to open a can of coconut a normal person.
Anyway, the recipes all sounded yum which is the main thing. I especially liked the look of the chicken noodle soup, even though technically I'm a vegetarian.  Which brings me full circle to the recipe of the day, however tenuous the link, Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup.
Its super easy, super tasty and can be frozen when its cooled down, the only down side is that you need arms like Arnie in order to hack through some of the veg...butternut squash (if only). Also if there is a nuclear disaster or we're snowed in during the winter months the recipe makes enough soup to feed the five thousand.
Construction has started on the new blog header for 'A Girls Guide...', and by construction I mean that I have started to cut and stick bits of paper and ribbon together. I was going to pay someone to make my header to spruce the blog up a bit but I then remembered that I actually have an A Level in Fine Art so I could probably do it myself, its just the scanning and importing part that I'm a tad bewildered by, because despite the A Level in Art I do not possess an A Level in IT which is sort of fundamental to a working knowledge in blogs and all this HTML lark. To be completely honest almost everything I sucessfully manage to do involving technology, especially computers I achieve on a wing and a prayer, or by sheer luck.
Anyway, while I faff around trying to sort my header out, testing new recipes and generally swanning around doing nothing of any vital importance you can get on and try the recipe! Happy souping!

P.s. For anyone who is a stranger to The Mighty Boosh, the post title is a reference to the rather hilarious 'Soup Song' featured on the series. Just thought I'd mention that, just incase you thought I'd finally lost the plot!