Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Unscheduled break

Cute kitty chilling out!
 Rather than not posting until I'm back blogging, just a quite note to say I hope to blog on Thurs/Fri, wasn't well on Sun so rested yesterday (had to reschedule seeing my craft friend). Be back very soon! Stay well ^u^

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Nayu's Recipes #14 Souptastic Part 1!

I made this!

Apologies to those who follow me on Twitter - link is on the right if you don't follow me. This post is a longer version on the weekend's tweets. For the benefit of those who aren't Twitter followers (I honestly don't mind if you aren't), over the weekend I was busy soup making, using the soup boxes from Abel and Cole, who don't sponsor me in any way. I'm loving the variety of their soup boxes, which includes 2 soups that for me provides 3 meals per soup recipe. The recipes are easy to follow, prep time can take a long time for me because of my general fatigue level and hand/arm weaknesses, so I do it all first rather than between steps of the soup as is suggested in the recipe.The post took a bit longer than anticipated to put together so it's in 2 parts as I  need to rest today. 

Whereas my recipe food usually has a recipe, because this was provided for me I don't think I'm able to share it with you. It may be on their website though!

Usually I do not cook 2 days in a row because it is super tiring (or should that be souper tiring?!) which is why I haven't blogged this week, but on that occasion it was simply easier to do it. Be warned tumeric can mildly stain your blender jug! I'm careful to take it out quickly but on this occasion the jug didn't fair so well. It's fine though, still works the same. 

Let's start!
The first soup was Persian Herb and Golden Beet Broth with salted yogurt. The melon isn't in the dish so please ignore it! The prep time was on the long side because there was so much to cut up. I think it said to grate the ingredients, but because I was whizzing it up in the blender before serving I didn't bother. A lot of the soups aren't blitzed but I hate lumpy soup, it makes me think it should be a stew or something, so I blitz it. I didn't think the golden beetroot would stain, since it's not the usual purple kind, it did a bit but nothing that couldn't be removed. 
 The tumeric is on the foil - to reduce staining and smells I always cut tumeric and garlic with foil on top of the chopping board. The cooking time was quite reasonable despite all the veg being small, because it needed a lot of simmering to let the flavours develop. It did give me inklings of ideas for future soup 
Not the Splatoon 2 kind of inkling girls!

Next up is what it looked like before blitzing: 
Yummy! Wish technology could provide smells....
then here's what I ate -- the yogurt dressing made it sublime! Next time I will add more beets as it was quite thin, but this is expected because it was meant to be veg in a broth, not a traditional soup. 
 I reused the herb bags for the soup destined for the freezer.

I fully recommend these soups, they are teaching me which flavours go together which is useful for future creations. I mainly stick with recipe boxes in the winter because it although it takes me energy to cook, I know the ingredients are high quality, providing lots of vitamins that everyone needs. That's also why I have the smoothie boxes too, which create 3 smoothies per box. More on them in future posts - I hope you look forward to part 2! Let me know if you've made soup recently, and/or if you've ever tried similar soup organic boxes! 

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Sort of here...

I'd love a bed like this!!!
...and sort of not. No blogging until Sunday. I'm a bit under the weather with potentially a cold (family have it), I've got a routine appointment tomorrow that I need to go to so I'm saving all my energy for the drive both ways & the usual hospital wait. Sunday is a blog tour though and it'll be worth it! Thanks for being understanding.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Nayu's Craft Time #296 Vegetable medley!

a weekend of veggie action! (not my bag)
I've been offline more or less the last few days because I've been busy, rather than being ill. I did the usual groceries on Friday, which is a major task for me so rest is needed. Saturday I then cooked most of the veg for the freezer. While I do buy frozen mixed veg because it's quick and easy to cook, highly important when I don't feel well, I do like to make my own varieties too. I could have done with a pick axe though! Here's the culprit: 

the innocent looking swede! It was for some carrot and swede mash which I used to have a lot when I was younger. Now I know why I don't have it a lot! 
swede and carrot mash looks like this - this isn't my picture. Unsure if it's a traditional English dish or not.

It was as hard to cut as the red onion squash (yes it's really called that) I hacked on Sunday for a super tasty soup. 
It certainly wasn't red, maybe the name is because it has the shape of an onion (just an awful lot bigger than standard onions)

They are so hard to chop up! Will get help cutting them in the future, as it did my hands in, though thankfully not so badly I couldn't game. After 3 consecutive days of activity yesterday was spent reading and gaming - I prefer to alternate activity days with rest days, but it's just the way the weekend turned out to have none. Craft hasn't happened because the squash and swede hacking did my weak hands/arms no  favours but I'll be getting back into it by the end of this week. I've several projects I want to get back into ^u^ 

I usually don't talk about what goes on in the news, but please can you spare a thought/prayer for those affected by disasters of any size, although in particular those in Florida affected by the recent hurricanes. Today I found out a friend who I've known over 10 years now is safe, as is her family,  both human and furbabies, but her  home was completely destroyed in Panama City. 

I didn't know much about it, Googled it and it is absolutely awful. It's hard being a continent away. I can't even begin to imagine how horrendous the situation is, having to deal with the immediate infrastructure issues, trying to get her home rebuilt. She does have accommodation, which is something. Natural disasters have always been something that happens to people I don't know, which is awful to hear about but it's harder when it's personal. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Nayu's Craft Time #295 Staying Warm

It feels this cold to me!
 I've been feeling that winter's on the way for several weeks now. It's getting significantly colder for me as someone who is always cold apart from during a heatwave. The other week I realised I don't have a hot water bottle which I quickly remedied on Amazon. I couldn't resist getting the adorable Pusheen hot water bottle, even though it's rather tiny as it makes me smile. 
I then got a fairly cheap standard sized one which I also use. I can't do a photo yet, but once I change my bed linen I'll show you the pattern which is a bit similar to the non-Pusheen hot water bottle cover. I also recommend using a furbaby for warmth if they like lying on you! My cat makes a great hot water bottle replacement. 
This is when she was lying on my legs several months ago, but she does the same position frequently!
  I'd love to hear what your hot water bottle design is like! 
Be cozy like the Minions!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Over on Nayu's Reading Corner #15 I've got a game to review!

Also available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Steam

I did see my craft friend on Friday, but I did less than 50 stitches because I was busy chatting, so I've nothing to show you today. However I'm super excited about my first ever game review (for a publisher who gave me a review copy) so head on over to Nayu's Reading Corner to find out more! It's what I'm doing over the next few days so I can review it when it is published.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Nayu's Product Review #9 Abel and Cole's soup box

As always thank you for being patient during my non blogging phase. Colder weather = much crankier body. I know I made something the other week, possibly roasted veg. I also cooked up a load of fish for freezing. 

This is an Abel and Cole picture - I didn't buy from them.
I had a mix of my favourite fish salmon fillet; rainbow trout which I haven't had for years which my grandfather used to catch for us so it has a lot of nostalgia (he died a few years ago) whose skin does have a rainbow colour (& I'm one those weirdos who enjoy eating fish skin), then a fish pie mix which I didn't put in fish pie consisting of salmon, haddock or cod, and smoked pollock which is absolutely  delicious! Of course I had to give my darling cat some because she loves fish too. She does tend to be unbothered about salmon - I never give her smoked salmon - but she enjoyed what she had. 

I think this is a picture book, but it is certainly how my body feels about the current weather. Although we've barely had any orange leaves on the trees so technically it is still autumn.
Soup seems like an essential winter food, it is warming, filling, and delicious. I make carrot soup, and other plain flavours, but recently I tried out a soup from Abel and Cole as they did their first soup box of the year. I didn't try any last year, and sadly I'm not sponsored by them (I would love to be!), so I thought I'd give it a try. I'll do it whenever the soup takes my fancy (don't think this week or next week does), but the one I've made was relatively easy to make.It was beetroot and apple with horseradish yogurt! 
Not yet taken a picture with the yogurt sauce on top, will show that in another post.

It made a gorgeous coloured soup which has a beautiful flavour. Mine is different to theirs because I whizzed it up - I don't like lumpy soups which theirs was, it feels more like a stew if it isn't blitzed but that's my personal preference.

This fancy version of their logo was taken from here.
I got everything I needed bar some extra seasoning and olive oil. I like how I even got 1 vegetarian stock cube! I know  from the website some are unhappy because the soups are no longer vegan. I don't think it would be economical for A&C to produce both a vegan soup box in addition to the vegetarian soup box because while veganism is more popular it is still a minority diet preference. Offering a vegetarian soup box means they cater to most people. I also read in the reviews that a lot where unhappy about their being just 2 soup recipes, not 3. A&C responded on the website explaining it meant they could do fancier soups. I didn't have any of them last year, and in all honesty I'm glad they made that decision. I can make plain soup flavours on my own. I use Abel and Cole's recipe boxes occasionally (sadly weekly is a bit pricey for me) because I want to try new flavours, and it means I don't have to buy a lot of ingredients I then won't use, so I'm in favour of fancier soups. 
Example of a soup box taken from Abel and Cole's website.
On to the recipe! I can cook, I don't cook lots because it is immensely tiring on my body, but when I do I enjoy it. I know the basics, but I tend to follow recipes literally. This was a minor issue because it said stir a few times in several parts of the recipe, so I did that...but because I didn't keep stirring more frequently food stuck to the pan in the early stage of the soup. Thanks to the pan it was easy to remedy. I did keep putting in water to help it unstick - I took that into account and adjusted the amount of stock liquid that I made up. It didn't affect the cooking of the veg. 

It says it takes about 40 minutes which I believe includes preparation which is done between stages of cooking. I am not the best judge of this because due to a weak body I take longer than a healthy person to prepare food. It took me 40 minutes to prep everything: I did it in advance because I struggle doing more than 1 thing at a time and I hate feeling under pressure of keeping an eye on food while then prepping the next ingredient. Cooking time was definitely under 1 hour but I'm unsure of the actual time. It was a good 2 hours before I was finished. 
I'm super happy with the results. While I cook for myself, my family had a taste and like it so much they plan on making some. There was some amusement when I realised I'd eaten it without the yogurt dip (horseradish mustard, chives, Greek yogurt) so I quickly had a few more spoonfuls with the yogurt mix - it is divine! A brilliant combination. I'm trying to work out how to replicate it: I don't eat horseradish sauce that you buy in a jar because I no longer like sauces like that (at least in jar form. Home made might be ok). I'm fine with buying and using mustard, I need to investigate how else I can get horseradish. I have to stress how absolutely yummy the mix of the sauce and the beetroot soup is. It tastes of beetroot (obviously), I was a bit wary of having apple and celery in but they aren't instantly recognisable because they are mixed in the soup. 

I'm looking forward to making the second soup probably at the weekend, it's a roasted butternut squash which uses coconut milk (I think), coconut flakes for topping in a tiny pot, plus a tiny jar of harissa which I've never used before. I genuinely love the range of food Abel and Cole provides through their organic box schemes, I've tried their smoothie boxes which are a firm favourite: they helped me eat mango more. I only like it in small doses, but trying their smoothies means I eat it more often than I used to (which was virtually never). If there are problems with an order they fix it quickly with a replacement item in the next order. 
Best organic yogurt EVER!!!!! (& I love my yogurts)
 This happened to me for a watermelon this summer which I did mention on this blog, and more recently a yogurt that should have been in date was definitely out of date before being opened. This led to me trying the River Cottage Yogurt which is unbelievably tasty! Give them a go if you haven't already, they deliver to most places in the UK (I think. Definitely in England at least). Their website is here

I'm trying to schedule another post in a few days because I then won't be able to blog until the weekend because I'm seeing friends tomorrow and Friday so need Thursday and Saturday for resting up. 

Before I forget, in relation to the first picture of this post I'm planning on making pumpkin pie soon! More on that in a future post. 

Previous Nayu's Product Review posts includes Yeo Valley Baobab Yogurt. Search for the rest using the Nayu's Product Review keyword in the right hand menu!