Sunday, 29 April 2007

Cream of mushroom soup

1 onion, finely chopped
275 g sliced mushrooms (mixed white and brown)
1 tblspn butter
2 tblspn flour
2 cups milk
handful of dried sliced mushrooms (cover with boiling water)
1 chicken stock cube
1 mushroom stock cube

Fry the onion in a pot with the butter until softened and going golden. While the frying is taking place, cover the dried mushrooms with boiling water and let sit. Add the fresh mushrooms to the pot with the onions and cook for 3/4 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and continue to fry for a few minutes. Add a splash of milk and stir rapidly to blend as smoothly as possible (a whisk can be useful for this).

Once blended, add milk gradually until all milk is used up. throw in the dried mushrooms (including the soaking water) as well as the chicken and mushroom stock cubes. Bring to a slow boil and then drop temperature again.

If you like your soups a little saltier, add a splash of mushroom soy, and for an extra kick, you can add a generous splash of vermouth (sherry is also good). Serve.

I blended this soup because of my current non-solids diet, but what I would recommend is maybe blending three quarters of the soup until deliciously smooth, then adding the rest back in, so that you can enjoy the texture of the pieces of mushroom.

Monday, 23 April 2007


Today's lunch: 50ml of sweet pea soup, 50ml of potato puree and 50ml of carrot and pesto puree. Yummo!

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Soup of the evening beautiful soup

I am, after an operation, on a complete soft food and puree diet. Frustrating as hell, I am basically trying to see it as an opportunity to perfect some soup receipes, and since it is spring, and asparagus is in season, I had to whip up a batch of cream of asparagus soup.

My own bowl of soup was somewhat smaller (100mls) but I had the pleasure of having my friend Janet join me for lunch, so she got a bigger helping, and asparagus spears to decorate.

A very simple recipe, it consists of asparagus covered with water, boiled with a pinch of sugar until soft (NO salt - it toughens vegetables and makes them harder to puree), then pureed with vegetable stock, and sour cream stirred in afterwards. I actually added a scoop of soya protein to the soup - I have to try to keep my proteins up, but don't recommend this unless you, like me, need it. I would also normally have started with a friend onion but I didn't have any in the house.

Tonight I have another friend coming to dinner - you can have anything you like when you visit me as long as it is soup, so I am going to try to create something a bit more exciting.

Monday, 9 April 2007

and these are a few of my favourite things...

I got an order in of great Aussie sweets. Here are a few of my favourites:

Allens Snakes Alive

Jelly snakes are a lovesome thing. Chewy, sweet and fruity in flavour and in lovely jewel-like colours, I have tried all sorts of brands from all around the world, and take it from me, accept no substitutes!

This great collection shows a range of Aussie sweets worth trying -

Monday, 2 April 2007


Saturday night was a feast of amazing colour and proportion. Even though there were only six of us, we made up for it by having food for 12. The morning after the Potence dinner I quickly met up with a friend who wanted to borrow some fabric for a toga. He then came with me to the shops where I bought a fine file, and a trolley; you know the sort; made of wood, drawers, wine rack, shelves, and this one with a built in knife block... mind you I had to build it in!

Anyway I rushed home to get cooking, preparing for a special dinner party: the next installment of my regular food-friend group. Theme this time? Hidden secrets.

Inspired by a dish my friend Jeremy served, I made the following:

Seems a bit dull at first glance; boiled egg? but no! The egg is filled with white chocolate mousse, with a yolk made of an orange marmalade with just a splash of brandy. It was a total pain to make. Clearing out an egg with only one hole is a pain, believe me. I had to use a syringe to empty the egg, and then rinse it out multiple times. I then had to get chocolate mousse into the syringe and into the egg, which was quite a challenge. I then added a long thin tube to the syringe and injected that into the centre of the mousse.

But all the pain was worth it - they were a real show stopper:

Other exciting dishes included pork tarts with a raspberry top:

spinach and gorgonzola parcels, stuffed lamb, home made fortune cookies:

and icecream filled mochi:

One of the most exciting dinner parties yet!

The next day, I got up early (like 9.30am!) and went and sang at mass. Then, after a quick lunch, I got to spend an hour or two at home before heading out for dinner with a friend for Malakoff. I am sure that you know what Malakoff are don't you? A genuine Swiss speciality (of the Canton Vaud), it consists pretty much of a ball of cheese, on a slice of bread, the whole thing crumbed in an ingenious fashion and then deep fried. I realise it sounds a bit naff, but actually its very tasty; and hey, contains two of the food groups: cheese and burnt crunchy bits (well ok they aren't really burnt as such, but crispy counts!) Cholesterol city, we only managed two each. All in all a grand weekend of feasting!