Monday, 12 December 2016

Not only Santa Klaus looks good in red

The story goes that Santa Klaus originally wore a green outfit, then one day a company that sells a brown fizzy drink that is popular the whole world over decided he looked better in red. So who can imagine him wearing green now? Red is the most vibrant of colours bringing cheer during the winter days. There is definitely something about red that perks us all up. Red cars, red jumpers, red lipstick, red telephone boxes, red berries all make us feel happier, brighter, more enthusiastic. A well known airline decks its stewardesses in red hats and matching red lipstick which are guaranteed to make all heads swivel, so eye- catching  they are. Rudolph the reindeer has a red nose which makes him the ideal leader of the pack.
So here I am on the look out for red things today and feeling cheerful, hope you like them.

Here he is, the man in red delivering his presents

Red berries cheer up the winter hedgerows and are easy for the birds to see

Red for festive cheer

red is always a great colour choice for a sports car

red is surely the best colour for anything to do with love

red is the best colour for a phone box, easily spotted

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

A Vegetarian Winter Warmer

In the wintertime, meals that can be made in advance and heated up are a wonderful to come home to after work or a long walk. Stews, casseroles, hot-pots, can all be made in advance. It's good to have a Vegetarian alternative for all the non-meat eaters and this soup is just perfect, even non-vegetarians will like it.

Vegetarian Winter Warmer

Serves 6

2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced.
1 clove garlic, crushed
200g red lentils, rinsed
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
200g canned cannelini or chick peas

Heat some oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the leeks until soft, for about ten minutes. take care not to let them brown.
Add the garlic and cook for another few minutes.
Add the carrots, lentils, potatoes and a litre of vegetable stock
bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and let cook gently, covered for about 20 minutes,
Season to taste and check that the potatoes and carrots are cooked.
Add the drained beans and cook for another 5 minutes.

To serve drizzle over some olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

Ready to go

Easy Peasy Chocolate cake

There's nothing like the smell of a chocolate cake baking in the oven to make you feel all warm and happy inside. On my blog you will find lots of recipes for chocolate cakes and Brownies.
Feeling down - make a chocolate cake, friends coming round - make a chocolate cake, looking for a quick recipe to end a meal with friends - make a chocolate cake, want something to perk up an ordinary week day supper - make a chocolate cake.
Today's recipe is super easy. make sure you always have a 200g bar of good quality chocolate hidden in the house and you can whip this lovely, fudgy, squidgy, chocolate cake up just like that, and it will make everyone feel happy and special because you made it for them with love.

Let's call it Chocolate Torte so it sounds even more special.

200g chocolate
200g butter
4 eggs, separated
200g caster sugar

20cms baking tin with detachable sides, lined with oven proof paper.

Heat the oven to 180 c

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a saucepan over a low heat, stir and set aside.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and then mix in the sugar.
Add the beaten egg yolks and pour in the chocolate and butter mixture, blend gently.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35 - 40 minutes.
Let cool and then remove the sides of the tin and gently slide onto a pretty serving plate
Dust with icing sugar and decorate with fresh raspberries if liked.

Hope you like it and it adds warmth and cheer to your winter.