Wednesday, July 4, 2012

To Recipe or not to Recipe...?

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all".
~ Harriet Van Horne

I was asked recently where I find all my recipes. The truth is, I rarely refer to cookbooks. Sometimes I'll stumble across a recipe online that looks interesting and print it off to make at a later date, but rarely does a recipe ever stay the same once I get to it. I like to make changes to suit my taste and my budget.

Often when deciding what I want to eat I simply head to the refrigerator and/or the pantry and make a quick mental note of possible ingredients. Then I'll sit down at the kitchen table with a cup of tea, my "recipe" notepad and a pen and scribble away until I come up with something that:
(a) satisfies the craving, and
(b) doesn't force me to make a trip to the supermarket (I really am terribly lazy).

On the weekend it was cold and I felt like soup. I went to the refrigerator where I found pumpkin, a bunch of carrots and some sour cream. The pantry revealed an abundance of potatoes and onions, and a score of spices. When I sat down at the kitchen table what came about was a rough plan for a Roasted Pumpkin, Carrot & Potato Soup.

It could probably use a little more garlic and larger quantities of the spices to add a greater depth of flavour, but otherwise it is really rather delicious. Very filling and perfect for our chilly, chilly evenings.

[If you'd like to make it yourself, you will need the following ingredients:
1 kg pumpkin, chopped roughly into 1" cubes
400g carrot, cut into roasting pieces
400g potato for roasting
1 large brown onion
2 cloves garlic
Olive oil
1/2 tspn dried coriander
1 tspn cumin
1 tspn turmeric
1 tspn garam masala
1/2 tspn chili flakes
1L vegetable stock
Extra water (if needed)

--> Roast your pumpkin, carrot, potato, onion and garlic at 200*C for approximately 30 minutes.
Then in a large saucepan heat oil and cook coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala and chilli for 2 - 3 minutes, ensuring they do not burn.
Add to the saucepan roasted vegetables and stir through spices, then pour in vegetable stock. Simmer for 30 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before blending to desired consistency.]

How do you create in the kitchen?


  1. I get really OCD about following the recipe - has to be just right lol. Sometimes I do stray but find that sometimes they don't work so well lol.

  2. I wish I had the ability to look in the cupboard and come up with something fabulous, but I really, really don't.

  3. Me? Well, I refuse to cook anything that takes longer than half an hour work time. Twenty minutes preferably! (Not including unattended baking time - roasts are still a go.) I find that's all I can manage while watching the kids, unfortunately.

    I tend to cook the food once to spec, then branch out. My recipe books are full of recipes I don't make as written, which means it is very hard for other people to emulate my food. Mr A still hasn't nailed the finer points of my secret cookie recipe. I think that's the key to our marriage - he can't leave, or he'll never get them again! ;)

    1. Anything with a prep time of more than 30 minutes I try to avoid. Unless, of course, it's something that I really, really like and I'm super keen. Otherwise, I just don't have the time (or patience) to stand around in the kitchen all day either. ;)


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