Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Monday, 15 July 2013


 Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

Robert Heinlein 

I found a couple of beautiful Tawny Frogmouth feathers on my front footpath. I rarely come across them.

 Just in case you don't know what they look like, here is a Tawny Frogmouth in the swamp oak in  my front yard.

The Tawny Frogmouth is also known as the mopoke because of the noise it makes.

I have always enjoyed cooking but I have especially been enjoying it  since I have given up work. I try to cook healthy, low fat economical dishes.

I was very pleased with some Hearty Lamb and Lentil soup I cooked on Wednesday night. It was very simple and made from the scrappy left over pieces of a roasted leg of lamb. It was very thick and delicious.

I eat very little meat and a leg of  lamb lasts P:-)  and I about 5 meals. Of course we don't have it five nights in a row. I freeze it in dinner sized portions and each Monday I will cook some more baked veggies for another baked dinner. I make gravy on the first night but after that I cheat and buy ready made lamb and rosemary gravy for the rest of the meals.

This time I froze the bone and the little scrappy bits and made the recipe below. This gave me 6 meals out of the 2.2 kg  lamb leg. I bought the leg at Woolworths and it had very little fat on it.

Hearty Lamb and Lentil Soup

Serves 4


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 carrots, chopped
 400 gm can chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups dried soup mix, rinsed
left-over lamb roast, chopped
6 cups water
6 teaspoons powdered stock (I use Vegeta)

  1.  Heat oil in a large heavy-based frying pan.
  2. Add onion and cook until soft and golden.
  3. Add garlic and paprika and cook for 30 seconds. Add a little water to deglaze if the paprika sticks to the base of the pan.
  4. Add the carrot and tomatoes.
  5. Add the lamb (and bone if desired - I had to find a hacksaw to cut the bone in half to fit in my saucepan.)
  6. Add soup mix, water and stock powder
  7. Bring to boil and simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours or until rich and thick.

At the risk of turning this into a cooking blog I will tell you that when my mother and brother come for tea I am working my way through the Jamie's 30 Minute Meals  cook book, by Jamie Oliver.

On Saturday night I was up to Number 3 - Cauliflower Macaroni.

It was quite nice, except that I didn't put enough rosemary in the crumb topping. The pancetta in the crumb topping could be easily omitted and it would make a very tasty vegetarian dish, which is handy for me as P:-)'s 2 daughters are vegetarian.

I also made a carrot cake for P:-)'s family get together for his birthday on Sunday at Hog's Breath Cafe, Woonona.

I cooked Curtis Stone's Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting . I made double the recipe  in two round tins and made double the frosting. I cool the cakes in the tins and this makes them very moist. It is a lovely cake full of carrot and walnuts.

It was a great day. P:-)'s 5 children were able to attend with their partners and P:-)'s 4 little grand daughters. (There is a grandson on the way.)

Interesting sites

Beagle house
Photo source
Being in the doghouse is a good thing at Dog Bark Park Inn Bed & Breakfast! Sleep inside the world’s biggest beagle with all the comforts of home. Click here to see more photos including some of the interior.

Cliff-hanging restaurant
Photo source
This is Fangweng - China's cliff-hanging restaurant. I don't know if I would be game enough to go here to eat. Click here to see more pictures and read all about it. 

Milk vodka
Photo source
Black Cow - the world's first pure milk vodka. Jason Barber, a farmer from Dorset England spent three years perfecting the process. He takes the milk of 250 cows and separates the curds from the whey. The curds are made into cheese. The whey is fermented then distilled into a smooth vodka.  Click here to read more. 

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