Roasted butternut squash soup

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All the veggies are roasted together to give them a richer taste.

Once again I have neglected this blog. Work and school keeps taking up most of my time. What I have had time with however,has been to try to continue on my live healthier journey. It’s not easy to make time to cook a good healthy meal when you are so busy so that is why I have been trying to find recipes to cook over the weekend that can be frozen and used later.

Soups seem to be the best choice for this. I have always liked butternut squash soup but have never found a good recipe to make myself. That is until now. This is a roasted butternut squash soup I found from Mary Berry’s Foolproof cooking. The soup is out of this world, that is all I have to say. You definitely need to try it to understand how good it is. The roasted vegetables work so well together, it’s absolutely amazing.

Recipe: 

1 small butternut squash , about 700-800g

1 red pepper

1 red onion 

1-2 caarrots  (I am not a huge fan of carrots in soups so I only used 1 in my recipe)

1 clove of garlic 

A few rosemary springs

About 900ml of vegetable stock (Depending on how thick you want your soup you may want to add more or less of the stock)

A chunk of ginger (I say a chunk because some people like ginger more and some like it more. I used a bit less than in the original recipe)

Oil

Put oven on 200c/180c fan

Peel and cube the butternut squash and carrots. Cube the pepper, chop the onion and garlic. Put it all in a bag with some oil +salt&pepper  and the rosemary leaves. Shake it about to make sure the oil and seasoning gets on all the vegetables. Pour it out onto a large baking pan and bake for 40-50 min until the veggies look roasted. Chop up the ginger and fry in some oil. When done add the stock and let it boil up, adding all the roasted vegetables in afterwards. Take of heat and use any kitchen gadget you may have to blitz it up. I let my soup cool down and then used my smoothie maker on it. Worked great! But just remember that if you are doing so you have to wait for it to cool down.

You can find the original recipe here: Roasted butternut squash soup

roasted-butternut-squash-soup
Some toast or other kind of toasted bread is good to have with the soup.

I did add some rosemary and garlic to my veggies while roasting them as I think rosemary adds a bit of taste to roasted vegetables and i like to put garlic in anything 😉

Cheers!

*All the photos in this post are my own, the recipe does not belong to me I am simply just sharing it.

 

 

 

 

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Kale and Berry smoothie

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I have been so bad at updating this blog. Numerous times I have started a post but never finished. Starting to study again and working on top of that has taken up all my time. Plus the long and rainy winters of London have not really helped much 😉 Now that things have calmed and spring is upon us I hope to get back into my writing. And for the first post of the year I thought I should talk about my new love of smoothie making.

I know the whole smoothie craze started long time ago but for me it wasn’t that interesting then. In the new year I promised myself to be more healthier and especially since I am getting older and older it gets more important. I don’t make smoothies as part of a detox regime or anything like that, it is more as a substitute for my sugar cravings. I am always looking for something sweet to eat and last year was quite bad, so I promised myself to be better this year.

The great part about smoothies is that the possibilities are endless, it’s such a great way to experiment and be creative. Now I have to admit that some of my smoothies have been less than favorable, some have tasted like utter junk, but most of the time they have been great and if I make a big cup I can carry it around with me and sip on it for a while and that way I won’t even think about sweets. Now I do indulge in chocolate or some baking every once in a while but I just try to keep it more moderate now.

I am hoping to be able to share some of my smoothies with you all as I keep experimenting and finding new flavors.

The recipe for the smoothie in the above picture is:

  • A handfull of kale
  • A handful of almonds
  • One small banana
  • A cup of frozen mixed berries
  • Top up with almond milk/regular milk/water (sometimes I don’t need a liquid depending on what ingredients I use but because of the consistency of the banana the smoothie will be very thick if you don’t use a liquid. Also I like to use almond milk mostly because I think it masks the kale taste-which I am not a great fan of- much better.)
  • Put it all in your blender of choice and blitz!
  • Enjoy!

Cheers!

Today was a good day: Yosemite National Park

A perfect day for me would be going to Yosemite National Park  and hike up to the Yosemite falls. I have been to Yosemite so many times but I can never get tired of it. Though the hike may be tough sometimes, the view is totally worth it. Here I have gathered a couple of photos from my last trip there. Unfortunately last time I was in Yosemite was during the big California drought, which is still going on, so the waterfalls are not as impressive as they tend to be.

This is also my first time using the Mesh gallery, and I have to say I quite like it. It feels easier to click through the gallery instead of having to scroll down to see all the photos.

Click here for more entries in this challenge!

Cheers!

 

Kladdkaka

gooey-chocolate-cake
Gooey chocolate cake served with whip cream and berries.

If you have ever been to Sweden you must have heard of kladdkaka. And if you haven’t, well then you better keep reading. Sweden is  known for its Fika, when you meet up with friends and go to a café for a cup of tea/coffe and something to eat. And kladdkaka-a gooey chocolate cake-is the most popular.

I made a kladdkaka yesterday and thought I would share it with you all.

This is a very simple, fast cake to make. It has only six ingredients and four steps to it, but it is so yummy!

 

First set your oven to 175°C(150°C for fan ovens)

Prep: 10min Cooking time: 15-17min

*Plase note that ovens may vary and therefore cooking times may be different. You should check the cake after 10 minutes to make sure it is ok.

chocolate-cake-recipe
Not pictured is the vanilla.

Ingrediens:

2 eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of flour
100g butter
100g baking chocolate
1tsp vanilla extract

Method: Mix eggs and sugar. In the meantime melt butter and chocolate together in a saucepan. Once the eggmixture is smooth, add the flour into it. The batter will now be pretty thick. Once the chocolate and butter mixture is melted add it into the batter. Mix in the vanilla and you are done!
The batter might look a bit runny but don’t worry it is supposed to look that way as that is what makes it all gooey on the inside.
Pour the batter into a greased 24cm round form with removable edges and cook for approx. 15 min.
The cake should be cooked all the way around but still be a little gooey on the inide so it is ok if you check it with a cake stick and some of the batter comes out of it, as long as it doesn’t look completely raw. Once the cake is cooled you can sprinkle some icing sugar on top.

swedish-chocolate-cake
        The result
The middle turns out all gooey and yummy while the cake is fully cooked around.

Serve with some whipped cream/ice cream and fresh berries. Enjoy!

*Feel free to share this recipe but if doing so please credit this blog as it is my own. Same goes for all the pictures on this blog.

 

Cheers!

Bushy Park, London

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A male Red Deer resting in the grass

Another one of my favorite London parks to visit is Bushy Park. Just a short train ride from Richmond via Waterloo(if you’re coming from central London) is this second largest Royal Park. This park has everything, squirrels, birds, waterfowl, the occasional fox or rabbit, but most importantly the deer. Bushy Park is home to two different species of deer. The big magnificent Red Deer and the smaller Bambi like Fallow Deer.

Fallow deer males usually hang out together while the females are elsewhere.
Male Fallow Deers usually hang out together while the females are elsewhere.
With no natural predators, the leucistic deer have a better chance of survival here.
A leucistic Fallow Deer. With no natural predators, the leucistic deer have a better chance of survival here.
This deer was trying to beg for some bread that some people for feeding the waterfowl with.
This deer was trying to beg for some bread that some people for feeding the waterfowl with.

The deer run freely and you have to be careful during certain months as the deer can get pretty dangerous, but most of the time they are pretty docile and prefer to lay in the grass as opposed to chase you. But be warned, intimidate them during rutting or birthing season and they will chase you. I have seen it several times with tourists who get a little too curious for their own good. While Bushy Park can get pretty busy at times it is mostly a local park. I have been there in the summer months without meeting one person.

If you have kids you can also stop by the playground if they start getting bored.

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These swan parents were very protective of their young.
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May/June/July are birthing months, so if you want to see a bunch of fawn this is the time to go. These were all little fawns running away to hide .
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Fallow deer fawn!

red-deer-male swan-london rabbit fallow-deer-london deer deer-london fallow-deer-bushy-park-london

*I don’t mind the sharing of my photos, but if you do please credit this blog as I spend a lot of time doing this. Thank you!

Cheers!

St. James’s Park

St. James's Park is very colorful at the moment!
St. James’s Park is very colorful at the moment!

This weekend I went to St. James’s Park. This is one of the Royal Parks of London and is sort of right in the center of the city, plus it’s right next to Buckingham Palace so the park tends to get really busy. But it was still enjoyable and I was so happy to see that everything was blooming. If you like flowers, go there in spring-summer as it tends to be really pretty.

As in all other parks there are a lot of animals at St. James’s Park. Mostly squirrels, and if you have any food in your hands that you were planning to eat do not sit on a bench. Since people tend to feed them they are not afraid, so I had one steal almost an entire croissant out of my hands once. If you are a big fan of waterfowl this is the place to go. And if you are there at the right moment you will see a lot of babies. Just yesterday I saw some ducklings, Moorhen chicks and juvenile swans.In the summer people come here to sit on the grass and hang out. There are refreshment stands with ice cream, coffe etc throughout the park. Or if you want something more proper there is a restarant there, as well as a playground for kinds to play.

Great white pelican
Great white pelican

But the big attraction at St. James’s Park are the pelicans. The pelicans have been at the park for a very long time. Click here for more info on the pelicans. At the moment there are four Great White Pelicans residing at the park. When I was there before my move to California 2 years ago, they had an American white pelican as well, whom I have posted a picture of down below.

This post is also tying in with The Daily Posts Weekly photo challenge, which was inspiration. This is what inspires me, nature and all the wonderful things surrounding it.

*If you click on the pics they will open up bigger!

flowers-st-james-park-london-uk

flower-beest-james-park-london
This flower had such dark leaves it looks as I did a colorsplash on this photo.
Black-headed gull
Black-headed gull
Herring gull
Herring gull
squirrel-st-james-park-london
Very mischeavous little creatures
goldeneye-duck-st-james-park-london
Goldeneye
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Juvenile swan
moorhen-st-james-park-london
A moorhen feeding its chick!
blue-heron-st-james-park-london
Grey heron or great blue heron? I can never tell!
pelican-st-james-park-london
Great white pelican
american-white-pelican-st-james-park-london
American white pelican!

*I don’t mind the sharing of my photos, but if you do please credit this blog as I spend a lot of time doing this. Thank you!

Cheers!

 

More inspirational posts here

Weekly photo challenge: Close up

This weeks challenge is all about close ups. While I do love macro photography I am yet to get a macro lens as they tend to be pretty pricey.

So for the time being I have been using my zoom lens to get close to all the little creatures!

 

butterfly-bee-on-flower

western-fence-lizard

Juming spiders are my favorite little spiders. They are just so adorable!
Juming spiders are my favorite little spiders. They are just so adorable!

grashopper-nacro-photography

 

*While I don’t mind people sharing my photos, I do ask you give credit to this blog if doing so. Thank you!

 

Cheers!!

 

Click here for more entries for this weeks challenge!