Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cream of Orange Peppers and Zucchini Soup: My version of my wedding soup


Today I was inspired by a couple of orange peppers that have been in my fridge for a couple of days. I found them on sale at the grocery store and I had to get them as they were so pretty. The color was so vibrant and they surely stood out from the more common red and green varieties. I did not know what I was going to do with them then, but today I knew... a version of my wedding day dinner soup.

Many years ago, I got married in Edinburgh, Scotland. We had a fabulous, small reception at a restaurant called The Witchery by the Castle. Our starter was Cream of Yellow Peppers Soup. This is my version, made with orange peppers. I have to say the flavor was almost identical to what I remember, and maybe even better.  This is a healthy version of the traditional creamy soups that are normally made with cream, butter and thickened with flour. It only took me 25 minutes to make. Want to try it?

I thought so!

Ingredients (serves 4):


  • 2 Orange Peppers (you can use yellow too)
  • 2 Zucchinis
  • 3 cups of water 
  • 3 tsp of chicken bouillon powder
  • 3 tbsp of powdered milk
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt, Pepper and Nutmeg to taste
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese to serve
Preparation:

Cut the orange peppers and the zucchini into chunks (I made mine medium size, the smaller you cut them the faster they will cook). 



Place them in a pot with enough water so they are not fully covered, if the water covers them your soup will be too thin. Add the bouillon. Set the pot on high heat and boil until the vegetables are tender. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes. 


Half way through the time, add about 4 to 6 basil leaves to the soup.


When the vegetables are tender, place the soup mix in a blender. Always be very careful when blending hot liquids, never fill more than half of your blender with hot liquids and always start to blend with the lowest setting and increase the speed as you blend. Add the powdered milk and blend until smooth.



Put the soup back in the pot using a sieve to remove any bits from the skin of the peppers. Season to taste with pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Use salt if needed (I did not).


Your soup is ready. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a sprig of basil.


Enjoy!

PS: These peppers were so cool that I had to take the seeds.... you will see them in my garden soon!


When life gives you ripe bananas, make smoothies!

Nobody, and I truly mean nobody eats bananas in my household once they go too ripe and get little black spots. But that does not mean they go to waste.... For us it means something even more yummy!! Smoothies!!! I always have some frozen berries in our freezer, strawberries made the cut this time!!

So here is the recipe to make this deliciously healthy banana strawberry smoothie. Your kids will love it and they will not even know they are drinking something that is actually good for them!!

Ingredients (makes 4 tall glasses):

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1.5 cups of milk
Optional ingredients: You can add honey, or agave syrup but honestly this is sweet enough as is. The other nice thing to add if you have it is yogurt, just replace some of the milk with it.

Preparation:

Peel your bananas, cut them in chunks and add to your blender, pour the rest of ingredients and blend until smooth! You are actually done.



Serve immediately and top with whipped cream is you wish.


Today I had a little left over Kefir, so I added that to mix. You can also use frozen raspberries, blueberries or a mix. The possibilities are endless. Happy mixing!

Enjoy it!!!



Sunday, June 22, 2014

Soap Clouds!!! A quick and fun experiment to do with the kids.

 
I have been wanting to do this experiment for a while, but somehow always managed to forget as life goes by. So imagine my great surprise when I found my new #influenster box  #TLCvox box on my door and saw that it had a bar of Ivory soap on it. I had no more excuses and new I had to do this with the kids. I think Ivory soap is the funnest soap you can buy. Do you know that it also floats? Yes it does, best thing ever in a bath.... no more looking for missing soaps under the water.

But you are reading this because you want to make some fun clouds rigth? this experiment takes only seconds and it will certainly entertain your kids.

All you need is a bar of ivory soap, a piece of wax paper and a microwave.


First you need to decide whether you want a huge cloud or a small one - The reason I ask that is so you can use as much of the bar as you want. I wanted a relatively small one so I cut a small piece of the bar to do this. You can certainly use that whole bar and enjoy 100% f the fun!!!


Put the piece of Ivory soap on top of the wax paper on the microwave (the wax paper will prevent it from sticking to the microwave plate - I did not have wax paper so I used regular white copy paper today).


Close the door and start your microwave for 2 minutes (you won't need this long but it is always good to run the microwave longer than needed so you can manually stop it when the cloud is done)

Once the microwave starts you will immediately see the bar of soap transforming into a cloud right in front of your eyes. Stop the microwave when the soap is fully fluffy - you will see only cloud and no soap.

And that is it! The cloud is ready to be admired, uhhh and wowed by your kids.




The cloud is sturdy but if you press it too hard it will break. After the kids played with it, we put it in the bathroom counter. We will be breaking little pieces of cloud to wash our hands for a few days!

Did you like this experiment? if so let me know in a comment and I will try to get more fun experiments like this one to lighten up your summer!!!!!
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