Spicy Vegetable Soup (optional: with Herb Dumplings)

Ready for a super easy soup recipe?

Why is it so easy, you ask? Well, because nothing is definite in it. It’s all subject to change according to what you like, which makes it perfect to make for yourself, or if you are having guests – just tailor it to what suits! 🙂 When I made it I changed a few of the original ingredients, partly because I preferred alternatives and partly… well, because I was a derp and read the ingredients wrong… and was left without the curry paste… which was silly considering it says spicy in the title… So I had to improvise. But it all worked out perfectly so it’s fine 😀

I decided to go more or less vegetarian about 8 months ago. It wasn’t for any particular reason, I just sorta went off meat. However, I do enjoy a chicken rogan josh from my local Indian, the Taj Mahal, on weekends though – seriously, the most tasty thing IN THE WORLD!!

So instead of making a Spicy Chicken and Veg soup, as the recipe suggested, I decided to go for this option. It was partly in an effort to prove to my highly skeptical dad that “rabbit food” is tasty too. Because he is an idiot and does not believe me 😛 But, you could add chicken or even beef if that’s what you like – go with what you feel!

Also, don’t get bogged down in measurements. The great thing about soup is that anything goes – if you like peas more than carrots, go wild! Loving that asparagus? Why not throw some in?!? 🙂

So here it is, my Spicy Vegetable Soup with (optional) Herb Dumplings!!

You might need:

SOUP

1     large ONION (chopped)

1/2     large CARROT/s (peeled and sliced)

1     small SWEET POTATO (cut into pieces)

400g     tin CHOPPED TOMATOES

quarter mug   PEAS and  SWEETCORN

quarter mugMIXED PEPPERS (chopped)

2     mugs of WATER

1     tablespoon OIL (to fry veg)

1     vegetable stock cube

1     teaspoon of CURRY PASTE (more if you like it hot!!!!!) (or, do what I did and mix your own curry paste, using TUMERIC, GARRAM MARSALA, CUMIN and a tiny bit of CHILI POWDER and GARLIC 🙂 )

DUMPLINGS:

not entirely necessary, I only made them to impress my parents – I cheated and used a “just add water” (and a pinch of dry basil) packet mix from the supermarket that takes two minutes to make. Seriously. 😀

but just incase you want to try them yourself…

DUMPLINGS:

1     mug SELF-RAISING FLOUR (plain won’t work, dumplings will be solid)

half mug     SUET

1     teaspoon CORIANDER or BASIL

1     EGG & WATER (to mix up to one cup)

METHOD:

1.     Chop all veg and heat oil in large saucepan. Fry the onions until soft (but not BROWN!!). Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for approx 1 minute, or until quite soft. (Don’t panic if this takes a little longer, it might if you have quite a lot of ingredients.

2.     For this step, transfer to a POT instead of SAUCEPAN if you feel there is too much oil or the pan is not very deep.

Add the stock cube, curry paste, water and tin of tomatoes (usually supermarkets stock tins the correct volume already – yay for efficiency!). Add pinch of salt/pepper if to taste. Leave to simmer gently while “making” the dumplings 😉

3.     If you choose not to make the dumplings, then – congrats, you’re done! Not even joking, kick back and chillax til dinner, or heat it up, grab a bowl, and chow down!

Serves: 4     Prep Time: approx 30-40 mins     Suitable for Vegetarians

Simple, healthy and delicious, as well as quick to make. The potato, of whichever kind you prefer adds thickness, while the choice of veg make it flavourful and fresh, as well as personal to the makers taste. I added the peppers and lots of spices because I love all hot food. Served piping hot, this definitely fits the bill.

If you give it a bash, let me know and tell me what variations you tried – I’d love to make it again differently 😀

What I used…

chopped goodies 😀

Happy bubbling pot… 😀

This was the size of my sweet potato… yeah. bloody HUGE!

All the extra potato… there should be more, really… 🙂

SSDD

So, I have Purple Hair Now… Kinda :D

Never dyed my hair before so I thought I might share this little adventure.

3 Step Transformation.

There are not really a lot of pictures of me out there and all of these were taken on my crappy webcam, so they are pretty poor quality but hey ho 🙂

Me pre-haircut

just for the lolz… 😛

frizzy as hell…

post hair-cut shot yay!

dip-dyed PURPLE! :d

PURPLE ENDS!! 😀

Aaand the big reveal!! Yes, I have ventured into the world of dip-dye! 🙂

Product = Fudge Paintbox

 

SSDD

Magic Mike – Photo Gallery

Purely because I really should have to begin with and didn’t think too – here is a little gallery of Magic Mike for your viewing pleasure 😀 (I figure if I just posted a dozen pictures of cupcakes, the next logical step is to give you men you want to eat them off of… :P) (If you’re asking yourself if I’m joking or not – if you laughed it’s a joke, if you didn’t, I’m serious :D)

 

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Muppet Cupcakes vs. The Humble Fairycake

Innocent Smoothies on Facebook.

These appeared in my Facebook feed – and I am so glad they did!

I love that little bit of magic in an artfully created cupcake. While super pretty cupcakes sometimes look too good to eat, it shows that care and effort have been put into making them. Respect to the person who loves cake enough to turn it into a project of sugary sculpture! 😀

Not that cupcakes like these are made with any more love than your basic, school feté fairycakeone should never knock a good fairycake – , more just that they have been molded with more deft fingers 🙂 Nothing beats that feeling of sheer, child-like joy of watching the pasty cake batter rise and become crisp and golden through the little window in the oven. No-one ever forgets the impatient buzz of anticpation that comes from that little muffin-top rolling gently over the top of it’s colourful paper case, nor the waft of freshly baked goodness, so thick you can practically taste it in the super heated air wafting around your face as you “check” those paper cases of joy.

It’s the pride that you made them yourself that prevents you caring when they smell so much better than they taste.

I think cake art is a skill and is often under-appreciated. I know it’s maybe not exactly an art-form, but it does take a degree of creative prowess to sculpt something so pretty out of icing, doncha think?? 🙂

So never give up on the humble fairycake – they may taste more like the paper they come in than actual cake, or perhaps sometimes a bit like raw egg, but they are an important part of a child’s life. They are a right of passage and an important stepping stone before we take that final step to the Muppet Cupcake.

SSDD

Magic Mike

All expectation go straight out the window when you see “MAGIC MIKE”.

The idea is simple. Based on the real life adventures of a young Channing Tatum (who produces and stars as the movie’s pseudonym namesake “Magic” Mike), this comedy-drama saunters down the path of 19 year old Adam (Alex Pettyfer), a college drop-out who moves to Tampa. Adam ends up as a male stripper at club Xquisite, owned by stripping veteran Dallas (Matthew McConaughy), drawn in as a favour to Mike. The three months to come are filled with partying, drugs and sex, as Adam commits to the excessive lifestyle of the Xquisite dancers with 30 year old Mike as his guide.

From there a loose train of thought is maintained; we are shown Mike’s deeper side, his unhappiness with his current “career” (because apparently being half naked and professionally good-looking was becoming a chore and undignified…) and his ambitions to break out of his leather thong and start a custom furniture business; eventually segueing into something darker to do with an ill advised drug deal going wrong for Adam (as if drug deals were ever a good idea, of course…)

When it was over, my friend turned to me, half laughing and said, “So, what did you think of the plot?” to which I replied “what plot?”. Not even joking.

But don’t let that put you off. This may be one of the only times in my life I ever say this, but: It totally didn’t need one. And so it went without one. And that absolutely worked!

In reality, the story comes across something like this:

Strippers!Six-pack… Oh look, that guy from Step Up/The Eagle/21 Jump Street/Dear John Multiple Six-packsAlex Pettyfer!! Finally he’s not a child anymore, it’s ok to starecool coffee tableSTRIPPERSstrippersstrippers

And so it continues. And if anyone tells you that’s not what they were thinking – they are lying!

Featuring an excellent selection of highly oiled and curiously hairless sex-machines *ahem* exotic dancers 😉 a pair of ass-less chaps, and much hip gyration, as well as a surprisingly serious minor role for comedian Gabriel Iglesias as DJ-come-drug-dealer Tobias, there is no doubt that this movie is meant to cater more or less solely to women and gay men.

And I assure you; it does not disappoint.

Darkened club scenes are interspersed with what I defined in my mind as “day time scenes – when no-one is naked :(” which show sporadic happenings of life outside the penis pump world of male stripping (that’s right- what? You thought it was really that big??). These have an almost behind-the-scenes like charm. Trips to the beach and afternoons at the promenade are shot mostly at head height with imperfect frames, documentary style. It adds an element of intimacy, befitting of the theme, as if you are part of the action rather than just salivating- I mean, looking, at them…

Let me ask this question: Yes, most of these characters are of the work-by-night variety, but does no-one except Adam’s sister have a real job!? (she, by the way, conveniently for the “plot” often works night-shift) You watch and tell me! Forget about Mike, he apparently has about eighteen jobs so doesn’t count – it doesn’t count if you have all the jobs! That’s just greedy! 😛

I wouldn’t recommend you drag/con your boyfriend into seeing this with a logical argument:

YOU: “it’s about strippers!”

HIM: “yes, honey, but they’re men”

YOU: “…but they’re strippers!”

HIM: “no!”

YOU: “…do you want to sleep on the couch or in the porch on the dogs bed – because he’ll be having yours tonight!” = not such a good plan.

The perfectly chiselled homage’s to David who strut near naked during most of this film will only make him run away and cry: he is unlikely to have the abs of Alex Pettyfer, the arms of Channing Tatum, the bum of Joe Manganiello or the roguish grin of Matthew McConaughy. If he does – well done you and may I say congratulations! 😀

So I recommend gathering the girl-friends and leaving your man to cry over his framed photo of his man-crush – you have a new date now, with some of the most Xquisite men you will ever come across.

While the plot is thinner than a velcro jockstrap, there is no doubting its entertainment value. Believable characters, unbelievably attractive men and laugh-out-loud moments make this dirty little bit of fun a guilt free way to oogle forbidden fruit and have a giggle about it.

Ladies, I recommend!

7 ½ / 10

SSDD

Karl Lagerfeld – Defying Pretension

Karl Lagerfeld

“If you have the chance to buy what you want, to afford expensive things, buy them; but use them the way you use things from the supermarket. If not, that’s not luxury; it’s pretension, boredom, stiff, old, depressing even, no? If you wear a sable coat, use it like a raincoat.”

– Karl Lagerfeld, January 1994.

This is what i want to hear more of in the fashion world – taking the pretension out of high fashion without retracting from what makes it special. Karl Lagerfeld seems to have an appreciation of things people might find valuable in the sense that he doesn’t just want them to be hidden away for the exclusive view of the exclusive few. It seems he would prefer for beautiful things to be reveled in.

While this may seem a little hedonistic, it is a refreshing attitude. Even though he said this almost 20 years ago, I sincerely hope he has not lost this outlook.

Too often in the past the fashion world has pedestaled itself with sky-high prices that the everyday citizen could never hope to afford. A designer jacket might cost more than a months wage, two, three even!

Designers have created their godly image with the unattainable prices, breathtakingly beautiful models and regaling their awestruck public with outlandish and often shocking tales of catwalk horrors and celebrity scandals. The reputation of the fashion world has been built on the idea that it is better than what most people can have, a rare and precious commodity.

But Lagerfeld contests this. He is showing here an appreciation for beautiful or valuable or expensive things and encouraging us to immerse ourselves in them when we have the chance. In life, was should grasp the opportunity to wrap  ourselves in precious things. If fashion is as temporal as the seasons they are in favour for, them surely Karl Lagerfeld is right and we should revel in anything we deem “luxury”, instead of succumbing to the fear that it might suddenly disappear.

“I love nothing permanent and definite”