Friday, 22 November 2013

Comfort Food... Soup!!!

It has been quite cold lately...

The kids and I have spent our afternoons at home, playing in the sitting-room or watching tv. Although the garden looks so nice and there are still some flowers bloom, it's chilly out there, brrrr....

So, I thought: "It's now time for a hot, tasty soup... a butternut squash soup!", one of my favourite! 

It's a very easy soup to make. I love genuine and simple food. Beside, I won't have much time for elaborate recipes, lately... 

My two little monkeys require my full attention all the time... so it's not unusual for Conor and me to have a take away for dinner...

... But not tonight!

Tonight, I'm making 'Buttenut Squash Soup' for dinner! 


• A butternut squash
• 2 big carrots
• 1 medium onion
• 3 celery ribs
• olive oil
• salt
• black pepper
• 1 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon of thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon of ground all spices
• 2 vegetable cubes
• 100ml double cream


Wash your butternut squash and then cut in half and clean from seeds and guts. Collect your seeds, if you want ... you can roast them later, as I did! 

Dice you butternut squash and the place on a tray. Before put it into a preheated oven, dust it with salt and half of a teaspoon of cumin. Roast the butternut squash for 15 minute at 180°C.

While your butternut squash is roasting, wash and peel your carrots, onion and celery ribs and cut them into pieces. Heat up a saucepan and add 3 full spoons of olive oil followed by cumin, all spices and a pinch of black pepper. Fry your spices for 10-15 seconds before adding the onion and then the carrots and celery pieces.

Stir your vegetables for 2-3 minutes and then add your roasted butternut squash. Let them cook together for 2-3 minutes on a medium heat and stir time to time. In the meantime, get some boiled water ready. Add the vegetable cubes to your vegetables before pouring hot boiled water. You need enough water to cover up all the vegetables. You can now add 1/2 teaspoon of thyme.

Cook the butternut squash, onion, carrot and celery for 30 minutes, or at least until your carrots are cooked through, on a low/medium heat. When all the vegetables are nice and cooked, let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes before blending your soup to a smooth and silky consistency. 

Reheat your saucepan on a very low heat and add the double cream. Stir your soup for a couple of minutes...

Your butternut squash soup is now ready!

I added a dust of paprika, a teaspoon of Parmigiano and a tear of olive oil... and of course, some roasted seeds!


Saturday, 16 November 2013

Sewing machine, I missed you...

When a new baby arrives, you don't really have much time for anything else but her/him...

For months now, I have been craving some "me-Time". I love sewing and crafting, and I miss working in my little special room... So, I took a few hours off from my "mummy's duties" and I decided to sew my first dress for Shannon...

I went through my precious patterns, magazine and internet tutorials, and I finally found a fun and easy dress and bloomer to make.

Then, I choose a nice fabric...

I have a LARGE selection of fabrics: cotton, jersey, lace, knitting, etc... I cannot help myself, if I see a nice fabric in a shop or online, I have to have it! It's so addicting! 

I've worked on the dress for two days... If there wasn't any crying-baby emergencies, I'm sure I could finish it in a few hours, but 'hey', my children come ALWAYS first... I feel quite lucky I actually got to go into my special room in the first place, so no complains!

... and, here it is! My sweet little girl first dress made by me!!! It also has my Sweet 'Lavender and Chili Flakes' tag!

... Because my not-so-secret dream is to have my own little shop, so that I can sell my precious crafts and handmade clothes... 

... But for now it is just a dream, and I love dreaming, so, don't wake me up yet!!!

Monday, 11 November 2013

November, Quite and Rest...

Autumn: A Dirge
The warm sun is falling, the bleak wind is wailing,
The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying,
And the Year
On the earth is her death-bed, in a shroud of leaves dead,
Is lying.
Come, Months, come away,
From November to May,
In your saddest array;
Follow the bier
Of the dead cold Year,
And like dim shadows watch by her sepulchre.

The chill rain is falling, the nipped worm is crawling,
The rivers are swelling, the thunder is knelling
For the Year;
The blithe swallows are flown, and the lizards each gone
To his dwelling.
Come, Months, come away;
Put on white, black and gray;
Let your light sisters play--
Ye, follow the bier
Of the dead cold Year,
And make her grave green with tear on tear.
Percy Bysshe Shelly 

The last few weeks have been a bit hectic for the whole family

While outside everything looks calm and sleepy, our house is in full swings and roundabouts.  

Shannon is keeping us very busy. She is still struggling with her reflux and colic and this has been affecting all of us. It breaks my heart to see her feeling so uncomfortable. I wish I had a magic wand and take her pain away forever... but of course, this is not possible. I will have to wait. They all say that she will grow out of it.

In the meantime, I should stay calm and quiet, like Nature in Autumn does. Everything is getting a rest and this gives you a sense of relaxation and serenity. Like trees with their leaves,  I should learn to let it go...

...I will patiently wait... 
and for now, I'm going just to enjoy those precious snuggles with my girl... They won't last forever, either...

Friday, 8 November 2013

November... Movember...

I'm so proud of my fiancé, my bestfriend and 'partner in crime', Conor K.B.

This year, for the first time, he decided to take part in Movember. This is a global charity which raises awareness about men’s cancer and mental health challenges. When you sign up, you have to grow a moustache for the whole month of November. 

It's such a great way to bring people together and make all the people you know aware of cancer.

Conor wanted also to honour my dad, who passed away last year due to cancer. Dad had a moustache himself for a long long time, and he was very proud of it!  

Please, if you get a chance, go on Conor's profile and donate. It doesn't matter how much you donate, what is important is to show your support.


Monday, 4 November 2013

Family Day Trip

Sunday morning 9.15... Everybody is on board, we go down Carrick-on-Suir for the day...

Unfortunately, it wasn't a pleasure trip. A neighbour, and a dear friend of Conor's parents passed away, and we went down for his funeral.

This was our first trip as a family of four, and Shannon first visit to daddy's hometown in County Tipperary. 

We had a beautiful sunny day. 

It was so nice and warm...

I really enjoyed the ride.

The Irish countryside is so amazingly beautiful, so green and rich... and when the sun is shining, it really takes your breath away... 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Pumpkin Lover

Halloween is one of my favorite Holidays!!!

When I was a child, it wasn't very popular in my town

In Italy we celebrate 'Il giorno dei morti', 'All Souls' Day'. On the 2nd of November, children usually get sweets and candies, and, in my place, we also get some biscuits called 'Le Ossa dei morti', 'Bones of the Deads'. It sounds creepy, but I actually loved these holidays, and I hope that I will continue both traditions in our Irish-Italian Family.

We definitely didn't have any pumpkin carving and decorations. This is all new for me, and it has been so much fun...

Nothing is wasted when you carve a pumpkin, right?... So, one more fun thing we did for Halloween was 'Roasted pumpkin seeds', Yummy!

I found an easy recipe online and I want to share it with you.

  • Pumpkin(s) seeds... hahaha
  • Coarse Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Black Pepper

First of all you need to wash and clean your pumpkin seeds properly. Use a sieve to make your job easier. There shouldn't be any signs of pumpkins guts before you follow the next task...

Then you need to pour all your clean seeds in a saucepan with water and add a generous tablespoon on salt. Make sure your seeds are fully covered with water. Boil them with no top for at least 10-15 minutes over low-medium heat...

Then, drain the seeds and dry lightly with kitchen paper or a towel. Pumpkin seeds are quite sticky at this stage, so you might have to rub them off the towel before placing them on a baking sheet...

Spread the seeds and add a drizzle of olive oil and a generous pinch of coarse salt. I also added a tiny bit of black pepper. And now for the tricky part. Roast your seeds at 170C for... I would say for 15minutes, but they might need between 5 and 10 minutes more. It depends on the size of your seeds. Don't let them go too brown or they won't taste very nice.

When they are ready, or you think they are ready, take them out the oven and let the seeds cool for a couple of minutes before you taste them...