Photo challenge day 15: Bundled

We are pretty much half-way through the First Thirty-one Photo Challenge over at Fourtuitous. Today’s theme is “Bundled”: very appropriate for this snowy January weather we are having!

You need a good pair of gloves when you’re bundling up against the cold.

My gorgeous leather gloves: a Christmas gift from a friend

My gorgeous leather gloves: a Christmas gift from a friend

Photo challenge day 14: Frost

Day 14 of the First Thirty-one Photo Challenge over at Fourtuitous.

Woke up early: gray skies and snow sparkling like frosting on a cake.

Snow, like frosting, on a tree. Notice the solitary snowflake drifting down on the left of the photo!

Snow, like frosting, on a tree. Notice the solitary snowflake drifting down on the left of the photo!

Honey-roasted parsnip and carrot soup

A few days ago, my sister gave me a bag of parsnips. Her husband had brought them home and since she doesn’t like parsnips, she gave them to me. I am not a parsnip hater but I am not particularly enamored by them either. But I was determined not to let them spoil and go to waste. And so I made this soup which actually turned out much better than expected. I guarantee it will convert anyone with a low opinion of parsnips!

Honey-roasted parsnip and carrot soup

Honey-roasted parsnip and carrot soup

Ingredients – serves 6 – 8, depending on portion size. If you are daunted by the quantity of soup this recipe produces, freeze the leftovers.

4 large parsnips, peeled
6 medium carrots, diced
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp mild chili powder
Vegetable stock/bouillon cube
Salt and pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 390°F/200°C. Chop the peeled parsnips into rough chunks. No need to worry about making them look pretty; they are going to be blended. Drizzle them with a liberal amount of honey and a little olive oil.

Chopped parsnips, drizzled with honey, ready to go in the oven

Chopped parsnips, drizzled with honey, ready to go in the oven

Sprinkle with a small pinch of salt and some ground black pepper and roast for 30 minutes. Half-way through roasting them, add 2 garlic cloves (chopped in half) along with more honey if necessary.

2. While the parsnips are roasting, saute 2 finely chopped onions in a little olive oil. Add 2 crushed cloves of garlic, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika and some ground black pepper. When the onions are golden, add the diced carrots and 1/2 tsp mild chili powder. Cook on a moderate temperature and stir frequently.

3. When the parsnips are done, add them to the onions and carrots. Cook for 10 minutes. Then add vegetable stock to cover the vegetables – the liquid should come approx. 2 inches above the veg. Sorry for the lack of an accurate measure: I didn’t bother measuring my stock. You can always add more liquid if you prefer a thinner soup.

4. Cook until the parsnips and carrots are tender, adding more cumin, paprika or chili if desired. Blend thoroughly and season to taste. After blending, return to the pan to heat the soup until bubbling. Serve with fresh bread and a green salad. Enjoy!

Photo challenge day 12: Flakes

First Thirty-one Photo Challenge day 12 (Fourtuitous)!

I have much better pics of snowflakes on my camera, like this one:

snowflakes falling

snowflakes falling

But that was taken in 2011, whereas the photo below was taken today. It’s an embarrassingly terrible photo though but it was all I could get!

snowflakes and ice on the car

snowflakes and ice on the car

Photo challenge day 11: Warmth

Today’s theme from the First Thirty-one Photo Challenge at Fourtuitous is “warmth”.

Few things are more delicious and more warming on a cold winter’s day than a hearty bowl of home-made soup. This honey-roasted parsnip and carrot soup is my own creation. The addition of ground cumin, mild chili powder and plenty of black pepper give it a spicy warmth.

Honey-roasted parsnip and carrot soup

Honey-roasted parsnip and carrot soup

Photo challenge day 9: Cheeks

Fourtuitous First Thirty-one photo challenge day 9!

Continuing with yesterday’s Jane Austen theme, here is a photo of a scene from one of my favorite movies to watch on a cold winter day: Sense & Sensibility. Kate Winslet plays Marianne Dashwood, who loves brisk romantic walks in the English countryside, leaving her with a muddy hem and rosy cheeks!

Photo challenge day 9: Cheeks

Photo challenge day 9: Cheeks

Photo challenge day 6: Gray

It’s already day 6 of the First Thirty-one photo challenge! Head on over to Fourtuitous to find out more.

For today’s theme of gray, I have a photo with many different shades of gray, though perhaps not as many as 50. 😉 Sorry, that was a lame attempt at a joke and I haven’t even read 50 Shades of Gray (and I don’t particularly want to!)
Let’s just get on with the task in hand, shall we? See below for my photo entry:

Different shades of gray in a dramatic winter landscape

Different shades of gray in a dramatic winter landscape

Photo challenge day 2: Branches

It’s day 2 of the First Thirty-One Photo Challenge! One photo for each day of January 2013. Go to Fourtuitous to find out more!

Today was hectic and it was dark before I had time to take the second picture for the photo challenge: a tangled web of branches, stripped bare of their leaves by the winter chill. Apologies for the bland, unexciting photo but it was the best I could do today!

Branches

Branches

February weekend

I took this picture last Saturday, on a cold morning when the hazy mist was lying low over the hills and the orange tinge to the clouds heralded the arrival of snow. It’s by no means a spectacular photo but I like it because it reminds me of a watercolor painting, with the silhouetted trees in the distance and the soft outlines of the landscape.

February

 

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas Day. Or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Christmas snow globe

Public domain image sourced from Christmas Decorations by Jiří Hodaň

I know that my blog posts have been few and far between during the past couple months but I am planning many more for 2012!