Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The simple things....

"Always do your best. What you plant now you will harvest later" - Og Mandino

I do aplogise for the few days of me being awol, for anyone who has been awaiting my return (*silence* lol), but it has been crazy busy in this househole lately. We've unfortunately had 2 funerals to attend, busy bees, helping to organise and run 2 fundraisers, kids going back to school, tennis club open day, Dr's, shopping, etc etc... yet just another week in the life of running a large family!

However, two of the greatest inventions and timesavers for the kitchen and those who slave within them, are #1- the slow cooker, and #2- the pressure cooker!!!! And both are life savers for busy Mums like myself, who apart from the 4 ravenous and always very sweet, but also VERY time demanding kiddies, also for my very hardworking hubby (who has been doing some crazy hours lately, like getting home at 3am and up again at 6am!!!), and my own sanity!!!

Our fab Electronic Pressure Cooker on the left and one of
our Slow Cookers on the right!
I love our electronic pressure cooker to pieces! I quite often get home late (6-6.30pm) from a day in town, which is a hours drive away, and have to scramble to find something that is quick yet still nutricious for the family for our evening meal... before the kids hit the sack at 7-7.15pm. That is where our pressure cooker is an absolute blessing! Assemble ingredients, chop, chuck in, add flavourings/water etc, and turn on... 20-30mins later we have a meal that smells, looks and tastes like it has been slow cooked all day long. *LOVE IT*

In fact we actually have 2 Slow Cookers... one larger one and one slightly smaller one. And we do use both, quite often at the same time! One for Soup and one for a meal or something else?! One of my fave things to cook in my Slow Cooker however is soup! Any soup will do me, but the fave in this household is definately Pumpkin Soup. But the other day, being school hols then and all, I completely ran out of time to get the soup on early enough.... so I cheated!!! Coz I can LOL

I cut up and added all the ingredients:
3 large pieces of Pumpkin (Jap Pumpkin is my fave)
1 large onion
1 lt Chicken Stock
Crushed Garlic (to taste)
Season wit Salt and Pepper and a dash of Nutmeg
And water (the amount wil depend on how thick you like your soup)

Cutting up all that pumpkin... the most time consuming part!

Then..... I put it all in the pressure cooker (hehehehehehe *cue nasty cackle*), and set it on the "soup" mode. About 20mins later, I came back to find my ingredients all cooked through, soft and permeated with the most amazing flavours! So then I did the righty and transferred it all into the slow cooker for an hour or 2 to finish off... while I reloaded the Pressure Cooker with a scrumptious Chicken Curry, as we were having guests out for tea!
Chuck it all in the Pressure Cooker, and....

Once your soup is ready to go, blend into a smooth consistency (depending on your liking) and simply add some cream and stir. Denbi had to add some extra cream and fresh parsley from our garden for garnish so it "looks pretty"!

Yum yum!!!!!!!

And for the Chicken Curry, I rummaged through the pantry and found a slow cooker flavour sachet, a new jar I wanted to try of curry paste, crushed garlic, veges galore, and whatever else took my fancy along with some coconut milk and hey presto!!!! A Chicken Curry that even my Dad was impressed with- and he is the Master Chef in our family!

The Chicken Curry prepared and ready to push GO!
Enjoy the beautiful fresh days all, our life is starting to rev into top gear here at the moment as Harvest Time is arriving at a rate of knots! And so is Christmas....... ARGH!
xox K

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