Grandads carrot soup recipe

A few friends have asked me to share my Grandads carrot soup recipe with them but I decided to share it here instead. It’s a recipe that originates from grandad Callaghan hence the name. Often this Carrot Soup recipe is served for Christmas dinner but great all year round. More recently I make this as a quick start for dinner parties with some homemade bread rolls.

Grandads Carrot Soup - Simmering
Grandads Carrot Soup – Simmering

Grandads Carrot Soup Recipe

Serves: 4
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Ready in 60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and grated
  • 8 ozs potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ pints of vegetable stock
  • White pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 2 tsp of Paprika
  • 1 tbsp of fennel seeds

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over moderate heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and sweat of the chopped onions.
  3. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
  4. Add the Fennel seeds and optionally the Paprika to add a slight smokey taste to the Carrot Soup.
  5. Pour in the vegetable stock and simmer for a further 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Season to taste with the salt and white pepper
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and either press the Carrot Soup through a strainer placed over a medium sized mixing bowl or alternatively use a blender directly in the pan (tip: place cling film around the top of the pan and blender to avoid making a mess).
  8. Return the pan to a simmer uncovered until the soup thickens.
  9. Stir in the cream and add more seasoning if necessary.
  10. Serve Grandads Carrot Soup in hot bowls with a swirl of cream and sprinkle of fennel seeds.

If there is excess Carrot Soup consider freezing some in suitable containers to have for a quick meal when such a time arrises.

It’s a pretty straight forward Carrot Soup recipe and I hope you enjoy as much as I do. The hardest part is all the peeling and grating and lets be honest that’s not that hard! Enjoy on behalf of Grandad Callaghan

Sloe Gin, 2013

The first batch of our sloe gin has been prepared and laid down until at least Christmas or should that be for as long as I can keep my hands off it!!!

The method I decided to use was to prick the sloes multiple times by hand with a fork and divide them between some lovely 1L Kilner bottles. I then filled the bottles up to one third of there size with sloes and with  two thirds of Gordan’s gin.

The sloes
The sloes

The Method

I decided not to add any sugar at this stage as I wanted to allow the sugar from the sloes to be extracted first (I always find sloe gin to be on the sweet side and I have a very sweet tooth). That’s not to say I won’t be adding any sugar, but not for a few weeks at least and when I do I have been advised to either use honey or to heat the sugar in a small amount of water to allow the sugar to dissolve more easily before adding it to the gin. The bottles will be given the occasional shake and swirl to ensure that all that lovely flavour from the sloes mixes in properly.

Bottled sloe gin
Bottled sloe gin

I intend to leave the gin flavouring until Christmas (that’s almost three months!) and may even hold back one bottle longer to see how it changes even more time…but hopefully I will be able to make a few more bottles over the coming weeks.

Beautiful red flavouring gin
Beautiful red flavouring gin

I will report back later with how it tastes!!!

The Red Lion, Cromer

If you’re visiting Cromer anytime soon then you must try and have a meal in The Red Lion on the sea front. It was very reasonable for two of us to have two courses there – both of which were very delicious and adequately filling.

The Red Lion, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9HD (01263 514964)

www.redlioncromer.co.uk

Crab & Winkle, Whitsable

We had such an fantastic meal at the Crab & Winkle Restaurant in Whitstable that I wanted to share it amongst friends. The staff where all friendly and very accommodating considering we had Florence and the pram with us. Each dish was absolutely delicious and it was just the fish fix I had be craving. Sadly we were not able to visit the fish market as it had long been closed by the time we arrived…but it’s something for us to try next time we go visit.

The Crab & Winkle Fish & Seafood Restaurant, South Quay, The Harbour, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1AB (01227 779377).

www.crabandwinklerestaurant.co.uk

Mums delicious brownie recipe aka SharePoint Brownies

I have baked these delicious chocolate brownies countless times using an old recipe my mum shared with me many years ago. I’ve even enjoyed them with many a friend or two and colleagues & customers alike. I often bake these delicious brownies for customers when I’m delivering SharePoint workshops or deployments, hence they have since become known as SharePoint Brownies! Many have asked for me to share recipe, so here it is…

Delicious Brownie Recipe

Ultimately delicious chocolate brownies
Ultimately delicious chocolate brownies #SharePointBrownies

Ingredients

  • 140g unsalted butter softened and a small amount for lining the baking tin
  • 200g quality plain chocolate such as Lindt or Hotel Chocolat
  • 200g caster sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract / vanilla paste
  • 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • 85g plain flour

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°c
  2. Line a brownie tin with a small amount of butter (7″ square tin is most suitable)
  3. Melt the butter and chocolate on a slow heat and then allow to cool slightly
  4. Mix in the sugar, a pinch of sea salt and the vanilla stopping once the mixture is a little grainy
  5. Whisk in the eggs and yolk one at a time, stirring each time until blended
  6. Add the flour and beat for a minute or so until thickened and smooth
  7. Pour mixture into tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out with moist crumbs
  8. Allow to cool and cut into small rectangles slices

I hope you enjoy these delicious brownies (#SharePointBrownies).