Happy Halloween. I hope you have a fun filled day planned. We’re just taking it easy, exploring our lovely city a little more.
We’ve had a few fun days this week. I feel like the first few weeks we were here were permanently cloudy and rainy. This week we’ve had some sunshine and warmer temperatures, and it has been lovely. At first I was a bit shocked when we arrived at how many parks, green spaces and woods there are here in London. Some of them are truly massive as well. I thought that was bit odd since it’s such a big city. Coming from America, I thought they could use that land; that it would be worth so much. I never knew how stressful city living can be. After living here a year, I understand why. Having some space, away from the hustle and bustle and the noise of a city, without having to leave the city is priceless. Having that sanctuary away from the streets is so important for your sanity.
This week we went on two play date outings with some friends from our ward. First, we played in some ancient woods near our home. These woods are gorgeous and look like they’re right out of a Robin Hood film. You feel like you’re miles away from the city and there isn’t a car to be heard, only birds chirping and the occasional dog chasing a squirrel. Yesterday we went to Hampstead Heath. I had been there once before, but it’s so large it is impossible to explore the whole thing in one go. You must conquer it in small sections. We ventured around the Kenwood House, which is actually where a scene from Notting Hill was filmed. Every part of the Heath I’ve explored is simply picturesque. I’m certain I will find myself craving to be there in the spring, which has been my favourite time of year in London.I used to feel that cooking should be something elaborate, complicated, and time consuming; that a good meal should have several ingredients, many spices, and I constantly found myself seeking strange and exotic recipes with ingredients I’ve never heard of. Now, I’ve realised that your ingredients just need to be a good quality and you can prepare them quite simply and end up with something delicious.
I’d like to start sharing some of my go to meals. These are meals that we make often, in a midweek, when there might not be lots of time on hand, but like always, we still need to eat. These are meals that we have loved and have made it into our usual repertoire. They are tried and true. However, they are meals that I’ve made so often, I don’t measure ingredients, so feel free to adjust to your liking or add or take away any of the ingredients. Play around with them and make them your own.
We make curry often. I am partial to Thai curries. I love the sweetness of the coconut milk playing with the spices. To change it up a bit and in honour of Autumn I added pumpkin puree, and chicken stock to make it more of a soup.
1 tbs. coconut oil, or vegetable oil
1 small onion
1-2 bell peppers
2 garlic cloves, minced
Thai red curry paste (amount will very depending on brand of curry paste you buy. Start with a small amount, like 1 tsp. and add more as needed.)
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup rice
1 can coconut milk
salt and pepper
Heat oil in a frying pan. Add onion, peppers, carrot, and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes. Stir in the curry paste.
Add pumpkin puree, chicken stock, and rice. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender.
Stir in the coconut milk. Heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.