Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Moroccan Roasted Pumpkin and Red Pepper Soup

A really easy pumpkin soup I whipped up tonight. Takes just over an hour from start to finish :)
  • Half a pumpkin, deseeded and chopped into really large chunks
  • 4 medium size red peppers
  • Olive oil
  • Onion, chopped
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Approx 500ml Chicken or Vege stock (don't use powdered stock - it is too salty)
  • Can of Moroccan Spiced (or Indian Spiced - its up to you) Tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 180-200C. Put the pumpkin (skin at the bottom) and red peppers into a baking tray. Brush the pumpkin with olive oil. Put the tray into the oven and roast until the peppers are blackened and the pumpkin is nicely browned and cooked through (about 30 min). Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with gladwrap. Once they are collapsed, remove the skins, stalks and seeds (keep the juices that come out of the peppers - you'll add it to the soup too)
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute the chopped onion and garlic until transparent. Remove the skin from the roasted pumpkin and add to the saucepan. Add the tomatoes and the stock and bring to a gentle boil. Add the red peppers and their juices and heat through for another few minutes.
Take soup off element and check for seasoning. Use a stick blender to smooth the soup out a bit (leave some chunks). Serve in big bowls with nice chunky fresh or garlic bread on the side. Yummy!

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

A choice to be made.....

Originally uploaded by mellopuffy
So here is our spare room with Resene Rickshaw on the walls - please compare and tell me what you think with the other image below....

Originally uploaded by mellopuffy
This is the same shot with Resene's Almond Frost in the background

Thursday, May 22, 2008


more cat pictures

Asko - environmentally friendly...?

Is it just me, or is it bizarre for a company claiming green credentials to have an ad showing not one, but TWO full size dishwashers in a kitchen....?
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008


So...is that guy on the Instant Kiwi ad the guy from OpShop? He's somewhat familiar.....
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hey where you been? It's been so long.....

Well some of you might be wondering about the long period (ha ha, NOT! - excuse the pun) between posts. As you can see from the lovely picture attached, in the interim I have become the incubator of a baby bun! It's just that I've had this spot of bother with morning sickness (ha ha, who ever named it that - I might kill them ;) ), and haven't felt like doing much of anything. Have managed to keep it together for uni, but that's about it. Thankfully the 8-10 weeks of all-day car sick feeling and occasional random vomit seems to have ended now (I really really feel for those friends of mine that have been through worse than what I have...!)

So I'm currently at the 17 week stage. Baby A is due at the end of October (right in the middle of exams) - and no, we don't know what the sex is and do not plan to find out until B-Day.

Early days were a bit fraught - we had some endometrial bleeding at around 5 weeks which was understandably scary but thankfully we got through that okay, and all has been well at the 8 and 12 week scans. We got an excellent photo at 12 weeks which I will post as soon as I can find somewhere to scan the thing. Phil has named it 'Cleitus the Foetus' for now - don't know what we'll do if it's a girl ;) . On the whole I have been reasonably comfortable, my lower abs complain quite a bit and lying on my back just feels plain weird. At night I have quite a few visits to the loo (in preparation for night feeds they say). I went to aqua-aerobics last week which was the first proper exercise I've done for quite a few months and felt fantastic afterwards so I will definitely have to keep that up.

Our next scan is in a couple of weeks. Mum is coming down to go along with us which will be great.

In other news - we have a heat pump!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (large number of exclamation marks are an attempt to convey the magnitude of this new addition). I don't think I really realised just how cold our house has been until it's not any more - I mean I was finding it pretty frickin' freezing getting up to 7 degrees C in the kitchen, so now to find its 14C at 7 am is pure pure bliss! Once insulation is added to the roof cavity (I know! We have NONE there at present, why on earth the previous owners were happy to drop an easy ton a room on fancy carpet but not $1200 on ceiling insulation, i do not know...) it should be even cosier. Add to that, the new rug in the living room, plans to update the bathroom, new carpet in the spare room, preparation for a nursery etc etc, some might accuse me of having a spot of the nesting bug!

So all is well in the Archer-Orchard household at present - hope youse all are well yourselves... more photos to follow ;) - Mel