Kitchen Gadgets – More

I couldn’t help it, the devil made me do it, honest!

There I was browsing Amazon and what popped up? A Ninja 3 in 1 Food Processor with Auto iQ. It was on offer with £50 off the price, but it was not in stock until late June. I clicked buy now and the deed was done, I just had to wait for 6 weeks. Then to my surprise, I received an email telling me that it was back in stock earlier than stated and today it arrived. It is a bit of a beast, as are all their products, but I love it. It has three containers; a 2.1-litre jug, a 1.8-litre food processing bowl and a 700ml cup with a lid. Although I have not used it yet, I will be over the weekend starting with making hummus as M loves it. I intend to make a smoothie in the morning for my breakfast on the way to work.

To have it on display in the kitchen, I have had to move all my appliances around, but it was worth it. I emailed Ninja yesterday as they have a coffee bar which I would love, but, it seems to be discontinued in the UK, hopefully, they will either tell me they have one I can buy, or they are releasing a new one, which I will obviously want, so watch this space.

Ninja Style Soups

Those that are regular visitors know I have a slight, if not disturbing infatuation with Ninja range of machines, and obviously use them all the time. The one machine I thought I would not use too much was the blender/soup maker. However, I was wrong and love making soups.

I have made so far;

  • Tomato & Basil
  • Curry Cauliflower
  • Butternut Squash
  • Chicken Noodle
  • Leak & Potato

Today I decided to make root vegetable with chicken and barley, and yes, it was delicious, so much so I have just made a second batch so I can take some to work tomorrow for lunch. The photos are of the last two soups I made. On the left is chicken noodle, and on the right is today’s soup Root Veg with Chicken & Barley, and I have included the recipe too.

Ingredients

  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 50g pearl barley
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 chicken thighs – boned and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 swede or 1 whole turnip
  • bay leaf
  • salt & pepper
  • Thyme or rosemary – your choice
  • Chopped parsley (keep till the end)

Chop all the vegetable into bit size chunks.

Ninja users – Put all ingredients into the pot and press chunky soup

Pot user – simmer the stock with the barley for 20 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

Everyone – when cooked remove the bay leaf, serve in bowls with chopped parsley on the top.

Enjoy!

Walking Challenge – London

After doing the Rome challenge I decided to do the London challenge, 21km. It was very easy and I did it in a couple of days, however, it encouraged me to move more than normal, and who can complain about that.

As with the Rome challenge, there were virtual checkpoints and postcards with information about the places. I took M to London back in 2002 to stay for a week and stayed in Bloomsbury, the hotel was in the middle of the square where Oliver Twist was filmed and the famous scene of “who will buy my beautiful roses”. We had a great time, but M has never been back since. I have been a good few times to see a dental specialist as I sued my old dentist (yes, I won the case).

The checkpoints where:

  • Starting point, Big Ben
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Hyde Park
  • The Regent’s Park
  • The British Museum
  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Tower of London
  • Tower Bridge
  • The Shard
  • Finishing point, London Eye

I am not too sure which challenge to do next, but there are a few I like the look of, Everest Base Camp – 70km, Laugavegur Trail – 80km, Pyramids of Egypt – 132km, and The Great Wall of China – 300km. Other companies do challenges covering even more miles however, the medals are not as nice and that is one of the main attractions to the challenge, apart from trying to be healthy and increase my fitness.

So, until next time…

Trying to Be Organised

How organised are you?

At work I am very organised, everything has a place, and I am quite anal about how my desk is laid out, including all the items on the desk which have to be neat and tidy and in specific places. However, at home, I can be a bit of a slob, I mean, right now, I can see two knitting projects on the other couch back (a hat for M and a baby blanket for a workmate). Behind me I can see a bag with some yarn in that I have not long got for another project (a hat for me). On the coffee table in front of me, I can see knitting magazines and food/cooking magazines as well as a few knitting patterns and a few other bits of mine. Now, if I was at work, this would never happen, so why at home do I allow myself to let things slide. At work everyone else’s desk’s are untidy, bordering on the side of chaos. My desk at home is tidy at the moment as I have not been using it since I put it into one of the spare bedrooms, however, when I was downstairs I used it as a dumping ground and invariably it had more knitting paraphernalia on it that really can be considered sane. Again, why can I not be as neat and tidy at home as I am at work?

I look in the kitchen now, as I am cooking dinner and it is tidy, again, I like my kitchen neat and tidy, but with all my gadgets to hand. It really does beggar belief why I cannot continue in this vane. So, with the thought of being organised, I decided to get my patterns, laminate them and put them in a lever arch file, all indexed to be super organised. Yes, my magazines are still in the same place, but one thing at a time people!

But, what do I do with my knitting magazine? Do I remove the patterns I want and discard the rest? or do I keep them in a tidy pile on one of the shelves next to my desk? If I remove and discard, then the question of filing comes to mind. I have digital copies of some of the magazines, but not all. I have a scanner and can scan them, but then it removes the fun out of flicking through them looking for inspiration. With regards to digital copies, I have never been a fan, I love ebooks, but then I have a Kindle Oasis made for the job. I have several tablets including an old iPad, but again I am not thrilled with them as they do not hold my attention.

So what does everyone else do? Keep magazines? Throw? Suggestions, please. I do have lots of patterns on Ravelry, but when I want to knit an item I print it out and tend to keep it rather than throwing it out when finished. Part of me thinks I need to move home and find a place with an archive and many large craft rooms etc., but we can all dream.

My yarn also needs to be sorted out as I have so much I could start a small shop and sell it, and with the funds take two weeks all expenses paid holiday in Rome. However, I am sure that most of you will relate to that as all the knitters I know are the same and have more yarn than they will ever need, and within that stash, there will be yarn that they, as have I, bought just because they liked it but its not enough to make a whole project. In one of the spare rooms, I have 6 giant plastic boxes that are full to the gunnels with yarn. These boxes are that big that they have wheels to move them about, so I am sure you now get the picture. But like an advert on the TV, “but there’s more”, so much more, I have about 20 projects that are all in bags with their respective yarn, some of them are very big bags.

I have managed to organise my circular needles with an expanding pocket file and each pocket has a different thickness of needle in various lengths. I have a box that all my straight needles are in and several small boxes that have sewing needles, stitch markers and more, all in compartments. I have even allocated a storage unit with shelves for my boxes of needles etc together with my sewing machine parts, including bobbins, thread, feet and more besides that. I feel I am winning with the organisation, so far so good, but still room for improvement.

Drop me a message and tell me what your organisational techniques are and how you deal with all the paraphernalia that goes with crafting.

Until next time…

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