A few weeks ago we decided to go to my homelands and have lunch in Llanberis. It was such a beautiful day, the sun was out, the sky was blue and we had lakes and mountains to look at, and to round the evening off we had fish, chips and mushy peas which were delicious.
Llyn Padarn is a glacial formed lake and the largest natural lake in Cymru, 105 meters above sea level and surrounded by the slate mountains, so it is quite spectacular. It is however quite cold in the water as both the dogs found out. Mazikeen was first in after seeing something in the water that she thought she could fish out and fell straight into it. When her little head bobbed up out of the water she looked a little shocked. I had to help her out as it was a little too high for her to get out, but she shook herself and carried on as if nothing happened. We were laughing at her doing it when both of them decided to go down one of the boat jetties which stops about 2 feet into the water and there is a drop. Harper was the first to look down at the edge whilst she was paddling about, then decided she could keep waking and went head first in. She was under the water for about 5 seconds and I thought I would have to jump in to get her out and then her head popped up and I pulled her out as she still had her harness on. Mazikeen, completely unperturbed by falling in and also seeing Harper fall in kept walking further out and then she vanished under the surface. I stepped forward ready to wake in and her little head popped up and she was swimming further out then realised and started going to the right to get back to the shore. Second dunking and she was not put off, and in and out the water for most of the day, but she was a little more careful from that point onwards.
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
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.
750ml chicken stock
50g pearl barley
2 sticks of celery
1 onion – chopped
1 large parsnip
3 chicken thighs – boned and cut into chunks
1/4 swede or 1 whole turnip
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.
Okay, I may have lost my mind or possessed by the devil, not sure which, but it is a close call. “Why Mr K?” I hear you say, “why?” I felt the need/urge to buy another Ninja product, not because I need it, as I have a machine that pressure cooks, I have a machine that will dehydrate, I also have a Crockpot, I have a grill, three ovens, a rotary fryer, a….. you get the picture, I have it all, in separate machines, and I love the all, not like my dogs of my knitting supplies, but I love them. However, I am in love with the look and verticality of the Ninja products (no I am not getting paid by them, or have any freebees from them, but I would not say no). They look sexy and now that I am renovating the kitchen they look super cool and in turn make the kitchen (still not finished) look very good.
So, I guess I better tell what the latest toy I have bought. Drum roll! It is a Ninja 9-in-1 6 litre multi-cooker. I was toying with getting the 7.5 litre one and thought to myself, I don’t need one that big, and now I have the 6 litre, I could have gone for the 7.5 after all. But hey, we will make it work.
As I got home later than normal due to going to the DIY store on the way home, then the supermarket I decided just to make burgers and beer battered chunky chips for dinner (fries to the USA). In the new 9-in-1 I did the chips which came out fabulous and the air grill I did the burgers. Everything was fabulous and perfectly cooked and in half the time it would have taken in the oven and grill.
Above my collection on the newly done kitchen cabinets, more about the refurbishment at a later date when I have finished it all.
I have gone a little mad the last week with new kitchen toys. On Saturday I bought a Ninja Foodi Max Health Grill and then on Sunday bought a Ninja Foodi Hot & Cold Blender & Soup Maker.
I know! Do I need these things in my life? Probably not, but at the same time, yes I do, and now I have played with them, yes I do need them and so does everyone else. These machines are amazing, and it is very seldom I would describe a machine as amazing, but I have to say it again, they are amazing.
I am now considering replacing my Pressure King Pro with a Ninja Foodi Max 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker. I know, do I need to do this? Probably not! Will I? Probably will!
So far I have cooked burgers, sausages and fries in the Health grill, as I had them in the fridge, but WOW, they were cooked in about 5 minutes, which was quite amazing and nice and brown too. With the blender I have made raspberry and coconut smoothie, curried cauliflower soup and peanut butter hot chocolate. Not a great deal of things, but I have only had them a couple of days.
If anyone was considering buying these things, then I say go for it. Kitchen toys are great fun, and these are worth every penny.
Christmas day was a nice quiet and astonishingly warm day, as can be seen with me in a tee shirt. We took the dogs out for a walk around the village Christmas morning, and as I was dressed as Santa being carried by an elf with the dogs wearing Christmas hats I had a lot of cars going passed beeping their horns and people waving, and lots of smiles on peoples faces.
It was quite a nice easy day, but I confess we ate far too much, but I guess most people do. The girls as always enjoyed the day, and once they opened one of their presents Mazikeen decided it was open season and kept helping herself to presents, she even passed ones over to Harper to open, who was very willing.
Each year I say that I will get a smaller turkey as it is only M, me and the girls, so we really do not need something that will feed 20 people, but when it comes to it, I just cannot help it and a big one is always bought.
We did our annual charity run, so went to the supermarket and bought a trolly full of food, personals and sweets (for the kids) and took them to the homeless shelter The Whitechapel Centre in Liverpool. I know that lots of people don’t realise that there are families that are homeless and that includes kids, so we bought 30 big tubes of sweets for them in the hope that they have something to enjoy. M sponsored a few Christmas boxes for Shelter which includes a bed for the night, Christmas dinner, warm clothes, personals (toiletries) and more. He also sponsored a dog for me, funny enough also called Harper. He lives at the Dogs Trust shelter in Liverpool, so we are going to visit him in the new year which will be nice.
All in all, it was a lovely Christmas. I hope you all had a nice day too.