Vegetable & Lentil Soup with Homemade Bread

During the colder months one of my favourite dinners to have is a nice, warm soup with homemade bread. A few years ago, I was looking through a Winter edition of Recipes+ and found this recipe for Vegetable and Lentil Soup. I have made this for dinner so many times since then and it is definitely one of my favourites. As I am a firm believer that homemade bread is a must when you’re having soup, I decided to make Beer Bread as my mum makes it quite alot and I absolutely love it. Let’s get started!

Vegetable & Lentil Soup

You Will Need:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 200g red lentils
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 potatoes, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas

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What To Do:

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Add onion; cook and stir for 5 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add curry powder; cook, stirring, for 1 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Add lentils, crumbled stock cubes, 1.25 litres (5 cups) water, tomatoes, potato and carrot; cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are tender.
  4. Add peas; cook for 5 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Season and serve hot.

Homemade Bread

You Will Need:

  • 3 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dill seeds
  • 50g butter, cubed
  • 375ml can beer
  • 1/4 cup plan flour, extra
  • dill seeds, extra
  • coarse sea salt

What To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 210 degrees celcius. Brush a baking tray with melted butter or oil.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add sugar and seeds; stir to combine.
  3. Use your fingers to rub butter cubes into the mixture. Make a well in the centre and pour in beer all at once. Using a wooden spoon, quickly mix to a soft dough.
  4. Turn out onto a floured surface; sprinkle extra flour onto hands and dough.
  5. Knead for 1-2 minutes until dough forms a smooth ball. Elongate slightly, flatten a little, and with the blunt end of a large knife press down 2 cm along centre.
  6. Brush surface with water, and then sprinkle liberally with extra dill seeds and coarse salt.
  7. Bake 20 minutes; lower temperature to 180 degrees celcius and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked. Test for doneness by tapping base with knuckles. A hollow sound indicates bread is cooked.
  8. Remove from oven; place on a wire rack and leave to cool.

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I hope you enjoyed this recipe and would love to know what you think if you try it out! 🙂

Leather and Capes

I’ve been looking through Pinterest quite alot recently, searching for Autumn and Winter outfit inspiration and one thing that was a common occurance in most pictures was leather or faux leather pants. I orginally wanted a pair of black disco pants for Winter as I had read so many reviews about how warm and comfy they were, however, after seeing the retail price of these I immediately began my search for a cheaper alternative. I spent so many shopping trips trying on leggings that were similar to disco pants but none of them felt quite right. I was just about to give up my search when I wandered into Dotti one day and saw these leather look jeans hanging on the rack and let me tell you, it was love at first sight.

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So I grabbed a pair and dragged my sister to the changing room to give me an honest opinion on how they looked. As soon as I had put them on, I knew they were the ones. They’re designed to be quite a tight fit to flatter your natural curves and I like that the fabric is quite a light denim so they are still breathable whilst being more sturdy than a pair of leggings. I also love that they have cropped cuffs as I have short legs and it is so difficult to find a pair of jeans that don’t require me to roll up about half the leg haha. I would definitely recommend these jeans, as aside from being so comfy, they can be worn casually and are also perfect for a night out. I loved them so much that I actually went out and purchased a second pair just in case they sold out.

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Another item of clothing that seems to be quite popular this season are capes. I have seen so many images of both celebrities and everyday people wearing capes in all different styles and colours. I think I spent about 2 months tossing around the idea of actually buying one as I wasn’t really sure how it would look on me, and as it was still Summer in New Zealand when I ordered this one, there were none available to try on in any shops. I ordered this one around the start of February when I was scrolling through the hundreds of gorgeous clothes on Boohoo. I had been admiring all the different capes on their website for about 10 minutes before this one popped up and I just knew that this was the perfect one. When it arrived 2 weeks later I was still a little anxious about how it would look, but as soon as it was on, I realised I had worried about it for nothing. I love the design of this cape, it has padded shoulders to keep the slightly widened shape while you’re wearing it and the lowest point of the back comes down to about the middle of my calves. I really like that it has been designed to have a vest on the inside so when you have it on, it almost looks double layered. My favourite thing about this cape though, is the light camel colour. I feel as if this colour will go with anything in my wardrobe and I am so excited to wear it during Winter.

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The third item that I purchased to add to my Winter collection was this burgundy beanie with a faux fur pom pom. I absolutely love beanies and my collection has grown quite large over the past few years. I would have to say that this is definitely the one I am drawn to every time I feel like wearing one though. I had been on a search for this exact one for about 1 month or so, after I noticed it in one of Zoella’s blog posts, and was obsessed with it. I was actually quite shocked when I found it sitting on a rack in Mirrou some time in March, as I wasn’t really expecting it to be available in any of my local shops. As soon as I saw it, I picked it up and went to the checkout to purchase it, and have worn it so many times since that day.

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The last two items that I have added to my collection were things that I impulsively bought as they were on sale when I was in the store. The first item is this white t-shirt with a black checked design. I got this shirt from Dotti, the same day that I purchased the first pair of leather look jeans. I actually saw it when I was on my way out of the shop and although I loved it and thought it would go perfectly with the pants I’d just bought, I felt a bit awkward about going straight back in to buy another item, so I gave the money to my sister and asked her if she would mind going back into the store to get it for me haha.

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The last item that I purchased were these red boots. I absolutely love these boots, although I don’t wear them as much as I used to due to the purchase of my Chelsea boots, I still enjoy wearing them and think they are such a great colour for brightening up the dull Winter months. Though these weren’t bought recently I really wanted to share them with you because I thought they went great with the rest of this outfit. I bought these boots last May during one of the closing down sales of a Number One Shoes branch. I had wanted a pair in this colour for about a year before I found these, so needless to say I was ecstatic when I saw them. The only thing that made me a little hesitant to buy them was the fact that they only had the size smaller and larger than what I needed. However, I ended up going with the size smaller as they were only $10 and I would have regretted not getting them. Over time I must have grown accustomed to them, as they fit me perfectly now. Another thing I love about these boots is the fact that they have shiny gold heels and shiny gold zips on the outer part of the shoe, I think this is an amazing touch and I have received so many compliments because of it.

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CapeBoohoo

T-ShirtDotti

JeansDotti

BeanieMirrou

BootsNumber One Shoes

Where do you get your outfit inspiration from? What are your Autumn/Winter staples? 🙂

Favourite YouTubers

I have quite a few things that I enjoy doing in my free time and one of my favourite pastimes is watching YouTubers. I draw alot of my inspiration from them whether this is through new recipes or new clothing styles. I have listed a few of my favourites below and would love to know if any of them are your favourites too!

Zoella

Zoella aka. Zoe Sugg creates videos based around fashion, beauty and baking but she also has a vlogging channel that she uploads to every now and again, where you can see a sillier side of her and her friends (see below) and all the exciting things they get up to. She is such a positive person and her videos are always filled with laughs. Zoe is definitely my favourite YouTuber and her videos never fail to make me smile.

Zoella
Zoe Sugg

Niomi Smart

Niomi Smart creates videos based around fashion, beauty and wellbeing. I love her cooking videos because all the recipes are so well explained and although she eats a plant based diet, you can easily substitute the plant based ingredients to your liking. Niomi is such a positive person and you always walk away from her videos feeling better about yourself. I always feel inspired to start being more healthy after watching her videos.

Niomi Smart
Niomi Smart

Mark Ferris

Mark Ferris creates a range of videos that include baking and reviews, but although at times they can be quite serious, his personality ensures there is usually something to laugh at in every video. With a sense of humour like his, you will never watch one of his videos without laughing. His videos are about to get alot more exciting with the introduction of his new puppy Teddi. Mark is such a positive YouTuber (can you see a theme here?) and I love watching his videos when I feel a bit down.

Mark Ferris
Mark Ferris

Pointless Blog

Pointless Blog aka. Alfie Deyes creates videos based around exciting challenges, all of which are guaranteed to make you laugh. A few of his videos include giant jenga and the yoga challenge. What makes these videos even better is that they’re are almost always collaborations with other YouTubers such as Marcus (see below) and his girlfriend, Zoe (see above). In case one video a week isn’t enough for you, Alfie also has a vlogging channel that he uploads to every single day where you can see all the exciting things that are happening in his life.

Alfie Deyes
Alfie Deyes

Marcus Butler

Marcus Butler creates videos based around exciting challenges, similar to Alfie (see above). Although the videos he uploads once a week on his main channel are fantastic, I personally prefer the short videos that he uploads every single day on his second channel which include doing things such as trying food from around the world and random Buzzfeed quizzes. The videos on his second channel tend to be alot more casual and silly, so you get alot more laughs from these ones, in my opinion.

Marcus Butler
Marcus Butler

SacconeJolys

SacconeJolys aka. Anna, Jonathan, Emilia and Eduardo SacconeJoly create daily vlogs (video blogs) about each day of their lives, including all the ups and the downs, usually from the view of Jonathan. Although it is a bit sad to watch the down parts of their lives, I think this is a fantastic idea for their children to watch back on when they are older and remember all the exciting things they did with their parents, such as trips to Disneyland.

SacconeJolys
Jonathan, Emilia, Anna & Eduardo SacconeJoly

Who are your favourite YouTubers? What do you like about them? I’d love to know! 🙂 Check out my links page to see where you can find me.

Winter Cupcakes

Hello Everyone!

As you all know, cupcakes are one of my favourite things to bake and as the Winter months are dawning upon New Zealand, it is the perfect season for baking. So I thought why not create a blog post that includes both Winter and cupcakes? I was so excited to make these and so happy with how they turned out. Lets get started!

You Will Need:

  • 150g Butter – Softened
  • 150g Sugar
  • 175g Self-Raising Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence

For The Icing:

  • 150g Butter – Softened
  • 2 Cups Icing Sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Boiling Water
  • Blue Food Colouring

Extras:

  • 12 Cupcake Cases
  • Star Piping Nozzle
  • Disposal Piping Bag

What To Do:

  1. Line a muffin tray with your cupcake cases.

20160511_1112382. Pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees Celcius.

3. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add the beaten eggs to a large bowl containing the butter, sugar, flour and vanilla essence.

4. Beath with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and creamy.

5. Use a teaspoon to transfer equal amounts of the mixture to the cupcake cases. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes. Leave them to cool on a wire rack.

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6. While your cupcakes are cooling, you can start to make your icing.

7. Beat the butter until smooth, pale and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar, half a cup at a time, beating well after each addition.

8. Add 2-3 Tablespoons of boiling water to the mixture, and beat until the icing is fluffy. Add a few drops of blue food colouring until you get your desired colour.

9. Spoon the icing into a disposable piping bag and pipe the icing on top of the cooled cupcakes using a star piping nozzle.

I hope you enjoyed this Winter baking post. I would love to see how your creations turn out so feel free to tag me on Twitter @cheyennsmith96, Instagram @cheyennesmith01 or send them to me via Snapchat @forevercheyx. 🙂