If you have been to Venice or Rome you will have no doubt passed one of the many little gift shops dotted around the cities, where you can buy knick knacks and funny Italian themed items such as penis pasta (as pictured above). I brought mine back from Venice as a gift for my other half. I never actually got around to cooking it though as we broke up a week later. We’re back together now (long story, lots of toing and froing, neither of us could make our minds up), so last night I decided to add it as the pasta to my Minestrone mash up.
I call it Minestrone mash up, because I didn’t use a recipe but followed the general idea of a Minestrone base with whatever I had in the fridge: carrots, onion, leek, mushrooms, garlic, peas, celery, can of tomatoes, bacon, veggie stock, penis pasta and salt and pepper to season. VERY simple but now it’s our favourite. It totally knocked my veggie soup off the top of the list.
I had to use up the penis pasta because next week is Whole 30 time and we won’t be able to use it. For Whole 30 I am planning to try out a chicken and mushroom and sage based soup and make it really thick so it fills us up.
Sadly the penis doesn’t hold it’s shape once hot and wet (woah!). However, I can tell you this Italian penis pasta tasted mighty fine.
Today (Sunday) I spent an indulgent day pampering myself. My other half was otherwise disposed with his mates, I could have called a friend to hang out but days alone with no plans can be rare so I decided to use the day for myself.
I started with drinking coffee on the sofa watching Offspring season two – its on Netflix now! This realisation made my month. Next up was to test my new Panasonic lady trimmer. Earlier this year I made the decision not to be bald downstairs like a young girl. I had always been keen on Brazilian waxing, but this year I changed my mind, perhaps it’s part of getting older. Of course the plan wasn’t to let it all grow wild, but also not to be as smooth as a dolphin. Anyway, I’m very happy with the lady trimmer so if you’re looking for one I can recommend it.
After a shower I put on my L’Oréal Pure Clay Purity Mask to cleanse my skin and relaxed in for an episode of Greys Anatomy. I’m sure you can see the trend I’m setting on chick-telly which my other half would not agree to sit through. Thirty minutes later I washed off my face mask, lathered on the moisturiser and got stuck into my nails to get them up to scratch for the week ahead. I picked Sally Hansen’s Red Eye in the Miracle Gel range because its bright and makes me happy. Plus I wear a lot of black for work so it adds a splash of colour.
I adore my man, but sometimes a day spent alone relaxing and indulging myself is very well received.
You may be aware that I started my new role in Group Audit (not an auditor, Business Manager) three weeks ago for a global investment bank. I used to work for the same bank, but in a consultancy capacity, in that the company I worked for provided recruitment services to the bank. So I technically worked for that company, not the bank, even though I sat onsite and had the bank’s logins and email address.
Now working for the bank has it’s perks; not only do I get a lot of croissants, but I also get to get involved with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) events. Today I attended my first CSR event, to re-build, maintain and generally improve a community playground. Being an office worker I very rarely get my hands dirty – so this was a great experience to get out and do some physical work. I put my hand up for the gardening crew, this involved digging holes for plants, planting, wheelbarrowing mulch, lifting and moving heavy logs and raking said mulch into place. It was wonderful to spend time with 28 of my colleagues outside of the office, mingling and having a laugh – it definitely showed another side to the auditors I see everyday.
Now at the end of the day I feel absolutely shattered and my arms feel like jelly. But really, I feel fantastic – that sense of achievement looking at what we achieved in the playground makes me feel good for spending a day improving something that kids who may not be too well off get to enjoy. It cost me nothing, just a day and the use of my non-existent muscles. Coming home to a hot shower and a chilled beer was immense pleasure. I will definitely be signing up for the next CSR day, no matter what it entails.
I’m a firm believer, that unless absolutely necessary: hot date night, promotion day, professional photo day or mass spot break out day, there is no need to wear foundation every day. Some people may argue with me and say they have awful skin and simply must cake it on every morning, some may be right, but I think majority could get away without it. Plus, the less you wear foundation, the clearer and cleaner your skin is (not proven fact, just from my own experience). And of course, some days I’m just lazy and rushing out the door to work, my solution: BB cream.
Two weeks ago I purchased a new BB cream, the Maybelline Dream Bronze BB in light/medium. I’ve used many BB creams before, including some in the Maybelline range, but this is by far my favourite to date. It’s gel based so doesn’t dry out my sensitive skin, and means it is easy on application like another layer of moisturiser. I also love that it has a built in bronzer to give you a sun-kissed look, even on the most dreary of London mornings, plus the advantage of the SPF protection means I don’t need to add a daily sunblock.
I have found that it lasts all day, needing a touch up maybe if I were going out after work, but that would be the same with all make up. For the price (£6.99 at Boots), the convenience, the fact it’s travel size and it doesn’t dry out my skin throughout the day I can’t knock it. I’m thrilled to have found a reliable, every day product I can slap on my face and feel confident about.
I’m trying my best to be healthier, so after last night’s martini, gin & tonic, wine and pizza, I needed to be extra good tonight. I decided to try and make up a yummy vegetable soup. Both the man and I were pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed it. As we were having just veggie soup with no pasta, protein or lentils I decided to add a potato which I ended up blending with a few of the other veggies to thicken it.
I was shocked at the colour, but who doesn’t love eating food that looks like it’s radioactive, but knowing it’s so damn good for you?! I brightened mine further by adding a swirl of hot Sriracha sauce.
- 2 potatoes
- 3 carrots
- 2 leeks
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 celery stick
- 1/2 head broccoli
- 1 bay leaf
- Vegetable stock
Sauté the garlic and onion in a little olive oil. Add cubed potato, carrot, celery and leek and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add your vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Next add the broccoli, bay leaf and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
Simmer the stock and veggies until the veggies feel soft. Scoop out the veg into a blender (remember to remove the bay leaf and throw it away) and keep the stock simmering, pulse the veg until a smooth paste. Add mushrooms and peas to the stock to cook through while you’re pulsing the rest.
Add back the veg paste to the stock and see how thick and rich your soup is now! Bring to the boil and stir through some freshly chopped parsley.
Serve with an awfully large glass of red wine.
I can see this being an autumn favourite of ours.
What’s your favourite vegetable soup recipe? I need some more!