Cheesy butternut squash soup

first_imgLinkedin Email Advertisement Facebook GREAT in winter, but I really think that this is a super dish to have in Spring as the warmth of the flavours and aromas bring a fabulous taste and this is further enhanced by adding the rind from the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as it cooks. Simply fry the onion, add the butternut squash, stock and Parmigiano-Reggiano rind and cook gently for 20 minutes. Remove the rind and blend the soup until smooth. Then, grill slices of French bread topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and after ladling the soup into warmed bowls, top each one with a piece of French toast. Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up WHAT YOU NEED150g Parmigiano-Reggiano, with rind25g butter1 large onion, finely chopped1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks900ml hot vegetable stock 150ml milksalt and freshly ground black pepper, to season4-6 slices French breadfresh parsley or thyme, chopped to garnishWHAT TO DOKeep the rind from the Parmigiano-Reggiano, cut into chunks, then finely grate the cheese.Melt butter in a large saucepan, gently fry onion for about three minutes, until softened, but not browned. Add butternut squash, vegetable stock and Parmigiano-Reggiano rind. Heat until mixture is just simmering, then turn heat to low and cook gently for about 20 minutes, partially covered, until vegetables are soft and tender.Remove rind from saucepan, transfer soup to blender or food processor and add most of the grated cheese, reserving about 25g for garnishing. Blend soup for 15-20 seconds, until completely smooth. Return it to saucepan and add milk. Stir thoroughly and reheat until piping hot. Taste and adjust seasoning.Meanwhile, toast slices of French bread, sprinkle remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and grill until melted. Ladle soup into warmed bowls, then top each portion with one piece of French toast. Sprinkle with fresh parsley or thyme and a little extra ground black pepper, then serve.You’ll need roughly 500g of butternut squash when peeled and deseeded. If you have any left over, simply roast it until tender to serve as a vegetable with another meal. To store the soup, cool it quickly, then refrigerate for up to three days, or freeze for up to three months. WhatsAppcenter_img NewsCheesy butternut squash soupBy admin – March 24, 2011 641 Twitter Print Previous articleDK’s bibles – new cook booksNext articleThe Lincoln Lawyer – film review adminlast_img read more

Swimmers’ Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway

first_imgJAMES RIVERmilepost 63.9 Virginians have used the James River for so many utilitarian things that the river may not automatically come to mind when you’re looking for a swimming hole. But the section high in the Blue Ridge adjacent to the Parkway offers a variety of swimming hole goodies. A.T. hikers and locals have been known to jump from the James River Footbridge into the James’ depths, while more casual swimmers will enjoy floating a section of the river that parallels the Appalachian Trail below the bridge. If you’re really aggressive, you can hike the A.T. all the way to Matt’s Creek Shelter, where you’ll find more secluded, but smaller swimming holes on this tributary of the James.Jump In: Leaping from the James River Footbridge has become a rite of passage for A.T. thru-hikers. Couple an exhilarating jump with a sublime float downriver on an inner tube, and you’ve gotthe makings of a perfectsummer afternoon.DirectionsExit the parkway at milepost 63.9, then go west on Highway 501 for four miles, crossing the James. Park in the large A.T. parking area, and find the A.T. as it crosses the river via an old rail line that’s been converted to a footbridge.ARNOLD VALLEY POOLeast fork Elk Creekmilepost 71It’s hard to imagine a swimming hole prettier than the Arnold Valley Pool. Massive gray boulders surround the swimming hole on three sides, while a five-foot waterfall funnels the East Fork Elk into the deeper water. Some people slide the falls into the pool, and occasionally, you can find a rope swing dangling from a branch. Be careful of jumping, though, as rocks tend to lurk beneath the surface.DirectionsFrom Petite’s Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 71, drive west on the unmarked Forest Service Road 35, which twists down the mountain for several miles. Park right before the second small bridge over East Fork Elk. •Whee! Check out video and photos of cliff jumping at some of the Parkway’s best swimming holes here. The Blue Ridge Parkway is not just America’s most scenic mountain road; it’s also America’s longest trailhead. For 469 miles, the Blue Ridge Parkway follows the ridgeline of the Southern Appalachians, connecting Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina with Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Along that stretch of two-lane blacktop are countless trails and backroads, some of which lead to ice-cold swimming holes. We’ve rounded up the best of these watery destinations scattered along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Strap on the water shoes and take a Parkway plunge.HAZEL RIVER FALLSHazel Riverskyline drive, milepost 33-34Hazel River Falls is a 30-foot falls cutting through the heart of a small, mossy cliffline. The pool isn’t huge or particularly deep, so jumping is out of the question, but the water is cold, crystal clear, and surrounded by a lush forest. The falls is actually split into two separate drops. Lower Hazel has a deeper swimming pool, while Upper Hazel sits next to a rock overhang that creates a natural shelter with a small cave ready to explore.DirectionsFrom Meadow Springs Parking Area on Skyline Drive between milepost 33 and 34, take the yellow blazed Hazel Mountain Trail, then go left on White Rocks Trail for .8 miles, where an unmarked trail will lead down to the Hazel River.RIP RAP HOLLOWskyline drive, milepost 90 Shenandoah National Park is full of swimming holes, and Rip Rap is one of the largest. You’re looking at a 3.5-mile hike to reach the ice-cold, 50-foot-wide hole, but remember: the longer the hike, the smaller the crowds. You’ll pass a 20-foot waterfall along the way, but the good swimming is further down where the trail crosses the creek. Rip Rap is a calm, greenish blue pool with a trickling rock slide feeding it. The hike alone is worth the effort; you’ll pass breathtaking waterfalls, mountain creeks, and cliffs.DirectionsPark at the Rip Rap trail parking, at milepost 90 along Skyline Drive. Take the A.T. for half a mile to the blue blazed Rip Rap Trail, then follow the trail for three miles as it drops in elevation.Hole Lotta Splash: The swimming hole in Shenandoah National Park’s White Oak Canyon is one of the hottest spots to cool off on summer weekends. To reach the swimming hole, park at the Cedar Run Trailhead along Skyline Drive and hike 1.7 miles to the falls. CAMPBELL CREEK GORGECampbell Creekmilepost 13.5The Mau-Har Trail is one of the Appalachian Trail’s blue-blazed side hikes that has become almost mandatory for thru-hikers because of its stunning beauty. The trail is steep and rugged, but passes through the Campbell Creek Gorge, which is packed with cascades and wading pools. The highlight of the gorge may be the 40-foot Campbell Creek Falls, but another, shorter falls farther down the gorge has better swimming. It drops over a rock ledge into a wide pool with good camping nearby. DirectionsPark at Reeds Gap at milepost 13.5. Take the A.T. south for 1.6 miles, then the blue-blazed Mau-Har Trail for two miles to the gorge.PANTHER FALLSPedlar Rivermilepost 46 It’s important not to wonder how Panther Falls got its name. Instead, focus on perfecting your cannonball. This small waterfall on the Pedlar River is flanked by two massive boulders ideal for jumping. The deep pool fed by the falls is almost completely surrounded by rock. Three potholes can be found above the falls, along with connected gentle slides. Soaking in one of the refreshingly frigid and smooth tubs can be a sublime juxtaposition to the adrenaline rush of rock jumping. DirectionsFrom the Parkway, go east on Highway 60, then take a quick right on Panther Falls Road and go for four miles. Park in the lot on the left and take the obvious hike down to the falls.STATON CREEK FALLSPedlar Rivermilepost 46Staton Creek Falls may not have the dramatic, vertical drop of other waterfalls in the Southern Appalachians, but it does have what every swimmer is looking for: options. This falls is actually a collection of separate cascades spanning 150 feet, most of which have their own distinct swimming holes beneath them. The largest pool sits at the bottom of the last 50-foot falls, there’s a deeper but smaller pool beneath the top cascade, and a lonely pothole sits in the middle, fed by the second cascade. The water tumbles over slick rocks, so footing is precarious at best.DirectionsFrom milepost 46, drive east on Highway 60, then north on Highway 605 for under two miles, then right on Highway 833 for one mile to the parking area at the falls.Lazy Days of Summer: Let the water do the work. Float the James River as it rolls through Shenandoah Valley.center_img HUNT FISH FALLSWilson Creekmilepost 311.1 The Wilson Creek area of North Carolina’s High Country is littered with falling water. There are so many options that it’s hard to pick one to highlight. We like Hunt Fish for its sheer beauty and swimming potential. Three wide and deep holes are separated by two 10-foot waterfalls: the first is a sheer vertical drop, and the second is a gradual slide. Squat granite cliffs line one side of the river and flat slabs perfect for sunbathing occupy the other. Swim, slide, sunbathe…Hunt Fish has it all. DirectionsTake the Parkway to Old Jonas Road at mile marker 311.1. Follow the gravel road as it drops from the parkway for two miles, then take FS 464 to the left for six miles (passing a church along the way) to the valley floor.  A parking lot on your left with a sign saying “Hunt Fish Falls” marks the spot. It’s a one-mile hike on trail 263 to the swimming hole.DUGGERS CREED FALLSDuggers Creekmilepost 316.4Forget about swimming laps at Duggers Creek Falls. This is more of a shower/soak than a swim. But the falls is such a neat pocket of water, it’s worth a trip. The 15-foot Duggers Creek Falls drops into a skinny, mossy slot canyon, forming a shallow pool sandwiched by sheer rock walls. An easy trail passes within view of the falls, but the slot canyon is so unique, it begs closer inspection. DirectionsAt mile post 316.4, take Linville Falls Road to the Linville Falls visitor center. The easy, half-mile Duggers Creek Trail starts in the parking lot and leads to the falls.CAROLINA HEMLOCKSSouth Toe Rivermilepost 344This could be the most family-friendly swimming hole on the Parkway. The South Toe River falls off Mount Mitchell, starting as a skinny mountain stream, then widening in the valley where Carolina Hemlocks Recreation Area is located. The swimming hole sits on the edge of a campground and developed recreation area complete with a sandy beach. Large boulders and slabs line one side of the river, begging for relaxation, while a half-mile tubing run through chutes and slides keeps families entertained. There’s also a 15-foot deep pool for laps, and short rocks for jumping. DirectionsFrom milepost 344, take Highway 80 north for 5.5 miles to the Carolina Hemlocks Campground.WHALEBACKDavidson Rivermilepost 412Most people in this neck of the woods will head straight to Sliding Rock or Looking Glass Falls, but the locals go to Whaleback on the Davidson River above the fish hatchery. A massive slab of bedrock forms a horseshoe around a deep swimming hole. A small cascade tumbles into the green pool, which is surrounded by a lush hardwood forest. The pool—20 feet wide and twice as long—marks the spot where Cove Creek meets the Davidson River. Crowds are nonexistent during the week and minimal on weekends. DirectionsAt milepost 412, take Highway 276 south for several miles. Turn right on Forest Service Road 475. In three miles, park at the Cove Creek Group Camp and follow the obvious trail to Whaleback.GRAVEYARD FIELDSYellowstone Prongmilepost 419Directly adjacent to the Parkway, the Yellowstone Prong flows through a high-elevation valley that was decimated in the 1920s by extensive logging and a 25,000-acre wildfire. Today, blueberry and blackberry bushes dominate the landscape surrounding the trout stream. Graveyard Fields is one of the most popular destinations on the Parkway, but the three waterfalls on the Yellowstone Prong within the fields are worth the crowds. Second Falls is the easiest to get to, most crowded, and has the best swimming hole. Boulders line the base of the 70-foot falls, creating a picturesque pool. Hike downstream to Yellowstone Falls—a 100-foot slide—or trek 1.5 miles upstream to Upper Falls for more privacy.DirectionsGraveyard Fields is located next to the Parkway at milepost 418.8. Take the obvious trail from the parking area leading to Second Falls.FLAT LAUREL CREEKBlack Balsammilepost 420If the falls at Yellowstone Prong are too crowded for you, find one all to yourself on the Flat Laurel Creek. Flat Laurel Creek Falls is a half-mile series of cascades with a variety of plunge pools adjacent to the Flat Laurel Creek Trail, but more pools can be found if you’re willing to scramble and bushwhack down steep slopes. For the adventurous, long cascading waterfalls with shallow, but picturesque pools await. DirectionsAt milepost 420, take the paved Forest Service Road 816 to the Black Balsam Parking Lot and pick up Flat Laurel Creek which will drop 600 feet in 3.7 miles to Highway 215. •We have even more Southern Swimming Holes to tell you about!last_img read more

Indonesian wrestler Eko Roni to meet Malaysia’s Murugan Silvarajoo in ONE Championship bout

first_imgEko Roni Saputra, one of Indonesia’s top wrestlers, looks to put his improved striking repertoire to use against ONE Championship newcomer Murugan “Wolverine” Silvarajoo of Malaysia when the two meet at the ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES event on Oct. 9.The Venue and location for this event have yet to be announced by ONE Championship, but the event will be broadcasted through ONE apps and its YouTube channel.Eko, who now trains at Evolve MMA club in Singapore, is highly confident that with the amount of work he put into training, he can come out on top. “We will start in a stand-up position, so we’ll strike a lot. Coach Siyar [Bahadurzada] told me that I’d improved my striking capabilities, and maybe I will need to show that,” Eko said according to a media statement sent to The Jakarta Post on Thursday.“But if it doesn’t work, then I’ll try to take him down, because ultimately, I am a wrestler, so I am better at ground fighting. Then again, if I am not careful, I might get punched and knocked out. So, I need to be cautious and read the situation.”Regarding Silvarajoo, Eko acknowledged that he was facing a former boxing champion who had dangerous hands and was equally skilled on the ground. Eko said he had been warned not to underestimate his opponent.Indonesia and Malaysia are two of the most proud fighting nations in the world of combat sports and martial arts. Both countries feature a long list of incredible martial arts athletes with immense skill. When Eko meets Silvarajoo in the circle, that rivalry will be rehashed.Topics :last_img read more

South West local authorities consider £19bn asset pool

first_imgLocal authority schemes including the Environment Agency Pension Fund and Avon Pension Fund are exploring the launch of a pooled investment vehicle for their £19bn (€24.2bn) in assets.The eight funds, all located in the South West of England, said they had been working on details of a possible collaboration since the UK’s July Budget reiterated government support for asset pooling as a means of reducing management costs.In a statement, the funds said any approach would need to allow for sufficient flexibility “to evolve as governance or investment requirements change”.They added: “The objective will be to achieve savings over the longer term from both lower investment management costs and more effective management of the investment assets.” It stressed that the structure would focus on pooling the buying power of the collaborating pension funds, maintaining an individual scheme’s ability to control matters such as asset allocation.In minutes from a September meeting of the Avon Pension Fund, the scheme said the preferred approach was for a collective investment vehicle (CIV) centrally administered by one of the councils, with all members represented through a joint board.This would differ from the approach pursued by London’s councils, which set up a standalone corporate entity, with Hugh Grover as chief executive, to oversee its consolidation efforts.The report to the pensions committee said a CIV approach would involve compromises, including less control over the structure of future investment mandates.But it argued that the approach was preferable to unnamed alternatives that would “probably leave the fund at the margins”.The eight funds – Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, the Environment Agency, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire – have historically exchanged best practice and worked on a number of joint procurement exercises, including one in 2010 for consultancy services.In the minutes from the Avon meeting, it was noted that the current eight members would be suited for collaboration, as no single authority would dominate.However, it accepted that, with £19bn in assets, it fell short of the government’s wish for substantial asset pools, with previous figures setting the target at £25bn.The announcement that the South West was looking to collaborate comes after chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the pooling of local authority assets – which he said would create British Wealth Funds – would help boost future investment in domestic infrastructure.Other efforts to pool investments include all Welsh local authority funds jointly procuring a new passive equity manager, the London CIV and collaboration between the London Pensions Fund Authority and both the Lancashire Country Pension Fund and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund.last_img read more