Archive for December, 2011

Recipe 13 – The Most Exciting Roast Potatoes!

Are you like me in that there are things that you like to eat but you know they’ll play havoc with your figure so you … well … you .. eat them and keep your fingers crossed?  Well, you don’t have to with this!  These roast potatoes have so little fat and they taste beyond this earth.  Here’s the recipe, though it will be tomorrow before I make them again, so the photos will come then.

Easy Recipes.

Also posted under Savoury.

The Most Exciting Roast Potatoes.

Potatoes contain carbohydrates but oh, what about the garlic?  Look at my page The Good Foods to Eat and Why ( ) to see what it can do for you.  For me, the main point is that these potatoes are to die for!


(One or two potatoes per person, so this recipe is going to be for four people):- 

8 medium sized potatoes (choose potatoes that are a just a little bit bigger than good-sized hens’ eggs).

3 tbsps. olive oil.

2 or 3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely sliced.

A stalk of fresh thyme or a tsp. of dried thyme.

A stalk of fresh rosemary or a tsp. of dried rosemary.

1 pt. of vegetable stock, made from a vegetable stock cube.

(Really, the choice of herbs is yours so, if you want to add something else, why not?)

HARD PART –  Easy peasy!

Set the oven to gas mark 4, or 350F / 180C.

How to make it:-.

Peel the potatoes and then cut the top and bottom off each one ( or a little off opposite sides) , so that the potatoes are now barrel-shaped and won’t roll around during the cooking process.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the garlic, then add the potatoes, turning them until they become evenly browned top and bottom.

Transfer the potatoes to an oven proof roasting tray and sprinkle the potatoes with your choice of herbs.

Pour the hot stock around the potatoes (not on top of them) and roast them in the oven for about an hour, turning them maybe once or twice during the cooking time.

Oh, oh, these are just so good!  Try them and please let me know what you think and, if there are any left over, warm them up in the microwave and they will taste just as good as they were the first time around.

Enjoy them.

















No Snow for Us, I’m Afraid … .

Snow is so important for Christmas in England and people actually bet on whether or not that 25th. December will be white.  On the down side, driving conditions can be treacherous and heating bills go up.

Here in the north-west corner of Spain, we don’t get snow.  well, we don’t yet our friends fifteen miles away might.  In the six years we’ve lived here, I only once saw a ‘white’ look in our garden but, two hours later, it had gone.  It was simply a little frost and nothing more.  As nice as this lack of snow may sound, that white blanket in England can still warm the cockles of my heart … .

Did you get any this year, I wonder ….?


How Did it Go for You?

I hope yesterday went well for you all.

For me?

Yes, it was good.

Our guests (four in total) arrived before we could open any of our Christmas presents, so it was when they left at 9.15 p.m. that I managed to open things.  True as his word, my third son sent me a home-made Christmas hamper, so it had loads of  goodies that I love and can’t get here.  Things like oatcakes, mixed fruit jam, liquorice allsorts, tomato soup, flapjacks, mint sauce, apple sauce (if I’d opened the parcel before the guests had arrived, most of these sauces would have gone on our Christmas dinner (he he)) and lots and lots of other things.  Oh, wow – I think he must have read my mind, or he definitely went back into our history, to remember the things I often bought when my three boys were young.

What a present!


Recipe 12 – Chicken and Baked Bean Pasta Bake.

Easy Recipes.

Also posted under Savoury.

Chicken and Baked Bean Pasta Bake.

Whichever way you get tomato is good for you and that includes eating baked beans. This recipe also contains fresh tomatoes and beans, all offering nutrients good for your health.  Go to my Good Foods to Eat and Why ( ) page to see what it says.


2 ozs. butter.

2 ozs. flour.

8 ozs. cooked chicken or turkey (I’m thinking of Christmas leftovers, here), chopped into small pieces.

1 pt. milk.

4 ozs. pasta shells, already boiled.

16 ozs. tin of baked beans.

2 large tomatoes.

4 ozs. grated Cheddar cheese.

2 tbsps. flaked almonds.


HARD PART –  remembering to boil the pasta before you’re ready to make this dish!

Set the oven to gas mark 4, or 350F / 180C.

How to make it:-

Over a gentle heat, melt the butter in a big saucepan and then stir in the flour, until it becomes a ball.

Over the same gentle heat, add the milk little by little (this is important), so that you can mix the flour ball into the warming milk and not be left with any lumps at the end of this step.

Add the chicken pieces, pasta, baked beans and most of the cheese to the white sauce you have just made and give it a good stir.

Pour the mixture into a two pint greased ovenproof dish, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and then top it with slices of tomato.

Bake for about 45 minutes and then let it cool a little, before tucking in.

I added a little black pepper, paprika and a teaspoonful of ready-made mustard to my ingredients, before turning it all into the dish for baking in the oven.  I have to say it looked good, tasted very good indeed and was going to do me good, as well.

Try it and enjoy the mixture of flavours and textures.












Oh, doesn’t it look just so good!?






Christmas (not) at Home … .

It’s a sad fact that I can’t get home for Christmas.

I’m here in Galicia with my husband and he doesn’t want to go to England for Christmas.

Flights from our two closest airports of Santiago de Compostela and Oporto don’t fly to Liverpool between November and March.

If I flew into Stansted, I’d have to hire a car to drive three hundred miles north and driving at night would be bad for my eyes, so that’s out.  The connecting train times meant I would have two hours from the plane landing at Stansted to get to King’s Cross and, even it there was no festive rush on, I might still not make it for the train.  Coming back, the train would get into King’s Cross at the exact time my ‘arrive two hours before the flight’ would start at Stansted and, again, with the rush, I might miss the flight.  Getting other trains was out of the question, as one meant a four hour wait in Newcastle at 2.00 a.m. and going back meant having to sleep in a hotel in London the night before the flight.

So it’s off, I am sad to say.

Next year, I’m going to plan well in advance, so that I might be able to do the trip be other means.

I hope the phone doesn’t go down on Christmas day.  One year, it went down on 29th. November and didn’t come back on until 9th. January.

Oh, the joys of living outside England …..



Try a Mojito – the Most Exciting of Alcoholic Drinks!

Have you ever heard of the a popular cocktail drink called a mojito?  It started its life in Cuba and it is now very popular in Spain.

This drink contains fresh mint leaves and, as luck would have it, we went to Ourense (a nearby town) one and there just happened to be a guy selling cocktails at a fair and there in the glass were the starting ingredients:-

  • About ten mint leaves.
  • A little lime (or lemon) juice.
  • A good spoonful of cane sugar.

These three ingredients were then mixed together, to bruise the leaves.

He then filled the glass with ice and added a good helping of Bacardi rum, topping it up with soda water.


Try it – you won’t be disappointed …… unless, of course, you don’t like Bacardi but you can use ordinary rum as well and it will probably go well with other spirits like gin or vodka.  To get it right, the mint leaves really are important, as that is the flavour that makes you go ‘aah’!

Enjoy it!

Hairdressers are So Annoying!

Here in Spain, and maybe only in this part, hairdressers are so annoying!  Some of them don’t set appointments, which means you could wait as long as two hours to ‘get into the chair’.  But, sadly, even for those few who are now trying the appointment system, it means nothing.

A few months ago, I made an appointment for 10.00 a.m. and decided to walk out of the hairdresser’s at 12.15 p.m.!  I hadn’t had my hair cut, because the hairdresser said that because people had entered the shop before me, she would see to them first.


What’s hard about this ‘appointment’ thing?

It happened again two days ago, so my husband and I had to go without cuts, as we had another appointment.  Today, however, I had an appointment for another hairdresser company and okay, my appointment was for 11.00 a.m. and I didn’t take up ‘the chair’ until 11.40 a.m.  But no-one that entered the shop after me got seen to before me, so that’s all right, don’t you think!