Archive for February, 2012

Whisked Away!!

I was whisked away on a skiing holiday to Austria: my husband had planned it many months ago and, although I didn’t think I would find it a good holiday, I have to say that it was fantastic.  The people were lovely, the hotel couldn’t be faulted and the food good.  The only thing is that, if you want to eat out, eating tends to happen a lot earlier in Austria – something like 7 o’clock.  The hotel also provides a laptop , if you want to check your Emails.  However, when typing replies, beware that not all keyboards follow the UK Qwerty setting.  Indeed, the ‘y’ and the ‘z’ have swapped places on the Austrian keyboard, possibly indicating that the ‘z’  is more used in their language than the ‘y’ is.

Communication was particularly interesting …..  To me, Austrian and German sound the same, though I am told that there are differences.  However, these differences didn’t cause my husband or I any problems, as we don’t speak either of these languages.  We do speak Spanish and, what was very interesting and very peculiar is that, every time we were confronted with not understanding what someone said, we found ourselves replying in Spanish!  I suppose it was kicking in like some kind of default system.  What was amazing was that the first time we left our hotel to go and get on the ski bus, the first people we spoke to were from Ecuador and Peru, so we had fun all speaking in Spanish or all speaking in English.  And we made some lasting friends, I think.

Interesting …

 

View from the Ski Resort of Soll.

 
… and beautiful.
 
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Whitney Houston Found Dead in a Hilton Hotel Room.

How sad.  We will always remember her beautiful voice when she first came to fame. and her role in the Bodyguard with Kevin Costner.  I have just read that Cissie Houston was her mother and Aretha Franklin her godmother, how Whitney had a young baby and how she is said to have declared that the baby was number one on her list of priorities.  How sad that she will not be able to carry out that role.  For more information, I have posted a link here:-

http://news.yahoo.com/whitney-houston-superstar-records-films-dies-005927033.html

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Recipe 20 – When You Really Need Some Coconut Milk and you Only Have Desiccated…. .

 If you’re making something like a curry or some other dish that needs coconut milk, I now know how to make it from dried (desiccated) coconut.

 You need:-

 9 ozs, (225 g.) desiccated coconut.

9 fl. ozs. (250 ml.) of boiling water.

A cupful of cold water.

 How to make it:-

 Stir the coconut into the boiling water then blend the liquid for about thirty seconds.

 When it has cooled sufficiently to handle, sieve the liquid through clean piece of cloth or pass it through a fine sieve and discard what is left of the coconut itself.

Top the remaining liquid up to 200 ml. with some cold water and allow it to chill before using.  Ideally, it should stand for about two days but hey, if you have this amount of time to wait, you could have gone and bought some coconut milk, couldn’t you?  If it does stand for some time, you will need to stir it before you use it.

 Coconut milk is at the ready!

What is Meant by ‘Kitchen Cupboard Essentials’?

When people talk about kitchen cupboard essentials, just what do they mean? Okay, they’re talking about those little ingredients that you add to your cooking, either to enhance the flavour or to bulk it out, so what should you have in yours? A workable list of cupboard essentials could include:-

Flour Rice Pasta Salt Pepper Sugar Oil Vinegar Tomato sauce Herbs Curry powder Tomato puree Mustard powder Cornflour Baking powder Vegetable stock cubes Gravy granules Herbs Pulses, like lentils and barley Tinned tomatoes Dried fruit Tinned fruit Tinned fish Prepared sauces. And, of course, milk in the fridge (and maybe some cheese, please!!).

This may seem quite a long list but it includes things we don’t use in bulk but generally add to meals we make, so having them at hand makes thinking up what to eat an easier task. Even by looking at only these essentials, there’s a few meals you could crack up, if needs must!

 

Of course, being English, I notice that tea bags don’t appear on the list ….. .

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Recipe 18 (and 19) – Pancakes!!!!

Easy Recipes.

 Also posted under Sweet.

Pancakes.

Pancake day will soon be upon us and, if you’re like me, you forget it every year and then remember it when February has gone.

Well, pancake day this year is on Tuesday the 21st., that’s 2 and 1 – the 21st.!!!!

Pancakes are so easy to make, the mixture being the same as for yorkshire puddings though the consistency may be a little different.

You need:-

No real goodness to brag about but to die for!

Ingredients:-

HARD PART –  Easy peasy!

 You need:-

4 ozs. (100 g.) plain flour

2 eggs.

½ pt. (300 ml.) milk.

A pinch of salt.

1 or 2 tbsps. Of vegetable oil.

To make  pancakes:-

 Mix the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl.

 Beat the eggs and mix into the milk.

Pour the liquid a little at a time into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  When all of the liquid has been added, continue mixing until the pancake mixture is free from any lumps.

Add the smallest amount of oil to a small frying pan (7”) and warm up the pan, making sure that the oil has covered all of the base (you can do this by wiping it around with a brush, while the oil is still cold). 

Pour enough batter into the pan to cover the base and fry it for about thirty seconds, until the pancake moves easily, indicating that the underside has sealed. 

Use a spatula to turn the pancake over and then cook it on its other side. 

Now is ‘clever time’, when you can try your hand at tossing the pancake in the air and getting it to land gracefully back into the pan.  Hmm … it takes a little practise …. .  Still, you can make another one, can’t you …. ?

When I was young, we covered pancakes with golden syrup and this is still my favourite way but you can also add lemon juice and a sprinkle of sugar, or anything that takes your fancy.  And it doesn’t always have to be a sweet filling, as pancakes taste good with tomato sauce too.

I’ll have mine in advance, so as to get you some photos …. yum yum.

Now, there’s …….. something else !!!!

Recipe 19 – Pancakes with a Wholemeal Twist (of porridge).

 I have to admit that I haven’t made these ones before but they sound gorgeous and I really should make them (and will).

You need:-

 3 ozs. (75 g.) of porridge oats.

6 ozs. (150 g.) of wholemeal flour.

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 egg.

A little under ½ pt. (275 ml.) of skimmed milk

A little amount of oil, simply for rubbing on the frying pan base.

How to make these pancakes with a difference:- 

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Beat the egg, add a little milk to it, stir them together and then add to the dry ingredients, mixing all the time. 

Slowly add the rest of the milk, mixing all the time, then leave to stand for about twenty minutes, so that the oats can swell a little. 

Wipe the base of a 7 “ frying pan with a little oil and warm it up. 

Add enough mixture to cover the bottom of the frying pan and fry each side for about two minutes, to cook it through.  Serve the pancakes with whatever takes your fancy.  For me, it would probably be some toffee sauce and a little dollop of whipped cream. 

Okay, okay, the ingredients indicated a very wholesome pancake but you’re allowed to spoil the plan occasionally, y’know.

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The Flu is Hanging On … .

When I had to go to work, no sickness would ever make me stay off work.  It seems that, according to an xray, I have even had pneumonia at some time but I didn’t miss a day of work!

Well, I’ve had flu since Tuesday and, now that I don’t go out to work, I’ve given myself permission to slow down.  Yesterday, I thought I was starting to get better but this morning, it has returned and now my husband has it as well.

The reason I am telling you all of this is that I have waited all day to try to be well enough to cook something special to upload as a recipe and the nearest I have actually got to any culinary delight is opening a tin of lentil soup that my son in England included in his Christmas hamper to me here in Spain.

I have to say the soup was delicious, it was very easy to make (three minutes in the microwave) and no doubt I’ll be opening into the tin of tomato soup tomorrow.

 

Sorry!