Monthly Archives: December 2016

Why you need a unique Gravatar — jean’s writing

We all need a great Gravatar and one reflects us at our best….Here is an great article from Jean to help you do that…..

Please enjoy this “Best of Jean’s Writing” as you relax with family and friends. Today’s letter in the A-Z Challenge is G. G= Gravatar Gravatar stands for Globally Recognized Avatar. An Avatar is a graphical representation of you or your business. It can be a picture or icon … Source: Why you need a unique Gravatar I hope […]

via Why you need a unique Gravatar — jean’s writing

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Alcoholic Hot Chocolate.

On a cold Winters Day or just because…..This recipe will warm you right down to your toes. I am also continuing with my theme for the week….The letter A.

 

To serve 2 people:

2 cups of milk.

30z of best quality chocolate..either bittersweet or semi-sweet.

1 cinnamon stick.

2-star anise.

2tsp of honey or Tate and Lyle’s Golden syrup.

1 tsp brown sugar.

1 tsp vanilla extract.

2tbsp or as you like it of spiced rum or dark rum.

Let’s Cook!

Put the milk in a saucepan with the chocolate broken into pieces, cinnamon stick, honey and sugar and heat very gently until the chocolate has melted.

Add the vanilla extract and using a small hand whisk start whisking, add 1 tbsp of the rum( still whisking) stop long enough to TASTE and add more rum as required for your taste.

Still whisking, add some more sugar if required.

Take out the cinnamon stick and star anise, pour hot chocolate into 2 cappuccino cups or caffe latte cups and Enjoy!

Image: Pixabay

If you are making this for someone who is tee-total or a kiddie then omit the rum and add some marshmallows or add marshmallows anyway….Why not? Spoil yourself.

Enjoy!

Greek Chicken and Artichoke Pasta.

Just for Andria…I hope you like this, I know how you feel all that Christmas fare and we want something different don’t we and a little of what we fancy does us good….. Doesn’t it girls???

So let’s go Greek….

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16 ounces of Linguine or pasta of your choice.

1 kilo of chicken meat, breast or thighs, chopped into bite-size pieces

A can of marinated Artichoke hearts drained and chopped.

Med red onion, chopped.

1 large tomato, chopped.

A half cup of feta cheese, crumbled.

1 tbsp Olive Oil.

2tbsp lemon juice.

3 tbsp chopped parsley and a little extra for garnish.

3 cloves of garlic crushed.

2tsp oregano

Salt and Pepper to season.

Lemon wedges to serve.

Let’s Cook!

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al-dente. About 8 mins.

Heat oil in a pan, add onion and garlic and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes.

Stir in chicken and then cook for 5-6 mins until juices run clear and chicken is cooked, stirring occasionally.

Reduce the heat, add artichoke hearts, feta, tomato, parsley, oregano and lemon juice, warm through and then add pasta and stir gently to combine. Remove from heat and check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed to taste.

Garnish with lemon wedges and a little parsley.

Sometimes I use basil(instead of parsley) and a few olives for a change.

Enjoy!

Image Pixabay 

 

 

 

Coleslaw

 

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Picture Source: Pixabay

There are so many permutations of this dish and all wonderful in their own way…Our version, 5 ingredients plus mayo and you have a beautiful slaw to eat with anything…

I add no sugar as carrots and apples have their own natural sweetness.

So….Lets Cook!

 Shred half a white cabbage or red or half and half.

Peel and quarter at least one apple and then slice thinly.

Grate or dice a carrot.

Put in Bowl, add some mayo,  pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve. It will keep in the fridge maybe covered until the next day but I just make it as I want it so easy to make enough for 1 or 10.

 

Enjoy!

Bubble and Squeak..

Every week is the same…….Left Over Veggies…What does that mean?…Oh yehhhh, Bubble and Squeak!Yummy!  Enjoy!

Originally in the 18th Century, it was made from fried beef and cabbage now it’s lost the beef part and is potatoes and leftover vegetables from the Roast Dinner.

One of the first references of the dish was from a said surprising source  Thomas Bridges ” A burlesque translation of Homer” 1770:

” We, therefore, cooked him up a dish Of lean Bull-Beef, with cabbage fry’d…. Bubble they call this dish, and squeak”

It is so called due to it bubbling up and squeaking whilst over the fire.

By the late 40’s it had lost the meat and was just leftover potatoes and veggies, possible from enforced wartime rationing.

This change was put into print in the 1950 edition of The Good Housekeeping, Home Encyclopedia.

Information source: 

This dish has been a family favorite from leftover potatoes, cabbage, sprouts and other veggies for as long as I can remember.

Now I am introducing it to Asia as a lot of my many friends who hail from all over the world…. Love it!

Let’s Cook!

I hope you do too…..So just mash your leftover potatoes and vegetables together, form a pattie and fry in a little olive oil and butter until nicely browned or as I  did yesterday because we had a few people over we put them on a baking tray and drizzled olive oil over them and cooked in the oven turning halfway through cooking.

Serve with cold meats, salad and whatever else you fancy ( A fried egg)…My American friend had brown sauce, some had tomato ketchup and others mustard.

Enjoy!

 

 

38 questions and Answers about me!

One of my blogging friends did this question and answer thingy and bet that no one would take up her challenge…Well I did! Her aim was so we could all get to know each other a bit better…
1.Do you like blue cheese dressing?
Yes, but I don’t eat dressings very often but would probably have it on a burger if I ate one. I just don’t have them very often 🙂
2. Have you ever snuck out? We say sneaked!
No, but I have snuck( sneaked) in!!!
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3. Coke or Dr.Pepper?
Neither!
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4. What flavour Cool- Aid do you like?
What is Cool Aid???  If it’s an artifical drink then I don’t and won’t.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointment?
Yes, but I don’t go very often.
6. What do you think of hot dogs?
Yuck!
7. Favorite Christmas movie?
Miracle on 34th Street.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the mornings?
Fresh Coconut juice or tea….I only have one cup of hot drink a day and that is in the morning.
9. Can you do push ups?
No!
10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?
What is jewelery some b……..d stole all  mine when I first moved here. It’s too hot to wear any so I only ever wear earings.
11. What’s your favorite hobby?
Traveling,writing and cooking.
12. Do you have A.D.D.?
No!
13. Do you wear glasses?
Yes, for reading and writing..
14. Who was your childhood idol?
Rod Stewart..
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15. Name 3 thoughts you have right now?
Why is this dammprogramme taking so long to download? Those pesky dogs barking.
No number 3.
16. Name 2 or 3 drinks you drink daily :
Water, Coconut Juice and wine.
coconut
17. Current worry :
My ceramic hob cracked today..I hope it’s ok for xmas dinner to late to get a new one installed. Can use 3 hobs so fingers crossed.
18. Current hate right now?
So many stray dogs here and no one looks after them..
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20. How do you bring in the New Year?
Normally on the beach but we have moved and no beach close now but this year we will be spending it in the village..which should be fun. I live in Thailand and my grandsons nan and family jhave asked us to join them. So a thai new year.
21. Where would you like to go?
Back to the UK for xmas it’s not the same when it’s hot and Thais don’t celebrate Christmas so no atmosphere.
22. Name three people who will complete this :
I haven’t a clue but probably no one.
24. What color shirt are you wearing?
White.
25. Do you like satin sheets?
No Egyptian Cotton..
26. Can you whistle?
No I suck in insteak of blow out..never mastered it.
whistle
27. Where are you now?
Home on my computer.
28. Would you be a pirate?
No, but I would make a great pirate wench….H aha
29. What songs do you sing in the shower?
I don’t sing in the shower.
30. Favorite girl name?
Sophia
31. Favorite Boy’s Name?
Sean my eldest son’s name.
32. What’s in your pocket right now?
I never put anything in a pocket.
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33. Last thing that made you laugh?
 So many things make me laugh …It doesn’t take much..lol
34. What vehicle do you drive?
I get chauffeured about. Have you ever driven in Thailand???
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35. Worst injury you’ve ever had?
A sprained ankle.
36. How many TVs do you have in your house?
 One I won’t have a tv in the bedrooms.
37. Do you like to dance?
Yes, I love to dance. Jive love it!
38. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream
Salted Caramel or Coconut Ice Cream.
So that’s it do you know me a little better now???

Chicken Handi/Murgh

Curries are one of our favorite dishes either a lovely fragrant Thai curry or an Indian/Indonesian Curry…we love all cuisines. I always grind my own spices and make enough for a couple of curries and I always use fresh ginger and garlic although you can use ready made pastes.So again tweak your recipes to suit you and your taste as I believe that is what cooking is about..no hard and fast rules …just put love and taste into your dishes and all will be well.

For my Garam Masala mix, I grind the following ingredients together: Any mix I don’t use I store in a small pot for next time.

3tsp cumin seeds.

3 tsp coriander seeds.

1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns.

4 cloves.

1 piece of cinnamon stick.

3 brown cardamom.

2 tsp fennel seeds.

1-star anise.2 dry red chillies.

Ingredients for Curry:

4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes.

3 large tomatoes skinned and diced.

2 medium onions chopped roughly.

4tbsp Natural Yoghurt.

1 tsp turmeric powder.

1 tsp red chilli powder.

Salt to taste.

3-4 tbsp oil/ghee

2-3 tsp of prepared garam masala spices.

Fresh, chopped coriander for garnish…I also add some into my curry whilst cooking it.

Let’s Cook!

Put cubed chicken in large bowl and add yoghurt and masala spices. Leave to one side.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add chopped onions cook until soft about 4-5 mins..take care not to burn, add garlic and ginger and cook for a further 2 mins, Then add turmeric chilli powder and salt cook for a further 1-2 mins.

Add chicken and stir to combine.

Add tomatoes and stir bring to a soft boil and turn to simmer. Add some coriander (my choice)

Cook for a further 45 minutes until sauce has slightly reduced and thickened a little.

This is a lovely family curry…not too hot but flavoursome.

Serve with Rice, mango chutney,

and Nan bread. Or other condiments of your choice.

My recipe for Mango Chutney

Ingredients:

4 Green under ripe Mangoes.

3cm Fresh ginger finely diced.

3 cloves garlic finely diced.

500 gm sugar.

1tsp salt.

1/2 tsp dried chilli.

1tsp cumin seeds.

2 cardamom plus 4 cardamom seeds.

7cm cinnamon stick.

5 whole cloves.

250 ml vinegar I use Apple cider but have used white vinegar and malt.

5 black peppercorns crushed.

Method:

Peel mangoes and cut into small strips.

Place mangoes in large pot. Crush diced ginger and garlic in pestle and mortar and stir into mangoes.SAM_7105 SAM_7107 SAM_7108 SAM_7109

Stir in sugar,salt,chilli,cumin,cardamom,cinnamon and cloves.Stir to blend. Cover and leave overnight at room temp. N.B. We are prone to ants here so put water into a shallow tray and put bowl in centre the ants won’t swim the moat..ha ha

Next day place mangoes in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.Cook stirring occasionally until the mix starts to thicken about 30-45 mins.Stir in vinegar and crushed peppercorns and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Put into warm sterilised jars. Once cooled I keep in the fridge where if you live in cooler climes a cool larder will be fine. This makes 3 medium-sized jars.SAM_7128     Enjoy !  It goes well with my Indian curry recipes.

Thank you for reading I hope you enjoy!

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