Category Archives: blogging

Post from your Archives – How are you spending your most valuable time on #Social Media by D.G. Kaye

An old archived post from D.G.Kaye with info on Social Media which is still relevant if you are trying to grow your readers base 🙂

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Delighted that Debby Gies, author D.G. Kaye has sent me some links to share over the next four weeks (or more) from her archives.

We all have posts that we wrote a year or so ago, or even longer, that are not read as much these days, as new posts take up your readers time.

However, why not share them over here to my readers?

Not only is this a chance to showcase your posts, but also your blog and books. Start off by sending me four links to the posts you would like to see given another boost and if you like the experience you can always send me more – sally.cronin@moyhill.com

In this post Debby Gies clearly lays out the social media platforms that can help you establish a presence online… that big break into the bestselling market or even a film deal… You will be searched…

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Spice It Up…………………

Chillies..Now that’s surprise..ha ha….a lovely hot sauce…

This one is definitely a keeper and one I will certainly try because as you know I love anything with chilli.

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What do you do with an over abundance of chile peppers? Well, you marinate them, you make relish, you grill em and you make hot sauce! Lots and lots of hot sauce. Lots. I love making hot sauce. Bu…

Source: Spice It Up…………………

Healthy Eating! How to cure your own bacon.

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Those of you who know me are well aware of my aversion to anything processed and ham/ bacon is no exception to that rule. The ham you purchase from the shops is just slimy, and not nice at all….The bacon of doubtful origins at best especially where I live now…In the Uk you could get some lovely home cured kinds of bacon and hams not so here or if there is I have not found them….I have also been experimenting with various different ways which may be more healthy…

Bacon contains nitrates which some have an aversion to using or it causes headaches and other adverse symptoms.

Today I am using celery juice..just put in the juicer and out the other side and viola this lovely vibrant green juice.

Now celery also contains nitrates but they are naturally occurring although for some may still cause headaches if your aversion is to chemicals then celery may be a better way to cure your bacon.

I used 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use I used:

  • 2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A bunch of Lemon Thyme.
  • 20/30 Mustard Seeds,
  • 12 Pepper Corns,
  • Celery Juice as required to make the mix damp.

Method:

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with liberal amounts of celery juice until damp.

Rub into Pork.Belly pork rubbed with garlic and lemon thyme

Place Pork in a sealed container or bag ( I used a brining bag). Turn halfway through the week. That is why I like using brining bags as it is much easier to turn the meat over.

Store in the fridge for 5 Days.

After 5 days remove the belly pork and wash thoroughly.

Cook in oven @ 100C for 2 hours. Cool and slice.Home cured belly Streaky bacon

It also looks lovely and pink ( no grey) which means the natural nitrates in the celery juice had worked their magic.

All I need now is a home-made smoker and some lovely flavoured woods. Maybe use some maple syrup, honey, someone suggested coffee..some nice tea springs to my mind so many options…A different blend of herbs or cut of meat..

Have you made your own bacon and if you did what did you use?

Now the tester…How will it taste?

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It smells like bacon, looks like bacon and made a lovely sandwich….  Before you say yes I cut it thinly and no not everyone in the household likes it like that but the beauty of making your own is everyone can have their bacon sliced to their own requirements …How cool is that?

If you start experimenting now you can have some lovely home cured bacon for Christmas or as a lovely present for someone you love …

Next week I will give you the recipe for my home cured ham…

Until then stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot and as you know and if you don’t THEN you have not been reading my posts to the end ….Laughter is proven medically to be the best medicine and it is FREE!

 

 

 

 

Have you made your Christmas pudding yet??

My oh, my is the time not flying now???

Time to make the puddings and mincemeat for Mince pies…

Christmas Pudding

This first recipe is gluten free..for all of my friends who have to eat gluten free for a diagnosed medical condition and it is delicious and quite frankly just as nice as my tried and tested recipe I always make..not much difference in taste.

So I am giving you both recipes one Gluten free and my tried and tested one which if you used gluten free breadcrumbs and flour would also be Gluten free..

Hopefully this year I will have proper rolls of wrapping paper as one’s son is in England and will be bringing some back for me…Yehhhh no juggling with those silly little rolls which are just enough to wrap a matchbox…I am not kidding!

 

 So here is the first recipe for a… Gluten FREE Christmas pudding… Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

100gm currants.

100gm sultanas.

100gm sour cherries.

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Grated zest and juice of half an Orange.

1tsp of mixed spice and cinnamon.

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg.

100ml of brandy..this is where my hand slipped…ha ha

180gm dark brown sugar

1 granny smith Apple( I can’t these) so used a new Zealand apple which is quite tart.

1 large carrot, grated.

250gm ground almonds.

50gm gluten free cornflour.

1tsp gluten free baking powder.

2 med free range eggs.

50ml vegetable oil( I use coconut oil)

plus extra for greasing.

2 tbsp black treacle.

This makes enough for a 2-pint pudding basin or two 1 pints.

To make:

In a large bowl put dried fruit, zest, and juice, spice, and brandy, stir to combine, cover and leave for 24hrs.

Then mix in sugar, apple, and carrot, add beaten eggs then stir in oil and treacle.

Lastly,  stir in dry ingredients with a pinch of salt.

Put mixture into a greased pudding basin it should be two-thirds full. Cover the top with a round of greaseproof paper the cover with pleated tin foil and secure with string.

You can now either sit the pudding in a saucepan on an upturned plate and fill the pan with boiling water about half way up the basin. Put the lid on and steam for 4 hours remembering to top up water as necessary.

I always use a steamer and in this case, it was my wicker rice steamer which the bowl sits in nicely over the pot of water.

If you have made a lot of puddings over the years like me  I think you find your own preferred method of steaming your puds.

Once steamed, cool and rewrap pudding and store in a cool, dry place. It is the fridge for me as too humid…I do miss my cool pantry…

To serve simmer or steam the pudding for 1-2 hrs, then invert onto a plate and flame the pud or serve with sauce, brandy butter or cream…

It’s cream all the way for me …and lots of it!

My second recipe is slightly different but adaptable to make gluten free and the one I make year after year….I could do it blindfold now…lol

So for all of you who want to get your Christmas Puddings made so they develop the lovely flavours then here is my tried and tested recipe….. 🙂

Ingredients:

300gm fresh white breadcrumbs ( I use brown)

100gm self-raising flour

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ whole nutmeg, very finely grated

350gm raisins

100g mixed peel

50gm flaked almonds

250gm suet

225gm Demerara sugar

225gm sultanas

225gm currants

2 carrots, peeled and very finely grated

2 cooking apples, peeled and very finely grated

(shhhh)Wet ingredients

Zest and juice of 1 orange

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 small wine glass of brandy  shhhhh and a tad more..ha ha

2 tbsp black treacle

4 eggs, lightly beaten

Method:

Put the breadcrumbs in the biggest mixing bowl you can find. Sieve the flour into the bowl with the mixed spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then add the remaining dry ingredients, up to and including the grated apples. Combine all the wet ingredients in a jug. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix together, with a big wooden spoon. Take it in turns to give it a stir, closing your eyes and making a wish.

Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight.

Butter 2 x 1.2-litre pudding basins and spoon the mix into them. Place a disc of baking paper on top of the puddings, then seal with a big sheet of baking paper with a central pleat, to allow expansion. Cover with a cotton or muslin cloth and tie with string or foil. Steam for 6 hours in steamers, or in pans with simmering water that reaches two-thirds up the sides of the basins – be sure to keep the water topped up. Remove and allow to cool.

When cool, re-cover the basins and store in a cool, dry place. On Christmas day, or the day you’re going to eat the puddings, steam for another 1-2 hours. Turn the pudding onto a plate, then pour 75ml of brandy into a ladle and carefully warm over a low heat for 1 minute or so. Light the match and viola a flaming pud 🙂

N.B. As I live in sunny climes then I store mine in the fridge as they ferment very quickly here and that’s not quite what we want.

Happy Cooking and don’t forget to make wish 🙂

Just in case you missed it my turkey babies…  Down on the farm.…The turkeys are growing nicely so my Christmas dinner for the first time in two years will be ….Turkey!

The recipe for sweet mincemeat will follow maybe next week…lol…But you will get it ..If you can’t wait then it is here Sweet Mincemeat..the same recipe every year but tried and tested… family ones are the best…No nasties and made from scratch…

I hope by now you have forgiven me for using the dreaded C word…..But is creeping up and fast…. It is only 107 sleeps!!!

Stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as you know what I am going to say it is Free and proven to be good for your health…..

Laughter aside ….My thoughts and prayers are with all the people who have been or will be affected by Hurrican Irma we are all thinking and praying for your safety and well-being…Much love and prayers…

 

G…uest #20: Cooking’n books

Hilarious post and you get a recipe…It is in there somewhere amongs” The Hamsters and Vikings.”… EnJoy!!

The Recipe Hunter

Please meet Shehanne shehanne moore Smexy Historical Romance

Firstly may I say how wonderful it is to be here, especially when you might say I’m an okay plain cook, nothing fancy. Oh, and did I mention the dudes? Well, they are the hamsters who run my blog. They are very keen on recipes because they are very keen on eating everything in sight, including my guest’s dogs, cats and things.  So I should add, it’s even better to be here without them.

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How To Use ‘Press This’ On WordPress #bloggingtips

As always a brilliant and so easy tutorial to follow. by Hugh Roberts..  If I can you can!…lol  I am now a convert to ” Press This”..I saved this in draft ready for when I wanted to post it…. So much more flexible than the reblog button…Good one Hugh!

Hugh press this

 

What is, and how do you use ‘Press This’ on WordPress? Hugh Roberts takes you through a step by step guide on using the WordPress Press This feature.

Source: How To Use ‘Press This’ On WordPress #bloggingtips

The Red Lotus Sea( Lake)

I have reblogged this post from a year ago as there was so much interest in the comments on the Lotus flower…We did return again and were very sad to see that the military had ..well trashed the tiny temple and forced the monks to leave it was such a sad sight to see forlorn and abandoned…Why? I don’t know..maybe they shouldn’t have been there…..So I treasure these photos of a lovely little oasis in the middle of the wetlands which is no more…..

Retired? No one told me!

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It was a lovely sunny morning and we decided to take a trip to The Red Lotus Lake( Sea) locally known as Talay Bua Daeng. It was the wrong time of year to see the Lotus in full bloom so will going back in December to see that sight.We still saw a few but not many but witnessed a lot of birds and Water Buffalo who didn’t look best pleased with being disturbed…look at that grumpy face. The Buffalo are brought over in the morning and taken back to terra firma in the evening.

and also the boatman took us to a little temple on a tiny, tiny island.

This island when the water is high is virtually submerged hence the big and I mean big steps leading up to the Buddha’s. The name of the temple is Wat Don Leung on the Nong Harn Lake. One of the monks…

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