The apricot season is here and nothing can be better than home made apricot jam. it is just on the right side of tart and the colour alone will bring a smile to everyone who sees it. Even in the depths of winter this spoonful of sunshine will bring a smile to your tastebuds.
There is even a speechless tester at the end. Enjoy.
Just had to make this video tutorial as I worked out how to replicate the flowers that I draw with Kuretake pens. If only i could work out how to put the video further down the page I would be really happy. I am not too bad with technology but things like this really annoy me. GRRRR!
How many of you have been watching the many, many television programmes on improving our health? If you have you may have seen Dr. Michael Mosley and others promoting the increasing of good gut bacteria. To do this we need to eat more probiotics and this is best achieved by eating kefir.
Kefir is the new super food that is said to promote good gut health. It is not readily available and when it is it is expensive. Not to say unpleasant to drink. So today I have a way of making kefir delicious. Watch the video and enjoy.
The sun is finally shining so today to celebrate the first real sunshine here in the UK, I've decided to post a sunshine salad. This salad is known as panzanella. It appears frequently on Italian recipe web sites but when I told some friends in the village that I was making a panzanella, they told me that they had never heard of it. This is fairly typical of Italian food knowledge. People eat what they were taught to cook by their mothers and grandmothers but don't really look outside that repertoire. What they do cook is excellent so it is hardly surprising that they don't look for anything else.
The colours of this salad are truly vibrant, but don't expect pretty. It is a mix of all the ingredients so that the flavours mellow and blend together in a bowl of heaven.
I have to admit that I was lucky as everything in this salad came from my garden, so if you are not as lucky, then try to get the ripest tomatoes that you can get your hands on. The quality of the tomatoes will affect the quality of the salad.
I do feel that it not making this salad they are missing out big time. So, if you want to join me in a bowl of delicious and dare I say it, healthy eating this is what you need to do.
1 red onion that has been soaked in wine vinegar. This will soften it and make it less harsh.
3 or 4 large ripe tomatoes. I used the cuore di bue which are the size of my hand. 3 of these will weigh about a kg. So aim for that.
3 small European type cucumber. These will need to be peeled as they have a spiky skin. Failing these use 1 hot house cucumber.
a large handful of stale bread cut into chunks.
a bunch of basil torn up.
Begin by slicing the onion thinly and soaking it in vinegar for at least an hour. Drain and keep to add to the salad.
Toast the bread for about 10 minutes in a medium oven. You are looking to dry stout so that it will absorb the dressing and the juices from the salad.
Make a dressing from 1 part vinegar and 4 parts olive oil. If you have some dijon mustard you can add that. I usually have this made up in a jar so I can't give you precise amounts. Just add enough to coat the ingredients.
Cut everything else, except the basil, into chunks.
Put into a bowl and add the slices of onion, the dressing and finally the the basil torn up into pieces. Toss it all. Leave for about 10 minutes for the bread to absorb the dressing.
Amethyst Necklace with a twist. A spiral rope necklace in fact.
I have some beautiful large silverlined glass beads. They are lentil shaped which means that they are discs with a dome shape in the middle. I also have the Silver Colour Scarf Tube Pendant x 2, which I used to hang the pendant.
Now, I'm not pretending that this was quick to make as it was not. The rope will take a couple of evenings but, when that's done, the rest is a breeze and the effect is stunning.
If you are interested I can make up a kit for you at the cost of £10. This will include everything except the fireline and needle.
Book Review: How to Lose Weight Well Some of you that follow this blog will know that from time to time I review a book. Today's victim is How to Lose Weight Well by Xand van Tulleken
You may well have seen the highly amusing television programme that was broadcast last month. Just about everyone lost weight on the variety of diets that they tried. This book is not about that, it is about the diet that Van Tulleken has devised with the help of a nutritionalist. The preamble to the book is well written and it is easy to understand his reasoning behind weight loss and his own battle with being over weight. The recipes that he publishes in his book are interesting and tasty with a big emphasis on vegetables. This is perfect for me as I tend to eat more veg than fruit. So far so good. What I didn't like so much was the choice of three diet plans that are on offer in the book. Basically it is the same amount of food split between the three main meals of the day. You either eat three meals, two meals or one meal. The amount of food doesn't change just the portions at each meal time. If you want a diet that will see you dropping fat at a fast rate then this is perfect for you. I only want to lose three kilograms so I can't say that it is for me. I will use some of the recipes though. The aubergine recipe is fantastic.