Friday, February 26

Friday Fun!

I am sure, like me you get many e-mails passed on and now and again something comes along which you have to share, which is exactly what I am doing! I hope this brings a smile to your face!

The Importance of Walking


Walking can add minutes to your life.
This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a Nursing Home $7000 per month.

My grandpa started walking Five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 97 years old and we don't know where the hell he is.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I have to walk early in the morning,
Before my brain figures out what I'm doing..

I joined a health club last year,spent about 400 bucks.
Haven't lost a pound.
Apparently you have to go there.

Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise',
I wash my mouth out with chocolate..

I do have flabby thighs,
But fortunately my stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day
Is so when you die, they'll say,
'Well, she looks good doesn't she.'

If you are going to try cross-country skiing,
Start with a small country.

I know I got a lot of exercise
The last few years,......
Just getting over the hill..

We all get heavier as we get older,
Because there's a lot more information in our heads.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Every time I start thinking too much
About how I look,
I just find a Happy Hour
And by the time I leave,
I look just fine.

You could run this over to your friends
But just e-mail it to them.

Thanks to our great friend Dorothy!

Tuesday, February 23

F is for Faffing About!

A few weeks ago in my quest to try out new recipes I did the hairy Bikers recipe of Dolmades which you can see here together with some more wonderful greek recipes. One ingrediant which I could not find anywhere was vine leaves. Determined to locate some I found a wonderful online shop here. Ofcourse I had to have a browse and really liked the sound of this rice it is an authentic biryani rice. Really easy to use, just microwave for 2 minutes. I did try one portion out and it was awesome. I simply chopped up some hard boiled eggs with it and the meal was just so..... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! There was some rice left which I added to some sausage meat and made a batch of scotch eggs.


At the weekend I cooked joint of lamb and we were left with the leftovers. Rather than just have sandwiches I cooked a pack of the biryani rice, added lamb gravy, left over carrots, parsnips & swede, some pansata and allowed it to simmer away slowly! The result was out of this world! A great way to use left overs!

Mrs Nesbitt's Lamb Biryani




I will be using this online store again and would urge people to have a browse. The prices are reasonable and the food is authentic with the necessary amount of spices added, just so easy to knock out an authentic quick dish!



Tuesday, February 16

E is for...Experimenting!

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This week I have been experimenting with the greek recipes from the Hairy Bikers "Mum Knows Best" programme. Sadly the series has come to an end but it has inspired me and I have the book so I am using it when I have the chance. This was gorgeous. I made the recipe up then froze in portions. The picture above is dinner thawing ready for tonight.

I notice Masterchef is back so I will be watching in earnest for new ideas to try for my Cookery Challenge!

Bastichio

Ingredients

Middle Layer – Meat Sauce:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
500g pork mince
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 fat cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 well rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 heaped tablespoons dried mint
1 chicken stock cube
A really good handful fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
About 500g tomato passata
A good sprinkling of paprika
Half teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Base Layer – Pasta

350g penne pasta
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
A third teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1 rounded tablespoon butter
About 200g Greek halloumi cheese, grated
8 tablespoons of the béchamel sauce
2 egg whites from large eggs, lightly beaten

Top Layer – Béchamel

200g butter, melted and cooled
Half teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 egg yolks from large eggs
2 pints milk
200ml crème fraiche
150g cornflour
About 100g Greek halloumi cheese, grated
Method
You will need a rectangular oven dish measuring approximately 33cm x 29cm and 7cm deep.
Begin by heating the vegetable oil in a large saucepan and then add the mince.
Fry the mince over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until it browns, stirring most of the time to break down any lumps and to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Now, drain away most of the fat; no need to sieve it, just gingerly tilt the saucepan over the sink and use the lid or a slotted spoon as a barrier to stop all the mince from falling out.
Now return the pan to the heat, add the olive oil, onions and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes.
Add all the other ingredients – the cinnamon, mint, crumbled stock cube, parsley, passata, paprika, sugar and a seasoning of salt and freshly ground black pepper and give it all a really good stir.
Partially cover with the lid, and leave to simmer on a low heat until about 10 minutes before it’s time to assemble the bastichio, stirring every now and again.
Now bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and add the stock cube.
Add the penne and cook according to the packet instructions.
For the béchamel: while the meat and the pasta are happily simmering away, in another saucepan place your cooled, melted butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and egg yolks and gently whisk until well combined (a balloon whisk is best for this sauce).
Add all the milk and crème fraiche and whisk again to incorporate.
Set this aside for a few moments so that you can attend to your pasta.
When the pasta is ready, drain most of the liquid away reserving about 2 or 3 tablespoons. Then pour all the pasta with the reserved liquid straight into the base of your oven dish and whilst it’s hot and steaming, add the nutmeg, butter and the halloumi cheese and mix really well.
.Set aside for a couple of minutes to cool down slightly and then stir in your egg whites.
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C.
Now all we need to do is to finish making our béchamel.
Take the pan with the milk and add the cornflour, whisking as each tablespoon goes in.
Now place the saucepan onto a medium heat and start whisk well! That’s the secret; don’t stop whisking the sauce until it’s completely ready. It will look slightly unattractive and lumpy at the start, but don’t panic as it will transform into a beautiful, glossy sauce by the time it’s done.
As the sauce starts to thicken, turn the heat down slightly and stir a bit harder, so that it doesn’t catch the bottom of the pan.
When it starts to bubble gently, remove from the heat and stir about 8 tablespoons of the béchamel into the pasta.
Next, take your slightly cooled meat sauce and slowly spread all over the pasta, to cover it completely.
And finally, spread your lovely béchamel over the meat sauce and sprinkle generously with the grated halloumi cheese.
Place it in the top third of the oven for about 40 minutes until it’s nicely browned. Alternatively, once it has cooled pop it in the fridge until tomorrow when you can bake it fresh! Just remember to take it out of the fridge at least a couple of hours before you’re ready to bake it, and that it will require a longer cooking time: 1 hour or so, again until it’s nicely browned and bubbling and making sure the mince is piping hot.
Leave to stand for about an hour before dishing up (or preferably a bit longer if you can resist) as it allows the juices to settle and absorb, and makes it easier to cut into pieces. It’s definitely worth the wait, I promise!
Serves about 8 hungry people.

Sunday, February 14

Funtime!

I saw this task a couple of days ago, I had fun completing it...what do you think?
Why not have a go, if you do let me know.
I based my answers on one of my all time favourites, as a teenager I collected all of his albums!


Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions.
Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think!

Pick your Artist:
Elton John

Are you a male or female:
Honky Cat!

Describe yourself:
High Flying Bird!

Your fear:
Funeral for a Friend!

Describe where you currently live:
Country Comfort

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
Candle by the Pond

Your favourite form of transportation:
Benny & The Jets

How I would like to die:
Street Boogie

What's the weather like:
Written in the Stars

Your best friend is:
Wouldn’t have you any other way!

You and your best friends are:
White lady White powder

Favourite time of day:
Empty Sky

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
Captain Fantastic and the Browndirt Cowboy!

What is life to you:
Written in the Stars!

How do you feel:
Simple Life.

Your relationship:
All across the Heavens

What is the best advice you have to give:
Earn whole you learn!

Thought for the Day:
Believe

My soul's present condition:
Blessed

My life motto:
“Teacher I need you!”

Friday, February 12

Denise on Delia!




Following on from my previous post it has to be said that the result was not successful, to say the least. I added some polenta powder which made the kebabs too crunchy, I also added spices.....but far too many, a definate flop...
SO I decided to follow Delia's ingredients & method to the letter.
The result I must say was bland, very bland and far too moist...so I blitzed 2 slices of bread in the processer and added chilli, more masala and pepper. Result was lovely! I served with some creme freiche which I added lemon juice and pepper to....so the ammended recipe will read as such...
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Shami Kebabs Nesbitt style

225g minced lamb
1 chopped onion
225g tinned green lentils, drained weight
1 heaped tablespoon masala
1 teaspoon salt flakes
1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns, with a pestle and mortar
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 small egg, beaten
1-2 tablespoons groundnut or other flavourless oil
1 rounded tablespoon seasoned flour
2 blitzed slices of bread to make breadcrumbs

Method
Place the quartered onion in a mini-chopper and chop finely, then add half the lentils and switch on again till the lentils have become a purée – you will need to push them down a couple of times in the chopper as you go. Now combine the puréed lentils with the meat, the rest of the lentils, themasala, chill,i salt and crushed peppercorns.

Use a fork (or your hands) to mix everything well, then add the beaten egg an mix again. Now using your hands, form the mixture into 12 patties. To cook them heat 1 tablespoon or the oil in a large frying-pan and, when it’s hot, dip the patties into seasoned flour and fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side, adding more oil if necessary.Finish off in the oven or just miss the pan bit out and cook in oven.Serve as above, with some mango chutney on the side.
Green salad would be nice or a simple dip!

Tuesday, February 9

D is for Delia!

Last night saw the final installment of the latest Delia food programme.
Continuing with my Cookery Challenge this is my latest recipe to add to the everyday menus in the Nesbitt household!

No pictures just yet, the technological revolution is on hold here, all down to batteries!
Watch this space!



Shami Kebabs

225g minced lamb
1 chopped onion
225g tinned green lentils, drained weight
1 heaped teaspoon Seasoned Pioneers cardamom masal
1 teaspoon salt flakes
½ teaspoon crushed black peppercorns, with a pestle and mortar
1 small egg, beaten
1-2 tablespoons groundnut or other flavourless oil
1 rounded tablespoon seasoned flour

Method
Place the quartered onion in a mini-chopper and chop finely, then add half the lentils and switch on again till the lentils have become a purée – you will need to push them down a couple of times in the chopper as you go. Now combine the puréed lentils with the meat, the rest of the lentils, the cardamom masala, salt and crushed peppercorns.

Use a fork (or your hands) to mix everything well, then add the beaten egg an mix again. Now using your hands, form the mixture into 12 patties. To cook them heat 1 tablespoon or the oil in a large frying-pan and, when it’s hot, dip the patties into seasoned flour and fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side, adding more oil if necessary. Serve as above, with some mango chutney on the side.

Tuesday, February 2

C is for Cornbread!

I am taking part in a Cookery Challenge this year I am going to try 52 new recipes, so it will work out at one each week. Since entering 2010 I have made

Fish Cakes
Lemon Meringe
Scotch Eggs (3 varieties)
Welsh Rarebit Muffins
and Cornbread!


There is no doubt about it, my enthusiasm has originated from The Hairy Bikers "Mum Knows Best" programme and Cookbook as I have been rambling on about for the past few weeks.

Last week it was the turn of Texas Cornbread. It was the very first time I had made this and as I was writing about it on Facebook, our good friend, the whirlwind of Lisa Askew replied telling me she was going to Texas the next day! As Lisa is such an amazing woman I told her I was going to dedicate my cornbread after her, so instead of Texas Cornbread it would be known as "The Amazing Lisa Askew Cornbread!" I was so glad I did this because when I tasted the cornbread I found it rather bland. Now Lisa is anything BUT bland so over the next few days I will be experimenting and refining the recipe so like Lisa it is spicy, fruity and lively!
Watch this space!




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Monday, February 1

Eggs in Abundance!

Our hens are producing an astonishing 6 eggs a day, well most days really but whatever we have a plentiful supply!I have been finding ways to use the eggs in our meals...here are some from the weekend.





This Lemon Meringue has got to be the best I have ever produced. A basic base of crushed digestive biscuits and melted butter and the filling was as follows:-

1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornflour
1 1/2 cups water
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons white sugar

My added ingredient was asachet of lemon & lime (sugarfree) jelly



To Make Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour &cornflour, Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Leave to cool then stir in lime jelly mixture & spoon over biscuit crust.


To Make Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over lemon filling




To the mashed potatoes I added an egg together with the butter.


Normally I use 1 egg in the yorkshire puddings but yesterday I used 2...spot the colour!


Last week we had some bought fishcakes which left a lot to be desired. I decided to make my own with some fish I had in the freezer, just some prawns, pollock and haddock which I steamed and added to some mashed potato & beaten egg. I then rolled in flour, egg & breadcrumbs! Awesome.

The scotch eggs were from my Hairy Bikers Cookbook, certainly not traditional as spices were added. I used minced beef together with a selection of ground cumin, corriander and basic curry powders...again a great recipe from my new book! The eggs were softly boiled and gave a much nicer consistency!


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