Thursday, 26 June 2008

Love Food Hate Waste

Apparently nearly a third of the food that we buy is thrown away. I'm sure that sometimes we all buy too much or don't use what we have bought and end up wasting something. I know that I have occasionally been guilty of throwing away food. I've started to think more about what I buy and I don't want to waste perfectly good food. I've started to plan our meals for the week and then I can buy what I need. I used to just walk round the supermarket and buy what I fancied and then not use it because I didn't know what to cook with it or what to have with it. It sat in the fridge while I deliberated and then it went off.

Well I'm trying hard not to waste perfectly good food any more. I'm just buying what we need and so far its working well. I'm trying not to buy too much food and also to use up everything that is lurking in the back of my fridge.

The Love Food Hate Waste web site is helping to raise awareness of the amount of food we waste and the need to reduce this. There are some easy and practical things that we can all do to help which will not just help the environment but help us to save a few pennies too. To find out more about the campaign have a look at the website. There are some good ideas about how you can save money on your food bill as well as lots of handy tips and recipes. Have a look at the website for some ideas and inspiration and between us we can make a small difference.

Friday, 20 June 2008

A Little Apology

I just want to post and say sorry for not updating my blog very much recently. I've been on holiday and since I've been back I have been very busy. Its not an excuse I know. I have been cooking lots of quick and simple meals and haven't tried anything new for a few weeks now. While we were on holiday our camera decided to give up the ghost and broke. I guess it is a good job that I haven't been doing alot of cooking as I've no camera to take any photos at the moment.

I hope to remedy this over the weekend as I am planning on going shopping for a new camera. There are so many to choose from though. I have been doing a lot of research and have looked at lots of different cameras but have still not made a decision on which one to go for. Hopefully I will come home with a nice new camera tomorrow so will get back in the kitchen and take some photos. I'm looking forward to getting back in the kitchen and trying out some new recipes. If they are any good then I'll post them here and share them with you.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Getting To Know You, Getting To Know All About You

The lovely Sally from Pink Bytes has tagged me.

Here are the rules:
Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share six random and/or weird things about yourself.
Tag six random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Ok so here are six random facts about me:

1. I hate baked beans and Marmite. They are both disgusting.
2. I have a terrible cookery book habit and can't look at Amazon or pass a book shop without going in and buying something.
3. One of my hobbies is scuba diving. I go most weekends during the summer with my husband and when we go on holiday it is always somewhere we can do some diving. My favourites places have been the Maldives, The Barrier Reef in Australia and The Red Sea in Egypt.
4. I have a birthmark on my bum.
5. I am addicted to buying shoes and own over a hundred pairs. I would love to have a pair of Jimmy Choo's.
6. I am scared of birds. I have a real phobia of them and especially dislike bigger birds like swans and geese as I am convinced I am going to get bitten by them. I think this stems from being bitten by a goose and an ostrich at the zoo when I was a child.

I am going to tag:


Thanks Sally. Its nice to learn a little bit about our fellow bloggers.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Cuban Mojito's

I have recently returned from my holidays in Cuba. We had a wonderful time and I would definately recommend a holiday there. We went to Varadero which is the Cuba's oldest and most established resort. We did a lot of scuba diving which was very good as well as just relaxing on the gorgeous beach. We also spent a couple of days in Havana which is the capital city. It was so very interesting and we could have spent a lot more time there. The buildings were very impressive although it was a shame that such a lot of them are falling into disrepair.

The hotel that we stayed in had some lovely restaurants which delicious food. We also found a very good sea food restaurant right on the beach. It was lovely to go there and listen to the sound of the waves and watch the sunset whilst eating a delicious meal and enjoying a glass of wine.

Traditionally there has been little variety in Cuban cuisine, which revolves around a basic diet of chicken and pork dishes accompanied by rice and beans. In Cuba this is generally known as Comida Criolla. There are a couple of national dishes that are worth trying in Cuba. Ropa Vieja is a type of meat stew normally made from lamb or beef. It is prepared over a slow heat with green peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic. I tried this in a small restaurant in Varadero and it was very nice.

Often found on street stalls, Tamales are prepared from cornmeal, peppers and onions. They are then wrapped in the outer leaves of the cornmeal plant and steamed until soft. They are somewhat bland but are often served with a red pepper sauce to make them a little more lively. Rice and beans invariably accompany most Cuban meals. They come in two main guises, Congris and Arroz con Frijoles. Congris is where the rice and beans are served together whereas Arroz con Frojoles is where white rice is served with a separate bowl of beans which have been cooked into a delicious soupy stew. Other tradional accompaniments to meals are fried plantain, mashed, boiled or fried green bananas which have a buttery almost nutty taste, cassava and simple salads of tomatoes, cucumber and avocado.

Paladares are popular in Cuba. They are privately run usually in the spare room of a house. They were introduced by the state in response to Cubans wanting to earn money through private enterprise. They offer visitors a chance to try Cuban home cooking. Although there are tight restrictions on what can be served, the meals that we tried were generous and well cooked.

If you like rum then you will get on well in Cuba. The national drink is available almost everywhere and can be used in some delicious cocktails. One of the most famous in Cuba and my favourite was the mojito. Ernest Hemingway is reported to have enjoyed a mojito at the La Bodeguita del Medio bar in Havana. I bought a bottle of rum home with me so that I could recreate a mojito when I got back. Although its not quite as nice as sipping one on the beach in Cuba, they are very nice. Here is a recipe if you would like to try one.

  • 8-12 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of caster sugar or 2 tablespoons of sugar syrup
  • light rum
  • half a lime, sliced
  • sparkling water
  • ice cubes
  • sprig of mint and a lime wedge to garnish

In a tall glass gently crush the mint leaves and the lime with the end of a wooden spoon or a muddler if you have one. Add the sugar and a handful of ice cubes. Add a good dash of rum making it as strong as you like it. Fill the glass with sparkling water and garnish with a sprig of mint and a wedge of lime. Enjoy.