Category Archives: Science

Creative Potato Recipes

I’m always looking for new potato recipes. I did some experimenting and came up with Parmesan Garlic Potatoes. Recipe follows:

– 4 Medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
– 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
– 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
– 3 tbsps oil
– 2 cups stock (any will work – or use water)
– Salt and pepper to taste

– Heat oil in a skillet and add the potatoes. Stir constantly to keep from sticking, but allow them to brown a little.
– Add the garlic and continue stirring.
– Add the salt and pepper to your taste.
– Add the stock/water and allow to simmer until fork tender.
– Add the cheese and stir as it thickens.

The end result will not have any liquid left and the cheese will have completely melted. For extra flavoring, add a bit of butter or sour cream. You can even add half a cup of condensed soup (any flavor).

Enjoy with favorite main course!


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I recently had a change of heart especially now the weather has been getting better. It was a shopping visit to my local smaller supermarket called Budgens in Eastcote Middlesex that saw me buying two packets of cod without breadcrumbs and these were skinless. Wanting to have a nice alcoholic beverage which I try out only occasionally I thought that as spring is upon us that a good Cider drink would be an interesting choice with the food.

The Westons cider brand is an interesting one and very eye catching as there are a few variants of this beverage. I tried this particular brand along with the Westons organic cider and I favoured the Westons Vintage version.

About the cider: It is a special reserve cider with a vintage year of 2008, The drink came in a quite big glass bottle which is good as it can be obviously be recycled. I found the font and the type face on the bottle to be very eye catching on Budgens alcoholic section shelves. The glass has a brown colour and to me represented some quality, although the cider as I tend to prefer Czech and German lager beers. Although with the packaging saying that the drink is a full bodied cider and uses selected cider apples. Initially I found the drink to be very clean and crisp and I found that the claim of full bodied to fall slightly short. The distinctive cider taste is evident as the good apple taste can be experienced very easily. There is an after taste which I did not like so much as it made me want to drink more. It is refreshing and combines well with food indeed. Overall I would say that this is an excellent cider worthy of praise and recomendation. There is a subtle fizz at the bottom of the glass, and there also is not tons of fizz and sugar. It is a slightly sweet and crisp cider. It is also light on the pallet as it is not strong in drinking this cider at all.

From a Westons Vintage Special reserve 2008 cider better as it is subtle in terms of its strength. This is well worth trying one bottle of cider in an evening as opposed to drinking tons of the stuff. I acted responsibly indeed, by having just the 1. There was just one thing that I disliked was that there was a lasting taste of apples on my tongue.

The price and availability will vary in your local supermarket. To some people 8% alcohol is quite strong, although if trying just the one and sharing a drink with some food it is quite good indeed.


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Cocktail Recipes Mint Cream Dream

Mint Cream Dream-

This drink was created when a few friends and I went out to our local bar. The theme of the night was to follow the theme of the Long Island Iced Tea- that is, to make a very strong drink that was very easy to down. The winner to that competition was this drink, dubbed the “Mint Cream Dream” (due to the festive season when the drink was created).

You’ll need:

1.5 Oz. Mozart Chocolate Liqueur (Original will do, but I prefer Dark myself)
1.5 Oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
1.0 Oz. Rum (Bacardi)
0.5 Oz. Creme de Menthe (or other mint flavoured liqueur)

Ice cubes
2% Milk

Put some ice cubes in a Collins glass and stir around to chill. Add chocolate liqueur, Baileys and Rum. Fill the rest of the glass with cold milk. Finally, stir in the Mint liqueur. It works very well as a dessert drink- but don’t drink too many.. it is deceptively strong.



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Drinks that Marry well with Cigars

What are that best drinks to accompany a cigar? Many would advise that you select a beverage depending on the type of cigar that you are smoking. Whether it be a Bolivar, Hoyo de Monterey, Montecristo, Partigas, Rafael Gonzales or other, you need to get the balance of flavors right with whatever you’re drinking. Some cigars just don’t go that well with some drinks; experiment a bit and find a combination that works for you.

Besides the traditional drink choices of cognac (or brandy), scotch and rum, one can choose from wine, port, mixed drinks, whiskey, coffee, fruit drinks and even beer (besides what you may have heard).

COGNAC: Probably the #1 choice of cigar smokers. Try any of the French Cognacs, sweet and refreshing with vanilla tones. For the aficionados a ‘Grande Champagne’ Cognac such as a ‘Reserve des Dieux’ is a supreme choice. The crisp, clean flavor of a cognac keeps the palette alive and goes nicely with the smooth, spicy flavors of a hand-rolled cigar.

SCOTCH: A perfect libation with a cigar, scotch won’t be overpowered by even the strongest Cubans and can be drunk at any time of the day. Try the single batch, small barrel varieties for best results.

RUM: Jamaican, Barbados, Demerara, Cuban/Latin varieties, there are so many to choose from! As cigars and rums tend to come from a similar geographical area they often complement each other. Steer away from the cheaper varieties as the after-taste can be quite repulsive when smoking a cigar.

WINE: A glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah, Grenache. Some say that a red wine (like a Marlot) will complement the taste of a cigar better than any of the white varieties but personal discretion is advised.

PORT: The woody characteristics blend well with the taste of many cigars. The sweet notes of a Spanish sherry may be the perfect complement when smoking.

MIXED DRINKS: Anything from martinis (e.g. black, bone dry, chocolate, midori, texas etc) to cocktails of many types. Jim Bean rye, Tootsie Roll, Velvet Hammer, Jack Manhattan, Margarita, Singapore Sling or even a Cock Sucker (real name) – Baileys and buttershots with ice.

COFFEE: A surprising choice for many but the strong, complex flavor of a freshly made espresso really fits in well with the taste of a cigar.

BEER: Try a stout, Irish ale or a Corona Limona Guinness. Strong flavors complement strong cigars; even a barley wine may be a good choice.

NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS: Coca-Cola on ice, it works for some. Fruit juices and even plain old water may just do the trick as the perfect combination with some cigar types.

When finding the perfect drink to marry with a cigar keep in mind that the acidity of some cigars are best balanced with the sweetness of alcohol as they cut through the taste and tend to harmonize the whole experience. Try different combinations to find a choice that works for you.



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Drink Recipes how to Prepare Lemonade right

Lemonade is a summer treat, fresh lemonade is a summer treasure! It is fairly simple to make and takes only lemons, water, and sugar. Microwaving the lemons will ensure that you get the most juice possible from them and give you perfect blend.


1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
15-18 lemons
5 additional cups water

Bring 1 cup water and 1 1/2 cups sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Pour into a puchbowl and allow to cool.
Microwave 15-18lemons, 5 or 6 at a time, for 1 minute. Cut in half and squeeze juice. Discard seeds and transfer juice and pulp into the punch bowl, stirring to mix with syrup. Add 5 cups cold water.

To add a more festive touch, measure out 1 1/2 cups of the lemonade. Pour into ice cube trays and add 1 piece sliced lemon and 1 mint sprig into each cube. Freeze. Add to lemonade and serve.

This is a fantastic method for serving lemonade to guests. The beauty of the ice cubes is a great addition to your drink and a special touch that shows you care.


*Add strawberry syrup and fresh strawberries to taste for strawberry lemonade. This can be done with raspberry as well.

*For adult guests, you may opt to add in one shot vodka per glass. When serving mixed company, be certain not to add the alcohol into the punchbowl, in case little ones serve themselves.

*Leftover lemonade can be frozen for later use. This is also nice to have on hand for those unexpected summer guests. On hot days, it will defrost rather quickly. You can also freeze in ice cube trays to add to iced tea.

*You can replace the lemons with limes for a fantastic limeade. This can also be done with half lemons and half limes.

*To make a soda lemonade, add in 4 ounces soda water (seltzer water) and 2 ounces shaved ice to each glass. Stir vigorously in a shaker with a spoon, strain into a 12-ounce glass, fill the glass with seltzer (soda) water and stir with a spoon.

*For a creative serving style, try this out! Take a good-size watermelon, hollow out the inside, first cutting a small slice from the narrow end to act as a lid or cover, place in a pan on the counter and surround with shaved or cracked ice; then fill with lemonade. When serving, fill a glass one-fourth full of shaved ice, add one or two pieces of the melon taken from the inside, then fill the glass with lemonade and serve with straws and napkins. I found this idea on and have found it to be a big hit at barbecues and picnics.

Anyway you serve it, fresh lemonade is a crowd favorite in the summer. A sure way to cool down on hot days, with a great flavor. A lttle sweet, a little tart, cools the body warms the heart…lemonade.


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Corn Salad

Corn salad recipe

Sweet corn is a hot favourite amongst adults and kids alike.Its fast to cook and tastes great.Here’s a nutritious recipe providing most of the essentials for energy and boost for active people.Plus this is so filling that it can be had by itself for the main course with a bowl of low fat yogurt with fruit for dessert.Sounds good,then read on.

Benefits from this recipe:
Fibre Keeps the digestive system regular, and may even decrease the risk of colon cancer.
Carbohydrate-Corn is an excellent source of carbohydrate for energy.
Low glycaemic index The carbohydrate in corn is broken down and digested slowly. This ensures that the carbohydrate is released into our blood slowly , steady rate.
Vitamin A – Essential for vision in dim light and also essential for hair growth.

Roasted veggie salad

1 sweet potato, sliced into 1 cm semi-circles
1 red capsicum, cut into 8 lengthwise
1 egg plant, sliced thinly
2 tsp fresh chopped shallots/spring onion tops
2 tsp fresh chopped parsley
2 tsp fresh chopped mint leaves
1 clove garlic
2 tsp oil
2 cobs corn sliced
2 tsp lime juice
2 tablespoon roasted peanuts
1/2 cup of grapes/black currant

Place sweet potatoes , capsicum, egg plant ,garlic, spring onion tops,parsley in a large mixing bowl. add oil and mix thoroughly to mix the veggies complete in oil.
Cook corn in the microwave for 5 minutes, then add to the veggies.
Spread vegetables on a baking tray and bake in a hot oven,200 C for 25 minutes.
Remove veggies from oven and place in a serving bowl. Add lime juice, crushed roasted peanuts, grapes and chopped mint leaves.


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Christmas 2007 Gift Ideas for Beer Lovers

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” – Dave Barry

If you’ve got a beer lover on your Christmas list, you’ve got your work cut out for you! There are so many things that will bring a smile to the face of an avid beer-drinker (aside from a glass or two of their favorite brand), and you can bring them some Christmas joy by finding the perfect gift.

Sometimes, it’s not okay to drink directly from the bottle. Whether it’s because company’s coming or because it’s just not the right way to do it, your beer lover could use some stylish glassware – and there are different kinds of glasses for different kinds of beer. Depending on what your beer aficionado’s refrigerator is stocked with, you’ll have plenty of options when it’s time to look for the best glassware.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Wheat beer belongs in a wheat beer glass – it’s tapered at the bottom and is wide at the top

2. English ales, porters, and stouts belong in a pint glass – it’s shaped like a jug or flared at the top

3. Pilsners need to be served in pilsner glasses – they’ve got an even taper with no curves

4. Lambics and fruit beers belong in flute glasses – which are similar to champagne glasses, only larger

5. Belgian ales and German bocks should be served in chalices or goblets – they’re bowl-shaped

Imagine the surprise on your beer-lover’s face when you show that you care and have taken the time to understand their favorite drink!

There are magazines that cater to beer aficionados (who knew?), and your beer lover may enjoy reading about new brands, taste tests, and stats almost as much as they enjoy a cool one. Consider giving a gift that keeps on giving – a year-long subscription to “All About Beer Magazine,” or “Celebrator Beer News.”

If a magazine subscription isn’t their style, try a Beer of the Month club; members can receive anywhere from four to twelve different bottles monthly, newsletters, and brewery publications galore. Your beer lover will enjoy trying something new each month, thus broadening their horizons and catapulting you to the #1 gift-giver spot.

A t-shirt touting the logo of their favorite brand is a must for a beer enthusiast. If they can’t narrow it down to just one, get them the “Beeriodic Table” tee ($20.00, Other gifts that work just as well are ball caps, jackets, and sweatshirts advertising a favored brand.

There are so many things that are bound to please your favorite beer lover during the Christmas season – and the final (and best) gift idea is this: spend some time together sharing a few glasses of their favorite brew. Expressing an interest in what makes their favorite the best beer of all time will show that you really care, and you can have some great conversations and make some long-lasting memories together.

Bottoms up!


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Chicken Casserole Quick Chicken Casserole Easy Recipe for Chicken Casserole

Quick Chicken Casserole Recipe
If you are looking for a recipe for chicken casserole that you can have ready to eat in less than an hour, then I have the perfect one for you.

1 can of Flakes of Chicken
1 can of cream of chicken soup
cup of cooked rice
cup of slivered almonds
cup of cooked celery
cup of chopped onion
cup of milk


Place all the ingredients in a casserole dish and mix together. Sprinkle a bag of crushed potato chips over the top. Bake at 350 for a half hour.


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Can you tell me about the Book Gordon Ramsays Sunday Lunch and other Recipes from the f Word by go


Gordon Ramsay’s Sunday Lunch: And Other Recipes from the “F Word”

Hardcover: 256 pages

Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd (19 May 2006)

Language English

ISBN-10: 1844002802

ISBN-13: 978-1844002801

RRP: £19.99

Gordon Ramsay is a famous three Michelin star TV chef, restaurateur and cookery book writer and he is one of those people that you either love or hate!

I actually rather like him and enjoy watching him on TV and think that he is a really good cook, so I was very pleased to receive his 2006 book and DVD ‘Gordon Ramsay’s Sunday Lunch: And Other Recipes from the “F Word”’ as a Christmas present last year.

The book is a sturdy hard back version with a large picture of Gordon looking rather menacing wielding a pair of knife steels; on opening the book I was pleased to see that the contents were very clearly shown into many separate subtitles.

There is a lovely list of 25 special themed “Sunday lunches” with titles like Christmas Dinner, Surf ‘n’ Turf, Mediterranean Flavours and a Classic Sunday Lunch.

Inside the front cover there is a DVD held in a felt pouch, this shows the chef in question  cooking a plate of antipasti, a baked salmon  and a soufflé dessert, I have to admit to have only watched this DVD once and certainly wouldn’t class it as an important part of the book.
SO back to the book, in the introduction Gordon Ramsay gives the reasons why he wanted to start a Sunday lunch campaign, which included him reminiscing about his own childhood; I have to say I completely agree with his arguments about the family all sitting around the table and enjoying a good meal together, it is one of my personal rants – probably the reason why I was bought the book!

This is the way that Gordon himself put it:

‘I decided to launch my ‘Sunday Lunch’ campaign because I was shocked to discover how many families never sit down to eat together….. 
Eating together is really important to me – in my house we sit down as a family at least once a week to share good food and lots of laughter. This is always my favourite day of the week. 
Only 20% of families in the UK sit together on a Sunday to eat lunch – Let’s make it 100%. GR’ 

Nice sentiments Mr Ramsey, nice sentiments!

I thought that the layout of the book and the recipes were clear and concise and very easy to follow and the pictures of the finished recipes were colourful, realistic and very appetizing. There is also a fantastic range of recipes, a great timetable that helps make sure that all aspects of your meal are ready at the right time – something I do know after teaching cookery – which a lot of people do struggle with. Gordon manages to explain how to juggle and cook a starter, main course and dessert all at the same time and get them out just when you want them.

I really liked the way that each main recipe also has several recipes for side dishes with it; I also loved the ‘5 ways with’ feature , where GB shows us five different ways with cabbage, potatoes, onions, greens & carrots.  One thing that did impress me was that although this book is written by a chef who is well known for his ‘fine dining’ type cooking the ingredients in the book were basic simple ingredients, unlike some other books that I have, making it much more relevant for the average cook.

The few criticisms that  I have about the book don’t affect me (as I have a background in cooking and catering) but there is quite a lot of ‘chef talk’ in the book that some less experienced cooks may struggle to understand a little; also for those people who like a recipe book to contain a large picture of each recipe before they feel they an tackle that recipe, there are not pictures of every recipe in this book, these facts make me think that maybe the book is aimed more at people with at least a basic cooking knowledge.

Despite those small points I thought that this was an incredible and entertaining cookery book (sadly I tend to read cookery books as other women read chick-lits!) and I would certainly recommend it, especially for those aspiring foodies out there!


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Party Treats you can Make Ahead

Everyone knows that planning a party and setting up everything to be just right for the guests can be a hectic event, often defined by a chaos of un-organization. However, when prepping for a party, there are certainly things you can make sure you have ahead, to help out with set-up when the big day comes. These can include props and music or entertainment, but it can also incorporate some of the food. After all, if some things won’t go bad, why not create them ahead so all you’ll have to do when the event comes is pull them out of the fridge and arrange them upon the table?

Here are some suggested yummy treats that you can easily prepare ahead- even by several days. The good news is that they’re actually all relatively easy to come by and create and require little skill or time.

Popcorn and chips. These are party essentials that everyone will enjoy and that most people do consume. They also work well for any kind of party- not necessarily something with cheap pizza or soda. Even a banquet can use some spicy, cheese flavoring, and chips are the very thing that works. Besides that, popcorn and chips are easily brought and stored, so you can just load up your shopping cart and stock up on the inexpensive party solution.

Nuts or cheese with dried fruit. This is a healthier alternative to the above popcorn and chips theory. Though this may end up costing you a bit more, as nuts and dried fruits tend to be slightly more pricey, it’s a fancier option that works very well for all guests, since they will be able to select what they desire from nicely arranged party platters, which are easy to create.

Deviled eggs. Though a more complex option, deviled eggs are usually liked by a large range of people and if made correctly, can be a great conversation starter. Imagine the complements you could receive for putting in a little extra work into the food! If you’ve never made deviled eggs before, here’s the simplest way to learn. First, hard boil several large eggs and then cut them in half along the sides. Follow this process with scooping out the yolks and leaving the whites intact on a separate platter. Mash up the golden yolks into a more consistent texture and mix them with mayo or sour cream. For a healthier alternative, use something low-fat, if you desire. Now spoon the new mixture onto the egg whites, replacing the empty spots of the yolks. Smooth it out and top with scallion for a touch of decor perfection.


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