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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Recipe - Steamed Cod with Fresh Tomatoes and Herbs

OMG this is sooo yummy!!! I got this recipe out of this book fantastic book by Annette Yates called Steaming! and just had to share it with you (no copyright infringement intended):

You will need:
  • 225gr / 8oz ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 crushed garlic clove or 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 0.5 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary, oregano, whichever you prefer, or 1 tbsp of dried herbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cod steaks or fillets, each weighing 175-225gr / 6-8oz (I used smoked haddock which I prefer but you can really use anything as long as it has the same consistency)
Instructions:
  1. To skin the tomatoes, use a small knife to make a slit into the skin of each tomato. Put them into a bowl and cover them with boiling water (from the kettle). Leave to stand for 5 minutes, after which you can drain them and the skin will slip off easily. Halve the tomatoes, scoop out the seeds, and finely chop the flesh.
  2. Combine the chopped tomatoes, oil, garlic, sugar, herbs, and a generous quantity of seasoning.
  3. Lay the fish in a slightly oiled shallow dish that will fit in the steamer. Spoon the tomato mixture on top. Cover with foil, crimping the edges securely against the sides of the dish. NOTE: My steamer is too small to fit a dish so I just wrapped the fish in foil and put that into the steamer, worked like a charm!
  4. Steam for about 30 mins until the fish flakes.
Now you may have wondered where all the pretty pictures are and I have to admit that I didnt take any during the process. It was the first time I had made this so was more focused on the actual preparing than photographing, but I did take a photo of the final result:

Doesnt it look yumm? The fish which is actually barely visible underneath the tomatoes is yellow because I used smoked yellow haddock and it was so good! We have a three-tiered steamer so I steamed some potatoes and zucchini also. Lovely for this boiling hot weather :)

Try it, I know you will love it too!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Randon Randomness

Sometimes I wonder, as do we all I am sure (or at least I hope), what the point of it all is. I mean, here I am, finally at home, an hour late due to overtime at work (unpaid) and for now with no results to show for it other than put-in effort, drinking a glass of (extremely yummy and much needed) Baileys to get rid of the emotional rollercoaster that can be called work. Of course we all have to make a living and I am lucky enough to not have a job that I by definition hate, but then why do I feel like I spend all this time chasing people and money (yes that is my job) and I am not getting anywhere... This is not a rant about my job/position/employer or anything of the kind, although I do wonder if this is all there is to life? Am I the only one thinking like that? I mean, we all try to do our best in all things in life, but is it ever enough? See, this is my problem, I never actually know where I am going with this point. I just feel like I dont see the results of my labour. It is so frustrating that when I (very low on the ladder) try my best for a good number of weeks, and then I am forced to call for help (others a little higher up on the ladder) who then do their stuff wishy washy, when finally someone above me steps in, gets it all done and saves the day. Where did my hard work go? I know 'the team' will still be credited, but am I being selfish in wanting praise for sorting out through the big mess in the first place? This is something that has happened today and for some reason I took it personally, as I do with so many things these days. I really need a nice long holiday... So I just thought I'd put the question out there and see what you think and maybe share your thoughts?

*sipping Baileys while letting this question sink in and start preparing the answer*

Well, not my answer... I dont have one! But now that I have typed it all out I do feel better. A bit at least. I should... no COULD as I am told to say be making dinner but instead I am choosing to send this question (was about to say 'issue', how work is that!) into the void and see what I get back.

Something I do get praise for, or at least I feel like I do, are my creations. No matter how small, people do appreciate a small homemade gift. And for lack of another 'random' post, let me share some random small items I made that I didnt have a chance to post yet. Actually, they're just a few but I still wanted to show you:

Finally a black yoyo hair accessory. This one is actually entirely glued together. Now I have something to match when I wear only black :) Yes that means I've been wearing it a lot ;)

Closeup of the Halloween hair accessory I made for the Fall Gift Exchange. I loved this so much I didnt even want to send it! I did in the end though of course.

Closeup of the needle book I made for the Fall Gift Exchange. The inside had white and red 'pages' also. I hope she liked it!

I made these a while ago as post-Christmas gifts. The purple ones probably look familiar as I made one before for someone at work. I just loved the combination so much that I just had to copy it several more times.

See, this is the stuff I find rewarding right now. Work is great too dont get me wrong and I dont think I could be a stay-at-home mom or even unemployed for too long, but sometimes it's nice to be told how great you are. Dont you agree?

And now I'll leave you to it for the remainder of the evening before I scare away even more followers! LOL Something more positive tomorrow, more Baileys for now :)

Monday, 27 June 2011

More Boy Baby Clothes!

Wow, so many people I know are either expecting babies or just had them. One colleague of mine recently had a baby boy and of course I had to make something :) I decided to make another onesie with matching trousers as seen in this post.

I used the same car pattern as on the last onesies but used a different and very boyish (I think so anyway) to make the pants. I also added a yellow car applique on the pants. Later I realised that I could have used the yellow fabric on the pants also but then it was already done. This photo is from before I added the elastic to the pants.

These are the pants with the elastic. Sadly I didnt cut them correctly so instead of them having on leg yellow and one leg blue, all the yellow was on one side and all the blue was on the other. Oops... Oh well, I think they'are adorable anyway :) And even though the applique is only on one side, they can still decide which colour they want in the front. It seems they are a bit big for the newborns but at least it wasnt too small :)

I have more baby gifts on the way, this time for girls, yay! I will post them once they're finished :)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Recipe - Rhubarb Ginger Cobbler

Hi all!
Isnt the weather lovely? I am blogging outside, how cool is that! I do have to type fast coz I think my battery is about to run out, oops! :) Has the rhubarb season ended yet? I have no idea, but I had prepared this post a while ago and only just got around to typing it up. I made this very delicious rhubarb ginger cobbler the other day and I really wanted to share it with you.

You will need:
  • 750gr (1.5 lbs)rhubarb
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz) caster sugar
  • 5cm (2in) piece root ginger
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 125 gr (4oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 175 (6fl oz) milk
Instructions:

Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180C, fan 160C.

Cut the rhubarb into 5cm (2inc) pieces and wash it.

Peel the ginger and chop it finely (this is an extreme closeup, it was really chopped)

Put the rhubarb and 3tbsp of the sugar in a medium pan with 4tbsp of water and add the ginger.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes until the rhubarb is almost tender.

Measure out your cornflour (1tsbp remember?)

And add tbsp cold water, stir. Add the mixture to the rhubarb.

Cook for a minute until the liquid has thickened, then pour both the fruit and and the liquid into a 1 liter (1.75 pint) baking dish.

Mix the remaining sugar with the flour, a pinch of salt, and the baking powder, then rub into the butter until the mixture start to look like breadcrumbs.

Grate the remaining ginger and add to the flour. Stir in the milk to make a soft dough.

Stirring...

Spoon in dollops over the surface of the fruit.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the dough has become golden brown on top. Serve piping hot.

This was actually pretty good :) A bit too gingery for my liking so maybe next time I will add a little less, and also a lot more green that the picture but that migth have to do with my choice of rhubarb, This was the picture from the mag:

Still, maybe next time mine will look like this also :) It is definitely a yummy dessert for hot weather like this. I dont know about where you are, but here it is waaarm! Enjoy your Sunday everyone!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Race for Life, Gothic Style

Hi everyone! I am feeling better :) I think my stomach ache had to do with taking dissolvable aspirin for three weeks as part of my dental treatment and actually forgetting to dissolve it... very blonde yes... I only realised this yesterday so starting today, I will actually dissolve them ;)

No recipes or crafts yet, but I do have some fun pics to share about the Race for Life for Cancer Research UK which was on a few weeks ago. I have to shamefully admit that I was only there to cheer as I was way too lazy to run of even walk, but once there I really wanted to participate! So next year I will join too :) Especially since my clown costume is pink ;)

Knowing my social groups here in London, this walk was never going to be normal, and I took lots of pics of the Goth Group walking and running the marathon. How can goths be pink enough to support the Race for Life? Haahaa, watch and learn!

The atmosphere was great, so many people and all in pink which actually looked good for a change :)

Some great head dressed by these girls. I really love them!

One of the girls from our group sprinting for the finish line. She had pink ribbons on her hat.

Another one holding up the Bodyform that was in the goody bag LOL. It was just too funny not to photograph! Excellent hair too of course.

Group photo of all who participated, with parasols of course :)

I just loved this, very spontaneously some of the girls started pulling the pink hair pieces, since they were all bouncy it had a hilarious effect.

Final picture of the 'bloomers' sub group. Some girls had gotten out their finest bloomers to wear to raise that little bit extra. It must have worked, they raised nearly £2000!

So after all that pink fun, I must run next year also. Probably not goth though, something more fun and happy like a clown or so. Who knows? Did anyone else do this? Let me know if you did, I would love to know :)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Back Again!

Hi again everyone!
Thank you all for still being there, my absence has been a bit longer than planned... but now with most of the dentist stuff behind me and some (even though minor) new motivation, I hope to be back :) It seems the numbers of followers has actually increased during my time away so thank you thank you thank you for sticking around. I am truely touched :)

It's been a while, but I have now had 6 sessions of three hours at the dentist and it is noticeable. Sadly I cant afford braces but at least it's all healthy now. I still have 10 more one-hour sessions to go but at least then (mid-August) I will be done. Phew! At the moment I am at home on the sofa and have been off work for 2 days due to headaches and sickness, I get all queezy when standing up which cant be healthy... However, after three days of lying in bed and on the sofa, things are looking up and I must go back to work tomorrow. I hope I will survive it!

I was actually going to post a giveaway as a welcome back present to you, but I havent yet gathered everything so this will have to wait. I do, however, have lots to tell you about what I have been doing over the past few weeks. Until I start with that, however, I have lots to catch up on in blogland.

Thanx again everyone for sticking around and I promise you will hear from again soon with events, recipes, and crafty things!

Big hugz for all,
MJ
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