Friday, March 29, 2013

Cooking with the British Bint

Aaah! We thought it was spring but then on Monday opened our curtains to see this:

Very beautiful to be sure.The kids strapped themselves into their snowpants and spent the day shrieking with excitement that there was no school. And then sledded all day while I kept busy in the kitchen.

The rest of the week was grimly cold so I stocked up on carbs. I am obsessed with food but I get a bit sick of these self  confessed foodies who will only use the highest quality goat's cheese where the goat was organically milked or who won't use a common or garden rotisserie chicken unless it has lived a healthy life in a close community of other chickens. That's fine for some people who are loaded I guess, like Gwyneth Paltrow who has her kids on a carb free diet (that puts a new meaning to the term deprived childhood doesn't it?)

No, I reckon the real skill is finding a bunch of wrinkled old vegetables, some past their sell by date herbs, and a few odds and sods in the back of one's cupboard and then bunging them together to create a delicious okay edible meal. Are you with me?

So that's what I did. I made some pizza dough. I slopped some barbecue sauce on it. I put some bits of roast chicken on.

It's not rocket science.

But it is delicious. 

Barbecue Chicken Pizza - it's really hard to make (not)

Don't get me wrong. I am a total food voyeur. I love to peruse pretentious foodie markets and nibble on bits of organic Camembert and inhale the scent of freshly made chocolates. But I'm not going to shell out for it, because I'm not daft.

On a recent trip to New York I realized most of my photos were about food. 

Trip to Food Paradise aka Chelsea Kitchen:

Is that Gwyneth Paltrow? No it's me!

Heaven on earth (Dim sum in Flushing):

Oh yes I did - asked for a fork in a dim sum restaurant

Live fish at a supermarket in Flushing

Where was I?

Anyway the week ended on a high note. Today has sunshine flooding down on us and even the guinea pigs are romping free in the grass.

So tell me this: are you a foodie or just a culinary genius like moi who can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear? Isn't it just pretentious to always have to have to source the wierdest, most obscure ingredients to put in your stew? Yes I mean you Fearnley-Whittingstall and your placenta stew.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Trifecta Challenge: I Should Be So Lucky

Here's my piece for Trifecta Week 70 using the third definition of Lucky

LUCKY (adjective)

1: having good luck
2: happening by chance : fortuitous
3: producing or resulting in good by chance : favorable

I Should Be So Lucky 

That morning their mother tried to shake Celeste and Sheena awake but they were locked in a deep restless sleep.

Weird and incomprehensible words streamed from their mouths.


Harem  pants

Shell suits

Rainbow legwarmers

Celeste sat up and screamed.

"What is it?" her mother asked.

"We went back to the nineteen eighties."

"But how could you?" said their mother. "That's totally impossible."

Sheena sat up and stared at her sister.

"I don't understand. What was that?"

"Oh God! All we wanted was to find out about fashion."

"We shouldn't have been so curious."

"I feel violated."

"So much spandex."

"All those shoulder pads."

"It's just a nightmare," said their mother, as she watched their pale, sweaty faces contort in agony. "It's going to be okay."

The night before, Sheena and Celeste had belted themselves into the time machine located at the back of their closet, behind piles of identical breathing suits in shades of beige and grey.

The question that burned into their brains night and day was,What was fashion? That was what the sisters were dying to find out.

Yet the machine they had built would not travel back from the present 2257 to pre-2050, to the time when people lived on Earth, until global warming made the ice caps melt and the rivers rise, until pollution was so thick it burnt the insides of  their lungs and they had no choice but to move to Mars or die.

As the time machine juddered into life Sheena noticed that her pet rat, Bleepers, had gnawed through some of the wires. The time dial was spinning like it never had before. The sisters shrieked with excitement as they watched it race back in time:  2045, 2025, 2000 ....

Oh my God! It was their lucky day. Yes indeed, maybe Bleepers would change their fortunes. 

"Thank you Bleepers!" Sheena shrieked, slamming her fist on the dashboard. "We're heading to 1982! This is it Celeste.We're going to find out what fashion really means! Woohoo!"


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Trifecta Challenge: Big Screen and Little Screen

This is Week 69 of the Trifecta writing prompt which asks us to use the definition below. 

The word is INFECT. 


There was a time when I would
Watch the Big Screen
And before I knew it
I would have a terrible craving for
Big Screen told me it would make my edges go fuzzy
And it did
What fun it all was
Some days Big Screen would infect me 
And I'd find myself
Rollerskating in white shorts during my period
Like a zombie
In the evening Big Screen whispered to me 
That to win my husband's love
I should scrub my private parts with Lysol
It was a most effective strategy
Big Screen became like a lover
And I turned up the sound
Drowning in Big Screen's voice
Until I was so busy watching
Big Screen 
That my husband left me
And my white shorts got too tight
I was buying too much KFC
And scrubbing with Lysol played havoc with my skin
Decades have passed
And I don't let Big Screen boss me around any more
Like he used to
Now I don't let Big Screen tell me what to do
I carry Little Screen with me
In my pocket
And talk to her often
She is my best friend
With a constant stream
Of chatter in my ear
I suppose it's just a different
Sort of prison
Because I can never switch her off


Don't forget! There is still time to enter my Limerick competition and win a large Easter Egg!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Competition: Pen a Limerick - Win an Amazing Chocolate Egg

The Easter bunny above (called Paisley) and I are extremely egg-cited about the launch of my Easter Limerick competition (although you can't see his expression under all that fur).

Yes, I am looking for your finest Easter themed limericks. And naturally there is a prize from chocolatiers Hotel Chocolat for letting your creative juices flow onto paper or rather computer screen! So read on if deluxe chocolates are your drug of choice.
As I write I am chomping on a lovely gift from the peeps at Hotel Chocolat who sent me some of their Classic Egglets (below) which are smooth, creamy and delicious. For these are not just any chocolate Easter eggs. Oh no. These babies come as a clutch of seven mellow egglets and come filled with super soft Salted Caramel, smooth Pecan Praline, dreamy Vanilla Truffle and melt-away Hazelnut Praline.

Classic Egglet Selection

Hotel Chocolat have a strong ingredients philosophy and use only wholesome, real ingredients and their overall mantra is Less Sugar, More Cocoa. All their products are vegetarian.

Have I got you all excited yet?

Well if you want some chocs you'll have to pen the verse.

First I'll answer any questions you may have floating about:

Q: What is a limerick?

A: A limerick is a humorous verse of three long and two short lines with a rhyming pattern of AABBA.

Example written by me:

There once was a cat called Babbitt
Whose lust for Easter eggs became a habit
Chomping through dark, milk or mint
Her egg consumption left her so skint
She had no choice but to marry the Easter Rabbit

Q: Aren’t limericks usually obscene?

A: If you are even slightly familiar with limericks, you’ll likely be aware that they are often bawdy and/or vulgar. You are perfectly free to come close to vulgarity, even hint blatantly at it, but personally I prefer innuendo over blatant vulgarity (although you are free to experiment either way).

The theme is Easter. Bunnies, eggs, chirping chicks. The whole shebang.

Q: What can I win?

At the end of the contest, Paisley the bunny and I will choose a “Most Favored” among all limericks submitted. The author of the Most Favored Limerick will win:

The Egglet Extra Thick Easter Egg

An Egglet Extra Thick Easter Egg

Both half-shells are cast from their special 40% cocoa house milk chocolate. And inside – 12 mini eggs, gorgeously decorated with colourful flourishes and filled with liquid caramel, smooth hazelnut praline, strawberry ganache and more. 12 pieces.

Q: How do I participate?

A: Just post your Easter themed limerick in the comments section below.

Q: Can I enter more than once?

A: Of course! Crush us with your rhyming prowess. You’re welcome to enter as many times as you like, but please enter only one limerick per comment (unless your limerick is multi-versed).

Q: When is the deadline?

A: Monday March 25, 2013 at 11:59pm Eastern.

Yippee! Let the Easter Limerick Party begin!

Submit your Limerick:

Just use the comments section below to astound us with your creativity