Sunday, 29 July 2012

Silent Sunday #13

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Recipe and review #4

Cod Rarebit

Recently we were lucky enough to win some fish from this great company Delish Fish

Not Much Left :(
 They sell locally caught sea fish from the port of Peterhead, Scotland. They prepare it, pack it and post it. The box we received was a mixture of Mackerel, Salmon, Hake, Cod and Scallops. All vacuumed packed and ready for freezing. Before writing this blog with Gerry's famous Cod Rarebit recipe. We have tried the Mackerel with Garlic and Mackerel with pepper, which Gerry just heated up in foil parcels. The wild Hake which was just simply pan fried. As we not a lover of Salmon, our daughter took some Salmon fillets to try. Just got to say on everything tried so far, the quality of the fish is un-surpassed. We say that with a bit of authority as we live in Great Yarmouth and have access to fresh fish here on a daily basis. Delish Fish products are superb in all areas of quality, taste and price. Well on to the recipe.....

Ingredients (The quantities here are for fish of about 100g in weight, if you want to make more just add more to each ingredient. Nothing needs to be exact. Just add to it looks right)
  • Cod or any white fish in fillets or steaks.Smoked or un-smoked. Skin on or off.
  • Red Onion - thinly sliced.
  • Tomato - thinly sliced.
  • Big tablespoon of Crème Fresh.
  • English mustard (Colman's is the best) 3rd teaspoon to start with.
  • 20g grated cheese, again to start with.
  • Teaspoon of Worcester sauce, again to start with.
  • Few twists of black pepper.
All the bits you need.
  • Pre-heat your oven at gas 7 or 220C
  • If your fish has been defrosted, then dry with paper towels. Then place skin side down (if it has skin) in an oven proof dish. The sauce will run so make sure you got a sided dish.
The lovely fish from Delish Fish

  •  Add the sliced onions
Onions added.
  • Now add the sliced tomatoes. 
Tomatoes too.
  • Now the sauce. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. That's the Crème Fresh, mustard, cheese, Worcester sauce, pepper.
Whoops forgot something.

That's it Worcester sauce. Now mix it all together.
  • Once mixed have a taste, if too 'pale' then add some more mustard and or Worcester sauce. Or not cheesy enough then add more cheese. The taste totally up to you. If it looks like not enough to cover the fish than add more Crème Fresh and more of the other ingredients.
  • Now spoon the mixture over the fish and spread out to cover.
All covered with sauce.

  •  Now with all that done place in oven, how long it takes depends on thickness and amount of fish. The one in the picture took about 30 minutes in the middle of the oven. Give yours 15 minutes and check. If the fish flakes and looks cooked then it is. It is a matter of a quick taste before you commit to serve.
  • At this point you can finish off by putting dish under the grill to crisp the top off. It is up to you. We did not bother this time.
All cooked.
  • There it is ready for any 'sides' you want to have. We had boiled new potatoes and a simple salad with ours. A lovely fish supper. 
This dish was lovely and with the quality of the fish it made it so much better. Well hope you like and please do visit Delish Fish and give them a look. We guarantee you won't be disappointed with their products on offer.
We would love your feedback on this please.

By Phyllis and Gerry. Not a sponsored post.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Review #3


Fresh Idea For..
Sizzling Steak
with Caramelised
Red Onion

First off, I am not a great fan of packet mixes, so do not buy them as a rule. But I do like the Maggi brand, mainly because of their, for want of a better description "Worcestershire Sauce". Which my mum and now I have been using for years as a flavouring etc, in much the same way as the Worcestershire Sauce. So we gave this packet a go, because it was on special offer buy one get one free.

So once you bought this packet you need the ingredients, which are in this case.
  • 2tbsp oil
  • 2 red onions sliced
  • 1 bell pepper sliced
  • 450g (1lb) beef frying steak, fat off, cut into strips
  • Things to serve it with (potatoes or rice, vegetables etc, up to you really)
  • 100ml water
 That is basically what it says on the back of the packet. 

So they say follow the instructions, and on this packet, it is precise and to the point. They do make a point of not rushing the onion bit, which as a amateur cook I can understand as you need to caramelise them. But that important information is put in the cooking tips part and not under step one where it should be.

Apart from that if you follow and do as said, the recipe seems to work. The problem I have with these and any packet mix of this sort, is you need to know basic cooking (not for beginners) and really all it is doing is adding the flavouring. Which if you had the time or more importantly the ingredients (I think that is why these sell) you could do it all from scratch. 

Well before a summery and judgment here are some pictures.

Step 1

Spend time to caramelise the onions

Peppers in
 Step 2

Beef and Maggi added

 No step 3 it was just adding water and cooking 'till 'done' 

Ready to eat

Well we had it with, well you can see....

All in all, if you got basic cooking skills, (how to slice onion, peel a pepper, shred and trim a piece of frying steak) then you can do this. Its good for people who don't cook on a regular bases, in other words don't have the ingredients to make up the flavours provided in the packet mix.

Be warned the 'sizzling' in the title means hot as in a quite hot 'chilli' hot. Well it did to me as I am not a fan of spicy food. I ate it, the instructions worked.

This packet will be bought again and put in the cupboard for 'emergency' use in the future.

I will, and have tried the other products in their range on the strength of this. 

So best suggestion to you all that have read this far is give them a go. Wait like us 'till they on special offer.

We bought this product so was not sponsored at all (well that is normal for us)
Written by Gerry Ellett

Sunday, 13 May 2012

cooking tips #5

Cooking Tips
(Cheap and Easy)
Number 5

Pork Schnitzel

 Cheap easy meat dish, that can be eaten hot, cold, with salads, spuds, rice, well anything. 

This is an occasional blog post to hopefully give you readers, simple, tested cooking ideas. I am not trying to teach you to suck eggs. Most of these posts will not be full recipes but just to show you how to do the basics right. I have tried different techniques by TV and Book Chefs that promised the perfect so and so, sadly most of them do not work. Below I will show the ones that worked. All these tips have been used a minimum of 10 times with constant results. I hope you find these useful. So here goes........
  • Pork lions (as many as you want, one lion makes two Schnitzels)
  • Ready made breadcrumbs (I use Paxo Golden Breadcrumbs)
  • Plain flour
  • Eggs beaten (number depends on how many Schnitzels you are making)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Meat hammer
  • Deep sided frying pan
Lets Cook
First of all we need to prepare the pork lions. We usually get ours from Asda when they are on the 3 for £10 meat pack deal. So for one of the packs you get 6 pork lions, so that's about 55p per loin and that makes 2 Schnitzels. In this example we using just 4 loins.

Pork loins ready to prepare.
First thing to do is remove and trim any fat off the loins and cut each loin into two pieces lengthways. Although pork loins do not have much fat, we remove any left over as it does not like being 'whacked' with the meat hammer as it goes all 'stringy'. Also it becomes 'tough' when fried.

Fat trimmed and cut into two.
Next we need to 'whack' the loins with the good old meat hammer. This does two things. First to make the meat thin enough to allow it to fry quickly and therefore cook properly. You need to get the meat under 5mm in thickness. Second when the meat is 'whacked' makes the meat, how can I say, un-tough when you eat it, as it is cooked relatively quickly. 
So using the meat hammer, 'whack' each side until you get the desired thickness. You don't have to mad. Just gentle to medium hits work. Best to do it on a good quality wooden chopping board and not your work top. So now you should have something like this......

After the meat hammer.
So next we need to make our 'production line'. This consists of the meat on a plate, next the flour on a plate, followed by whisked egg on a plate and finally, you guessed it, the breadcrumbs on a plate. Like so.....

The production line.
So guess what you need to do next, well....

First cover the piece of meat in flour, by lightly tapping down on both sides and then gently shake off excess. 

Next dip the floured meat in egg on both sides. Again gently shake off any excess.

Lastly before frying, lets dip in the breadcrumbs on each side.

Bread crumbing.
Now that is one done, repeat for all the meat you need to prepare. If you run out of any of the flour, egg, breadcrumbs, just add more to the plates.

All prepared, ready for frying.
Just a note, its messy work so, you will need to wash your hands a few times.

Well its time to fry. To start with fill a deep sided frying pan with about 5cms of vegetable oil. This needs to be heated first to just above a medium heat. Once ready gently put in two of the prepared pieces. Let fry for a three or four minutes. Then turn over and do the same. The whole process should not take more than eight minutes at the most. Two things you need to worry about is, first make sure the oil is not to hot or cold and second that the breadcrumbs to not over cook and burn. 

Once done take out and drain on kitchen paper. Continue with the next two and so on. If you are doing a large batch then if the oil becomes a dirty black then replace the old oil with new. Then continue.

Cooked. One cut in half.
That is it. The beauty of this recipe. Is that it can be eaten straight away hot or it is great cold for example when packed in tin foil for a picnic. If you having a BBQ and make this before, it makes a great alternative for people who are fed up with the normal BBQ fare. It can be eaten with any 'side' you like (salad, chips, mash, rice, gravy, dips). Also it makes a great filling for a sandwich. We just love it.

I hope you will try and enjoy. 

Cooked and written by Gerry.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Review #2

Weetabix Golden Syrup
Around £2.49 for 24 Biscuits

This is an occasional blog post to hopefully give you readers,some ideas on great quality products.

We recently lucky enough to win a 24 biscuit box of the new Golden Syrup variety of Weetabix thanks to @weetabixcereals. So we decided we would tell you all what we thought of them. 

This is a new variant of the good old traditional Weetabix. This time with another old favourite Golden Syrup.

Well when we found out we won, we had a little discussion on how this product might taste. The thought that kept coming up was the words Golden Syrup. To us this brings back childhood memories of the big tin where we were allowed to lick the spoon. Although we have used Golden Syrup loads of times since those long lost childhood days. The image of the taste of this new product was, "Its going to be sweet, and a bit sickly". So we waited with great curiosity.

On receipt of the box, we gave the Weetabix a go, just with milk. Well the perception we had before could not be more further from the truth. It is not tinned Golden Syrup sweet or sickly. It took a little while for us to come to a description of the taste over the taste of the original Weetabix. 

Well the final answer we agreed on was a very slight, pleasant caramel type taste. So pleasant it was moorish. We were and are very impressed with the taste of this new product.

The thing that would have put us off buying this over the original Weetabix, is the sub title Golden Syrup. It does tend to make you think that it is, as we said before that is going to have a sweet sickly taste. Oh how wrong were we. It is now on our monthly shopping list.

So in conclusion, Weetabix Golden Syrup is a very good cereal, we highly recommend you try them.

For more information on Nutrition and Ingredients please visit

 This is not a sponsored post

Written by Phyllis. v1.0

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Grandparents Must Buy #1

Review of Penwizard Personalised Book

We recently were lucky to win a personalised children's book for our Grandaughter Grace from Mummy Alarm and provided by Penwizard.

So with the win voucher code in hand we visited their website.

Our first impressions of their site is good, easy to navigate layout. So we went to choose the book for Grace. This was simple for us as it, in this case has to be Peppa Pig. Its good that they have known characters on their site. We chose our book (Peppa Pig Goes to your Child's Party). Clicked on Create and then were presented with the 'Changing Room' screens. This is where you can personalise your gift to suit the child with name, hair, skin, etc etc and including a personal message from the sender. This process was very easy to do. We double checked all details before continuing, as they say any mistakes at this point is your fault. Which is fair enough.

We then went through the ordering process, and although we did not have to pay, everything else was very simple. Pressed Order Confirm and that was it.

As soon as we confirmed we got an email saying order processing and also an expected dispatch date which was in 3 days after the order day. The next day we got an email telling us it was dispatched and guess what the next day the postman delivered it (1st class) in a sturdy cardboard envelope marked do not bend. 

The reason for the last paragraph is to say that after you paid your money, the electronic contact with a company and the promise of delivery that happens and ties up with the auto generated emails must happen. In this case it did.

Upon opening, first impressions of the book was of such high quality, although its a soft back the covers are glossy and thick. This size of the book is 28cm x 21cm, so not a small book. The inside pages are matt and of thick paper too. Same quality book as you would buy your grandchild in a bookshop with no worries.

The story is great, her name was printed on most pages. Our overall impression that if we were to spend the £17.49 for the book including postage and packing (UK), we would be very pleased at our purchase.

One thing that did come to mind is the book has the Ladybird symbol and trademark on it. We checked back on the website and from what we can see, this is not promoted. Well as Grandparents we grew up with Ladybird books and to us it is a very trusted brand. So if Penwizard is reading this, hopefully you might give the Ladybird logo a bit more prominence on your website.

At this time Grace has yet to see the book. We start our childcare again on Monday 16th. So we know her and she will love it, as with all children this age (3) they love to see their name in print.

Front Cover, with Grace's name and 3 we chose

Sample page, Grace's name is there on most pages.
Grace reading the book again!

In conclusion we would recommend you give this site a look, if you looking for a different present, that would give you Kudos in the Grandparents stakes. 

The quality of the product and the ease of use of the website makes it a highly recommended purchase.

For more information please visit.

This is not a sponsored post

Written by Phyllis and Gerry v1.0 (more photos and Grace's reaction soon)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Things To Do Before I’m …..

Got invited, well few days back now to have ago at a Meme by my lovely twitter friend Alison from her blog post HERE. I had a look and put it on the back burner. Now here I am going to sort of write my own. As I got quite a short memory span, going to re-read her post and write this post.

Reading Alison's post and the post she got invited to have a go from another blogger 'I May Not Be Your Mom But I'll Be Your Friend', the post is HERE. The idea seems to originate from a post by 'Two point Four Children' and it can be found HERE. The reasons for all the links, is to give you an idea of different ideas people have for the goals they wish to achieve. 

Now re-reading again the posts I have linked to, it seems you now need to reveal your age. This is where I will go a bit different now. As a married couple, Gerry and I. We try to keep everything on the Internet as a joint thing. It is very hard as Facebook, Google+ and a few others do not allow this. Everything has to be individual. This annoys us. Any I digress. But as I at 56 and Gerry at 48, we are going to say things we would like both to do in two years time from today.  This is a joint list.

So here goes.(Get to use bullet points too)

  1. Try to complete 100% Burnout Paradise on the Xbox360, we stuck on 94%, plus the online achievements.
  2. Visit Scotland, the Highlands for a long touring holiday.
  3. Re-visit 'The Langdale' in Cumbria and have Cumberland sausage and red cabbage in the local pub.
  4. Get our passports renewed.
  5. Win, borrow, beg or steal enough money to visit Florida.
  6. Get a 6 burner cooker (that's more Gerry's) but I will benefit in more lovely food.
  7. Least get some of our respected families together for a day, will need a wedding for that (Sarah or Kayleigh)
  8. Put a Christmas tree up.
  9. Finish decorating this place, been two years and counting. If it carries on, will be like the Forth Rail Bridge, once we finish will have to start again.
  10. Sit together and watch Lost season 1 and 2. Still on the shelf and still with shrink wrap around them.
  11. Learn how to grow herbs, like Jamie etc have in their TV kitchens, I am sure they are just put there.
  12. Take Grace to one of the Wednesday night summer firework displays on the beach.
  13. Go to Great Yarmouth races, both lived here for years and never been. its a 15 minute bus ride.
  14. Buy a banana tree. Not a real one, but to hang our bananas on.
  15. Have a proper night sleep when Grace is sleeping over. She three but we both up every hour checking on her. Very silly. We worry to much.
  16. Give cockles and mussels another go and try to like them. We live in a seaside town, they have the seafood stalls on the market with the little pots of them and toothpicks. Just at the moment don't like them.
  17. De-clutter, this will never happen. Have tried it loads of times. Just move a load of cr*p from box to a new box.
  18. Do not buy any more Goldfish, got five left, had eight. Bought for Grace. She really don't care. So when the last one goes to the great fish shop in the sky. That is it.
  19. Be rich enough to put £1 coins in the 'Christmas' pig, just once.
  20. See Kayleigh qualify as a nurse. Think that is about two years time. That one is up to her.
At the moment can't tag no one as I have to look around the blogs I read and blogger friends on twitter to see who has not been invited. Will update when I have some people.

If you feel the need to write a post like this please link it to Two Point Four Children's page

written by Phyllis and Gerry

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Fish Fight Vote

We Won the 1st Fight
on the original post below.

 On Monday the 19/03/2012 after a meeting of of EU ministers in Brussels. It was decided to allow the proposals to be debated in the full European Parliament. So if agreed it WILL become European law. So the first battle is over. Please do not give up, lobby your MEP and MEP's of all the European Countries. Please read the Guardian Article HERE then, go to the original post below and click on the link to sign up if you feel so inclined.

Stop this Please
Quick Post
Your Chance to Influence a EU vote
Monday 19/03/2012 is the Deadline

I am not going to copy the great campaign from the Celebrity Chef  Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall here. I will give you a link below to read.

All I can say is that from our view point, we are not 'greenies', we don't crave organic because its better etc. But over the last five years we have become to choose where are food comes from and this is, as we live by the sea, has become a part of it. Also we concerned over the waste in the food industry and food miles. 
This campaign has really hit the mark here, it is so important to the sustainable existence of wildlife (ie fish etc) in our sea and how we farm them.

Please take time to watch the video clip and visit the website. If you agree please join up and shout your views.



Saturday, 3 March 2012

cooking tips #4

Cooking Tips
(Cheap and Easy)
Number 4
Leftover Chicken or Turkey Curry
 Cheap with store cupboard stuff.
Makes a change from chicken and chips, chicken sandwiches
or to stop you throwing a half eaten roast bird away. 
Cooking time 40 minutes.

This is an occasional blog post to hopefully give you readers, simple, tested cooking ideas. I am not trying to teach you to suck eggs. Most of these posts will not be full recipes but just to show you how to do the basics right. I have tried different techniques by TV and Book Chefs that promised the perfect so and so, sadly most of them do not work. Below I will show the ones that worked. All these tips have been used a minimum of 10 times with constant results. I hope you find these useful. So here goes........
  • Teaspoon olive oil (or vegetable oil) 
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons of Mild curry powder. If using Hot curry powder you might want to reduce the number of tablespoons.
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cube chicken stock, you know OXO etc
  • 1 can of water, this means when you use the tomatoes, fill the tin with water
  • 450g of leftover chicken or turkey, if you got less then put in what you have left. Just cut it into smallish pieces. 
  • Large saucepan or deep sided frying pan (as in photos)
 Lets Cook
Heat the oil in the pan to a medium heat and add the chopped onions, let them sweat for a few minutes. Once becoming soft then add the garlic. Cook for a few minutes more. 
Sweating down
 Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, crushed stock cube and curry powder, then mix in well.

Stuff added, now mix with spoon
Now fill the empty tomato tin with cold water and pour in and mix again.

Next add the chopped chicken or turkey and stir in. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. 

boiling, now about to be turned down to a simmer

After 30 minutes the 'sauce' should have thickened up a lot. It is now ready to serve with rice or whatever you fancy.
With rice, trust me its lovely
If you have leftover chicken or turkey and do not fancy this the next day then just cook this. Let it cool, put in containers and freeze for a later date. That is a great way to save money and waste.

With a half of a chicken left after a roast, this recipe will provide 2 more meals for 2 people at a cost of less than £1 per person. 

Written by Gerry.