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What can i say ,proper australian red wine for less than 50p a bottle.
Hubby and i are quite new to winemaking and had a lot of success with white wine kits but had yet to make a red with the depth and body of a shop bought red,they all turned out more like rose than red,palatable but hubby likes proper red!.
We bought a Bel Vino Australian red kit online from www.easybrew.co.uk for £12.50 it was a kit that makes 30 bottles and contains all the ingredients except sugar.
These kits contain a mixture of dried fruit and oak chips you basically put it in a barrel with water add some chemicals after a week you strain it add some more chemicals leave for 2 days and its ready.Easy peasy if you have the equipment the biggest problem we had was finding enough bottles to put it in ,so under cover of darkness we "recycled our neighbours recycling"
We are so impressed with this wine and we have bought a chardonnay kit to do next maybe that will be just as good
For those of you who don't know Scunthorpe at all your only experience of it will be as the butt of tv jokes,Robbie Coltraines Cracker character used to say Scunthorpe instead of cheers each time he took a drink..
Anyhow cultural or tourist mecca it may not be but it has at least one thing going for it:
The restaraunt San Pietro!
Located on High Street East in a former windmill it offfers a fine dining experience.The quality of food and the presentation along with attention to detail is fantastic
Husband and wife team Piero and Michelle deliver fantastic mediterranean food in a lovely setting a huge conservetory and garden terrace add to the ambience .quite modern in decor and very high class
All food comes imaginively displayed like little works of art in between courses you given little morselss of food to whet your appetite for the next course .All the waiters are very well dressed with their long aprons an burberry ties ,very continental the best thing about the service for me is when the food comes t the table they just know who ordered what no need to ask.In addition you are never rushed the table is yours for the night and the waiters dont bother you in fact they are almost telepathic appearing only when you require them
an example of the table d'hote menu from their website is :
2 COURSES - £12.95
3 COURSE - £15.95
San Pietro style minted Greek salad. (v)
home made soup of the day(v)
Pan fried cod cheeks on bulgar wheat cakes with a saffron and pepper dressing
Pan fried breast of cornfed chicken with marscapone cream, roast garlic and thyme dressing and garlic crisps
Pasta della Norma - penne pasta with roast tomato, aubergine, pine nuts and ricotta (v)
Ground fillet beef patties, spiced with cumin, ginger and chilli on wilted spinach with a tomato salsa and sour cream dressing
Fillet of salmon on pea puree with crispy pancetta
Duo of homemade ice creams
Bitter chocolate mousse with a ginger macaroon centre
Assiette of cheese with tasting accompaniments (£4.50 supplement)
DINNER updated 27/06/07
£26.50 per person
Homemade soup of the day (v)
Salad of local goat's chees with beetroot and watercress
Salmon and pineapple tartare with Mooli foam and a cuncumber and corriander salad.
Grilled fillet of sea bass with aubergine confit, chorizo and chilli
Medallions of pork loin with sundried tomatoes, oyster mushrooms and a port and rosemary reduction
Roast lemon grass and coriander marinated corn fed chicken with a crevette mousse, lemon grass cream and herb oil dressing
Roast mediterranean vegetable risotto (v)
Peach and amaretto 'knickerbockerglory'
Prosecco jelly with summer berries, lavender icecream and a blackberry tuile
Assiette of cheese with tasting accompaniments (£4.50 supplement)
The restaraunt is registered for civil weddings so can offer full packages for that special day .we held our wedding reception there and were treated like kings
I cannot recommend this highly enough !!!
San Pietro Restaurant
11 High Street East
RESERVATIONS: 01724 277774
Lunch: Tuesday to Saturday
Dinner: Monday to Saturday
Here is one of my fave desserts it looks impressive but is so simple to make
You will need:
Large mixing bowl
large plate/cake board
large(12" diameter)plastic cheesecake ring or the side portion of a springform cake tin
300g finely crushed digestive biscuits
125g butter melted
2 tbsp icing sugar
400g cream cheese
1 tblsp rum essence
1 litre double cream
mix the biscuits and melted butter together ,place the ring on the plate /board,put the biscuit mix into the ring and use the back of a spoon to flatten and smooth,allow to chill for at least 2 hours.
Place all the remaining ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix with the mixer until very thick and stiff,sppoon this mixture into the prepared base level vith a palette knife
Chill for 2 hours minimum then remove the ring and serve
This is a soup recipe i have adapted from a weightwatcher recipe book its very tasty,filling and very cheap to make about £1 for 4 portions
Hearty Chicken Broth
2 onions chopped
2 sticks celery sliced
2 carrots sliced
2 leeks sliced
50g pearl barley
1 chicken leg skin removed
Salt and pepper to season
1. Put the chicken ,barley and both stock cubes into a saucepan with enough water to cover the chicken portion. Cover the pan put onto the cooker bring the water to boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.(meanwhile prepare the vegetables)
2. After 40 minutes add the vegetables to the pan and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the chicken leg from the pan onto a plate and allow to cool slightly, once it has cooled pull all the meat from the bone and shred it into small pieces.
4. Remove about a quarter of the soup to a blender and puree it add this and the shredded chicken to the remainder of the soup add salt and pepper to taste and enough parsley to give a speckled appearance to the soup.
Have tried this with breast but doesn't taste as nice
I have in the past taught on the subject of healthy eating and would like to share with you some of the recipes i used to demonstrate ( i cooked all of these in a 90 minute session so you know they're quick too)
The emphasis of these recipes is eating for health not weightloss and to help achieve the 5 a day goal
Small pot peach yoghurt
225g tin apricots in juice
1. Put all the liquid ingredients into a blender and process until well mixed.
2. Add the peaches and blend until smooth
Chickpea and Potato Curry
1 large onion finely chopped
4 Tablespoons curry paste
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g cans of chickpeas drained and rinsed
250g potatoes peeled and diced quite small
Handful spinach leaves
Approximately 12 cherry tomatoes
1. Fry the onion in the oil until softened
2. Add the curry paste and cook gently until all the onion is coated
3. Stir in the tinned tomatoes
4. Add the potato and chick peas
5. If the mixture is very dry add the water then bring to the boil reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are cooked (approx 15 minutes)
6. At the last 5 minutes add the spinach and cherry tomatoes
7. Serve on a bed of rice preferably brown
Pressure Cooker Spring Casserole
500g diced chicken
5 carrots sliced
1 large onion chopped
1 leek sliced
4 sticks celery sliced
250g new potatoes halved
Large head broccoli
Vegetable stock powder
1. Place all the ingredients in the pressure cooker cook on high heat until reaches pressure then reduce the heat and cook for 6 minutes
2. Allow the pressure cooker to re pressurise take off the lid stir well and serve
Turkey and Bean Pitta Pockets
300g-turkey cut into strips
1 onion chopped
1 courgette sliced
½ red pepper sliced
½ yellow pepper sliced
1 400g tin kidney beans drained and rinsed
1. Stir fry the turkey in the oil until almost cooked (about 5 minutes)
2. Add the onion mushrooms courgette and peppers continue to cook until everything is cooked (about 5 minutes)
3. Stir in the beans and cook for a further 5 minutes
4. Toast the Pitta breads fill with the mixture and top with yoghurt dip (recipe below)
Large carton Natural yoghurt
½ cucumber Grated
1 tablespoon Dried mint
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, refrigerate until required
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but It's 14 weeks on tuesday till christmas!
What will you do!!!
Food wise won't be too bad this year as its my sisters turn to cook lunch on the day(we alternate so i only cook once every 3 years) although i will take wine and a cheeseboard.Other wise i would be squirelling away stuff in my cupboards and freezer from september onwards.
I will never buy a whole turkey again! ALDI do a turkey crown stuffed with apricot abd cranberry stuffing its 2kg of pure meat(plenty for 8-10) and yummy best part is its less than a tenner!
Otherwise we dont go mad, afterall the shops hardly close any more and by boxing day were all sick of eating i mostly buy what i buy each week with a few extras like:
Nuts in shells
large tins sweets
boxes of wine gums/licorice allsorts
Extra alcohol(i like cocktails so stock up on various bottles when on offer)
I also bake cakes,cookies & mince pies etc
Just buy my kids (6 & 16) my nephew and my Nanna ,my sister, hubby and parents have all agreed not to buy presents for each other its just silly buying for the sake of it we would much rather save our money and spend time together instead.
Another idea ive heard of is all the family get together put names in a hat and instead of buying lots of people a little present you buy one decent present for the person whose name you picked
I try to buy most of my presents in the supermarket or in poundland or home bargains that way you don't spend a lot all in one go.I've known people who go to Toys R Us on christmas eve and spend £1000
I hve lots of decorations all reusable some of which i have had for 17yrs. Sometimes i buy something new in the boxing day sales but i have also made lots of them including:
pine cones on a wire
bundles cinammon sticks tied with ribbon
ginger tree biscuits
dried orange slices
With the cinnamon and ginger decorations people often say my house smells of christmas!
Cards and giftwrap
Again i try to buy in the sale but sometimes misplace it
I got my xmas bag out yesterday and seem to have enough cards but will need to buy paper probably home bargains or wilkinson or card warehouse (8 bottle bags for £1)
At our house christmas is about SPENDING TIME together not about breaking the bank to impress the kids friends.
What will you be doing???
Tesco home delivery..............................................
These are my personal expieiences and views
After the initial registration i found the website quite easy to navigate my first order took about an hour subsequent shops have taken about half that(and you get to sit down with a coffee whilst doing it)
But it costs more doesn't it ??
The prices online are the same as instore so not exactly however...if you normally shopat asda or lidl or netto for example you may find the prices slightly higher but in my opinion this is very little plus if you are at home you avoid impulse buying and because the total cost of your trolley is displayed on screen you can keep a track on what your spending .i also find it much easier to compare prices online as each item has the price per 100g etc displayed.
What if things are missing /damaged??
This does happen on occasion but you can go to a supermarket and still not get everything you want and you can always suggest substitutes etc .I have also found that credit is easy to obtain for substandard /damaged products a simple e mail usually does the trick
I have to pay for delivery !
I prefer to think of this charge as a saving of both time petrol and stress!!Pick a midweek delivery and its only £3.99 again you may save this by not impulse buying
Overall not had many problems and any complaints have always been dealt with satisfactory
The only thing that really made me put off using the service for so long was i didn,t like the idea of just being given any old pack of meat i like to inspect it thoughroly and pick long dated products ....so do they!!
Overall always had great experiences and the drivers are really friendly and carry everything to my kitchen
Long may it continuexx
Thought you may like to see a copy of the letter my hubby wrote to B&Q by way of complaint to the atrocious delivery fiasco which followed our order for new kitchen worktops and breakfast bar
Dear Sir /Madam
Once upon a time it came to pass that two mere mortals decided to do some alterations to their kitchen
They found themselves (after much wandering over hills and through dark woods) at an emporium called B&Q kingdom.
Twas here the journey ended, they found all manner of delights to give them joy and after much consideration placed an order this was upon the day of our lord September 2nd 2006. Such was their joy that church bells rang out, people feasted, and old ladies cried at their happiness, but unbeknown to them though, dark clouds were gathering in the faraway land of delivery.
Unaware of the impending doom they ventured further to a nearby tile kingdom where they purchased sufficient matching tiles to complete their dream kitchen. little did they know it was only a matter of time before their dream became a nightmare.
The happy couple engaged a builder to fix their castle and make it like new and peace and joy was celebrated throughout the land (often with a glass of Chilean Merlot)
The dark clouds continued to gather, it seemed as if a wicked wizard was at work. When at last the long awaited magical delivery day arrived but the precious cargo had been stolen by evil goblins only an edging strip was left behind.
Oh cruel fate this was, after waiting in all day and taking a day off work to only get this tantalising glimpse of what should have been.
Meanwhile at B&Q the time delay and great loss had been blamed on a wormhole in space and a record number of sunspots. The lady of the castle was distraught, and the master perplexed.
Five weeks passed with no news of the stolen goods .The builder by now had turned into a nasty snarling gremlin (obviously enchanted by a wicked spell). He was incarcerated in the dungeons as he kept trying to leave, shouting give me work, give me work.
The dark clouds still held, and after the five-week wait another magical device arrived and yes another day off work was needed (the kingdom was falling into ruin).
Again the wicked wizard sent goblins that stole the eagerly awaited cargo. This time they made off with the breakfast bar. Only the worktops were delivered.
These were lovingly stored in the great hall. So large were they, that they blocked the kings study and the castle lounge door. But not to worry, at least this prevented the builder gremlin from escaping.
People came from far and wide to see the tops in the great hall. In time the tops became legendary.
Many years passed and the lady of the castle became saddened at the passing of time. The master had long since joined the chapel Choir to help him cope, and all he could offer his lady as solace was a rendition of Jesu Joy of Mans Desiring(baritone).
People started calling out in the street, How are the tops, are they all here yet? they began to mock, and crowds jeered.
Twas then the fair lady snapped. She wanted to send the tops away and start again with another kingdom, but it wasnt to be. Vile wizards circled the castle and sent three wise men from the east, as Christmas was approaching (I suspect these were goblins in disguise). They arrived with tiles that matched the tops, so there would be no escape.
Meanwhile the builder gremlin was on hunger strike and became ill. The Master considered taking holy orders, but instead took more time off work for the final delivery. Eventually the long awaited breakfast bar arrived. The kingdom had crumbled, and the castle had become nothing more than a place of pilgrimage. People journeyed for many months, just to see all the tops together with the edging strip. The battle of the tops was won. But the kingdom had paid a terrible price, and winning did not seem such a victory after all and the king was very disappointed that he had chosen to entrust his and the queens dreams to B&Q.
In order to restore peace and trust to the land the king and queen hope that B&Q will smile kindly on the couple and compensate them for their distress.
Then they could all live ..
Happily Ever After
P.S. The builder gremlin disappeared and was never heard from again
We had great results we got a cheque for £100 which was about 30% of the cost of our order
Chocolate the food of the gods ...literally...
The earliest record of chocolate was over fifteen hundred years ago in the Central American rain forests, where the plant from which chocolate is derived,( the Cacao Tree)
The Cacao Tree was worshipped by the Mayan civilisation of Central America and Southern Mexico, who believed it to be of divine origin, Cacao is actually a Mayan word meaning "God Food" hence the tree's modern generic Latin name 'Theobrama Cacao' meaning Food of the Gods.
Cacao was renamed 'Cocoa' by the early European explorers. The Maya brewed a spicy, bitter sweet drink by mixing with maize and Capsicum (Chilli) peppers and letting it ferment. This drink was reserved for use in ceremonies as well as for drinking by the wealthy and religious elite
Chocolate is very fussy. The Cocoa Tree will grow only within a latitude of 10 degrees north or south of the equator, at about 250' (76m) above sea level!
Chocolate is sensual it melts at exactly body temperature.The Aztec's regarded chocolate as an aphrodisiac as do many today
I bought one of these 2 years ago for a commercial setting (i also bought the matching freezer)it really took some stick for 18 months then i needed something bigger so it came home , where despite its huge capacity it always seems full
It is really easy to clean, its quiet it has lots of little storage shelves in the door (great for all those half used mustard jars) it has a great flap on one shelf that lifts so you can put tall things on the shelf below
I paid for the set £389 from Empire direct online delivery was free and the kitchen they delivered it to was up 2 flights of steep stairs but they didn't complain
I also got the set in silver for the price of white because it was out of stock in white!
Overall great value for money some small branded fridge-freezers cost more than i paid for the set
Very reliable and would recommend both the appliance and the company i bought it from
After much internet surfing and comparison i purchase one of these from currys online for £229(couple of months ago now so prices have come down since)
My main aim was to use this for wildlife photos as well as the usual family snapshots.
The thing that drew me to this model was the 12x optical zoom and thanks to this i have taken some great bird pictures and even had a few published.
The camera operates fantastically on the simple mode it even automatically focuses on moving subjects but focus but the biggest problem for me is that this is a really high spec camera and i am only using about a tenth of the functions.
The main reason being i am not an expert photorapher (on the other hand i am not stupid either) but the manual may as well be written in a foriegn language!!
If you have quite a bit of expert knowledge already its probably really simple otherwise i would opt for a point and press type camera instead
I too was prejudiced about vax vacuums. Large orange cumbersome machines or so i thought!
I was also seduced by the half price offer i paid £69 at argos.
I figured if it was designed to pick up pet hair it would probably have excellent suction i wasn't disappointed the carpet nearly disappeared the first time i turned it on.
we don't have pets but i find that most vacuums lose suction even a short while after emptying not the case with this one though as it somehow pulls all the debris to the top of the dust collecter and away from the central filter
Emptying is so easy just hold over your dustbin or in our case compost bin press a button and all the muck falls out the bottom!! The only thing bad thing i would say about it is that it's quite heavy so probably not a good idea for the elderly.
It also came with lots of attachments including a special one for laminate flooring which essentially turns it into a broom with suction, also an upholstery tool which has a revolving brush and is fantastic for stairs as well as the usual crevice tool and brush
The unit has an adjustable handle and a long hose which suits me as i am quite tall.
Overall really pleased and i think the price was great