Sunday, March 25, 2012

Recipe of the week – Chilli wraps

You could also serve this with rice instead of wraps. Simply add a tin of drained cooked kidney beans to the mix.

Serves 2

  • 6oz mince, preferably lean
  • 1 green pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pint of hot beef stock (from a cube is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of dried Oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon of mild chilli powder (or more if you like it hotter)
  • 4 wraps

Dry fry the mince in a frying pan over a medium heat until the mince is browned. If there’s oil from the mince left in the pan, carefully drain it away.

Add the onions and the peppers and cook for about five minutes.

Next add the flour and mix until everything is coated in the flour. Add to the stock the Oregano, tomato puree and chilli powder and give it a quick stir.

Turn the heat up to high and pour the stock into the pan then mix well.

Turn the heat down until the mix is simmering and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Stir several times during cooking to stop the mix from sticking to the pan.

Heat the wraps in a microwave according to the instructions on the packet.

Spoon the mix into a warmed bowl and serve with shredded lettuce.

All the weights are in ‘old money’. If you want them in Metric, you’ll have to convert it yourself….

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Recipe of the week - Rock bars

If you like rock cakes you’ll love these.

Makes 16

  • 8oz self-raising flour
  • 4oz margarine (softened)
  • 2oz granulated sugar
  • 4oz dried fruit (sultanas or raisins or a combination of both is fine)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • 1oz demerara sugar

Pre-heat oven to 200º c/Gas Mk 6. Fan oven 180ºc

Line a 11x7x1 inch/ 28x18x2.5cm tin with baking parchment.

Add the flour and margarine into a bowl and rub in (like you were making pastry) until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Next add in the sugar and dried fruit. Stir in the egg and milk and mix until it forms a firm dough.

Put the mixture into the tin, pressing it into the corners and levelling it off with the back of a spoon.

Cut into 16 bars and sprinkle the top with the demerara sugar.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Allow to cool before removing the bars from the tin.

All the weights are in ‘old money’. If you want them in Metric, you’ll have to convert it yourself….

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Number two

Poops – I did it again. Another blocked loo by yours truly.

Instead of it being over eight inches long like the last time, it was more like a bowling ball.....

And yes it did take some getting out !!!!!!


Sunday, March 11, 2012


In cosmology there is a number, called Hubble's Constant. It's named after Edwin Hubble, the man who first realised that the universe is expanding. The units don't matter but generally, the smaller the value, the older and bigger the universe is.

Hubble put the value at 500, but then with the equipment at his disposal he had no way of understanding just how big the universe is. Over the years the value has been worked downwards and until recently the accepted value was somewhere around 70.

The value relies on an understanding of a certain type of star, the Cepheid Variable and new data on these has led to a revaluing of the constant.

The proposed new value of Hubble's Constant is ... 42. Maybe Douglas Adams knew something we don't.

Had he lived, Douglas Adams would have been 60 today. And I think he would have been rather pleased.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Dog walkers needed

**If you are of a sensitive disposition please do not read this......*

When it comes to going to the loo to do a 'number two' (or a download as we call it....), I'm afraid I don't belong in the 'twice a day' club. I go when I'm ready, which can be once a week; once a fortnight or even once a month.

I went to the loo yesterday morning, and having not been for a while, I knew my download would be on the large side. That was an understatement !!!!!!!!

Normally when they're on the 'large side' a couple of flushes of the loo gets rid of it. Sadly that didn't work.

We had a similar problem of a blocked loo a couple of years ago (caused by me again...) so I wrapped some plastic bags over the loo brush and gave it a vigorous plunge down the pan.

It wasn't budging. I tried again – and again – and again. Nothing.

Reluctantly I put my rubber gloved hand down the pan to see if I could move the obstruction. It was like poking a piece of wood. There was no way that was going to be flushed down the loo. So it had to come out.....

I took a couple of deep breaths when plunged my gloved hand back into the pan. No wonder I'd been constipated. It was over eight inches of solid poo....

Now I know what a dog walker goes through.


Sunday, March 04, 2012

Recipe of the week – Cornbeef pie

A delicious pie. You can eat it cold for picnics or parties, or hot served with chips and lots of tomato ketchup…

  • 1 tin of cornbeef, roughly chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 12oz of shortcrust pastry

  • 2 baking potatoes

  • Milk

  • Tomato ketchup

Lightly grease a 13 ½ inch x 8 inch x 1 inch baking tin. Don't worry if you don't have that size tin as any of similar size will do.

Pre-heat oven to 180º c/Gas Mk 4. Fan oven 160ºc

Make the pastry and allow it to rest in the fridge for at least ½ hour.

Peel and chop the potatoes into chunks then boil until tender.

Lightly mash the cooked potatoes with a little milk then add the cornbeef and onion. Mash the mix again, without adding any more milk, to combine the cornbeef and onion. Be careful not to over mash.

Add a couple of shakes of tomato ketchup to the mix and mash lightly again. Taste the mix to see if you require any more ketchup.

Take half of the pastry, and on a floured surface, roll it out thinly until it’s slightly larger than the tin.

Line the bottom of the tin with the pastry. Trim with a knife the surplus pastry that's hanging over the edge of the tin.

Add the cornbeef filling to the tin.

Using the remaining half of the pastry and any scraps of left to roll out the top for the pie.

Moisten the edges of the pastry with some water and add the top of the pastry to the pie. Press down the edges to seal the pie. Trim off the surplus pastry.

Make a couple of holes on the pastry top with the tip of a knife to allow seam to escape.

Brush the top with milk and bake in the oven for 40 minutes until the top is golden brown.

All the weights are in ‘old money’. If you want them in Metric, you’ll have to convert it yourself….