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4/30/2012

"Walking to School" (A Poem) | Just Add Ginger


Snowy Road - Just Add Ginger

Walking to School

One day on the way to school,
I stopped dead in the street to stare.
For sitting right in front of me,
Was a big, brown, grizzly bear.

He was looking in the sweet shop,
His big black eyes began to glare.
Nobody had seemed to notice
That big, brown, grizzly bear.

I strolled up to him. I was curious,
Not one bit of me was scared.
I tapped him on the shoulder,
So he knew that I was there.

"Mister Bear," I spoke up boldly,
Admiring his big brown paws,
"Why are you sitting in the street?
Why don't you go indoors?"

"Everyone is scared of me.
Everybody always runs away,
Nobody understands the bears.
When all we want to do is play."

I looked up into his grizzly face,
I saw he was going to cry.
"Don't be sad Mister Bear," I told him.
"What can I do?" he said with a sigh.

"All I want to do is find a friend.
But everybody always runs a mile.
I tried to play with a mouse once.
But he stopped working after a while."

Mister Bear began to whimper again -
I could tell he was going to cry.
I stroked his big brown overcoat.
And say the tears form in his eyes.

"How did you get here?" I asked.
"I escaped one day from my cage.
I ran away from the zoo-keeper.
They wanted me to go on the stage."

"They wanted me to dance and to sing
And to ride in a ring on a bike.
They wanted to call me Scary McBear
And teach me to snap and to bite."

"But I do not like to scare people.
In fact I don't even eat meat.
 prefer an eclair to a pork chop.
I have a great weakness for sweets."

"I'll find you some sweets," I told him.
"I've got a few pennies to spare.
I'll go into the sweet shop and tell them
To sell me their biggest eclair."

"So you'll be my friend?" Mister Bear asked.
"You really are ever so kind."
"Well that's my philosophy in life," I said.
"I never like to leave a bear behind."

4/29/2012

Cook with Ginger: Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Bonjour Universe!

Guess what....

...It's STILL raining!!! Argh!!!

But, today me and Mama Ginger made an amazing lemon drizzle cake. It turned out beautifully. It has done nothing to cure my lemon obsession!

I had to sample some of course...Chef's prerogative!

I used this recipe , and I think this is the best cake I've made so far!








(That's one and a half's worth of lemon rind in there...soooo delicious!)







Finished product! It's now tucked up nice and cosy in a box so that the flavours can develop.

Got to love a bit of Sunday cake making.

Happy Baking!

4/27/2012

Cook with Ginger: Cheater's Chicken Korma

Bonjour Universe!

I have a little bit of time before I set out to work again, so I wanted to share what I had for my dinner last night. Even though I LOVE cooking, sometimes during the weeks I need a quick fix, and this korma is so easy to do,

What you need:
  • 500g diced chicken breast
  • Olive oil
  • 500g ready made korma sauce
  • Small can of coconut milk
  • Thumb sized piece of chopped ginger
  • 1 diced onion
  • Diced mushrooms (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flaked almonds
  • Naan bread
  • Cinnamon
  • Fennel Seeds





Step One
Fry your chicken in a frying pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Wait until the chicken has started to turn colour, then add the ginger and some flaked almonds. Whilst the chicken and other added ingredients are sizzling away, roughly chop your mushrooms (if you want to put them in), and add to the frying pan.


(I'm really sorry about the picture quality - I don't know what is going on!)



Step Two
When the chicken has started to turn golden brown, add your jar of korma sauce and stir. Then add your coconut milk.

(As you can see, my sauce looks a teenie bit light, which means I probably added too much coconut milk. I recommend adding a little bit of the milk at a time to keep an eye on the colour. My korma tasted fine, but any more milk and it would have been FAR too sweet...Bleurgh!)

Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step Three
Whilst your korma is simmering away, sprinkle your naan bread with a bit of water, the cinnamon and some fennel seeds. Cook it for 10 minutes (the same time as your korma needs to simmer), on Gas Mark 6/200 degrees Fahrenheit/400 degrees Celsius.


Step Four
After 10 minutes, take your korma off the heat, and the naan bread out the oven. Leave your korma to sit for a few minutes and stir to let the sauce thicken a little bit - you don't want it to be too runny...it makes SUCH a mess, and this is not good!!


Step Five
Serving time!!

Place your naan, and a couple of generous spoonfuls of korma on to a plate and sprinkle with a few more flaked almonds. Then, sit back, and stuff your face! hehe.

Now, this recipe makes a lot of chicken korma. I'd say it serves 3-4 people depending on how big your appetite is.

If, like me, you live by yourself, simply transfer the rest of your korma - once it has cooled down of course - in to a container and put it in the fridge. It should last you for at least another meal or two!

Yummy, and economical...

What a dish!!

Happy Cooking!

4/26/2012

Cook with Ginger: Bacon and Asparagus Brunch

Bonjour Universe!

When I got back from work this morning, I had a severe craving for bacon, so I thought I'd throw together a quick bacon and asparagus brunch.

I don't really eat breakfast; when I get up it's too early for me to eat, and by the time I get home from my first stint at work of the day I'm usually in the mood for something more substantial.

And this bacon and asparagus salad really hit the spot today! It only took about 10 minutes to cook and it was b-e-a-utiful.

Nom nom!




To the salad I added some flaked almonds, and a few teaspoons of red onion chutney (and a vanilla hot chocolate as a warming beverage!)



Such a simple, throw-together dish that is perfect for a rainy mid-morning snack!

Until next time!

4/25/2012

Beauty by Ginger: Body Shop Lemon Scrub

Bon Soir Universe!
Another grey and overcast day in (not so) Merry Old England! I haven't actually seen the sun all day, which is a little bit depressing really...

But now I'm curled up in front of my fire and ready for my first product review...



...Body Shop's Sweet Lemon Body Scrub

What is it?
Just like it says on the label. This is a lemon...I want to say flavoured, but you don't eat it...a lemon SCENTED body scrub. (I actually got this one as a freebie on my birthday!) There are lots of other scents available, not just the Sweet Lemon.

Basic Info
My pot is 55g, but there is also a 196g pot available for purchase at The Body Shop. These retail for about £12.50. The lid is a screw top, and is quite water tight (I keep mine in the shower, and no water has gotten in so far.)



Appearance & Texture
When I opened this, I was surprised by how smooth the consistency of the scrub was. I think I actually gave a little "Ooooo". Normally, I hate how grainy body scrubs are. I find them erally abrasive, but this made me feel all fuzzy inside! The colour is really rich and inviting too. It looks at you as if to say "You know you want me!"

Does it Work?
Body scrubs are intended to help remove those pesky dead skin cells and smooth out your skin. Now, I don't know about anybody else, but I find that if I use a body scrub too often, it makes my skin feel unmoisturised and even worse than before...do people find that, or is it just me?

Anyway...

THIS DOESN'T DO THAT! Yippeee!!!

I have been using this product religiously for the past few weeks, particularly on my feet (a major problem area for me), and my feet are smooth as a baby's bottom (apart from my pointy toe, but we won't go in to that now.) I cannot sing this product's praises enough!

There is something quite soothing in the make up of this product that means you can use it for an extended period and it maintains your skin's moisture level. (Take it from me; I'm not a religious mouisturiser.)

I LOVE THIS BODY SCRUB!!!

Final Thoughts
I WISH I had this product in a bigger sized pot. I'm running really low, and I don't know what I'm going to do if/when I run out and I'm not near a Body Shop!


It looks great. It smells great. It leaves you looking and smelling great!

Go on, go out and give it a go!

Stay Beautiful!

4/24/2012

Ginger's Jollies: De Efteling

Bon Soir!

My knee is really misbehaving this evening. I'm going to go and soak it in a hot bath soon, but before I do, I wanted to share with you some photos of my favourite place in the world...De Efteling!

I have been going here since I looked like this...

A Baby Ginger!

And I LOVE it!

I even went there for my 21st birthday and stayed in the hotel!



If you'd like to know more info about De Efteling, please request it below and I'll do a proper review, but for now, here are some photos...






De Efteling is a theme park...a fairy tale inspired theme park!! There are rides, attractions, resaturants...all run and designed by Efteling and its team. There are no franchises whatsoever!!

A singing mushroom!




De Efteling is one of a kind, and the amount of detail that has gone in to decorating and making the park beautiful is just astounding!!


My favourite ride is Droomvlucht. It's a ride that carries you through the secret world of fairies and enchantement (a dream flight.)


Just thinking about this place makes me feel all warm inside. I cannot wait to go back!

Do you have places that make you feel like this?


For more information, visit: http://www.efteling.co.uk/ 

4/19/2012

Cook with Ginger: Ginger Loaf Cake

When I was down in London last weekend, something made me have an idea. One of my friends was eating a slice of ginger cake, and I thought...

Hold on! I've NEVER made ginger cake!!

THIS will not do!!

So, when I got back home, I found a recipe online (find it here )

Today, I decided to give it a go...




The tin was SO full!! I was really scared in case the cake spilt over the edge of the loaf tin, but everything stayed contained...Thank Goodness!!

Imagine the washing up if it had exploded!!


I didn't line my loaf tin with baking parchment. I just greased my tin with butter. I also was running to a tight schedule, so adapted the temperature and times for my cake. It turned out fine, but I'd recommend following the recipe, particularly if you're like me and cakes aren't your strongest point!

Straight out the oven...that light coloured smudge is the steam!!

Ooooo!! So yummy!!!

I of course had to taste some (Chef's prerogative!) The rest is wrapped up in parchment. I'll wait a few days for the flavours to infuse...

And then I'm going to gobble it up!!

Happy Baking!

Cook with Ginger: Walnut, Goat's Cheese and Asparagus Slice

Good Evening Universe!!
I don't know about you, but sometimes when I get home from work I am just too tired to cook anything fancy or extravagant. Don't get me wrong, I love to cook...LOVE to cook, but sometimes, I just want to eat something quickly and then veg out on the sofa and watch Friends!

Does anybody feel like this too?

I had this the other night. I was really tired during the day, so decided that I would cook myself a savoury slice.

Savoury slices are SO easy to prepare and cook. I didn't really know how the flavours for my slice would taste together, so this one was a bit of an experiment...

But it turned out beautifully, so I thought I'd share it!





The beauty of this recipe is that you can use pretty much anything on your slice. The base is just a sheet of puff pastry, which you can pick up from most supermarkets. The topping is up to you! I used grated goat's cheese, asparagus spears and crushed walnuts on my slice. Goat's cheese is one of my favourite types of cheese...I nearly used a whole block for this!

I scored around the slice (about 1 inch away from the edge.) I then brushed the edge with milk to help it go golden.  I cooked my slice for 20 minutes on Gas Mark 5 (190 degrees Celsius/375 degrees Fahrenheit,) turning it half way through for even coverage...



After the slice came out I drizzled it with honey.

Then I ate some!!

How easy was that?!

It's a simple idea for those nights where you just want to flop down and relax and do nothing. Other toppings that I've tried that really work are:

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella

Goat's Cheese, Red Onion, Bacon and Mushroom.

Go on...get creative!!

Happy Cooking!

4/17/2012

Cook with Ginger: The Roastie Review


Ahhh Roasties...

In my opinion they are one of the best, if not THE best part of the Great British roast dinner!

Not that I confine myself to eating roast potatoes just for Sunday lunch, or on special occasions. Please observe the photo above....my dinner last night!

No, this wasn't a side dish accompanying the main part of a meal.

This WAS my main meal!

Oh yes!! Three kinds of roast potato, all on one plate. I...was...in...HEAVEN!!!

In this post, I wanted to share with you some of my tips for cooking the best everyday roastie.

1) ALWAYS par boil your potatoes. You only need to do it for about 10 minutes in salted water. This means that they will fluff up better, and leads me on to tip number two....

2) After you have par boiled, let your roasties steam in your colander, and then gently fluff them up by shaking it up and down. Those little broken bits will make for crunchier pieces of potato.

3) Get creative with your herbs and spices...don't just think that roast potatoes can go with salt and pepper. Get creative. Think about what you are going to be eating your roasties with.

My personal favourite is fennel - it kisses your roasties sweetly, and make them taste B-E-A-UTIFUL!!!

Dinner last night.
From left to right:
Coriander & garlic with salt & pepper
Basil & thyme with salt, pepper, & garlic
Cumin, paprika, with a hint of cinnamon, with crushed chillies & salt & pepper




4) Make sure you turn your roasties round halfway through cooking for even coverage. The best time for roastie cooking is about 45-50 minutes, so cooking for 25 minutes, then rotating your tray means your roasties crisp up all over! 

Now, go forth and make epic roasties...

Me....

I'm doing it all over again tonight!

Happy Cooking!

4/15/2012

Ginger's Jollies: Weekend Wonders!

My time in London is coming to an end. It has been a fantastic couple of days. I've met up with friends, braved the chaos that is Oxford Street, and stuffed my face with lots of delicious food (I even took the leftovers home.) 

It's beautiful weather down here today. I'm going to go out in a bit to make the most of the lovely weather. I've got a very long train journey ahead of me this afternoon, and no doubt when I get home it will be raining! 


C'est la vie!

Just wanted to share a few random pictures from my weekend; a kind of summary for you I suppose! I have lots I want to tell you when I get back home too, so watch out for those posts! 

I found these shoes in the back of my wardrobe last week. I've had them for years, but forgot about them. 

I'm sorry, beautiful shoes! How could I forget about you? 

They are comfortable - for a few hours -  but then my feet start to hurt. I do have ridiculously fat toes though (seriously, they are like giant's toes,) so maybe that's why...?! 




I have had this obsession with clouds for the past week. I can't get enough of them. I could stare at them all day, looking for pictures in them! I also decided to get a bit creative with my camera settings. I only have a basic digital camera, but found a setting that creates a kind of fade-out in the photos. So I thought I'd give it a try, see how they would come out. 

And why not, eh?

 
 Last night I went out with two of my girlie friends for some dinner. We actually ended up in a different restaurant to the one I had booked because the first restaurant decided they had lost my booking - I was not impressed! Both my friends told me I had a face that just read "Are you kidding me."

Feeling the wrath of the Ginger!! Mwahahaha!!  

What do you all think of the title for this post? I thought of it in about two seconds (haha), but thought it summed up quite well what I wanted to say... 

If you like it/want to see more post like this, let me know!

Happy Sunday Everybody!

4/13/2012

Ginger's Jollies: I'm going to London!

Holdall: Accessorize. Make Up Bag: Clinique. Satchel: New Look (I think!)
Bleurgh!!!

I am SO tired this morning. I did not sleep well last night at all! I was hot, I was cold, I was hungry, I had some seriously weird dreams, I needed a wee (Oops. TMI?!) I just could not get comfortable and from about 3am-4.15am, I was just awake. It was awful. I used to suffer from really bad insomnia, so when I can't sleep, I get really stressed out, which means I can't sleep, which means I stress out....It's a viscious circle!

Bleurgh!

Anyway, I suppose it's a good thing I'm up bright eyed (if not so bushy tailed), because today, after work, I'm going to Londinium for the weekend! Hoorah!!

As usual, my trip is going to be jam packed!

I am going shopping tomorrow! I'm so excited to go back to Oxford Street, especially Forever 21. There isn't one close to me, and I am in love with their jewellery. Looking round their jewellery department is like walking into an Aladdin's cave. I love it! Amazing!!

I never know what to pack on my trips down to London, especially when I'm so busy. I need to be comfortable when I go to London, but whenever I am there, I feel the need to dress up a bit. Particularly on Oxford Street. You CANNOT be frumpy on Oxford Street...It is so stressful!


Although I am awful at packing light with my clothes, I am quite good with my make up. I have quite a simple daily skin care/ make up routine at the moment, so the products I need don't take up too much space....does this mean I'm allowed to pack more clothes?! Hmmmm.....

I'm not sure how much I will be able to post over the weekend. But I'm going to try; my camera is charging as I type, and I have already snapped some photos for upcoming posts. It just depends how much time I have. Apart from going shopping tomorrow, I'm out for tea in the evening, and then on Sunday, I'm getting a tent-putting-up masterclass in preparation for Canada. (I have never put up a tent in my life...this should be interesting!)

I'm off to make a coffee...

Or five!

Happy Friday Everybody!

4/11/2012

Cook with Ginger: Feeling Jam-tastic!!

I went back to work yesterday after the Easter Weekend!! (I was only in for the afternoon though). Now that I am back at work my posts will become a bit more regular. Over the Easter weekend, my excitement about returning to blogging took over (Eeee!!!) - hence why I posted so much over a short space of time!

Yesterday up here, it was absolutely freeezzziiinnggg!! It was even sleeting in the morning. I was all dressed ready for some lovely mild weather, took one look out the window, and then the thick neon blue socks and "uggy" boots went on! Madness! I knew when I got home I'd want to cook something comforting!

Normally on a Tuesday evening, I go dancing, but yesterday it wasn't on (which I didn't realise. I was driving round for ages looking like a weirdo trying to find out why the gates weren't open, then someone told me it was half-term! Duh!)

Anyway, when I got home I was a bit at a loss, so I decided to make some jam doughnut muffins! I don't know what it is with me and jam at the moment...we seem to have a thing going on! But these muffins are lovely and gooey beautiful. The recipe comes from a book I was given for Christmas one year, called  1 mix, 50 muffins.

I ALWAYS use muffin cases when I'm baking. It's a personal preference, but to me, it means that a)there is less washing up, and b) each muffin has it's own little house, which is perfect if you're thinking of sharing your baked goods!









Now, with muffins, once you have combined the ingredients, it's really important that you don't over mix!!! For once, the lumpier and messier the mixture, the better!

I used apricot jam for the filling, just because I made mixed berry/strawberry jam tarts earlier in the week. Apricot has a lovely fresh flavour to it, and makes a nice contrast to the red berries I've been using lately!









When I make muffins, it is never pretty; something always spills, gets dropped, or generally goes wrong. Last night it was my muffin cases. They were not behaving themselves and kept sliding down on one side in the muffin tin. They turned out okay, but that's something you need to look out for - muffin cases that don't want to listen to you!

I cooked my batch for a little longer than the recipe suggests, because I wanted them to turn a bit more a golden colour.

Once you've got the hang of this recipe, it is so easy to do, and most of the ingredients are staples you will have in your cupboards.

Let's get jam-tastic!!!

Happy Baking!