Spanish Eggs

Eggs baked on top of a rich tomato-based sauce topped with olives and parsley… a wonderful flavour combination, which is perfect any time of the day.

Eggs baked on top of a rich tomato based sauce topped with olives and parsley… a wonderful flavour combination, which is perfect any time of the day. Recipe created by Fiona Hunter, nutrition consultant, writer & broadcaster, to celebrate Spanish Olive Festival, which took place last month in London and was organized by Olives from Spain and Nudge PR.

Recipe serves: 2

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 75g pitted black Spanish olives e.g. Hojiblanca or Cacereña, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Spanish olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • ½ tsp of smoked paprika
  • 100g chorizo, diced
  • 2x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 medium eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Crusty bread to serve

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/ gas mark 6.

Heat the oil in a non-stick, ovenproof frying pan.

Add the onion and sauté over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the pepper, garlic and paprika continue cooking for 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, chorizo and seasoning to taste. Cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the olives. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Using the back of a tablespoon make an egg-shaped hollow in the tomato mixture and break one egg into the hollow, repeat with each egg.

Transfer the pan to the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the eggs are set but the yolk is still runny.

Scatter over the parsley and serve with crusty bread.

 

Cooks tip: To make this a more substantial meal and boost the fibre content add a can of chickpeas.

Eggs baked on top of a rich tomato based sauce topped with olives and parsley… a wonderful flavour combination, which is perfect any time of the day.

4 Tips for Renovating a Bathroom on a Budget

If you are wondering if you can renovate and improve your bathroom’s functionality and appearance with a tight budget, then the answer to your question is definitely a big YES!

The budget is not the first priority when starting a project. The very first thing you need to establish is your intent and willingness to push through the project. As long as you are determined and willing, then you can always find ways to work around your small budget and start the project.

Now, if you are looking for tips to make your bathroom better, then below are 4 ways to improve your bathroom on a tight budget.

Prepare the design beforehand

If you have a limited budget, it is always better to create the design for your bathroom beforehand. This way, you will be able to cover the important parts and create a realistic design for your bathroom. You don’t want to end up with an unfinished and unusable bathroom because of budget shortages. Thus, plan ahead and visualize what you want your bathroom to look like. It will save more time and make the process more efficient and faster.

Secure the materials

To save money and not compromise on the quality of the materials you will be using for your renovation. We strongly recommend that you shop and buy all the materials before renovating your bathroom. Try visiting different stores and do your research online before you make your purchases. The more time you spend on shopping, the more options you will find and the more options you have, the more budget friendly your project will become. Plus, you would be able to save a lot of money and time from labour costs once you start renovating your bathroom.

Make smart choices

A bathroom on a budget doesn’t have to mean unstylish… if you shop right you will get what you want at the price you can afford. Vanity tops and other items are very important in bathrooms. There are many all-in-one vanity tops and cabinets today on the market that include shelves, sinks, and cabinets and of course, mirrors all in one package. Buying these types of vanity units will save you more money compared to buying them piece by piece.

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty

I know we were not all born builders or DIY lovers but I am sure there are tasks we can perform ourselves in order to save money. Last time we re-did our bathroom on a budget we did all the work ourselves, which meant no labour cost 🙂 Painting, fixture changing or laying a new floor can seem like a daunting and even impossible task but give it a try… Google it, watch some YouTube tutorials and I am sure you could very well surprise yourself and that you can do what needs to be done!

 

Do you have any budget friendly renovating tips?

Have you complete any projects yourself?

Chilled Pickled Cabbage

Sweet and sour, super crunchy and full of goodness, this chilled pickled cabbage is a perfect addition to any meal.

Sweet and sour, super crunchy and full of goodness, this chilled pickled cabbage is a perfect addition to any meal.

If you use locally sourced vegetables then you will know that the cabbage season is almost upon us, which makes now a perfect time to start preparing some cabbage based meals for the weeks to come.

I have discovered that cabbage is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals including a high content of vitamin K and C, folate, iron and vitamin B6 to name just a few of the common ones. Additionally it’s a perfect weight loss food – low in calories, high in fiber and packed with necessary nutrients. Eating cabbage can help detox our bodies, lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar; cabbage also has anti-inflammatory, probiotic and antioxidant properties; it promotes brain health and can improve our defences against neural degenerative conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

You can read more about cabbage in my earlier post “Is Cabbage a Superfood?

Now I have you are all excited about the wonders of the amazing cabbage I want to share with you my recipe for a fridge pickled cabbage salad. The only slight problem is, it has to be made in advance, allowing it the time it needs to truly to pickle. If you like crunchy salads as an addition to your meals, you should really give it a try, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

Sweet and sour, super crunchy and full of goodness, this chilled pickled cabbage is a perfect addition to any meal.

The ingredients below will yield three 1 l jars.

Ingredients:

  • 4 carrots
  • 2 onions; medium
  • 1 white cabbage; medium
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large bunch of parsley
  • 350ml sparkling water*
  • 250ml sunflower oil
  • 125ml vinegar 6% strength is best
  • 150g sugar
  • 1tbsp salt

*this is a must add ingredient; you can’t make it without it

Method:

Wash all vegetables, then shred or chop them julienne style into fine strips and place in a large bowl.

Add all other ingredients, including the sparkling water which is essential and mix well.

Allow standing for 5 minutes then mix well again.

Pack tightly into some clean sterilized jars (you want to get mostly veggies in there with some small addition of the liquid), then place them in the fridge.

Sweet and sour, super crunchy and full of goodness, this chilled pickled cabbage is a perfect addition to any meal.

The salad is ready for early consumption after only 3-5 days, more ideal after a week or two. The longer you leave it, however, the more pickled it will become and tastier.

The salad will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.

Enjoy!

Sweet and sour, super crunchy and full of goodness, this chilled pickled cabbage is a perfect addition to any meal.

Homemade Ketchup

A super tasty and easy to make tomato condiment made from scratch, which locks in all those summer flavours for the winter months to come.

Be advised though, once tried there is no going back to any shop bought ones.

A super tasty and easy to make tomato condiment made from scratch, which locks in all those summer flavours for the winter months to come.

The recipe can be tweaked to suit everyone’s needs. As presented below, it will provide you with a super-rich but mellow flavoured ketchup, which can be enjoyed by all family members. If you fancy something spicier, add more chillies, something sweeter pop a few more apples into your pot… My suggestion, make it once just as stated and then add or reduce to your heart desire to perfect for your taste buds. Have fun!

The recipe will yield around 2.5 liters of yummy ketchup.

Ingredients:

  • 4kg tomatoes; ripe and preferably organic
  • 5 onions; large
  • 3 apples
  • 2 carrots; large
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 entire head of garlic
  • 1 parsnip; small
  • 1 chilli pepper
  • ½ celeriac
  • 3tbsp sunflower oil

Spices:

  • 60ml apple cider vinegar
  • 10tbsp sugar
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 3tsp salt
  • 1tsp black whole peppercorns
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 1tsp paprika
  • ½tsp cinnamon
  • ½tsp allspice
  • ½tsp ground ginger

A super tasty and easy to make tomato condiment made from scratch, which locks in all those summer flavours for the winter months to come.

Method:

Wash, peel where needed and roughly chop all the ingredients, pop them all into a large stock pot or heavy based saucepan with a solid well-fitting lid, add the oil and bring to a boil. Simmer away for 2-3 hours, stirring well from time to time.

In the meantime prepare all the dry spices by placing them in one bowl and set aside.

Once the time is up, use a hand blender to mix our cooked veggies into one smooth sauce. Add all dry spices and vinegar, return to a gentle boil and cook on a low heat for another hour. Now the bad news, the ketchup will require constant stirring, so don’t leave it alone.

A super tasty and easy to make tomato condiment made from scratch, which locks in all those summer flavours for the winter months to come.

Good news the next part is the fun part… you need to pass all your ketchup through a very fine mesh sieve, to get rid of any remaining pieces of skin or whole spices. Add some ketchup into the sieve and using the back of a wooden spoon push it through… if you are doing this for the first time, it will seem like this task is impossible, but trust me, it works you just need to put some muscle into it.

Once all the ketchup has travelled through the sieve mesh, pack it into clean sterilized jars and pasteurise for 15 minutes (stand in a saucepan of water so they are not submerged and bring to the boil slowly). Once finished remove from the water and stand the jar upside down to let them cool. The next day when they are at room temperature then move the jars into your winter storage area (cool, dark and dry).

Enjoy!

A super tasty and easy to make tomato condiment made from scratch, which locks in all those summer flavours for the winter months to come.

How to Prepare Your House for Winter

Winter is undoubtedly one of the best seasons of the year. During wintertime, we get to enjoy the wonders of snow, the never-ending festivities of Christmas and the New Year and the joyful reunion with family and friends. We change our wardrobe, we light up strangely-flavoured and scented candles, we slave away in the kitchen and we decorate our houses with Christmas tree, lights, ornaments and nativity scenes. The list can go on and it is easy to get carried away by all the excitement. But before any of these could happen, it is very important that you have completed all the preparation that you need for your house.

Here are five things that you must do to prepare your house for winter.

  1. Test your Heating System

Your heating system should be the first thing that you check towards the end of fall. You don’t want to freeze in the middle of the winter waiting for your heating system to work. It is highly recommended that you conduct a test run by turning on the thermostat to heat mode and setting it to the desired temperature. If it’s working, you should be able to hear the furnace turn on immediately as the warm air begins to flow. Turn the thermostat back to its original setting do this exercise at least three times in the morning, afternoon and especially at night.

A great addition to your heating system is a solid humidifier for your home. Not only does it help provide warmth, but it also generates much-needed moisture that is necessary to prevent dryness, itchiness and skin irritation.

  1. Inspect the Air Conditioning

Just because you won’t be needing air condition doesn’t mean that you have to ignore it. Before completely turning off and unplugging the air condition, clean the condensing unit of debris and dust first and then make sure that it is well-covered. The air condition can develop rust and collect dirt over the winter time and so it might not be functional come spring.

  1. Prepare the Wood-Burning Fireplace and Chimney

The fireplace is a great source of warm air in the middle of the winter season. Before winter, prepare the fireplace and inspect the chimney if they are clear of any leaves, bird nests, dust and other debris that might have collected over time. Test how the fire burns using a few logs so you can diagnose any problems that might arise.

  1. Check the Insulation of your House

Every corner of your house should be properly insulated. Cold and warm air should be able to come in and out of your house evenly without leaving any leaks. You can insulate your house by applying an insulating blanket to your hot water tank, sealing exterior outlets with a foam gasket and installing a removable cover for your fireplace and chimney.

  1. Examine the Roof, Doors, and Windows

Do not forget about the parts of your house that are exposed to external elements. Examine the roof and its shingles to make sure that ice dams will not ensue and the melted ice will not leak into the interior of the house. Make sure the doors and windows can be opened and closed properly and will not accumulate ice or water.

 

At this moment, we still have rather lovely weather here with temperatures in the low 20s and days full of sun but only a few weeks back a cold snap brought the first snow of the season to the mountains just down the road… so get ready and stay warm as the saying goes, winter is coming!