Economical, Quick and Easy Diabetic Menu and Recipes That are Tasty for All

Following is a simple, easy, and economical menu that is perfect for busy cooks.  It is also a meal that diabetics as well as the whole family can enjoy.  Turkey and Broccoli Supreme Casserole serves as the entree, Belgian carrots add color and flavor as well as great nutrition.  Gelatin Buffet Salad can be made ahead to cut back on kitchen time when the cook is on a busy schedule.  And Apple Pecan Cookies will please the youngsters as well as the adults.  The cookies can also be made ahead.  What a perfect time to get the kids in the kitchen and let them help make the cookies.  The turkey casserole is a good way to use leftover turkey or chicken making this meal even more economical.


4 cups cubed cooked turkey

1 can (10 3/4 oz) low-fat condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1 pkg (10-oz) frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained

1 pkg (6.9-oz) chicken-flavored rice mix

1 1/3 cups low-fat milk

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup chopped celery

1 can (8-oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup chopped onion

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients.  Mix well.  Transfer mixture to a 3-quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Cover and bake 1 hour.  Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until rice is tender.

8 servings;  Per serving, 268 calories, 32 g carbs, 28 g protein


1 lb carrots, thinly sliced

2 tbsp chopped onion

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 tsp Splenda

1/4 cup chopped parsley

salt & pepper to taste

Clean carrots and slice thinly.  In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, brown onion slightly.  Add remaining ingredients, except the parsley,  to the onion in saucepan.  Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley before serving. 


2 small boxes or 1 large box flavored sugar-free gelatin

2 cups boiling water

8 ice cubes

20 oz can crushed pineapple in its own juice, drain and save juice

1 pkg Dream Whip topping mix

8-oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

3/4 cup Splenda

3 tbsp flour

3 eggs, beaten

1 tbsp lemon juice

grated low-fat cheddar cheese

For first layer:  Add gelatin to boiling water and stir until dissolved.  Add ice cubes and pineapple.  Mix well and chill until set. 


3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup Splenda, granulated

2 tsps freshly grated lemon peel

2 tsps molasses

2 large eggs

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup old-fashioned oats

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup diced fresh apples

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly spray cookie sheets with vegetable cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, Splenda, lemon peel, and molasses on high speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition.  Combine applesauce and apple juice concentrate; set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with applesauce mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended after each addition.  Stir in apples and pecans.  Drop by tablespoonfuls, 1 1/2 inches apart, onto the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool on wire racks.  Store in airtight container.

Note:  This recipe is modified from a Splenda cookbook.


Linda Wilson

Posted on May 29th, 2011 by admin and filed under recipes for kids | No Comments »

Easy Fast Dinner Recipes

 When TV was young the moms depicted on the shows would wear pearls and dresses while cleaning house, then cook a complicated meal while dolling advice to the kids. That wasn’t just on TV, it was a reflection of real life. But the 21st century world is one of amazing technology and lives that are much more fast paced. Everyone’s on the look out for easy fast dinner recipes that give TV mom results without all the work. The Pilgrims didn’t have a good source for such simplicity in food, but they didn’t have the Internet either. There are a lot of sources on line to provide help to the busy family looking for a quality meal.

One steak can go a long way. Change the sides for different meal experiences. Change the spices for a trip around the world of food. Begin the adventure with a super large flank steak. For Monday add roasted potatoes and a tossed salad. Make Fajitas on Tuesday with some salsa and hot spices. On Wednesday make it Asian with some Teriyaki sauce, rice and vegetables. Thursday go back to the steak and salad, this time with mashed potatoes and asparagus on the side. Friday is the day for some pita bread and Greek spices. That’s right, Gyros. That’s one meat for five meals.

What, there’s even more to do with the steak? OK, get the plates and forks ready. Do southwestern steak with black bean wraps, or lentil and orzo salad with flank steak smothered in feta cheese . Now add another meat, and the variety is even more endless. Pork can be a roast, or ribs, or chops. The possibilities are endless.

With a little clever planning all the meals for the week can be cooked on the weekend, then heated and served in minutes. Plan an entire menu for a month then buy all the necessities for some good savings too. The children can learn about cooking too. Put them in charge for a week. Rotate days amongst the family.

And you thought easy fast dinner recipes were hard.

Hai Friends! Click Here To Cook Like a Five Star Chef


Posted on May 29th, 2011 by admin and filed under kids learn to cook | 1 Comment »

Cookie Recipes for Chocoholics

If your family is like mine, you just can’t have enough chocolate around the house. Is there anything better than a warm chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven? Not much, in my opinion! This Chocolate Chip Cookie from the good folks at Hershey’s is easy and delicious. Even beginning bakers or the kids can turn out a good cookie with this recipe. The other cookie recipe is for Chocolate Pecan Cookies. What a perfect combination! I don’t know about you but that is two of my favorite things. Next time you have a yen for a good cookie, get out the flour, sugar, cookie sheets, etc and get busy. In a matter of minutes your house will smell wonderful and you’ll be taking some wonderful cookies out of your oven.


1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups (12 oz pkg) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on pan then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: Approximately 6 dozen cookies

To make bar cookies, prepare as above but spread dough into a greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.


4 oz unsweetened chocolate
12 oz semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the unsweetened chocolate, semisweet chocolate and butter in a double boiler over hot water. Heat, stirring often, until melted and well blended. Carefully pour into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs to the chocolate mixture, 1 at a time, mixing in well after each one. Beat in vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt; mix well. Stir in pecans. Line cookie sheets with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto the cookie sheets about 2-inches apart. Bake for about 12 minutes or until firm. Cool about one minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.


Linda Wilson

Posted on May 19th, 2011 by admin and filed under recipes for kids | No Comments »

Five Reason Why Cooking Classes Are an Ideal Gift This Holiday Season!

One of the very best gifts to give for the holiday season is one that not only comes from the heart, but is creative and truly meaningful. With many of us on budgets this holiday season, we are searching for gifts that not only fit the budget but will have a long-lasting impact and benefit to the recipient. In addition, so many of us are watching what we eat and focusing on our health. How can you address all of those challenges in one gift?! has the perfect gift-giving solution: Cooking Classes! The directory has a fantastic directory full of diverse caterers and personal chefs who can offer the perfect holiday gift to you and your loved ones!

1. Cooking classes are an amazing gift to give to a beloved spouse, significant other or other loved one. You can choose a cooking class that they can enjoy for themselves, but even more importantly, you can choose a class that you can share with your spouse or significant other. In this way, you can both savor not only the food that you will create as a loving team, but also savor the togetherness of the experience! Think of the many romantic evenings in the years ahead that can benefit from learning how to cook some fantastic meals!

2. Cooking classes can be set up for larger groups as well. Cooking classes for a larger group is a way to get friends and family together. Ring in the New Year by learning a new cuisine to enjoy with friends! Getting the family together can be complicated with so many busy family schedules. This is the perfect opportunity to slow down, get a special date on the calendar and have the entire family together for cooking fun! This is a perfect gift solution for executives and their executive teams. What better way to build team-work and morale than to prepare and cook a meal together!

3. Cooking classes can be planned for and with kids. What better gift to give to your children or grandchildren than learning the love of cooking? Cooking is fun, it is creative, and it is a great way to spend precious time together. An added benefit is your ability to sneak in some healthy eating in all of that fun and helping to teach your kids health eating habits early on!

In addition, your not-so-young kids will benefit! Cooking classes are a perfect gift for college students, or young adults transitioning into the real world. They need not survive off of their microwave; they can learn how to create healthy, innovative meals that not only address their budgets but also their desire to eat a variety of foods!

4. Cooking classes are a great way to introduce new cuisines to your kitchen, to your table, and to your palette. Using different spices, cooking with foods that are unfamiliar, or discovering locally grown, organic elements would make for amazing culinary lessons. Does your loved one have food allergies, food sensitivities, or special dietary needs? Cooking classes can help them find creative ways to make wonderful meals while adhering to dietary considerations!

5. Cooking classes help you to learn how to do something that you find intimidating in the kitchen. Learning how to bake that killer crusty bread, how to make the perfect pie crust, how to make dumplings for that chicken soup recipe your grandmother passed down to you…what is it that you find daunting? You will find the perfect cooking class to overcome your fear of the paella pan or how to get that perfect frosting on your next cake!

For these reasons, and so many more, cooking classes are the ideal gift, and visit today to find the caterer, personal chef or other service provider that will work with you. Cooking classes are truly the gift that keep on giving, and a personal gift that people will enjoy and cherish for a lifetime.

Are you interested in being a part of the success story? Log on to today and get your listing started, or contact us for more information. Visit the Blog, email at, or call us toll-free at 1-877-774-1255!

Kelly Alvarez Mace

Posted on May 19th, 2011 by admin and filed under kids learn to cook | No Comments »

Grandma Hystad Recipes, Bar Mixes, Food Information

Grandma Hystad Recipes, Bar Mixes, Food information












Crunchy Carrot Salad
Low in sodium, this salad will more than meet your daily vitamin A requirement.

1 1/2 cups fresh, grated carrots
1 unpeeled red apple, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/8 cup toasted slivered almonds (optional)
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salad greens

Combine carrots, apple, raisins, and almonds in a salad bowl. Blend together remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and add to carrot mixture. Serve on salad greens. Serves 3.

Squash Apple Casserole
This dish is high in vitamin A, a good source of vitamin C, cholesterol free, and almost sodium-free.

2 1/2 cups fresh winter squash, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 1/2 cups cooking apples, pared and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Alternate layers of squash and apples in an 8″x 8″ pan, ending with apples on top layer. Sprinkle spices over top layer. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake in 350 degree F oven for approximately 45-60 minutes until squash is tender. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes to remove any excess liquid that might have accumulated. Cool slightly before serving. Serves 4.

Baked Winter Squash

1 large acorn or butternut squash
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Margarine or Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with the margarine or cooking spray.

Slice the squash into rounds 1/4 inch thick. Remove seeds on each slice and arrange squash in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake the slices for 8 minutes, turn, and drizzle lightly with maple syrup and cinnamon. Bake for 8 minutes longer; remove from the oven and let cool. Serves 4.

Pizza Potatoes

1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 cup carrots, chopped fine
1 small tomato, sliced
2 baked potatoes
1/2 tablespoon margarine
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup cheese, shredded

Cook broccoli, onions, and carrots in a small amount of water until tender and set aside. In a saucepan, melt margarine and stir in flour. Add milk slowly while stirring. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add vegetables to cheese sauce and stir. Split open potatoes. Pour equal amounts of vegetable cheese mixture over each potato. Top with sliced tomatoes.

Serves 2.


2 cups floor

½ cup white sugar

3 ½ teaspoons baking power

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

¼ cup oil

1 cup chocolate chips

Bake at   Bake @400 F   18-20 minutes



3 CUPS………..(750 ML)……………FLOUR

1 CUP ……………(250 ML)…………..ICING SUGAR

Beat with mixer until creamy.  Drop on cookie sheet and bake at 350 F, (175 C) until slightly brown.

YIELD: approximately 5 dozen cookies

TIME:  1 hour (includes cooking and cleaning time)


Dinner Blessings

The housewife invited 2 couple and their children for dinner one night. As they get ready to eat, the housewife asks her son, “Would you like to say blessings”?

“I don’t know what to say”, the boy replies. “Just say what you hear what your mother says”, replied the mother.

The boy bowed his head and said, “Lord, why on earth did I invite two 2 couples and their kids for dinner”?


If you have a cat, get rid of fleas in your carpet and keep carpet, rugs, fresh smelling.

½ cup baking soda

½ cup of cornstarch

½ teaspoon of Rosemary or Penny Royal citronella oil.

Before going to bed mix baking soda, cornstarch, and oil together. Spread evenly across carpet and scrub it into fibers with a stiff brush or broom.  Leave over night; vacuum it up in the morning.

NO CATS; Just want to clean carpet substitute any fragrant oil.


Window Washer

For crystal clear window washer, Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch in a bucket of water, and wipe the solution onto the glass with paper towels.  Rinse with clean water. Great for car or house windows.


Since heading the market in the 80’s, these moistened disposable baby wipes proved to be great in and outside the home.  From cleaning your hands after changing oil or a tire, clean tools, rub marks off your walls, many, many uses including shining your shoes, wipe with baby wipe and buff with a soft, dry cloth.

To freshen up a smelly drain, just pour a cup of Baking Soda into it, and flush with hot water.

Blocked Drains?

Instead of using caustic products (be green and save money) for clearing blocked drains, throw a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a few jugs of water.



Don’t rely on looks alone. Bacteria can spread during ground meat.  Always use a food thermometer and cook at 160 degrees Fahrenheit when cooking your hamburgers.

Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak

Clearly, what began as an investigation of bulk peanut butter shipped to nursing homes and institutional cafeterias is now much broader.

It includes not just peanut butter, but baked goods and other products containing peanuts that are sold directly to consumers. Health officials say as many as one-third of those who got sick did not recall eating peanut butter.

“The focus is on peanut butter and a wide array of products that might have peanut butter in them,” said Dr. Robert Tauxe, director of the food borne illness division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We urge consumers to postpone eating any products that may contain peanut butter until additional information becomes available,” Dr. Stephen Sundlof of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety said in a teleconference with reporters.

More than 125 products have been recalled in an investigation into a deadly salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter used in processed foods and in institutions, with dog biscuits and granola bars among the latest on a list that is growing.

The outbreak of salmonella illness, which began in late summer and is ongoing, has been linked to eight deaths, including two in Virginia. In all, about 500 people in 43 states and Canada have become ill. About 22 percent were hospitalized, and about half of those affected are children.

Health officials said they would work with companies supplied by Peanut Corporation of America to continually update a recall list that is available on the FDA’s Web site. The Web site details a long list of popular products that are affected, including candies, cookies, snack bars and snack mixes

Search For Peanut Butter Product Recalls

Information current as of 12 PM January 21, 2009

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced a recall yesterday of nine varieties of snack bars amid fears they may be contaminated with tainted peanut butter or peanut paste.

The affected products include snack bars from popular brands Clif, Larabar, Nature’s Path Organic and Hebert’s Fully Loaded.

Canadian officials warn more products may be pulled off shelves as they continue their investigation and identify other companies that may have used the contaminated spreads.

“With the size of this recall, in terms of volume of peanut butter, we may certainly expect more recalls in this country,” said Garfield Balsom, food safety and recall specialist at the CFIA. “We will certainly be notifying the consumers.”

 Eight deaths are linked to the outbreak. However, CDC spokesman David Daigle, said salmonella outbreaks usually affect old people more than the young.

Salmonella causes diarrheic, vomiting and fever. While it usually clears up without treatment, it can kill the old, very young and patients with other serious illnesses.

1 ½ ounces orgeat syrup
½ ounce limejuice
Club Soda
Shake orgeat and lime juice with ice cubes. Strain into fizz
Glass.  Add ice cubes. Add soda to glass. Serve with straws.



¼ juice of lemon

1-teaspoon anisette

1 ½ ounce Jamaica rum

½ teaspoon grenadine

Shake with ice cubes. Strain into cocktail glass.

MARTINI (sweet)

1-ounce gin

½ ounce Italian vermouth

1dash orange bitters

Stir with ice cubes. Strain into chilled cocktail glass

1 ½ ounces orgeat syrup
½ ounce limejuice
Club Soda
Shake orgeat and lime juice with ice cubes. Strain into fizz
Glass.  Add ice cubes. Add soda to glass. Serve with straws.


There are just as many ways of making coffee, as there are different brands. Here are some general rules.

For good results measure water and coffee.

2 tablespoons coffee to each 1 cup

Make coffee just before serving

Make coffee double strength and pour the hot coffee over ice in a tall glass.  As the ice melts, it will dilute the coffee. Top the glass with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Bruce Chambers

Posted on May 9th, 2011 by admin and filed under recipes for kids | No Comments »

Cuba… Na Na Na Na Salsa

I know there is some old saying to do with the first half of your life you are looked after by your parents and the second half you your life you look after your parents. Well I’ve been looking after my mother my whole life especially on occasions when my father isn’t around and she goes into complete competency melt down. The first time my dad went on a business trip abroad, she managed (and don’t ask me how) to put her hand in the bottom of the lawn mower whilst it was still running. I can still see, and will forever have imprinted in to my brain the moment when she shoved her hand in a sink full of water which instantaneously turned a deep shade of red, a bit like in the movie ‘Jaws’. Duggan women aren’t of a strong stomached nature and on my mother passing out, my sister ran out of the room with the good intension of phoning a family friend from down the road for help, only to pass out on the way due to “sight of blood”. So you are left with nine year old Alice running between relations with wet towels and sugar water trying to revive both. Needless to say I was rewarded on my Dad’s return from Hong Kong with a big bag of Haribo for being ‘daddy’s brave little girl’ and my mother was never allowed to mow the lawn again.

So this gives you an idea of the mental status of Mrs Duggan when embarking on a journey in to the depths of the Caribbean with her least responsible daughter, without the only man in the world that can salvage any situation no mater how dire. I’d like to say I was sympathetic towards this but in honesty if I see weakness in some one I kinda play on it? “You’ve got the passports right?”, “Flight IS from Gatwick not Heathrow right?” etc.. Cruel really, but highly amusing. Anyhow the joke was on me on arriving at Gatwick at 4.30am to find that our 07.55am flight to Havana with Cubana airways was not anywhere to be seen on the board, and after half an hour frantic running around to discover that the plane on which we were meant to be flying on (that was meant to arrive in the UK at 6.20am from Havana) had not even left Cuba yet. Another half an hour later it was revealed that the plane was faulty and another plane was being shipped in from Madrid and due to leave at 2.30pm. Marvellous. Anybody got any great suggestions how to spend 9 hours in Gatwick airport departures? No me either. Reading maybe – well I cleverly packed all my nice easy going books in my main luggage and was carrying only Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls, trying to embrace the whole Cuba thing, which is not the easiest read to pass time, believe me. So giving in I bought a puzzler, plugged my ipod in and watched the weird and wonderful existence of the airport departure lounge inhabitant (and it is no wonder they make so many tv shows about them!)

Well the plane didn’t go at 2.30, it went at 4.30 and you’d think maybe after the hell my now extended family of Cubana airways victims had been through, we would be treated like movie stars, pampered with drinks and nibbles, checked on at ever available moment. Well you would think wrong and must be alerted to the fact that the communist regime demands Cubans all work, for more or less the same wage, and are in no danger of losing there jobs… where is the incentive to do their job well, especially when surrounded by hundreds of high maintenance tourists?! Anyways the plane had no entertainment, seating was a free for all, the staff were rude to the point of disbelief, there was a fucking annoying group of school kids among which were two blossoming lovers sat in front of me who snogged for the WHOLE 11 hour journey, and, as I had banished any hope of a vegetarian meal, no food. Gosh I sound like my grandma moaning. Still I console myself in the fact that the money spent on the flights went in to the Cuban economy and the not the pocket of that cunt Branson.

Anyways with plenty of time on my hand I though it was about time I tackled the lonely planets guide “A brief history of Cuba”. And so the obsession began…..

Hands up, I knew very little about the Cuban culture/history before I went (“They’re communists, right?”) and generally have no interest in learning about history of places. A few years back I spent a month travelling in Japan with two of my bestest friends, one who was living out there for a few years. We had a great time, however both being History(ish) students I can imagine my “You’ve seen one temple you’ve seen them all, lets go do Karaoke again” mentality grated a bit. I figured I would be the same in Cuba… “yes yes very nice now lets go dance salsa and drink rum!” Unfortunately, I don’t know if I’m getting older and this is what happens, but I’m absolutely fascinated by the whole shebang.

So as I say all I knew was they were communists and that recently some dude called Castro had stepped down. I was concerned that this may cause mayhem and riots but was assured by work colleagues that caribbeaners(?!) are far to busy drinking rum and smoking cigars to get all worked up about stuff, and as long as the yanks stayed away there was unlikely to be any civil unrest (and I would hope that the yanks had f*cked up enough countries in the last few years to stay away, at least until I had got a sun tan).

Reading the guide helped set the scene for me so I jotted down a little summary of events as I saw them:

-Native Cubans all lived happily

-Natives of another Caribbean island arrive, kill all the native Cubans and live happily

-Spanish turn up and fuck things up – killing loads and using the rest for slaves

-400 years later Jose Marti leads a revolution to get freed from the Spaniards and the USA step in last minute and steal the glory

-USA REALLY fuck things up

-A group of rude boys (inc. Castro and Che Guavara) plot to over throw the Americans and some dick Batista, and trampled them freeing Cuban residents giving them the ‘ideal’ existence

-To piss of the US, Russia keep Cuba alive by buying lots of sugar and cigars

– Russia (or I should say the USSR) fucks up (greedy bastards) and Cuba gets screwed over and people are starving

– They start letting in lots of snappy happy tourists (such as myself) to take all their money so they can eat again.

So you can see why I gave up history at the 1st available moment!

Anyways back to the long gruelling flight…..we eventually got off that blasted craft about 1am Cuban time (5am English) due to a rather extended drop off in Holguin, and rushed through visa check and baggage which took us in to arrivals about 2am….

So first thought is will our transfer be there seeing we were meant to arrive at 4pm? On first inspection no, but after half an hour panic we deduced that our company we booked with has two names – how fucking stupid of us! So we taxied off in to Havana praying our hotel had 24hr reception. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see much of the city on the drive as planned being 3am but at least we were on our way. Getting closer to the hotel I started getting a nauseous feeling which is far too familiar with me now being in a city at night, stemming from a nasty incident in Barcelona a few years back (and yes the story gets more elaborate each time it is told – they had knives you know, did I say knives? I meant guns). So I wasn’t all best pleased when I found out our taxi couldn’t drive down the street our hotel was on and intended to leave us at the end of it. A few pesos (I’ll explain money later) encouraged him to wait while mother dear (entirely unfazed by this) ran up the road to check it was open. Halle-fucking-lujah it was. Almost kissing the cab driver I popped on my backpack and headed up the road to the lovely “Beltran de Santa Cruz” Hotel.

So being greeted with a smile by the receptionist he then blurts out “There is a bit of a problem with your room, the plumbing has broken and we have had to relocate you to another hotel, it is only just 5 minutes round the corner across the square”

What point would you snap? Honestly? I snapped here. “Look buddy, We’ve been up for 30 hours, 13 of these spend in fucking Gatwick airport, 13 on a fucking aeroplane fresh out of Bedrock and the rest in transit between these places, we haven’t eaten, we haven’t changed out underwear, we haven’t cleaned our teeth, and we smell like dead fucking rats and you are trying to tell me that you are going to make 2 poor helpless women lug there baggage across a city unknown to them at 4am in the morning to go to a hotel because you have a fucking plumbing problem?”

At least that is what was being said in my head…what I actually said, in a very weak and feeble whine “Please will you come with us, I’m scared”. And bless his cottons he did.

Eventually my head touched a pillow at 5.30am Cuba time (9.30am English) after dealing with the final disaster of the night that on opening my rucksack I found my suncream had exploded all over my stuff. A perfect start to a holiday wouldn’t you agree? Things could only get better.

I guess maybe I should actually tell you something about my trip instead of my script from “Holidays from hell”.

This was my first and most definitely not last trip to the Caribbean. I think I was about 8 when I bought “100% reggae” and decided that I would spend my honeymoon in Jamaica, so I hope I will again reach these shores, given I can find someone who will marry me. Plus there are so many other places to visit, St Lucia, Barbados, Antigua, Bahamas etc etc…Lets hope this future husband is rich! Cuba, however seems to have something different to the rest and walking out in to the sunny streets of Havana that first morning confirmed this. The Cubana airways big day out suddenly seemed a distant memory. Breath taking architecture ranging from the Spanish colonial style buildings in old Havana, (many completely derelict, but in a funky way!), to neo classical in the vedado district and art deco American influence in central Havana. Diversity that I have never seen in any city, and with the added benefit that unlike most cities they have avoided shoving eyesore 1970s tower blocks dead in the centre of some beautiful area. Any run down ugly buildings just added to the character.

It isn’t a cliché that there are bands playing at every restaurant, on every street corner with people singing and dancing around. Its true, I was there. The first pit stop was at il Patio restaurant in Cathedral square (possibly my favourite mojito of the whole holiday, though there were many and the 1st is bound to taste best!). There was a little 3 piece band playing (guitar, sax and bass) while some nut case woman danced around (mum said she had been there 2 years ago when her and my sister had gone!). They were awesome, I just couldn’t get enough of it! Then this guy from the crowd (Italian I think) just waltzed up, asked to have a go on the sax and just wiped the floor with some improvisation which put anything I ever managed when I played in to a remedial category. That wouldn’t happen anywhere else in the world and the punters went mad for it!

So the first day was mostly spent getting a feel for the place. Walking around getting lost, stopping for mojitos every now and again taking several thousand of photos at every new street at every possible angle. In the afternoon we did (on recommendation by some friends) a ferry trip across to the other side of the water to climb up to a fort (and a MASSIVE statue of Jesus). It was really fun actually as this clearly wasn’t a main tourist attraction and the ferry seemed to be literally the locals bus to and from work. We stuck out like sore thumbs! Also at the top of our little trek we discovered not only amazing views of Havana but also a mini museum of Che Guavara’s house where he lived post revolution and pre him running off to help Bolivia and get himself killed. Here I discovered he had asthma, just like me, which briefly inspired me to go and start a revolution, but I soon got over it.

Food in Cuba is shit, I mean really shit. I don’t actually understand how they can get it so wrong, but they do and especially as a vegetarian we were screwed. You get eggs, lots of eggs, so many eggs that the word is still making me feel physically sick. Mother, having been here before knew all this so had packed a kettle and a big bag of cous cous to help us in dire situations, but had also brilliantly worked out the whereabouts of the only Italian restaurant (possibly in the whole of Cuba) so in Havana at least we managed to get half decent meals! So after munching our way through a big margarita and one more quick mojito we scooted off to bed pretty early, still kinda fucked from the previous days monstrosities.

The second day was one massive lecture on politics and history for me. Though normally this concept would make me shudder with fear and despair, as I said before I’m utterly gripped by the fact that this teeny little spec on the earth’s surface has contributed so much to the history of the human race. We had a bit of fun first though getting a taxi ride to the Plaza de la Revolucion in a classic, bright purple (my favourite!) 1950s Buick with a rather bemused driver being made to pose for many a cheesy snap! The Plaza is kinda bare unfortunately with only 2 things to see. Firstly the Jose Marti memorial statue in front of the massive lookout, which we went up to get some awesome views across the city and watch lots of scary turkey vultures circle around it. And secondly my favourite bit – the huge Che image on the side of the government building with ‘Hasta la Victoria Siempre’ (Forever Onwards Towards Victory) written along side. I have a bit of a Che obsession to be honest, is it weird to think he was hot? Anyways bare as it was it felt pretty cool to be standing where so many political rallies and addresses from Castro and other revolutionaries has taken place.

After this we got a bug taxi (look at pics) to the hotel nationale (very posh!). It was so funny watching so many people turn up in mercs and swish cars and we turn up in a little yellow blob! Here we had a mojito looking out across the water to where we had been the previous day and then set off on quite a bit walk down the sea front where we finally ended up at the Museum of the Revolution. Here contained everything you would ever need to know about Cuba from the dawn of time. At some point it was really quite bizarre how much detail they added – “Here is the spoon Castro used whilst hiding in Argentina” – no joke! But it was fascinating. I won’t bother saying much about it (as I’ve already given you my brief history of Cuba) but one of the highlights was the “Wall of Cretins” thanking various political idiots for their input in causing/consolidating the revolution. They really don’t give a shit who they insult!

The next day we had rather a stressful bus journey (6 hours – 1 toilet stop) to a supposed beautiful, friendly colonial town though on first impressions this didn’t seem to be the case. The bus ride in showed some really quite nasty, run down areas lacking in the Havana charm, and on arrival into the bus station crowds of people were literally being restrained from mobbing us. They were advertising there “casas” – equivalent to hostelling in Cuba is to stay in casas with a Cuban family who cook and provide for you, but it all seemed all to threatening for me. So we jumped in a cab and headed for our hotel ‘Las Cuevas’ (the caves). Any doubts about the next few days in this place were soon dissolved when we saw how lush where we were staying was!! We dumped our luggage and were straight to poolside sampling the local delicacies – mojitos, pina colladas, and rather bizarre red, orange and blue drinks called Trinidad Colonials, which I took a liking to. We managed to befriend a group of locals in no time who were feeding us more rum and nibbles and giving us salsa lessons. I was pretty pro already after my set of classes I went to in my “I’m sad, lonely and desperate and need to learn salsa to meet more sad lonely and desperate people phase”, but I did learn a new step which was nice. Plus got a chance to laugh at my completely uncoordinated mother. Then at about 5pm, in a matter of 3 minutes the sky was covered in thick black clouds and the heavens opened. I’ve never been in a tropical storm before and I just found it absolutely hilarious – the whole area was flooded after 2 mins of rain, yet it is still bloody boiling and people were still dancing and in the pool! I asked my new best friend Tiago how long these storms usually last to which he replied “That is up to St Peter” – can’t argue with that!

For our first full day in Trinidad we got up bright and early and put on our sexy walking gear and headed off into the mountains on a hike with another unfairly beautiful couple from the hotel and our lovely little tour guide Jordan, who kinda sounded like Borat when he talked which was a tad off putting but you got used to it!

The first part was walking through Trinidad centre which was a lot nicer than it had seemed from the bus the day before – lovely and colourful, with people all going about there everyday business or hanging about in there door ways, playing the guitar or selling fresh fruit. The second bit took us across some fields in to the national park in the thick jungle like mountains. We hiked for about two hours ending up eventually at a gorgeous waterfall and water reserve where Cuban kids were jumping in and playing. I abstained as always when is comes to water that may contain living things. Though I did dip my feet in and noticed a huge lobster like nasty thing crawling around on the bottom and concluded that I had made the right decision.

The hike back was not as fun. The midday heat had really hit in and Trinidad town is located on top of a hill and our hotel on top of a hill on that hill and energy levels were most definitely low by the end. Still we had an afternoon once again of cocktails by the pool and salsa dancing so can’t complain! This evening after dinner (hotel buffet slop) we were treated to an Afro-Caribbean traditional show. 4 uber hot black dudes pranced around stage doing crazy things like eating hot coal and picking up tables with their teeth. It was rather erotic and I may have left a little puddle on my seat.

Next day was our last day in Trinidad town as we were heading that evening to the Ancon Peninsula, about 30 mins south of Trinidad on the coast. Still we made the most of the morning in the hotel. It was actually called Las Cuevas for a reason and (as you probably guessed) this is because it was situated above a group of caves. One of which is open for tours during the day and very funkily becomes a night club by night (though we never went to this unfortunately). So my little buddy Tiago took us on a tour of it which was just amazing! Stalagmites and stalactites to your hearts content – could just imaging people salsaing around them! He he!

After this it was a bit more pool but, as seemed to be the pattern here, late afternoon St Peter pissed on us so we decided we may as well transfer to the new place while the weather was crappy. So off we went through town (which at this point resembled a river) and down to the coast for a few days of sunbathing and chilling. Arriving at the place it seemed nice enough but being an all-inclusive had a rather different clientele, namely idiotic, drunk, burnt Brits. Well I only saw one of these to be honest, a 50ish year old fat northerner who was being rude to a bar man, but it just really got me annoyed. I just don’t understand these people who just want to go on holiday to not actually experience anything of the country, treat the staff like slaves, and abuse the unlimited available alcohol. Anyways we checked in and had an explore and felt pretty disappointed to find that the ‘beach’ didn’t actually really exist– well there was a patch of sand but it didn’t extend to the sea. Compared to our last place it just all seemed a bit, well seedy. The sun wasn’t quite back out so we camped at the pool bar and had a few drinks. My mum, sensing that it wasn’t quite perfect, and of a far too sensitive nature decided to drink a few to many pinas and start really getting on my tits by being over enthusiastic about the place “I’m really warming to this place Alice, I’m really warming to it. Yes, I’m definitely warming to this place”…..then declared she wanted to swim in the ocean before dinner. So in a drastic mother/daughter roll reversal I was trying my best to, in the least patronising way possible explain that to throw herself off a small cliff edge to get to the sea when she was pissed as a fart was possibly not the best idea. Needless to say a combination of her being drunk and over emotional, and me still being a bit wound up and beginning to feel a bit ill culminated in us having our only argument of the holiday involving lots of “I’m just an embarrassment to you” and “I’ve booked us a rubbish holiday I bet you wish you were with your friends” comments……not enjoyable. Especially not enjoyable as the me beginning to feel sick actually turned out to be food poisoning and I spent the next 12 hours on the loo simultaneously pissing out of my arsehole and vomiting. Not the highlight of my holiday.

But a new day dawned. Feeling rather weakened from my night in the shitter I abstained from breakfast (if I saw a plate of eggs I don’t know what would have happened) but walking around I suddenly realised what an over reaction the previous day had been. The place was gorgeous. There wasn’t any drunk English people at all – just that one who was only kicking off because they refused to serve him (quite rightly so – the cunt) and even better than that we found the proper beach! A gorgeous little practically deserted beach with a tiny bar behind it and a semi circle of rocks about 100m out where, according to mum, was the best collection of tropical fish she had ever seen. It was perfect for me to whack my ipod on, indulge in a brilliant book (not Hemingway!) and recuperate from my traumatic night, whilst my overly excitable mother swam, and befriended any body who came within 10 feet of us. Much better!

The next day we took advantage of the hotel free bikes and went on a bike ride down through the peninsula. I haven’t been on a bike ride since I was about 10 and after this I just don’t know why?! It was such fun! Admittedly a bike ride surrounded by sea on both sides on a road lined with palm trees is a lot more appealing than cycling down the A413 but it really should be done more often!! We stopped off on the tip of the peninsula where there was a hotel and mum jetted off on a boat trip to do some snorkelling on the reef (I obviously didn’t – I’m not going to go in to my fear of the sea here – you’ll only mock me) and I had a chance to improve on my ‘getting stupid now’ tan (apparently those last 2 years working in suncare hasn’t really changed my opinion on skin cancer).

We had one more morning on the beach after this before our transfer back to Havana which I was actually ready for by this point. Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with being sun tanned but this whole “culture” malarkey had really got to me and I was itching to get back to Havana and learn more! At the end of the day I could get a sun tan in Lanzagrotty if I wanted for a tenth of the price (with the added benefit of picking up a few STIs), and my tan was pretty much perfect by then anyway (if I don’t mind being incredibly arrogant!)

The bus journey back was even more of a fucking nightmare than the way there. 2 hours longer than it should have been, over booked (so people were standing), road closures etc etc. Plus when we got to Havana we were so late that there were no taxis at the bus station to take us to a hotel, and it was bloody raining again! After pretty much every other person on the bus had managed to hail a cab (we need to be more pushy!) we eventually got back to the lovely Beltran and had a gourmet meal of cous cous prepared en suite and settled down to bed ready to make the most of our last day.

The next morning Havana all of a sudden seemed 100 times more amazing than it was when I was there 9 days prior (and it was a pretty amazing then). Just mooching around I suddenly got that horrible “By 5pm this evening this is all going to be over” feeling. And I wasn’t ready for it. Trying not to let it detract, we walked through the beautiful streets of old Havana through cathedral square where we had that first life changing mojito, and on to the sea front where we decided it was time to tackle the hustle and bustle of the markets and buy some pressies and tacky souveniers, a Che Guavara beret being the most important, of course. Then we went on to find firstly a new discovery which was a street which appeared in ALL the paintings of Havana which were on sale in the market. This was a street with a sign hanging down saying “La Bodeguito del Medio” which turned out to be a tiny little bar where Hemingway used to hang out and it seemed many other celebs had been there too as the wall was covered in pictures and signatures. This took us on nicely to our next planned point of call. The Ambos Mundos Hotel, where Hemingway stayed when he was visiting. They have preserved his room exactly how he had it when he stayed and you can look round it. Also the roof of this hotel has a bar so we went up there and whiled away the rest of our afternoon having a few drinks up there, soaking up the city sunshine with fabulous views and lovely company.

On our walk back to the hotel to catch our transfer something occurred to me. These were streets of a capital city and there were people sitting in there doorways nattering, people playing guitars and others dancing and singing around, kids playing baseball, women hanging their washing out there windows. This wouldn’t happen anywhere else, ever. Can you imagine walking through London chatting to people, dancing with them, children playing? I bet 99% of Londoners don’t even know there next door neighbour’s names! And this was communism – everyone equal, everyone working as a team, no greed, no corruption, a real community. And I thought ‘I could do this’ – I could live in an ‘ideal’ world possibly I’d prefer the countryside – where the houses each have a chicken and a plot of land to grow veg. But I could really live like that. I’ve always been against people earning more money than is conceivable doing satanic jobs, effectively only making money by screwing other people over – bankers, lawyers etc. And I’ve been against the situation you are born in to reflecting how far you can make it in life (I know it isn’t meant to be like this but it is). And I love the ideal. Everyone gets the same, provided they work, whatever they do and as a benefit receive a perfect education system, perfect national health service, a perfect everything government run and a complete sense of patriotism. Real patriotism – not just beating up other nation’s football fans patriotism.

I started thinking about England and wondering why I wanted to stay living here. A country where our so called “left wing” prime minister (who apparently is Gordon Brown now, not Tony Blair anymore) spends £2000 of the British tax payers money per year on cleaners for his stupid amount of houses also paid for by the state. And where white trash Vicky Pollards with 10 babies leak money out of the welfare state whilst moaning about the “bloody asians and poles – they come over here taking our jobs and tax money”. They fucking pay tax so why shouldn’t they be entitled to it? I’d rather they got it than the fat arse Keith Millers of the world. It is disgusting really and I don’t want to be a part of it.

But of course Cuba doesn’t have the ideal. The dream is there and I think it probably worked before the eastern block dissolved, but then again if they can’t really support themselves as a single unit then communism fails doesn’t it.

Personally I think one of the major problems as to why things aren’t working as well as they should stems from tourism. Admittedly it saved the country from starvation but it has created no end of issues and seemingly split the people in to two personality types. Type one are mainly the older generation, still very much pro-Castro. These remember and appreciate that they lived well post revolution, pre special period (between the fall of the eastern block and start of tourism), and also appreciate that the tourists saved their arses when things were looking pretty bleak. These people hence treat tourists with gratitude, respect and kindness. The second type, what I’m calling the ‘next’ generation of Cubans, seem to be much more cynical and unsure what they get is really ‘fair’. These people are really quite resentful of tourists often to the point they are just plain rude (turning their backs, shooing away etc). I think the problem is as they are unaware of what life was like before. All they see is these rich idiots, with their snazzy clothes, flash digital cameras and disposable cash to throw about, travelling around seeing all different cultures and places. Everything they can’t have and what they could have if things were different. I suppose it would piss me off.

Another massive problem with letting tourists in is the discrepancy in what people earn depending on whether they work in the tourist industry or not. Money is a bit complex but Cuba has two currencies – local pesos and convertible pesos. Tourists are only eligible to use convertible pesos and each convertible peso is actually worth 10 Cuban pesos. So effectively if I were to go in to a shop and buy a bottle of water – this would cost me say 1cp (around 50p) and a cuban 1p (i.e around 5p). So effectively they are charging tourists ten times for everything which still always seems reasonable to us (2 mojitos tended to be around 5cp – £2.50 – not bad!). This means when you tip someone in a bar, say 1cp – they are getting about £5.00 worth out of it yet it is only costing you 50p. I think this is absolutely genius and I can’t see why other countries haven’t caught on. In Thailand why not charge £5.00 for a meal instead of 50p?! Tourists will still pay £5.00! However the people in tourist industry, with their tips, get much more disposable cash than anyone else which brings about inequality in the people – everything communism isn’t. Take for example the scenario of the hiking trip we did in to the mountains in Trinidad. The cost of this was 7cp each so 14cp in total and seeing as our guide stayed with us from 9am-2pm in the blistering heat enthusiastically talking all the time, we had a 20cp note and told him to keep the change. So he got 6cp – £3 to us, worth £30. This makes you feel great as a tourist. Giving a tip of not that much value to you makes a huge different to the local’s life. In fact their monthly salary is 300p so we actually tipped him a 5th of what he would earn in a month. Crazy really. However you think of all the doctors and teachers etc who slave their arses off and don’t see anything of the sort coming their way. Where is the incentive to work then? This isn’t fair and is where the system really breaks down. You could definitely feel a certain civil unrest and I reckon especially now as Castro has stepped down, big changes are afoot. I guess if you were thinking of going I’d recommend going asap. (Hark at me making political predictions when 2 weeks ago I didn’t even know what communism really meant!)

Anyways enough politics and back to reality. Damn I wish I could but I’m hooked! Six months ago, to spend all my time googling Che Guavara and ‘communism for dummies’ or writing ridiculously long blogs that no-one will read (except maybe Sam – and even he will probably have got bored by now), would have been fine as I had nout better else to do. However right now I do, like revise for these bastard exams, and this new found obsession is greatly reducing the productivity stakes!

All in all the holiday (which is what it was at the end of the day) was a big success. I’d love to go back there and see and do more of it, and like so many places I’ve been I say I will one day. But then I realise that to go back to somewhere I have already been means sacrificing going somewhere new which I can get momentarily obsessed with until the next place…..etc etc.


Posted on May 9th, 2011 by admin and filed under kids learn to cook | No Comments »

Slim Down Low Fat Recipes – Lose Weight the Hard Way or the “easy” Way

Do people who are looking to lose weight need help while doing so? This can have but two answers, yes and no. To decipher who would need guidance and who doesn`t, would depend on the individual themselves. Some people have the ability, and quickly pick up on how to choose and follow a sensible diet plan, whereas others find it difficult to without assistance. These particular dieters need company for encouragement, and to help strengthen their weaknesses which may hamper their chance of losing excess weight; without aid these people struggle with being consistent with their diet, and effortlessly find they cannot control the temptation to give in, or give up.

Weight loss is a major issue around the world because of the dangers to one`s health that obesity can cause. Let us face it, while you are grossly overweight, you are never going to be able to sit comfortable on a plane, look good in a bikini or win a marathon. Aside from these pointers it is all about health and inner vital organs like the heart. Obesity can cause heart failure. Keeping your weight down and your body healthy will have you see a new change of life. Things like running for a bus and being able to “catch it,” walking up the stairs without puffing and panting, or playing with the “grandkids,” or sadly in some cases the “kids.” Mom and dad if you are obese then if not for yourself think of the children and lose weight.

Are you familiar with phrases like?

Spare Tire

Love Handles

Muffin Top

Pot Belly

If you are then something tells me you may be looking to lose belly fat. The above references are not very flattering but neither is a podgy or flabby tummy. For some there may be no real issue concerning true obesity only that of a sagging belly or other fatty body parts. To lose weight, not only do you need a diet that works or a brain that thinks logically, but more importantly believing in yourself that you can get your weight down,

Below is a couple of slim plan weight loss recipes for those who can go it alone unaided, however for the people that can`t and see dieting as a problem, then you can join other happy dieters following the weightloss4idiots weight loss program. Each recipe has been carefully chosen to help you lose weight and make your diet a success in shedding the pounds. Eating healthily isn’t complicated once you know the basics. The balance of good health will help you plan for a healthy diet. Not many people who look to lose weight know what healthy eating means – and is there any wonder why with so much contradiction over particular diets. People under medical supervision and with special dietary requirements, and maybe taking specific prescriptive drugs should never attempt to diet or take up exercise without consulting their doctor first.

If you are trying to eat more healthily in order to slim down then you’ll need to pay attention to calories intake. It is not difficult to diet as some people think. Dieting is about following the guidelines and doing as suggested by the experts involved with your chosen weight loss plan to lose weight. The hardest part about the whole concept of dieting is, once you have achieved your ideal weight, is to keep it that way.

Some useful advice to help keep the weight off

There are certain sweetened juices and sugary beverages that can add unwanted calories, so avoid and drink diet pop, or better still water to quench your thirst. Sometimes the body craves food because it is dehydrated and drinking water is the best solution to remedy this.

Eat small healthy snacks; this stops your body from crashing because of low sugar throughout the day. Take in fiber – fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer (whole grain toast instead of white) and it will stop you from snacking on junk food.

If possible, keep healthy foods (fruits, healthy dishes) in visible places such as your kitchen sides, coffee table or at eye level on other household surfaces, this makes you more likely to nibble on healthier foods. Keep bad foods out of sight. The amount you eat in one portion is vitally important, when eating; use your dinner plate as a guide for specific food groups. Half of the plate should host fruit and vegetables, one quarter for grains/carbs, and the final quarter for meats. Plan your meals ahead of schedule eating times. This gives you the opportunity to consider different nutritional foods for your meals. An unorganized menu will have you eat foods as a matter of convenience to fill that gap.

An easy way of getting a few portions of vegetables into your daily diet is to make a tasty and filling soup. Leftover homemade soups can be put in a flask to make a quick, easy, low cal lunch for school, work or o take way a hunger pang.

Leek and Potato Soup

Potatoes make a great base for broths since they boil down and thicken. Chopped leeks with a sprinkling of herbs and seasoning added to spuds will result in a flavorsome soup.


1 tsp Olive Oil

1 Small Diced Onion

450g Chopped Leeks

450g Cubed Potatoes

500ml Semi Skimmed Milk

500ml Water

1 tsp Herbs


Heat oil and lightly fry onion leeks and potatoes together for 3 minutes

Add milk and all water, along with herbs and seasoning

Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Sieve vegetables, retaining any juices

Liquidize vegetables, and then mix in vegetable juice

Reheat, season and serve

Everyone loves to eat curry and the good thing is the dieters can too, only one that is low in fat.

Chicken curry recipe, how hot is up to your own personal taste.


1 tbsp Oil

10g Butter

3 Cloves Crushed Garlic

1 Medium Onion

2 tbsp Garam Masala

1 tsp Ground Coriander

½ tsp dried mint

570g Chicken fillet cut into chunks

200 ml water


Heat oil and butter together in a wok. Add garlic and onion and fry for about 5 minutes until onion a light golden brown. Mix in the garam masala, coriander and mint. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the water, stir, and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked and sauce has thickened.

No matter how tasty a meal is after it has been cooked or prepared, many of us are still inclined to spice our meals up with sauces and relishes. Although these can add that extra zest, they can be threatening and upset the apple cart so as to speak in your attempt to lose weight. Let us say you have made every effort to make a healthy green salad, only to smother it in mayonnaise or salad cream. If you find the urge to strong to resist eating an undressed salad, then use low fat sauces.

Some guidelines below

Tesco Reduced Calorie Mayonnaise

Just like the real stuff Tesco mayonnaise has excellent texture and flavor.

Per 100g

Calories 326kcal

Carbs 9.8g

Fat 31.5g

Sodium 0.9g

Protein 0.8g

Fibre 0.0g

Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise

Although Weight Watchers mayonnaise dressing is mouth watering creamy and mild, it is not exceptionally incredible, however it lists highly among the lowest of different mayonnaises for calories and fat.

Per 100g

Calories 299kcal

Carbs 6.7g

Fat 29.8g

Sodium 0.9g

Protein 0.7g

Fibre Trace

Sensible Fruit and Veg Portions

1. apple, banana, pear or orange

2. 2 plums, Satsuma`s or kiwi fruit

3. 1/2 a grapefruit or avocado

4. large slice of melon/pineapple

5. 3 tablespoons of vegetables, beans or pulses

6. 3 tablespoons of stewed fruit

7. 1 tablespoon of raisins/sultanas

8. 3 dried apricots

9. cupful of grapes or cherries

10. (150ml) glass of pure fruit

Remember, an easy diet is one you like and because of this, it will work.



Kacy Carr

Posted on April 30th, 2011 by admin and filed under recipes for kids | No Comments »

Quick Weight Loss For Teens Tips

It is a known fact that there are more overweight kids now than about 50 years ago. Naturally, some of those overweight kids carry their weight problems all the way to their teenage years, and even to adulthood. If your kid is in this situation, here are some tips for quick weight loss for teens, without having to resort to drastic measures like invasive surgery or even getting him or her on diet pills or enrolling your kid under an expensive gym membership.

Quick weight loss for teens # 1

Good nutrition always starts at home. You have to keep this in mind. Instead of keeping in check or even limiting severely what your kid eats, take a good, hard and honest look at what the entire family is eating. Teens develop their eating habits from what you teach them. So if you are a family of potato chip eaters, you need to wean the entire family from the chips and go for healthier options like fresh fruit and vegetables. Try not to create a meal plan only for your overweight teenager, while the rest of the family chows down on the unhealthy stuff. Your kid will only resent this and may sneak in meals outside your home.

Quick weight loss for teens # 2

Speaking of meals, try to ditch all the processed food you have at home – and that includes the frozen dinners and the “diet food” that you have been stocking up. These are loaded with extenders, preservatives and sugar in order to become palatable. Unfortunately, these are the same “low calorie” food that triggers hunger pangs which will subsequently make your kid eat more. Go for the fresh produce instead. This does not mean that you limit your kid’s diet to raw fruits and raw vegetables. You could try buying fresh meat from the grocery, use sea salt as marinade and cook this with fresh (not canned) vegetables or even fruits. You kid will learn how to prepare healthy food in the process.

Quick weight loss for teens # 3

Forcing your teen to exercise when he or she does not want to, can be a vicious fight. Why not engage him or her into an activity that you know your kid will like – and you will know this by simply asking them what they would like to do. If your teenager wants to learn skateboarding, then let them do so, even if you have misgivings about possible accidents. If he or she wants to learn to dance or learn how to play the drums, then let them do so. Try not to force your kid into activities without even consulting him or her. This makes your teenager more resentful of the fact that you did not ask in the first place.

Quick weight loss for teens # 3

Encourage your teen to drink more water or freshly made juice as a substitute for unhealthy snacks. You can do this by buying a juicing machine and even increasing your weekly supply of bottled water (which they can take to school.) Freshly made juice (without sugar) satiates hunger pangs without adding too much calories. Try to discourage the entire family from making protein shake smoothies, but go for the fresh fruits or vegetable juices instead. Water helps flush out more toxins from the body.

Jennifer T.

Posted on April 30th, 2011 by admin and filed under kids learn to cook | 12 Comments »

Baking Christmas Cookies – Secrets Of Cookie Making Revealed

For most of us Christmas is a time of year for sharing time with our loved ones. It is an especially important time for our children who thrive on the magic of the season and those traditions that create lasting childhood memories. For them, the excitement of Christmas starts long before Christmas Day and they love nothing better than being involved in the festive preparations. Baking cookies is one tradition that has stood the test of time and has been passed down from mother to child for generations.

Being involved in Christmas preparations always evokes warm abiding memories warmth and closeness. Baking Christmas treats such as cookie and candy is a wonderful ritual that can be shared with your kids and brings so much pleasure and is a wonderful tradition to share if you plan it properly in advance.

Make sure you start the day in the best frame of mind, which means everyone should have had a good nights’ sleep. It’s also not a good idea to let the kids pick at the raw ingredients you are using to bake the cookies or candy, however tempting. So, start the day with a sustaining breakfast or lunch before you begin your Christmas cookie bake. An upset tummy can spoil the memory of the day for everyone and it is never too soon the teach your children a rule basic cooking rules.

Everyone will be eager to be involved in the prepartion and cooking process. Allow the kids the freedom to try out the kitchen appliances for the first time and have fun by experimenting with the ingredients and creating their own individual cookies. They will love seeing the end results and will take great pleasure in showing the rest of the family their little works of art.

Don’t plan your cookie baking for the day before you are expecting guests or need your kitchen to be in pristine condition. Expect chaos and take a relaxed attitude towards if for one day. You will enjoy the experience all the more if you are not stressing over spills. The kitchen can be put back to its original state, having fun on this occasion is far more important. Your kids wil really appreciate being less restricted and you they will love you for it. The whole experience can be rewarding for all of you.

Baking cookies with your kids should be a happy and stress free time. Create the ideal conditions for your Christmas cookie cooking day so that you and your kids will enjoy every minute of it.
Don’t plan your baking event the day before you are expecting guests or need your kitchen to be in pristine condition! Take a relaxed attitude towards the fact that the kitchen will be in some degree of chaos. You will enjoy the experience all the more if you are not stressing over spills!

Finally, be completely organised and have everything you are likely to need on hand. Kids can have a short attention span and won’t enjoy a trip to buy missing ingredients when they are eager to start cooking! Being prepared for this Christmas cookie cooking day can make all the difference to your enjoyment and theirs. Follow all the guidelines and your day is sure to be a great success and one you and your children will want to recreate every year.

Abhishek Agarwal

Posted on April 30th, 2011 by admin and filed under kids cooking | No Comments »

Cooking:-many Types of Games are Available on the Internet

These games are becoming a popular source of enjoyment and learning for kids. Many types of such games are available on the internet. Many are free of cost. There was a time when people couldn’t think beyond the conventional games or toys which were really expensive and did not lasted for a long time. The online games are easy to play and free of charge. Kids can find a variety of these on the net by themselves without any guidance. Most of the children like cooking and they may spoil something or endanger themselves unless there is someone who teaches them correctly. For more details These games do this job of helping kids learn what they want. There are games which show how to prepare the breakfast in a particular sequence so that the kids understand and can remember. Kids can learn how to make a cheese sandwich in an easy process that shows preparing slices of bread and then crating the cheese and sprinkling black pepper and salt to it. The kids can also help their parents in cooking meals if not preparing the meal.

All this can be done while playing. If you wish to teach your kids something why not do it by the means of games since games are the best options to pour something into their growing minds. Some parents are worried that their children don’t eat some foods for example milk. They could easily make their kids drink or eat food items by the help of these games. The role of nutrients in the meal is very important and kids could be explained this by the means of games. These are so informative and suggestive that children can easily play, understand and then perform the same themselves. One can start cooking in the kitchen and the game on the computer simultaneously in order to give the child a practical idea of the game. Generally the girls are more interested in cooking and hence these are more popular among the girls. For more details  It is a fun filled activity that involves learning and repetition. The young minds are innovative and they should be trained to get some creative outputs from them. Several questions arise in the mind that how to find these games, or where to find them? These are easily accessible and free of charge. There is a list of recipes to search for. One should find a recipe that is suitable according to the child’s age and get started.

Many people share their views and ideas about cooking including recipes for the convenience of others. Another doubt that keeps us confused is the language barrier. In reply to this, I suggest that these games are often in Asian languages but they are so informative due to the graphics involved that language doesn’t remain a barrier in the end. These games are easily downloaded and installed and hence it saves time. You can’t judge the fun involved in mountain climbing unless you climb the mountain yourself. So start playing and cooking.

virender kumar

Posted on April 30th, 2011 by admin and filed under kids and cooking | No Comments »