Archive for November, 2009

Prawn Cocktail With a Twist

Taken from this years Ideal Homes Christmas magazine we thought we’d try out this hot hot take on the old classic dinner party favorite.

The original recipe serves six but we just reduced the ingredients by half for the two of us (apart from the Prawns, cos we love ’em!). I’ve listed the ingredients for six though

Takes 15 mins, plus 30 mins marinating

  • 300g raw Tiger Prawns
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • juice from grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 150g of baby, spinach, rocket, basil (or whatever green salad leaves you like)
  • 2 small avocado, peeled & cur into chunks
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 12 slices of of pancetta, grilled until crisp (we didn’t have any pancetta so we grilled slices of pepperoni until crisp).

1. Mix together the prawns, chilli, garlic, lemon juice & zest in a bowl & season with salt & black pepper. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 mins

2. When ready to serve, arrange the salad leaves and avocado on to plates. Drain the prawns, reserving the marinade.

3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the prawns over a high heat for 3-4 mins until cooked through

4. Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a pan and simmer for 3-4 mins.

5. Place the cooked prawns onto the plates and drizzle over the marinade.

6. Finally, crumble over the pancetta or pepperoni and serve – delicious

As an alternative to having this as a starter, we decide to bulk this up with a side of seasoned potato wedges and a selection of cool dips.

Likewise, a fuss free marinade could be made with Blue Dragons Chilli sauce & jiff lemon juice.

*Blue Dragons’ chilli sauce is a must in our house when we’re making Nachos

Bon appetit





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Winter clean up

The weather doesn’t look good this weekend but I’m hoping it stays dry enough to get stuck into a few jobs outside.

The pond is in need of a pre winter clean to removing the fading Lillie pads and other plant material that will sit & rot if I don’t remove it. I also need to lift & clean the two pumps (I usually only keep one running over winter) & the two filter boxes need a pre winter checkup.

The greenhouse has been cleared so I’ve enough room to move most of the outside pots & tubs inside away from the impending frosts. With the addition of a heater & a small collection of bubble wrap i’ve been saving i think we should be o.k.

We also have a blocked drain that needs attention which feeds from the kitchen. I’m thinking it’s a mixture of leaves from the outside guttering combined with kitchen & washing machine waste is to blame.

Pretty much all of the trees in the garden have shed there leaves so it’s one more rake/garden vac job.

Noticed the holly tree is bearing a bumper crop of berries so lots of Christmas wreaths this year.

The garden paths could do with a jet wash.

The veggie bedsĀ  lie pretty much empty now which no doubt our cats will take a shine to. Nylon netting doesn’t seem to be doing the trick so I’ll construct some sort of chicken mesh guard.

A little light pruning & i think that it.


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Red & whites.

This dull dark afternoon is in need of a splash of color so it’s out with my camera to shoot some of the cut flowers dotted around the house.

For these, I’ve used a black cardboard background, setting my subject about a foot away from it and used a spot light rather than flash to pick out the detail. Tripod mounted my camera and used shutter priority mode set to around 4 secs. Iso’s around 100,125 & 200.

Although the tungsten light setting on my camera removed most of the yellow/orange cast from the spot light, i’ve adjusted slightly in photoshop.


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Bonfire night photography

Bonfire night again which means copious amounts of burgers, sausages, fried onions and of course, mushy peas with plenty of mint sauce.

Bizarrely, there didn’t seem to be many fireworks going off in our neighborhood this evening. Either everyone’s forgot or the credit crunch has reared it’s ugly head again! Why is it, that there’s always one that goes off at 3am in the morning!

I’d picked up a packet of sparklers on the way home from work & we stood waving them about after dinner – you are never too old to wave a sparkler about!

Here’s a few shots taken this evening.

IMG_5732_1 (1024x731)


This one reminds me of a photo I’d taken earlier in the year of our cactus.


IMG_5741 (1024x734)

…and Cacti


This last image, I’ve adjusted the coloring with Photoshop.

IMG_5742_1 (1024x683)



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The moon..take 3

Full moon again this evening and whilst it’s not to chilly, thought it be a good idea to take my camera out once again to photograph the moon.

This was taken, tripod mounted with my Tamron 28-300mm attached at 1/100th sec, Iso 100. Initially taken as RAW and converted to .jpg after tweaking slightly with photoshop.





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