Thursday, 20 November 2014

looking for a sequined Christmas party number - go to Virgos Lounge

I've been looking around for some sequined glamour for the party season, and I came upon the Virgos Lounge. I ordered a size 14 - for that is what I am - and this beautiful piece arrived:

sequin dress green

I love the delicate cut-outs along the neckline:

sequin dress green

And the flowers look like gemstones - though they are actually sequins.

sequin detail

A beautiful party dress with high level of beautiful detailing for around £100 - that's a fantastic thing. I do think that the next thing for Virgos Lounge to do is slightly re-think it's sizing. For a start it's sizing is too small - I am a standard size 14 - but this dress was a size too small - so I had to return it. It seems to me that this product could do really well in the 50+ market, and also that the product range would be extremely flattering to the plus-size figure. I think they could do well to extend their size-range. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Kaltbach and avocado toasted sandwich

Kaltbach and avocado toasted sandwich

Such a great pairing! hardly a recipe - more of a serving suggestion.

Spread margarine on your bread. Add:
  • Kaltbach cheese (or any semi-soft cheese).
  • avocado
That's it! I added no mayonnaise, no nothing. perfect combo as it is. really filling and no meat.

Sunday, 5 October 2014


Introducing Nadia Mahmud-Salvisberg - the prospective Parliamentary candidate for Hackney Wick

It may have come to the attention of many of you that I have been hugging many babies of late. And this can only mean one thing: I am running for parliament. 

(PLEASE NOTE: it is the bigger one in both photos who is the parliamentary candidate, and in neither cases is it the baby.)

The Nadia Manifesto

  1. build beautiful drinking-water fountains in every town.
  2. employ architects to analyse and redesign empty spaces in London as affordable housing/accommodation.
  3. introduction of petrol rationing in London.
  4. no-one can earn more than £75 000 per year. All the rest goes to the state. (entrepreneurs and artists are excluded due to erratic incomes, and as reward for the service they make to the country which requires extreme personal risk-taking.)
  5. it will be illegal to pay farmers less for their produce than what it cost them to produce it.
  6. unpaid interns will be able to claim benefits.
  7. emotional abuse and controlling your partner via emotional or financial abuse will be a criminal offence. 
  8. more money will be allocated for women fleeing domestic abuse. In particular more provision for hostel beds will be made available.
  9. televised debates will be held on green issues - which will feature politicians, scientists, sociologists, celebrities, and members of the public debating various green issues.
  10. more money to be invested in a raft of green energy sources.

Vote for Nadia?

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Lasagne Verdi

I was like totally like in Pizza Express using my Tesco vouchers to eat lasagne verde with my work colleague, and honestly I was impressed. So I went home and recreated it:

lasagne verde
layers of chargrilled courgettes, capers, and bechamel 
sauce, between sheets of spinach lasagne, 

mozarella cheese is really hard
to grate, which is why I buy it
already grated from Lidl, £1.19
  • green lasgane sheets
  • 3 courgettes
  • 400ml bechamel sauce - (if in doubt follow Delia)
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp olives (any will do really - if you don't have any hanging about leftover - use the cheap tinned ones)
  • 2 handfuls grated mozarella 
  • 2 handfuls gran moravia or parmesan or commensurate hard flavoursome cheese

Start the steeping for your bechamel sauce: Put 400ml of whole milk in a small/medium saucepan. Add a piece of carrot, a piece of celery, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of peppercorns, mace blade, half a shallot, few stalks of parsley, and slowly bring to the boil, and simmer gently for a few minutes. Switch off heat and leave to steep.

grilled courgettes

Chargrill your vegetables: Line a large roasting tin with foil, and switch the grill onto a medium heat. Slice your courgettes length-wise into ribbons. place on the tin and brush with olive oil all over, and sprinkle with sea salt, and grind some pepper over. Now put the roasting tin under the grill and keep a casual eye on the vegetables. Turn them when needed, and when done take them out with tongs or a fork and put them on a plate to cool a little. If you have more vegetables left to grill, then do these now.

sauce whisk
this is a sauce whisk
Finish off the bechamel sauce: strain the flavoured milk into a jug, and discard the bits and bobs. rinse out the suacepan if needed. Now add 50g butter and start to melt. Add 3 heaped tablespoons of plain flour and mix up with a sauce whisk or wooden spoon. Continue to cook whilst beating for about 3 minutes - you want to cook out the starch. Now add a little of the milk and beat in - still on the heat - and continue to add the milk until it is all incorporated. continue to stir on the heat for 7 minutes +, so the sauce is thickened and the starch is nicely cooked-out. take off the heat and set aside. 

Assemble the lasagne: butter a deep oven dish. then pour a thin layer of bechamel sauce on the bottom. Cover with a layer of the green lasagne sheets - breaking if necessary. Add another thin layer of sauce, then add a layer of chargrilled courgettes. Roughly chop the capers and the olives, then sprinkle half of each over. Put a layer of lasagne sheets over. Add a layer of courgettes, then the rest of the capers and olives, then a layer of grated mozarella cheese. Then a layer of bechamel sauce. Top with another layer of lasagne sheets. Finish with a layer of bechamel sauce, and gran moravia sprinkled over the top. 

Bake for 30 minutes at 180*C - or until golden.