Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Super healthy, easy - and yummy - lunch for hungry chops

It is a never-ending challenge to come up with healthy, nutritional meals for picky eaters, especially for energy packed lunches that aren’t too siesta inducing when the kiddies have to return to school in the afternoon.

To be honest, I had run out of ideas. And as a last resort I handed over Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Veg Everyday cook book to my daughters (aged 7 and 9) and challenged them to pick one thing out to try the following week. The reason I chose this particular book is that there is a large photograph of each dish, and lots of child friendly type easy to cook dishes inside.

This actually worked really well – they soon picked a dish each that they liked the look of. And today I cooked my eldest daughter’s choice – Steamed Veg with a hint of Garlic – she liked it because it looks ‘really green’ in the picture. And boy did it go down amazingly well! I cobbled together a steamer from a colander in a large pan with aluminium foil covering any holes poking out over the top of the pan.

Steamed veg is the business. Veg is incredibly flavoursome cooked this way and of course you are getting a mixture of fab nutrients to boot. I’m also fast coming round to the idea that everything tastes great smothered in garlic butter – I mean, what’s not to like! And what a success it was. The whole family cleared the entire dish off – from daddy to my youngest!  It was yum.

This is a dish I wish I’d discovered when my children were at the finger food stage – it is perfect for tots and little fingers.

  • 400-500g green veg (I used green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and a generous helping of frozen peas)
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fat garlic clove, crushed
  • salt & pepper
Prepare the veg and steam over boiling water until just done (tender but still a little crunchy) While the veg is cooking, heat the butter and oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Once melted, add the garlic. Cook very gently for a couple of minutes, letting the butter fizz slightly but taking care that the garlic doesn’t colour. Remove from the heat. Toss the steamed veg in the garlicky butter and season. En guete!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

At last I have found an alternative to Truprint (and a malfunctioning printer)

I'm back! What a wonderful Summer I had. I hope yours was just as good x

My eldest son will be 18 on Saturday. 18!! Where did the time go? Anyway, I wanted to produce him a special photo album featuring every year of his life. But there were a few problems with this. Firstly, my printer is malfunctioning so I cannot print them out myself. And secondly, I have, as usual with these things, left it to the last minute so cannot do my usual Truprint order delivered to my mother-in-law who then forwards them onto me, due to the limited time available.

I know, this is pretty poor, having lived here in Switzerland for nearly three years now. But what with everything else, the photo situation has taken a back seat. And I haven't needed pictures within a deadline before so my previous way worked.

So, having a few days to get 60 photographs printed (I got carried away and now have 3 or 4 pics of each year) I had two options – to use ifolour ( which has been recommended to me on many occasions – and the website looks suspiciously like the Truprint one – or use the photo machine at Winterthur Bahnhof. I chose the latter and was amazed who well this worked! You can choose English, upload your images from anything – memory stick, card, etc – or even Bluetooth them, which I did! Ok, I underestimated the length of time needed to print out 60 photographs and missed my bus (it took nearly half an hour) There were a couple of negatives - the machine, for some reason, didn't give change - so you need to be careful and have the right money available - and it didn't accept card payment. But for me, this is something I can live with for such a great immediate printing service. And the pictures turned out great! 

Now, when friends and family visit, I can instantly print out a few mementos of their holiday on the go, from by phone without having to fret whether the printer will work when I get home or if I need to buy another pack of outrageously expensive printer inks. 

By the way, the cost was 50 Rp per photograph. Bargain. If you're not printing out a life's worth of images for your son's 18th birthday that is...