Recipe: Asparagus, Leek and Parmigiano-Reggiano Puff Pastry Tarts

Recipe: Asparagus, Leek and Parmigiano-Reggiano Puff Pastry Tarts

Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Easter is approaching fast and what could be better than digging into a vibrant green spring tart? This flaky delight couples sweet leeks, fresh asparagus, succulent pancetta and nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano with an Easter staple – an egg! Pleasing both the eye and the appetite, these delicious tarts are perfect for a celebratory brunch or lunch or even a picnic. Enjoy hot or cold!

 

Asparagus, Leek and Parmigiano-Reggiano Puff Pastry Tarts

Yield: 2

Asparagus, Leek and Parmigiano-Reggiano Puff Pastry Tarts

Ingredients

  • 1 ready-made puff pastry sheet
  • 1 large leek or two small ones
  • Butter (approx. 15-20g for sautéing the leeks and another 10g for the asparagus)
  • 70g pancetta cubes
  • 125g asparagus tips (between 6-8 stalks per tart)
  • 50g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 eggs (2 medium or large and one small for glazing the edges of the dough)
  • Cracked black pepper and salt to taste
  • Parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven.
  2. Unroll a sheet of ready-made puff pastry. Cut the dough in half. Then roll up each side to create a barrier of about 1-1.5cm width.
  3. Alternatively, instead of rolling up the sides, take a knife and lightly score a smaller rectangle into the dough. With a fork, prick the inside of the rectangle of each tart.
  4. Place the tarts in the oven and bake on the middle-rack for about 10 minutes at 190°C (fan) or Gas Mark 5 and then another 10 minutes on low heat (100°C, Gas Mark 1).
  5. In the meantime, wash the leeks and cut into thin slices.
  6. Place the slices in a colander and separate all individual rings by pushing them out with your fingers. Then wash the rings again under cold water.
  7. Melt butter in a pan. Then add the pancetta cubes and let them sizzle for a minute.
  8. Add the leek rings and cook until soft. Add a dash of salt if needed (the pancetta already adds saltiness) and some black pepper.
  9. Place the cooked leeks on a plate to cool.
  10. In the frying pan, melt some more butter. After washing the asparagus and cutting off the wooden lower part, place the stalks in the pan and sauté them for several minutes to slightly soften them. Take them off the heat and let them cool.
  11. Remove the tarts from the oven. If the middle of the dough has risen, take a fork or tablespoon and carefully push the dough down and let the risen edges stay up. Then divide the cooked leeks among the two tarts.
  12. Sprinkle half of the grated parmesan on top.
  13. Place either 3 or 4 sautéed asparagus stalks on the left and right side of each tart. T
  14. hen carefully crack open one egg over the middle of each tart.
  15. Crack the third egg in a bowl and whisk with a fork. Take a pastry brush and coat the edges of each tart with the egg for better browning in the oven.
  16. Place the tarts in the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until the eggs are cooked. If after 10 minutes in the oven the edges are getting too dark, reduce the heat and leave in the oven for the remaining time.
  17. Remove from the oven and serve with parsley (optional). The tarts can be enjoyed warm or cold.
http://www.glotime.tv/recipe-asparagus-leek-and-parmigiano-reggiano-puff-pastry-tarts/

With thanks to http://www.castelli-uk.com/

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Cannabis-derived oil goes mainstream, but is it all smoke and mirrors?

Cannabis-derived oil goes mainstream, but is it all smoke and mirrors?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

Chances are, CBD oil is already on your radar. There has been a huge buzz about it recently, due to its reported benefits – health journalism has been awash with stories of this potential remedy for a wide range of ailments, including anxiety, insomnia, skin conditions, epilepsy and arthritis. But what is the story behind the hype – and is it all too good to be true?

The first thing to clarify is there is a huge difference between CBD oil and medicinal cannabis. CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant – it has attracted interest as it seems to have a wide range of therapeutic properties. One of the other compounds in the cannabis plant, prevalent in the marijuana variety, is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – unlike CBD, THC is psychoactive, and this is what gives users the famous cannabis ‘high’.

CBD oil is now in mainstream use – Holland & Barratt were the first UK high street retailer to stock it, with sales doubling in 12 months, and the health company Naturopathica has recently launched the first CBD lozenges. There are also increasing numbers of UK cafés serving up coffee and snacks containing CBD, to help customers combat anxiety and stress!

A recently retired colleague of ours, a lady in her mid- seventies who is caring for her husband who is suffering from dementia, has noticed a marked difference in his anxiety levels since she has been including CBD oil in his diet.

Cannabis is still illegal for recreational use in the UK, but the medical use of cannabis was legalised in November 2018. However, this is only when prescribed by a registered specialist doctor, and notably the current guidelines do not recommend the use of medicinal cannabis oil – which is ironic, given that the UK is home to GW Pharmaceuticals, one of the world’s largest producers of medical cannabis, and the company behind the cannabis-derived products Sativex and Epidiolex.

This has frustrated many, including the parents of seven-year-old Alfie Dingley, an epileptic boy from Warwickshire who suffered up to 30 seizures a day due to a rare genetic condition. He hit the headlines in 2017 when it emerged his family had moved to Holland, where medicinal cannabis oil was legal – with treatment, Alfie’s seizures reduced to just one a month! The family returned to the UK and petitioned the government to make it legal in the UK. Since the change to UK law last November, Alfie now has regular prescriptions for his condition, but the family subsequently launched another petition to encourage doctors to “prescribe full extract oil without fear”, as the guidelines mean that few doctors are actually prescribing it.

While most of the compounds in cannabis are ‘controlled substances’ under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, CBD is not. It is currently illegal in the UK to have products with a THC level of over 0.2%, but by using cannabis plants with lower than threshold levels of THC, and high levels of CBD, manufacturers are legally able to sell products – although these are not officially authorised as medicines, so manufacturers cannot make any medical claims on the packaging. Despite this, many people swear by their therapeutic qualities anecdotally.

Any internet search will lead you to an abundance of anecdotal material about CBD. It is widely known to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it keeps your body in a state of equilibrium, making it useful in treating medical conditions such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, muscle and joint pain, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain. It is easy to take – there are e-liquids for vaping, sprays for under the tongue, CBD capsules and CBD balms to apply to the skin.

Oxford University is carrying out a £10 million research programme into the medical use of marijuana, so hopefully it won’t be long before science and legislation catch up with what the public already seems to know.

Meanwhile the popularity of CBD oil grows daily, and if the coffee and cake at your local café includes this magical ingredient to reduce stress and anxiety, might you be tempted…?

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ESCAPE TO THE CITY AND BEAT THE BLUES BY GLOTIME

ESCAPE TO THE CITY AND BEAT THE BLUES BY GLOTIME

Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

If you are looking for a bit of escapism in these turbulent times (didn’t even mention the B word), and if you can get the kids farmed out if you have any, or want to get away with a loved one.  Then you should seriously consider a City Break in the number one destination for adventure and diversity – London.

I am going to give you three options only to get you started, with some linked suggestions – ranging in price so that it does not pull too hard on your purse strings, or could equally cost you an arm and a leg if you go for broke.

 

40 WINKS

I have a rather interesting suggestion for you if you enjoy an artsy boutique hotel with an edgy interior.  40 Winks, which has housed both Hollywood Royalty and the more ‘under the radar’ glamorous guest is run by the charismatic but cosy Interior Designer David Carter who welcomes his guests as if they are family.

40 Winks is situated in the trendy eclectic East End of London but is only three minutes’ walk to the tube and only a 10 minute ride into the City Centre.

Each room is artfully designed and just stepping inside the door take you into another World.  Perfect for the quick getaway.  The prices are incredibly reasonable too, coming in at around £115-150 per night.

A great boarding platform in every way as it will set you up for the great venture into town, where there are a plethora of places popping up to explore and immerse yourself to finally sweep away those Brexit blues.

http://40winks.org/

 

THE KARAOKE AND BAO RESTAURANT

The Karaoke and Bao Restaurant which is opening in May should be your first port of call.

BAO is the great Taiwanese restaurant that took London by storm with its funky, animated steamed buns that have been plastered all over Instagram. So everyone is talking about the latest opening coming to Borough in May which will join the other outposts including BAO Soho and BAO Fitzrovia, XU Teahouse and Restaurant, as well as the original BAO BAR stand which remains at Netil Market.

Oh, joy of joy it’ll have a karaoke room named BAO KTV?!  This is incredible, as normally with Karaoke and bao never the twain will meet, although you can see why because Karaoke is incredibly popular in Taiwan so it all makes sense.  It opens on May 6th.  I have already made my reservation.

https://www.instagram.com/bao_london/

 

 

LYANESS

Lyaness has recently been reinvented from Dandelyan which was voted best bar in the World.

The bar rebranded as Sea Containers remains in the Thames-side ground floor position it’s been in for the last few years. But everything inside is different. Named after Chetiyawardana’s 2018 International Women’s Day pop-up that ran at bar Super Lyan, the interior is a gorgeous palate of powder blue, greys and golds channeling a 1920s chic and a 1970s retro. The work of creative director Jacu Strauss, and the team at Lore Studio, who also created Amsterdam’s Super Lyan with Chetiyawardana’s, Jacu.

There is also a sensational view across the Thames.

The cocktails are incredible as you would imagine from this great mixologist and you will relish both the drinks and the ambience in this mini paradise.

www.seacontainerslondon.com

 

If you are a fan of jazz then why don’t you come to the legendary Pheasantry in King’s Road on 9th June to see our very own Dee Anderson perform with her band Topsyike.  They are a funky Jazz fusion band of some notoriety, and will be performing their own compositions as well as some jazz standards such as Don’t Explain by Billie Holiday, Put a Spell on You and Amy Winehouse’s Love is a Losing Game.  You can listen to the music whilst devouring a very tasty Pizza and a glass of wine as this iconic venue has in recent years been taken over by Pizza Express.

www.deeanderson.co.uk
https://www.pizzaexpresslive.com/whats-on/dee-anderson-and-the-topsyike-band

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Recipe: Parmesan Scotch Eggs with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Recipe: Parmesan Scotch Eggs with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Scotch eggs are the ideal snack food and much easier to make than one would assume! Using sausages instead of regular minced meat gives the advantage of already having perfectly seasoned meat. But this British classic comes with a twist: sharp, nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano added to the meat and the breadcrumb coating! Enjoy these flavour-filled goodies at parties or picnics or serve as a main meal with some green salad.

Scotch Eggs with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Yield: 4

Scotch Eggs with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tbsp plain flour
  • 375g ground beef mince (500g if large eggs are used) from Cumberland sausages
  • 4 medium-sized eggs
  • 1 extra egg for crumbing
  • 4 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • 75g breadcrumbs
  • 350-500ml vegetable oil for frying (depending on height of pot)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dollop mustard
  • Generous amount of cracked black pepper
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Place the four eggs in a pot and bring the water to a boil. Take the pot off the heat, place a lid on top and leave the eggs to sit for 9 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, take the sausages and one by one squeeze the minced meat out of the skin over a mixing bowl.
  3. Add flour, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cracked black pepper and one tablespoon of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Mix well and form a ball. Then divide the mixture in four equal parts.
  4. After the eggs have been left in the heat for 9 minutes, drain the hot water and douse them with cold water. Remove the shells and leave them to cool.
  5. Lay out two bowls and a plate. Crack an egg in one of the bowls and whisk it up with a fork. In the second bowl, add the breadcrumbs and the remaining three tablespoons of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  6. Take one piece of meat, flatten it in your palm and place a hard-boiled egg in the middle. Wrap the meat around the entire egg. Make sure there are no holes. Do the same with the other eggs.
  7. One by one place the meat-covered eggs in the whisked egg and then in the Parmigiano-Reggiano-breadcrumb-mixture and put them on a plate.
  8. Take a high-rimmed pot and fill it with vegetable oil. Heat up the oil. To find out if the oil is ready for frying, take a few breadcrumbs and sprinkle them in the oil. If they start to sizzle, the Scotch eggs are ready to be fried. Use kitchen tongues to place the eggs carefully in the hot oil. If there is not enough space to fry all eggs at once, fry them two at a time. It can get very smoky from the frying oil, so open a window or switch on the exhaust hood.
  9. Fry the eggs for about 5 minutes in the oil until golden brown, then remove them from the pot with the kitchen tongues and place them on a plate laid out with kitchen towels. Dab off any excess oil, then put the Scotch eggs on a baking tray and cook them in the pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes, middle rack, at 180°C (fan) or Gas Mark 5.
  10. Serve warm or cold with a side salad or as a snack. They are ideal to take to a picknick. Kept in the fridge, they will keep for up to 2 days.
http://www.glotime.tv/recipe-parmesan-scotch-eggs-with-parmigiano-reggiano/

With thanks to http://www.castelli-uk.com/

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“No Coward Soul Is Mine” – Welsh dancer turns hair loss on its head

“No Coward Soul Is Mine” – Welsh dancer turns hair loss on its head

Reading Time: 7 minutes

 

Josie Sinnadurai is an extraordinary woman. She has carved out a successful career as a flamenco dancer, touring all over the world and starring in a Hollywood movie (Woody Harrelson’s Lost in London). She has a core of steel and exudes calm determination – on her bedroom door for years she has had the Emily Brontë poem “No Coward Soul is Mine”. But recently her courage and stoicism have been tested to the limit.

In December 2018, just before her 25th birthday, Josie noticed that she was waking up to clumps of hair on her pillow, and that more hair was falling out when she washed or brushed it. She was working in Seville and returned to her home town of Brecon to consult her GP, who told her that it was probably temporary.

However back in Seville, despite using treatments prescribed by a local dermatologist, in the hope that her hair would grow back, the hair loss continued. In her stoic way, Josie remained calm and carried on working – but soon noticed that she was losing her facial and body hair too. She was diagnosed at this point with sudden-onset alopecia universalis, an auto-immune condition resulting in complete loss of all facial, head and body hair.

Not much is known about alopecia, and there is currently no definitive treatment, so sufferers of the condition are faced with the probability of their hair never growing back. Gail Porter, Matt Lucas and Andre Agassi have all famously had to deal with sudden-onset hair loss, and last summer Jada Pinkett Smith also went public with her stress-related alopecia. One can only imagine the stress of hair loss – but to couple that with being in the public eye can only add more pressure to an already sensitive situation.

So hats off to Josie’s reaction! Naturally at first she was in shock. She always had a wonderful head of hair – thick, dark and glossy – and for any woman to lose it all suddenly is a huge thing to process, especially with the speed of the onset, when there is little time to come to terms with it. Emotions of distress, shock and mourning are of course natural. But Josie took control of her situation and put together a strategy to manage what was happening.

“After a couple of days processing the diagnosis, I calmed down and told myself that this wasn’t the worst thing in the world that could happen” she said. “I wasn’t in pain and it wasn’t like losing my hair was going to kill me. At the end of the day, this was only my appearance.”

She decided to document her hair loss, photographing her scalp at each stage. As time went on, she found the inner strength to turn something she couldn’t control on its head – and went far beyond turning lemons into lemonade! She organised a farewell photoshoot of her remaining hair, and then threw a party with friends and family where she shaved her head.
“I even baked a cake. It was my way of saying goodbye to my hair,” Josie said. “The evening was very emotional but also a celebration.”

Next, to boost her confidence and embrace her new look, she had a beautiful henna ‘crown’ tattoo, which looks amazing – feminine and powerful – with something of the Warrior Queen about it! As Josie explained:

“Being proactive about my hair loss gave me the confidence to move forward with my life. Instead of feeling down and sad, I felt excited about the future.”

Josie now wants to spread the word about alopecia universalis, and hopefully to inspire others who are learning to cope with its sudden arrival.

There are of course still challenges – in London Josie fits in with her new look, however in Seville, where she is currently based, some people still stare. But she is fine with that – “I think they’re more embarrassed than I am” – and she has a great friendship group who have supported her throughout. Being a flamenco dancer, Josie currently wears a wig when performing, as the genre traditionally requires the classic Spanish look, which includes thick long hair! But moving forward she is considering dancing without a wig, using this as “an opportunity to question the traditional binary flamenco aesthetic look”, so watch this space! And in her daily life, she is embracing and rocking her new look, with funky headscarves, great make-up and jewellery.

‘Proud’ doesn’t begin to cover what her family and friends feel about how Josie has responded to this traumatic turn of events. She is not only an incredibly talented young woman, but also an inspiring example of how it’s not the hand that life deals you, but the way you play your cards that counts – in Josie’s case, with strength, positivity and panache.

Watch the video of Josie shaving her head.

Josie will be on tour from 12th – 24th April 2019 in London and Wales:

 

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2019 marks the 60th Anniversary celebration of The Original Twilight Zone Series

2019 marks the 60th Anniversary celebration of The Original Twilight Zone Series

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man, it is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition,and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination it’s an area which we call…… The Twilight Zone

Mediumrare Entertainment is proud to announce The Twilight Zone 60th Anniversary Edition which will include all 5 seasons of the original classic cult TV series, Created by the legendary and visionary writer Rod Serling .

Being presented in an all new lenticular packaged limited anniversary Blu-ray Box Set which will include an 80 page companion book written by Marc Scott Zicree, plus a 60 page episode guide.

Reproduction Gold Key Comics, Post Cards and new bonus disc with brand new extra features only available on the Anniversary edition.

To order the exclusive limited edition 60th Anniversary Blu-ray Box Set priced at £149.99, please go to www.thetwilightzone.co.uk

(Please note the limited edition Box Set is not available from any other stockists)

The Twilight Zone Complete Collectionavailable now on DVD & Blu-ray from Amazon

‘Where is everybody’  was the very first episode of The Twilight Zone which was first broadcast on CBS network 2nd October 1959 

Synopsis:
Explore the depths of the unknown in this complete collection of episodes from the Twilight Zone. Funny at times, heart-breaking others,  and thought provoking the Twilight Zone was the most unique inventive and completely original concept shows in the history of Television.  Rod Serlings creation along with top writers such as Richard Matheson created a series that has been the main inspiration to TV and Film makers for over 50 years. All 156 episodes from the original classic show are collected here. 

60th Anniversary Box Set New Bonus Disc Details 

AMERICAN MASTERS PRESENTS: ROD SERLING SUBMITTED FOR YOUR APPROVAL.

A biography of the late writer and producer, who wrote some of early television’s most acclaimed dramas and created the classic science fiction/fantasy series The Twilight Zone. Serling’s own words and extensive interviews with people who knew him chronicle the history and excitement of the early days of television.

TIMELESS AS INFINITY- ENTERING THE TWILIGHT ZONE

An all new documentary exploring the history behind television’s most influential series, as well as the life of its creator, Rod Serling. The documentary features exclusive interviews with Carol Serling (Serling’s wife), Jodi Serling (Serling’s daughter), Marc Scott Zicree (author/historian), Brannon Braga (Star Trek: First Contact), Wes Craven (A Nightmare of Elm Street), Joe Dante (Gremlins), Martha Coolidge (Real Genius), Rockne S. O’Bannon (Farscape), J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Thor), C. Courtney Joyner (writer), H.M. Wynant (actor), and MANY MORE! Produced and Directed by Daniel Griffith (“This Island Earth: 2 1/2 Years In The Making” & “The Flesh and The Fury: X-posing Twins of Evil). 

 DVD & Blu-ray Product information:

 

  •         Discs: 24
    ·       Cert: 12
    ·       RRP : Blu-ray £99.99 Blu-ray & DVD £79.99
  •         RRP:  Anniversary Box Set £149.99

 

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