Wake Up And Smell The Coffee – It Can Taste As Good

Wake Up And Smell The Coffee – It Can Taste As Good

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

I recently heard on the radio a so called coffee expert and Barista exclaiming that the aroma of coffee is always so good that the taste never fails to disappoint.

As my friends will tell you I always rise to a challenge, and have been investigating this notion ever since, and think I have proved her wrong!

A long time buddy of mine bought me a Tassimo coffee maker for my birthday at the end of last year, which has totally revolutionised my life in that not only does it cut out the painful cleaning of my old coffee machine, but it makes incredible coffee too. Now you may think that this is an advertisement for the Tassimo, but I assure you it is not, I am just sharing my knowledge and excitement at this recent discovery! Tassimo have a new range of machines in fantastic colours.

 

The coffee and creamer comes in separate capsules and you simply slot them into the top of the machine and away you go. The milk or creamer is delivered piping hot and steaming and frothy, just the way good coffee should be. Plus the taste really does not disappoint as with so many other makes of coffee, even in established coffee shops.

I am also going to invest in one for the office, as it will cut down on the crazy prices that have evolved since the birth of trendy coffee cafes such as Starbucks and Costa. Don’t get me wrong, I will still enjoy the occasional cup of coffee at the weekend when meeting up with girl friends in our local chic café, but for the everyday, will continue to enjoy the various types of coffee available for a Tassimo coffee machine.

So far I have tried COSTA cappuccino, COSTA macchiato, breakfast coffee and COSTA latte, and all of them are really good in their own way. Of course nothing beats going into a COSTA coffee shop with friends but now I can enjoy the great taste at home as well.

mug

There are also lots more on the market, and I won’t spoil it for you, go and explore the coffee counter in your local supermarket once you have invested in a Tassimo, and let us know which one you enjoy the best. I am betting you will find it really hard to decide.
You can see the full range of drinks available at https://www.tassimo.co.uk/drinks-range/c-117/

Thanks to our sponsors you to can enjoy the Tassimo experience with the chance to win a Tassimo hot drink machine
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Parmigiano Reggiano Nests with Goat’s Cheese and Walnut Bites and a Balsamic Glaze Drizzle

Parmigiano Reggiano Nests with Goat’s Cheese and Walnut Bites and a Balsamic Glaze Drizzle

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Hors d’oeuvres are the epitome of fancy party food. A little dish typically served before a meal or between courses at a dinner party, they involve no fuss with cutlery as they are usually designed to eat by hand. First and foremost, appetizers are supposed to be pleasing for the eyes. This recipe for Italian-style hors d’oeuvres combines fresh goat’s cheese with tangy Parmigiano-Reggiano, sweet sundried tomatoes and buttery walnuts that will also satisfy your taste buds. What a perfect mouthful!

 

Ingredients:

For 5 pieces

 

100g Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded

50g soft goat’s cheese

3-4 pieces of sundried tomato (dry, not preserved in oil)

Handful walnuts, finely chopped

5-6 fresh basil leaves

A pinch of black pepper

Balsamic glaze

Rocket garnish

 

What you’ll need:

 

Chopping board

Large kitchen knife

Small mixing bowl

Kitchen scales

Tablespoon

Teaspoon

Grater (for producing long, thin cheese shreds)

Silicon mould for mini muffins or cake pops (ø3.5-4cm)

Alternatively: 5 shot glasses (ø3.5-4cm, measured at the bottom) and a flat baking tray with non-stick paper

Parmigiano

Method:

 

  1. For the Parmigiano nests, take a cheese grater that produces long, thin cheese shreds and grate the parmesan into a mini muffin or cake pop baking mould. Alternatively, prepare a flat baking tray with non-stick baking paper, and grate the parmesan on the surface. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 2-3 minutes at 160°C (fan) or gas mark 4 until the cheese is melted and bubbles but is not crisp yet. Cut the cheese apart into five pieces and quickly drape them over the upturned shot glasses and bake for several more minutes until crisp golden brown. If you have a mini muffin tray at hand, keep the cheese in the tray until crispy and most of the moisture from the cheese has evaporated. After the baking process, take them aside to cool.
  2. In a bowl, mix soft goat’s cheese, chopped sundried tomatoes and finely chopped fresh basil. Add a pinch of black pepper and stir well. Take a teaspoonful of cheese mix and roll into a ball. The mixture should make five balls altogether. Finely chop a handful of walnuts, and then roll each ball over the walnut crumbs until fully covered.
  3. Prepare a serving plate and place the Parmigiano nests on a few rocket leaves. Place a cheese and walnut bite in each nest. Drip some balsamic glaze on the plate for decoration. Serve immediately.

(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)

http://www.castelli-uk.com

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Sarah Class – Natural High – New Album Out Soon

Sarah Class – Natural High – New Album Out Soon

Reading Time: 5 minutes

S A R A H   C L A S S

N A T U R A L H I G H – Released 25th September 2020

The album Natural High is a joyful and reverential tribute to the powerful magic of nature and miracle of life. There are many layers to the natural world. Those we perceive with human eyes to be beautiful or awe inspiring, or intrinsically feel we need to protect or even be fearful of, are perhaps only touching the surface of its extraordinary qualities. Nature is also working behind the scenes affecting us on an entirely different plane.

“Our relationship with Nature is powerfully symbiotic. Nature nourishes us and it has the ability to move and heal us, to energise and uplift us. It is a living organism with a heart-beat, a soul and molecular memory, just like human life. We need to forge a new and positive relationship with the Natural world that sustains us.”  Sarah Class.

Beyond Nature’s physical manifestation, Sarah believes there is a powerful spiritual vibration existing in multi layers. It is this version of Nature – its heavenly imprint, which fuels the music of Natural High.

Scientists know that Nature is proven to de-stress us, but equally they are aware this is not the full explanation. As scientist and cognitive psychologist David Strayer says, “something mysterious will always remain”.

Sarah says, “Natural High is also about Unity – the unifying God of all things and the connection between us and Nature. Our place within the natural world is not a separated one. We are of each other.”

The album explores Nature’s euphoric diversity through the ethereal lens. Through waterfalls, rivers, holy wells and more, each track aligns with various Nature deities from myths and legends of different cultures.

A true lockdown album written at the height of the pandemic, Sarah recorded much of the album with Sinfonia Nord, a wonderful orchestra in Iceland via remote link to her studio in Bristol. She also collaborated remotely with talented musicians all over the world to achieve the special sound she envisaged for Natural High.

 

S A R A H  C L A S S

Sarah Class

 

Award winning, Emmy nominated, Sarah Class has become one of Britain’s most sought-after composers and is described as having the ‘Midas touch’ when it comes to creating music. She is an accomplished musician, scoring for ?lm, television and the concert arena, producer, songwriter, and singer.

A classically trained pianist from an early age, Sarah developed a huge love of jazz and improvisation. Brought up on a nature reserve in a large unspoilt part of the Isle of Wight, she spent her childhood surrounded by rare orchids, bluebell woods and carpets of wood anemones – something that would come to inspire not just her music, but inform her very way of thinking and living.

She quickly started to make her mark in the world of television and subsequently the film industry. When she was asked to compose the score for an independent feature film titled ‘The Weekend’ Sarah caught the attention of legendary producer Sir George Martin who subsequently took her under his wing to help and guide her career.

Since then her career has skyrocketed and boasts 3 Emmy Award nominations, a Classical Brit Award nomination, a No.1 album collaboration with Hayley Westenra, a Best Score Award for Sir David Attenborough’s BBC TV series ‘BBC Africa’, plus numerous other hugely successful and highly acclaimed scores for movies and TV.

Sarah is also Ambassador for the World Land Trust. Sir David Attenborough, Sir Chris Packham and Steve Backshall are also patrons. The charity has directly protected and saved a million acres of threatened habitat including rainforest and helped save a further five million  acres, in more than 20 countries over the past 30 years. Sir David even made an appearance on Sarah’s music video ‘I Will Fight’.

Sarah Class

www.sarahclass.com


 

 

Discovering Yoga – A Lifelong Exploration – From Inactive Slug to Beautiful Butterfly

Discovering Yoga – A Lifelong Exploration – From Inactive Slug to Beautiful Butterfly

Reading Time: 11 minutes

 

I attended my first yoga class when I was 18 years old after signing up for an 8-week beginner’s course. I went along with my Mum because I was really self-conscious at that age, and reluctant to turn up anywhere on my own.

As a slightly rotund school leaver, emerging from my chrysalis of gruelling exams as an inactive slug rather than a beautiful butterfly, I had heard that yoga was good for losing weight and wanted to see what it was all about.

I dabbled with yoga on and off for the next 15 years or so, using the foundations I learnt during that course to slip in and out of classes without sticking to a regular practice. I have been a yoga tourist of sorts, attending classes whenever I’m on holiday in various locations and collecting t-shirts from the different studios. I literally have “been there and got the t-shirt”. These days I’ve been reading about yoga philosophy (stay tuned for my next article for more about this!) and am starting to understand that yoga is about more than just stretching and wearing the latest leggings. It is actually a physical, mental and spiritual practice with benefits far outreaching flexibility and strength (haha, out-reaching… get it?!). This has got me thinking about committing to my practice, and working out what sort of yoga I really want to pursue.

So, if you’re like me, a budding yogi or yogini, how do you choose a class that suits your lifestyle and philosophy? There is a myriad of yoga styles around these days, and although many are based on the same asanas (yoga poses) the classes can be vastly different. I’d like to share with you some of the knowledge I’ve picked up through personal experience as well as from my books to help you work out where to begin. Read on for a list of popular yoga styles.

Hatha Yoga: an umbrella-term for yoga styles that use a physical practice as a method of achieving enlightenment. Since the term “hatha” is used so broadly these days, it’s difficult to know what type of class you’re walking into. In most cases the class will be relatively slow (so the poses are held for longer) and gentle (good for beginners or those looking for a relaxed style). In general, hatha emphasises the yoga postures as well as breathing exercises, so provides a good mixture of strength and relaxation on a physical and mental level. The word “hatha” is sometimes translated to “ha” meaning sun and “tha” meaning moon, so it is about balancing and uniting opposites. Classical hatha classes are devoid of music, incense burning or acrobatic poses. Expect to get a little sweaty but not be completely worn out.

Vinyasa: this is also a general term for a collection of yoga styles. A class described as a “flow” class is a vinyasa style. This is an energetic style because the poses come in rapid succession and there is an emphasis on synchronising the breath with the movement. Sun salutations are often a feature.

Ashtanga Vinyasa: this style is based on an ancient text called the Korunta, and was developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. There are 6 Ashtanga series (set of poses carried out in a specific sequence) which increase in intensity. Linking movement to breath is emphasised. Power, flexibility and discipline are key to this style. If push-ups aren’t for you, then neither is this fast-paced style. If you are up to the challenge, the benefits are physical and mental strength and calmness.

Power Yoga: a fitness-based offshoot of Ashtanga yoga, developed in the US by Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Kest. It is vigorous style that will raise a sweat and increase strength, stamina and flexibility. It doesn’t follow a fixed sequence of poses; instead, the individual teacher designs their own sequences and the class can be even faster paced than traditional Ashtanga. Today, the term “power yoga” can describe many vigorous vinyasa styles.

Bikram Yoga: founded in India by Bikram Choudhury and seemingly taking over the world! Regardless of which Bikram class you walk into, the next 90 minutes will see you guided through the same sequence of 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises, in a room heated to 40°C with a humidity of 40%. The teachers even have a standardized dialogue to follow. The idea is that the heat promotes flexibility, speeds up your metabolism and flushes toxins. It is certainly challenging physically and mentally, and you may feel light-headed during your first class or two, but afterwards you’ll feel exhilarated. If you suffer from any major medical conditions, it’s not a class to be taken without your doctor’s say so. Remember to hydrate before, during and after! The Bikram phenomenon has led to the creation of “hot yoga” which is a class done in a heated room (not always as warm as 40°C) but without following the strict Bikram series. This can be really lovely for deepening your stretches if you’re a cold frog like me. A special hello to the lovely ladies at Hot Zen Yoga, Gerrards Cross, who were very welcoming when I was a tourist up their way.

Iyengar Yoga: this style was developed by the late B.K.S. Iyengar, an extremely influential Indian guru. Iyengar places a large emphasis on accurate musculoskeletal alignment, so a pose will be held for some time while you carefully adjust your body to achieve perfect positioning. Hence this style is much slower, but not necessarily easier, than other styles. Iyengar yoga utilises props such as blocks, straps, blankets or bolsters. The aim of this style is improvement in overall physical health. It is said to be helpful for tension and chronic pain.

Anusara Yoga: a relatively new style of yoga meaning “follow your heart”. Based on the hatha style, it was developed in the US by John Friend. The classes are energetic and importance is placed on precise alignment within the poses, so expect to get sweaty. With this style rooted in non-dual Tantric philosophy, you will find an emphasis on the greater spiritual purposes of the practice. The heart-space is a key theme, with many “heart-opening” poses. Classes begin with an invocation or centering and conclude with Savasana and/or meditation. The aim is for students to leave stronger, more flexible, and feeling uplifted and empowered by revelation of their divine nature.

Sivananda Yoga: a form of hatha yoga developed by the late Swami Sivananda in India. The five principles of this type of yoga are proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet (vegetarian), and positive thinking / meditation. There are 12 poses in this style, and they focus on developing strength and flexibility of the spine.

Kundalini Yoga: this is quite a unique form of yoga. Its main aim is to awaken the sleeping consciousness (the energy at the base of the spine) and draw it upwards through each of the 7 chakras to release a powerful, positive life force. This is achieved through movements like twisting, rocking, singing, humming, jumping and wheezing. The movements are often repeated for minutes at a time and are synchronised with the breath. It leaves you feeling like you’ve had a fairly decent workout, and is said to be helpful for back injuries, insomnia, and concentration. It’s even said to lead to enlightenment.

Yin Yoga: if you’re familiar with the principle of yin and yang in Chinese philosophy, you’ll understand that yin is passive and feminine while yang is active and masculine. Yin yoga therefore is about passive stretches and introspection, in contrast to styles like Ashtanga and Bikram which promote heat and motion. The aim of yin yoga is to achieve deep stretching and move into deep relaxation. This is done by placing moderate levels of stress on your connective tissues to improve circulation to your joints and muscles. You won’t find strenuous poses such as sun salutations. Rather, many of the poses are performed sitting or lying, and are held for 3 to 5 minutes (not always easy!). This is a lovely relaxing form of yoga but not without its challenges.

Nidra Yoga: the aim of this style of yoga is to achieve the deepest possible state of relaxation whilst maintaining full consciousness. Your teacher will not guide you through any poses, but rather they guide your attention through different parts of your body and through a series of visualisations and emotions while you lie completely still. This form of yoga is amazing for reducing stress and anxiety (and can even be helpful for serious conditions such as PTSD) and is said to enable you to enter deeper levels of your mind’s consciousness. The hardest part is trying not to fall asleep while you are so deliciously relaxed.

Needless to say, this is not an exhaustive list of yoga styles. You may also have heard about kids yoga, pregnancy yoga, chair yoga, laughter yoga, acro-yoga, restorative yoga…. Phew!

Nothing can replace the guidance of an expert yoga teacher, so it is highly recommended that you join a local class to develop your yoga practice. However, for practice at home there are excellent free resources available online, such as the very comprehensive Canadian-based DoYogaWithMe (www.doyogawithme.com).

Namaste!

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Cheesy Pin Wheels – with Love or Hate Twist

Cheesy Pin Wheels – with Love or Hate Twist

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We have had a big response to our recipe for Cottage Pie with a twist of Marmite https://www.glotime.tv/hearty-cottage-pie-twist-love-hate/ and we were asked if we had anymore Marmite enriched recipes to try. Well here we go with a very quick and simple recipe for Marmite Cheesy Pin Wheels, They can be prepared really quickly for last minute guests or as a treat to be shared with a glass of wine or prosseco. They are also easy for the kids to make for party snacks or picnics.

wheels

Ingredients

Packet Ready Made Rolled Puff Pastry

Marmite

Grated Mature Cheddar Cheese

1 egg whisked for glazing

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180°C

Un-roll pastry. Spread Marmite evenly over pastry. Tip: Heat the marmite in the microwave to make it easier to spread but work quickly as it cools fast.

Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the Marmite leave a small gap at the far end to seal.

Roll up from the long side tightly, sealing the end with a dab of water. Cut into 1cm slices.

Form into wheels and lay on a lightly greased baking sheet Brush with egg mix and bake for about 20 minutes until puffed and golden. Serve hot or cold.

 

Variations

Try a Pizza version by spreading Tomato paste onto the pastry, sprinkle dried Oregano onto the paste, Top with grated Cheese, and roll into wheels as above.

Pizza_Pinwheels_5461

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