Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Cracker Jokes

Merry Christmas ETD Readers!

Just a quick post to give you a couple of light hearted cracker jokes...
Cracker Jokes make Christmas for me.  They are silly, they're usually terrible but after a couple of yule time beverages it will make even the coldest of bah humbuggers melt into laughter...
So here's a couple of ours:
".. What do spacemen do in their spare time? ... Astronauts & Crosses!! .."
".. How do you stop a skunk smelling? ... Hold its nose!! .."
".. What did the grape say when the elephant stepped on it? ... Nothing. It just let out a little wine!! .." 
".. What did the fish say when it swam into a wall? ... 'Dam'!! .."
Now, I said they were bad, but I'd be happy to hear all about your Cracker Jokes...

Ho! Ho! Ho! 
(Now, get back to your loved ones and have good time!) 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Simple Scones

Ho Ho Ho!! Merry Christmas! (Almost)

Hope everyone has finished work and are enjoying the start of their well deserved holiday break!

I thought I'd show you a simple scone recipe that I learnt from Jamie's Ministry of Food - since his philosophy is to teach people to cook and pass it on - I'm passing this onto you all! And on the plus side, the ingredients are cheap to buy, it's easy to make and great for that afternoon snack with a nice cup of tea. Whether you pronounce it scone, rhyming with 'on', or the posh English way, rhyming with 'bone'; get your hands dirty and give this recipe a go!

Versatile Cooking - Sensational Stew

Welcome, Eat Travel Dive Readers!
I hope you had fun trying my Pumpkin Soup Recipe, and today I have a treat in store!  Today, I will be using our core ingredients (Onion, Garlic, Celery and Carrot) to make a super-easy heart healthy stew.  In my opinion, this stew should be within the arsenal of anyone who hates spending time preparing meals at the end of a hectic day at work etc.  Having my sensational stew up your sleeve will impress dinner guests, fill up your family at low expense to you, and more importantly, will be a tasty way to load you up with vitamins and minerals....which can only be a good thing.

So, thanks for coming back today to pick up where we left off.  After a short trip around our local supermarket, scouring the shelves for special offers and low budget ingredients I am happy to say I kept today's exciting meal under 15 Quid (15GBP) - which is a result considering the ingredients.
Same Ingredients, Different Dish...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Versatile Cooking - Pumpkin Soup

BURRRR! ETD-ers..  

It's been a cold couple of weeks here in the northern hemisphere, and I'm using this chill-out as a perfect inspiration to make some classic winter warmers for my Versatile Cooking Series.  In brief, I'm attempting to use the same ingredients to make multiple dishes.  During this time of festive austerity, I want to show the non-believers that good home cooking can be simple and easy on the bank balance.  Simply stock your cupboards with some core ingredients and get stuck into my recipes!   

Having selected garlic, onions, carrots and celery to be the heart and soul of this blog, I've decided to kick it all off with a classic - Pumpkin Soup.  The way I make this uses very simple ingredients, and is a great way to get those all important vitamins and minerals into a healthy meal that's effortless to prepare and has heaps of options for garnishing...Let's get started!

Pumpkin Soup =)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Versatile Cooking

....until Christmas, ETD Readers!

Winnie and I have had such a busy 2011; all of our travelling, the numerous trains, buses, planes (and camels), the amazing people we've met along the way... delicious, interesting and honestly terrible food we've eaten on our way... It all humbles me to my core.  

Cooking on the roadside!
Living as we have done, on a lean budget is a slight overstatement... on a shoestring still doesn't cut it.  This has been a year of WinGaz living on a tiny thread!  We've pruned away our overindulgences and we've learnt what really matters to us is friendship, family and community.

As this year's Christmas period draws ever closer I have started to see the over commercialism of what the "festive season" has started to become for so many: Overeating, Greed, Overspending and money, money, money.

Last night I was watching a television show, "2011, The Year the Earth went Wild", a documentary that was highlighting the various natural disasters that have afflicted the world this far.  There's been the terrible floods and cyclones in Australia, the snows, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcano eruptions, lightening storms and how can we ever forget the tsunamis, and earthquakes in New Zealand, Japan and Turkey.  Through it all what has constantly surprised me has been the spirit of humans, pulling together to find light at the end of the tunnel.  All this disaster and destruction has left me thinking.  Being back in the UK for Christmas, returning from Egypt early due to the civil unrest and lack of tourism -  not to mention a family funeral, has allowed me to direct my energies to the things that are important to me.

Cooking for family is important to me

As I mentioned earlier, Winnie and I are living on the tightest budget, watching everyone overspend has probably been more obvious to us - when you have nothing you cannot spend it, but you know how to make what you've got go a lot further.  It's this, plus my recent re-inspiration to get back in the kitchen that has inspired me to put together a festive series of posts that are aimed at wasting less and making what we've got go further - my version of "Versatile Cooking".

What is Versatile Cooking?

To me, versatile cooking is being able to use a set of core ingredients to make multiple dishes, its using leftovers to create exciting new dishes and of course it is about saving money and stretching every pound (or dollar).

So I have decided to talk about a set of core ingredients, then put together a series of recipes that I have come up with, thanks to my two favourite chefs (Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson).... 

Inspired by Jamie & Nigella, Perfected by Gaffa!

So, here's what I'll be using as my "Core Ingredients":
  1. Onions
  2. Carrots
  3. Celery
  4. Garlic
Simple, Core Ingredients
Garlic, Onion, Celery & Carrot
Next I'll rummage the aisles of my local supermarket, and take the usual ingredients we normally stack our cupboard shelves with (tinned tomatoes, stock cubes, veggies that are in season, some fresh herbs, some jars of spices and booze), then, I'll try to create multiple meals using my versatile cooking ideas.

So, Stay Tuned...
Christmas Cooking Fun!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Working in Dahab, Egypt

Unfortunately Gaffa and I had to cut our Dahab experience short due to personal reasons, which did come at a time where there was no work in Dahab anyway. So it may have been a blessing in disguise? Either way, we were sad to leave the sun shinning in Dahab and come back to the cold and wet England. But it will be great to spend the holiday season with Gaffa’s family, and here’s hoping for my first ever WHITE Christmas!!

Back in England...
Before I left Dahab I started writing a post about working there…. Here it is below:  

What does one do for a crust in a place where the sun shines 99.9% of the time, amazing marine life fill the crystal clear blue waters and there are more dive centres than you can poke a stick at? Scuba Instructor, of course! That’s what Gaffa and I came to Dahab for, to work as instructors and live the Dahab lifestyle.
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