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The Making of A Cookery Book – How The Notebooks Were Uncovered – Part 1

Jan 10, 2014

general-notebooks-6x6People have been asking me how we came to make a Spanish cookery book with recipes from the 1950s and earlier. The full story of the recipes is documented in the book, here’s how the making of the cookery book unfolded…

In July 2013 my friend Paco de Lara got in touch and invited me up to his farm for a chat.

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Holiday Cooking With Your Kids – 9 Spanish Recipes

Dec 23, 2013

Holiday Cooking With KidsEntertaining your children can be tricky at the best of times, but with long holiday breaks it’s even more difficult.

If you want to drag them away from the computer pad, television or games console then these 9 recipes should keep them busy no matter what age they are!

Teach your kids some new skills and make some happy memories.

Try these easy Spanish recipes that taste great and are fun and easy to make.

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Cod Meatballs – Albondigas de Bacalao – Spanish Recipe

Dec 6, 2013

cod-balls-6x6Cod (bacalao) is the most consumed white fish in Spain. It has beneficial nutritional properties and great versatility in the kitchen. Cod is bought and consumed fresh, frozen, smoked or salted (dried then salted); the latter being the most traditional and widespread.

When buying cod it is important to look at the country of origin. For centuries, the Atlantic banks were depleted by intensive fishing and use of trawling nets, and cod from these sources should not be consumed. Pacific banks are less impactful on the species and cod should be consumed from this source. Farmed cod with a organic certification is also an option. The Alaskan pollock is a great substitute for cod and has many similar features.

This is a great recipe for a starter or with some vegetables you can eat it as a main course.

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PRESS RELEASE: Uncovered After More Than 70 Years, Traditional Spanish Recipes From The Civil War Period

Nov 7, 2013
Cod Balls in Tomato Sauce

Cod Balls in Tomato Sauce

Paco de Lara from Finca Torrecillas Eco Retreat in Murcia, Southern Spain, was excavating one of the out-buildings at his lovely restored Finca when he found a huge pile of hand written notebooks.

Each notebook was covered in meticulous handwriting, with differently-coloured pencils used for headings and titles. Each book had a theme – vegetables, meats, salads, etc. and there were loads of them. Paco realised he’d stumbled upon his grandmother, Maria Luisa’s, stash of recipe books from the 1950s. Maria Luisa had meticulously transcribed her mother’s recipes, who perfected her cooking between 1930-1945. He estimated there were a couple of hundred recipes in this treasure trove. So he set about cataloguing them.

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Rice With Serrano Ham – Arroz Con Jamon Serrano – Spanish Recipe

Nov 1, 2013

This is one of my favourite recipes in the Spanish Cooking Uncovered: Farmhouse Favourites cooking book. The first time I made it I thought it all looked a bit simple, nothing interesting, just some ham and cheese, what’s the big deal? By the third time my husband had requested it I realised I’d stumbled upon one of our favourite tried and tested mid-week meals. This is so simple to make and really great for a winter’s evening meal or lunch with friends.

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Quick & Easy Way To Make Mayonnaise – Spanish Style

Jul 2, 2013
Mayonnaise Ingredients

Mayonnaise Ingredients

Having tried and failed many times to make mayonnaise consistently I was shocked at how easy the Spanish ladies make it look.

I tried “The Delia Way” – take 2 50g eggs at room temperature, slowly drizzle the extra virgin oil  (SLOWLY! SLOWER!), use a hand held Braun mixer and rotate the head 45 degrees, whizz for 34 seconds…

I also tried “The Jamie Way” – throw everything in the bowl, mix it all up, loverly jubberly, bish bash bosh – mayonnaise!

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Cartagena For Adventure Seekers!

Jun 28, 2013

If you’re coming to Cartagena, Spain for a bit of a thrill then try out these ideas.

divingDiving Around La Algameca, Cartagena

Cartagena offers one of the most unique places for scuba diving with 100 miles of coastline divided into three main areas: Cabo de Palos, Cartagena and Cabo Tiñoso-La Azohía, with 53 dive sites. With an average temperature of 14.5 degrees in winter and 25 in summer you can dive throughout the year. Though it gets a little too cold for me!

We dive with Hesperides, www.hesperidesbuceo.com, right out of Cartagena port at the Club de Regatas de Cartagena. You take a zodiac to the Algameca river outlet, which is ten minutes away, where there’s a buoy to indicate the attachment point to a sunken boat at 15m below the surface. The keel of the boat is at around 20-22 meters, stranded on a sandy slope.

The old tug is covered by vegetation and numerous species of underwater creatures inhabit this manmade terrain. Moving on there’s the wreckage of a small airplane. You can see the two seats, pilot and co-pilot, some electrical wires are still visible. The more adventurous divers get into to the seats, though the aluminium frame is sharp and dangerous.

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