It’s that time of year where I get a little bit older, 23 this time. So to celebrate I have decided to share one of my family’s favorite sweet treats with you. This is the one – the ultimate celebration pudding we whip up for all manner of occasions- Birthdays, Christmas or just a get together. Chocolate roulade is a beautiful thing. It’s light, creamy and packed full of flavor. You can fill it with whatever you want, my favorite is fresh raspberry but it goes equally well with cherries, strawberries and pretty much any other fruit or jam you can think of. Careful with the jam though – use it sparingly as you don’t want it to be too sweet. This pudding is a legend. Happy Birthday, Happy eating!
I am sitting here enjoying one of my favourite soups and i thought i’d share it with you. Vichyssoise isn’t just difficult to spell, i have tried a million times to get it right, still can’t. It’s a divinely smooth, delicate and sophisticated leek soup served chilled. It’s perfect eating to accompany a lazy weekend dinner or lunch in the sun. It’s also a great dinner party dish because you can prepare it, quite easily, a day in advance and just ladle it into bowls and top at the last minute. I have added a few special extras to the soup which take very little preparation but make a huge difference. The warm scallops cut through the chilled soup and take it to another level. The crisp pancetta shards are like little flavour explosions of piggy pleasure. If you are feeling extra fancy add drizzle of truffle oil or keep it simple and add a few snipped chives. Whether you are giving yourself a treat or impressing guests relax and enjoy this great soup!
The tips below and many others for saving energy at home are adapted from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Savers Consumer Tips website and their Energy Savers booklet. (For a Spanish language version of the Energy Savers page and booklet, visit Ahorro de Energía: Energy Savers in Español.)Use Air Conditioning and Fans Wisely
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Check out the most efficient AC systems options.
- Use a programmable thermostat with your air conditioner to adjust the setting at night or when no one is home.
- Use a fan with your window air conditioner to spread cool air effectively through your home without greatly increasing power use.
- Don’t set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It won’t cool your home any faster, and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
- Don’t place lamps or TVs near your air conditioner’s thermostat. The heat from these appliances will cause the air conditioner to run longer.
Shade your windows – sunny windows make air conditioners work two to three times harder.
- Close curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day.
- Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
- Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows.
Weatherize – air leaks waste energy dollars year-round
- Caulking and weatherstripping will keep cool air in during the summer.
- Add insulation around air conditioning ducts when they are located in unconditioned spaces such as attics, crawl spaces, and garages.
- If you see holes or separated joints in your ducts, hire a professional to repair them.
- Check to see that your fireplace damper is tightly closed.
For Long Term Savings:
- If your air conditioner is old, the new energy efficient models can save you up to 50 percent on your cooling bills. Look for the ENERGY STAR®.
- Adding insulation and sealing air leaks help your energy performance in the summertime by keeping the cool air inside.
Yorkshire, God’s Own County, The White Rose- whatever you want to call it we can all agree it’s a great place to be! To celebrate Yorkshire Day i thought i’d feature a beautiful Yorkshire Cream Tea which includes homegrown blackcurrants and gooseberries as jams. There is something especially sophisticated and celebratory about a cream tea, so get your friends, family and neighbours round and celebrate Yorkshire Day wherever you are in the World.