Pan Grilled Asparagus & Balsamic Glaze

With Asparagus still in season,the season for asparagus is short. In Britain & Ireland it is from late April until late June so enjoy it while you can. Of course asparagus is available imported all year round, but it’s nice to use home grown local produce.

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I made this pan grilled Aspargus for dinner last night, and served it with a balsamic glaze. I love it also with Olive oil & grated Parmesan.

Ingredients:

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•1 lemon, zested and juiced
•Salt
•Bunch of Asparagus
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•Freshly ground black pepper
•Balsamic Vinegar 60 mls

 

Directions

•In a small pan, over medium heat, add the vinegar, zest and juice of the lemon and a pinch of salt.
•Bring to a simmer and let the mixture reduce until it becomes syrupy, about 10 minutes.

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•Meanwhile, warm a grill pan over medium-high heat.
•Wash and trim the ends of the asparagus.
•Toss the asparagus lightly with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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•Grill asparagus 5 minutes, then flip and grill until slightly blackened on both sides, about 4 minutes more.
• Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter, drizzle with balsamic syrup and serve.

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Then I ate it and forgot to take a picture, it was so good!

T & A xxxx

This entry was posted in Recipes and tagged Asparagus, Balsamic Glaze, Balsamic Vinegar, Cooking Asparagus, Olive oil, Pan Grilled Asparagus. Bookmark the permalink.
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Pan Grilled Asparagus With Balsamic Dressing

With Asparagus still in season,the season for asparagus is short. In Britain & Ireland it is from late April until late June so enjoy it while you can. Of course asparagus is available imported all year round, but it’s nice to use home grown local produce.

image

I made this pan grilled Aspargus for dinner last night, and served it with a balsamic glaze. I love it also with Olive oil & grated Parmesan.

Ingredients

•1 lemon, zested and juiced
•Salt
•Bunch of Asparagus
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•Freshly ground black pepper
•Balsamic Vinegar 60 mls

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Directions

•In a small pan, over medium heat, add the vinegar, zest and juice of the lemon and a pinch of salt.
•Bring to a simmer and let the mixture reduce until it becomes syrupy, about 10 minutes.

image

•Meanwhile, warm a grill pan over medium-high heat.
•Wash and trim the ends of the asparagus.
•Toss the asparagus lightly with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

image

•Grill asparagus 5 minutes, then flip and grill until slightly blackened on both sides, about 4 minutes more.
• Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter, drizzle with balsamic syrup and serve.

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Then I ate it and forgot to take a picture, it was so good!

T & A xxxx

Sólás Na Mara | Helbhic Seaweed Baths

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Growing up by the sea in  Co.Kerry on the West Coast of Ireland, I was always aware of the benefits of seaweed, unfortunately it has taken me 32 years and moving back to Ireland,this time the East Coast of Ireland, to fully appreciate it. I can still hear my mum telling us to rub the seaweed over our bodies as we waded into the sea every summer…..ya right! All we (my brother,sister & I) did was try and find a spot in the sea to swim in that was free of the “disgusting weed”.

I used to love when the “Peri-Winkle Man” was around the beach,selling bags of peri-winkles with a needle attached, to pluck the horrid things from their shell.He also sold dry seaweed,which  I loved, but have not had for years. I recently purchased this bread mix which is made locally,among other products using seaweed as a substitute for salt.Genius!

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Last week was I was kindly invited along to Solas na Mara | Helibhic Seaweed Baths,in the beautiful Gaeltact (Irish speaking area) of An Rinn,Co.Waterford. A short drive from Dungarvan,Co.Waterford and Yoghal,Co.Cork.  Sólás Na Mara, Heilbhic a seaweed bathhouse, have a new purpose-built, modern facility designed to ensure a relaxing and invigorating experience. The bathhouse was opened 1 year ago. Operated by two established practitioners Caroline Gordon & Cian Ó Conchúir, the clinic offers a range of treatments including Physical Therapy, Acupuncture and Massage and much more, see here. The clinic also boasts a rehab gym to facilitate and aid a speedy recovery.It is well known that seaweed baths have beneficial effects for a vast range of maladies including rheumatism, arthritis and many skin conditions. This is something they have brought to the East Coast. It is an entirely natural product, making it a desirable treatment for the health conscious.

So what is a Seaweed Bath? As the name suggests it is a bath full of hot sea water with seaweed.Imagine that you are immersed in an enormous bath, luxuriating in expensive bath oils,tinted with an amber colour from the seaweed.The silky oils are those extracted from seaweed by a simple process, nothing is added, nothing is taken away – simply natures best.Seaweed Baths have long been a tradition in Ireland.

The seaweed is collected locally in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. It is then thoroughly cleaned by hand and steam treated to ensure the highest standard of hygiene.

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Entering the bathhouse through the beautiful cafe,overlooking the ocean,with its boats & fishing trawlers docked at the harbour, I felt I was walking into a Spa. Piped music automatically puts you in relax mode, plus I was on my own, no husband,no baby attached or buggy to push!

I was immediately felt welcome when greeted by Kelly, who answered my 101 questions and then brought to my private room, where she explained in detail how to carry out my treatment.Each room is supplied with gently piped music creating a wonderfully relaxing environment. There is also a twin room for couples. Towels and water are provided, so you need not bring anything with you. Wear loose clothing to ensure you remain comfortable following your bath.

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I first started with a full body steam in this “steam box”, like your very own mini steam room, this process opens your pores preparing for the next stage. I found this really relaxing and spent 5 mins in my “steam box”. Excuse the terrible selfie!

Next up, I entered the warm seawater in a cast iron bath.Sea water is piped through straight from the Atlantic Ocean,and yes I tasted to check if both hot and cold water were salty (all for the sake of blogging)! I stayed steeped in the hot bath for 10 mins,this is meant to release the toxins from your skin,having had already opened your pores in the “steam box”. I sat back and relaxed,no crying baby,no knocks on the door,just me and the music (and a sneak peek at my phone). I’m not great at relaxing!

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On to the seaweed next! I tipped in the bucket of green seaweed and the oils almost immediately began to seep out. Kelly, who showed me around,had instructed me to make sure to rub the seaweed all over my body to ensure I get the best benefits from it.Flashback circa 1986, my mum saying the same thing on Banna Strand! So I obeyed, and my moisture starved skin loved it. I sat in my oily bath for a further 30 mins,this time I shut my eyes and really relaxed,topping up the bath with warm water when needed.

 

 

I was left with super soft skin,and completely relaxed, to the point I needed a coffee after, before I drove home as I was feeling sleepy. I sat with my coffee overlooking the harbour of An Rinn. I would highly recommend a visit,whether you are passing or on on holiday, try out a spa like treatment with a difference.I will certainly be back to sample some of their facials and another bath. Many thanks to Kelly & Solas na Mara.

For more information on Solas Na Mara, see here.

 

*Disclaimer:I was offered a chance to sample a Seaweed Bath for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Sólás Na Mara | Helbhic Seaweed Baths

image

Growing up by the sea in  Co.Kerry on the West Coast of Ireland, I was always aware of the benefits of seaweed, unfortunately it has taken me 32 years and moving back to Ireland,this time the East Coast of Ireland, to fully appreciate it. I can still hear my mum telling us to rub the seaweed over our bodies as we waded into the sea every summer…..ya right! All we (my brother,sister & I) did was try and find a spot in the sea to swim in that was free of the “disgusting weed”.

I used to love when the “Peri-Winkle Man” was around the beach,selling bags of peri-winkles with a needle attached, to pluck the horrid things from their shell.He also sold dry seaweed,which  I loved, but have not had for years. I recently purchased this bread mix which is made locally,among other products using seaweed as a substitute for salt.Genius!

image

Last week was I was kindly invited along to Solas na Mara | Helibhic Seaweed Baths,in the beautiful Gaeltact (Irish speaking area) of An Rinn,Co.Waterford. A short drive from Dungarvan,Co.Waterford and Yoghal,Co.Cork.  Sólás Na Mara, Heilbhic a seaweed bathhouse, have a new purpose-built, modern facility designed to ensure a relaxing and invigorating experience. The bathhouse was opened 1 year ago. Operated by two established practitioners Caroline Gordon & Cian Ó Conchúir, the clinic offers a range of treatments including Physical Therapy, Acupuncture and Massage and much more, see here. The clinic also boasts a rehab gym to facilitate and aid a speedy recovery.It is well known that seaweed baths have beneficial effects for a vast range of maladies including rheumatism, arthritis and many skin conditions. This is something they have brought to the East Coast. It is an entirely natural product, making it a desirable treatment for the health conscious.

So what is a Seaweed Bath? As the name suggests it is a bath full of hot sea water with seaweed.Imagine that you are immersed in an enormous bath, luxuriating in expensive bath oils,tinted with an amber colour from the seaweed.The silky oils are those extracted from seaweed by a simple process, nothing is added, nothing is taken away – simply natures best.Seaweed Baths have long been a tradition in Ireland.

The seaweed is collected locally in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. It is then thoroughly cleaned by hand and steam treated to ensure the highest standard of hygiene.

image

Entering the bathhouse through the beautiful cafe,overlooking the ocean,with its boats & fishing trawlers docked at the harbour, I felt I was walking into a Spa. Piped music automatically puts you in relax mode, plus I was on my own, no husband,no baby attached or buggy to push!

I was immediately felt welcome when greeted by Kelly, who answered my 101 questions and then brought to my private room, where she explained in detail how to carry out my treatment.Each room is supplied with gently piped music creating a wonderfully relaxing environment. There is also a twin room for couples. Towels and water are provided, so you need not bring anything with you. Wear loose clothing to ensure you remain comfortable following your bath.

image

I first started with a full body steam in this “steam box”, like your very own mini steam room, this process opens your pores preparing for the next stage. I found this really relaxing and spent 5 mins in my “steam box”. Excuse the terrible selfie!

Next up, I entered the warm seawater in a cast iron bath.Sea water is piped through straight from the Atlantic Ocean,and yes I tasted to check if both hot and cold water were salty (all for the sake of blogging)! I stayed steeped in the hot bath for 10 mins,this is meant to release the toxins from your skin,having had already opened your pores in the “steam box”. I sat back and relaxed,no crying baby,no knocks on the door,just me and the music (and a sneak peek at my phone). I’m not great at relaxing!

image

 

On to the seaweed next! I tipped in the bucket of green seaweed and the oils almost immediately began to seep out. Kelly, who showed me around,had instructed me to make sure to rub the seaweed all over my body to ensure I get the best benefits from it.Flashback circa 1986, my mum saying the same thing on Banna Strand! So I obeyed, and my moisture starved skin loved it. I sat in my oily bath for a further 30 mins,this time I shut my eyes and really relaxed,topping up the bath with warm water when needed.

 

 

I was left with super soft skin,and completely relaxed, to the point I needed a coffee after, before I drove home as I was feeling sleepy. I sat with my coffee overlooking the harbour of An Rinn. I would highly recommend a visit,whether you are passing or on on holiday, try out a spa like treatment with a difference.I will certainly be back to sample some of their facials and another bath. Many thanks to Kelly & Solas na Mara.

For more information on Solas Na Mara, see here.

 

*Disclaimer:I was offered a chance to sample a Seaweed Bath for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Fathers Day Gift Ideas 2014

With Fathers Day looming, I thought I would put together a list of gift ideas that won’t break the bank, something to suit all daddies,and the things I like. Last year was my husbands first Fathers Day, his birthday is also in June, so I got him something small from Amelia, this cup, featured below, and we went out for dinner in our favourite “child-friendly” restaurant in London Zizzi’s in Chiswick.

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1.Defintion Mug Personalised Defintion Mug: notonthehighstreet £12

2. Personalised Wooden Chopping Board : notonthehighstreet £25

3.Personalised Copper Wallet Insert : notonthehighstreet £18

4.Dune Paps Canvas Holdall Navy : House of Fraser £59

5..Personalised “The Day You Became My….” Key Ring  : notonthehighstreet £13

6.Smooth Operator, Organic Skincare : Neals Yard Remedies £23

7.Personalised Dad Keyring : Etsy €13

8.Irish Craft Beer/Cider Hamper : McCambridge’s of Galway €32

9.Cheese & Chutney Selection : Marks & Spencer £25

10. Rustic Cast Iron Bottle Opener : Etsy €5.27

 

What will you buy your partner/father for Fathers Day? I’ve picked my husband’s gift out,but he surprisingly reads this blog,so will have to keep it a secret!

Don’t Forget to like & share

T & A xxxxx

Love The Little Things

This is such a lovely linky, looking back at the week, and appreciating the little things. Thank you, Morgana at butwhymummywhy for hosting, such a lovely idea.Don’t forget to take a look at all the other fantastic posts also.

Read

image I have had this book on the bookshelf for so long, and only picked it up the other night,to have a look at it, when there was nothing on the TV. I picked this book up in a bookshop in Soho a few years ago, I loved the look of the book. It basically documents their life In pictures, a lot of the pictures have not been previously published. Easy reading, and you got to love Jackie O! Life at the Little Wood, this is one of my favourite blogs to read at the moment, check out their posts on their beautiful house, we are hooked, they are living “our dream”, such a great read.

Watched

24 hrs in A&E. I don’t know why I watch this, it only makes me miss  work more and more. Caught up with all the soaps we missed while on holiday last week.

Wore

image This picture is from our holiday last Saturday. Everything I took on holiday was old. Mostly clothes from my honeymoon 3 years go! Black Maxi Dress- H&M, Black Havaianas, Straw Trilby  – Primark, Straw Beach Bag – H&M, (buggy & baby – they are my forever accessories!!)

Listened

Mr. Probz WAVES, love this song, brilliant summer tune, I played it on repeat yesterday in the garden, until even Amelia gave me a look!!

Made

image Another Bento Box for Amelia,new foods this week- Olives & Salami (just a little). Spaghetti Bolognese is the only meal I’ve made this week, salads have been on the menu since we returned from holiday, feeling very lazy!

And Lastly……

 We had an amazing holiday in Portugal, I would highly recommend it to families with young children, the flight time was only 2hrs 20mins. T & A xxx

butwhymummywhy

Don’t forget to like & share

T & A xxxx

Lessons I have Learned from Blogging

I have only been blogging for a mere 4 months, feels far longer eh!Well to me it does, 85 post in 15 weeks and a brand new website on the way in the next few days, it has been a whirlwind. Blogging is exactly what I needed when we moved back to Ireland, as I needed something to occupy myself with & to keep my mind working somewhat while I was not working. Yes, being a stay at home mum is more than a full time job, however when we moved to a new place, I did not know anyone, and while Amelia was napping, I felt I needed something to fill the void that was left after London life. This time use to be filled with baby groups, coffees, lunches and meeting up with friends.

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I have always read beauty blogs, and when I was pregnant I started to read parent blogs and forums. Here is what I have learned from writing my own blog and from reading the blogs I love to follow:

1. Content Is King

You can have the most flashy,pretty and “techie” blog around, but if the content is not worth reading, then it will not do well. The blogs I like to read have great posts, day after day.In fact, I rather blogs that do not post everyday,as the writer can become repetitive, but that is a personal choice. Fresh posts, with enthusiasm and passion for what is being written, must in my eyes come across in your post, to keep your readers coming back for more.

2. Sometimes Blogging is Overwhelming

When I’m not blogging, I feel I should be, or reading and commenting on other blogs. When I am blogging I feel guilty that I should be doing something else (housework, spending time with my husband etc). I never blog when Amelia is awake, unless her daddy is here. I promised myself from the very beginning that it would not interfere with my time with her. Some days I panic as I have complete “Bloggers Block”, and cannot think if a single thing to write about. I read on a blog once, when you cannot think about anything to write about, take your camera out and picture your day, something will “pop out” in the pictures that will help you along the way.

3. Blogging Bullies

Yes, they are out there!!I have been lucky up to now, not to my knowledge, have had any negative feedback, but I have seen this in blogging forums, groups and other blogs. Haters are always going to be there, my advice…keep going, they are only jealous and ignore them.

4.Blogging Lovers image The people I love the most. My regular readers, commenters and always there with a thumbs up! Remember when blogging or reading a blog, leave a comment, whether it is good or indifferent, feedback is always appreciated, and gives the writer a better insight into who is reading their posts and what is working or not.

5. Say Cheese – Pictures Please

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When I first started blogging, I did not realise the significance of pictures. Firstly, I know now, that I’m more likely to keep reading a blog post with pictures. It keeps the blog post flowing, ensuring it does not come across like an essay. We like to visualise what we are reading, and this helps the reader to stay focused on your post.

6.Social Media

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I have always loved dipping into social media sites,be it  (showing age) Bebo, Facebook & recently Instagram. However since I have started blogging, I have had to dive into social media,learning how to keep up by adding, Twitter, Bloglovin and Pininterest into my mental list of things to keep interacting with while blogging.

7. Reaping the Awards for Hard Work

You get back what you put into your blog posts. the days you don’t try as hard, or write a post half heartedly (would I ever!!),  you will see it in your blog post responses and views. When you give your blog posts 100% you reap the rewards! with positive feedback.

8. Nothing in This Life is Free

We often get sent some beautiful things to review, however, do not mistake these for being free. The time it takes to review and write on these products, plus the other posts that are written in my free time, I have paid for them in time. We are always grateful for what we are sent, however I would advise, only ever accept a product that is suited to your blog, and that you would buy and use regardless of it being sent for review.

What have your learned from blogging? If you are not a blogger,but read them,what keeps you reading a certain blog?

T & A xxxx