Posts Tagged With: wales

Beach House Kitchen voted for a ‘Kreativ Blogger Award’

This is a beautiful thing, fellow bloggers VegHotPot and Lucy’s Friendly Foods have nominated us for a Kreativ Blogger Award.

We are understandably chuffed to receive such a kind nomination from two top bloggers.  I love their blogs, so it’s extra special that they like what is going on in the Beach House Kitchen.

The Kreativ Blogger Award is designed to get good bloggers together and spreading the word about each other.  I think it’s a top idea.

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the nominating blogger and provide a link to that blog.
  • Spread the love by nominating seven other bloggers, including their links here.
  • Tell your readers seven things they may not already know about you.
Here goes……………

Seven Blogs we like (alot and in no particular order):

We have only chosen food blogs (for obvious reasons) and only ones that are relatively new.  There are some amazing, established food blogs, but they seem to be doing just fine…..

I think some of these blogs may have been nominated before, but you can never get too many nominations for being Kreativ (can you?!)

1)  Byzantine Flowers  –  Brilliant for all-rounder for all things wholesome and organic.  Interesting articles all the way here, one of the sites I visit regularly.

2)  Vegetarian Ventures  –  The photos here are nearly as beautiful as the veggie recipes.  Lovely looking blog and well written articles.

3)  Moel Faban Supper Club – Denise’s blog is always an interesting read, a real foodie’s blog.  Our local Welsh supper club and a champion of local and seasonal produce.

4)  Tofu and Flowers –  Abigail gives us a real flavour of Thailand here.  Great stories and pics.

5)  Peas and Love –  Gwen’s blog ever fails with gorgeous looking veggie and vegan bites.  You will also find things ‘freegan’ bits here.

6)  AlmostRawVegan  – Great inspiration here for our coming Raw food month in June.  A lovely looking site with brilliant smoothie recipes.

7) Emmycooks –  I just love the way Emmy cooks!

Seven interesting things about Jane and I (again in no particular order):

1)  We met on a small island beach in the Philippines, I was accidentally evicting Jane from her room at the time.  Jane was suffering from horrific facial sun burning (known as panda bear eyes).

2)  Our first meal together was a tiny plate of cold veg fried rice, cooked by a disgruntled Belgian fella wearing tight trunks with Kraftwerk blaring from a stereo.

3)  Jane was initially attracted to me because I had several pots of yoghurt stashed  in my rucksack (a very impressive feat in Asia)…..

4)  ….I used these yoghurts to woo Jane at breakfast, atop coconut and mango porridge, cooked in a bamboo hut.  The rest is culinary history………..

5)  I flew all the way from Mumbai to be with Jane in the Beach House and set up the Beach House Kitchen (giving up a lucrative career in dodgy English teaching in Hanoi!!!).

6)  Jane is addicted to potatoes Lee is partial to a bean.  You will always find hummus in our fridge and oatcakes in our pockets.  Jane also likes hunks (of mouldy cheese).

7)  The population of Carmel, our village, is around 90 and has approximately three sheep to one person.  These sheep terrorize us with their munching and are an enemy to all raspberry patches.

Thanks to Becky and Lisa for the nominations and happy blogging to one and all.

Lee and JaneX

Categories: Blogs, Healthy Eating, Organic, Raw Food, Vegan, Wales, Welsh produce | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The B.H.K Garden Photos – Spring and Seeds

We hit the patch. 4 types of potato in furrows, blue, white, red and knobbly.

April in the B.H.K. garden has seen much activity.  Mainly we have chopped wood for next year, but we managed to squeeze some gardening in also.  

We are following organic practices , with a little biodyamic thrown in (new moon and all).  The veg patch has been turned several times, with piles of local horse manure from the adjacent field and four different types of potato have been planted.  Pete at Trigonos Farm, Nantlle, kindly donated the seeding potatoes (some just sprung to life in our veg basket!).  We have blue, red, white and knobbly.  One day I will learn the names of them.

The front garden is full of herbs and four different types of latin american bean.  We hope for great things from the latin bean patch this year.

We also expect lots of flowers, some wild strawberries and the regular marjoram infestation.  The slugs are happy, but we plan on trapping them in underground cups with beer in.  Slugs like beer!  Get them tipsy and they seem to lose interest in plants.  Probably opting for a kebab instead.  

The newts have returned to the pond and the frog spawn seems to be wriggling even more.  Bring on the frogs!

We have a dodgy looking gang of sheep hanging around our back wall, but we have reinforced the defenses and hope to keep them out this year.  Apparently they like to walk along the walls and eat all things green.  The are also very dim and noisy.  

Breaking news – beetroots, green beans and leeks are rumoured to be on the way.

We are keen amateurs at best in the garden, any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Here’s hoping for zero food miles soon! 

Happy plantingX

Beach House herb garden circa April '12

Our seed trays (formerly traffic cones)

Jane puts her back into the spuds

The local beige tree frog

Happy cook with the sun on my face.

Categories: 'The Good Life', Garden, Healthy Living, Local food, Organic, Wales | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ernie’s Easter Eggs

The 'Ostrich' Easter Egg

Happy Easter!

A nice time of year, but it does seem strange to still have snow on the ground.

I woke up this morning to find a psycedelic goose egg on the kitchen table (Jane had been up to some late night craft scribbles) and a nice slab of cherry chocolate.

Which triggered memories of my own egg painting days.  I once won a prize at school for dressing an egg up as superman. Which remains one of my highest accolades in the field of art (and tailoring).

Being Easter, we have eggs on the mind.  Not chocolate though, Ernie’s eggs. Ernie is an old navy captain who lives with his dog Paris and a garden full of ducks, drakes, geese and chickens.  It’s a proper cottage menagerie.

Some of Ernie's Bantam Eggs

Ernie’s fowl seem to like the sun and springtime snow, they are popping eggs out at an incredible rate, meaning an abundance for the Beach House table.
Ernie lives just down the way and has recently recovered from a broken hip that he injured whilst delivering our Christmas card. We do live on quite a steep hill!

Ernie’s cares greatly for his birds, they run around semi-wild, eat fine grains and are housed in a selection of well appointed coops.  You can see it in the eggs, which are really rich with brilliant yolks.  Perfect for soldier dipping (‘soldiers’ are slang for sticks of toasted bread, to avoid any unnecessary military confusion).  The first time I saw one of his goose eggs, I was sure he had a ostrich tucked away somewhere.  They are huge!  We haven’t eaten one yet (it’s the weight of around five hens eggs) but apparently they are good for baking. Goose egg brownie?!  I may crack it tomorrow, I’ll keep you posted.

We may not have a shop in the village, but at least we have an Ernie.

Lots of Easter love from the BHKXXXXXXXXX

P.S. – If you’re in Carmel, it’s 6 Duck Eggs for a pound.  Bargain.

Categories: 'The Good Life', Baking, Breakfast, Local food, Organic, Wales, Welsh produce | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Purple Moose Brewery (Bragdy Mws Piws) – Our local brew

http://www.purplemoose.co.uk/pmb_home.htm

I have encountered few better pints in my time and never a Purple Moose.  These are delicious ales, some of the finest in Britain, making them the finest beers in the world (or am I slightly bias?!).

Purple Moose are lovely folk brewing an award-winning range of beers just down the road in Porthmadog, North Wales.  They brew four ales throughout the year with regular specials, available to buy in bottles or by the cask.  We have been looking for an excuse to buy a whole cask for the Beach House!  Anybody fancy a barbecue?

Purple Moose beers are always interesting and full of character, reflected in the brew names which started with ‘Startled Moose’ and also include such classics as ‘Dark Side of the Moose’ (they are Pink Floyd fans), ‘Madog’s Ale’, ‘Myrica Gale’, ‘Old Wobbly Antlers’ and at Christmas time ‘Merry X-Moose’.

The ‘Myrica Gale’ is particularly interesting, brewed with Halletau Hops and Welsh bog myrtle this is a brilliant, malty dark ale which has hints of Marmite.  The Myrtle adds an almost aniseed-y flavour.  You won’t have tried anything like this.

I love my dark ales and stouts, so the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ is a real winner.  Described as ‘chestnut-hued, malty, nutty and chocolaty’.  It has recently won a golden fork at the Great Taste Awards 2011.  With the temperature rising, I hear there is a summer elderflower pale bitter coming.  I’m getting thirsty.

The Range

‘Purple is my favourite colour and everyone loves a moose, don’t they?’ says Lawrence Washington the man behind the moose.  It all started as a little jokey ‘brand’ being brewed in Lawrence’s home.  He thankfully decided to make these beers on a commercial basis in a former saw mill.  Six years on and they have recently celebrated their 1000th brew.

What I love about real beers, wines, foods etc like Purple Moose is the tale behind them.  There is always an interesting human story behind all quality produce, normally a tale of passion and commitment that defies logic and reason.  You have to be slightly nutty to commit your life to good beer, cheese,  carrots etc.

We are not drinking much alcohol at the minute, which makes us savour great beer even more.  We are incredibly lucky to have the Purple Moose just down the road.  They never fail us for quality beers and quirky names.  If you can’t get hold of Purple Moose locally, you can now buy cases on-line.

Iechyd da! (pronounced ‘Yechidda’, Welsh for ‘Cheers!’)

Don’t just take our word for it, see the Purple Moose trophy cabinet here:

http://www.purplemoose.co.uk/pmb_awards.htm

Foodie Fact

Real ale contains folates, which are good for the brain, heart and bones.

Categories: Local food, Treats, Wales, Welsh produce, Wine and Booze | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blizzards and Viruses hit the Beach House – 4th April 2012

Snow hits the Beach House

4th April, a reasonably interesting day at the Beach House

The golden sunlight is pouring through the window now and spring is in the air, which is normal at this time of year, except there is a foot of snow on the ground.
Yesterday we woke to a fierce blizzard. We live half way up a mountain, above the snow line and facing the Irish Sea. We are well used to storms and high winds. Yesterday was different, the telephone lines were humming like a badly tuned bass guitar and the thick snow fell horizontally at roughly 60 mph. It was a little hairy!  In April.
We lit a fire and went to turn on the kettle, but there was no power. No tea. Dear God, it was an emergency. Really, it was nice to be taken out of our comfort zone for a while, we sat and listened to the wind whistling, released from the digital world and free from any concerns of ‘doing’ things. We were snowed in, a great excuse to unwind and let life drift on by.
We imagined the whole area to be doing the same, but came to realise that this blizzard was only affecting our village! (Population negligible).  Two miles down the hill, in Penygroes, they were enjoying a pleasant spring day whilst we battened down the hatches (put extra socks on) and struggled on, without even a hot beverage.
The electricity came back on and eventually we were dragged back into the ‘e’ world, we had bits to do on-line. I turned my little Filipino laptop on, opened an email and promptly contracted a virulent virus. Quite a special virus named the ‘Windows Custodian Utility’ which set about crippling me in an electronic fashion. Apparently it is very new and clever, which in some perverse way made me feel privileged.
It has only just left me, after many consultations with our ace techno neighbour Mark and no doubt a huge slice of luck. I have been bashing it with as many scans as possible for two days.  Be gone you vile worm!
So here are some pictures of snow in April, falling on the fresh blossom of our garden and prompting us villagers, more so than ever, to bemoan our weather (we normally live in thick fog) yet secretly be fascinated by the unpredictable nature of this funny little island.
PS – If you are unfortunate to get this virus, drop me a line, I am now an expert at killing this persistent little sucker.

The day after up at the stone circle, overlooking the Nantlle Valley.

Categories: Wales | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amazing Salts! Halen Mon Sea Salt, Anglesey

http://www.halenmon.com/

I am still relatively new to the north Wales area and am just getting to know a few like-minded people and producers.  I have recently met a few ‘foodies’ up in these hills and they all rave about the local produce, normally mentioning Halen Mon Salt from the Isle of Anglesey.  I have rarely seen people so passionate about their seasonings!  Heston Blumethal and Barak Obama are converts.  I felt compelled to know more.

Halen Mon is definitely our kind of supplier, the business started with a pan of sea water being heated on the Wilson family stove.  Now, a few years later, they are suppling top restaurants and chefs around the world.

Having gone off salt for a while, figuring that the food we eat contains enough of it, Halen Mon Salt has made me realise that a pinch of good seasoning can make all the difference.  Like anything, quality matters.

Their salt is made with charcoal filtered seawater that has passed through a mussel bed and a sandbank!  Sea salt is simply made by heating the water and drying until crystals form.  They are then washed in brine to make them shine.

Halen Mon have a fine selection of salts made by a lovely bunch of people.  We have been using a selection of them in our cooking.  The celery salt adds a distinct flavour to light salad dressings and the Tahitian vanilla salt compliments dark chocolate perfectly (see our ‘Bitter Chocolate Ricotta’ recipe).  I have used their ‘Welsh Oak’ smoked salt on roasted vegetables and haloumi and the flavour is delicious.

Our favourite salt recipe at the moment is spiced nuts, using their ‘Sea Salt with Organic Spices’.  Mix a few pinches of the salt with hot oil in a frying pan, pour in a selection of your favourite nuts and bake in a medium over until well roasted (15 minutes or so).  This salt can also be used to liven up the humble roast potato.  Having a range of salt like this in your larder increases your creativity as a cook.

The Halen Mon site has some informative, unbiased info on the pros and cons of salt in your diet (http://www.halenmon.com/faq.aspx).  Basically cut out the processed food made in factories and cook your own, with a sprinkle of Halen Mon to bring out the flavour.

Quality sea salt is pure and contains non of the anti-caking agents and other dodgy additives found in normal table salt.

Halen Mon is the finest salt I have tasted.  I love using it in dishes with a subtle flavour.  Salt is something that we normally just throw into food, every time I use Halen Mon, it reminds me of the importance of each ingredient in a dish.

The Beach House overlooks the Irish sea, which is blue today under bright sunshine,  we are very lucky to be using such brilliant produce made from that very water.  Without producers like Halen Mon, cooking would be so much duller and our food certainly less tasty.

Beach View, the beautiful Irish Sea

Categories: B.H.K Reviews, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Local food, Wales, Welsh produce | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Photos – Winter hits the B.H.K.

This week it has snowed a little on the grey island.  Sending the country into the yearly state of mayhem.  We went for a nice walk near Snowdon…

Jane beside Nantlle Lake

 

Icicles

On the Snowdon Trail

 

The Snowdon Horse Shoe

The Grass

Categories: photography, Wales | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: