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Archive for August, 2012

Those of you who know me, you know my love for cooking and fine dining that led me to learn from the finest chefs in Paris.

This is one of those receipts and my toddler loves this fish! I will shortly update with the full receipe!!!

 

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A step by step (with photos) receipe to be posted. It is now almost 3 a.m. and I am sleepy… But watch this space 😉

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I called a quick veggie roll, my little princess calls it a GIANT roll 🙂

A step by step receipe to be posted, watch this spase…

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I have been wanting to eat fish for a long time now. Finally I brought whole seabass. Thangfully the local fishmonger scaled and gutted the fish, that saved me extra half an hour.

So to prepare this we will need:

 

2 whole seabass

bunch of dill

baby potatoes 1 kg

salt and pepper

 

This is one of the easiest receipts. As a fresh seabass keeps the flavours in, you do not need to put much in it. Turn the oven on 180C.  I washed and dried the seabass. Gave it a good grounding of sea salt and a black pepper and put some 6 sprigs of dill in it. I took a parchment paper and put the seabass in it and locked it in ” la pochette”. So the fish are both in their pockets all locked around. This method keeps the steam in and the fish gets it all in it’s meat.  Put the fish in the oven for 30 mins.

In the meanwhile peel the potatoes and boil them in water until ready. Once you can pierce them with a fork, put 30 gr of butter in a wok and saute them with freshly cut dill and freshly groun sea salt. Voila, serve them together, or you might want to debone them before serving it to your tot. Mine loves!

I served with the head for the photo, then I discarded them, totally deboned them for all of us and then we tucked in. All in all a healthy, quick meal (spent around 45 minutes including the salad) fit for queens.

Bon appetit 🙂

 

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Have you ever feeling of finding some nice and cute places to eat out or just have an afternoon tea? Me personally, I do  not like to keep the big chains’ pockets full. Thus Iam always on a lookout for something cute, family owned and interesting. After much speculation, we finally made it to the Petersham nurseries after the “Teddy Bears’ picnic” in Richmond Park’s Petersham gate playground.

And what a great decision it was! Even if it was raining as soon as you turn into this little place you feel yourself in another world, MAGIC WORLD. Where the rain seems a blessing and every drop of it creates a beauty on the flowers and fruit trees. We had a good look around with my little girl and decided to have our dessert in there after our picnic in the park. The Petersham nursery’s cafe has a WASTE choice of cakes and things to eat, no matter if you only feel peckish or want to have a full three course meal. My tot made her choice immediately (the most chocolaty cake slice ever), after unsuccessfully trying to persuade her to get something else I gave in. As I did not want to waste any time and just enjoy my tea surrounded by this WORLD which is NATURALLY BEAUTIFULL. At the end of the day I can let her run till home to get rid of the sugar rush.

After indulging in our afternoon delights, we had to check the facilities. And being a mum, having a good changing room is THE POINT where I take a decision whether I will be coming back or not. And to my astonishment the baby changing facilities made me let “un petit soupir”. It continued the whole theme of the Petersham nurseries. It had pcitures, a nice french bistro style table and every attention to detail, makes us parents happy spending time there doing not so pleasant at times chores (ie changing nappies).

After all the sweets and a tea and recharged we continued to enjoy our surroundings. The rain has slowed down and it was just a pleasant light drizzle that almost caresses the face. We watched the rain drops fall, how they make little jewels on the flowers and how the rain changes the look of everything. Ah, I love to breath the rain air and especially when it is full of a fresh smell of roses, lilys, lavanders in bloom. It makes one’s being so light and fresh that you feel you will be flying not walking.

After all that chocolate cake I had to keep my tot busy. So she won’t be very cranky after too much sugar. So we on we WENT ON A BERRY HUNT! As on our way back there were lots of bushes of blackberries, raspberries and Alpine rose berries. That surely wore her out. As after collecting two glasses full and finishing one, she fell asleep in her buggy (finally).

The rain did not seem like to bother the cows at all. I ever so wonder if it is these cows only or all the cows in general are so calm and not caring of “minor” discomforts? And when I am on a topic, do these Petersham meadow’s cows belong to somebody or do they belong to the Richmond Council?

Little I knew, that because of the rain the roads have become slippery. And pushing a buggy up the hill to the Richmond bridge with a sleeping three year old in it with 4 teddies and a picnic was A MILITARY TASK. As I kept sliding back (I was just wearing my joggingshoes) and I was worried to slip and fall to the river. And there was nobody around to ask for a help. But I finally made it on top and I was soon crossing the Richmond bridge to our belowed St Margarets.

Can you see my home? 🙂

 

 

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We planned to go to the Teddy Bears’ Picnic in Richmond park that took place at Petersham gate playground. I have told about it to my three year old in the morning. She was so excited to go there after finding out about the activities that would take place there. But after knowing there will be a best dressed teddy contest, she wanted me to make a dress for her “Hearts” teddy. So in last 45 minutes I had to take out all the sewing stash and and the sewing machine out. She chose the “lips” material and the red netting for the skirt. After rather stressful 45 minutes the teddy’s outfit was ready. See the above picture with the proud “Hearts” teddy in her brand new outfit from me.

So we packed a quick picnic and RUN to the Petersham gate of the Richmond park. I think the drivers and people who were passing by thought I may be a crazy mum jogging with a buggy that is not suited for it (note my Maclaren XT 2012 can be fit for jogging). As I saw drivers slowing down WAAAAAY before they reached me. But I was careful, only running on the pavement and she was strapped. And it was not raining yet, so it was not slippery (that made my life tough later on).

So we arrived at a Petersham Gate. Cozily arranged a picnic all FOUR teddies my toddler brought. She was far too excited to sit and eat her picnic so off she went to do arts and crafts. Later on Royal Park’s Giant teddy joined and kids made him dance. My one too scared saying he is too big and waving from a distance.

That was all our luck with the weather. As soon as we sat to have our picnic (finally) it started raining (good timing). So I could barely take my picnic with all it’s participants away. We all found a refuge under and the “Best dressed teddy contest” started. Everybody was excited, especially the kids were holding their breaths. The judges (The Royal park’s employees) had their job cut short. As the choice was tough. But they made the decisions that left some kids upset ICLUDING ME! I had to sew an outfit for a teddy in 45 minutes and they thought it was a shop bought outfit. That will teach me, next time I will make sure it does not look so perfect. Anyway after buying as kids out with the stickers, lots of parents and kids went home. But some of us stayed longer as kids can have fun come rain or sun.

After making butterflies, teddies and getting soaking wet we finally had our picnic and left the newly refurbished playground. We will deffinately be returning there often now and hopefully in a good weather 🙂

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Being of a financial background myself, I am often surprised how little people are aware of their consumer rights. Sometimes they do not claim what they have rights for, other times they claim what they are not supposed to. In order not to feel foolish, just come to my courses. I am organising next ones with the local authorities, so it may be free of charge.

In both cases the interaction between the buyer and  the shop assisstant is not pleasant. As not being fully aware of your rights brings confusion and deception. In my experience, the cosumer has to learn HOW TO STAY CALM. Because a shouting consumer is not an easy person to deal with and most of the time you would not get the outcome you were expecting. Unfortunately I had been in this kind of situation, when I went clothes shopping for my tot together with another fellow mom. I was actually ashamed to stay there next to a person who is not being “a respected member of society”. Luckily the shop assisstant was calm enough and did what she wanted. But I could not go back to the same shop for ages, thinking they might be pointing at me saying “look there is the lady, who’s friend was shouting”.

Another day, buying my jeans, I had to wait quite a long time, as a lady in front of me wanted to return a T-shirt. She was saying that she only bought it a week ago, washed and wore once after which it had a hole in it. She was upset to buy a T from a well known brand, to pay a lot for the supposed quality and not to get a reasonable wear. The shop assistant kept saying he can’t help and they were both stuck in an argument. I had to jump in, as I could not help and overhear the whole conversation. I suggested the old lady to go to her bank and bring a bank statement where it shows the transaction with the shop. Than she has a legal right to return or exchange an item. The shop assisstant was not aware of this, but we called a store manager who after several calls agreed this is the best they can do. It is pity that it took so long due to the shop staff being short of this knowledge too. As many customers who were going to buy just left the shop as they could not wait long.

I came across a very good article  about consumer rights (the link is clickable) today and thought I would share it here. So that in future we know what we are entitled to and in which circumstances.

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