Friday, April 16, 2010

Volcano, My Favourite Greenery,

According to iceland-ash-mapreports British airports are going to be fouled up for some time due to the ash coming from the Icelandic Volcano. Really must be quite something. I can’t imagine what it must be like for people in England, something they will never have experienced before. I wonder what effect this will all have on the weather as well. I believe it can be quite serious also the health of the people. There’s a series of picture here which you may like to see. Together with a report detailing the movement of the ash cloud. There is also an interesting piece of film from ABC here and an even more interesting report from Good Morning America here where Neil Karlinsky is actually reporting from Iceland this morning. Funny, the GMA hosts say they can’t pronounce the name of the volcano so they needed an expert to do so for them, it is called Eyjafjallaj√∂kull. The British are, of course, worried about the economic fallout although it isn’t just Britain but a large swath of Europe which is covered by the ash fallout.

My taste buds are beginning to sit up and take notice as asAsparagusparagus season draws closer. For those of you who have been reading for some time, you will remember I go nuts about the gorgeous green stuff. I have determined I will make a lot more soup this year following the recipe from Tim Barrie’s mom which is some of the best asparagus soup I have ever tasted. I al so probably need to make more asparagus pesto this year, I am getting pretty low. I will be passing on asparagus recipes to you so that if you too are in an asparagus season wherever you live, you can take advantage of it.

Many of my friends go nutty about potatoes, I actually find I don't enjoy them as much as I do the ones we used to get in Europe. Malta especially had wonderful potatoes, and last time I was in the UK I enjoyed the potatoes served there, they seem to have a lot more taste. Like most people I do like French Fries but avoid them and I like a baked potato, usually with just butter on them. This recipe was sent by this morning and I thought my potato loving friends might enjoy it.

Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes Source: © EatingWell Magazine 4 servings Think of baked potatoes as nature's mini casseroles: an edible dish that can hold up to a hearty stuffing. Russets have just the right balance to make a perfect twice-baked potato: enough starch to keep its structure, enough moisture to endure the double cooking. Make It a Meal: A tossed green salad with your favorite dressing will round out this meal. Make Ahead Tip: Prepare and stuff potatoes. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Microwave and serve. INGREDIENTS 4 medium russet potatoes 8 ounces 90%-lean ground beef 1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped 1 cup water 1 cup reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, divided 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 3 scallions, sliced Tip: Vegetarian variation: Replace the ground beef with a soy-based substitute or omit the beef altogether and increase the broccoli to 1 1/2 cups and the cheese to 1 1/4 cups. DIRECTIONS Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook at 50% power, turning once or twice, until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. (Or, use the "potato setting" on your microwave and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions). Meanwhile, brown meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Increase heat to high, add broccoli and water to the skillet, cover, and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli; add to the meat. Carefully cut off the top third of the cooked potatoes; reserve the tops for another use. Scoop the insides out into a medium bowl. Place the potato shells in a small baking dish. Add 1/2 cup Cheddar, sour cream, salt and pepper to the potato insides and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add scallions and the potato mixture to the broccoli and meat; stir to combine. Evenly divide the potato mixture among the potato shells and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Microwave on high until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes. Have a great day