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Showing posts from April, 2015

Quick coq au vin

This is a recipe find that's great for cooking when you have had a long day at work, but you want something fancy and tasty. this takes 30 minutes to cook.

Ingredients (to serve 4)
6 boneless chicken thighs quartered
6 rashers, smoked streaky bacon cut into short strips
1 tbsp oil
2 onions roughly chopped
2 tbsp flour
150 ml red wine
A sprig or two of rosemary or thyme - I prefer rosemary for this myself
250g white cup mushrooms
200 ml hot chicken stock
a pinch of parsley chopped - as a garnish, but hey you're short of time!

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion and bacon for 2-3 minutes. Dust the chicken with flour, shake off any excess, add to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until golden brown. Add the wine and herb and bubble vigorously for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and the hot stock. Cover and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the chicken cooked through (no pink meat). Sprinkle with parsley and serve with steamed carrots and p…

Classical series with world renowned musicians

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I'm most excited about today because we will have world renowned pianist Melvyn Tan performing on the Portsmouth Guildhall stage as part of the Portsmouth Chamber Music Series.

You don't get to hear Melvyn Tan in concert normally unless you go to London, in concert halls like the Wigmore Hall. We're fortunate to be able to listen to him in Portsmouth!


Melvyn Tan at the Wigmore Hall, 5 October 2014 Tan’s easy asides to the audience matched by his ingratiating engagement with the music, the beautiful sound that he produces, and the moments (…) of visionary grandeur – he is quite the shaman-showman. This exceptional recital cooled down with a dip into Debussy’s ‘Poissons d’or.’
Peter Reed / Classical Source

The Portsmouth Guildhall puts on some exciting musicians for their concert series, whether classical or the popular kind. Only last week we had a foot-tapping concert by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. It was smashing to see so many people interested in jazz were abl…

Feature on Bubble&

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Southsea has a monthly farmers market which I really love because Palmerston precinct where it's held becomes even more alive and buzzing. It is also a perfect opportunity to find some fresh or unusual local produce, that's not available in the local supermarkets.

I also love meeting the vendors and chatting with them online, anticipating the next market. So I decided that I should really feature some of them on this page.

Before the last market, I received a sweet tweet from @BubbleandMarita which prompted a conversation about bubble and squeaks, suitable toppings and the idea of this posting. So let me introduce you...

Bubble& is a local street food phenomenon that has redefined bubble and squeak as we know it. They have created gourmet, gluten-free bubble and squeak cakes in a range of flavours that you can eat hot on their market stall with a soft poached egg, bacon and hollandaise sauce.

They are so good, you may also want to take them home. So they have designed ‘b…

Activities to help you relax

Article as it appears in the April 2015 edition of Portsmouth View: April showers bring May flowers so the saying goes. The next two months are the best time of the year for gardeners.
Have you tried gardening? It is a good activity for any age. It can be rigorous or gentle, depending on what you want to do and it gives much pleasure, especially when all the plants are blooming or bearing fruits. It is a relaxing activity that is probably good for your health.

I recently attended a mental health networking meeting at the Central Library. Those who were there agreed that it is important to maintain good mental health much as we maintain our physical health.
Hobbies such as gardening, cooking or singing, may help you relax and give the mind a rest from thinking of stressful things. The long Easter weekend was also a good chance to rest and refresh.

At the university we also have an Easter break for three weeks. While the students are away, members of staff try to likewise take some time o…