Eden Hazard to join Chelsea

31 05 2012

Tricky Lille winger and subject of perpetual transfer rumour, Eden Hazard, has this week Tweeted stating that he is joining the Champion’s League winners…

Now it doesn’t require a Mensa membership to work out that this means Chelsea.

Apparently the Belgian has signed a five year deal worth a reported 200k a week with a fee of 32 million pounds… not too shabby.

Obviously I would have loved to see him in an Arsenal shirt but we are just never going to throw that kind of cash around.





Where was I hiding….

31 05 2012

So as I alluded to recently I took quite the break from blogging…nearly a whole year.

Obviously this was a momentous event on par with anything mentioned in Revelations and no doubt had the great and the good gnashing their teeth and wondering what had happened…

Well in a nutshell life happened…

My parents divorced.

I moved house THREE times!! (Most recently to here) How the heck did that happen?

I changed jobs, still an IT nerd though!

I purchased my first ever convertible(MGF VVTi) and my first ever BMW (520i), closely followed by my second(325i)

I met C ❤

I read Song of Ice and Fire

I realised that trust is for idiots… then had my mind changed for me.

I officially changed my name

I wrote and wrote and wrote… and then wrote some more

Not really exciting I will grant you but all perfectly valid reasons as to why I more or less forgot about my blog…here is hoping for a somewhat less hectic next 12 months!





Why Arsenal should sell Gervinho

25 05 2012


Despite only moving to the Emriates from Lille last Summer Gervinho hasn’t really set the World a light and I personally don’t think that is going to change any time soon.

Have a quick look at the article from football blogger Michael Cummings of the Bleacher Report as I feel he sums the situation up pretty well…

“Who should Arsenal sell this summer?

Forget about the obvious choices like Marouane Chamakh. I think Gervinho is a good candidate, and here’s why.

Gervinho has scored four goals with six assists this season. Those aren’t awful stats for 21 appearances, but if you’ve watched Arsenal at all this season, you’ve seen how much Gervinho holds back Arsenal in the final third.

Gervinho can work himself into dangerous positions, but he loses his composure in front of goal. Case in point, he’s averaging just over one shot per game this season.

Arsene Wenger bought Gervinho from Lille only last summer, and, admittedly, it takes players some time to adapt to England. But I don’t see Gervinho finding his feet in England until he magically matches the toughness of the Premier League.

Plus, for all his dribbling and passing, he’s almost useless in the air and he’s generally poor defensively.

This is an important summer for Arsenal. Reinforcements are needed, and Wenger might have more money than usual.

By selling Gervinho, Wenger could raise money for new purchases—especially a more dangerous option on the left side—and offload Gervinho while he still has value.”





The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices, & Flavorings

24 05 2012

Hi Chums,

It has been rather a while since I last recommended a book to the World at large ,that would be you lot by the way.

In the main this is because I have been far too busy working on my own cookery book which will be launching rather soon. Hint Hint…

As such it is rather fitting that the book I am all in a lather about is one that dovetails nicely with my own.
The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices, & Flavorings 

The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices, & Flavorings

Here is what those nice chaps over at Amazon have to say about it:

“An illustrated sourcebook to these all-important cooking ingredients includes information on more than two hundred herbs, spices, essences, edible flowers and leaves, aromatics, vinegars, oils, teas, and coffees”

I on the other hand will stick to simply issuing an instruction –

IF YOU COOK  AND DON’T OWN A COPY GO AND BUY ONE. NOW.

Not quite Wordsworth but hopefully the point comes across. I very rarely encounter anything that I look at and think wow this is something which everyone should own. However on this occasion I really am that impressed.

Not only are they lots of high quality pictures, excellent descriptions of various herbs, spices and flavourings and their uses but there are also over 200 recipes so you can leap straight in and start applying all this new-found knowledge.





Moruga Scorpion

24 05 2012

 

Well if you thought that the Bhut Jolokia was too hot to handle then be prepared to be blown away by the new kid on the block…..The Moruga Scorpion!

Jim Duffy from Refining Fire Chillies  grew them out in California, and as of earlier this year (February if memory serves) they have now officially been crowned the Worlds hottest chilli at  an average of1.46 million scovilles by New Mexico’s State University’s Chile Pepper Institute.

To put that into context the Bhut Jolokia, the former official hottest chilli, is a mere 1 million scovilles so that is 50% more pain

In a rather restrained comment the institutes director Paul Bosland had the following to say “You take a bite. It doesn’t seem so bad, and then it builds and it builds and it builds. So it is quite nasty,”

Find out more about Jim and his chillies over at his site http://www.refiningfirechiles.com/





Every cloud has a silver lining…

21 05 2012

So on Saturday night we had some friends over to watch Bayern Munich take on Chelsea in the final of the Champions League.

Being sort of neutral (I merely despise Chelsea) the match had the potential to be a real snooze fest.

However in the end it wasn’t that bad and thanks to a Chelsea equaliser taken in typical annoying fashion we saw extra time and penalties.

The net result as I’m sure you will all be aware by now is that Chelsea won and are the champions of Europe…Puke.

However the silver lining to this otherwise tragic tale is that Chelsea will now be gifted a place in next years competition… at the expense of “The best team in North London” Spurs

Ahahahahahaha

Ahem excuse my brief lapse into manic laughter. It is just too damn funny though.





Danny Cash’s Radical Heat Red Habanero Hot Sauce

17 05 2012

Two words describe this little gem: awesome sauce

Quite literally.

The flavour of the habaneros is great and comes through strongly, really fresh and fruity. The heat is pleasant, more than enough to notice but not enough to destroy your taste buds for days.

The sauce is a little thicker than Tabasco but still quite thin with just a few flakes of pepper and seeds

To say I really, really like this sauce would be an understatement of epic proportions.  If I had to pick just one table sauce, this would be it. Kudos Danny Cash!

Great sauce 5/5 in my not so humble opinion.





Bye bye ‘King’ Kenny

16 05 2012

Well it would seem that the reign of “King Kenny” has   not been quite the roaring success that ‘Pool fans were hoping for.

A Carling cup win and the runner up spot in the FA cup haven’t really made up for a disappointing 8th place finish in the Premiership.

Kenny was summoned to Boston to account for the clubs poor showing and after a meeting today where his future was left unclear it is being widely reported that Kenny will be leaving the club immediately.

Assuming that the scouse saviour  does indeed end up out in the cold my money would be on Roberto Martinez to take the reins.





Texas Creek Products Pure Evil 16 Million SHU Capsaicin Drops

15 05 2012

As you may or may not know I like spicy foods, hot sauces and pretty much all things chile related. In fact there are very, very few products in the realm of firey foods that do not have me salivating.

However even thinking about Pure Evil 16 Million SHU Capsaicin Drops from Texas Creek Products has me breaking out in a sweat!

I have tried a number of pure capsaicin products/extracts in the past and have never really been that much of a fan, there just seems to be way too much pain in relation to the amount of pleasure.

That said when someone is kind enough to send me such a thoughtful gift it would simply be rude not to give it a try….

According to my Fedex tracking details my very own bottle of liquid pain is about 3 days away from touch down. Guess I should started stocking up on milk and toilet paper.

Just so you can get a complete overview of just how hot this sauce is have a look at this video review from Scott Roberts

 





The most expensive ingredients in the World

14 05 2012

After my recent move into the new house some people have started to wonder whether I haven’t developed ideas above my station.

Well just to cast aside all doubt here is a quick round-up of some of the most expensive ingredients in the World…

Saffron – $1,000/lb

A classic contender for World’s most expensive ingredient. Saffron is the dried stigma of the cunningly named “Saffron Crocus” or Crocus sativus to give it’s proper name.

For anyone who is wondering why some dried pieces of a flower are so expensive have a look below at what wikipedia has to say…

“To glean an amount of dry saffron weighing 1 lb (450 g) is to harvest 50,000–75,000 flowers, the equivalent of an association football pitch‘s area of cultivation; 110,000–170,000 flowers or two football fields are needed to gross one kilogram. Forty hours of labour are needed to pick 150,000 flowers. Stigmas are dried quickly upon extraction and (preferably) sealed in airtight containers.

Saffron prices at wholesale and retail rates range from US$500 to US$5,000 per pound, or US$1,100–11,000/kg, equivalent to £2,500/€3,500 per pound or £5,500/€7,500 per kilogram. The price in Canada recently rose to CAD 18,000 per kilogram. In Western countries, the average retail price is $1,000/£500/€700 per pound, or US$2,200/£1,100/€1,550 per kilogram. A pound contains between 70,000 and 200,000 threads.”

White Truffles: $ 14,000/kg

Another long time heavy weight of the culinary World, white truffles have long been sought after by discerning gourmets for their earthy taste and pungent fragrance.

Native to the Piedmont region of Northern Italy although they can also be found in parts of Croatia. White truffles are the rarest and most costly of all the various species of truffle and as such carry the biggest price tag, the highest price ever paid for a single truffle was set in December 2007, when Macau casino owner Stanley Ho paid 330,000 USD (£165,000) for a specimen weighing 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb), discovered by Luciano Savini and his dog Rocco.

Bit different from paying 99 pence for a kilo of button mushrooms in Tesco!

Edible gold: $90-100/gram

Though gold has no nutritional value, 24k gold is perfectly edible and adds a luxurious and beautiful decoration to dishes and drinks.

Edible gold leaf is popular in cake decorating and for adding a bit of flair to certain cocktails. The metal apparently passes directly through the body unaltered, not sure I would want to try and retrieve it though!

 Ass (Donkey) Cheese $700/lb.

Home to 100 Balkan donkeys, the Zasavica Special Nature Reserve along the Zasavica River produces a smoked donkey’s milk cheese that they call “Pule.”

They justify the obscene price of the cheese by quoting the rarity and  value of the milk used…Not sure I would want ass milk either to be quite honest!

 

 Hop Shoots $1300/lb

Hop shoots are funnily enough the young shoots of the hop bine, yes bine not vine.

Hop shoots are only available between January and mid April. Because of the short period of availability, labour intensive cultivation and low yields hop shoots often rank as the most expensive vegetable in the World!

 

 








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