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» Listings for September 2015

  1. comp photos 001

    Where is this picture.  It's a bit easier than the last one.  So the more accurate you re the better your chance of winning.  Name the street being driven along and you're more than likely a hum ding winner.  But remember you could be completely wrong and if no one else answer you win.  So well worth a go.

    Closing date is 30th October and the prize this time is a £7 voucher towards a therapy of your choice or a meal in Zen or a free Yoga class.

    Make your guess below and we will comment to give further clues.

  2. Cous cous is one of the easiest and quickest things to make and yet it is aso one of the things that many people can't get right.  When you make it yourself it tastes so much better than the pre flavoured packs you can buy that tend to be less than authentic in taste.

    Here are some tips:

    First decide what you want to use cous cous for.  Is it a salad in it's own right or a backdrop for something else like a tagine for instance?

    If it is for a tagine you want the flavour to be pleasant but not too distinct  in a similar way as  rice accompanyies a curry.

    So a basic original cous cous would be to soften a little finely chopped onion in oil and add a clove of garlic.  You need oil to keep the cous cous fluffy.  i use coconut oil.  Then add the amount of hot water recommended on the cous cous pack to the onion and garlic and stir in some neutral stock.  Add the cous cous and let it soak into the stock.  When the stock is absorbed check that it is moistened and fluffy when stirred.  You may need to add a little more stock.  Add seasoning to tasste and that's it.  So simple.

    For a cous cous that is an item in it's own right you can go to towh a little more.  the secret is to add all the flavouring and ingredients to the water before you add the cous cous.

    So you could add  a hot chopped chilli with finely chooped tomato or sun dried tomato  or substitute the chilli for fresh basil leaves if possible or dried basil.

    You could add corriander leaves chopped and with a squeeze of lemon and some lemon rind grated in.  Some much more tasty than a dried packet that you add water to.  And when you get a bit of the lemon peel in your mouth your taste buds are truly tantalised.  You can always used dried herbs but fresh taste diffferent (better).

    You could also add a selection of finely chopped vegetables or salad items.  Even with these whether pre cooked or raw the ingredients should be added to the water/stock before adding the cous cous.

    I think the reaons for this is that when you are soaking the cous cous it is absorbing the flavours of the water whereas if you add things later the taste sits on top of the cous cous rather than integrating into it.

    Think of your favourite flavours and use those to flavour your cous cous or for ideas check out some of the fried packets but make your own version. it will taste so much better  and made in minutes.  Also a fraction of the cost.

    We would love to know what flavours you try ...... let us know.


  3. Or how to stretch a weekend into a week.

    We're off the the wild hills of Burnley today for our latest retreat.  Each time we get a new venue it's always a bit serious for us until we get there and make sure everything is okay.  We always like to bring the unique featrues of the venue to the retreat so tailor the weekend to do that. 

    This weekend is very different for us.  We are including into the weekend as much of the outdoors as we can and I think we are going to be lucky enough to have at least one sunny day.  So the field that is part of the centre and the small woods that they also own will be incorporated into our weekend as much as we possibly can.

    There is also a projector room with a big drop down screen which we are going to be using to show film/s in the evening (with popcorn hehe)

    The biggest difference/challenge for me is the catering which Zen are doing i.e. me with a lot of help from Barry and due to frequent requests that I couldn't keep ignoring I decided to take the opportunity to also offer some mini workshops/demonstrations on vegetarian cookery for small groups as the opportunity for a formal kitchen seemed too good to miss.  Soooo... the pressures on and i don't mean cooking (or maybe I do).

    I often feel as though I don't know my left from my right but always seem to get there in the end so i am sure all will go swimmingly well and I nominate Lesley to take over if I loose my ability to speak.

    Barry, who can be found looking at the moon quite often, has noted that this Sunday is a new moon which has special meaning 24 hours each side so on Saturday he will be incorporating some new moon posturing and  meditation and we will be holding a workshop on mandalas for the new moon too.

    A very different weekend will be had by all

    It takes a lot of preparation but the weekend is usually great fun and a fantastic weekend away that feels more like a week, so stretching in more ways than one.

    I will tell you more when it is all over.