Salmon and Chorizo - Midweek Meal

Have you got any chorizo left from last week Midweek Meal? That's great because I have got a new combination of flavours for you. This one comes with a warning. It is not to everybody's taste, he didn't like it. However, over 400 people at the Vuelio Blog Awards were served it as a starter and I was inspired.

The other piece of advice is: cut the chorizo in very small bits.

Salmon and Chorizo - Midweek Meal -

2 salmon fillets
8 olives no stone ready to be squashed :)
basil leaves
few small tomatoes
Cook the salmon flesh side down in a large cold non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat. That's the best way to cook fish 3 minutes on the fleshy side first 5 minutes on the skin side so that you get  nice crispy skin.
In other pan, cook the chorizo on slow heat, when the oil is released squash in the olives with a splash of water. Serve on a bed of couscous or on its own with baby tomatoes

The Travel Bug

Who has not been riveted to the small screen to follow explorers crossing countries or read accounts of daring individuals' treks through the jungle? If this was the apanage of the few or the under 30 some time ago, making those dreams a reality is now easier than ever.

And, it’s never too late to start. In fact, 50s, 60s and beyond might be the ideal time to connect with your inner traveler, and if you’ve found yourself fantasizing about getting fit and tackling the Inca Trail now the kids have flown the nest, or giving whitewater rafting in Canada a go to celebrate a milestone birthday, you’re in good company.

Saga, the over 50's specialists recently approached me and asked my opinion on why people should travel despite their age. Here are my thoughts. 

When I was 20, with a record of failed studies and failed relationships in order to put as much distance between me and my troubles, I travelled to Mauritius and l'Ile de la Reunion in the Indian Ocean where my uncles live. When I came back, I had a vague notion that I could, one day, be a travel writer.

Putting pen to paper was difficult and in these days it was more a case of copying others original. I hadn't yet learned the art of stealing ideas and styles and make them my own, that would take several decades. In fact, be the first to hear the news, I have signed a contract to write a guidebook for an international publisher: 111 Places in the Lake District that you should miss. An amazing series.

But back to young me, as the writing was not going too well, I turned to the travelling, headed for Cairo Egypt, only to end up in Karachi Pakistan, clearly the organisation was lacking precision, even though, I was better at travelling than at writing.  Travel Bug springs to mind. A bug with a list, a list of exciting places.

There is no age limit to travels, I remember an 80-year-old British lady whom I met in the jungle of Borneo. Inspired by a TV program, she was on her way to pay a visit to the Orangutans. She stood out but there is no reason why she should have, Indonesian people in the later years, do travel from one island to another every day. 

Inspiration is everywhere, a list is a start but is it enough? It appears not. How many times do you hear people saying, I dream of going to ... but that it won't happen. And why not? we are very good at putting barriers to our travelling dreams or choosing the wrong destination to go to.  I'll never climb Everest but that doesn't stop the fact that taking a road trip along the foot of the Himalayas is probably one of the most awe-inspiring journeys I've ever done.


The Canadian Train

There is something about travelling long distance by rail which can't be beaten.  Taking a train from a place to another far far away slows down the travelling process. Nose pressed against the window, the journey itself becomes the trip. When on a shoestring, it makes for weird and wonderful encounters and if the train is more luxurious the key word is "enjoy". Enjoy the food, enjoy the scenery, enjoy the time travelling. 

I have a fond memory of our trip from Toronto to Vancouver, I didn't see a black bear but he did and that was the cherry on the cake.


Palmyra before the war

People often ask "What's your favourite place?" No answer to that one. I enjoyed many places, Mongolia with its vast panoramas is an opportunity to see earth the way you never see it. I loved Jordan, the Lebanon for the hospitality of its people and count myself blessed for having visited Syria before the war 

Marshes in Albania
I have fond memories of Albania, its rural sceneries and incredible archaeological sites, Scotland always blows me away. And when it comes to the Lake District, well, the love affair started the day he rowed a little boat on Windermere, just for the two of us.

Saga sponsored this post. The opinions expressed are my own and are not held by Saga.

Chicken and Chorizo Bake - Midweek Meal -

Opportunity knocks: A couple of years ago, I published a Chicken and Chorizo in Tomato Sauce recipe. It was delicious but as often at Pebble Soup HQ no two meals are the same or you would get bored. As a consequence, very few dishes join the classics and sadly they disappear from my mind and down a long list of recipes
Foreward to this month while staying in Grasmere,  I picked up the co-op magazine, old habits die hard. On the reader recipe page, there it was Chicken and Chorizo Bake by Dan Cullen-Shute from South London. By now, I had forgotten all about my own attempt but when I brought it to the table, He who has a little Ganesha brain reminded me that we had something similar before.

Still doesn't take away the fact that this is an easy recipe, perfect for a Midweek Meal.

Chicken and Chorizo Bake
based on a coop magazine reader's recipe
serves 2

2 Red onions, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic crushed
100g Chorizo ring
2 potatoes roughly chopped
2/4 chicken tights depending on the size
olive oil
fresh thyme if you happen to have
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C
Mix all the ingredients except for the oil in a bowl
Add the seasoning, oil, thyme (if using) and toss
Transfer to a baking tray
Bake for 45 minutes, baste halfway through

I'm sharing with #cookblogshare 
Hijacked By Twins

Good Life Cottages in the Lake District

It's almost signed and sealed, I got a book deal. A guidebook which is not a guidebook. The start of a new weird and wonderful adventure that took me and him to Grasmere, to test the water, not literally.

I provided the Good Life Cottages Company with my requirements and let the team choose for me the perfect accommodation for my first of many visits. On the basis that I needed a place to work, we had been given the keys to an apartment in the centre of Grasmere.

The Spinners is located on the top floor of an old coach house, above a cute restaurant and next to a chocolate shop. The master bedroom faces Grasmere primary school, I find that there is nothing more reassuring than the soundtrack of daily life while I work away and kids playing is in my top ten. Indeed, the Good Life Cottage team had found just the right place.

Good life cottages Grasmere

The Spinners is very large so much so that I'd started to unpack in one bedroom when I realised that he was unpacking in another. A master bedroom which I had not spotted in spite of the fact that it is vast with feature beams and tasteful decor.

What I liked the most, besides the fact that the kitchen was extremely well equipped, is the interior styling. The property is owned by a couple, one of which is an artist and there are examples of her work throughout the property.   
Good life cottages The Spinners

On the other hand, he was delighted with the CD player/Bluetooth speaker in the lounge. quick manipulation et voila we had the choice of all is soundtracks and playlists.

Good life cottages Dale End

After three days, reluctantly though filled with the expectation of the new, we moved a couple of miles away, in a much more rural part, along the lakeshore.
 I had requested a view after all.
Good life cottages Dale end view of Grasmere
No disappointment here: breakfast was taken gazing at the mist hovering over Grasmere Water, one of the smallest lakes in the area. A stunning view indeed.

Good life cottages Dale end kitchen
Shower Room - View 1.jpgDouble Bed.jpg
Not much of an opportunity to breakfast on the terrace as the fickle weather was up to no good but the two loungers by the large windows, doors made up for it.

If you are looking for a romantic getaway, or a place for a solo traveller this is a good place to come to. It is one big L shaped room, perfectly maintained and excellent to get away from it all.

No doubt that in the future, if all goes well, I'll report on other types of accommodation in this stunning area which has recently been awarded Unesco World Heritage status however they will need a lot to beat The Good Life Cottages Company's efficiency whose motto is "We know what makes a great Holiday" and so they do.

Disclaimer: My thanks to Good Life "part of the Original Cottages family" Cottages for allowing us to stay in both of the places reviewed. You can follow them on Twitter @goodlifelakes and on Facebook: @goodlifelakedisctrictcottages.

If you'd like to watch reviews of the cottages managed by this friendly company head to the Quirky Traveller

November 17 Inheritance Recipes

Inheritance Recipes started as a challenge but to allow bloggers from around the world to participate it's now a link-up. IR is about dishes bloggers cherish. Recipes which have been passed down by a family member, a friend, through an ancestral culture and dishes which you would like to bestow to future generations. Before starting, do take a look at the latest roundup collated by Coffee 'n Vanilla

How does the Inheritance Recipes work?
Each month, food bloggers will add their favourite recipe(s)celebrating a dish which they love and connects them to their root or which they would like to share with the next generation. As Inheritance Recipes is opened to all, regardless of location, each month, we'll end up with the most diverse round-up of all roundups.

Social Media
We will also add your recipe to the Inheritance Recipes Pinterest board and include your blog’s handle in our Inheritance Recipes list on Twitter (don’t forget to subscribe to them both), we will share your recipe via social media including Instagram and a round-up at the end of the month.


  1. Please, link back to challenge page on both: Pebble Soup and Coffee & Vanilla blog.
  2. If possible, display one of the IR badges (available below) on your recipe post.
  3. Add your recipe via linky 
  4. Up to 2 recipes accepted per blogger.
  5. Feel free to link up to past posts but please, update them with links to the challenge pages to qualify.
  6. Closing date is the 30th of the month.
  7. Entries from bloggers all around the World are accepted.

Please note that entries that fail to follow “how to enter” instructions won’t be approved.
If you use Twitter to promote your recipe, please use #InheritanceRecipes, tweet it@coffeenvanilla or @solangeweb and we will re-tweet it.
When you have a spare moment visit other entries that caught your eye, comment on them and give them some social media love.

Badges are designed by Coffee and Vanilla
To use save to your area first- do not hot-link- thank you

We can’t wait to see your Inheritance Recipes!

November recipes
click on the pictures to access their blog post



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