Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

Half Moon Pose (Ard­ha Chan­drasana) invites you to tap into both the calm, bal­anc­ing ener­gy of the moon and the fiery force of the sun. The pose teach­es coor­di­na­tion and can help you under­stand the inter­de­pen­dence of the actions in your body. Half Moon Pose can also help you devel­op strong legs and open hips.

Method

Per­form Extend­ed Tri­an­gle Pose (Utthi­ta Trikonasana) to the right side, with your left hand rest­ing on the left hip. Inhale, bend your right knee, and slide your left foot about 6 to 12 inch­es for­ward along the floor. At the same time, reach your right hand for­ward, beyond the lit­tle-toe side of the right foot, at least 12 inch­es.

Exhale, press your right hand and right heel firm­ly into the floor, and straight­en your right leg, simul­ta­ne­ous­ly lift­ing the left leg par­al­lel (or a lit­tle above par­al­lel) to the floor. Extend active­ly through the left heel to keep the raised leg strong. Be care­ful not to lock (and so hyper­ex­tend) the stand­ing knee: make sure the kneecap is aligned straight for­ward and isn’t turned inward.

Rotate your upper tor­so to the left, but keep the left hip mov­ing slight­ly for­ward. Most begin­ners should keep the left hand on the left hip and the head in a neu­tral posi­tion, gaz­ing for­ward.

Bear the body’s weight most­ly on the stand­ing leg. Press the low­er hand light­ly to the floor, using it to intel­li­gent­ly reg­u­late your bal­ance. Lift the inner ankle of the stand­ing foot strong­ly upward, as if draw­ing ener­gy from the floor into the stand­ing groin. Press the sacrum and scapu­las firm­ly again­st the back tor­so, and length­en the coc­cyx toward the raised heel.

Stay in this posi­tion for 30 sec­onds to 1 min­ute. Then low­er the raised leg to the floor with an exha­la­tion, and return to Trikonasana. Then per­form the pose to the left for the same length of time.

Skinny Strawberry Basil Margarita by Dean Sheremet

Skin­ny Straw­ber­ry Basil Mar­gar­i­ta

Yield: 1 serv­ing

Ingre­di­ents:

1 table­spoon quar­tered fresh straw­ber­ries

1 fresh basil leaf, plus 1 sprig, for gar­nish

Ice

3 ounces tequi­la

2 ounces fresh­ly squeezed lime juice

2 ounces Straw­ber­ry Basil –Sim­ple Syrup

Method

  1. Place the straw­ber­ries and the basil leaf in the bot­tom of a rocks glass. Gen­tly mud­dle with a mud­dler or just use a spoon, mak­ing sure you bash the basil well to release the fra­grant oils.
  2. Top with ice and add the tequi­la, lime juice, and syrup.
  3. Stir well to com­bine, gar­nish with a sprig of basil.

 

Straw­ber­ry Basil Sim­ple Syrup

Yield: about 3 cups

Ingre­di­ents:

1 cup fresh basil leaves

2 cups straw­ber­ries, hulled and quar­tered

1 cup agave nec­tar

1 cup water

Method:

  1. Place the basil in the bot­tom of a large glass con­tain­er (I used my 4-cup mea­sur­ing cup).
  2. In a medi­um-size saucepan, com­bine the straw­ber­ries, agave, and water.
  3. Bring the mix­ture to a boil, low­er the heat to a gen­tle sim­mer, and sim­mer for about 30 min­utes.
  4. Pour the hot syrup over the basil leaves and cov­er tight­ly with plas­tic wrap.
  5. Allow the syrup to cool at room tem­per­a­ture and then place it in the fridge to mar­i­nate overnight.
  6. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cock­tail strain­er.

Will keep cov­ered in the fridge for a week, but I doubt you’ll need it to!

Don’t you dare throw away those used straw­ber­ries! They are amaz­ing to mud­dle into the Skin­ny Straw­ber­ry Mar­gar­i­ta (recipe above), driz­zle over angel food cake for an easy dessert, or for toss­ing over your bor­ing oat­meal. Now you’ve got a par­ty!

 

 

MasterChef Winner Jane Devonshire’s Cheesy Meetballs in Rich Tomato Sauce

Fam­i­ly Favourite Main Course

Cheesy Meat­balls in Rich Toma­to Sauce

Feeds 6 – 8

This recipe is a great fam­i­ly favourite. I par­tic­u­lar­ly loved it when the kids were small as they would help roll out the lit­tle meat balls and real­ly get engaged in the cook­ing of the dish.  Please feel free to use a cheese that you love. Goats cheese and blue cheese would also work very well as would the addi­tion of chilli if you like spice.

 

I would use a gluten free pas­ta but please use your favourite I do think Spaghet­ti and Meat­balls is a great fun com­bi­na­tion, although beware it can get messy.

 

And it’s worth remem­ber­ing this is a great dish to freeze.

 

900gm  Minced beef

1 large egg

1 litre Pas­sa­ta

2 Balls Moz­zarel­la

150 gm strong Ched­dar Cheese

200gm Flat Leaf Pars­ley fine­ly chopped includ­ing stalks

100gm Thyme leaves picked from stalks

4 large gar­lic cloves fine­ly chopped or grat­ed

1 x large Span­ish onion fine­ly chopped

Salt and Black Pep­per

Tea­spoon of sug­ar

Olive Oil

Veg­etable Oil for fry­ing

Spaghet­ti I work on rough­ly 90gm per adult.

 

Method

  1. Put the chopped onion and gar­lic into a small saucepan and gen­tly saute in a lit­tle olive oil until translu­cent but no colour­ing.

2. Chop the ched­dar and the moz­zarel­la into small chunks about .5cm to 1cm big. Its not an exact thing just want to give you an idea.

3. Put the Pas­sa­ta into a saucepan with half of the thyme and half the chopped pars­ley (leave a lit­tle pars­ley to one side if you want for sprin­kling on the fin­ished dish when serv­ing), salt pep­per and the tea­spoon of sug­ar sim­mer until the pas­sa­ta reduced and thick­ened and about 15 min­utes.

4. In a large mix­ing bowl com­bine the mince about half the chopped pars­ley and half the picked thyme, the egg and the cooked onion and gar­lic mix­ture, salt and black pep­per I like to be gen­er­ous with the pep­per in this dish.  Using your hands com­bine thor­ough­ly.

5. Once com­bined get a large plate or bak­ing tray and start to make the meat­balls. Take a small lump of the mince mix­ture about the size of a cher­ry toma­to flat­ten in your hand and make a small dim­ple in the mid­dle. Put a piece of the cheese I use alter­nate moz­zarel­la and  ched­dar and put into the cen­tre of the mince mix­ture shape your meat­ball around the cheese, try to make sure cheese is com­plete­ly encased, place the meat­ball on the bak­ing tray.  Repeat until all of the mince mix­ture is used up you should still have extra cheese we will use it all in the recipe.

6. Once the meat­balls are made get a fry­ing pan and an oven ready dish or casserole pot.  Put some oil into the fry­ing pan so it is about 1cm deep.  Heat the oil until you can put a lit­tle of the mince mix­ture in and it siz­zles gen­tly.  Fry off the meat­balls until gold­en in colour, turn­ing halfway through.  We are going to bake in the oven so don’t wor­ry if not cooked all the way through.  I do this in batch­es and put straight into the casserole dish as I have done them.

7. Once meat­balls all made pour over the toma­to sauce. Sprin­kle over all the remain­ing cheese and put in oven gas mark 6, 180. For about 30 – 45 min­utes until the cheese is bub­bling and gold­en.

8. Remove from oven I like to rest them whilst I cook the pas­ta mince like all meat is bet­ter for this. Also peo­ple don’t get burnt with red hot cheese.

9. Cook spaghet­ti as per instruc­tions. I put the spaghet­ti in big dish pile on the meat­balls and sprin­kle with some pars­ley and let every­one dig in.

Rosemary Shrager’s Smoked Duck Breast Salad With A Prune Dressing

This recipe by top TV chef Rose­mary Shrager is just as deli­cious as it sounds and very straight­for­ward to try at home:

Ingre­di­ents: Serves 4

  • 200g Smoked Duck breast
  • 1 bunch water­cress
  • 1 Frisee let­tuce yel­low leaves only
  • A small hand of tar­ragon leaves
  • Roast­ed Wal­nuts rough­ly chopped

 

For the dress­ing

  • 1 tea­spoon red wine vine­gar
  • ½ tea­spoon Dijon mus­tard
  • 100ml Sun­flow­er oil
  • 100ml extra vir­gin olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 4 Cal­i­for­nia Prunes soaked in water
  • Salt
  • Good pinch ground chili

 

First make the dress­ing, add the red wine and mus­tard into a liquiz­er and pulse to mix, now add the oils and lemon, pulse again, drain the Cal­i­for­nia Prunes reserv­ing the water, add to the oil mix with the salt and chili, and turn on until smooth. If a lit­tle thick add a drop of the prune water.

 

For the sal­ad, if the smoked duck is whole slice very fine­ly, wash the frisee let­tuce, I tend only to use the yel­low part only, if this is a large frizzes half is enough, if it’s a small let­tuce you will need the whole one.

 

You can use a plat­ter or place it on indi­vid­u­al plates. Mix the frizzes, water­cress and tar­ragon togeth­er in a bowl add a table­spoon of dress­ing mix care­ful­ly put onto the plat­ter scat­ter the smoked duck breast and wal­nuts, when ready to serve driz­zle a lit­tle dress­ing.

 

GBBO Candice Brown’s Chocolate Cardamom Orange Shortbread

Try this deli­cious choco­late car­do­mom orange short­bread recipe cour­tesy of Great British Bake Off Win­ner Can­dice Brown. Can­dice baked the­se at our Christ­mas Food­ies Fes­ti­val and we can assure that this recipe is heav­en­ly!

Ingredients

170g unsalt­ed soft­ened but­ter

245g plain flour

50g gold­en cast­er sug­ar

35g soft light brown sug­ar

pinch of salt

zest of 2 oranges

10 car­damom pods- seeds removed and crushed

50g toast­ed flaked almonds

200g Dark choco­late- Lindt orange almond intense

Icing sug­ar to sprin­kle

 

Directions

  1. Remove the seeds from the car­damom pods and grind down in a pestle and mor­tar. Add this to the sug­ars, and orange zest into a bowl and mash the zest into the sug­ar with the back of a spoon so the oils get into the sug­ar and you can smell the orange and car­damom.
  2. Add the soft­ened but­ter and the vanil­la to the orange sug­ar and mix until com­bined
  3. Add the flour and salt to and mix with your hands until only just com­bined- do not over work. Divide into 2
  4. Chop the dark choco­late and toast­ed almonds into small pieces and add 50g of choco­late to half the dough- mix with hands
  5. flat­ten the 2 doughs- wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 20–30 min­utes
  6. Pre­heat oven to 180c non fan/160c fan
  7. Light­ly flour the sur­face and roll dough out to 1/2 inch thick- cut out using star and heart shaped or xmas cut­ters
  8. Place the bis­cuits onto a lined bak­ing tray with space in between each one and put in the freez­er for 10 min­utes
  9. Bake for 20-25mins- until gold­en brown- leave to cool on a cool­ing rack
  10. sprin­kle the choco­late and almond short­bread with icing sug­ar and put in a glass Kil­ner jar or in clear plas­tic wrapped up for gifts
  11. Melt the remain­ing choco­late in a Pyrex bowl over a saucepan of sim­mer­ing water- melt gen­tly
  12. Once melt­ed dip the cor­ners or sides of the plain orange short­bread into the melt­ed choco­late then sprin­kle with the remain­ing toast­ed almonds. Lay on the sil­i­cone sheet to set or place in the fridge to speed up. Once set, either wrap up the­se deli­cious treats as gifts or tuck into them your­self, we won’t tell!

Seared Cauliflower Steak served with Coconut Cream, Blistered Tomatoes and Coriander Salsa

This deli­cious meal, cour­tesy of Tess Ward, chef and author of the Naked Diet, in part­ner­ship with Panasonic’s Small Kitchen Appli­ance Range com­bi­nes the fresh­est of ingre­di­ents and spices to cre­ate a whole­some dish to tanatlise the taste­buds and give the body and mind a nutri­tion­al boost.
Prepa­ra­tion time: 5 min­utes
Cook­ing time: 30 min­utes

Serves 2

For Cau­li­flow­er Steaks:
– 4 large cau­li­flow­er steaks, 400g approx
– 1 tsp mild cur­ry pow­der
– 1/2 tea­spoon smoked paprika
– 1 tsp cumin seeds
– 1 tsp gar­lic pow­der
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp black pep­per
– 3 tbs olive oil

For top­pings:
– 4 large toma­toes
– 1/2 tsp gar­lic pow­der
– 1 tbs olive oil, plus more to serve
– sea salt
– 3 tbs corian­der leaves
– 2 spring onions, fine­ly chopped
– 50g toast­ed cashews, chopped
– 2 heaped tbs yoghurt or coconut yoghurt

Wash the cau­li­flow­er and shake it dry. Remove the leaves and cut out the core
Cut the cau­li­flow­er in 2 inch slices

Whisk togeth­er oil, cur­ry pow­der, paprika, gar­lic pow­der, salt and pep­per in a large bowl.
Add cau­li­flow­er slices and toss to coat. Spread veg­eta­bles in a sin­gle lay­er in a large bak-ing tray

Toss the chopped toma­toes with 1 tbs oil and salt and sprin­kle over the gar­lic pow­der. Place in Pana­son­ic Steam Com­bi­na­tion Microwave NN-DS596 under the grill to cook for 15–20 min­utes. Once cooked toss with the spring onions, corian­der and toast­ed cash-ews and set aside

Grill the cau­li­flow­er steaks in the Pana­son­ic Steam Com­bi­na­tion Microwave NN-DS596 for 7 mins on each side using set­ting 1. Top with the roast­ed toma­to and nuts and herbs and serve hot with a final driz­zle of oil and heaped spoon of coconut yoghurt

About Pana­son­ic

Pana­son­ic Cor­po­ra­tion is a world­wide lead­er in the devel­op­ment of diverse elec­tron­ics tech­nolo­gies and solu­tions for cus­tomers in the con­sumer elec­tron­ics, hous­ing, auto­mo­tive, enter­prise solu­tions and device indus­tries. Since its found­ing in 1918, the com­pa­ny has expand­ed glob­al­ly and now oper­ates 474 sub­sidiar-ies and 94 asso­ci­at­ed com­pa­nies world­wide, record­ing con­sol­i­dat­ed net sales of 56.794 bil­lion Euro (7.553 tril­lion Yen) for the year end­ed March 31, 2016. Com­mit­ted to pur­su­ing new val­ue through inno­va­tion across divi­sion­al lines, the com­pa­ny uses its tech­nolo­gies to cre­ate a bet­ter life and a bet­ter world for its cus­tomers. To learn more about Pana­son­ic vis­it: http://www.panasonic.com/global.

Valentine’s Cocktail Recipe: Rosebud

 The Rose­bud

40mls Daffy’s

15mls Rose ver­mouth

25mls fresh lemon

15mls grenadine

25mls egg white

2 dash­es rose water

Top with franklin and sons straw­ber­ry

Shake, serve straight up in coupet­te. Gar­nish with 3 rose buds in cen­tre and cracked black pep­per, voilà!

Adho mukha svanasana (downward-facing dog)

Adho mukha svanasana. What a mouth­ful. Let’s go with the eng­lish trans­la­tion you’ve all no doubt heard of, down­ward-fac­ing dog. Down dog is one of the most wide­ly rec­og­nized yoga pos­tures, but it’s also a com­pli­cat­ed one. Down dog works the whole body, and can build strength, increase flex­i­bil­i­ty, relieve back pain, and bring all the ben­e­fits of an inver­sion. It also can be a huge source of frus­tra­tion to many begin­ners or yogis in larg­er bod­ies.

Start on hands and knees. The knees should be direct­ly under the hips, the low­er legs point­ing straight back from the knees, necks of feet on the floor. Let the hands be shoul­der width apart. The wrists should be slight­ly in front of the shoul­ders. Let the index fin­gers point straight ahead at 12 o’clock. Press firm­ly through the hands, espe­cial­ly through the thumb and index fin­ger.

Take a look at the eyes of your elbows (the insid­es or creas­es of the elbows). Let each elbow eye face the oppo­site cor­ner of the mat.  So your right elbow eye faces the left cor­ner of the mat, and the left elbow eye faces the right cor­ner. You prob­a­bly will have to rotate your upper arms to accom­plish this, but let your hands stay con­nect­ed to the mat.

To feel this exter­nal rota­tion in your upper arms, come out of the pose for a moment, and bring your arms out to your sides at shoul­der height, like an air­plane. Let your palms and the eyes of your elbows face the ceil­ing. Now flip your hands over so your palms face the floor, but the elbow eyes still face the ceil­ing. This is the rota­tion of the arms we’re look­ing for in down dog. Now come back to the mat, and re-setup your hands. Point your elbow eyes to the oppo­site cor­ners of the mat by exter­nal­ly rotat­ing your upper arms. This will broad­en the col­lar­bones and draws the shoul­der blades down the back.

Now we’ll pre­pare to lift up. Engage the low­er bel­ly by draw­ing in the trans­verse abs – the pit of the abdomen – engage the low­er bel­ly and draw it in and up as if you were scoop­ing your low­er bel­ly up along your spine. Take sev­er­al full breaths. Now tuck the toes and start to lift the hips up toward where the ceil­ing meets the wall.

Ped­al a few times through the feet, alter­nate­ly bend­ing and straight­en­ing the legs. Let the arms be long, let the neck be long with the rest of the spine. Keep a gen­tle bend in the knees and make the spine as long as pos­si­ble, from the neck all the way to the tail­bone. Think about scoop­ing the tail­bone toward the heels and bring­ing length through the sides of the waist.

Check in with all the upper body setup – are your hands pressed down, espe­cial­ly through the index and thumb? Are the eyes of your elbows fac­ing the oppo­site cor­ners of the mat? Are your shoul­ders away from your ears? Is your col­lar­bone broad?

Hold down­ward fac­ing dog for 2–3 breaths, then float the knees to the mat and rest in child’s pose or pup­py pose for a few breaths. Repeat this setup and take down dog sev­er­al more times to build strength and flex­i­bil­i­ty.

Ed Baines

Ed Baines is the chef and own­er of Ran­dall & Aubin restau­rant, cham­pag­ne and oys­ter bar in London’s Soho. The tall, dark and hand­some restau­ra­teur is reg­u­lar­ly on TV and is best known for his role as a judge on ITV’s huge­ly suc­cess­ful Britain’s Best Dish with six series between 2007 and 2011, reach­ing view­ing fig­ures in excess of 3 mil­lion. Con­tin­ue read­ing “Ed Baines”