Light lunches and suppers

Christmas after Christmas I end up buying more food than necessary. I don’t waste it as despite what is recommended on the package, I usually stick things in the freezer.

Brie freezes well as do the cartons of coconut milk even though there is no mention of it on the containers. Both of these ingredients are ideal to make quick light dinners to compensate for the stodgy comfort food we have been eating during the cooler days of Tenerife’s winter.

Cream of Carrot and Coconut Milk Soup

3 carrots (washed, peeled and cut into 1/2 – 1 in chunks)
1 onion sliced
1 cloves of garlic peeled but left whole
Pinch of ground turmeric
Coconut milk about 200ml
oil for frying
toasted cashews, green onion, and cayenne for garnish


In a pan fry the onion, garlic and turmeric until softened.  Add the carrot and cook gently for a few minutes then add salt and pepper to taste.

Add just enough water to cover the ingredients and lower the heat. Leave until the carrots are fully cooked.  Blend everything in a mixer and add coconut milk and serve with your chosen garnish.

Now to that chunk of Brie hiding at the back of the freezer, it can be used in a couple of tasty ways.

Brie with Apple and Chicken or Bacon

1 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup (if you don’t have maple syrup you can substitute with a spoon of honey)
4 slices raisin bread (or bread of your choice)
6 oz Brie, sliced (no need to remove rind)
1 small Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
Cooked and shredded left over chicken breast
Softened butter

Preparation and assembly of sandwich

Combine the mustard and maple syrup. Spread one side of each piece of bread with a thin layer of maple mustard mix.  I like the raisin bread you can by from several really good Panaderias in Playa De Los Cristianos. Add a few slices of brie to each piece of bread.

Top with a layer of sliced apples, then top the apple slices with the roasted chicken. Close the sandwiches with the remaining slices of bread and spread both sides with a thin layer of softened butter

In a large frying pan add the sandwiches. Cover with a lid and cook for about 3 minutes until the underside is golden brown. Carefully flip the sandwiches, cover, and cook for another three minutes until the second side is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.

As an alternative to chicken I like crisply fried bacon.

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Eating out in Prague

A question that people ask when visiting Tenerife is how much is it to eat out. That is almost unanswerable as it really depends on your taste and budget. However, I have given an indication as to what we spent on meals in Prague should anyone be considering a visit. These eateries are all in the Old Town, a very touristy area and you will probably find cheaper the further away from Old Town, Malá Strana (Lesser town) and the New Town (around Wenceslas Square) that you are.


We liked Bakeshop, a 3 minute walk from Old Town Square. It had the best and hottest coffee we tasted. Cookies were just €0.90 and a coffee from €1.75. It was ideal for breakfast, a light lunch or the indulgence of a beautiful cake.

James Dean American Diner – Opposite Bakeshop

I first visited Prague over 25 years ago and loved the traditional feel of all the small restaurants and bars. Since then I have returned many times and it has changed. Those bars are still around but today there are also the Hard Rock Cafes, Starbucks, McDonalds and a new one to me James Dean American Diner. This is a typical 1950s Diner with all the usual milkshakes and burgers but at night it turns into a music club. It is a bit expensive and IMO had more style than substance but it was still fun with lots of nostalgic photos opportunities. And interesting loos !!

Cathedral Café – Týnská 11

As we were staying at Týnská 7, this was a fall out of our apartment door and straight into this trendy, posh looking café / restaurant. They did lots of lovely cold cuts which while more expensive than some places (around €10.00) if we had realised the size would have been more than enough for the two of us to share. If visiting the city in the summer months you could enjoy these in the garden room, but with temperatures never getting above minus degrees we stayed firmly indoors.

U Bodovce – Týnská 7

There was a tiny door opposite our apartments and naturally we had to investigate. This led us into a 3 room restaurant. At one time it was a pizzeria and while they may still serve the odd pizza it now specialises in authentic Czech food. We had goulash for starters, followed by pork knee and beef with cranberries, both came with bread dumplings. Now these may look like slices of bread and they basically are but so much more delicious. Including drinks our meals were an unbelievable €29. It was fortunate this place was close as we were so stuffed we had to stagger ‘home’. We also used it for breakfast on our last morning. From Thursday to Sunday they have jazz evenings but sadly our timing meant we miss this.

Hotel Cerny Slon – Týnská 1

Although we walked many miles taking in the sites of Prague, we didn’t travel far when it came to delicious food. Less than 2 minutes walk this traditional restaurant and 4* hotel whose name translates to Black Elephant was where we splashed out on our final evening meal. It was hard to decide whether to go for the lamb or the trout, in the end we both went for leg of lamb, this was served with roast potatoes (not as expected more like hashbrowns) and fresh vegetables. Followed by Sachertorte for me and of course for himself apple strudel. Including drinks and tips the evening cost us €50.

As I said at the beginning, we all have different tastes and budgets but hopefully looking at our meals and the prices we paid it will give you an idea of the general cost of eating out in the heart of Prague, should you ever decide to visit.

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A short break in Prague

Following my blog about our break in Prague, below are some of my favourite attractions.

While it’s fun exploring the Old Town it’s nice to know what you are actually looking at, so I would recommend taking one of the walking tours. Many are free and take in the most popular spots without you getting totally lost.

Old Town Square

Most tours start in, or close to, the Old Town Square. It is surrounded by beautiful buildings such as the Church of our Lady before Týn, believed to have inspired the Disney logo. Built in the 12th century the golden balls on the spires supposedly hold the building plans in case the church is damaged.

Around the edge of the square are cafes but be aware prices are exorbitant and you can have the same coffee, beer or cake for much less down one of the side streets that lead off the square.

Astronomical Clock and Old Town Hall

Located in the Old Town Square the 15th century clock has been repaired many times. When it isn’t surrounded by scaffolding, as it is at the moment, crowds gather to watch the action. As well as keeping perfect time, it displays the lunar calendar. When the hour strikes, figures of the twelve apostles peep through the windows at the top of the tower. Below them, a skeleton representing death pulls a bell, and three figures shake their heads. These represent greed, vanity and lust. Supposedly the clock-maker was blinded so he could never replicate his masterpiece. Despite the scaffolding I found photos from previous visits so anyone reading can admire the clocks beauty.

In front of the Old Town Hall is a memorial to the martyrs beheaded in 1621, white crosses on the ground mark the spot. Next a huge statue of Jan Hus the Czech reformer. When Czechoslovakia was under Communist rule, sitting at his feet became a way of quietly expressing opposition to Communism.

A small square, with a wrought-iron fountain and graffiti decorated building link the Old Town Square to the Charles Bridge. (Since the photo of the Rott building was taken the premises underneath are now a Hard Rock Cafe – I wasn’t impressed)

The Charles Bridge

The first thing I think of when Prague is mentioned is this bridge and walking across it is a must. I suggest walk it twice, once during the day when it is packed with tourists, buskers, artists and vendors selling souvenirs and again at dusk with the statues silhouetted against the skyline and the lights sparkling, it looks magical.

The bridge connects the Old Town to Malá Strana (the Lesser Town) which gets crowded as there are some gorgeous old buildings and excellent restaurants. You also pass through here to climb the picturesque Nerudova Street with its  quirky numbered addresses to visit the Castle.

Prague Castle

At the top of the hill is the enormous Prague Castle. It holds the record for the largest castle complex in the world. To reach it you can either walk up the very steep hill or take Tram 22 that stops outside. It’s best to visit in the morning because by afternoon it gets packed. There’s lots to see so I suggest booking a guided tour or rent an audio guide, then you won’t miss the best bits such as St Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane.

Petrin Tower

If you’re feeling fit you can walk the winding paths through the park to visit Prague’s own “Eiffel Tower” however if like us your hiking days are over there is a funicular to the top and it is well worthwhile as the views are breathtaking. Probably even more spectacular if you climb the 300 steps to the top of Petrin Tower but we know our limitations.

Wenceslas Square

In the heart of the New Town is Wenceslas Square. Centre of entertainment and nightlife and IMO dilapidated, noisy and full of ‘undesirables’ not the sort of place I would go after dark. At the far end is the National Museum with the statue of St.Wenceslas. This year it seemed worse than ever as police were moving on the beggars, drunks and those who looked as if they could possibly be on drugs.  We didn’t even make it to the far end before we decided to retrace our steps back into the prettier, cobbled narrow streets where we didn’t feel threatened.

John Lennon Wall

In the 1980’s, as communism drew to an end, students started writing Lennon’s lyrics on a wall. Today there isn’t an inch of space that isn’t covered. Listening to a musician singing Beatles songs and seeing the psychedelic images from our youth it was a bit of a nostalgic moment as we watched today’s tourists added their own thoughts.

Jewish Quarter

One of the most popular sights in Prague is the Jewish quarter.  Ours was a fleeting visit this time as it was snowing but there were still several large groups gathered around the entrance. Free to walk around, but worth the admission to enter the synagogues / museums. If you don’t have time to see everything, at least visit the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Pinkas Synagogue (containing a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust). Legends abound that in the attic of the Old-New Synagogue, the Golem, created to protect the Jewish Town is hidden and adjacent to the Synagogue is the Town Hall, notice the two clocks, on one the numerals go counter clockwise around the dial.

Sticking with cemeteries in Vyšehrad there is another which is less morbid where over 600 famous people are buried. I have only ever heard of one Dvorak, but I like it for the headstones several of which are ‘sculptures’

There are numerous imposing towers in Prague that used to mark a royal route and you can go up some to get a view of the city. There are also loads of museums dedicated to the arts, history, architecture and some quirky ones that leave little to the imagination. As well as Bric Brac shops and those selling Absynth. You don’t have to spend hours in them, but if the weather is cold there is something for everyone while you thaw out.

Of course you must try some Czech cakes. I’ve mentioned in a previous blog Trdelnik a cake made from dough rolled around sticks. It really is yummy. OH’s cake of choice is apple strudl which is very popular and in most bakers shops. Also for those with a sweet tooth pancakes, sweet, savoury, whichever way you fancy them – my excuse is you need to keep eating to stay warm and

Finally a selection of photos old and new that just bring back happy memories of a beautiful city.

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One of the most beautiful cities in Europe – Prague

One of our favourite destinations is Prague, not for the cheap beer or stag and hen nights, we are long past those, but because it makes you feel you have stepped into a romantic fairyland. We popped across again at the beginning of March and for anyone considering making a visit I thought I would give a few pointers on what to expect.

We took a cheap flight to the UK and then continued on the 8.30am flight using Easyjet. It worked out cheaper than flying direct from TFS and with what we saved, we booked our overnight accommodation at the Gatwick Bloc and had a little left over for a breakfast.

Prague’s Airport is about 30 minutes from the city centre. There are cheap ways to get to your hotel, such as bus or Uber but our accommodation laid on transport at €27 and after checking on TripAdvisor I learnt it was a very fair rate.

We mostly walked but the metro, bus and trams are easy to use, and many signs are in English. You can buy a 24 hour or 3 day ticket at metro stations or tourist information if you plan on using transportation a lot, we just jumped aboard when our legs got tired and headed to our next location.

Don’t worry about being understood, everyone speaks English, at least in the tourist areas because Czech is impossible to understand let alone pronounce.

Temperatures are quite cold in early March with a top temperature around 5°C but more likely to be closer to 1 or 2°C so warm clothes are needed but you don’t need too many for a short stay. According to locals this was the coldest they have known it for many years, getting down to -11°C once the sun had gone down. To warm up wander down any narrow winding street and you can find a cosy pub where you can grab a bite to eat and a drink.

Czech food is not made for anyone on a diet. Most meals contains meat and potatoes as well as dumpling. They are delicious and just what you need on a cold day.

Czechs like to drink and many small breweries in the city offer beer tasting tours. Although neither of us drink, I was almost tempted as pepper, strawberry, and chocolate flavours sound delicious.

I chose our 1 bedroom apartment in the Old Town for 3 nights based on reviews and thought at €140 the price would be hard to beat. It had everything we needed and was in a great location less than 200m from the Old Town Square. The fully equipped kitchen had tea and coffee supplied, free wifi, and an email before our visit ensured we had transfers to and from the airport. For us, the icing on the cake was a free Ghost Tour.

It’s incredible how much you can see in a few hours, especially if you are with somebody knowledgeable. I would recommend joining one of the many walking tours, these are ideal if you have a low budget or are just cheapskates or frugal as these are  Free. There are loads to choose from and you can find them in the Old Town Square. We have done these on a couple of visits and the guides are excellent, you can leave at any point and rather than pay a fee a tip is appreciated.

So rather than this blog run to to several pages, (I have a thing about going over 1000 words!) I will do a follow up, showing what, in my opinion, are some of the best things to see on a short visit.

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Coconut Prawns

I first spotted these on the menu of Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, in Florida, many years ago and I was intrigued. Since then, whenever we have visited Bubba Gump be it in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Coconut Prawns have been my food of choice. I’m not sure why as I’m not a great lover of coconut, but perhaps it is the combination with the prawn and the marmalade that for me make them irresistible. They are crunchy, salty, sweet and addictively good.

Bubba Gump’s Own

Despite them being so scrumptious, I didn’t make them at home until recently. But they are surprisingly easy. All you need is prawns, some seasoned flour, an egg, a little coconut, a few bread crumbs and oil for frying


12 Raw Prawns tail-on if possible
Flour for coating seasoned with salt
1 Egg
1 slice Bread made into crumbs
3 or 4 tablespoons flaked coconut
1 Oil for frying


Place the seasoned flour, in a bowl. Place egg in another bowl. In a third bowl combine the bread crumbs and coconut.

Press prawns into flour to coat. Dip in egg and then press into coconut mixture. Repeat until all prawns are breaded. At this point you can refrigerate for up to two hours until you are ready to cook.

Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large pan over medium heat and begin frying until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

As an alternative you can do as I do and place on a very lightly oiled baking tray and cook in the centre of the oven until the coconut is browned, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Allow to cool slightly.  Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I like a little orange marmalade or sweet Thai chili sauce. Enjoy!


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