Alan’s Stuffed Mushrooms

Following the success of my friend Alan Rigby’s recipe for Stuffed Chicken with Bacon he’s been at it again, but this time stuffing mushrooms.

These little beauties are absolutely delicious. They are stuffed with cream cheese and bacon, a match made in mushroom heaven if there ever was one.

I like to use button mushrooms for appetisers, that’s the whole point of “finger food” to eat it with your fingers. However larger mushrooms are less fiddly as an accompanying vegetable and these can be made in advance and we LOVE things that can be made ahead of time!

Ingredients:
4 large mushrooms
1 small sweet onion
1 pack smoked bacon lardons
1 pack Philadelphia with Chives
Garlic to taste.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚
  2. In a frying pan, over medium heat, cook bacon until nice and crispy. (Alan cooked his with his onions but I like mine crispy)
  3. While bacon is cooking, remove mushroom stems from caps and chop into small pieces
  4. When bacon is done, remove from pan and set aside; reserve 1 tablespoons of bacon fat and sauté the onion until soft about 5 minutes, scraping up any brown bits on bottom of pan. Add chopped mushrooms stems and garlic and cook a few minutes longer.
  5. Alan 3 Remove from heat, add the cream cheese and stir.
  6. Stuff each mushroom cap generously with mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and filling is nice and hot.

alan 1

Mixture can be made, cooled, and stored, covered, in the fridge for up to two days.

Serve as Alan did with chicken and potato gratin Yummy!

Alan 2

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Things to do in Tenerife in July 2016

What to Expect

July is smack bang in the middle of the summer season in Tenerife, rain is practically unheard of. During this month, the average temperature in the south of the island is 26°C, with highs of 31°C during the day and lows of 18°C after dark. While in the north of the island, the average temperature for those who don´t like too much heat is  22°C with the odd high of  26°C. With around 11 hours of sunshine each day, July is the sunniest month of the year.

Highlights

Celebrations of San Pedro – In El Sauzal, the celebration culminates on Sunday 3 July with the procession of the saint and the traditional descent of the arch and the greasy pole. In Guimaras, one of the highlights of the festivities is the Great Merengazo Atlantic, a large gathering to listen to Latin music.

In July, Puerto de la Cruz comes to life with the Virgen del Carmen fiesta around the 16th. These celebrations include a procession down to the town’s harbour, where a statue of the ‘Virgen’ is placed on a small fishing boat and taken on a trip around the bay. The Virgen del Carmen fiesta attracts people from all over the island who take part in the water fights and harbour swimming that make this fiesta one of the best of the year.

Ruta de la Tapas for San Benito  Each year in July, coinciding with the festivities in honour of San Benito Abad, establishments in La Laguna compete to create a winning tapas. (When: 1 to July 31 Where: Pubs and restaurants in La Laguna)

Travesías a nado If you like swimming, join this classic summer sport. More and more municipalities organize these competitions along the coast.
When, where and More information:
July 3: San Telmo, Puerto de la Cruz www.travesianadobajamarlapunta.com
on July 9: Santiago del Teide  www.tripto.org 
July 23: Bajamar-La Punta santiagodelteidedeportes.blogspot.com.es

travesias a nado 2016

Jesus Christ Superstar the musical (Where: Auditorio, Santa Cruz When: 7 – 10 July)

 XXV International Festival Canarias Jazz & More Heineken the pioneering festival bringing the best international jazz to audiences in the islands every summer. And what better way to celebrate than a new edition with an incredible program of concerts scattered throughout the archipelago. (When: from 8 to 24 July Where: Arafo, La Laguna, Puerto de la Cruz and Santa Cruz – See image below for details)

CkWPlXTWsAA2c4iArona Summer Festival – For two days, dozens of famous ( Dj’s from all over Europe will be in Tenerife so get out your glad-rags, put on your dancing shoes -and get ready to rock non-stop.  (Where: Campo de Golf Los Palos, When 22nd and 23rd of July 2016)

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Julio Iglesias (Where: Recinto De La Autoridad Portuaria De Tenerife When: 23rd July) 

XXXVI Garachico Craft Fair 2016 where the best craftsmen exhibit and sell the best products  (Where: Glorieta de San Francisco When: 23rd July)

‘Limbo’ is the first photographic exhibition of tinerfeño filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (’28 weeks later ” Intruders’). (When: to 11 September Where: TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (Santa Cruz)

Whilst these are some of the most interesting events, there is an overwhelming amount of activities on Tenerife each month. Click on the links below to see what is happening elsewhere.

Tenerife – Attractions

Tenerife offers a wealth of attractions follow the LINK to get just a few ideas.

Tenerife – Tours

Guided tours both free and private as well as numerous excursions are available throughout the year.  For a few ideas follow the link to Tenerife Tours and Days Out

Tenerife – Sporting Activities

Year round temperatures averaging 22 degrees combined with a low level of rainfall provide an ideal climate for outdoor ventures. Whether on land, at sea or in the skies, Tenerife provides outdoor adventure for all types of travellers. Check them out HERE

Tenerife – Markets

Everyone loves a market and the island is home to a wealth of covered, outdoor and street markets. Many specialise in a particular type of goods while others selling the same product move from site to site. Most open early in the morning and close early afternoon. Follow this link for a list of Tenerife Markets

Tenerife – Museums

The museums of Tenerife are accessible to all sections of the community regardless of limited mobility or communication. Follow the link to find a comprehensive list of Tenerife – Museums

For more on Tenerife including daily weather read Queenie’s Daily Snippets everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog  
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Camel, Snails and Eggy Doughnuts.

The food we had in our hotels wasn’t the greatest, breakfasts were excellent but the few evening meals we had were quite bland. I expect it is deliberate to suit the European palate but Jim and I just wished they would add a bit of spice or garlic. There were plenty of salads on offer but that is hardly surprising when you head to the souks and see the wonderful array of fruit and vegetables and all unbelievably cheap.

The street food was delicious even the doughnuts that were served with fried eggs. I had wondered why the vegetables were so overcooked and soggy but discovered that if you are eating only with your right hand (no knives and forks allowed on the street) you have to squidge the vegetable into the couscous to make a tidy ball to pop into your mouth.

It did surprise me that the outdoor butchers were so clean, although I didn’t see anyone rushing to buy a camel head.

As expected dates play a major part in the diet and we had our fair share, delicious and nothing like the dried up old things we get served up at Christmas.

And whilst I was tempted to buy the spices and rose petals nothing would induce me to try the snails.

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Healthcare in Tenerife

Needless to say I wrote and scheduled the following article before the UK voted in the EU referendum.  Based on today’s result, logic tells me there won´t be an immediate change but who knows what the future will bring.  As a committed European I am just grateful for what I have had from a country I feel is my real home and hope it continues.

1-Health Centre Arona

I recently had to go for a blood test at my local health centre in Arona. It felt quite bizarre as dozens of people arrived promptly at 8.15am lined up in the waiting room and then took turns visiting a conveyor belt of medics who took samples, jabbed needles and labelled test tubes. In hindsight it was an efficient way to get through the process, meaning those who had to get to work would lose as little time as possible and the rest of us could just amble along at our own speed.

I have to say that as a pensioner I do find the health service in Tenerife far better than anything I experienced in the UK. No! That is not seeing things through rose tinted glasses, it is speaking from personal experience, and what I have seen so far has been excellent and long may it continue.

Of course, it helps being a pensioner as I have free access to Spanish healthcare due to a reciprocal agreement with the UK – I paid my dues and I’m now reaping the benefits from a service that is regularly rated among the world’s best. According to 2012 statistics, Spain ranked 6th in the EU for the number of doctors around four per 1,000 people.

I have never had private health insurance, as up to six months ago, I was disgustingly healthy, although I do know that both private and public healthcare is on offer with some hospitals and health centres offering both. From what I can see the only benefit to pensioners of having private health insurance is to get faster treatment in a non-emergency situation otherwise, you will be well looked after when you need it.

As an expat, you are entitled to free state healthcare if you are:

  • resident in Spain and are working or self-employment and pay social security contributions,
  • a state pensioner, or
  • staying temporarily in Spain and have an EHIC card (see below).

There are other statuses that will get you free healthcare but being a pensioner is the only one I can speak of with any knowledge.

Now I didn´t know this, and have fortunately not had a need to use it, but if you have been registered on the padrón at your town hall for a year, the Spanish government has a state insurance scheme (convenio especial) with a basic monthly fee. The authorities in each autonomous region administer this.

How to register for Spain’s public health care
First, you must register with social security (Dirección General de la Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social), to get a social security number. You’ll need to show your passport or ID card, residency certificate and a completed application form. You’ll also need to have registered your details at your town hall.

Once you have registered you’ll be given a certificate stating that you are entitled to medical help. You then take this with your passport and NIE number to your local health centre to register with a doctor and get a Sistema de Informacion Poblacional or SIP card. At some point in the future this will be sent to you in the post (mine took a couple of years and then like buses two arrived together) but until you get your official card you just produce your certificate to show your entitlement. You’ll also need to show it every time you visit a clinic, hospital or collect a prescription from a farmacia.

Going to the doctor
The health centre will probably have several doctors although I have seen the same doctor on each visit. You can make an appointment online, choosing a date and time that are convenient and you have the right to be accompanied by a friend during consultations, particularly should you need someone to translate.

Going to see a specialist
If you are in the public system and want to be seen by a specialist, you’ll need to be referred by your doctor.

Hospitals
In an emergency, you can go straight to a hospital A&E however, if you want any other type of hospital treatment, you’ll need a referral from your doctor.

Prescription charges
You have to pay a percentage of the cost of prescription medicines, which is non-refundable. For state pensioners this is 10%.

In an emergency
In a serious emergency, call 112 free of charge from any mobile or landline. The Spanish word for A&E urgencias.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you have an EHIC card and you are on a holiday and are not a Spanish resident you can use your EHIC to get any necessary treatment that cannot wait until you return home through the state system at a reduced cost or free.

Dental treatment is not covered by the state healthcare system so this must be paid for at the time of treatment unless it is included in your private health insurance.

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Salaam Alaykum to the people of Morocco

Morocco is an extremely photogenic country. Bustling markets and medinas lend themselves to those of us who love to click. As those who have been reading RQM for a while know, I love photographing people – there is usually so much beauty in the young and so much knowledge and interest in the old. Unfortunately, Moroccans, unlike Indians and Chinese, do not enjoy being photographed. It’s something to do with choosing a particular person as being special so it rises them above their peers and because of it, retribution will be around the corner. It is a real shame since faces speak so many words.

I always asked permission if I wanted to photograph a person. OK not exactly ask but I raised my camera to eye level and smiled. Sometimes it worked and I got a yet, others the answer was no and that decision had to be respected. However on a couple of occasions I did make out I was photographing something in the distance while trying to catch an interesting expression, unfortunately, it didn’t always work and I have had to bin a few fuzzy images.

 

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