Sunday, 29 June 2014

How to add blogger blog sitemap to Google webmaster tools

Adding your site map to Google webmaster tools is important for getting your blog indexed for google. Here are simple instructions showing how to add your sitemap.

1.Go to google webmaster tools.
2. Log in with your blog credentials.
3.Click on the site you wish to submit the site map for.





4.Click on button “sitemaps”.




5. A pop up menu will appear showing your  blog URL.


6. Next to the blog URL you will see box, in the box type in feeds/posts/default



7. Now click on "test sitemap."



 8. Now click on  "view test result."



You will now see a box at bottom that says no errors This means sitemap is working and the test was successful.


9. Now repeat steps 4-7 again but this time click on "submit site" instead of test site.



You have now successfully submitted your sitemap to Google webmaster tools.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Mosaic tiled folding coffee table.


I really enjoy arts and crafts when I am not cooking so any chance to get my fingers sticky and to create some form of art is one I never turn down. Recently I had an email from Topps tiles who sent me some pretty little mosaic tiles in shades of peach and also blue together with tile glue and asked me to create something with them. I was thinking I could create mosaic place mats, coasters, mirrors or even tile a little wooden jewellery box I had. All these ideas didn't really materialise for one reason or another and it was only when I was in my garage that I saw a forlorn folding coffee table that looked really plain and boring; an idea struck my head. Why not create a mosaic top for it?
Armed with the idea for my wooden mosaic table top, I set about planning my design. You can see below how I transformed a plain wooden tabletop into a beautiful mosaic tiled top.

You will need:

Ruler, pencil, paper
Paint brush for spreading glue
Wooden table
A rag to wipe off any access glue
Mosaic tiles
Tile glue


Method:

1. Measure the size of the tabletop and cut a piece of paper the same size.
2. On the paper mark the centre point of it by drawing a horizontal line across the width and a vertical line across the length.
3. Peel off the tiles from the backing and separate them into piles of different colours.
4. On the paper, starting from the centre point, start to lay the mosaic tiles creating your chosen design. You may find the tiles will not reach to the end of the paper, this is fine as long as there is a symmetrical gap all around the paper edge.
5. Once you are happy with the design on your paper, you are now ready to transfer the mosaic tiles to your table top.
6. Using a ruler and pencil, mark the table centre as you did on the paper.
7. Starting from the centre tile, begin to glue the tiles in place a row at a time so that you do not mess up the pattern created on the paper.
8. Keep checking with the ruler that the tiles are level and not being glued at a slant.
9. Work on the table row by row transferring the tiles in the exact pattern from the paper to the table top.
10. Wipe off any excess glue using the rag slightly dampened in water. The glue will set clear when it's dry.
11. Once the tabletop is completely covered with the mosaic tiles, wipe off any excess glue and leave to set over night.


I would like to thank Topps Tiles for sending me an assortment of tiles to create my mosaic table. For lots of amazing mosaic tile art creations, you can check out the pinterest board here. I am looking forward to my next creation using the blue shades of tiles.




Monday, 16 June 2014

Birthday Celebrations and a personalised phone case from Mr Nutcase.



















Recently it was my daughters birthday and I was thinking of an original gift to buy for her. Its always nice to receive a gift that is personalised and unique, so when I saw that Mr Nutcase offer a range of personalised phone cases I was really excited to check out the site and see if I could find a design of phone cover that I could order for my daughter who has an I phone 5.

Mr Nutcase  is an online website where you can order customised phone covers for any design and most styles of phones.There is the option of  picking from a range of designs and layouts from their collection or you can upload your own design or photos. I found the instructions on the site fairly easy to follow once I had got my bearings on the site, right from selecting the layout to uploading the photo and processing the order.

The phone cases start from  £14.95 and range in prices depending on style. The delivery is very fast and the product arrived within 3 days  of ordering  in a padded jiffy bag that was the perfect size to fit any letterbox.

Ease of using website 4/5
Options for designs 5/5
Delivery 5/5
Total score 14/15

The phone case I ordered was from a wall paper design I uploaded, we were really happy with the finished product. The case fitted perfectly and the design met our expectations fully.
































I would like to thank Mr Nutcase for sending us this i phone case, all the views and opinions stated in this post are from my own personal experience and totally unbiased.

If any citrusspice readers wish to purchase a customised phone case , Mr Nutcase have offered a 10% discount that you can claim by adding the code“Thanku10”  at checkout.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Food Lovers Vegetarian Cook Book Giveaway



Vegetarian food is getting more and more popular nowadays and the variety of ingredients and recipes you can create with them has grown too. Last month it was vegetarian week where vegetarian foods was promoted all over the country. In celebration of vegetarian week, I would like to giveaway a copy of Food Lovers Vegetarian cook book to one citrusspice reader

How To Enter:
  • Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
  • Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
  • This competition is open to UK residents only.Please read the rules below .
  • Leaving a blog comment is mandatory and failure to do so will void any other entries.
  • Closing date - 14th July 2014 12.00am

How Rafflecopter works:

·        You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box.Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
·        Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
·        Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
·        Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
·        For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
·        For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
·        If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 8 June 2014

East meets West -Ginger and Mango Jelly with Mango Shrikand (Indian yogurt dessert)



In the UK the yogurt council  launched for the first time Yogurt week during May. This was to bring awareness to the public about the health benefits of yogurt. Yogurt is one of my favourite ingredients and I use it daily in a lot of my cooking. The yogurt council have announced a competition to create and style a yogurt recipe I am very excited to enter. This is my entry for #yogurtstylist competition hosted by yogurt council.

Jelly is commonly known in the west and I am sure that everyone must have eaten it at some stage or other in their lifetime. On the other hand you may not have heard of Shrikand. This is an Indian sweet that accompanies a Gujarati thali in any traditional Gujarati meal. Shrikand is prepared with hung yogurt that is sweetened with sugar and flavoured with cardamom, nuts and fruits and served as an accompaniment to a main meal. It's rich and creamy taste helps to counter act the spiciness of the curries that are served in a thali.

Fragrant ginger and mango jelly with rich creamy Mango Shrikand (Indian yogurt dessert)

Ingredients:

Ginger and Mango Jelly

1 heaped tablespoon agar agar flakes
250 ml water
2 mangoes peeled, de stoned and diced
1 small  1cm cube of fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sugar(adjust depending on sweetness of mango)

For Mango Shrikand

900 g thick natural Greek yogurt
4 heaped tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
10 almonds flaked
10 pistachio  nuts flaked
4 edible red rose petals
1 mango peeled de stoned and diced

Method:

To make Shrikand

1. Line a colander with a muslin cloth and pour the Greek yogurt into it. Gently bring the corners of the cloth together and twist them. Place the colander in a large bowl to catch any water drips from the yogurt and leave it aside for 3-4 hours.
2. After 4 hours, open the muslin cloth and scoop out all the yogurt and place it in a bowl.(This is called hung yogurt) Discard the water that has dripped from the yogurt.
3. To the yogurt add the icing sugar and cardamom and fold the sugar in to the yogurt. Once all the sugar has been folded in the yoghurt place the Shrikand in the fridge to chill.
4. Place the mango in a blender and purée it until its smooth. Transfer the mango purée to another bowl and chill in the fridge.

To make the jelly:

5. Place the water and agar agar and the ginger into a large saucepan and simmer the water until the agar agar is totally dissolved.Remove the ginger and discard.
6. Reserve 1/3 of the mango pieces and keep them to one side.
7. Place the remaining mango pieces in to a blender jug  with the sugar and purée the mango until its smooth. 8. Add the puréed mango to the pan with the agar agar mixture and simmer for 3-4 minutes until agar agar is totally dissolved.
9. Strain the mixture into a jug and leave it to cool slightly 2-3 minutes only.(mixture will begin to set if left too long)
10. Add a few pieces of mango in each serving glass and pour the jelly into 4 serving glasses, filling them  two thirds full. too. Leave the jelly to cool and  when it reaches room temperature place the serving glasses in the fridge to chill and set.
11. Once jelly is set remove serving glasses from fridge and place them on the table .
12. Take the yoghurt Shrikand  and  mango purée out of the fridge.
13. Into the yogurt Shrikand add 3 tablespoons of purée, gently fold the purée into the Srikand forming a ripple effect.Do not over mix.
14 Spoon the mango Shrikand on top on the glasses filled with ginger mango jelly.
15 Garnish with a few mango pieces, the pistachio and almond flakes and torn rose petals,

Serve immediately chilled.



Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Veggie Rice Balls


In the UK the yogurt council  launched for the first time Yogurt week during May. This was to bring awareness to the public about the health benefits of yogurt. Yogurt is one of my favourite ingredients and I use it daily in a lot of my cooking. The yogurt council have announced a competition to create and style a yogurt recipe I am very excited to enter. This is my entry for #yogurtstylist competition hosted by yogurt council.

Delicious crispy rice and veggie balls served in a soft fluffy pitta bread with green salad and lashing of yogurt and mint chutney.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons natural Greek yogurt
3 carrots peeled and finely grated
60 g frozen peas finely grated in food processor
3 spring onions finely chopped
3 slices brown bread ( made into crumbs)
1 teaspoon green chilli paste
1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste
1 clove garlic finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh coriander finely chopped
60 g  precooked cold boiled rice
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
2 tablespoons sunflower oil for cooking veggie balls


Method:

1. In a large pan add the oil, when it is hot add the garlic and spring onions and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the ginger, chillies, carrots, peas and sauté the mixture for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is cooked.
3. Take the mixture off the heat and transfer it to a large bowl and leave to cool until it reaches room temperature.
4. To the cooled carrot mixture add the breadcrumbs, rice, salt, chilli powder, lemon juice and yogurt and bind the mixture together.
5. Pinch walnut sized balls from the mixture and roll them into crack free balls. Once all the balls are made place them in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 35 degrees F .
7. Oil a baking tray and place the veggie balls on it. Using  a pastry brush , brush the veggie balls with a little oil sparingly.
8.Bake the balls in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they start to turn golden brown. Rotate them intermittently  after every 4 minutes so they brown evenly. Alternatively you can shallow fry the balls.



9. I  did not bake my veggie balls in the oven instead I cooked my veggie balls in my panirayam pan also known as aebleskiver pan, to cook them in this pan just brush the pan with little oil and drop the balls in the holes, rotate them whilst cooking to ensure even browning.

To serve the Rice veggie balls, you will need some green salad, pitta bread and some yogurt mint chutney.
To make the yogurt mint chutney, add 4 tablespoons of natural  Greek yogurt into a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of mint sauce, pinch of salt and mix together.

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