Friday, March 23, 2018

Stephen Hawking, Bowling and Exercise, Parking Lot,

I don't know what you call it when someone makes a film autobiography of their own lives, but Stephen Hawking did such a thing when he was 71 and we watched, and thoroughly enjoyed it on PBS the other night. I have the movie The Theory of Everything which Matt would never watch, so Thursday night he agreed to watch it. Waste of time, he thought it was boring and yet he had really enjoyed the programme the other day. Oh well. I would love to get a copy of the film autobiography, I should investigate whether that's possible. I have also just ordered A Brief History of Time, which he wrote some years ago, from the library. He has been a man I admired for many years now and I was sorry we lost him although the fact that he survived 50 years after being told he had only 2 to live was a miracle in itself.

Bowling both yesterday and today. Sometimes I won sometimes Matt did. Neither of us bowling particularly well. Before I went on Wednesday I went to exercise class. As I said the other day, we are trying to think of ways to attract people to the classes. They are not strenuous exercises but designed for older people (this building is full of them) although perfectly suitable for younger people too. I have felt much better since I started doing them and I know lots of others would benefit too. I tried putting a business card through the slot in our mail boxes and this can be done, maybe we could design something suitable to attract people.

As for Spring, it was beautifully sunny again, today, but when we went to collect our car from the outside parking lot, there was such a cold wind I had to put the hood of my jacket up over my ears. Bit worried about that parking lot too, great dips in it which makes me think it is going to collapse into the parking garage underneath. It used not to be that bad when we first came here about 17 years ago.

I found this recipe today which I thought looked pretty good. Don't think I have all the herbs and spices so would have to purchase a few. I would use English or seedless cucumber as they are so  much easier.

Tahini-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Cucumber-and-Tomato Salad

If you thought tahini functioned mainly as a condiment, you’ll love it in a marinade—it makes the chicken buttery tender without an overwhelming amount of sesame flavor in the finished dish. It also helps the chicken char nicely on the grill. The chopped salad is inspired by the Israeli original, usually stuffed into pita pockets with shawarma (slow-grilled meat) and drizzled with tahini sauce.
We reserve some of the tahini mixture from the marinade for topping the finished dish. You can also substitute couscous, cooked bulgur, or toasted whole-wheat pita wedges for the rice.

1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste), well stirred
3 Tbs finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs water
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 small shallot, finely grated
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb.)
Cooking spray
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 cups chopped cucumber
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 cups hot cooked brown rice

1. To prepare chicken, combine first 10 ingredients in a bowl. Place 1/4 cup tahini mixture in a small bowl; reserve. Place remaining tahini mixture and chicken in a large ziplock plastic bag; seal, turning to coat chicken. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat grill to medium (350°F to 450°F). Coat grill grate with cooking spray. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Arrange chicken on grill grate; cover and cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Arrange chicken on a platter; drizzle with reserved 1/4 cup tahini mixture.

3. To prepare the salad, combine cucumber and next 6 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt) in a bowl; toss gently to combine. Serve cucumber salad with chicken and rice.

Servings: 4

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thumb, Exercise Class, Bowling, Parking,

Went to see the surgeon on Wednesday morning. Having Xrayed my poorly thumb, he gave me a menu of options. At the bottom was leave it alone and cope with it for now, then various uses of pain killers, followed by injections which only lasted 3 months, which hurt like hell being administered and would, eventually, become less effective eventually, then another kind of injection which would last about a year, which would also hurt like hell when administered, and, finally, a replacement joint. I didn't know they could do that. In the end I decided it was not really drastic enough for me to go any other way than to leave it alone and, when necessary, take pain pills. Having risen at 6 a.m. this morning, it was all a bit of a waste of time really. I didn't sleep too well either which didn't help matters.

Came home and after lunch I headed down to exercise class. There were only three of us. We are trying to figure out ways to attract others to the classes. I think a lot of people think they can't do them because they perceive exercise as something strenuous and don't realise this is basically gentle exercise designed for seniors. Once upon a time we used to have 13 or 14 participants and now we are down to a fairly small number of regulars. Of course people moving to senior homes or nearer to their kids has taken a toll on our numbers sadly.

We then went to the bowling alley and played a couple of games, I won once and Matt won once. Just about to leave when a woman came in with some very noisy kids. Was glad we weren't staying. I guess the owners don't hear through the tinkling of money. Not that there is much they could do anyway. When we came home, we had to park in the back parking lot as there will be no exit or entry into the underground garage for about 4 hours extending into the time we normally leave for bowling. Not as chilly today as it was yesterday thank goodness. That is a very exposed parking lot. I don't know but assume they will be working on the garage door or something.

Another asparagus recipe, I am beginning to get excited that the season will soon be here. Saw one of the women I buy asparagus for and she is getting all excited too. She is almost as bad as I am about farm fresh  asparagus.

Asparagus, Strawberry and Quinoa Caprese Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 tsp olive oil
30 spears asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
16 strawberries, sliced (about 12 ounces)
4.5 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh basil

1. Place the cooked quinoa in a large salad bowl.

2. Prepare the balsamic vinaigrette and set aside.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once heated, add the asparagus and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the asparagus is bright green and slightly tender, yet still has a little crunch.

4. Add the asparagus to the quinoa. Mix in the strawberries, mozzarella cheese, and the balsamic vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Top the salad with chopped fresh basil.

Servings: 7

Author: Krista
Source: Destination Delish

Have a great day