Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reversing Alzheimer’s, Decorating, Cream,

Interesting that I end up finding out this stunning deep_brain_stimulapiece of medical news through a friend on Facebook pointing to an article from the BBC. Alzheimer's: Deep brain stimulation 'reverses' disease is the headline of an article talking about some early success with electronic brain stimulation similar to that already used to assist patients with Parkinson’s and Tourette’s Syndrome. Dementia is something I have been scared about for many a year as many of my relatives appear to have suffered from it in one form or another plus TIAs can cause cerebral dementia. The possibility of being able to reverse such a situation is, to me, something of a miracle. Something which I shall certainly be praying for.

These days I have trouble doing my own house cleaning, not a job I have ever been very keen on I might say, for a lot of my life I had cleaners to do the chores for me. Now I find we are both really Mrs. Mophampered when it comes to doing much cleaning, especially vacuuming, we have had a couple coming in once a month – ex supers here – but now they tell me they are off somewhere for three months, so I have had to look for someone else. Yesterday we interviewed a young woman (mind you she has grandkids, but she seemed young to me) and she is coming in on Dec. 7th for the first time. She seems like she will be pretty good, we shall see. We also spent part of yesterday on Christmas decorations although we have saved the tree til tomorrow. We both hate putting it up and usually end up fighting about it. Merry Christmas!!! Then we have friends coming for dinner at the weekend so need to clean the silver which is looking somewhat dull and tarnished. I could put all the silver away of course, but it always looks so nice, when its clean that is.

The following recipes are specifically for my Nog challenged friends. Both come from a 1935 cookbook Double Devonand are easy, original and quick recipes for making as much eggnog as you can drink. The addition of cinnamon or nutmeg is a modern concept as is using rum. The recipe also presupposes you are using English cream which is very much thicker than anything available in North America, what I have done, on occasion, is mix whipping cream with Double Devon Cream which is available in pots, that gives you a similar texture.

Egg Nog

Mrs.  Beeton’s CookeryEgg Nog

1 egg white

1 tbs sherry or brandy

1 tbs cream

sugar to taste (caster sugar in the UK)

Put the wine or brandy into a tumbler, add the cream and a little sugar, mix well. Whisk the egg white to a stiff froth, stir it lightly into the contents of the tumbler and serve. Takes about 5 minutes

Egg Nog, Hot

1 Egg yolk

1 UK pint (20 fl. oz) milk

1 Tbs sugar

1 tbs brandy or whisky

Beat the yolk of the egg and sugar well together, then stir in the brandy or whisky. Bring to milk to boiling point, then pour it over the mixed ingredients, stir well and serve. This one takes about 10 minutes.

Have a great day


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

12 Days, Santa and Guns?

I must have missed this in previous years, PNC Wealth M12-days-rings-rtr2lgpzanagement tots up the cost of all the items specified in the Christmas song, Twelve days of Christmas. They say the cost of 5 gold rings has decreased slightly, but taking everything else into account, the total bill for all those items, repeated in every verse don’t forget, would be $101,119. They say the price of lords a leaping , ladies dancing and maids a milking remained about the same. Its an interesting article. I quote “Those with the money to spend would end up with 12 drummers drumming, 22 pipers piping, 30 lords-a-leaping, 36 ladies dancing, 40 maids-a-milking, 42 swans-a-swimming, 42 geese-a-laying, 40 gold rings, 36 calling birds, 30 French hens, 22 turtle doves, and 12 partridges in pear trees. (The price does not include bird maintenance.)”. Funny. As they point out, it would be a lot cheaper if you only bought one item as specified each day. The report also states that if you leave this til the last minute and shop on the internet, the cost of shipping the birds will be exorbitant.

Oh isn’t this lovely Santa Claus surrounded by gunsSanta with guns at an Arizona gun club. What a lovely picture to show children. His bag was full of weaponry and people could pay $10 to pose with Santa and a bunch of machine guns. Whether you are a gun advocate or not, I think this is totally tasteless and inappropriate. Associating an icon of peace and goodwill with items of death and destruction.

A friend lent me a book the other day and said he hadn’t been too happy with it because it was full of descripThrough_A_Glass_Darkly_mtion most of which he considered unnecessary, I am actually find it quite enjoyable except for one big gaffe, at least, the book is called Through a Glass Darkly and is set in 1760 something. There is a description of apple pies cooked with cinnamon. Sorry I would dispute the accuracy of that, certainly up until I left the country, apple pies were always baked with cloves. I might say they taste a lot better too, in my opinion. There is also a reference to turkey on a Christmas table although not as the main feature, I would be very surprised if that was accurate either, but I couldn’t swear to it. America had, of course,  been discovered by that time, but whether we had turkeys in the UK for food in those days, I can’t honestly say. The main course was in fact a boar which would have been accurate.

We have had such a beautiful November, people are now prophesying we will have a hard winter once winter proper sets in. Most seem to have forgotten, we didn’t get snow very early last year either, in fact we had a green Christmas, looks as though it could happen again this year.

This is such an easy recipe, I am certainly going to try it very soon.

Quick Vinegar-Braised Chicken with Garlic and Celery Leaves

Food and Wine
  • FAST vinegar-chicken
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of all visible fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Celery leaves from 1 large bunch
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; add it to the pan in a single layer. Cook over high heat, turning once, until well browned, 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook over moderate heat just until fragrant, 1 minute. Add most of the celery leaves and stir just until wilted, 30 seconds. Add the stock and vinegar and cook, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is reduced to a few tablespoons, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the parsley and the remaining celery leaves and serve.

One Serving 245 cal, 11 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 2 gm carb, 0 gm fibre. Serve With Brown or white rice.

Have a great day

Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Friday, Matilda, Windows, Turrón, 2012

I am damned if I would be stupid enough to try shopping on Black Friday in the States. Black FridayLast Friday people were shot, pepper sprayed and trampled. For a few bucks in savings, it ain’t worth it. The pictures on TV were pretty horrifying, and as for taking kids with you, that is even more stupid in my opinion. Apparently Black Friday has now spread to Canada because Canadian retailers don’t want shoppers crossing the border to spend their money. However, this time anyway, shoppers were well behaved and lined up for their purchases. Long may it last, I thought only sharks got that frenzied. I wonder if these people are ashamed of themselves afterwards??

Having said I wasn’t too enamoured of pomegranate alias (seeds) Saturday morning my blood sugar readings had dropped considerably, so now I am wondering if that was due to the pomegranate.  Later on Saturday morning, having put the alias in the fridge (fruit flies) I tried a few and they were horrid. Sour as all get out. I ended up throwing them out. So I guess that’s the end of my little research project.

What a pity, after a tradition of 80 years, the cat, Matilda, algonquin-catbelonging to the Hotel Algonquin in NYC has been banned from the lobby. The city health people have said that pets are not allowed where there is food and food is served in the lobby. So now the cat is on a leash behind the desk or kept upstairs. I know health concerns are important, but its amazing how many fascinating traditions have been set aside in the name of health. Matilda is the 10th cat since 1932.

In the last few years a Pharmacy school building has Pharmacy Schoolbeen erected in Kitchener, where I live, and has been open for a while now. As an aside, I think it is a hideous building, the principal of the coloured glass is good, but the place ended up looking bitty and untidy and not the least bit attractive in my opinion, the lowest level is some kind of marble, I think, and once again, very bitty. That apart, I noticed, passing it the other day, that the acres of glass are shining and incredibly clean looking and it crossed my mind to wonder if they had been covered with a nano coating which achieves exactly that - keeping glass clean. I have certainly never seen anyone cleaning the glass, it would be a full time job I think. Come to think of it, there are many buildings, particularly in Toronto, these days which are more or less completely glass. I would think they would have to have nano coatings.

I mentioned we had bought some Brie – we startedJijona Turron1 it for supper on Saturday and it was delicious. We also opened one of the packets of Turrón, the chocolate one, does that surprise you? It was absolutely scrumptious, but it wasn’t Turrón as I know it which is made from almonds and honey etc. This was just chocolate and almonds, not that I am complaining you understand, actually the chocolate is to die for. It has a Turron Durosell by date of Nov. 2012, Matt says it won’t last past next Tuesday or Wednesday. How unjust. The second picture is how I think of Turrón – this is called duro which means hard in Spanish. I have just found a website about El Almendre Turrón which talks all about the different varieties. It also tells you the history of the origin of the sweet. I didn’t realise it was first made in the Alicante area which is where my parents lived for a number of years.

Mentioning 2012 there is a renewal of prophecy, Ron Claibournesupposedly found on a Mayan calendar stone from one of the ruins which they say forecasts that the end of the world will be on December 21st or maybe 23rd, 2012. As they pointed out on GMA, Sunday, none of the other prophecies have amounted to anything so not really something to get worried about. In fact as newsman Ron Claiborne pointed out, December 21 is a Friday so they’d get the weekend off.

I have a suspicion that I would like these banana bars as much as I like carrot cake. Maybe you will too.

Frosted Banana Bars


3-4 DozenBanana Bars

Click here to find out more!INGREDIENTS

For the Banana Bars:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)

For the Frosting:

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 3/4 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar


In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in bananas.

Spread into a greased 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in enough confectioners' sugar to achieve desired consistency. Frost bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Have a great day


Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas, Turrón, Cheese, Travel Insurance, Doctor Arrested.

Well, Thanksgiving is over in the States, Thursday I got my first Christmas card, Friday they started playing Christmas songs and carols on the radio. I guess its Christmas. The season starts so early Chris Treenowadays, we used to put our decorations up about a week before although admittedly we had to mail cards early to make sure they didn’t get lost in the Christmas rush. I have mailed all my US and overseas cards but I am holding my Canadian ones for a while yet. Mind you we are still dithering about our own decorations, I expect we will be putting them up though. As I am writing this I can hear a carol being sung on the radio – I do wish people would remember this is supposed to a joyful occasion and not sing these carols like dirges. The singer is singing “Rejoice, rejoice” and sounds as miserable as sin.

Oooh, I hurt. Not bowling for a while and then bowling two days in a row. I guess I should start using my treadmill again, I think my legs will take it now. I will, of course, start small.

After bowling we stopped at Vincenzo’s which, in myTurron opinion, is the best deli store I have ever been to. I would like to spend hours in there seeing just what they do have. I went because they now have Spanish Turrón and as they had phoned and let me know, I wanted to be sure to get some for Christmas (well that’s my intention anyway). My friend in Portugal had mentioned Chocolate Turrón and damned if they didn’t have some, so of course I bought some. The store had several varieties, but I brought the crunchy one as shown in the picture as well as the chocolate. They also had one with fruit in Pomegranateit which I didn’t like the look of. To me it would spoil it. Of course we couldn’t just stop there, we bought some Brie and some ‘real’ Mascarpone. By real I mean the genuine Italian Mascarpone which doesn’t have any ‘gums’ as a preservative which sweeten the cheese. I also bought one pomegranate. I haven’t tried one since I was a child, but the description written by Michelle of Smothered in Butter made me think I should try it again. Later: I did try the alias as they are called, the taste is great but I am not impressed with having to chew them, they are a tad gritty to say the least.

An item in the news last night, our doctor was interviewed on TV about a doctor who has been arrested for kiddie porn. She says he has been removed from their staff. Obviously. She must be pretty horrified about the whole business. She is trying to build up a clinic with lots of doctors for the community, this must be something of a blow.

I have to say I am very impressed with CSA Travel Insurance, we insure with them when we rent the cottage in North Carolina. Our friends who were unable to come with us on vacation got back practically the whole amount of their share of the rent and today we got back the cost of the blood test Matt had to have done. Great service. They took quite a hit this year too because of Hurricane Irene.

Here’s a simple little recipe which sounds pretty good. It is also a good recipe for those with diabetes.

Chocolate Spice Pudding

Source: dLife
Smooth and creamy chocolate treat flavored with Chocolate Spice Puddingginger, allspice, and cinnamon.


1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sweetener (sugar substitute) (granular)
1 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cup evaporated skim milk
1 raw egg yolks , slightly beaten
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Cream, light


1 In a saucepan, mix together the cocoa powder, sweetener cornstarch, ginger, allspice, and cinnamon.
2 Slowly stir in the milk, cream, and egg yolk.
3 Cook the mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens.
4 Remove the saucepan from the heat source and add vanilla.
5 Take the mixture and pour it into 8 custard dishes
6 Refrigerate, chill and then serve.

Have a great weekend.


Bowling, Lunch, Movie, Buggies.

I bowled yesterday for the first time in a couple of weeks, by the end, my legs were aching and later I was having trouble walking. Whether I can manage bowling again today, gawd only knows. I mentioned we were going to lunch somewhere different, we did, we went to the Elmira Donut and Deli which was somewhat tucked round a corner and is run by MeElmira Donuts ad Delinnonites, but the food was very good. I had their Chicken and Wild Rice soup followed by a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, Matt also had a BLT and I had coffee too. It only came to just over $11, very good deal. They also had lots of home made breads, pies, cookies, etc. etc. I bought a whole wheat loaf, fresh out of the oven, for $2. Unbelievable. Wish I lived closer, I would patronise them more often. Lovely to be able to get such nice fresh goods. The soup, by the way, was particularly delicious. Their other soup was broccoli and cheese which those who had it said was also very good.

Yesterday, I think we saw more Mennonite buggies than I have ever seen; everywhere we looked – Buggythere was even one parked by the restaurant, I couldn’t tell if the horses were tied up or not, I suppose they must have been. It must be pretty chilly driving in a horse and buggy at this time of year, and its not really winter yet. Saw at least a couple of totally open carriages, although most of them were the usual enclosed ones.

As for bowling, I had one good game, one reasonable game and one lousy game. Matt was the other way round and his last game was in the 200s. My first game I couldn’t do anything wrong. Oh if only!! One friend came with her hubby although he is not a bowler, it was their 51st wedding anniversary today. It doesn’t seem like a year ago we were at a party celebrating their 50th.

On Wednesday night I watched Harry Potter and theDH 2 Deathly Hallows part 2. I didn’t really think it was as good as the first half. I saw the first three or four movies, in fact I own them, then missed a few and came back at the end. I guess one knew he was going to defeat Voldemort finally despite some of the suspenseful things which happened during the course of the movie. One of the things which really teed me off, so much of it was extremely dark, I couldn’t see what was going on - if anything. I guess if I had seen it in the theatre I would have seen more, but, I didn’t, I watched it on my laptop. My favourite character, right from the beginning, was Snape, Alan Rickman, I thought he was very good. So, that’s the end of an era. I wonder what all these actors will do now. Only one I knew recently was Maggie Smith and of course, the original Dumbledore, Richard Harris, who is no longer with us. I wonder if J.K. Rowland will bother to write anything else or whether HP was all her muse and that’s it.

Not sure what reminded me of this recipe, but we made it a few times in the States, I should say Matt did, and then forgot about it. It is a pretty good dish.

Wild Mushroom Sausage

Food TV

Serves: 4Wild Mushroom Sausage

6 oz chicken breast, skinless, boneless, uncooked, cold

1 egg

2 oz heavy cream, cold

3 oz cremini

3 oz portabella

3 oz shiitake

3 oz button mushrooms

1 tbs fines herbes (parsley, tarragon, chervil, chives)

1 oz chopped shallots

salt and pepper


Instructions: For the chicken mousse: Puree chicken til smooth, add seasoning and egg. Pulse just to combine and scrape the sides. Whilst processor running add cream gradually through feed tube. Chill and reserve.

Wash and slice the mushrooms. In a hot sauté pan cook with the butter. When mushrooms are brown add shallots and herbs. remove from pan and chill.

Fold together mushrooms and chicken

Lay out plastic wrap on a table. Down the centre, spoon a 1 inch pile of mixture. Roll plastic into a log. Tie the ends with string and tie into links. Poach in simmering water for 10 mins. Shock the links in ice water. This can be done up to 3 days ahead.

To serve, remove plastic and grill or roast until hot through. About 10 mins. Slice and serve with a tossed salad.

Have a great day


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Passwords, Christmas, Dustbuster, Canadian Produce.

Here’s an interesting article about passwords and passwordsthe 25 worst ones for 2011. I didn’t realise people were so careless with their passwords. I think passwords are a damned nuisance except for financial sites where I personally try to use something pretty complicated, but I still wouldn’t use anything like the one’s listed. I do have a very simple password on my desktop and laptop because I don’t really need one except to allow them to talk to one another. Basically no-one uses either of my machines except for Matt playing a game now and then. The article gives tips for safer passwords as well as listing the 25 worst ones. 123456 – really!!

For most of the summer, since I had my angioplasty on my leg, I have had my laptop in the living room so I can keep my foot up. However, Matt has pointed Xmas Bellsout that if I want to decorate, and have a tree, I will have to give that up. Blast it. The thing is, do I want to decorate? ‘Don’t seem like Christmas without it, do it?’ We both hate putting them up, we hate taking them down, but I love to have the decorations up over the holiday. I don’t think Matt could care less. The Christmas tree is up in the lobby already. I noticed our local supermarket is selling Poinsettias and I always like to get one for the dining table. Decisions, decisions.

Today we are off to Elmira to bowl. Trying out a new place to have lunch, I will let you know how it goes.

DustbusterI had a Black and Decker Dustbuster for years and found it a great little tool. Unfortunately, some while ago it died on me. I wasn’t going to replace it, but it is so useful; we finally bought a new one yesterday. Quite a different gadget from the one I had before. Apart from anything else it uses cyclone technology which my last one certainly did not.

We finally got round to eating the Bean Bolognese which I posted a couple of days ago. It was pretty good, it was even better when I remembered to use the Parmesan cheese. There was enough for four so we ate it again last night.

We needed some garlic the other day so Matt bought garlic which is Canadian grown by August’s Hardneck garlicHarvest. They have been growing old style garlic for several years I discover, I’d never heard of them before. Nor did I know the original garlic came from the Ural Mountains “Allium longicuspis” and that the Canadian variety is “Hardneck” garlic. There are recipes on their website too. They grow shallots and blueberries as well. At least, I assume Saskatoon berries are blueberries.

I actually don’t like canned tuna unless it is well doctored – Matt invented a recipe I like which we use in pita bread. However, this one looked so delightful I decided I should try it. I am hoping all the other stuff will disguise the tuna. It also looks very much like a snack food we already eat.

Tuna Melt

WebMD Recipe from

In this updated version of the tuna melt, we go light on the mayo and top it with fresh tomato slices and shredded sharp Cheddar, which allows us to use tuna_meltconsiderably less cheese while ensuring that there’s great cheese flavor in each gooey bite.

Servings: 4

Recipe Ingredients:
  1. 12 ounces canned chunk light tuna, drained (see Note)
  2. 1 medium shallot, minced (2 tablespoons)
  3. 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  4. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  5. 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  6. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  7. Dash of hot sauce
  8. Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  9. 4 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted
  10. 2 tomatoes, sliced
  11. 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Recipe Steps:
  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Combine tuna, shallot, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, salt, hot sauce and pepper in a medium bowl. Spread 1/4 cup of the tuna mixture on each slice of toast; top with tomato slices and 2 tablespoons cheese. Place sandwiches on a baking sheet and broil until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Recipe Nutrition:

Per serving: 257 calories; 10 g fat (2 g sat, 5 g mono); 66 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 24 g protein; 5 g fiber; 378 mg sodium; 818 mg potassium.

Have a great day


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

R.I.P. Anne McCaffery, Drilling and Dumpsters, Medical, 97 yrs. old.

I was so very sorry to hear of the death of Anne Dragons of PernMcCaffery who was one of my favourite authors of all time. She was 85 and had a stroke at her home in Ireland. Her son, Tod, has already started writing Pern books so her legend will go on, although his stories tend to be a bit harsher. My email address uses the name of one of her many dragon queens and I have all her books and so far all the ones her son has written. As someone commented on Facebook “her final journey ‘between’ she will be missed”.

I am going to be moaning and groaning about this noise for the next 2-3 weeks. Which noise? The frenetic woodpecker who is drilling, apparently, right above my head. They say the sound gets distorted so the drilling could be elsewhere, but……… Having written this, I had to go out and went down to the garage, it is much worse down there. It sounds as though they are drilling right through the ceiling – I guess a lot of the work is taking place in the garbage area which is why we cannot use the chutes. dumpsterTrouble is they have the big garbage dumpsters outside for us to use, but, in the first place they are quite high and in the second place the lids are heavy so there are lots of people in this building who will not be strong enough, or fit enough, to lift the lids and heave their garbage inside. This is the only pic I could find of the exact type of dumpster, graffiti and all, LOL

Having written yesterday about mammograms, damned if I don’t have to go and have one today all because of chest pain. I don’t think anyone thinks its cancer, but it’s a ‘cover all bases’ type of test. In fact I understand from all the sources I have ever come across, including my doc yesterday, cancer doesn’t hurt until the last stages, also one loses weight, doctor said you lose your appetite which I guess explains the weight loss. I sure haven’t lost my appetite or lost any weight. In fact reading up on this, females having similar chest pains can be totally unexplained and in some cases last up to two years and then just disappear. Thanks a bunch for goutthat info. Such pains can also be caused by arthritis in the chest??? I didn’t know that could happen. Talking of arthritis, it turns out Matt has it in his toe, that used to be called gout, LOL. I hasten to add that Matt is not even remotely overweight and they once thought gout was due to heavy drinking, no idea it was arthritis. If you are fairly young, reading this, you have no idea what you could be in for, of course you could be one of the lucky ones. One of the frequent phrases heard in this building, “ain’t old age wonderful” or something to that effect.

Talking of age, yesterday, at the bowling alley, they had a birthday celebration and cake for one of our seniors, she was 97 yrs. old. She is incredible, bowls twice a week, line dances and plays ping pong. (Table tennis). She is absolutely tiny too. Lucky woman to be so fit at her age.

The recipe below is from Hershey’s and looks delicious, but Matt will tell you anything with chocolate looks delicious to me. Friends are talking cookie baking so I thought this recipe might be appreciated.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookieschoc chip cookies


2 1/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

1/3 cup HERSHEY®'S Cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) HERSHEY®'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY®'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl on medium speed of mixer until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in chocolate chips. Add nuts, if desired. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. About 5 dozen cookies.

Have a great day


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

RFN, Grrr, Mammograms, Taming Fire

An update on Restore Family Nutrition, we have been asked to provide some schools with a monthly recipe and Michelle, our leader, has asked me to help with this. I will be delighted to, but need to research recipes which are more suitable for schools. For instance I don’t think Duckling à l’Orange would do, LOL. Maybe Toad in the Hole though, a traditional English dish. Thinking back to my own school years, another thing we used to get was Treacle Tart which I loved plus Yorkshire Pudding sprinkled with sugar for a dessert, scrumptious.

We have been told we cannot use the garbage chute for about 3 weeks due to repairs to water systems – not only is that going to be a great pain in the butt, but whatever they are doing has started with a noise which sounds a bit like a frenzied woodpecker and is beginning to drive me nuts. I didn’t go bowling this aft, I wish I had.

I have just spotted an article on screening for breast cancer, it appears the new mammogramCanadian guidelines don’t recommend constant mammograms any more for people with an average risk of breast cancer. The feeling being it should be more to do with a discussion between the woman and her doctor rather than a mandatory ‘one size fits all’ approach. This is really quite a shocker because doctors and cancer groups have been advocating mammograms on a regular basis for years now. What a drastic about face.

I am currently reading a Kindle book called Taming Fire, the Dragon Prince Trilogy by Aaron Pogue. However, it appears there is, as yet, no sequel, how very frustrating as I have nearly finished this and am very much enjoying the story. I have been assured by Aaron Pogue that the next book, Dragonswarm, will be out in December. I am very pleased to hear it.

Talking of Toad-in-the-Hole, here is a recipe from Cookery in Colour. I have seen adaptations on this plus serving it with gravy and mashed potatoes. Never, gravy would just make the Yorkshire Pudding go soggy which would defeat the whole object of the dish. Also, don’t forget to prick the sausages with a fork before cooking. As for fat or dripping, these days I would use some canola oil.


1 lb good sausagesToad in the Hole
knob of fat or dripping if required.

Yorkshire Pudding or Pancake Batter
4 oz. flour
pinch salt
1 egg*
1/2 UK pt. milk  (10 fl. oz.) or milk and water**

* for a richer mixture use 2 eggs
** For a light batter use half water (iced water is excellent) and half milk. A little melted butter or olive oil can be added to the batter if making pancakes.
Sieve the flour and salt together into a basin. Drop in egg or eggs and beat mixture well. Gradually beat in just enough liquid to make stiff, smooth batter. Be sure there are no lumps. Allow to stand for a few minutes, then gradually whisk or beat in the rest of the liquid. this mixture can be allowed to stand some time fore cooking. If possible put into a fridge or really cool place. Give final beat or whisk before using.

Put the sausages into an ovenproof dish. Cook for about 10 minutes in a hot oven (450°F) If necessary add fat (oil) and get this very hot too. Pour in the batter and return to a 450° to 475° F. oven for approximately 30 minutes. If using very hot oven, lower the heat slightly after 10-15 minutes so the batter doesn’t get too brown before being cooked.

Have a great day

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend, Mourning Youpi, Raw Sewage.

Not been a great weekend, mostly for me because of my hiatal hernia which has been playing up since Friday, I didn’t even go bowling. Wasn’t too bad on Saturday luckily, so managed to go eat some pigtails, which I thoroughly enjoyed, however, we left early as Matt was doing his grumpy old man stuff. Then Sunday I woke up feeling like death warmed over, a migraine and the hiatus hernia playing up not to mention faintness and nausea. Didn’t do very much of anything all day except feel sorry for myself. Matt has a number of health problems too so we are a right happy couple, LOL
Just spotted a story about an orange lobster christened Youpi, I seem to remember writing Rare Orange Lobster 20110704about it once before when he was discovered. A lobster which was a rare colour and looked as though he had already been cooked. He was saved as a curiosity and fed on raw shrimp by the owner. However, Youpi has now died and is being put on display at a Québec nature centre. I’m assuming they cleaned out the insides!!
Typical, a new federal regulation has been enacted saying all dispositions of raw sewage in Canada have to be cleaned up and new systems implemented to deal with the effluent. However, some st-anthonysmall towns and villages, with no tax base to speak of, are wondering how they are going to pay for it. St. Anthony in Newfoundland is a case in point. I am all for the law, but no-one thinks about the cost when they tell towns to do this, do that.
Well, that’s it for today, still feeling pretty grotty, hopefully I will feel more myself tomorrow.
We nearly had this for supper last night, but ended up too lazy to prepare it as we had some curry already made in the freezer. Planning it for tonight.

Bean Bolognese

WebMD Recipe from
Fiber-rich beans stand in for the beef and pork in this surprisingly rich-tasting vegetarian take on pasta Bolognese. Without the meat, the dish has only a third of the fat and 80 percent less saturated fat. To make the perfect meal, serve with a peppery arugula salad and warm, crusty Italian bread.Bean_Bolognese
Servings: 4
Yield: 4 servings,
Recipe Ingredients:
  1. 1 14-ounce can salad beans (see Shopping Tip) or other beans, rinsed, divided
  2. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 small onion, chopped
  4. 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  5. 1/4 cup chopped celery
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  8. 1 bay leaf
  9. 1/2 cup white wine
  10. 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  11. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  12. 8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
  13. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Recipe Steps:
  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Mash 1/2 cup beans in a small bowl with a fork.
  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and salt; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and bay leaf; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add wine; increase heat to high and boil until most of the liquid evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, 2 tablespoons parsley and the mashed beans. Bring to a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Add the remaining whole beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in the boiling water until just tender, about 9 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  4. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls. Discard the bay leaf and top the pasta with the sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan and the remaining parsley.
Recipe Tips & Notes:
  1. Shopping tip: A can of salad beans, a mixture of chickpeas, kidney and pinto beans, adds depth and variety to this recipe. Look for it in the natural-foods section of larger supermarkets or natural-foods stores. If you can’t find it, substitute a can of your favorite beans.
Recipe Nutrition:
Per serving: 443 calories; 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 6 g mono unsaturated fat); 9 mg cholesterol; 67 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 14 g fiber; 707 mg sodium; 281 mg potassium
Have a great day

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Eat to Live, Postage, Cream, Europe and Pigtails.

Eat to LiveI just bought: 'Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss' by Joel Fuhrmanthis gives you a link to where they are selling the book for less than $10. I originally borrowed this book from my library and think it sounds so good I bought it for my Kindle. Funnily enough I first heard about this book from a friend in Australia, if she is reading this, thanks for the heads up.

I did a few errands yesterday, including returning the Christmas stampdefunct Kindle to Amazon plus the ear buds, the latter cost me $5 to mail, I wasn’t happy about that. I also bought my quota of Christmas stamps for this year, they are of stained glass windows, quite pretty; quite expensive LOL. When we came here 36 years ago a postage stamp was 8¢ today its 59¢, I know, it’s a lot of years, but!!!

In fact it doesn’t seem that many years most of the time although it won’t be too long before I have lived in Canada longer than in the British Isles. Matt has a few more years to go before he can make that claim. There are still things I miss about living in England, but I don’t think I could go back, the place is too Creampokey for words. Now if I could buy English cream, I don’t mean clotted, just ordinary every day cream that I used to get from the milkman and which I know you can still buy as my step daughter buys it for me when we go over there. Not, you understand, that I don’t like clotted cream, but it isn’t good for everything for which one would use regular cream Apart from anything else, it didn’t take me forever to whip it into really thick cream, not like the stuff I buy here which takes forever to whip. Once I was whipping it on a summer’s day and ended up with butter, really. I think I have told the story before when we went to stay with an aunt in the Channel Islands and she had made a trifle for dessert. I saw it and thought, mean thing, she hasn’t put cream on it, its just topped with custard. Guess what, that custard was good old Jersey cream, luverly stuff. And I’m reading a diet book!!!! I guess that’s why.

Another thing I miss about the UK is the ease of travelling to Europe. Just a short trip across the English Channel and you can go wherever you want and not take all that long to get there. Of course, to me, this brings to mind food again, I don’t know what it’s like today, but I have never had a bad meal in France, even in the pokiest of little towns and villages. However, I am told that even in France, the young women are not interested in learning to cook, what a tragedy. Its very possible that is the same in other European countries although one can hope it’s not.

Tonight we are going for our annual visit to the Hespeler Village Legion – a very active Legion post, where they will be serving pigtails and pigtailsschnitzels this evening. Matt is not that interested in pigtails, but I like them, plus we have a number of friends who go, so its usually a fun evening although I can’t really dance any more, sadly. People are allowed 3 pigtails a piece and then they often have left overs. I must say I prefer my pigtails barbecued and crispy, but they don’t serve them that way. I enjoy them just the same. Not diet food you understand, but delicious.

It being very much the time of year for cranberries, I thought this recipe would be appropriate, especially as its shown with a generous dollop of cream.

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Source: © EatingWell Magazine

10 servings

This rustic cake is a delicious alternative to pie and cranberry upside down cakeuses one of the tastiest fruits of the fall harvest—cranberries. The basic recipe is very versatile and can be made with apples, pears, peaches, plums or any full-flavored, slightly acidic fruit. Just arrange the fruit in the skillet before you pour the batter over it. The cake is best served warm; if you can, put it in the oven just before you sit down to dinner. (Recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.)


3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided

2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, divided

1 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries (about 3 cups)

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tip)

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup low-fat milk, at room temperature

Whipped cream for garnish

Ingredient Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour has less gluten-forming potential than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure tender baked goods. Kitchen Tip: To bring an egg to room temperature, set it on the counter for 15 minutes or submerge it (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons orange juice in a large (12-inch) cast-iron or regular skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter melts and the mixture starts to bubble. Let cool. Coat the sides of the skillet with cooking spray.

Bring the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice and cranberries to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring often, until about half the cranberries have popped. Pour evenly over the cooled brown sugar mixture in the skillet.

Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Separate egg whites and yolks. Place the yolks in a large bowl and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, oil, granulated sugar and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer or stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour mixture alternately with milk, using a rubber spatula, starting and ending with the flour. Stir just until the flour is incorporated. Beat the egg whites in a clean dry mixing bowl with clean dry beaters on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest until almost no white streaks remain. Spread the batter over the cranberries.

Bake until the top is golden brown and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate. Let cool for at least 30 minutes more before serving. Serve warm or room temperature. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.

Have a great weekend