Monday, December 15, 2008
Books, Snow and Lights, Dr. Oz,
Thanks to the recommendation of Glenda Larke of Tropic Temper (see link this page) I have a number of new authors to try out. The first of these is David B. Coe and I have just finished his first novel, Rules of Ascension, in the Winds of the Forelands series. I can highly recommend it to lovers of fantasy. An excellent book and I will look forward to reading some more in the series. This is not a book where you can forecast what is going to happen. People you don't think will die, do so anyway. Nothing predictable, lots of magic and battles. I don't have the technique of being a critic, but I hope you will try it anyway. I have four more books to read recommended by Glenda and if they are all as good as this one, I will be enjoying them very much. I'm dreaming of a green Christmas. Last night it rained and most of our snow has disappeared. It may surprise you to know we do get a green Christmas now and again; I know most people think of Canada as being buried in snow all winter long. Its a pity because the decorated houses look so much prettier in the snow and it doesn't look nearly as good without it. I miss decorating our home, we did try lighting the balcony, but the problem is we have to run an extension cord through the sliding door which means letting the cold air in. I cannot understand why they didn't put power outlets on the balconies. Not just for Christmas lights you understand, but for other stuff during the year, not least of which would be an electric barbecue. However, they didn't, so we don't bother any more. We used to really go to town in North Carolina - although we rarely got Christmas snow (or snow at any time) there, we also did a lot of decorating when we lived in Canada before. There are people who really spend a lot of money and time on lights, but they look so pretty and it brightens everything up and makes it look Christmassy (OK, so I invent words). Funny story on Good Morning America, they were interviewing two celebrity doctors, Dr. Oz and Dr. Rosen who were bing interviewed about a new book. Apparently last Friday Dr. Oz was travelling home and came across a car accident and went to help. One of the passengers, obviously not too badly hurt, recognised Dr. Oz (who was busy helping a passenger who was injured) and phoned home to tell his wife the famous Dr. was there. In the middle of a car accident!! His wife asks why Dr. Oz is there and he tells her he is in an accident. They were laughing about it now, but I bet his wife was scared at the time. The passenger publicly thanked Dr. Oz for his help. I talked about our party last Wednesday, I didn't tell you how successful two of the recipes were that I had posted here, one was the Devilled Eggs (published 11/14/08) with wasabi in and the other was the Lamb and Feta Cigars (published 11/20/08). The eggs were served with cucumber - I was disappointed with that part of the recipe. Didn't look a bit like the picture. Next time I don't think I will bother. The Cigars were really good though and very popular. Of course you have to like lamb first. If you do, I really recommend them. They are not particularly difficult to make either. Both those recipes came from Food and Drink published by the LCBO who always have great recipes as well as advice on all kinds of alcoholic beverages. So here is another recipe from the latest edition which I shall be trying fairly soon. Almond Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Apricot and Brie Brie creates a luxurious creamy filling that keeps the chicken moist and requires no sauce. Leaving the wing bone on offers a restaurant look, but it is not necessary. (My comment: I wouldn't bother) Serves 4 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with wing bone still attached 2 oz brie cheese, rind removed and sliced 4 dried apricots, finely chopped 1/2 cup sliced almonds, divided 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary 1 tsp coarse salt 1 tsp freshly cracked pepper 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs 1 egg, lighly beaten 1 Tbs butter 1 Tbs olive oil Preheat oven to 375°F. With knife held horizontally and starting at the thinner side, cut each chicken breast in half, but not all the way through, open like a book. Arrange brie slices over chicken leaving a 1/2 inch border uncovered. Sprinkle with apricots, 1/4 cup of the almonds, rosemary, salt and pepper; close breast, pressing around the edges to seal. In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and remaining almonds. Dip the chickent in the egg. Dredge in crumb mixture, pressing lightly to coat completely. In a large ovenproof skillet, melt butter and oil over medium heat. Cook the chicken until golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to the oven and bake until cooked. about 15 to 20 minutes. Have a great day.