Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Poor Little Bitch Girl, Stormlord Rising, Windows.

I couldn't believe it this morning on Good Morning America, they interviewed Jackie Collins, the author, about her new book and life in general. They would NOT say the title of the book which I subsequently googled and found to be called "Poor Little Bitch Girl". I suppose there would have been howls of protest if the title had been mentioned, but really... it has always staggered me, the North American attitude to the word bitch. They even talk about lady dogs here which really tees me off. Being English, it was not a word that meant anything much to me until I came here. I certainly never talked about female or lady dogs. I must say I thought Jackie Collins was looking pretty good so of course I googled her date of birth too. Turns out she was born in 1937 - hey she is older than me!!! I had forgotten, if I ever knew, that Joan Collins is her sister. She is a very successful author and her books (26 of them) have stayed in print for years. I think I only ever read one of her books though. I wish my author friends such success.
Talking of authors, Glenda Larke's second book in The Watergivers Trilogy, Stormlord Rising, is due out in Australia next month. That means it will take something like a year to be out over here and in the UK. The Last Stormlord (which is the first book) is due out in the UK very soon. I have asked a friend in Oz to buy me a copy of book II when it is in the book stores. Unfortunately they don't have an Amazon in Australia, I wonder why not? The cover is the Australian one and is not snow but salt in the picture. Do they have salt flats in Australia? Thanks to Google, I found that yes, they do, same as the Bonneville Flats in Utah, and quite a few other places around the world. My geography isn't too good, but I remember a travellers programme in which Ian Wright went to some salt flats and they were neither in the US or Australia.

I have something of a dilemma at the moment, I have Windows XP on my desktop and Vista on my laptop. I have the option of downloading Windows 7 for my laptop, but I am not sure about the difficulties I have heard of and having to save stuff elsewhere to re-load. Nor am I sure I can switch stuff from one machine to the other if I go to Win 7. I like to keep an up to date copy of both Quicken (finance) and Living Cookbook on both machines. Its alright for Microsoft to keep producing new Windows programmes, but the average Jo(e) cannot keep up particularly financially.

Valentine's Day is coming up and obviously everyone is sending out recipes for that special day. Emeril Lagasse did a chicken recipe today with a Dijon sauce. It looked good, but not all that special to me. I have also received lots of chocolate recipes so I think that's what I will go for. Here is Hershey's recipe for a Triple Chocolate Torte. This is labelled as an Advanced recipe. Probably because of the layers.

Triple Chocolate Torte
Hershey's Kitchens
Skill Level: Advanced
Ingredients: 2 eggs, separated 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk* CHOCOLATE CREAM FILLING(recipe follows) CHOCOLATE FUDGE GLAZE(recipe follows) CHOCOLATE LEAVES(recipe follows, optional) Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two heart-shaped or two 9-inch round pans.
2. Beat egg whites in small bowl until foamy; gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. 3. Stir together remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add oil, buttermilk and egg yolks; beat until smooth. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans. 4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. 5. Prepare CHOCOLATE LEAVES, if desired. Prepare CHOCOLATE CREAM FILLING. With long serrated knife, cut each cake layer horizontally in half. Spread one cake layer with one-third of prepared filling; top with second layer. Repeat procedure ending with plain layer on top. Prepare CHOCOLATE FUDGE GLAZE; spoon over top of torte, allowing glaze to drip down sides. Garnish with CHOCOLATE LEAVES or other garnish, if desired. Refrigerate until serving time. For easier cutting, use knife dipped in warm water and wiped dry. Cover; refrigerate leftover torte. 8 to 10 servings. *To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup. CHOCOLATE CREAM FILLING: Combine 2/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa in medium bowl. Add 1-1/2 cups cold whipping cream and 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract; beat on low speed of mixer until blended. Beat on medium speed until stiff. About 3 cups filling. CHOCOLATE FUDGE GLAZE 3 tablespoons butter or margarine 3 tablespoons light corn syrup 1 tablespoon water 1 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi- Sweet Chocolate Chips Combine butter, corn syrup and water in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Cool to desired consistency. About 1 cup glaze. CHOCOLATE LEAVES: Line tray with wax paper. Thoroughly wash and dry several ivy, lemon, rose or other non-toxic leaves. Place 1/2 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and 1 teaspoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil) in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted when stirred. With small soft-bristled pastry brush, brush melted chocolate on top of each leaf. (Use underside of leaf for more distinct vein markings.) Avoid getting chocolate on other side of leaf or removal may be difficult. Place on prepared tray; chill until very firm. Carefully peel or tear leaves away from chocolate. Place on tray; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Have a great day

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