Thursday, April 14, 2011

Crystal, Weather, Pink Slime.

crystal elephantLast time we were in Costco’s (a wholesale warehouse) I was peering at their crystal ornaments. Some really beautiful items, but the prices!! I had no idea crystal was so very expensive, there were some pieces at the $1,000 mark which absolutely staggered me. I thought I’d like a piece, but not at those prices. Photographs don’t do these things justice and of course in the store they are beautifully displayed with the right kind of lights, etc. Makes me wonder though, I have some large crystal earrings my mother bought me in South Africa a long time ago, I wonder what they are worth, I also have a crystal necklace but I believe its not such good crystal. Don’t know all that much about it. I do know the earrings are very heavy *g*.

What an absolutely gorgeous day we had yesterday, I think spring is definitely here. We sat out on the balcony in the sun for a while and it was delightful. Didn’t want to stay too long or we might have got burnt. A friend said she went golfing, I wish… I haven’t been able to play for a number of years and Matt is planning to quit as his back stops him Green Jacketswinging a club any more. Such a shame as we both loved the game. He at least likes to watch it on TV, not me, I find it very boring. Even the Masters, which took place last weekend, and was, according to Matt, an exciting game, doesn’t interest me and the idea of winning a green jacket which you can’t take home with you!!!!!!! I hope they have a really, really big room for all those jackets. Tiger has several of them, but I think even he can only wear one at a time. South Africa is justly proud of this year’s winner, Charl Schwartzel, he played a good game.

At the suggestion of a reader, I emailed Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada last night. Earlier in the day I had emailed Health Canada, asking about Pink Slime and its use in Canada. No replies as yet. We went to Costco again yesterday (needed pork tenderloins, they have the best) and I asked the butchers there and they assured me they only used ground chuck for their hamburger meat. I tend to believe this is not a Canadian problem, but I would like to get assurances from people in authority.

We will be spending time having someone check out the car CD system today, it suddenly stopped CD Changerworking whilst we were having body work done, coincidence? Anyway, we are hoping it is a minor electrical problem, the CD changer isn’t getting power. If not we might need a new CD player and one can no longer get multiple disc CD changers in Canada although have them (they have everything) so, if necessary I shall buy one from them and have it sent to a garage in the States where we will have it fixed when we go down in September, means a very quiet trip though. This is the Amazon web page

When I saw this recipe I couldn’t resist it, the cupcakes look delicious and the ingredients are unusual. Actually I have been getting a lot of cupcake recipes lately. I wonder why, have they come into their own? They certainly look good, I saw one recipe for carrot cupcakes, right up my street.

Stout and Beetroot Cupcakes

75g/2¾oz cocoa powder
175g/6oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
225g/8oz caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
225g/8oz cooked beetroot (no added vinegar)
100ml/3½fl oz Irish stout
100ml/3½fl oz corn oil

For the cream cheese icing
200g/7oz unsalted butter, softened
200g/7oz full-fat cream cheese
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out.
450g/1lb icing sugar

Preparation method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl.
3. Blend the eggs, beetroot, stout and oil in a food processor until smooth.
4. Stir the beetroot into the flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix).
5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cupcakes have risen and the tops are springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
6. For the cream cheese icing, beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla together in a bowl until smooth; then slowly beat in the icing sugar.
7. Spread the icing onto the muffins with a knife or spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm/½in star nozzle and pipe the icing onto the muffins.

Have a great day


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