Saturday, September 3, 2011

Storms, Nutrition and Obesity

I’m happy to say I was able to walk better yesterday. I guess bowling on a sprained knee is not a good idea. Josephine, make note!!! I’m still hurting, but nothing like Thursday.

We awoke to thick fog yesterday morning, couldn’t see anything first thing but it wore off in a couple of hours or so. Bearing in mind it was so warm on Thursday, maybe they did have rain here the night before. I still haven’t asked anyone, not been anywhere to do so.

TS LeeA Tropical Storm, named Lee, suddenly popped up in the Gulf of Mexico over night. From the New Orleans area as far as the Florida panhandle they are expecting a lot of moisture. They talk about flooding, but I thought that area was suffering from drought the same as a lot of places this year although if you get too much all at once the ground cannot cope with it. Nobody mentioned Katya today but she is still out there and still heading for the American east coast. Not sure when she is due to arrive. The realtors in NC told me we would know more on Monday. Right now, according to my software, she is headed somewhat south of North Carolina which would be good for us, not so good for South Carolina or points south. It would be nice to think she would dissipate, sadly there doesn’t seem much chance of that at the moment.

Oops I didn’t realise there was a video of Jamie Oliver addressing the One Young World Summit in Zurich on Friday. There is a live stream video at this connection. This is a frightening statistic - 1.7 billion people are obese or overweight globally including 200 million children – Jamie in particular is trying to work to improve the situation by teaching people to cook simple meals where they had never cooked anything before and also by getting schools to co-operate on better nutrition both in the UK and the US. Speared by Michelle of Smothered in Butter, we are hoping toHallowe'en cookies do something similar in our own small area. By the way, do read Michelle’s latest post, its about cookie making and  having a party in one’s home to make all these cookies, sounds like a good idea to me. The picture is of some of her Hallowe’en cookies which she posted on her blog. She also has a picture of some very pretty snowflake cookies. I basically do not make cookies because most of them will end up in one place – my hips.

Just caught a story about Giant Octopus eggs hatching at a BC aquarium!!! If you check it out there is a video. I do hope they have big enough tanks for these giant octopus when they become adults. Not a sea creature I am particularly fond of.

As this weekend is considered the last holiday of the summer, its Labour Day on Monday, all the recipes you can find are for things like potato salads or beans which can be served at barbecues, on the other hand, Eating Well have some different breakfast dishes and I liked the sound of this one. Not sure how it would compare with my healthy cereal breakfast mind you.

Greek Walnut Spice Cake

From EatingWell: January/February 2010

A rich, flavourful syrup infuses this Mediterranean-inspired walnut Greek Walnut Spice Cakecoffee cake with the bright aroma of oranges and cloves. Heart-healthy olive oil and whole-grain barley flour add subtle complexity and texture to this nutty treat.

12 servings

  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup barley flour (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 small strip orange zest (1-by-1-inch)
  • 2 whole cloves
  1. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square glass baking dish with cooking spray and dust it with flour, shaking out the excess.
  2. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast, stirring once halfway, until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
  3. Whisk whole-wheat flour (see Measuring Tip), barley flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until thoroughly blended. Combine yogurt with orange zest and juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth; gradually whisk into the egg mixture along with oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 additions, stirring well in between until just blended. Fold in 1 cup of the walnuts. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the cake until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 45 minutes.
  5. To prepare syrup: Meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar, orange zest strip and cloves in a small heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring a few times. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes (you will have a scant 1/3 cup); remove the zest and cloves. Let cool.
  6. When the cake is done, transfer the pan to a wire rack. Using a toothpick, pierce the top in about 18 places and brush the syrup over the cake 3 or 4 times, allowing it to seep in each time. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts and let cool for 30 minutes; loosen the edges with a knife; cut into 12 squares. Enjoy warm or room temperature.

Per serving :294 Calories; 14 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 5 g Mono; 36 mg Cholesterol; 38 g Carbohydrates; 7 g Protein; 3 g Fiber; 215 mg Sodium; 166 mg Potassium

2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 1/2 other carbohydrates, 2 1/2 fat

Tips & Notes
  • Make Ahead Tip: Store at room temperature under a cake dome or in an airtight container for up to 1 day.
  • Ingredient notes: Barley flour has a mild yet distinct flavour, which some describe as slightly sweet and malty. Barley is high in fibre and has a low glycemic index. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets or at natural-foods stores; it’s often available in bulk. Store in the freezer.
  • White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavour but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. It is available in large supermarkets and at natural-foods stores. (Or find it online from or Store it in the freezer.
  • Measuring tip: We use the “spoon and level” method to measure flours. Here’s how it is done: Use a spoon to lightly scoop flour from its container into a measuring cup. Use a knife or other straight edge to level the flour with the top of the measuring cup.

Have a great weekend



  1. Hi Jo .. I've just come from Barbara Swafford's blog - BloggingWithoutaBlog .. and spotted you mentioned that your hubby reads your blog - when you print it out into a blog book ... how do you do that?

    Like you - my email isn't on my site .. and I must put it up .. it is my name without the hyphen at gmail dot com ...

    Nice to meet you .. and the thought about the Giant Octopus Eggs .. is a little weird - cheers Hilary

  2. Welcome Hilary, thanks for the comment, I will email you about printing blogs.