Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Debt, Money, Computers, Qbids, Fats.

I constantly see ads, especially on Facebook, about how to wipe out your debt, GMA have money managers telling you how to do this that Quicken2or the other to erase your debt. I have some pretty good advice to offer too, don’t spend it. OK I realise there are some people in serious money problems through no fault of their own, job loss etc., but some of these people with massing credit card debts are just spend crazy. Its not real money, it’s a plastic card, etc. etc. Its been said before, we live in the days of instant gratification, no-one wants to save for something, get now, pay later, only paying later basically doesn’t work. I too used to think it did, I wised up. Actually, d’you know why I wised up, I started using a money programme on my computer, the first one I had was Manage Your Money which I liked very much, but then along came Quicken which seemed to knock most of the other programmes off the radar. With MYM I discovered what our budget looked like, what happened with forecasting, etc. and yes, I learned how to Manage My Money. Admittedly before that we had account books, but it wasn’t nearly as efficient as accounting software which really brought home to me what I was spending and where and how much of it was unnecessary. Mind you if anything happens to me, Matt will be back to using an account book again. Another thing I appreciate is being able to bank online, I can check on the status of our accounts as often as I want which I think is absolutely great.

Thinking about the early days of account programmes, made me start thinking about the early days of personal computers. Although I was using early versions of PCs at work, my first home computer was by Mattel and worked with Commodore 64cassette tapes, I can’t even find pictures of a similar computer. My second, a Commodore 64, operated with DOS and had no hard drive, everything worked from 5” floppy disks, I had to have a hard drive installed, it was minute compared with what we have today. I was then thrilled when I got a floppy drive for 3” disks which stored so much more data. I’ve mentioned this before but when I start thinking about it, it always astounds me the leaps and bounds taken by computers in the last 25-30 years. I was once told I would never use computers because I hadn’t got a mathematical brain, true, I haven’t, but thankfully they invented Personal Computers which were comprehensible by mathematical dummies and I have never looked back. Thanks Bill and to a lesser degree Steve, never been into Apple. All the Apple users I have ever met, swear by their Macs and think they are wonderful. It is true they are not targeted by hackers and spammers as much, or if at all, I don’t really know. But I suppose they will be one day. I cannot imagine how a hacker could resist.

Talking of money and purchases, I have seen a lot of advertising for Qbids lately so I checked it out. It appears that before you can bid on anything, you have to buy your bids, and the minimum is 100 bids for $69. Then you have to hope its worth it and you can buy something fantastic for next to nothing, ain’t too sure, thought it sounded too good to be true in the first place. Think if I want to bid on something I will stick to eBay.

rib roastLast weekend I cooked a rib roast which we had bought on special just before Christmas. Originally I was going to cook it on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) but then I ended up cooking the turkey on Christmas Day so we froze the beef. The roast was, of course, delicious and we have been enjoying it cold for supper as well. However, by the very nature of the beast, it is quite fatty which made me think of the times my parents tried to Pork cracklingmake me eat beef fat when I was a child and then when I finally learned to eat it, the health gurus told us all it was bad for us. I certainly hated it when I was young, never minded pork fat, especially if there was a bit of crackling attached (pork skin roasted). Didn’t like lamb fat or warm ham fat although I never minded that cold. Funny isn’t it how one’s preferences are formed? Although I still make it a practice to try something I don’t like every couple of years or so with the result there is very little I don’t like. One thing I am having a problem with is vegetables cooked in softened water, I hate the taste, I am wondering if steaming would make a difference here, never tried it, challenge for you Jo. Later - OK I found that broccoli tasted much better steamed.

A somewhat different version of Eggs Benedict. But I thought they looked pretty good and that I would try them.

Eggs Italiano

WebMD Recipe from EatingWell.com

This sophisticated take on Eggs Benedict swaps a full-flavored, chunky vegetable medley for Canadian bacon and hollandaise sauce. Add whole-wheat English muffins and poached eggs and this combo makes a lovely brunch or an elegant light supper when served with a salad.Eggs_Italiano

Servings: 4

Recipe Ingredients:

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium), diced

12 ounces plum tomatoes (3-4), diced

3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil, divided

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

8 large eggs

4 whole-wheat English muffins, split and toasted

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Recipe Steps:
  1. Fill a large, straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven with 2 inches of water; bring to a boil. Add white vinegar.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in zucchini and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in 1 tablespoon basil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, reduce the boiling water to a gentle simmer; the water should be steaming and small bubbles should come up from the bottom of the pan. Crack each egg into a small bowl and slip them one at a time into the simmering water, taking care not to break the yolks. Cook for 4 minutes for soft set, 5 minutes for medium set and 8 minutes for hard set. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a clean kitchen towel to drain.
  4. To serve, top each muffin half with some of the vegetable mixture, an egg, a sprinkling of cheese and the remaining basil.
Recipe Nutrition:

Per serving: 329 calories; 14 g fat (4 g saturated fat, 6 g mono unsaturated fat); 425 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 22 g protein; 5 g fiber; 675 mg sodium; 570 mg potassium

Have a great day


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