Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rhinos, Bowling, Reservation Cigarettes, Movie

Don't hurt MummyPlease don’t hurt my mommy.

A friend from South Africa posted this picture on Facebook, very poignant I think. Especially when there is so much rhino horn poaching at the moment, worse than it has been for a long time.

My BallYesterday, of course, was bowling day and I just couldn’t believe that I didn’t get a single strike until the last frame of the last game. I don’t think I have ever bowled that badly. Luckily ended up with a good score in that last game, but the rest was pathetic. I keep joking I will quit the game, I am wondering whether I shouldn’t become serious. I don’t suppose I will, at least if nothing else, its good exercise and its fun seeing everyone there. That picture reminds me, another bowler has just bought exactly the same colour balls, Might cause a complication if we bowl next to each other. Wonder if she has her initials on hers, I do on mine, but they are gradually wearing off.  Not sure if we will be bowling on Friday this week because here in Canada it is March break which means all the kids are off school and those which haven’t departed for Florida with their parents will be looking for things to do and a lot of them will be bowling which isn’t a lot of fun for the rest of us.

I was very surprised today that a friend of mine had been out to buy her son Buttscigarettes although she says in the next breath she wishes he would quit. The conversation started because she had been to the Indian Reservation where one can buy cigarettes and gas very much cheaper – I’m not sure its legal mind you – and I asked why her son didn’t go for his own, she said because he works. I’m sorry but my reaction would be “if you want to smoke, get your own”. No, I have never been a mother, but I am damned if I would help my commit suicide.

Puss in BootsLast night I watched Puss in Boots which I rented from iTunes. I am a sucker for such movies and thoroughly enjoyed it. Antonio Banderas was the voice of Puss. Mind you I’m not sure what happened to the original story of Puss in Boots which took place in France although I remember it being told as an English tale, but the premise was the same, a cat who with trickery turns his impoverished master into a Lord who marries a princess and lives in a castle with Puss living in the lap of luxury. All kinds of characters turn up in the movie, Jack and Jill, baddies and Humpty Dumpty who redeems himself in the end. A fun romp.

I thought these would make a bit of a change from recent recipes, anyway they are chocolate.

Chocolate Biscotti

Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Pizzeria

Makes 18 cookies

Although it would be unlikely to find biscotti served in a traditional pizzeria in the Chocolate Biscottihistoric center of Naples, they are common in the pizzerias popular today. These delicious cookies are rich with chocolaty flavor and not too sweet and have the perfect consistency for dipping. The almonds add extra crunch.

1/4 cup whole blanched almonds

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sifted Dutch-process cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

2 oz semisweet chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped


Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Spread the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

Line the bottom of a large baking sheet with parchment (baking) paper or aluminum foil. Nest the paper-lined sheet in a second baking sheet of the same size; this will prevent the bottoms of the cookies from scorching.

In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Set aside.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Pulse briefly to combine, then add the chopped chocolate. Process continuously until the chocolate is finely and evenly chopped. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend just until combined. The mixture should come together into a soft dough. Add the almonds and mix until evenly distributed.

On a lightly floured work surface, use your hands to shape the dough into a log about 13 inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Place the log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the edges are firm (the center will not seem done yet), 30-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool until lukewarm, about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F. Slice the log crosswise on a slight diagonal into pieces 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide and return to the baking sheet, cut sides down. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the cookies over and bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven, transfer to a rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month. The biscotti can actually be stored for up to 6 months, if you can keep your hands out of the container. If they have become soft, re-crisp them in a 350°F. oven for 5-6 minutes.

Have a great day


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