Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wild Horses, Pandas,

Watching GMA Weekend, there was a story about the wild mustangs of Nevada who are being rounded up by a government agency in order to 'manage' the herds. They are herding them by helicopter and then penning them. They say the animals are beginning to starve because they have eaten themselves out of house and home. Some of the animals may go to private owners, but many could end up being slaughtered. Apparently Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, wants to move them to different areas of the States in order to preserve them. Wild horses are part of the American west and it would be so very sad to see them go. If you want to read more about it, there is an article here and a series of photos here - I couldn't find the report, but on TV it talked about a millionaire's wife wanting to buy thousands of acres of land to set up as a reserve for these horses. There are wild horses running free in quite a few states but I guess land is getting scarcer because humans want to use it. Whilst researching the horses, I came across a brief reference to a Panda in a US zoo which is being sent to China next week. Apparently the cub Tai Shan is being returned to China for breeding. His parents return to China at the end of the year. The zoo is in Washington and I have no doubt they will be devastated to lose their cub. The article doesn't say anything about whether the cub will be returned at a later date or not. I can't honestly say I approve of all this shipping of animals on a regular basis. I know they take lots of care, but the animals must be totally confused and have no idea what is happening to them. Can you imagine flying without understanding anything about it. A pretty traumatic experience I would think. They wouldn't know how to relieve the pressure in their ears or anything like that. Do the hostesses bring them snacks and drinks LOL? We have friends coming for dinner this evening so I decided to try another recipe from What's Cooking, the Snowball Chocolate Cake which I mentioned a week or two ago. I have said before that I don't generally make food which comes out of packets, but I thought I would try this one as it looked so good. It was rather funny, in retrospect, although not so funny at the time, I hadn't checked the ingredients we had bought and it turned out that the mixture for the frosting wouldn't set or thicken. Then I finally saw on the packet that I had not bought an instant pudding mix but one that had to be cooked. I decided to try cooking it anyway and it seems to have worked OK in the end, but it was a bit panic stations for a while and I thought we were going to have to rush to the store for the right ingredients. It is now sitting in the fridge looking pretty good. I am almost certain I posted this recipe before, but I can't find it, so here it is again. If you would like to see a video of how the cake is made, go to this website I'll let you know on Monday whether it tastes as good as it looks. Snowball Chocolate Cake

Kraft What's Cooking 1 pkg. (2-layer size) devil's food cake mix 1 pkg. (250 g) PHILADELPHIA Brick Cream Cheese, softened 1 egg 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar 1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Instant Pudding 1/4 cup icing sugar 1 cup cold milk 2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping 1 cup flaked coconut HEAT oven to 350ºF. PREPARE cake batter, in 2-1/2-L ovenproof bowl, as directed on package; scrape side of bowl. Beat cream cheese, egg and granulated sugar until well blended; spoon into centre of batter in bowl. BAKE 1 hour 5 min. or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool in bowl 10 min. Loosen cake from bowl with knife; invert onto wire rack. Remove bowl. Cool cake completely. MEANWHILE, beat dry pudding mix, icing sugar and milk in medium bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in Cool Whip. Refrigerate until ready to use. PLACE cake on plate; frost with pudding mixture. Cover with coconut. Keep refrigerated. Kraft Kitchens Tips Size-WiseAt 16 servings, this fun-to-make cake is a great dessert to serve at a holiday party. Easy CleanupSave on cleanup by mixing and baking the cake batter in the same bowl! Substitute 3 squares (84 g) Baker's White Chocolate, grated, for the coconut. To grate, first warm the chocolate in microwave on DEFROST 1 min. for each square or until warm. Use a coarse grater for best results.

Have a great day


  1. They are at least not slaughtering the horses to eat them, which may well happen here in France. As you know the French still eat horse meat.

  2. Can't say I blame them, I love horse meat. I would prefer the horses to be slaughtered for some purpose like that I think. I suspect that wild horse meat wouldn't be good, it could well be diseased or worm ridden or something.

  3. Poor Horses,i wonder why people are so much without any respect except for themselves, when they are respecting themselves !

    It reminds me about Avatar on the movie (it was so cool to watch it with 3dimax ) I've been crying most of the time because it was so sad , and people was only having fun about 3d, or about explosions, or whatever...

    th snawball chocolate cake miam has won a free entrance in my personnal book of recipies !

  4. I haven't seen Avatar yet Gynie, until you can watch 3D on TV I probably won't get to see it either.

    I was impressed with the Snowball Cake I must say.