Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bowling, Eggs and Bread, Earl and Fiona

Oooh, ow, ouch, I/we hadn’t bowled for several weeks and I am feeling it after our season’s beginning yesterday. I started off well in my first game, the second two games were pathetic. Oh well!!! We were absolutely delighted to see one member of our team who had a brain aneurism earlier this year and certainly wasn’t expected back yet awhile, however, there she was looking as fit as ever and bowling as well as ever too. Trouble with starting a new season, especially with a bunch of old fogeys like us, you hear about all the people who are now in hospital or who have passed on during the summer months. I guess that’s another disadvantage of the so called ‘golden years’. One of our doctors said it first, the only thing golden is your pee.

I am reading the final book in Peter F. Hamilton’s Void Trilogy, The Evolutionary Void. Quite a book. I had trouble as usual remembering all the previous incidents and characters, his books are so vast in scope – don’t know how he can keep it straight, let alone me. Glenda Larke once discussed listing characters or making a précis of events in books. These definitely need such assistance. I’m kind of thinking I really need to do a re-read now all the books are written. As it is I have to get this one finished before I go on vacation so that it can go down the waiting list. I was lucky, I got in at the head of the list so I was the first to get the book. I still have some Cat Who CDs to finish before I go too, as you know I listen whilst I use the treadmill. The one I am listening to right now is The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal by Lillian Jackson Braun. I do enjoy these books. When you get to know all the characters who keep popping up it makes it fun and not hard work to read or listen to.

I read in one of my newsletters that there are several brands of eggs one can still obtain in the States without worrying about the recent salmonella scare. I was thinking of taking eggs with me, maybe I won’t bother. I have also thought of taking some whole wheat bread with me. Last year I couldn’t find anything in the whole wheat, whole grain breads which didn’t taste as though it had been dipped in molasses. I do not like my bread to be sweet. When we lived in North Carolina I used to eat the d’Italiano bread which isn’t sweet, unfortunately, it is also white so not really suitable for me any longer.

Hurricane season is in full swing in the Atlantic. Danielle didn’t visit the coast but it looks like Hurricane Earl will hit Nova Scotia if it misses the American coast which it appears it will. However, we have Tropical Storm Fiona following on behind and she looks headed for the NC coast on the storm tracks. This could, of course, put the kibosh on our vacation plans so please keep your fingers crossed.

There has been a lot on TV about the problem of bed bugs in the States and how they have become resistant to pesticides. This is very cheerful news when one is about to stay in a rented holiday home in the States.

One of my favourite desserts is Lemon Meringue Pie and I came across a recipe for it today. I don’t remember eating Lemon Meringue Pie for a long time. I guess, having diabetes, I shouldn’t indulge anyway, but I might.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Diner

Makes one 9-inch (23-cm) pie; serves 6-8

A pastry shell filled with lemon curd goes back to European kitchens, but topping it with meringue is an American tradition dating from the 1800s. Take care to measure out all meringue ingredients in advance, because you must make it and spoon it on top of the pie while the filling is still hot. INGREDIENTS

1 prebaked pie crustRec Image

For the Filling:

1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups water

4 large egg yolks, well beaten

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup strained fresh lemon juice

Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon

For the Meringue:

5 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar


Prepare and bake the pie crust as directed and let cool.

FOR THE FILLING: In a heavy nonaluminum saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt and whisk until smooth. Stir in the water, a few drops at a time at first and then more quickly, never adding more water until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the yolks, whisking well to combine.

Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon over the bottom and to the edge of the pan. Switch to a whisk occasionally to prevent lumps from forming. When the mixture reaches a boil (7-8 minutes), boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and gradually stir in the lemon juice, only a few drops at a time at first, until incorporated and the butter is melted. Stir in the lemon zest. Pour the hot filling into the cooled pie crust, then immediately make the meringue.

FOR THE MERINGUE: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. In a large, clean bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the egg whites for a few seconds to break them up. Add the cream of tartar and salt and continue beating until they hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to high and add the sugar in a slow, steady stream, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue beating until stiff peaks form, 2-3 minutes.

Spoon about one-fourth of the meringue on top of the hot filling and spread it to meet the crust. Gently place the remaining meringue in the center of the pie and, using the back of a spoon, shape and spread the meringue into peaks. Bake until the meringue is golden brown and firm to the touch, rotating a few times to promote even coloring, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

Serve at room temperature. Or store, uncovered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Have a great day.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Acai Berries, Volcano Erupts, 5 Pin Bowling

I was so pleased when I checked my bank online on Saturday, some money I was gypped out of was refunded to me. I ordered a sample of acai berries from an American source. They never arrived. A couple of weeks later I was charged some $90 odd for them. When I complained they said I had had several weeks to decide if I wanted them. When I said I hadn’t even received them they said it wasn’t their faults that the mail hadn’t arrived. Eventually they agreed if I did get them I could return them for a 50% restocking fee. I was not happy. I ended up calling Visa and telling them all about it and they said they would do something but that it would take a few weeks. It appears they were successful and I now have a credit in my Visa account. Whoopee, thanks Visa. However, be warned, don’t order a sample of acai berries, you will be stung.

Indonesia Volcano Erupts Sunday morning we heard about the Indonesian volcano which erupted in Sumatra for the first time in 400 years. Just shows you, those damned things are never dead whatever people say. Lots of people have had to flee their homes. Of course I never could understand people building close to a volcano anyway, no matter how long apparently extinct.

There was an article in Saturday’s paper, TheTim  Barrie Record, about my favourite asparagus farmer, Tim Barrie, and his wish to rent one of his fields (which has to lie fallow for 20 years) to Arise Technology for the installation of solar energy panels to provide power for the local area. http://tinyurl.com/2fess6p Tim has been working on this for a couple of years and it is taking all this time for the local authorities to make up their minds. I can’t see what their problem is personally.

On Saturday night I watched the movie Lawrence with Peter O'Toole playing the part of Lawrence of Arabia. It is one of my favourite movies although it does go back a long way. I don't know how many times I have seen this movie, but I had never noticed before, there is an Intermission which then says "Enter'r act" errr, its "entr'acte". I had a bit of a giggle about it, I wonder why I didn't see it years ago. Pretty dumb of me.
5-pin Guess what, bowling season starts today. I have really missed it. Only trouble is we will miss three weeks as next week is Labour Day, and then we are in North Carolina for a couple of weeks. We will likely do some 10-pin bowling down there, but we are not very good at that. 5-pin is our scene. Because we are away at the beginning of the season, we will probably miss out on the hi-lo doubles tournaments again, pity because I won a couple of rounds a couple of years ago.

I made this soup on Saturday morning and we had some for lunch. It was very good. I’ve never heard of a Turkish or California bay leaf. I used the bay leaves I have. I didn’t have any chorizo either so I used a garlic sausage that we buy all the time. I also used 2 cups of broth and a little less water.

Kale and Chickpea Soup

1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)Kale & Chickpea
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 large boiling potato(3/4 lb), peeled and cut into
1/2-inch pieces
3/4 lb kale, stems and center ribs cut out and discarded, then leaves very finely chopped in a food processor (4 cups)
 3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (28 fl oz)
2 cups water
1 (14-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 lb Spanish chorizo (cured spiced pork sausage), casing discarded and sausage cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)

1. Cook onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt, and pepper in oil in a wide 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until onion and garlic are softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add potato, kale, broth, and water and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then add chickpeas and chorizo and gently simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes. Discard bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.

Servings: 6

Source: Gourmet November 2004

Have a great day

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Feet, Chinese Pianist, Chilean Miners

If this isn’t odd, what is? A seventh foot has washed up on a Washington coast, six have washed up in BC and yet they are saying the police don’t suspect foul play – how can they not? People don’t cut off their own feet.

A 23 yr old Chinese named Liu Wei was on the news last night. He turned up on China’s Got Talent. He has no arms and plays the piano like a virtuoso, with his feet! To see a video of his performance go to http://tinyurl.com/36dh7pf where there is also an article. We actually knew a guy years ago who had no arms and could do incredible things with his feet. He used to say that the only thing he couldn’t do was splice wire rope. He could, however, splice regular rope with his toes. The one thing we found he wasn’t good at was shuffling cards although he could hold the cards fine and play card games for hours. It always seemed to me he would have to have pretty incredible body strength to hold his legs up in the air for the lengths of time required to do things. One thing I was puzzled about was why Liu Wei wore a sock on one foot and not the other?

There was video on TV last night from the miners who are stuck underground in a mine in Chile. They generally seem to be in pretty good spirits particularly since it is going to be 3-4 months before they can expect to be freed. The Chileans are going to drill a fairly small hole into the mine for them to crawl through. That, in itself, will be an ordeal. At least they can get supplies, electricity, food and air now although I discovered they lasted 18 days on absolutely minimum amounts of food before they were found. I guess claustrophobia doesn’t come in to it, you wouldn’t be a miner if you couldn’t take enclosed spaces.

Matt is making a new recipe for dinner tonight. We buy really nice pork tenderloins from Costco so I hunted for a different recipe to use. Matt also bought some kale the other day, I have never cooked kale but I think I am going to make a Kale and chickpea soup. I remember eating such a soup years ago.

Tangy Grilled Pork Tenderloin


servings 6

IngredientsTangy Pork Tenderloin

2 pounds pork tenderloin

2/3 cup honey

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Place meat in a large resealable plastic bag. In a medium bowl, mix together honey, Dijon mustard, chili powder, and salt. Pour marinade over tenderloins, seal, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  2. Prepare the grill for indirect heat.
  3. Lightly oil grill grate. Remove meat from marinade, and discard liquid. Grill for 15 to 25 minutes, or to desired doneness.

Have a great weekend.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Marijuana, Poppies and Terrorists.

I watched a documentary on The Nature of Things last night in which they provided overwhelming evidence that marijuana causes schizophrenia in a large number of users. If I were a user, that would stop me cold. They had all kinds of patients, their families and their doctors all talking about it. Research has been done in several countries which has conclusively proved the connection. I have always been anti pot, Mary Jane, cannabis, or whatever you want to call it, and this confirms my opinions. Drugs of any kind are dangerous, even those prescribed by your doctor have all kinds of side effects which are monitored and controlled but obviously so called recreational drugs are not monitored.

Talking of drugs, British Columbia have just found a poppy field which is ready to be harvested. They are now wondering how many more there are that they haven’t found yet. The pictures of the field showed it to be absolutely huge, I don’t know how much product you can get from one field mind you. Possibly not a lot. In my opinion people who use drugs need their heads examined.

Suspects Canada has just arrested three suspected Islamic terrorists on our soil. Now the other Islamis are worried about retribution and retaliation from the general population. A taxi driver in Toronto was slashed with a knife this week because he stated his religion was Islam. They have arrested the young man who did it and are puzzled as he has been involved in meetings promotion religious tolerance. Its not so much the religion as the militant branch of it which terrifies people and how, generally, do you know who is militant and who is not?

I have been having computer problems again this week, for various reasons I had to make a couple of changes and now my laptop will no longer talk to my desktop or vice versa. Its supposed to be a very simple set up, really? I have tried everything I can think of, and I am in email touch with the young man who built my new PC,  but haven’t solved the problem so far. I have a new thing to try today, so will do that later. I have been sharing the printer for a couple of weeks now, but no more.

I love shrimp, I love white beans, what’s not to like in this low cal healthy recipe?

Grilled Shrimp Skewers over White Bean Salad


From EatingWell:  July/August 2010

Fresh herbs make all the difference in this light, summery bean salad that in turn makes an aromatic bed for the easy grilled shrimp. The shrimp and salad are wonderful together but you could also make them separately. Consider skewering and grilling scallops as another delicious option.

Makes 6 servings Grilled Shrimp Skewers


1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/3 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons packed fresh oregano, minced

2 tablespoons packed fresh sage, minced

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed

12 cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 cup finely diced celery

24 raw shrimp (21-25 per pound; see Note), peeled and deveined

  1. Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, oregano, sage, chives, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dressing in a small bowl. Add beans, tomatoes and celery to the large bowl; toss well.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high or place a grill pan over medium-high heat until hot.
  3. Thread shrimp onto 6 skewers. (If using a grill pan, you don’t need to skewer the shrimp.)
  4. Oil the grill rack (see Tip) or the grill pan. Grill the shrimp until pink and firm, turning once, about 4 minutes total. Serve the shrimp on the white bean salad, drizzled with the reserved dressing.

Per serving : 239 Calories; 8 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 6 g Mono; 115 mg Cholesterol; 22 g Carbohydrates; 22 g Protein; 8 g Fiber; 575 mg Sodium; 298 mg Potassium

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 1/2 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

Tips & Notes
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the salad and shrimp separately for up to 1 day. | Equipment: Six 8- to 10-inch skewers
  • Note: Both wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when not managed properly. Look for shrimp certified by an independent agency, such as Wild American Shrimp or Marine Stewardship Council. If you can’t find certified shrimp, choose wild-caught shrimp from North America—it’s more likely to be sustainably caught. Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, “21-25 count” means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as “large” or “extra large,” are not standardized. In recipes calling for a specific count, order by the count (or number) per pound to be sure you’re getting the size you want.
  • Tip: To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fried Beer, Busting Pet Myths Sci Fi Hospitals.

Interesting segments on Good Morning America today; Sam Champion mentioned fried beer, yes, really, fried beer. Apparently they make something like a ravioli with a kind of pretzel mix and then deep fry it, however, it is fried so quickly it still maintains its alcohol. In case you don’t want the alcohol there is also fried lemonade!!!!! I’ll take my beer from a can thanks.

Romeo Although I don’t have a pet any more, I still watched the segment on pet safety. Whilst talking, the vet and the host were holding baby animals and there was the cutest little puppy – cuddly as all get out – called Romeo, I wanted him. It appears that chocolate is not as dangerous for dogs as has been touted. Its not a recommended food, its not really good for them, but it certainly isn’t poisonous. Personally I have fed dogs chocolate all my life with no ill affects. I have told the story of our dog helping herself to a wrapped box of chocolates whilst we were out and leaving just one for Matt. They were special chocolates from England brought for Christmas. The only danger our dog was in was from Matt when he saw what she’d done LOL. Poinsettias too, are NOT poisonous to animals. The vet did point out one or two items which are dangerous and one which surprised me was non-stick fry pans which at a certain heat release a chemical not dangerous to humans, cats or dogs but which is lethal for birds, lilies are lethal to cats – if you want to see the segment go to http://tinyurl.com/2dw62ey

Talking of animals, I see the woman in England who put the cat in a garbage bin is now under police protection because of the death threats she received. She is trying to say it was a joke and she thought the cat would wriggle out. She is obviously lying.

A segment that really impressed me today was about the ultra modern hospitals which are beginning to catch up with sci fi such as Star Trek. Ju Ju Cheng went to El Camino hospital in California to investigate all their new technology. Starting with hand scans when you first check in, to robots running around making deliveries, and more robots in the operating room. Do check out the video, it is absolutely fascinating and gives one great faith for the future. Mind you, our orthopedic surgeon still doesn’t have glue for closing his incisions yet but still uses staples. http://tinyurl.com/2exuscg 

When I was young and went to secretarial college on a daily basis, I used to call in to a local café first and have a coffee and a fresh home made scone with lots of melting butter. They were great, but today, you can get all kinds of flavours in scones. This one being an example.

Cheese and Chive Scones

Source: Outdoor Entertaining

Makes 12

Rec Image

1 1/2 cups self rising flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon margarine

3/4 cup finely grated Cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons finely snipped chives

3/4 cup milk

Extra milk, for glazing


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease and flour a baking sheet. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in the margarine with the fingertips to make a fine crumbs, then add cheese, chives and three-quarters of the milk to make a soft dough. Add remaining milk only if needed.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Press out the dough with the fingertips until 3/4 inch thick. Cut into rounds with a floured biscuit cutter and place on the baking sheet.

Brush the tops with milk and bake for about 10 minutes, until well colored and cooked through.

Have a great day


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chile, Chinese, Aussie Conventions.

Have you heard about the poor miners trapped in a mine in Chile. They say it could be 4 months or more before they can drill a tunnel to where they are although they are able to send them life support items and electricity etc. What an ordeal though, the authorities have contacted NASA for help on what to do to keep up the morale – they are planning to send down cards and games etc. there is a report here http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN24265291.

Yesterday we went for lunch at the Mandarin which is part of Mandarina chain of Chinese restaurants and is a pretty good place to eat and not unduly expensive. What I don’t understand – there is another chain called King’s Buffet who do the same kind of Chinese food and they have just built a new one really close to the Mandarin. That seems nutty to me, but I know nothing about marketing. There is already a King’s Buffet in town although I am not sure where, I have never been. I went to one in Stratford once and although it was good, I much prefer the Mandarin.

In the afternoon we played cribbage with the friend we compete most regularly. First time in ages as she had been swanning around in the Yukon and Alaska for the last few weeks. She had a marvellous time I understand, so I am very jealous. I’m also very jealous of all the people who will be attending Worldcon and Aussiecon in Australia very shortly. There are going to be all kinds of fantastic authors and interesting panels. I know three of my blogging and author friends with be there, Karen Miller, Glenda Larke and Satima Flavel. Anyone want to buy me a ticket? *g*. Actually our friend’s sinlaw has just come back from a business trip to Oz and is somewhat unwell, sounds a bit like bronchitis from the description. You got a nasty bug going out there you guys? Mind you I wouldn’t want to fly to Australia spend about a week flying around there and then travel back to Canada. That is pretty hard going, enough to make you sick on its own. He and his partners are young, but…..

Matt and I both enjoy frittatas and I thought the picture of this one looked particularly colourful and enticing. Might be making it for a Sunday lunch this weekend.

Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata

Source: © EatingWell Magazine

 6 servings 

A frittata is a baked omelet, far easier because it lacks that pesky step of flipping it. Frittatas appeared on the Saturnia, a fashionable Italian cruise ship in the post-WWII years. The dish was an elegant lunch on transatlantic crossings and became a U.S. craze when The New York Times ran the first English-language recipe in 1952.

Make Ahead Tip: Let cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; serve cold.


8 eggsRec Image

2 Tbs finely chopped fresh oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup sliced red bell pepper

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese


Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.

Whisk eggs, oregano, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large, ovenproof, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and scallions and cook, stirring constantly, until the scallions are just wilted, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cook, lifting the edges of the frittata to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath, until the bottom is light golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Dot the top of the frittata with cheese, transfer the pan to the oven and broil until puffy and lightly golden on top, 2 to 3 minutes. Let rest for about 3 minutes before serving. Serve hot or cold.

Have a great day


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Scanners and Blog Books, New Words, Cholesterol.

We had to go to Staples for some computer paper yesterday and I had a quick look at scanners. What I ought to buy was about $70 before tax, what I wanted was about $100. However, we have kind of decided to wait until we are on vacation to see what is available in North Carolina. The one I was interested in had the ability to take negatives and print pictures from them. I saw one similar when I bought my previous scanner, I would like to get one – ve shall see!!

Talking of paper, I didn’t tell you about the dumb thing I did the other day. I mentioned quite a while back about Blog2Print or Shared Books. You can get them to make books from your blogs which they will then print for you in hard cover, very expensive, soft cover, still expensive, or you can download and print yourself, cheaper. The other day I printed up the latest and once I had finished all 300 some pages, I realised I had already printed it before and it was the wrong book. What a waste of paper, ink and time. Grrrrr. I print the pages on pre-punched paper which makes life easier and that’s what we had to get yesterday. I can’t believe I was so stupid. Until I started printing these books, I had no idea just how much I waffled on in these blogs. So my thanks to all of you who follow my bletherings. (Good old Scottish word).

vuvuzela That reminds me, I heard something about the Oxford Dictionary announcing new words to be added to the dictionary, I gather staycation is one and I believe twitter (in the electronic sense) is another. I see vuvuzela has also been added, how funny. This is the link to the Times list of all the new words and phrases. http://newsfeed.time.com/new-words-in-the-ode/

Although we are now out of asparagus season, I came across this recipe yesterday which is part of a recommendation to eat more nut fats for cholesterol fitness. Basically the article said to eat more nuts of all kinds to help lower cholesterol and clear out your arteries. I wonder if Nutella counts.

Roasted Asparagus with Pine Nuts


From EatingWell:  Spring 2003, The EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook (2005)

Roasting is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to cook asparagus. Here we give it an extra flourish with a quick sauce of reduced balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts.

4 servings | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes

IngredientsRoasted Asparagus with Pine Nuts

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1 1/2 pounds asparagus

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread pine nuts in a small baking pan and toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
  2. Increase oven temperature to 450° F. Snap off the tough ends of asparagus. Toss the asparagus with shallot, oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet with sides. Roast, turning twice, until the asparagus is tender and browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring vinegar and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, swirling the pan occasionally, until slightly syrupy and reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 5 minutes. To serve, toss the asparagus with the reduced vinegar and sprinkle with the pine nuts.

Per serving : 112 Calories; 5 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 12 g Carbohydrates; 5 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 150 mg Sodium; 491 mg Potassium

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 fat (mono)

Have a great day


Monday, August 23, 2010

Pakistan, Old Acquaintances.

Sunday I just saw a CBC News video about Pakistan which included a map of the Indus River as it was a year ago and as it is today. That really gave me pause. http://tinyurl.com/23hkpmd the reporter says there is no real way they can get to some of the areas to do their job and that this is an ongoing disaster which doesn’t appear to be stopping any time in the near future. It also appears that there are areas which are not flooded, but which are cut off because all the bridges are down. Canada’s government is promising $50 million which has been described as a drop in the bucket by the opposition. However, when you consider that is more than $1 million per head of the Canadian population which a couple of years ago stood at just over 35 million, I think it classifies as a lot more than a drop in the bucket. Canadians themselves have also been as generous as usual with money pouring in for disaster relief and I have no doubt there are lots of Canadians who have gone over there to try and help. I read that India has contributed $5 million. I don’t know how much the US have contributed, but I am sure its a vast amount. Total amount of pledges to Pakistan are in the $800 million range. Probably still not enough.

Shaw Taylor On Saturday I was reminiscing and thinking of a bunch of people I knew more than 40 years ago. Three TV guys who used to come to the yacht club my parents ran and sailed their boat from there. One of them was a well known TV personality (the other two were behind the scenes) and I searched for him on the internet to be pleasantly surprised to find him and to find an email addy. I emailed him and was pleased he did remember those days and in particular my parents. The other two guys are no longer around unfortunately. Must admit I was surprised to be able to contact him but he has a web site www.shawtaylor.com where I just read a poem he wrote called I Watched Him Go. Very moving and recommended reading. Now I am looking for another friend, he has appeared in dozens of TV programmes in the UK, but I can’t find any way to locate he and his wife with whom I was once very close. Well I’m damned, I carried on searching and discovered that the missing friend and Shaw Taylor were in a movie in 1977 starring Richard Burton. Small world innit?

Heard a dreadful little story on the news the other day. Parents on holiday and on the way home it was so hot, their autistic child was having trouble breathing so they rushed him to the hospital. Two hours later, the father suddenly says, what about the baby? Turned out they had left a 2 yr old in the closed car for 2 whole hours!!!!!!!! Needless to say, the baby was dead. You cannot imagine the parents doing such a thing can you? Poor little mite would have boiled to death. What a tragedy for the family.

I have just finished The Shadow of Your Smile which is the latest book by Mary Higgins Clark. As usual I thoroughly enjoyed it as I have enjoyed all her stories. If you havenever read her novels, and you like thrillers then you should try them.

Here is another Eating Well recipe which appears to be an update on the usual Crème Caramel or Flan recipe which has been in use for centuries and which has been one of my favourites for nearly as long *g*

Caramel Cream Cheese Custard (Flan de Queso)

Source: © EatingWell Magazine

Yield: 12 servings

Every panaderia (bakery) in Puerto Rico has many flavors of flan, from vanilla to guava. Reduced-fat cream cheese gives this version a rich, comforting texture.


1/2 cup sugar

Caramel Cream Cheese Custard (Flan de Queso) Recipe at Cooking.com

2 tablespoons water

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened

8 large eggs

1 14-ounce can nonfat or low-fat sweetened condensed milk

1 12-ounce can nonfat or low-fat evaporated milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, gently swirling the pan (do not stir), until the mixture turns golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Immediately, pour the caramel carefully into a 9-inch round metal cake pan. If it stiffens before it completely covers the bottom of the pan, warm the pan in the oven, then swirl to cover the bottom.

Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with a mixer at medium-high speed until soft. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides. Add condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla; mix until combined. Carefully pour into the prepared pan. (You may hear some cracking; the pan will be very full).

Place the cake pan in a larger pan and pour enough hot water around it to come 1 inch up the sides. Bake until golden and set at the edges but still wobbly at the center, about 1 hour. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.

Transfer the cake pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert the flan onto a plate.

Have a great day.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bear Attack, Egg Warnings

Ohio Bear Attack A report I saw on TV this morning was about a man  being killed by a bear to whom he gave care. It actually seems somewhat sad that the victim loved the bear and had been caring for it for a while. Nobody actually knows what provoked the bear to attack on Thursday – to read the story go here http://tinyurl.com/28m6vje – I’m not sure why people keep such animals on their own properties although I have heard them defend themselves by stating they have less accidents and escapes than do regular zoos. This particular back yard zoo used to allow people to wrestle one of the bears.

There is an ad running on TV at the moment which is for outdoor clothes and gear, their theme song is an oldie which used to be sung by Burl Ives, Big Rock Candy Mountain. the only part of it I know is that last line. I need to learn the rest so Matt won’t laugh at me when I sing out ‘big rock candy mountain’. This is a YouTube version of Burl Ives singing it http://tinyurl.com/39n6hyb and its not quite the same words as they are using for the ad.

The recall of eggs in the States has expanded considerably with 2,000 people having  been made sick. Figures of 228 million eggs have been quoted and they say some of the illnesses may not even have been reported. The advice – cook those eggs all the way through, just in case. Salmonella can just make you feel ill, or it can kill you.

Yet another of my regular emails is Living Well and yesterday they had this very interesting looking dessert.

Black Forest Tiramisu

Source: Splenda

Makes: 8 servings


9 squares (253 g) semi-sweet bakers chocolate image

1/3 cup (80 mL) canned evaporated skim milk

2 packages (500 g) spreadable light cream cheese

1/2 cup (125 mL) and 1/3 cup (80 mL)  SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated

2 1/2 tsp (12 mL) vanilla extract

1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream

24 thin chocolate wafer cookies

1/4 cup (60 mL) cold strong coffee

2 tbsp (30 mL) brandy (optional)

1 can (540 mL) cherry pie filling

8 mint leaves


Chop 9 squares of the chocolate, reserving 1 square chopped for garnish

Chocolate cream cheese mixture

Melt the 8 squares of chocolate with the evaporated skim milk in double boiler, over gently simmering water. Stir to combine. Combine 1 package of spreadable cream cheese with 1/2 cup (125 mL) SPLENDA® Granulated and 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract in a separate mixing bowl.

Pour the melted chocolate mixture into this cream cheese mixture. Combine thoroughly and set aside.

Whipped cream/cream cheese mixture

Beat the 2nd package of cream cheese with 1/3 cup (80 mL) SPLENDA® Granulated and 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) vanilla extract in a separate bowl.

Whip the whipping cream separately until stiff peaks form and then fold into the cream cheese mixture and set aside.


Assemble into eight 10 oz ramekins or parfait glasses by dispersing in the following order: Chocolate cream cheese mixture; coffee dipped (brandy option) wafer cookies (3 per portion), 1/2 of the cherry pie filling, whipped cream/cream cheese mixture, the other 1/2 of the cherry pie filling

Top each dessert with the reserved chopped chocolate and a mint leaf

Serve immediately or chill and serve cold

Have a great weekend


Friday, August 20, 2010

Chocolate, South Pacific

A friend in the UK was telling us about a Mother’s Day present she got (March is Mother’s Day in the UK) and finally took advantage of recently. With her daughter they went to My Chocolate http://www.mychocolate.co.uk/ where they had a fabulous time learning about chocolate and making various chocolate items which they could then take home. She said they had a wonderful day. I just wish there was something similar round here, it would be right up my street. I would probably have a hard time staying away from the place.

South Pacific The other night we watched a new production of South Pacific at the Lincoln Centre. It has been running for a while now and there is also a touring company which is presently performing in Toronto. Apparently this is the first time the show has been performed live in many years. The movie was made in 1959 and the show itself was first staged in 1949 adapted from Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener. It is touted as one of the greatest musicals of all time and it certainly has my vote. Of course I was in love with Rossano Brazzi who played the lead in the movie opposite Mitzi Gaynor. I blubber all the way through the movie and I blubbered watching it on TV the other night. In other words, I really enjoyed it. If you don’t know the show, and you are not in a position to see the live performance I recommend getting the movie of South Pacific one way or another. Then you can swoon over Rossano Brazzi as I did. I was just remembering the first time I saw the movie in London, in Leicester Square I think, but it was a long time ago.

A new email from Hershey’s containing all kinds of delicious looking sweet things – I chose these brownies to share with you.

Double Peanut Butter Paisley Brownies

Source: Hersheys

Ingredients:Peanut Butter Brownies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup REESE'S Creamy Peanut Butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips

1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Syrup


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan. 2. Beat butter and peanut butter in large bowl. Add sugar and brown sugar; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla. 3. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; mix into peanut butter mixture, blending well. Stir in peanut butter chips. Spread half of batter into prepared pan; spoon syrup over top. Carefully top with remaining batter; swirl with metal spatula or knife for marbled effect. 4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares. About 36 brownies.

Have a great day.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Windows, Bulls, Eggs and Kites

I recently read that it is advisable always to use the “Safely Unplug Hardware” button to disconnect a USB device. Unfortunately although that was around on Windows XP it doesn’t seem to be a feature of Windows 7. There are features on Window 7 which I enjoy having, there are other things which were on XP which I miss. I don’t really need some of the features, including extensive graphic capabilities, but it becomes necessary to upgrade because other programmes do so and you can no longer run them adequately on your old Windows system. I have, in fact, ended up with Windows 7 32 bit on my laptop and 64 bit on my PC. As they seem to be perfectly interchangeable, that is fine by me, but I find the 32 bit version runs some of my older programmes which the 64 won’t even recognise.

Talking of recognition, I have a spelling problem. I spell most things the English way and naturally my computer software thinks I should spell the American way. Actually, I have been in North America so long I no longer remember which is which and so am surprised when I get a nasty little red line under my typing. Canada tends to use the English version, but isn’t really consistent. One company I worked for which had American owners, insisted we used American spelling so this is why mine comes out mixed up. For instance, I never spell tire any other way now and yet when I was in England it was tyre. Churchill said it first, two nations divided by a common language. Its not just how things are spelled but also what is said or how it is phrased. Takes a while to get used to when you emigrate.

toro_bravo Quite frightening; on the TV news last night, a bull in an arena near Pamplona, Spain jumped up into the spectator area and rampaged around. http://tinyurl.com/2auxxvt to see the video and an article in the Daily Telegraph. Lots of people were hurt – eventually they got a rope round the bull and finally shot it. But seeing the bull jump up, I am surprised it has never happened before. Oops it has – looking for video of what I saw last night, I found quite a few videos on YouTube of different bulls jumping into the stands. The thing that upset me in the video of this particular bull, Quesero, was the distressed sounds coming from the bull once they subdued it. And why, pray tell, do they bother to name bulls they are about to kill in such a horrible fashion anyway? I read that bullfighting bulls are bred differently and have smaller bodies but very powerful hind quarters which is why jumping into the stands is not so difficult for them. I am amongst the many who consider bull fighting should be banned. I think it is a barbaric sport. In ancient days they used to bull dance, now that I would like to see. So now I have discovered that they do something similar these days, its called Course Landaise and there is some video http://tinyurl.com/23ydv6 which shows a much more humane way of bull fighting.

Another scary item on last night’s news was a lot of salmonella in American eggs. Luckily none were distributed to Canada. However, there has been a massive recall plus warnings that if you are going to risk eating the eggs you should make sure the yolks are properly cooked through, no sunnyside ups or soft boiled eggs. I thought I heard someone say the salmonella was on the shells so I wonder if you washed your eggs whether it would be sufficient. Not worth taking the risk I guess.

Apparently more and more parks in Toronto areKite banning kite flying, particularly because of the abandoned clumps of strings which are left lying around as a trap for birds and animals not to mention humans. Toronto is following in the footsteps of the Taliban who have banned kite flying in many places, such as Afghanistan, already, for much the same reasons. The strings are not biodegradable and the TV showed great clumps Star Wars Kites of tangled strings just lying around in the parks. Apparently they are beginning to introduce safer kite strings which do biodegrade, whether this will reverse the decisions or not, I don’t know. I once went to see a kite demo/tournament on the beach in North Carolina and it was pretty spectacular. I couldn’t resist adding the Star Wars Kites.

I picked this delicious sounding recipe up from Cooking.com and thought it would make a good dish for a party, but also one could make it for the family. I didn’t mention, we had Chorio for supper last night, I gave the recipe a few days ago. First time we have eaten it in quite a long time, it was delicious.

Crab Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

By Kim127 on May 09, 2003


Photo by Kim127

Makes 40


    • 1/4 lb lump crabmeat
    • 1 -2 teaspoon chili sauce
    • 1/4 teaspoon dijon-style mustard
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 scallions, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
    • 40 cherry tomatoes ( about)
    • salt


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the crab meat, chili sauce, mustard, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, scallions and herbs.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  4. Using a serrated knife, cut a very thin slice from the stem end of each tomato.
  5. Carefully scoop out pulp and seeds with the tip of a teaspoon.
  6. Lightly sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with salt.
  7. Invert them on paper towels and let them drain for about 15 minutes.
  8. Using a small spoon, stuff the tomatoes with the crab, mounding the filling slightly on top.
  9. Serve cold.

Have a great day


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mothers and Kids, PC Funny.

Yet another woman who has killed her kids, this time by suffocating them first and then driving her car into water and claiming an accident. I was wondering, the other night, whether these women ever wake up to what they have done or are their minds completely otherwhere? I cannot imagine what it must feel like realising that you have killed your children. I don’t have children but it gives me the horrors thinking of the terror of those poor mites being killed by the one person they should have been able to trust most. It isn’t that rare unfortunately, there are many stories in the news of parents killing their children. It makes me think that maybe the “sci fi” books where they have different people doing the jobs they are most suited for and therefore people who love children bringing them up, isn’t such a bad system at all. Yargo by Jacqueline Susann comes to mind although the heroine persuaded the aliens to live the way we do in the end. Mistake in my opinion.

Another story this morning of a mother on a flight slapping her 13 month old baby on the face to stop it crying. Sounds a bit illogical to me anyway, obviously the child is going to cry more. The stewardess eventually took the child away from the mother and then the father came and took the baby and held it until it slept.

There has been a lot of fuss about a TV host Dr. Laura who, on one of her broadcasts, questioned why only black people are allowed to use the “n” word and not whites; she used the word right out. I am not risking using it here but I hope you know which word I mean. Anyone can use the “f” word and similar obscenities, but God forbid you should use the “n” word unless you, yourself, are black. Dr. Laura has now left the show because of all the fuss although she did make an apology.

Lost File

A friend sent this error message this morning and I thought it very appropriate so I thought I would share it with you. It is perfectly understandable to most of us computer users.

Having added that File Missing picture, I keep seeing it out of the corner of my eye and thinking I am getting an error message of some kind, *g*.

A lot of places in North Carolina serve a form of Shrimp and Grits. I must admit, I tried grits once and found them rather bland and have never tried them since although there is one restaurant we go to which makes a specialty of the dish and I have been told it is excellent. I keep meaning to order it but something else always catches my eye. Coming across this recipe today, I just had to share it with you.

Shrimp & Cheddar Grits

Source: © EatingWell Magazine

4 servings

The South's version of creamy polenta, grits are easy to make on a weeknight—especially when topped with quickly broiled shrimp and scallions. Use the sharpest Cheddar you can find for these cheesy grits. Serve with: Sautéed greens and a tall glass of iced tea.


1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken brRec Imageoth

1 1/2 cups water

3/4 cup quick grits (not instant) (see Shopping Tip)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

3/4 cup extra-sharp or sharp Cheddar cheese

1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (16-20 per pound; see Shopping Tip)

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

Tip: Shopping Tips: Look for quick grits near oatmeal and other hot cereals or near cornmeal in the baking aisle. Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, "21-25 count" means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as "large" or "extra large," are not standardized, so to be sure you’re getting the size you want, order by the count (or number) per pound. Both wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when not managed properly. Fortunately, it is possible to buy shrimp that have been raised or caught with sound environmental practices. Look for fresh or frozen shrimp certified by an independent agency, such as Wild American Shrimp or Marine Stewardship Council. If you can’t find certified shrimp, choose wild-caught shrimp from North America—it’s more likely to be sustainably caught.


Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.

Bring broth and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in grits and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, toss shrimp, scallions, oil, garlic powder, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt in a medium bowl. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Broil, stirring once, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve the grits topped with the broiled shrimp and scallions.

Have a great day


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Michael Douglas, World Disasters.

It was announced this morning that Michael Douglas has Michael Douglasa tumour in his throat which is malignant and is about to undergo 8 weeks of radiation therapy. http://tinyurl.com/38a6bg4. I have always enjoyed Michael Douglas’ performances and wish him the best of luck, the prognosis is, in fact, good. He has been struggling to quit smoking for years apparently and has never managed it – his doctors figure that is definitely a contributing factor as well as the fact that he is a self admitted alcohol abuser. He has had a bad year with his son being jailed for drug pushing – one wonders why, there must be enough money in the family surely, or is that being naïve? I just checked, his Dad, Kirk Douglas is, incredibly still alive, he is 94. I always loved his acting too. One of Kirk’s most famous films was Spartacus but I always remember him in The Vikings, quite a story that one, I had the book for many years, not sure if I still do, but it was pretty fantastic. One of my favourite Michael Douglas films is The American President with Annette Benning.

Still lots of terrible reports coming out of Pakistan, even now there are people who have had no kind of aid. I am sure distribution is a factor here. I don’t remember so many major disasters as we have been having in recent years – is this all to do with global warming I wonder? Countries are pouring out millions, but for some, tragically, help will come too late. There are lots of disasters taking place on this continent too with fires and flooding, in the broad picture of such major events as Pakistan’s problems these smaller news items tend to get lost. Not smaller for those who have lost their homes to fires or other natural phenomenon. I find I keep thinking lately, thank God we live in a high rise on a hill.

Today we have decided to defrost our freezer. A job I hate, but it has to be done. I don’t know why they can build fridge/freezers which defrost automatically, but freezers, even uprights, have to be defrosted. It was easy when we were in NC, the freezer was in the shed and we just left the door open on a warm day and didn’t have to worry about anything (yes we did move the food of course), but here we have to use bath towels all over the floor to catch all the water – maybe if we did it more often it wouldn’t cause so much problem. I notice too, that some of the shelves are looking a tad rusty, I wonder if they can be replaced.

The other day, sorting through what ‘stuff’ I can still open on my new computer, I came across part of the book I tried to write a number of years ago. I have it all on paper, but I was gradually trying to copy it back onto the computer. I am stuck now though, no scanner. Will check them out when we go on vacation. Anyway, I was talking about my father and some of his favourite recipes, one of which was Chorio. I have no idea where he got this recipe from, but it was always a family favourite. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture but think I will be making this again very soon.

ChorioTube of Tomato Paste

1 Tbs Olive Oil

1 1/2 lge onions, chopped

1/4 demitasse garlic, crushed

2 tsp paprika

1 tube tomato purée (4 1/2 to 5 oz.)

1 small can tomatoes


red wine

Pinch cayenne

Pinch Mace

1 fillet of haddock or cod per person

A little wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Slice of bread per fillet

Oil for frying bread

Soft fry onions and garlic in olive oil, add paprika, purée, tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes, thicken with cornstarch and then reduce with red wine to a nice smooth consistency. Add cayenne to taste and the mace. Simmer the sauce for about an hour until all well blended to form a purée. Place fillets in a greased baking dish, sprinkle with vinegar and seasonings. Cover with greased wax paper. Poach for approximately 20 minutes at 425°F. Meanwhile fry bread in the olive oil until crisp, serve fish on top of fried bread covered with the sauce.

Have a great day


Monday, August 16, 2010

The Gulf and its Seafood,

President Obama is spending his holidays on the Gulf Coast and there are pictures of him swimming there. The message being ‘come back to the Gulf for your vacation, all is well’ – is it? Maybe for vacationers: they have now cleaned up the beaches and the local waters, but from films I have seen, over the past few months, there is probably still oil suspended in the waters of the gulf and there is certainly lots of it on the seabed. What that is doing to the local ecology I dread to think. Fishing is also taking place there and I am sorry, but personally I wouldn’t want to eat it – at least not yet awhile. According to reports, tourism is badly down and the local businesses are losing money which is why the President is there.

This morning There was a report on Good Morning America who sent their own people down to investigate the health of the seafood in the Gulf. They sent samples of their catches to a Texas laboratory for testing and the upshot was “no contamination was present” which is what the FDA is saying. However, even the fishermen were doubtful about the seafood  they were catching. There is a video here http://tinyurl.com/25jsma4 from today’s programme. The trouble is, shrimp, crabs and oysters are all on the bottom which is where the oil has settled and eating the oil could, over time, cause cancer in humans. However, THE WORD is that it is safe to eat this seafood.

What concerns me in particular, when we go to North Carolina for our vacation next month, and want to eat seafood, you cannot always guarantee where this seafood, especially the shrimp, has originated. The restaurants, I have discovered, do not buy raw shrimp and shell them – too expensive for them – so they buy pre-prepared shrimp which could come from anywhere. I wonder, I have never checked, whether the same applies to the flounder one eats in local restaurants there. I think I had better stick to buying my seafood from a fisherman and cooking it myself. Maybe I am over reacting, as I said, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) say the seafood is safe.

After all that, obviously we need a shrimp recipe.

Asparagus Shrimp Saladshrimp

Source: Shrimp Recipes

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients List:

½ cup salad oil
¼ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne
Pinch pepper
1 ½ pounds asparagus, thick ends removed,
1 pound cooked shrimp, shelled and cleaned
1 slice fresh lemon
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
¼ cup sliced green onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Lettuce leaves
1 ounce grated Monterey Jack cheese


1. Combine everything in large mixing bowl or blender and mix until combined.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add asparagus and boil 2 minutes, until bright green. Drain and chop asparagus.
3. Place asparagus, shrimp, lemon, and prepared dressing in medium mixing bowl. Toss to combine and refrigerate.
4. Meanwhile, combine red pepper, green onion, and parsley in small mixing bowl.
5. To serve, drain shrimp mixture and arrange on plate with lettuce and cheese. Serve with bell pepper mixture atop shrimp and asparagus.

Have a great day.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Kiss, Humiliation Diet.

Time Square Kiss At the end of World War II a photograph was taken of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square which became an iconic symbol of the end of the war. Now they have erected a statue which is a copy of this picture and the intention is that today they will have a kiss-a-thon in Times Square to celebrate both the end of that war and to pay tribute to the people of that time. There is a video clip here in which the organiser explains the intention behind the event http://tinyurl.com/2aclcan which explains the idea behind it, also there are two more statues, one in Florida and one in California.

There is a new ‘fad’ on Twitter at the moment, posting your weight and your dieting each day to show people how you are doing and to keep yourself on track by shaming yourself into it. They call it the Humiliation Diet. A dietitian was interviewed on GMA this morning and she thought humiliation was not a good way to feel when you are dieting. Much as I would like to lose weight, I can’t imagine sharing it with the world. Even at Weight Watchers®, the only people who know your weight are the counsellors although if you have a particularly good loss it will be shared with the others in the room.

The floods in both Iowa and Pakistan continue to worsen with the rain being non stop. We also heard of some flooding in North Carolina last night, I am not sure how bad that is. A lot of the trouble is because people have, over the centuries, ignored the flood plains – oh look a pretty river, lets build a house – but however pretty, rivers have been flooding since time began. When we bought our land in NC, we didn’t check into the flood plain either, but in fact we looked into it later and we were outside the known flood area, in our case flooding would have been from the sea if there had been enough wind to drive it inland. Talking of which, I was reading Driving Force yesterday by Dick Francis which included a lot about hurricanes. A good book, but then as I have said, I love all Dick Francis books. Another book about hurricanes which I really loved was called Wyatt’s Hurricane by Desmond Bagley, an author I used to read a lot of at one time.

Continuing with the breakfast theme, here is another recipe from Eating Well.

Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiches


From EatingWell: April/May 2005

These crustless mini quiches are like portable omelets. Turkey sausage and sauteed mushrooms keep them light and savory. Small and satisfying, they're also a good finger food for your next cocktail party.

1 dozen mini quiches Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiches_0


8 ounces turkey breakfast sausage, removed from casing and crumbled into small pieces

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup sliced scallions

1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

5 eggs

3 egg whites

1 cup 1% milk

  1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Coat a nonstick muffin tin generously with cooking spray (see Tip).
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Add oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the sausage. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in scallions, cheese and pepper.
  3. Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of the sausage mixture into each cup.
  4. Bake until the tops are just beginning to brown, 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Place a rack on top of the pan, flip it over and turn the quiches out onto the rack. Turn upright and let cool completely.

Per quiche : 90 Calories; 5 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 1 g Mono; 105 mg Cholesterol; 3 g Carbohydrates; 9 g Protein; 0 g Fiber; 217 mg Sodium; 108 mg Potassium

Exchanges: 1 medium-fat meat

Tips & Notes
  • Make Ahead Tip: Individually wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • A good-quality nonstick muffin tin works best for this recipe. If you don't have one, line a regular muffin tin with foil baking cups.

Have a great weekend.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Migrant Ship, GMA Concerts.

Canadians, and in particular the authorities in British Columbia are very concerned about the Tamil ship which has now reached their shores. There may be all kinds of undesirables hidden among the genuine refugees and time will have to be taken to discover who they are. Meanwhile they will be housed in special compounds and I understand it may take months before they can be certain there are no Tamil Tigers amongst the refugees not to mention human smugglers – read here http://tinyurl.com/2e3sq6b There are already a lot of protests in Canada that immigrants/refugees are treated better than seniors who have lived, worked and contributed to the country during their lives.

As usual we had Good Morning America on TV today. Towards the end they had the Jonas Brothers on to do one of the summer concerts in the park. Fine, if they want to do that, and people want to go, OK, but they try and do interviews with other guests (or even with the Jonas Brothers themselves) with the screaming background of the audience and it is totally impossible to hear what is being said. Even a weather report was completely incomprehensible with all the screamers surrounding the meteorologist. Pointless. They should continue to do interviews in the studio as usual rather than sending the whole crew over to the park.

I am always on the lookout for different breakfast foods as cereal and toast can get a tad boring. Actually I saw a chef on the Dr. Oz show the other day who had lost a lot of weight since discovering he had diabetes and one of his tips was to eat like a king at breakfast, like a princess for lunch and a pauper for supper. It is a fact, I have trouble losing weight these days which is not a good thing for someone with diabetes. Anyway, here is a slightly different twist on breakfast from Eating Well. Only trouble is you then have to figure out what to do with the yolks.

Egg & Salmon Sandwich


From EatingWell:  July/August 2008

Smoked salmon and egg whites on a toasted whole-wheat English muffin is the perfect power breakfast. For a more substantial meal, pair it with a piece of fruit or a glass of 100% juice.

1 sandwich | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 15 minutes

IngredientsEgg and Salmon Sandwich

1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

2 large egg whites, beaten

Pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon capers, rinsed and chopped (optional)

1 ounce smoked salmon

1 slice tomato

1 whole-wheat English muffin, split and toasted

  1. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 1 minute. Add egg whites, salt and capers (if using) and cook, stirring constantly, until whites are set, about 30 seconds.
  2. To make the sandwich, layer the egg whites, smoked salmon and tomato on English muffin.

Per serving : 214 Calories; 5 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 7 mg Cholesterol; 25 g Carbohydrates; 19 g Protein; 3 g Fiber; 670 mg Sodium; 221 mg Potassium

1 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 2 lean meat

Have a great day