Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Furniture, Oscar Dresses and Kisses, Cruise Ships

I kind of wish I had never bought furniture from the estate of a woman in the coldbuilding. I got a very good deal, but as I said, the lounger was obviously the cat’s chair and for some reason I got allergies up the kazoo from  it. I now have a company in cleaning the chair and the sofa (just in case) which is almost doubling the price we paid for the stuff. However, having bought it, what can you do? Even had I known it was the cat’s chair, I wouldn’t have worried as I have never been allergic to either cats or any other animal, as far as I am aware, but I sure reacted to the chair, I have had a miserable few days of it untilCat chair I figured what was causing it. I thought I had a cold at first, and we never get colds. Matt did have one, but now I am wondering if he too had a reaction to the chair and we didn’t realise it. After all, it was only me sitting on it. I have also been on antihistamines so I am considerably dopey at the moment as well. A friend on Facebook said it was a case of buyer beware, but I wouldn’t have taken any notice other than cursing the cat hair. I have owned cats or dogs all my life. Guess I won’t be doing so again. This also meant I missed bowling again. Not only that but I didn’t have a dry seat to watch TV or even read a book last night. My chair still isn’t too dry, but he really did scrub it, so once it is dry it should be safe for me.

On TV yesterday morning, there were lots of comments on the apparelJ Lo of all the film stars at the Oscars, there were hundreds of tweets on the night about the apparent malfunction of Jennifer Lopez’s wardrobe although someone in the know said it couldn’t happen because there were cups in the dress Penelope Cruztop to prevent it. Although really, its silly when you think about it, you can show every part of your book except the nipple, that is then considered rude. Illogical or what? It really was a very lovely dress and she is one of the few who could have worn it. My favourite dress was that worn by Penelope Cruz, it was simple but elegant.  I also particularly liked Gwyneth Paltroe’s ensemble which included a coat. Someone commented it was cold enough on the red carpet to require one. It did tickle me to hear the interviewers saying to the stars “who are you wearing?”. I know what theyGeorge and Billy meant, but funny way of phrasing it I thought. Dunno about you, but I’m damned if I would stand outside the theatre for hours just to get a glimpse of all the famous people. I wasn’t too fussed about seeing it on TV, in fact I missed a lot of it, but to stand in the cold for ages, no I thank you not even on the promise of a kiss from George Clooney. Well I figure if he kisses Billy Crystal he wouldn’t mind giving me a kiss too LOL. If you didn’t watch the programme, you missed it, very funny.

Costa ConcordiaThere is another Italian cruise ship in trouble its had a fire in the engine room and is now drifting in the waters off Somalia where pirates are known to operate. Checking it out I came across this article detailing 5 cruise ship accidents. The one of South Africa was described as being neglected with a hole in one of the bulkheads, etc. and the captain and crew jumped ship and left it to the entertainment staff to evacuate the ship!!!! The picture shown is, to me, incredible, the Costa Concordia which the skipper ran aground, but the people in the foreground are totally blasé about it. I think people have to be very careful about going on cruises (have friends who are on one next week, hope they will be OK) and check the history of the company. One thing to check is where the ships are registered. Just because a ship is ostensibly from Italy, France, etc. doesn’t mean its registered there. Many ships fly under a flag of convenience from Liberia where standards are not generally as high, so if you know a ship is registered in Liberia, I would tend to avoid booking it. I learned this from my father many years ago. That’s not to say all ships under a flag of convenience are substandard. Nor that all the accidents occur to ships registered in Liberia. It is just one of the things to look out for.

Parmesan crusted chickenBy the way, for supper last night we tried the classic Hellman’s Parmesan Crusted chicken recipe, it wasn’t bad. Sure was simple enough to do. We think we would flatten the chicken next time though; tenderise it a bit.

Not sure how you can call it a meatloaf when there isn’t any meat in it, but even though I am not pro meatloaves anyway, I think I might enjoy this one.

Mushroom Meatloaf

WebMD Recipe from EatingWell.com

The addition of richly flavored dried mushrooms and the whole-grain goodness of bulgur increases the vitamins and minerals and decreases the saturated fat of thisMushroom Meatloaf meatloaf. The loaf is free-form, rather than baked in a loaf pan, which means more delicious, browned crust. This recipe is large enough to feed a big group or, even better, have leftovers for a cold sandwich the next day.

Servings: 10

Recipe Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup dried mushrooms, such as shiitake, porcini or chanterelle
  2. 1 cup bulgur
  3. 1 cup boiling water
  4. 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1 small onion, chopped
  6. 1 stalk celery, chopped
  7. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  9. 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  10. 1/2 cup nonfat evaporated milk
  11. 1/2 cup ketchup
  12. 1 large egg
  13. 2 large egg whites
  14. 1 1/2 pounds 90%-lean ground beef
  15. 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  16. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  17. 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  18. 1/2 teaspoon salt
Recipe Steps:
  1. Place mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with warm water; let stand for 30 minutes. Combine bulgur with the boiling water in another small bowl and let soak until the bulgur is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the liquid; trim stems and coarsely chop caps.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat and add onion, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add Worcestershire and cook for 3 minutes, scraping the pan well as the mixture becomes sticky. Add tomatoes, evaporated milk and ketchup; stir to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture is very thick, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  4. Whisk egg and egg whites in a large bowl. Add beef, breadcrumbs, the soaked bulgur, the mushrooms and the tomato mixture. Stir in parsley, thyme and salt. Mix gently but thoroughly with your hands.
  5. Mound the meatloaf mixture into a free-form loaf on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Have a great day


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