Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Meds, Lunch, Balconies Guest Blog,

Wednesday, i.e. today, I am guesting on The Really Real Housewives of America if you would like to nip over and take a look. So nice of them to have me to visit,

I told you about me and statins - I get bad cramps. Well last week an internist tried me out on a new cholesterol pill, not a statin. Seems to be OK so far, but I did get a bit dizzy headed and feeling nauseous; checking the possible side effects, that seems to fit in. Which is why there was no blog yesterday. I did go bowling but wasted my time. Matt did OK, but I bowled almost as badly as the worst bowler in our league, and she is bad LOL. I then heard from a friend that Psyllium husk helps reduce cholesterol - it is apparently similar to Metamucil. Our foot nurse happened to be here Tuesday morning so I checked it with her. She said hadn't heard of psyllium husk but was certainly aware that Metamucil was helpful in reducing cholesterol. Also spoke to the pharmacist and he suggested I took the pill in the evening with food.

However, this being Tuesday as I write, I will be going to the Mandarin for lunch. We got to the Mandarin at about 12 and waited for 15 minutes. No sign of our friends so we went in to lunch. I had tried phoning, no luck. We enjoyed our lunch but were a bit concerned about our friends. When I got home I checked the emails, dummy, it was next Tuesday the 29th. They happened to phone us later in the day and we have arranged to go next Tuesday anyway. Suits me, I love to go there as you know. They had some very good salmon today and of course, I had a few dumplings.

I have been working on Christmas Cards the last couple of days. More duh, forgot to go to the post office on the way home. Talking of home, the construction workers seem to be packing up for the winter. They have even been moving the fences so most of the grounds are accessible again.Wonder when they will come back. They started in May this year. I feel sorry for the people who have no balcony still. All the new balcony rails have been put in the underground garage and fenced off - I cannot see anyone stealing them mind you, they are extremely heavy.

Wednesday, i.e. today, I am guesting on The Really Real Housewives of America if you would like to nip over and take a look. So nice of them to have me to visit.

I just found this recipe in my cooking programme, Living Cookbook, and thought it looked good enough to eat.

Pistachio Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
6 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups toasted chopped pistachio nuts
2 tsp finely shredded orange peel
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups milk
1 6-ounce package white baking bars
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
1 recipe Caramelized Pistachio shards (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour three 8x1-1/2-inch round baking pans; set aside. Stir together flour, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

2. Beat the 3/4 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 teaspoon almond extract; beat until fluffy. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk or sour milk, beating on low to medium speed just until combined.

3. Thoroughly wash and dry beaters. In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter. Fold in the pistachio nuts and the orange peel. Pour batter into prepared pans.

4. Bake in preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool thoroughly on wire racks.

5. Combine the 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour in a medium mixing bowl; add egg yolks. Beat mixture with a wire whisk until combined; set aside. Heat the 1-1/2 cups milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat just to boiling. Remove from heat. Gradually beat hot milk into egg mixture with the wire whisk; return entire mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat until bubbly, whisking constantly. Cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Add white baking bars, 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Let stand for 1 minute; stir until smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming; cool to room temperature. Beat the 1 cup butter in a medium mixing bowl on medium to high speed until fluffy. Add cooled baking bar mixture, one-fourth at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Spread between layers and over cake.

6. If desired, pipe decorative lines along the edges and down the sides of the cake, using a decorating bag fitted with a star tip. Serve immediately or cover and store cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Just before serving, if desired, top with Caramelized Pistachio Shards. Makes 12 servings.

Caramelized Pistachio Shards

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil; coat foil with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios onto prepared foil. Bake in preheated oven 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly toasted. Meanwhile, place 1/3 cup sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking skillet occasionally to heat sugar evenly. Do not stir. When sugar begins to melt, reduce heat to low. Cook for 2 minutes more or until sugar is melted and lightly golden, stirring as needed with a wooden spoon. Remove pan from heat. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon hot water. Immediately pour over nuts on hot baking sheet. Let cool for 1 minute. Using two forks, gently pull caramel mixture as thinly as possible, lifting slightly as you pull. Let cool thoroughly on foil. Break into pieces; store tightly covered.

Servings: 12

Source: Better Homes and Gardens®.

Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo - hope the meds settle down for you ... enjoy the winter without 'men' around .. cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks Hilary. I will feel lonely without them.

  2. I hope you get relief with the new meds. I still remember the pains I had on my old statin. That side effect is quite common. Cake looks delicious!

    1. I hope so too Denise. I always complain how many meds I take and the internist said some people take 3 times as many.

      Yummy isn't it?

  3. Lovely cake!
    I use Repatha and it's lowered my cholesterol to 107. It's a shot that I take every other week. I'm in a trial that ends this year but it's done wonders for me. The bad part of that is that it currently cost $1500 a month or more. If my insurance doesn't choose to cover it I'll have to stop taking it. I wonder what will happen than? I can't take statins at all. They have so many side affects but hives and severe headaches were the turning point for me. This medication is really a miracle drug for folks with high cholesterol but those who need it most probably won't get it because of the expense. It the sad, sad state of affairs regarding medication. Ask your doctor about it, things may be different up there in Canada!

    1. I'm guessing that if it's in trial in the US it will be here or not even here at all yet. Didn't get the hives and severe headaches just the major cramps all over my body. I will check with my doc.

    2. I just Googled Yolanda and it appears to be available in Canada. Some of the listed side effects seem to be the same as the pill I am on now. I will see how this one goes and if not, will check on Repatha. Thanks for the tip.

    3. I've not had one reaction to it. Hope the same for you! Good luck! From what I understand it does not affect the liver at all, and that's supposed to make all the difference.

    4. That's great Yolanda. Pharmacist told me to try taking my pill at night. Did so last night, see what happens.

  4. I did some cards this year (I skipped last) and am only sending 25, way down from the usual 70. I just can't afford the postage overseas and to Canada anymore.

    1. I know what you mean JoJo. I just spent $54 on postage.

  5. I hope you will be feeling better and can find the medication that doesn't give you such horrible side effects. I am having to review how many cards I have made since they need to go out soon.The cake looks delicious!

    1. Well of course, I don't hand make cards like you Birgit. I print off mine. Doesn't take as long for a start. My Internationals will be posted this week.

  6. Poor you. Almost every type of medication gives me side effects, even vitamins. I've heard of Psyllium husk and I thought that was what Metamucil was made from. By the way, I'm sorry I've missed a lot of your posts. I just noticed that a lot of blogs I follow have been going to my spam folder. I wondered where you were!

    1. Miserable innit Pinky? I think Metamucil is very much the same with possibly other stuff mixed in. Tut tut. Missed my posts!! I don't usually miss people's post, but I often find some comments don't come through. Almost always the same people.

  7. Psyllium husk is wonderful. I ground it to a powder and use it as medicine and in my bakes. It can replace an egg in baking as well, though I don't use it for that. I just use it for the extra punch of fiber. Love that stuff.

    They use it in Metamucil but I wouldn't touch that pre-made crap with a ten foot pole. No thanks!

    1. Interesting Ivy. I wouldn't have thought about grinding it to a powder. If I have to go that way, I will certainly follow your recommendaton.