Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Pain in the Ass, Mandarin, Weather,

Since last writing, life has been a bit of a pain in the ass for me, literally, my self diagnosis is that my
piriformis muscle is possibly compressing my sciatic muscle. Suffice to say it has been pretty painful. I did go bowling but it hurt. I only had one good game. Tuesday it was a tad easier and hopefully it will continue to improve. I read up on all this a bit and saw video of some exercises. Only trouble is, the girl doing them was a good 50 years younger than I and she was on the floor, sitting on a rolling pin and moving back and forth on it to massage the muscle. Yeah, right. Matt figured out a couple of stretches I could do which is why things have improved, no doubt. Wednesday afternoon is exercise class which should also help.

 Not only that but my laptop is playing me up as well.  My email programme, Windows Live Mail, isn't working. Luckily it still works on the desktop. I can get my email from the IP website, but that is a nuisance, IMHOP.

We did go to Mandarin for our anniversary supper and I did have their roast lamb as I said. It was absolutely delicious. Better than I have ever cooked for myself. I wondered if it was locally grown lamb rather than imported. Too expensive for my budget unfortunately. I hope we manage to go back some evening before the end of the Moon Festival celebration. I wondered if they would have mint sauce, they didn't, but they had mint jelly and I quite enjoyed that too. Been turning my nose up at that for years. I always have hot and sour soup but my friend pointed out it was really too hot for soup. True, so I went to their starters bar and found some delicious mussels, some shrimp (prepared with Chinese sauces and some scrumptious seaweed. I love seaweed. They had lots of more Westernised  things like beets and potato salad, but I figured the lamb was enough Westernising for one evening. After the lamb I had some Chinese foods of course. There were specials for the Moon Festival of course. I then had moon cake and some ginger ice cream which was good too.

Talking of too hot, our weather has been incredible with temps up in the 30°C - most of September has been wonderful weather. However, I understand it is going to come down with a whoomp at the end of this week. Would have been nice to have a balcony!!!

Having published a somewhat decadent crepe recipe the other day, I came across this one and couldn't resist sharing it.

Crèpe Cake With Whipped Cream

Make sure to cook the first side only until it’s very light golden. Essentially, a dark crepe is a tough crepe, and you’re aiming for a super-delicate texture.

4 ½ cups whole milk
2 ½ cups heavy cream
5 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Zest of 1 medium orange
¾ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
10 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cornstarch

Crèpes And Assembly
4 large eggs, room temperature
4 cups whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp kosher salt, plus more
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
3 Tbs powdered sugar
2 tsp orange sanding sugar (optional)

1. Custard

2. Combine milk, cream, butter, orange zest, cardamom, and salt in a large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and add pod. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, and cook until butter is melted and mixture is warm.

3. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and granulated sugar in a medium bowl until light and very pale, about 3 minutes. Add cornstarch and whisk until no dry spots remain. Whisking constantly, gradually add warm milk mixture. Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until custard is thick and pudding-like in consistency and just beginning to boil, 5–7 minutes.

4. Strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean medium bowl, using a heatproof rubber spatula to help press it through; discard solids. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface, and chill until cold, at least 2 hours.

5. Do Ahead: Custard can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

6. Crepes and Assembly

7. Blend eggs, milk, granulated sugar, and vanilla in a blender until smooth and frothy. Add flour and ½ tsp. salt and blend just to combine. Transfer to a large measuring cup, cover, and chill at least 1 hour.

8. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium, then brush lightly with some butter. Whisk batter to reincorporate and ladle ¼-cupful into skillet. Working quickly, swirl pan to evenly coat and cook crepe, reducing heat if browning too quickly, until bubbles form on surface and edges are light golden, about 2 minutes. Slide a spatula underneath to loosen and carefully flip. Cook on other side until a few brown spots appear, 15–30 seconds; transfer to a flat plate. Repeat with remaining butter and batter, stacking crepes on plate as you go (you should have 25 total). Let crepes cool.

9. Place 1 crepe in the center of a flat plate or cake platter. Dollop a scant ? cup custard over. Using a small offset spatula, carefully spread custard across entire surface of crepe. Repeat process with remaining custard and all but 1 crepe. Place remaining crepe on top, then lightly cover cake with plastic. Chill 2 hours.

10. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream, powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl until medium peaks form. Pile whipped cream on top of crepe cake, making decorative swooshes with a spoon. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired.

11. Do Ahead: Batter can be made 2 days ahead; keep chilled. Crepes can be cooked 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Cake (without whipped cream and sanding sugar) can be assembled 1 day ahead; keep chilled. Top with whipped cream and sanding sugar, if using, just before serving.

Servings: 16

Author: Amelia Rampe
Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo - bottom pain is a nuisance - hope you can stretch the muscles out and it eases. The birthday lunch or dinner sounds delicious - so glad the lamb was extra special ... mint jelly isn't bad is it ... I prefer the home-made mint sauce ... cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks Hilary, working on it. Not sure which I prefer now.

  2. Sorry about the PITA. I have suffered from piriformis syndrome and meralgia paresthetica too. Weight loss helped, but also yoga. Easy exercise for piriformis is to sit and cross one leg over the other with your knee jutting to the side and then bend forward. The yoga position called pigeon is also good but more difficult.

    Hope you feel better.

    1. Thanks Denise. I can't seem to lose any more weight. Sit? On the floor or on a chair?

    2. On a chair. The yoga position is done on the floor and is a bit harder to do.

    3. I tried on a chair and have difficulty crossing my leg. I think I will try Diane's exercise.

  3. Sorry you're hurting.
    It's really warm here as well. Please let fall begin soon.

    1. Thanks Alex. Well you do live in a warm part of the world.

  4. I get sciatic muscle pinch now and then. Sitting on a bed with your legs in front of you and gently bending forward is a good stretch for making it better.

    1. Thanks Diane, now that sounds more my mark.

  5. I'm dealing with a lot of pain-in-the-ass myself lately. I just got myself a cordless massager made by Pado that seems to be helping a lot. Here's the URL:

    Hope your pain goes away!

    1. Thanks John, will check it out. Just been to exercise class and the pain didn't worry me once. More than I can say for my legs

  6. We're having a very hot spring here too. I dread summer. I hope your sciatica get better.

    1. You get pretty warm where you are Pinky. I hope it does too. OK this aft at exercise classes.

  7. Sorry you're in pain. I sympathise as a sciatica sufferer myself. I hope the exercises help. I do hydrotherapy - pilates in a pool - with a physiotherapist and it has definitely helped me.

    1. Now you've got me worried Helen, I thought it would go away but by the sound of it, it doesn't.