Category Archives: Recipes

Laziness or Good Time Management?

January started a bit differently to how I anticipated with a referral back to the Breast Care Unit.  Everything has worked out well and yesterday I had the All Clear. During waiting times I began to think of how I use my use my time, do I fill it up with things to do or am I enjoying my time? Probably a mixture of both but I want to enjoy this next decade of my life.

Large chunks of our days are spent planning, shopping and cooking meals which mostly we enjoy but do any of you sometimes get bored of this activity?  I do so have decided to cut some corners and have a delivery from a company called Hello Fresh which was recommended by a friend.  I await my first delivery next week of three meals to tempt Peter and my taste buds, all the ingredients except oil, salt and pepper are provided.  Meals are packed in a box with icepacks in case we are out so food remains fresh.  Monday 29th marks a change of routine as the only decision I need to make is which meal to cook first. On offer is Balsamic Steak with Red Cabbage and Potato Wedges; Tray-Bake Chicken with Roasted Vegetables, Tomato Salad and Minty Salsa; Thai Pork Stir Fry with Green Beans, Holy Basil and Rice (not sure of Holy Basil as it looks like Basil in the photo!). There is an option to choose different recipes but initially I have taken the easy route by choosing a Classic Box.  Directions are included with glossy pictures to make the process error free so I will report back on progress.

The question is am I being lazy or is this good time management?  By taking the drudge out of the meals I am free to enjoy cooking them but also freeing up time to do other things.  My life is full and active but increasingly I am allowing myself to stop, relax and just be.  In an early blog I mentioned a W H Davies poem Leisure which remains a favourite and a reminder:

“What is this life if full of care we have no time to stand and stare …”

First published in 1911 it is so relevant today. So my aim for 2018 is to stop, stand and stare at times and my goodness what I see.  Sparrows, blackbirds, starlings, robins, tits, pigeons and crows come daily to our garden with their various rituals.  The sparrows inhabit our big green hedge and are a constant source of pleasure to people passing by with their constant chatter.  We live in the centre of town, opposite a fire station and garage but are so lucky with our feathered friends.  Some of our human friends who live in the middle of countryside rarely have birds due to changes in farming techniques.

One more question for all of you – what motivates you to start writing? Please don’t say start!!

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Sassy’s Casserole

This recipe is from a very special friend and one of my favorites. 3 to 4 cups cooked chicken (2 pounds +) 12 oz package chicken stuffing 3 cans cream of chicken soup ½ cup milk 12 oz package of … Continue reading

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Does this recipe work for me? I’m not sure…

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With Mom living here with us now, I comb the internet and my recipe books for low salt alternatives to change up our lunch and dinner menus a bit. I found a low-salt chicken pot pie recipe and tried it. … Continue reading

Getting Tastebuds Going

james martinWatching my favourite celeb chef James Martin yesterday on TV, he had a guest chef appearing who prepared a meal I hadn’t had for many years, that of beef in beer, or Beef  Carbonade as I know it. My mother used to cook this a lot for us, along with many other recipes using beer, in particular beer soup, a winter favourite using up any leftover flat beer from parties and Christmas.

My thoughts turned back to all the lovely food Mum used to cook when we were children. Friday nights it was always fried sprats. I still love them but daren’t cook them at home but when on holiday abroad, we always head for the nearest fish restaurant to enjoy grilled sardines. Mum also made the best macaroni cheese I’ve ever tasted, and the best spaghetti bolognese and chicken risotto, all three of which I’ve never been able to recreate the taste she managed to achieve. She can’t remember the ingredients and has sadly forgetten how to make them so can’t even pass on her secrets to me.

Food and the smell of cooking always evoke children memories and I sometimes wonder if the term “comfort food” comes more from the meals we remember from childhood than something warming and sustaining during the cold winter months.

It is a truth that recipes come and go, many long forgotten, but who could forget the ubiquitous restaurant meals of the 1960s and 1970s, when it was considered really posh to have prawn cocktail, then T-bone steak and chips followed by Black Forest gateau. And whatever happened to Chicken Maryland, Hungarian Goulash, boiled bacon and pease pudding, or even stuffed onions?

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So while you’re salivating over the cake, does anyone even know how to cook these recipes nowadays, I wonder. I’d love to know what were your favourite meals from childhood.

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Merry Christmas!

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This week brings us Christmas and I hope you and your family have a wonderful one. I love being with friends and loved ones all through the year but Christmas is really special. I pray good things for all of … Continue reading

The Art of Baking by Valerie J. Patterson

Tis the season, which means shopping, decorating, and loads of baking!  I used to have time to bake.  I’m not entirely certain when that changed or even HOW that changed, but each Christmas I bake less and less.

When my nieces were younger, my sister and her daughters would come to our house on Christmas Eve and we would spend the day baking and the evening eating and chatting and laughing and opening gifts.  When it came time for them to head home, they had a wide assortment of baked goodies to take home with them, and we all had a host of new memories!

This year, I contemplated baking Christmas cookies, but had the task all to myself.  My sisters are grandmas now, and are enjoying all of the experiences having grandkids at Christmastime brings.  I didn’t feel much like dragging out all of the old recipes.  Too many cookies for two people.  Too much time as well.  One evening, I was scanning through my newsfeed on social media and stumbled across the most amazing cookie recipe.

I say amazing because it has 3 ingredients!

Yep, I said THREE!

So, on the way home from work last Friday I stopped and picked up enough ingredients to make 2 batches of cookies.  I mixed one up on Saturday morning and was amazed at the ease, the appearance of the baked product, and the flavor!

Here’s the recipe:

Cool Whip Cookies  [yes, it reads COOL WHIP]

1 box of cake mix [any flavor]

1 eight-ounce tub of Cool Whip [whipped cream]

1 egg.

Preparation:  Add powdered cake mix to mixing bowl.  Add one egg–yoke broken–and Cool Whip.  Fold gently to incorporate cake mix into cool whip, then mix thoroughly.  Drop by teaspoonfuls into confectioners sugar and coat evenly.  Place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes depending upon your oven.  For larger cookies, drop by tablespoonfuls.

Enjoy!

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I have made devils food cookies and orange cookies.  Up next are spice cake cookies.

Until next time, may your home be full of family and friends, may your greatest gift be love, and may your Christmas be blessed!

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Reuben Dip Recipe

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Happy Christmas month from Jillian and Hobbes! I flaked on my second post of November as I thought the third Monday was later than it was -HA! (I know, I know- I’ve heard of that thing called a calendar- but you … Continue reading