I know that it has been a long time since you last heard from me and I can’t tell you how sorry about that I am.
I want you to know that this whole time, I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the blog, whether I wanted it to become something that I would sell items on, or maybe it should just be about one subject, and then I started thinking back to when I really enjoyed the process, and do you know what I discovered, I had the most fun when I was just telling you about my life.
All about what Willie and I were up to, the things I ran into in just my everyday life that I thought might be interesting to you. My home life with two adult children and a husband that occasionally drive me crazy. My challenges and my triumphs, that is when I had the most fun doing this.
So, from now on you can expect that I will post things about my life, what I’m up to, what Wille and I saw while out walking, maybe a recipe that I found that I really love, or maybe about the challenges I have with having a Chronic Illness. Don’t get me wrong this is not going to be a site where I play upon your sympathies, nothing could be further from the truth. I am more than anything else a positive person, I do have to deal with pain 24/7/365 but this blog is not going to be about that.
I want you to laugh with me as silly things happen, or cheer me on when I have mastered a challenge, or just enjoy reading about the beautiful place where I live (The Lower Mainland of Beautiful British Columbia) when I am walking with Willie. I want you to see the world through the eyes of an eternal optimist because I think there is enough bad stuff out there. Or, and this one for me is kind of scary, read a short story that I have written.
I do not promise to write on a particular day every week, or even if I will post only once a week. If I think there is something I would like you to hear or see, then I will be writing about it as soon as it happens. So, there may be a post every week or maybe there will be three of them, part of the reason I shut down the other blogs was because I didn’t want to have to be locked into anything.
I love writing and I loved the thought that some of you were liking getting something from me, so once again I am inviting you to come along on my ride, see what inspires me and what makes me laugh right out loud, what can make me cry (it doesn’t take a lot, I cry at commercials for heaven’s sake), I swear I have over-active tear ducts.
And as always my partner in crime
For today, I will just say, I hope you stick with me and enjoy hearing and seeing what I am up to. For those of you who are disappointed in the turn the blog is taking, I want to say thank you for sticking with me for all of this time.
I will talk to you again either this coming week or weekend. Have a great week and stay safe out there.
I am going to apologise up front for not having the content that you are expecting. I have decided to have a bit of a rethink on this blog. I am not really happy with the content that I was providing and I don’t think many of you were happy with it either. I am going to take a bit of time and see if I can come up with something that I feel happy posting.
For those of you who want to keep track, I have a new blog, which I am really happy with, it is called Up and Over 50 and you can find it at http://www.upandover50.com. This one is for those of us who are over fifty and who want to grow old well, and gracefully, but have fun doing it. I must admit that I am enjoying the new one much more than this one. I like the research that I am doing and I love the idea of helping people to: travel well, stay healthy, try new beauty tricks, and discover what works for the new middle agers in terms of style and lifestyle. I have only two posts on this one, but I am liking it a whole lot.
Back to this one, I really don’t know what to write about on this one, I have thought about capsule wardrobes, short stories, my minimalist journey. But nothing seems quite right. Maybe I should ask you, what do you want to hear about, what interests you, what are you in need of, how can I help you? Is there something you would like to know about and can’t find a blog about it anywhere else? If you can think of something, please let me know, I would love to hear from you.
For now, I will just say, take care, have fun and be safe. Here comes my Arnie impression;
“I WILL BE BACK”.
I hope you are all ok with me going to a once a week post rather than twice a week. I have just started a new blog on Aug. 1, its called Upandover50.com and I will be posting once a week on that one, so I thought rather than short change anyone because I didn’t have enough time to write a proper blog post, that I would post only once a week to both.
This is one of the most beautiful places, we stayed in a place called the Surftides Resort in Lincoln City, Oregon, the rooms were nothing spectacular but they each have a fireplace and they all face the beach. You go down some stairs and you are right on the beach, and it is one of those perfect fine sand beaches that are so hard to find.
That’s the hotel right behind Hawkeye & Willie. The beach was amazing, I am a Scorpio and that’s a water sign so I was right in my element. It was a little hard walking with a cane because it kept wanting to sink into the sand, but I haven’t done that much walking in years.
The views along this particular stretch of beach are unbelievable, if you have not been to the Oregon coast, you have to go. I would have been quite happy to just plant my butt on the sand and just sit there looking at the water all day.
The first one was taken during the day and the second one was taken just at sunset, the clouds had moved in and the waves were crashing on the beach so the mist made the picture look fuzzy.
We took a drive down to Newport and there was some spectacular scenery along the way, little bays that you can’t reach because the rocks are a sheer drop, some wide open expanses that just take your breath away.
Another day we took a drive and stopped at Depoe Bay, just south of Lincoln City. They have a sea wall on one side and a row of little shops on the other side. I, of course, wanted to go on to the little shops, but just as we got there a grey whale or maybe more than one, decided to surface right at the edge of the rock wall.
Sorry about the photo, but I just wasn’t fast enough to catch him, Willie just stood there barking at him. It had all the people around us laughing because obviously, he thought he was so tough.
We were there for four wonderful days (we haven’t been away in over 3 years by ourselves), and we will definitely be going back. Again I urge you to put it on your bucket list, but, if you are planning on staying at the Surftides hotel, I wouldn’t suggest you bring your dog, because although they were exemplary when it came to service, they have a strict rule that you cannot leave your dog unattended at any time. So, no going out for dinner, or checking out the museums, glass factories, pottery sheds. That was the hardest part of the trip, we couldn’t go anywhere without Willie.
Oh, and the sunsets, WOW.
Ok, now for the recipes, no one had contacted me so I’m guessing that if I give you a link to a Google Doc you would be ok. So here it is:
Can you guess what our ingredient is this week? I’d say Blueberries was a really great guess. I am going to show you today how to use up that 10 lb flat of blueberries you bought for something other than just breakfasts. Today I have two drinks for you, one alcoholic, the other for everyone; I have an appetizer, a salad, a salad dressing, a main dish, and of course a dessert. You really can think of this as A FRUIT FOR ALL COURSES.
So, I believe we will start with a cocktail as all good parties should:
This next one is for everyone:
With this one, you could add a bottle of Rose’ or Chardonnay if you wanted to make this a more like the original Sangria, but I think the kids would love this as much as the adults so I’d serve just as it is.
Let’s get to some food, I’m famished. I love Crostini, you can do one kind or multiple kinds and I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like them. On to the appie:
When you are going to have a rich dinner, it is always best to start with a salad, that way, you don’t each as much of the rich stuff (haha). Well, it’s one way to try to keep the weight off, eat lots of salad. This one is really good and if you want to have it for lunch, just grill a couple of chicken breasts and toss together.
I have a recipe here for a vinaigrette with blueberries in it, but I wouldn’t serve this with the salad above, it might be a little overkill.
Now for the main event, as you all know, I live in British Columbia on the south coast, so seafood is something that is fresh and easy to come by. This recipe is sort of a Blueberry BBQ sauce, you could use it over chicken, or even pork tenderloin, but for me, I like it over the king of all fish: Sockeye Salmon.
for the sauce:
I usually serve Corn on the cob with the Salmon, because they both kind of come at the same time of year.
Dessert, its one of those things that you know you shouldn’t have but you just can’t turn down. This one is specifically for the hot weather season:
There we are, you can quickly go through the 10 lb flat of blueberries with these recipes. Oh, and don’t forget if you want to freeze them and save them for the winter, put them on a sheet pan and freeze individually, when they are frozen solid, put in bags into your freezer. Don’t forget to date them.
So, we are away next week and unfortunately, I have not been able to get ahead with my posts like I hoped to this week. So, I may or may not have posts for you on Tuesday and Thursday next week, it depends on how much I can get accomplished tomorrow and Sunday.
For now, I will just wish you a wonderful weekend. Take care and don’t forget to click on the mini-cookbook at the side. The recipes in there are really good. While you are at it, why don’t you go to the contact me page and send me a message.
Is there something that you would like to see or a particular ingredient that you would like me to use? Send me a message and I will come up with a recipe for your ingredient.
Did you know that Tea is the preferred drink of about 80% of the world’s population? It is surpassed only by water as the drink of choice. It comes in different types and different flavours, it comes in feel good forms like herbal teas, it comes in calming forms like Earl Grey. It also comes in invigorating forms like English Breakfast.
Tea for me is the break that I need in the afternoon. I make myself a cup around 4, then I go and sit outside under my deck and rain or shine it is my break time. It takes me away from the computer, the TV, the to-do list, whatever I need a break from, it takes me away.
Sometimes Hawkeye and I sit on the patio under the deck and enjoy a short catch up on your day time, or sometimes I just sit alone, close my eyes and try to shut out all the voices that are telling me what I haven’t done yet, take a deep breath and smell the scent of the tea, and unwind for a short time. It is a short 15-20 minutes that really and truly restores my get up and go.
My preferred Tea for relaxing is Earl Grey, the scent of the Bergamot just soothes me. I want to tell you about the different kinds of tea, I think that if you find one that makes you feel soothed then you too will want to take a tea break.
There are more kinds of Tea than I could ever talk about here, but there are several different types of tea and I should be able to tell you a little bit about how each of them tastes and what they are good for.
The health benefits of tea have been touted for many years, if you want to lose weight, or keep your heart and brain functioning well then tea should be part of your repertoire. I am talking only about the Teas that are not herbal; black, green, white, and oolong. All of these come from a plant that has as part of its makeup Flavonoids. Flavonoids are sort of like antioxidants that we all hear about.
Tea is one of the things in life that does your body so much good in different areas, for heart health the flavonoids help with the accumulation of cholesterol in your arteries. They help keep the blood flowing.
For your brain, it is said that it can help with the onset of Alzheimer’s, hopefully pushing it back awhile. Then there is something in Green tea that is supposed to be able to help the flow of blood through the brain, which also helps with the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Tea also helps with the lowering of blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart attack and strokes, also due to the Flavonoids.
Tea has psychological benefits as well, a study that had people drinking tea as opposed to drinking something else, showed that Tea allowed the subject to be more alert and do better on cognitive tests than those drinking something else.
Tea is a zero-calorie drink because it is mostly water. For weight loss, you could hardly find anything other than water that would be as good for you, yet keep the calories non-existent.
Tea is a first class stress reducer. When you feel that you are at your wit’s end, or if you are ready to pull your hair out, grab a cup of tea and close your eyes. I promise there is nothing better than a little tea break.
Tea has less caffeine than a same size coffee. Medical researchers say that the maximum amount of caffeine you should have in a day can be found in two cups of coffee, but you would be able to have about 8 cups of tea for the same amount.
As the love for Tea grows, people are starting to use it in more ways. Cooking with it, making it a part of a cocktail or dessert. Have your heard of the Earl Grey Martini
2 oz Vodka
1 tsp Maple Syrup
3 oz Brewed Earl Grey Tea
1 dash lemon juice
or how about a Tea Smoothie:
|1 cup (250 mL)||cold strong English Breakfast or other black tea|
|1 cup (250 mL)||frozen blueberries, raspberries or strawberries|
|1/2 cup (125 mL)||cranberry, apple or other clear juice|
|1/4 cup (50 mL)||plain yoghurt|
|1 tbsp (15 mL)||liquid honey (optional)|
In blender or food processor combine tea, blueberries, cranberry juice, yoghurt and honey, if using. Blend on high-speed until smooth.
WHAT ABOUT TEA IN FOOD
(Source: Tea Association of Canada Website)
|2 ounces||tea leaves|
|1 liter||boiling water|
|2 cups||unsweetened apple juice|
|2 pounds||pork tenderloin|
|Salt and ground pepper|
|8 grams||dry mustard powder|
|100 grams||brown sugar|
|2 tablespoons||fruity olive oil|
|6 medium||golden delicious apples, peeled and cored|
|Cornstarch as needed, to thicken the sauce|
Preheat oven to 350 F. Brew the tea in the water and steep for about 2 minutes. Using a fine-meshed sieve, strain out the tea leaves, reserving the liquid. Combine the tea with the apple juice and set aside.
Salt and pepper the pork (be generous with the pepper). Mix the mustard powder and brown sugar together, making sure that there are no lumps. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved tea liquid to moisten, then spread out on the flat surface and coat the meat. Heat a heavy pan until very hot, then add the oil and heat until oil is hot. Carefully place the meat in the pan and sear over medium-high heat to brown, about 10 minutes, turning as necessary to brown evenly. Remove pan from heat. Peel and core the apples, then slice them horizontally. Put them back together neatly and stuff them with prunes.
Place the meat into a 10X12 inch nonstick roasting pan and pour the tea-juice liquid over the meat. Surround the meat with the stuffed apples and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting the meat and apples occasionally. When done, the meat should register at 165 F on a thermometer.
Remove from the oven and carefully pour off cooking liquid into another saucepan, keep the meat and apples warm.
Or maybe you would like:
(Source: Tea Association of Canada Website)
|2 1/4 pounds||lean brisket of beef|
|Salt and freshly ground pepper|
|Fruit olive oil, enough to coat the pan for searing|
|1/2 bunch||celery, washed well and cut into 1/2 inch diagonal slices|
|1 1/2 cups||thinly slices yellow onions|
|4||carrots, washed and cut into 1/2 inch chunks|
|1||parsnip, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks|
|1||rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks|
|4 cloves garlic||smashed then finely chopped|
|4 tablespoons||tea leaves,|
|4 tablespoons||additional tea leaves for sauce|
|1/2 cup||packed brown sugar|
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Salt and pepper the brisket and sear in hot olive oil in a heavy skillet until the surface is browned. Turn only once, after about 5 minutes. Place the brisket in a heavy roasting pan and scatter the vegetables over the meat.
Brew the 4 tablespoons of tea in cool (170 F) water for 30 minutes. Sieve out and discard leaves. Combine the brewed tea, brown sugar and ketchup in a bowl to dissolve all the ingredients thoroughly, then pour over the brisket. Cover the pan with a lid and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, or until tender. Cool, then refrigerate overnight.
The next day, skim off any fat that collects on the surface of the braising liquid. Pour the de-fatted liquid into a heavy saucepan and cook over high heat until it is reduced by half. Add 4 tablespoons of tea leaves and return liquid to the boil. Remove from the heat immediately. Pour the liquid through a fine-meshed sieve to remove leaves. Adjust seasonings in the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
With a sharp carving knife, slice meat across the grain into thin slices. Place decoratively on the plate along with vegetables. Drizzle sauce over each portion.
As you can see, there is always time for a cup of tea, and with the way the world is these days, I’d say we are all desperately in need of a cup of tea.
Talk to you Thursday
So we have here 5 meals that you can put together on Sunday and cook the day you need them. The idea is to be ahead of the game, put all the ingredients into a freezer bag, freeze them, pull them out the day before and leave them to thaw in the fridge, then just dump them in the crockpot and turn it on, leaving it ready to be tweaked as soon as you get home. No rush, No muss, No fuss.
Why don’t we start with something really easy:
Let’s stay with the Chicken theme, might as well get them both ready at once:
Ok, I know, I know, it looks like an awful lot of ingredients, but trust me, you are going to love this.
Since we are keeping like together, here are two beef recipes that I know you are going to love, don’t forget you are doing all the hard work on Sunday so the rest of the week is a piece of cake.
Ok you can stop here with the ingredients if you like, when it’s done serve over rice and sprinkle chopped green onion on top, but this recipe in my family is served like a fajita or a soft taco, so here are the rest of the ingredients:
This next one, you can make it hot and spicy by adding Jalapenos or any hot pepper that you like, or you can keep it mild using just the bell peppers. I like to use a mixture of Jalapeno or Fresnos with bell peppers to add a little spice but not too much.
If you wanted to you could serve these the traditional Cuban way with fried plantains on the side.
We now move on to pork, who doesn’t love pulled pork, the recipe I have is one I pulled off the internet some time ago, I’m afraid that I do not remember who I downloaded it from, so if it is yours, please forgive me for not acknowledging you.
Ok, there you have it the five recipes that you can get ready on Sunday and have all week long. But, I do have one more for you, I couldn’t leave you without something sweet after all that rich stuff, so here we go:
I must be honest with you on this one, I’m not sure how well this one does in the freezing department, I have always just done it from scratch to cooked. I am sure that everything would be ok, its just I’ve never tried it.
Now, let’s put our Grocery List together:
2 Green Peppers
SAUCES AND CANNED GOODS
So there we have it, our meals for the week, a dessert for something special, a grocery list to make it all come together. Now all it needs is a Sunday and your time. I personally, crack open a bottle of wine and take the whole afternoon to just putz around the kitchen. I can’t think of a better way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon, and hey, if it’s going to be beautiful on Sunday and you want to head out and do stuff, you could do all of these in about an hour to an hour and a half, you could do it Saturday night if you have time or Saturday afternoon if you want. The idea is that this will save you time through the week, so once you have tried out my recipes, have a look online, you will not believe how many recipes there are out there for your Crockpot.
Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to click on the little mini-cookbook on the side, it has some good recipes also, and while you are at it, send me a little note on the contact me page. I would love to hear from you.
I put this picture at the end so that I could explain something, I forgot to take pictures the last time I made this so, I actually got this picture off the web, I tried as hard as I could to find out whose picture it was, but I could not find any kind of reference as to who took it. I want to apologise right now if it is yours, I swear I did not mean to steal it, but I could not find another picture that looked so good. If you have any objections to my using it, please let me know and I will immediately take it off.
Bye for now. Talk to you Tuesday.
Once again, I would like to apologize for the missed posts last week, I hope to make it up to you with some kick ass posts.
We are parents of 2 adult children, they both work, are responsible, are caring and empathetic, AND THEY LIVE AT HOME.
I know that things are tough out there, and I know that there is no way in our area that they could live away from home because there is nothing out there that they can afford. I feel so sorry that they will never know the feeling of independence that comes from renting your first apartment.
Today’s young adults are going to find that finding a place to live that is not their parent’s home is something that can be achieved only if they have won the lottery or are in such high paying jobs that they can afford the ridiculous prices that are charged for homes and apartments, or condos these days. In the area where we live there is a less than 1% vacancy rate for renters, and if you do find something to rent the cost is so high you would not be able to eat.
I have come to wonder, how are our young people supposed to learn how to be truly independent? While living at home they are expected to pay rent and they do, but we take care of the rest, paying the bills, grocery shopping, laundry (for some people, we do not do our children’s laundry), and all the other things that come with running a household.
My daughter is in a really good job, but even with the good salary that she receives it will be at least three maybe more years before she can afford a down payment on a condo (and she never will own a free-standing family home, not in this market where just to get in at the low-end is $700,000.00 +)
My son on the other hand, does not make the kind of money his sister does, so his chances of ownership of even a condo, go many more years than hers.
My kids hate when they end up in my blog, so I will stop talking about them and just talk about young adults.
How are we ever going to be able to give them the opportunities that were given to us? The idea of a first apartment, usually some run down thing that we had to make the best of until we could afford a better place, then slowly move up the housing ladder until you can afford to own your own home. That feeling of accomplishment when you pay your first month’s rent, is something that we can’t really give them, it has to come from not paying your parents to live in their home, but from somewhere that you can claim as your own.
Maybe where you live your children can afford to move out and be on their own, but not in the Lower Mainland of BC.
I wonder sometimes if we shouldn’t get the governments involved, this is not the only place that this is happening surely, I know that to live in London, or New York, or even LA has to cost an arm and a leg, so how do we provide for our kid’s growth as adults, how do we help them to learn the truth about living on your own?
If they can’t afford to leave, how do we give them the opportunity to know what it feels like to have to decide to pay the rent or miss out on a meal or two? That’s when they learn to budget properly, you can tell them and tell them but until it happens, how do they learn?
This may be the first generation of adults that will not be able to own a single family home, no, they will have to decide between condo’s or townhomes, and even the townhomes are getting ridiculously priced.
Where are the young adults to turn, to our leaders, who are busy trying to keep their own country’s afloat in this economy? With the British now leaving the European Union, all the governments of the world are going to be focused on how to sustain their citizens against what could prove to be another financial collapse.
I understand that the government’s responsibilities are to the whole of the country not just a section, but what do we do about our grown up sons and daughters, who would like nothing more than to be able to strikeout on their own, but find it impossible not only to find a place but afford one if they find it.
My darling husband says that if we want to teach them how to get along on the money they make, we should turn the responsibility of running the household over to them for two months. We pay them what they pay us each month and then see how they do. But, that I think would be very unfair, they do not make the kind of money that runs our household, so how could we expect them to be able to pay the bills and the mortgage, not to mention the groceries and the gas for the cars. Even with them both bringing in money they would not be able to handle it.
How many times have we heard people denigrating the young people as having it so good, Mummy and Daddy taking care of them well into their twenties and even their thirties in some cases? All of those talking down to those kids are people who did not have the obstacles that our young people face. When did any of them have to worry about whether they would ever be able to leave the family home?
Regardless of what profession you are in you always have to start at the bottom and make your way up, so the money is not always there when you start out. We know that because it happened that way for us, but at least we could count on being able to move out at some point.
I don’t know how young families are going to prosper in this kind of environment, even if they find a home to buy, how house poor are they going to be, what will they have to give up so that they can have a roof over their heads? Will their children be able to go into sports or dance or art or whatever catches their fancy like our kids did?
Where will the sports superstars come from, where will the dance stars and the actors and artists come from? If all of the money that a family is making goes to putting a roof over their heads, what becomes of their children? We all know what happens when kids are bored and have nowhere to turn to get their energy out, that’s when we start seeing vandalism and out and out crime, because they have nothing else.
Where are the outcries, where are the young people demanding that governments do something? You don’t see them because they have it pretty good at home, dinner is made for them, the house is cleaned and there is always something in the fridge or the cupboards. They have their own rooms with their own TVs, their own computers or ipads and iphones. There is always someone there to talk to or complain to or pour out your heart to. Why aren’t they up in arms about not being able to afford a place of their own? Come on, if you had someone who cooked your food, did your laundry, cleaned your house, and paid the bills, would you complain?
Talk to you on Thursday