Archive for July 2013

Meat On The Bone

It’s birthday week!

A bit of tradition has been created for my birthday over the last few years and that would be a large, perfectly aged, prime rib steak on the bone. My husband takes charge of all the preparations, picks up the steak from the butcher, seasons the steak, barbecues it until it’s a perfectly cooked “rare” steak. Yumm….

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Then, in my opinion, comes the best part.

My guilty pleasure is the bone. I eat a little bit of the steak but then it’s time for picking up the bone with my hands and chewing off all the gorgeous, succulent, juicy meat remaining! Sure it’s a bit messy but who cares! That’s what napkins are for!

What about accompaniments you might ask? My absolute favourite is a crisp salad dressed with blue cheese dressing. What the heck is it about beef and blue cheese? I think it’s a match made you know where!

Now, where are those presents???

 

 

 

 

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English Tarts Aka “A Bunch Of Tarts”

What’s in a name, I ask you? Well…

According to the Oxford Dictionary it could be:

1.  A woman who is a bit, shall we say, very forthcoming with her favours.
2.  Make oneself look attractive with clothes or makeup, “tart oneself up”.
3.  Improve the appearance of “tart up”.
4.  Sharp or acid in taste.
5.  An open pastry case containing a sweet or savoury filling.

I’m talking #5 and I hope this is your “cup of tea!”

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While in London last fall , we sampled a number of different English tarts, or as the English refer to dessert, pudding and since returning I have been conducting “research” for the betterment of us all!

It started with a “Canterbury Apple Tart” and moved on from there to a “Treacle Tart”, then a “Bakewell Tart” followed by a “Quince Tarte Tatin” (not English, but what the heck), “Lemon Tart”, a “Torta di Ricotta,” (Italian, not English) just because the English love Italy! For fun, I threw in my Apple “Pie” With Streusel Topping.” Of course, this will probably end up going on forever! But I will be updating!

So far the feedback from my professional tasters has been very positive and that is why I want to share my “tarts” with you!

If you would like to make any of these “puddings” please go to:

      Canterbury Apple Tart
      Treacle Tart
      Bakewell Tart
      Quince Tarte Tatin
      Apple “Pie” With Streusel Topping
      Lemon Tart
      Torta di Ricotta

Hope you enjoy them as much as we all have!

A reminder when baking to make sure you use dry & wet measuring cups.  The dry are some kind of cup and the wet, usually glass.  It makes a difference!

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Homesick?

I recently went to a blog I am following and clicked on a Youtube video called “Florence the Magnificent.” The next thing you know Luciano Pavarotti was singing “Nessun Dorma” which I adore. He sings it so beautifully that I always cry when I hear it. The song was accompanied by photos taken in Florence and I cried some more! See it for yourself, by going to postcards from travel.   The blog is chock-a-block full of all sorts of information related to travel.

DSC_0428.jpg nx2 resizeThere is a simple explanation to this and it’s I’m homesick for Italy! How can this be?

People tell me that they get homesick when they are travelling and really want to go home…not me. Maybe it’s because we don’t stay in hotels? Or maybe it’s the people or the food, or maybe, or maybe…

There’s no getting around it, we have to go back to Italy, so a fourth trip is being planned for next spring. When I think of how much we have seen and how much we haven’t, I am amazed! The Sistine Chapel anyone, or how about the inside of the Duomo in Florence, or that gelato place in Rome that we never did find, after much searching, but that’s Rome for you. Can you say GPS?

Yes, I know what you are probably thinking, “don’t those two have any other places they would like to see?” Yup…but Italy is not finished with us! There is still Paris, the countryside in the south of France, Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Alsace Lorraine, the coast of Croatia, and a Rhine cruise when we are too old to do anything but cruise and drink wine. When’s the next Lotto 649 draw?

Luxury Is…

Some people might think owing a Mercedes or staying in 5-star hotels is luxury…not me!  OK maybe driving around in an old Rolls might qualify!  But…

dsc_0276_edited-1-nx2I have a real thing about snuggling into a bed with clean sheets, it just feels so deliciously decadent! It’s leftover from my childhood. Mom did not have a dryer and in those days she washed our clothes in an old wringer washing machine. Poor Mom…she had to stand there and feed the wet clothes through the wringer instead of watching her favourite soaps! Then outside she went to hang them up on the two very long clotheslines strung up from outside the back door to the cherry trees in the back yard. What drudgery, especially when it started to rain or worse, it started to freeze, then in came the sheets from the line in a mad rush and down to the basement they went to dry. But if we/she was lucky they would dry outside on a bright, sunny day.

Ahh…the smell of those sheets fresh from the clothesline on our freshly made beds is embedded forever in my mind.

Fast forward a bunch of years and every time I change the sheets I can hardly wait to go to bed! It just feels so darned good! If I had buckets of money and no concern about wasting water, I would have fresh ones every night, what luxury!

They say it’s the simple things of life…

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