Are you a risk taker?

It occurred to me this past weekend that I am a bit of a risk taker.  At least when we are talking recipes.  Oh, and anything related to gardens or flowers.

I very rarely follow written recipes completely, modifying them with favorite, gluten-free, or on-hand ingredients. For family dinners I usually try out at least one new recipe, and this past (Canadian) Thanksgiving dinner was no exception.

I made the perennially favourite pumpkin pie as well as cherry and butter tarts, but instead of apple pie or crisp,  I tried a strawberry rhubarb crisp.  My brother had commented on Facebook a while back that he was craving strawberry rhubarb pie and no one would make one for him, so as he was hosting dinner this past Sunday I took the bait.  One of my clients donated the rhubarb and I had frozen strawberries on hand.  The recipe called for fresh strawberries, so I just let mine thaw on the counter before using them. I do believe the dessert was a favourite at the table; the bit that was left in the pan was scooped up by my nephew to take home for later.

 

Tired of the popular vegetable dishes this time of year too, I decided to try roasted zucchini as my vegetable contribution.  It too turned out delicious; I will definitely make it again.  I simply sliced 3 yellow and 3 green zucchini lengthwise into about 6 spears each (you could slice them into coins instead) placed them on a greased cookies sheet, drizzled them with olive oil, sprinkled them with a parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano and dried basil mixture, and baked then broiled them to perfection.  Yummy!

 

pictures from Pixabay and Pexels (forgot to take some of my own)

 

Someone asked me after I volunteered to make my daughter-in-law’s wedding bouquets if I wasn’t nervous they wouldn’t turn out.  My new daughter-in-law is wonderfully laid back, so I knew if the bouquets weren’t exactly perfect, she would not stress over it, otherwise, I might have been more nervous and (probably) would not have offered my services.  All five were different and definitely unique creations…

 

I consider cooking or baking and gardening to be artistic adventures, and I think most will agree that artists of any kind have to take some risks to be unique.  I guess I do tend to fly by the seat of my pants (as I call it) or like to take (some) risks, but it is (almost) always worth it!

 

 

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Healing fats

Have you ever heard of healing fats?  I had not until recently when I came across an article that intrigued me.  It was about healing fats and the Shepherd’s Diet.

The Shepherd’s Diet is based on the theory that the human body is a fat burning machine designed to burn (lose) more fat by eating more fat.  The catch is the fats you consume should be healing, healthy fats (supposedly mentioned in the Bible, hence the name “Shepherd’s Diet) and not the unhealthy, man-made, fake (trans) fats so popular today.

The fact is that obesity has become a bigger problem (pun intended) since fat-free diets became popular and recommended.  Why?  Because most fat-free and low-fat products are loaded with addictive sugar, now known to override the fat burning machine.

Sugar and fake (man-made) fats promote bloating and slow the metabolism.  They also cause brain fog and raise our bad cholesterol levels.  The fast food industry is saturated with these fake fat products, but the most popular one, margarine, is a staple in most of our homes.

What are the healthy, healing fats recommended in the Shepherd’s Diet?  This list names a few to start with:

  •  unrefined sesame, extra virgin olive, walnut, coconut oils
  • flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds
  • hazelnuts, macadamias, peanuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts
  • trout, mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines
  • avocados
  • butter or ghee (clarified butter)

 

Try switching to these healthier healing fats, but remember, they are all high in calories.  Limit your fat intake to 30 percent of your daily calories.

photos from Pixabay

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Anger rules election

 

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I, like many other Canadians, watched the coverage of the election last night.  I did switch back and forth between the Ottawa Senators hockey game and the election coverage though, very Canadian of me!

Through the whole election process, I was struck by how divided the country (USA) was on their opinions of the candidates.  People were/are very definite in this election.  In past elections (ours included) opinions varied, but there appeared to be much less anger.  Previously, all candidates had their strengths and weaknesses.  Not so with this election.

People are angry at and sick of Hillary’s lies, deceit and suspected corruption.  Others are angry and disgusted with Trump’s comments, actions and lack of political experience.  Today there are many furious and heartsick people in the USA and around the world because Trump won the election.  As naive as it may sound,  I hope this anger dissipates soon so the country can move forward together.

I also hope that president-elect Trump is not the crass, irresponsible,  selfish, crude, racist, sexist, idiot that all of those angry people say he is…

A game seven nail biter in the World Series

Although I was hoping the Toronto Blue Jays would be in the World Series this year, so did not really care who won between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs, I must admit it was a wild series.

The Cleveland Indians beat out the Toronto Blue Jays to get to this final match up, so I was leaning towards favoring the Indians to beat the Cubs for the title.   The often mentioned fact that the Chicago Cubs had not won the World Series in 108 years (not that the Indians had won any time recently either) had my loyalties conflicted.  When the Cleveland Indians were up three games to one in the best of seven series against the Cubs I was (almost) ready to quit watching the series.

Then the Cubs won a game, and another to tie the series at three games each.  Last night was game seven, in Cleveland Ohio, and what a game it was.  It started off slow and ho hum (unless you are a Cubs fan); the Cubs were up early and I had switched the channel at the 4-1 score.  I forgot about the best thing about baseball, the fact that things (the score) can change quickly, very quickly…

Upon switching the channel back,  I was stunned to see the game tied at 6.   The Cubs added a few more runs and the Indians rallied once more in the 8th inning with a two-run homer by Rajai Davis (a former Toronto Blue Jay player, no less) to tie it up.

Then the Cubs almost (a should of, could of, would of, moment) won in the 9th inning with a man left on third base.  I still do not understand why Joe Madden asked for a bunt from batter Javier Baez, with a potential run on third, and a count of one out and two strikes.  I admit I do not know a lot about baseball, but a sacrifice fly seemed like a no-brainer to me!  Even I know that you are out if your bunt is foul with two strikes against you.  Boy, did Baez look angry as he stomped off the field, not sure he was angry at himself for not executing a perfect bunt or Madden for making the call to bunt in that situation.

After a short rain delay (Mother Nature had to have a say too!) to add to the drama on the field, the Cubs added two runs in the top of the tenth inning to which the Indians could not respond in the bottom of the tenth.

A thrilling win for the Chicago Cubs!   A heart-breaking, can’t believe it, so close, thought we had it, loss for the Cleveland Indians.