witches French kisses
delicious dark enchantress
naked necromancer seductress
illicit sex excites elicits submission
worships wanton carnal magical temptress
whatever her lips promise be wary, be suspicious
words by jack collier
I have been criticised for not posting any sweet stuff. Well, I should always listen to constructive criticism, especially when it’s from a woman…
Tieghan of Half baked harvest published this recipe for chocolate coconut almond bars, and I know my friend in SoCal likes coconut and almonds…
Chocolate Coconut Almond Bars
Tieghan also gives us; secret ingredient peanut butter stuffed chocolate chip skillet cookies, (come on I’ve seen Kung Fu Panda, the secret of the secret ingredient is that there isn’t one…). She also has; tres leches coconut and chocolate fudge ice cream tacos with banana peanut salsa, (does Tieghan have the record for the longest names for her dishes?), and superfood hot chocolate with honey caramelized brioche.
From Chicago we have Monique who has published a recipe for paleo chocolate chunk cookies on her blog; Ambitious Kitchen
Paleo Chocolate Chunk Cookies
If it’s vegan you’re looking for then Monique has this recipe for; whole wheat chocolate cinnamon rolls with pistachios & orange icing, and as it’s already pretty warm in Southern California my friend may like this refreshing watermelon pineapple smoothie, at under 200 calories, and also from Monique.
Now from Ree, The Pioneer Woman we have one of my favourite ingredients ~ rhubarb. If you’ve never tried rhubard you have no idea what you’re missing. Ree has this recipe for rhubarb cobbler ~ I love rhubarb… I didn’t know you could grow it in Oklahoma…
Hailing from Knoxville TX, Heather Baird, (aka Sprinkle Bakes), offers us these delightful chocolate filled rose cupcakes. I have no chance of making anything this delecate myself, but aren’t they cute?
Chocolate Filled Rose Cupcakes
Now Sio, another California Girl, (Santa Cruzan), has a nice recipe for easy lemon rosmary scones on her website Sio Says Things. I am a fan of scones…
Lemon Rosemary Scones
Finally for this week, a bit of a list again. Cooking Without Limits has a good recipe for raw chocolate truffles, Cooking Up The Pantry offers us chocolate shortbread, and crystallised ginger shortbread, Emerging Adult Eats has something different, orange + cranberry + rosemary bread, Sweets Eats and Crafts has no bake salted peanut butter cups, (trust me there is chocolate here too), Jessica from How Sweet It Is has a great vanilla bean chocolate cake, Heather Christo posts a vegan blood orange coconut tapioca and mixed berry parfait, Elise at Simply Recipes posts apple carrot cupcakes, and Petra from Food Eat Love has this brilliant savarin and bramley apple cheesecake, (I now you can’t get Bramley Apples in California, but you can use Granny Smith’s instead), Averie of Averie Cooks has these great looking glazed cherry bonbon cookies and slow cooker banana bread cake with brown sugar sauce. Now, stop watching the calories for a while…
For something different to drink with all this sweet stuff, we have these totally insane roasted grapefruit margaritas with smoked sea salt… again from Heather Christo
thank you to all the sweet cooks who have contributed to this Friday’s post
A friend is concerned about the damage she may have suffered from passive smoking. So;
Cigarette smoke has long been established as the single most important cause of preventable disease and death in the world. The reduction in life expectancy for the average smoker is eight years. Across the world smoking cigarettes kills six million people a year, (every year 480,000 smoking related deaths in the USA alone) ~ every ten seconds somebody dies from smoking cigarettes.
Half of all smokers will eventually die from it, often from cancer. Of that half, half will die in middle age, losing around 25 years off their life. All smoking related deaths are messy, drawn-out and agonising to suffer and to watch.
Cigarette smoke is the cause of 90% of all lung cancers and chronic lung diseases. And you know what? Passive smoking also kills. You are quite likely to get lung cancer or lung disease just by being in the same room as a smoker. Worldwide at least 600,000 non smokers, (who are passively smoking), die from smoking related disease every year, and 28% of those are children. There is no safe level of second-hand tobacco smoke. If someone is ill-mannered enough to smoke near you, get up and leave. Only
sluts and bastards very impolite people smoke near non-smokers.
As well as directly causing chronic lung diseases like emphysema, bronchitis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, (COPD). Cigarette smoke also causes strokes, a stack of heart related diseases, and cancers of just about every part of the body; mouth, larynx, oesophagus, stomach, urinary tract, and bladder.
Women suffer disproportionately badly from smoking related illnesses. For example there is a higher incidence of osteoporosis, (thinning of the bones), in female smokers. Smoking reduces female fertility and maims seriously damages unborn children in the womb. Female smokers also look decrepit age well before their time, have greater risk of breast cancer, and cancer of the cervix. Women who smoke heavily are often alcoholics also tend to drink far too much booze for their own good. The Baylor College of Medicine found that people crave alcohol when they are smoking, and nicotine when they are drinking. Both nicotine and alcohol are far more dangerous for women than they are for men.
There are about 2,700 nasty and dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke, including; ammonia, cyanhydric acid, acetone, toluene, methane, naphthalene, carbon monoxide, phenol, DDT, Toluidine, Urethane, Pyrene, Polonium-210, cadmium, vinyl chloride, benzopyrene and nicotine. Some of this stuff is deadly even in small concentrations, and most of it is carcinogenic.
A regular smoker probably has no idea just how utterly disgusting non-smokers find your habit. Smokers stink, their clothes stink, their breath stinks, even their sweat stinks. In my whole life I have only dated one woman who smoked, and thankfully for both of us she eventually quit her filthy habit.
I would never, ever, date another woman who smokes, no matter how attractive she was otherwise. Personally, and luckily, I have never smoked anything, even though both my parents were smokers ~ thank you for that mother. My only very nasty, and very deadly vice has been booze, and I’ve quit drinking.
It is never too late to stop smoking ~ if you stop before middle age you will likely avoid most of the cancers, although if you continue smoking after middle age, and then stop, you will probably still die from your history of smoking. There is plenty of help out there for those addicted to smoking, but who want to quit. Probably the first step is to see your doctor. Or, like many old-looking, penniless, coughing, ill, sad, and stinking people, you could just decide to stay alive and stop smoking, all on your own.
If you smoke, do yourself a favour, give it up for Lent, (if you smoke and drink, try giving up the booze too).
Lent is a Christian Festival ~ sometimes I don’t feel filled with Christian charity, and I will remedy that. For Lent this year I am giving up some of my most cherished character defects.
Between February 10th and March 24th I will not inflict my dangerously negative feelings upon anyone.
Among the things I will not be doing during Lent are that I will not be;
(Please feel free to tell me of any other unpleasant defects of character you would like a less than perfect man to lose.)
Only an inherently evil man like Mr.Hyde, (or an unreconstructed alcoholic), would be pleased to give free rein to actions which stem from those negative character traits. If I feel any of these vile and malevolent emotions and impulses, I will work very hard at not letting them show.
Actually, I am not going to do anything about those nasty, abusive, and negative character defects.
Instead, I am going to be positive and affirmative, calm and peaceful, honest and honourable. I shall walk softly and speak kindly. I will strive to become the perfect English Gentleman.
Also, I shall stay off the booze.
I love the danger of the night
stalking under bright moonlight
shining silver orb in obsidian graphite
casting shadows black as anthracite
waiting for calm release of dawn twilight
I suffer unrequited love’s self-destructive bite
words and pictures by jack collier
It’s the Chinese New Year, and now we’re in the Year of the Monkey. I was born in the Year of the Horse, and my lucky colours are yellow and green. I knew that, take a look at the sports car I built for myself.
my personal Caterham 7
However, if you can’t quite drive a sports car to a party in Chinatown, then how about these great recipes?
A really classic and easy dish from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower ~ sweet and sour shrimp. Personally, I may just add some extra garlic…. Andrea also has an interesting recipe for basil teryaki shrimp ~ and I have a friend who has a hell of a lot of basil.
Sweet And Sour Shrimp
Meanwhile Jessica (aka How Sweet It Is) has a cool recipe for crunchy chicken spring rolls with blood orange dipping sauce. As I said, cool.
Crunchy Chicken Spring Rolls
Jessica also has a great recipe for slow cooker sweet and spicy pork shoulder, which may not be authentically Chinese, but Jessica says her family always has this at New Year, and it is the Chinese New Year, after all.
Now from Chungah An of Damn Delicious we have these classic potstickers ~ pan fried dumplings. I could eat too many of these right now.
Pan Fried Dumplings
This dish from Tales of Chinese Cooking is now on my recipe list. Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce. Charlotte, (aka Tales of Chinese Cooking), now resides in New York.
Szechuan Poached Beef in Hot Chili Sauce
Charlotte also has this brilliant recipe for Sichuan mouth watering chicken, (Kou Shui Ji).
Sichuan Mouth Watering Chicken
Tieghan Gerard, (Half Baked Harvest), has this super looking dish ~ orange teriyaki beef with pineapple edamame fried rice. Wow!
Orange Teriyaki Beef with Pineapple Edamame Fried Rice
The lovely Averie Sunshine, (aka Averie Cooks), has an alterative stir fry shrimp dish ~ szechuan shrimp stir fry with fried rice. My Californian friend just has to make this for supper one day ~ or maybe I’ll make it for her the next time I’m in Orange County.
Szechuan Shrimp Stir Fry with Fried Rice
And finally for today, bestselling author Elana Amsterdam has these gluten-free sesame kelp noodles, and a cool asian stir fry. Petra from Food Eat Love has a a nice sounding recipe for smoked chinese pulled pork ~ I have to try this…. Through Averie we have Annie Chun’s smoked salmon rice balls with scallion. Meanwhile, back at the street kitchen, charming television celebrity chef Ching-He Huang, (aka Ching), has this easy recipe for shredded duck lettuce wrap, a great recipe for mixed seafood miso broth, and classic char siu pork on steamed pak choy & sweet orange sauce. I think Californians will love the sweetness in this dish.
(the cute picture is of Ching-He Huang)
With Chinese food, drink Chinese beer…
with appreciation for all the chefs who are featured in today’s article
Before I came to the peace and quiet of my waterside apartment, (maybe you should read my Alternative Living #2), I tried living off-grid. This was on a piece of land that I was supposed to be turning into a trailer park ~ in my time I have had some monumentally moronic ideas.
I didn’t come to surviving without mains electricity, mains gas, mains water, main drainage and sewage, land-line, internet… through some desire to live a greener, more eco-friendly lifestyle. Living off-grid was forced upon me because the 18 or so acres of land I’d bought didn’t have mains electricity, mains gas, mains water, main drainage and sewage, land-line, internet, nor any other of the services the urban man has come to take for granted.
Living completely off-grid is a fairly extreme alternative lifestyle, especially if one jumps into things with little knowledge and no preparation whatsoever. Especially in the middle of an English winter. The first night on that site, in the tiny, smelly, trailer, I was bloody cold, lonely, and miserable. I didn’t even have any booze to console me.
In order, the things I missed, other than warmth, were;
artificial light, a bathroom / toilet, telephone (I had a cell but nowhere to charge it), fresh water, mains gas (bottled gas stinks ~ in so many ways), electricity, a proper sewage system, somewhere to shower, television, a postal service, being dry, and again ~ being warm
until you don’t have these services you have no idea how much they mean to you, or how much you take them for granted.
One by one, with much effort, pain, cursing, blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of hard cash, I built, organised, installed, each and every single ‘service’ a modern home has as standard. Not all at once, and not easily.
To give you three examples;
- To begin with, and for a goodly while, fresh potable water was fetched in a bowser towed behind my Land Rover.
- Heating, cooking, and something cheery to sit by was achieved by means of a log-burning stove. Have you any idea how much hard work is involved in having enough firewood to keep a decent-sized stove going in winter? Well, think of working from dawn to dusk for a couple of months to cut and store the wood you’d need for one stove for one year.
- Electricity ~ the easiest solution was a portable generator, which I had converted to run on cheap bottled gas.
None of those three examples are really ideal long-term solutions, but they have their time and place. They were a flawed warrior’s practical solutions to big problems.
In and among laying on mains services I built myself a timber bungalow, (with all the modern-conveniences), started to turn the land into that trailer park, and every now and again got very drunk.
The good news from all those painful experiences is that, put me down on a patch of bare land, and I can build you a home to be proud of. I have the skills, I have the energy, I am fit enough, and I have the sheer bloody-minded persistence to get hard things done.
All I really need to build anything you like is a vehicle and something like Home Depot within a reasonable distance. Give me that and I’ll build you a place you can be very comfortable living in.
And, I could still do it completely off-grid, just this time I’d do it properly.
I am 5,975 miles away
I pray for my love every day
words cannot convey what I need to say
yet she is often very busy
ballet of shared silence, dismal dismay
building love’s long rise from lonely decay
words and pictures by jack collier