Real Men don’t eat quiche.
Not all frittata are called frittata, sometimes they’re called a quiche, and in this part of the world they may be called a ham and egg pie. The thing is a good frittata is an extremely versatile dish. One can make it for lunch, or a light dinner, and then have it for breakfast, lunch at work, or dinner with a salad the following day.
This is an interesting, quick, and easy recipe from Averie at Averie Cooks ~ kale and tomato frittata. You can make this in 10 minutes, or if you’re like my friend in Southern California ~ a half-hour.
Kale and Tomato Frittata
This is a fabulous recipe from Heather Christo ~ frittata with shitiake mushrooms and goat’s cheese. Some say they’re not a fan of goat’s cheese, without ever actually having tried it. Trust me, this is a great combination.
Frittata with Shitiake Mushrooms and Goat’s Cheese
Chive and Brie Frittata
From Jessica Merchant at How Sweet It Is we have a spiralized sweet potato, kale, and bacon quiche, which looks a fabulous dish. This recipe may also be better than a normal frittata to take to work for lunch because of the pasty base.
Spiralized Sweet Potato, Kale, and Bacon Quiche
Seasonal Vegetable Frittata
I know that my friend in Southern California like butternut squash, (don’t ask me why), so just to please her I have found this recipe from English Lady Petra at Food Eat Love ~ butternut squash frittata. I guess I could make it for my friend in SoCal…
Butternut Squash Frittata
In this part of England the nearest thing we usually get to a frittata, or a quiche for that matter, is a ham and egg pie, (sometimes and egg and bacon pie). Savoury pie isn’t something I’ve often seen in my travels around the USA, but you guys should really try this old-fashioned egg and bacon pie. What a great recipe for a picnic, or as something to take to the office for lunch.
Old Fashioned Egg and Bacon Pie
Finally for this week’s Food on Friday we have another one of those recipe compilations. This one from All Recipes UK has 62 different frittata for you, including this dead easy onion frittata from Maria Antoniette.
I’m afraid my friend Marmaduke
only likes his eggs soft boiled.
Ultimately, food is the most satisfying form of comfort.
Even though spring has arrived in more southerly parts of the world, it’s still cold and wintry here in Northern England. Trust me, there’s still a need for comfort food here in the colder parts of the world.
First for you this week, from Joanne at No Plate Like Home is a great English staple ~ shepherds pie. Usually made with ground beef, but sometimes with ground lamb, this 45 minute dish is a fantastic midweek dinner.
And next, from English Foodie abroad at Chez le Rêve Français, we have another savoury pie, this time a chicken and leek pie. This looks a fabulous dish, which should take you around an hour to make.
Chicken and Leek Pie
Now for something easier and quicker from Chungah at Damn Delicious, there’s this great sheet pan steak and fries. I really like dishes we can make in just one pan.
Sheet Pan Steak and Fries
Soup is also a wonderful winter comfort food, and from Canadian girl Heather at the flourishing foodie I can offer you this cauliflower, leek, and carrot soup. Would be great with some crusty bread and fresh butter.
Cauliflower Leek and Carrot Soup
Something that isn’t a savoury pie, but kind of ticks all the pie boxes. From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest, there’s this great looking Irishman’s beef brisket burrito. I’m not usually a fan of burritos, but I really like the look of this dish.
Irishman’s Beef Brisket Burrito
Another Irish Beef dish, this time Irish Beef Stew from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes. You know what? In England we really like Irish Beef, but St. Patrick’s Day does nothing for most of us ~ maybe the English history with Ireland is just too long and chequered ~ and likely to more so as Brexit plays out..
Irish Beef Stew
Finally for this week, from Heather Christo, some real late-night comfort food. This rich, but vegan and gluten free brown sugar spiced banana rum cake. So, what’s not to like?
Brown Sugar Spiced Banana Rum Cake
A big thank you to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday
Eggs ~ so what can you do with the humble egg?
Eggs are incredibly nutritious ~ a real superfood, filled with all the good stuff you need for a healthy immune system. And, eggs are cheap, easy to cook, and don’t have to be boring ~ as this week’s recipes will show.
For anyone pressed for time, or someone who wants a hot lunch at work, Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has this omelette in a mug. It’s cooked in the microwave. I’ve tried to cook eggs in the microwave before, and had an egg explosion most times. Elise says the secret is to add liquid to the eggs ~ and use a large enough mug. I’ve tried her method, and it works brilliantly, (I buttered the bottom of my mug first). Good Food doesn’t get easier than this.
Omelette in a Mug
Simple Baked Eggs are almost as easy as the omelette in a mug, except you need an oven and not a microwave. Even Cosmopolitan Magazine has a collection of 12 baked eggs recipes worth getting out of bed for. But anyone, even the most ineptly boring guy can make a good, delicious, healthy hot meal in 10 minutes by baking eggs. There are a stack of recipes for baked eggs, but this one is from Cooking Without Limits.
Right, listen up, this is another dead easy dish for you very busy folk and healthy eaters. Jessica Merchant at How Sweet It Is has this great recipe for a 15 minute spinach burrata omelette with avocado salad. Look, anybody can make a great meal in 20 minutes with this recipe, even really inept boring guys.
15 Minute Spinach Burrata Omelette with Avocado Salad
Dana from Portland, Oregon, (aka Minimalist Baker) has an easy recipe for a simple vegan omelette, and OK I don’t even pretend to understand the various types on non-carnivores, but I like the look of this easy dish. The secret is this omelette uses tofu, and not eggs. I guess you can make exactly the same recipe with eggs, and I guess you can make a lot of egg-based dishes with tofu. hmmmmm.
Simple Vegan Omelette ~ (tofu)
Tiegan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest always has some interesting and good-looking recipes ~ this grilled pineapple caprese eggs Benedict with coconut-almond hollandaise certainly caught my eye and whetted my appetite. Look, the only even remotely hard part of this dish is the Hollandaise, and the’s dead easy in the food processor. Try it, you’ll like it. Also from Tieghan in Food on Friday #43 we have a grilled potato salad with almond-basil chimichurri and 7 minute eggs.
Grilled Pineapple Caprese Eggs Benedict with Coconut-almond Hollandaise
This is a totally fantastic recipe from Erica at Honestly Yum; Turkish Eggs, also called Çilbir. I’ve eaten this tasty little dish all over the Mediterranean, just don’t call it Turkish Eggs in Greece. I think my friend in Orange County will like this because of the yogurt, cilantro, garlic, and pepper in there along with the eggs.
Çilbir ~ Turkish Eggs
Finally for this week we have a collection from the meticulously gluten and allergen free Heather Christo; 10 egg-celent ways to spice up your breakfast eggs. Among the fantastic dishes here we have this beautiful chive and brie frittata. This looks so very, very good.
Chive and Brie Frittata
thanks for all the recipes shown to us by some great cooks in this week’s Food on Friday
a fool and his money are soon parted
If you want to lose money really fast, or just guarantee that you will go broke eventually, then here are some brilliant ideas for you;
- Online Gambling. Gambling in any form ~ from playing the slots in Las Vegas, to betting on horse racing at a high-street bookmaker in England ~ is guaranteed to lose you as much money as you like. All those attractive online gambling sites just allow you to lose your money with 24/7 dedication from the comfort of your own home / office / car… Online Forex Trading is just another form of gambling ~ you will lose loads of money.
- Forex Trading. The foreign exchange market exists for some very sensible reasons ~ it allows me to pay for a hotel stay in Wyoming, (priced in $), on my English credit card, (denominated in £). Unecessary trading on the the Forex Market also allows idiots to risk vast amounts of money, and then inevitably lose it. I’m an expert in all this stuff, and it would take me a week to teach you the basics, so just trust me, you will lose if you go online trading. Even companies like Rolls Royce get burned, (lately to the tune of £4 billion), due to unecessarily hedging the Forex Market.
- Expensive New Cars. A hot set of wheels might boost your ego, get you a hot date, and it will also lose you a fortune. Almost all cars depreciate over time, and some high-status cars depreciate at an horrific rate. Add in the high cost on insuring your new car, and the good chance that you’ll crash the thing if you ever drive it hard, and an expensive new car can be a real money pit. Best of all, get drunk, drive really fast, and then roll your car down a freeway embankment. By the way, never believe a car salesperson, all sales people are professional liars, and I should know because I used to be one.
- Online Dating. If your expensive new car hasn’t got you a real date, you could be a totally insane pathetic loser and try online dating as well. Online dating isn’t cheap, both in terms of money and time. And, it’s one of most dangerous things you can do, for example both human and robot scammers target the sad people who use online dating sites. Or, you could get used, abused, robbed, raped, or dead. If you just want to ruin your life, the get yourself addicted to paid online porn.
- Dangerous Drugs. I include here; street drugs including marijuana, prescription drugs, party drugs, legal highs, tobacco, and booze. To really waste a great deal of money while ruining your health and your life along the way, then get into everything at once. Best of all get buzzed and go on the internet with your credit cards to hand. Do not go near 12 step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.
There are some other brilliant ways to go broke fast; trophy wife, mistress, toyboy, high-class hookers, marrying a foreigner, getting sick abroad without proper insurance, buying a home without having a full survey, signing things you don’t understand, and perhaps best of all guaranteed get rich quick schemes.
If you really throw yourself into the above activities, not only could you lose all the money you have, you could also get yourself heavily into debt with some nasty people. Along the way you are very likely to lose your self-respect, job, real friends, home, family, health, and maybe your life. If you want to go downhill really, really fast, then I recommend you start at #5 and work your way upwards.
Most of you will never get as far as #1 because you’ll be on the streets, in jail, or dead long before that. If you work diligently at #5 you could be dead broke and dead in a couple of years.
Good luck with totally ruining your life by getting heavily into any of the above financially stupid moves.
these thoughts are mine, and mine alone
Easy Lifestyle Changes Could Save You A Small Fortune.
There some very basic things you can do which, added together, will save you a great deal of money. These changes to the way you live your life are not difficult, they’re not complicated, and they will not take up a lot of your time. In fact, all of these things are what my granny used to call; ‘basic common sense’. Get on with it, smell the roses, save yourself some money, and live a better life.
- Pay off all your credit and store card bills. The average interest rate on credit card debt is around 16%, with some banks charging as much as 79.9% per annum, this is just extortion and usury. Far better to borrow elsewhere, at a cheaper rate, and pay off your plastic.
- Use the internet and find cheaper providers for your gas, electricity, water, mobile phone, (cell phone), land line telephone, internet, cable television, and car insurance. Switch to the cheapest provider because customer service will always suck, no matter who you are with. And, by the way, do you really need all those rubbish TV channels?
- Lower the temperature of your heating, and raise the temperature of your air conditioning by a couple of degrees. We all pay far too much for heating and cooling our homes.
- Lower the temperature at which you wash your clothes. There is a 30C setting on my washing machine, (about 90F), and most of the time that’s what I use. This gets rid of most dirt and stains, but it does not get rid of germs, and it’s not hot enough to get whites clean. So, I still always wash my bed linen and whites at 90C, (about 200F). Mind you, I always use biological washing powder which works well at lower temperatures.
- Always make a shopping list. Far too many people go into a store and come out with a whole bunch of stuff they don’t really want or need, while forgetting the important thing they went in for. Make a shopping list and never, ever make impulse purchases.
- Try own-brand goods. Very often the own-brand products are just as good as the more expensive named-brands. Quite often own-brand products are made in the same factories and on the same production lines as named brands. Stores always try to make you buy the most expensive, premium goods.
- Never buy ‘designer labels’ ~ don’t be a logo whore, and who wants some other guy’s name on their clothes and shoes anyway? It’s pathetic.
- Learn to do DIY. I hate contractors, repair men, decorators, gardeners, with a passion. If it needs doing then 90% of the time I do it myself. Learn to decorate, put up a shelf, fix a leaky tap, (faucet), and save yourself an absolute fortune.
- Make your travel arrangements early and do it on the internet. Always shop around for the cheapest deal. Always pay by credit card. Get a brochure from the travel agent for information and to give you a comparison.
- Learn to drive properly. Almost everyone I know is a crap driver, especially women. Almost everyone I know drives too fast, races between the lights, uses the accelerator hard and the brakes hard, and sits in the wrong gear. Drive a little slower and learn what anticipation means and you will not only use less petrol, (gas), there will be much less wear and tear on your car.
- Don’t always buy the newest, top-of-the-range car. A low mileage used car, or the basic model in the new car range can save you thousands. Remember, the biggest cost of owning a car is depreciation. Most cars will lose between 50% – 60% of their value in the first 3 years. (Just don’t buy an Edsel ~ people will laugh.)
- Walk, don’t drive. If you don’t have far to go and don’t have much to carry, don’t drive, walk instead. That won’t only save you money, walking will do wonders for your health and fitness.
- Give up smoking / vaping. Both will seriously damage your health, both can kill you, and both will cost you a fortune. A pack of 20 cigarettes will cost you about £7 in the UK and about $7 in California, (USA prices vary by state). So, a 10 a day habit will cost you about £1,300 per annum in the UK and $1,300 a year in California ~ a lot of money for a disgusting habit that’s killing you.
- Cut down on your drinking. Too much booze will make you fat, ill, and temporarily or permanently stupid ~ it will eventually kill you. How much booze is too much? If you drink a bottle of wine a night, or 4 bottles of beer, or a quarter of a bottle of spirits, then you are drinking far too much. Decent booze is hellishly expensive.
- STOP GAMBLING. Gambling is exactly the same as throwing your hard-earned money in the trash. Gambling is an addiction, and all gamblers lose heavily over time, always, with no exceptions, (not even the Cincinnati Kid).
- Never, ever, join a gym, and if you have gym membership, then cancel it. Most people with gym memberships don’t go often enough to get their money’s worth. Gyms are poor value for money and bad places for most people to exercise ~ you’re breathing stale air, being made to listen to loud music, and you’re indoors under artificial lights. Nasty. Exercise for free instead.
- Plan ahead and buy stuff in the sales, at discount stores, and in thrift stores.
- Claim all your tax and other benefits. Use the internet at learn what you can really claim.
- Never use pay per view TV or TV services such as Netflix ~ this is just stupid. Do you really need to dumb down so much as to sit in front of the TV, and pay extra for the privilege, over and above whatever stupid cable subscription you are already paying for this crap?
- Never, ever buy extended warranties on things like a car, new washing machine, or television. These warranties are scams, not worth the paper they’re printed on, and cost a fortune.
- Stop buying expensive pre-prepared, ready meals. Learn to cook instead. ‘Ready meals’ are full of unmentionable crap, and are terrible value for money.
Remember, when you want to save money, when you want to stop wasting money, the internet is your friend. You may think you don’t have the time to spend on internet research, trust me, you do have loads of spare time, it’s just that you waste that too. Stop ruining your mind by watching hours of drivel on the TV, stop ruining your health by spending time in your usual sleazy pub / bar, and stop making excuses.
Never, ever, sign anything you don’t understand. Never, ever, trust a salesperson.
Should You Make Your Next Car A Diesel?
The first thing I need to tell you is that, contrary to everything Governments, Left Leaning Liberal Media, The Green Lobby, and exponents of Man-Made Global Warming have been saying for years, diesel cars are no cleaner and no better for the environment than petrol, (gasoline), engined vehicles. Like so-called renewable energy, all these green lunatics are costing us the Earth banging on about various means of powering a vehicle. Electric cars are not green, the electricity has to come from somewhere.
There is a huge difference between the manufacturer’s official pollution figures, and the amount of nasty stuff diesel cars chuff out in the real world. Volkswagen, (VW), have just reached an agreement to pay $4.3 billion in fines after fiddling the fuel consumption and pollution figures of its vehicles ~ and that’s after agreeing a $14.7 billion settlement to recompense aggrieved VW diesel owners in the USA. In the United Kingdom VW diesel owners are looking for a settlement of £3,000 each for the German car maker’s lies. Respectable scientists even say that diesel cars produce ten times more pollutants than buses and trucks. I don’t believe that either.
Jumping on the anti-diesel bandwagon the mayors of four major cities; Athens, Madrid, Mexico City, and Paris have announced that diesel cars will be banned from entering their towns from 2025. Who gives a damn? These cities are so bad to drive in that you’d have to be mad to take your car into the centre, and come 2025 it can only be worse than today. Banning diesels won’t make these urban areas any better, the exhaust from petrol engines is just as ruinous to your health.
One should never believe anything car manufacturers are car salesmen tell you, because they always lie about everything. For example, in the real world most cars use twice as much fuel as the car makers’ own fuel consumption figures, and some bad and aggressive drivers get terrible fuel consumption. It’s obvious that the more fuel you use, the more pollution you create. And bad, aggressive drivers often end up in accidents, which also create a lot of pollution, and death. Death in car accidents is bad.
However, diesel / compression ignition cars have two major advantages over an exactly comparable car powered by an exactly comparable petrol, (gasoline), engine. Firstly, you get about 50% more miles to the gallon from a diesel engine. Secondly, properly looked after a diesel engine should last for twice as long as the equivalent petrol engine. Longevity is good for the environment as the real pollution of any car should be measured over its dust to dust lifespan.
Right now diesel fuel costs just a few pence / cents more than the same amount of petrol / gasoline. However, you get far more miles from a gallon of diesel than you do from a gallon of petrol / gasoline. Take a new Kia Sportage as an example.
- Petrol / Gasoline 37 miles per gallon (Imperial)
- Diesel 61 miles per gallon (Imperial)
The diesel engined car is perhaps 5% more expensive to buy than the petrol car, and perhaps it’s 5% slower, but one gets about 165% of the mileage from each tank of fuel. Diesels are a lot more fuel efficient than petrol cars. (Don’t actually believe the total fuel consumption figures, most drivers won’t get that in the real world.) So, if you are a higher mileage driver, (more than 6,000 miles a year), or you want to keep your car a long, long time, (100,000 miles plus), then a diesel makes a lot of sense. And, there is always the likelihood that a diesel car will depreciate slightly slower than its petrol engined equivalent, (although with all the controversy over diesel cars this may be a good time to pick up a used bargain).
Except in terms of extreme speed and acceleration there is nothing wrong with the performance of modern diesel-engined cars ~ in fact Audi, (another German manufacturer), has won at Le Mans and other endurance races with a diesel racing car. Bentley’s new diesel SUV, the Bentayga will go from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds and on to 187 mph, mind you, you will pay in excess of £160,000 for the privilege.
So, the bottom line is, would I buy a diesel car? And the answer is maybe. If I expected to do a hell of a lot of miles, take transcontinental road trips, and keep the car a long time, then a diesel wins hands down. But then I don’t live in California smog all the time, and I don’t care one jot about man-made global warming, or inner city pollution.
I would buy a classic SAAB diesel convertible in a New York Second.
these opinions are mine,
and mine alone
The Four Great Truths I will follow in 2017;
- Accept that Life is difficult and painful.
- The underlying causes of my problems and pain are giving in to my own cravings, lusts, desires, and my blaming of others.
- I can’t change what happens to me, but I can change how I react.
- The path to freedom from suffering is through self-discipline in body, mind, and spirit.
These are not the ‘normal’ kind of New Year’s Resolutions, but I believe they will work for me in 2017. My spirit can be free to fly through blue skies.
Most People Don’t Really Manage Their Money.
After more years in Banking and Finance than I care to admit, I can remember very few people who took responsibility for, and properly managed, their personal finances. In my bitter experience, most people lived from one month to another without knowing where their money was going, or what they could really afford, or what was totally outside their budget.
If it comes to that, very few people have a proper, written, up to date, personal and household budget. If you can put your hand up and say that you do, and that it is actually written down, (or on a spreadsheet, or otherwise on your computer), then you can skip the rest of this post and award yourself a gold star.
The point of having a budget is that it stops you being caught out by unpleasant financial surprises. A budget also lets you plan ahead, for the rest of this year, next year, for the next two or three years, for a wedding, your kid’s college, for your retirement…
These are the steps you need to follow if you are going to create or revise your budget.
- Make a list of all the money you owe. Before you save anything, before you make any investments, you should work towards paying off any and all loans and credit cards balances you have. And, you can’t plan to pay off your loans early if you don’t have a proper budget.
- Make a list of all the regular payments you have to make. These will range from your mortgage, property taxes, utilities bills, right through to charitable donations, cable TV, and gym membership…
- Make a list of your usual necessary expenses that you pay as you go along. How much petrol do you put in your car each month? How much do you spend on groceries, clothes, shoes…
- Make a list of how much your usual discretionary purchases are costing you. These are things you don’t actually need. How much do you spend at your local bar or any bars. How much does eating out cost you each month? What do you pay for cigarettes / vaping supplies each month. How much do you waste on gambling and booze.
- Write down anything else that you buy on a regular basis, and how much it costs you. Add in an amount for contingencies; all that stuff you can’t remember buying, and those weird impulse purchases.
- Put all these lists of the money you spend into order of importance.
- Turn all these lists into a monthly budget, which might look something like this;
Obviously your numbers will be totally different, and you may have some different categories, for example; health insurance, pet care insurance, cigarettes, booze, sports club membership…. (And as it goes, the example I’ve shown is poorly ordered, for example Transportation should be above toiletries and grooming.)
This kind of budget lets you begin to do some real financial planning.
Look at your budget, the most vital things should be at the top, and the things you could really get by without should be at the bottom. It should fit with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. (albeit turned on its head)
If your monthly total is less than you earn, all well and good. Don’t save or invest your spare cash, use it to pay off some of the money you owe, like your mortgage. Saving or investing while you owe money elsewhere is stupid money management.
If your monthly total is more than you earn, you’re in trouble. You need to cut your spending, and you start by cutting at the bottom of your budget, not at the top. Spend less money in bars, buying cigarettes, eating out, gambling, buying booze, being the member of a gym…
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and sixpence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds and six pence, result misery. ~ Mr Mcawber, by Charles Dickens
Don’t even think about saving, investing, buying a new car, or building your pension fund, if you don’t have a proper realistic and honest written budget, one that you can stick to. You know it’s good advice, the kind of advice George Bailey would give you.
these opinions are mine and mine alone