Category Archives: Budgeting

How to have more spending money

There is scarcely anything that will drag you down like debt.

Basically there are two ways we can have more cash to spend on the things we really like, want, and desire ~ one is to go out and get more money, earn it, marry it, inherit it, steal it….

The other way to have more cash to spend on the things we really like is to spend less on ‘essentials’ ~ the things we have to buy to survive.

For if we remember our Dickens and what Mr. Micawber said in David Copperfield, happiness lies in spending less than we earn, and unhappiness lies in spending more than we actually have.

There are some tried and tested ways to spend less on the boring essentials.  In my quest for minimalistic living, I have personal, (sometimes very bitter), experience of all of these following ideas:

  1. Live in a smaller place.  Smaller homes cost less to buy, attract lower property taxes, and use less utilities; water, gas, electricity.
  2. If you can, switch your utilities provider to a better and cheaper company.  All utilities companies are money-grabbing vultures, but try to choose the best of a bad lot.
  3. Drive a smaller car.  Smaller cars are less expensive to buy and insure, and in general use much less gas than a bigger car with more weight and a bigger engine.  If you buy a classic smaller car, as opposed to the latest model, then you won’t even suffer from depreciation.
  4. Switch your car insurance to a better and cheaper company.
  5. Learn some DIY skills.  You don’t have to use expensive and useless contractors, car mechanics, cleaners, or gardeners.  It’s cheaper and better if you do as much as you can for yourself.
  6. Cut out impulse purchases.  On impulse, too many of us buy too much stuff that we don’t actually need, want, or really like.  All that stuff clutters up our home and convinces us that we need to move to a bigger place.
  7. Don’t marry a sexy trophy wife, (or toy boy), who will also want you to move into a bigger place.  A trophy wife, (or toy boy), will end up costing you most of your treasure, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
  8. Don’t try to buy love.  It doesn’t work, it will cost you a fortune, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
  9. Control your addictions….. booze, drugs, gambling, pornography, casual sex, smoking….. All of these will all cost you just about everything you have, including your self-respect.
  10. Resist the urge to have the latest and most expensive technologies.  You don’t need a huge TV, costly cable, the newest computer, the best tablet, the most expensive iPhone with the most expensive contract.
  11. Buy whole foods rather than processed, heavily packaged, and generally bad for you costly crap.
  12. Buy generic brands.  Trust me, I’ve been into factories where the expensive labels and generic brands are actually made on the same production line with exactly the same content.  Only the packaging is different.
  13. If you can, then buy in bulk.
  14. Stop going out to lunch at work, instead take a packed lunch.  Those people you go to lunch with are probably boring and certainly aren’t your real friends anyway.  And, if you’re an average guy the women you take to lunch are never going to have sex with you, so you’re wasting your time and money.
  15. Don’t join a gym.  Most of the people who have gym membership never go there.  For great exercise take a long walk in the sunshine instead.
  16. Visit thrift stores, and if you find clothes you like, then save money and buy ‘pre-loved’ stuff.
  17. Don’t give to a big charity.  (Have you any idea how much the bosses of the big charities pay themselves?  The average pay across the top 100 charities is more than £250,000 a year, plus huge bonuses.)
  18. Don’t spend all your time drinking in pubs and bars ~ the booze is expensive there, and nobody in your favourite pub is your real friend anyway.

And finally, don’t spend on borrowed money, especially credit cards which all charge usury rates of interest.  Credit cards are NOT money.  Really, really, really NEVER use a payday lender, which all charge eye-watering criminal rates of interest.

You can probably think of some other money-saving tips of your own.  For a month try making a note of what you actually spend your hard-earned on ~ I guarantee that you will be surprised and shocked.  Learn what you actually spend your money on, and then you can start to control your finances.

Some say that money can’t buy happiness.  And that a fool and his money are soon parted.  All I know is that having money makes misery more bearable.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

you can take the idea of living in a tiny home to the extreme…..

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Food on Friday ~ Mother’s Day

All that I am I owe to my mother…….

This Sunday is Mother’s Day in the USA, so I guess today’s recipes have a slightly ‘Mothering Sunday feel’ about them ~ maybe.

Mother’s Day in America goes back to the 19th Century, and it’s always had a  commercial angle to it ~ the early Mother’s Days n the USA were backed by Wannemaker’s Retail stores.  And here I thought Mother’s Day was the invention of Hallmark.

Bur remember, these recipes and recipe collections aren’t just for Mother’s Day, they’re great for any day of the year.

I can cook, but for some reason I can’t bake, (I blame my single-guy oven).  But it might be nice to bake a cake for Mother’s Day, and Averie Sunshine has this recipe for the best pineapple upside down cake.  OK, it may take you an hour and a half to make, but doesn’t it look worth it!

The Best Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Most mothers like to use up leftovers, so here’s a Korean based recipe from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower to use up leftover rice; mushroom kimchi fried rice.  This great dish should take you only about 30 minutes to make.

Mushroom Kimchi Fried Rice

Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has a very special, very easy, and mess free recipe for parchment baked lemon salmon and potatoes with dill yogurt, that would be great for a busy mother, or a busy anyone if it comes right down to it.  This great looking dish will be ready in just 30 minutes.

Parchment Baked Lemon Salmon and Potatoes with Dill Yogurt

From Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes we have 10 best recipes for Mother’s Day brunch.  From this collection I especially like the look of this smoked salmon potato leek torta.  Fabulous!

Smoked Salmon Potato Leek Torta

Chungah Rhee at Damn Delicious has 10 quick and easy baked chicken recipes for us ~ whatever you’re doing this Mother’s Day, you don’t want to be spending all of it in the kitchen.  From this collection I particularly like the look of this oven fried chicken with honey mustard glaze.

Oven Fried Chicken with Honey Mustard Glaze

And now, celebrating whole foods, Cookie + kate have a bumper collection of 25 cheerful Mother’s Day recipes (plus last minute gifts), Nifty!  There are so many fabulous dishes in this collection, but I especially like the spinach pasta with roasted broccoli & bell pepper.  This is vegetarian, and very easily vegan and gluten free.  Cool!

Spinach Pasta with Roasted Broccoli & Bell Pepper

And finally for this week’s food on Friday, and with Mother’s Day coming up, let’s look at this collection of cocktails made from ‘Mother’s Ruin’ ~ gin.  (If you don’t call gin mother’s ruin in your country ~ well maybe it’s a very English expression).  So from Olive Magazine we have the best gin cocktail recipes.  I have a friend who doesn’t necessarily like gin, but she may like this very pretty gentian white lady cocktail ~ the pansies look so cool.

Gentian White Lady Cocktail

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

this picture is specially chosen by my teddy bear, Marmaduke, for his mommy this Mother’s Day

Food on Friday ~ Cinco deMayo

Good food is as welcome as the flowers in May.

It must be a couple of months since I last wrote a Food on Friday post so for today I originally decided that I was just going to choose some recipes that I really like the sound of, rather trying to stick to a theme.

Well actually, there will be a bit of a theme, I wanted to feature dishes which are pretty easy, don’t take so long to prepare, and will taste really good on a warm, early summer day.  But, quite by accident there’s a lot of avocado this week.  Must be something to do with some Mexican festival that happens tomorrow.

First up this week, from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest, we have these cool baked egg crepes with spring herbs and avocado.  You should really make your own crepes, but you can buy crepes at stores like Trader Joe’s, and just assemble the fillings.  This 25 minute dish will make a great brunch on any nice early summer’s day.

Baked Egg Crepes with Spring Herbs and Avocado

From Chungah at Damn Delicious we have a nice recipe collection; 8 fast pasta dishes for busy weeknights.  Here in England we don’t go much on Mac and Cheese, but from this collection there’s this super looking creamy broccoli mac and cheese.  Qucik, easy, healthy, and nutritious.

Creamy Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Joy the Baker has this dangerous sounding dish; mango and jalepeno guacamole.  I suspect that you’d want to accompany this with beer, rather than tequila.

Mango and Jalepeno Guacamole

Averie Sunshine at Averie Cooks has this nice and very easy dish; taco stuffed avocados ~ and you couldn’t get much more Cinco de Mayo than that.  (Actually, I’m English and I know damn-all about Mexican food, or Cinco de Mayo.)

Taco Stuffed Avocados

And now for something completely different; Heather Christo has this brilliant idea which should appeal to all American men ~ the DIY guacamole bar.  (At least it should keep the guys out of trouble for a while.)

DIY Guacamole Bar

And now, to celebrate National Guacamole Day, we give you 10 amazing guacamole recipes, brought to you by Shape magazine.  This collection includes the amazing celery-spiked guacamole with chiles from bon appétit.

Celery-Spiked Guacamole with Chiles

Finally for this week, and realising that for those of you in the USA the 5th of May is a bit of a holiday, with a slight Mexican touch.  From Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes we have 8 ways to show your love of avocados this Cinco de Mayo.  Leaving aside a great recipe for guacamole, this collection also includes this interesting chicken posole salad ~ what a smashing idea, and wouldn’t the leftovers be good for lunch at work the following day?

Chicken Posole Salad

Just in case you’re not already satiated with avocado, check out 52 genius ways to get your avocado fix, from delish magazine. This also has lots of guacamole recipes, including BLT guacamole ~ and how cool is that?

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke is not a big fan of avocado

Food on Friday ~ Booze

Alcohol gives you infinite patience for stupidity.

Some of you may be giving up alcohol for lent, or to lose weight, or to control your cholesterol ~ in which case here are some cool drinks you may well be missing out on.

Or, some of you may be determined to have a good time now that we are really in the deep dark depths of winter ~ in which case here are some cool drinks to help you get the party going.

Whatever, please drink responsibly. Don’t end up feeling as though you need to give up booze for good and all.

First this week, and bearing in mind that we have just had Valentine’s Day, San Diego girl Averie Sunshine offers us this very aloholic kiss on the lips cocktail.  Who could possibly say no?

Kiss On The Lips Cocktail

Continuing the St. Valentine’s Day theme, Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest offers us this delicious looking rose and ginger paloma.  Nice if you like tequila and roses ~ who doesn’t?

Rose and Ginger Paloma

I’m not certain I’d ever have tried this cocktail from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats, but having seen some of the things The Girl Riding Shotgun drinks I’m pretty certain that spicy blood orange beergaritas will find a few takers, at least in Orange County anyhow. Highly alcoholic.

Spicy Blood Orange Beergaritas

Another blood orange cocktail, this time from Andrea at Cooking With A Wallflower; blood orange vodka soda ~ or you could substitute tequila for the vodka, if you don’t like vodka.  This is just so easy, but please squeeze the fresh orange juice for yourself.

Blood Orange Vodka Soda

One of the things about booze is that it plays havoc with your cholesterol levels and the triglycerides in your blood.  This recipe for Mumbai mules from the Bojon Gourmet could help a little, as it contains cumin, which is good for you.

Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

Mumbai Mules

On a really cold winter’s day there’s not much better to come home to than a hot toddy.  Cookie + kate have a very easy recipe for a classic hot toddy ~ and you can make this as strong as you like.  Also, try making a hot toddy with dark rum for a completely different and interesting flavour.  My favourite was always Woods 100 Old Navy Rum.

Classic Hot Toddy

I like recipe collections, and I hope that you do too.  From the chi-chi Town and Country Magazine we have a collection of 21 winter cocktails to help you survive the cold.  From their collection I’ve chosen to feature a Porto Santo, which rivals a Long Island Iced Tea for a total booze-fest.  You could always get your guy to take you to the Island of Madeira to try your first Porto Santo cocktail.

Porto Santo

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I hope that you,

and all the great drinks’ mixers

featured this week

had a lovely St. Valentine’s Day.

 

Food on Friday ~ Packed Lunches

Is your lunch at work healthy and nutritious enough?

What do you eat for lunch at work?  Leftovers, a packed lunch, a burger, sushi, or do you eat out at some greasy Mexican diner / restaurant?  You know what?  Whether you sit at a desk all day, work in a factory, or outdoors, your working life is unhealthy enough without you adding junk food into the mixture.

Regularly eating lunch out is just about the unhealthiest thing you can do during your working week.  If you want to spend less money and become healthier, there’s one easy way to do it: stop eating lunch out.  But, never, ever, eat your lunch at your desk ~ it’s disgusting and very unhealthy too.

Even though taking leftovers, or preparing your own packed lunch may seem healthy, nutritious, and good for you, a lot of the time what you’re eating for your lunch at work probably doesn’t contain what you need for optimal functioning.  Dietician Susie Burrell has some ideas for what makes a perfect packed lunch, and so do the cooks we follow on this blog.

First this week we have Chungah at Damn Delicious who offers us 15 quick and easy lunch recipes that you are especially designed to take to work with no hassle, no more ordering out, and no more overspending at some unhealthy restaurant.  From Chungah’s list of 15 easy lunch recipes I especially like her steak fajita salad.

Steak Fajita Salad

This is a very healthy, tasty, and nutritious lunch idea from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower: roasted asparagus mushroom quiche.  This is easy to make and would be perfect for a weeknight dinner as well as something to take to work for lunch~ to be eaten either hot or cold.  You can also freeze a quiche.

Roasted Asparagus Mushroom Quiche

If the weather is warm where you are you may want to have a salad at lunchtime, but don’t buy a pre-prepared salad, make your own.  San Diego girl Averie Sunshine has 30 best easy healthy salads on her blog Averie Cooks; including this great looking loaded chicken taco salad with creamy lime-cilantro dressing.  And, all Averie’s recipes take less than 30 minutes to prepare ~ she says you can make this fabulous salad in 15 minutes.

Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing

There is no getting away from it, a sandwich makes a good packed lunch, and this is a good sandwich.  From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked harvest we have this Tuscan tuna sandwich, using ciabatta, tuna in oil, sliced avocado, cucumber, egg, arugula, purple cabbage, and feta ~ it should be nutritious enough, and other than the hard boiled egg, nothing needs to be cooked.

Tuscan Tuna Sandwich

If you have a microwave in your lunch room then a good soup is something you can prepare in advance and take to work for lunch.  Jessica Merchant from How Sweet Eats has a recipe for easy lemon chicken soup, that more than fits the bill.  If you pick the right ingredients you can have this soup ready in 30 minutes!

Easy Lemon Chicken Soup

Another nourishing soup recipe, this time by Joy Manning at thekitchn.com ; chicken lentil soup.  It’s amazing what you can do if you buy a rotisserie chicken.

Chicken Lentil Soup

I have never featured anything from Cosmopolitan before, but there’s always a first time for everything.  So, from Cosmo, we have here 17 healthy packed lunch ideas for work.  Of this list I quite like #17 the grilled chicken and vegetable bowls, originally from Picky Palate.  Allegedly these are less than 500 calories and cost less than $5 per bowl ~ how cool is that?

A big thank you to all the great cooks featured this week.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Monday ~ Vegetarian and Vegan

Vegetarian and vegan dishes are supposed to be good for us.

Once, long ago, I lived a vegetarian lifestyle.  I got to like vegetarian and vegan dishes.  I got to like fruit and vegetables that I’d never heard of, let alone eaten before.  That lifestyle ended when the vegetarian girl I was trying to impress dumped me.

These days I will prepare and eat vegetarian and vegan dishes, but I do not live a vegetarian or vegan life any more ~ I like steak far too much for that.

However, all of these dishes are either vegetarian or vegan, and they all look very cool and delicious.  So why not eschew meat every once in a while?

Firstly this week, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have this vegetarian skillet lasagna.  Now this recipe does use cheese, however you could substitute the mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan with a vegan cheese.  There is a cool video attached to Tieghan’s post.

Simple Vegetarian Skillet Lasagna

From San Diego girl Averie Sunshine at Averie Cooks we have this very cool roasted curried cauliflower and chickpea salad.  This is a vegetarian dish or vegan if you don’t use the Greek yogurt in the dressing.  This dish should be ready in 45 minutes, and it would make a great lunch or light dinner ~ especially if you make enough to take a portion to work the following day

Roasted Curried Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad

Another spicy dish, this time from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb; kung pao noodles.  As it goes one could eat this noodle dish by itself, or as a side dish, or one could add another ingredient say carrots julienne to make a great vegetarian dinner.  (or for those of us who aren’t totally vegetarian or vegan, we could add shrimp / chicken / beef…)

Kung Pao Noodles

Another vegetarian noodle dish, this time from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower; shiitake mushroom garlic parmesan noodles.  This delicious dish will only take you 20 minutes to prepare, and if you want to make it vegan you can swap vegan cheese for the parmesan.

Shiitake Mushroom Garlic Parmesan Noodles

I am not a fan of tofu, but if you want to be vegetarian or vegan I can almost guarantee that you will have to eat this soya bean curd.  At least the lovely Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français has a nice recipe to make the tofu taste good.  Her sesame garlic tofu looks pretty appetising.  For tofu that is.

Sesame Garlic Tofu

I love recipe collections, and this is a great post from Cookie + kate who always have vegetarian recipes on their blog.  So from 17 healthy vegetarian soup recipes, I’d like to feature something that isn’t a soup; homemade vegetarian chili, which is vegan and gluten-free if you follow the recipe quite strictly.

Homemade Vegetarian Chili

Another recipe collection, this time from Good Housekeeping, 37 hearty vegetarian recipes for the whole family. From this list I’m featuring creamy vegan linguine with wild mushrooms ~ the secret ingredient in this recipe, to make it creamy, is nutritional yeast.  You should be able to make this dish in less than 25 minutes.

Creamy Vegan Linguine with Wild Mushrooms

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

A very big thank you to all the great cooks featured this week.

 

Food on Friday ~ One Pot Meals

Cooking can be fun, washing up almost always isn’t.

In my view, one pot meals are the way to go, particularly if you’re busy with work and everything.  There’s nothing worse than taking your plate to the sink after dinner, and then realising you also have a mountain of dirty pots and pans to wash up in the aftermath.  I don’t know anyone who gets their kicks from tackling a mountain of washing up.

So, why not give some of these great one pot recipes a try.

This is a nice looking recipe for a dish I really like.  From No Plate Like Home we have one pot thick New England clam chowder.  This is also known as Boston Clam Chowder and it’s a perfect winter comfort food you can make in one pot in under an hour.

One Pot Thick New England Clam Chowder

Another fabulous one pot soup this time from Dana at Minimalist Baker.  This hearty chipotle black bean tortilla soup needs just 50 minutes and one pot to prepare, and Dana says it’s very ‘hands off’.  This Mexican-inspired soup is also vegan and gluten-free.  How cool is that?

Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup

This is a dish I must try, from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats we have this one pot chili cheese pasta.  Looks like a great recipe you can make in one pot in one hour, and while it’s cooking you can prepare some salad to go along with it.  Also what a great dish for taking leftovers to work for a nourishing lunch.

One Pot Chili Cheese Pasta

Not only is this a one pot meal from Teighan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest, you should be able to prepare this one pot 30 minute creamy tomato basil pasta bake in less than a half-hour.  There are quite a few ingredients involved, but I think it would be well worth it.

One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake

This is a more ambitious one pot meal from Simply Recipes, a Moroccan pot roast, originally posted by Sally Vargas.  This is going to take you some 3 hours to prepare, so it’s probably not an everyday meal ~ unless you use your slow cooker?  But for a one pot weekend dinner for you and your guests it looks fantastic.  The spice mixture should please everyone, (almost everyone).

Moroccan Pot Roast

This is a meal I wanted to feature; slow cooker beef stew with dumplings, just because it reminds me of my misspent youth.  I eventually found a recipe on the Good Housekeeping site ~ which is worth visiting anyway.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Dumplings.

For those of us who love recipe collections, we have this from Country Living; 33 quick and easy one-dish meals, and there are some great and some fabulous recipes in this collection.  Among all the dishes I would like to have featured is this cilantro lime chicken and rice, from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb.

One Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken & Rice

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Food on Friday ~ Comfort Food (Soups)

Comfort food is absolutely moving upscale.

Here in England the weather outside my garret is cold, dark, frosty, wet, and very windy.  Like a lot of people around here I’ve just got over the flu, and I still feel cold and shivery.  What I need to eat most is something hot, nourishing, and comforting ~ like a bowl of home-made soup.

These great soup recipes are mostly easy to make, don’t cost so much, but are absolutely upscale meals you could serve to any guest.

Ergo, first up this week, from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats, we have this silky ginger sweet potato soup.  I love the idea of adding fresh ginger to a soup recipe.  This recipe is vegan I think.

Silky Ginger Sweet Potato Soup

Another pretty soup, this time from Petra at Food Eat Love; celeriac and cumin soup with watercress.  This looks as though it would keep us warm in the cold winter nights.  Cumin is an interesting spice with lots of health benefits.

Celeriac and Cumin Soup with Watercress

Chungah at Damn Delicious has this great recipe for roasted cauliflower soup, with lots of garlic and herbs.  Looks fabulous to me!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

From Amanda at Chez Le Rêve Français we have a recipe for fat-free potato and leek soup ~ and I do love leek and potato soup. This recipe is pretty easy, fat-free, and gluten-free.  Oh so warming on a cold winter’s day.

Fat-Free Potato and Leek Soup

Dana at Minimalist Baker has a fantastic recipe for a 1-pot everyday lentil soup ~ and I do love one-pot recipes. This recipe uses just 10 ingredients and should only take you 30 minutes to make.  If you don’t like lentils you could use white beans or chickpeas instead.

One-Pot Everyday Lentil Soup

Here’s a very interesting and filling soup from In Diane’s Kitchen; Cajun shrimp, hot sausage & pasta soup ~ Wow!  This recipe is chock full of noodles, hot Italian sausage, shrimp, and a really great broth.

Cajun Shrimp, Hot Sausage, and Pasta Soup

And last but not least for this week we have a cool recipe from Averie Sunshine at Averie Cooks; easy 30-minute homemade chicken noodle soup.  I like easy recipes you can prepare in 30 minutes or less.

Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

A big thank you to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke’s comfort food is

a couple of soft-boiled eggs

Food on Friday ~ Recipe Collections

To me, good recipes are priceless

Well, I don’t know about you but I like it when I find a recipe collection post.  It means that I can easily find a choice of ‘similar’ dishes to choose from.  These posts are like miniature on-line cook books.  How nifty is that?

Ergo, with that in mind all the posts featured this week are recipe collections.

To begin, from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have 15 quick and easy healthy recipes.  What could be better, and I do like the recipes we get from Damn Delicious.  Among these 15 recipes is one for honey salmon in foil ~ and just how impressive is that for a quick and easy dish, (you should be able to make this in an half-hour).

Honey Salmon in Foil

Next, from San Diego girl Averie at Averie Cooks we have 15 skinny chicken dinners ready in 15 minutes… And these fast dishes are all healthy and gluten free. WOW! My pick from this collection is Averie’s easy 15-minute ranch chicken and vegetable skillet.

Easy Ranch Chicken and Vegetable Skillet

This is interesting from Heather Christo, who always gives us delicious allergen free recipes; healthy dinner ideas for dinner tonight!  There are 10 recipes in this collection, and I have chosen to feature Heather’s grilled steak with arugula and cherry tomato and basil salsa.  This should take about 35 minutes to make a fabulous dinner dish.

Grilled Steak with Arugula and Cherry Tomato and Basil Salsa

Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest has seven easy fall dinners, well we’re just out of autumn into winter but these are still great recipes, including the sheet pan sticky pomegranate chicken.

Sheet Pan Sticky Pomegranate Chicken

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has given us her 17 most popular recipes of 2017…  This includes her peaches and cream steel cut oatmeal, and if I was ever going to eat oatmeal I would choose this dish.

Peaches and Cream Steel Cut Oatmeal

Now here’s a big recipe collection from Jessica at How Sweet Eats; 18 weeks of healthier meal ideas!  126 of my favorite weeknight meals.  Fabulous!  From Jessca’s long list I just had to feature the rosemary chicken, bacon and avocado salad.  I know that in some parts of the world it may not feel quite warm enough to have a salad for dinner, but I know my friend in Orange County will like this dish.

Rosemary Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Salad

Finally for this week, from Country Living, we have 95+ easy dinners that can be made in 30 minutes or less.  Talk about a recipe collection!  I confess I almost didn’t make it past the first recipe for stovetop chicken pot pie before choosing a recipe to feature.  But, as a change from chicken we have 20 minute honey garlic shrimp from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

20 Minute Honey Garlic Shrimp

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

nice cook book for you

 

 

 

 

Sponsored by:  http://www.amazon.com/shops/salinevalleyenterprises

Core Values

Core Values are who you are when no one is watching.

Appreciation of natural beauty is one of my core values.

I cannot claim to know, accept, and understand in detail what my core values about Life are.  In fact, I even had to check the definition of ‘core values’ before I could work on knowing, accepting, and understanding my own core values.  The various definitions seem to coalesce into;

Core Values are Fundamental Beliefs and Principles that guide a person’s conduct and relationships with others.

It would appear that Core Values can be positive, negative, or pretty meaningless and neutral.  I firmly believe that almost everyone has all three types of core values, and we all have more negative core values than we would like to believe.

My own negative core values include;

  • Everybody lies.
  • The world is full of fools, and 90% of the people I meet will be much less intelligent than I.
  • The world is a dangerous and brutal place, and a man has to be capable, knowledgable, and tough to survive and thrive.
  • Casual sex, first date sex, sex with multiple partners, picking up girls in bars ~ are all reprehensible behaviours.

My more positive core values include;

  • Treating my friends with kindness, consideration, acceptance, understanding, and unselfish love.
  • A belief that there is great beauty in this world, and it should be protected, celebrated, and appreciated.
  • Life is short, and I should therefore make the very most of every minute of every single day.
  • I should continue to strive for self-improvement and self-awareness.
  • We should treat all others as well as we possibly can, just as we ourselves would wish to be treated.

If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.  ~  J.K. Rowling

As it goes, I have a small problem with the quote from J.K. Rowling, as it makes the assumption that some people are superior to others, ergo some people are inferior.  Actually, this is true, but it is not a pleasant thought.

My wishy-washy, neutral and meaningless core beliefs include a belief that politics, and religion are pointless, dishonest, and self-serving.  Which may really be more negative than neutral.

There are some other words which resonate with me when it comes to my core values;

Honesty, Integrity, Individuality, Enjoyment, Trustworthiness, Reliability, Wisdom, Simplicity, Learning, Discipline, Truthfulness, Politeness…..  All of these words should probably form part of my written core values.

It’s actually all pretty difficult stuff.  I think I need to meditate, or take a long walk, or just let my subconscious mind ponder the whole subject of my own core values for a while.  It could take the rest of my life.  It should take the rest of my life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Dawn seen from the garret.

 

 

 

 

Sponsored by:  http://www.amazon.com/shops/salinevalleyenterprises

 

 

 

 

 

 

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