Category Archives: Food

Scenes on Sunday ~ Jerome, Arizona

at least Arizona is different

Arizona is also big and mostly empty

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

I don’t know what happens upstairs

but they serve a great burger

Food on Friday ~ Healthy Recipes

healthy eating is a way of life

Most Americans are unhealthy.  The USA spends twice as much on heathcare as the average OECD country, yet has the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rate among the 11 OECD countries.  Almost half of adult Americans are obese, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the USA, and almost 35 million Americans have been diagnosed to have diabetes.  Most of these illnesses can be put down to unhealthy lifestyles ~ about one third of Americans are classified as ‘physically inactive’, and the US Department of Health says 80% do not take enough exercise to be even moderately fit and healthy.  Things are not much better here in England.

To eat a healthy diet, to live with a healthy lifestyle, isn’t difficult.  It does mean giving up a couple of things; drinking and smoking chief among them.  There are also some things we should consume a lot less of; refined sugar, caffeine, stuff made with white flour, dairy, canned food, fast food, processed food, take out meals, sugary carbonated drinks, and anything and everything with high fructose corn syrup in it, (HFCS).

Now that I have to control my recently diagnosed high blood pressure, the kinds of dishes I’ll be eating are shown here.

Petra at Food Eat Love has a great recipe for Beef with Ginger and Grapefruit.  Beef is more than just OK, and both ginger and grapefruit are great for keeping one’s blood pressure under control.

Beef with Ginger and Grapefruit

Oily fish is very good for our health and so are cilantro and citrus.  Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb combines these ingredients in her Baked Honey Cilantro Lime Salmon in Foil.  An easy and healthy 30 minute dish.  Supposedly, honey has some surprising health benefits.

Baked Honey Cilantro Lime Salmon in Foil

A good breakfast is important to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.  Jessica Merchant has a collection of her 10 Favorite Weekday Breakfasts.  From that I’m featuring these Pumpkin Protein Pancakes, so easy and so healthy.

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

A healthy hearty diet need not be lots and lots of salads, we can also eat comfort food and Holly at Spend With Pennies has a great side dish of Colcannon ~ mashed potatoes and cabbage, fabulous served with corned beef.  Potato and cruciferous vegetables are good for helping to control one’s blood pressure.  (there is the obvious farting issue when it comes to eating lots of cruciferous vegetables)

Colcannon

Joy the baker has this very interesting dish; Mushroom and Brussels Sprout Hash.  Brussel Sprouts are cruciferous vegetables and really good for us, and mushrooms have lots of potential benefits when it comes to preventing cardio vascular diseases.

Mushroom and Brussels Sprout Hash

Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has this very attractive recipe for Healthier 25 Minute Kung Pao Chicken.  I have just got to try this easy, healthy dish ~ using brown / wild rice.

Healthier 25 Minute Kung Pao Chicken

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

alcohol is not part of a healthy diet

but a glass of good red wine is probably beneficial most evenings of the week

Food on Friday ~ Hypertension

if you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple;
then you’re not really hungry, just bored

Yesterday I was diagnosed as having high blood pressure and told that I need to have a battery of tests, and prescribed some powerful medicine to help me.  To help myself I need to change my lifestyle;

  • eat a heart-healthy diet with less salt, less refined sugar, and less caffeine
  • get my weight into the green zone body mass index, which means losing about ten pounds
  • take regular exercise ~ which is a bit difficult given how much I hurt
  • give up booze and smoking ~ which is OK because I’ve never smoked and haven’t taken a drink since Christmas

The type of menu I should be on includes;

From Jessica at How Sweet Eats, Shredded Citrus Brussels Sprouts Salad with Avocado and Pomegranate.

Shredded Citrus Brussels Sprouts Salad with Avocado and Pomegranate

Salmon and other oily fish are good too.  A recipe by Chungah at Damn Delicious; Lemon Dill Salmon in Foil.  I love these easy ‘wrapped in foil’ dishes.

Lemon Dill Salmon in Foil

And last for this morning; a collection from Delish Magazine; 33 Amazing Broccoli Recipes Even Broccoli Haters Can’t Hate. I’ve chosen to feature this Better than Takeout Beef and Broccoli.

Better than Takeout Beef and Broccoli

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jack collier

jackcollier7@taltalk.net

 

strawberry arugula salad

The Minimalist Baker

Happy, Joyous, and Free

the only real prison is fear

don’t be afraid to go out at night, learn self-defence instead

Here in dismal grey England I’ve had an epiphany, not religious but perhaps spiritual.  Lockdown goes endlessly on and and on and on ~ yet I am not going to waste my time being depressed, negative, and unhappy.  What’s the point in that?  Depression and misery never made anything better.

Instead of accepting that I’m imprisoned until Easter, at least, I intend to become free, adventurous, and charming again.  I will be sexier and enjoy my life and loves more than ever before.  People, places, and things I might have balked at, avoided, or eschewed in the past will now be on my agenda.  There are a few exceptions to my venturesome audacious bucket-list; all of Africa, most of South America, booze, gambling, and drugs.  Other than that I’m going to be bold, daring, and damned happy.  Timid security isn’t on my future agenda.

Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.  Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.  ~  Helen Keller

The thing is, how can I do any of that when it’s against the law for me to go anywhere or meet anybody?  Well, I am not against breaking bad laws, and anything to do with the coronavirus is a bad law on its face.  But more practically, what can I do right now;

  • Use the internet to connect more deeply and intimately with like-minded people.
  • Go through my wardrobe again, get rid of anything that’s too dated, unflattering, or of inferior quality.
  • Use the internet to buy some better attire.
  • Improve my immune system by eating better and more healthily, drinking enough good fruit juices and lots of water, taking the right high-quality supplements.
  • Exercise as much as I can, getting my trim shape back, and improving my energy levels.  Meditate when I can.
  • Get a solid 7 or 8 hours good sleep every night, rest when I feel weary during the day.
  • Stretching my mind by reading more difficult and inspirational books.
  • Get back to studying art, geography, literature, music, psychology, and sociology.
  • Husband my resources until I can get back out there again.

All that means is that I am going to live as well as I can despite this fucking never-ending lockdown.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

yoga is great exercise

just you try keeping that position for 5 minutes each side

 

 

 

Food on Friday ~ Paleo Diet

save power and protect the planet
eat raw meat

from Delicious Magazine ~ Beef Carpaccio

There is solid evidence that that ‘people’ were using and controlling fire at least a million years ago, so Paleolithic man undoubtedly knew how to cook, even if it was only toasting a haunch of bison over an open fire.  Unless you’re very keen on sushi and carpaccio you won’t be eating a lot of raw meat on a Paleo Diet, and because of the possibility of parasites there is no way I would eat raw fish.

The Paleolithic Era lasted from about 2.5 million years ago until 10,000 years ago, just after the last ice age.  (lithic means stone, so our ancestors were using flint tools)  Theoretically the Paleo Diet is based upon what our stone age ancestors were eating.

So, going forward my diet will be:  fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts, lean meat, (especially good quality from grass-fed animals or wild game), fresh fish, (especially salmon, mackeral, pilchards, and tuna).  For cooking we should use oil from fruits and nuts like olive oil, almond oil, and coconut oil.  Having said that, as our paleolithic ancestors were cooking and eating lots of meat I see nothing wrong with using lard and dripping.

The foods to avoid are things that our ancestors would never have had access to; grains like wheat, oats, barley, rice, (anyway grains are all drenched in poisonous Roundup / Glyphosate), legumes like beans, lentils, peanuts, and peas, any and all dairy products like butter, cheese, yogurt, cream, milk.  On a Paleo diet there is no refined sugar, (which lets out cakes, candy, chocolate, and sweetened drinks), root vegetables like potatoes, parsnips, turnips, and not too much salt, (right up until the middle ages salt was a very precious commodity).  Neither would Paleolithic man have access to processed food, canned food, breakfast cereals, chips, crisps, pies, microwave meals, and ready meals ~ all of which are full of crap.

Booze is mostly out too ~ the earliest known beer dates from about 5,000 years ago ~ but perhaps hard liquor sneaks in as evidence for that dates back at least 9,000 years.

The main reason I’m going onto the pretty strict paleo diet are that all through lockdown I’ve been putting on weight, and now I want to get my trim body back.  Other benefits of a Paleo Diet are; better resistance to diabetes, improved cardio vascular health, more energy, and better resistance to all the diseases linked to inflammation.

Some say that modern life is injurious to our health.  And that wheat is so unhealthy we should probably stop eating it.  All I know is that lockdown is the unhealthiest way of living I know.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

best easy baked salmon

from Creme de la Crumb

Food on Friday ~ Paleo

for most of human prehistory
carbohydrates were extremely scarce

The real birth of farming, and therefore an abundance of carbohydrates, was probably after the last ice age some 10,000 years ago.  Before that, and before mankind learned how to store grains and nuts, carbohydrates would only be readily available in the harvest season.  More than that, most carbohydrates would come from nuts rather than grains and seeds, and most nuts contain far more fat and protein than they do carbohydrates.

Some would say that eating carbohydrates is unnatural, and the number of wheat / gluten related illnesses would seem to prove that; celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten ataxia, dermatitis, bloating, and wheat allergies.  Anyhow, modern wheat is so drenched in Roundup / Glyphosate that it’s poisonous over time.

A paleo diet is based on the food eaten by early humans; meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts ~ completely eschewing dairy products, cereals, and of course no processed foods at all.  And, that’s what I’m now following ~ So Help Me God.

First up this Friday, from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have Easy Chimichurri Shrimp.  One benefit of a Paleo diet is that most dishes are quick, easy, and clean.  Chimichurri is a tangy quite hot dressing.

Easy Chimichurri Shrimp

Not everyone likes pork chops, but from Holly at Spend with Pennies I like the look of her recipe for Juicy Baked Pork Chops.  So many people cook pork chops until they’re dry and tasteless.

Juicy Baked Pork Chops

The usual extremely pretty dish from Jessica at How Sweet Eats; Garlic Brown Sugar Flank Steak with Chimichurri.  One of the good things about a paleo diet is that I can eat just as much steak as I want.  This is a super cilantro heavy chimichurri dressing, and another 30 minute recipe.  Fabulous!

Garlic Brown Sugar Flank Steak with Chimichurri

From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest, how about this Pan Roasted Pomegranate Glazed Salmon.  Not your same old dull salmon dinner at all.  Simple, quick, and very tasty in a different way.

Pan Roasted Pomegranate Glazed Salmon

Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb also has a super 30 minute salmon recipe; Best Easy Healthy Baked Salmon.  Cooked just with lemon and garlic, what could be easier or better?

Best Easy Healthy Baked Salmon

The collection this week is from Delish magazine; 40 Paleo Recipes That Will Make You Forget You’re On A Diet.  Well a Paleo meal shouldn’t make you feel as though you’re on a diet, protein is very filling.  The dish I’ve chosen to feature is another fish recipe; Baked Swordfish Steak ~ and swordfish is fabulous served any way.

Baked Swordfish Steak

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Delicious Rabbit Stew

a true Paleo Diet should include game

 

Food on Friday ~ Californian Style

healthy eating is a way of life

Deep into lockdown and I am not feeling at my best.  The edict here is that we should stay at home, not going out at all except for ‘essential’ purposes.  Well, for me shopping for food is an essential reason to get out of the garret.  And face it, when one can’t go anywhere nor meet with friends, then cooking is one of the few real pleasures left in life.  Ergo, the dishes this week are things that look and sound good.  Maybe all these recipes are healthy and very nutritious, but this week that’s all secondary to simple pleasure.

Not only that ~ these recipes remind me of warmer and better times spent in California.

From Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest we have 30 Minute Creamy Thai Turmeric Chicken and Noodles.  I like easy thirty-minute recipes. Turmeric is supposed to have lots of interesting health benefits.

30 Minute Creamy Thai Turmeric Chicken and Noodles

Another 30 minute dish, this time from Dana at Minimalist Baker; Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella ~ how very Californian.  This is quick, nutritious, vegetarian comfort food.  Rosemary is another herb with lots of health benefits attached to it.

Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella

At Cooking with a Wallflower one of Andrea’s top ten recipes is this Korean Style Spinach Mushroom Glass Noodles.  I enjoy making a stir fry and this vegetarian dish looks so very easy for a lunch or dinner at any time.

Korean Style Spinach Mushroom Glass Noodles

Here in England, in the depths of winter, a hearty soup is always welcome on the dinner plate.  Holly at Spend with Pennies has something that would remind me of warmer and better times vacationing in California.  A Crock Pot Taco Soup ~ and almost everyone has a crock pot tucked away in a kitchen cupboard.  Allegedly this soup is so easy it practically cooks itself.

Crock Pot Taco Soup

I’ve realised that the recipes this week all have some kind of Californian connection.  So, how could I not include something like these Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos with Chipotle Slaw and Roasted Pineapple Sauce.  From epicurious.

Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

Our collection this week comes from Jessica at How Sweet Eats; 20 of My Favorite Soup Recipes for Winter.  From this fabulous list I’ve chosen to feature this great looking Chicken Tortellini Soup.  If you buy a rotisserie chicken this dish is so quick and easy.

Chicken Tortellini Soup

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Santa Monica, CA

Monochrome Monday ~ Nat King Cole

chestnuts for the spinner of Christmas fireside tales
for fairy tales that can come true

One of the things I remember about working in the City of London at Christmastime is the sweet smell of chestnuts being roasted by the cockney coster mongers.  Chestnuts roasting on an open fire indeed…..

We can’t have the Christmas we deserve.

But we deserve the Merry Christmases in our memories.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

just make certain they are hot and sweet

Food on Friday ~ Cookies

a balanced diet is a cookie in each hand

Except, here in England we call them biscuits.

If you want something really Christmas themed, then Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest offers us The Santa Clause Cookies, (I once saw a Tim Allen movie called The Santa Clause, wasn’t half bad for a Christmas film).

The Santa Clause Cookies

Well now, Joy the Baker has posted these colourful Chocolate Peppermint Black and Marble Cookies on her website.   Joy says these are tender and caky, and I believe her.  (Is caky a word?)

Chocolate Peppermint Black and Marble Cookies

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has a fantastic 2020 Holiday Baking List.  I really like the look and sound of these Bourbon Soaked Cherry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  And not just because of the great name she’s given these alcoholic gems.

Bourbon Soaked Cherry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Dana, The Minimalist Baker how about 27 Easy Vegan Cookie Recipes, perfect for holiday baking, including these Perfect Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Marvelous.

Perfect Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I happen to like chocolate chip cookies, so from Alanna the Bojon Gourmet we have her recipe for Magical Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, Nut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)…..  Perhaps they only exist in our zero calorie imaginations.

Magical Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our big collection this week is from Good Houskeeping; 90 Irresistibly Good Christmas Cookies to Make this Season.  From which I’ve chosen to feature these very festive Chai Trees and Snowflake Cookies.

Chai Trees and Snowflake Cookies

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

woof!

Food on Friday ~ Thanksgiving

there is always something for which to be thankful

Well, it’s Wednesday not Friday, but there wouldn’t be much point in my publishing some Thanksgiving recipes the day after the event.  So forgive my erroneous title, it’s for a good cause.

You know that we don’t have Thanksgiving here in England, and that some of the things you serve make no sense to me; candied yams for one.  Yet, part of me wishes we did have a Thanksgiving feast in the dark months before Christmas.

There is at least one earlier Thanksgiving post here, you can click on the link of you’d like to see last year’s dishes.  Also check out my November 13th post Food on Friday ~ Mid Autumn.

Have a very happy day tomorrow.

So, first up this week we have a Candied Yams recipe from Lena Abraham at Delish magazine.  (I don’t believe I’ve ever had yams…..)

Candied Yams

This is another dish I really don’t get, but I understand goes down very well on the Thanksgiving board.  From Gimme Some Oven; The Best Green Bean Casserole.  This dish is also really healthy. Enjoy.

The Best Green Bean Casserole

All great meals need a light appitiser that one can also use as a snack with drinks if friends call around.  Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has this very easy recipe for Smoky Chipotle Cheddar Twists.  I just know these will disappear fast…..

Smoky Chipotle Cheddar Twists

One of the most critical things about a turkey dinner is the gravy.  Ergo from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have; How To Make the Best Turkey Gravy.  Looks good to me.

How To Make the Best Turkey Gravy

To start off your Thanksgiving day with a very seasonal holiday breakfast we have these Easy Fluffy Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest.  These would also go well as a dessert with coffee after dinner.

Easy Fluffy Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Our collection this week is from Country Living magazine; 68 Easy Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas the Family is Sure to Love.  From this collection I have chosen to feature their Ginger Pumpkin Pie.

Ginger Pumpkin Pie

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

oh yes, cook a second turkey for the dog

but where are the trimmings?

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