Category Archives: Personal Style

Food on Friday ~ Weeknights

keep your face towards the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you

Now that the nights are drawing in, we perhaps look for warming, nutritious, comfort food, especially on a weeknight.  After a hard day at work we don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen, and these are all easy weeknight recipes.

First this week from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have a warming Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup.  If you don’t happen to have an instant pot, this recipe is still very easy to make in your regular stock-pot.

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

From Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats we have this Weeknight Maple Turkey Chili.  Made with ground turkey and served with sliced avocado and egg, this is a really simple and delicious fall staple.

Weeknight Maple Turkey Chili

Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français has a recipe for a fabulous English staple; Chicken and Leek Pie.  I happen to really like this dish, eaten great hot or cold.

Chicken and Leek Pie

Sylvia at Feasting at Home has a collection of globally inspired Fast and Easy Weeknight Dinners.  I very much like the look of this easy Kimchi Fried Rice, a 20 minute vegetarian dinner.

Kimchi Fried Rice

From Delish Magazine we have a collection of 80 easiest weeknight dinners, from which I’ve chosen to feature this dish of Cheesy Baked Meatballs.

Cheesy Baked Meatballs

And also this great looking Caprese Chicken Pasta, ready in just 30 minutes.

Caprese Chicken Pasta

~

jack collierjack

collier7@talktalk.net

if in doubt you could always opt for dark beer, bread, and cheese

Food on Friday ~ Autumn

fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose

In a couple of days time we will have the Autumn Equinox, the harvests will be taken in, and the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness will be upon us.  I expect that you’re like me and wondering where the year went to, and how come I don’t remember what happened.

I believe that this coming Tuesday September 22nd is a time for me to make a fresh start, throw off the constraints of a summer that didn’t have much good going for it, and begin again.

A good place to start our move into Autumn, or Fall if you will, is with some good food, great recipes, and hopefully some very good company.

First this week we have Chungah at Damn Delicious and her warming, nutritious, delicious One Pot Chicken and Mushroom Orzo.  We all like one pan dishes don’t we?

One Pot Chicken and Mushroom Orzo

Now, Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has The 35 Most Popular Fall Recipes.  From this collection I’ve chosen a Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf.

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf

To go with your chicken, and for the warmer days still to come this year, from Dana at Minimalist Baker we have a Raw Rainbow Veggie Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing.  And, just how pretty is that?

Raw Rainbow Veggie Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

This is a super collection from Jessica Merchant’s How Sweet Eats; 45 Of My Favorite Fall Dinner Recipes.  With so much to choose from how about a Smoky Pumpkin Bisque with Grilled Cheese Croutons?  You need to keep this recipe by you for Halloween.

Smoky Pumpkin Bisque with Grilled Cheese Croutons

This might almost be the ultimate fall dinner recipe collection ever; from Delish Magazine 61 Unbelievably Easy Fall Dinner Recipes.  From this cornucopia I’ve chosen these Garlic Rosemary Pork Chops.  If you think that pork chops only come in the dry and overcooked variety, then you should try this recipe.

Garlic Rosemary Pork Chops

Or maybe this is the ultimate Fall Recipe Collection; 50 Apple Cider Recipes You Need in Your Life this Fall.  From this Country Living apple collection I’ve picked a Roasted Butternut Squash with Cider Vinaigrette.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cider Vinaigrette

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if you are lucky you still have rosehips in your garden, and they make up some great medicinal recipes

Butterfly

just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she began to fly

This post is inspired by my friend Paula Light and her Thursday prompt; Butterfly.  If you’re not familiar with this French song and very cool singer, then why not take the time now.  If, like me, your French isn’t quite up to understanding all the nuances, then just enjoy the video and warmth of this guy’s voice.

This song is also for a very close friend of mine.

Please listen with the joy of life in your heart.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

you are too beautiful

for any ending to end you

Random Jottings ~ Lies and Deceit

a deceiver will always find one who wishes to be deceived

~

the instant gratification of booze is a devious deception

~

it is better to be lied to than to become a liar

~

seduction is a form of deception

you know she can fool you at any time on any given day

~

love never dies a natural death

love is always killed by dishonesty, deception, and distrust

~

first appearances are not always deceptions, just mostly

~

be careful who you trust

the devil was once an angel

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the worst thing about being lied to

is knowing that you weren’t even worth the truth

Songs on Saturday ~ Lionel Richie

I can’t dance, don’t ask me

As a matter of a fact I can’t sing much, some would say that I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but I can dance.  A dancing fool for the right woman.

Please listen and feel happy.

If you need to move your feet, then that’s happy too.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

a better car than the one in the clip

Random Jottings ~ Healthy Routines and Rituals

the secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine

~

exercise hard and vigorously six days a week

~

when you eat is as important as what you eat

breakfast around 07:30

lunch at one o’clock

and dinner at seven in the evening

don’t ever eat late at night

~

try not to get into the routine of drinking every night

~

rise and go to bed at the same time every night and morning

including at weekends and on vacation

~

get into the habit of walking instead of driving everywhere

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

aim to walk 10,000 paces a day

every damn day

 

Food on Friday ~ Weeknights

after a long day at work cooking is probably the last thing on your mind

Even though I am a gentleman of leisure there are times when I’m rushed for time and don’t feel like cooking anything complicated nor time-consuming for dinner.  And for most people, I know there is much more pressure on your time.  So this Friday I’m concentrating on easy recipes that are perfect for weeknights.

Even tough you might be tired and under time pressure after a hard day at work, please take the time to enjoy cooking and eating your meals.  Be mindful of your food.

First up, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have these weeknight style Crockpot BBQ  Beer Chicken Taquitos ~ with Street Corn Salas and Lime Crema.

Crockpot BBQ  Beer Chicken Taquitos

From Holly at Spend with Pennies, how about this Easy Tuna Casserole?

Easy Tuna Casserole

This is really easy from Ali at Gimmie Some Oven; Brown Butter Lemon Pasta.  And, I agree with Ali here, buy the very best ingredients you can afford, especially for  simple dishes such as this.

Brown Butter Lemon Pasta

For a side dish, or just something healthy on its own, from Cookie + kate we have this Easy Tomato Salad ~ how wonderful if you have tomatoes growing in your own garden.

Easy Tomato Salad

This is not the first time I’ve blogged about weeknight dinners.  Back in May 2018 there was another post entitled Weeknight Dinners.  Among the recipes I covered there is this Prosciutto and Balsamic Greens Flatbread.  From Averie Cooks.  Looks delicious.

Prosciutto and Balsamic Greens Flatbread

Our collection this Friday is from Delish magazine; 80 Easiest Weeknight Meals Ever, and I’ve chosen to feature this fabulous looking Spinach Lasagna.

Spinach Lasagna

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the simplest meal ever

just add cheese

What Are You?

accept no one else’s definition of your life, but define yourself

Shakespeare didn’t think much of money-lenders

Who are you?  The true answer to that isn’t as easy to give as some may believe.  You might tell me your name, and then you might tell me what you do; butcher, baker, candlestick-maker, rich-man, poor-woman, beggar-man, thief…..  In fact we are so wound up in ‘what we do’ that in times past a person’s ‘family name’ might well have been the trade or craft they were in.  Hence; Baker, Cooper, Thatcher, Smith, Wright.

So, we might know your name and your main occupation, but that’s just what you are.  It isn’t who you are.  Your name and what you do to earn a crust aren’t who you are.  If a name was so important then why do half of the people in the western world change their name?  And if what you do is so important, why do so very many people have a career change at some time in their lives, and why are so many dissatisfied with their career, profession, job?

Your name and what you do to make a living are not who you are ~ but perhaps it’s what you are, your role, the part that you play in society.  That’s if you accept that what you do is just a role, not who you are at all.  We are all but players on life’s stage.

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts…..  ~  Shakespeare

My career was in International Banking and Finance.  I worked hard at it, and I was well remunerated in return.  Was I satisfied with that?  Did I think that what I did was important?  Not really.  I worked to make a living, to have some self-respect, and my own self-respect was why I was good at it.  I’ve played some other roles, and I was very good at those too.

But now, I don’t play a role anymore.  Today, right now, I am just me.  And, like everything I’ve done in the past I am determined to be good at being me, the very ‘best’ man I can possibly be.

Others may have loftier callings; perhaps they want to be a doctor, priest, therapist, teacher ~ but before all of that I would first urge them to be themselves, and to be the very best at being themselves that they can possibly be.

Some say that we should all conform to what society expects of us.  And that those in authority have a right to tell us what to do.  All I know is that you should always be yourself, no matter what they say.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talk talk.net

be the best you can be

but be yourself

no matter what they say

 

Triumph TR7 V8

so, after a lot of committee work they came up with a curate’s egg

Here in England there is a long tradition of curious and interesting sports cars, with a few names being right at the top of the list when it comes to cars the classic enthusiast admires.  Sadly, the Triumph TR7 was never a car to put stars in the eyes.  Mostly that was because it was so different to it’s better-looking and more hairy-chested predecessors.

The original TR7 was a two-seat fixed-head coupe, powered by an overhead-cam four that churned out some 100 bhp.  Underneath was a fairly sophisticated suspension for the time, bolted to an incredibly strong monocoque, which made the little car heavy at just over a ton.  (Trust me, if you are ever going to roll a sports car, and expect to live through it, then make it a TR7.) But, deep down, the TR7 was a great car waiting to get out from under something far more ordinary.

The TR7 had two basic problems; #1 it wasn’t a convertible  #2 it was underpowered for its weight.  Despite that, and despite its terrible build quality it sold very well in the USA.

To give the TR7 more power the designers chose to drop in a 150 bhp version of the Rover / Buick 215 cu in aluminium V8, producing what was either a TR7 V8, or a Triumph TR8, (depending on who you talk to).  This thing went like shit off a shovel.  Then, to make it more appealing to Californians the steel roof was chopped off.  The thing was, the original TR7 was so strong that not at lot of additional strengthening was needed to compensate for the lack of a roof and those hefty C pillars.

What resulted was a pretty little proper sports car that was fabulous to drive,  so long as you remembered all that weight up front.

I’ve never driven a TR8, but I did like its less powerful TR7 FHC variant.  Imagine a stiffer and more powerful MGB and you will have an idea.  The ohc four up-front revs better than the venerable B series four-pot, and the shorter wheel-base makes the TR7 more nimble.

If you want one of these things, then first of all they are rare.  The TR8 drophead is a rare as hen’s teeth.  Finding one in as good condition as the gold number pictured here could take a very long time indeed.  Outside of California any un-restored example is likely to be infested with rust.  Any original car is likely to have problems with the electrics, cooling, gearbox, rear axle, suspension…..  But do not let that put you off.  Given a decent garage / workshop I could rebuild / build one of these things from the front spoiler backwards.  Just about everything is available, and there are thousands of bits languishing from other British Leyland cars of the era.  In fact you could take a rotten TR7 FHC shell and build a convertible with as much performance as you want / dare.

Some say the Triumph TR7 is like a curate’s egg, good in parts.  And that only a hairdresser would want to own one.  All I know is that the TR7 intrigues me ~ in any form it’s like a beautiful woman hiding her charms.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you might want to do something about that ‘period’ interior upholstery

 

Songs on Saturday ~ Sugar Me

You catch more monkeys with sugar than with vinegar.

Following the Archies and Sugar, Sugar this morning, I thought I could repost Sugar Me from Lynsey De Paul.  This song takes me all the way back to my staid and honest younger days.  Sadly, I never did have a misspent youth ~ not even in swinging 70’s London.  Perhaps I am making up for it now.  Maybe.

Lynsey wrote this song for Peter Noone, and only recorded it herself at the urging of her then boyfriend Dudley Moore.  Back in the day Lynsey was very much part of the swinging London scene ~ minis and all.

With appreciation and thanks to Paula Light.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the all-conquering mini cooper

all most as much fun as a girl in a mini

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