BACK TO THE DAYS

pandarenfemaleatlakedockinvalleyofthefourwinds

 

I thought I would revisit some of the games that I used to play and tell you what I think of them today. I think I told you I had begun to play World of Warcraft the other day. Day 3 finds me at level 16, back with my old guild, Bran’s Believers, which was the second guild I had formed and is now run by my friend, John, known in-game as Camber. I bought the complete game which comes with a character level 90 boost. More about that later. I am very rich for my level as Camber gave me a huge amount of gold. Thus I bought a better bow and was able to fully train my character up to the max for her level. I w,as able to chat with Oschelan and Annaleighh and Rosethorne. Great friends and guild-mates from years back. So far I am frustrated only that my character is so low that I have no mount and that I can’t find where the quests are, but that was true before. I also miss having fancier armor and looking more feminine than I currently do. I love the new quests I’ve encountered, especially The Balloon Quest in Stormwind, one of the game’s major cities. I play a human hunter and it seems to fit me better than the healer characters I tried hard to learn in this game. I also made a Pandorian, a new race since I left. She is also a hunter. I find her very cumbersome and find the quests much harder than the ones I face as a Human Hunter. I chose tailoring and sinning as my main professions, along with cooking, fishing and first aid as my secondary professions. Cooking is my favorite. Big surprise.

 

prodigy logo

The Next President from Prodigy was the very first online game I played. Talk about addiction. This game was addictive and very expensive. Those were the days you had to pay for your online time. The game came out when President Clinton was running for his first term. There were 6 candidates at the start of the game and as in the real election, candidates were weeded out until only 2 were left and finally it was time to vote. This was the best gaming experience I ever had. No drama at all and met some wonderful people. I dragged a couple from Prodigy’s Food Board which is where I usually had hung out before the game came into being. One of those people, Camber, the now leader of Bran’s Believers, I had met on the Food Board, got him involved in The Next President, and so the circle revolves. From the Next President, we tried our hands in a Star Trek type game on Prodigy. That game didn’t really intrigue me, although I am an avid Star Trek Fan.

 

kingcleowyn - The Shadow of Yserbius

This looks like my original Leah character!

 

 

Yserbius from The Imagination Network was the first. This is still my very favorite game. It was where my character was born and where MRA (Mystical Realm of Asgard), my guild was born. This is where I met Sethiel, my long-time questing partner and my best friend. Yes, I have two best friends. I am lucky. The Shadow of Yserbius was a puzzle-based MMORPG that really brought people together. Many of those friends I am still friends with. It took me a long time to go to the mountain, which is how people used to refer to The Shadow of Yserbius as. The man who is currently running Bran’s Believers, Camber, tried to get me to go and tried to teach me. No luck. Let me back up a bit. The Imagination Network was an online service (I think that is what you would call it.) that hosted many forums and games such as a version of Yahtzee, backgammon, a golf game and was the first that I know of that you could “chat” real time to people. Anyhow, one day, a couple of neighborhood boys did some work for me as a good deed. To repay them, I told them about INN (The Imagination Network) and told them they could play. They created Leah. They made a friend who helped them get Leah a few levels and told me his name was Aljo. The next day I decided to see if I could go to the mountain and meet this Aljo and see what the game was about. Aljo was great and he was a good teacher. So Leah was begun as was her saga. I will tell that some other time.

 

Empiriana

 

Next came a game called Empiriana. Empiriana was a good puzzle-based MMORPG, but it’s developers, for whatever reasons, never kept up with the game. Also, the game was really the first graphical game I know of.  It was a decent game with great players. Met so many good people here. But our time was short-lived.  The developers didn’t keep it up so we got bored.

 

 

Asheron's Call

Onward to Asheron’s Call. I have so many fond memories of Asheron’s Call. It is here that I met my best friend, known then as Annabelle. She and I had the most fun shopping for high fashions in that game. It is also the game where my in-game children, of whom Annabelle became one, would bring me incredible gifts. I really loved Asheron’s Call and in my heart it remains my second favorite MMORPG of all time. My guild, MRA (Mystical Realm of Asgard) flourished here. We should have s stayed there. I believe we’d all still be together if we had. The game is downloading as I am typing this. I am not finding the installation of this game easy. It’s probably me and the late hour and my impatience though. Why don’t they make things easier for us non-geeky gamers? Now this is strange. They allow you to download the game but then tell you that you need to purchase an account. So forget that.

I tried Everquest just once and very briefly. I did not find that game user-friendly at all. Within five minutes I fell into water and couldn’t find my way out. Forget that!

 

 

dark-age-of-camelot-catacombs-20040927042821546-000

So I thought that I would re-visit Dark Ages of Camelot. For some weird unknown reason I don’t qualify for an account. Too late to worry about it tonight, but I am a person of little patience, so I say, they lost out!

 

World of Warcraft 2

 

And now back to World of Warcraft. This is a good game and the powers that be keet making the game more exciting. There have been many changes since I last played, and from what I see, it’s for the better. I really like that they are throwing today’s social issues such as homelessness into the storyline. Cudos for that Blizzard!! The graphics are great as always, but the servers are crowded and thus lag is great. Lag is frustrating to all gamers, but most MMORPGS suffer from them. If someone ever solves this problem, I am willing to wager he/she will become a millionnaire. There are good people playing this game and I find that there is a more mature group playing it.

So, that was my journey into the addiction of gaming. Gaming is a good release. I wouldn’t say it is relaxing. Maybe just the opposite, but it does take you away from the problems of your own life. It stirs your emotions and fosters friendships and in some cases romance, or romantic entanglements. I know of at some marriages that we broken up due to gaming. One on-line friend had to quit gaming because he was so addicted. I am fortunate, Paul allows me this folly. First because he worked 12 hour days before he retired, and I was home alone and lonely. And now, he does his computer thing while I do mine, although we are joined at the hip.

Do I think gaming is good or bad? What a difficult question that is. I think it’s a good thing if done in moderation. I hate it when I see young kids sit and play for hours everyday and on the weekends when they should be out having the time of their lives. I know there are kids who are shy in real life, or don’t quite fit in. I think for them especially, trying to make real life friends is crucial and to interact and learn social skills is crucial. I think that for adults, it is a great way to unwind after a day’s work or if you have nothing to do on the weekend. But even then, go out and socialize. People in real life are important. I learned that lesson the hard way. I became reclusive and came up with excuses on how I needed to stay home. I only wanted to be with my on-line friends.

Now, on the positive side. Gaming teaches leadership, team work and does teach some social skills. Netiquette is essential in gaming. However, there is definitely a lack of it, in my humble opinion, when it comes to going after quest kills. Then people are greedy, pushy, etc. It’s like a sale at a bargain basement. Everyone for themselves. I hate that in the gaming world, but I guess, that’s part of gaming. Gaming is fun, entertaining, and fascinating. If you get into role-playing, it is a good way to be creative.

The thing I hate most about gaming is the PvP (Player vs. Player) aspect. I am a pacifist at heart and even for pretend I abhor the idea of killing others. I respect the human race too much to be comfortable killing other players. So I choose not to duel others and not to go on battleground raids. I stick to killing monsters and non-player characters (NPCs). I am limited my play time and am not getting consumed with leveling, which I never did anyhow. My time mostly went into running my guild. I never got a character over level 20 because of this. Maybe this time I will be able to play and learn the game. Who knows, perhaps now is my time to really get to the end game which I have never been able to do. Wish me luck!

While looking for graphics, I came across a great post about the psychology behind WoW at the Metropolist.  Here is the url for an interesting viewpoint about MMORPGs: http://www.themetropolist.com/play/latest-play/cant-stop-playing-world-of-warcraft-can-learn-psychology-behind-mmos/ 

Gamers, when they get hungry like a quick meal that is easy to eat at their computers.  Here is such a recipe.  Enjoy!

 

 

chicken-zuccini_300

Home Cookin Chapter: POULTRY

Chicken, Zucchini, And Prosciutto
=================================
preparation: 15 minutes
cooking: 20 minutes
Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound (about 8 slices) prosciutto
3 small zucchini, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 lemon

.
Directions:
Heat oven to 400° F.

Season the chicken with ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over
medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 2 minutes per side.

Transfer the chicken to the oven and roast for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a second skillet, over medium heat, heat the
remaining oil. Cook the prosciutto until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per
side. Transfer to a plate.

Add the zucchini, garlic, and remaining salt and pepper to the
skillet and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.

Add the prosciutto and zucchini mixture to the skillet with the
chicken, squeeze the lemon over the top, and toss. Divide among
the plates.

source: Kate Merker
December 2006 via
http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/chicken-
zucchini-prosciutto

Photo: Anna Williams

 

Servings: 4

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

This post is dedicated to Sethiel, Blackie,  Ham and his boys, Annabelle, CamberSojo, Truefoe and all of the rest of my wonderful MRA family!

ANTI-SUPERBOWL FUN

charlie_brown_lucy-5356

I hate football. Thus, I hate Super-bowl Sunday. I know many of you out there feel the same way, so here are some ideas to make the day a better one. At the end of list, I will give you details of the suggestions that have *s after them.

1. Have an Anti-Super Bowl Party. Gather together your friends who have been deserted all football season and have an Anti Super Bowl Party. While the football fans are having beer and pizza, serve your friends more sophisticated fare like pretty drinks and appetizers.*

2. Go through the digital photographs on your computer and rename them something besides DM004102.

3. Play World of Warcraft or other favorite MMORPG for hours of uninterrupted enjoyment and munch on snacks and pizza. Have a soft drink or a beer, whatever is your pleasure.*

4. See a movie or go to a popular restaurant (not a sports’ bar though). Since everyone else will be glued to their TV sets, it will be easier to get in and I bet the service will be better!

5. Invite some friends over for a Popcorn Throw Down Challenge and Movies.*

6. Invite some friends over for a Chex Mix Throw Down Challenge and Board Games Party.*

7. Throw a Star-Trek or Star-Wars Marathon Party or even a Dr. Who Marathon Party.*

8. Take a tour of your City and stop in places that you have never been to before. End your tour with a dinner at a new restaurant.

9. Have a mani/pedi party complete with lotions, nail polish and stick-on decals. Order take-out from your favorite gourmet shop for you and your friends.

10, Take your favorite snacks and a good book to bed with you. Call for Chinese take-out for dinner.*

11. Write that novel you always wanted to begin.

12. Cuddle with that special someone. Make dinner together and make it special.*

Most importantly, put the emphasis on enjoying yourself and doing what you really want to do.

ANTI-SUPER-BOWL PARTY

Relegate the Super-bowlers to the basement or den and choose another room for the Anti-Super-bowlers Set up the dining room for your part of the party and the kitchen for the Super-bowlers Set the Super-bowlers’ table with paper stuff, yours with linens. Also have a comfortable sitting area for your end of the party so you can sit and chat or play games, or watch a movie. Make sure that you discuss all plans with your Super-bowler so that he/she understands the game rules. Make sure you both respect the other’s party and that noise is kept to a minimum unless really necessary like when a touch-down is made. Also make it clear that the food for one party does not get shared with the guests from the opposing party. Fair is fair.

Ok, the important thing is good friends and food. For our Anti-Super-bowl Party we are going to serve wonderful stuff.

Set up a wine bar. Include some of each type of wine: a sweet white, a dry white, a sweet red and a dry red. Of course you must include a bubbly wine too. A blush would also be a nice touch. Set out some seltzer water so people can make spritzers if they wish and a variety of juices such as cranberry, orange and grapefruit juice so guests can get creative. Also, some may not wish to drink alcohol.

Set up a cheese, fruit and cracker platter. I would include the following:

a nice wheel of brie made with fruit or the Parmesan-Coated Brie (recipe follows)

slices of apples and green grapes and fresh raspberries

a good-sized wedge of Jarlsberg cheese

a good-sized wedge of Sharp Cheddar

a nice smoked cheese

a small pile of cocoa-dusted nuts

a small pile of dried apricots

a small pile of Craisins

Place a small basket of crackers (I would use three different kinds of crackers) and some slices of a small Baguette.

I would also set out a bowl of trail mix (recipe follows), a bowl of butter mints and a bowl of cashew nuts. Use silver or crystal bowls, if possible.

After about a half an hour, bring out some fancy bite-site tidbits such as:

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp (recipe follows)

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus (recipe follows)

Mini Egg Rolls (cheat and buy the frozen ones!)

Place these appetizers on doilies placed on your fanciest serving platters.

For the dinner menu I would serve something elegant but simple and not too heavy as people are probably full from noshing.

I would begin the meal with a nice fresh fruit cup. Instead of a salad, I would put out a platter of fresh baby vegetables such as carrots, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and whatever else you think you want to add. Serve with a dip instead of dressing. Don’t do a vinaigrette though, do something creamy and rich. For the main course I would Almond Orange Crusted Chicken (recipe to follow) with couscous mixed with sauteed red peppers and peas for color. For desert something ultra decadent like Mint Chocolate Chip Mousse Cake (recipe to follow).

WoW_Box_Art1

WORLD OF WARCRAFT MARATHON

For the pizza, order out! Go ahead and splurge on wings too! But save these goodies for dinner.

Have a good supply of your favorite beverage(s) on hand and nearby. Just remember, you need to see those wee monsters and your reflexes need to be quick enough to kill them before they kill you!

For your snacking pleasure here is a variety to keep you munching away:

Chex Popcorn Pretzel Party Mix (recipe to follow) for your sweet tooth

Smoked Paprika Popcorn (recipe to follow for your savory tooth

Pour yourself a big bowl of M&Ms and go to town! Let’s save Azeroth together!!! “For the Alliance!”

boy-superhero-eating-popcorn

POPCORN THROW DOWN CHALLENGE AND MOVIE

Throw down the gauntlet and challenge your guests to come up with the best tasting unusual popcorn and ask them to bring it to the party or ask everyone to bring their popcorn makers and ingredients to make at your house. Before the party, ask them to come up with a name for their creation so you can make up the voting ballots. The ballot could look something like this:

NAME OF ENTRY

TASTE

AROMA

UNIQUENESS

PRESENTATION

TOTAL POINTS

I would give 1 point for taste, 1 for aroma, 2 for uniqueness and 2 for presentation. So highest point total per entry would be 6 points. In case of a tie, do a second vote on scraps of paper asking people to vote for their favorite of the tied entries.

Have plenty of beverages and choose a good light-hearted movie. Have some plain old fashioned popcorn to serve too! Here are some popcorn ideas for your entry:

Red Hot Popcorn

Pepperoni Popcorn

Hot Chocolate Popcorn

This post is longer than I expected it to be, so I will close it with recipe and continue tomorrow with the rest of the party details and recipes. Without further ado, the recipes:

bag_of_trail_mix_photo_cutouts-re4ef8700929646a99ec25ba8599d5d98_x7saw_8byvr_512

MARILYN’S TRAIL MIX

1 cup Craisins

¼ cup Dried Apricots; snipped into sliver-sized pieces (cut with a scissors)

½ cup M&Ms

½ cup Cashews

1 cup Corn Chex cereal

¼ tsp. Cinnamon

Mix all together.

NOTE: These measurements are a guideline. I never measure when making my trail mix. This is really how I make it:

2 handfuls of Corn Chex, 1 handful Craisins, about 6-8 Dried Apricots (snipped into slivers), 1 handful of M&Ms and a few shakes of Cinnamon. In other words, measure by what you feel. You also have to take how many people you are making this recipe for. I figure 2 cups of mix per person but 1 cup is probably okay too, especially if you are serving with other things. If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container and it should last a while. However, Paul and I find this addicting, so it doesn’t last long in our house.

Bacon-Wrapped-Shrimp-Recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

Home Cookin Chapter: APPETIZERS 2014

BACON-WRAPPED SHRIMP

====================

ACTIVE: 20 mins.

TOTAL: 40 mins.

SERVES: 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 clove Garlic; GRATED

1 tsp. Paprika

1 tsp. FRESH Thyme

3 tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

1 lb. (about 24) LARGE Shrimp; PEEELD AND DEVEINED, TAILS INTACT

12 slices Bacon; HALVED

.

DIRECTIONS:

POSITION A RACK 3-4″ FROM THE HEAT SOURCE AND PREHEAT THE BROILER.

Whisk the lemon juice, garlic, paprika, thyme, olive oil AND 1/2

tsp. kosher salt in a SHALLOW BAKING DISH. Add the shrimp AND

toss to coat; MARINATE IN THE REFRIGERATOR for 20 mins.

TURN THE SHRIMP IN THE MARINADE TO COAT WELL. ONE AT A TIME,

REMOVE EACH shrimp AND wrap with a piece of bacon; secure with a

TOOTHPICK, if desired.

Place SEAM-SIDE DOWN on a baking sheet. Spoon any remaining

marinade over the shrimp. (MSS NOTE: I would cover the entire

baking sheet with aluminum foil BEFORE I put the shrimp on it.)

BROIL, TURNING THE SHRIMP ONCE, UNTIL the bacon is SLIGHTLY CRISP

AND the shrimp are cooked through, about 5 mins.

source: pg. 65, Food Network Magazine, Nov. 2014 issue, Volume 7,

No. 9.

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

prosciutto-wrapped asparagus

Home Cookin Chapter: APPETIZERS 2014

PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED ASPARAGUS

============================

24 asparagus speaks (1-1 1/4. lbs.), trimmed to 6-inch lengths

24 VERY THIN slices provolone cheese (12-14 oz.)

12 VERY THINN slices prosciutto (8-10 oz.), halved lengthwise

Cracked Black Pepper

1-2 tbsp. Olive Oil

1-2 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar

MSS NOTES: I’d use corned beef instead of prosciutto and I’d omit

vinegar.

.

1. Place a steamer basket in a LARGE skillet. Add enough water

to come just below bottom of basket. Bring to boiling. Place

asparagus in basket. Reduce heat to MEDIUM-LOW. Steam, COVERED,

for 4 mins. Remove asparagus from basket; immerse in ICE WATER to

cool quickly. DRAIN asparagus, PAT DRY with paper towels.

2. Wrap a slice of cheese and a half-slice of prosciutto around

each asparagus speak. Arrange wrapped asparagus on a serving

plate.

3. Before serving, sprinkle with cracked pepper. Drizzle with

oil and balsamic vinegar.

MSS NOTES: I’d omit step 3 all together.

MAKE AHEAD: Prepare as directed through Step 2. COVER and chill

up to 24 hrs. Serve as directed. (MSS NOTE: I’d serve as is but

at room temperature.)

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: PER SERVING:

268 cal, 20 g fat (8 g sat. fat), 29 mg. cholesterol, 876 mg.

sodium, 4 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 19 g protein.

SOURCE: p. 10, Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest,

“Celebrate the Season 2014” magazine.

Servings: 8

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

Home Cookin Chapter: POULTRY

almond-orange-crusted chicken with fennel-arugula salad

Almond Orange Crusted Chicken With Fennel Arugula Salad

=======================================================

source: Created by: Ellie Krieger, cookbook author, “So Easy:

Luscious Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week.” via The

Almond Board of California via

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Almond-Orange-Crusted-Chicken-with-Fe

nnel-Arugula-Salad/Detail.aspx?evt1

“Traditional chicken dinner gets a modern-day makeover with sliced

almonds and orange zest to perk up an old standby. Use the left

over orange slices for a refreshing side salad with arugula,

fennel and lemon juice.”

Ingredients:

1 orange

2 egg whites

3/4 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 (4 ounce) pieces thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast

Cooking spray

1/2 small bulb of fennel, halved, cored and thinly sliced into

half-moons

4 cups arugula, lightly packed, coarsely chopped if leaves are

large

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Ten minutes before you are ready to cook the chicken, put a baking

sheet in the oven to pre-heat.

Finely zest the orange and set the zest aside. Cut the top and

bottom off of the orange, sit the orange on one end on a cutting

board and cut the entire peel and pith off by cutting downward

following the shape of the fruit. Then, using a paring knife,

remove each section of orange from the membrane. Set the orange

sections aside.

In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg whites until slightly frothy. In

a large shallow bowl or on a plate, combine the orange zest,

almonds, and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.

Put the flour on a large plate.

Remove the pre-heated baking sheet from the oven and spray with

cooking spray.

Dip the chicken breasts, one at a time, first into the flour,

shaking off any excess, then into the egg white, and then coat

with the almond mixture and place on the baking sheet. Spray the

top of the chicken with cooking spray. Bake for 6 minutes, turn

and bake for 6 minutes more, until the chicken is cooked through

and the coating is golden.

While the chicken is cooking, combine the fennel, arugula and

orange sections in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together

the olive oil, lemon juice, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of

salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to

coat.

To serve, place one large or two small chicken cutlets on each

plate and top with a mound of the salad.

Servings: 4

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

mint-chocolate-chip-mousse-cake-2011

Home Cookin Chapter: CAKES 2013-2014

Mint Chocolate Chip Mousse Cake

===============================

June 7, 2011 in Cooking | Tags: mint, mint chocolate chip, mousse

cake

Chocolate Cake

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granular sugar

6 Tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup mini chocolate chips

¾ cup coffee

6 Tablespoons safflower oil

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

3 medium eggs

Mint Chocolate Chip Mousse

4 cups cream

¾ cup granular sugar

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

¼ teaspoon green food color paste

1/3 cup cold water

1 Tablespoon gelatin

½ cup hand chopped chocolate [these are the chips]

Peppermint Spread

1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

Chocolate Glaze

2 tablespoons cream

2 tablespoons granular sugar

½ Tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon honey

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

.

When conceptualizing recipes, I tend to draft up a large list of

ideas that are possible creations. Mousse cakes are one such

recipe with endless possibilities and certainly a mint chocolate

chip is one of those have to make ideas. If you see the photo and

think mint chocolate chip ice cream, that’s exactly where I got

the idea. Growing up this was and still is my favorite flavor, not

to mention this minty green color is at the top of my favorite

paint colors list.

Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F

Prepare a 12”x8 ½” sheet pan by coating it with butter and lining

with parchment.

Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking

powder and salt.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the oil,

vanilla extract and eggs. Whisk until a smooth batter forms. Next,

whisk in coffee.

For this recipe I chopped a block of chocolate for the chips

needed, but mini chocolate chips will work just as well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with chocolate

chips and bake for twenty minutes. After baking, allow cake to

rest for a few minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack lined

with parchment. Why parchment? This cake is very moist and will

stick to just about anything it can and with a handful of

chocolate chips in this cake, it will be hard to resist eating any

broken cake pieces

As instructed in my Neapolitan mousse cake recipe, the size of

this cake is a little smaller. A cake board frame measuring twelve

inches by four inches was constructed. The left over cake can be

used to make trifles or saved for another mousse cake recipe later

on.

Mint Chocolate Chip Mousse

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cool water and allow to bloom.

Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the cream, sugar, colorant and mint

extract. Beat just before soft peaks form. The consistency will

still have soft peaks but they droop a little more. You want to

stop at this point because the folding in of the gelatin will work

the cream further. Heat the gelatin over simmering water. Remove

from heat and warm the remaining cream. The cream should be

slightly warmer than room temperature. Combine the gelatin and

warmed cream. Pour this mixture over the whipped cream and fold

in. Fold in the chocolate chips and fill the mold. Chill for

several hours to set the mousse.

To make chocolate chips for the mousse, simply fine chop any

quality semi-sweet chocolate.”

Peppermint Spread

To make this high intensity flavor layer for the mousse cake, whip

together all ingredients in a bowl and frost the top of the

chilled mousse cake.

Chocolate Glaze

Melt cream, sugar, butter and honey in a saucepan on low heat just

until combined. Whisk in cocoa powder and vanilla. Once cool,

spread chocolate glaze over the peppermint spread and chill for

the last time.

If you plan on serving this the next day or so leave the cake

board frame on so the mousse does not dry out. When the moment

arrives, use a long knife and slide it down along the cake board

in one direction. This will keep the layers more intact. Mousse

cakes are best carved when they are cold.

This recipe serves ten if cut into slices and less for square

cutouts.

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

chex-popcorn-pretzel-chunks party mix

Home Cookin Chapter: SNACKS

Chex™ Popcorn-Pretzel Chunks Party Mix

======================================

“A favorite among the Chex™ team members, this crunchy super-snack

disappeared in no time. Don’t be surprised if the same thing

happens at your next party!”

GRAB THESE ITEMS…

4cups Vanilla Chex™ cereal

3cups popped popcorn

1cup fish-shaped pretzel crackers

2tablespoons butter or margarine

1jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme

1/2cup candy-coated milk chocolate pretzels

.

STEPS

1Spray very large microwavable bowl with cooking spray. Mix

cereal, popcorn and pretzel crackers in bowl.

2In medium microwavable bowl, microwave marshmallow crème and

butter uncovered on High about 1 minute, stirring after 30

seconds, until crème and butter are melted and can be stirred

smooth.

3Stir, pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated.

Microwave uncovered on High 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute,

until mixture is glazed.

Cool 5 minutes; stir in candies. Spread on waxed paper to cool.

Break into chunks. Store covered.

TIPS Method Note: This sweet and salty snack is super-yummy and

easy to make, but the marshmallow creme makes the prep a bit

sticky. To minimize stickiness, spray bowls, spoons and spatulas

with cooking spray before using.

NUTRITION Serving Size:

Calories 80 (Calories from Fat 25); Total Fat 3g (Saturated Fat

1g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 125mg; Total

Carbohydrate 12g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 6g); Protein 1g % Daily

Value*: Vitamin A 4%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 4%; Iron 15%

Exchanges: 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1

Carbohydrate Choice MyPyramid Servings: 0 tsp Fats & Oils; 0 oz-eq

Grains; 0 oz-eq Meat & Beans *% Daily Values are based on a 2,000

calorie diet.

source:

http://www.chex.com/recipes/chex-popcorn-pretzel-chunks-party-mix/

16c419de-90d4-46d6-bf49-c22c39806004

Servings: 20

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

smoked paprika popcorn

Home Cookin Chapter: SNACKS

Smoked Paprika Popcorn

======================

{ ingredients }

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil

1/3 cup popcorn kernels

2 teaspoons walnut oil or olive oil

.

{ directions }

Mix the smoked paprika, salt and onion in a small bowl and set

aside.

In a medium pot, heat the oil and popcorn, covered, over medium

heat. As the popcorn pops, shake pan occasionally and immediately

remove from heat once the popping slows to 2-3 seconds between

pops. Pour popcorn into a large bowl, removing any unpopped or

partially popped kernels you see. Drizzle with walnut or olive oil

and toss with your hands to coat evenly. Scatter smoked paprika

mixture over popcorn and mix with your hands until kernels are

evenly coated.

Keeps for up to 2 days in an airtight container.

I use two types of oil because I like the subtle flavor the

walnut (or olive) oil adds to the mixture, but feel free to use

grapeseed or canola for both cooking and coating the popcorn.

Instead of cooking the popcorn on the stove, you can start with

unflavored, unsalted air-popped or microwave popcorn. I won’t be

mad.

source: http://www.eatyrgreens.com/smoked-paprika-popcorn/

Servings: 4

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

red hots popcorn

DISCLAIMER:  This photo does not belong to the recipe.  I found photo in a Google search. ~MSS

Home Cookin Chapter: SNACKS

Red Hot Cinnamon Candy Popcorn

==============================

Makes 4 quarts

“A sweet and spicy popcorn treat that can be enjoyed all year

round.”

INGREDIENTS

16 cups popped JOLLY TIME® Butter or Crispy ‘n White Microwave Pop

Corn

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

3/4 cup red cinnamon candies

1/4 tsp baking soda

.

DIRECTIONS

Place popped popcorn in large bowl. Melt butter in medium

saucepan; stir in sugar, corn syrup and cinnamon candy. Heat to a

boil; continue boiling, stirring constantly, until candy is

dissolved completely. Boil without stirring for 3 minutes. Remove

from heat; stir in baking soda. Gradually pour over popcorn,

mixing well. Allow to cool completely on foil or buttered wax

paper. Break apart and store in tightly-covered container.

source: http://www.jollytime.com/recipe/red-hot-cinnamon-popcorn

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

pepperoni

Home Cookin Chapter: SNACKS

PEPPERONI PIZZA

===============

Pepperoni Pizza

Cook 1 cup chopped pepperoni in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large pot

until crisp; drain on paper towels, reserving the drippings. Pop 3/4 cup

popcorn kernels in the drippings; toss with the pepperoni, 1 cup shredded

mozzarella, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon

each granulated garlic and dried oregano. Season with salt.

Read more at:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/50-flavored-popcorn-recipes.page-

2.html?oc=linkback

hot chocolate popcorn

Home Cookin Chapter: SNACKS

Hot Chocolate Popcorn

=====================

Ingredients

1/2 cup un-popped popcorn (about 16 cups popped)

14 oz white candy melting disks or vanilla almond bark

2 cups mini marshmallows

1/2 cup Hot Chocolate (powder) mix

4 oz milk chocolate

Wax paper

.

Instructions

Make your popcorn using an air popper. (If you don’t have an

air-popper and use microwave popcorn, use plain or lightly

buttered/salted.)

In a large bowl combine your popcorn and marshmallows.

Melt you white candy melts according to package directions and

drizzle on top of popcorn/marshmallow mix. Stir to coat evenly.

Spread your popcorn on a wax paper lined counter. Immediately

sprinkle your hot chocolate mix on top of wet popcorn.

Melt your milk chocolate in the double boiler or microwave and

drizzle on top of popcorn. Let chocolate set. Store in an airtight

container for up to 3 days.

Yield: makes approx 18 cups of popcorn

source: http://cookiesandcups.com/hot-chocolate-popcorn/

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE:

Charlie Brown and Lucy Football cartoon – http://notesfromachair.com/2013/02/03/dickens-the-super-bowl-and-me/

MSS NOTE:  I strongly suggest reading the wonderful blog entry where I found the above mentioned cartoon.  Just click on the link above.

Super Boy Eating Popcorn clipart – http://www.mycutegraphics.com/graphics/superhero/superhero-eating-popcorn.html

Trail Mix clipart – http://imgarcade.com/1/trail-mix-bag/

5 DAYS UNTIL CHANUKAH

NOTE:  I have not been posting as I was without an internet connection due to router problems but wrote this to post whenever I got reconnected, which was yesterday late afternoon.  So, don’t scratch your head when reading the title of the post.  Neither one of us is crazy!

5 DAYS UNTIL CHANUKAH

 

neon-clipart-objects_domestic_clock_rainbow

 

 

I can’t believe Chanukah is so close! It scares me because that means that Christmas isn’t far behind, and that means that it is almost 2015! 201! Oy! Where does time fly off to? I don’t remember time passing me by. I didn’t see it coming, and now I don’t see it going. Time is an interesting topic isn’t it. Thousands, if not billions of people have probably studied it. Books have been written about it and it is a major genre of fiction. I love time-travel books. I am a huge Diana Gabaldon fan. I can’t read enough about Jamie and Claire in her Outlander series. I also loved reading The Time Traveler’s Wife. I have so many reading interests. I like all genres of books, except horror. I’m an eclectic reader, I guess, and I’d like to be an eclectic writer, although I am not sure that is allowed. Why? It’s a marketing thing, or so I’ve been lead to believe. Someone told me that once you connect with a certain audience that in order to keep them you need to keep writing in the same vein. Do you believe that is true? I know that some of my favorite writers have veered into two or three different genres with success, but I think that came after they were well established. For example, my all-time favorite author, Andrew Greeley, has written non-fiction, love stories, mysteries and fantasy. .Nora Roberts writers love stories, mysteries and paranormal trilogies. Rich DiSilvio writes non-fiction and historical fiction. If you are unfamiliar with Rich DiSilvio, I highly recommend Liszt’s Dante Symphony. I couldn’t put it down. I have his latest book, A Blazing Gilded Age, but have not been able to read it due to lack of time and then misplacing it. This distresses me as I look forward to reading it. I’ve done the same with Diana Gabaldon’s latest book. You see, I have a pile of books and stuff all around my house and I don’t know where anything is. This is my tragic character flaw.

Where is this leading to? I had no idea that I was going to write about time-travel this morning. And what does it have to do with Chanukah? Oh, no! I can see it now…another story idea. Last night I began a new story…story ideas flow out of me so freely, but it seems that is as far as they get. Last night I began a story about a fairy and a giant. I have no clue as to where that one is going to lead me but I do know that prejudice is going to be a major theme in it. And now, writing this, my head is churning and I’m wondering what would happen if I make a Jewish character time travel to another time. This is scary territory for me though. Why? Because being Jewish makes me scared. I am so afraid of another Holocaust being carried about against us that I often have nightmares about it. I am proud to be a Jew and I love our religion as I see it as a religion of tolerance, good rules to live by and a religion of personal freedom. I love our traditions and sense of family. I love our food. So, what era would I send my hero and heroine back to? What would he/she face? Hmmm….the beginnings of another book idea. Do you have this problem of coming up with so many story ideas that you cannot concentrate on one? Any ideas on how I can learn to concentrate? Any and all suggestions are welcome, as usual.

Progress report. I now have 5 pages written of my first book, the one I’ve been tell you about here. Not much, but it is something. I wanted to check this blog last night about midnight to see if anyone had replied to yesterday’s blog and I wanted to check my email, but my internet connect is out. This is the second time this week that this has happened. I can’t understand why. There is no big storm here. I am frustrated. I am a person who needs instant gratification. I haven’t called Time Warner yet. I haven’t finished breakfast yet and can’t deal with other people till I’ve had my breakfast and either played one of my games or written, so I chose to write this blog before calling Time Warner. You, my readers, are much more important than playing a solitary game. No, not the game solitaire, which I do enjoy, but any game that I have downloaded on my computer. It used to be games such as World of Warcraft, but I got tired of that and didn’t play for five years. I tried to play a different game last year but I found the people were horrible. I am a social gamer. I play to make friends and socially interact. I do enjoy the medieval environment games. I do enjoy the fantasy aspect. I hate the fighting, especially the pvp (person-vs-person) fighting. I love the guild structure, especially when I’m in charge as the Empress, as I was for 20 years. Oh well, that tale is for another time…oh no! Another story idea just popped into my head. I should tell the tale of the Treslok family! Hmmm…

OK, I’m back. I had to jot those ideas down in my program. They’re too good for me to forget them.

Now, what was I trying to get to? Ah, yes, my progress or lack thereof. I think I am satisfied with the progress on my book as the holidays and other things are interfering right now. I think the process is also getting in my way…the process of learning. So I’m not worried. I have a deadline for the completion of my first book though…I want to end it before I die. I’m hoping that is a good number of years away yet, so I’m not too worried! I don’t like pressure, so I set what I feel is a realistic goal.

So what recipe shall I leave you with that ties in with today’s blog theme(s)? I know, I’ll post a recipe that I consider timeless as it is a family recipe…let me see if I can find one without going on the internet which is where most of my family recipes are now stored. Well, I’m going to have to put this post on hold until I get connected with the internet again. Please bear with me for a while. Ah, I have decided upon one of Paul’s great recipes. This makes a very nice company dish! Enjoy and have a wonderful Chanukah!

 

 

The art of cooking chicken...

The art of cooking chicken…

 

 

PAUL’S STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS

This is one of the fabulous recipes my dear husband dreamed up! He’s much more creative in the kitchen than I am! The stuffing reminds me of Clams Casino! The is a great recipe to make, especially in the summer, but all year around. Nice company dish! This stuffing is also good for fish.

Ingredients:

CRAB MEAT STUFFING:

1/2 pound IMITATION Crab Meat**

1/2 Green Pepper

1/2 Red Pepper

1 stalk Celery

1 MEDIUM Onion

1 Egg

1/2 cup SEMI-COURSE Bread Crumbs

1 tablespoon Margarine

CHICKEN:

6 BONELESS, SKINLESS Chicken Breasts*

1/8 cup Rose Wine

1 dash Thyme

1 dash Garlic Powder

1 MEDIUM Onion; sliced

1 dash Pepper OR Paprika

Directions:

CRAB MEAT STUFFING:

1 Chop and saute red and green peppers, celery and onion with 1 tablespoon of margarine.

2 COARSELY chop imitation crab meat. Mix with vegetable mixture, then mix in 1 egg.

3 PAUL’S NOTE: You will have leftover stuffing but will find uses for the leftovers.

CHICKEN:

1 Put as much stuffing on each chicken breast as you dare! Roll up the breasts jelly-roll style and secure with NON-COLORED, NON-FLAVORED WOODEN toothpicks.

2 Place the chicken rolls in a microwave-safe casserole. Pour wine over all and sprinkle chicken breasts with a dash of thyme and a dash of garlic powder. Put a few slices of sliced onion on top of each chicken roll.

3 Microwave on HIGH for approximately 5 minutes (based on a microwave purchased in 1986 and using *single breasts of chicken; if you use double breasts, add a minute or so, checking after every 30 seconds.

4 Sprinkle with a dash of pepper OR paprika before serving. (MARILYN’S NOTE: I think paprika makes it look nicer!!!)

MARILYN’S NOTE: Read the ingredients carefully on packages of Crab Meat. Some have crab or crab juice in them. Look for packages without in order to keep dish Kosher!

Source: Marilyn and Paul Sultar

 

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE:

Clock clip art: http://www.clipartpanda.com/categories/clock-clipart-for-kids

Chicken clip art:  http://homedesigni.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/kids-kitchen-clipart-6.jpg