Archive for March, 2014

After searching for a Dick Francis substitute and finding Tony Hillerman’s “Sinister Pig” excellent, I pounced on this in the local library and sat down prepared to enjoy myself. I was, to put it mildly, hugely disappointed. To start with, there was the problem of letter size. The book was ~300 pages, but the letter size was HUGE. I don’t think it would have made 100 pages in normal font. The feeling that I stumbled across a book for tweens learning to read persisted as the pace was killingly slow, the language lower than I expected, the introspective passages boring and predictable (sentences like “He looked out on the hills. What was Bernie thinking of? Maybe she was right about things.” Not a real quote.) The suspense didn’t so much build as meander. There was never any doubt about the killer or the end. In short, a complete waste of time. A pity. 0 stars.


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My throat is killing me. Swallowing is mildly painful at best, shudderingly painful at worst.  But I’m somehow still hungry. We have schnitzels in the house, but the idea of eating something crunchy and deep-fried makes my body clench. On the other hand, I feel like crap, so this is not the time to take out the gourmet cookbook (I lost it ages ago anyway).

So I started with soup. (While my husband is very talented, soup is out of his league, unless it’s takeaway). I hit my first snag when I discovered I was out of my homemade frozen onion-carrot-celery mix. I hit my second when I discovered we had no frozen vegetable that could be helpful. I did get some hope when i discovered some raw chicken thighs. However, it would make pretty bland soup all alone. I continued searching and hit the jackpot: frozen fresh dill and  parsley,  and even a small bag of beef stock. Now we’re in business!

Clean out the freezer soup


One chicken thigh and leg, raw
About two bunches dill
one bunch parsley
5 small carrots, peeled but not cut (you can skip peeling them.  Force of habit)
About 1/2 cup beef stock

Boil the chicken in a lot of water and skim the top until clear. Dump everything else in. Boil for 20 minutes (about). Taste. If not bland, sieve into a mug and drink. If bland, simmer more.
No picture, but trust me, it looks like clear broth  🙂

Microwave omelet

Break an egg into a small microwave safe dish. Add a splash of milk or water. Add a pinch salt. Mix with fork until yolk is blended. Cover with a plate or plastic lid (not plastic wrap). Cook in microwave on high for 30 seconds or until cooked.


It doesn’t look like much, but it’s quick and easy and i can swallow it. It even tastes pretty good! 😉

Of course, the best option is to call your mother/neighbour/friend and ask them for soup, which is what I’m going to eat tomorrow – there’s nothing like your mother’s chicken soup 😀

Good health to all!

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I love granola bars. I have tried making them myself a number of times. Each time, while they turn out tasty, they are either hard or crumbly. Now I’ve found the perfect recipe so the bars turn out soft and delectable. The downside – they are rich in processed sugar and they are dairy, as this recipe is based on sweetened condensed milk 😦 However, I calculated the calories etc. using SparkRecipes calculator and I deem it worth it, as these are truly delicious, easy, and packed full of healthy nuts and fiber. Perfect for breakfast on the go, and they freeze very well as well. I’ll keep searching for the perfect recipe, but in the meantime…

This is based on Easy Granola Bars. I actually came across this recipe by chance as I was searching for a way to use up sweetened condensed milk. A huge storm was on, and I needed an extra cup of milk to make Belgian waffles. I used 2 tbsp in some water for the recipe, and then had a whole can to use up. Since then, we haven’t had even one storm, but I keep using up sweetened condensed milk 😉

Ingredients: (about 30 servings)

1 can sweetened condensed milk (400 gr)
3 cups instant oatmeal
2 tbsp tahini from whole sesame seeds/peanut butter/other nut butter
3-4 cups additions. I use:

1 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
4 tbsp flax seeds
~1/2 coconut, shredded
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
handful chocolate chips sometimes

All nuts and seeds are unroasted with no salt added. I shred all nuts and seeds in the food processor (the almonds I buy ground as my food processor isn’t strong enough to grind them). Mix all ingredients (us a mixer with dough hooks if you have them or your fingers, it’s hard). Then press into an oiled pan using some baking paper (waxed paper) to prevent your hands from getting sticky. Bake at 175°C for 10 minutes or until edges are brown. Do not wait until it looks cooked in the middle! If you bake it until it’s more browned it will cool hard.

In the pan, brown edges only!

In the pan, brown edges only!

In the plate, just before they disappear...

In the plate, just before they disappear…

Some nutritional info per serving:

Calories: 160 cal; fat: 10g out of which saturated: 2 g; carbs: 16g out of which fiber: 2.5 g; protein 3.5 g; Rich in calcium, copper, iron and manganese. This was calculated on a version without chocolate chips and with tahini.

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