The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate

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It is now after one thirty AM and I watched the Royal Wedding since eleven PM.  Here in Hawaii, the time change was in our favor. I would hate to be in LA and have to watch it from two to five in the morning.

It really was spectacular and I’m glad I watched. I did record the whole thing as the photography was amazing and I may want to see parts again. Especially the kiss on the balconey, as I couldn’t stay awake for that.

Unlike traditional wedding ceremonies there was no “Now you can kiss the bride”. No that first kiss is in front of the masses of people who are watching the Buckingham Palace scene.

Interesting facts. This couple have been together for eight years, even living together. And they are the same age, although she is a little older. Williams mother, Diana had a six month courtship with Charles and had only seen him a dozen times before the wedding. He was 32 and she was 19.

Plus he was having an affair with another woman at the time and their ‘first kiss’ was just a quick peck. Charles is now married to this ‘other’ woman, Camilla. She looked very fashionable at the wedding. Nice hat.

This was truly a Cinderella wedding with the handsome Prince dressed like something out of a fairy tale and the beautiful bride looking very much like a brunette Grace Kelly.

The actual ceremony was an hour. The arch bishop of Canterbury and all the clergy from the Church of England conducted the ceremony. There is so much history that it was impressive.

I am a big fan of English history. My favorite TV show of all times was The Tudors, the life of Henry VIII. Wesminster Abbey, where this was held was built in 1066 and has been the site of many cornonations, weddings and funerals of the Royal family.

More than once there was reference to Diana and Charles, both their wedding in 1981 and her funeral in 1997. The Queen dubbed Prince William and Kate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge the morning of the wedding.

Wonder what their wedding gift from the Queen was? She did give Kate one of her many diamond tiaras, which she wore at the wedding. It was a very simple band of diamonds by Cartier made in 1936 and given to Elizabeth on her 18th birthday.

The boy’s choir is beautiful, but when the whole audience had to sing two hymns, even though they had hymn books, nobody seemed to know the words or the tune. Then there was an orchestra with violins and the Royal chamber music with brass.

Besides all that, there were lots of British/worldwide celebrities at the wedding. Elton John and David and Vicoria Beckham were three that I recognized. David, the soccer player was super handsome and his wife Victoria was perfect in her little black hat. And Elton John didn’t seem to have any trouble with the words or the music to the hymns.

The coming to the church in all the Rolls and Bentleys by the Royals and then leaving by horse drawn coaches was fun to watch. I had no idea there were so many burgundy Bentleys all in one place. Over two billion people watched this on TV world wide and over one million in London saw the parade.

Her dress was very elegant and understated. Her bouquet was so plain and little, I was amazed. Lily of the Valley and it looked like she could have gotten it at Safeway. Very tacky I thought.

With all the gorgeous floral shops in London, I think she could have had a more unusual bouquet. It should have been a cascade flowing down. I’m surprised no one figured that out.

The big secret was her ‘dress’. It cost $20,000 and I’m sure there will be knockoffs galore in all the bridal salons all over the world. It wouldn’t be too hard to copy. Made with less expensive silk fabric and lace, it could probably go for one tenth the price. In fact, it would be a nice bridal gown for a Barbie doll. Hmm. Maybe I’ll sew one for my granddaughter. Or me.

Her veil was loaned to her by the Queen and it too was rather dumpy looking.  It seemed very plain, but it did billow nicely in the wind while in the carriage. Oh, well, nobody asked me. She is beautiful and very sweet and noble looking. He is 29, so is she. He is getting pretty bald. By the time he is 35 he will be totally bald.

Oh, there were 2000 people at the wedding and all the women wore the most gorgeous hats. No two alike. The Queen looked very cheerful in a yellow suit and yellow hat. Prince William is her grandson and the future King of England. If she abdicates to Charles, he may abdicate to William and skip himself entirely. Nobody wants a divorced man to be King.

I think the most beautiful part was as they left the Abbey, got into the same coach that Diana and Charles had taken, and drove off to Buckingham Palace. The white horses that drew the coach and the brigade of black horses that followed were truly impressive.

The Prince donned his hat and white gloves and graciously both the bride and groom smiled and waved at the throngs of happy Britishers lining the streets. Evidently lots of the fans had been lining up for days to insure a good view.

After the ceremony, the Queen held a reception at Buckinham Palace and the lucky guests who were  invited to that had to scurry over there. It seems the Royal cooks were very busy making 10,000 canapes.

After the party, William and Kate left Buckingham Palace in an old convertible that had ‘Just Wed’ on the license plate.

I am going to go to sleep now. Will probably miss the kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. Sure glad I recorded this event, so I can see that part later.

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Homemade Bread and Chicken in Beer

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How odd!

Isn’t this the oddest looking bread? This is how it comes out of a bread machine. I have a Cuisinart with sixteen different settings, but the bread pan is this cube shape. Who designed this? I can probably get five slices out of this at the most.

I have had this machine for over a year and I think I made bread in it once. It didn’t rise much as my yeast was expired, so I lost interest. But I have at least four bread making books for the bread machine.

Usually I’m out of something. But today I had non fat dry milk, lemon juice, yeast and the only thing I had to substitute was the bread flour.

So today I decided to try it again. This time my yeast was fine, but I didn’t have bread flour. So I made it with all purpose flour. Don’t tell, ok?

I went to the market this afternoon and decided to buy some bread flour for ‘next time’. Oh, my God. There are now about ten different kinds of flour. Bleached, unbleached, bread flour by three different companies, cake flour and plain old all purpose flour.

I settled on Gold Medal bread flour which was the medium priced one. King Arthur brand is supposed to be the best, but frankly flour is flour. And salt is salt. And sugar is sugar.

I haven’t sliced this bread yet. I was going to serve it for dinner and it looks better in one piece.

My other cooking creation today is chicken in a beer brine. I haven’t bought beer in a long time and I figure for marinating chicken, how great does the beer have to be. Somehow I couldn’t see soaking the bird in Heineken or Guiness, which is what I usually drink.

As I was in a Japanese market, the big special was on Japanese beer. So I tried Sapporo. A twelve pack for only $7.99. Half price, and I can marinate six chickens.

How you make the marinade is to mix two cups of water with four cans of beer. Add 1/4 cup Kosher salt and 1/4 cup brown sugar. This is enough for two cut up chickens. I made half.

Soak in fridge for eight hours  but not more than 24. Rinse and dry. Put chicken in pan in fridge for one hour to crisp the skin. Then rub with spices and some oil and grill.

Spices are the usual garlic powder/onion powder/salt/pepper etc. I use a Kona coffee rub. Also I don’t have a grill so I will just broil these in the oven.

Supposed to be very moist and juicy. We shall see. I remember when I did have a barbeque, I once made chicken by spreading the legs and sort of standing it on an open can of beer and roasting it. I think the beer fumes  got into the chicken. I think this is called Drunken Chicken.

If the brine works out ok then I will use it for a turkey. I decided to get one of those as I haven’t done a turkey in a long time. The last time I made a turkey I soaked it in a brine made out of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, salt and sugar. Not bad.

Turkey is a much better ‘deal’ than chicken. The other day I got a five pound chicken and it was over $20. Today I got a fourteen pound turkey for the same price. And I like turkey better than chicken.

There are so many great things you can do with leftovers. My absolute favorite is a hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy on good white bread. Gee, I’ve even got the bread.

Magic Chocolate Cake

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What’s magic about this cake? It contains no eggs, no dairy,

and it’s super easy to make.

(Good if you are out of eggs and want to bake a cake)

Another gem from Jennifer Raymond’s

The Peaceful Palate, this recipe never fails. It’s decadent,

moist, and dangerously delicious.

Makes one 9-inch cake or 8 cupcakes. Doubling the recipe

(for both the cake and the frosting)

is perfect for a two-layer cake.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar or other sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 cup cold water

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, salt,

baking soda, and cocoa powder in a bowl and stir with a fork until

mixed. Make a well in the center and add the vanilla, oil,

vinegar, and water.

Stir with a fork until well mixed. Pour into a 9×9-inch

baking dish (or cupcake pan), and bake in the preheated

oven for 30 minutes,

until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool completely, then frost with Chocolate Cream Frosting

(below).

Chocolate Cream Frosting

Makes enough for one 9-inch cake or 8 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoon softened margarine (Earth Balance)
  • 1-1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons water

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cream the margarine in a small bowl then add the sugar,

cocoa, vanilla, and enough water to make

a thick but spreadable frosting.

Almond Macaroons and Mock Apple Pie Made With Ritz Crackers

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Just like David’s Deli in San Fracisco

For forty years I have been searching for this cookie recipe. Finally I got busy on the internet and found it. These are the most wonderful cookies.

Unfortunatly half a batch only makes seven cookies and the cost to bake these is high. It takes a whole package of almond paste to make half a batch. And here in Hawaii a seven ounce package of almond paste costs almost $9.

The good news is that there are only three ingredients. Almond paste, sugar and egg whites. Kosher for passover. No flour.

The recipe is a little complicated as far as the how to so I recommend looking it up on google. Narsai David Recipe: Almond Macaroons.  I can’t get this link to work, so if you just google it, it will take you right to it.

I think the method is all important. Especially the part about how you get the cookies off of the parchment paper once they are done. This involves flipping the pan over another pan and brushing cool water on the bottom of the parchment paper, cooling the cookies and then peeling them off.

Believe me, it works. The hardest part was ‘piping’ the almond dough onto the little circles. I used a zip lock baggie with one corner cut off, as I don’t have a pastry tube. What a mess.

Seems like a lot of trouble to go to for seven cookies, but probably worth it. There is another almond macaroon recipe on the internet that makes 200 cookies. I think that would be an overkill.

On another note: I only ate six of the seven cookies. The other one got crumbled up in the apple mixture I put in an apple pie. I think I am on to something. I think you could crumble up any cookies and mix it into the fruit in a pie, for more flavor and texture.

I even remember a recipe that used to be on the Ritz cracker box. It was how to make an ‘apple pie’ if you didn’t have any apples. You used Ritz crackers mixed with sugar, cinnamon and butter and put this in a crust. As I recall it wasn’t bad. Think I’ll look up the exact recipe for an emergency.

OK> You lucky readers, here you are. Your guests will be amazed. No apples in this pie.

what you need

Pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie

36   RITZ Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1-3/4 cups crumbs)

2 cups sugar

2 tsp.  cream of tartar

Grated peel of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp.  lemon juice

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine

1/2 tsp.  ground cinnamon

make it

PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Roll out half of the pastry and place in 9-inch pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in crust; set aside.

MIX sugar and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in 1-3/4 cups water until well blended. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes. Add lemon peel and juice; cool. Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry; place over pie. Trim; seal and flute edges. Slit top crust to allow steam to escape.

BAKE 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden. Cool completely.

kraft kitchens tips

SIZE-WISE

Enjoy this mock apple pie treat but be mindful of the serving size.

Box Mix for Quick Pudding Cake and Other Easy Treats

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This is such a cozy comforting dessert and so easy to make. Even you guys could make this as a special treat for that dinner you are preparing for your girlfriend or for Mother’s Day. Of course this is assuming you have a mixer and know what a whisk is.

Here is the recipe for lemon pudding cake, but you could do the same thing with chocolate. First of all use a Duncan Hines cake mix and two boxes of instant pudding. You will also need three eggs, water, milk a 13 x 9 inch cake pan and an oven.

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease pan. In electric mixer put cake mix, 1 1/4 cup water and three eggs. If you are making the lemon cake, also put in one tablespoon of grated lemon peel  Mix on low for thirty seconds and then medium for two minutes. Pour into cake pan.

In bowl put two boxes of instant pudding mix and 2 3/4 cup milk. Whisk for two minutes till thick and then spoon over cake mix but don’t go too near the edges. Leave a border about half an inch all around.

Bake for 50 minutes till lightly brown and edges pull away from sides. When it is done the cake will be on top and the pudding on the bottom. Magic.  Center should jiggle a little. Cool twenty minutes. Center may sink a little. Spoon into bowls and top with whipped cream, cool whip or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I like homey food like this. Sort of reminds me of my youth. Of course they didn’t have instant pudding in the olden days. No you had to mix and stir it on the stove for five whole minutes.

I still prefer to do this, as to me, it tastes much better than instant. Sometimes it is hard to find Cook ‘n Serve pudding mix in the market. It is almost as easy to make it from scratch using, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and milk.

Actually cooking the pudding doesn’t take but two minutes longer than the ‘instant’ and it is worth it. Plus, if you are trying to get your children to eat more protein, you can stir in a couple of beaten egg yolks. Cook as usual. Beat the egg whites till stiff, add a little sugar/ and then fold whites into the pudding.

Now you have sort of an airy souffle and it makes quite a bit more. This is pretty served in crystal stem glasses such as you would use for champagne.

You can buy the four serving size and mix with two cups of milk, or the six serving size and use three cups of milk. When it is done you just pour it into little glass dishes. Or you can use those plastic drinking cups. I always put a marshmallow in the cup first. Surprise!

Another thing you can make with these tall glasses is multi colored jello. For a real thrill, fill bottom third with red, tilt glasses so jello is at an angle. Hold in place with something/dishtowel etc. When semi hard, add another color and tilt opposite way, and then do the same with a third color. Really a gorgeous dessert and people are soooo impressed.

What you have is a zig zag pattern of jello and all you have to do is prop the glasses up against something in the fridge to make sure the jello sets at about a 45 degree angle. Whip cream on top for sure.

And good to know, you can get sugar free jello now that doesn’t taste that bad. Also sugar free and fat free pudding, both of which I haven’t tried and don’t intend to. Also, buy your pudding and jello when it is on sale as it is half the price or less.

Of course if that seems like too much trouble, just pour the pudding or jello in one big bowl and scoop out as needed. Also, if you are someone who doesn’t like the ‘skin’ on top of the pudding (although that is my favorite part), you can put a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper on top of the pudding and it will cool without the ‘skin’.

And if you are really lazy, you can buy pudding and jello all made in little plastic cups in the dairy case. I like the Mousse ones.

And if you are celebrating something such as an award or a good report card, here is how you do it. Using stiff paper, such as from a cut up greeting card, draw something like ‘Congratulations, Tommy,on your great report card’. ‘Good job, Susie, on making the cheerleading squad.’ Glue paper onto a toothpick or half a chopstick and stick this in the dessert.

You can get fancy and print out a message on your computer, print it on photo paper or cut out pictures from a magazine. I did this the other day with scrambled eggs. Very impressive. If you want to get very Martha Stewart, you can dip the edges in white glue and glitter. (And adults like this just as much as kids do)

Women’s Rights-and Other Women’s Issues

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When I read about injustice to women in the world today, I get enraged. The latest today was from Pakistan. It seems that in 2002, a woman who was 30 was ordered by the village elders to be gang raped. This was in retaliation for her thirteen year old brother who had an alleged relationship with a woman from a wealthier family. (Seems like a just punishment to me)

Wonder how these ‘elders’ got elected? I guess this was their idea of having the punishment fit the ‘crime’. Or maybe this is how they get their ‘jollies’. Sort of like Pakistani S and M porno. Live. (I’m sure they had to witness this event to make sure it was done correctly.)

Most women who are raped in Pakistan either don’t report this crime or simply commit suicide. It is a real stigma. But this woman did, and she accused fourteen men of this attack.

Miraculously the court found them guilty and six were put to death. The rest were imprisoned for life. Yesterday, the Supreme Court in that country overturned the convictions and released the five remaining men. After nine years in prison, I bet they have a lot of pent up anger.

The woman who complained in the first place is now terrified of retaliation by these men against her and her family. In the meantime she has become a real spokesperson for women’s rights, opening a school and a shelter for battered women.

It is hard to imagine that this is going on today. It is very dangerous for women in Pakistan and other Muslim countries. Very seldom is the man or men charged with any crime. In most cases they are simply not to blame in any way. It was the woman’s fault for just being there.

Stoning is also practiced in these same areas. This is usually the punishment for adultery or other moral issues. Sometimes it is practiced when a couple marry against the wishes of the girl’s father.

I feel very fortunate to live in a country that does not practice such barbaric behavior. I married a man who my family did not approve of and I probably would be dead by now, if this method of displeasure was going on here.

So many marriages today are non-traditional. Inter faith, inter racial, different economic and educational backgrounds just to mention a few that we take for granted.

One of the ‘funniest’ recent marriages was the one between Chelsea Clinton and her now husband. He was a power broker on Wall Street and Jewish to boot. Chelsea was worried that he might someday cheat on her like her father did when he was president. So she had a prenup drawn up saying that if he cheated, he would pay her $10 million.

So the $100,000 wedding took place and dignitaries from all over the world attended. Now what?

Hubby decided to quit his job, move to Montana and become a ski bum. I think he is back in New York now on a pretty short leash.

I don’t know the end to this story yet, but I’m sure Bill and Hillary are none too pleased. I guess the part of the Jewish wedding ceremony where the groom stomps on a glass wrapped in a napkin, didn’t keep things from ‘falling apart’. Mazeltov!

Happy Easter

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Happy Easter! And remember, ‘never lose your childlike ways’.

Some years ago I bought these Playboy bunny ears to wear to a costume party. I keep them in a tall vase of yellow silk tulips in my bedroom. And I haul them out every Easter. Enjoy. (The ears came with a puffy little bunny tail also)

And bunny ears are almost as good as a hat on a ‘bad hair’ day. 

I forgot to put on bow tie on picture one.

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