Archive for January, 2017

Bacon Asparagus Pastry Twists

Posted: January 19, 2017 in Recipes
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Serves 2-3

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
6-8 slices bacon
12-15 asparagus spears
1 egg, beaten




1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
2. Slice the puff pastry into 1-centimeter strips.
3. Slice the bacon in half lengthwise into thin strips.
4. Wrap a strip of bacon around an asparagus spear in a spiral.
5. Wrap a strip of puff pastry around the asparagus, looping it in between the bacon spiral.
6. Repeat with the rest of the asparagus.
7. Place the wrapped spears on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
8. Brush them with egg wash, then sprinkle a pinch of salt & pepper on top.
9. Bake for 18 minutes, until golden brown and puffed.
10. Serve!

Smoked Sausage and Potato Bake

Posted: January 15, 2017 in Recipes
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sausage_and_potato_bakeYou’ll Need:

1 package of sliced Eckrich skinless smoked sausage.
8 quartered Yukon gold potatoes.
1 diced green pepper.
1 diced yellow pepper.
2 tbsps of butter.
1 tsp of oregano.
1 tsp of basil.
½ tsp of black pepper.
2 tsps of olive oil.

How to:

Preheat the oven to 375°.
In a pan, arrange the sausage, potatoes and peppers and place the butter over the top in small cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and season on top.
Bake covered for 40 to 50 minutes.
Bonne Appétit!

You can also use Ham instead of Sausage

Make Ahead Tex-Mex Beef Stew

Posted: January 12, 2017 in Recipes
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2-3 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup flour
3 carrots, sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 jalapeño, diced
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) sweet corn, drained
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) stewed tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
Fresh cilantro and tortilla chips, if desired


Method one: freeze ingredients to cook later

Add flour and stew meat to a gallon-sized freezer bag; toss to coat beef with the flour.
Add all additional ingredients to bag except 2 cups of beef broth. Seal bag and add label with recipe title and cooking time. Freeze immediately.
To cook stew, remove bag from the freezer and place in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. In the morning, transfer the contents of the bag plus 2 cups of beef broth to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until vegetables are soft and beef has reached an internal temperature of at least 160°F. Serve with fresh cilantro and tortilla chips, if desired.

Method two: cook first and freeze, then heat later

In a medium bowl or gallon-sized plastic bag, toss stew meat and flour, then place in slow cooker. Add all other ingredients to the slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until vegetables are soft and beef has reached an internal temperature of at least 160°F.
Allow stew to cool slightly, then remove from slow cooker and continue to cool in the refrigerator until the stew has reached room temperature or cooler. Add stew to a gallon-sized freezer bag and place in the freezer until ready to eat.
To serve, thaw stew in the refrigerator overnight. Add stew to a large stock pot and heat over medium heat until temperature has reached 160°F. Serve with fresh cilantro and tortilla chips, if desired.

You can just eat the stew now so let’s eat!

Windows Essentials is gone

Posted: January 11, 2017 in General


Windows Essentials 2012 suite reached end of support on January 10, 2017

Late breaking or other information about Windows Essentials 2012.

Q: Will Windows Essentials 2012 still be available for download?
A: Windows Essentials 2012 is no longer available for download.

Q: What happens to my already installed Windows Essentials 2012 applications?
A: Already installed applications will continue to work as they do today. There is an increased security risk associated with use of unsupported products past their end of support date.

Can I still use Windows Live Mail?
Yes. Though, some email service providers have moved to newer email protocols for improved security and reliability not supported by Windows Live Mail. These email service providers may no longer work.

Are there any recommended alternatives?
•Mail is available as a free built-in application for Windows 8.1 and above.
•Photos is available as a free built-in application for Windows 8.1 and above.
•Live Writer is available as an open-source solution.
•One Drive is an inbox feature for Windows 8.1 and above.
•Family Safety is an inbox feature for Windows 8.1 and above.


Already installed applications will continue to work as they do today. However, there is an increased security risk associated with use of unsupported products past their end of support date.

microwave_quicheNo oven, no stove, no problem

1-minute Microwave Quiche in a Mug

1 large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk (substitutes: half and half or heavy cream)
1 teaspoon melted unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
4 small grape tomatoes, halved
1/8 cup torn pieces of fresh bread
1 tablespoon grated cheese (e.g., cheddar cheese, mozzarella, etc.)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh herbs, plus more for garnish (e.g., green onions, Italian parsley, chives, etc.)

In a microwavable mug, add egg, milk, melted butter, salt, and pepper and whisk until thoroughly mixed and egg whites are completely broken up. Add halved grape tomatoes, torn bread, grated cheese, and chopped herbs on top of egg mixture, making sure ingredients are evenly dispersed and have not settled to bottom of mug. Ingredients will stay settled within the quiche mixture better if you do not whisk ingredients into egg mixture.

Place mug in microwave, and cook on high for 1 minute, just until egg is completely cooked and quiche is slightly puffed. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately.

January podcast show

Posted: January 8, 2017 in General

Listen Now

Apple Pie Cookies

Posted: January 8, 2017 in Recipes
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1.2-3 Granny Smith apples – you’ll need 4 cups of peeled, cored & ¼ inch diced apples
2.1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3.1 tsp apple pie spice
4.1/2 tsp cinnamon
5.2 Tbsp butter
6.1 Tbsp corn starch
7.1 box pie crust (has 2 crusts in it)
8.Egg wash (1 egg, beaten with a splash of cream)


1.Preheat the oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the diced apples, apple pie spice, cinnamon and cornstarch. Cook about 3-5 minutes so the apples start to soften and the cornstarch thickens the sauce. Once the apples are almost tender, remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
3.Unroll one of the pie crusts and using a rolling pin, roll it out about 1/2 inch larger in diameter. The reason I rolled the first crust larger is because it will be the top crust that needs to enclose the filling completely. Rolling it slightly bigger than the bottom crust will ensure you can seal the dough without stretching it too much and tearing a hole in the dough.
4.Unroll the second crust, then spoon on a tablespoon of the apple filling. Repeat around the whole crust, leaving enough space to seal and cut around each mound of filling. You should be able to fit 10 mounds of filling.
5.Brush the egg wash around the filling and out to the edges using a pastry brush.
6.Place the larger crust over top and gently press down between the mounds of filling.
7.Cut around each of the mounds of filling with a 2 ½ or 3 inch round cutter (I used one with fluted edges because it was pretty, not because it was necessary).
8.Lift up each apple pie cookie and place on the lined baking sheet. Press to completely seal the edges on each one, then crimp the edges with a fork.
9.Brush the tops with the egg wash, then cut slits in the top of each crust for steam to escape.
10.Bake 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.

Makes 10

I’m on a roll don’t stop me now

Posted: January 7, 2017 in WTF?

jokestinksOnce upon a time, there lived a man who had a terrible passion for baked beans. He loved them, but they always had an embarrassing and somewhat lively effect on him.One day he met a girl and fell in love. When it became apparent that they would marry, he thought to himself, she’ll never go through with the marriage with me carrying on like this, so… he made the supreme sacrifice and gave up beans. Shortly after that they were married.A few months later, on the way home from work, his car broke down and since they lived in the country, he called his wife and told her that he would be late because he had to walk. On his way home, he passed a small cafe and the wonderful aroma of baked beans overwhelmed him. Since he still had several miles to walk he figured he could walk off any ill effects before he got home. So he went in and ordered, and before leaving had 3 extra large helpings of baked beans. All the way home he putt-putted. By the time he arrived home he felt reasonably safe.His wife met him at the door and seemed somewhat excited. She exclaimed, “Darling, I have the most wonderful surprise for you for dinner tonight!” She put a blindfold on him, and led him to his chair at the head of the table and made him promise not to peek.At this point he was beginning to feel another one coming on. Just as his wife was about to remove the blindfold, the telephone rang. She again made him promise not to peek until she returned, and away she went to answer the phone.While she was gone, he seized the opportunity. He shifted his weight to one leg and let go. It was not only loud, but also ripe as a rotten egg. He had a hard time breathing, so he felt for his napkin and fanned the air about him.He had just started to feel better, when another urge came on. He raised his leg and RRIIIPPPP !!! It sounded like a diesel engine revving, and smelled worse. To keep from gagging, he tried fanning his arms a while, hoping the smell would dissipate. He got another urge. This was a real blue ribbon winner, the windows shook, the dishes on the table rattled and a minute later the flowers on the table were dead. While keeping an ear tuned in on the conversation in the hallway, and keeping his promise of staying blindfolded, he carried on like this for the next ten minutes, farting and fanning each time with his napkin. When he heard the phone farewells he neatly laid his napkin on his lap and folded his hands on top of it.Smiling contentedly, he was the picture of innocence when his wife walked in. Apologizing for taking so long, she asked if he had peeked at the dinner table. After assuring her he had not peeked, she removed the blindfold and yelled, “SURPRISE!!!” To his shock and horror, there were twelve dinner guests seated around the table for his surprise birthday party.

muttoncurryUnjabi style mutton curry spiced with garam masala and pressure cooked. This is a popular Indian non veg recipe

Punjabi Mutton Curry is one of the most popular non-vegetarian delicacies in India relished as a side dish. Mutton Curry, as the name says, is made with chunky mutton boiled with spice blend and served as a side-dish popularly.

You must be wondering how to make the mutton curry. It is easy once you get the ingredients ready. It can be made by sauteing mutton pieces in oil along with the ginger-garlic paste, spices and condiments. A little patience while mutton gets ready and voila, you are done.

Don’t forget to add Garam Masala as it will eventually lend that unique flavor to the mutton curry. The recipe is a favorite among Punjabis. It is relished on many special occasions and liked by non-vegetarians in winters especially.


250 g Mutton pieces
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp Ghee
2 Cardamom
4 to 5 Cloves
1 tbsp black pepper Corns
2 Cinnamon
1 or 2 Bay Leaves
2 Onions
1 1/2 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
1/4 tsp Turmeric pwd
1 to 1 1/2 tsp red chilly pwd
1 1/2 tsp coriander pwd
2 Tomatoes
1/2 cup Yoghurt
1/4 tsp – Garam Masala powder
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves


Clean and wash mutton pieces. Drain water and keep it aside.
Heat oil and ghee in a fry pan. Add cardamom, cloves, black pepper corns, cinnamons and bay leaves.
Saute for a minute. Add finely chopped onion and salt.
Saute till the onion turns light brown.
Add ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell disappears.
Now add turmeric powder, red chilly powder and coriander powder.
Combine well and add mashed tomatoes.
Cook until the tomatoes turn pulpy and oil separates out from the masala.
Add the mutton pieces and mix well.
Cook in medium flame for 4 to 5 mins, stirring once in a while. Add yogurt and mix well.
Cook further for 4 to 5 minutes more. Now add 2 cups of water. Stir well.
Taste and adjust salt and seasonings. Add freshly chopped coriander leaves.
Add garam masala powder and mix well.
Transfer the masala into the pressure cooker and pressure cook for 4 whistles and simmer for 10 to 12 mins. (The mutton should be cooked till it becomes tender and juicy).
Once the pressure turns off, combine gently. Lip smacking Punjabi Mutton Masala is ready.

Chicken & Dumpling Casserole

Posted: January 6, 2017 in Recipes
Tags: , ,

You’ll Need:chicken_dumplin_casserole

2 cups of chicken broth.
2 lbs of chicken.
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup.
2 tbsps of melted unsalted butter.
½ tsp of black pepper.
1 cup of all purpose flour.
¼ tsp of salt.
1 cup of milk.

How to:

Over medium heat, cook the chicken in a pot covered with water for 1 hour.
Remove the chicken from the pot and save the water.
Shred the chicken and arrange in an 11×7 baking dish.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, milk and butter and pour over the chicken.
In a separate bowl, mix together the broth, soup, salt and pepper and pour over the chicken.

In a preheated oven to 350° bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
Bonne Appétit!

Easy, peasy and creamy! This casserole is perfect for lunch, with a green salad aside it makes the perfect meal! Give it a try, I’m sure you will love it.

Someone shared this recipe on my Facebook page