Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chatelaine Cookie Testing

This week I have been testing a Chatelaine recipe again.  Usually I have a list of them and have to choose at least two to test, but this time it was just one recipe and we all tested the same one.  All I can tell you about that, at this point, was that it was definitely the easiest thing I've ever made, and that it was a big hit with the hubby.  In other words, it will be added to my recipe file for sure.

The last test I did was for the Christmas cookies, which I expect will be in the next issue of Chatelaine.  Maybe not though, as I now see they have them up on their site.

The first one I did was a refrigerator cookie.  We taste tested them and decided my old recipe was better, so the second roll of them is still in the freezer.  They will look pretty on the Christmas platter, but I doubt that I will make them again.

The other one I made was called Chocolate-Date Truffles, and it was really fiddly, and because of that, I figured I'd never make it again. That was until I tasted them. Oh my, but they are soooooo good!  I suggested a method that would help with the construction of these, but I see they have come up with one of their own.  If cooling the mix down first doesn't work for you, just oil your hand every so often, so the mixture doesn't stick to it.

As you see, I rolled some in nuts, some in coconut, and left some plain. That makes a nice variety, even if you don't have other cookies to put on the plate.

I had a friend who had a hip replaced just about the time I did all this testing.  I took her over some of these treats and she loved them so much she has even volunteered to come and help me, so that I will make some more.  I think I'll take her up on that too, so she can take half of them home. They are so good I'd have a hard time staying out of them. It would be better if I shared the batch, just for my waistline's sake!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stir Up Some Imagination

It's the middle of November and some of us are starting to think about Christmas shopping.  Do you have little kids on your list this year?  I just want to remind you about something, in case you do.

My youngest grandson came for a visit this weekend. He's not quite 3 yet.  We have lots of toys here, left over from when my own kids were small. I keep an assortment of them in my linen closet, where they are easy for the kids to get at. As is usually the case, many of the toys were out of the closet in no time, and scattered all over the living room. I don't mind this. I love to watch kids play.

Now this particular little critter thinks it's great fun to hide. He'll go under the kitchen table, or behind a chair, where, in either case, it is very easy to see him.  But if you pretend you can't, he will sit very quietly for much longer than anyone would ever expect. He's normally a very busy little boy.  

He was playing in the living room, with the toys, and occasionally deciding to hide.  Then he went to the closet, I assumed, to see what it was he had not dug out of there yet. But he got awful quiet, so I went to look.  He was gone.  I called him and got no response.  He was hiding again.  He did a much better job of it this time, as he took all the remaining toys out of the closet, put himself in, and then quietly closed the door.  He likely dusted the closet out for me in the process, but he not only had a new hiding place, but a fort of sorts.  He was quite happy in there for a while.
Then, when he came out, he discovered that an empty cereal box made a good ramp for his Monster trucks to jump off of.  That amused him, and Grandpa for quite a while too. 

What I'm saying to you people is that it takes the simplest things to amuse little people.  You don't need to spend big bucks to make them happy, or to get good play value.  Little kids are quite capable of amusing themselves if you provide something that they can use to kick start their imaginations. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tim Horton's Tasteless Commercial

There is a new Tim Horton's commercial to promote the lasagna dish they have just added to their menu.  Three people gather for lunch. Two men and a women.  Now, look at it from the new politically correct standards.  There's a woman, a person with an obvious ethnic background, and a white guy. It used to be that we would say there was a token woman, and a token ethnic person, but by now we are so used to seeing this sort of gathering that it doesn't immediately sink in. What does sink in rather quickly is that the white guy is made to look somewhat idiotic in this commercial.

For years I've been hearing that it is becoming harder and harder to get a job is you are a Canadian white male.  Apparently that's because various businesses and services now feel the need to hire a certain number of woman and people from various ethnic groups so that they cannot be accused of discrimination.  In a way, this is reverse discrimination against an otherwise fully qualified white male as it makes that many jobs less available to him.

I do hope this Tim Horton's commercial is not a sign of things to come. It will make it even more difficult for the Canadian white male population to secure a job, if they all become type cast as the least intelligent creature in the population.

What's up with that Timmy???

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Non Subscription

Sometimes magazines offer a free issue to get you interested in their publication.  I often accept these offers and even if I can't handle a new subscription at that point in time, I do make note of the magazines I might like to have later on.  I'm a magazine junkie, and always have at least four subscriptions at any given time.  I also really like free reading material, so if something is offered for free, I'm likely to take it.

The thing is, in recent years, the publishers have taken to sending the invoice before the free issue has even arrived.  This bugs me to the point where I have been known to send them a note telling them that while offering a free issue is a great way to advertise, sending a bill before I've even seen their publication kind of counteracts their good will intentions. 

Last July I decided I would accept the offer for a free trial issue to a magazine I have never seen before.  It only comes out 4 times a year, so I knew I likely had to wait a while before the next issue would arrive in my mail box.  As I've now come to expect, the invoice arrived.  I put it aside to wait for the magazine.  When it came I would decide whether to pay it or cancel the possible subscription.  The magazine didn't come but a second invoice eventually did.  That's when I let them know that I was still waiting for the TRIAL issue. 

I got an e-mail with an apology, telling me "A trial issue does take about 6 to 8 weeks so it should be arriving by the end of this month. Please hold on to the notice and disregard any due dates on there until you receive the first issue."

Another month went by and yesterday along came another invoice. This one said that if I have not sent my payment within the past 30 days they will suspend my subscription.  Well, of course I had not sent the payment, as I still had not seen the trial issue.  By this time I'm sure they have no intention of sending me anything until I pay for it.   If I'm not getting the issue they promised, perhaps I'd never get the ones I pay for either.

I sent them another message, once again explaining that I still had not received the trial issue yet, though I ordered it in July.  No matter how you look at it, that's definitely more than 6 to 8 weeks.
I suggested they cancel the order as even if I like the magazine, I don't think I like the service.
And they did.
Apparently they don't understand that a trial issue is a good selling point and now they have lost a customer.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Unusual Halloween

I got on Facebook last night and asked the question, "Where are all the kids?"  They were more than half an hour later getting started, and few and far between.  By the end of the night, I'd had only 56 total. And come to think of it, there were no cars on the street either.  That's a good thing, safety wise, but also means the parents in the outlying countryside didn't bring their kids into the village either.

News reports apparently stated that it was expected that there would be fewer kids this Halloween than there ever has been in the past 40 years.  I had noticed that there didn't seem to be as many children around as when I was raising mine, but thought that was because the population of my village was aging.  I guess there was an age group that didn't bother to reproduce for a while there.  Thankfully, I see lots of babies these days, so I guess I can expect more kids at Halloween in a couple more years.

In the meantime, I had a bit of fun anyway.  My Red Hat chapter gathered at a local restaurant yesterday morning to have a Witch's Breakfast.  We let our Red Hatter's protocol slide for the day, and came dressed as witches instead.  Being Halloween, most of the people in the restaurant never even batted an eye, but we did manage to amuse a few people, including ourselves.  We might have to try this again sometime in the middle of the year, just for the shock value alone.  That could be fun.