Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween to all my readers - particularly those in the US where it is such a big thing

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31 October - Solution for the last clue and the next cryptic crossword clue

Bad fire in branch (8)

Solution – offshoot

Bad = off, as in food going off

Fire = shoot, as in shoot a gun

Branch = offshoot as in an offshoot on a plant/shrub

Today’s cryptic crossword clue solution tomorrow

Loose-limbed, Italian ambassador after end of drill (5)
Source of clue – NZ Herald

Hint - the first letter is L

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Need some inspiration? Try Chicken Part II

Now for Part II of Need Some Inspiration?  Try Chicken.  Last week I showcased 6 lovely chicken dishes and here are another 6 in the hope that they inspire you.

First, today, is this Sweet Sesame Chicken Chop from Emylogues.

Sweet Sesame Chicken Chop

These Chicken Cordon Bleu Stuffed Jalapenos look just divine!  Thanks to Happier than a Pig in Mud!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Stuffed Jalapenos 

These Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites from The Kurtz Corner are to die for!

Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites

Stefanie at The Forward Home did this delightful Coconut Chicken Salad.

Coconut Chicken Salad

And from My Sweet and Savory, we have Thai Mango Chicken.  Love that mango.

Thai Mango Chicken

And now for the lucky last chicken showcase – Roasted corn and avocado chicken salad by Tracey at The Kitchen Is My Playground.

Roasted corn and avocado chicken salad 

To see all the Food on Friday chicken links, you can go to my Carole's Chatter Food on Friday: Chicken Pinboard.

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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Have a great day!

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30 October - Solution for the last clue and the next cryptic crossword clue

American soldier freed at once, remarkably (11)

Solution – Confederate

American soldier = Confederate

But there are other names for American soldiers like Yankee, GI etc.  So how do you know the answer is "confederate".  Well you know the solution has 11 letters so that's a start.

And then the clue says "freed at once, remarkably".  When you see that "freed at once" has 11 letters, you can tell that "remarkably" is a hint that those letters are scrambled up to make the solution.  And they are the letters used by Confederate.

Today’s cryptic crossword clue solution tomorrow

Bad fire in branch (8)
Source of clue – NZ Herald

Hint - This is a charades clue.  Think about what food that is bad is said to be...
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Hahei – get a true Kiwi bach experience

Hahei beach

 If you visit New Zealand and want the quintessential Kiwi beach experience, you could do worse than renting a bach (said – batch - that's what we call summer houses) in Hahei on the Coromandel Peninsula.  There is a little bit of motel type accommodation there but, in my mind, a bach is the way to go.

Basic bach

Fancy bach
Baches range from the basic to the luxurious – and are priced accordingly.  I am not in the business so can't give you advice about how to find one but there are several NZ sites that specialise in bach rentals.

Dolphins at Hahei beach

Hahei is a lovely ocean beach – it has a surf club which patrols the beach during the summer.  When there, we have seen dolphins gambolling just offshore.

Hahei store

There are only a couple of cafes and one restaurant – so unless you range further afield you will need to self cater – buying your things from the one general store there.  Hahei is very close to Cathedral Cove – which is one of the prettiest spots anywhere.

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Monday, 29 October 2012

Flag of the Week – Andorra

I bet most people don't have a clue that there is a little country called Andorra – let alone where it is. (I looked it up)  It is a teensy little landlocked Principality bordering France and Spain with under one hundred thousand people. 

This flag goes back to 1866. There is a coat of arms in the centre of the three vertical stripes which represent the colours of France and Spain who co-rule it.

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29 October - Solution for the last clue and the next cryptic crossword clue

Intense anger about new stove (5)

Solution – range

This was a container clue – that is the solution is made up of one word which contains another letter or word. 

Intense anger = rage

If you put it "about" n for new, you get "range" which also means stove.

Today’s cryptic crossword clue solution tomorrow

American soldier freed at once, remarkably (11)
Source of clue – NZ Herald

Hint - the solution is an anagram of "freed at once".
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Tuna salad with cherries

If you have a can of tuna, you have all you need for the makings of a meal.  This time I did a Tuna Salad with Cherries

I just prepared some salad items I had in the fridge and put them into a bowl with the tuna chunks.  I used ½ a red onion, sliced.  ½ a camembert cheese (torn into chunks).  Some gherkin chopped up.  Part of a red bell pepper chopped.  A chopped tomato (with most of the seeds squeezed out first).  The sliced bottom of a couple of spring onions (scallions) – keep the sliced green tops for garnish.

When it was all on the plat I popped a pile of pitted cherries (bottled ones) on the top and drizzled the whole thing with a dressing before scattering the green spring onion slices on top.

For the dressing I just mixed a bit of the cherry juice from the jar the cherries came in, some crème fraiche, some hot chilli jam, salt and pepper.

I also dotted some horseradish sauce around and some chutney.

Fresh and yum.

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Sunday, 28 October 2012

1st anniversary of Carole's Chatter – Woo hoo!!!

Today marks the very first anniversary of Carole's Chatter.  I have had so much fun.  Who knew how much there was to learn about blogging?  And so much more still to learn.

I would like to thank each and every person who has ever stopped by the blog.  And a particularly special thank you to those who have supported it by linking in to Food on Friday or Books You Loved.  And thank you, too, for all the many comments you have made about the posts.

Some of the stuff I have learned about blogging is there for anyone to use on the little sub blog I have created – Carole's Chatter Blog Tips – creative and original name right?

Finally, to those of you who follow Carole's Chatter – whether by Google Friend Connect, Google Reader, email or some other way – you are my inspiration.  Thank you.

Here's to another year of bloggy fun!

28 October - Solution for the last clue and the next cryptic crossword clue

Caught parrot fish in New England resort area (4,3)

Solution – Cape Cod

The Americans among you will have an advantage on this one.  Cape Cod is, of course, a lovely New England resort area. 

But how does the rest of the clue relate to the solution?

Caught = c (an abbreviation used in cricket)

Parrot = ape, in the sense of copy,  ie he parroted what the teacher had said

Fish = cod

C + ape +Cod = Cape Cod

Peggy Ann - you were first to get it right again!  You are getting good at this!

Today’s cryptic crossword clue solution tomorrow

Intense anger about new stove (5)
Source of clue – NZ Herald

Hint - the third letter is n.
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Pork and cauliflower layer bake

Pork and Cauliflower layer bake 

I have called this creation a Pork and Cauliflower Layer Bake – it is a sort of lasagne but with a layer of cauliflower as well as a layer of meat based on left over roast pork.
Pork and Cauliflower layer bake - meat layer

For the pork layers I prepared and sautéed in a pan:

Diced leftover roast pork
Leftover chilli red wine gravy
Some more red wine
Tomato paste
½ can of savoury diced tomatoes
1 finely chopped red chilli
Good squirt of tomato sauce or ketchup
2 finely diced celery stalks (peeled first to remove strings)
Small piece of pumpkin, cubed and lightly pre-cooked in the microwave
½ a carrot, diced
1 portobello mushroom, chopped
¼ red capsicum (bell pepper), diced

For the cauliflower layers:
½ small onion, finely chopped and sautéed until translucent
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped (take out any green sprouting bits in the middle – they will be bitter)
½ a cauliflower broken up into small florets
½ a leek finely sliced
½ a jar of 4 cheese pasta bake mixed with a little crème fraiche
A smidge of grated ginger

The divider between each layer was a fresh lasagne sheet I bought pre-prepared – but dried ones would have worked just fine.

Pork and Cauliflower layer bake - just before going in the oven

So the layers from the bottom were: pork, lasagne, cauliflower/lasagne/pork/lasagne/topping of cheese sauce, with grated cheese, breadcrumbs, sprinkled with paprika and cayenne pepper and finished with a few dobs of butter.

Cook for 30-45 minutes in a moderate oven until golden brown on top.

Pork and Cauliflower layer bake - hot

Pork and Cauliflower layer bake - cold

The layers didn't hold together very well when it was hot – but I managed to get a better picture the next day when it was cold and set.

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Saturday, 27 October 2012

Another funny and apparently real sign

27 October - Solution for the last clue and the next cryptic crossword clue

Briefly peel and cut a vegetable (7)

Solution – parsnip

Briefly is a clue that a word in the solution is a letter or letter short of something meaning "peel"

Peel = pare

Briefly peel = par

Cut = snip

Par + snip = parsnip – which of course is a lovely, but much underrated vegetable!

Today’s cryptic crossword clue solution tomorrow

Caught parrot fish in New England resort area (4,3)
Source of clue – NZ Herald

Hint - look for the name of a famous resort area in New England and then see how it matches the first part of the clue which is a charade with an abbreviation for caught also in it.

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Are you "roaring" today?

“I am Woman, hear me roar” 

Helen Reddy was an Australian singer who had never wrote a song until she came up with this stirring anthem.  She did the lyrics and then asked a friend in another band to write the music.   It is ironic that it was a man who later complained that she never gave him the credit he was due. 

She was often referred to as the Queen of 70's pop.

Other Reddy hits included Delta Dawn and Ruby Red Dress.

Helen Reddy retired from live performance in 2002 and Wikipedia says she now practises as a clinical hypnotherapist and motivational speaker.  That's some change of career direction!

I thought you might enjoy this cartoon based on the lyrics in the song

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