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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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September 15, 2013

Oh boy! Fall is in the air...


What a glorious day -  blue sky and sunshine when I woke up and  52 degrees outside!  I had slept with my windows open and it was chilly inside too.  I took my Saturday walk (which I should expand to a Tuesday and Thursday walk sometime), stopping off at the bakery first  to make sure I got a chocolate croissant and a loaf of their incredible French bread before they were all sold out, had those set aside and then did my walk.  Did a total of probably around 17 blocks which isn’t  too shabby.  

I got back home and did just a little bit of condo work while I enjoyed my croissant and cup of tea.  I tell myself on Friday nights after a usually somewhat stressful and busy week of condo stuff that I’m not going to do any thing to do with the condo on Saturday and Sunday and today it worked and I had a really enjoyable morning.I spent.  I some quality time with my “The Simpsons Tapped Out” game and yes, I’m obsessed  with and addicted to it so there.

And since this isn't a travel post I'm not going to have many pictures so I'll share this one with you.  I found it on the Jigidi.com puzzle site that I love and I think it is absolutely one of the cutest photos I've ever seen.  I don't know why but I think she's a French baby - maybe her little outfit?  And her quite lovely Papa?  Here she is with her very insouciant air of moi, moi, je ne m'inquiete pas (which means "me, me, I don't care" - I googled that and it's from one of my favorite childhood stories).

So, around two o'clock I  was all set  to make make my standard turkey and ham sandwich on my delicious fresh bread when I remembered I needed to use my left-over rotisserie chicken in some curried chicken salad.  And about half an hour later, I was finally eating lunch – the chicken salad on toasted French bread.  Mmm-mm!

They’re having the annual chili-fest downtown today and I didn’t go this time but it’s getting me all inspired – I think it will soon be time for my first pot roast and then chili of the season and I’m ready!  

But since I wasn’t making it today, I had a brainstorm about something else to try.  My chocolate croissant this morning had a lot of that luscious, flaky pastry around the edges with no chocolate in it so, even though it’s idiotic to be calorie conscious when eating a chocolate croissant, I decided I would cut off the excess pastry.  And there it was still sitting on the cutting board this afternoon and when I was making the salad I thought  “wow, maybe I could make bread pudding with that”.  I had seen a cooking show this week where they used stale croissants instead of bread to make a bread pudding and I thought that sure seemed like a good idea.  So I started looking through my “for one” cookbooks and there were several bread pudding recipes  but not a "just right" one.    So, I looked in my good old  red and white checked cookbook, there was a recipe for a plain one, it was easily divisible into four parts and I used the cooking time from the “for one” book  and it has just come out of the oven.  Will be interested to see if it’s edible – it smells and looks pretty nice, I must say.  Wish I had some vanilla ice cream – maybe I should just mix up a little powdered sugar and milk and make a thin sauce…It dawned on me while making it  that it’s basically an egg strata but sweet instead of savory.  And I may start clucking soon – I just realized I made egg strata for dinner last night, then my chicken salad for lunch, and now another egg in the pudding.

The starting ingredients for the pudding.  I've started getting things measured and ready like they do on the cooking shows cause now that I don't cook every single day/night, I've found it helps keep me from getting frazzled.

Now another break for you if you're still with me - Chris (my son) sent me a link a week or so ago which I'll share with you and I really hope you'll watch it - it's a video of one of those "flash mob" events that took place at a mall in Amsterdam to celebrate the re-opening of their Rijksmuseum where Rembrandt's painting "Night Watch" is housed.   It is probably the most exciting and wonderful one of these type of videos that I've seen.  Click here to go to YouTube and have a look.   And click here if you like to read a NY Times article about the restoration - it was meant to take 3 years and took almost 10 years!  The museum was re-opened by Queen Beatrix on April 13, 2013 as one of her official last acts before abdicating the throne to her oldest son.  Chris told me he would love to see it and I said it was too bad he didn't have X-ray vision.  I was pregnant with him when his dad and I visited Holland and the Rijksmuseum while he was stationed in Germany so he's already been there! :)

Now I've tasted my bread pudding and am quite happy with it.  It actually makes two servings and I think I'll probably tweak it a little next time I make it, but it was successful enough to add the recipe to my recipes here.  If you're in the mood for a little bread pudding, take a look here.

And here's the pudding, piping hot.  This looks very dry but it was quite moist.  But I wouldn't have minded some type of sauce on it.  I remember when we had a Lazarus store here (it's still here but is Macy's now) and they had a tea room and served a bread pudding for dessert that was wonderful.  It had a rum or whiskey or something sauce and was really scrumptious.  I could probably find the recipe for that somewhere...they used to sell a cookbook of recipes for the things they served there.

And now it's Sunday and today wasn't the perfect day weather-wise that yesterday was but it was still pleasant and just a nice, quiet day - my Sunday trip to Starbucks for breakfast, the Sunday paper, and the puzzles, yet another curried chicken salad sandwich for lunch, a trip to the library which is good cause I sure had a pile of books to return, and now getting this post finished up.  Then I'll have to prod myself into a trip to the grocery store.

Am getting quite excited about my upcoming trip to California now...

3 comments:

Chinch said...

Yum, yum! I did a strata a couple of nights ago with ham, peas & the leftover half of a package of 4-shredded cheeses that I'd frozen. Was sort of too much cheese but mighty tasty -- I'm sure glad you introduced me to the concept. xoxo

Christopher said...

How could you go wrong with butter croissant as your base for bread pudding?? mmm, mmm!
I'm looking forward to my first cabbage soup of the cooler days ahead...!

Christopher said...

PS -- the "quite lovely papa" in the baby pic is soccer star/underwear model David Beckham.

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