Saturday, July 26, 2014

You’re Gonna Hear Me Roar by Margaret Ullrich

The sun is now in Leo, the height of summer.
Yeah, well, not around here.
Oh, it occasionally feels like summer.
But this year we’re getting more rain than heat.
Winter is beginning to look good.
Yes, this summer has been that bad.

Forty-two years ago we were getting our bearings in White Rock, British Columbia.
We had survived crossing the continent.
We had an address - Hiawatha Trailer Park.

Well, we did until October, since the campground closed at Thanksgiving.
But that’s another story.

A little over a year ago, during a new moon, I started reading Tisha Morris’ Feng Shui Your Life, the quick guide to decluttering your home and renewing your life.
That inspired me to start decluttering my home.
It wasn’t quick - what did I expect after all these years - but it did push me to make some changes. 
By December I could agree with Katherine in Under the Tuscan Sun...
It's a nice little villa. Rather run down, but redeemable...

Then it was on to Oprah…  Not much help there.
To be honest, I’ve gotten more inspiration from the fun loving guys on Property Brothers and the bickering couples on Love It or List It.
Thanks to them, I’ve actually tossed out some more stuff.

The garden never ceases to surprise me.
Sometimes it’s a bad surprise. 
The lily leaf beetles totally destroyed our lilies.
I had to admit that they are too much trouble to fight at my age.
So I decided to pull out the lilies and replace them with something else.
But I didn’t know what.

Well, Mother Nature takes, and sometimes Mother Nature gives.
While Paul was mowing the lawn he found a few raspberry canes under our aspen.
They even had bright red fruit.
What a lovely surprise!!
We’ve found volunteer plants before.
But this is the first time they came with fresh fruit!

This Fall I’ll transplant them to replace the lilies.
I’ll also harvest some of the leaves and try to brew a cup of herbal tea. 

About tonight’s new moon in Leo…
According to the folks at
A new Moon in Leo brings a fun and fresh start - so take advantage!
Get ready for your close-up as good-natured Jupiter joins the Sun and Moon! 

Anything you begin now is bound to receive plenty of positive attention. This is a wonderful time to showcase your talents or finally get a project you've been working on behind the scenes in front of the right people. 

No matter what you decide to do, let people know who you are and where your strengths lie.
As with any new Moon, invest in what you'd like to see grow or become more important in your life. 
This new Moon's power is in effect until the next full Moon arrives on August 10.

Another new moon, another beginning, is coming tonight.
And it sounds like it’ll be fun.
Let people know who you are and where your strengths lie.

Okay, I’ll take my inspiration from the video of Katy Perry's Roar:

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice…

I got the eye of the tiger, the fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar!!!!

I have to admit, that’s a lot better video than Limblifter's 1996 rock video Vicious, in which I performed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Manicotti with Cheese Filling, Maltese Style

I got an e mail asking if there was a Vegetarian version.
Yes, indeed, there is.
Ma referred to it as her easier-on-the-budget version.
But it’s still really, really good.

I had posted Carmela’s recipe for manicotti a while ago.
Try them all and give your family and friends some variety. 

Ma usually served a pasta dish to make the main dish go further when the family gathered for a holiday meal.
With a vegetable side dish, it could be the main dish.
Just saying.


If you already have shredded mozzarella in the fridge you can use that instead.

New at stuffing tubes?  
It’s easier to cram a bit in from each end.
You can either use a spoon, or place the filling in a plastic bag.  
Using scissors, cut a corner from the bottom of the bag. 
Fill by squeezing the filling mixture into both ends of each tube.

You can also prepare stuffed manicotti in advance and freeze.
If you're in a cooking frenzy, make extra for another dinner.
For frozen stuffed manicotti, an hour in a 350º oven usually did the trick.

                        Manicotti with Cheese Filling

In a large pot place
4 quarts water
Over high heat bring the water to a boil.
salt to taste
12 manicotti tubes
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked but slightly chewy.
Drain the tubes and rinse with cold water.
Drain well.

For Filling

In a large skillet melt
1/2 Cup butter or margarine
1 large onion, minced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
Fry over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Stir in 
1/2 Cup flour
Gradually stir in
4 Cups milk
Stir over low heat until the sauce bubbles and thickens.

Stir in
1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bow combine
16 ounces ricotta 
4 ounces mozzarella, diced 
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 Cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 Cup chopped parsley  (or 4 Tablespoons dried, more or less)
3 large eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Mix well.

Grease a  9 x 13 x 2 inch baking pan
Carefully stuff the manicotti tubes and place them in the baking pan.
Spoon the sauce over the tubes.

Preheat oven 400º
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and lightly browned.

Serve with a vegetable that adds a bit of colour.
Ma’s Green Bean Salad is a good choice.