Touring Europe

I have been planning on taking a vacation and trip to Europe sounds like the best option. My friends are going to visit Euro soccer championship in Poland and Ukraine. I am just for that.

Here is the place I want to visit first:

Image credit and info for those, who know Ukrainian: Lastyvchyne Gnizdo

This temple on the edge of the cliff looks nothing but awesome.

Forms of literary discourse presentation: narration, description, dialogue.

A work of creative prose is never homogeneous as to the form and essence of the information it carries. Both very much depend on the viewpoint of the addresser, as the author and his personages may offer different angles of perception of the same object. Naturally, it is the author who organizes this effect of polyphony, but we, the readers, while reading the text, identify various views with various personages, not attributing them directly to the writer. The latter's views and emotions are most explicitly expressed in the author's speech (or the author's narrative).

The writer himself thus hides behind the figure of the narrator, presents all the events of the story from the latter's viewpoint and only sporadically emerges in the narrative with his own considerations, which may reinforce or contradict those expressed by the narrator. This form of the author's speech is called entrusted narrative. The structure of the entrusted narrative is much more complicated than that of the author's narrative proper, because instead of one commanding, organizing image of the author, we have the hierarchy of the narrator's image seemingly arranging the pros and cons of the related problem and, looming above the narrator's image, there stands the image of the author, the true and actual creator of it all, responsible for all the views and evaluations of the text and serving the major and predominant force of textual cohesion and unity.

Entrusted narrative may also be anonymous. The narrator does not openly claim responsibility for the views and evaluations but the manner of presentation, the angle of description very strongly suggest that the story is told not by the author himself but by some of his factotums, which we see, e.g., in the prose of Fl. O'Connor, C. McCullers, E. Hemingway, E. Caldwell.

A very important place here is occupied by dialogue, where personages express their minds in the form of uttered speech. In their exchange of remarks the participants of the dialogue, while discussing other people and their actions, expose themselves too. So dialogue is one of the most significant forms of the personage's self-characterization, which allows the author to seemingly eliminate himself from the process.

Another form, which obtained a position of utmost significance in contemporary prose, is interior speech of the personage, which allows the author (and the readers) to peep into the inner world of the character, to observe his ideas and views in the. making. Interior speech is best known in the form of interior monologue, a rather lengthy piece of the text (half a page and over) dealing with one major topic of the character's thinking, offering causes for his past, present or future actions. Short insets of interior speech present immediate mental and emotional reactions of the personage to the remark or action of other characters.

Two other forms - description and argumentation - are static. The former supplies the details of the appearance of people and things "populating" the book, of the place and time of action, the latter offers causes and effects of the personage's behaviour, his (or the author's) considerations about moral, ethical, ideological and other issues. It is rather seldom that any of these compositional forms is used in a "pure", uninterrupted way. As a rule they intermingle even within the boundaries of a paragraph.

Cook from the Book: Potato-Leek Pizza

I've been wanting this cookbook for a long, long time. I kept putting it in my Amazon cart and then removing it because I was on a diet and I didn't want to have it in the house until I was finished. The first thing I did after losing 30 pounds was order this book and promise my husband that I would only prepare one dish a month from it. DEAL!

Do you know about Ree Drummond?

Ree was on The View a couple weeks ago and she mentioned her favorite thing to cook when her husband is out of town is Potato Leek Pizza. At heart Ree is a foodie, just like me and her husband is not. I was going to make this while MY husband was out of town but I only felt like having cereal every night and so I ended up making it on a night that I made pizza for my family.

There is my section, my husband's with Canadian Bacon and mushrooms and just cheese for the kids. I did share some of my pizza with my hubby and he didn't like it. I loved it! More for me!

Potato-Leek Pizza
by The Pioneer Woman

½ recipe Pizza Crust
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 leeks, rinsed well to remove grit and thinly sliced
5 small red or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced paper thin
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Grated parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 500ºF.
2. Prepare the pizza crust and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
3. Begin by placing the bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Fry the bacon until cooked but not crisp.
4. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.
5. Pour off most of the grease. Do not clean the skillet. Return the skillet to the stove and turn the heat to medium-low.
6. Add the leeks to the pan and sauté over medium-low heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
7. Using a sharp knife or mandoline, slice the potatoes very thin. You’ll need to do this just before you need them, as the potatoes will brown very quickly.
8. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer all over the crust, slightly overlapping the edges. Potatoes make a surprisingly delicious pizza topping! I was in my thirties before I discovered this. I missed out on so much!
9. Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt, then lay the mozzarella slices in a single layer on top of the potatoes. I love fresh mozzarella and will drive a hundred miles to get it.
10. Place the leeks on top of the cheese. The flavor of leeks sautéed in bacon grease is not to be believed.
11. I usually lay on the leeks pretty thick.
12. Next, sprinkle the fried bacon pieces over the top…
13. Followed by a generous addition of crumbled goat cheese, grated Parmesan, and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.
14. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Cut into wedges or squares and serve immediately.

Tuesday Tastes: Butterscotch Pots de Creme

This recipe was found on the Internet, please tell me how good it is.

You maybe thinking to yourself...what is Pots de Creme. It is a wonderful creamy, custardy dessert! It is french for Pot of Cream and it also refers to the cute little pots! Here are some cute ones that I think I must have. Great! Something else for me to collect and become addicted to making!

Off to ebay to look off Pots de Creme....

Butterscotch Pots de Creme
adapted from Gourmet, October 2003

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Demerara sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 300°F.

In a heavy saucepan combine cream, muscovado sugar, and salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

Bring water and Demerara sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add cream mixture (mixture will bubble up and steam), whisking until combined.

Whisk together yolks and vanilla in a large bowl, then add hot cream mixture in a stream, whisking. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-quart glass measure. Skim off any foam with a spoon.

Divide custard among four ramekins. Arrange ramekins in a 9x13 pan and pour hot water into the pan until it reaches half way up the ramekins, bake uncovered, until custards are set around edges but still tremble slightly in centers, about 40 minutes. Transfer ramekins to a rack with tongs and cool to warm or room temperature. Pots de crème will continue to set as they cool.

Serve plain, with whipped cream or with berries!

Consume within two days.....

Cook from the Book: Egg Dutch and Hashed Brown Potatoes

Egg Dutch

5 eggs
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping tablespoon all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded Colby Cheese
Crumbled cooked bacon for topping

Put the eggs, pepper, milk, salt and flour into ta bowl and beat until the flour is dissolved. Melt the butter in a skillet and cover with a tight lid. When the omelet is cooked halfway through and the bottom is light brown, fold it in half, turn it over with a metal spatula, and finish baking. The omelet is ready when it puffs up and both sides are golden brown. Top with cheese and bacon just before done cooking so that cheese has time to melt.

Hashed Brown Potatoes

4 large red potatoes, peeled
2 4 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

Cook the potatoes in a pot of boiling water until medium soft. Remove from the water and cool until they are easy to handle. Shred the potatoes into a bowl and toss with the onion, salt and pepper. Heat the butter and oil in a skillet. Pack the potato mixture firmly in the skillet, leaving a 1/2 inch space around the edge. Cook over low heat medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the bottom crust is brown. Cut the potato mixture in fourths. Turn each portion over, adding an additional tablespoon of butter or oil if the potatoes stick to the skillet. Cook until brown.

French Fries Are No Vegetables

10 weeks ago I started a journey to lose weight...once and for all. I have a few things motivating to see my children become adults, and changing my habits so that my children have a chance at a long health life.

Jamie Oliver has struck a cord with me. He's working on something really important that will help more children live longer. His work goes along perfectly with what I want to do in my own home. I can't wait to see his new show...Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC. It starts Friday, March 26th, if you care about the health of your family...I suggest you watch it.

A few weeks ago, I switched our jelly, peanut butter and ketchup to low sugar varieties. My husband balked....and then he couldn't tell the difference and the kids can't tell either. Next, our cereal is getting an overhaul.

I don't want my kids to grow up like I did. Many members of my husband's family are obese and aren't going to see my children grow up. I want my family to be healthy, active and live a long fabulous life.

Watch this video. It's a little long but totally worth it. For the record...I just poured all of the Chocolate Milk down the drain.

Tuesday Tastes: Chicken Curry

I just finished my hCG diet (I lost 30 pounds) and I'm ready to get back to business here at my little blog and I'm so excited to start cooking again! Oh how I'm missed cooking! And I'm excited to keep watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and making my meals healthier.

I was thinking hard about which recipe I should submit for this week and I decided that I would post the recipe that I've missed the most since I've been eating the same things every day for 3 months.

This is a favorite of my entire family...Chicken Curry!

Chicken Curry

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 tbsp butter
1 large onion, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2-3 tbsp red curry past
1 tsp curry
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp cumin
1 lb fresh roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup cashews
3/4 cup plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

Place a heavy saute pan on the stove and melt the butter in the pan. Add the chicken pieces, onion, and garlic. Cook chicken thoroughly.

Add fresh ginger, curry paste, chicken stock, cumin, curry and freshly chopped tomatoes.

Stir to incorporate spices. Cover pan and allow to simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

Add cashews and yogurt. Stir to incorporate. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add cilantro.

Serve over rice or for a low carb option...cauliflower rice.