Simple and Satisfying Meatloaf

I added roasted tomatillo salsa & arugula to mine & it was delicious.

THIS TIME OF YEAR calls out for some old fashioned feel-good comfort food.    

What’s better than a homemade meatloaf served with mashed potatoes and gravy?

I don’t think it’s necessary to follow any set recipe when making meatloaf but for you virgins here’s something basic you can start with:

Just use about 1 ¼ lb. of lean ground beef (or *ground prime rib which is what I used) and mixing with your hands add 1 egg, a medium finely chopped onion, grated cheddar cheese, steak spice, some chipotle hot sauce, some mixed greens like spinach or even kale if you have it.  Place in a pyrex baking loaf dish and bake at 350 until done – about 1 hour.

I’ll take mine with mashed potatoes & a side salad

You can even add a small tin of tomato sauce over top when finished cooking – place it back in the oven for a few minutes longer.

Some people even like theirs with ketchYUP!

*ground prime rib can be found almost always on sale somewhere.

Scene in the City – getting A HEAD for Halloween!

What did you think I meant?

The kiddies were getting an early start at trick or treating this weekend at Dunbar Village while the BIG kiddies were partying all over town.

This Wednesday have a safe and satisfying Halloween!

Watch out for the Pirates – they’ll steal your goody bags.

Bananas!

SUPER Dog!

The little rascals were out in droves.

Cowboys like Candy

Wishing you all kinds of good stuff!

I’m not handing out Chia seeds or anything like that – just old fashioned candy bars and the like wrapped in individual clear gift bags which I’ll pick up from a dollar store. That way you get to monitor how much is distributed.  Here’s hoping for some left overs!

AWay with Words – on design

DESIGN IS WHERE SCIENCE AND ART BREAK EVEN – Robin Mathew

Room8 modern counter top

Design is the search for a magical balance between business and art; art and craft; intuition and reason; concept and detail; playfulness and formality; client and designer; designer and printer; and printer and public.

Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future – Robert L. Peters

It’s art if it can’t be explained.
It’s fashion if no one asks for an explanation.
It’s design if it doesn’t need explanation – Wouter Stokkel

Art, Design, Fashion….it’s all personal is it not?

B Well – Sleeping Your Way to the Top

Well THAT got your attention –  I’m talking literally speaking of course!

How getting enough sleep in general can be beneficial to getting ahead.  This article by Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief at The Huffington Post Media Group was too interesting to shorten.  Read on:

Every business hungers for a tool that might give it an advantage against its competition. Senior executives spend millions on consultants, R&D, and capital investment while workers are constantly trying to enhance their skills in order to boost their standing within the company.

But for all the talk about the “efficiency of the marketplace,” it’s surprising that so few companies and rising stars take advantage of one performance enhancement tool that’s been scientifically proven to have multiple benefits — and which also happens to be absolutely free. I’m talking about sleep.

So many of us fail to make use of such a simple and valuable tool; in fact, we deliberately do just the opposite and make a fetish of not getting enough sleep, in the mistaken — and costly — belief that success results from the amount of time we put in, instead of the kind of time we put in. I once had dinner with a man who bragged to me that he’d only gotten four hours of sleep the previous night. It was not easy to resist the temptation to tell him that he might have been a lot more interesting if he’d gotten five.

Indeed, there’s practically no element of workplace success that’s not improved by sleep and, accordingly, diminished by lack of sleep. Creativity, ingenuity, confidence, leadership, decision making — all of these can be enhanced simply by sleeping more.
”Sleep deprivation negatively impacts our mood, our ability to focus, and our ability to access higher-level cognitive functions,” say Dr. Stuart Quan and Dr. Russell Sanna, from Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine. “The combination of these factors is what we generally refer to as mental performance.” They also point out that lack of sleep was a “significant factor” in the Exxon Valdez wreck, the explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle, and the nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.

Researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research likewise concluded that “insufficient sleep can adversely affect a variety of cognitive abilities, ranging from simple alertness to higher-order executive functions.” It’s hard to be a higher-order executive without such functions, nor with lowered “global emotional intelligence,” “reduced self-regard, assertiveness, sense of independence, and self-actualization,” “reduced empathy toward others and quality of interpersonal relationships,” “reduced impulse control and difficulty with delay of gratification,” and “reduced positive thinking and action orientation.” Though one thing you do get with sleep deprivation is “greater reliance on formal superstitions and magical thinking processes.” Not really a great asset in the workplace – unless you work at Hogwarts.

And, yet, 41 million Americans, almost a third of all adult workers, clock six or fewer hours of sleep per night. Even if we’re not getting the seven or eight hours a night we should be, researchers have found that even short naps can give us many of the same benefits. According to David Randall, author of “Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep,” even a short nap, “primes our brains to function at a higher level, letting us come up with better ideas, find solutions to puzzles more quickly, identify patterns faster and recall information more accurately.”

But of course, getting more sleep is easier said than done — believe me, I know! This is especially true in a culture that’s wired and connected 24/7. And more and more science is proving the truth that screens and sleep are natural enemies. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently published a study that showed that the light from computer screens obstructs the body’s production of melatonin, which helps govern our internal body clock and regulates our sleep cycle. Technology allows to be so connected with the outside world that we lose connection to our inside world.

So what are the solutions? Experts have many ideas but what works for you? How much sleep do you get and/or need? And what are your secrets for making sure you turn off? Here’s wishing you a good night!                                                                             

You’ll like listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most         up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – LIVE every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America. Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

Personal Post – something I can never resist!

It’s called footcandy.that IS the name of the store in St. Helena (Napa) California.  What I realized is that a good MANolo is never hard to find in this town.

I’m imagining Lady Gaga

décor – bed, bath and way beyond

At Room8                                                                                                                         Italian design is all about self-expression! At ROOM8, they believe that everything should be an expression of one’s personality.  I’m especially intrigued with their exclusive selection of made to order flat screen TV’s – where the TV is not the main focus.

This mirrored cabinet, made to order, hides a flat screen TV

Framed Flat Screen TV- Mirror in bedroom

This is a BED

Art Wall

 

 

 

 

Japanese porcelain, paper and silver leaf bowl

That’s not all –  ROOM8 Kitchen Showroom is designed to give prospective buyers an opportunity to experience the uniqueness of each kitchen style. The lines currently on display were selected to show some of the most intriguing and technically demanding design execution in the industry today.  From book-matched veneers in exotic woods, frameless, glossy and satin glass doors to the minimalistic 45° transition between counter top and door; these collections represent the most current trends in kitchen and bath design today – and they still have a hidden gem for those looking for something more –100% WOOD by Effeti, assembled from select logs of chestnut from Provence using a centuries old millwork technique – no screws!

Located at 110 – 1706 W 1st Avenue | Vancouver | BC | V6J 0E4 | T 604 734 1323               | F 604 734 1387

http://www.room8.ca/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple and so Satisfying – Red Wine Velvet Cake

Red Wine Velvet Cake – from Oprah Magazine

How apropos that I found this amazing recipe after having just visited the Sonoma and Napa Valley wine regions of California.

If you love WINE and you love CAKE then you can have your wine and eat your cake too!

I never did understand that saying.

This recipe makes 1 cake, to serve 16-20.

Cake:

18 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing
2 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
2 1/4 cups red wine (you can drink the rest while it’s baking)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/8 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
Frosting:
24 ounces cream cheese (three 8-ounce boxes), at room temperature
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
To make cake: Preheat oven to 325.  Line the bottom of three 9″ round cake pans with parchment paper.  Grease parchment paper and sides of pan. Place butter in a large bowl.  Using an electric mixer, cream butter on medium speed until smooth.  Add brown and granulated sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs and yolk and beat until incorporated, then add red wine and vanilla.  (Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven and grainy).
In a medium bowl mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Sift dry mixture over wet ingredients.  Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold in remaining dry mixture with a rubber spatula.
Divide batter among prepared pans.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of each layer comes out clean.  The top of each cake should be shiny and smooth.  Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on a rack.  (If cakes have domed a bit and you want even layers, trim tops using a long serrated knife held horizontally).
To make frosting:  In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Mix in vanilla, then gradually stir in confectioners’ sugar.
To frost cake, place one layer on a cake stand or plate and spread with 1 cup frosting.  Repeat with next 2 layers and spread top and sides with remaining frosting.
Cheers and Bon Appetit!

SOL in the City

VANCOUVER HAS SoL  – Sun Belt Cookery

You’ll want to go even if it’s not your “LAST SUPPER”

Owner Gordon Martin standing next to cuban artwork.   Bin There….Done That!

This is the latest creation from restauranteur Gordon Martin of BIN 941, 942 and “go fish” fame. 

Located right on the seawall with an eclectic mix of modern and rustic recycled furnishings, cuban artwork and excellent food you know this place is a winner!

OLD MerMAID

The magnificant mermaid inside the entrance was created out of a 250 year old California Redwood tree and one chainsaw.

Seaside Dining with Stanley Park in the background.

Inside the Restaurant

Outside seating with heat lamps, live jazz band and deejay on the weekends.

What’s not to like?

Located at 550 Denman street on the seawall (old Crime Lab location).

www.sunbeltcookery.com

Inside / Out