Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Free Photo Organizer From Google

I have 5 different photo software programs on my computer. This is mostly a result of a search to find something that makes it quick and easy to download, view and adjust my pictures. Now that I have Google's Photo Software (Picasa) the others are mostly just wasting space on my hard drive.

Everything is easy about this program. I don't have to struggle to clear my camera memory. I can easily find all the pictures on my computer. Things are organized in a logical manner, etc etc.

Try it and I'm sure it will become your most regularly used program. Yes there are more sophisticated ones out there, but for me it has enough editing features to cover about 80% of what I do with photos.....And it's FREE!

I have put a button in my sidebar "Google's photo software. It's what should have come with your camera." Just click on that button and you can check it out for yourself.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Okanagan Valley, Wine, Motorcycles, and B&B's

Just got back from a quick trip to the Okanagan Valley in BC, Canada. The weather was the typical spring gamble. We had it all, and had to adjust our intinerary and expectations accordingly.

I've been watching the Okanagan change for the last twenty years and see that the ideal time to invest is almost gone. But the time to enjoy it as a consumer is just perfect. For the savvy "mature" traveler, the shoulder seasons are the best choice. It is not too hot or crowded. You can get a good selection of places to stay for a good price, and the wineries tend to be a bit more generous in their pourings!!!!!!

This year, the biggest change was in the appearance of Motorcyclists. Oh yes, we are talking midlife crisis run amok. Hogs and grey beards galore. What a sight. OK...I'll admit I've never been bitten by the cycle-bug. It only took me a couple rides on a motorcycle to realize I preferred an air-conditioned sedan. My loss your gain guys (& Gals). Now don't get the wrong impression. I don't dislike mature cyclists. Au contraire!!! I think they add a nice dimension to the scene. They are all well dressed, polite, and barring the odd heart attack or bee in the eye, very safe to share the road with. They ride cruising cycles, not those weird rockets. And are nice to just watch, while sipping a glass of wine.......like....geese.....with no poop to step in.

Oh yes.....now to the tip of the weekend. Actually this is something we learned some time ago. Check out the B&B's. I used to travel quite a lot, and must say that the B&B experience beats just about any hotel experience. If you select your place properly, you will get a fantastic room, a breakfast which will carry you for most of the day, inside information on everything local, and a chance to meet people from all over the world.

Our most recent stay was in the Wine Trail Guest House in Naramata BC. They have a two bedroom suite, with full kitchen and private entrance; our own patio & grill; and a parade of local wildlife throughout the day. We opted out of the breakfast, because we knew how great the kitchen was, and I am on such a strict diet right now, the breakfast would just be a needless temptation. They have a listing on the BBcanada site http://www.bbcanada.com/winetrail .

If you are looking for the full deal, check out Paradise Cove B&B in Naramata. I think they have a website on BBCanada.com or their website www.paradisecove.ca . You will see the pics there, but we can attest to the hospitality!

Here comes summer!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


This is a great last minute recipe:


Heat a frying pan with enough butter to coat.
Heat Oven Broiler

6 Eggs
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese( I prefer Romano)
1/4 cup shredded or thin cut northern European cheese (
Ementhal, Gruyere, Jarlsburg....whatever is going
hard and needs to be used for cooking
1/8 Tsp cayenne powder
2 cups assorted veggies
1/4 cup diced ham (optional)

Take enough veggies ( leftover or fresh broccoli, spinach leaves, asparagus, whatever is in the fridge and needs to be eaten and you think will go good with eggs) and cover the bottom of the pan ( usually about two cups fresh).

Saute until most of the moisture is evaporated.
Add diced Ham if you are using it.

Mix together the eggs, cream, cayenne and grated Romano.

Pour Egg mix into pan in such a way that the veggie mix is still evenly distributed.

Sprinkle the top with the White European cheese

Place the frying pan about 10" under the broiler. If you are too close the top with burn before the eggs are cooked.

Remove when done to the desired texture ( soft eggs are NOT raw eggs, but everyone likes theirs different)

Serve with a bit of fresh green salad or veggie sticks.

This is a great last minute recipe. And as you can see, it is versatile. Play with the ingredients and proportions.


Recipes to Lose Weight and Be Healthy

Several bulletin boards I belong to have people asking for recipes. I wondered why, since all you have to do I type " recipe" into Google and get a plethora of sites. Then I realized that sometimes Google can be too much of a good thing, and that if you aren't specific, you can easily get swamped.

So the first step in recipe hunting is to have a very specific idea of what you are looking for. I have found that Low Carb Recipes work best for my body. There was a time when I explored all sorts of ways of morphing old recipes into Low Carb ones, but now am back to taking the fresh ingredients and cooking them in ways which bring out their best flavors. I understand that this is a natural progression for most chefs ( and foodies). We love to get creative every now and then, but always return to the basics. One of the best sites on the internet for low carb support is www.lowcarber.org . If Low Carbing is your way of life then this should be a cornerstone of your internet experience.

But what about all the other Special Dietary Needs out there. And what about the mix of needs in one household? How can a busy housekeeper keep their sanity and create satisfying meals? It's true there are plenty of recipes out there. And plenty of packaged convenience junk! But how does the family cook make sense of it all?

My answer would be to do what I have done. Get back to basics. There are techniques which can be learned which will make life a lot easier. And food choices which are healthy, fast, flavourful, and inexpensive.

This is one of my passions , so expect to hear more detailed suggestions from me soon. For now, let me share what I made for dinner last night and posted to another forum. Mary only had 10 minutes to eat between getting home heading off to a meeting. She needed something easy to eat and satisfying, but not full of Carbs, which would put her to sleep half way through the three hours she had ahead of her. My answer was a Frittata with Broccoli and Jarlsburg, and Bacon slivers. This is a no brainer meal, but I will post a recipe in a separate post.