Day #259 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Tom’s Irish Cream recipe…Do we miss the holidays?…

Tom and I and Lisa and Barry, our new friends. They visited us in Ireland in 2019 and we stay close in touch.

Today’s photos are from a South American cruise in 2017 where we met friends Lisa and Barry as shown in the above photo. Also included today is Tom’s Irish Cream Recipe which we’d posted on this date, with the holidays on the horizon. For more, please click here.

As the holiday season approaches, we thought it would make sense to post Tom’s Irish Cream recipe today rather than wait until closer to Christmas, allowing plenty of time for those who may consider giving this as a gift for co-workers, family members, and friends.

Here are our comments and the recipe from that 2017 post, although we’d posted this recipe on posts from other years.

“Each year at Christmas time, we receive many requests for Tom’s Irish Cream recipe which is comparable to Bailey’s Irish Cream, without all the chemicals and artificial ingredients used in commercial production. 

For those who may want to give bottles of this delicious concoction, glass bottles of this holiday beverage make perfect gifts, generally costing around US $12, INR 921, per bottle. 

Bottles with corks can be purchased at any winemaking store or at such home good stores at TJ Maxx where they usually carry very decorative glass bottles.  Tom used to make about 150 bottles each year that we gave to friends and family, including a non-alcoholic version.

Boat in the harbor in Arica, Chile.

Some years we saved wine bottles as we used them, washing them in the dishwasher and storing them in bottle boxes from any liquor store.  This avoided the cost of the bottles.  In those cases, we only had to buy the corks.

Now that some wineries use screw-top caps, avid wine drinkers of those varieties can save those bottles and caps for future use as long as they’re sterilized in the dishwasher or hot water before filling them with the mix.

Also, using our home printer’s label making feature we made labels to ensure all recipients were made aware that the product needs to be refrigerated and keeps only 30 days.

The stick-on label would read something like this often with a decorative photo of your choice, which could be a photo of you and/or your family.

Image result for holly jpg
 Lyman’s Irish Cream
From our home to yours…
Have a happy holiday season!
Please keep this product
refrigerated and store for
no more than 30 days.

Tom Lyman’s Irish Cream (Comparable to Bailey’s Irish Cream)1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 pint half & half or real whipping cream

3 pasteurized eggs (important for safety)

1/8 teaspoon coconut extract

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

1 cup Irish Whiskey or other bourbon or whiskey

Blend all ingredients in a blender for 2 minutes, then add 1 cup whiskey, measuring into the empty can of sweetened condensed milk in order to remove every last drop of the creamy sweetened condensed milk.

Blend for another 30 seconds. Pour into a glass bottle using a funnel, with a tight-fitting cork.

Keeps refrigerated for 30 days.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding the preparation of this recipe.  We’re happy to assist! Enjoy!

After many years of making these bottles, in 2011, our last Christmas in Minnesota, we stopped making them.  The cost for such large and continuing-to-grow numbers of recipients became prohibitive.

Although neither of us drank it, we always kept several bottles to share with guests visiting during the holiday season. It was always a welcomed addition to a cup of fresh French pressed coffee.”

Each year we made dozens of bottles to distribute to family and friends in the weeks before Christmas. Tom handled the blender and filled the bottles while I made the labels, rinsed and dried the exterior of the bottles and when dry, placed the labels. Fortunately, we had an extra refrigerator in our basement where we kept them fresh as we distributed them.

It was one of many traditions we had over the holidays, many with family members and friends. Do we miss all of that? It would be impossible not to miss the memorable events with family and friends. But, when we decided to travel the world in 2012, we left that all behind and embraced our new life.

Dinner for one of our tablemates on the cruise, who ordered the roasted duck.

Again, comparable to the Christmas and New Year’s we spent in a hotel in Buenos Aires in 2018, awaiting our upcoming cruise to Antarctica, Tom’s birthday on December 23, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day will be spent in this hotel room, uneventful, without ceremony, while we watch the days tick down to departing India on January 12, 2021.

That will be in 37 days.

Be safe, be healthy, and begin enjoying the holiday season (for those who celebrate), although it will be different this year, for all of us worldwide.

Photo from one year ago today, December 7, 2019:

Photo from 2016. Penguin statues were everywhere in the adorable town of Penguin, Tasmania. For more about the year-ago post, please click here..

Recipe request from many readers…More fraud on one of our credit cards…

One of several giraffes we spotted last night when dropping Rita and Gerhard back at the Hornbill house.  The partial moon is shown in the photo. For more, please click here.

After yesterday’s post and mention of our dinner last night, we had many requests for the recipe. I must mention this high fat recipe is only recommended for those on a keto or low carb diet, having converted their bodies from burning sugar for fuel as opposed to consuming sugar inducing foods such as sugar, fruit, wheat and other grains, and starches. (More on this way of eating here).


We both decided to also resume intermittent fasting several days a week to aid in our health as described here which may be highly effective in maintaining health and losing weight. These two means are effective for many health conditions including heart disease as described here in a Harvard study.


(Please keep in mind, we are not providing medical advise nor recommending you eat this way. Please check with your physician before starting any new health regime or diet).


Many, who have been following us all along, may wonder, “If these ways of eating were so effective, how did I end up with cardiovascular disease and the subsequent bypass surgery?”


The doctors in both South Africa and the US explained that I’d had hereditary CVD for 30 or 40 years, long before I started this way of eating. Also, I exercised all of my life. They stated that my low carb diet and exercise most likely prevented me from having a fatal heart attack. 


Also, this way of eating and exercise prevented me from having type 2 diabetes, another hereditary condition. Before I started eating this way my blood sugar was construed as pre-diabetic. Surely, by now I would have been on medication.


Everyone has to make decisions that work best for them, based on many factors including heredity, lifestyle, sleep patterns and stress. When my children were young and I was a single parent with two young sons, owning a stressful business with no child support being paid, my life was exceedingly stressful. 


At that time, I drank caffeinated beverages all day in an attempt to maintain a certain level of energy. This, coupled with my bad genes was highly instrumental in my developing severe cardiovascular disease, although I exercised all of my life and at that time consumed a low calorie, low fat diet.


I began this way of eating in 2011 and there is considerable information here on our site. If you type in ‘”low carb” into the search box on the right side of our home page under the word “Search” located below the advertisers, you find many posts on this topic.


Thus, here the link to the above mentioned recipe which we found at this site many years ago. If you decide to make this, let me know if you love this dish as much as we do.


Today is a busy day, taking care of financial matters. We had another credit card number used fraudulently. That’s two card numbers stolen since we arrived in Arizona. Go figure. This is more fraud than we’ve experienced in any other country. We’re awaiting the new card in the next few days.


May your day be pleasant and fulfilling!

________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, January 13, 2019:

I’ll feed gentle Ms. Bushbuck from my hand, one of few instances in which we do so. For more please click here.

Day 15… Cruise to South America….Tom’s special homemade Irish Cream recipe…

Tom and I and Lisa and Barry, our new friends.

“Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

Boat in the harbor in Arica, Chile.

Each year at Christmas time, we receive many requests for Tom’s Irish Cream recipe which is comparable to Bailey’s Irish Cream, without all the chemicals and artificial ingredients used in commercial production. 

For those who may want to give bottles of this delicious concoction, glass bottles of this holiday beverage make perfect gifts, generally costing around US $12 a bottle. 

Bottles with corks can be purchased at any winemaking store or at such home good stores at TJ Maxx where they usually carry very decorative glass bottles.  Tom used to make about 150 bottles each year that we gave to friends and family, including a non-alcoholic version.

Some years we saved wine bottles as we used them, washing them in the dishwasher and storing them in bottle boxes from any liquor store.  This avoided the cost of the bottles.  In those cases, we only had to buy the corks.

Now that some wineries use screw-top caps, avid wine drinkers of those varieties can save those bottles and caps for future use as long as they’re sterilized in the dishwasher or hot water before filling them with the mix.

Also, using our at-home printer’s label making feature, we made labels to ensure all recipients were made aware that the product needs to be refrigerated and keeps only 30 days.

The stick-on label would read something like this often with a decorative jpeg of your choice :

Image result for holly jpg
 Lyman’s Irish Cream
From our home to yours…
Have a happy holiday season!
Please keep this product
refrigerated and store for
no more than 30 days.
Tom Lyman’s Irish Cream (Comparable to Bailey’s Irish Cream)1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 pint half & half or real whipping cream

3 pasteurized eggs (important for safety)

1/8 teaspoon coconut extract

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

1 cup Irish Whiskey or other bourbon or whiskey

Blend all ingredients in a blender for 2 minutes, then add 1 cup whiskey, measuring into the empty can of sweetened condensed milk in order to remove every last drop of the creamy sweetened condensed milk.

Blend for another 30 seconds. Pour into a glass bottle with a tight-fitting cork.

Keeps refrigerated for 30 days.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding the preparation of this recipe.  We’re happy to assist! Enjoy!

After many years of making these bottles, in 2011, our last Christmas in Minnesota, we stopped making them.  The cost for such large and continuing-to-grow numbers of recipients became prohibitive.

Although neither of us drank it, we always kept several bottles to share with guests visiting during the holiday season.  It was always a welcomed addition to a cup of fresh French pressed coffee. 

Speaking of French pressed coffee, yesterday for the first time since we embarked on this cruise on November 23rd on Thanksgiving Day, I ordered my first cup of low carb (my version) of Caramel Macchiato.  I requested decaf espresso using whole cream (instead of milk) and sugar-free vanilla syrup (instead of sugary caramel syrup) which they had on board much to my delight.

Last night at dinner one of our tablemates had the roasted duck.

It was the first coffee I’ve had in a while and it was such a treat!  This morning as we’re sitting in Cafe al Bacio, I’m sipping on my usual turmeric tea with cinnamon, unsweetened coconut cream, unsweetened cocoa, and a touch of my usual sweetener.  Actually, this drink is almost as tasty as the above-mentioned coffee drink.

In the afternoon, after we uploaded yesterday’s post, we played Five Crowns card game with Lisa and Barry and had a blast.  This afternoon, we plan to play one final time since their portion of the cruise ends tomorrow while we’ll continue on for the second leg of the back-to-back cruise.

Tonight after happy hour, we’re all going to dine in the specialty restaurant, The Tuscan Grill and no doubt will have another delightful evening.  We’ll take photos to share in tomorrow’s post.

May you have a delightful day and evening!
                      _________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, December 7, 2016:

View from our vacation home/holiday home in Penguin, Tasmania, Tom’s favorite town in the world.  For more photos, please click here.


A must share recipe after many inquiries…Non-foodies, please bear with us…New readers, why do we eat this way?

Repeat photo, shown in yesterday’s post. After many inquiries, more details and the recipe is included here today.  Food is a big part of our world travels as we’re sure it is for most of you when traveling, whether homemade or dining in restaurants.  We tripled the recipe below in order to result in four meals, freezing part of it.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica

This is a Social Flycatcher, a different species from that which we presented on earlier posts.  Thanks to new friend and neighbor Charlie, he named this species for us.  Thanks Charlie!

Many moons ago, Tom suggested I stop frequently mentioning food in our posts.  But, based on my special diet which has enabled me to be well enough to travel the world for this past almost five years, it’s somewhat difficult to stay mum on the topic.  

When I wrote about Tom’s comments, many readers immediately wrote to say it was fine to mention food, recipes, and meals.  They wanted to see what we were eating.  And, let’s face it, food is a part of our daily lives in one way or another.

Many of our readers continue to inquire as to recipes we mention in posts when something sounds appealing to their tastes and desires.  Such is the case and motivation for today’s post when we posted a photo of a meal we made on Wednesday with a photo we posted yesterday.

I often suggest readers contact me by email and I’ll send them the recipe.  In this particular case, we had dozens of inquiries which led us to decide we needed to post the recipe and photos once again and update the reasons for this way of eating with those who may not be aware, having started reading our posts since the last time we posted this information.

We continue to be on the lookout for new and taste-tempting recipes that fulfill our mutual desire for good food, healthy and rich in taste and nutrients.  It’s a constant challenge when we strive for variety with the introduction of new local foods we may encounter along the way. 

For our new readers, let me reiterate what the diet consists of in a simple basis:

  • Grain free
  • Sugar-free (no fruit except avocado and tomato)), no agave, no honey, etc.
  • Starch free – no potatoes of any type, no corn, no beans, no rice, no quinoa (or other gluten-free grains)
  • High fat
  • Moderate protein
  • Low carb – from 20 to 30 grams of carbohydrates per day

What is allowed on this way of eating:

  • Grass-fed meat, free range chicken and eggs and wild caught fish (avoid farmed fish) when available
  • Butter, full-fat cream, hard natural cheeses, cream cheese in blocks, full-fat sour cream and other full-fat dairy products in moderation (if you tolerate dairy)
  • Olive oil, coconut oil (unrefined, organic, high quality)
  • Nuts (in moderation), except cashews (high sugar), peanuts (not a nut but a bean) and nut flours including almond flour, coconut flour, ground flaxseed, etc.
  • Vegetables, non-starchy (no corn, no potatoes), mostly green – unlimited quantities (easy on carrots and beets that contain a lot of natural sugar);  celery, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, lettuce, kale, etc.

By following this strict way of eating I became totally pain-free after three months of eating this way, from a chronic spinal condition from which I suffered for decades.  Since beginning this way of eating, the condition is held at bay and we are able to continue to travel the world, albeit with caution to avoid injuring my spine.

Although I still have the condition, I experience no pain due to a lack of inflammation in my spine.  This diet doesn’t make me (or anyone) exempt from other painful situations, conditions or pain of injuries such as which incurred in Bali in 2016 when I injured my back in the pool bumping into a stone wall. It took five months to heal. But, for me, it works for this heredity condition.  It may or may not work for you.

My elder sister (four years) has by lying in bed, 24/7 for 12 years with the same condition.  By lying in bed, unable to cook has made it impossible for her to easily follow this way of eating.  It breaks my heart to know she’s in pain but she has an amazing spirit and positive attitude. When we were in Las Vegas in July, I spent considerable time with her, staying in close touch since we left.

Following this way of eating isn’t easy.  For me, the fear of pain keeps me on track.  In the past six years since I began this diet, I haven’t put one morsel of food not included in this way of eating in my mouth…not a cookie, cracker, candy, taste of a dessert, ice cream or french fry…not a bite.

Not everyone is motivated enough to do this.  But as time goes on more and people have come to understand that the bill of goods sold to us by the government is not producing a world of healthy people.  I won’t get into this.

Over these past years of eating this way, I’ve continually searched online for new main dish recipes.  I used to make low carb dessert but gave up eating after dinner when none of them were worth the effort.  I’ve rid myself of my sweet tooth although I still have voyeuristic tendencies when walking past a bakery.

Generally, Tom follows me on this way of eating although lately he’s been eating fruit and he hasn’t suffered any ill effects, no weight gain, no illness.  Everyone’s body is different.  We all react differently to foods and substances in our environment.  One must choose what works for them.

We took this photo prior to basting the “bakes” with egg white and parmesan cheese and, prior to baking.  We make them, placed them in the refrigerator adding the egg white and parmesan prior to placing them in the oven.

Since we began posting in March 2012 and discussing this way of eating, many of our readers have inquired as to how to commence on this eating this way.  In each case, I suggested they read some books on the topic which will lead them in the right direction. I am happy to send each reader inquiring a book list I put together that helped me on this path. 

Upon reading a book or two they can decide along with their medical professional if this way of eating is suitable for them.  This is not a “hit and miss” process.  It’s a lifetime commitment to changing one’s diet.  For most health will return, weight will be lost, blood sugar will stabilize (work with doctor on this), energy will increase and more and more positive effects will become evident.

Anyway, after all the email inquires for yesterday’s mentioned recipe, here it is.  Please keep in mind we always make huge portions to last for three or four meals, freezing part of each recipe for those days we don’t want to cook. 

This recipe is enough for two to three servings or more based on preferred portion size.  We liked it so much we each ate one of these huge portions per dinner. 

However, we only eat once a day (less Tom’s fruit in the morning) and may enjoy a little larger portion for our evening meal than others who eat three times a day plus snacks.  (Our way of eating reduces appetite so much that it is the primary reason we only eat one meal a day). 

We don’t eat when we’re not hungry but, 24 hours (intermittant fasting) after my last meal, I’m always looking forward to dinner.  Once dinner is over, I don’t put another morsel in my mouth.  Tom may have a few pieces of a hard natural cheese such as a quality cheddar which we always keep on hand in case hunger pops up during the day.

Here’s the recipe, renamed after i found it online and after I’d made several changes to it to enhance its flavor which proved worthwhile:

Jess’s Low Carb Chicken Bake – Grain Free
Prep time, 1 hour. Cook time, 40 minutes
May be fully prepared in morning, refrigerated, and cooked later for dinner
Yields 3 or 4 chicken bakes, based on size preference
Dough Ingredients
·   8 oz. shredded mozzarella
·   3 oz. cream cheese
·   1 egg (the dough mixes easier if it is room temperature)
·   1/3 cup almond flour
·   1/3 cup coconut flour

·   1/3 cup ground golden flaxseeds

Filling Ingredients:

·    2 cups chicken, shredded or cubed (for easy prep, use already cooked roasted chickens)
·    1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
·    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
·    1/4 cup bacon crumbles
·    3 T sour cream
·    3 T mayo
·    1 tsp garlic powder
·    1 tsp salt
Topping Ingredients
½ egg beaten white
Parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
1.  Preheat oven to 350F, 178C.
2.  Put mozzarella cheese and 2 ounces of the cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave one minute. Stir. Microwave 30 seconds. Stir. At this point all the cheese should be melted. Microwave 30 more seconds until uniform and gloopy (it should look like cheese fondue at this point). Mix in the egg and baking mix. You will need to dump it onto wax paper and knead it by hand to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients or you can do this in a food processor with the dough blade.
3.  Press or roll into a large rectangle on a piece of parchment paper. It helps to use wet hands or cover the top with a second piece of parchment. Cut the dough into 3 or 4 rectangles.
4.  Combine all the ingredients for the filling. Divide the filling between them. Gently pull the sides up and around the filling pressing the seams together to stay closed. Brush with the egg white and sprinkle with the parmesan.
5.  Bake on a pizza stone or baking sheet covered in nonstick foil or parchment paper for 40-50 minutes until golden brown.
Happy dining!
____________________________________________
Photo from one year ago today, September 22, 2016:
Sunset from the veranda in Bali.  For more photos please click here.

Jess’s Poppy Seed Strudel Recipe and Tom’s Homemade Irish Cream recipe…

We made 5 giant Poppy Seed Strudels today, rolling the dough with a tall bottle of flavored water.

With guests arriving soon for the holidays, it was time to put aside my culinary restrictions and start baking for those that do enjoy high carb, sugary, mouth-watering pastries and baked goods so appropriate this time of year.

One of our favorites is an eastern European recipe for Poppy Seed Strudel, Tom’s favorite, having missed it over the past year and a half on our restricted way of eating. 

I love this delectable pastry beyond words, a slice warmed in the microwave, covered with unsalted butter.  Unfortunately, I consumed very little in the past knowing it could cause a spike in blood sugar.  Now I will have none of it, not a taste.  My health is more important, especially now that we are only 13 days away from leaving the US.

So here is the recipe reminiscent of Tom’s childhood, found online some years ago (no creation of mine, other than pulling it all together).  It’s really not hard to make.  The prep time to make this entire recipe is less than two hours.

We have no rolling pin here.  Stubborn, I won’t buy one and will use a tall skinny bottle of chilled flavored water to roll the dough. It doesn’t have to be rolled very thin, so this will work. There was no small mixing bowl either here, either so I used a soup bowl to mix the yeast and warmed milk. Oh well.
(We also noted the lack of a potato peeler this morning.  My sister Julie is bringing one from LA!).

Polish
Poppy Seed Bread (Strudel) Recipe – Makowiec

An Eastern European dessert table would invariably include something sweet made with poppy seeds, either ground or whole. This poppy seed strudel is made with a yeast dough and is known as makowiec (mah-KOH-vyets) in Polish. Canned poppy seed paste is available in the ethnic or the baking aisle of most supermarkets. 

Makes 2 Sweet Polish Poppy Seed Breads
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Ingredients:
      1 package active dry yeast
      2 cups warm milk
     8 cups all-purpose flour
     3/4 cup sugar
     1 teaspoon salt
      5 eggs
     4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted
     3 (11-ounce) cans poppy seed filling
Frosting
    4 cups powdered sugar
    1/4 cup 2% milk, starting with 1/4 cup milk until you have an easy to spread frosting
    1 tablespoon real vanilla

Preparation:

1.   In a small heatproof bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm milk.
2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and eggs. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups warm milk, butter, and yeast mixture. With the paddle attachment, or by hand, beat until smooth. The dough will be sticky at this point.
3.  Scrape dough into a clean, greased bowl. Sprinkle the top with a little flour and cover. Let stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.
4.  Punch down dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a rectangle.
5.  Spread 1 can or half of the filling you made on each rectangle of dough and roll up like a jelly roll. Turn the ends under so the filling will not leak out.
6. Place on a parchment-lined or greased pan, cover, and let rise again until double in size.

 7.  Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush tops with additional melted butter. Bake 45 to 60        minutes or until strudels are golden brown.  Don’t let them get too brown.

8.  Remove from oven and cool. When totally cooled, neatly frost with the above frosting recipe, or use canned white frosting if preferred.

Over the years, Tom made dozens of bottles (over 150 wine sized bottles, one year) of this fabulous holiday treat. We’ve given them as gifts to family, friends, and co-workers nicely bottled, corked, and imprinted with a custom made Christmas labels.

Due to time constraints, we won’t be making it this year and wanted to share the recipe with our readers, many of whom have enjoyed this in the past. Here you go! Enjoy!

Tom Lyman’s Irish Cream (Equivalent to Bailey’s)

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1-pint ½ and ½ or real whipping cream

3 pasteurized eggs (important for safety)

1/8 teaspoon coconut extract

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

1 cup Irish Whiskey or other bourbon or whiskey

Blend all ingredients in a blender for 2 minutes, then add 1 cup whiskey, measuring into the empty can of sweetened condensed milk in order to remove every last drop of the creamy sweetened condensed milk.

Blend for another 30 seconds. Pour in a glass bottle with a tight-fitting cork.

Keeps for 30 days in the refrigerator.

Should you decide to try either of these recipes or any other recipes we’ve posted, please don’t hesitate to email me with questions.  I check my inbox frequently and will get back to you quickly.

Ah, the holidays.  We love this time of year.  So much gratitude.  So much love. And of course, so much food!