Monday, November 12, 2018

Anna Sultana’s Spices, and the North Taurids and The Leonids Meteor Showers

Now that the holiday season is in full swing it’s time for some serious baking.
And that, of course, also includes using more and different spices.

Don’t be afraid of buying spices in bags. 
Along with being quite a bit cheaper than the spices in those small, pretty bottles, the larger bags of spices are also a good buy for making your own spices blends, which is a lot cheaper than buying the prepared blends.

Ma had a few favourite blends she kept on her kitchen shelf throughout the year.
The sweeter ones were really handy during the holiday season.
Pumpkin Spice on everything is not a new idea!

                                   Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend

1/4 Cup ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoons ground allspice

Makes a scant 1/2 Cup
Pumpkin Pie Spice also goes nicely on mashed sweet vegetables and onions.

                                   Sugar & Spice Christmas Blend

1/2 Cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Makes a scant 2/3 Cup
Sugar & Spice Blend is perfect for topping rice pudding or egg nog.

                          Homemade Seafood / Chicken Spice Blend

2 Tablespoons ground allspice
1 Tablespoon celery seed 
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons powdered mustard 
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon cayenne (ground red pepper)

Makes 1/2 Cup

                        Homemade Meat and Poultry Seasoning Mix

2 Tablespoons ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon ground thyme

Makes a scant 2/3 Cup


Here are some links to give you more ideas on how to best use spices:



About the sky, thanks to the folks at The Farmers' Almanac

November 12-14 - North Taurids Meteor Shower peak, with the best viewing, is from 12 – 2 a.m. local time; and good news, the sky will be nice and dark due to the tiny waning crescent Moon. 
The Taurids are actually two annual meteor showers created by the dust left behind from the comet Encke. They are named for constellation Taurus, where they are seen to come from in the sky (near the Pleiades). But they can be spotted anywhere - simply look up!

November 15 - First Quarter Moon, 9:54 a.m. In this phase, the Moon looks like a half-Moon in the sky. One-half of the Moon is illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing, on its way to full.
Look to the south in the evening to see the First Quarter Moon paired up with Mars.

November 17-18 - The Leonids Meteor Showers peak. Best viewing time is between midnight and 5:30 a.m. local time. This meteor shower, named for the constellation Leo, is typically one of the more exciting showers of the year, producing an average of 20-30 meteors per hour. 
The radiant for the Leonids is near Algieba, one of the stars of the “sickle” or “backward question mark” within Leo. This shower may be hindered by the glow of the bright waxing gibbous Moon.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Happy Ninth Birthday to I’m Turning 60…!! by Margaret Ullrich

Happy Birthday to I’m Turning 60…!!

I really want to thank you for visiting during the years, whether you have dropped in on a daily, weekly or occasional basis during the past nine years.

I especially want to thank those who have commented. I really appreciate it when you tell me that your family enjoyed a recipe, or when you ask if I have a recipe for a particular dish.

The past nine years have been full of changes - some good, some bad - and I want to thank you for sharing the years with me.

I’m Turning 60… continues to be more popular than its older ’sibling’ blog

I’m Turning 60… - with 1037 posts - has had 689,015 visitors since July, 2010.
That's when Blogger started keeping track of both blogs.
That's more visitors than its ‘elder sibling’, Winnipeg is Better Than Chocolate, which has 2,741 posts, and received a bit over 407,000 visitors.

I’m Turning 60… has less than half the posts with over fifty percent more visitors.
Quite the growth for this little blog!
Thank you for visiting and for telling your friends!

Okay… enough with tallying the reader numbers.
Let’s get back to the recipes which deserve the credit for all these visits!

I recently took a look at how this blog’s posts have been doing.
There have been a few changes from last year’s favourites.
Here are the current all time top ten posts:
               Italian Easter Pie with Ricotta and Meat

During the past month these have been the top posts:
               / Swordfish, Mackerel, Tuna and Shrimp
Carmela Soprano's Ricotta - Pineapple Pie (Cheesecake)

Please, if you haven’t already, do try the recipes on these lists.
They’re not popular recipes because people don’t like them!

I also get a kick out of seeing how you search for my blog.
Searches include: 
red cabbage a christmas story
sopranos cookbook recipes 7 layer cookie
the hoito thunder bay pancake recipe
maltese eggplant stuffed recipe
how to fix ross il-forn maltese receipy 
italian cookies with orange
sopranos vodka sauce
cheesecake co-pckers new jersey
housefrau on twitter

And my personal favourite:
nearer and dearer anna
Ma would've loved that!

Back to the visitors...
Turkey is a new member of the top ten club, knocking Romania off the list.
So glad to get to meet you folks in Turkey!
Hope you've been enjoying the recipes.

Now the top ten countries and their visitors are:
United States………….. 328,275
Canada………….……….…. 58,917
Australia………….………… 35,126
Malta……………..…………. 33,616
Turkey………………………. 29,224
Russia…………………….…. 27,438
United Kingdom…….…. 21,412
France………….………..…. 16,942
Germany……….…..…….  14,758
Ukraine.…….…….….…….   9,646

Want to compare the numbers and recipes with those of last year? 

I'm always amazed at learning where you live.
I expected many visitors from the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom since many Maltese immigrated there, especially after World War II.

During the years there have also been visitors from Italy, Finland, Poland, Spain, 
the Netherlands, Macedonia, Mexico, Afghanistan, Thailand, Slovakia, Ireland, 
Denmark, Bangladesh, Sweden, Israel, Moldova, Malaysia, Singapore, Kuwait, 
Greece, Kenya, Vietnam, Czech Republic, Brazil, Bermuda, Namibia, Cyprus, India, 
Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Norway, New Zealand, Madagascar, Armenia, 
South Africa, Romania, Iceland, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania, Argentina, 
United Arab Emirate, Belgium, Tunisia, Taiwan, Paraguay and China. 
It is a small world after all!!

During the past few months there has also been a new, mystery visitor which Blogger is calling ‘Unknown Region’.
I haven’t a clue what that means or where these readers live.
All I know is that they seem to like my recipes.

Since I don’t post on a daily basis, why not become a subscriber?
It’s easy and FREE!
Just click on the ‘FOLLOW’ link under the pictures of followers to the right of this post and type in your email address. 
After joining you will get an email every time there is a new post.
This way you won’t ever miss a recipe.

I don’t post on Facebook anymore, but I do post a link on Twitter whenever there is a new post. Just click on the Twitter link '@ImTurning60' on the side bar above the followers and we’ll be able to keep in touch that way.
Gotta love modern technology!

I'd also like comments.  Really.  
It's easy to do.  Just click on Comments and write. 
Tell me what you want to know about. 
Would you like more holiday recipes, or more easy, cheap, quick meals or…?

Thanks again for visiting!
Hope to see you again real soon!