Friday, June 10, 2011

Betty Neels and ebooks

Yes, I love the feel of a paperback book.
I loooove seeing stacks of books all around me.
It's my idea of interior design (I think bookstores are beautiful!).....but I hate, hate, hate moving books!!! Take it from someone who has moved numerous times.....books are darned heavy!!

So, when ebooks came out ....well, I was a mite resistant at first....I mean, the first thing I thought of was a future with NO PAPER BOOKS (shudder) only digital readers and such.
The thought was and is horrifying!
But..... I admit it , I finally broke down and bought an ereader and I LOVE it!!!!
Oh, the joy of carrying hundreds of books with me wherever I just gives me a thrill :-D
Did I mention that my new cell phone has a Mobipocket Reader app??? Whooohooo....54 books on the cell phone....Life is Good!!!

Anyhoo, my fellow Betty lovers, of course, I had to have my Betty's in eformat.
I am happy to say that you can find Betty's books at a number of ebook sellers. The prices are vary reasonable. The most expensive ebook was $3.99.

Diesel eBook Store carries 27 Betty titles. Their books are available in a variety of formats Mobipocket, Adobe PDF, Palm, Microsoft Reader and ePub.

Barnes and Noble also has 27 Betty's available for their NOOK book.

And Amazon carries , take a guess, yep, 27 Betty books for their Kindle.

And, yes...again, they seem to be the SAME 27 books.
While I appreciate the fact that they have ANY Betty Neels available as ebooks, you would think that they could come up with a little more variety.

And I am not even going to mention the fact....hmmm.... apparently I am going to mention it.... that Ms. Betty wrote 134 books!!!  Yet, they only carry 27.... amazing!

But, looking on the bright side, at least they have a few of them and maaaaaaybe someday, if we're good,  they will come out with all 134 books!
Sigh.... a woman can dream.......

Monday, May 30, 2011

What the heck is an Aga?

from  Only By Chance
He had inherited the house from her, and had altered nothing save to have some unobtrusive modernising of the kitchen. He disliked central heating, but the house was warm; the Aga in the kitchen never went out and there were fires laid in every room, ready to be lighted.

Okay, was it just me? or did others wonder.....What the heck is an Aga? Betty mentions Agas in a number of books and while I figured out generally that it was a type of stove, I eventually had to go look it up.
Sooooo, for anyone that has been wondering, check out these pics and links....and of course, there's a Youtube vid!

According to Wiki:
The AGA cooker is a stored-heat stove and cooker invented in 1929 by the Nobel Prize-winning Swedish physicist Gustaf Dalén (1869–1937

How an Aga Works ...

More Aga info and pics...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Valentine for Daisy

A delicious excerpt from A Valentine for Daisy ( in this case the valentine happens to be the doctor whose first name is actually Valentine)

Presently Trim led her to the table. At the sight of the damask and silver and crystal, for all the world as though the table had been decked out for a dinner-party, Daisy exclaimed,`Oh, but you shouldn't have gone to all this trouble! I could have had something on a tray.'`The doctor wished it, miss,' said Trim, `and I must add it is a pleasure for us. Mrs Trim has cooked a meal which she hoped you will enjoy.'He disappeared and returned presently with vichyssoise soup, and Daisy's small nose wrinkled at its delicious aroma. It tasted good too-this wasn't something out of a tin, it was the real thing, made with cream and eggs and chicken stock nicely mingled with the creamed leeks. It was followed by a perfectly grilled sole, sauted potatoes and braised celery, and when Trim offered her white wine she accepted, quite carried away by the unexpectedness of it all.

`Mrs Trim's special sweet,' murmured Trim, removing her empty plate and offering a chestnut snuffle with chocolate cream, `and I shall serve your coffee in the drawing-room, Miss Pelham.'

When she hesitated again he added, `The doctor hoped that you would keep Belle company for a little while.'
`Well, just for a short time,' said Daisy, `and do please thank Mrs Trim for that delicious meal.'

 Hmmm....I wonder if that was a typo? Anyone ever heard of a Chestnut Snuffle?????
This recipe for Chestnut Souffle with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce is as close as I could get to the dessert that Betty mentioned. It sounds delicious although I'm not sure I want to tackle a souffle.
Both recipes were found at
(Psssst! if you click the highlighted words Vichyssoise Soup, they will take to a previous post with three recipes.) Happy Valentine's Day!!

  • 1 7.25-to 7.41-ounce jar whole steamed chestnuts or vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts*
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar (for coating soufflé dish) plus 14 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Armagnac, Cognac, or other brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar


Blend chestnuts, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 tablespoon butter in processor until paste forms. Transfer mixture to small bowl. 
DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
Coat inside of 14-cup soufflé dish (about 8 1/4 inches wide and 3 3/4 inches deep) with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle dish with 1/4 cup sugar and tilt to coat bottom and sides evenly.
Whisk 1/4 cup milk, egg yolks, 4 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Bring remaining 13/4 cups milk and 4 tablespoons sugar to simmer in heavy large saucepan. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return custard to same pan. Stir over medium heat until custard thickens and boils, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chestnut paste, Armagnac, and vanilla and whisk to blend well (some small pieces of chestnut paste will remain).

DO AHEAD: Soufflé base can be made 2 hours ahead. 
Press plastic wrap onto surface; let stand at room temperature.
Position rack just below center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into soufflé base in 3 additions. Transfer batter to prepared dish. Place souffléon small baking sheet. 

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 hour ahead; let stand at room temperature. Bake soufflé until puffed and just firm to touch in center, about 50 minutes. Serve immediately with sauce. 

* Peeled cooked chestnuts; sold at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Armagnac, Cognac, or other brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


Combine chocolate and butter in medium metal bowl. 
Place bowl over saucepan of simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Remove from over water.
Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan; gently stir into chocolate. 
Add Armagnac, vanilla, and salt and stir to blend.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cool, cover, and chill. Rewarm over low heat before using.