Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Story, Laptop

Woo hoo – I have had two poems printed in my life and now I have a story in an Indie Writers Anthology. Writers were invited to submit time travel stories – I thought that would be interesting but had no intention of submitting anything, I am not a writer. I have a Jane AustenKindle and when it’s ‘asleep’ it often shows pictures of authors including one of Jane Austen. I was looking at the picture one day and thought “what about all the thousands of writers in her time who didn’t get a chance to publish?”. Thus was born my story. I had the idea but not really the knowledge to put it down on paper so I asked a friend, Jeffery Hargett, to help me. He did. He also submitted a story under his own name. So now both of us are included in the anthology which is available at the link above. I even got a mention in Alex J. Cavenaugh’s blog this week too. Everyone seems to think that now I’ve started, I will keep on writing. I don’t think so. In all the years I have wanted to write, this is the first time I have ever actually had an idea. My only previous effort was some years ago when I started writing a book about my life and also included recipes. I called it The First 60 Years. However, a friend showed it to a publisher who felt I needed to get known before I tried publishing.

I have had my laptop for quite a few years now but when I need to use accents on words, I use a little programme called AllChars for Windows which is shareware and I find very useful as it lists all the ways to make accents or other diacritical marks. So, only today, I suddenly noticed that there were a couple of keys with diacritical marks on them. Duuuh. Having googled, it appears I can only use them with MS Word, and one has to depress and hold the Ctrl key and then the accent key and finally the appropriate letter.  Does not work in my blogging programme – Windows Live Writer. So I will not be bothering, but I am astounded that I never noticed it before.

This sounded delightful and very refreshing.

Creamy Pineapple Mango Gazpacho


Inspired by the flavours of the classic gazpacho, I decided to give this soup a modern spin by showcasing juicy, sweet pineapple instead of tomatoes. This soup makes a great starter or, if served with some grilled chicken or shrimp, a satisfying main dish.

Creamy Pineapple Mango Gazpacho
Yields 6 to 8

Preparation 

4 cups fresh pineapple, diced
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 cup 10% cream
1 cup orange juice
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 large red pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup red onion, finely minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
Place the pineapple, mango, cream, orange juice, honey, and lime juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until pureed and pour into a large bowl.
Add the cucumber, red pepper, red onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Stir to combine.
Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Garnish with extra cilantro before serving.

Have a great day
Jo

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday Recipe

When I saw this recipe I couldn’t resist sharing it although of course the season for fresh Canadian asparagus has been over for a couple of weeks now.

Grilled Asparagus and Melon Salad

 
This salad is a new twist on the classic combo of melon and prosciutto. Grilled asparagus keeps a slight crunch and also has a smoky char to it that pairs with the creaminess and subtle flavor of mozzarella and the fruitiness of melon. To top it off: crumbled prosciutto. I’ve always loved the salty tang of prosciutto, but since I started baking thin slices of it to make brittle, crispy chips, my love has become a full-blown obsession; they just seem to make everything taste better.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

    Grilled Asparagus and Melon Salad photo
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 small melon (about 12 ounces), peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

 

directions

  • 1 Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • 2 Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the prosciutto in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until crispy. Drain the prosciutto on paper towels and set aside to cool. Chop the prosciutto into 1/4-inch pieces.
  • 3 Meanwhile, heat a small, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts to the hot skillet and stir them until they become fragrant and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • 4 Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.
  • 5 In a medium bowl, toss together the asparagus and 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until crisp-tender.
  • 6 In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add the melon and mozzarella cheese. Toss to coat.
  • 7 Arrange the asparagus on a platter. Spoon the melon and mozzarella cheese on top of the asparagus. Drizzle any remaining dressing from the bowl over the top. Sprinkle with the prosciutto and pine nuts and serve.
Source: Giada De Laurentiis

Have a great weekend
Jo (2)