Saturday, January 1, 2011

Our NY Eve,

Clos du Val ZinfandelWe ended up having a very quiet New Year’s Eve, neighbours who were going to join us ended up with nasty colds. So we had a simple dinner of Escargots Bourgingnon which we bought frozen, a fillet steak accompanied by sautéed Portabello mushrooms and a slice of red velvet cheese cake, the whole accompanied by an absolutely delicious Clos du Val Napa Valley Zinfandel. I love Zinfandels anyway, but this was a particularly good one, a deep, deep red with a gorgeous bouquet. It was recommended by one of the staff at the LCBO and was really an excellent recommendation. We will be replacing it asap.

When I was in San Francisco in 1988 I am very sorry I didn’t make the effort to visit Napa Valley, just think I might have found this Zinfandel earlier. Please note I am NOT talking about white zinfandels here, those are actually pinkish and somewhat sweet.

After dinner we basically watched TV (I watched a Star Trek movie) until it was time to switch to the celebrations taking place in both Times Square, New York city and Livingstone Square, Buffalo. These shows are crammedNY Crystal Ball full of advertising, I guess because they know millions will be watching. Very irritating just the same. There were a million people in New York and they said it was a record crowd in Buffalo. I was sipping on champagne and Matt was drinking a more mundane beer, he will only drink champagne if it is doctored with brandy, sugar, orange peel and bitters. A very lethal drink mind you. I am afraid I find all the many huge, well lit, flashing ads in Times Square detract from the Waterford Crystal ball when it falls to announce the new year. It is a beautiful and expensive item, but all the thousands of lights spoil its effect. The one in Buffalo is somewhat smaller.

So now its 2011. We made such a big fuss of the Chinese Dragonmillennium 11 years ago, and now most of us have forgotten it. One thing I would love to have seen, in China, not quite sure where, they had a firework dragon climbing a tower, I bet that was something to see. Adelaide had a stupendous firework display over Sidney Harbour which was also something worth seeing I understand. I should be so lucky.

So today its back to reality although we are going out for supper tonight so long as colds are not holding them up as well. Then I have to do something about weight, I have been piling it on over the holiday season. Matt has been eating just as much as I have and hasn’t gained an ounce, grrrr.

Here is a recipe from Mushrooms Canada which looks as though it wouldn’t bee too bad nutritionally.

Baked Eggs with Mushrooms

1 tbsp vegetable oilBakedEggs with Mushrooms
8 oz fresh sliced fresh Mushrooms
1/3 cup diced red pepper (optional)
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley (optional)
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme, tarragon or basil (optional)   
4 large eggs
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 ºF (180ºC). In a medium skillet heat oil over medium – high heat, sauté mushrooms 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned and moisture is released. Add red pepper, parsley, salt, pepper and herb if using; sauté 1 minute. Spoon evenly into 4 lightly greased (6 oz/ 90 mL) ramekins. Crack one egg into each ramekin and sprinkle cheese evenly on top. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes (baked eggs are done when whites are set and puffy but yolks are just starting to set). Serve with toast to dip in the soft yolk.

Makes 4 servings

Tip: If using wide gratin dishes in place of ramekins make a well in the middle of the mushrooms and crack eggs into the well; increase cheese to ½ cup (125 mL). For brunch bake herbed tomato halves in the oven with the eggs.

1. Substitute Swiss or havarti with jalapeno cheese for Cheddar.
2. Substitute diced cooked ham for red pepper.
3. Substitute ½ cup (125 mL) salsa or chili sauce for the red pepper, salt pepper and herbs.
4. French Style: for a softer texture eggs may be baked in a water bath. Place the filled ramekins in a roasting pan or baking pan (large enough so they are not touching each other). Place the pan on the oven shelf and pour in enough boiling water into the pan to reach ½ -2/3 up the side of the ramekin. Bake as directed 12- 15 minutes.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 152, Sodium: 263 mg, Protein: 9.4 g, Fat: 11.7 g, Carbohydrates: 2.6 g, Dietary Fibre: 0.9 g

Have a great weekend



  1. Happy New Year, Jo and Matt!

    Ah, quiet New Year's are great. We had the same, nice meal and quiet.

    Most years I tend to go to my brother Rob's for New Year's celebration. We had some tricky weather yesterday so I decided not to travel.

  2. Nothing tricky about out weather Sia. I think winter has forgotten our part of Canada.