Thursday, November 23, 2017

5 Messiahs, Oxygen, Cartoon,

Whilst at the optometrist's yesterday, I picked up a National Geographic and was astounded to read an article about 5 men who believe they are the Messiah come again. They have disciples who follow them, some in large numbers. These guys are both black and white. Spread around the world. What hubris. Do look at the article if only for the pictures, the first of which is priceless I think. This one from Siberia who's name is Vissariaon, does look somewhat Christlike I must agree, but...... looks ain't everything.

Another snippet of information I picked up from How To Geek the other day was that although everybody is worried about trees and the lack of oxygen because they are being cut down, apparently 70% of the world's oxygen actually comes from marine plants. Not that anyone is advocating cutting down trees of course.  Most of the oxygen emanates from phytoplankton. How about this for a coincidence. I wrote this on Wednesday morning having originally read about the oxygen on How to Geek. Watching Nature, PBS TV on Wednesday night, they covered the phytoplankton and their importance in oxygen production. They say the phytoplankton produce 50% of the earth's oxygen. I like the 70% figure best but don't know who is accurate. I googled and this is what I found "Prochlorococcus and other ocean phytoplankton are responsible for 70 percent of Earth's oxygen production. However, some scientists believe that phytoplankton levels have declined by 40 percent since 1950 due to the warming of the ocean. Ocean temperature impacts the number of phytoplankton in the ocean." and who says global warming isn't crucially important?

Talking of the optometrist's, they have all kinds of fun pictures of cartoon animals in glasses. I took one picture of my favourite. Don't think the colours are quite right, but gives you an idea.

Finally, I wish all my American friends a fabulous Thanksgiving. I am not posting a recipe today as most people won't be terribly interested today.

Have a great day

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Travel, Optometry, Roadworks, Balconies.

Keep hearing reports on the radio and TV telling how many Americans are travelling this week to get home for the holidays or wherever they are planning to spend Thanksgiving. Flights are packed as are the roads. However, as I said to Matt, I don't think I would want to risk flying anywhere at the moment - too many terrorists around for my liking. Hope I'm wrong.

We saw our optometrist today, annual check up, and no change, no problems. In fact, I have had a somewhat wonky eye (right) for 20 or more years and I told him I thought there was a slight improvement. He said I was right. Hey, wouldn't it be wonderful to get 20/20 sight in that eye again. Not likely to happen though, but any improvement is welcome.

The road works are getting worse at the moment. Don't they know winter is here and outside work won't be possible soon. Everywhere we go there are road workers - nearly always just chatting when we see them!!!

Talking of workers, not much seems to have been going on with the balconies. They have moved one hoist to the front (visitors) parking lot and just parked it there. They have the other one on the ground outside our window but for 2 days as far as we know, nothing has happened anywhere. Yesterday we did have a smattering of snow on the ground in the morning but it had disappeared by mid morning. Maybe they are just waiting for the inspector.

The picture of these shallots made me hunt out the recipe because they looked so delicious. They recommend them as a side for the Thanksgiving Turkey.

Glazed Shallots

1 ¼ lbs (about 36) small shallots, peeled
½ cup white wine
1 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbs unsalted butter
A few grinds black pepper

1. In a skillet just large enough to hold the shallots in a single layer, combine the shallots, wine, stock, sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the liquid evaporates and the shallots are very tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Raise heat to medium high and cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the shallots begin to brown and are coated with a thick syrup. Remove from heat and add the final tablespoon of butter, shaking the pan until it is melted and incorporated. Serve immediately.

Source: New York Times

Have a great day

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Piglet and Pooh, Bananas, Bowling, Medical,

I don't use Facebook a lot these days but happened to go in tonight. I came across a cartoon which I thought was funny. There appear to be two or three of these cartoons. Piglet and Pooh talking about the current US President. I was going to show the cartoon here but changed my mind as I didn't wish to be offensive.

This week, I tried the recommended way of keeping bananas by wrapping them tightly in plastic and putting them in the fridge. I think it was Helen Venn who suggested it. It worked beautifully so that is what we will be doing from now on. Thank you.

Bowling was pretty disastrous today. Two of our team didn't turn up, nor did they bowl ahead which is very unusual of them. They didn't phone the alley or anything so I am wondering what happened. I had one good game as did Matt but the other team of 5 bowlers beat us although one game they only beat us by 13 pins. Oh well, I can't see us climbing back up very far for the rest of the season.

Tuesday it's our annual visit to the optometrist - don't anticipate any problems or changes. Wednesday back to the doctor's with Matt's skin cancers which do seem to be clearing up OK. He is still wearing the Cardiac Event Monitor, it seems to be clocking up events even though Matt hasn't felt anything in the way of dizziness or anything else - he says. Has to wear it for one more week.

If you want something ooey gooey and decadently sinful for the holidays, how about this dessert? It comes from Closet Kitchen where there are quite a few different pictures of this delicious looking treat.

Pecan Pie Cheesecake with Pecan Caramel Sauce

A pecan pie topped with a cheesecake topped with a pecan caramel sauce!

1 3/4 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup maple syrup (or corn syrup)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped

3 (8 ounce) bricks cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped


 Mix the crumbs, butter and sugar and press into the bottom of a 8-10 inch spring form pan.


Bring the brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, eggs, vanilla and pecans to a boils and simmer until it thickens, about 5 minutes, before pouring into the crust in the springform pan.


Beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, cream and vanilla until smooth before pouring on top of the pecan pie filling in the springform pan, wrap the bottom of the pan in foil, place in a larger pan with a small amount of hot water and bake in a preheated 350F/180C oven until set, about 60 minutes. (It is recommended that you let the cheesecake cool completely on the counter and then chill it in the fridge overnight, but it's also amazing while still warm from the oven!)


Heat the butter and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat until bubbling, let it bubble for 3 minutes, carefully add the heavy cream, mix until smooth and add the cinnamon and pecans and let cool before pouring on the cooled cheesecake

Servings: 12

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Kitchen

Have a great day

Monday, November 20, 2017

Alzheimer's Disease and Dolphins, Pho Ga, Snow,

How very sad. I find Alzheimer's is the most pernicious and terrible disease, particularly as there appears to be nothing that can be done. They have now discovered that Dolphins can also get Alzheimer's Disease. I had always believed it was man's curse, but apparently not. Care2 was the first source I read but I later verified it on Google. I have discovered that there are particular areas in India and other parts of the world where they are not prone to the disease and it is attributed to the various herbs and spices they use together with the fact that they eat little or no beef.

Sunday I made Pho Ga which I posted a few days ago. I realised that although it lists peas on the recipe it doesn't tell you what to do with them. I added them at the same time as the carrots. I was assured it was both different and delicious. Matt has never eaten Pho in a Vietnamese restaurant. I have always been put off making it before because of the "boiling beef bones" part prior to doing the rest. The Campbell's carton of Pho makes an excellent start to the dish. One thing I personally found, the raw carrot shavings were a tad tough for me although Matt didn't find them so. Also, the rice noodles said pour hot water from the tap and soak for 25-30 minutes. The hot water from our taps is almost boiling, but they were slightly soft but not enough so I shoved them in the microwave, water and all for 4 minutes total and they came out perfect.

More odd weather on Sunday, we had snow flakes for a while, but they were coming down so slowly you could count them. They never settled on the ground, not enough of them.

I just came across this recipe in my cookbook software. As an Englishwoman I have made many Yorkshire Puddings or what North America calls Popovers, but never with cheese. They sound pretty good.

Roquefort Popovers

Popovers and blue cheese are naturals in their own right with beef, but when combined into one, the results are incredible. This recipe is not complicated but it must be made and served at the last minute to ensure the best results. If you are not a fan of blue cheese, try using a crumbly goat cheese in its place.

Vegetable oil, shortening, or lard for the pans
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 oz Roquefort cheese, crumbled
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
9 oz (2 cups) all-purpose flour
6 large eggs

1. Set the oven rack to its lowest position in the oven. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously grease 12 popover tins (preferably nonstick) with oil, shortening, or lard (butter won't work).

2. In a small saucepan, warm the milk and cheese over medium-low heat until the cheese is melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt and pepper. (You can also melt the cheese in the milk in a glass measuring cup in the microwave on low power for 1 min.)

3. Put the flour in a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk mixture until just combined; it's fine if the batter is a bit lumpy. Add the eggs one at a time to the batter, whisking well after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake on the lowest shelf for 20 min. at 400 degrees F. Don't open the oven, but reduce the temperature to 350 ddegrees F and continue to bake another 15 min. until the popovers are browned and fully puffed. Remove the popovers from the oven and immediately take them out of the tin to keep them from getting soggy. Poke each popover with a knife to release steam. Serve immediately or reheat just before serving.

Servings: 6
Yield: 12 popovers

Source: Fine Cooking - Issue No. 30

Have a great day

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday Recipe

Jacques Pépin is one of my favourite chefs and I was looking through my cookbook tonight and came across this recipe. I luuuurve smoked salmon any which way, and this sounds delicious. Bit late this week, but next week I shall plan to have this I think. I just discovered that in 2015 I posted a similar recipe by Wolfgang Puck, another of my favourite chefs.

Smoked Salmon Pizza

1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 naan flatbreads or other style of flatbread you prefer (I used garlic naan)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp bottled horseradish, drained (I used 3 tsps)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (I did a quick pickle of my red onions--see note below)
8 oz sliced smoked salmon
2 Tbs drained capers
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (I subbed in coarsely chopped fresh tarragon)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush baking sheet or grill pan with oil and turn the naan in the oil to lightly coat both sides. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the bread is crusty and brown, or crisp in the pan 3-4 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Let cool to lukewarm.

2. Mix the sour cream and horseradish in a small bowl. Spread on the bread and sprinkle half of the onion over the sour cream mixture. Arrange the smoked salmon slices on top. Sprinkle the capers over the salmon and add the remaining onion and some freshly ground black pepper. Finally sprinkle with the cilantro (tarragon) leaves. Cut the pizza into wedges or slices and serve.

3. Quick Pickled Red Onions: This recipe had a lot of red onion in it and I was concerned that if left raw, they would overpower the other flavors. I did a quick pickle with about 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon salt shaken together in a jar with a very thinly sliced red onion. I left it to sit about 45 minutes before using on the pizza. I also drained the onions for the pizza and patted them dry with paper towels. It took the bite out perfectly. Since I had plenty of leftover onion, I added some to my salad and used a bit of the pickling liquid, mixed with an equal amount of olive oil as dressing.

Servings: 4

Author: More Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pépin

Have a great weekend

Friday, November 17, 2017

Bowling. Weather, Jeopardy, Movie,

Started with a really good game today but went off somewhat in the second two. Oh well. I asked for my money back but the guys just laughed. Then went to pick up some raspberries as I want to make a Pavlova. Haven't done so in a week or two. We both enjoy them.

When we got home, I got out of the car at the front door (to check the mail) and immediately it started to hail. By the time I got my hood up it had turned to rain. Weird. Never seen that happen as far as I remember. It doesn't seem that cold at the moment unless the wind is blowing which it was part of the afternoon.

Watching the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions, down to the finals now and we like all three of the contestants so don't really know whom to root for. All three of them are very good of course. Tomorrow we will find out the winner. Mind you even the lowest gets $25,000 so they all do well out of it.  One thing I was very impressed about, all the contestants for the last two weeks as well as Alex Trebek, have been wearing a ribbon in tribute to the Champion Cindy Stowell who died of cancer shortly after winning 6 games on the show.

Tonight there wasn't much on TV and looking for something to watch I discovered I had The Santa Clause 2 which I had forgotten about. Decided to watch it and also to buy the first Santa Clause movie too. To me that was the best one. Second one is OK, third one I didn't think too much of.

Turkey Day will be here any time soon and so here are some extra turkeys to have at your dinner table. Of course they leave it to you to choose a suitable chocolate cupcake. I could almost wish I was celebrating Thanksgiving next week.

Kit Kat Turkey Cupcakes

42 chocolate cupcakes*
2-1/2 cups chocolate frosting (ready to spread or homemade)
ROYAL ICING (recipe follows)
42 (about 1-1/2 tablespoons) HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi-
Sweet Chocolate Chips
42 regular-sized marshmallows
32 (1.5 oz. each) KIT KAT Bars
1/2 cup REESE'S PIECES Candies
HERSHEY'S Syrup (optional)


For each turkey you will need:

1 frosted cupcake,

1 marshmallow,

1 chocolate chip,

3 KIT KAT Bar sections and


Bake and frost cupcakes, reserving about 1 tablespoon frosting. Prepare ROYAL ICING.

To create turkey's beak, attach chocolate chip to the side of white marshmallow with icing. Pipe or dab chocolate frosting onto marshmallow for the turkey's eyes.

To create the tail feathers, break KIT KAT Bars along the natural breaking points. Attach on REESE'S PIECES Candy to the end of each bar section with icing.

Assemble the turkey by inserting three "tail feathers" into cupcake with the candy piece at the top. Set the marshmallow head in front of the feathers, pressing gently into the icing. For a fun twist, serve cupcakes with a side of syrup for gravy.

Stir together 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons warm water and 3/4 teaspoon pasteurized dried egg whites (meringue powder). Beat until spreadable. Add additional water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to get desired consistency. Tint with food color, if desired. Cover icing with damp paper towel to keep icing from drying out. About 1/4 cup icing.

The ROYAL ICING recipe is enough to make 42 turkey cupcakes. Smaller amounts of cupcakes can be made, but you will have leftover icing.

Source: Hershey's

Have a great day

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Battle of the Mac and Cheese, Partial Cooking Day.

Having one-upped Bryan of A Beer for the Shower about Macaroni Cheese, we then got a recipe from Denise Hammond of Life in Retirement and I figure she one-upped the pair of us with her Lobster Macaroni and Cheese. I have always been a lobster lover - I  used to say "show me a lobster and I will follow you anywhere". Don't get to eat it much any more as it is so expensive. Denise says she started using fake lobster in her dish (they actually make that from Pollock) and nobody noticed.

My planned big cooking day didn't really work. I had bought a couple of artichokes for me so cooked them whilst I ate breakfast. I then spent most of the morning making the Moroccan Style Stuffed Peppers but for some reason I was feeling unwell most of the day, combination dizziness, faintness, etc. (yes I think I know why and nothing serious but unpleasant). So really didn't feel up to making the Pho as well. Matt did a couple of things for me - he usually dries dishes for me which helps a lot. I went down to exercise class but couldn't take a lot of advantage from it today. Had two of the peppers for supper and shortly before, I decided to make the Chinese Braised Red Cabbage dish as well. Thursday, of course, is bowling - hope there are no chatterboxes. There shouldn't be. Not on a Thursday.

Having bought a load of chicken thighs to make Pho Ga, I have more thighs than I need. Conveniently I came across this recipe today.

Chimichurri Chicken Thighs with Potatoes

An herb and chile-packed chimichurri sauce makes this meat-and-potatoes main vibrant and exciting. Double the mixture, and spoon over grilled steak or fish on another night. Use your microwave to jumpstart the potatoes, then crisp them up in the drippings from the cooked chicken thighs for maximum flavor. Fresno chiles have a medium heat, just slightly more mild than a jalapeño. You can use either here, or substitute a generous pinch of crushed red pepper in the chimichurri. Skinless, boneless thighs can vary widely in size. Shop by weight rather than count,
cutting larger thighs in half if needed.

2 Tbs water
12 oz fingerling potatoes, halved
5 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb.)
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
3/4 tsp black pepper, divided
1 red Fresno chile, halved crosswise
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 Tbs chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves

1. Place 2 tablespoons water and potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl; cover and microwave at HIGH 4 minutes or until almost tender.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan; keep warm.

3. Cut half of chile into thin slices; finely chop remaining half. Add potatoes and chile slices to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.

4. Place chopped chile, parsley, cilantro, shallots, and garlic in a mini food processor; pulse to combine. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and juice; process until smooth. Serve with chicken and potatoes.

Servings: 4
Yield: 2 thighs, 1/2 cup potato mixture, and 2 tbsp. cilantro mixture

 Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Busy Day.

Started this morning with a visit to Regional Cardiology Services  to pick up a Cardiac Event Monitor for Matt. Not at all what I was expecting him to have. This is just a small device attached to parts of his chest which he has to operate if he feels dizzy or anything. The monitor might also record an event on its own. I was expecting him to have one of those BP monitors which inflate a cuff every half hour to take one's blood pressure. He has to wear this for two weeks (except when he showers of course) and they give you a bunch of sticky things to adhere the diodes after showering etc.  What I did find interesting, there was no charge. Matt has been given a 24 hour monitor before and had to pay $50 for it and I had to pay $60 for the one I had.  In both cases they were from specialists!!

Came home and had lunch and decided to go bowl - better for me because I normally go to exercise class on Wednesday. Unfortunately, we hit a group of very noisy male bowlers which didn't make Grumpy very happy at all. Admittedly even I found them a bit off putting at times. Whilst we were there another couple came in and just played one game. Young, but he never stopped talking the whole time he was there. Even when she was bowling he was following her up and down the alley and talking the whole time, he didn't stop when he bowled either. We decided if it was a first date she would probably not go for a second. I would have told him to go sit down whilst I bowled, but more difficult to do when you are young I suppose.

Next, having played 3 games (we played an extra one because the noisy group had left) we went to the grocery store to do our weekly shop. The grocers is still there, but only just! I bought a load of the stuff needed for the Chicken Pho I posted yesterday. Wednesday I plan to cook it as well as make some Moroccan Stuffed Peppers which we really like.  By the time I had put the shopping away and wrapped some of our bananas in plastic and put them in the fridge, I was knackered.

I discovered, talking to the Building Manager who really does know everything, that some of the balconies did not pass inspection which is why they are working on them and why they haven't finished our balcony - or had it inspected or whatever remains to be done. He aslo said they had to be out of here in 2 weeks. Not sure why.

Macaroni and cheese seems to be one of the staples of North American households. Bryan of A Beer for the Shower was telling me of a somewhat opulent version he makes and then I came across this recipe from our local liquor board. If you are reading this Bryan, I am practicing a bit of one-upmanship. LOL.

Four-Cheese Macaroni with Curry Crunch

A touch of spicy curry flavour is a surprisingly terrific match for cheesy pasta. Try the four cheeses below or use up bits of cheese lingering in your refrigerator. In either case, be sure to include the goat cheese for luscious creaminess. For variety, stir in sliced mushrooms or chopped broccoli.

3 Tbs (45 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) finely diced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs (15 mL) curry powder
4 cups (1 L) fresh bread crumbs

3 cups (750 mL) macaroni or ditali
1 cup (250 mL) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup (250 mL) shredded provolone cheese
1 cup (250 mL) shredded friulano or Gouda cheese
½ cup (125 mL) crumbled mild creamy chèvre
½ cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp (7 mL) salt
4 cups (1 L) 3.8% whole or 2% milk
1 large sprig thyme or ½ tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
1 bay leaf
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
4 or 5 green onions, thinly sliced

1. For curry crumbs, heat butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until bubbly. Add onion; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and curry; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat. Stir in bread crumbs; set aside.

2. For macaroni, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

4. Toss cheeses with flour and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Heat milk with thyme and bay leaf in a large saucepan over medium heat. When milk is just starting to bubble, stir in cheese mixture by handfuls. Heat, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, until sauce just begins to bubble and is thickened. Remove bay leaf and thyme stem; stir in pepper and green onions. Stir in pasta until coated.

5. Coat a 16-cup (4 L) baking dish with cooking spray for easy cleanup. Turn pasta mixture into dish. Smooth top and sprinkle evenly with curry crumbs. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre feels hot when removed. (If crumbs are getting too brown, loosely lay a piece of foil overtop.) Serve immediately.

6. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days. Reheat, loosely covered, in microwave on medium power until hot.

Servings: 8

Source: LCBO

Have a great day

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ancient Shark, Bowling,

Incredible scientific news - they have discovered an ancient cretaceous period shark (80 million years old) swimming off the coast of Portugal. The shark has 300 teeth and is named the Chlamydoselachus anguineus and seems to be called the frilled shark. Reading the article it seems one was found off the cost of Japan at some point in time. The link is to a fairly short article and is interesting. They say it is a very simple creature and unevolved and lives on food such as octopus and squid. 

Bowling was fairly good today, my first game was lousy but the other two games were good with a 200 at the last. Not sure if we took 4 or 5 points but best we have done in a while. 

This recipe comes from Campbell Soups. Seems like it would be a good one. Especially as the pho is already made for you.

Pho Ga (Chicken Pho) with Crispy Shallots

This simple Vietnamese soup is comfort food at its best. The hot and cool flavours are all in perfect harmony.

1 Tbs (15 mL) vegetable oil
3 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 1-inch pieces and smashed
1 piece ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
1 Tbs (15 mL) fish sauce
1 carton CAMPBELL’S® Ready To Use Pho Broth
1 lb (454 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
8 oz (226 g) dried rice noodles
1 carrot, cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup (60 mL) each, fresh mint leaves and cilantro sprigs
1 small red chili pepper, thinly sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges

1. In small non-stick skillet heat oil on medium heat; cook shallots and garlic until caramelized and golden brown, about 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine lemongrass, ginger, sugar, fish sauce and Pho broth. Cover with a lid and bring to a very gentle simmer. Add chicken and continue to simmer very gently for about 15 minutes

3. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Rinse well under cold water to prevent sticking and divide between 4 bowls.

4. Remove the cooked chicken from the soup and slice. Arrange over noodles with cooked shallots and carrots.

5. Strain soup through sieve into a large measuring cup. Pour over noodles in bowls. Top each with mint, cilantro and chilies. Serve with lime wedges.

Servings: 4


Substitute the peas for shelled edamame or frozen broccoli

Have a great day

Monday, November 13, 2017

Bananas, TV, Balconies.

When we shop, we buy a whole bunch of bananas. Friday morning I walked into the kitchen and noticed a dark puddle under the basket where they were. One at least had split open and was totally liquid and 6 more felt as though they were about to do the same thing. Never known bananas do that before. Had to chuck them out and get some more. Yukky. They replaced the rotten ones for me.

Sunday I watched The Durrell's in Corfu and Poldark. First time I watched the Durrell's I didn't think much of it but it has grown on me.

Fingers crossed we will get our balcony door unlocked this week. Also that they will do the windows again but I am not holding out much hope for that.

Having bought a red cabbage on Tuesday, I decided to cook some of it on Saturday. I was making Pork Tenderloin Diablo which I posted a while back and decided this would go well. What I didn't realise was how difficult the red cabbage would be to cut into. I ended up cutting slices off the whole and then chopping them to size. The end result was, however, delicious. I did not, of course, use a whole head of cabbage. I used about a quarter and that was more than enough for us for two meals.

Chinese Braised Red Cabbage

Add a zing to your red cabbage with this great accompaniment to cold meats at Christmas

1 large red cabbage, finely shredded
3 red chillies, halved, deseeded and chopped
large piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely sliced
4 star anise
4 garlic cloves, chopped
75 ml rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs soy sauce
50 g caster sugar
4 spring onions, finely sliced
toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbs sesame oil

1. Tip all the ingredients, except the spring onions, sesame seeds and oil, into a large pan with a lid, and bring to a simmer. Cook over a low heat for 25-30 mins until all the liquid has evaporated and continue to cook, stirring regularly, until the juices become really sticky and glaze the cabbage.

2. Stir through half the spring onions and sesame seeds and pile into a bowl. Serve scattered with rest of the spring onions and sesame seeds and drizzled with the sesame oil.

Servings: 4

Source: BBC Good Food

Have a great day

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday Recipe

Friday morning the ground was white. Thought they said flurries.

Every so often - not sure if it's once a week or less - I get an email with a wine recommendation from our liquor board. They include a recipe - this is the current one. Triangoli are triangle shaped Ravioli. What was the wine you ask? La Linda Private Selection Old Vines Malbec.

Lamb Triangoli with Brown Butter and Parmesan

Browned butter adds nutty flavour and is about as simple as a sauce can get, having only one ingredient! This recipe makes numerous triangoli (and enough brown butter for four to six appetizer portions), however they freeze well for months and are very versatile as either an appetizer or main course. Or try frying the triangles in hot oil for crispy nibbles to serve with drinks (see TIP).

1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil
1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced (white and light green portion only)
½ cup (125 mL) finely diced sweet red pepper or shredded carrot
1 large clove garlic, minced
¾ tsp (4 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
½ cup (125 mL) frozen petit pois peas
1 lb (500 g) lean ground lamb or pork
½ cup (125 mL) toasted sliced or slivered almonds
½ cup (125 mL) diced dried apricots
2 pkgs (each 450 g) frozen egg roll wrappers, defrosted
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted butter
¼ cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan
1 to 2 Tbs (15 to 30 mL) finely chopped parsley or green onion

1. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add leek, red pepper and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in black pepper and salt; turn into a metal bowl. Stir in frozen peas; set mixture aside.

2. Place hot pan back on burner; increase heat to medium-high. Using your hands, finely crumble lamb into hot pan; use a spatula to further break up lamb into small pieces. Cook, stirring frequently until meat loses its pink colour; remove from heat. Drain by turning into a sieve over a small metal bowl; place bowl and liquid in freezer for a few minutes or until fat congeals. Remove and discard fat.

3. Add lamb, pan juices, almonds and apricots to vegetable mixture. Stir until well combined.

4. Place about 2 tbsp (30 mL) of mixture in centre of wrapper. Moisten wrapper edges well with egg using a small brush or index finger; fold 1 point over to the opposite point, forming a triangle. Beginning at matched point, firmly press edges together working back towards the 2 points, eliminating as much air as possible from the pocket. Firmly press edges together again.

5. Place triangoli as assembled slightly apart on large tray lined with wax paper, adding additional sheets of waxed paper as needed. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. (To freeze, place in freezer uncovered for 1 to 2 hours. Then transfer to heavy plastic bags, and seal airtight.)

6. Place butter in a small stainless-steel saucepan over medium-low heat. Let butter melt and start to bubble. Then stirring often, allow it to continue to bubble, stirring frequently for 3 to 5 minutes or until it develops golden brown flecks. Pour into a heatproof dish to stop browning; set aside in a warm place.

7. Bring salted water to a boil in a large rondeau saucepan or pasta pot. Meanwhile check seal on triangoli; use wetted fingers to firmly press closed any gaps in edges. Drop several triangoli into the water; gently boil for 4 to 5 minutes or until pasta is cooked. If cooking from frozen, add a couple of minutes to the cooking time. Drain; repeat in batches as needed.

8. Arrange 2 to 3 triangoli on each warmed plate; drizzle with a bit of browned butter. Scatter with grated Parmesan and parsley. Serve immediately, passing a black pepper grinder overtop.

Yield: approximately 36 triangoli

Deep-fry triangoli as a finger food (no sauce). Heat 3 inches (8 cm) of oil in a wide pan over medium-high heat until oil measures 350° to 375°F (180° to 190°C) on a thermometer. Using a slotted spoon, lower 3 to 4 triangoli into hot oil, turning after 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel; serve right away. Frozen triangoli can be cooked right from the freezer.

Author: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

Have a great weekend.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Did You Know? Anna and the King of Siam.

I subscribe to How To Geek and every so often they come up with some information I find particularly fascinating.
In 1972, a young Serbian flight attendant, Vesna Vulović, fell 33,330 feet (10,160 meters) when JAT Flight 367 was ripped apart by a terrorist bomb. Although she suffered multiple broken bones, spent ten days in a coma, and was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down as she recovered from her injuries, she went on to live into her sixties. She holds the Guinness world record for surviving the highest fall without a parachute.

We watched Anna and the King of Siam this evening, I have seen it before, it was made in 1946 in black and white with Rex Harrison playing the King and Irene Dunne as Anna. I had forgotten how good it was. Although I have always loved the musical, The King and I, it was somewhat unrealistic and the early film conveys many years of Anna living in Siam and also covers the death of her young son. I read the book as a teenager and over the years have improved my knowledge by reading her own memoirs (a very Victorian lady) where her views of the Siamese people were somewhat prejudiced but typical of that era. I remember the first time I saw this older version of the story I was somewhat shocked seeing Rex Harrison as the King but he actually did an excellent job. Seeing it tonight I hadn't realised how much of the old film had been used for The King and I. Funny this is in colour but the movie was not.

My first game today at bowling was pretty lousy, however the other two were reasonably good. I hope I will be better on Monday, when it counts.

When I was in the Dominican Republic, I couldn't get enough of Fried Plantains. I tried to make them at home but it didn't work. From this recipe it would appear I should have flattened them. Having come across this recipe I thought I would share it.

Tostones (Fried Plantains)

"A Puerto Rican side, usually served with rice and beans in our family."

2 cups vegetable oil for frying
3 plantains, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
salt to taste
garlic powder to taste

1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Place a few plantain slices in the oil, and cook until lightly golden in color, about three minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining slices.

2. While the plantain slices are still warm, place them one at a time between two sheets of wax paper, and flatten by hand to 1/4 inch thick. Return flattened slices to the skillet, and continue frying until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, and season with salt and garlic powder.

Author: Melanie
Source: AllRecipes

Have a great day

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Doctor, Bowling, Balcony Work. Killer Hurricanes.

Our principal activity for Wednesday was going to the doctor's. Matt needed his skin cancer checked and I had X-rays on my back to talk about. However, I also asked her about Matt's dizziness and told her of him falling twice in the last couple of weeks. Said I had checked blood pressure and blood sugars but she decided he needed to go on a BP halter for a while to see what was happening. As for me, she wanted me to go for an MRI to see if I needed an operation on my back for a stenosis or something.  I basically said no thanks. It would cause unending complications in our lives for me to go into hospital for back surgery.

After that, went to the bowling alley for a couple of games. I won one and Matt the other. Bit of shopping, visit to the library and back home. Met a guy in the lobby who knows everything and he told me that they would do another cleaning job on our windows and that I should look for the guy in the Yellow Vest as he was the one who unlocked the windows. Inspector I presume. He also told me the construction guys are supposed to be out of here by next Wednesday. We shall see whether he really does know everything. Forgot to mention, I had gone down to exercise class first but we got a message that an emergency had occurred and there would be no class. No idea what that was about.

Started watching Killer Hurricanes but didn't find it nearly as interesting as the Killer Floods programme last week. Way too many charts and statistics. But it does seem that way back when, there were storms far worse than anything we have experienced in modern times although with global warming, etc. it may be that the severity will increase. Glad I live where I live.

Talking to Stephen Tremp yesterday, I promised to find the recipe for crab cakes which I got from the Beaufort Maritime Museum in North Carolina. I always liked these because they really tasted of crab. I haven't made them since I left NC though. My access to crab is limited to canned and it isn't that
flavourful anyway. Well I guess living on the coast we got spoiled. It occurs to me that one could use Panko instead of the breadcrumbs. I just double checked, the ones from the other day were not vastly different but did contain green peppers which would really affect the flavour, personally I want to taste the crab. JoAnne was one of the people running  the class which a friend and I went to. Lasted a few weeks I recall.

JoAnne's Crab Cakes

2 cup crab meat
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch cayenne
2 eggs beaten
fine bread crumbs
1 Tbs mayonnaise
4 Tbs margarine or butter

Melt margarine in  fry pan. Mix crab meat with seasonings, eggs and mayonnaise. Add bread crumbs to thicken to a soft moulding consistency. Spoon in to pan and sauté until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve.

Have a great day

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hair, Lunch, Tasting, Shopping, Balcony

Well I had my $15 haircut and am a happy camper once again. Then we went out to lunch - I know you won't have a clue where!! Whilst there I checked on our Christmas booking and at first they were unable to find it then they did and I had been saying 6 and it was for 6:30. No wonder they couldn't find it. I guess we will be on our own as the couple who were joining us are going away instead. They were advertising for taste testers at the beginning of the year. I would love to do that, but it was too far away. How sad.  I taste as much as I can whilst there LOL.

Then we had run out of lamb chops which we both enjoy and as we were close to Costco's who have the best lamb chops round here, we nipped in there. Nipped is not an appropriate word. At this point I have to digress and mention that we were following my favourite car in the world, a Mercedes Sports Car. Saw the first one in France when I was 18. It was a gorgeous vehicle. Anyway, back to Costco where I traipsed all the way to the back where the meat is. Why do they put it so far away??? Matt gave up and went to the car. I got myself two packs of chops and left. The cashier commented "only one item" I said wasn't she surprised to see I had got out of there with so little; her response was they didn't want to
encourage such shopping habits LOL. By this time our legs were both hurting but we headed to the grocery store and bought the place up. Earned myself 28,000 points doing so mind you but it wasn't cheap or easy on the legs. By this time, having had my hair cut, I needed some cash so I went into the drug store, bought tube of toothpaste and asked for cash back. I had to type in the amount so I did and the cashier processed it. I had typed in 30 cents!!! So, went and got another tube of toothpaste and this time got my $30. What an idiot. Should have enough toothpaste for a while. By the time I got to the car I could just about walk. We were supposed to go the library but decided to skip that for today. By the time it was all brought up and put away we were knackered.

Then, lo and behold I looked out of the window and our balconies are finished and our windows have been washed (joke) they have, but they are covered with water marks and dusty streaks, but at least the concrete and paint have gone. No, we still cannot open our door, the inspector has to come and check. But, the end is nigh. They would never earn a cent as window cleaners though.

Apparently today, Tuesday, is Pad Thai Day. Dunno why but nothing loathe I thought I would find a recipe to share. This seems to be a pretty genuine recipe but who knows if you ain't from that neck of the woods.

Pad Thai  

This Pad Thai recipe is how you actually find it in Bangkok and comes from testing hundreds of different variations from food carts all over the city. Pad Thai is the ultimate street food. While "street food" may sound bad, food cart cooks are in such a competitive situation, with such limited space, ingredients and tools they need to specialize in a dish or two just to stay in business. The best of these cooks have cooked the same dish day-after-day, year-after-year, constantly perfecting it.

Great Pad Thai is dry and light bodied, with a fresh, complex, balanced flavor. It should be reddish and brownish in color.  Not bright red and oily like I've seen in the US. The ingredients listed below can be somewhat intimidating but many are optional. If you would like to make authentic Pad Thai, just like in Thailand, use all the ingredients.

Pad Thai is another perfect vegetarian dish, just omit shrimp and substitute soy sauce for fish sauce. Add more tofu if you like.

From street carts, you can also often find an older, more traditional version of Pad Thai made with
dried shrimp.

1/2 package Thai rice noodles
1-1/3 cup bean sprouts Optional
1/2 banana flower Optional
1-1/2 cup Chinese chives Optional
2 Tbs cooking oil
2 Tbs tamarind paste
2 Tbs sugar
1 minced shallots
1 Tbs preserved turnip Optional
1/3 cup extra firm tofu
1/2 lime
2 Tbs peanuts Optional
1/2-1/4 lb shrimp Optional
ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground dried chili pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
4 tsp fish sauce
1 egg

1. Shrimp can be substituted or omitted.

2. In this recipe, pre-ground pepper, particularly pre-ground white pepper is better than fresh ground pepper. For kids, omit the ground dried chili pepper.

3. Tamarind adds some flavor and acidity, but you can substitute white vinegar.

4. The type of super firm tofu or pressed called for this recipe can be found at most oriental groceries in a plastic bag, not in water. Some might be brown from soy sauce, but some white ones are also available. Pick whatever you like.

5. If you decide to include banana flower, cut lengthwise into sections (like orange sections). Rub any open cut with lime or lemon juice to prevent it from turning dark.

6. The original Pad Thai recipe calls for crushed roasted peanuts. Thailand is hot and humid and storage conditions are often sub-optimal, so a certain fungus can grow on peanuts. This fungus is linked to cancer, so many people in Thailand avoid eating peanuts.

7. One of the big challenges with Pad Thai's measurements is that the flavor densities and characteristics of the 3 core flavor ingredients: fish sauce, tamarind and lime juice vary greatly from brand to brand and purchase to purchase. Plus the salt content of your fish sauce, dried shrimp and preserved turnips will likely differ from ours. You will need to taste this as you're making it and keep the 3 flavors, salty, sweet and sour, in balance to your liking.

8. Prepping

9. Start with soaking the dry noodles in lukewarm or room temperature water while preparing the other ingredients. Getting the noodles just right is the trickiest part of making Pad Thai. Make sure that the noodles are submerged in plenty of water. Check out Tips and Substitutions for in depth explanations. By the time you are ready to put ingredients in the pan, the noodles should be flexible but not mushy. Julienne tofu and cut into 1 inch long matchsticks. When cut, the super firm tofu/pressed tofu should have a mozzarella cheese consistency. You can fry the tofu separately until golden brown and hard, or you can fry with other ingredients below.

10. Cut the Chinese chives into 1 inch long pieces. Set aside a few fresh chives for a garnish. Rinse the bean sprouts and save half for serving fresh. Mince shallot and garlic together.

11. Cooking

12. Use a wok. If you do not have a wok, any big pot will do. Heat it up on high heat and pour oil in the wok. Fry the peanuts until toasted and remove them from the wok. The peanuts can be toasted in the pan without oil as well. Add shallot, preserved turnip, garlic and tofu and stir them until they start to brown. The noodles should be flexible but not expanded at this point.

13. Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir quickly to keep things from sticking. Add tamarind, sugar, fish sauce and chili pepper. Stir. The heat should remain high. If your wok is not hot enough, you will see a lot of juice in the wok at this point. Turn up the heat, if it is the case.

14. Make room for the egg by pushing all noodles to the side of the wok. Crack the egg onto the wok and scramble it until it is almost all cooked. Fold the egg into the noodles. The noodles should soft and chewy. Pull a strand out and taste. If the noodles are too hard (not cooked), add a little bit of water. When you get the right taste, add shrimp and stir. Sprinkle white pepper around. Add bean sprouts and chives. Stir a few more times. The noodles should be soft, dry and very tangled.

15. Pour onto the serving plate and sprinkle with ground pepper and peanuts. Serve hot with the banana flower slice, a wedge of lime on the side, raw Chinese chives and raw bean sprouts on top.

16. As always, in Thailand, condiments such as sugar, chili pepper, vinegar and fish sauce are available at your table for your personal taste. Some people add more chili pepper or sugar at the table.

Servings: 2 to 3


Have a great day

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Coloured Veg., Hair Cuts, Bowling, Grammar?

On Sunday night I read an interesting article about coloured vegetables - apparently the colours do make a difference. Some vegetable contain more vitamin A because of their colour, some contain different antioxidants - I have decided, after reading the article, that I am going to buy more red cabbage for instance. Both cabbages have lots of antioxidants and are high in Vitamin C  but red cabbage has one and a half times more potassium than green. Do read the article, it is interesting how different coloured foods are better for certain things than others. It covers tomatoes, beets, peppers, cauliflower, beets, cabbage, potatoes, squashes - all I can remember. Of course it mentions purple potatoes which we saw here for a while but they seem to have disappeared. As for coloured cauliflower, I have never tried them. I naively assumed they were probably all the same.

I can't remember if I wrote about our hairdressing salon a while back. They suddenly changed hands and their prices increased slightly. However, there was a notice on the door saying closed for renovations and they have been closed ever since. Matt has been a couple of times to another place in the area and paid roughly the same, but when I asked about getting my hair cut they wanted $25 plus tax. To me that is a bit pricey. So, I started calling around. I got quotes going up to $40 just to cut my hair!!! No way thank you. However, there was a notice in our mail room lately for an in house hairdresser called Klaus Kuts. Oddly enough Klaus was the name of the guy who used to cut Matt's hair. So, at the end of my tether, as it were, and envisioning having to cut my own hair again (I did so for years) I called Klaus Kuts and asked about cutting my hair, he put his wife on the line who immediately said "I know that voice". It is the couple who owned the salon we have been going to for years. She is no longer doing hair but said as I was in the building she would cut mine for me. I couldn't believe they had moved here. She will charge me the same as she always did $15. Whoopee. So this morning I will finally get my ears lowered LOL. I don't understand why some of these salons want to charge so much for a straightforward cut. One woman said wash and cut I responded I don't want a wash, she said she always washed first. I know people pay phenomenal amounts for perms and die jobs etc. But 40 bucks for a simple cut!!!

I did not bowl well on Monday nor did Matt so the team ended up with 3 of the 7 points. Next time I hope.

I went to the drug store this afternoon on the way home and saw they had "broaches" for sale. Later I had an email from Costco which had an ad showing their price "beets" other prices. I can't believe it, I really can't. In the drug store I wanted to stop and change it but didn't. Are people really so pig ignorant or what?

This looks delicious but I have a confession to make, I buy crab cakes from my grocery store which are great, so I would probably just make the Rémoulade sauce. Admittedly mine won't have the crispy Panko breadcrumbs on them.

Crab Cakes with Spicy Rémoulade

This 20-minute meal feels restaurant-worthy, a great way to get more seafood into your weeknight rotation. Readers loved the lightness and tenderness of the cakes; we achieved this by using panko—supercrisp Japanese breadcrumbs—and keeping binders to a minimum so the crab shines through. Look for fresh lump crab in containers at the fish counter rather than using canned. If you want even more kick in your sauce, use spicy, grainy Creole mustard. Serve the cakes with a simple salad of
mixed greens with roasted butternut squash, thinly sliced fennel, or peeled and sliced beets.

Crab cakes:

1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
2 Tbs finely chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 Tbs canola mayonnaise
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko, divided
2 Tbs canola oil, divided


1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
2 tsp minced shallots
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp capers, chopped
3/4 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
Mixed Greens Salad

1. To prepare crab cakes, drain crabmeat on several layers of paper towels. Combine crabmeat, bell pepper, and the next 4 ingredients (through egg), tossing gently. Stir in 1/4 cup panko. Place remaining 3/4 cup panko in a shallow dish.

2. Divide crab mixture into 8 equal portions. Shape 4 portions into 3/4-inch-thick patties; dredge in panko. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add dredged patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with the remaining crab mixture, panko, and oil.

3. To prepare rémoulade, combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise and remaining ingredients; serve with crab cakes.

Servings: 4
Yield: serving size: 2 crab cakes and about 2 tablespoons sauce

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Monday, November 6, 2017

DST, Guy Fawkes, Balconies. Pensions, Saturday Dinner, Bowling,

We forgot, or didn't really know, the clocks went back on Saturday night, for some reason they hadn't
been screaming it all over the TV and radio this year with the result that we had no idea. I vaguely remembered hearing something about it during the week but forgot about it. Just as well it is a Sunday. I just wish everything electric or digital would change themselves like the computers and the TV box. I have trouble with my watch every time, I forget what I have to do and it takes me forever to remember. Then I have to go round changing all the clocks in the apartment and Monday in the car too. Of course I haven't mentioned that Sunday being November 5th is Guy Fawkes Day too. Not sure how much that is celebrated in the UK any more. As a youngster I really enjoyed the bonfires and fireworks.

Having posted a picture of the new panels on our balcony railing we are now awaiting the final touches of the smoked glass at the top part of the railings. So much for all the naysayers who didn't think they would be finished this year. Yes, I was one. I think the windows will be cleaned by the super from something I overheard. I do hope so because it isn't a job Matt and I could manage. Sunday was mist and some rain so I am hoping Monday will be dry enough for them to work.

Monday morning we need to get ourselves to the bank to have Matt's signature witnessed on documents to prove to the British pension service that he is still alive and kicking. As I said to Matt this morning, it's odd we have had one or two such requests for him but not for me.

By the way I cooked the Parmesan Roast Potatoes, which I posted in October, for the second time. this time they were fully cooked and we both found them delicious. My bathroom scales weren't so keen on them though. I didn't do any kind of dip as shown in the picture. Just served them with lamb chops and sautéed cabbage which is one of our favourites. Of course Saturday we go the whole hog with wine and dessert so I don't suppose that my scales were keen on that either. Part of me says what does it matter at my age, part of me doesn't want to gain lots of weight.

Today being Monday, hopefully all four of us will be there for bowling and we will maybe win some points. After the last two weeks we need them.

I always enjoy shortbread although rarely eat it at any time other than Christmas/New Year's. These sounded an interesting change. I am not familiar with Coconut Flour but I do like the taste of coconut.

Coconut Flour Shortbread Cookies

Need new holiday cookies to add to the mix? These coconut flour shortbread cookies are deliciously

1/3 cup coconut flour
4 Tbs grass-fed butter
1 Tbs maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs dark chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Cut butter in with the coconut flour using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the butter turns pea-sized.

3. Add in maple syrup and vanilla extract and cream into the dough until a smooth dough is created.

4. Divide dough into eight even amounts. Rolls each piece into a ball, place on a baking sheet, and gently flatten with the back of a fork.

5. Bake for 6-8 minutes, watching carefully so they don’t burn.

6. While the cookies are baking, melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler, or in the microwave on 50% power for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour the melted chocolate in a small plastic bag or piping bag. Once the cookies are naked and mostly cooled, drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. Allow the chocolate to harden before enjoying!

Servings: 8

Author: Deanna Dorman
Source: Paleohacks

Have a great day

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Balcony, Saturday Recipe

Just had to post this picture of our balcony railings. This is a section I managed to capture through the 2 inches I can open our balcony door.

The final stage is to add smoked glass (Plexiglass, don't know for sure) on the top part.

So busy watching one of my favourite movies, The China Syndrome, that I haven't looked up a recipe. This film stars Jack Lemon, Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas and Wilfred Brimley. Fantastic movie.

Just found this recipe in my cookbook programme. Have had this recipe for years and never noticed it before. Sounds good and easy too. I always have tapenade so all I would need would be the puff pastry.

Provençale Tarts

For a fast, fancy edge, use a fluted pastry wheel to cut the puff pastry for these elegant cheese first-
course appetizers.

1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (1 sheet)
2/3 cup purchased tapenade
16 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 8-ounce package crumbled feta cheese
Fresh herb sprigs (optional)

1. Thaw puff pastry according to package directions. Cut into sixteen 2-1/2-inch squares. Place each square in a 2-1/2-inch muffin cup. Place about 1 teaspoon of the tapenade on each square. Top with two cherry tomato quarters and some of the feta cheese.

2. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden brown. Remove from muffin cups. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs, if desired. Serve warm.

Makes 16 appetizer servings. 32 pieces in all

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Have a great weekend.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Bowling, Balconies, Forms, Killer Floods,

Went bowling today of course, Bowled reasonably well but Matt bowled very well so he thrashed me today. He was happy of course. I am still not 100% but getting close to it. I read and was recommended to have some Chicken Noodle Soup so we did, for supper plus a sausage on a bun. Not really up to doing a lot at the moment.

No further news on our balcony as it rained all day. Not really hard, but continuous so I guess that was it. However, we passed all these road works and they were all hard at it, or at least at it, not sure about hard LOL.

All kinds of forms to be signed at the moment and witnessed by someone such as a bank official so will have to do that tomorrow. Have to prove Matt is still alive and kicking to get his pension. They do this every now and again. Pain in the you know what.

Last night we watched a programme on PBS about ancient catastrophic floods which  carved areas of rock during the ice age. The floods did thir carving in a matter of hours and were excessively fast  and powerful  as well as around 800 ft. high. If you follow the link there is a video. This is the programme description:

All over the world, scientists are discovering traces of ancient floods on a scale that dwarfs even the most severe flood disasters of recent times. What triggered these cataclysmic floods, and could they strike again? In the Channeled Scablands of Washington State, the level prairie gives way to bizarre, gargantuan rock formations: house sized boulders seemingly dropped from the sky, a cliff carved by a waterfall twice the height of Niagara, and potholes large enough to swallow cars. Like forensic detenctives at a crime scene, geologists study these strange features and reconstruct catastrophic Ice Age floods more powerful that all the world's top ten rivers combined. NOVA follows their efforts to uncover the geologic fingerprints of other colossal megafloods in Iceland and, improbably, on the seabed of the English Channel. There, another deluge smashed thorugh a land bridge connecting Britain and France hundreds of thousands of years ago and turned Britain into an island for the first time. These great disasters ripped thorugh terrain and transformed continents in a matter of hours - and similar forces reawakened by climate chage are posing an active threat to mountain communities throughout the world today.

This is not the usual sort of recipe, but it looked so delicious I thought I would pass it on.

Baked Lemon and Parsley Stuffed Tomatoes

1. In a large frying pan, saute one onion chopped fine and a clover or two of garlic, minced, in a little olive oil and butter over medium heat.

2. Cut the tops off your tomatoes, use a knife to run around the ribs and turn the contents out into a bowl. Salt the insides of the tomatoes a tad and turn them upside down to drain.

3. Chop the tomato innards and add to the onion and garlic with 4 medium mushrooms, diced, about a quarter of a lemon, zested (and the juice of about half), a cup of breadcrumbs, a handful of chopped parsley, some crumbled feta or goat cheese, and plenty of salt and pepper. We did chilli flakes, too, because they are a staple.

4. Saute for a bit until everything is golden and the breadcrumbs and veggies have absorbed the tomatoey lemon goodness.

5. Stuff the tomato shells with the mixture, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and top with grated parmesan-style cheese.

6. Bake in a hot oven 20 minutes or so until everything is cooked through, the tomatoes are soft and rich, and everything smells like you want to eat it RIGHT NOW.

Have a think too about what you've got in your fridge or pantry that would jazz them up a bit, or if you're just looking to use it up so it won't go to waste. You might prefer a lighter filling if these are for a side dish, but as they were the main for us I made them a bit heartier with the addition of mushrooms - swiss browns, if you can get 'em

Author: Stacey
Source: Veggie Mama

Have a great day