Monday, March 27, 2017

Railways, London Food Markets, Asparagus,

Watching a programme on Saturday night on TV Ontario, it was all about how trains changed Britain in particular in the transportation of food all over the country and particularly to London. The people doing the narration ended up in a big London market where they bought the most beautiful lamb chops I have seen in over 40 years. I wanted to go 'home'. These in the picture look pretty good, but not as good as the ones I saw on TV. The food they showed in the markets, in particular Billingsgate which is a fish market in London, made me long for the foods which were so readily available there. They even visited a guy who smokes herrings to make them into kippers (I drooled) and another man who runs a genuine fish and chip shop. Unfortunately, I understand the old fish and chippers are giving way to the corner Indian takeaway. On this side of the pond there is too much emphasis on production for the masses and not enough on quality and taste. I have talked before about aging meat which is not done long enough in North America as a whole. One can get meat well aged, but as it is a specialty item instead of the norm, the price is astronomical. Another thing they did, was herd some sheep to the station and load them onto the train. There was a sheep dog so I don't think they were totally on their own. I was surprised, the sheep were being transported in an open carriage and didn't seem to be a bit worried at all.

Not a lot going on this weekend. We've been cleaning silver and glassware which is a bind but looks so nice once it's done. Taking it by easy stages, a shelf at a time. We had quite a lot of rain over the weekend and Sunday it was somewhat foggy. They keep mentioning snow on the weather forecast but so far, nothing has materialised round here.

I have just found a site on Cooking Light with lots and lots of asparagus recipes. So I won't have  to
repeat the same 'ol same 'ol although some I will repeat because they are so good. We had asparagus soup tonight, need to use it up as I will soon be making more, I hope. A lot of the recipes I found called for roasting the asparagus. Not my favourite way of cooking it as steamed or boiled it is such a succulent vegetable. A couple I saw were roasted and then a sauce added. Those I would definitely boil for preference. Looking at this picture, hadn't noticed before, the ends are white which shows the asparagus is NOT farm fresh. You never have to snap off the ends with farm fresh asparagus. You can eat the whole stalk.

If you are like me and love carrot cake and pancakes, this is the perfect brunch dish for you - or breakfast or any meal.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Want to have your cake and eat it too? You can (and for breakfast!!!) with these incredible Carrot Cake Pancakes. Drizzled with a cream cheese topping and sprinkled with a vanilla wafer crumble,
these decadent and fluffy pancakes are the perfectly delicious and tasty way to eat dessert for breakfast.

Carrot Cake Pancakes
2 ¼ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups finely grated carrots, pat dry on paper towel

Cream Cheese Topping
4 oz cream cheese
6 Tbs icing sugar
3 Tbs whole milk
½ tsp vanilla extract

Crumble Topping
½ cup vanilla wafer crumbs
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tbs butter, melted

1. For the pancakes, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Stir milk mixture and grated carrots into the dry ingredients. Do not over-mix (lumps are okay in the batter). Let the batter rest while the skillet heats up.

2. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Coat the skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon ¼ cup pancake batter into the hot skillet. Cook until bubbles form, then flip over and cook on the other side until golden. Keep warm in 200ºF oven or serve immediately. To serve, stack pancakes, drizzle with cream cheese topping and sprinkle vanilla wafer crumble over top.

3. For the cream cheese topping, using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, icing sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth. Can be refrigerated until ready to use over pancakes.

4. For the crumble topping, preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, combine vanilla wafer crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter. Place mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes and then remove from oven and let cool. Crumble over pancakes.

Yield: 15 pancakes

Source: Zoomer Weekend

Have a great day
 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday Recipe

For those of you who are interested, my extraction wounds are coming along fine, thanks. Almost back to normal eating.

Here's another frittata recipe. They are so easy to make and so tasty. I am not quite sure what sausage crumbles are, but crumbled sausage meat would, I assume be the same.

Sausage Frittata


1 (9 5/8 ounce) package pork sausage, crumbles
2 cups red potatoes, cubed and cooked
8 eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2  cup tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced

1. Cook sausage in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 4-5 minutes or until hot. Stir in potatoes.

2. Beat eggs, cheese, salt and pepper in large bowl with wire whisk. Pour over sausage mixture.

3. Cook over medium-high heat 2 minutes, occasionally lifting edge with spatula and tilting skillet to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath. (Do not stir.).

4. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Cook 14-17 minutes or until eggs are set.

5. Top with tomato and onions. Cut into 8 wedges to serve.

Servings: 8

Source: Food.com

Have a great weekend.

Friday, March 24, 2017

All Over, Food,

OK,  it's all over bar the shouting. I am minus 2 more teeth. The injections hurt like hell but that was the only thing that did, unless you count the bill. I was shaky and very cold when I left and right through til close to lunch. Then after lunch I was bored and so we went to the bowling alley after all. I was semi prepared to sit and watch, but didn't in the end and had one of the best games I've had for a while!!! I even beat Matt twice. Took a large mug of iced tea with me. No hot drinks.

I remembered a recipe we used to make a long time ago when in NC. It was a knock off of a paté sold
by Sam's. Basically you mix (cooked) smoked fish like kippers, smoked trout, etc. with Philly Cheese (whole pack) add 1 tbs of Mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip) 1 tbs lemon juice and 2-3 drops of Tabasco (or more to taste). It's delicious.

I ate it on whole wheat bread - having cut off the crusts which are a nono for me at the moment - small bites at a time. Matt just made a sandwich of his.

I also made a blancmange which is a typically English milk pudding. I have a packet which was sent by Matt's daughter several years ago (she sent 2 packs, only used one not sure why). I have never seen it in Canada. Having written this, I decided to Google, Guess what, good old Amazon sells the same packet as that I already have. Blancmange takes me back to my childhood, my mother used to make them for birthday parties for me. There is/was an English cook/author who published a book with original recipes. I tried making her recipe for blancmange. Quite different to what I was used to and I didn't enjoy it as much. I also tried her recipe for custard and that was absolutely no different to the Bird's Custard that so many of us in England used to use, probably still do.

I am not really up to writing much of a blog today, so that's it for now.

Have a great day
 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Future, Bowling,

I am probably not in the best of moods tonight (I wonder why?) but bearing in mind the things I have been writing about in recent months, over fishing, shooting animals of all kinds for their ivory, illegal animal trades anyway, not to mention terrorist attacks whether instigated by a particular group or just because someone appears to go nuts (London attacks on Wednesday). Then there are the things we can't do anything about like all the super volcanoes out there or the major earthquakes waiting to happen. It made me think that really I am not going to be around that many more years. I know, I could live til 100 but not many people are doing that yet although more and more each year. But really, do I want to?

There are things going to happen that I would like to do of course, but I am too old to be included in such things as manned trips to Mars and the like. A certain president is pushing that I believe. Maybe not such a good idea coming from him.

We did go bowling today just in case I can't cope tomorrow or feel such a toothless hag I don't want to appear in public, grin. Matt won 2 out of three and the third game was a really good one. As I said, why can't he do it on Monday when it counts? Mind you I had one pretty good game so I guess the same applies to me. We were supposed to be bowling downstairs today, but one of the owners decided to make some adjustments to allow us to bowl upstairs as there was a group of handicapped people bowling today and they tend to be extremely noisy. We appreciated that.

One comment from the owner - was I loaded up on yoghurt and apple sauce. No, not much nutrition in those things. Soups, eggs, fish, much better I think. We shall see.

This caught my eye originally because of the use of radishes.

Sweet-and-Sour Chicken Bowl

Bone-in chicken thighs are pan-seared before being basted with sticky-sweet sauce and slow cooked to fork-tender perfection. Sear the chicken thighs in batches to avoid over-crowding the pan and hindering browning. Though we swoon over the superiorly moist meat, the real magic lies within the sauce, which masters the balance of savory and sweet. For a burst of freshness, we add a simple cabbage slaw that rounds out the meal with a satisfying crunch. For an extra dose of veggies, pair it with sugar snap or snow peas. Our recipe requires little legwork and saves 300 calories and 250 mg
of sodium over the classic.

2 1/2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tbs canola oil
2 green onions
1/4 cup unsalted ketchup
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbs reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, divided
2 (8.8-oz.) pouches precooked whole-grain brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's Ready Rice)
3 cups packaged cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw
3/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
1 Tbs toasted sesame oil

1. Place chicken thighs in a large ziplock plastic freezer bag; sprinkle with cornstarch, and seal. Shake bag until chicken is evenly coated. Remove chicken; shake off excess cornstarch.

2. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add chicken, and cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Place in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.

3. Thinly slice green parts of green onions; set aside. Finely chop white parts of green onions; stir together with ketchup, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, salt, and 1/2 cup vinegar in a medium bowl. Pour sauce over chicken in slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours, or on LOW for 7 hours and 30 minutes, until chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove chicken from slow cooker; cool slightly. Carefully remove bones from each thigh; discard bones.

4. Heat rice according to package directions. Stir together coleslaw, radishes, sesame oil, and remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar.

5. Divide cooked rice evenly among 6 bowls. Top evenly with coleslaw mixture and chicken. Drizzle with sauce from slow cooker; sprinkle with green onion slices.

Servings: 6

Cooking Light

Have a great day
 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More on dentistry, Shopping,

Today I expected to be grousing about my teeth having had them extracted on Tuesday. However, because I am on a blood thinner, I have to stop taking it for a couple of days before, so now I am going at 8:15 a.m. (is there such a time?) on Thursday. I have been having a lot of pain with this stupid tooth - they wanted to do root canal, but the only one I ever had was a pain in the butt and I ended having the tooth pulled 10 minutes later (not literally of course). So now I have to suffer til Thursday. I think we will, hopefully, be bowling on Wednesday aft instead of Thursday, just in case.  Mind you if I am up to it, we will probably bowl Thursday anyway. I may be curled up at home feeling desperately sorry for myself of course.

Tuesday we did grocery shopping and I couldn't think what to buy because I didn't know if I could eat it by the weekend. Decided to leave some of it until Friday maybe and see how it goes. Problem isn't it? Whilst shopping we went to one store to see if they sold a particular brand of Dutch wafer cookies, some of the same chain of stores do, but not our local one. I will have to continue to rely on my bowling buddy to get them from her store for me. There are all kinds of wafers around many with chocolate, vanilla and other flavours, but these from a particular source in Holland are coffee flavoured and absolutely delicious. Matt and I both love them. Don't have any around right now and can't remember the name of them.

Here's something a bit different. Frittatas I have made, but never one like this.

Persian Herb And Leek Frittata

Kuku sabzi (Persian frittata) tend to have less eggs than the typical fritter or omelet. They can be slightly sweet with dates and dried rose, or savory, like the one below. Try not to be diverted from all the greens that are suggested for this recipe. You really can use whatever hearty greens and herbs you
like. It’s the ideal clean-out-the-fridge recipe. Read more about throwing a Persian New Year feast here.

5 Tbs vegetable oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
5 large eggs
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 ½ cups finely chopped cilantro
1 ½ cups finely chopped dill
1 ½ cups finely chopped parsley
1 Tbs dried fenugreek leaves

1. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a 10" skillet over medium. Cook onion and leek, stirring occasionally, until very soft but not brown, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Wipe out skillet; set aside.

2. Whisk eggs, salt, baking powder, pepper, and turmeric in a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula, mix in onion mixture, cilantro, dill, parsley, and fenugreek. (Egg mixture should look thick and very green.)

3. Heat broiler. Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in reserved skillet over medium. Pour in egg mixture; spread evenly across pan with spatula. Cover and cook frittata until bottom is just set, 8–10 minutes. Uncover and broil, watching carefully, until top is set, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly, then slide out onto a platter.

Servings: 8

Source
Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day
 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mt. Nyiragongo, Illegal Fishing,

There is no doubt in my mind that some people are total freaking idiots. We watched a National Geographic programme on Sunday night about a volcano in the Congo called Mount Nyiragongo. There were research scientists from all over the globe plus photographers. Nyiragongo has the largest crater in the world and these people climbed the mountain then climbed down into the caldera. There were several levels and the scientific project required some magma which they had actually seen form so they could time and
date it. The caldera had a sort of wall around it formed by magma, and you could see the liquid lava splashing over this wall in many places. In the end, the photographer basically persuaded one of the scientists to climb the magma wall in a thermal suit whilst he took pics. The scientist had decided not to do this because conditions were so bad, but once he got close, he couldn't resist it. You can see the 'wall' round the caldera and as I said, the lava was splashing over it and running down the sides. He
got his lava sample when he climbed the 'wall' and he was finding it almost too hot to hold even through thermal gloves. The idea is, samples of the magma, especially 0 aged magma, can help predict the next eruption and hopefully save lives. All the way through the scientist was resisting risking his life because conditions there were so extremely bad and in the end the photographer virtually talked him into it.  Found a third pic which shows how the lava was splashing down the sides and how tall the 'magma wall' is. There was no way of telling where it was going to splash over next. He climbed right up to the lip of the 'wall'. Scary to watch let alone do. I wonder if the lava had actually splashed at him, whether he would have survived?

Later we watched a programme about illegal fishing. I knew it was bad, but not how bad. People have overfished the seas round them and are now poaching other areas. Those concerned are trying to teach the abusers to be more conservative in their eating. One restaurateur said that sushi is moving to vegetable sources these days. I have said before, Tuna can fetch a million dollars or more. Great efforts are being made to try and stop poaching particularly in those areas which depend on fish for their source of protein. One area in particular is Palaui Island in the Philippines which has turned their waters into a protected marine reserve. I thought the animal poaching was bad enough, I didn't know much about fish poaching.

The minute I saw this recipe I knew I had to share it. I am not sure how gratin became to be used for a dish sprinkled with cheese. It really means with breadcrumbs. This is probably adaptable for my vegan friends.

Tomato Gratin


2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 3/4 lbs plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Oil an 8-by-12-inch baking dish. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes. Scrape the onion into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly over the bottom.

2. Arrange the tomato slices over the onion in overlapping rows. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Dot the tomatoes with the butter and sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. Bake on the upper rack for about 15 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown and the gratin is bubbling. Let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Tips
The assembled gratin can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Source: Food & Wine


Have a great day
 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Emails, Earrings, Cream, Leftover chicken,

I don't like getting dozens of emails from advertising sources, but it annoys the heck out of me to get lots of emails from Walgrens. As far as I know, they are not even in Canada. Certainly not round here. Also, since our last election, I get regular emails from both the Liberal Party, in power, and the Conservatives. I am totally uninterested, but I can't seem to stop them. I mark them as junk, spam, etc. etc., but nothing seems to work. However, I did get an email from Shop.CA which I really didn't want either although I have shopped with them before now, and I did so this time. I really didn't need another pair of earrings but...... so that's probably another good reason for not getting advertising emails.

Doing some cooking this weekend and realised I hadn't got any cream. However, I did have whipped
cream frozen in the freezer. Never thought of using it for cooking before, but it works fine. Of course you have to make sure you don't sweeten the cream before you freeze it. For those of you who don't remember me writing about this before, all you need to do is whip some cream, whipping cream of course, and then either dollop (easier) or pipe the cream onto waxed or parchment paper as shown and then put it in the freezer. When frozen I bag it and it seems to keep forever. You can either use it with a dessert or as I am now doing, by adding it to a casserole. or a cream of mushroom sauce for fillet steak.

Last week, feeling sorry for myself (the tooth saga) I bought a rotisserie chicken and we had chicken sandwiches and salad for supper for a couple of nights. Then I de-boned the rest of the meat and Sunday I finely sliced a leek, chopped up half an onion, chopped up a carrot and some celery then sautéed them in butter. After a while I added 3 tbs sherry and a cup of chicken stock. I thickened it with cornstarch and let it cook for a while. Once it had thickened I stirred in the chicken and 2 Tbs of cream. We ate it with noodles and it was delicious. I got the idea from a recipe for leftover turkey and ham which I posted at Christmas, but I adapted it.

When I saw the picture of this White Chocolate Butter Cream, I started drooling LOL. I simply had to share it.

White Chocolate Buttercream

Creamy, sweet, and perfect for any treat, you'll want to make this frosting for all of your favorite cakes.

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
12 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Beat in the melted white chocolate. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy.

Yield: 2 3/4 CUPS

Source: Food and Wine



Have a great day
 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Recipe

I am sorry there was no Saturday recipe. You will have to blame Birgit at BB Creations. In her blog she reminded me of Ben Hur which I taped from the TV many years ago. I decided to watch it, it's a long movie and it was gone midnight when it finished. I really enjoyed it - particularly the chariot race - funny, last time I watched it I was a tad disappointed. Not Friday night. Anyway, at midnight I was too tired to do my blog.

I love Cornish Game Hens although I have never cooked them. The first time I ever ate them was in North Carolina when a good friend and neighbour cooked them for my birthday one year. That was before we moved down there and we used to visit our single wide trailer there twice a year for vacations. This recipe says 8 servings. Whenever I have eaten a Cornish hen, we have had one per person.

Quinoa-Stuffed Cornish Hens

Cornish hen stuffed with aromatic and flavorful Moroccan-inspired quinoa is an elegant main dish to
serve at your next dinner party.

For the Quinoa:
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup slivered almonds
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup sliced fennel (~1/2 inch slices)
1 Tbs minced garlic
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sherry vinegar
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
½ cup dried plums, chopped
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs lemon juice
¼ tsp Kosher salt
Fresh-ground black pepper

For the Cornish Hens:
4 Cornish hens
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs honey + 1 teaspoon for sauce
Fresh-ground black pepper
¼ cup dry white wine (or broth)

1. Heat oven to 425° F.

2. In a small saucepan, bring the quinoa and broth to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the broth is absorbed. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

3. While the quinoa is cooking, toast almonds in a dry skillet, 3-4 minutes; set aside.

4. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat, add onions and saute until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.* Add fennel and saute 3-4 minutes until caramelizing and golden brown. Add garlic and spices and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sherry vinegar to deglaze the pan, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

5. Transfer mixture to the bowl with the quinoa and stir to combine. Add the toasted almonds, dried fruit, honey, lemon juice, Kosher salt, and pepper to taste. Fold all the ingredients together.

6. Fill the cavities of the hens with the quinoa mixture. (Set aside any remaining stuffing to serve on the side.) Twist the wings of the hens behind their backs, and tie the legs together if necessary to prevent quinoa from spilling out. Place hens breast-side up in a roasting pan.

7. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, paprika, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon honey. Coat the hens with the mixture, drizzle with remaining lemon juice, and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Pour wine around the hens.

8. Roast the hens for 35-40 minutes, occasionally basting with pan drippings.

9. When the hens are done, transfer them to a plate and let rest for about 5 minutes. Transfer the pan drippings to a small pot, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits. Add 1 teaspoon honey and if there are not a lot of drippings, add a few tablespoons water and/or wine. Simmer on low heat about 3-5 minutes. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cut the hens in half and serve with the stuffing and pan juices.

Servings: 8

Author: Jessica
Source: Nutrilicious

Author Notes
*Since pan is already hot from toasting the almonds, the onions won't take as long to cook. If you omit the almonds from the recipe the onions will need about 5 minutes cooking time.

Have a great day

Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Patrick's.Dentist,

It always staggers me, thinking about St. Patrick's Day, is that Matt's younger daughter was born on the 17th and so was her husband (the wildlife artist) and both in the same year. Most unusual.

I have definitely decided I should have been a dentist. When I went yesterday I ended up with a filling and an X-ray which was $332.00. I only have to pay $49 mind you so that helps. But I really don't know how they justify some of these costs. I have today booked the date for my extractions, May 2. Our bowling league finishes on May 1 so I won't have to turn up toothless. LOL. I was thinking about the filling, not a scrap of pain even though I was as nervous as a kitten. Things have changed so much since I was a young woman. Children of today should have no reason to be scared to go to the dentist, it is all so much easier nowadays. I remember one dentist we went to in the UK  wouldn't give injections because it cut into the cost of other treatments. In those days dentistry was free, not sure if it still is in England.

Bowling was pretty putrid Thursday, I blamed it on the filling LOL. I did beat Matt once. Lot of kids there today because it is March Break this week. If only the parents would control them. It is very off putting to have kids running around when you are trying to bowl.

Matt decided to watch The King and I last night. I wasn't really watching it but of course I was in the same room. I do love the music. But I was NOT watching - I still ended up in tears when the king died. How daft can you get?

Sticky Toffee Pudding is a classic in the UK but here is an "Irishised" version for St. Patrick's which includes Guinness. The only people who don't subscribe to all this "Irishness" at this time of year are the Irish themselves, or at least, those who live in Ireland.

Guinness sticky toffee pudding

This Guinness sticky toffee pudding is so indulgent, sweet and spongey - and it's absolutely delicious with plenty of hot custard poured over it. There's nothing as warming on a cold winter day as a really rich, sticky pudding and this will really hit the spot. You make this recipe in a slow cooker or in the
oven, so take your pick. It takes a little while to cook, which means it's more of a weekend project, but it's well worth the time it takes to make and you'll see why when you get that perfect pudding texture!

150 g butter, plus extra for greasing
150 g light muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
150 g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 dates, pitted
200 ml Guinness
75 g golden syrup
75 g dark muscovado sugar

1. Grease a 3.5-litre slow cooker basin. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric whisk.

2. Add the eggs, flour, salt and vanilla, and whisk until well combined. Roughly chop the dates and stir through the mixture. Spoon into the slow cooker basin.

3. To make the sauce, gently heat the Guinness, golden syrup and sugar until the sugar has melted. Pour over the cake mixture, cover with a lid and cook on low for 3 hrs. The cake is cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.

4. If you don’t have a slow cooker, heat the oven to 140C, gas 1, and spoon the mixture into a large baking dish. Cook in a bain-marie in the oven for 3 hrs.

5. Serve the cake on a lipped plate(to catch the toffee sauce) with plenty of hot custard.

Servings: 8

Source: GoodtoKnow

Have a great day
 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Snow, Dentist, Stove.

We've been having a drop of winter here lately although not as bad as south of us apparently. Thank goodness. It really hasn't been that bad a winter this year, but it is dragging along. As I keep saying though, the worst snow storm I ever remember was in April.

Not a lot to write about right now, Dentist at 9 a.m. this morning and I am not sure what they will be doing but hoping it will not stop me bowling this afternoon.

One thing I did manage to recalibrate my stove and tested it today. It came out at exactly the right temperature. So now I am happy.

This looked really interesting, I love swordfish anyway so I thought this would be good.

Coconut-Crusted Swordfish with Kumquat Sauce

This coconut-crusted swordfish is served with a delightfully tart sauce made with kumquats—tiny citrus fruit that you can eat whole, including the skins and seeds. For an extra hint of coconut flavor,
sear the fish steak in coconut oil. Serve with brown rice and glazed carrots.

2 swordfish or mahi-mahi steaks (8-10 ounces each)
¾ tsp salt, divided
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup orange juice ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
1 Tbs canola oil or coconut oil plus 2 teaspoons, divided
½ cup sliced kumquats, seeded if desired
¼ cup finely chopped shallot ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
Preparation

1. Cut each fish steak in half horizontally so you have 4 thin steaks. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Place coconut in a shallow dish and dredge the fish in it. Mix orange juice and cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the fish until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, kumquats, shallot, crushed red pepper and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kumquats start to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the orange juice mixture and let simmer for 1 minute. Serve the sauce over the fish.

Source: EatingWell

Author Notes If you can't find kumquats, try using orange or clementine segments.


Have a great day
 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Money, Teeth, Recliner, Cooking, Bowling.

Money, what's money? I now have a quote for my new partial plate which, even with assistance from the insurance, is still going to cost me about $470, and that is without fillings and extractions. However, when we came home on Monday after bowling I developed a terrific toothache and was feeling very sorry for myself for several hours until my Tylenol 3 started to work. Have an appointment for Thursday at 9 to begin the process. Horrors, I will have to get cracking that morning. I hate dentistry, but I've got to go ahead with it or suffer.

So then I phoned the chair repair people and said where was my quote. Ends up they want $160 plus tax to repair it. I said that was offset by the initial payment and they said "oh no, only if he had fixed it there and then". Bloody hell. I should have asked if they did senior's discounts.

Tuesday morning I made a large batch of Spiced Beef in Red Wine which freezes very well and which we both enjoy. The original recipe calls for the veg to be processed. The first time I didn't do that, the second time I did and we didn't like it much, so this time the vegetables are regularly chopped. It is a Nigella Lawson recipe. Full of carrots, leeks and onions with star anise and cloves too. We really enjoy it.

Monday bowling was pretty good. A couple of the best games I have had for a while. Long may it last. Funny another bowler, female, beat the couple with the high scores last week. She got lots of strikes and spares but not lots of strikes in a row, but ended up with a 268. So that was 266, 267, 268. In the last couple of weeks.  I wish I could pull a 300 game out of the hat. It's a while since I had one.

There are lots of recipes for crock pots lately and this is one which appealed to me, it's so simple and so easy. One could also make it with goat cheese which is a favourite of mine.

Crock-Pot Chicken With Black Beans and Cream Cheese

"I love this Crock-Pot chicken recipe for two reasons: one, my family loves it and two, it is so easy to make! I got this recipe from my sister. She has two children of her own, and they love it too! It's also
the best leftovers in the world -- if there are any!"

4 -5 boneless chicken breasts, frozen
1 (15 1/2 ounce) cans black beans
1 (15 ounce) cans corn
1 (15 ounce) jars salsa, any kind
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese

1. Take 4-5 frozen, yes, frozen, boneless chicken breasts put into crock pot.

2. Add 1 can of black beans, drained, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn drained.

3. Keep in crock pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked.

4. Add 1 package of cream cheese (just throw it on top!) and let sit for about 1/2 hour.

5. All done and enjoy!

Servings: 4

Author: Jen Santiago


Have a great day
 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Stove, Royal Nova Scotia Tattoo, Bowling,

I finally figured out how to calibrate the stove. You have to press two buttons at once and I was having trouble giving equal pressure to both and obviously then it didn't work. However, you can only increase it by half a degree at a time. Bit stupid!! Pain in the rear end too. This is not quite the same but the two buttons on the left, top and bottom, are the one's you have to depress.  Later I talked to the guy who was coming to fix it. I told him the stove was no longer under warranty. He said was I going to pay - $80 odd. I said no way. Talked to him about calibrating. According to him I should be able to do so much more easily, oh well. He said the easiest way to do it was just to up the temperature when I was cooking.

We've been watching the Royal Nova Scotia Tattoo 2016 tonight, dedicated to Her Majesty's 90th.  I remember being taken to the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo in London when I was in my late teens and thoroughly enjoying it. The Scotia one very much celebrates their roots in Scotland and Ireland. Couple of things brought tears to my eyes. A lot about the first world war too. What a waste of time war is. Especially that one. There was a letter from someone's grandfather describing how over 700 Nova Scotians went over the wall and in 30 minutes, only abut 100 staggered back. Why don't we learn?
birthday which actually occurs in April, 21st as I recall because my cousin's birthday is on the same date. I was staying with his family the first time the anthem was played for her that day and they were saying it was for them (he had a twin). I wasn't very old, but I wasn't that young!!

Nearly forgot, I bowled up a storm today, how very unusual for a league day. Only trouble was, the team we were playing against also bowled up a storm in the first game. They beat us by 4 points. Grrr.

We love stuffed Belgian Endive and here is a new, to me, recipe. Very easy to do.

Stuffed Belgian Endive

6 oz (150 g) goat cheese
3 Tbs (45 ml) milk
1 scallion (green and white part), finely chopped
2 Tbs (30 ml) finely chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped walnuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large heads Belgian endive (French endive, witloof) leaves separated

1. Combine the goat cheese, milk, scallion, parsley, garlic, and walnuts in a bowl and beat with a spoon until smooth and creamy. Spoon or pipe the cheese mixture onto the individual endive leaves.

 Author Notes Serves 4 to 6 as a first course, 8 to 12 as an hors d'oeuvre.

Source: WW Recipes

Have a great day
 

Monday, March 13, 2017

DST, Time, Stove.

Now there's odd. I got up about my usual time on Sunday to find Matt all teed because he had missed his morning TV. Neither of us realised the clocks went forward this weekend. Yes, I had seen it on the internet but I thought it was for England because we had already done ours. Of course we hadn't but it doesn't seem like several months ago when we last changed our clocks and were groaning about how useless it all is these days. Obviously when one is retarded retired it doesn't make much difference although we would be late for bowling on Monday. Mind you I would have been late for my champers on Sunday morning, very serious. LOL.

It seems my perception of time is somewhat skewed these days. I was trying to adjust the thermostat
on our stove - following the instructions in the book - because some things have not been cooking properly. I couldn't seem to achieve what the book said I should, so I phone GE. The girl wanted to know how long we had had the stove, I said it was delivered last year. I looked back in this blog the next day and it appears to have been delivered in April 2014. I can't believe we have been using the damned thing for 2  years. They told me it was under warranty, but I don't think so now bearing in mind how long it has been here. One thing it didn't cook properly was the turkey. However, the white meat was enough cooked that we could eat it. I put a thermometer in the oven when I set it for 425°F the other day and when it pinged, the thermometer read about 350°F. I didn't occur to me before that it was the stove, thought it was my fault. It doesn't fit in our kitchen either, it has to stand a good 2 inches out from the back wall. The stove is OK, it's the back panel which won't fit.

I was looking for a recipe for Baby Bok Choy and all the ones I could find at first included Soy Sauce. As I already had Soy Sauce in my main dish, I didn't want more. I finally came across this one. Matt didn't think much of it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. A very simple dish to prepare and tasty in my opinion.

Baby Bok Choy With Garlic

Not sure where I found this baby bok choy recipe, it's either from Gourmet or Bon Appetit. It's quick, delicious, and compliments any Asian stir-fry

1/8 cup unsalted butter
5 tsp minced garlic (or to taste)
12 -14 baby bok choy (washed thoroughly)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over moderate heat.

2. Add minced garlic and saute about 2-3 minutes until barely golden/brown.

3. Add bok choy and chicken broth and simmer until bok choy is tender, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes.

4. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Use a slotted spoon to serve.

Servings: 4

Source: Crabzilla

Have a great day
 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday Recipe

D'you know, I don't think I have ever eaten Eggs Benedict. Something I should remedy quite soon. I like the idea of smoked salmon with it as well.

Eggs Benedict

Decadence is what makes eggs Benedict a star of the brunch table. To get there, order and timing are key. First, you'll want to make your Hollandaise. While intimidating in theory, the process is a lot like making mayonnaise. If the emulsion is stable, it won't break, even when held at room temperature. Next, poach your eggs, and toast the English muffins while you crisp up the Canadian bacon. From there, it's as simple as stacking your ingredients and sprinkling them with herbs, salt and pepper.
Once you’ve mastered this basic version, you can explore its variations: Add sliced avocado, or even swap in some smoked salmon (eggs Hemingway) or wilted greens for the Canadian bacon (eggs Florentine).

FOR THE HOLLANDAISE:
¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks
1 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
¼ tsp cayenne or hot paprika, plus more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

FOR THE POACHED EGGS:
1 Tbs white distilled vinegar
Kosher salt
8 large eggs

FOR THE BENEDICT AND ASSEMBLY:
4 English muffins, split
8 slices Canadian bacon or thick-cut ham (or 8 slices regular, thick-cut bacon)
2 Tbs unsalted butter
¼ cup chopped chives
2 Tbs chopped dill, tarragon or parsley
Flaky sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper

1. Make the hollandaise: Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat until it’s foamy but not yet beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Place egg yolks and 2 teaspoons water in a blender. Start blending, and, working very slowly, add the hot, melted butter until it’s all incorporated. (If it starts to get too thick to blend, add 1/2 teaspoon of water.) Add lemon juice and cayenne, though feel free to adjust the amounts to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the hollandaise to a small bowl, and place plastic wrap directly on the surface so it doesn’t form a skin. Set aside. (It will keep at room temperature while you work.)

3. Poach the eggs: Fill a medium pot with 3 inches of water. Add vinegar, season with salt and bring to a simmer. (Look for just a few bubbles; it should never boil.) Using the handle of a spoon or spatula, stir the water with a clockwise motion. Gently crack an egg into the center of the pot, letting the water swirl around it and allowing the white to envelop the yolk. Repeat with remaining eggs — you could probably do up to four at a time. Check the eggs after 4 minutes: Use a slotted spoon to lift an egg out of the water, and feel the white for firmness. If it's not quite done, slide it back in for another minute or so. Let cook until the whites are just set, but the yolks are still completely runny, 4 to 5 minutes. Once eggs are perfectly poached, remove from the water, and let drain on a plate lined with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Set eggs aside.

4. Using a toaster, toaster oven or regular oven, toast the English muffins until crisp and golden brown. Don’t be afraid to toast them thoroughly: They'll be covered in hollandaise and poached eggs, and will need to be sturdy.

5. Cook Canadian bacon or ham (or bacon) in a medium skillet over medium–high heat until golden brown and just crisp at the edges, about 6 minutes.

6. Assemble the Benedict: Place eight halves of English muffin on a plate and butter them generously. Top each with a slice of Canadian bacon, ham or bacon, then a poached egg. Spoon hollandaise sauce over and sprinkle with chives, dill, flaky sea salt and black pepper.

Servings: 4

Author: ALISON ROMAN
Source: The New York Time

Have a great weekend.
 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Bee Hummer, Passport Pic, Earring Backs,

I was looking for a picture of a Bee Hummingbird which I had copied from a magazine a long time ago. I finally found it.


Then I browsed amongst other pictures I had from a while back and came across a passport picture of me taken when I was 36 - a looong time ago


What surprises me is that, being a passport photo, I was allowed to smile. Not a bad pic for a passport really. But oh how the years change one.

This bit is for wearers of hook type earrings. I have been begging for the plastic holders from jewellers for ever and am down to about 3 of them at the moment. I decided to Google and guess what, Amazon has them. So far I have been lucky with such earrings but I have had them fall off my ears before now only always somewhere where I noticed and could retrieve the earring. I seem to have a lot of earrings which attach by hooking through the ear.  I ordered a packet of 100 for $3.29 Canadian. Should last even me I think. They have all kinds of earring fasteners on Amazon, never thought of checking it out before.

This looked good. It is from a blog called EATINEATOUT by Lori and is something I have definitely marked 'to be tried'.

TURKEY SCALLOPINI, MUSHROOMS AND ARTICHOKES IN MADEIRA CREAM SAUCE

2 Tbs canola oil
¾ lb Turkey Breast Scallopini (4 pieces)
1/3 cup flour for dredging turkey
salt and pepper
1/3 cup pancetta, diced
227 g package sliced cremini mushrooms
2 Tbs capers
1 Tbs garlic, minced
1 – 398 mL can artichoke hearts, quartered
½ cup Madeira wine or dry sherry
2 Tbs lemon juice
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup poultry broth or water
1 Tbs cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbs fresh chopped parsley

1. In a large skillet over med-high heat add canola oil. Sprinkle turkey breast scallopini with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Add to hot pan and fry, 1-2 minutes per side, depending on thickness, until just cooked. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

2. Clean out the skillet with a paper towel. Return to med-high heat and add pancetta. Cook until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until fully cooked, about 8-10 minutes.

3. Add artichokes, capers and garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

4. Add Mederia and lemon juice, bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Add cream and cook one minute. Add cornstarch to a bit of poultry stock until smooth. Add to pan with remaining stock. Cook 1 minute.

5. Add cooked turkey back to pan and warm through a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with fresh parsley to serve. Serve over buttered noodles.

Servings: 4

Author Lori
Source: Eatineatout

Have a great day