Friday, April 26, 2019

Water, Slow Cooking, Bowling, Friday.

That's great, a construction site has damaged a water main. Parts of town are flooded but we haven't got a drop, not even enough to clean our teeth. I just cleaned mine with Listerine. Our bodies we cannot clean. Supposed to go out to lunch, but without a shower!!! I don't think the bowling alley has water either in which case they might get closed down and that was the plan after lunch for all of us. The water came back on at 10 so we jumped in the showers and got ready to go to lunch.

I belong to an Instant Pot Group on Facebook (just joined) so asked them about my lack of success with my Cowboy Beef. One of them pointed out that the Instant Pot only heats from underneath whereas a slow cooker heats all round so in the IP, high is equivalent to low in a slow cooker. Wish I'd known that before. However, it should be OK for suppertime Thursday night now. Correction. I gave it another 5 or 6 hours on high whilst we were out. When we finally got round to serving, the meat was finally done, but the carrots were still crisp as were some of the onions. I will NEVER use my Instant Pot as a slow cooker again. Just not worth it. By the way, it tasted delicious. I will make it again, just not that way. It would cook very well in the pressure cooker.

So, we went with our Travel League Bowling Group to lunch at the Red Lobster. I had a Caesar Salad with shrimp which was good. We then went on to the Bowling Alley. We were going to bowl alone but Matt decided he couldn't, so I bowled on one of the teams. I only did two games but managed pretty well. My legs were tired at the end but not in agony. I was pleased. Also, I didn't bowl badly - actually the very first ball I threw, no practice, was a strike. Was I chuffed. Went and collected our shopping and then came home.

Tomorrow we have a lab visit for bloodwork for Matt and then in the afternoon his therapist comes for his last visit. They only make so many visits.

I need to find some recipes for Instant Pot asparagus.

I am not sure, but I don't think I tried this recipe last year.

Air-Fried Asparagus

Quick and easy Air-Fried Asparagus. Just a few minutes and you can have a tasty side of asparagus with little effort and easy cleanup

1/2 bunch of asparagus, with bottom 2 inches trimmed off
Avocado or Olive Oil in an oil mister or sprayer
Himalayan salt
Black pepper

1. Place trimmed asparagus spears in the air-fryer basket. Spritz spears lightly with oil, then sprinkle with salt and a tiny bit of black pepper.

2. Place basket inside air-fryer and bake at 400° for 10 minutes.

3. Serve immediately.

Servings: 2

 Author: MamaShire

Have a great day

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Spring, Slow Cooking, Pickling,

Maybe spring really is here. Its sunny today but not very warm. We went to get Matt's ears lowered, and when we got back to our apartment building, I got out of the car and could hear a chickadee. Don't remember hearing one in years. Made my heart lift.

Put our dinner on to slow cook this morning and will be anxious to see what it turns out like. I let my cleaner taste the Barbecue Sauce I made and she loved it so wanted the recipe. I must say I think it is delicious and so very easy to make. Posting it below. I have a slow cooker of course, but it is so huge, I hardly ever used it. Could feed the 5,000 with it I think. The Instant Pot is just a nice size for the pair of us. Wednesday Evening: The Cowboy Stew wasn't cooked after 10 hrs at medium. I decided the cook I got it from was wrong and gave it another 5 hours (ate something else for supper) on high and just checked it. Almost done. Will be Thursday's supper I guess.

Not too happy, I made a batch of brine a few days ago. Had some left over so put it in an old coffee jar which was sold as a storage jar many years ago. Matt and I could not open it for love nor money. Not only have I lost the brine, but the jar as well. Tried all the usual tricks, banging it on a hard surface and running hot water on it. No luck. Grrrr. Managed to do a couple of jars of pickles though.

A tip from me - I put the vinegar into the sugar before I added the ketchup. The vinegar does a nice, quick job of dissolving the sugar.

Barbecue Sauce

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 Tbs dry mustard (Colman's if you want a good bite)
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 dashes hot pepper sauce

1. In a blender, combine brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, water and Worcestershire sauce. Season with mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Blend until smooth.

Source: All Recipes

Author Notes
This will fill a 32 ounce ketchup bottle exactly. Cut back on the brown sugar to make it less sweet, or add more Worcestershire for more 'steak sauce' appeal.

Have a great day

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Weather, Instant Pot,

I'm upset, no sun today, just rain. I think the asparagus have had enough rain and now they need lots of lovely sunshine. Monday we had sunshine and it was warm enough I sat on our balcony in the afternoon. The farmer tells me there is no sign of anything popping it's head up yet.

Busy, busy, busy. I am a sucker for punishment. Been researching using my Instant Pot as a slow cooker (the one I have is big enough for a feast) and am going to make Cowboy Beef tomorrow. I have kind of played with the recipe on the video because I don't have Bush's Baked Beans nor potatoes. However, I have made my own Barbecue Sauce, it's delicious, and I plan to add carrots so we will see how it turns out. Then I found a recipe for stuffed peppers done in the slow cooker. Gotta try that. I then decided to buy a glass lid to fit my pot as none of mine do. I had a small windfall with a product which was damaged and a friend fixed and I got a refund so that will pay for the lid. I also have a recipe for mini cheesecakes made in the Instapot. Not sure how many ramekins I can get in mine at one time and as I have the insert in the fridge full of Cowboy Stew, ready for tomorrow, at the moment, I can't really find out. Think I might be able to get 3 in at once then I can add foil and put 3 more on top, I hope. I guess one of these days I will buy another trivet.

So it's late, Matt is already snoring and I will talk to you tomorrow.

I am not sure I will try this but thought many of you would like it.

Asparagus, Onion and Potato Gratin Makes a Great Vegetarian Main

This meatless main dish is hearty and cheesy yet light enough for spring. Be sure to use fat asparagus spears; thinner ones will overcook. Feel free to use 4 oblong, shallow gratin dishes for individual

1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes, quartered
Cooking spray
1 lb fat fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
6 spring onions, trimmed to 5 inches and halved lengthwise
1 cup whole milk
1 oz all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 oz aged Gruyre cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 oz multigrain bread, finely chopped or torn
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; cover with cool water. Bring to a boil over high; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon; place in an 11- x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Add asparagus to boiling water; cook 1 minute. Add onion halves; cook 1 minute. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid; drain asparagus mixture. Arrange asparagus and onions in baking dish with potatoes.

4. Whisk together milk and flour in a small saucepan. Add reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer over medium-high; cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add salt, pepper, and cheese; stir until cheese melts. Spoon evenly over vegetables in baking dish. Bake at 375°F until top is bubbly and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small skillet over medium. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add bread and parsley, and toss to combine.

6. Remove gratin from oven. Preheat broiler to high with oven rack in upper middle position. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over gratin; broil until browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

Servings: 4

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Flower Gardens, Hedy Lamarr, Asparagus

I have just read Liz Seckman's post on The Really Real Housewives talking about her garden and the wonderful memories she has of her plant's origins. One thing she grows is peonies. I am jealous, I could never grow them in North Carolina. People all around had peony bushes flowering beautifully, but not me. Azaleas no problem, they did really well. But I love peonies.

We just watched an interesting documentary which was part of a series about clever women. This one was about Hedy Lamarr whom I certainly remember from when I was a kid, particularly in Samson and Delilah. She was known for her great beauty but turns out she wasn't a very happy woman and ended up having six husbands and then being pretty impoverished for a while. However, she and a pianist invented a brilliant system for guiding torpedoes intended to sink U-boats. I quote from Wikipedia At the beginning of World War II, she and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes that used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers.  Although the US Navy did not adopt the technology until the 1960s the principles of their work are incorporated into Bluetooth technology and are similar to methods used in legacy versions Wi-Fi.  This work led to their induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014. They luckily had the sense to patent it but at the time it was dismissed by the American government. However, when they were inventing the beginning forms of cell phones, they were searching for a system of signals which they could use and Hedy Lamarr's patent was eventually used allowing her to become a very rich woman in her latter years. Making her the 'mother' of modern technology. So, as the saying goes, she was not just a pretty face. Not sure about the pianist, maybe he was no longer alive when this all came about. She died in her 80s at the beginning of this century and left a $3.3 million estate.

Not much going on at the moment. Did some shopping today and having used it up, bought some more frozen smoked haddock - third lot - we are enjoying it in Kedgeree now and again. I also tried it for breakfast one morning, used to have it with a poached egg when I was a child, but this smoked haddock is not as good as we used to get once upon a time in the UK.  They had some nice scallops which I considered but decided not to. Checked their asparagus, didn't look great and it was from Mexico. Sorry, no thank you, I will just have to possess my soul in patience a bit longer. Actually it was sunny and warm today which will be good for the local asparagus. Fingers crossed.

I have been eating a lot of salads lately, and really enjoying them, so I am really looking forward to making this one.

Asparagus Salad w/ Hearts of Palm and Cherry Tomatoes

1 bunch of asparagus, steamed
1 can of hearts of palm
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 green onions, sliced
1 small shallot, diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1.5 Tbs red wine vinegar
1.5 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp gluten free dijon mustard
6 Tbs olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook asparagus til al dente. Chil in ice bath or cold water. Chop into bite sized pieces cut diagonally. Place in large bowl. Cut each stalk of hearts of palm into 4 pieces and then each into 1 inch pieces at a diagonal.  Add to bowl.  Add your halved cherry tomatoes.  Add in sliced green onions.  Add in chopped shallots.

2. In a separate bowl, add in vinegars, mustard and a pinch of salt. Slowly pour in olive oil and whisk to emulsify.  Add in pepper and adjust ingredients to desired taste. Pour dressing over salad and mix.  Add lemon juice as desired.

3. Serve into bowls and enjoy!

4. This recipe would go great with some anchovies on top!  Also, if you can find jarred hearts of palm, please use those instead of canned!  Unless labeled, cans can be lined with BPA (toxic!!).  But some brands, like Native Forest, guarantee that their cans are BPA free so do some research before buying your canned foods.  Can also substitute hearts of palm with artichoke hearts!

Servings: 3

Source: Food for Rabbits

Have a great day

Monday, April 22, 2019

Good Friday, Grilled Veggies, Instant Pot, Notre Dame Donations, Movie,

So our day was enlivened by the visit of my friend ladydog whom we haven't seen since January. It was nice to hear of her adventures in Florida. I am sorry we can't do that any more. We then went to the Red Lobster for lunch. I had Lobster in Paradise which is fairly new and delicious. The other two choices were Fish and Chips and Yucatan Tilapia and Shrimp - Matt's favourite. I also bought two Chocolate Wave Cakes to come home and have for our Easter Dinner.

A lot of the recipes I see in my emails show grilled vegetables. I find grilling green veg in particular doesn't do anything for them and they lose their green succulence. I would NEVER ruin asparagus by grilling it. I will pass on recipes that I find, but I myself will never commit such sacrilege. I have tried grilled broccoli and although it is OK, I much prefer it steamed or boiled. Cauliflower is another which is always being grilled these days. Not even tried that. I have seen several grilled asparagus recipes in the last day or two, sorry, not for me. I am too much of an asparagus aficionado to spoil it that way. A friend told me she served roasted asparagus for Easter Sunday. As she said, different tastes.

I have posted recipes for Kedgeree made with smoked haddock. Today I tried making it in my Instant Pot. It was OK, but I think I should have cooked the fish before, perhaps. The frozen fish I get is somewhat dried and in the recipe from my father it is cooked in milk, think that softens it somewhat. One thing I did do was hard boil my eggs in the Instant Pot. Boy is that ever easy. They don't peel like some videos I have seen, but that too is quite easy none-the-less. No more water boiling over, either for the eggs or for rice.  Who knew? I meant to research - and have now found out one can soft boil eggs in the IP as well. What a lot of messes can be avoided.

Just came across an article about foods you can cook in your coffee pot. Interesting selection. In an emergency it is worth knowing but, unfortunately, my coffee pot has always got coffee in it - at least I hope it has - and am unlikely to use it for anything else. I guess if this is all you have, it would be useful to know.

I hang my head in shame. I was so impressed with all the donations to help the restoration of Notre Dame, I didn't see the wood for the trees. As my friend, ladydog, pointed out, (others have said the same), the Catholic Church is not short of a buck or two, but all that donated money would have helped the poor and needy around the world. Can you imagine the relief that could be achieved if used in that way.

Just watched Easter Parade. Nothing much else on TV for us. I wasn't all that smitten with this film either, never really like Judy Garland, not sure why. It's not a bad movie though. Think I may have seen it many, many years ago, not sure.

We had our Easter Dinner on Saturday, and ate lamb chops which weren't bad, came from my grocery store instead of Costco where I normally buy them. I can no longer get to the meat department in Costco, it is too far for me to walk otherwise a leg of lamb would have been my choice. However, I then felt green peas were appropriate but just plain ol' peas sitting on the plate didn't seem right so, I Googled. This is what I ended up making. The original recipe was for Cod plus the peas so there was only a picture with the cod. However, it looked something like this. Tasted pretty good. Didn't have any shallots so used sweet onions. Of course, we finished off with our Chocolate Wave Cakes.

Herbed Pea Relish

1 cup thawed frozen green peas
1 1/2 Tbs chopped fresh oregano
2 Tbs chopped shallots
2 Tbs capers
2 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Allow peas to thaw at room temperature. Mix everything together and warm slightly in a saucepan.

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Friday, April 19, 2019

Thursday, Jeopardy, Lunch,

Busy day, went out early and having weakened about Hot Cross Buns (I was going to make some) went and picked some up at the bakers together with calling at the lab for some equipment. then on to the grocery where I ended up with a very snippy young woman - I misheard her on the phone and she got somewhat ratty. After that the liquor store and then back home for lunch. I was expecting a couple of deliveries in the afternoon and they arrived so that was Good Thursday for us.

We have been following the young man on Jeopardy, James Holzhauer, a programme I rarely fail to watch, he is doing incredibly well and is knocking down records all the time. I learned today that he has Japanese in his background Not sure I would have guessed it. His knowledge is incredible and his gambling is unprecedented.  He has set one record for the highest single win in one game $110,914. Many years ago now, Ken Jennings was on the show for 74 consecutive games. His current winnings stand at nearly $700,000 in 10 games. I feel sorry for the people who compete against him, they really don't have a chance.

ladydog is joining us today fresh from her trip dahn sahth and we are going to Red Lobster for lunch. Haven't been out for a while. Actually, probably going there again next week with the Travel Bowling League. Not sure if we will end up bowling though.

I came across this recipe today and thought it was so pretty I couldn't resist sharing it. I probably would never make it, but what an impression it would make if you were entertaining. I think it is quite beautiful.


1 roll puff pastry
15 oz ricotta cheese
2 eggs
3 oz parmesan cheese
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch salt
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs oregano
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 large multi-colored carrots
2 zucchini

1. Unfold a puff pastry sheet over a tart pan. Place parchment paper or foil in the center and weight it down with beans or pie weight.

2. Bake the tart base in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment paper. Let it cool.

3. In a bowl, add the eggs, ricotta, grated parmesan cheese, grated nutmeg and pinch of salt. Add the mozzarella and oregano. Mix everything up until smooth.

4. Slice strips of zucchini and carrots length-wise using a potato peeler or a mandolin. Place the slices in a bowl and cook in the microwave for 1 minute. This step will soften the slices and make them much easier to roll.

5. Spread the cheese mixture on top of the tart base.

6. Take one slice of a vegetable and roll it up very tightly—this will form the core of the rose. Take another slice and keep rolling. With around 2-3 slices you should obtain a decent-size rose bud. Place the bud in the center of the tart, pushing it down into the cheese. Keep rolling roses of different colors and place them one next to the other in a spiral formation.

7. Brush olive oil on top of the vegetables and bake the tart at 375 degrees F for 50 minutes.

Servings: 12

Source: Genius Kitchen

Have a great day

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Cooking, Asparagus, Pickling,

So today I made Instant Pot Lazy Lasagne Soup. It was good despite a couple of small alterations because I didn't have the specified ingredients. I used yoghurt instead of cream and Egg Noodles for the pasta (much quicker and no messing), of course I had to halve the recipe as it would not have fit in a 3 quart machine. However, delicious as it is, I don't think I will  make it again until next winter. It is definitely a cold weather meal. Matt complained about the strings of cheese which I do agree, can be a bit of a pain to ensure they end in your mouth, however, I enjoyed them. The recipe calls for salt free broth, I used the salted stuff and I still found I needed to add salt at the end. It seemed odd to me to use beef and then chicken stock but it worked OK.

ladydog commented she had offered to bring me asparagus from Florida but as I have been informed, most of the asparagus we get in the stores, coming from Mexico, is 3 days old anyway. Until the beginning of May when the local asparagus is available. Guess who is drooling. Not long now.

I recently discovered how delicious pickled celery is, had shoved a few pieces in with something else to fill up the jar. So, today, I pickled a whole jar full of the stuff. I will have to wait a couple of days to eat it though. Of course once the season starts I will be pickling some asparagus and will make sure to do it in a hot water bath so it keeps outside the fridge.

So here's a nice simple little recipe so you don't have to do much for an appetiser.

Bacon Wrapped Barbeque Shrimp

These are spicy and wonderful! As close as I can get to a restaurant version to which I am addicted.

16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 slices bacon
barbeque seasoning, to taste

1. Wrap shrimp with 1/2 slice of bacon, securing with a toothpick. Be sure and use the large shrimp--the cooking time for the shrimp and the bacon is similar. If you use medium-sized shrimp, you might want to precook the bacon a little--over cooked shrimp are tough and rubbery--and a real shame.

2. Preheat the oven to 450°F  (230° C).

3. Line a jelly roll pan with extra heavy duty foil, and place baking rack in the pan. Place the shrimp on the rack, and sprinkle heavily with the barbecue seasoning. Turn and sprinkle second side. Set aside for 15 minutes. The bacon will turn from creamy white to a little opaque, and the seasonings will soak in.

4. Bake in the preheated oven until bacon is crisp and shrimp are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. The rack keeps the shrimp from sitting in the draining bacon fat. With a little luck, you won't tear the foil--you can throw that away and only have to scrub the rack.

Yield: Serves 2 as an entrée and 4 as an appetizer.

Source: AllRecipes

Have a great day

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Nuts, Notre Dame, Internal Medicine,, Doctor,

I love cashews, Matt is quite fond of them too, so the other day I staggered to Bulkville to get some and a normal amount of sugar. The smallest my grocery sells is 2 Kg of sugar. Ridiculous. Their cashews are also quite pricey. Anyway, Bulkville only had raw cashews so I bought a ton of them and then this afternoon I roasted them. I used a little oil and a lot of black pepper. Delicious. In fact I can't believe how good they are, better than any I have ever bought. I am having trouble leaving them alone.

Staggering how much money has already been donated to the fund for the repair of Notre Dame de Paris. $700 million is the latest figure I have heard. Wonderful how people are stepping up to the plate. Mind you I have also heard that the repairs will cost billions. Apparently it cost £36.5 million to repair Windsor Castle which burned in 1992. It was initially feared it would cost a lot more, but that was a long time ago. I have heard people, who surprisingly, could not watch the TV broadcasts last night including the doctor who saw me this afternoon.

Talking of whom, he was a delightful man. Spends a lot of time in England which made us favourites of his. Second doctor at this hospital who feels this way. He says I now have VIP status. He also said to Matt I was a cracker and really appeared to take a liking to the pair of us. The research as to my anaemia source is now under way. We took a ride from the local Community Access group and rode with a guy we knew who used to work at our grocery store. Have ridden with him before. It was raining today and I understand it will continue to do so for a day or two. When he picked us up he managed to park under the canopy so we stayed dry, very thoughtful.

I have an email from Food and Wine which details six underrated cuts of meat but doesn't give any recipes. Some of the cuts look good, but I will have to some hunting.

My very good friend, ladydog, whom you will remember from when I was sick last year, is back in Canada today. She, being a Phillistine, does NOT like asparagus, but she does love corn on the cob, so specially for her, here is a recipe. By the way, I like corn too.

Corn on the Cob with Orange Tarragon and Basil Butter

Nothing says summer like fresh corn on the cob. Here is a favorite flavor combo for buttering them

8 cups water
4 ears shucked corn
1 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp sliced basil

1. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add corn to pan; cover and cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.

2. Combine melted butter, olive oil, orange juice, tarragon, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Brush butter mixture over corn. Sprinkle with basil.

Servings: 4

Source: MyRecipes

Have a great day

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Notre Dame, Cardiology, Wind,

Dunno about the French, I cried when I saw the Notre Dame Cathedral burning so violently. What a hideous thing to happen. The reporters were all using the word iconic, so very true nevertheless. Notre Dame is Paris. Such a wonderful cathedral. They seem to have save the main part and the two towers, it will cost a fortune, but I do hope  they restore it as they said they would. The city would just not be the same without it.

It reminds me of the time Balmoral Windsor Castle caught fire, that too was pretty devastating but not as much as this fire. Apparently they managed to save a lot of the treasures here, I seem to recall in Balmoral they didn't save much.

The cardiologist didn't have a whole heap to say on Monday afternoon, I was given an ecg and he used his stethoscope then said he would see me in a month by which time I imagine the bunch today will have sorted out something about my anaemia - we hope. I may be imagining it, but my legs feel slightly better. I don't know if that means the new blood in my system has kind of punched through in places. I would like to think so. Was a bit nervous on the way home, not 100% sure where, but part of the road was where the tire got blown a couple of weeks ago.

Couldn't believe the wind today, Matt, who was totally inappropriately dressed (shorts) decided to stay in the car and said several times the car really shook. For me, walking back to the car I was right in the teeth of it and had trouble walking forward. At least once I was forced to take a step back. I felt the car shaking several times driving home when we had to stop for lights etc. Dunno if it is the tail end of the storms in the south or another system entirely.

I am still looking for Instant Pot recipes and I thought this one looked pretty good. It is too much for my 4 quart machine so I will have to halve it.

Instant Pot Lazy Lasagna Soup

Your family will love this fun departure from the Italian classic—and you’ll love its ease and

1 lb 90% lean ground chuck
8 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 (14.5-oz.) can unsalted crushed tomatoes
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 oz whole-wheat lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
1/4 cup half-and-half
4 oz preshredded mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1. Turn Instant Pot to sauté; heat for 1 minute. Add beef; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Stir in stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Cover with lid; turn to manual. Turn lid valve to seal, and set to high pressure for 10 minutes.

2. Release valve with a towel (be careful of the pressurized steam), and release steam until it stops. Carefully uncover; set to sauté. Bring mixture to a boil; add lasagna noodles, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 9 minutes. Turn off Instant Pot; stir in half-and-half. Divide soup evenly among 8 bowls. Top evenly with mozzarella and basil.

Servings: 8

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Monday, April 15, 2019

Severe Weather, Medical, Amazon, Rain

Just been watching all the dreadful results of the tornadoes which hit down South. It seems, from the reports, that the dangerous system is moving to the east coast and I have friends who will be driving up the I 90 for the next couple of days. I just phoned (not realising they were already on the road) and they had heard nothing about it. They had reached Jacksonville, Florida this morning so I am not sure if they will beat the system or run straight into it. Turns out they were OK and the storms were downgraded.

Today I have a quick visit with the cardiologist and tomorrow they start hunting for why I got anaemia. Got to take Matt to get some bloodwork done too some time this week plus he wants a hair cut. It's all go and not much coming back!!

I also have to chase up Amazon about my steamer basket. I sent pix as request but haven't heard any more.

It actually rained on Sunday, that is somewhat better than that white stuff we got recently. There was something else I was going to write about but carried on watching TV and so forgot. Senility setting in.

I made Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese again this weekend. Not only is it very good, but it is incredibly quick and easy, basically chuck the macaroni into the pot, cook it in chicken stock, then add cheese and milk - hey presto, all done. Note 7 is mine because I found the inner pot difficult to clean properly because I left the remainder there til we had eaten. In fact I make mine with Habanero Shredded Cheese and Parmesan as well which gives a nice kick. Of course don't use the Hot Pepper Sauce as well - unless you really are a masochist LOL. I can't remember where I got this recipe I'm afraid.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

This macaroni and cheese is every family's favorite comfort food pasta recipe made easy in the
Instant Pot!  You can have creamy, mouthwatering, homemade mac and cheese for dinner in about 10 minutes!

8 oz Uncooked Elbow Macaroni
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 Tbs Butter
1 tsp Hot Pepper Sauce
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/2 to 1 cup Milk

1. Add the uncooked macaroni, chicken broth, butter, hot sauce, garlic powder, pepper, and salt to the Instant Pot.

2. Place the lid on the pot and set to sealing.  Cook on manual function, high pressure for 5 minutes.  Then, do a quick release.

3. Stir in the cheeses and milk until smooth.  Season as necessary to taste.

4. Notes

5. NOTE:  The cheeses listed in the recipe have produced the best flavor that I have found.  Feel free to use your family's favorite cheese combination.

6. NOTE:  For the milk, start with 1/2 cup and add up to one cup if you find it needs to be thinned out a little bit more.

7. IMPORTANT: Empty pot before sitting down to eat otherwise it will be difficult to clean as cheese sticks.

Servings: 4

Have a great day

Friday, April 12, 2019

Health, Lumpia

I am still pretty tired so am not up to blogging too much at the moment. Matt, although he denies it, has been asleep for most of the day although we both had a good night's sleep last night.

A friend asked if my transfusion had made any difference. Not as far as I am aware, I felt pretty good before and I don't feel much different except for my Peripheral Arterial Disease which has got nothing to do with anaemia.

I have an appointment at the hospital Internal Medicine Dept. on Tuesday so they can start figuring out why I am anaemic.  So will write when I can but it may be somewhat intermittent in the next few days.

Many years ago we had a mobile home on a park in North Carolina, before we bought our own property. Made many friends and had lots of fun. One girl, renting a mobile home there, was Filipino - I regret I don't remember her name, I know she had a Marine Corps boyfriend which was how she came to be in the country. That aside, she would cook Lumpia at the drop of a hat and I would devour them with little or no encouragement. I just came across this recipe so had to share it with you. Although there are similarities, they are not the same as Chinese Egg Rolls.

Lumpia (Filipino Spring Rolls)

Lumpia are Filipino fried spring rolls filled with ground pork and mixed vegetables. This lumpia
recipe is authentic and yields the crispiest lumpia ever.

1 package Lumpia wrappers (Chinese or Vietnamese spring roll wrappers meant for frying can be used) (25 sheets)
2 lbs ground pork
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 dashes ground black pepper
6 oz cabbage, thinly sliced

1. Using a serrated knife, cut the square lumpia wrappers in half so that you have two stacks of rectangular wrappers. Place a damp paper towel over the wrappers to keep them from drying out as you work.

2. Combine the pork, cabbage, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, eggs, and black pepper in a large bowl. Using your hands, or a rubber spatula, mix the filling well so that the seasonings are evenly distributed.

3. Place one of the rectangular wrappers vertically on your work surface with the short edge facing you. Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling on the wrapper about half an inch from the edge closest to you. Grasp the bottom edge of the wrapper and roll it up and over the filling, continuing to roll until 2 inches of wrapper remain.

4. Dip two fingers into a bowl of water, then moisten the last 2 inches of wrapper with your fingers. Finish rolling the lumpia, then rest it on its seam. Continue rolling with the rest of the filling and lumpia wrappers.

5. At this point, you can freeze your rolled lumpia if you wish by placing them in freezer bags and then into your freezer.

6. To cook the lumpia, fill a large frying pan with about 1/2-inch of vegetable oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Gently place the lumpia into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes total (if frying frozen lumpia, it will take 1 to 2 minutes longer).

7. Place the fried lumpia on paper towels and serve immediately with sweet and sour sauce (bottled from the store is fine).

Yield: 50 spring rolls

You can also add finely minced raw shrimp to the pork mixture if you’d like. Also, instead of ground pork, you can use ground beef or ground turkey.

For the vegetables, you can also use Napa Cabbage and add some chopped scallions to the pork mixture.

You can use Chinese or Vietnamese spring roll wrappers (for deep-frying) if you can’t find lumpia wrappers.

Source: Rasa Malaysia

Have a great day

Thursday, April 11, 2019


This is how Matt and I feel today. Having been told by my family doc to go to KW for a blood transfusion, we came home, had lunch and then went there (Hans drove us). Eventually got sent to Emerg and they booked us in at Triage where they told me that you can’t walk in and they will give you a unit of blood just like that. Nor could they take the results from Life Labs or the large packet of information my doc sent, etc. So they took blood and 5 hours later I was called in!!! The waiting room was indescribably full. Just before that happened Matt went into a full blown panic attack. He had been getting antsier and antsier. Whey is it taking so long etc. etc. So I am in Emerg and the doc arrives and we are trying to calm Matt down, didn’t even realise it was the doc. just that it was a man and Matt responds to a male voice telling him to breathe slowly etc. then they took him off, still panicking, and registered him as well. By this time, the doctor is most amused (luckily) because he had been asking me all kinds of questions about my health and as he said, there’s nothing wrong with me, the patient, but there is with my husband who isn’t the patient. They did two more lots of blood work (back in Grand River Hospital wasn’t I?) I had been told just how long it took for them to ensure they had an exact blood match for mine – we went into the hospital at 2 and my transfusion started at midnight. Took 6 hours to give me 2 units. Then they sent us home. That tots up to $100 we have spent on cab fares lately. Had lots more laughs with Dr. Brady (as in the Brady Bunch he explained) plus with a couple of the nurses I thought it was pretty rough they injected a large dose of diuretic into the IV between blood units.
Also, we were given some food around 11:45 and got an egg salad sandwich which was, as I told them, the best thing I had ever eaten at Grand River.  It was delicious. Apparently they are home made, tasted it. So we are home and Karen, our cleaner, vacuumed all around me this morning without me being disturbed. I will have to have some out patient visits for a while in order for them to find out just why I was anaemic as, as far as I know, there is no reason whatsoever.

So, sorry, that's it for tonight.

Have a great day

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Medical Appointments, Lazy Monday,

Another busy day today, a family doctor appointment at 10 in the next town and then a cardiology appointment at 1 in this town. Not sure about lunch. The receptionist suggested we carry it with us. Have an idea there is a cafeteria in the Medical building where the cardiologist is. There seems to be a place called Fit for Life so maybe we can pop in there, either before or after. We'll see.

For those of you who seem to think Hot Cross Buns are difficult, this is the recipe I use. It is from a cookery book I have had for maybe 60 years. It is called Cookery in Colour. I have made this recipe many times and it worked very well. I have the yeast because I was going to try crumpets. Haven't done so though.

Hot Cross Buns

12 oz plain (all purpose) flour
good pinch salt
1 oz butter
4 oz dried fruit
2 oz candied peel
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 oz yeast *
approx 7 fl. oz tepid water, milk and water or milk
1-2 oz sugar
1 oz sugar for glaze
1 Tbs water

1. * If using dried yeast mix with the sugar and a little tepid liquid. Allow to stand in warm place until soft - approximately 20 minutes, then cream. Continue after this as for fresh yeast.

2. The spice should be sieved with the flour. Cream the yeast with 1 tsp of sugar. Add tepid liquid and a sprinkling of flour. Put into a warm place until the 'sponge' breaks through. Meanwhile sieve flour and salt into a warm bowl, rub in butter and add sugar, fruit and peel. When ready, work in yeast liquid and knead thoroughly. Put into a warm place for approximately 1 hour or until the dough is double its original size. Form into round buns, 'prove' for 15 minutes on warm tray. Before doing this the buns should be marked. Do this with the back of a knife or by cutting thin strips of pastry and arranging on the top. Bake for 10 minutes near the middle of a very hot oven 425°F. If buns are to be eaten straightaway, mix 1 oz sugar and 1 tbs water and glaze with this. If, as so often happens, they are to be warmed again on Good Friday, make up glaze and brush after re-heating.

Source: Cookery in Colour

Have a great day

Monday, April 8, 2019

Doctor, Steamer, Hot Cross Buns,

I was supposed to go to the family doc on Friday but wasn't able to. Both of us are having trouble with walking at the moment even though we both have walkers. So I was re-booked for Sunday afternoon. From what everyone says, I will probably be told to take iron pills. Mind you, my blood pressure is pretty low too at the moment. In the end, I had to cancel the Sunday afternoon appointment too. Matt could hardly walk at all and I wasn't much better. Not sure what is the matter with his legs. Need to get to the doctor to find out, easier said than done. Will have to phone firs thing in the morning. Supposed to go to the cardiologist on Tuesday, need to go to the doc first. Everything is a bit of a mess at the moment.

Big disappointment, I ordered a steamer basket for my Instant Pot. When it arrived on Friday, it had  prickly wires at the edges. Matt even stabbed himself on one. Not only that, the eyelets on the handles were not properly attached either. Guess it has to go back. I had all kinds of plans and I have recently watched a SixSisters "how to" as well. I am also planning to make Hot Cross Buns this year. Haven't done so in years, but I have some yeast and all I need is Candied Peel. The ones from the local bakers are pretty good but the crosses are made of icing so when you warm the buns, the icing runs all over. Real Hot Cross Buns are actually crossed or scored deeply with a knife before baking.

Two Sleevers have a whole load of Mexican Instant Pot recipes and I thought this one sounded interesting.

Carne Guisada

1 lb beef stew meat, chopped into large pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbs ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1-2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
3/4 cup water
1 Tbs corn flour

1. Blend together everything but the beef, water, and corn flour.

2. Place beef cubes into your Instant Pot and cover with the blended veggies.

3. Use the 3/4 cup water to wash out the blender and pour that into your pot.

4. Cook at High Pressure for 20 minutes, and release pressure quickly

5. Turn your pot on to Sauté and get the stew on a full boil. If you have a lot of liquid, boil for 5-10 minutes to reduce the liquid.

6. Make a cornstarch slurry (mix the corn flour with some water), and pour it into the boiling stew and stir until it thickens

Servings: 6

Author: TwoSleevers

Have a great day

Friday, April 5, 2019


After all that, the procedure has been cancelled. My haemoglobin is too low and St. Mary's wouldn't do the catheterisation with such low numbers (70). I was instructed to go to my family doc ASAP so managed to get in at 11:10 this morning. Lucky. I then have to go back to the cardiologist on Tuesday. Needless to say, I know all about it now, thanks to Google. One is supposed to eat lots of cruciferous vegetables, that includes kale, broccoli etc. and does not, much to my disgust, include asparagus. It is possible that I will be put on an iron supplement or increased thyroid medication. Guess I shouldn't guess should I?

My friend is a little bit relieved because they are calling for freezing rain tomorrow and her trip from home to here is 1 1/2 hrs. not funny in that kind of weather. However, as far as I am concerned it is something of a nuisance. Wasn't going to write a blog for today but here I am after all.

Had to at least post this recipe, looks delicious.

Salmon En Croute

1 salmon filet, about 1-1/2 pounds/750 g
1 lb(s) asparagus, trimmed
¼ cup crème fraîche
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Zest of 1 lemon
1 lb(s) sheet puff pastry (2 sheets)
Salt and pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Skin and bone the salmon and set aside. Heat the oven to 450°F\230°C.
2. Cut the tips off the asparagus, and poach in boiling salted water until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well, refresh in ice-cold water, then drain again, leaving to sit so that all the water comes off. Purée and stir through the cream, dill, and lemon zest, to blend. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Lay the puff on a damp baking sheet with the long edge facing you. Lay the salmon on the pastry, like a picture in its frame. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the raw stems of asparagus on top of the salmon, like pencils. Spread the purée mixture over top.
4. Brush the margins with the egg wash. Lay the top pastry over the salmon and press the edges to seal, like a giant ravioli. Trim the edges, leaving a 1-inch/2.5 cm border. Press with the tines of a fork, then, with the dull edge of a knife, scallop the edges. Make two or three slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush all over with the egg-wash glaze and bake until puffed up and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and let cool five minutes before slicing to serve. This dish is also good at room temperature.

Have a great day

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Lab, Sleepy, Lynx, Asparagus,

Got up good and early and then headed to the lab for my bloodwork. Much to my surprise the place was empty, just one person ahead of me. Phew. Sometimes these labs get so busy you have to wait for ever.

For the rest of the day I have had trouble staying awake. Didn't get up that early. We had Pot Stickers for supper (pre-made) which were delicious and easy to do. Then I managed to stay awake for Jeopardy, my favourite programme. There was a Nature programme about a forest in the Austrian Alps. They called it the Lynx Forest and they too are having trouble with poaching. Apparently the Lynx disappeared from the area for a long time and has only, comparatively, recently returned but if too many males are poached, it will lead to inbreeding and that will lead to all kinds of problems.

My friend forwarded me an email with 30 asparagus recipes. Said she thought of me immediately, I wonder why? LOL. Not long now, end of the month hopefully. I even bought myself a jar lifter so I can do the canning properly without risking an accident. It's one thing to put all kinds of pickled veg in the fridge, but I need to be able to store the asparagus in a cupboard without worrying about it spoiling.

Pork Tenderloin is a favourite of ours, not only that I can buy it quite cheaply and it freezes well. Just came across 40 recipes and picked this one for now. Hasselback is not just for potatoes any more.

Hasselback Pork Tenderloin

2 Tbs fennel seeds
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 1/2 lbs each)
3 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1 medium red bell pepper, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1 medium yellow bell pepper, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
8 slices provolone cheese (about 8 oz)
2 Tbs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Grind the fennel seeds and red pepper flakes together in spice grinder or with mortar and pestle until coarsely ground. Transfer to a small bowl. Mix in the Italian seasoning, garlic powder and 1 tablespoon salt. Cut each tenderloin in half crosswise to make 4 equal pieces. Rub the fennel mixture all over pork and let sit at room temperature, uncovered, 1 hour, or chill up to 8 hours.

2. Position a rack in center of oven preheat to 400ºF. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high and cook onion and peppers, tossing occasionally, until they begin to soften, 5 about minutes. Stir in vinegar and season with salt. Let sit until cool enough to handle.

3. Using a sharp knife, cut slices across each tenderloin, about 3/4-inch apart going as deep as possible but without cutting all the way through. Stuff about a tablespoon of onion mixture in between each slit arranging the vegetables neatly so that there is little overhanging the sides of the tenderloin. Repeat with remaining pork and vegetables. Transfer the stuffed tenderloins to a rimmed baking sheet spaced evenly apart and arrange any remaining vegetables around each tenderloin. Roast until thickest part of the tenderloin reaches 140ºF, about 20 minutes. Put 2 slices of cheese over each tenderloin and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley.

Servings: 4

Source: Food Network

Have a great day


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Blood Work, Hospital Help,

Not much to say tonight. I have to go for bloodwork early in the morning. Couldn't make an appointment, too close to the date. I hope I don't have to sit in the lab forever and a day. I can't even have breakfast before I go. Have to fast.

I made a dish of beans and tomatoes which I made once just before I collapsed and went into hospital. Hope that's not an omen!! I thought about trying to make it in the instapot but wasn't sure enough of the timings to try it. Another time hopefully. Anyway, it will do us for supper on Friday night. A girlfriend is coming up to keep us company on Friday and to run us around. Hopefully I won't have to stay overnight. I think this is really wonderful of her as she lives 1 1/2 hours away from me and has had to take the day off work to help. Same one who helped with shopping the other week.

It occurs to me, I may not be writing a blog much over the next few days. Just to prepare you. Should be OK tomorrow but we will see. It took close on 5 months to see the cardiologist and now he is rushing me around all over the damned place!!!!!

Asparagus season is on its way, so when I saw this I thought I would post it. Might try it next week. It is certainly an easy recipe with pre-made Hollandaise.


4 Tbs (60 mL) oil, divided
8 salmon fillets (about
2 lbs/ 1 kg)
2 lbs (1 kg) asparagus, trimmed
1 package Knorr® Hollandaise Classic Sauce Mix

1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets each with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil.

2. Arrange salmon on 1 prepared pan and asparagus on the other. Drizzle asparagus with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and toss to coat; brush salmon with remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and season, if desired, with salt and black pepper.

3. Roast 12 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork and asparagus are crisp-tender.

4. Meanwhile, prepare Knorr® Hollandaise Classic Sauce Mix according to package directions.

5. To serve, arrange asparagus on platter; top with salmon and drizzle with sauce.

Servings: 8

TIP: For a zesty twist to your Hollandaise Sauce, stir in 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Dijon or whole grain mustard.

TIP: The salmon and asparagus are also delicious grilled instead of roasted

Source: Knorr

Have a great day

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Snow., Hospital, Busy Busy,

Saturday night, Matt was off to bed and called me to look out of the window - everywhere was white. A couple of hours later I looked out again and it was snowing like mad and there was a thick white cover everywhere, including the trees. I couldn't believe it. I thought we were heading to spring. The previous snow had just about disappeared everywhere except for the odd melting pile where snow clearance had mounded it up. Now we have it all to do again.

Friday I got papers from one of our local hospitals about going in next Friday for a cardiac catheterization at noon. Depending on what they find it could turn into an angioplasty which would mean I stayed in over night. They keep talking about responsible adults to drive me home and possibly to stay with me overnight once I am home. Easier said than done. I have arranged for drivers, but staying overnight? Matt will probably manage,  but his health is not too good. They talk about giving my companion a pager and updating maybe 3 times. Matt wouldn't have a clue how to use one. Not sure I would either mind you.

So now it is Monday. Sorry you haven't heard from me since last week. I have been in a bit of a tizz but today managed to make a number of phone calls which permitted me to calm down. Had to go see the family doctor this morning and she gave us a couple of prescriptions - long way to go, but... came home and had lunch then went to fill up, $1.22/litre approximately. and finally used my car wash ticket I have had for a while. Nice to have a clean car for a change. I have still got to take it back for the emergency brake cable but not sure when I will do that as we are having a busy time right now. Foot nurse tomorrow, endocrinologist on Wednesday if I can find her, was driven there last time. Nothing on Thursday at the moment.

Not been able to get hold of the physiotherapist, think he is due this Friday, but obviously we won't be here.

This afternoon I found myself a recipe for Marinara Sauce in the Instant Pot so that is what I did. We then used some over spaghetti for supper. I didn't stick to the recipe so much as I was looking for the times to use. I didn't use the red pepper flakes as it is an all purpose sauce and not everything I use it for is spicy. Tasted OK and was quite easy to make in the Instapot.

Basic Marinara for the Instant Pot

This marinara sauce tastes like it's been simmering all day, but you'll have a savory, rich dish on the
table in under an hour

2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 Tbs minced garlic
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 28 oz  can diced tomatoes
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 Tbs dried basil
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs dried parsley
3/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf

1. Turn on a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot(R)) and select Saute function to heat the pot. Add olive oil and onion; cook until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in red wine and simmer until reduced by half.

2. Pour diced tomatoes and whole tomatoes into the pot. Bring to a simmer. Stir in basil, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Press Keep Warm. Close and lock the lid. Seal the vent. Select Manual function and set timer for 10 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the pressure to build.

3. Release pressure carefully using the quick-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, about 5 minutes. Unlock and remove the lid. Discard bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce.


Have a great day

Friday, March 29, 2019

Medical, Bunnies, Age,

Having been up at the crack of dawn, for me anyway, we went, by cab, to the hospital where I was quickly ushered into the Nuclear Imaging Dept. After they had pumped me full of gas then given me an injection and taken lots of pictures of my lungs, I was allowed to put my coat back on and eventually a doctor came to see me to tell me that my lungs had no blood clots. I didn't think so, one of the few parts of my body that does seem to work.

Got some more shopping again this afternoon including our Lindt Gold Bunnies for Easter. (Don't tell anyone, we have already eaten one each). I ought to get us some lamb for Easter. Will have to check into it. One thing our grocery doesn't do well. However, the store "up the road" where I bought my smoked haddock has a good butchers, they might have lamb. Costco has great lamb of course, but those stores are too huge for me these days, couldn't walk that far any more. 

Funny, went into the liquor store and when we came out, a guy opened his car window and commented about it being no fun getting old, he then said he was 86. I told him he had us beat. That reminds me, one of the volunteers told me they had a female volunteer working in the hospital who was 106!!!! Now that's incredible. Mind you it seems age is just a number these days. When I was a kid, people my age were positively ancient - which they were - pretty decrepit bunch as I recall. Mind you some of them are anyway today.

Somehow we got Granny Smith Apples the other day by mistake so I wanted a pork and apples recipe. This is the one I found. I plan to cook it for Saturday.

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples and Onions

1 large pork tenderloin (about 14 ounces)
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 Tbs whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup dry white wine or apple cider

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Season pork with salt and pepper.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear until all sides are brown, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to plate. Cool slightly. Spread mustard over top and sides of pork; press fennel seeds into mustard. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add onion slices and apples; sauté over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Spread evenly in skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork atop apple-onion mixture.

3. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until apple-onion mixture is soft and brown and meat thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 150°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to platter and tent with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, pour white wine over apple-onion mixture in skillet. Stir mixture over high heat until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Cut pork on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon apple-onion mixture onto plates. Top with pork and serve

Servings: 4


Have a great day

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Car Troubles, Medical, Red Lobster,

With everything that is happening, or has been happening, I decided Mercury must be in Retrograde. Sure enough it is, until tomorrow. March 5 - 28. Having told you about the accident, took the car in this morning and it turns out that the Emergency Brake Cable - which I had to use when they were jacking up the car - was seized so needed a new cable. Then, when they took the donut wheel off they found one of the bolts had been cross threaded when my helpers had put the wheel back so that snapped when they tried to undo it. There are a list of small problems which happened, I thought there might be, so we haven't got the car back and when we do the bill will break us!!!

Then the cardiologist called, he is worried about my lungs and wants to be sure there isn't a blood clot, or something, so I have to go in for an exam at the hospital tomorrow, at 8:30. Who gets up so early. So, I have been trying to get a ride. The ones I have been using are all booked up, a friend who lives locally is not home today, and so on and so on. My husband is extremely upset about this new test, I think he believes it is more serious than it is and I can't reassure him.  Still got another day of Mercury Retrograde, help. Apparently one is supposed to take a step back and analyse things during Mercury Retrograde, not blame it for the bad things which happen. Funny how the bad things happen then you realise what the dates are. I had never heard of it before JoJo mentioned it.

Finally, late afternoon, I called the garage and they said they were just about to call me. They sent a cab to pick us up and when I came to pay the bill, it was about $200 less than they had told me, however, the cable for the emergency brake which had been delivered was the wrong side, left instead of right, or vice versa, so for the moment I haven't got an emergency brake. However, as Tuesday was the first time I had ever used it, I am not too worried. As the garage guy said, just don't park on a steep hill, I asked him where there was such a thing round here!! I am to take the car back when I can bearing in mind my hospital visit tomorrow. We went straight from the garage to the Red Lobster and gorged ourselves. It really is a good restaurant, the food is excellent and the staff are too. On the way in I used the electronic buttons to open the doors, the first doors didn't open so I mentioned it to the hostesss. On the way out, they told me the buttons worked OK now and then the next thing we knew, the manager was opening the doors for us anyway and we were discussing electronic door openers.  Marvellous place.

I have ordered a cab to pick us up at 8 a.m. tomorrow. I gather I have to go to nuclear imaging. I went there last November. So, gotta go to bed early as I/we have to get up early.

I, of course, love lamb and thought this sounded like an interesting recipe.

Spiced Lamb Kebabs with Fresh Herbs

For the one-year anniversary of her company, Diaspora Co., Sana Javeri Kadri and her supporters prepared a turmeric-spiced banquet. You can buy her ruddy, flavorful ground turmeric online at In this recipe, aromatic lamb and creamy chickpeas soften into a crispy, moist patty once cooked. Look for chana dal and asafoetida at local Indian grocers or online.“These pan-fried lamb and chickpea patties are an ode to my Gujarati Muslim heritage on my father’s side,” Javeri
Kadri says. They’re stuffed with onions and herbs, then cooked and served with big scoops of fresh green chutney and yogurt. To make them ahead of time, prepare the kebabs through step 4, then freeze for up to 1 month, thawing fully before proceeding. You can find chana dal and asafoetida powder in Indian markets or online.

1 lb ground lamb
1 cup dried chana dal (split chickpeas)
1 cup water
3 Tbs ghee, divided
1 tsp finely grated garlic (about 1 large garlic clove)
1 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger (from 1 [1/2-inch] piece)
1 tsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
1 Tbs kosher salt, divided
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 serrano chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
2/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Plain whole-milk yogurt
Spicy Green Chutney

1. Stir together lamb, chana dal, and 1 cup water in a 6-quart programmable electric pressure cooker (such as an Instant Pot). Close and lock lid. Turn steam release handle to “Sealing” position. Press “Manual,” select “High Pressure,” and program 8 minutes pressure-cooking time. When cooking time and time for float valve to drop are complete, turn pressure cooker off. Carefully open using the natural pressure release.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a small saucepan over low. Add garlic, ginger, chile powder, coriander, cumin seeds, turmeric, and asafoetida powder; stir with a spatula to combine. Cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds; transfer mixture to a food processor. Add cooked lamb mixture and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; process until texture is mostly smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to stir and scrape down sides as needed. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

3. Stir together onion, chiles, mint, cilantro, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a medium bowl.

4. Shape lamb mixture into 16 (3-inch-wide) patties (about 3 tablespoons each). Make a 2-inch-wide, 1/2-inch-deep circular indentation in center of each patty. Place 1 heaping teaspoon onion mixture in center of each patty. Press lamb mixture together, sealing filling inside, and shape into a ball. Flatten slightly into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Place patties on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. (Alternatively, freeze patties on a baking sheet. Transfer frozen patties to ziplock plastic freezer bags, and freeze up to 1 month. Let thaw completely in refrigerator before cooking.)

5. Working in 3 batches, add 2 teaspoons ghee to a large nonstick skillet. Heat over high until bubbling but not smoking. Add 6 patties, and cook until fully browned on one side, 2 minutes to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Flip and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels to drain slightly. Serve with yogurt and green chutney

Servings: 8

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Cardiologist, Car Problems. The Rest of Tuesday,

What a day. We set off good and early to go to the cardiologist. couldn't find a wheelchair parking area but Matt dropped me at the front door and went and parked the car, as it turned out, not far away. Having checked in I went for my ecg and then my echocardiogram pretty quickly. My appointment with the doctor was for 11:15, however we didn't get in til 12:30 - 1:00 (not quite sure). Matt was having a fit and fuming about it, but the receptionist said he had had two very sick people to deal with. Anyway in we went and had a longish chat. I didn't realise the vascular surgeon had sent him details of my arteries. So, they are kind of co-operating. The upshot is that the cardiologist suggested I have an angiogram to check my heart arteries, etc. so that I will be in better shape for the vascular surgeon. So now I have to wait for dates and paperwork. Won't be that far off I guess as I am supposed to have the vascular surgery some time around May I believe.

So, finally we are heading home (must have cost us a bit in gas I think) and about half way home I hit a pothole which turned out to be a sinkhole, well seemed like that to me, there was a very loud bang and there we are tipped to one side and forward. Blown tire. I phoned for a tow truck and the next thing I knew a guy stopped in a private car and said could he change the tire for us. I thought he was form the towing company. Turned out he was a Good Samaritan, not only that, a second guy stopped to help who was also a Good Samaritan. The tow truck arrived and they said thanks but we've fixed it. The driver seemed happy enough, I would have thought they would be annoyed because they lose business. I was so impressed that these guys would stop and help us. They both carry heavy weight jacks around with them so they are looking for cars in trouble. What wonderful people. I am going to Meineke, our local garage, at 8:30. For me that is before the crack of dawn. We are driving on a donut wheel at the moment so they will fix it all.

Got home and, for me, it was late in the day so I shoved some Nong Shim Noodles in the microwave to feed myself. Did so and then started phoning - had several calls I needed to make, seemed like I was busy for ages. The garage first of course. I had ordered a jar lifter and it arrived whilst we were out. Purolator left a ticket saying it would be at an office which is half way back to the Cardiologist. They have agreed to re-deliver on Thursday, that's a relief.

We wrapped my wrist in a bandage by the way to give it some support. I think it has helped a bit. So, please keep your fingers crossed still.

A friend is spending time in Florida and just wrote me that their asparagus season is under way. I said she could have waited to fell me until ours was ready. She is getting local strawberries too.

I just cooked the Instant Pot Tikka Masala which I posted a couple of weeks ago - it was delicious. Have leftovers of course.

Never been big on tacos, not sure why, the few times we have eaten them we have enjoyed them. I liked the look of this dish though.

Shrimp Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

Tim Byres’s shrimp tacos are delicious with this tangy salsa, but the surprise here is the crunchy
celery salad on top.

1/2 lb tomatillos—husked, rinsed and quartered
1/2 small onion, quartered
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced crosswise
1 1/4 lbs medium shrimp (about 36), shelled and deveined
12 6-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
12 corn tortillas, warmed
Shredded green cabbage and parsley leaves, for serving

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatillos, onion, jalapeño and garlic with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender.

2. Boil the cooking liquid until reduced to 1/4 cup, then add it to the blender and let cool completely. Puree the salsa and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the salsa to a bowl, stir in the chopped cilantro and refrigerate until chilled, about 45 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the celery with the lime juice; season with salt and pepper.

4. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan; oil the grill grate. Thread 3 shrimp onto each skewer. Brush the shrimp with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the skewers and transfer to a platter. Serve the shrimp with the salsa, celery salad, warm tortillas, cabbage and parsley leaves so guests can assemble their own tacos.

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day