Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Snow, Memorial Day, Crock Pot, Supper

Woke up to snow although it didn't seem to be much but it continued to snow and snow, a very light but continuous fall. In the end the roads, locally, where white as anything and Matt was quite certain we shouldn't go bowling. He does seem to get in a tizz about driving in the snow, particularly because of other drivers. I was actually not feeling all that brilliant in the morning anyway, so we didn't go. Not the only ones, about 10 people didn't turn up we were told.

Poor ladydog, she belongs to a band (actually a couple of them), plays the French horn, and they were due to play in a local township for Memorial Day at their cenotaph. Outside of course, I have no doubt she froze as it would have snowed right through the time she was outside.

Later in the afternoon, one of the owners of the bowling alley called to pick up my crock pot for his son. I was glad to give it to someone we know. Apparently son and girlfriend work different shifts so it will be great for them to come home to a hot meal. He told us this morning there had been an idiot driving at 50 mph around a roundabout in the snow.

Made chili in my Instant Pot - so easy - and we enjoyed it for supper. Then, after Jeopardy we watched The Dirty Dozen which is a favourite movie of mine. Have you seen it, if not you should.

Easy Instant Pot Chili

Cook time
Total time
This Instant Pot chili is amazing! Just dump all the ingredients in the Instant Pot and have this mouthwatering chili for dinner 25 minutes later! EASIEST CHILI EVER!
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup water
  1. Put all ingredients except water in the Instant Pot. Mix with a spoon until the meat is broken up and all ingredients are combined.
  2. With a spoon, make a well in the middle of the meat mixture so the bottom of the pot is exposed, and pour ½ cup of water there.
  3. Close the Instant Pot and turn the valve to a Sealing position.
  4. Press the "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" button and set the time to 20 minutes on High pressure.
  5. When the Instant Pot is done cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then quick release (QR) the remaining steam.
If using frozen ground meat, dump all ingredients in the Instant Pot and skip the step of mixing them (since you can't mix a frozen solid block of meat). Add 5 minutes to the cooking time. After the chili is cooked, break up the meat into small chunks and mix everything together.

Have a great day

Monday, November 11, 2019

AI Tech, Shopping, The King and I, Supper, Charity Support,

This is the technology which allowed them to read burned scrolls from a 1,700-year-old En-Gedi Scroll which was burned down. The scroll itself looked like a lump of charcoal.

Friday afternoon we did some shopping including going to the Victoria St. Market and once again I came out with the things I went in for, I'm getting good at that.

Friday evening we watched the newest stage production, on TV, of The King and I. It was very well done. There were a couple of songs I was unfamiliar with which we enjoyed. I was really impressed with Lady Thiang, she was excellent and Matt was enthused over the voice of the girl playing Tuptim. The King was very good too but I had a little trouble understanding him a few times. At the beginning I couldn't stop thinking of Yul Brynner whom I loved in the part. Anna was also very good, in fact, I thought the whole cast was good, particularly the little children. It kept us up til midnight which is very unusual for Matt. I then went and studied Spanish, am I nuts or what? Which, of course, explains why I didn't have a Saturday blog.

Then, of course, I couldn't get to sleep with the result that Saturday I was like a zombie. I dragged myself out of bed and did the laundry, then after lunch I died for an hour or two. For supper I just defrosted some Spiced Beef in Red Wine - saved work. However, we did have a dessert from Victoria St. Market which was all chocolate and chocolate mousse as well as a plain mousse - yummy.

Sunday night I defrosted stuffed peppers so saved myself some work there too.

I should mention Hilary Melton's Blog about Invisible Women in which she mentioned Damyanti's book, You Beneath Your Skin which will be supporting charities written about by Hilary. I bought the book and started reading it yesterday. It is a quite a story and very different. I highly recommend it even though I haven't finished it yet, apart from it's charity support which is so important. Do read Hilary's Blog.

For Friday's supper, I did a kind of  mash up of my Scallop Parisienne recipe.

Scallops Parisiennes
Scallops Parisienne

1 glass dry white wine
¼ cup  water
pinch of salt
1 sprig parsley
6 peppercorns
few slices of carrot and celery
1 lb scallops
1 1/2 oz butter
1 green onion
1/4 lb mushrooms
1 oz flour
¼ cup milk
1 Tbs browned breadcrumbs
a little melted butter

1. Put first 7 ingredients (wine - carrot & celery) into a pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Strain and return liquor to the pan. Bring to the boil, add scallops and poach for two mins. Remove scallops and reserve the liquor.

2. Melt butter in a pan and add the green onion, finely sliced and the mushrooms cut into quarters. Cover and cook for about 5 mins. Draw aside and add the flour and the strained liquor from the scallops. Stir until boiling, simmer a few mins. add the milk by degrees, then reduce to a creamy consistency. Stir in the scallops.

3. Fill cocottes. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and a little melted butter and brown quickly under the broiler. It is recommended that real butter be used.

4. Serves 2 as a main course, 6 as hors d'oeuvres.

I didn't do the court bouillon but sautéed the scallops in butter and garlic and then made a sauce in another pan with cream and stock instead and put the cooked scallops in the sauce then served it over spaghetti which I had cooked in the Instant Pot. It was accompanied by some of my frozen asparagus and was quite delicious.

Have a great day

Friday, November 8, 2019

ALZ Group, Starbucks Prices, Visitor, Victoria St. Market,

Much to my delight this morning, we ended up with three of the five of us at our coffee morning. I was so pleased the other two could make it. Will try and shoot for all of us next time. We had coffee from the new Starbucks at my grocery, not actually a restaurant per se, but a coffee bar with the tables some distance away. Wouldn't recognise the store these days. I normally drink decaf. Big mistake at Starbucks, ended up with some fancy made decaf, can't remember what they said now, but it cost me $2.78. I won't do that again. Not sure what my friends had but think one guy had a plain black coffee so that is what I will go for next time. That was highway robbery. We had a good chat about our spouses and how things were proceeding plus a few laughs about other things. The man is a photographer so I asked him a couple of questions the upshot of which is I guess I will be throwing my Kodak away, it is obsolete so cannot get it repaired. Also, he explained to me why my tablet wouldn't take a proper picture of a sunset the other evening. Whilst in the store, I remembered to get myself some snow peas for the shrimp dish from the other day. Only trouble is, I then remembered the scallops, now I don't know what to cook. Decisions, decisions.

I was planning to do a couple of things on the way home but had a bit of an upset stomach so had to dash home. Must have been the price of the coffee. We had lunch and then ladydog arrived with Zoey. Matt was particularly pleased to see Zoey. It was so nice to see her (ladydog not Zoey although it was nice to see her) again, talked some about her cruise which sounded as though they had a super time except for  the rioting in Chile. Also told me something I was unaware of, when going through the Panama, they put a pilot and crew on board the ship and the Captain has to be hands off. As she said, there was not much more than a foot on either side of their ship, and right at the end, they scraped the ship in one of the locks. The Captain was not best pleased. There was a big scrape on the ship where it happened.

I was going to go to Victoria St. Market with ladydog when she left but at the last minute decided it was safer not to. ladydog was hoping to get lamb chops but apparently they didn't have any, but she still spent a goodly amount. Told you, they have the most expensive bananas in town. I will be going there tomorrow for bananas and 'ostrich' thighs, wonder if I can escape with just those two items.

Been getting lots of recipes for mashed potatoes lately, is that what lots of people serve with their turkey? We always did roast potatoes in England. Well and here of course. I have never been a big fan of mashed potatoes although I love puréed potatoes as done by Bobby Flay. I loved this when it was creamy and almost liquid as a purée should be, but Matt preferred it to be more firm. He usually won. However,  he doesn't cook these days so....... I have posted this recipe before, but it is a good one.

Goat Cheese Potato Purée

1 1/4 cup heavy cream
6 oz soft goat cheese
6 potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Place goat cheese in a small food processor with 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and process until smooth. Mash potatoes in a large bowl. Mix in the butter and 1 cup of the heavy cream. Fold in the goat cheese mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste

Servings: 8

Source: Bobbie Flay

Have a great day

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Nature and Nova, Water Problems, Exercises,

Just watched the third episode about the Okavango. Kind of disappointed we never saw what happened to the wounded lioness and her cubs. However, it was an excellent series.

Following that watched Nova about Dead Sea Scroll Detectives. Absolutely fascinating. It is amazing what they can now do with modern technology. For instance, at the end, they managed to read scrolls which were burned and carbonised in a synagogue fire. It appears lots of the fragments which are in museums have been shown to be forgeries but they do not know who did the forgeries or even when. These scraps of scrolls sell for millions. A really interesting programme.

This morning (Wednesday) my cleaner came and put all our bed linens in the laundry and I headed out to pick up the shopping which she then came down to help bring upstairs. She met me in the garage with the news that the water had been turned off and the sheets were sitting in the washer. Great. We figured it might well be in the rinse cycle so I suggested she put them in the dryer in order to be able to make the beds again. I guess I need more sheets. Of course once she had left the water came back on although at first it was a most unpleasant colour. Typical.

After lunch I went down to exercise class although I wasn't sure I could do much. In the end I did a lot more than I expected. Came back upstairs and did a few supper preparations then came and learned some more Spanish.

Going to have coffee this morning with one of the people from the Alzheimer course I was on. Then ladydog is visiting with Zoey this afternoon.

Found this soup recipe which I might try as we are coming into the season for nice warming soups. Whilst finding the picture I saw one with Spinach instead of Chard which I am going to check out later. Obviously it can be made in the Instant Pot. By the way, did you see the pretty red Instant Pot being sold the other day. I wanted one.

Slow Cooker Indian-Spiced Red Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard

In this soup, fresh turmeric pairs up with cinnamon, cumin, and coriander to spice up red lentils and
wilted Swiss chard. It's power-packed full of flavor and warmth and also subtlety sweet. To serve, add a dollop of yogurt for a bright, creamy, and cooling topping

1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet yellow onion (about 2 cups), finely diced
4 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Serrano pepper, finely minced
1 oz freshly grated turmeric, or
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
1 bunch green Swiss chard, roughly chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Greek yogurt for serving
Flat leaf parsley or cilantro for garnish

1. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and Serrano pepper until the onions have softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, chili powder, and salt and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the spiced onion mixture to the slow cooker, followed by the lentils, and vegetable stock.

2. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours, until the lentils have softened. In the final 20 minutes of cooking, turn the slow cooker to low heat and add the coconut milk and Swiss chard to combine. Cover and cook for 20 more minutes until soup is heated through and the chard is bright green and tender.

3. To serve, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt or crumbled cheese and garnish with chopped parsley.

Servings: 4

Tips: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days

Author: Sarah Bolla
Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Tuesday Morning, The Orkin Men, Costco, Razor, Spanish, Seven Drunken Nights,

Unbelievably, having claimed tiredness last night, I went to bed fairly early, for me, and ended up not doing more than possibly dozing a bit until gone 3 a.m. with the result that I slept in this morning. Not long been up when the super knocked on the door to tell us the Orkin men were on their way (ants again) so I threw some clothes on. Matt was in his dressing gown, more respectable than a night dress. They came in, trotted round the apartment and deposited some kind of liquid in various places and off they went. About 5 minutes I would guess. Not sure how many apartments they visited but quite a lot I believe. So then I had breakfast. Matt had finished his as he made it earlier. He eats the same thing every morning anyway. Boooooring. I have recently been having a smoked salmon and scrambled eggs kick, I also make an oatmeal congee which I have mentioned before. Once in a while, and when I am in a real hurry, I might eat some of the cereal Matt consumes regularly.

Later we got a parcel from Costco and it turned out that it was not what I ordered so I had to contact them about it. They said I could and wanted me to take the heavy parcel in to my nearest Costco, you must be joking, I explained I was a very senior citizen so they said they would email me a label and I could then call UPS. Much better. Wonder how long it will take to get the email.

Later the new razor I ordered for himself arrived and I gave him the parcel to unpack. Next thing I know, he had it on charge in the kitchen with the razor in the dish rack!!! So I transferred it to his bathroom. It takes 8 hours to charge the first time which upset him but he doesn't need to try and shave until the morning.

During the afternoon I decided to do my Spanish lessons - I will be interested to  know how ladydog did with her Spanish on her vacation. She is coming for a visit, with Zoey, on Thursday.

This evening we watched Celtic Thunder Legacy II. A favourite. I wanted to find out where on YouTube the song Seven Drunken Nights was so I could copy the URL for our exercise instructor. I actually found 2  versions but it's the second one we prefer. So then I thought I would include it here for your amusement.

I love shrimp and I am very fond of snow peas and ginger so this was a no brainer for me. May try it on Friday although I was thinking of other things to cook. It seems that Grace Parisi comes up with some very good recipes

Gingered Stir-Fry with Shrimp and Snow Peas

Large nonstick skillets that can create a sear are ideal for stir-fries. For this recipe, Food and Wine's
Grace Parisi creates layers of flavor with Chinese chile-garlic sauce and matchsticks of fresh ginger.

1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 Tbs low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese chile-garlic sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh ginger, cut into fine matchsticks
1/2 lb snow peas
1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 small scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Steamed rice, for serving

1. In a small bowl, whisk the chicken stock with the soy sauce, Chinese chile-garlic sauce and cornstarch.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the ginger matchsticks and stir-fry over moderately high heat until they are softened, about 1 minute. Add the snow peas and stir-fry until crisp-tender and the ginger is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp to the skillet and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add the scallions and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Whisk the chile sauce, add it to the skillet and stir-fry until the shrimp are opaque throughout and the sauce is thickened, about 1 minute longer. Serve with steamed rice.

Servings: 4

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Bowling. Chicken Soup,

Well, another disastrous day at bowling. I have no idea why but for two weeks now I have bowled extremely badly and today I felt both tired and depressed and for two pins would have given up bowling completely.

Outside it was blowing really hard and was very cold. I hadn't worn gloves which didn't help so I really felt like some chicken soup. When I got home I had a quick tour of internet recipes and then basically chucked a whole load of vegetables, I sauteed the onions, such as carrots, leeks, garlic, and so on into my Instant Pot plus some frozen chicken thighs ( the big ones I got from Victoria Market which I still believe are from an ostrich) and let 'er rip for 25 minutes. Oh, forgot, I added a can of Rotel tomatoes to the mix which added some extra flavour. It turned out to be delicious and we both enjoyed it. I love my Instant Pot.

Anyway, sorry, but I am tired tonight so that's it from me.

Have a great day

Monday, November 4, 2019

Snow, Bowling, Cooking.

Sunday morning when I got up way too early because of the time change, I was greeted by Matt saying it had been snowing when he got up. I looked out of the window and lo and behold all the roofs I could see were white and even the grass in the park had white accumulations in some places. I guess winter is definitely here. Hopefully ladydog will be home today, (Sunday) they managed to change their flights from Chile, but still had to kill 9 hours at the airport. However, they should be home safely by now.

Monday is, of course bowling. By the way, we have ended with the Silver Wolves courtesy of one of our team members who decided wolves were better than foxes. Doesn't have quite the same ring, but I am very fond of wolves too. I do hope I bowl better than last week which was quite disastrous, especially after the previous three weeks.

Having found the following recipe I decided to give it a go on Saturday. First of all I had to defrost my lamb roast enough to cut it in half, way too big for my Instant Pot. That meant - as the author suggested - I cut the cooking time back to 40-45 minutes. I think for us, if I do this recipe again and I am sure I will, that the time should be cut back even further. The meat fell apart and I prefer my lamb to be sliceable. However, Matt liked it, he said the meat was delicious, and thinking about it, he is always complaining about meat being tough these days, particularly fillet steak, so maybe falling apart is how I should present meat to him in future. It just seemed to me a criminal way of treating leg of lamb. It was more like a pot roast. It was, however, delicious. I did end up with way too much liquid though so will have to cut some of that down next time. Also, I did all the sautée work in a frying pan. It is really much easier, as the pot is a bit too high for me anyway and the bottom surface is not very large for such preparation work. (ladydog told me she did that all the time, she might have told me). A tip I recently discovered from World Wide Recipes, is to use dry Vermouth instead of white wine. I am going to try that next time I need white wine. You don't even have to keep that in the fridge.

Greek Instant Pot Leg of Lamb

Greek-style boneless leg of lamb in the Instant Pot, fall apart tender, serve with flavorful pot juices
and Greek potatoes for Easter or any special occasion.

1   4-4½- pound boneless leg of lamb, string mesh removed
Several cloves of garlic, peeled, cut into slivers
Olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 cup dry white wine
1 ¼ cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
½ cup lemon juice from 2 to 3 lemons
7-10 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs rosemary
1 sprig oregano
2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves

1. With a sharp paring knife, pierce lamb and make a hole, slip in a sliver of garlic.  Repeat and insert as many slivers of garlic as you can, evenly distributed all over the roast.

2. Drizzle the lamb with a little olive oil, season all over with the garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the insert on the sauté setting until hot.  Add lamb and brown well on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

3. Remove lamb to plate.  Add onion and cook until starting to soften.  Add a couple whole cloves of peeled, smashed garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add wine and deglaze pan, stirring up any brown bits and reducing by about half.

4. Turn off sauté setting and add remaining ingredients; chicken stock, lemon juice and herbs.  Give a quick stir to combine and place lamb roast back in pot, seam side down.  The liquid should come up the sides but not completely submerge the roast, about 2¼ to 2¾ cups, add more stock or water, if needed.

5. Seal electric pressure cooker and cook on high for 90 minutes.  Let pressure release naturally for 20 minutes, then release any remaining pressure manually.  Remove lamb to cutting board, rest 10 minutes.  Strain pot juices and skim any excess fat, taste for salt and pepper.  Shred/cut lamb into slices/pieces and arrange on platter.  Surround with roasted potatoes and spoon defatted cooking liquid all over lamb and potatoes.  Enjoy!

Source: The Hungry Bluebird

Have a great day

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Our Friday

One of those run around days again. I went to bed pretty late last night, reading again, and therefore got up late. Actually I wasn't overly enamoured of the book I was reading and thought I could put it down, but I was closeish to the end and eventually couldn't put it down. It  kind of seemed I had no sooner eaten  breakfast than I was eating lunch in order to get downstairs to exercise class. There was quite a crowd for our bunch. Nice to see everyone there.

Then we had to go get gin for Matt and then some bananas and sausages at Victoria St. Market. I looked at the sirloin steaks and was tempted, but for once I went in and came out with what I had intended to buy. Miracle. It is such a tempting store. Particularly the fish department.

Talking fish, we had coconut shrimp which I had bought there a week or so ago. Delicious. We ended up pigging out and ate a whole bag full. Dieting, who? They give you packets of sauce. That is very good too and complements the coconut shrimp very well.

Don't forget to change your clocks tonight. I really hope the vote to cease doing this will be carried through, it is a pain every year.

Wrote most of this earlier, but decided to Google Instant Pot leg of lamb, found a recipe which I might try tomorrow. The legs I have are way too big, would need to defrost one and cut it in half maybe. Should have bought the bigger pot after all - nah, there's only us.

This  looks and sounds really good as well as different.

Thyme Roasted Portobello, Ricotta and Cauliflower Lasagna

Lora loves pasta and likes to make her own. However, if you buy fresh pasta this becomes a much
easier dish to prepare. Make ahead of time and reheat when you want it.

½ bunch of fresh thyme
8 large portobellos, stems removed
6 cups (1.5 L) small cauliflower florets
½ cup (125 mL) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups (1 L) béchamel sauce (recipe below)
6 sheets fresh pasta dough
½ cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven too 400°F (200°C).

2. Place thyme, portobello mushrooms and cauliflower in a large bowl and toss with olive oil to coat. Arrange mushrooms, top down on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Place cauliflower on same baking sheet and roast until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool and cut mushrooms into slices.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).

4. To assemble lasagna, spread ½ cup (125 mL) béchamel sauce over bottom of a buttered 9-inch (23-cm) rectangle lasagna pan. Cut pasta sheet to fit baking dish and place over sauce. Generously cover pasta with more béchamel sauce. Cover with a layer of roasted mushrooms and cauliflower florets and another sheet of pasta. Repeat until you reach the top of the baking dish (you should have 6 layers). The last layer will be a pasta sheet, covered with sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

5. Bake lasagna until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, about 35 to 45 minutes. Let lasagna stand for about 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

 Source: Food and Drink

Have a great day

Friday, November 1, 2019

November, Rain, TV, Gale,

I can't believe November starts tomorrow (as I'm writing) it seems this year has shot by like a rocket. Some States have already had a good dollop of the white stuff and there is talk of the same happening here in a day or so. At the moment it is still raining and on the radio, which comes from Hamilton (which is lakeside) they are talking about lots more rain and the possibility of the lakes flooding. When I think of it, Hamilton is down in a big dip anyway. I have never heard of the lakes flooding before, but nor have I listed to this station before. I guess if you get enough rain, any body of water can flood.

Meant to go bowling this afternoon but I wasn't feeling up to par so didn't go in the end.

Its an odd thing but I never liked Agatha Christie's novels when I was a young woman. However, they are showing the Hercule Poirot mysteries on TV at the moment, I have seen some of them before, and I thoroughly enjoy them. Seems strange to me. Of course she was always very popular and the Moustrap ran for years in a London theatre with everyone in the audience sworn to secrecy about the ending. Just checked, it has been running for 68 years in London and is still going. It has also been shown in theatres around the world. Quite a success. Pity she is no longer with us.

Tonight, Hallowe'en, it is bowling a gale outside our windows and just the sound makes it colder. I will be putting extra covers over my bed later.  By the way, we had Vegetable Pakoras and Pot Stickers for supper. All from the store and very good.

This sounds like an enjoyable recipe. I never buy anything but the genuine Mascapone as the stuff made in North America contains preservatives which sweeten the cheese. The Italian product doesn't although, of course, it doesn't keep as long, but has no sweetness to it's taste.

Penne with Smoked Chicken and Mascarpone

1 lb penne rigate
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2 Tbs sherry vinegar
1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb young green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths and blanched until al dente
1/2 lb zucchini, cut into 1 1/2 -by-1/3-inch sticks
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 lb boneless smoked chicken breast—skinned, trimmed of fat and shredded
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Tbs minced parsley

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

2. Meanwhile, in a small nonreactive saucepan, combine the mascarpone and sherry vinegar. Cook over low heat until melted; keep warm.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large non-reactive skillet. Add the green beans and zucchini and sauté until tender and lightly browned. Stir in the shallots and cook until softened. Add the smoked chicken and crushed red pepper, season with salt and cook just until warmed through.

4. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the vegetables and the mascarpone sauce; add some of the reserved cooking liquid if the pasta seems dry. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

The secret of this dish is using flavorful smoked chicken breasts.

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Okavango, Space, Exercises, Rain, Chile,

As Denise told me, there was another episode about the Okavango in Botswana tonight. However, I was disappointed as there was nothing about the lioness and her cubs. Lots about lions, but not her. Still a very enjoyable programme nevertheless. Afterwards there was a programme about what can be seen from space and they too mentioned the Okavango Delta. Something I had not picked up was that it is basically in a desert and the delta does not run into the sea, it merely dissipates into the sand. It is apparently a huge area and very visible from space. A fascinating area. Hilary Melton-Butcher wrote about it but I haven't yet had a chance to find the blogs she wrote. Another interesting thing I learned from watching space, there is a dustcloud which is formed by a dried up lake in the Sahara which sends clouds of nutrient rich dust all the way across the Atlantic ocean and deposits it in the Amazon forest without which the forest would not survive. What incredible things they are learning from space. There were, of course, photos of hurricanes and the areas they had caused to flood.  As well as a section on the 2017 eclipse of the sun as seen from space.

I went to exercise class.this afternoon but didn't do that well, however, it is socially good if not physically to marvellous for me lately. I will persevere though. A neighbour called with some treats, she had had her grandkids around so there were treats  left over. We indulged.

Today it has been raining quite hard and is supposed to do so for the rest of the week. There has even been mention of snow. I guess it is getting to that time of year.

Ladydog is having problems with the riots in Chile. They are trying to get an earlier flight rather than spend the weekend in Santiago or San Antonio. I do hope they can manage it. Civil unrest is pretty unpredictable.

Sabzi is a new one on me, but I thought it looked delicious.

Red Pepper, Potato, and Peanut Sabzi

The classic Indian marriage of snappy, sweet red peppers and crisped potatoes gets a jolt of flavor
from crushed peanuts, toasted cumin and fennel seeds, and a spritz (or more!) of lime juice. The resulting colorful, crunchy, woken-up sabzi is an easy side that you can make in 20 minutes or less. You can also double it for an excellent vegetarian main course. Even better: Warm up some tortillas and scramble some eggs, and you’ve got yourself an Indo-Texan breakfast taco party.

2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 small yellow onion, cut into ½" pieces
1 large russet potato, cut into ½" pieces
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into ¾" pieces
1 tsp (or more) kosher salt
¼ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, crushed
1 Tbs (or more) fresh lime juice (from about half a lime)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until they turn a medium shade of brown, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and stir in fennel seeds. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4–6 minutes.

2. Stir in potato, then spread mixture into an even layer in pan. Cover and cook until potato is tender and not mushy (a little charring on the bottom is A-OK), 7–10 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and salt. Cover and cook until peppers are slightly softened, 5–7 minutes. Using a large spoon or spatula, scrape up the delicious charred bits from bottom of pan and stir into potato mixture.

3. Stir in peanuts and lime juice. Taste and adjust lime juice and salt, if needed, before serving.

Servings: 4

Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Shopping Trip, Goat Story, Flu Shots, Busy,

Because I was being picked up to go shopping our foot nurse obliged by coming in a bit earlier. Nice of her. 10:30 I was picked up by a driver I get along with really well. His daughter lives up north and the driver told me she (and her hubby) had now got a goat, a male goat mind you, female would be more use perhaps, however, they take this goat for walks on a leash!!!! He even showed me a video of them doing just that. The goat looks pretty chubby and healthy. Funny though.

I made my salad before the nurse came so finished making my lunch and ate it as now we have to go get stabbed in the arm. Flu shots. I always get a sore arm, Matt, of course, does not. Then, I think we can relax for the day - except for cooking supper of course. Our days are either a big rush or we having nothing to do. The shots were OK, but it nearly killed the pair of us walking to the back of the drug store. I saw a comment about why do they put the drug area so far away when it was sick people who needed to go there. I concur with that especially after today. I have decided that Matt, at least, should always have a walker with him. We have both been managing with canes (putting walkers in the trunk is a pain in the rear end). By the way, it is now 9:30 and my arm hurts!!!!

Ladydog let me know they are in Chile right now. Visited islands full of birds and sea lions and both want to return to Chile. I am sure they have been there before and she said the same thing.

Sorry about the lack of blog yesterday. I was running late and wanted to do my Spanish lesson before bed plus I was desperately tired for some reason, still am pretty tired, and yet I have been sleeping like a log.

Forgot, got back home after our flu shots, parked the car in the underground parking area and walked the 10 miles (well, seems like it to me) back to the door into the building. Got upstairs and realised we hadn't been to the liquor store. I was out of scotch, horrors, so rested a short while and off I went, 10 miles back across the garage and off to the LCBO. I went to a small one which is easier to navigate, picked up my scotch and then thought of Port which I enjoy after Saturday night dinner. Asked where it was, said at the back of the store, I said forget it (done enough walking) young man at the cash desk asked what I wanted and went and got it for me, I don't think they would have done that in the bigger store we got to sometimes. So, home I went and walked the 10 miles back in the garage and by the time I got back to the apartment, I had had it. Fell asleep shortly after.

I bought two boneless legs of lamb but I am sure I can adapt this recipe. I have linked the demiglace as well, I wasn't sure how to make it so this is a shortcut.

Roast Leg of Lamb with Red Wine Sauce

Some of the most creative new wine lists are emphatically local. Broadway East in NYC champions
New York state wines, while Terroir in Portland, Oregon, supports Pacific Northwest producers; chef Stu Stein serves this lamb with a Columbia Valley Syrah

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbs chopped sage
1 Tbs chopped parsley
2 tsp chopped rosemary
1 7-pound, bone-in leg of lamb
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 cup veal demiglace
1 cup water

1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the oil with the mustard, garlic and herbs. Coat the lamb with the mixture; season with salt and pepper.

2. In a roasting pan, toss the onion, cel­ery and carrot with the remaining oil. Place the lamb fat side up on the vegetables. Roast for 1 hour and 40 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 130°. Let rest for 15 minutes.

3. Set the roasting pan over 2 burners. Pour in the wine and reduce over moderately high heat to 1/4 cup, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom. Stir in the tomato paste and simmer for 1 minute. Add the demiglace and water and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes. Strain the sauce into a small saucepan, pressing on the solids. Season with salt and pepper and keep hot.

4. Carve the lamb and serve the slices with the red wine sauce.

Servings: 6

Source: Food and Wine

Right, Spanish next.

Have a great day

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Blogless again.

Having boasted about my blogiversary, I am not writing a blog today. Got a busy 24 hours ahead. Sorry. Oh I had a lousy bowling day on Monday.

Have a great day

Monday, October 28, 2019

Scary Books/Movies, Abu Simbel, Blogiversary, Supper,

Reading Birgit's Blog at BB Creations, she mentioned The Exorcist and how scary it was. Make me think of the Dennis Wheatley books I used to read many years ago, which ended up giving me nightmares. I gave up reading anything with horror or black magic after that. If you are interested, these are his books.  https://www.thriftbooks.com/a/dennis-wheatley/326641/

My Windows lockscreen picture on Saturday was the statues outside the Abu Simbel Temple in Aswan, Egypt

I was aware these had been moved because they would have been buried under the flood waters caused by the Aswan Dam, but I was studying the picture and realised what huge statues they were and was curious how it was done. So, I Googled. What I hadn't known was that these statues were merely the entrance to an absolutely fabulous temple which was full of paintings and statues depicting the marvels of Ramses. The video I found then went on to explain how they moved the whole thing before the flood waters got to the temples. What an undertaking, but it appears that it was the world who cared, not the Egyptians themselves. I was unable to see the whole video but must go back and finish it. Must have cost millions to move the whole thing starting with building a coffer dam round the area so they could work behind the flood waters. This is a quick video showing what they did. But there are much more detailed videos available.

I just realised Saturday, October. 26, was my 13th blogiversary, I have written close on 3,500 blogs in that time. What a lot of words (blether some might say). Who'd a thunk it.

We ate Stuffed Peppers again on Sunday. I had stuffing left over so did two more in the Instant Pot. Only trouble is I totally forgot them so they were "keeping warm" for half an hour or more so when I took them out they were breaking up. Figured we would eat them straight away rather than freeze them. I find I am getting distracted easily lately, start doing something and then end up doing something else. Old age maybe?

I like the recipes from Campbell's. Gone are the days when their soups were not terribly wholesome. I thought this one looked nice and simple and I do tend to look for simple these days.

Easy Skillet Chicken Parmesan

This weeknight skillet chicken Parmesan tops chicken breasts with a sweet tomato sauce and melted
mozzarella cheese for a quick and delicious meal

2 Tbs olive oil
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste,
1 can (284 mL) CAMPBELL’S® Condensed Tomato with Basil and Oregano Soup
1/2 cup CAMPBELL’S® 30% Less Sodium Ready to Use Chicken Broth
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat broiler to high. In a large, ovenproof non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Season chicken all over with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook chicken for 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown; transfer to a plate.

2. Stir soup and broth into the same skillet; bring to a simmer. Return chicken to skillet and cover with sauce.  Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

3. Toss mozzarella cheese with Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over chicken.  Broil for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley just before serving.

Servings: 4

Serve over cooked pasta or creamy polenta with a Caesar salad on the side.

For a quick weeknight tip, skip the broiler and simply cover the skillet for 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Looking to make the ultimate comfort food? Try topping this dish with marinara sauce, a meaty spaghetti sauce, or a generous heaping of bread crumbs.

Source: Campbell's

Have a great day

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Respite Time, Shopping Twice, Catching Up,

Got a message (didn't answer phone, unknown name) from the Para Medical who are going to be handling my 3 hours. Spoke to them today, they have it fixed for Thursdays at 1. That definitely won't work. I have to phone one of their people next week. Will have to see what we can sort out.

One of those days again. Went to exercise class then had to go shopping, I was out of fizz after all. Actually they had some Piccolo bottles of Prosecco which I have never seen here before. Decided to get some and see how I get on with it. Then went to the bakers and stocked up on my buns. Can't remember if I told you, there is a seed bun they make which I love. I buy them out of the freezer so they only charge me half price. Can't beat that, they go straight in my freezer anyway. Then I dithered about going to Victoria St. Market because I was out of peppers (I stuffed 'em all) and we usually get a few bananas to last us, but I was tired and achy so went home. Was doing Thai Shrimp Curry for supper so made a start on the sauce. Checking the recipe I saw it needed peppers, I had forgotten. So, I had to go out anyway. What a pain. However, on the way into the garage I met a friend whom I hadn't seen in a while and we had a long chat, she didn't know about Matt nor about my heart attack last year so of course I updated her. She asked if there was anything she could do, I said come and visit or invite me to coffee please.

I then went off on my errand and of course I didn't stick to peppers and bananas but ended up with some scallops and some coconut shrimp. Obviously they have very expensive peppers too. It really is a very tempting shop. Didn't even look at the desserts although I had bought some carrot cake at the bakers. Anyway, got my shrimp dish done, it was delicious as usual.

Spent most of the evening watching Celtic Thunder, Matt really enjoys them. So do I, but there's lots of other stuff I enjoy too. But for Matt, these days, it's anything musical, well good music anyway. He loves Il Volo for instance.

I have neither made nor eaten jerk chicken and have often meant to try it. Saw this recipe and was immediately interested.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

The best jerk recipe we've ever tasted, which we first published in 1995, is fragrant, fiery hot and smoky all at once. It's from our former colleague Paul Chung, an adventurous self-taught cook who grew up in Jamaica and has sampled jerk from just about every corner of the island. For maximum flavor, let the chicken marinate overnight.

In 2018, Food &Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best: There are as many takes on jerk chicken
in Jamaica as there are cooks on the island, but most share the same method: Chicken is coated in a seasoning mixture dominated by spices and chiles, then grilled. This version comes from Paul Chung, a self-taught cook of Chinese-Jamaican descent who worked in the mail room at Food & Wine. It’s wonderfully spicy, smoky, and fragrant—everything you want jerk chicken to be. But what puts this one above all others? The key is including Chinese five-spice in the marinade: “This spark of cinnamon enhances the rich clove flavor imparted by the allspice berries,” Marcia Kiesel wrote. For best results, let the chicken marinate overnight, so the seasoning has time to thoroughly penetrate the meat. The chicken can also be roasted in the oven if desired.

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 medium scallions, chopped
2 Scotch bonnet chiles, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbs five-spice powder
1 Tbs allspice berries, coarsely ground
1 Tbs coarsely ground pepper
1 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 3 1/2- to 4-pound chickens, quartered

1. In a food processor, combine the onion, scallions, chiles, garlic, five-spice powder, allspice, pepper, thyme, nutmeg and salt; process to a coarse paste. With the machine on, add the the soy sauce and oil in a steady stream. Pour the marinade into a large, shallow dish, add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before proceeding.

2. Light a grill. Grill the chicken over a medium-hot fire, turning occasionally, until well browned and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. (Cover the grill for a smokier flavor.) Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve.

Servings: 8

Food & Wine

Have a great weekend

Friday, October 25, 2019

Cooking, LHIN, Exercises, Ladydog, Pork Roasts,

So I had basically planned to cook stuffed peppers today, Thursday, and was already well under way when the phone rang and it was the woman from the LHIN asking if she could come at 11:30 as she already had an earlier appointment in the building. That kind of threw me out. We both had to start skidaddling as we were still in our night attire. However, we really had plenty of time. Nan from the LHIN came shortly after 11:30 and didn't stay all that long. She basically had most of our information from when she had interviewed us last year after I came out of hospital. Can't believe that's a year ago next  month. Anyway, the upshot is she has allocated me 3 hours a week of respite time (i.e. a PSW - Personal Service Worker - will come and spend time here) so that I can go out for whatever reason, i.e. meeting up with the other people from the TEACH course. Or anything else. I actually don't think I am really going to need 3 hours a week, but...

When she had gone, we had a late lunch. As I asked her,  how come so many medical people make appointments over the lunch hour? Later I finished off the peppers for supper, they were good, and I still have some stuffing left as they weren't the biggest peppers by any means.

Friday will be exercise classes of course, there were only two of us on Wednesday so hope there will be more.

Heard from Ladydog today, she is in Ecuador at the moment. Believe that is a pretty good place to make one's home. They eventually fly home from Chile.

My friend Liz tells me she has bought lots of pork roasts at a terrifically cheap price. I thought this recipe might interest her. Think I posted it before but a long time ago.

Wine-Braised Pork with Chestnuts and Sweet Potatoes

Legendary chef Jacques Pépin sears pork shoulder to make a terrific crust, then braises it slowly with
stock, wine, chestnuts and sweet potatoes until it’s meltingly tender.

1 4-pound boneless pork shoulder
2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 parsley sprigs, plus chopped parsley for garnish
3 thyme sprigs
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 lb vacuum-packed roasted peeled chestnuts (3 cups)

1. Season the pork with the 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Heat a large cast-iron casserole over moderately high heat. Add the pork, fat side down, and add 1/2 cup of water. Cook until all

2. of the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook over moderate heat until the pork is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Flip the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 5 minutes longer.

3. Add the onion and garlic to the casserole and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, wine and parsley and thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat, turning once, until the pork is just tender, 2 1/2 hours. Add the sweet potatoes and chestnuts, cover and cook until the pork and sweet potatoes are very tender, 30 minutes.

4. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sweet potatoes and chestnuts to a platter. Strain the jus into a bowl and degrease with a spoon; season with salt and pepper.

5. Slice the pork and arrange it on top of the vegetables. Garnish with parsley and serve with the jus.

Servings: 8


Author Notes
The braised pork can be refrigerated overnight and reheated before serving.

Have a great day

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Wednesday, Nature, Otavango, LHIN.

Quite a busy day today, started with our cleaner arriving at 8:30, shortly after I went and collected the shopping and she helped bring it upstairs for me. I still end up with aching legs even though I am not pulling the cart upstairs. Unpacking I found I was short several items so the cleaner went down to the car and found the missing bag. Bananas in it, I hadn't even realised they were missing. Thank goodness she was here, I couldn't have made that trip(to our parking spot) a second time this morning. Eventually, we had lunch and I went downstairs to exercise class. There were only two of us today. Unusual. However, we did our stuff. The room where we do this is quite a walk for me too, even with my walker. Back upstairs, and I decided to go to Costco. Meant to go yesterday, been meaning to go for a while, so off we went, Matt came for the drive. Once there, I had to sit down and rest a couple of times walking back and forth from the meat dept. which is right at the back of the store. I had taken my walker luckily, thought I might need it. One woman said I had the right idea. I mainly went for the lamb and that is usually in the fridges at the back of the store. I walked right along them and then back, thought I had missed the lamb, couldn't find any, then I spotted some other meat counters, phew, thought I had wasted my journey. Talking to another woman about it and she spotted them at the same time as I. I found my lamb roasts, I got two for less than they wanted at Victoria St. Market, mind you, theirs was probably fresh Ontario lamb. I also bought some chicken breasts, and some beef patties which I assume were for burgers, but which I guessed were just about half a pound each which was just the amount I wanted for my stuffed peppers. I was right. So, plus the Co-Q-10 pills I bought, it mounted up to $160. Still under $200. For Costco  that is an achievement. Of course when I got home, I had to repack all the stuff for the freezer except for t he ground beef I wanted for peppers tomorrow. By the time I had done all this, I was knackered. I fell asleep for a half hour in my chair.

Luckily I didn't have to do much for supper as we had leftover Butter Chicken from last night, so just cooked some rice. Later I cooked 2 cups of rice for use with the peppers. So easy in the Instant Pot.

After watching Jeopardy, watched a Nature programme on PBS about the Otavango River basin and its animals. Fascinating but it needed a part 2 I think. We were following the story of a lioness who was gored by a water buffalo and eventually left for dead by her pride. Meanwhile, she began to recover and next thing we knew, she had two cups which of course she had to feed. She had a broken ankle on her front leg. She was doing pretty well, but at the end, two males were entering her territory which could either be good or bad news for her, if they accepted the cubs, good. But we never heard the end of that story. Grrrr.

Tomorrow we have a visit scheduled from the LHIN (Local  Health Integration Network) to discover just what help we are entitled to. I suspect not a lot at this time, we shall see.

I used to enjoy brisket but don't remember when I last cooked it. When I saw this recipe I immediately thought, must try it. I am sure I can get brisket at Victoria St. Market.

Brisket with Onion-and-Chile Jam

Letting the brisket rest in the pan juices for a half hour makes it especially moist.

2 Tbs pure olive oil
11 medium onions—7 minced, 4 coarsely chopped
2 Thai chiles, with some seeds, minced
5 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 bunch of celery, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground pepper
One 5-pound beef brisket, fat trimmed to a thin layer
2 quarts hot chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 tsp soy sauce

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the minced onions and the Thai chiles and season with salt. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft, about 25 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately low and cook, stirring, until the onions are deeply browned, about 10 minutes longer.

2. Preheat the oven to 325°. Spread the carrots, celery and coarsely chopped onions in an even layer in a roasting pan and season them with salt and pepper. Season the brisket with salt and pepper and set it on top of the vegetables, fat side up. Spread the onion-and-chile jam in an even layer over the top of the brisket and pour the hot stock into the pan around the meat. Cover the roasting pan and braise the brisket for about 4 1/2 hours, or until it is very tender, basting every 30 minutes.

3. Let the brisket rest in the pan juices for 30 minutes, then transfer it to a carving board. Strain the pan juices into a saucepan, pressing on the vegetables, then skim off the fat. Add the soy sauce, season with pepper and bring to a simmer. Thinly slice the brisket across the grain and serve with the pan juices.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat before proceeding. Serve with noodles.

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Team Name. Costco, Barkeep's Friend, Shopping,

The other day a friend suggested Silver Foxes in the comments. That is the name I have gone with. I think it is great bearing in mind we all have to be above 55 to join this league (most of us are way beyond 55) and, of course, a lot of us have silver hair although, thinking about it, on our team, only Matt and I really have silver hair. The others are young enough not to have changed at all, or to have only wisps of silver.

A very quiet day and, until it was too late, it didn't occur to me to go  to Costco which I have been wanting to do for a while. I want to get some lamb. Maybe I can make it after exercise classes tomorrow.

Something I forgot to mention, the other day I was cleaning our stainless steel sinks and they had a couple of stains on them. I had bought some Barkeep's Friend for my Instapot pot so I tried it on the sink, way to go, it worked. I now have no marks in the sinks. I was so pleased. I had kind of thought that the Barkeep's Friend wasn't much more than Vim, I was obviously wrong. Not sure what the difference is, but it sure worked.

Tomorrow, trying something new with our cleaner. I am going to collect the groceries and she is going to come and collect them from me and carry them upstairs. Talking about it to Matt he commented "well I can do that", except that when I ask him to, he doesn't seem physically able at all. So, I don't know. Anyway, see what happens.

I thought this soup looked delicious and what a different way of serving it.

Roasted Green Tomato Basil Soup in Sourdough

This beautiful green soup pairs the tartness of green tomatoes with fragrant basil and thyme. Once
you’ve finished off the soup you can eat the sourdough bread bowl.

2 lbs ripe green tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, about
1 cup, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 to 4, whole round sourdough loaves
Sliced cherry tomatoes, for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss together 2 pounds of green tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.

2. In an eight-quart stockpot over medium heat, add the onions and garlic with the butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook until the onions have slightly caramelized, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the crushed red pepper flakes and stir to combine, about 1 minute. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes and stock to the pot and bring to a boil. When soup comes to a full boil, toss in the fresh basil leaves and wilt over medium heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth, ensuring that the basil leaves are entirely pureed into soup. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

3. To serve, warm the bread in the oven and the soup in a saucepot over the stove. When bread is heated through, carve a shallow hole in each loaf, and pull a few pieces from the center. Ladle the soup into the bread and serve right away. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and sliced cherry tomatoes, if desired.

Servings: 4

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Team Name, Lead Poisoning,

Well, I ended up choosing the Hawks for our team name. Although someone suggested the Silver Foxes, which I think would have been great. They were teasing me because of my British accent when saying Hawks, it was suggested my word was spelled Haulks. Cheeky so and sos. So, we bowled, even Matt bowled today, and pretty well although he did cause us to be really late leaving the alley. Me, I did the same as last week, a 187, 135 and 186. 2 more than last week. It shoved my average up 5 points. Matt shoved his average up by over 20 points. We took 5 points instead of 7 this week though.

Watching a programme called Retro something, talking about  lead poisoning and how it affects children. I had no idea what it could do. Pretty frightening. Nobody is prepared to take responsibility (in the States) for the clean up of lead paint on old houses. Matt said he knew about the effects of lead on young brains, must have missed it somewhere, because I had no idea.

Sorry tonight, no recipe. I'm very tired for some reason.Will remedy this tomorrow.

Have a great day

Monday, October 21, 2019

Weekend, The Durrell's, Bowling, Panama Canal.

So, the weekend is over once more. Ate ham steaks on Saturday with pineapple rings. I have always enjoyed that combination. Also, made my Meals on Wheels carrot salad. Think I went a bit heavy on the cranberries though. Didn't go that well with the wine either.

I have been watching The Durrell's in Corfu. Funny, I read Gerald Durrell's animal books many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed them, but the one I didn't enjoy was about his family in Corfu. I should get hold of all the books again. I read them in my 20's I think. I always remember the title of one books was Catch me a Colobus. He really wrote excellent books about animals although I wonder how they would sound today. Just checking Amazon and there are dozens of books written by several of the family by the sound of it. I will investigate further. It seems there were several books about Corfu and I think I only read one.

Bowling today, I have to dream up a name for our team, I hate being No. 9. My team used to be the dragons but the name was kind of taken over by people who were on our team when I had my hospital trip next year and they still have it. We used to have a summer team, the Griffons, so maybe I will opt for that. I thought of The Eagles, but I think the Griffons will be best. Dunno if Matt will bowl or not. As he spends most of his time on his lounger with his feet in the air,  he may well not do so. I cannot persuade him that walking regularly, plus any other exercise, would help him. Ah well.

Monday will actually be ladydog's day of entering the Panama Canal system. Do wish they still had a camera there so I could at least glimpse the ship going through. Just for fun. Actually it is pretty marvellous watching a ship progressing through even though the last time was only in short stills which changed ever 2 minutes I think.

I am quite sure this can be adapted to my Instant Pot. I love noodles. Just discovered Ivy, The Happy Whisk, eats noodle soups for breakfast. Never thought of that, must try it.

Brothy Chinese Noodles

This dish was inspired by Chinese Dan Dan noodles—ground pork and noodles in a spicy broth. We
use ground turkey and omit the traditional Sichuan peppercorns for convenience, but add hot sesame oil. Use toasted sesame oil instead if you want mild noodles.

2 Tbs hot sesame oil (see note) divided
1 lb 93%-lean ground turkey (I think I would go back to the pork)
1 bunch scallions, sliced, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs minced fresh ginger
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
¾ cup water
3 cups thinly sliced bok choy
8 oz dried Chinese noodles (see Note)
3 Tbs reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 small cucumber, sliced into matchsticks, for garnish

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add ground turkey, all but 2 tablespoons of the scallions, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring and breaking up the turkey, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add broth, water, bok choy, noodles, soy sauce, vinegar and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the turkey mixture to the pan and stir to combine. Serve garnished with the reserved 2 tablespoons scallions and cucumber (if using).

Source: Eating Well

Author Notes
Hot sesame oil can be found in the Asian-food section of most supermarkets.

Dried Chinese noodles, often used in Chinese soups and lo mein, cook up quickly and can be found in the Asian-food section of most supermarkets.

Have a great day

Friday, October 18, 2019

Victoria St. Market, Books, Cooking, Charity,

One thing I need to do today is go to Victoria St. Market and get some ostrich chicken thighs. Well they are huge with lots of meat on them. Two of them is plenty for Matt and I for a meal. Have to get a few bananas too.

Well, I have run out of books by Susan Gourley Kelley. I have read every one she has written and enjoyed all of them. I especially enjoyed her Futhark Chronicles series. Yes, I have other books to read, but I have really got lost in her stories.

Just started Warriors of Altaii which is a book by Robert Jordan which he wrote many a long year ago and has just been re-issued  although I am not too sure it was ever in print before. I have only read his Wheel of Time series which was a wonderful series of stories. Pity he died before he finished them although Brandon Sanderson finished them for him. Apparently Jordan had written extensive notes as to how the ending should go.

Looking for something else, I found some chili in the freezer, had it for supper. It was good, I had forgotten. I really should use up stuff in the freezer instead of keep cooking. II do so enjoy using my Instant Pot though although I won't be using it tomorrow as I plan to cook the salmon recipe I posted yesterday. Fish on Fridays, no idea why I started that, we aren't Catholics after all.

It turns out that the two appliances I no longer need can be placed in the charity box downstairs which goes to Cerebral Palsy. Which is what I shall do.

There may not be a blog on Saturday. Taking a break.

Kevin Lynch comes up with some great recipes. This one is no exception. I think it could well be cooked in the Instant Pot. I will have to figure it out.

Beef Rendang

An easy to make authentic Indonesia/Malaysia beef curry that just melts in your mouth!

10 dried chilies, soaked in hot water until tender
5 shallots (or 1 small onion), diced
2 Tbs galangal, grated
2 Tbs ginger, grated
4 Tbs garlic, minced or grated
2 Tbs lemongrass, chopped
1 Tbs oil
1 lb beef, cut into bite sized cubes
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 star anise
3 cardamom pods
1 stalk lemongrass, pounded
1 (14oz) can coconut milk
1 tsp tamarind paste (or concentrate)
2 large kaffir lime leaves (sliced)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
1 Tbs palm sugar (aka coconut sugar) (or brown sugar or sugar)
salt to taste

1. Process the chilies, shallots, galangal, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass in a food processor until it forms a paste.

2. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan and brown the beef on all sides.

3. Add the paste from step 1, along with the cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardamom, and lemongrass and cook until fragrant, about a minute.

4. Add the coconut milk and tamarind, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the beef is fall apart tender, about 1-2 hours.

5. Add the kaffir lime leaves, coconut and palm sugar and cook another minute before seasoning with salt to taste.

6. Remove the cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, cardamon and lemongrass stalk and enjoy!

Servings: 4

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking

Author Notes
Use short ribs, chuck, or other stewing beef.

Use about 3 stalks lemongrass, the white tender part only.

Slow Cooker: Optionally implement steps 1-3 before throwing everything into the slow cooker and cooking on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 2-4 hours

Have a great day