Saturday, August 24, 2019

Saturday Recipe

Panna Cotta makes a delicious dessert. I made one a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Not sure why I haven't made it since.

Mixed-Nut-Milk Panna Cotta

These delicate custards are a great way to showcase the subtle, nutty flavor of homemade nut milk

2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups Mixed-Nut Milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbs honey
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
pinch of salt
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Crushed toasted hazelnuts, for serving
1/4 cup strawberry jam whisked with
1 Tbs water, for serving

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup of the nut milk and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 2 1/2 cups of nut milk with the sugar, honey, vanilla seeds and salt. Bring just to a simmer over moderately high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the softened gelatin mixture until dissolved.

2. Lightly brush six 1/2-cup ramekins with oil and set them on a baking sheet. Carefully fill the ramekins with the panna cotta mixture and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours and up to 2 days.

3. Run a knife around each panna cotta and invert onto a plate. Top with crushed hazelnuts and serve with the jam.

Servings: 6

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great weekend.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Blue Whales, Red Lobster, Brown Parcel,

I'm on a wildlife kick this week. I just saw some information about the Blue Whale. I knew it was the larges mammal on earth but did you know The heart of a blue whale is as big as a small car; their tongues can weigh as much as an elephant and they are as long as 3 school buses. There are some whale pix here if you are interested. I didn't know they were the biggest mammal ever to have existed. I live and learn. Would be wonderful to see one, if only. Mind you I would love to see whales at sea whatever their breed.

Today we went with ladydog to the Red Lobster and, as usual, I pigged out on crab. Delicious. Matt wasn't too happy about how long I was taking, but I don't often get the opportunity. ladydog was very patient about the whole thing. Matt and I bought a couple of desserts home with us, yes, Chocolate Wave cake. We ate the delicious ice cream whilst there. ladydog wouldn't try any she didn't want to get addicted otherwise she would have to travel to Peterborough where it is made - what's her problem, I would have gone with her LOL. They only sell it to the public in cones during the summer months I understand.

I had a parcel to collect at the UPS store as I mentioned, ladydog kindly drove us there once I remembered whether we should have turned left or right. The parcel was large and fairly heavy so the girl at UPS carried it out for me and then ladydog saved my bacon by carrying it upstairs for me. I would have had to get the large shopping basket as of course I had a cane.

Later I started calling all the people who bowled last winter (I always help out doing this). Actually one or two not coming back, surprisingly. Later I was stuffed and Matt not particularly hungry so I did open smoked salmon sandwiches for supper. Tasty.

This sounds tasty too

Bacon and Tomato Potato Skins

6 large baking potatoes
2 tsp cooking oil
1 tsp chili powder
Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
2/3 cup chopped Canadian-style bacon or chopped, cooked turkey bacon
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
2 Tbs finely chopped green onion
4 oz cheddar cheese or reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1/2 cup dairy sour cream (optional)

1. Scrub potatoes thoroughly and prick with a fork. Arrange on a microwave-safe plate. Micro-cook, uncovered, on 100% power (high) for 17 to 22 minutes or till almost tender, rearranging once. (Or, bake potatoes in a 425 degrees F. oven for 40 to 45 minutes or till tender.) Cool.

2. Halve each potato lengthwise. Scoop out the inside of each potato half, leaving about a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Cover and chill the leftover fluffy white part of potatoes for another use.

3. Combine the cooking oil, chili powder, and hot pepper sauce. With a pastry brush, brush the insides of the potato halves with the oil mixture. Cut the potato halves in half lengthwise. Return to the baking sheet. Sprinkle potato quarters with bacon, tomato, and green onion. Top with cheese. To make ahead, cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

4. Bake in 450 degrees F. oven for 10 to 12 minutes or till cheese is melted and potato quarters are heated through. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

Servings: 6

Source: Culinary Cafe

Have a great day

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Squirrels, Exercises, Stew,

Funny, I talked about squirrels yesterday and to night PBS showed a film about them. I didn't realise there were so many families of squirrels, nor did I realise that Prairie Dogs and Chipmunks were part of those families. Probably should have done. I knew they had clever brains, but one squirrel variety can increase the size of it's brain in winter and decreased in the spring so that it can recall the position of some 9,000 nuts it has secreted during the year. People say they forget the nuts they hide, but according to the documentary, it is more likely they didn't need the others. They bury some 10,000 every year. Another fascinating ground squirrel can confuse a predataory snake by first throwing dirt on it which allows it to listen to the rattle so it can estimate the size and danger of the snake, it can then pump extra blood into it's tail which it waves at the snake which is sensing the warm blooded animal and the increased blood in the tail makes the snake think it is much bigger than it is and changes its mind. I knew squirrels were clever, but it was fascinating to see this documentary.

I went down to exercise class this afternoon and the room was very warm, used to have two standing fans there but now there is only one. I managed fairly well I am pleased to say. I then came back into the apartment and just conked out. I am not sure how long I slept, but it seemed like forever.

Mind you, I made my Spiced Beef in Red Wine this morning. A lot harder work than I remembered. All the prep work was really playing havoc with my back. However, I have to report success. We ended up having it for supper although I had kind of thought of just doing it for the freezer. I still have close on 1 lb of beef to use up but am out of leeks. I was very pleased with the results though. Having checked a few recipes on line, I did flour the beef before I cooked it.

Just before lunch, ladydog called and said she was on her way. She thought we were going to the Red Lobster today instead of tomorrow. However, looking at my calendar tonight, I wonder if I goofed. I certainly intended it to be Thursday so I could go to exercises today, but I had written it down for today. Either way, we are definitely going there tomorrow. If I goofed ladydog, I apologise.

I thought this chilled soup sounded good although there is a lot more than just peaches and goat cheese.I think I might try this over the weekend.

Chilled Peach Soup with Fresh Goat Cheese

Chef Jason Franey of Seattle's Canlis makes this sweet and tangy summer soup by marinating fresh peaches overnight with dried apricots, honey, vinegar and olive oil and then pureeing the mixture.
Since peaches can vary in flavor, Franey suggests seasoning with vinegar to taste as you purée

3 cups sliced peeled peaches (about 4 peaches)
1/4 cup finely diced peeled seedless cucumber, plus thin slices for garnish
1/4 cup finely diced yellow bell pepper, plus thin slices for garnish
1/4 cup diced dried apricots
2 Tbs honey 3 tablespoons crumbled fresh goat cheese, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar, plus more for seasoning
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt
1 large garlic clove
2 cups diced baguette (1/2 inch)
Basil leaves, for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a bowl, toss the peaches, diced cucumber, yellow pepper and apricots. Add the honey, 3 tablespoons of goat cheese, 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Add the garlic. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. Discard the garlic. Transfer the contents of the bowl to a blender and purée. Add 1/4 cup of water and purée until very smooth and creamy; add more water if the soup seems too thick. Season with salt and vinegar. Refrigerate the soup until very cold, about 1 hour.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the diced bread and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the croutons to paper towels and season with salt.

4. Pour the peach soup into shallow bowls and garnish with the sliced cucumber, sliced bell pepper, goat cheese, croutons and basil. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, season with black pepper and serve.

Servings: 4

Source Food & Wine

Author Notes
Pairing wine with soup can sometimes feel like too much liquid at once, but in this case, a glass of Champagne gives a nice lift to this fruity soup. Pour a refreshing Brut like the NV Henriot Brut Souverain or the NV Gosset Excellence Brut.

Have a great day

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wildlife, Shopping, Dust, IP Experiment

I have seen  documentaries about how wildlife is adapting to towns and seen many pictures of foxes living in towns. Then I have recently been wondering about the park outside our windows and wondering what, if anything, other than squirrels of course, lived around it. Then today, we were coming home passing another park area close by here and be damned if a fox didn't cross the road in front of us. I was quite excited to see it bearing in mind that the best we have seen before was a mother Canada Goose with her string of goslings feeding on the grass verges. We have a lot of black squirrels here, I thought they were a separate breed, but somehow they have apparently mutated from grey squirrels. Used to love watching squirrels in NC, we put corn out for them and they would sit on the wooden platform and eat from the cobs. Think I have a picture somewhere. We used to have lots of birds feeding or nesting in our yard too. I miss that.

We went for a haircut this afternoon and then went to collect groceries. Between us we got the
shopping cart which seems to be on loan from a local store (although we have two again somehow) and filled it up. They are very heavy and I can hardly push them empty let alone manoeuver them through the doors. We don't have electronic buttons, we need them mind you. Matt pushed the trolley and I opened the doors - 5 not counting the elevator. Got the shopping to the kitchen and then took the trolley back (the store does know we have  them apparently although they usually only leave us one) and I parked the car in the underground parking lot. I said to Matt, is this worth $15. We decided it wasn't, but I'm, not so sure. Pushing the carts round the store might be OK, but not round this building.

Talking of the parking lot, the car is dusty as anything from being down  there. Didn't have this problem before they cleaned the garage!! I cleaned the car quite recently and really don't want to have to shell out again because of the dust, but I guess I am going to have to, I could hardly see out of the rear windshield. Whilst waiting for our groceries I cleaned it with a Kleenex, not very successful, but...

Oops, I have just realised they tried to deliver something to us from Costco and we weren't here. Gotta go. OK, panic over, they left a ticket and I can pick up "round the corner" after 1. Phew.

I have never been a devotee of stews as such or maybe I really mean stewed beef, not sure. Anyway, I found this Nigella Lawson recipe some years ago and have made it several times, it is ideal for freezing and keeps really well. However, in comes my Instant Pot. I have endeavoured to adapt it, the present quantity is way too big for my little pot, but I must be careful how I cut things down. Leave the spices alone Josephine. We will see what happens and I will be sure to let you know. So, below is the original recipe - for a start I have cut the beef back to 1 lb. and will go from there. From what I have been reading, it is a good idea to leave out the flour when cooking and add cornstarch when it is all done. So, here goes, wish me luck..

Spiced Beef in Red Wine

There is nothing to stop you from serving spiced beef in red wine at a dinner party, but proper
cooking should not be undertaken only for company. I make a batch of the beef and, when it is cool, bag it up in single portions and put it in the freezer. It makes a great warming supper for nights when you are lazing on a sofa watching television. Just because it's Wednesday, you need not have to resort to a bagel or grilled cheese for dinner.

2 slices bacon, roughly chopped
2 large onions, roughly chopped
2 large leeks, white and light-green parts only, roughly chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
½ cup fresh parsley
1/3 cup flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ½ lbs chuck steak in 2-inch cubes
2 Tbs vegetable oil, or more as needed
pinch ground cloves
1 ½ cups red wine
2 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
3 star anise
1 Tbs light brown sugar

1. Working in batches in a food processor, process bacon, onions, leeks, carrots and parsley until finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and set aside. Place flour in a freezer bag or other plastic bag. Season with salt and pepper. Add steak cubes, seal bag, and shake until cubes are well coated.

2. Place a flameproof casserole dish over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons oil. When hot, add beef in batches, turning until well seared on all sides. As beef is browned, transfer to a plate, and set aside.

3. If casserole dish is dry, add 1 tablespoon oil. Place over medium heat, and add bacon and vegetable mixture and ground cloves. Sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine wine, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, star anise and brown sugar. Place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. When vegetables have softened, pour liquid over vegetables.

4. Return beef to pan, and stir well. Bring to a boil, partly cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently until beef is tender, about 2 hours. Serve hot. If desired, stew may be cooked and then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for a month.

Servings: 6

Author Nigella Lawson.

Have a great day

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

New York Cantors, Tom Lehrer, Tuesday,

Not much to do Monday night so, having watched Jeopardy, I turned on to PBS coming from Buffalo broadcast by WNED and tonight it was the Three Cantors. Just thought we'd see what it was like. We were both blown away by the marvellous voices of these three young men, we were both in tears at one point, they were absolutely fabulous with incredible tenor voices. I have ordered a copy of the DVD so we can listen to them whenever we wish. Matt knows so much more than I do about singing having been a top boy soprano, but even in my ignorance I was astounded listening to them even if I basically didn't understand most of what they were singing. Here is a sample of what was in the programme.

The concert took place in the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam, quite a beautiful setting. Except, being in Holland, or the Netherlands as it is usually known over here, made me think of Anne Frank which didn't help my tears.

On a more mundane level, they went on to show a concert of Tom Lehrer's in Denmark. Not many people will remember him, I only knew him because my first husband  had one of his records. Vinyl in those days of course. I think he is hilarious even today, but Matt kept looking at me as if I was nuts. Maybe he didn't understand much of it.

Tomorrow, hair cuts, Matt has been nagging me for days and later shopping. Hopefully we can manage it between us. It was never the driving I needed, but the help getting it upstairs. But, sorry, that is not worth $15 a week to me.

Sadly no bowling this week unless maybe we go to Victoria Bowl instead - always assuming they too are not doing their lanes. Matt doesn't like the lanes there, they are synthetic, but I love them.

I love good tomatoes, and this salad's picture made me drool. I would never have thought of adding plums.

Heirloom Tomato and Plum Salad

Juicy, ripe plums and heirloom tomatoes are a natural pair in this salad from chef Norberto Piattoni of
Metta in Brooklyn. Shaved persimmon and sesame seeds add texture, while shiso and purslane, greens with a distinct savory character, balance the fruit

2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 lbs heirloom tomatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 lb plums, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
8 fresh shiso leaves, thinly sliced, divided
1/2 Fuyu persimmon, shaved crosswise on a mandoline (optional)
2 Tbs small purslane sprigs, stemmed, or 1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme leaves

1. Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, plums, and half of the shiso leaves to oil mixture; toss to combine. Transfer to a platter. Top with remaining shiso leaves; persimmon slices, if using; purslane; and sesame seeds.

Servings: 8

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day

Monday, August 19, 2019

Saturday Dinner, Risotto, Movie.

Saturday night I cooked a Sirloin Steak. Never had one before, cooked sirloin roasts but not steaks. It was pretty good. I made a shallot in red wine sauce and served it with a mushroom risotto made in the Instant Pot. First time I have done a risotto in the IP and I was trying not to cook too much so it ended up a tad to liquidy, so next time I had better use more rice - I had cut down everything, but still had too much liquid. It still tasted very good even if a bit runny. I had been to the Victoria St. Market again, to get bananas (we eat one every day) and, as usual, bought other stuff including the Bienenstich I bought before. We both really like it. Yes Birgit, if you are reading this, you were right with the name. It was even displayed this time. Later - duuh, I have just realised it is Bee Sting Cake and I am almost positive I published a recipe for it once before, will have to check it out. Yes, I did, in November 2016, I even called it Bienenstich which I had forgotten, but not the name Bee Sting.  What a lousy memory although I did remember eventually I guess.

Sunday night I decided to try a risotto again, just a simple one without mushrooms, well I didn't have any left anyway. It worked, it was very good.

I watched Sabrina on Sunday night, one of my favourite movies. They have been playing Audrey Hepburn movies all day today. Wish I had realised. I have always enjoyed her movies. Saw the last few minutes of My Fair Lady when I turned on. I was tempted to watch the next movie but it wouldn't end til after I normally go to bed. I always enjoy Humphrey Bogart movies too.

Anyway, for those of you who are baking enthusiasts, here is a recipe for the cake"

Oma's Bienenstich Recipe (Bee Sting Cake)

Cake Layer Ingredients:
2 eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour, all-purpose
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
½ cup milk
1 Tbs butter

Topping Ingredients:
¼ cup butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ Tbs honey
1 Tbs whipping cream
1 cup almond, slivered
½ tsp vanilla extract
Filling Ingredients:
2 cups whipping cream (minus the 1 tbsp in topping)
2 Tbs granulated sugar
2 Tbs instant vanilla pudding powder

1. Cake Layer Instructions:

2. Preheat oven to 350 °F.

3. Into large mixing bowl, mix eggs and sugar until thick and creamy.

4. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together and stir into egg mixture.

5. Heat milk and butter to just about boiling (I microwaved for about 30 seconds), stir, and mix into batter.

6. Pour into greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake for about 20 - 30 minutes until firm to touch and wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

7. Meanwhile, make the topping!

8. Topping Instructions:

9. In a small pan, melt butter over low heat. Add sugar, honey, and whipping cream, stirring continually.

10. Bring to boil, and boil gently for 5 minutes, stirring continually.

11. Stir in almonds and vanilla.

12. Set aside to cool slightly and carefully spread topping on cake immediately as it comes out of the oven.

13. Set oven to broil

14. Broil cake for a few minutes until the top is nicely browned being careful it doesn't burn!

15. Let cake cool on a wire rack. Remove outer ring from spring-form carefully.

16. Filling Instructions:

17. Whip cream, sugar, and instant vanilla pudding powder until stiff.

18. Cut cake in half when cold.

19. Spread filling on bottom layer.

20. Place top layer on top of filling. To make it easier to serve, cut this top layer first into wedges and then place on top of filling.

21. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


1. If the topping gets too thick before spreading on cake, add an extra tablespoon of honey and/or cream and reheat.

2. Place the outer ring of the spring-form pan back around the bottom layer in order to neatly put the filling on the cake. Place the top layer into the pan. Let sit in fridge until needed. Then remove the outer ring. Nice and neat!

3. Bienenstich with the "chewy" topping can be difficult to cut through neatly without the cream filling squeezing out. It really is best if you cut the cake into 2 layers, cut the top layer into serving size wedges before you place them neatly on top of the filling. Makes for neater serving.

Have a great day

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Community Workouts

As Alex suggested, I went to the Community Support exercise class today. Thanks for the extra boost Alex. Until the bowling season starts again, I will try and go all three afternoons in a week. Once the Winter League begins, it will just be two afternoons a week.

By the way, has anyone been having problems with Google Chrome, when I use it to write my blog it keeps messaging me (Not responding).

I published a Paella recipe yesterday but then this afternoon (Friday) I decided to look for an Instant Pot version, what a surprise!! This is what I found and what I cooked. It was very good. Next time I might try adding some Italian sausage as well. Today (Saturday) I think I am going to cook one of my lamb recipes.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Shrimp Paella

Make this Pressure Cooker Shrimp Paella in your Instant Pot for an easy and quick dinner. With only
5 minutes of pressure cooking time, this recipe is perfect for any night.

1 lb jumbo shrimp, shell and tail on frozen
1 cup Jasmine rice
4 Tbs butter
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pinch saffron threads
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cilantro optional

1. Set Instant Pot to Saute function. Add butter to pot and melt. Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook for about a minute more.

2. Add paprika, turmeric, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and saffron threads. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add red peppers.

3. Add rice and stir. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add chicken broth and white wine. Deglaze your pot by stirring to ensure that there is no food stuck to the bottom of the pot.

4. Add shrimp on top. Turn off Instant Pot and cover. Make sure valve is set to sealing.

5. Set Instant Pot to Manual Mode and set a 5 minute timer. When done, quick release.

6. Remove shrimp from pot and peel if desired. Serve with Cilantro.

7. Notes

8. Make sure there are no dry bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. This could result in that annoying "burn" signal some pressure cookers give off. Once you add your broth (but before you place frozen shrimp on top), stir with a wooden spoon to ensure there is no food stuck to the bottom.

9. This recipe was prepared in a 6qt Instant Pot. Please adjust accordingly for 3qt and 8qt models.

Servings: 4

Source: My Forking Life

Have a great weekend

Friday, August 16, 2019

Lunch, Weight, Morse,

Been a pretty quiet day today. I didn't even have to do any cooking as I had chili from last night.

However, ladydog came at lunchtime bringing not only lunch, but her dog Zoe who I haven't seen since she was a puppy. Not a puppy now. Delightful dog. She is an Australian Sheepdog which are not Australian at all but bred in California. She was very obedient and when she found Matt's chocolate, one word and she left it alone. I hadn't even thought about it. Wouldn't have left temptation in her way. Our last doggy visitor wasn't tall enough. Poor Zoe is also missing her companion as much as her owners I think.

Lunch was subs and Subway keep having a sale on, 12 cookies for $6 and ladydog keeps buying  them even though she isn't eating them herself. I need to cut back too, I am not being very resolute about this and have got to be severe with myself. I lost weight in 2013 and kept it off until the last few months, now I not only put back the 20 lbs I lost in the hospital, but I am putting some of the 50 lbs back too. One half of my brain is saying what does it matter, you are 80 the other is saying do something Josephine. Got a feeling I wrote the same thing the other day, too lazy to check, so sorry, but I have to give myself a good talking to.

One thing I need to start doing is going back to the workouts provided by Community Services. Most of the year I can only go one of three afternoons because of bowling, but I really need to go to the other two classes. Mind you, in the last few months there have often been medical appointments clashing with the classes.

Thursday is my night for watching British shows on TV. They have brought back Inspector Morse which I used to enjoy - the original one with John Thaw as Morse. In fact John Thaw died in 2002 which shows you how old these shows are, but I still enjoy them.

This recipe is from Campbell's. They come up with some good ones - obviously using their products. I liked the sound of this one. I just might have a go at this tonight. No seafood medley of course, but I have the sausage, shrimp and chicken thighs so I am sure I can adapt.

Seafood Paella

1 tsp olive oil
2 andouille sausage, sliced
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, medium diced
1 cup frozen mixed seafood medley
1 Tbs garlic, chopped
8 saffron
1 Tbs Cajun seasoning
1 tsp paprika
2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes with liquid
2 1/2 cartons CAMPBELL’S Stock First ® Chicken stock
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped

1. In a large ovenproof sauce pan,heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sausage,onion,pepper and chicken and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes or until the chicken and the sausage is golden brown. In a separate bowl soak saffron threads in chicken stock for 3 minutes.

2. Add the mixed seafood,garlic,Cajun seasoning,paprika and rice to the sauce pan and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Add the diced tomato,chicken stock with soaked saffron and remaining chicken stock and bring it to a boil.

3. Remove the pan from the stove,cover with a lid or aluminum foil and place in oven for 25 minutes or until the rice is properly cooked.

4. Remove from oven,add lemon juice and cilantro and mix well.

Servings: 4

Source: Campbell's

Have a great day

Thursday, August 15, 2019

EFT, Bowling, Shopping,

Our cleaner came in this morning and I have started paying her by electronic transfer. Easier all round. Only trouble is, she has to answer a question I set. We agreed on it, but unfortunately, I used all lower case for the answer and she used a capital. The result being she couldn't get the money. I never realised it was that sensitive. We will know in future.

Sadly, it was our last day of summer league bowling and today was purely for pleasure, it didn't count for anything except possibly personal satisfaction. The latter applied to me, I bowled pretty well and ended up gaining another 3 points on my average. If I had had longer this season, I just might have got back to where I was before my little hospital jaunt last year. Our winter league doesn't start til after Labour Day and hopefully I will be able to keep it up. Matt, however, didn't bowl at all. Said his legs were too painful. I'm afraid I can't get him to move around, he needs to do some walking but won't and it's damn sure he won't do it if I tell him to. Even if I got one of  the Community Support exercise people in, I suspect he wouldn't participate. Pity. Must admit my legs were killing me when we left.

On the way home I had to call in at the grocery store for peaches and canned black beans. The Chili recipe called for the latter. I had to walk a long way in the grocery store. Could have taken a motorised cart I guess, wish I had. Then dropped in at the liquor store and finally home. I have  mentioned before what a long walk (for me) it is from our parking spot to the exit so by the time I finally got into our apartment my legs were  really complaining. Then I had to make the chili - oy vey. However, turned out to be worth it, the chili was very good. I had to divide it in the end, a lot more than my poor little Instant Pot would take. I now have chili coming out of my ears LOL. Three more meals anyway.

Silly, I know, but my mother would have been 106 on the 15th. I plugged it into my calendar just as a matter of interest some years ago.

I am always looking for different things to do with vegetables and Kevin Lynch has come up with a good one here. Only ever tried zoodles once, they aren't bad.

Crispy Honey Lemon Cauliflower on Chili and Garlic Stir Fried Zoodles

After recently making the crispy parmesan cauliflower bites I could not help but think that crispy cauliflower could be used in other recipes and the thing the that stuck out in my mind was using it to replace the meat in a Chinese style dish like honey lemon chicken. Normally when I am making a
Chinese style dish where the meat is coated and fried until crispy I take a lighter approach and use simple sauteed meat but since the meat in this case is actually cauliflower I thought that it would be alright to indulge a bit and go with the crispy coating. The honey lemon sauce is super quick and easy to make starring, you guessed it, honey and lemon along with some other Chinese style sauce staples including soy sauce, garlic and ginger. You will definitely never miss the meat in this dish as the crispy cauliflower is absolutely amazing in the tasty honey lemon sauce!
I served the crispy honey lemon cauliflower over a bed of zucchini noodles stir fried with some garlic and a touch of chili heat to keep things nice and light

For the crispy cauliflower:
1 medium cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
1/2 cup flour (gluten-free for gluten-free)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs (gluten-free for gluten-free)
oil for frying

For the stir fried zoodles:
1 Tbs sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
3 medium zucchini, cut into noodles
For the honey lemon sauce:
2 Tbs honey
2 Tbs lemon juice (~1/2 lemon)
2 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbs reduced sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
1/4 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 tsp chill sauce such as sambal oelek or sriracha
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 Tbs water
2 tsp cornstarch
For the meal:
1/4 cup green onions, sliced

1. Working in batches dredge the cauliflower florets in the flour, dip into the eggs, and coat in the breadcrumbs before frying them in oil heated to medium-high (~350F/180C) until golden brown and setting them aside on paper towels to drain.

2. For the stir fried zoodles:

3. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the zucchini noodles and saut?© until just tender, about 2-3 minutes.

4. For the honey lemon sauce:

5. Heat a pan over mediumh heat, add the mixture of the honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, broth, chill sauce, lemon zest, garlic, ginger and the mixture of the water and the corn starch and cook until the sauce thickens, about a minute, before adding the crispy cauliflower and tossing to coat.

6. For the meal:

7. Serve the cauliflower immediately over the zucchini noodles garnished with green onions.

Servings: 4

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Kitchen

Have a great day

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Pictures, Bowling,

Today I received some pictures from Lisa plus an assurance that they were safely back home.

This was taken by the restaurant manager at the Charcoal Steakhouse.Matt and I on the left, Lisa and Geoffrey on the right.

Lisa and I finishing off our wine.

Matt giving treats to their dog Boney (Bonaparte) for whom we both fell like a ton of bricks. Such a cute little dog and so well behaved. We do miss having a dog but not possible these days. I wouldn't mind a cat but Matt is not a cat person.

Lisa, Matt and I - and Boney of course. He doesn't look very happy does he? The dog I mean.

Wednesday we will be having lunch at the bowling alley as it is the end of the season.

I just found a new recipe blog called Melanie Cooks and I thought I would try this recipe tomorrow. Only trouble, I will have to get some black beans. Odd, I usually have some in my pantry, but none there right now. Oh well, I need to go back to the store as they forgot my peaches today.

Easy Instant Pot Chili

Prep time
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

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


This morning we had our tootsies (feet) done again, and our foot nurse brought her granddaughter with her. We usually see her at least once during the holidays. Like all kids, she was quite content to sit and play games or listen to music. We got to talking about movies and when talking about the Lion King none of us could remember the name of Simba's girlfriend, I had to Google it, Nala. I really must get to see that film although I do agree with a movement that Disney ought to put some of their profits towards saving lions who are being slaughtered.

Got a nasty shock this evening, I am being charged a lot more money for my shopping trips than I was originally told - looks like I will have to be cancelling them. I believe they put up their prices but this is ridiculous.

Rest of the day was quiet. Bit of cooking, bit of reading, found myself a book I am really enjoying, it is called Edge of Valor by Josh Hayes, its a Military Sci Fi Thriller. Just realised it is book 1. Oh dear, means I will have to get the rest of them. I wonder how many there are.

Having found a source of scallops at Victoria St. Market, here is another recipe for them.

Scallops with Warm Tomato-Basil Dressing

1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tomatoes—peeled, seeded and diced
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh fennel
1 Tbs chopped chervil or tarragon
1 Tbs finely shredded basil, plus baby leaves for garnish
Salt and freshly ground pepper
16 jumbo sea scallops (about 1 pound)

1. In a saucepan, toast the coriander and fennel seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes; transfer to a mortar and let cool. Pound until coarsely ground.

2. Warm the 1/4 cup of oil in the same saucepan. Add the spices along with the lemon juice and let stand for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chopped fennel, chervil and shredded basil; season with salt and pepper.

3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the scallops with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the scallops over high heat, turning once, until browned and just firm, about 4 minutes. Transfer the scallops to plates and spoon the warm tomato dressing on top. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.

Yield: 4 first-course servings

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day

Monday, August 12, 2019

Cupavci, Heading West, Movie,

As I frequently do on a Saturday, I go to Victoria St. Market to get bananas. What a joke. Bananas don't cost nearly as much as I end up paying. This week I went for my bananas and ended up buying some cream, and some of their desserts. I believe the one we had tonight is called Cupavci but the girl who sold it to me said she couldn't pronounce it and I couldn't hear what she what whispering anyway..they really should teach their staff what desserts - or anything else - are called. Why I am fussing about it, we both found it to be delicious and want to be able to ask for more. The ones in the store were covered in almonds which were obviously toasted and in some kind of syrup. The whole  thing was absolutely delicious. Matt assures me I can get more if and when they have any. Maybe I'll phone them tomorrow and ask if they have some or will have some at the weekend.

Fairly quiet weekend - Lisa phone to say they were leaving and had decided to head West. Not sure they will find anything that interesting although they might find the odd lake in the way. I'll be interested to see where they ended up. Stratford-on-Avon, Ontario, is West of here if they were headed that way.

Tonight (Sunday) I watched The African Queen which is a wonderful movie and apparently the only movie Humphrey Bogart won an Oscar for. I think he deserved more than one. He is one of my favourites. Maybe I should say 'was'.  Of course Katherine Hepburn was in this movie too.

It occurred to me that many of the recipes I have for the Instant Pot are sweetish or certainly include either sugar or honey. So I did some Googling. I had already defrosted a pork tenderloin so I hunted for recipes without sugar. I found two I liked. This is the one I actually cooked. Have you noticed that the finished result of your recipe never looks quite the same as the pictures!!

Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin

An easy pressure cooker recipe for Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin served with a creamy mustard sauce
and onions. Low carb, keto, and gluten free.

1 pork tenderloin (1 - 1.5 pounds)
1 small onion thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
For the sauce:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbs dijon mustard

1. Cut the pork tenderloin in half so it’s half as long as before. If unseasoned, season all sides with salt and pepper.

2. Turn on the pressure cooker’s saute mode for medium heat. When the display reads HOT, add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Add pork and cook until golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip to cook the other side for a few minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.

3. Add onions and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Turn off the saute mode.

4. Add water, stirring and briefly scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Return the pork to the pot, nestling it on top of the onions.

5. Secure and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release. Make sure to wait the full 10 minutes; do not open even if the pressure is completely released before 10 minutes have elapsed.

6. Uncover and insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the tenderloin -- it should read 140-145 F. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let it rest, where it will continue cooking. Do not slice yet.

7. Turn on the saute mode. Add heavy cream and mustard to the pot, stirring together. Bring to a boil. Let the sauce boil for 8-10 minutes to thicken, stirring frequently. Turn off the saute mode and stir for a minute to let the boiling subside. Stir in parmesan cheese until melted.

8. Slice the pork into thin slices and serve onto plates. Pour the sauce on top.

Servings: 3

Source: Savory Tooth

Have a great day


Friday, August 9, 2019

Cramps, Our Day with Lisa and Geoffrey.

For some unknown reason I had a lousy night last night, cramps. I did all the things I have been told to do and have found worked over the years, including pickle juice, but nothing seemed to do the trick with the result I didn't get more than a few hours sleep.

When I got up I phoned the garage and they said they couldn't take the car til 2 p.m. Eventually we arranged Lisa and Geoffrey would follow us to the garage and then we would head out to lunch and check back in with the garage later. Meanwhile Lisa and hubby had checked out of their hotel when they suddenly realised they had left a very important item behind in the hotel. Luckily the staff found it OK and we called in there to collect it much to Lisa's relief. We then headed to Mandarin.

I am delighted to say they were as pleased with Mandarin as we are and thoroughly enjoyed their lunch. Not that anyone had as many desserts as Matt. At least Geoffrey had some of  the delicious mussels they always have.

Got back into their car and I phoned the garage. He reckoned maybe another half hour or a bit but wouldn't say what the bit was likely to be. Turned out they had to replace a brake rotor which was under warranty and a rear brake caliper. Another $180 to the Meineke store (You load 16 tons). However, we sat in Lisa and Geoffrey's car until it was ready which was really nice of them to sit and wait. By this time, they felt it was getting on and a tad late to drive back down to Niagara so they re-booked at the Radisson for the night. We were very grateful for their help and for waiting with us. Finally got the car back and went  to our apartment. I invited them to come to supper and they said they would be back later.

I had already made some Hawaiian Barbecue Chicken so didn't have a lot to do but having discovered that chocolate doesn't like Lisa, I had to throw a dessert together. Geoffrey had bought a bottle of wine earlier so we decided to have that with dinner. I still didn't take any pix. Their little dog Boney (Bonaparte) really seemed to like our apartment, particularly the carpet, they have wooden floors where they are now. Pictures got taken with Boney but once again, they took all the pix. I was sorry to see them leave and as it turns out Geoffrey is as big a nut about asparagus as I am and he will probably be available then, they might try and come back next May/June.

As I am worn out, there won't be a recipe tonight, sorry. Hopefully I can sleep OK tonight.

Have a great day

Meeting, Charcoal Steak House, Puma,

I'm excited and I know Lisa is too. She and her husband Geoffrey are coming to Kitchener and we are going to meet up. She and I are both members of a Dragon Fellowship and I will be the third member she has met f2f. I think it's wonderful when you get to meet an internet friend whom you have known for years (6 in this case). They are staying in a local Radisson and we are having supper together across the road at the Charcoal Steakhouse.

We had a great evening with a delicious meal. I had my arm twisted a bit and risked one large glass of wine which is, of course, fine. Three of us had steak and Lisa  had ribs which looked delicious. I had a chocolate cake (flourless) dessert which Matt helped me with. Lisa and Geoffery did the same thing. Turns out Geoffrey is an enthusiastic cook and they have a larger Instant Pot. He is interested in my lamb recipes for it. So, specially for you Geoffrey, here is the link to one recipe for lamb chops and my most recent recipe I am posting again below.

I did have one complaint for the restaurant, their wheelchair spots are a long walk from the from the front door. Before  my blood transfusion I would have had trouble walking it at all and Matt was having a lot of trouble tonight. I asked the waitress to report it to the management. That reminds me, I must admit I was so preoccupied I didn't notice it was taking them forever to serve our meal. In the end the manager came and apologised profusely and said our bottle of wine was on him. Lisa got him to take a pic of all four of us at the table. They will be sending me the pix they took (I didn't even think to take any). I will, obviously pass them on.

Unfortunately our car is doing the same thing it did before which they were supposed to have fixed a week ago. It sounds like it's rubbing something. Anyway, we have arranged that Geoffrey and Lisa will collect us in the morning and we will take it to our garage. We will then head to Mandarin for lunch and with any luck, they might fix it by the time we get back.

One piece of bad news today, ladydog lost her beloved dog Puma. She was getting on for a dog, but nevertheless it is always hurtful to lose a member of one's family like that. I extend my deepest sympathies to you ladydog. Lots of hugs.

I might say Lisa and I never stopped talking. I had trouble reading the menu because we talked so  much. It was absolutely wonderful to meet her and pretty good to meet Geoffrey too. More to follow tomorrow.


2 1/2 lbs lamb shoulder, cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
kosher salt
2 Tbs grapeseed oil, plus more as necessary
1 large onion, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
one-inch piece ginger, skin-on, cut into thin slices
1 head garlic, broken into cloves, skin-on
4 -7 whole arbol chiles, to taste
2 Tbs ground cumin
2 tsp garam masala (or a combination of both) or 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder (or a combination of both)
1 Tbs cornstarch
2 tsp granulated sugar
2 cups water
steamed rice, for serving
chopped cilantro, for serving

1. Preheat Instant Pot to saute setting.

2. Generously season lamb cubes with salt. Add grapeseed oil to pot and swirl to coat. Add lamb, in batches so as not to overcrowd pot, and sear until golden, turning once, about 5 minutes per side. Remove lamb to a large plate as they finish.

3. Drain all but 1 tablespoon oil (or add an additional tablespoon if pan is dry). Add onion, ginger, garlic cloves, and chile de arbol, season with salt, and saute until golden in spots, about 5 minutes. Add lamb back to pan. Create a well in the center, add one additional tablespoon grapeseed oil, and add spices. Stir to coat with oil and toast until fragrant, 30 seconds. Gently fold to incorporate lamb and onions. Sprinkle with cornstarch and sugar, stir to combine, and add water, scraping bottom of pan to deglaze. (You can also do this in a skillet on the stovetop over high heat; cooking time will be reduced. Transfer mixture to Instant Pot and proceed as per recipe.).

4. Cover and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Release the pressure naturally.

5. With a slotted spoon, remove lamb and aromatics to a bowl. Cover to keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid, using a fat separator, if desired. Season cooking liquid and lamb with salt. Return lamb and aromatics to cooking liquid, stir to combine, and serve over rice, garnished with cilantro.

Servings: 4

Source: Food

Have a great day

Thursday, August 8, 2019


My internet has been off all evening so I won't be writing a blog as it is past my bedtime.

Have a great day

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Mandarin, Bowling, Anne Frank, Scallops,

Got to Mandarin and presented my letter granting me a free meal. Booked a table for four and waited. In the end, called our friends and  they said they had phoned us last week and said he was having cataract surgery tomorrow so they would cancel for now. I don't remember anything about it. Matt and I had a good lunch and of course it didn't cost us much. Next month I will have a free meal for my birthday but we have to have four of us for that. I'm afraid I really pigged out today, I don't seem to have any control these days and everything is so good. Oh well. I sometimes think what does it matter at my age, but of course I don't want to waddle. It is rather nice to go into both Mandarin and Red Lobster and be welcomed back. Hopefully we will make Red Lobster with ladydog this week.

Today we bowl. It is the last game that counts, next week is the "banquet" - ie KFC.

Did you hear, by the way, that a cold case team are going to be investigating who betrayed Anne Frank - the little German girl who was in hiding with her family in Amsterdam because of her Jewish heritage and who wrote brilliant diaries about her family's life in hiding. I am fascinated to discover if they can find anything out. I was part of a group who read the play about her life and have always been interested since. Bearing in mind that it was around 70 years ago, one wonders if there is the remotest possibility of finding anything out.

Both ladydog and I are very fond of scallops. I miss my days in NC when I would buy a gallon of bay scallops for $8. Those were the days. Anyway, I figured we both might be interested in this recipe. Mind you, I'm not too sure about where I would obtain blood oranges. Haven't seen any in a while.

Scallops with Blood Orange, Fennel and Pistachios

This easy and delicious salad features sweet, plump seared sea scallops on a Sicilian-style salad with briny green olives and fried capers

2 small fennel bulbs—halved, cored and very thinly shaved on a mandoline
2 blood oranges
6 Tbs fresh blood orange juice
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt Freshly ground pepper
10 large sea scallops
1 tsp fennel pollen
2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs brined capers, drained and patted dry
1/4 cup sliced green olives
1/4 cup unsalted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped

1. In a large bowl, soak the fennel in ice water. Peel the blood oranges with a sharp knife, being sure to remove all of the bitter white pith. Working over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the sections.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the 6 tablespoons of blood orange juice with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Drain the fennel and pat dry. Add it to the dressing and toss to coat. Mound the salad on 10 plates.

3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 cup of oil until shimmering. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and rub with the fennel pollen. Add the scallops to the skillet and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Add the butter and capers to the skillet. Turn the scallops over and cook just until white throughout, 2 minutes longer. Set the scallops on the fennel salad.

4. Cook the capers, basting them with the fat in the pan, until browned and crisp, 2 minutes. Scatter the capers, olives, pistachios and orange sections all around and serve.

Servings: 10

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Civic Holiday

Monday August 5, Civic Holiday. Used to be Bank Holiday in the UK. That's just about what I have been doing today, taking a holiday. Not really done much of anything at all except a lot of sleeping. I was up at 7 and decided to grab another hour, turned out to be 9:18 when I woke up again!! Not only that, I slept some more this afternoon. I feel pretty well rested now.

I haven't seen any fresh, local raspberries yet, guess they are out there. This dessert is right up my street. Mind you, I am determined to avoid too many carbs at the moment.

Raspberry and Nutella Crèpes

  • crèpes
  • 8 tablespoons nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • 1 cup raspberry sauce
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

  1. Spread chocolate hazelnut spread across half of each crepe and raspberry sauce on the other half.
  2. Sprinkle with raspberries and fold the crèpes in half.
  3. Drizzle raspberry sauce onto the crepes to taste and sprinkle on some more raspberries.
  4. Place the confectioners sugar in a fine sieve, hold it over the crèpes and lightly tap the side to sprinkle the powdered sugar onto the crepes
Kevin Lynch, Closet Cooking

Have a great day