Monday, July 28, 2008

Manitoulin, Chi Cheemaun and Current Books

Well we didn't do very much at all this weekend. I did book the ferry trip to Manitoulin Island which I mentioned a week or so ago. We will be catching the Chi Cheemaun at 1:30 in Tobermory and we have booked a couple of nights at the South Bay Guest House to start off our visit to the area. One of my girlfriends happened to go to the St. Jacob's market this weekend and picked up my diabetic socks for me. So she called in on Sunday and it turns out she knows Manitoulin Island very well and also knows the owners of the South Bay Guest House. As usual, its a small world. Of course I did a lot of reading this weekend. I finished Goblin Hero by Jim C. Hines which is the second in his Jig Dragonslayer series. They really are fun these books, and I can recommend them. I already have the third book, Goblin War to read but thought I would read some of the other books I have on hand. I am now reading a book by a new author, Alaya Dawn Johnson, the book is called Racing the Dark and it is her first book. By the looks of it, it won't be her last. You can hardly see them, but in the cover picture, the protagonist is shown with huge black wings. The series is called The Spirit Binders. The author was born in 1982 so she is very young and if this is a sample of her work, she should certainly be encouraged. I highly recommend this book. Glenda Larke (see her blog link this page) shared with us a snippet of her new trilogy. The first book is tentatively called Rogue Rainlord, which I think is a fabulous title, by the time it gets published most of us will have bitten our nails to the quick in anticipation. As an already published author, I can't believe she hasn't got a publisher for this series yet. I am crossing everything on her behalf. Makes it difficult to type though. No rush today, I don't have to eat early to go bowling, I will miss it until September. At the moment we are dithering between bowling on Monday or Friday. The parking lot is tiny and to ensure a reasonable slot, I feel I have to eat my lunch at breakfast time in order to get there. The bowling starts at 12:30, I have no idea why, most bowling leagues play at 1:00. If we bowl on the Friday, there are only about 9 people there so parking won't be a problem and the whole thing will be more leisurely. However, we have quite a lot of fun with the Monday crowd, hence the dithering. Below is a recipe I picked up from Good Morning America which I thought sounded very good. I have given you the recipe, but there is a video of Wolfgang Puck, of Spago fame, preparing the dish click here which you might like to watch. For my own convenience I have amalgamated the two recipes, one for the chicken and one for the couscous. Works better in my cookery book programme that way. Delicious Summer Couscous and Chicken Chicken 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil 2 Tbs lemon juice 1 small shallot, minced 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 4 large boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves 2 lemons, each cut into 4 wedges Couscous Salad 2 cups (500 ml) good-quality canned chicken broth 10 oz (300 g) dry instant couscous 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp freshly ground cinnamon 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil 1 lemon, zested and juiced 1 small red onion, cut into small dice 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice 1 red bell pepper, halved, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and cut into small dice 1 bunch green onions, trimmed and finely chopped 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro leaves Freshly ground black pepper 1 Chicken 2 In medium nonreactive bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Place in large, heavy-duty sealable plastic food-storage bag. 3 Using a fork, pierce each chicken breast all over several times to help the marinade penetrate. Cut each chicken breast into 8 large equally sized chunks. Put the marinade mixture in the plastic bag; add the chicken, seal the bag, and move the pieces around to coat them thoroughly. Put the bag in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. 4 Preheat the grill. Meanwhile, thread the chicken chunks onto 8 skewers, including a lemon wedge in the middle of each skewer. 5 Grill the kabobs until the chicken is nicely brown and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes, turning the kabobs once. Serve on a bed of Couscous Salad (recipe follows). 6 Couscous Salad 7 In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. 8 Put the couscous in a large, heatproof bowl. Stir in the salt and cinnamon. Pour the boiling broth over the couscous, stir briefly, cover the bowl, and leave it at room temperature for 5 minutes. Uncover the bowl and, with a table fork, fluff the couscous to separate its grains. Leave it to cool completely to room temperature. 9 In another large bowl, stir together the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, red onion, cucumber, bell pepper, and green onions. Add the cooled couscous and toss until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the cilantro leaves. Taste and adjust the seasonings with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve at room temperature. Servings: 4 Recipe Source Author: Wolfgang Puck Have a great day.


  1. You have a cookery book programme? Urgh, I feel so disorganised...

  2. Actually I have three. The first one I have had some time and as things are getting newer I feel it is going to fail any time so I have bought two new ones. The second one is nearest to my older one which I love. Its called Living Cookbook and I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is looking for some software.

  3. Jo - Couscous is a favourite of mine. I've not however come across it cooked like this.

    I'm always amazed at the number of books you read in a week. How long's your week then, because mine certainly do not have so many hours for reading.

  4. Well maybe you do other things Marilyn, don't forget I am retired so have a lot more free time. I don't spend nearly as much time as I should doing housework either.