Friday, March 2, 2012

Car Breathalyzers in France, Card Programme, New Cookbook.

A friend on Facebook drew my attention to an article on the Budget site stating that breathalyzerFrench cars, including rentals, were going to have breathalyzers installed later this year. I think its an excellent idea although it might be a bit expensive for the private owner. I know these things cost in the region of $2,000 here so heaven knows what they cost in France. Their blood alcohol tolerance levels are lower than those in North America too so it’s a pretty good idea for tourists to know what’s what if they are planning to drive around the country. When, I wonder, will such a law be introduced over here? At the moment, in Canada, anyone convicted of impaired driving is required to have one attached to their car, but I am not sure for how long or whether its permanent. The trouble is, and I’ve seen it on the movies, the drunk driver can get a friend to blow in the machine and then the car will start although God help you if you are caught of course. Driver or friend.

I bought myself a new Hallmark Card programme, not one of the lateHallmarkst because I need to be able to print labels in differing amounts, not one whole page at a time. I did buy the latest but ended up returning it. I was recommended to buy Card Studio 10. I was been playing with it yesterday but was disappointed to find it doesn’t do business cards. I have an even older version on my laptop but it won’t work on a 64 bit version of Windows 7 which is what I have on my desktop. However, I can print business cards from the old programme so I guess I will make do, its not like I print a lot of them. Don’t know if I ever mentioned that I also print a business sized card for Matt and I showing all our medications on one side and operations on the other. Very useful when one is continually going to various doctors or for all kinds of tests and treatments.

A fascinating cookbook is discussed in this article which, among many other squirrelthings, describes how to cook squirrel and beaver. I know that Brunswick Stew was originally a squirrel recipe although rarely, if ever, made that way these days. The author also describes how to skin and clean animals as well as giving recipes. This is one section of the book with the main purpose being and emphasis on getting back to the land. Martin Picard’s book Au Pied De Cochon Sugar Shack also carries lots of recipes for maple syrup of which he seems particularly fond. Picard is from Montreal where he is a celebrity chef. He has a restaurant close to Montreal where it can take a year to get a table. I wonder if there is an English version of this book, my French isn’t good enough to cope with a whole cookbook in that language.

Here is the recipe of the month from Mushrooms Canada. They recently held a competition called Mushroom Madness and this is one of the winners.

Mushrooms Canada – 3rd place winner in Mushroom Madness273_sausage-asiago-stuffed-mushrooms

Renee Kohlman is a chef and food blogger at Sweet Sugar Bean, living in Saskatoon, Sask. When not whipping up good things in her little green kitchen, you can find Renee outside in the garden, admiring her tomatoes and smelling the sweet peas. Unless it's winter of course, then you can find her cocooned with a good book, DVDs of "Mad Men,” and too much chocolate.

20 large mushrooms, cleaned with damp paper towel, stem removed and saved for later use
2 links Italian sausage
1 tsp dried rosemary OR 2 tsp fresh, finely chopped
1 tsp dried fennel seed
1 onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces (120grams) cream cheese
3 ounces (90grams) Asiago cheese, grated
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms with the balsamic vinegar and 3 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Place onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in a preheated 350° oven for about 30 min. Stir once or twice. Remove from oven. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium high heat, squeeze the sausage meat out of the casing and cook until no longer pink, breaking it apart with the back of a spoon. You want it fairly crumbly and in small pieces. Stir in onions and garlic and spices, and cook a few minutes longer, until onion is softened. (If you find that your sausage filling is too greasy, drain it on paper towel first before adding the cheese.) Remove from heat and place into a bowl, along with the cheeses
(save some of the Asiago for topping). Stir well to combine. Take a teaspoon and fill each mushroom cap. Sprinkle with remaining Asiago. Bake at 375° for about 30-40 minutes, until golden. Can easily be doubled if feeding a large crowd.

Have a great day



  1. Ooooh, I love this recipe! I'm going to have to try it. I know Dan will love it.

    Brunswick Stew was, more or less, a hunter's stew and included whatever they brought in. Squirrels are plentiful and putting them in a stew like this is good. I make a wild game pot pie with what Dan brings in. The last one was with wild rabbit and squirrel. Not a drop was left either, lol!


  2. Never eaten squirrel although we used to eat rabbit a lot in the UK. Your pot pie sounds delicious will have to drop in next time you make one. I used to know a guy who ate beaver at some dinner he went to - didn't know what he was eating til after and thought he was eating dark meat of a turkey. Said it was delicious. Once ate reindeer in Norway which wasn't very well cooked, I could have shoed my boots with it.