Saturday, September 29, 2012

Duck Bill, Bergamansa, Toilet,

lucky duckInteresting little story, a duck is going to get a prosthetic bill after being attacked by a raccoon. (Her babies were killed). If she doesn’t get the prosthesis her tongue will freeze this winter. It really is incredible what can be done these days. Once upon a time I guess the duck would have died because of this raccoon attack. Which begs the question, are we right to interfere with nature? Apparently a dentist is prepared to foot the bill which could probably be expensive. The pun wasn’t intended, but as its there!!!

Oops, I have just been informed that the picture I posted from the Carolinas Zucchini Flowerand described as a zucchini flower was actually a Burgmansia. Just as well I didn’t try stuffing and cooking it. The blossoms were quite white whereas the flowers of the zucchini plant appear to to be yellow.zucchini flower Duuh








I wonder if we would have been poisoned had I tried stuffing them? Something I have always wanted to try eating and have never had the opportunity. Anyway, many thanks to my friend for pointing out the error.

We now have a pretty new white, and clean looking, toilet. Only problem is, the pedestal is much smaller and the floor tiling doesn’t cover all the area. It has been suggested we get a toilet mat. I have never thought they were particularly hygienic. We were also told that the flooring round that particular toilet is rotting out, so maybe I can persuade the landlords to do something about it. I’m not sure about this, seems there is wood over top of the concrete; I think! Needless to say, when I phoned, the person I needed to speak to was not in that day.

Another delicious looking recipe which will be tried by us very soon. Makes me want to eat it right away.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pimiento Cheese

WebMD Recipe from

Stuffing boneless, skinless chicken breasts with pimientos, scallions and cheese chicken_breasts_stuffed_with_pimiento_cheesegives them great flavor without a lot of effort. Don’t be concerned if some of the filling oozes out while the chicken is baking; just scoop it up from the pan as you serve. Serve with: Sautéed zucchini or summer squash and barley.


  • 1/2 cup shredded Gouda cheese, preferably smoked
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallion
  • 1 tablespoon sliced pimientos, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, divided
  • 4 small, 1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds total boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and tenders removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine Gouda, scallion, pimientos and 1/2 teaspoon paprika in a small bowl.
  3. Cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of each chicken breast, nearly through to the opposite side, and open like a book. Sprinkle the breasts with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Divide the cheese filling among the breasts, placing it in the center of each. Close the breast over the filling, pressing the edges firmly together to seal. Sprinkle the breasts with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  4. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn the chicken over and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, about 15 minutes.

Have a great day


Friday, September 28, 2012

Maintenance, C/2012S1, Foamed Village.

Chandelier 001I have mentioned that we have been going through superintendents rapidly at our apartment building. Over the last year we have requested various things to be repaired without much success. Then the other day our annual rent increase came in which finally got to me so I called the office and spoke to the woman in charge who said I should have gone to her in the first place!! I spoke to her Wednesday, already plumber has been and is coming back Friday to change a toilet and the electrician came and repaired the chandelier above our dining table. One of the candles had fused and couldn’t be replaced. Its considered to be old fashioned, but we like it. I am very impressed.

Astrologers have discovered a new comet named C/2012S1 which they say is thecomet brightest ever seen and will be visible to the naked eye as it passes us next year. Probably in November 2013. We seem to be getting more and more events in the stars which can be seen without a telescope.

I read a story about a Scottish village, Footdee near Aberdeen, which wsea foamoke up to find itself covered in sea foam. The pictures are quite incredible. The excessive foam was the result of a freak storm. The link connects to an ABC blog about the incident. It seems there were lots of jokes about bubble baths, car washes, etc. The foam covered the whole area burying cars and everything. Quite incredible, often seen foam at sea, but never this much, do check out the pictures, they are quite something.

We buy pork tenderloins at Costco, they are excellent and we are always on the lookout for recipes. This looks like one we would very much enjoy.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Raisin-Ginger Pan Sauce

Contributed by Pam Anderson
Good News Pam Anderson likes to serve sliced tenderloin—a very lean cut of pork—with a tangy raisin-and-ginger-flavored sauce that tastes much more pork-tenderloindecadent than it actually is, thanks to a secret ingredient: cornstarch, which gives the sauce body while avoiding added fat.  
  1. One 1 1/4-pound pork tenderloin
  2. 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  3. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. 1/2 cup naturally sweetened apple juice
  5. 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  6. 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  7. 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon of water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat the pork with the oil; season with salt and pepper. In a large, nonstick ovenproof skillet, cook the pork over moderately high heat until browned all over, 3 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for about 18 minutes, turning twice, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 140°.
  2. Transfer the pork to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes. Add the apple juice, broth, soy sauce, raisins and ginger to the same skillet and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half, 4 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook, stirring, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 30 seconds; remove from the heat.
  3. Carve the pork and arrange on plates. Stir any carving juices into the pan sauce. Spoon the sauce over the pork and serve.
Have a great day

Thursday, September 27, 2012

RIP Andy, Anniversary Pix, Egg Separating.

Andy WilliamsVery sad news yesterday – the death of Andy Williams. It was especially poignant to us having celebrated our anniversary this week as we fell in love dancing to the sounds of Andy Williams many years ago. I think we had all his LPs (which have since been transferred to CDs) and used to know the words to all his songs. I guess, to us at least, it’s the passing of an era. This picture is how I remember him at that time, it was taken in 1969 which is about when Matt and I got to know each other. Never really saw any of his shows until we came to Canada.

My friend sent me copies of the photos she took at our anniversary dinner on Tuesday night, here are a couple for you to see.


Matt and I 2






As I mentioned yesterday, that was a carrot cake and very delicious too. We had our glasses of bubbly on hand as well. Thanks to my friend for both taking and sending me the pictures. There were several more, but I don’t publish pictures without the subject’s permission. Of course one picture we didn’t get was that of the camera man, camera woman I should say. We finished the cake for dessert on Wednesday night and I broke off a small piece of the chocolate disk to try. Good chocolate!!!!

Something I forgot to mention, the last evening in our cottage in NC, I was cooking egg yolkeggs and had broken several into a bowl. I just happened to have a plastic water bottle handy so, at long last, I tried lifting a yolk out of the bowl using the bottle. Guess what, it works. I was thrilled to bits. First time I have ever had a chance to try it. If you don’t remember the video its in my blog here. It really is so easy to do. I kind of didn’t believe it although friends who have tried it said it worked well.

Another interesting looking dessert to be tried in the near future.

Ginger Cakes With White Peaches and Blackberry Coulis

By The Sprouted Kitchen
WebMD Recipe from

The first time I made this recipe I wasn’t sure I’d like them. Out of the oven they ginger_cakes_with_white_peaches_and_blackberry_coulislooked like ginger egg souffles, but looks can be deceiving. What came out was a zesty ginger angel food cake of sorts, with the tang of fresh blackberries and the warm sweetness of a ripe, white peach. It’s not that any of the three components are show stoppers on their own, but together, the combination is absolute perfection. This dessert is a case in point that heavy and rich is not always better. If I were serving this to other people, I would consider adding a very small scoop of good vanilla bean ice cream on top. However, for the sunny days of August, where it is just me and Hugh needing an afternoon treat, they are perfect as is.


  • 3 extra large, 4 if any smaller egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1/4 scant cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 ripe, organic white peach
  • 1 1/4 cup blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon half+half/heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt with a hand mixer on high until peaks form (about 3 minutes). They should quadruple in size. Once it’s holding shape, continue beating it, while slowly sprinkling in the sugars. Beat in the vanilla extract and fresh grated ginger.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, sprinkle and fold in the 1/4 cup flour, being careful not to deflate the egg whites.
  4. Coat four, 4-6 oz. ramekins with natural cooking spray, gently divide cake mix between them. Place ramekins on a baking sheet, and put in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 14 minutes. Allow them to cool about 5 minutes, then remove them from the ramekin. I give mine a good slam down on a cutting board, and flip them over, the cake comes right out. While the cakes are cooking, blend the blackberries, lime juice, honey, and splash of cream together. Taste for sweetness, as the quality/ripeness of the berries may require you to add a tad more honey, it should be tart.
  5. Cut the peach in half, and in thin slices.
  6. Assemble with one cake, a few spoonsful of the blackberry sauce and some fresh peach slices.


Egg whites are easier to beat when they sit at room temperature for a bit. As far as substitutes, you could use regular white sugar instead of what is listed above if that is what you bake with, and have on hand. I imagine they could be made gluten free with rice flour or a gluten-free baking mix, but I haven’t tested that myself. I like a lot of ginger, and found the above measurement to be pretty modest. If you make them, I’d love to hear your feedback on the ratio!

Have a great day


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Anniversary Day and Dinner.

Sorry didn’t post a blog earlier, but didn’t get home til pretty late last night and spent most of the day celebrating in one way or the other. After all, its not often one reaches 40 years of marriage.
Boiled PeanutsThe first thing that happened yesterday, the young woman who is a receptionist at our doctor’s turned up to collect the things I brought her from North Carolina which were boiled peanuts and grits. Think I mentioned Matt tried boiled peanuts for the first time ever last weekend and thought they were the most disgusting thing he had ever put in his mouth. Funny. Not my favourite thing to eat, but certainly not that bad. The receptionist hails from Georgia so was almost born and bred eating them. I was concerned about how they would travel, hope they were alright, guess I will find out, going to the doc on Friday and she will be working that day she says.

Then, as our apartment was freezing, well I was, the apartment wasn’t helping. Called in the super (actually he is the assistant, we don’t have a super at the moment as our last one left in a bang the day we left for NC) he says the zone valve, whatever that is, isn’t opening properly so has to call in a repair man. So I carried on freezing. Shortly after the Rogers Cable guy came in to change our ‘box’ which had been causing the TV to freeze and pixillate. By this time we were sitting drinking champagne (for me) and beer (for Matt who isn’t that keen on the bubbly). Matt was worried the cable guy would think we were alcoholics so we had to explain what it was about.

In the afternoon we managed to relax for a while until it was time to get ready to goCambridge Mill out. Went to our friend’s home in Cambridge and had a quick glass of wine before we went to the restaurant. As you will see, I was originally worried about the steps, but in fact they have wheel chair access (no I don’t have one) and an elevator round the back to the left. We were shown into a private room and were staggered to discover not a couple of friends but 6 people waiting for us. It was so nice to see all of them and that they had joined us for our celebration which one friend had thought was 25 not 40 years. She has been teased unmercifully for this. We chatted for a while and had an excellent waitress who was prepared to do whatever we required. Eventually we ordered and Matt chose a calamari dish which surprised me, I have never known him eat calamari. It was served in a tagine which was most impressive, especially when three were brought in at once. I had a parsnip and pear soup which was delicious. Matt then chose a chicken breast dish which is not shown on the menu with soft egg potatoes. Difficult to describe, but they came Cake Topperwith quail eggs. I had boneless rack of lamb over white beans and ordered a side of golden beets which were also delicious. I would mention that there was a decent pause between courses, they were not slammed down in front of you almost before you had finished your current course. Eventually the most gorgeous looking carrot cake decorated with all kinds of fruits, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries etc. etc., was brought in with a large chocolate disk perched on top. Of course I didn’t have a camera. Several people did and I am hoping to get some pictures. I have the chocolate disk at home as well as the remaining chunk of cake (about 2 servings). We were also all given a glass of champagne, courtesy of the management which I thought was very nice of them.

I nearly forgot to mention that the cake was the gift of one couple of friends, the others all gave us wonderful certificates for local restaurants which we will certainly enjoy over the next month or two.

I want to get this posted, so hopefully I will have some pictures to share tomorrow.

To me, dumplings are such an English thing to make and eat. I can remember many meals my mother made which included dumplings and I have made a few myself over the years. Traditionally dumplings were made with suet, but in many places this is not available any more plus it isn’t the healthiest option in the world!!

Pesto Chicken Stew with Cheesy Dumplings
BBC Good Food
  • 2 tbsp olive oil Pesto Chicken Stew
  • 12-15 chicken thighs , skin removed, bone in
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons or chopped bacon
  • 1 large onion , chopped
  • 4 celery sticks, chopped
  • 3 leeks , chopped
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml white wine
  • 1l chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 140g sundried tomatoes
  • 140g fresh pesto
  • small bunch basil , chopped
  • 140g butter
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 100g Parmesan , grated
  • 50g pine nuts
  1. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish. Brown the chicken until golden on all sides - you might have to do this in batches - remove the chicken from the pan as you go and set aside.
  2. Add the lardons to the pan and sizzle for a few mins, then add the onion, celery and leeks, and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 mins until the vegetables have softened. Stir in the flour, season and cook for a further 2 mins.
  3. Gradually stir in the wine and allow it to bubble away, then stir in the stock. Return the chicken to the pan with the bay leaves and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1½ hrs or until the chicken is tender. The stew can now be cooled and frozen if you're making ahead. Just defrost thoroughly, then gently warm through back in the pan before continuing.
  4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Add the peas, sundried tomatoes, pesto and basil to the stew.
  5. To make the dumplings, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the grated cheese and add 150ml water, mixing with a cutlery knife to bring the crumbs together to form a light and sticky dough. Break off walnut-sized lumps and shape into small balls. Roll the tops of the dumplings in the pine nuts so a few stick to the outside, then place the dumplings on top of the stew and scatter with any remaining nuts. Put the dish in the oven and bake for 25 mins until the dumplings are golden brown and cooked through. Serve with mashed potato and extra veg if you like.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This ‘n That,

Well, we are home, both knackered from the trip which seemed to be particularly tiring this time. I guess we have to acknowledge we are both getting older. I had so much to do on Monday and was so tired as well, we didn’t even go bowling. Now that is bad. Today Matt and I have been married for 40 years so we will be celebrating with friends tonight at the Cambridge Mill which we haven’t been to before. Used to go there years ago but it has since closed down and then changed hands etc. etc.  No, won’t be getting a ruby. I’d rather have something electronic these days anyway.

Our last day of vacation we went to the Clam Digger Inn and Restaurant which is Clamdiggeron the Island at Pine Knoll Shores. We had a good lunch, I had another Caesar with boiled rather than fried shrimp, it was good. Matt had fried flounder which he also enjoyed. We then went to look around the inn a bit, our friends had stayed there several times and really like the place. Then we went out to the tiki bar and had a couple of cocktails, I had a couple of Margaritas which were excellent, took a few photos, and did some more looking around. We were sitting close to, but not actually at the pool. The brown umbrella shape is the tiki bar. The chairs on the beach are also for their customers. A very nice set up and not too expensive. Eventually had to say our goodbyes and head back to finish packing.

The following pictures were taken at the cottage showing the zucchini flowers and the tangled mess which was the grape tomatoes.Zucchini Flower003 Then a picture of the Pampas grasses which were looking absolutely great.

I spent Monday doing business type things and hope to be able to get back to reading my friend’s blogs which I have been neglecting shamefully for the last couple of weeks. Trouble with being on vacation I guess. Yesterday we had to go food shopping too, not much in the house at all.

Here is another muffin I like the look of and thought I would share with you.

Mini Greek Pizza Muffins

WebMD Recipe from

All the flavors of a Greek pizza make these savory muffins bite-size treats for adults and kids alike.
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cups red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, chopped
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, oregano, sugar, garlic powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Stir milk, feta, egg, tomato paste and olives into the onion mixture. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fill the prepared muffin cups two-thirds full.
  5. Bake the muffins until lightly browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  Have a great day

Friday, September 21, 2012

Eating, Bowling, More Eating.

OK, so where’ve I been? Vacationing would you believe. Eating a lot Crab Legstoo. Ate with friends on Tuesday night and Wednesday night we went to T & W Oyster Bar where Matt had crab cakes, he does love those, and I decided to go for snow crab claws. Delicious. Matt got fed up watching me pick them clean so I took the rest home in a doggy bag and finished them there. Didn’t have a cracker, but managed anyway. Matt reckoned it took me something like an hour and 50 minutes to eat two clusters. Well my family and I were taught by a waitress in Belgium how to eat lobster, and by extension crab and I am not letting the smallest bit escape me.

The weather on Wednesday was pretty lousy, we had one hell of a storm on Tuesday night and it was grey and cool as well as cloudy all day. Not Carolina weather at all, mind you, I happened to look at the temps for Ontario and they are around 13°C or about 52°F there at the moment. Brrr.

Thursday afternoon we had lunch at MacDaddy’s again and then bowled with our friends. He was on a league last winter and I actually beat him, was I chuffed? He’s still a better bowler than we are though.

In the afternoon I finally got round to checking the back yard at this cottage only to confirm there were zucchini flowers there. Unfortunately way too late for me to pick and stuff them which is something I have always wanted to do. However, I did discover a whole bunch of tiny, very sweet, grape tomatoes which I picked at great cost to my leg; bites and scratches. We ate them with supper and they were delicious.

Tomorrow, of course, we head north to Canada.

I thought these sounded delicious.

Honey & Goat Cheese-Filled Fig Muffins

Sweet figs and a filling of tangy goat cheese give a surprising twist to these hearty breakfast muffins. Make a batch of these on the weekend and enjoy them for breakfast all week long. If you’re not aHoney goat cheese muffins fan of goat cheese, try them with cream cheese instead.


  • 3/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese, or reduced-fat cream cheese; Neufchâtel
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, freshly grated
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed dark or light
  • 1 cup buttermilk, low-fat or nonfat
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup dried figs, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado, or granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners or coat with cooking spray.
  2. Thoroughly combine goat cheese (or cream cheese), honey, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Lightly beat eggs and egg white in a medium bowl; add brown sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and whisk until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in buttermilk and oil until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in figs.
  4. Spoon half the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Add 1 generous teaspoon of the reserved cheese filling to the center of each muffin, and cover with the remaining batter. (The filling should not be visible.) Sprinkle the muffins with sugar.
  5. Bake the muffins until the edges start to brown and the tops spring back when gently pressed, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool

Have a great day


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sleep, Circa 81

One of the things I can’t get over, is how much sleep I am having. I seem to be tired all the time and am sleeping for hours longer than usual. They say lots of good sleep helps lose weight, I am hoping, but not seeing any signs of it. Must be the sea air. Yesterday we sat on the pier which is a favourite thing to do and after all the sea breezes, we were both kernackered. Its 10:32 and Matt is already in bed and I am shortly going to join him.

Circa 81I do want to tell you about our visit to Circa 81 for lunch yesterday, another delightful restaurant. I had a sample of jamon serrano from Spain. I remember that ham with longing, my parents had a large leg of it hanging in their kitchen and whenever we dared we would sneak a slice or two of it; even in Spain it is very expensive so you can imagine how much it would cost in North America. I haven’t had any in over 35 years and it is delicious. Matt had a crab cake sandwich and I had a Moo and Brie, i.e. thinly sliced Angus beef with brie baked on a bread roll. With my lunch I had home made chips which were delicious. I had wanted edamame succotash too but only one side. Matt didn’t want a side so I ordered the succotash. It was delicious so I asked for the recipe and was given it. I then googled and there are all kinds of different versions on line.

Edamame Succotash
Edamame SuccotashCorn
red onion
red pepper
green pepper
tomatoes (optional, seedless)

1. Take equal parts of edamame and corn, can be frozen, dice onion, peppers, carrots and tomatoes and sauté in olive oil or butter for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add mint leaves for service
2. Take equal parts of edamame and corn, can be frozen, dice onion, peppers, carrots and tomatoes and sauté in olive oil or butter for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add mint leaves for service

Source: Circa 81, Morehead City

Have a great day

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sunday at Sea Water.

Shrimp and GritsHaving discovered Sea Water Grill, we thought we would like to eat there. However, it turns out the outside pier is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, don’t think we’ll have much time on Friday next, so figured we would go this Sunday afternoon. Luckily we got there early as it got extremely crowded at the end. We ended up having Shrimp Taco for Matt and Shrimp Shrimp Tacoand Grits for me. Actually the shrimp and grits was not like the usual dish served, however, it was delicious.  We had actually started eating when dummy that I am, I remembered to take pictures. Matt had to build the tacos from all the goodies he received, the tacos are under the tin foil. As for my grits, they were in a cake under the spinach and sauce. Tasty. Sitting eating and looking out to sea was delightful. Quite a few boats had pulled up to have their lunches too. We decided to get some more She Crab Soup to bring home for supper again.

Monday we found another restaurant that someone recommended so will talk about that one tomorrow. Circa 81.

Having mentioned She Crab Soup in my last post, I decided to find a recipe for it. This one carries a history of the soup as well. The soup we had was much more orangey from the roe than the one shown in the picture.

Charleston, South Carolina is known for their elegant She Crab Soup. A cross between a bisque and a chowder, made with their famous blue crab meat. In elegant society, terrapin, oyster, or crab soups were the accepted preliminary to a sumptuous banquet. This soup/bisque/chowder is considered the city's signature dish. Local restaurants offer their own version, and in many Charleston restaurants, the soup du jour is often She Crab Soup. With the abundance of blue crabs available in the coastal Carolina waters, this soup became very popular.

Culinary historian John Martin Taylor, author of Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking, credits the Scottish settlers who arrived in the Carolinas in the early 1700s with bringing their famous seafood bisque recipes called partan-bree, a crab and rice soup, to the area.

The addition of the crab roe, or crab eggs, is credited to William Deas, a butler and a cook to R. Goodwyn Rhett, mayor of Charleston. According the local legend, William Howard Taft (1857-1930), 27th president of the United States, was being "wined and dined" by Mayor Rhett at his home. The exact date seems to be lost in history, as President Taft visited the Rhetts in their home, the John Rutledge House Inn, several times between 1908 and 1912. Supposedly, the Rhetts asked their butler to "dress up" the pale crab soup they usually served. The butler added orange-hued crab eggs to give color and improve the flavor, thus inventing the Charleston delicacy know as She Crab Soup.

She Crab Soup Recipe - How To Make She Crab Soup

Recipe Type: Crab, Soup, Chowder, Cream SheCrabSoup
Cuisine: Charleston, South Carolina
Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min


2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups half & half cream
4 teaspoons finely-grated onion
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest (rind)
1 1/2 pounds flaked blue crab meat*
1/4 cup crab roe**
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon finely-chopped fresh parsley leaves

* If you live in parts of the country where blue crab is not available, other types of crabmeat, such as Dungeness, snow, king, or rock crab, may be substituted.

** Two crumbled hard-cooked egg yolks may be substituted for the crab roe.


In a large, heavy pot over low heat, melt butter; add flour and blend until smooth. Slowly add milk and half & half cream, stirring constantly with a whisk; cook until thickened.

Add onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, white pepper, mace, cayenne pepper, and lemon zest. Bring just to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, add crabmeat and crab roe or crumbled hard-cooked egg yolks; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes (if the soup appears about to boil, remove the pan from the heat for a minute or so, then return).

Remove from heat and add sherry, stirring to mix. Let sit for 3 to 4 minutes before serving.

To serve, pour the soup into individual heated soup bowls, dividing the crabmeat and roe equally into each bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Have a great day


Monday, September 17, 2012

Birthday Dinner, Tribulations, New Restaurant

FloydsWe went to Floyds 1921 for my birthday dinner and both Matt and I chose the soup of the day, which was potato, beer and cheese – delicious. This was followed up by trigger fish with a scallop and grape sauce over rice with asparagus. Delicious but turned out to be somewhat pricey. I finished off with a special crème brulée which was free as it was my special day. Matt had a New York cheesecake with a honey crust. Excellent food. If you check out their web site you can see the menus. It was great to have dinner with friends, some we hadn’t seen yet this trip. They gave me lots of small gifts which were well received.

On a serious note, the reaction by the Muslim extremists to the inflammatory movie criticising Mohammed made by an Israeli in California is pretty horrifying. I think the filmmaker should be charged with murder and jailed, what a damn stupid thing to do although one hears that he did it on purpose to inflame.  What a fool of a man, there have been a number of deaths, both American and protesters including the ambassador. I hope he feels pleased with himself.

Then there is the scandal about the French photographer who photographed the Duchess of Cambridge running around topless in a private French home. The French have published the pictures and now we hear the Palace are planning to sue. Way to go.

Saturday we went to Swansboro and discovered a delightful spot – Salt Water Grill a restaurant with an outside Saltwater Grill3pier where you can lunch or have a beer at weekends. We checked out their menu but having had lunch we just had a beer, but I spotted She Crab Soup; ordered some to go, we had it for supper that night. Absolutely delicious.
This is the restaurantSaltwater Grill4Matt at SW

Key Lime Brûlées
3/4 cup 2% reduced-fatKey Lime Brulee
1/2 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice or lime juice
3 large egg yolks
1 large egg
3 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 325F.
Combine milk, sugar, and half-and-half in a small, heavy saucepan. Heat mixture over medium heat to 180 degrees F or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Combine lime juice, egg yolks, and egg in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add the hot milk mixture to egg mixture,
stirring constantly with a whisk.
Divide the mixture evenly among 6 (4-ounce) ramekins or custard cups.
Place ramekins in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan, and add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes or until center barely moves when the ramekin is touched. Remove ramekins from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill 4 hours to overnight.
Carefully sift 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar over each custard. Holding a
kitchen blowtorch about 2 inches from the top of each custard, heat the sugar, moving the torch back and forth, until the sugar is completely melted and caramelized (about 1 minute). Serve the custards immediately.
Makes 6 servings

Have a great day

Friday, September 14, 2012

Birthday Party, Problems,

I missed a blog oMy Birthdayr two, sorry about that. Tuesday night we were entertained to dinner by some friends who made a big do of it as they cannot join us on Friday when we are going to a restaurant for my birthday dinner. We ended up our meal of lasagne, Italian sausages, fresh corn, and salad withBirthday Glass an ice cream cake which was rich with chocolate and caramel and totally delicious. Then they produced some presents one for me one for Matt as he is never here for his birthday and one for both of us. Mine was a hand painted birthday wine glass. Matt’s gift was a book of 100 years and our joint present was a 4 litre box of Black Box multi prize winning Cabernet Sauvignon which we have since opened and is a very good tasting wine. Our hostess had a birthday this month and I had previously given her some crystal earrings. These two are always so very good to us when we come down here. By the way, today is my actual birthday, all sing Happy Birthday now.

Wednesday we met up with the same friends at MacDaddy’s to have lunch and then go bowling. One of their daughters manages the place. Of course its 10 pin which is not our game, but we have fun anyway. I started off with gutter balls but eventually started scoring. Matt even won the first game. In case you don’t remember, Mac Daddy’s is a huge entertainment centre which includes two bowling alley – it is all part of a big complex which has a miniature golf course, batting cages, golf driving range, go karts, etc. etc.

Thursday morning I was awakened by an almighty crash. Turned out Matt Bogue3had been leaving by the back door to check in the shed for a plunger as the toilet had got plugged up and as he opened the door, a cupboard, maybe one should call it a wine cooler, had collapsed, the wheels had come off the front feet. Luckily the coffee pot, the toaster oven, and the electric fry pan didn’t tall on the floor. We had two bottles of wine in the slots too but they were OK as well. I actually found the plunger in the back of a bathroom cupboard so we were able to fix the toilet, but obviously we had to call maintenance about the wine rack. I don’t think anyone has been about the leaking dishwasher yet, I should start running it when the maintenance people get here. Doing well this year aren’t we?

Well it turns out they put a new gasket on the dishwasher door the other day , and the guy came in and removed all four wheels from the wine table thingy. So now its usable again. Meanwhile we went to Beaufort which is a small town quite a way from here and we sat and watched all the yachts, Matt likes to select a new one every year.

Tonight we go to Floyd’s for dinner and several friends are joining us for my birthday celebration. Haven’t had time to sort out a recipe so that’s it from me today.

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blogs, Royal Baby?

I have to apologise to all my blogging friends, I really haven’t had much chance to check on their blogs in the last few days. I am on vacation after all.

Something I have been reading down here is the report that Kathryn Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant. I am not sure how true this is as the only places I have seen it are in the ‘rags’, but somehow they get hold of stories which no-one else seems to have come across so as far as I am concerned the report is not confirmed. I understood they were waiting until the question of inheritance was settled, i.e. whether a first born female can inherit the crown instead of a male born afterwards. This is being voted on by several nations and I haven’t heard it has yet been ratified. I understand the Cambridge’s are in Singapore at the moment. It has also been mentioned on GMA today.

We sat on the pier for a while yesterday afternoon but Matt had camera problems so wanted to read his book of words. He has such a complicated camera!!! Not like mine which is a simple digital, point and shoot. 004

No, I realised the date of my camera was wrong, but not til after I took pictures from the pier.

Bad news from Libya this morning, an American ambassador killed in a riot. Early to know a lot about it.

Got caught up in a birthday party last night, came home stuffed to the gills having eaten way too much. Pix tomorrow. No recipe for now. Sorry.

Have a great day