Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter, Old Cars, Old Movies.

We are presently suffering through an icy arctic blast in Canada at the moment plunging many into negative double digits. The actual thermometer reading locally isn’t that bad, but with the wind they coldare talking -25°C which is damned cold. Thank God for heating in cars. I had to go for a follow up with a surgeon this morning and it was very cold. I am wearing my warmest coat which I didn’t wear once last winter. Trouble is, with wind like this it is very difficult to keep the apartment warm. I recently discovered apartment building owners are only legally bound to keep temps at 72°C and that is warm enough if you are doing things, but when you are sitting around reading or watching TV, not warm enough. We end up wearing sweaters and I often have a blanket over my legs. Mind you if the sun decides to shine in our windows, no problem. It heats the room up beautifully.

Re-reading what I wrote, I can remember cars which didn’t have heating. In really snowy or even foggy weather you could open up the front windshield to help you see where you were going which, naturally, made it even colder.

Morris Minor

Basically, you unclipped the sides and pushed the windshield up. It hinged at the top. Talking about this with Matt he just told me his first car, a 1938 Austin Ruby, 8 h.p., which had inflatable seats. I have never heard of that before. If he still had that car, it would be worth money today.

I watched How to Steal a Million on TV, and enjoyed it. Peter O’Toole and Audrey Hepburn. They were so young. I had forgotten how lovely she was. He wasn’t bad looking either. Not sure how come I had never seen the movie before, its quite a fun romp. Matt didn’t think much of it, left part way, but I enjoyed it.

Matt has to go for a follow up tomorrow, for his eye surgery the other day. We seem to be constantly on the run to one doctor or another. Don’t seem to have time for anything. I have several blogs to catch up on. I will get to it eventually.

When its cold, one automatically things of warming foods and this seemed to fit the bill to me.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

From EatingWell: September/October 2010

We took the classic flavors of Buffalo wings—hot sauce, blue cheese, Buffalo Chicken Casserolecarrots and celery—and created a finger-licking-good casserole. Serve this dish during football season to a hungry crowd and it’s sure to be a hit. We don’t typically recommend ingredients by brand name, but in this case we make an exception for Frank’s RedHot Sauce. It has the perfect balance of spice and tang for this casserole. Texas Pete and Crystal hot sauces are suitable alternatives if you can’t find Frank’s.

8 servings

  • 12 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 medium stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 4 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons hot sauce, preferably Frank’s RedHot
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Bring a Dutch oven of water to a boil. Cook noodles until barely tender, about 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in the pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink on the outside, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk cornstarch and milk in a medium bowl; add to the pot along with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until bubbling and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in hot sauce.
  4. Spread the noodles in a 9-by-13-inch (or similar 3-quart) baking dish. Top with the chicken mixture; sprinkle with blue cheese.
  5. Bake the casserole until it is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Tips & Notes
  • Make Ahead Tip: In Step 2, cook the noodles 4 minutes less than package directions. Prepare through Step 4, cover and refrigerate for 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake at 400°F for 45 minutes.

Have a great day



  1. From your experience/memory of English products what is the UK equivalent of elbow noodles? What is a Dutch Oven - can I just use a saucepan? I have Japanese and Jamaican hot sauces - the Jamaican is very hot as its based on scotch bonnet chillis. How hot do you think Frank's Red Hot sauce is? sorry I know that last question is dependent on individual taste but we do eat our food pretty hot and spicy so what many consider medium hot we'd consider mild.

    1. I guess elbow macaroni or just macaroni. A Dutch oven is a large pan with a handle on both sides and a lid. I guess any hot sauce, to taste really. Franks RedHot is pretty powerful but sounds like your sauces would be fine.

  2. Jo, hope you are well, and keeping warm. I'm here in the uk moaning about minus 4 degrees c, I can't imagine it being colder, we have had the flurrys of snow. It's funny to think back when things were so different, thank goodness for the car heaters!

    1. Yes, we manage to keep pretty warm thanks. I remember snow up to the lampposts many years ago and having to walk over Rochester bridge, in Kent, because the car had broken down in the cold.

  3. Cars without heat? Almost as barbaric as cars without air conditioning.
    And under zero degrees is way too cold.

    1. Actually, when I was in the car business, I discovered at the time, that most cars in British Columbia didn't have a/c as their climate didn't justify it. How true that was, about the climate, I don't know, but if I wanted to move a car from there to another Province, I had to install air.

      Its getting colder Alex.