Monday, August 26, 2013

Trivia, Space, Dinner, Sunday Lunch.

Here’s a piece of trivia for you that we learnt over the weekend, did you know the Statue of Liberty’s nose was 4 1/2 ft long? That is one heck of a large nose.

For my scientifically minded friends, here is the Canadian, Chris Hadfield, who Face Cloth in Spacewas Commander of the International Space Station for a while, giving a demonstration of what happens when you wring out a wet cloth.  Something which I had never thought about. I was also fascinated by the face cloths with which they are provided. Tickled me too, that the microphone was floating in front of his face whilst he was talking. We don’t really comprehend what happens in space even though we are told, nothing can take the place of experiencing it.

Saturday Matt cooked the Sichuan-Style Chicken with Sichual-Style Chicken with PeanutsPeanuts dish that I posted last week. It was very good although we didn’t have any peanuts so we used pine nuts. I actually prefer those anyway. It could have done with a spot more heat for my taste, Sichuan food is very often mouth burning, this had a tingle but that was it. However, I can thoroughly recommend it. We have leftovers as it was for 4 people. It is certainly one we will make again.

Our Sunday lunch turned out to be very successful. The roast lamb and roast potatoes were delicious we were told. So many people in North America don’t like lamb it’s nice to find people who do. Unfortunately I shot the bolt when it came to my diet, they brought some Brie and crackers as a gift and I couldn’t resist. Oh well, tomorrow (today I guess) is another day.

Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Pine Nut-Kasha Granola and Ricotta

Contributed by Justin Smillie
8 first-course servings

Discovery Book
© Christina Holmes
“Everyone adds nuts to salad, but I wanted to do something different,” says Justin Smillie. He tops crisp snap peas with a savory granola that includes pine nuts and kasha. Ricotta adds another layer of texture; Smillie makes his own cheese at the restaurant, but good-quality store-bought fresh ricotta is also delicious.


  1. 2 1/4 cups rolled oats
  2. 2/3 cup kasha (roasted buckwheat groats)
  3. 1/2 cup flaxseeds
  4. 1/2 cup pine nuts
  5. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  7. 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  8. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar


  1. 1 pound sugar snap peas
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  4. Maldon sea salt
  5. Kosher salt
  6. Freshly ground pepper
  7. 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
  8. Chopped mint, for garnish
  1. MAKE THE GRANOLA Preheat the oven to 325° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the oats with the kasha, flaxseeds and pine nuts. Add the remaining granola ingredients and toss until thoroughly coated, then spread on the prepared baking sheet.
  2. Bake the granola in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden and nearly dry. Turn off the oven and prop the door open halfway; let the granola cool in the oven, stirring occasionally.
  3. MAKE THE SALAD In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, simmer the snap peas until bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain and cool the snap peas under running water, pat dry and halve them lengthwise. In a medium bowl, toss the snap peas with the lemon juice and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, then season with Maldon sea salt and pepper.
  4. In another medium bowl, whisk the ricotta until smooth and season with kosher salt and pepper. Spoon the ricotta onto plates and top with the snap peas. Sprinkle some of the granola on the peas and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped mint. Serve right away.
Make Ahead This recipe makes 5 cups of granola, which can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Have a great day


  1. Happy to hear your lunch turned out well.

    I bet wringing out that towel sent water droplets flying everywhere.

    1. Didn't you watch the video Diane? The link is in the paragraph. It was interesting to watch.

  2. If I make that chicken dish, I'll remember to add a little bit more kick to it.

  3. I'm not veggie, but often substitute soya chicken pieces for meat. Will try the Sichuan chicken recipe using the soya chicken I have in the freezer but will add chilli/ginger as I love spicy food

    1. Never tried soya chicken, I like tofu though. Does the soya chicken taste anything like chicken?