Monday, January 20, 2014

Doctors!! Pronunciation, Crafts.

HI had a bit of a scare on Friday. Around lunch time the doctor’s office Kidneycalled me, a nurse I assume, to say that there was a problem with the blood work I had had done the other day and the doctor wanted me to go to a specialist for a second opinion. I put the phone down and then started to worry. What could be wrong? What could be the problem? Why didn’t they tell me? Matt decided we should head over to the doctor’s office right away and find out. Takes us a good half hour to get there and once we did I saw one of the receptionists who knows us very well, she told me that it wasn’t too serious but I had a lowering of kidney function (diabetes strikes again). They are sending me to a nephrologist (new word to me). I might say the receptionist was probably not really supposed to tell me all this. Anyway, the upshot, I didn’t need to see a doctor which I probably would have not been able to do anyway. But why don’t they tell you this stuff in the first place instead of scaring you. Lukemia came to my mind, particularly as I had recently been talking to a friend who has it.

As a blogger of recipes, I was interested in this article when I came Guancialeacross it How to pronounce the 16 most confusing food words so naturally I had to check it. I don’t really know Sriracha but it turns out I was pronouncing it right. See it a lot in recipes all of a sudden. The only word I wasn’t pronouncing right was acai I was using a hard c although I think I had heard the proper way at some point in time. As for guanaciale when I read it I pronounced it correctly, but I have never heard of it before. I gather it’s a cured meat similar to prosciutto. It looks pretty fatty though, I wonder if its available here? All the others are mostly French and Italian names with one Greek and one Vietnamese thrown in. I knew how to pronounce Pho because a friend, who had been there, told me.

I pulled out a sweat shirt the other day which I hadn’t worn in a Shirt Picturewhile. It has a large bouquet of flowers on the front which I laboriously applied some years ago. I used to pipe some gold or silver rubberised liquid all round which one had to let dry before using. No idea what it was called. I did a whole bunch of these things when I lived in NC. I also did a bunch of transfers which I made on the computer on special paper and then ironed on to various things, shirts, napkins, etc. I put poinsettia designs on a set of napkins for Christmas plus names on our chef’s jackets when we had a cooking business and so on. It suddenly occurred to me that I always deny that I do crafts but I guess these things do come under that heading. So yes, I do crafts.

I’m not a big fan of lasagne although in this part of the world, everybody has their own recipe which is made frequently. When I saw this, I thought it sounded sufficiently different to be interesting.

Caramelized Onion Lasagna

Caramelized Onion Lasagna
WebMD Recipe from

This unusual lasagna with portobello mushrooms, sweet onions, spinach and Gorgonzola cheese has a rich, complex flavor. It's also great with goat cheese instead of Gorgonzola, if you prefer.

  • 8 ounces lasagna noodles, preferably whole-wheat
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium portobello mushroom caps, gills removed, diced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups nonfat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles until not quite al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain; return the noodles to the pot and cover with cool water.
  2. To prepare onion filling: Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and very soft, about 25 minutes. (If they begin to stick, add water 1/4 cup at a time to release them and prevent burning.) Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add wine and 1 teaspoon salt and continue cooking until most of the liquid is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pepper.
  3. To prepare spinach filling: Place spinach, ricotta, basil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor and process until smooth.
  4. To prepare white sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir until bubbling, about 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking, until the sauce has the consistency of thick gravy, about 1 minute. Add Gorgonzola and gently whisk until it is melted. Remove from the heat. (The sauce will continue to thicken as it sits.)
  5. To assemble lasagna: Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Drain the noodles and spread out on a kitchen towel. Spread 1/2 cup white sauce in the prepared pan. Place a layer of noodles over the sauce. Spread half of the spinach filling over the noodles and top with one-third of the onion filling. Evenly spread 1/2 cup white sauce over the onions. Repeat with another layer of noodles, the remaining spinach filling, half the remaining onion filling and half the remaining white sauce. To finish, top with a third layer of noodles, spread the remaining onion filling over the noodles and then spread or dollop the remaining white sauce on top. Sprinkle with walnuts and basil.
  6. Bake until hot and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Have a great day


  1. I agree with you on the tight-lipped conveying of results. In this day and age, the public knows of too many things and our imaginations can make us ill if we're left to worry long enough. I'm glad to hear it's not "too" serious. Wishing you the best.

    1. Thanks Jeff. I was not too happy as you will gather. If they had told me on the phone I wouldn't have had to go haring over there.

  2. That was a lousy way to tell you. My imagination would've run off as well.

  3. Happy to hear your results are not that serious!

    I'm not much of a linguist, but I've found trying to read menus and wines from around the world not only helps learn how to speak, but how to pronounce.

    And cool signature badge!

    1. Thanks. My mother could cook anything, and did, but she rarely knew how to pronounce what she cooked.

      The dragon made it.

  4. Oh dear, but I'm glad you're doing well! And another great recipe!

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)

  5. I'm so very happy it wasn't anything serious. You must take good care of yourself, youngest Grandmother.
    I personally love lasagna.

    1. Thanks Al. I will don't worry.

      I think I would love this one.

  6. Agree with the others here ... bad way to transmit information to the patient!

    What are lasagne noodles? are they lasagne sheets that we buy here in the UK? This looks a brilliant recipe to serve to my veggie friends but sometimes the ingredients confuse me as they are described so differently 'across the pond'

    1. Yup, it was.

      I am sure the sheets are the same thing. Flat pasta. Don't think I would use non fat ricotta, usually don't use non fat anything.

  7. So frustrating - worse than ordering an extreme test that scares the hell out of you and then saying your follow up appointment is two months later! Ridiculous! So glad you're fine - well almost!
    I love lasagna, but can't eat it, damn!

    1. They really do drive you nuts sometimes.

      Why can't you eat it?