Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Game of Thrones, Bowling, More on Fruit Flies.

Game of Throne2sBack to Game of Thrones, because I started watching,  I have been remembering the books and I remember I was getting a tad fed up with them by the time I read the latest one. I have some episodes here right now, in fact I have had the DVD for 3 or 4 days, and I really can’t be bothered to watch it. Pity because I do like the guy playing Tyrion, but the rest of it leaves me cold. Even though it’s a long time since I read the books I have already spotted a few things which did not happen or happened in a different way. I don’t want to see “the red wedding” or the confinement of one of the dragons in a pit (hope that isn’t a spoiler). So I will go back to my current book, thanks.

Yesterday was our league bowling of course. I started off brilliantly, tailed off but ended with a good score in the first game, reasonable in the second and pathetic in the third. Still I beat Matt so it was a punishment because he said someone paying me compliments must want their eyes examined. Not very nice was it? This morning we have to be up fairly early for blood work. Luckily these days we can book an appointment. Used to be we had to get to the lab at about 6:30 a.m. so not to be at the end of the queue. Absolutely wonderful on a winter’s day.

As you will have gathered, I made a mess of our fruit fly trap with the result that one of the perishers is flying round me right now. I got in touch with the company that makes them, they called me back but I wasn’t here so they are supposed to be calling again. Talking to the hardware store, they don’t appear to sell the sticky trap on its own. Maybe I should try the soapy water with vinegar recommended to me in yesterday’s comments. I just came across this recipe for catching the stupid things on Garden Therapy.

Materials:fly trap
  • small glass bowl
  • wine or juice
  • dish soap
  • plastic wrap
  • bamboo skewer
1. Fill a small glass bowl with some wine or a little juice and a piece of the fruit that the flies are so in love with. Just a plain syrup will not work as well. Fruit flies are looking for some yummy rotting fruit so they can lay their eggs in it so use rotting fruit to lure them into your trap.

I also appear to have found a source of turkey breasts. Won’t know til Wednesday.
Although this is not a very colourful soup, I thought it looked good. It came from WebMD

Chicken and White Bean Soup

Chicken & White Bean Soup
WebMD Recipe from EatingWell.com

Once again, rotisserie chickens can really relieve the dinner-rush pressure-especially in this Italian-inspired soup that cries out for a piece of crusty bread and a glass of red wine.


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2  leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 2 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1 2-pound roasted chicken, skin discarded, meat removed from bones and shredded (4 cups)
  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in sage and continue cooking until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and water, increase heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. 
  2. Add beans and chicken and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Serve hot
Have a great day

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fly Trap, Turkey Musings,

Fruit Fly TrapEvery summer we are plagued by fruit flies which seem to go everywhere, they are not just interested in fruit it seems. Happened to talk about it at the bowling group lunch the other day and someone told me there were fruit fly traps. I have tried trapping them without much success. We shot off to the hardware store on Friday and bought ourselves a trap. At the time of writing this there is still at least one of the little perishers around. I do so hope this works. The thing which looks like a shiny red apple, that’s the trap. Last week I had a cantaloupe hanging around and when we went to cut we discovered they had made big inroads into the fruit, luckily we were able to save the bulk of the melon. They seem to get everywhere, the bathrooms too, what possible interest can they have there? Update, two days later, the little beggars are still around. I’ve even seen them sitting and enjoying life on top of the apple. I guess I kind of expected instantaneous.

October 13 is Thanksgiving in Canada and for the first time in years I am going to have to buy and cook a whole turkey. We always brought turkey breasts back from North Carolina, but of course didn’t go this year. I have forgotten how to cook a whole bird, not that I’ve done if very often anyway. For years my mother always cooked them and she did the same when she visited us in Canada which she did every year whilst she was alive. Practically ever since, it has been a turkey breast which is very easy to cook. (Actually thinking more about it, I did cook a few whole turkeys when in NC). Then I have to worry about Turkey chipolatasstuffing, I am not that keen on it although I love chestnut stuffing in the neck. Never heard of chestnut stuffing? I guess I will have to post a recipe. Of course I always make bread sauce which I love too. I have posted a recipe for that I know. I was just thinking about Christmas turkeys of old writing this. We always used to have chipolatas with the turkey too. Bit like baby wieners. Not sure why, it was a Christmas tradition. They appeared on the dish wrapped in bacon, surrounding the turkey. Usually the roast potatoes were there as well. Something which doesn’t seem to be served over here. Our roast potatoes are crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle.

Kung Pao ChickenSaturday night I made the Kung Pao Chicken which I posted last week. I made a couple of changes as I didn’t have some things, but it turned out very well and we both enjoyed it. It’s not as colourful in the recipe picture but I didn’t have a red pepper only green and I wasn’t going to make a special journey just for that. Also, I served it over rice, I did think about noodles but chose rice. I don’t know how it compares with that served in a Chinese restaurant because I don’t particularly remember eating it. I will take note in future. This is a lighter version. We drank a bottle of La Vielle Ferme which is a delicious, crisp white wine which we both like very much.

I love Bruschetta (brusketa please) and often make it with tomatoes and garlic, but this one looks good. Any creamy cheese would work, goat cheese comes to mind as I have recently been eating it. This came from Food and Wine.

Ricotta and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta with Pancetta

Contributed by Susan Spungen


Peak-season tomatoes make all the difference in this simple bruschetta from author Susan Spungen. They’re the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of soup or a large salad, or, to turn them into two-bite hors d’oeuvres, simply cut the bruschetta ricotta-and-roasted-tomato-bruschetta-with-pancetacrosswise into strips.
  1. 10 ounces multicolored cherry tomatoes
  2. 2 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  3. 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  4. Kosher salt
  5. Pepper
  6. 4 thin slices of pancetta
  7. 32 sage leaves
  8. 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
  9. 8 slices of country bread, cut 1/4-inch thick and toasted
  10. Flaky sea salt, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; season with kosher salt and pepper. Transfer the tomatoes to one side of a parchment-lined baking sheet and lay the pancetta slices out on the other side. Bake for 25 minutes, until the pancetta is crisp. Transfer the pancetta to paper towels to drain, then crumble.
  2. Roast the tomatoes for about 10 more minutes, until bursting and lightly caramelized. Transfer the tomatoes and any rendered fat from the pancetta to a bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil over moderately high heat. Add the sage and fry until bright green and crisp, 30 to 45 seconds. Drain the sage on paper towels; reserve the oil for another use.
  4. Spread the ricotta on the toasts and top with the tomatoes and crumbled pancetta. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and top the toasts with the sage leaves. Serve immediately.
Have a great day

Friday, September 26, 2014

Saturday Recipe

It's amazing how many comments I got yesterday from not really posting a blog.

This is an interesting and different recipe. It came to me through Pinterest so I followed it to its origins. I ended up at the Healthy Foodie. Balsamic Pearls is an expensive item which can be obtained from Amazon, but a balsamic reduction would be a less expensive way to go. I have just done some googling and also found a recipe for making them at home. Not something I had ever heard of before.

Eggs in Avocado Boat

Yields 2 boats

Eggs in Avocado Boat
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 2 organic, free-range eggs
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper Garnish
  • Few pieces of walnuts, chopped
  • Fresh thyme
  • Balsamic Pearls (or balsamic reduction)
  1. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and scoop out enough of the flesh to accomodate an entire egg.
  2. Remove a small portion of the skin on the back so the avocado sits straight when you set it on the cutting board.
  3. Crack the eggs and divide them between 3 containers. Place the yolks in individual shot glasses or small tea cups and place both whites together in a common small mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste to the whites and mix well.
  4. Heat coconut oil in a skillet with fitting lid set over medium high heat. Add the avocado halves, flesh side down, and sear them for about 30 seconds, or until slightly golden.
  5. Flip the avocados around and fill the cavities almost to the top with the egg whites. Turn the heat down, put the lid on and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the egg whites are almost set.
  6. Carefully slide the yolks over the whites and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes or until yolks have reached the desired level of doneness.
  7. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with walnuts, thyme and balsamic pearls.
Have a great weekend

No Blog

Sorry but I am being lazy tonight so there will be no blog on Friday. Maybe I had too much shrimp for lunch.

Have a great day

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Anniversary, Fall.

HeartsToday Matt and I have been married for 42 years. Who knew it would last so long or we’d even still be alive and kicking. I guess our celebration will be lunch at the Red Lobster before going bowling with our Travel League. I think we will have eaten enough for lunch that we won’t want a big supper. Talking of lunch I have just discovered that our favourite Chinese, the Mandarin, is offering 50% off for seniors on October 1. Guess what?

Wednesday morning I looked out of our bedroom window and thought this tree was gorgeous so went on the balcony to take a picture. In the sunlight it almost twinkled with a bronze tinge. I guess my itty bitty camera can’t catch that properly.
2014-09-24  Fall Colour
Been thinking that we should take a couple of days and head up north to see the Fall colours. Haven’t done that in a while. Last time we arrived and all was great, then it rained heavily overnight and all the leaves ended on the ground.

I love Pho, this is an interesting version of it, they are usually made with beef I believe, I am no expert. I decided to leave in all the cooking times and nutrition information. Star anise I have, but some of the vegetables I will have to buy specially. I really ought to learn how to make Hot and Sour Soup too, it is my very favourite Chinese soup. Mind you if I could make it I guess it wouldn’t be so special when we go to the restaurant.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Pho

From EatingWell

Chicken Pho, a classic Vietnamese soup, is a perfect recipe for a slow cooker. The chicken and seasonings of star anise, cloves and ginger simmer all day in the crock pot, welcoming you home with an alluring aroma. Serve with the essential garnishes for pho soup—fresh herbs, bean sprouts, chiles and lime—and let Chicken Phoeveryone top their own. Serve chile-garlic sauce for those who want more heat.

6 servings, about 2 cups each | Active Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 4 1/2 or 8 1/2 hours
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (two 32-ounce boxes)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 10 whole star anise (see Tip)
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 pounds total), skin removed, trimmed
  • 6 ounces wide rice noodles
  • 6 cups chopped bok choy
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 fresh Thai chile or serrano, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
  1. Combine broth, brown sugar, fish sauce, star anise, cloves, ginger and cinnamon stick in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add chicken breasts, meat-side down. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours (or on Low for 8 hours).
  2. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Remove spices and discard. Add noodles and bok choy to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken from the bone and shred with two forks. When the noodles are tender, stir in the shredded chicken. Serve bowls of soup with bean sprouts, basil, mint, cilantro, sliced chile and lime wedges on the side so everyone can add their own toppings.
Per serving : 362 Calories; 6 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 75 mg Cholesterol; 40 g Carbohydrates; 39 g Protein; 3 g Fiber; 645 mg Sodium; 998 mg Potassium
  • To prep ahead: Combine seasonings with broth; prep chicken; cover and refrigerate separately for up to 1 day. | Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker
  • Tip: Add star anise, named for its star-shaped pods, to Asian-inspired dishes to lend distinctive licorice-like flavor. Look for it with other bulk spices in natural-foods stores.
Have a great day

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Summer Fruit, Books.

cantalolupeI  just (yesterday) ate some Cantaloupe and I was thinking how much I love summer fruits. That is the thing which makes me most unhappy about the change of seasons I think. Peaches and Cantaloupes are my particular favourites, but cherries, and most berries all disappear around me and I savour them with much enjoyment. Some of them you can buy during the winter, but they aren’t the same.

After the Underrated Treasures Blogfest I have picked up a few book references in which I was interested. Trouble is I have so many to read already. Oh well, I guess I will never run out of reading material.

Not a lot happening in our lives at the moment, ran a lot of errands we have been putting off, you know how it goes. So that’s it for today.

This is a somewhat simplified recipe for Kung Pao Chicken it is also lower in calories. However, I would probably go for the more regular ingredients.

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken RecipeCooking Light

Cut calories and sodium by making this takeout favorite at home. This recipe delivers authentic flavor in less than 30 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced ginger
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 1 large pepper)
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  1. 1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken; sauté 3 minutes or until chicken begins to brown.
  2. 2. Combine 3/4 cup water and the next 5 ingredients (through crushed red pepper), stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves. Add water mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Add bell pepper and snow peas to pan; cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and sauce thickens. Sprinkle with nuts.
Have a great day

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Game of Thrones, Blogfest, Conserving the Seas.

Well, it turns Game of Thronesout our son-in-law was right and I had somehow got hold of the wrong DVD for the series. Having discussed it with the librarian, I ended up getting the right DVD and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am now waiting for the next one. I’m not sure where in the series the one I did watch came, but it was obviously well on from the beginning. I am told some of the scenes I was looking for were certainly included. Once again, I am lauding the series. I absolutely love the music and must try and get a copy of it.

The Underrated Treasures Blogfest was fun yesterday. I was surprised at the people who did know my choice of movie, The Song of Bernadette. It is such an old film, I thought nobody would ever have heard of it. Other people had some very interesting books and films as well as bands and TV shows to recommend, some of which are no longer being aired. Thanks Alex J. Cavenaugh for hosting this blogfest.

As many of you know, I am very keen on conservation and was very disturbed to read the blog by Hilary Melton-Butcher yesterday - Sustainable Fishing and Marine Conservation Reserves ... The figures she quoted were horrifying. Although I
Sea Ottersam aware of the damage we are doing to the waters of the world, I tend to concentrate a lot on land and animals when I talk of conservation, but, of course if we don’t protect the seas of the world we will end up in all kinds of trouble. Sustainable fishing must be implemented everywhere not just in a few countries. We are denuding the sea beds making it impossible for fish that used to live somewhere to continue to do so. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is very active on this side of the world in helping with marine conservation. They regularly publish a list of fish which are OK to be eaten because they are sustainable. A useful resource. They have done a lot to help sea otters and recently are nursing a pup which was found abandoned on the beach.

The following recipe I found through following a recipe on Yummly. It turns out to be from Smitten Kitchen and I thought it looked really good. It is a Russian recipe but as it’s made with apple I thought it would be a good recipe for Rosh Hashanah perhaps.

Apple Sharlotka

Adapted from Alex’s mother, who adapted it from her mother, and
Apple Sharlotkaso on…

Butter or nonstick spray, for greasing pan
6 large, tart apples, such as Granny Smiths
3 large eggs
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
Ground cinnamon, to finish
Powdered sugar, also to finish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and the sides of the pan. Peel, halve and core your apples, then chop them into medium-sized chunks. (I cut each half into four “strips” then sliced them fairly thinly — about 1/4-inch — in the other direction.) Pile the cut apples directly in the prepared pan. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer or whisk, beat eggs with sugar until thick and ribbons form on the surface of the beaten eggs. Beat in vanilla, then stir in flour with a spoon until just combined. The batter will be very thick.
Pour over apples in pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all exposed apples. (Updated to clarify: Spread the batter and press it down into the apple pile. The top of the batter should end up level with the top of the apples.) Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out free of batter. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on rack, then flip out onto another rack, peel off the parchment paper, and flip it back onto a serving platter. Dust lightly with ground cinnamon.
Serve warm or cooled, dusted with powdered sugar. Alex’s family eats it plain, but imagine it would be delicious with a dollop of barely sweetened whipped or sour cream.

Have a great day

Monday, September 22, 2014

Treasures Blogfest

Underrated Treasures BlogfestAlex J. Cavenaugh is hosting The Underrated Treasures Blogfest today. At first I thought I didn’t have anything to talk about but then I remembered a film I saw as a child.

Song of BernadetteI don’t know how old I was when I saw this film, but I wasn’t more than around 7 I think. The film was made in 1943 and at one point I was attending a convent school and they took us to see this movie. The Song of Bernadette which is the story of Bernadette Soubirous who had visions of Mary, Mother of God and who was instrumental in uncovering the waters of Lourdes which have healing properties. Wikipedia have the full story of the film here. The film has stayed vividly in my mind ever since for close on 70 years. It really made an impression on me. I have never heard of anyone else seeing it nor have I heard/read the film being mentioned anywhere but, to me, at the time, it was an absolutely wonderful movie. By the way, I am not a Roman Catholic but as a child during the war, moving around with my parents, my father being in the RAF and posted to different stations throughout England, I went to whatever local school was available. This included two convents and 8 other schools.

As for an underappreciated book, I have to choose Havenstar by Glenda Larke. I love all of Glenda’s books but this, her first, is the one I have read several times and never fail to enjoy it. Glenda’s books are set in the most incredible worlds which she builds beautifully and sets the scene for different kinds of magic. The Havenstar world is set in a restricted environment where Kerris, the daughter of a brilliant mapmaker, is not allowed to follow in his footsteps because she is a girl although she has been doing most of her father’s work, behind the scenes, for years. She is betrayed by her brother and forced to flee into the Unstable which is an absolutely fascinating and dangerous place where anything can happen. When Glenda first published this book it was in her married name, Glenda Noramly, and then shortly after, the publisher went under. It has now been reissued in digital, paper and hard back. Glenda has a blog at Tropic Temper which is where I first discovered her quite a number of years ago.

How about an under appreciated food. The traditional Steak and Kidney Pudding. I used to make these a lot many years ago, but now avoid the pudding part because it is very bad for dieting. The author of this recipe is right, it is very different and I am not sure I approve of the untraditional way she has altered it even though it does sound pretty tasty.

Steak and Kidney Pudding Recipe

By Elaine Lemm
steak and kidney pudNo other British dish shows the British idiosyncrasy of calling a savory dish a pudding than Steak and Kidney Pudding. A Steak and Kidney Pudding recipe may at first look a little daunting, but don’t be put off, it is actually quite straightforward and all the efforts are well worth it.
This is my version and slightly more elaborate than my grandmother made, not sure she would approve of using red wine, but I love it.
Do not confuse this 'pudding with a Steak and Kidney Pie, this is something completely different.
steak-and-kidney-pudding-1500pg.jpg - Photo ©  Elaine Lemm

  • 1 oz/25g beef dripping, lard
    or vegetable oil
  • 1½lbs/675g beef topside, cut into 1"/2.5cm cubes
  • 12 oz/350g beef kidney, cut into 1"/2.5 cm cubes
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, washed, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 oz/ 25g all purpose/plain flour
  • 10 fl oz/ 300ml beef stock
  • 5 fl oz// 150ml red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup/ small handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 10 oz/280g self rising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 5 oz/ 140g beef suet, finely chopped
  • 2 - 3 tbsp cold water
  • Butter for greasing
  • Salt and pepper
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 180 minutes
  • Total Time: 225 minutes
Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 350° F/180° C/Gas 4
  • Heat a large casserole dish on the stove, add the dripping/lard or oil and heat until slightly smoking. Add the beef cubes and the kidney, stir well until all the meat is browned. Add the onion, carrots and stir again.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the meat and vegetables and stir thoroughly.
  • Add the stock, red wine, bay leaf, parsley and tomato puree. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and cover with a lid, place in the hot oven and cook for 1 hour.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven, season with salt and pepper to taste, and leave to cool.
  • Make the pastry. Place the flour, baking powder, and salt into a baking bowl. Add the suet and rub into the flour. Add enough cold water to form a stiff, slightly sticky dough. Leave to rest for 30 mins.
  • Grease a 2 pint pudding basin with the butter. Divide the pastry into ⅔ and ⅓ and roll the larger piece of dough in to a circle large enough to line the basin plus an extra ½" border. Dust your hands with a little flour then carefully line the basin with the dough.
  • Add the meat mixture to the lined pudding basin. Roll the remaining dough in to a circle large enough to cover the pudding basin. Wet the overhanging lip of the basin with cold water, lay the lid on top and press firmly around the edge to seal.
  • Cover the basin with two circles of greaseproof paper secured with kitchen string.
  • Steam over rapidly boiling water for 2 hours. Check frequently to make sure water has not boiled dry - top up with boiling water as needed.
  • Remove the pudding from the steamer, remove the greaseproof paper and serve.
Beware, Steak and Kidney pudding is a very filling dish but is lovely with mashed potatoes to soak up the rich, sauce and fresh, seasonal vegetables.

Have a great day

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday Recipe

I came across 23 things to do with rotisserie chicken and thought this one looked especially good. I just happened to buy some baby kale yesterday so that is what I will use. I will be checking out the other recipes as I find buying rotisserie chicken so very convenient.

Kale Salad with Chicken

Contributed by Spike GjerdeKale Salad with Chicken


Kale salads are great with a dressing that relies on cured fish, like anchovies or the salted oysters I make, which I call ‘oy-chovies,’” says chef Spike Gjerde.
  1. Four 4-by- 1/2-inch slices peasant bread
  2. 2 garlic cloves—1 peeled, 1 minced
  3. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1 ounce)
  4. 4 anchovies, minced
  5. 3 tablespoons malt vinegar
  6. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  7. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  8. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  9. Salt
  10. Freshly ground pepper
  11. 1/2 pound Tuscan kale—stems trimmed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise
  12. Two 3-ounce jars cocktail onions, drained and halved
  13. 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, until crisp. Rub the hot toast with the peeled garlic clove, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cheese and bake for 10 minutes longer, until the cheese browns. Let cool, then break into 1-inch croutons.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the anchovies, minced garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese. Whisk in the oil; season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the kale with 6 tablespoons of the dressing. Let stand for 3 minutes. Add the onions, chicken, croutons and remaining dressing. Toss and serve.
Have a great weekend 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Game of Thrones, Portuguese Confection.

Well, last night I watched episodes 3 and 4. What a waste of time. a Song of Ice and FireIn the first place they had wiped out large chunks of the story between 2 and 3 which I think was a mistake. Having read the books I remembered some of what had happened in this period, but by no means all, if anyone hadn’t read the books, I have no idea how they would have kept up with the story. I found half the time I had no idea who people were and how they had got there in the first place. For instance, Daenerys Targaryen in the previous episodes had a husband and a brother, the series does not explain what happened to them. That is just one glaring example. I still like the actor playing Tyrian Lannister, but how he, the despised dwarf, suddenly becomes the King’s Hand is beyond me. Nor do I have a clue about what else is going on. So, I will not bother to watch any more. However, I still think the books were very good and would recommend them. Although I am not sure George R.R. Martin has yet finished the series. Checking it, he hasn’t. There are two more books planned and he says he doesn’t know when the sixth book will be finished. I am not even going to try reading them again until it’s all completed. He also says he plans to kill off a lot more characters!!! If you are enjoying it, good luck.

As usual we bowled Thursday afternoon, Matt had a good day, I hadovos molos a mediocre day. A Portuguese friend was in bowling ahead as she is heading off to Portugal next week for a few weeks vacation, lucky her. She has promised to bring us ovos molos2some ovos moles again. They are a Portuguese specialty and absolutely delicious. They are made with a thin pastry filled with an egg concoction. If you are interested in the recipe, click on the link above. Not something I personally am ever likely to make despite my liking them so much. When we were in Portugal it staggered me the fantastic egg desserts they made.

I was never a particular friend of grits until I tried Shrimp and Grits which is a big favourite in the south. Here is a different take on that recipe.

Spicy Shrimp and Grits

Spicy Shrimp and Grits Recipe
Cooking Light

Crank up the heat (in your weeknight meal, that is!) and serve a spicy version of this Southern favourite.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup grits, about 1 1/2 cups shrimp mixture, and 1 tablespoon green onions)

  • 3 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 4 slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 1 pound peeled, deveined large shrimp
  • 1 cup thinly vertically sliced white onion
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce or chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground or crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup green onion strips
  1. 1. Combine milk, water, butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer; gradually add grits, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium; cook 4 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.
  2. 2. While grits cook, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings; crumble bacon. Add shrimp to drippings in pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove shrimp from pan. Add white onion to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in bacon, tomatoes, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; sauté 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp, pepper sauce, and red pepper; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are heated. Serve over grits; sprinkle with green onions.
Have a great day

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Stonehenge, Shopping.

Stonehenge has fascinated and puzzled archaeologists for years Stonehengeand today I received this bit of information which I found very interesting.
“With the help of magnetometers and ground-penetrating radar, scientists have compiled a digital map of the fields around Stonehenge. Seventeen previously undetected features—other Neolithic monuments and a wooden building—have been mapped beneath the site’s surface.”
As yet, nobody has figured out how it was built, how they got the stones there in the first place, what it was built for, who built it or anything else much about it. Maybe these new discoveries will help. Despite being a Brit, I have never been to Stonehenge and these days I understand it is fenced off so you can’t get near it anyway.

We went shopping for pants for me and I was delighted to find I wasPants 3 sizes less than I thought I was. I almost enjoyed shopping for pants today – actually I hate clothes shopping and only do it when I am absolutely forced into it. I thought about ordering on line, just as well I didn’t as they would have been way too big for me. I have been putting off buying new pants because I am still dieting, kind of, although I am not losing any weight these days. As it turned out the two pairs I bought were on sale this week so I saved a few bucks. Of course I will have to pay to have them shortened. I do wish I could sew. My only claim to domesticity is cooking.

Here’s a new take on a great favourite.

Chicken and Bacon Pot Pie 


Chicken pot pie is nearly always a guaranteed win. Add Chicken & Bacon Pot Pie recipebacon, and your odds are even better. Add a cream-cheese pie crust? That's a home run for sure!

What You Need

6 slices  OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 lb.  sliced fresh mushrooms
1 baking potato (about 5 oz.), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves  garlic, minced
2 Tbsp.  flour
2-1/4 cups  fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 oz.   (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
3 cups  shredded cooked chicken
1  recipe Foolproof PHILLY Pie Crust

Make It

COOK and stir bacon in Dutch oven or large deep skillet on medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard all but 2 tsp. drippings from skillet.
ADD vegetables and garlic to reserved drippings in skillet; cook 5 min., stirring occasionally. Stir in flour; cook and stir 1 min. Gradually stir in broth. Bring to boil. Add cream cheese; cook and stir 1 min. or until cream cheese is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat; stir in chicken. Spoon into 9-inch deep-dish pie plate or shallow 1-1/2-qt. casserole; top with bacon.
HEAT oven to 400ºF. Prepare dough for Foolproof PHILLY Pie Crust and roll into shape 1/2 inch larger than top of casserole dish; place over chicken mixture. Flute edge, sealing to edge of dish. Cut several slits in crust to allow steam to escape. Place on baking sheet.
BAKE 40 min. or until golden brown, covering edge of crust with foil for the last 10 min. if necessary to prevent overbrowning.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Serving Suggestion
For a delightful brunch idea, serve this Chicken & Bacon Pot Pie with a seasonal fruit salad.
Make Ahead
Pot pie can be assembled ahead of time. Wrap with foil, then freeze up to 3 months. When ready to serve, unwrap and bake in 425ºF oven 1 hour 10 min. or until crust is golden brown and filling is heated through, covering edge of crust with foil strips before baking. (No need to thaw pie first.)
Substitute a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate for the casserole dish.

8 servings

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Birthday Lunch, Costco, New Restaurant.

We went for my free lunch at the Mandarin Chinese Restaurant Mandarin Lunchwhere I love to eat. As always I started off with their hot and sour soup which is to die for. They really make a great one. It is the Moon Festival so they had all kinds of special dishes of which I tried several. In the evening they are doing Peking Duck but we rarely go there at night, pity. Once I haMandarin Lunch2d finished the main items (I included some sushi and a few dumplings too) they came and slapped a coolie hat on my head, put a cake with a candle in front of me, sang Happy Birthday and took a picture which is in a frame which will stick to the fridge. Then I went for dessert and had moon cake which I love. Sorry Alex, I didn’t hold back, no willpower at all. I did have fresh pineapple though. Pic scanned better out of the frame.

Having had our lunch and said goodbye to our friends, we went on to Costco where we broke our bank account as usual. We don’t go often, probably we should, it wouldn’t cost us so much. We now have lots of meat, fish and chicken for the freezer plus a bunch of pills we take, not cheap but cheaper than buying them at the pharmacy.

gilt_signMy friend’s niece has just opened a restaurant in Kitchener, on King St. so we must give it a try . It’s actually very close to the bowling alley so maybe we can lunch first one of these days. Her mom owns a restaurant in Elora called Cork and this new one is called Gilt. I wish them every success in their endeavour. As yet I don’t know what they are offering in the way of food. During our bowling season we travel to different alleys and a bunch of us have lunch first. This might be a good place for us when we are at our local alley, Towne Bowl.

This recipe is so cute I couldn’t resist passing it on although Hallowe’en is not for a month or so yet.

Sugar Ghost Cupcakes

Taste of Home

 Sugar Ghost Cupcakes
I had 10 neighborhood kids stop by to help me make these cupcakes for a bake sale, though I have no doubt that most of the treats never made it that far! —Mysie Sabin, Franklin, Wisconsin

24 Servings


  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (16 ounces) miniature marshmallows
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 package (2 pounds) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
  • Blue, orange and green paste food coloring
  • Miniature peanut butter cups
  • Malted milk balls
  • Clear vanilla extract


  • Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions for cupcakes; cool completely on wire racks.
  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine marshmallows and 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in three-fourths of the sugar; turn onto a work surface coated with 3 tablespoons shortening. Knead until smooth and pliable, gradually adding remaining sugar and shortening. If necessary, moisten with remaining water. Wrap fondant in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
  • To decorate, set aside 1/4 cup frosting. Tint remaining frosting blue; frost cupcakes.
  • For ghosts: Invert two peanut butter cups and stack, securing together with a small amount of reserved frosting. Top with a malted milk ball, attaching with frosting. Repeat, forming 24 stacks.
  • On a work surface lightly sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, roll a 1-1/4-in. ball of fondant into a 4-in. circle; drape over a stack.
  • For eyes and mouth, gently cut out shapes using pastry tips. Repeat for remaining ghosts.
  • For pumpkins, stems and tendrils: Tint desired amount of fondant orange. Wrap fondant around malted milk balls; shape into pumpkins. Add imprint lines with a veining tool or toothpick.
  • For stems and tendrils, tint a small amount of fondant green. Shape into stems; attach to pumpkins using vanilla. For tendrils, roll out remaining green fondant; using a pizza cutter, cut into thin strips.
  • Gently wrap strips around toothpicks; set aside to dry. (Tightly wrap any remaining fondant in plastic wrap and store in a resealable plastic bag for another use.)
  • To finish cupcakes: Place a small amount of reserved frosting on top of each cupcake; top with a prepared ghost. Carefully remove tendrils from toothpicks and attach to pumpkins, using vanilla. Attach pumpkins to cupcakes as desired. Yield: 2 dozen.
Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave. This recipe was tested with Kraft brand marshmallows.

Have a great day

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Game of Thrones, Ostend.

Although I had read most of the books (although I don’t think I am Tyrion_Lannistercurrent with them) of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, I hadn’t watched any of the HBO series, Game of Thrones, on TV. Somehow it didn’t appeal. However, several of my friends said I should watch it and told me how good it was so I borrowed the first two episodes from the local library and watched them on Sunday night. I thoroughly enjoyed them, particularly the character of Tyrian Lannister played by Peter Dinklage who, I think, is brilliant. I have the next two episodes on the way later today. They only give me a week to watch them so I don’t want to order too many DVDs at once just in case. I think once Martin had bumped off most of the Stark family from Winterfell, Tyrion Tyreanwas my favourite character anyway. They stuck pretty well to the books but I did notice a few discrepancies which, considering how many years it is since I read the books, is quite surprising.  Also the events which occurred in different books have been aligned in the same episodes. I’m not quite sure what the timelines would have been originally. Still, all in all, it is very good and I would recommend the programme if you have never watched it.

Here’s a totally new take on French Onion Soup. It sounds delicious and something I just might have a go at for the winter. I’ve left the time in as this might require you to make it over a couple of days if you haven’t time to do it all in one hit. The thing with French Onion Soup, it takes me back to when I was in my late teens, early 20s and we would sail over to Ostend in Belgium where I had a large bunch of friends of my own age. We often ended up in the Kursaal which was both a casino and a night club where we used to dance the night away. Returning home we would often stop in at a late night restaurant for a bowl of delicious French Onion Soup.

French (Canadian) Onion Soup

Contributed by Hugue Dufour
  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN French Onion Soup2
  • SERVINGS: 10
Hugue Dufour makes a pork broth for his French onion soup using bacon for smokiness and a pig's foot for richness. Omit the pig's foot for a lighter broth.

  1. 2 pounds lean slab bacon, in one piece
  2. 1 whole pig's foot or two halves
  3. 8 large yellow onions—1 whole, 7 sliced 1/4 inch thick
  4. 2 gallons of water
  5. 1/4 cup rendered pork fat or vegetable oil
  6. Salt
  7. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  8. Two 12-ounce bottles brown ale
  9. 6 rosemary sprigs
  10. Freshly ground pepper
  11. 12 ounces rustic bread, cubed
  12. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  13. 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  14. 4 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (about 1/2 pound)
  1. In a pot, cover the bacon, pig's foot and whole onion with the water and boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the foot is tender, 3 1/2 hours. Strain the broth and return to the pot, reserving the bacon and pig's foot.
  2. Boil the broth until reduced to 2 quarts, 25 minutes; skim off the fat or refrigerate overnight and then skim off the fat. Remove all the lean meat from the bacon and pig's foot, cut into bite-size pieces and reserve.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the rendered fat. Add the sliced onions and season with salt. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring, until the onions are wilted, 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until the onions are very soft, 30 minutes. Uncover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onions are lightly browned, 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour until smooth.
  4. Return the pot to the burner. Add the strained broth, ale and 4 of the rosemary sprigs and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the soup thickens. Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes, until no floury taste remains. Add the reserved meat and season the soup with salt and pepper. Discard the rosemary.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread cubes, melted butter, garlic and the remaining 2 rosemary sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, until the croutons are crisp. Discard the rosemary and garlic.
  6. Preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into heatproof bowls on a baking sheet and top with the croutons and cheese. Broil for about 2 minutes, until bubbling, and serve.
Have a great day,