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


  1. Hi Jo - congratulations on your anniversary ... sounds as though it's been long, interesting and happy; the fall trip sounds a great idea and I love your tree ..

    Soup is always a good choice ... cheers Hilary

  2. Happy Anniversary to you and Matt, Jo - 42 years is a good achievement.
    The colours are just starting to turn here too now ... but not quite as spectacular as over your way - it would be amazing to see "the Fall".
    Have a great day.

    1. Thanks Fil. Considering we were both married before......

      Yes the Fall colours are wonderful over here, there's so much, so many trees. It really looks wonderful.

  3. Happy anniversary!
    I'm glad fall meant autumn. I was worried you'd taken a fall or something.

  4. Happy Anniversary! We are starting to see fall colours here, which seems to me to be a little early. My ex husband liked Pho. He worked w/ a Vietnamese woman that would make it and bring him some.

    1. It is early for your neck of the woods.

      Lucky ex. I wish I could be bothered to make the real stuff but it is somewhat time consuming.

  5. Happy anniversary!
    I love fall. :)

  6. Thanks Melissa.

    I do too, pity it comes before winter.

  7. Happy anniversary Jo! I wish we had a proper Autumn with all those pretty colours.

    1. Thanks Pinky. Is it just where you live or are there other areas which do have fall colours? We got fall colours in England, but nothing as vast as here.

  8. Congratulations, Jo. I hope you enjoyed your celebratory meal.

  9. Jo, HAPPY belated ANNIVERSARY!

    I wish your blog would show up on my feed because I miss some of your posts. :(