Monday, September 14, 2015

Birthday, Moon Festival, Rosh Hashana, Renovations,

Today is the anniversary of the day I first came into the world. I celebrated on Saturday really as today is the beginning of our Winter Bowling League which is kind of a celebration anyway. On Saturday we had fillet steaks with Port Wine Sauce (one of my favourites) sautéed Portobella mushrooms - a baked potato for Matt - and then followed it up with some Crème Brulée which I had bought in our grocery store. The Crème Brulées were pretty good. You have to sprinkle the sugar (provided) on top of them and then either use a torch to melt the sugar or put them under the broiler. We used to have a torch but never having used it we got rid of it a while back. Under the broiler worked but usually the sugar is hard when you get to eat it, this wasn't. We also have two new ramekin dishes which I hadn't realised when I bought them. I also bought two boxes because I hadn't known there were two desserts in each box. Duuh.  Of course we drank wine, my favourite, Zinfatuation which is a really good, dark red Zinfandel. I looked it up on line and they described it as medium purple? Whoever wrote the description seems to like the word medium too. Uses it three times. Looks dark red to me.

Tomorrow I get to go the Mandarin, our favourite Chinese restaurant, and have a free birthday meal on them. Also on the 1st of October, they are allowing all 65 yr olds, and older, 50% off their meal. Right now it's Moon Festival time and so I will be able to have some of their moon cake which I enjoy but nobody else I know seems to do. I am not sure just how authentic the recipe is, it may be altered somewhat for Western tastes. A friend's daughter was living and working in China a few years ago and I remember she hated moon cakes so it's possible they are not the same here at all. Short of taking a trip to China myself, not sure how I can taste test. Not that I wouldn't like to go to China, but not possible.

I forgot to mention that it is Rosh Hashanah today too. so to my Jewish friends Shana Tova or a Happy New Year. I know one particular friend has been cooking herself silly, for the celebration, as she does every year.

It occurs to me I haven't mentioned that the owner of this apartment building has decided to replace
all the tiles in the lobbies by each elevator entrance, i.e. all 9 floors. Thanks be that there are only 9, it is dreadful. When they were doing our floor the noise was appalling. They have removed all the tiles on both the floor and walls as well as removing some of the carpet which led into the corridors. When they were doing our floor I ended up with a migraine and a half. Of course whilst they did each floor we couldn't access the elevators so had to walk down to the next floor to get on. To get back to our apartment, I rode up to the floor above us and walked down rather than walking up. Not good at stairs. I am now wondering what kind of tiles they are going to put in. The original were little tiny ones. I was speculating that they would come in sheets rather than having to lay individual tiny tiles. I will be interested to see what we get. These don't look so small now although they did when I googled. There were different colours on some floors. One floor had a deep red which I personally did not like at all. Ours were a creamy yellow. They could use wallpaper changes in a few corridors too and maybe new carpet. They were probably fine when first laid or papered, but today they are somewhat out of date. Of course, I didn't even mention the dust, Oy vey!

Talk about coincidence, on Friday I talked about our local restaurant and how I had eaten Mantu which were Afghani beef dumplings. Now in the mail I get Turkish Manti which is a slightly different recipe, but essentially, beef dumplings. This came in an email from Food & Wine. I rather like the sound of the Tomato Butter Sauce.

Manti with Tomato Butter and Yogurt

Contributed by Scott Conant
Manti with Tomato Butter and Yogurt

Servings: 6

These classic boiled Turkish dumplings are filled with tasty ground beef and served with generous amounts of smoky tomato-butter sauce and garlicky yogurt sauce.



  1. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Meat Filling

  1. 1/2 pound ground beef
  2. 1 small onion, grated
  3. 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  4. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Yogurt Sauce

  1. 1 cup Greek yogurt
  2. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic
  3.  Kosher salt

Tomato-Butter Sauce

  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  3. 1 teaspoon paprika
  4. Dried mint and Aleppo pepper, for garnish
  1. Make the dough In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients with 5 tablespoons of water and mix with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Clean the bowl and return the dough to it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Make the meat filling In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Make the yogurt sauce In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and garlic and season with salt. Mix well and refrigerate.
  4. Make the tomato-butter sauce In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the tomato sauce 
and paprika and keep warm.
  5. Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  6. On a lightly floured work surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough 1/16 inch thick. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares. Spoon 
1/2 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square. To form the manti, fold the dough over the filling to form a triangle; press the edges together to seal. Transfer the manti to the prepared baking sheet.
  7. In a large pot of boiling water, boil the manti until tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowls. Top with the yogurt sauce and warm butter sauce, sprinkle with dried mint and Aleppo pepper and serve.

Have a great day


  1. Replies
    1. Not belated Betty. It's right on time. thanks.

  2. And a Happy Belated Birthday to you! I wish I had your energy to blog everyday.

    1. Not Belated Denise, it's today. You have a garden to deal with, I don't.

  3. Sounds like you're going to make the most of your birthday. Many happy returns.

    1. Hope so Helen. Thanks. Only trouble is they have started removing tiles on the floor above us. Help!!!

  4. Happy birthday Jo!!!!! I hope you have a great day!

  5. Happy anniversary-of-the-day-you-first-came-into-the-world! Or birthday, for short!

    I've tried my fair share of Asian cuisine, but have never heard of a mooncake. Or Turkish dumplings. But those look heavenly. I'm a big fan of yogurty garlic sauces. And according to Google, I see mooncakes are often filled with sweet bean paste. I know many don't, but I like that taste.

    1. Thanks so much Bryan. Assume it's you.

      I love the taste of the mooncakes, personally.

  6. Happy belated birthday! How did I miss it? Too busy this weekend I guess.
    Never had moon cakes. Had a moon pie once.

    1. Thanks Alex. You didn't miss it, my birthday is today. Not sure why everyone thinks it's belated. I am unfamiliar with moon pie.

  7. Hi Jo - happy very belated birthday ... but am glad you're having a good time and being able to enjoy some things. The lunch today should be good and another to look forward to at the beginning of October (I wrote April - thankfully I checked .. the brain's out of synch!!!) . Zinfatuation sounds fun ... and as you say it's a good tasting wine ...

    Cheers and happy birthday - sorry about the tiling ... Hilary

    1. It's today Hilary even though we sort of celebrated on Saturday. Lunch at home today, at the Chinese tomorrow.

      Not half as sorry as we are about the tiling, they are on the 6th floor today and it's almost as bad as when they were on our floor which was horrific.

  8. Sounds like quite a weekend you had, Jo! May you have many more happy birthdays!

    1. Thanks Satima. Bowling is my celebration today then a free lunch tomorrow.

  9. Happy Birthday, a little late. With my knees I actually find it easier to go up stairs than down. Sounds like you had a pretty good birthday. I eat Chinese but never the deserts. Might have to try it.

    Susan Says

    1. Thanks Susan. Quite the opposite to most people going up rather than down. Chinese is for tomorrow. They only have the moon cake at this time of year, normally I have Flan and/or fresh pineapple.

  10. Happy Birthday! I think you wouldn't mind at all celebrating your birthday by going bowling:) The Mandarin is always great and I love their buffet. One day i will find a great recipe for original creamy creme brulee as i want to try to make it from day.

    1. Not at all Birgit, I bowled pretty well too. First game was 213 which is very good for me. Thanks for the good wishes. You should try the President's Choice ones, they aren't bad at all.