Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Bowling, Mexico.

I was expecting our cleaner this morning, but for some reason I had it fixed in my mind she was coming at 10, of course she came at 9. I had just got out of the shower and Matt was just about to step in although he, at least, was still dressed. What an idiot. I have no idea why I thought 10. She has been here 3 or 4 times now and always at 9. Worked out OK though.

Later we went bowling, at least we tried bowling, but neither of  us could do anything today, no idea why. Every time I threw a strike I ended up getting 2 points on it. Matt beat me every time although I did win one game by one point LOL.

Our league starts on Sept. 12 but one woman came in during the afternoon thinking the league had started today. Our winter league is always on Monday.

I just heard that dear Donald visited Mexico today (Wednesday) and spoke to their president, and is now softening his stance on Mexico. What a hypocrite.

This sounds like an interesting recipe from Nestlé.

Beef Choufleur

This dish is a fusion of east and west; it combines butter-browned beef with a savory sauce of soy
sauce, garlic and broth.

6 oz beef round steak, 1/3-inch thick
2 tsp butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups cauliflower florets
1/2 small green bell pepper, seeded and cut into ¾-inch pieces
4 tsp soy sauce
1/2 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp sugar
1/2 cup beef broth or water
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 cup hot cooked rice

1. Cut meat into ½-inch squares. Brown meat in butter about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, green pepper, soy sauce and garlic. Stir lightly to coat vegetables with soy sauce. Cover pan and simmer until vegetables are barely tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Blend cornstarch, sugar and broth. Add to meat mixture with green onions. Cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly heated and sauce is thickened. Serve over beds of fluffy rice.

Servings: 2

Have a great day

Pete's Dragon

I loved it. I laughed and I cried and was delighted with the ending. The dragon is not the usual animal with reptilian skin, this one is furry which makes him easier to hang on to when you are flying with him. He's pretty good at breathing fire
too but is generally pretty soft.My friend enjoyed the movie very much too. The picture on the right is Pete being hugged by the dragon. Just before they part company. Cue for tears. If you are a big ol' softie like me, you will enjoy the movie. A little girl in the theatre obviously wasn't too thrilled as she kept talking the whole time plus making 2 bathroom visits. I am definitely planning on owning a copy in the future. I would certainly like to see it again. Oh, and it wasn't in 3D. I don't know where I got that idea from, but I asked one of the staff and she said it wasn't listed as being shown in 3D this week. Pity. I have always regretted I didn't see Avatar in 3D. One thing, the guy who shot Elliot was so very familiar but I couldn't place him. When I got home I looked it up and it was Karl Urban who is very familiar to me from Almost Human which was a TV show recommended to me by Alex J Cavenaugh. Handsome feller even if he was the baddie in this movie.

Having posted a more mundane egg recipe yesterday, I thought I would post an exotic one today.

Baked Eggs with Mushroom Sauce

2 Tbs butter
4 eggs
8 oz sliced mixed mushrooms, including shiitake and oyster
4 packed cups baby spinach
3/4 cup whipping cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 drops truffle oil or to taste

1. Preheat oven to 300°F.

2. Butter four 1-cup ramekins or glass dishes. Break an egg into each one and top each egg with a tiny knob of butter

3. Place ramekins into a baking dish and fill dish with boiling water halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Place in oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until egg whites are opaque and yolk is just set but still runny. It will continue to cook once the sauce is spooned over it. Remove ramekins from water bath.

4. While the eggs are cooking, heat the remaining butter in a skillet over high heat and add mushrooms. Sauté for 2 minutes or until mushrooms are just cooked. Add spinach and cook 1 minute longer or until spinach wilts. Add cream and bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper and add truffle oil.

5. Divide sauce between ramekins and spoon over eggs. Serve at once with some crusty bread to sop up the sauce.

Servings: 4

Source: Food and Drink

Author Notes
I had this dish in Paris at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, one of the best restaurants in Paris. L'Atelier has since become a mini chain with outposts in London, New York, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Tokyo and soon Tel Aviv. Robuchon served this appetizer in a Martini glass but he cooked it sous vide which is not available to home cooks. We used ramekins. Be sure to measure the size of your ramekins. You will need a 1 cup capacity to hold both the egg and the sauce. Timing is important here. You can make the sauce well ahead and bring back to a boil just before pouring over the hot eggs. This will cook the yolk slightly more. When you eat it, the egg breaks and mixes with the rich sauce. Serve as a luxurious first course.

Have a great day

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Foot Nurse, Movie.

Today our foot nurse comes to see us. Thank goodness. She has only been once since the bed bug situation - we thought things were clear so she came, but then I had to tell her not to come again. I will be so glad. I seem to be totally incapable of looking after my own feet any more, I have been going to a foot nurse, one way or another, for a very long time now. I started when I had a hip replacement in '04 I think. Carried on because of diabetes which my current doctor actually thinks I probably never had.

This afternoon I am going, with a friend, to see Pete's Dragon. I am particularly looking forward to it because it is in 3D. Some friends won't go to that. I hope the one going with me tomorrow is OK I believe she hasn't been to a 3D movie before. This seems to be quite a bit different from the one I saw with Helen Reddy many, many years ago. Looks a lot more scary too. Mind you where the name Elliot came from I cannot imagine, it is not a very draconian name.

I found this recipe in the New York Times email and tried it for supper on Monday night. We both enjoyed it very much. It's easy peasy to do too. For us, I reduced the spaghetti to 6 oz. which was plenty. I also used wholewheat spaghetti instead of the regular. On the website there are comments and one woman said she separated the eggs, cooked the whites and put the yolks into the pasta raw. The heat of the pasta cooks them of course. I just fried them lightly and it worked fine. This is definitely a keeper. I should warn you though, because of the oil, it has a high fat content. Oh, another thing, wait until the spaghetti is just about done before you start cooking the eggs.

Spaghetti With Fried Eggs

½ lb thin spaghetti
6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil or lard
2 large cloves garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
4 eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese, optional

1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Start the sauce in the next step, and start cooking the pasta when the water boils.

2. Combine garlic and 4 tablespoons of the oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the garlic, pressing it into the oil occasionally to release its flavor; it should barely color on both sides. Remove the garlic, and add the remaining oil.

3. Fry the eggs gently in the oil, until the whites are just about set and the yolks still quite runny. Drain the pasta, and toss with the eggs and oil, breaking up the whites as you do. (The eggs will finish cooking in the heat of the pasta.) Season to taste, and serve immediately, with cheese if you like.

Servings: 2

Author: Suzy Allman for The New York Times

Author Notes
Here's a quick and delicious pasta dish to make when you have little time, and even less food in the house. All you need is a box of spaghetti, four eggs, olive oil and garlic (Parmesan is a delicious, but optional, addition).

Have a great day

Monday, August 29, 2016

Great Barrier Reef, Flank Steak,

Saturday night we watched Coast: Australia. It was particularly about the Great Barrier Reef and they mentioned that Google are helping to finance research of the reef. So, of course, I had to Google. I found lots of YouTube videos of life on the reef. Beautiful and fascinating.

This video is quite long but well worth watching if you are interested in this kind of thing. Obviously I am and I hope you are too. Particularly as the reef is suffering damage and was recently the subject of a fight to prevent oil drilling in the area.

I have mentioned Flank Steak a few times lately. It is a somewhat tougher cut of meat and has to be marinated; the other week Matt threw some away because he said it was too tough to eat. So, I came across the following recipe and thought I would try it. In fact the recipe I found was for pork tenderloin but there was, originally, a note saying Flank Steak could be used, so use it I did. My picture isn't very good I'm afraid. Matt had already started eating plus you cannot see there is rice underneath. I have another serving left and am dithering with whether to re-heat it or serve it cold. It was really delicious and pretty spicy hot. I put all the marinating ingredients into the bag first and then added the meat. less messy.

Korean Bulgogi Flank Steak

A Korean inspired recipe of marinated meat. Easy, quick and delicious. No wonder it's one of Korea's
most beloved meat dishes. Pork tenderloin can be used.

1 lb flank steak
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs fresh ginger, peeled and grated, about 1 inch piece
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs red chili flakes
½ pear, grated
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 Tbs light brown sugar
2 green onions, chopped for garnish
2 Tbs vegetable oil, for cooking meat

1. Prepare the beef by cutting it into really thin slices. Place the meat in a ziploc bag. Set aside.

2. In a bowl add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, chili flakes, pear, sesame oil and brown sugar. Whisk everything together well. Pour the marinade over the beef, close the ziploc bag and shake it around a bit to make sure that the all the meat is covered in the marinade. Let it marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

3. Add 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat it over medium high heat. Add half of the meat to the skillet and arrange it so that it's in a single layer. Cook it for about 3 minutes without touching the meat, or until the meat starts to brown, almost char, then turn it and cook for another 3 minutes until it's browned on both sides. Remove from skillet to a bowl and set aside.

4. Add the remaining tbsp of vegetable oil and remaining meat along with remaining marinade. Repeat cooking the same as above.

5. Serve over cooked rice or noodles and garnish with chopped green onions.

Servings: 4

Author: Jo Cooks

Author Notes
You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs or pork tenderloin

Have a great day

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday Recipe

My email has been up the shoot all of Friday so far, some have got through. But mostly the whole system is FUBAR. So I went to LCBO Food and Drink to find a recipe for today and came across an old Australian recipe I haven't seen in years. Graham Kerr (do you remember him?) had a recipe for this in his cookbook. Be a pretty expensive dish to make in Ontario - I could have made it more cheaply when we lived in North Carolina.

By: Lucy Waverman 

You need thick New York sirloins to do this dish properly. How this dish came by its name is lost in time, (some say it is an American invention) but carpetbagger steaks are an Australian
specialty - the word derives from the bags that people carried their valuables in when they emigrated. Serve with sautéed mushrooms and grilled potatoes.

1/4 cup (50 mL) butter
16 shucked oysters
1 tsp (5 mL) hot pepper sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) grated lemon rind
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped chives
2 to 3 tbsp (25 to 45 mL) fresh breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 New York sirloin steaks, about 10 oz (300 g) each
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil


1 bunch watercress
1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Heat butter in skillet over medium heat. Add oysters, hot pepper sauce, lemon rind and chives. Sauté until edges of oysters begin to curl, about 1 minute. Stir in enough breadcrumbs to absorb any juices. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to plate and cool.
  2. Make a pocket on the long side of the steak, opposite the fat, leaving a1/2-inch (1-cm) border on each side. Do not cut through the fat side. Stuff 4 oysters into each steak. Use a toothpick to skewer together the opening.
  3. Preheat grill to high. Brush steak with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill. Grill 4 to 5 minutes per side, turning once, or until juices just begin to appear on top. The steak should be medium-rare for the best taste.
  4. While steak is cooking, trim stems from watercress and toss leaves with vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on plates and serve alongside the steak.

Serves 4

Have a great weekend

Friday, August 26, 2016

Emigration Story for Gary.

A very good blogging buddy, whom most of you will know as Penny's alleged human, has been having all kinds of problems getting into Canada. Although he was born in the UK, his parents live in BC and he visits regularly. Some of his visits last quite a while I gather. I think he may finally have got it sorted and will be winging his way to BC any day. Anyway, Gary, this post is for you.

His story reminded me of the saga of us trying to emigrate some 40 odd years ago. It all started when the Canadian prison service came to the UK recruiting prison offices in England to come to
Canada. Unfortunately we were on vacation with my parents in Spain. When we returned Matt was somewhat unhappy that this had happened. However, I didn't want to go one little bit. So he let it drop. Yours truly mulled over the situation for a while and then said maybe we should consider it. Matt immediately produced all kinds of leaflets. Hmm!! So then it started. We went to Ontario house in London where an employee informed us there were no jobs to be had in Canada at that time. In the end, Matt flew to Canada (something we could hardly afford at the time) had an interview with the Canadian prison service, got a contract of employment and returned. Whilst doing this he stayed with the English guys who had been recruited before. Returning to Ontario House, the man told us we couldn't possibly get all the medical "stuff" done in a short time, would take a year or more he said. He didn't know the prison service in the UK. Matt knew all kinds of doctors through the prison system and we got the tests done in a few days. We then returned to Ontario House with all the documents and the little man  (little Hitler)was flabbergasted, but still insisted we couldn't possibly go, not sure why now. By this time the best part of a year had flown by. Matt blew up and insisted on seeing a supervisor. She came along, asked what the problem was, we explained it, she said no problem and stamped everything cleared right away. I would like to think the little man got into trouble, but I suppose he didn't. I don't remember if he was a Canadian or a Brit.

Then, we put the house up for sale and Matt hi tailed it to take up his job in Canada and I stayed
Vicious Dog
behind to sort everything out. We had two German Shepherds at the time and I was assured the older one would never make the trip. I ended having to have her put to sleep. Cried my eyes out that day. However, we did take the younger one with us. By this time, my newly widowed mother was staying with me and was driving me up the wall, sorry everyone, we just did not get along. In the end I just packed up myself and the dog, sent my mother to her wards and boarded a plane to Toronto. When I got there, with 6 suitcases and a dog in a crate, I found Matt the wrong side of customs, he had persuaded them to let him through to help me. We turned round to see the crate in which the dog, Brandy, was penned to find out one of the customs officers had let her out and was playing with her. Encounter with little Hitler #2 who came blustering along to tell us to put this dangerous animal back in her crate. She was licking the other guy to death!! We said there was no way we could carry the crate with us and swore blind we would return for it. We never did. We had a Pinto, small car, poor Brandy was sitting on the back seat in a small space left to her by the 6 suitcases. By this time I was not too impressed with Canadian officialdom.

I may have mentioned, a time or two, how much I love chocolate. When I saw this recipe today, I couldn't resist sharing it.

Chocolate Blackout Cake

Food and Wine

Pastry star Gale Gand layers her phenomenal, high-rising cake with an intensely chocolaty custard
and coats it with cake crumbs.

1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
2 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (See Note)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk

3 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbs light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups unsweetened natural cocoa powder (See Note)
2/3 cup cornstarch
6 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1. MAKE THE CAKE Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and coat lightly with flour. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. In a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the 1 stick of butter with the shortening until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Add the vanilla. At very low speed, beat in the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the 2 1/4 cups of cake flour and the milk in 3 separate alternating batches, scraping down the side and bottom of the bowl occasionally.

2. MAKE THE CAKE Divide the cake batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes, then invert them onto a rack and let cool completely.

3. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING In a large saucepan, combine 2 1/2 cups of the water with the sugar, corn syrup and cocoa powder and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. In a bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the remaining 1/2 cup of water until smooth; whisk into the cocoa mixture. Cook over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, until very thick, 3 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the butter, vanilla and salt. Scrape the filling into a bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling (you should have about 5 cups). Let cool, then refrigerate until firm, 45 minutes.

4. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING Using a serrated knife, halve each cake layer horizontally. Break up the less attractive top cake layer and transfer to a food processor; pulse into crumbs. Reserve the two cake bottoms and one smoother top.

5. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING Set one of the cake bottoms on a cake plate and spread with 1 1/2 cups of the filling. Top with the second bottom layer and another 1 1/2 cups of filling. Cover with the cake top and spread the remaining filling all over the top and side. Pat the crumbs all over the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


7. The chocolate cake can be refrigerated overnight.

Servings: 10

Author Notes
Natural cocoa powder is one of two types of unsweetened cocoa. It's bitter and adds intense chocolate flavor to the cake. Don't use Dutch-process or other alkalized cocoa; when combined with baking soda, it can make a cake taste soapy.

Have a great day

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Laundry, Bowling, Balconies.Coupons.

Slap hand, I completely forgot to finish this on Tuesday night. Sorry.

The laundry saga turned out to be easy as pie. I went down to the money machine this morning, authorised the maximum deposit of $30 with my credit card for which I was charged 85¢. I will use my debit card in future. Pity I like using my credit card because I get money back, but I would lose on a charge like that. So then I went to wash some towels. You just shove your card in the slot and proceed as normal. It also tells you how much money you have left after the use of each machine.

Just got a call from the bowling alley that they still don't have the upstairs lanes available for play because of the dressing and whatever else they do to the lanes. I know the downstairs had more done
than upstairs this year. They have a birthday party going on downstairs so if we don't want to bowl in the dark we can come in later. I don't mind bowling in the strobe lights, it's rather fun, so we will see what time we go in. When we got there, no strobe lights. I gather half the birthday party went to the wrong alley. Wish they all had. There was one little kid who shrieked. I said I would smack the kid, Matt said he would smack the mother. It was awful. However, I had two good games and  one lousy. Mat just had one good game.

Today, Wednesday, they have brought in a new crane, bit like a fireman's, it carries people, so I am guessing they are going to start doing the walls. Hurrah. I know people were somewhat unhappy that they hadn't had a balcony this long. I have no idea what they are doing but they seem to have drilled a largish hole towards the back of the balcony, into the new concrete?? Damned if I know what that's all about. Will have to wait and see. Seems nuts to me but no doubt all will be revealed in the future. Tried to take a picture but wrong angle.

I forgot to mention, I wrote about getting coupons the other day. I received coupons from Frito Lay for the pork rinds I like as a snack. They sent me enough to buy two bags. Today I received a coupon from Hershey's - $1. A  bag of Kisses costs about $4. I felt like sending it back and saying they needed it more than I do. OK I didn't really lose out according to them, but I think sending $1 is somewhat short sighted. I mean really, what can you do with $1 these days.

I always enjoy salmon. I am particularly fond of smoked salmon. One of the owners at the bowling alley says he prefers his fish cooked LOL. I cannot convince him that smoked is the same as cooked.

Easy Teriyaki Salmon Rice Bowl

Ready to be bowled over? Check out this incredible Japanese-style Teriyaki Salmon Rice Bowl, an
easy, healthy and extremely tasty meal. The homemade teriyaki sauce (it's easy, we promise) is lustrous and lends a sweet and tangy glaze to the tender roasted salmon. Paired with sautéed spinach and creamy avocado, this hearty-yet-healthy salmon is superb.

Honey Teriyaki Sauce
6 Tbs soy sauce
6 Tbs mirin
6 Tbs sake
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs water
4 (6oz) salmon fillets
2 tsp olive oil
10 oz baby spinach
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked Jasmine or brown rice
1 large ripe avocado, thinly sliced, for garnish
Black sesame seeds, for garnish
Green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

1. For the teriyaki sauce, in a small bowl, whisk soy sauce, mirin, sake and honey. In another small bowl, combine cornstarch and water and mix until smooth. Set aside. Remove 3 tbsp of soy mixture for marinating salmon. Pour remaining soy mixture in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Whisk in cornstarch mixture and continuously whisk until desired thickness, about 2 minutes.

2. Place salmon fillets in a large reusable plastic bag and add reserved 3 tbsp of soy mixture. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove salmon from marinade and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and brush the top of each salmon fillet with a generous amount of teriyaki sauce. Return to oven and bake 3-5 minutes more until fish flakes easily. Remove from oven.

4. While the fish cooks, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add spinach, salt and pepper and toss to coat with olive oil. Cover and cook for 1 minute, uncover, turn heat to high and cook 1 minute more while continuously stirring. Remove from heat.

5. To assemble bowls, place cooked rice in the bottom of each bowl. Divide sautéed spinach between the 4 bowls and lay salmon over spinach. Garnish each bowl with a few slices of avocado, a sprinkling of sesame seeds and green onions. Drizzle remaining teriyaki sauce over finished bowls.

Servings: 4

Source: ZoomerMedia Limited

Have a great day

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Reading, A Funny, New Laundry System,

I am reading the most delightful book at the moment, The Little Paris Bookshop. "Monsieur Perdu can prescribe the perfect book for a broken heart. But can he fix his own?" The bookshop owner, M. Perdu has a barge on the River Seine which he has converted to a bookstore. He won't, basically, sell you just any book, but one which he thinks fits you personally and which can cure what ails you. Unfortunately he cannot prescribe a book like that for himself. The book is full of interesting characters and resonates of France. M. Perdu himself lost his love 20 years before and although she sent him a letter he has never opened it - until now - after Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself. The book is written by Nina George. She is, apparently, a very prolific writer and hails from Germany.

I also just finished a book by Clive Cussler. This author was recommended by a bowling friend who apparently reads many of the books I too enjoy so I decided to try one. I enjoyed it, but the premise seemed a bit far fetched and the situations people got into were not so exciting because you know they will get out of them. Yes, this applies to most books, but these guys were in and out of situations on almost every page. I have ordered another from the library. We'll see how I get on with that.

To my author friends, I thought this one was perfect for you. It's from How to Geek.
Matt went to the laundry room this morning only to find that the machines were not available. He
later ran into some other tenants who told him what was happening. Finally, I was off to exercise class when I met the Property Manager and the Super's wife who were going round delivering a special card and a leaflet explaining how to use it. It turns out there is a new machine downstairs which you use to load money onto this card - using either a credit or debit card or cash - and then use the card on the machines to pay for washing and drying. At that  time it will tell you how much money you have left on your card. So, OK, No problem, right? Wrong. For a start in the exercise class we have a number of elderly people who don't understand any of this. Our 94 yr. old was in tears because the whole thing was confusing her badly. A neighbour is going to show her how to use it all. She doesn't have a credit card and doesn't really understand a debit card. She pays for everything with cash. Some of the others were similarly confused it seemed. Not only that, we couldn't use the machine today so the neighbour couldn't demonstrate how it worked. I mentioned to the super's wife that this woman was so upset. She was extremely unsympathetic (big surprise) and said her son could explain it. He doesn't live in the building!! For me, I am quite happy as it means I can charge the money to my Visa on which I get cash back and we don't have to go to the bank all the time to get coins for the machines.  Only trouble was, I wanted to load the card today because we have a load of towels to wash, guess I was out of luck.

This looks wonderful to me but I don't think Matt would like it somehow. He doesn't like kimchi for a start, I gobble it down.

Cold Spicy Kimchi Noodles

Could this be the anti-ramen? Either way, it’s my new favorite cold pasta, custom-made for hot summer weather
because it is refreshingly and unapologetically spicy. Make the sauce in advance, but wait to toss with the noodles until just before serving. While you could order Korean ingredients online, it’s more fun to go to a Korean supermarket, if only to see all the different types of kimchi. Korean red pepper flakes are without seeds, and only medium hot, so you can use a lot.

1 cup finely chopped kimchi, plus 2 tablespoons kimchi juice
1 medium garlic clove, grated
2 tsp grated ginger
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
1 Tbs Japanese red miso
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 Tbs rice vinegar
2 Tbs lime juice
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp fish sauce
½ tsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
8 oz flat rice noodles or soba noodles
1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced into half-moons (about 1 cup)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
3 or 4 large red radishes, sliced into thin rounds
½ cup scallions, slivered
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced (optional)
3 eggs, boiled for 7 minutes, cooled in ice water, peeled and halved (cook 9 minutes for a firmer yolk)
2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds
Cilantro sprigs or chopped cilantro, for garnish
Lime wedges, for serving

1. Make the sauce: Put the kimchi, juice, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, gochujang, miso, sesame oil, rice vinegar, lime juice, orange zest, fish sauce and gochugaru in a mixing bowl, and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust salt. Let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes (or you can store overnight in the fridge, covered).

2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through but still firm. Drain in a colander, transfer to a bowl of cold water to cool, then drain again and set aside, covered with a towel.

3. Just before serving, put noodles in a large mixing bowl. Add the sauce, along with cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, scallions and chile (if using) and toss gently to coat. Divide among individual serving bowls. Top each bowl with a halved egg, sesame seeds, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

Servings: 4-6

Author: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Have a great day

Monday, August 22, 2016

Open Fires, Outhouses

I was eating a piece of toast and started thinking about toasters and then open fires. I don't suppose there are many places where homes are heated by open fireplaces any more which made me nostalgic for the days when we used to toast bread on a long fork held up to the flames. Crumpets too were toasted this way and another thing we used to do was to butter one side of a piece of bread and toast the other. Delicious. The fire used to give the toast such an excellent flavour which a toaster doesn't achieve. As the song says, we also used to 'roast chestnuts over an open fire' too. In fact we had a brass bed warmer which was actually an antique and we would put the chestnuts inside to cook them. Not good for the antique I guess. Looking for a picture, I see still sells toasting forks so I guess there are still lots of open fires in the UK. Many older houses are probably still heated that way. Only trouble with that, you were usually warm enough in the room with the fire, but when you left to go to another room or to bed, it used to be chilly as all get out. However, toasting over an open fire is a gustatory experience not to be missed.

There are many, many older house in the UK and I don't suppose that many of them have been retro
fitted with central heating although these days they probably have electric heaters all over the place. I remember my first parents-in-law having a toilet outside, built on to the house, but you had to go outside to use it and the seat could ice up during the winter, causing all kinds of problems. Now I think of it, this was very much the case in Canada until quite recently. I have stayed in places where they had little or no plumbing and the toilets were outhouses. I remember one place in the Algonquin Park area where there were bears around and I made Matt come outside with me - I would NOT go out there alone in the dark. Not sure what he would have done if a bear had turned up mind you. There are probably many outlying places in Canada that do not have regular indoor pluming due to the vast distances. However, I expect most have septic tanks these days.

For my vegan friends. You do need an ice cream maker for this unfortunately. I remember my mother used to make ice cream in the freezer without any machines. We used to have ice trays with removal dividers. I assume you can still buy those. She used to take out the dividers and put the ice cream mix in the trays. It was good.

Chocolate Cashew Vegan Ice Cream

Source: Rick Martinez, Bon Apétit

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cup raw cashews
4 oz vegan, soy lecithin-free, dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons organic or granulated sugar
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp kosher salt
1 cup virgin coconut oil, melted, cooled slightly

1. Place vanilla bean and cashews in a large bowl and add 2 cups boiling water. Cover and let sit at room temperature at least 12 hours (hydrating the cashews thoroughly is key for a silky, smooth ice cream).

2. Heat chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring, until melted. Remove from heat and let sit, stirring occasionally, until cool, 10–15 minutes.

3. Transfer melted chocolate and cashews and their soaking liquid to a blender. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; discard pod. Add sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Purée until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the motor running on medium speed, slowly stream in oil and purée until thick and creamy.

4. Immediately process cashew mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. (Head’s up: this will take longer than a traditional dairy-based custard to reach soft-serve consistency.) Do not chill before processing or oil will harden into tiny bits and texture will be grainy.

5. Transfer to an airtight container and press plastic wrap directly onto surface. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

6. Do Ahead: Cashews can be soaked 3 days ahead; cover and chill. Ice cream can be made 1 month ahead; keep frozen.

Yield: 1 Quart

Have a great day

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saturday Recipe

We've been eating a lot of flank steak recently. It is delicious if marinated but it must be cut on the bias across the grain. I mentioned we tried buying some with a store marinade but didn't think much of it. I thought you might be interested in what I do. This isn't a recipe with measurements I'm afraid, I just do what quantities I think I need. There are, of course lots of recipes online, but this is the way I do it and we enjoy this recipe.

Marinated Flank Steak

In a large plastic bag I pour some olive oil and a good quantity of soy sauce. I then add a couple of
cloves of crushed garlic, some slices of fresh ginger, a lot of dried oregano, salt and pepper. I also add several shakes of Tabasco. Make sure there is enough oil and soy sauce to coat the meat. I then stab the meat a few times and plonk it into the plastic bag which I seal. I shake it all up well and put it into the fridge. This is done first thing in the morning and during the day I periodically turn the bag over shaking up the meat in the marinade.

By supper time, I remove the meat from the marinade and pat it fairly dry. For those of you who have them, no doubt barbecues would work really well, but I just cook mine in a dry iron skillet giving it about 3 minutes a side. We do like our meat rare though. A flank steak isn't very thick anyway so don't overcook it. Cutting it on the bias is important though, it makes it more edible.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, August 19, 2016

It's All Sports,

I just heard, on TV, that Lebron James signed a contract for $100 million. To me that's obscene. I know he will get taxed heavily but he will be left with more than most of us earn in a lifetime. When one is a pensioner, it really does annoy you, well me certainly.

Once again being a Thursday I bowled a really good game. I think I need a hypnotist to make me think league days are the same as non-league days. I bowled pretty well on Wednesday too now it
doesn't matter or affect anything.

I have just watched Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter or the fastest man in the world, win the 200 metre. He has now won the 100 and 200 metre races in the Games 3 times. Absolutely fantastic. However the Canadian, Andre Degrasse won the silver and this is his first Olympic Games. Wonderful effort. They seem to think that he is going to be taking over from Bolt. I haven't been watching a lot of the Olympics this year, not sure why, but I just had to watch that race tonight. The picture shows the heat in which  Bolt and Degrasse were exchanging smiles.

That was yesterday of course, today for me is my exercise class this afternoon. I am astounded that such gentle exercises as they seem to be, have, nevertheless, helped me a great deal. A lot of it is designed to give your muscles a memory of what to do when you stagger in the hope of preventing a fall.

This is different, but it looks delicious.

No-bake Snickers cheesecake

Source: Good to Know

Serves 8-10


For the base:
  • 200g peanut cookies, crushed
  • 50g butter, melted

For the filling:
  • 2 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water
  • 500g mascarpone cheese
  • 200g full fat cream cheese
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 100g mixed nuts, crushed (we used peanuts and pistachios)

To decorate:
  • 4 regular Snickers bars, roughly chopped
  • 50g milk chocolate, melted
  • 6tbsp Carnation caramel
  • 1-2tbsp chopped peanuts and pistachios


  1. Line an 18cm loose-base tin with greaseproof paper. In a large mixing bowl crush the peanut cookies using the end of a rolling pin or the base of a wooden spoon. Stir through the butter and press into the tin to form the base of the cheesecake and chill until needed.
  2. Remove the gelatine from the cold water and add to 50ml of water in a small pan to dissolve over a gentle heat.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone, cream cheese and icing sugar until well combined. Stir through the dissolved gelatine and the crushed nuts.
  4. Spoon the mixture onto the base and smooth over. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Once set, remove from the tin, spoon over the caramel sauce, top with Snickers, drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle over the nuts.  

 Have a great day


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Last day of Summer League, Rain,

I expected sandwiches at the bowling alley final banquet. We got Kentucky Fried. I enjoyed it although I was a good girl and removed most of the breading. Pity, it's the best part. However, Matt couldn't be less interested and would have preferred sandwiches with the result that he didn't have much lunch at all. Much to my surprise I won the ladies' high single with handicap. Matt won one of the many 50/50 prizes - so didn't do badly. In fact the two other guys on our team also won prizes for high single and high triple - I think. As usual my ticket didn't turn up on the 50/50 draws and there were lots of them for the last day. Ah well. Of course I bowled pretty well today as it didn't count for anything except my personal satisfaction. Our team members wanted to know why I hadn't done that during the season. I wish I had. The winter league starts on September 12th. The Monday before being Labour Day. We will be bowling tomorrow - wasn't sure because the lanes are being "dressed". Unlike most people, Matt and I bowl right through to the Winter League.

We have been having more rain together with thunder and lightening today. From the sublime to the ridiculous. Everywhere is looking very green though which is nice to see. I hear the Cape Cod area is still parched though. The weather seems totally unbalanced with some areas in drought and others being flooded.

I would never have thought about using pecans to coat chicken.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken
This recipe coats tender chicken breasts with a buttery pecans flavored with spicy chipotle and zesty orange. Serve with a spinach salad.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 1-1 1/4 pounds, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, or pieces
  • 1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest, freshly grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


Step 1
Working with one piece of chicken at a time, place between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even 1/4-inch thickness.
Step 2
Place pecans, breadcrumbs, orange zest, salt and ground chipotle in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish. Whisk egg white and water in a shallow dish until combined. Dip each chicken breast in the egg-white mixture, then dredge both sides in the pecan mixture.
Step 3
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the chicken and cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add the remaining oil. Cook the remaining chicken, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent scorching. Serve immediately.

Have a great day

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Car, Breakfasts

Well I am pleased to report that our ancient vehicle passed it's emissions test with flying colours. Always a relief. Mind you we have it serviced regularly. I can now send for our sticker. Only trouble is I forgot to get the odometer reading. Have to get it when we go bowling today. This is our final day of the summer league when we have a luncheon of sandwiches etc. and prizes are awarded. As our team didn't get any higher than 4th we are not likely to get any. Unless we have any individual prizes. That is possible. I am not sure if we will be bowling on Thursday as we usually do because the lanes are being "dressed" which is something which has to be done every year. We might go to another alley instead. We shall see.

We've certainly been getting lots of rain lately. Maybe the drought is over? I hope. We went shopping this afternoon and it was only drizzling although in the morning it had been pretty wet. We were supposed to get a big storm but it didn't happen. Matt was out in the morning and said the wipers hadn't been used in so long they were squeaking.

I found some frozen escargots whilst in the grocery store. We had eaten them before from there and
they were pretty good. I also found some frozen kippers. Yippee, something else I can eat for breakfast. Not like the kippers we used to get in England, but still, kippers. The pictures show kippers like we used to get them. I miss a lot of things we used to have for breakfasts when I was a youngster. I guess I didn't realise how lucky I was at the time. My father would never have been content to have cereals every day, not sure he ever ate them, He did eat porridge or oatmeal as it is called here. He is the only person I ever knew who sprinkled salt on his porridge instead of sugar. It is supposed to be what the Scots do or did I don't know how true that is. We also used to have pickled pork belly or salted brisket. Herrings rolled in oatmeal and fried, smoked haddock and so on and so on. I don't think I have ever seen smoked haddock round here although I have found smoked cod. I certainly could buy smoked cod in NC as I used to use it and plentiful shrimp to add to my fish pies which were delicious.

Another yummy I couldn't resist.

Tomato Mostarda
Author: Andrew Dole
Source: Fruits & Veggies

A Flavorful Topping for Burgers & Vegetables

3 Tbs tomato paste
2 lb tomato, roma/plum
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs whole grain mustard
3 each bay leaf, dried

1. Place all but bay leaves into food processor or blender.

2. Pulse until tomatoes are a thick purée.

3. Transfer tomato mixture into a sauce pan. Add bay leaves.

4 Simmer on low, stirring frequently, until mostarda reaches a thick BBQ/Ketchup sauce consistency.

5. When consistency is achieved start tasting. If the mostarda is flat in flavor (not vibrant) stir in small amounts of red wine vinegar until flavor intensifies. Remove the bay leaves.

6. Refrigerate in a tightly covered container for several weeks

Servings: 20

Have a great day

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Licenses, Mushrooms

We have to renew our license on the car next month so it has to have an emissions test. We are planning to go for that this afternoon. One is required to do that every two years. It's a pain in the rear end but.... then the cost of the license has gone up substantially and is going up even more after Sept. 1 so I will make sure we pay it before then. They sure do make it difficult, as in expensive, to own a car. Insurance is over the moon and then they pay out damned all when something happens. We drive an old car so wouldn't get a cent if anything happened to total it. That's another thing, what they call totalled I would repair. But by that time they have made it prohibitive to get it back on the road again.

For those of you who were interested in the mushroom recipe yesterday, I made it for supper on Monday night. Matt, who I may well smack the sh*t out of, sat down, salted and peppered everything in sight and then had the nerve to complain the mushrooms were a bit salt!!!!!!  I have been telling him forever that he a) uses too much salt and b) should taste the food before he seasons it. I served them with pasta which had a creamy cheesey sauce. Worked beautifully. I will certainly be doing them again. I wondered about adding them to the creamy sauce but didn't in the end. Glad I made that decision.

I don't know about you, but I see a picture of a dish and it makes me want to make and eat it. This is one that did that to me. I didn't know masa harina so I googled and I have linked it from the recipe. It is a type of dough flour.

Chicken Sopes in Salsa Verde

Sour cream, Mexican-style shredded cheeses and salsa verde make these skillet-simple chicken sopes
creamy, cheesy and muy delicioso

1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup green salsa, divided
1 cup masa harina
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup Sour Cream
3/4 cup KRAFT Authentic Mexican Style Finely Shredded Cheeses
2 green onions, chopped

1. Heat large skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat. Add yellow onions; cook and stir 3 min. Add garlic and chicken; cook 3 min., stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup salsa; cook 2 min. or until heated through, stirring frequently. Keep warm.

2. Mix masa harina, salt and water until mixture forms soft dough. Divide into 8 pieces; flatten each to 4-inch round. Heat large skillet or comal on medium-high heat. Add sopes, in batches; cook 2 min. or until each is lightly browned on both sides, turning every 30 sec. Use your thumb and forefinger to make 1/4-inch-high rim around edge of each sope.

3. Combine remaining salsa and sour cream; spoon over sopes. Top with chicken mixture, cheese and green onions.

Servings: 8

Have a great day

Monday, August 15, 2016

Fur Trade, Rain.

I have just read an article by National Geographic which tells me that the trade in animal furs and skins is on the rise. I am horrified that this is so.

This is a mink from a fur farm in Poland. It will live in this cage until they kill it and turn it into part of a fur coat or something similar. There are many horrific pictures in this article so you may find you are unable to look. I was under the impression that there had been so much protest about animal furs and skins that the trade was almost nonexistent. Silly me. I suppose I can sound a bit hypocritical because I am a meat eater, but I think the fur/skin trade is very wrong.

Hey, it would have been my mom's birthday today. She would have been 104. Not important really.

I am pleased to say we got quite a lot of rain over the weekend. Whether it was enough, I don't know. I suspect not. What we really need is a day of solid continuous rain and that is just not happening.

I thought these sounded really good.


Source: Damned Delicious

4 Servings

The easiest, most flavorful mushrooms you will ever make, baked with parmesan, thyme and lemon goodness!


1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.

Place mushrooms in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, thyme and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.

Place into oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until browned and tender, tossing occasionally.

Serve immediately.
Have a great day

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Saturday Recipe

Well this is more, what I did for supper last night which worked: It was pretty tasty, but I forgot to take pictures. Typical me. This was so easy it will become a steady in our home.

Baked Salmon in Foil - a la Jo

Half an English cucumber cut into spears
1/4 red bell pepper thinly sliced
1/4 onion thinly sliced
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 skinless salmon fillets
about 1/4 cup of white wine

I made two foil sheets large enough to enfold the salmon. I then place the cucumber, peppers and onions in a pile. I mixed the chopped garlic with the olive oil and sprinkled some of that on the vegetables.Then took the salmon and seasoned the fillets on both sides. Placed them over the veg and sprinkled with more seasoning and some dried thyme. Add the wine and fold up the parcels and place on an oven safe dish.

Cook in a 400°F for 25 minutes. I served these with peas.

Have a great day