Saturday, April 29, 2017

Spring, Asparagus, Saturday Recipe.

Spring is definitely here, I got some asparagus from the farm today. Hurray, my 10 months waiting is over for now. Obviously we had some for supper and it was delicious. We actually had some breaded haddock with tartare sauce and I discovered tartare sauce and asparagus go together very well. I make a sauce I got from Weight Watchers some 44 years ago, 2 gherkins (not sweet please) 1 tbs of capers, chopped both finely then add to 2 tbs Mayonnaise, not Miracle Whip but Hellmans or home made, and 1 tbs lemon juice. Very easy. So, for the next two months I will be a happy camper. One problem though, the way we usually travel to the farm, I am talking Barrie's Asparagus Farm, is closed to us at the moment as they are replacing a bridge. Gonna take 2 years?? Today we tried one route to the farm, it took us a whole hour. However, we chose very much the wrong time of day being a Friday afternoon. Silly us. Barrie's is not yet letting the world know that they have asparagus as they don't have much yet. Until the weather improves somewhat, they don't have a lot to sell. We took a chance today.

Here's a simple and delicious recipe to try.

Asparagus alla Milanese

28 stalks of asparagus, medium size
4 Tbs unsalted butter plus 4 tablespoons
4 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil and set up ice bath. Trim asparagus of hard ends and drop into water. Cook 70 seconds. Remove with tongs and refresh in ice bath. Drain and set aside.

2. In a 10 inch to 12 inch sauté pan, heat 4 tablespoons butter until very dark brown. Add asparagus and toss until warm. Remove asparagus and divide among 4 plates. Towel off saute pan and add remaining butter. Cook until foam subsides. Crack eggs in and cook sunnyside up, about 2 minutes. Place one egg over each plate, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Servings: 4

Source: Food TV

Have a great day

Friday, April 28, 2017

Lunch, Rattlers, Bowling,

For my Red Lobster lunch I had Crispy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps. It was delicious but they provide you with a hunk of lettuce and it is almost impossible to wrap the shrimp in a lettuce leaf at the table. I just ended up chomping a lettuce leaf with every mouthful. It is sweet and spicy and just to add to it they slice up a few green chilles on top. My mouth was on fire at the end. Spicey coffee was what I felt as though I was drinking LOL.

I just read this on How to Geek. Rattlesnakes survive cold winters by entering a hibernation-like (dormant) state known as “brumation” where they gather in large numbers, sometimes upwards of a thousand snakes, in large underground “rattlesnake dens” or hibernacula. What a horrid thought. Sorry, if I found one of those hibernacula, I would be doing what I could to exterminate them. Save the whales, not the snakes!!! I guess there is a niche for them and I shouldn't want to get rid of them, but a thousand at one time, yuk.

Had fun at the Travel League today. Didn't bowl particularly well but it doesn't matter we are just there for enjoyment. Was nice to see most of the people whom we haven't seen in a while. Matt had one really good game today too. Somebody said it was because he wasn't bowling with me LOL.

I saw this recipe and figured it was right up my street.

Red Cabbage, Bacon, and Avocado Slaw With Balsamic Vinaigrette


2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
0.33 cup olive oil
kosher salt


1 small head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
4 slices uncured bacon, cooked until crisp, drained and chopped
0.5 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 large radishes, thinly sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
kosher salt
1 large avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into chunks

1. To make the balsamic vinaigrette: In a blender, combine the garlic, mustard, honey, vinegar, and olive oil. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, bacon, and parsley. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette to start (you can always add more!) and toss to coat.

3. Add the radishes and green onion and toss again. Season with salt.

4. Transfer to a serving platter and top with the avocado.

Source: Taste

Have a great day

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Cooking, Travel League

Wednesday I stripped a bought rotisserie chicken (we had had one meal) and then made my Leftover Chicken recipe - can be made with turkey and one can add ham. It is delicious and we both enjoy it. The original recipe was from Paul Holiday a British chef who actually made a pie with this filling but as I am not really into pastry, either making or eating it, I adapted it. I now buy a rotisserie chicken specifically to have one meal and then make this recipe. We also had Italian sausage and peppers for supper so by the evening I was a tad knackered. It seems I have never posted this recipe so I should do so.

Today we are having lunch at the Red Lobster with the members of the Travel League. We are then bowling with them at our regular alley. First time we have joined them for ages. Decided we didn't want to travel out of town in the winter. We then missed the one last month, which was local, because I was having teeth pulled or filled or something.

Salted candies, whether chocolate or caramel, have become very much the "thing" these days. Here is a torte which makes use of them. Of course we don't have double cream here. We can get Carnation Caramel at if nowhere else. The salted caramels are available in grocery stores in the UK so I imagine they will be available here.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Torte

Indulge guests at your next party with this impressive dessert. A touch of salt really sets off the
caramel and dark chocolate

175 g digestive biscuits
85 g butter, melted
397 g can caramel (we used Carnation caramel)
1 tsp sea salt, plus extra to serve
300 g plain chocolate (70% solids), broken into chunks
600 ml tub double cream
25 g icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
salted caramel chocolates, to decorate
single cream, to serve (optional)

1. Line the base of a deep, round 20 cm loose-bottomed cake tin with a circle of baking parchment. Line the sides with one long strip that comes just above the sides of the tin – staple or paper clip where the strip overlaps to hold it in place.

2. Crush the biscuits in a plastic bag or bowl with the end of a rolling pin. Stir into the melted butter, then evenly press into the bottom of the tin. Chill for 10 mins.

3. Reserve 2 tbsp of the caramel. Stir the sea salt into the remainder and spoon into the centre of the biscuit base. Gently spread so the base is evenly covered but a visible 1-2cm border of biscuit remains around the edge. Chill for 20 mins while you make the chocolate layer.

4. Gently melt the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir 1 tbsp of the cream into the reserved caramel, then cover and chill until ready to decorate. Once the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat but leave the bowl where it is, and gradually stir in the remaining cream until you have a smooth, shiny, thick chocolate sauce. Sift in the icing sugar and stir in with the vanilla extract. Lift off the heat and let the mixture cool for 10 mins.

5. Ladle or pour the chocolate mixture around the edge of the torte first, so it fills the biscuit border, sealing the caramel in the centre. Then ladle or pour in the rest and gently shake to smooth the surface. Chill for at least 5 hrs or up to 24 hours until firm.

6. Remove the torte from the tin, then carefully peel off the strip of paper and transfer to a serving plate. Dot the chocolates on top. Spoon the reserved caramel-cream mixture into a small food or freezer bag. Snip off the tiniest tip of the corner to make a very small opening, then squiggle lines of caramel over the top. Chill until ready to serve. Scatter with a pinch or two of sea salt before serving, then thinly slice. Eat with a drizzle of single cream, if you like.

7. Line the base of a deep, round 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin with a circle of baking parchment. Line the sides with one long strip that comes just above the sides of the tin – staple or paper clip where the strip overlaps to hold it in place.

8. Crush the biscuits in a plastic bag or bowl with the end of a rolling pin. Stir into the melted butter, then evenly press into the bottom of the tin. Chill for 10 mins.

9. Reserve 2 tbsp of the caramel. Stir the sea salt into the remainder and spoon into the centre of the biscuit base. Gently spread so the base is evenly covered but a visible 1-2cm border of biscuit remains around the edge. Chill for 20 mins while you make the chocolate layer.

10. Gently melt the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir 1 tbsp of the cream into the reserved caramel, then cover and chill until ready to decorate. Once the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat but leave the bowl where it is, and gradually stir in the remaining cream until you have a smooth, shiny, thick chocolate sauce. Sift in the icing sugar and stir in with the vanilla extract. Lift off the heat and let the mixture cool for 10 mins.

11. Ladle or pour the chocolate mixture around the edge of the torte first, so it fills the biscuit border, sealing the caramel in the centre. Then ladle or pour in the rest and gently shake to smooth the surface. Chill for at least 5 hrs or up to 24 hours until firm.

12. Remove the torte from the tin, then carefully peel off the strip of paper and transfer to a serving plate. Dot the chocolates on top. Spoon the reserved caramel-cream mixture into a small food or freezer bag. Snip off the tiniest tip of the corner to make a very small opening, then squiggle lines of caramel over the top. Chill until ready to serve. Scatter with a pinch or two of sea salt before serving, then thinly slice. Eat with a drizzle of single cream, if you like.

13. Line the base of a deep, round 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin with a circle of baking parchment. Line the sides with one long strip that comes just above the sides of the tin – staple or paper clip where the strip overlaps to hold it in place.

14. Crush the biscuits in a plastic bag or bowl with the end of a rolling pin. Stir into the melted butter, then evenly press into the bottom of the tin. Chill for 10 mins.

15. Reserve 2 tbsp of the caramel. Stir the sea salt into the remainder and spoon into the centre of the biscuit base. Gently spread so the base is evenly covered but a visible 1-2cm border of biscuit remains around the edge. Chill for 20 mins while you make the chocolate layer.

16. Gently melt the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir 1 tbsp of the cream into the reserved caramel, then cover and chill until ready to decorate. Once the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat but leave the bowl where it is, and gradually stir in the remaining cream until you have a smooth, shiny, thick chocolate sauce. Sift in the icing sugar and stir in with the vanilla extract. Lift off the heat and let the mixture cool for 10 mins.

17. Ladle or pour the chocolate mixture around the edge of the torte first, so it fills the biscuit border, sealing the caramel in the centre. Then ladle or pour in the rest and gently shake to smooth the surface. Chill for at least 5 hrs or up to 24 hours until firm.

18. Remove the torte from the tin, then carefully peel off the strip of paper and transfer to a serving plate. Dot the chocolates on top. Spoon the reserved caramel-cream mixture into a small food or freezer bag. Snip off the tiniest tip of the corner to make a very small opening, then squiggle lines of caramel over the top. Chill until ready to serve. Scatter with a pinch or two of sea salt before serving, then thinly slice. Eat with a drizzle of single cream, if you like.

Servings: 8

Source: BBC Good Food

Have a great day

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Shopping and Cleaning, Medical Marijuana, Pickles,

Quiet day on Tuesday, shopping enabled us to buy the store once again, or I thought that's what had happened. They actually had some artichokes for a change, not been many available lately. I do love those things. I finally got round to a job I've been putting off, cleaning some silver. Trouble is standing doing a job like that causes my back to remind me it's there. Painfully. I think I mentioned  before that a member of our bowling team has been telling me about his wife being on medical marijuana for pain. I am thinking of asking the doctor about that. Matt hit the roof when we talked about it, he cannot understand any difference between being out there and doing drugs, and taking the drug under medical control. We'll see. Mind you, I gather it's very expensive and if our insurance won't help, I won't be doing it anyway. Apparently you can get it to smoke or like gummies. I think he said the gummies are $25 each.

Forgot to mention - the Mexican pickled vegetables I made the other day - I gave a jar to the guys at the bowling alley. When I mentioned it on Monday, they had put them in the fridge and forgotten to take them home. I hope they remembered on Monday evening. I've really been enjoying these pickles, by the way.

Here's a somewhat different way to cook your eggs. My problem - I don't know if I can buy harissa or whether I will have to make my own or use a substitute. The title attracted my attention and then the picture looks so delicious.

Eggs in Purgatory

We're not entirely certain about the history of this classic recipe's name, but perhaps it has something to do with the spicy kick of the sauce. Our version is a shakshuka-like dish in which fiery harissa paste and heady spices slowly infuse a rich tomato sauce where eggs gently poach. Look for jars of harissa with the Middle Eastern foods in your supermarket; you can substitute a half to full teaspoon of crushed red pepper in a pinch. The cook time for the eggs depends on the specific heat of your slow cooker. We offer a range of 15 to 20 minutes, so start checking at 15 minutes (or a couple
minutes earlier) to ensure the eggs get done to your liking. Serve with warm whole-wheat pita.

1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 medium onion)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-oz.) can unsalted crushed tomatoes
2 Tbs harissa
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
8 large eggs
1 (5-oz.) pkg. baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat a large skillet over medium. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is soft and spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.

2. Stir in crushed tomatoes, harissa, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook on HIGH 20 minutes; reduce heat to LOW, and cook until sauce is fragrant, 7 1/2 to 8 hours (or cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours).

3. One at a time, crack eggs into a ramekin, and slip into tomato sauce. (Do not stir.) Cover and cook on HIGH until whites are set and yolks are runny, about 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle eggs with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Divide spinach evenly among 4 plates; top with sauce and eggs. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Servings: 4

Author: Julia Levy
Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Animal Bloggers, The Confederation Series,

You know, I wonder about me and about some of us bloggers some times. I love to read the blogs by Gary Pennick's son's dog, Penny and I also love to read those from Carlton the cat owned by Patricia Keenor in England (come to think of it, both those animals are in the UK) and I even write comments directed to the purported bloggers, Penny and Carlton. Who's daftest, the blogger or the commenter?

Short blog, I am engrossed in The Confederation Series by Tanya Huff. I am presently on the last book although she has started another series with the same characters. However, I will have to start on some of her other series next. I am really enjoying her writing.

My bowling wasn't too bad but as a team we sucked.

This recipe will appeal to some and not others. I cannot imagine having asparagus that is crispy and crunchy. I like the tastes involved though so I will have to find a different way of doing it.

Asiago, Bacon, and Garlic Roasted Asparagus

1.5 lb asparagus
2 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup grated Asiago cheese
4 bacon slices, cooked, drained of fat, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Trim asparagus ends.

2. Place asparagus in a 2.5 quart casserole dish, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, mix everything well. Mix in the minced garlic.

3. Roast, uncovered, at 425°F for 10 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven.

5. Sprinkle half of grated Asiago cheese all over asparagus, then add chopped cooked bacon, then top with the remaining half of grated Asiago cheese. Roast for 10 more minutes, uncovered at 425°F. Asparagus should be crispy and crunchy.

Servings: 4

Author: Julia
Source Yummly

Have a great day

Monday, April 24, 2017

Beeper, Bowling,

To me this was weird. Friday night/Saturday morning, around 4:15 a.m., I started to hear a beeping noise. I checked my watch but it wasn't that. I lay there being disturbed by it for a while. I thought of the stove but at that time, it couldn't be. However, it never stopped so I got up and plodded along to the kitchen and lo and behold it was the timer on the stove!!! How on earth could that have got set at that time of the morning? A total mystery.

Today we have our last winter league bowling, next week it will be "banquet" prizes, bowling for fun. Some, by no means all, will be joining the summer league. A much shorter season of course. People from other leagues join in on the summer league too. All the winter leagues having ended.

This sounds like a good recipe. Many people do not realise you can eat asparagus uncooked, I didn't until a few years ago. However, it is better, as in all things, if you get it fresh from the farm rather than using the store bought asparagus. I am sure the goat cheese, chèvre, would also be better straight from the farm, but that is not as easy to achieve so I guess the grocery store will have to be the source.

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
½ small shallot, minced (or 3 T chopped chives)
1 Tbs chopped fresh dill
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 hearts of romaine, very thinly sliced
1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed and spears shaved with vegetable peeler
3 oz fresh chèvre
¼ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

1. Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot or chives, dill, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add romaine and shaved asparagus to the bowl and toss to combine. Divide among four plates. Crumble goat cheese over the salads. Divide hazelnuts over the salads.

Yield: 9 cups

Source: Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Have a great day

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Wheel of Time, Saturday Recipe

I just found out that one of my favourite series of books, Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and finished by Brandon Sanderson, is being made for TV by Sony. I love these books and will look forward to seeing what they do with them.

Some of you don't drink I know and there is a tip for a non alcoholic drink at the end of this recipe. However, as rhubarb is "in" in some areas and soon to be available from the farm here, I thought this was appropriate.

Rhubarb Daiquiri
This syrup isn’t just for cocktails. Feel free to stir an ounce into club soda for easy drinking.


½ cup sugar
1½ cups coarsely grated rhubarb, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of kosher salt
1¾ ounces white rum
¾ ounce fresh lime juice


Bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat, add ½ cup rhubarb, and simmer until fruit starts to fall apart and mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 cup rhubarb. Let sit 30 minutes.

Strain rhubarb syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into an airtight container, pressing on solids (makes about 1 cup). Stir in lemon juice and salt. Cover and chill until cold, at least 30 minutes.

To make 1 daiquiri, combine rum, lime juice, and 1 oz. rhubarb simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty, about 20 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass.

Do Ahead: 
Rhubarb syrup can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled.Recipe by Lily Mirabelle Freedman

Have a great day

Friday, April 21, 2017

Bowling, Sausage and Pickles,

As I mentioned, we went bowling Wednesday and then again on Thursday. I didn't bowl very well on Wednesday but was better today. Next Monday is our last league bowl for the Winter Seniors. May 1 will be our banquet and we will be bowling for fun rather than for competition, not that anyone really takes the competition part seriously. Our summer league then starts on May 17. The mail finally delivered the coupon books which contain coupons for our bowling alley. We can't use them for league play but we can for non league days. However, these coupon books are such a waste of money. Most of the people in this building, at least, throw them away without even looking at them. I cannot imagine the wastage all over town and elsewhere.

How genuinely Mexican this recipe is, I don't know. I do know that I made them on Wednesday night
and found them delicious. I even gave a glass jar full to the guys who own the bowling alley. I had a plateful with my lunch on Thursday and really enjoyed them. I thought I had posted the recipe before, but if I did, I can't find it. One of the owners at the alley gave me a couple of Lanjaeger sausages, at least I think that's what they are. We ate one each. Always wanted to try them, but if I had known they were 200 calories a piece, I would have left it severely alone. I have seen them for sale in the deli and also seen people buy them and wondered what they were like. I could probably have asked to try one, but now I know anyway. Matt won't try the pickled vegetables by the way, he isn't a lover of pickles. The only problem I have, eating them, the carrots are a tad crisp which, with my lack of teeth, makes it difficult for me to eat.

Mexican Pickled Vegetables

These spicy pickled vegetables are like a Mexican version of Italian giardiniera and are delicious with tacos and as a condiment for any sandwich or burger. The recipe makes a large batch but it keeps well
in the refrigerator. Packed into glass jars, it makes a nice gift

1 Tbs black peppercorns
2 tsp allspice berries
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large head cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 lb pearl onions, fresh (peeled; see Tip) or frozen (thawed)
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 small habanero, or 2 small jalapeño peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
6 bay leaves
2 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs salt
1 tsp cumin seeds

1. Place peppercorns, allspice berries, coriander seeds and cloves on an 8-inch-square double layer of cheesecloth. Bring up the sides, making a bundle that encloses the spices, and tie at the top with kitchen string (or put the spices in a stainless-steel tea ball).

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat Add sliced onion and garlic cloves and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, pearl onions, carrots, bell pepper and habanero (or jalapeños). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in vinegar, bay leaves, oregano, salt, cumin seeds and the spice bundle and cook 2 minutes more.

3. Let cool for 15 minutes before transferring everything to a large nonreactive bowl (see Tip). Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until cool, about 2 hours. Serve using a slotted spoon to leave behind excess oil.

Yield: 8 cups

If using fresh pearl onions, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add onions and cook 1 minute to loosen the skins. Drain. When cool enough to handle, trim both ends, leaving enough of the root end to keep the onions whole while cooking. Peel off the skins. A nonreactive bowl or pan—stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking with acidic foods, such as vinegar, to prevent the food from reacting with it.

Author: Elvia
Source: WebMD Recipe from

Have a great day

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Just a Quickie

Just to let you know. Tuesday I ended up with my back absolutely killing me and I couldn't do much of anything although I did manage to use up some leeks and potatoes to make Potage Parmentier. I sent Matt out for subs for supper.

Wednesday my back was still bad but not so bad. By lunchtime I was fed up with sitting around so we went - guess where - yes, the bowling alley. I bowled dreadful scores, but it was still better than sitting at home.

So I am feeling sufficiently sorry for myself that I can't really be bothered to blog.

Then I started making Mexican Pickled Vegetables cut myself quite badly so nuts to everything for now.

Have a great day

Monday, April 17, 2017

Norway, Bowling,

There is a story to the recipe below. Probably 60 years ago, we sailed to Norway on my parents' boat. We visited many ports and nowadays I can't tell you exactly where we were when we went looking for Norwegian sweaters. We bought some in a store and the sales girl suggested we might like to go to some local celebration. I don't know what it was about, but we went and had dinner which was reindeer meat followed by  Bløtkake. Matt complains about tough meat, he should have tried that reindeer!! The cake for dessert was absolutely fabulous. We then watched some country dancing which, I'm afraid, underwhelmed us. In fact Norway was somewhat disappointing in that a) it rained a lot, it may not mean much to you, but my mother commented even the Teddy Boys carried umbrellas and b) alcohol was the same price as gold, or maybe diamonds meaning when we went out to eat we couldn't afford to have a drink with our meal. Anyway, I subsequently bought a book called What You Have Eaten in Norway and later made the cake. In fact I made it two or three times. Always with corn starch (corn flour) and it turned out a nice, light, white sponge. Also made it with pineapple - well I have added my recipe. Only trouble is, I have lost the book. I can buy it, but am reluctant to do so, not least because if I do, mine will probably turn up.

Monday was league bowling of course, and although we all four bowled badly, we ended up winning 3/7 which surprised the heck out of me. Of course next Monday is the last day for it to make any difference and then May 1 is our banquet and prize giving. I doubt we will have won anything as we have been in 7th spot for most of the season. Have crept up to 6th, but....

Bløtkake (Norwegian Cream Cake)

Bløtkake, layered spongecake covered with drifts of whipped cream and fruit, is a dessert that Norwegians are passionate and possessive about. It is a traditional sweet finish for any festive meal, whether a long, dark winter lunch or a long, sunlit summer dinner. “Scandinavians really value lingering and feasting at the table,” said Maren Waxenberg, a Norwegian-American cook who lives in New York
City and serves this cake at Thanksgiving.

Cloudberries are a protected crop in Norway and are rarely available fresh in the United States, but raspberries are a good substitute.

Nonstick cooking spray
4 large eggs
1 cup/200 grams granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup/120 grams cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups/720 milliliters whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbs cloudberry, raspberry or blackberry preserves
1/3 cup cloudberry or raspberry liqueur (such as Chambord), or berry juice of your choice
12 ounces/340 grams fresh raspberries or blackberries, for decorating (optional)

1. Bake the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees and mist a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Combine eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer (or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer) until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Sift cake flour and baking powder into a separate bowl, then fold into the egg mixture in 2 additions.

3. Pour batter into pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

4. Make the frosting and filling: Beat whipping cream, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Transfer 1/3 of the whipped cream to a separate bowl and stir in preserves.

5. Use a serrated knife to slice cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. Arrange top layer of the cake cut-side-up on a platter. Poke a few holes in the cake layer with a toothpick, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the liqueur or juice.

6. Spread half the whipped cream and preserves mixture over the cake layer, then arrange middle layer on top. Poke holes in the middle layer with a toothpick and sprinkle with another 1/3 of the liqueur or juice. Top with remaining whipped cream and preserves mixture.

7. Arrange the bottom cake layer on top of the stack, cut-side-down. Poke more holes and sprinkle with remaining liqueur or juice. Frost top and sides of cake with the whipped cream, using a pastry bag to pipe on stars or other designs, if you'd like. Decorate with fresh berries.

Servings: 12


This, however, is the recipe I made

Source: What You Have Eaten in Norway

This is a special cake from Norway often used for celebrations.

4 eggs
1/2 lb sugar
4 1/2 oz cornstarch
4 1/2 oz plain flour
1 Tbs cold water
thin cream
whipped cream
chopped almonds or walnuts
Chopped pineapple
Pineapple slices

1. Whisk eggs together with sugar for half an hour or until the mixture is thick and creamy (or use a mixer). Fold in cornstarch and flour previously well mixed together and finally the cold water. Bake in a slow oven in a round cake tin for 40-50 mins.turn out and cool. Divide the cake in 3 layers, sprinkle each liberally with thin cream to which sherry has been added, or with neat sherry. Between each layer spread a thick layer of whipped cream and either nuts or pineapple chunks. Cover the top and sides with a thick layer of lightly sweetened whipped cream  and decorate with pineapple slices.

Servings: 8

Have a great day

Tough Duck? Deck Chairs, Books,

I give up. I wrote a while back about Matt saying meat was tough. Saturday night he said the duck
was too tough to eat. Personally I thought it was delicious. What really gets me he has an almost complete set of his own teeth but finds stuff tough. Me on the other hand, short of those items but still can enjoy meat he calls tough. So, Sunday supper I ate the rest of the duck and made eggs for Matt with salad for both of us. So I guess that's the last duck we will have. I have already changed my method of cooking meat generally to ensure he finds it tender enough. I really don't know why he is having such problems. The duck, which came from the local grocery store, had an orange sauce with it, in a packet, which I decided to try, it was delicious too. I took a quick picture just before I started pulling it apart.

Saturday started with rain but by the afternoon, the weather was lovely and I stood on the balcony for a while enjoying the sunshine. Matt suggested we put the chairs back out but I felt that was a waste of time, we have some fold up camping chairs so maybe we can use those. The chairs we normally have, are really quite heavy. They are, at present, in the bedrooms. Funny we have had the folding chairs for several years and hardly ever used them.

Bob Scotney is doing an interesting series on his A to Z posts about houses in the UK. His M for Mmenabilly reminded me of a book I read, many years ago, by Daphne DuMaurier called The King's General. I have always enjoyed her books and recently re-read a few of them, I have now ordered this book from the library because, if it is the story I remember, it is a book which I really enjoyed as a young woman. Actually, I was pretty surprised the library had it. I haven't mentioned it before, but I have been reading a lot of Tanya Huff's book lately, her Confederation series. I am really enjoying them and can't wait to get the next one.

Sunday night I finished the duck and Matt had eggs. I made a salad and used a lettuce from Spain?? I haven't seen lettuce from Spain before so I googled. Apparently we buy stuff from all over the world depending on the season. I thought anything we couldn't grow came from Mexico or even further south, what do I know? So then I wondered, how is lettuce, in particular, shipped? By air would be cost prohibitive I would have thought, but how long can you keep it fresh when travelling by sea. I couldn't find out.

It's getting to that time of  year - my tastebuds are all woken up with anticipation. What for? Asparagus. It says 4 servings, not in this house. Also, if you can get farm fresh asparagus, you don't need to trim the ends of course.
Asparagus with Dijon Vinaigrette 

  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped parsley
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound thin asparagus, tough ends trimmed off
    In a medium bowl, whisk mustard, vinegar and 1 tbsp oil. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper.
    Steam or boil asparagus for 2-3 minutes until cooked and tender. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
    Transfer asparagus to a serving dish and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Can be served warm or chilled.
    4 servings

    Have a great day

    Friday, April 14, 2017

    Easter Meals, Dentist, Bowling

    What a strange visit I had to the dentist yesterday, first I should tell you that I decided to agree to another couple of weeks healing as everyone tells me that the missing teeth are not really noticeable. Then we
    proceeded with the filling. The dentist and the hygienist were discussing Easter dinner. The dentist isn't, apparently, much of a cook so will be eating with her mother who sounds like a good cook. She apparently roasts lamb much the same way as I do. Lots of garlic. The hygienist said she too would be cooking lamb (neither of them are Canadian born and bred by the way) which everyone loved in her family. Eventually I got to talk and tell them I was doing duck. Never had cooking discussed during a filling before. Then I got out to the receptionist/secretary and much to my delight she said she had been reading my blog and enjoying the recipes. She is the only person I know who has ever attempted Pekin Duck, she said it took her 3 days to dry it enough and she used a hair dryer to help. I remember reading somewhere that you should tie it to your antenna and drive around with it to dry it. Joke I think/hope. So, after all this, I was tempted to change my mind to cooking lamb, however, I decided not to. I haven't eaten Pekin Duck in years and then only in Chinese restaurants in London, England. It always used to be, and probably still is, a very expensive

    So, I will not be getting my new partial until May now.

    Came home earlier than expected of course, so kind of had to twiddle our thumbs til lunchtime. Then, we went bowling. Surprise, surprise. We bowled Wednesday in case I didn't feel up to it after my dental visit. However, I was fine so we went. I was given a packet of Dutch wafers as an Easter present. The ones we like best. Then I bowled two lousy games and one really good one. Matt beat me 2 out of 3 yesterday and we reversed that today. When I came home took some Hot Cross Buns out of the freezer for consumption today, Good Friday. The best ones (unless I make them) come from the Scottish store in the next town, but we haven't been over that way lately. Need to because I haven't got any Cornish Pasties either and theirs are excellent.

    As I am planning to cook duck for Easter. I have had one in the freezer for a while. This is a classic dish for duck.

     Duck a l'Orange

    1 Duck
    2 oranges
    port wine
    Giblet gravy
    pinch sugar
    Extra orange juice if required.

    1. Roast duck for 15 minutes per lb. and 15 mins. over. Start in a hot oven(425°-450°) then reduce to moderate (375°).

    2. Prick the skin after first 30 mnutes so the fat can fun out and give a crisp outside. If wished, brush with a little melted honey to aid crispness. Garnish with slices of orange and serve, if wished, with orange sauce.

     Orange Sauce

    Peel 2 oranges and cut the peel into very narrow ribbons, remove pith. Simmer in a litle water until tender. Make brown sauce with stock from giblets  but add a little port wine, the orange strips and some of the orange stock. If desired add a little extra orange juice and a pinch of sugar.

    Source: Cookery in Colour

    Have a great Easter

    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    Easter Bunny

    Just a recipe today. Going for a filling this morning.

    I couldn't resist posting this

    Easter Bunny Cake

    3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    6 cups confectioners' sugar
    pinch fine salt
    1 Tbs vanilla extract
    2-3 tbs milk

    2 baked 9-inch round cake layers (your favourite recipe or an 18.25-ounce boxed cake mix)
    1 ¼ cup sweetened flaked coconut
    2 store-bought biscotti
    1 tube pink decorating icing
    2 black jelly beans
    2 marshmallows
    1 white jelly bean, halved lengthwise
    1 pink jelly bean
    1 black licorice wheel, such as Haribo

    1. Frosting

    2. For the frosting: Combine the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl if using a hand-held electric mixer). Mix on low speed until mostly incorporated. Add the vanilla, increase the speed to medium-high and mix until smooth. Adjust the consistency with milk until the frosting is easy to spread.

    3. Bunny

    4. For the bunny: Spread a thin layer of frosting on the flat side of one cake layer, about 2/3 cup, and top with the flat side of the second cake layer. Measure 5 inches across the top of the cake and cut down through the layers, creating two layered pieces that are slightly different sizes.

    5. Place the larger piece of cake, cut-side down, on a large platter or cake board. If using a rectangular cake board, place the larger piece so that the long edges are parallel with the long edges of the board. This is the body of the bunny. Cut the smaller piece of cake in half crosswise, so you have two layered wedges. Place one wedge in front of the body, with one flat side on the board and the other flat side against the body. The curved side will be on top. Take a serrated knife and round off the sharp edges on top of the head. Cut the tip off (the nose) at a 45-degree angle. Reserve all scraps in a bowl.

    6. Separate the layers of the remaining wedge of cake. These will be the back legs. Round the sharp edges of the cake wedges with your knife, and add to the scrap bowl. Place one piece on each side of the bunny, with one flat side down and the other flat side facing forward (the round side towards the back of the bunny), about 1-inch from the end of the bunny's body.

    7. Mix the cake scraps in the bowl with a fork until mashed, and then pack into a ball with your hands. Place the ball behind the bunny's body and adhere with a dab of frosting. This is the bunny's tail.

    8. Frost the entire bunny, tail and all, using 2 to 3 cups of the frosting, keeping some definition with the bunny parts, and frosting more generously around any sharp edges to give a rounded look to the bunny parts. Sprinkle the bunny with the coconut to fully cover. Gently pat to adhere.

    9. Insert the biscotti between the head and body, pressing into the cake to secure them. These are the ears. Place the base of the ears close together at the center of the head and angle them out. Frost the front of each biscotti with some frosting. Then, using the pink decorating icing, frost a smaller strip in the center of each biscotti, going down to where the ears meet the head but not going all the way to the top.

    10. To make the face, press a black jelly bean into each side of the head for the eyes. Cut one of the marshmallows into 3 circles, discard the middle piece, and press the 2 end circles, cut-sides-in, into the front of the face for the bunny cheeks. Take the white jelly bean halves and push them into face below the cheeks, round-sides-out, for the teeth. Place the pink jelly bean above for the nose.

    11. Unroll the licorice wheel and cut 2 pieces about 1 1/2 inches long each. For each piece, peel the strips apart halfway down, and then cut each separated strip in half lengthwise so you end up with a piece looking a bit like a broom. Repeat with the second piece of licorice. Tuck each piece, with a dab of frosting, behind a marshmallow cheek, with the cut ends facing out, for the whiskers.

    12. Cut the second marshmallow in half lengthwise. Make 3 slits in each half, going about halfway through (these are the toes), and place in front of the legs for the bunny's feet. Adhere the bottom of the feet with icing if necessary.

    Source: Food Network Kitchen

    Author Notes
    Take 2 1/2 sheets of parchment paper and cut in half. Line the edges of your cake board with these parchment rectangles so that they form a rectangle of open space in the middle. Build your cake on the edges of these pieces of parchment. When you are finished you can slide them away along with any excess icing and coconut.

    Make sure your cakes are completely cooled before you being to ice and cut them.

    Have a great day

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017

    Shopping, PC Plus,

    I was worn out today, did our weekly shop and then went to the liquor store. What a lot of walking. After unpacking all the shopping I was really glad to sit down. I have told you about points before, well beef was on points today so bought some steaks. Also a batch of chicken (on points) then used the $50 of points I already had to pay for it. In the meanwhile I earned another $18 on the things I bought today. I love this system, the cashiers ask people if they belong to the PC Plus points system and some say no, I think they are nuts. I bought another cauliflower (I think it was on points too) to do something else with cauliflower rice, I am a convert.

    I said I would share this recipe with you, and here it is. We both enjoyed it, made enough for us for two days. As I said, I didn't use the Pomegranate because I really don't know how to eat the seeds anyway. According to the internet it is really up to you which you do. My mother loved them. I also adapted a few things and used powdered spices when I didn't have sticks or pods. I was pretty impressed with the cauliflower, I wouldn't have known what it was had anyone else served it to me, it was more like a grain. I have also altered the measurements from metric.

    Hairy Bikers' Cauliflower and Chicken Pilaf

    1 lb chicken thighs or breasts
    1 large onion, sliced into thin crescents
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1/2 tsp maybe fresh root ginger, finely chopped
    large pinch of saffron
    1 Tbs vegetable or coconut oil
    5 cardamom pods
    2 1/2 inch pieces of cinnamon stick
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
    3 cloves
    2 bay leaves
    1 cup chicken stock
    1 medium cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lbs)
    flaked sea salt
    freshly ground black pepper

    To serve:
    1 Tbs pistachios
    ½ pomegranate
    small bunch of coriander or parsley

    1. First prepare the chicken. If using thighs, trim off any fat, then slice them thinly. If using chicken breasts, cut them into 1/2 " chunks. Peel and slice the onion into thin crescents. Finely chop the garlic and ginger. Put the saffron in a bowl with a little hot water and leave it to steep.

    2. Heat the oil in a large, lidded frying pan or a shallow casserole dish. When the pan is hot, add the chicken. Fry the chicken for a minute, stirring constantly, until the pieces have seared, then add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the whole spices and the bay leaves.

    3. Pour the stock and the saffron with its water into the pan, then season with salt and pepper. Stir vigorously, scraping up any brown bits from the base of the pan. Bring the stock to the boil, then leave to simmer while you prepare the cauliflower – this should take about 5 minutes. Cut up the cauliflower and blitz to the size of coarse breadcrumbs in a food processor – use the stalks as well as the florets.

    4. When the liquid has reduced so it just coats the base of the pan and the chicken and onion are tender, remove the chicken and most of the onion with a slotted spoon and keep them warm. Add the cauliflower to the pan and stir so it is coated with the remaining liquid and spices – it should start to turn a light ochre in patches.

    5. Cook over a medium heat for at least 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the cauliflower is cooked through and the remaining liquid has evaporated. The cauliflower should be fluffy. Put half the chicken and onion back into the pan and stir it through the cauliflower, then add the rest on top.

    6. While the cauliflower is cooking, lightly crush or chop the pistachios and remove the seeds from the pomegranate. Serve the pilaf sprinkled with the pistachios, pomegranate seeds and herbs.

    Author Notes
    Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

    Have a great day

    Tuesday, April 11, 2017

    Balconies, Monday Supper,

    They;re back!! The workmen have started again to do the balconies. Oh joy!! Much to my surprise, when we went to leave to go bowling, they had already put an access tunnel leading to the front door plus there were all kinds of vehicles so Matt couldn't get there to pick me up. Luckily I saw he was out front and managed to get to him. Grrr. From now on, I will either have to go to a side door or down into the garage. Normally I can sit and wait in the lobby and don't have to do a lot of walking.

    This evening (Monday) I cooked the Hairy Bikers' Chicken Pilaf made with cauliflower rice. I have
    been seeing lots of recipes using cauliflower rice so thought I would try this one. It was good and plenty for Matt and I to have a second meal tomorrow. I will post the recipe tomorrow as well. I thought I had already done so but on checking, I was wrong. It was a lot easier than I thought. It does call for pomegranate seeds, but I didn't use them, Never really figured out how to eat pomegranate. Do you suck the seeds or crunch them? Being an English recipe, it's full of millileters and grammes so maybe I will convert them before I post the recipe.

    When I saw this picture, I just wanted to pick some up and munch them. They looked so good.

    Shingaras With Cauliflower And Potato Filling

    Shingaras are the Bangladeshi style of samosas—filled and fried savory pastries usually served as an appetizer or snack. Assuming you’re not making your own dough, empanada wrappers are the closest
    approximation of homemade in both flavor and texture. These are traditionally formed into an elegant triangle shape, and we have step-by-step photos of that process here

    Cauliflower And Potato Filling
    ¾ tsp ground cayenne pepper
    ¾ tsp ground cumin
    2 Tbs olive oil
    ½ cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
    1 Tbs finely grated fresh ginger
    1 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
    1 tsp ground turmeric
    1 medium russet potato, peeled, cut into ?-inch pieces
    ½ small head of cauliflower, cut into ?-inch florets
    1 serrano chile, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
    ½ tsp sugar
    Kosher salt
    ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
    ½ cup golden raisins

    Chutney And Assembly
    1 serrano chile, stem removed, chopped
    2 cups cilantro leaves with tender stems
    1 Tbs unsweetened coconut flakes
    ¼ cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
    2 Tbs fresh lime juice
    Kosher salt
    25 3–5-inch round empanada, wonton, or egg roll wrappers
    Vegetable oil (for frying; about 8 cups)

    Special Equipment: A deep-fry thermometer

    Cauliflower and Potato Filling

    1. Toast cayenne and ground cumin in a small skillet over medium heat until spices are very dark and smoky and mixture looks like ground coffee, about 3 minutes; let cool (turn on your kitchen fan or open a window first; this is a smoky situation).

    2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high and cook peanuts, stirring, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer peanuts to a small bowl. Add ginger, cumin seeds, if using, and turmeric to skillet and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add potato, cauliflower, chile, and sugar, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until potato and cauliflower are softened but not completely cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water; cover and cook until water is slightly reduced, 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until water is evaporated, mixture begins to brown, and vegetables are very soft, 8–10 minutes. Stir in peas, raisins, peanuts, and toasted spices. Generously season with salt (the filling will taste less seasoned once it’s been deep-fried). Let cool.

    Chutney and Assembly

    1. Pulse chile, cilantro, and coconut in a food processor until very finely chopped. Add yogurt and lime juice and pulse until smooth; season with salt. Transfer chutney to a small bowl; cover and chill 30 minutes to let flavors meld.

    2 Working one at a time, place about 1 Tbsp. filling (adjust amount of filling depending on the size of wrapper; use 1 heaping Tbsp. for a 4" wrapper) in the center of wrapper. Dip your fingers in water and wet edges of wrapper. Fold one side of wrapper over filling and pinch edges to seal (this will yield a half-moon shape).

    3. Fit a large pot with thermometer and pour in oil to come 3" up the sides. Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 375°. Working in batches, fry shingara, turning occasionally, until golden brown on both sides, 3–4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet. Let cool slightly before serving with chutney alongside.

    Yield: MAKES ABOUT 25

    Author: Kumi Banerjee

    Have a great day

    Monday, April 10, 2017

    Eggs for Breakfast. Crab, Clams,

    Interesting article on why we eat eggs for breakfast. Apparently eating breakfast was a Roman thing and once they left Britain, we stopped eating breakfast. We ate dinner at 9 a.m. I couldn't believe that when I read it. Then eventually dinner got pushed back later and later in the day and workers needed protein to carry them through the day. Eggs, of course, were a cheap source of protein which is why they became a breakfast staple. In one of the earliest known cookbooks (1669) poached eggs are recommended. It's a short article and worth reading.

    I forgot to mention, talking of crab menus the other day, I checked in our supermarket and found they
    do have cans of crab meat. Fairly large and something like $32 each. I did NOT buy one. They also have frozen crab legs too which I knew about. Once in a blue moon, but it has to be very blue, I treat myself to crab legs - Matt can't be bothered with them I'm pleased to say.  Incredible really, he loves seafood but can't be bothered to shell shrimp or crab or even clams and oysters. A friend in the States had a shrimp boat and every so often we would have a feast of back fin crabs in their back yard (as well as shrimp) and most of us would tuck in with gusto, not Matt. I don't remember now, but they must have had other stuff to eat. I used to peel him some shrimp on these occasions, but not the crab, if he can't be bothered to fiddle with them, and they are a fiddle to eat, he can go without. Oysters we used to buy - a bushel at a time - and Matt had built a small fire in the back yard especially for steaming them. We put them on a tin base and covered them with wet sacking. They would open themselves and I would feast on them. Matt used to take some and cook them in a sauce. He never really enjoyed clams an oysters after we had way too many clams one time and were cooking them every which way we could think of - in chowders, steamed, fried, you name it. Must have been half a dozen of us stuffing our faces on that occasion. None of the rest of us got tired of them, but Matt never ate clams again after that.

    I absolutely love this kind of Vietnamese Soup. I'm sure I have some Oriental blood in me somewhere. This was posted by Bon Appétit. Kombu is a delicious seaweed. We used it when we were making sushi and the recipe said remove it. I left it in it was so tasty.

    Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Soup

    Sticky rice is worth using for this porridge-y, comforting chicken soup recipe; it releases lots of creamy starches and helps builds nice body as it cooks.

    2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
    1 4x4-inch piece dried kombu
    1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, crushed
    3 star anise pods
    1 2-inch cinnamon stick
    2 whole cloves
    4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
    1 cup glutinous (sticky) rice or sushi rice, rinsed
    1 Tbs (or more) fish sauce
    1 tsp palm or light brown sugar
    1 scallion, thinly sliced
    1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
    ½ cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
    ¼ cup thinly sliced white onion

    1. Bring chicken, kombu, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, stock, and 2 cups water to a simmer in a large pot over medium heat. Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer and cook until chicken is tender. Transfer chicken to a plate.

    2. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Return broth to pot and add rice, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until rice is very tender, 18–20 minutes. Shred chicken and return to pot; season soup with more fish sauce.

    3. Divide soup among bowls; top with scallion, jalapeño, cilantro, and onion.

    Servings: 4

    Source: Elizabeth Street Café'

    Have a great day

    Saturday, April 8, 2017

    Saturday Recipe

    I was nittering about rain on Thursday. Just to add insult to injury, it snowed that night and gave us a pretty good coverage. Come on Mother Nature, it's April.

    This sounded good to me and easy.

    One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice

    This One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice is packed with great flavors and vibrant colors! Easy to make and all in one pot, from the stove top to the oven, dinner is ready with no fuss

    2 Tbs olive oil
    6 chicken thighs with bone and skin
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 large onion chopped
    6 cloves garlic minced
    2 red bell peppers chopped
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    1 tsp smoked paprika
    1 bay leaf
    2 Tbs tomato paste
    1 1/2 cups long grain rice uncooked
    28 oz crushed tomatoes
    2 cups chicken broth low sodium
    1/2 cup green olives pitted and sliced
    1 Tbs parsley chopped

    1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

    2. In a large Dutch oven or oven proof cast iron skillet/pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down and cook until crispy and golden brown. Season generously with salt and pepper. Turn the thighs over and sear until golden. Transfer the thighs onto a plate and set aside.

    3. To the same skillet add the onion, garlic and bell peppers. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the onion and peppers are soft.

    4. Add the red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, bay leaf, tomato paste and stir. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Stir in the rice, crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.

    5. Transfer the chicken back to the skillet on top of the rice. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. You could cover the skillet for the first 30 minutes and then remove the lid for the last 15 minutes.

    6. Garnish with green olives and parsley and serve warm.

    Servings: 6

    Author: Joanna Cismaru
    Source: Jo Cooks

    Author Notes
    Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

    Have a great day

    Friday, April 7, 2017

    A Plethora of Chocolate, Rain, Mandarin, Bowling,

    So now we have four rabbits. Red for milk, brown for dark, green for white chocolate. I finally found plain chocolate rabbits hidden away amongst the hundreds of milk ones. We seem to be overladen with chocolate at the moment, because I needed to spend a specific amount in the grocery store to get some loyalty points, I was about $1 short so grabbed a couple of Coffee Crisp not to mention the chocolate we have in the apartment anyway. Matt has Lindt chocolate bars and I have Hershey's kisses of which I allow myself a couple or so every night. Coffee Crisp is probably my favourite candy bar - for some reason they are not available in North Carolina. The are made by Nestlés so they should be available everywhere I would think.

    Our weather is a tad damp at the moment, it was chucking it down when we went to lunch. I even
    carried an umbrella into the Mandarin. Enjoyed lunch of course. These days everything is marked with a calorie count and I have discovered my favourite, Hot and Sour Soup, is only 80 calories for a bowl full. Not bad. I was tempted to have several bowls and nothing else. I don't normally worry too much about calories when I eat out anyway, don't do it that often. Our friend was celebrating his birthday and when they came to sing to him, they did so in Chinese first and then in English. I have now discovered what Happy Birthday is in Chinese Shēngrì kuàilè which is pronounced something like Shengshe qwailo. I'm sure you all wanted to know that.

    We were a tad late for our bowling, not that it matters on a Thursday. Our friends who are usually there didn't put in an appearance today for some reason. I had one pretty good game again, 171, and at least I crept over the 100 in the other two games.

    You know, I am so glad I didn't do the A to Z this year. I have been trying to visit a few blogging friends each day and I am finding that very time consuming too.

    As I am in a chocolatey mood I had to follow the theme.

    Brooklyn Blackout Semifreddo Cake

    When a rich semifreddo custard (instead of pudding) is schmeared between layers of sponge cake, you get a remix of the classic Brooklyn Blackout cake. Straight from the freezer, the stripes of filling take on an ice cream-like texture which becomes even fudgier after the cake thaws a tad.

    2 Tbs unsalted butter
    ¼ cup milk
    2 cups sugar
    8 eggs, at room temperature
    ¾ cups all-purpose flour
    ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (use black cocoa powder for an extra blacked-out cake)
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp kosher salt
    1 tsp vanilla extract

    7 oz dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
    2 tsp espresso powder
    ½ cup sugar
    2 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 ? cup heavy cream
    2 Tbs cream cheese, at room temperature

    6 Tbs heavy cream
    4 oz dark chocolate (70% cacao), broken into small pieces
    1 Tbs light corn syrup (optional)

    1. To make the cake, heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a baking sheet, line it with parchment, butter the parchment, and sprinkle with sugar. Melt the butter with the milk in the microwave, about 45 seconds. Beat the sugar and eggs on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale yellow, tripled in volume, and thick, about 8 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add the milk and butter.

    2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, then fold it into the egg mixture; there should be no lumps. Fold in the vanilla.

    3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and spread it evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for a couple of minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen it. Invert the pan onto a wire rack, remove the parchment, and let cool completely.

    4. To make the semifreddo, in a metal or glass bowl set over a pot of slowly simmering water, melt the chocolate and espresso powder, then remove from the heat. Keep the pot simmering—you’ll need it again!

    5. In a metal or glass bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk until it thickens and the sugar dissolves. Off the water, continue whisking until the mixture doubles in volume and the whisk leaves a ribbon when lifted from the bowl. Whisk in the melted chocolate and let cool for about 10 minutes.

    6. Whisk together the heavy cream and cream cheese until whipped. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture in 2 additions, just until incorporated.

    7. Line a 10-inch (25cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving extra plastic hanging over the long sides of the pan.

    8. Cut the cake into 3 pieces that will fit into the loaf pan (you will use the extra cake for the crumb topping). Place the first piece of cake into the pan. Top with half of the semifreddo, followed by the second piece of cake, the remaining semifreddo, and finally, the third piece of cake. Fold the hanging plastic over the top, and freeze overnight or for up to a week. Wrap the remaining cake in plastic wrap; you will need it for serving.

    9. On the day you want to serve the cake, make the ganache: Heat the heavy cream in a pot over medium heat until scalding. Add the chocolate and corn syrup. Remove from the heat, let the mixture sit for approximately 5 minutes, and then stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

    10. Crumble the remaining cake with your hands or a food processor.

    11. Use the plastic overhang to transfer the cake to a serving plate. Remove the plastic from the cake.

    12. Spread a thin layer of ganache on the sides of the cake, press the cake crumbs on the sides, spread another thin layer of ganache on top, and freeze until firm, 2 to 4 hours (or up to 2 weeks, well wrapped). Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

    Servings: 6-8

    Source: Taste

    Have a great day