Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thames Barges,

Just been watching a series of English programmes called Shoreline Detectives. Pretty interesting, but part of the programmes featured a graveyard of Thames Sailing Barges which made me feel very sad because many years ago I used to live on a Thames Barge. After the second world war, my father bought a Thames Barge named Iota, from a company which was converting them into habitable living vessels. Iota had fitted carpets and every mod con which was available at the time. Including a propane operated fridge which was constantly going out due to the movement of the vessel. My father sailed Iota to France, Belgium and Holland although they were actually designed for the coastal and shallow river waters of the British Isles. They were cargo vessels and transported things like bricks, straw, coal, etc. bringing much of that into London from other parts of the UK. When operating commercially they were sailed by a man and a boy although in one case a man and his wife who spent their whole married life working a barge. It was sad to see the rotting hulks of the barges in the mud of an Essex shore. I know, in fact, that Iota too has been left to rot and yet there are still a number of barges which have been restored by enthusiasts and are still being sailed. Years ago they used to have a Thames Barge race, don't know if they still do. My father entered Iota at least once that I remember. This has filled me with lots of nostalgia tonight.

I thought this looked very tempting.

Grilled Citrus-Shrimp Lettuce Cups

This marinade recipe works with any other quick-cooking shellfish or seafood—try scallops or squid. Just be sure to stick to the 30-minute marinade in any case, since going longer can toughen the flesh.

1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 5-inch lemongrass stalk, tough outer layers removed, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 Thai chile, thinly sliced
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp finely chopped peeled ginger
1 tsp (or more) kosher salt
1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Cooked white rice, Little Gem lettuce leaves, sliced cucumber or julienned carrot, lime wedges, mint or basil sprigs, and toasted sesame seeds (for serving)

1. Whisk shallot, lemongrass, chile, lime juice, orange juice, ginger, and salt in a small bowl. Reserve half of marinade for serving; cover and leave at room temperature until ready to use. Pour remaining marinade over shrimp in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

2. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Grill shrimp until lightly charred and cooked through, 1–2 minutes per side. Transfer shrimp to a large bowl and toss with sesame oil; season with salt, if needed.

3. Serve shrimp with rice, lettuce, cucumber or carrot, lime wedges, mint or basil, sesame seeds, and reserved marinade for making lettuce cups.

Servings: 4

Source: Bon Appétit
Author: Rick Martinez

Have a great day

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Water, Hurricane Flooding,

 I hate this, we were told the water would go off at 8 a.m. today (Tuesday) so we got up at 6:30 to be sure to get our showers prior to the lack of water. Now I am sitting around with little to do until lunchtime. I could, of course, read I suppose. If we had had any sense, we would have done our weekly shopping this morning instead of this afternoon. They really need to change all the damned pipes in this building they are forever having leaks and burst pipes. After all the original plumbing is around 43 years old.

It is pretty horrific watching what is happening in Texas. I was pretty shocked to hear how many pets perished in the Katarina hurricane disaster so they are trying to ensure people can bring their pets when they are being rescued. We have lived through a few hurricanes, but never had to put up with all the flooding which has occurred in Texas. I believe there is a Canadian collection taking place, I need to look into that further. I did see one picture of a couple having a baby which made them happy despite having no home any longer.

I love food like this

Coconut Shrimp Summer Rolls

"A tropical, drool-worthy mash-up of sweet, crispy shrimp and refreshing summer rolls."

5 oz apricot jam
1/4 cup crushed pineapple
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped scallion
1/2 cup cilantro
1 garlic clove
1 pinch salt
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup chopped green cabbage
1 1/2 cups chopped purple cabbage
12 shrimp
3 oz beer
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 oz coconut flakes
6 sheets rice paper

1. To Make Dipping Sauce:.

2. In a bowl, combine apricot jelly, crushed pineapple, apple cider vinegar and red pepper flakes.

3. To Make Coleslaw:.

4. In a food processor, add water, olive oil, scallions, cilantro, garlic, salt and lime juice. Pulse until combined.

5. Then add sour cream and pulse again.

6. In a bowl, add chopped green and purple cabbage.

7. Drizzle olive oil mixture over the cabbage and mix well.

8. To Make Coconut Shrimp:.

9. In a bowl, whisk beer, egg, milk, flour, baking powder, and salt.

10. Dip peeled, headless shrimp in the batter.

11. Then coat with coconut flakes.

12. Fry the breaded shrimp in hot oil until the coconut flakes are golden bown.

13. Place shrimp on a drying rack over a sheet tray to allow the excess oil to drip off. Let cool.

14. Assembling the Roll:.

15. On a sheet of moistened rice paper, place a scoop of coleslaw in the middle, edge of the paper (think of it as about 1/3 in from the edge). Then roll and fold until the top of the coleslaw is covered by the rice paper.

16. After the shrimp cools down and excess oil drips off onto the rack, place two shrimp on the roll


Have a great day

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Printer, Victoria Bowl,

Technology can be so frustrating. I had, with the help of a Staples technician, decided to take my black ink cartridge in to be exchanged in order to see if that was the problem with my printer. This morning, Monday, I booted up my computer and to my surprise the printer decided to print a test page. Considering there was no black cartridge it wasn't bad so I put the black one back in and it printed another test page, that was fine. My printer's gremlins have, for the moment, disappeared. Hurrah. I really wasn't looking forward to buy a new one, especially as I had two brand new cartridges in this one.

We bowled at Victoria Bowl again today (Monday) and once again I had 3 good games. My first game was 214. I haven't had a 200 game in a while now so I was chuffed. Matt did better today too. We will be there one more time on Thursday. I would like to bowl there more often, but Matt does not like the synthetic lanes. They really suit my style of bowling. I didn't realise, until today, that the owner had installed all the lanes himself (by doing so he saved $80,000 he told me). A lot of work but he has done a good job. Still cost him a lot of money but it will save him money in the long run. Next week we will, presumably, be back at Towne Bowl.

I loved the look of this version of a Niçoise Salad - not sure I would bother with the potatoes but otherwise I think I will try this.

Salmon Niçoise

We love making this take on a Niçoise salad with mâche instead of traditional frisée for a slightly
more mellowed recipe.

8 oz small purple potatoes
Kosher salt
4 oz haricots verts, trimmed
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup olive oil
¼ cup drained capers, patted dry
1 lb skin-on salmon fillet
Freshly ground black pepper
4 anchovy fillets packed in oil
1 Tbs whole grain Dijon mustard
½ tsp sugar
1 lemon
½ medium shallot, finely chopped
4 cups frisée or mâche
¼ cup niçoise olives, pitted

1. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and add cold water to cover by 1". Bring to a boil, season with salt, and cook until fork-tender, 15-20 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a plate with a slotted spoon.

2. Return water to a boil and cook haricots verts in same saucepan until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water. Chill until cold, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and pat dry.

3. Return water in pot to a boil and cook eggs, 8 minutes. Transfer eggs to bowl of ice water and chill until cold, about 5 minutes. Peel; set aside.

4. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add capers and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until capers burst and are crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer capers with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Let oil cool; set aside.

5. Preheat oven to 425°F. Rub salmon all over with reserved caper oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast until medium-rare (fish will be slightly translucent in the center), 10-12 minutes. Let cool.

6. Meanwhile, mash anchovies, mustard, and sugar in a large bowl to form a coarse paste. Remove peel and white pith from lemon. Working over bowl, cut between membranes of lemon to release segments. Squeeze remaining juice from membranes into bowl; discard membranes. Whisk in shallot, then slowly whisk in remaining ¼ cup oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

7. Using a fork, break salmon into large flakes; discard skin. Halve reserved potatoes and eggs crosswise.

8. Arrange frisée on a platter; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with half of dressing. Top in separate piles with potatoes, haricots verts, hard-boiled eggs, olives, and salmon. Drizzle salad with remaining dressing and top with fried capers

Servings: 6

Author: Claire Saffitz
Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day

Monday, August 28, 2017

Printer, Bowling

Damn and blast, my printer packed up on Sunday morning. I thought it wanted a new cartridge but
even with replacements it wouldn't work - it is attempting to print but a page gets a bit of colour and a bit of black but not much of anything. It is a Hewlett Packard and I tried getting answers or help on their site, not much luck there. If I have to replace it, I will probably go back to a Canon. HP charges an arm and a leg for their ink cartridges. Hm, checking it out, I don't think Canon cartidges are cheap any more. I can get a printer/scanner for about $50 but the ink would cost $64!!!!

Friday we went to another local bowling alley, Victoria Bowl, (our usual one is having the lanes dressed) and discovered they have installed synthetic lanes. We have bowled on them before - they seem a tad noisy, but I don't find them too bad. Matt decided he hated them but that was because he had lousy games - except the first one. We will be going back there today, Monday, and again later in the week. The following week our usual alley should be open again. Although it costs a lot of money to install synthetic lanes, the owner told me he will not have to have them dressed every year which does cost a fortune, so in the end he will save money. The owner of Victoria is a fairly new owner and seems to be spending a lot of money on the place. I might say I bowled three really good games - the alleys or me?

I cooked this on Friday for supper and we both enjoyed it. I love foil wrapped cooking, saves on cleanup. I don't carry seasoned rice vinegar so added seasonings to my white wine vinegar.

Ginger Sesame Salmon

"Salmon and grated ginger with sesame oil are cooked on a bed of chopped carrots, then served on
fresh spinach leaves."

4 thin onion slices, separated into rings
2 sheets (12x18-inches each) Reynolds Wrap(R) Non-Stick Foil
2 medium carrots, cut into julienne strips or shredded
4 (4 ounce) salmon fillets, thawed
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 Tbs seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh spinach leaves

1. Preheat oven to 450°F or grill to medium-high.

2. Center one-fourth of onion slices and carrots on each sheet of Reynolds Wrap(R) Non-Stick Foil. Top with salmon. Sprinkle with ginger; drizzle with vinegar and oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Repeat to make four packets.

4. Bake 16 to 20 minutes on a cookie sheet in oven.

5. OR grill 14 to 16 minutes in covered grill.

6. Serve salmon and carrots on a bed of spinach. Sprinkle with additional seasoned rice vinegar, if desired.

Source: Reynolds Kitchens

Have a great day

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Saturday Recipe

I don't know anyone who doesn't like the Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits. I know I have to stop myself eating them and others, who can, gobble them down. The following purports to be a good copycat I don't think I will be trying it, I dread to think what would happen if I had 9 of  them to hand. Matt might get a look in.

 Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits  - Copycat

2 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix
4 Tbs cold butter
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup cold whole milk
1/4 tsp  garlic powder
Brush on top
2 Tbs butter, melted
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp parsley flakes
1 pinch salt

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Combine Bisquick and cold butter. Don't combine too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter about the size of peas.

3. Add cheddar, milk and 1/4 tsp garlic.

4. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

5. Drop 9 equal portions onto greased cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until tops are light brown.

7. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a bowl. Stir in 1/2 tsp garlic powder and parsley flakes.

8. Use a pastry brush to spread garlic butter over tops of biscuits.

9. Combine Bisquick and cold butter. Don't combine too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter about the size of peas.

10. Add cheddar, milk and 1/4 tsp garlic.

11. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

12. Drop 9 equal portions onto greased cookie sheet.

13. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until tops are light brown.

14. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a bowl. Stir in 1/2 tsp garlic powder and parsley flakes.

15. Use a pastry brush to spread garlic butter over tops of biscuits.

Yield: 9 biscuits

Author: Todd Wilbur

Have a great weekend

Friday, August 25, 2017

Churchill, Bowling, Balcony Update,

Just watched an excellent Masterpiece Theatre presentation, Churchill's Secret. It was about him having a stroke in 1953 and it was kept secret. It was very well done. I have a vague memory of having seen it before, if so, not sure why I didn't remember it more. I must say, I didn't know he had had a stroke at that time but then I would have been about 15 at the time I think. He didn't actually die until he was 90. He was an amazing man and the best leader we could have had during the war. We have another movie The Gathering Storm about his years leading up to World War II when he was one of the few who realised what Hitler and the Nazis were up to and tried to persuade Baldwin, the then Prime Minister to build up the British war machine.

So, it didn't finish til late and I am now about ready to hit the sack. Matt already has. Tomorrow we are going bowling at the other bowling alley, Victoria Lanes. We called in at our usual alley, Towne Bowl, and collected our shoes and bowling balls. Missed the owner. But boy are they stripping down the lanes right to the bare wood. Place is not scheduled to reopen til Sept. 1st. So I guess we will be bowling at Victoria next week too.

They dismantled the gantry outside our window today so now we have to wait for them to fill in the holes where it was attached to the balcony. They they have to paint it and after that we will get the railings, we hope. However, there are at least 57 railings to be put up yet and some which haven't been completed, so.......

This looks like a good salmon recipe. Unfortunately I don't think Becel margarine is available in the States or even outside Canada. At least, never saw it in NC. It is a very healthy margarine. Obviously you can sub with whatever is available to you.

Becel Mustard Maple Salmon

1 lb  salmon fillet bones removed and cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup Becel® Buttery Taste margarine*
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 tsp  Dijon mustard or grainy Dijon mustard
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce

1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Arrange salmon in 8-inch (20-cm) baking dish.

2. Microwave Becel® Buttery Taste margarine at HIGH until melted about 15 seconds. Stir in maple syrup, Dijon mustard and soy sauce. Pour over salmon.

3. Bake until salmon flakes with a fork, about 12 minutes. Serve, if desired, with hot rice and vegetables.

4. To cook on the grill, arrange salmon in center of doubled 18 x 18-in. (46 x 46-cm.) piece heavy-duty aluminum foil, then top with mustard sauce. Wrap foil loosely around salmon, sealing edges airtight with double fold. Arrange packet on grill and cook until salmon flakes with a fork, about 12 minutes.

Servings: 4

Source: Becel

Have a great day

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Grammar and Music, Science TV, Bowling,

Funny, I heard a song on the radio this morning which drove me up the wall "I don't know nothing" and it was repeated lots of times. I emailed the DJ whom I know from various recipe broadcasts I have done for him, and he said if bad grammar in songs was going to worry me, I would be in a world of hurt. Suggested I stick to orchestral pieces and then played Albatross on the radio for me. It is true, there is lots of bad grammar in songs but this one particularly hit me today as it was so often repeated during the song. Albatross is by Fleetwood Mac and I first came across it when I met Matt over 45 years ago, he had ordered it from a music store and just got it when I first met him.

I just watched two fascinating programmes on PBS. One about solar eclipses which covered how man finally learned how to predict when and where they would happen, and explained the importance of the sun's corona which is hotter than the sun itself (they don't know why) and sends out bursts of energy which can adversely affect earth. The second programme was about the Voyagers 1 and 2. Considering the time this programme was initiated and how little computer ability was available, it was a remarkable achievement. The computers of the day were about as strong as the buzzer on our key chains. The two Voyagers are now out in space way out of our solar system  having examined several worlds on the way to outer space. An incredible feat of science. The Voyagers will last longer than earth is predicted to do. The records they carry will last for billions of years. Would be nice to think there really was someone out there and that they would pick up these messages from Earth.

Much to our disappointment, the work at our bowling alley will not be finished until next week so we may not be able to bowl there until September. However, we are planning to go to Victoria Bowl which is 'just up the road' from us.

I have been using baby Bok Choy quite a lot lately and really enjoy it. This is a very simple recipe which I found at Bon Appétit.

Garlicky Bok Choy

This bok choy recipe is flavored with garlic and soy sauce.

1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 lb baby bok choy, rinsed, cut into quarters, with core intact
1 Tbs reduced-sodium soy sauce

1. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bok choy, soy sauce, and 2 Tbsp. water and cover immediately. Cook 1 minute. Uncover and toss, then cover and cook until bok choy is tender at the core, about 3 more minutes.

Servings: 4

Author: Sara Dickerman + Marissa Lippert
Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Weather, English Radio,

Tuesday morning I thought the eclipse had finally found us. It went so dark at about 9 a.m. we had to switch on the lights. Turned out to be rain clouds. I now hear there will be another eclipse in 2024 which is supposed to pass over Southern Ontario and Southern Québec. Assuming I am still here in 7 years' time.

I was remembering living in England this morning and listening to the radio. At 9:15 am they read a book for 15 minutes which I usually listened to. Several novels they read I suddenly "got" like The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens. Never could read it myself. Saturday afternoon there was usually a play. I used to iron and listen at the same time. One play I remember was Lost Horizon. Then they had lots of comedians - mostly in the evenings. Some of the best came from Aunty BBC as we used to call it. Of course, there wasn't any advertising either in those days. I can't remember how they subsidised themselves. I know when TV first came out we had to have a TV license. But once advertising came along I guess that was no longer necessary.

Got my hair cut. The young lady did a pretty good job. I promised I would be back.

This traditional Italian recipe has been converted to a one pot version and might be well worth trying out.

One-Pot Cacio e Pepe

This simple and classic pasta dish just got easier -- all of the ingredients are cooked together in the same pot, and the sauce reduces while the pasta cooks, no draining necessary! Don't wait for water to

boil again.

12 oz thin spaghetti, broken in half (see note)
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
2 tsp lemon juice
½ cup grated Pecorino-Romano, plus more for serving
1 Tbs unsalted butter
½ cup grated Parmesan
2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper, plus more for serving

1. boil over medium-high heat. Continue to cook, stirring the spaghetti frequently to keep it from clumping, until it is al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Gradually sprinkle in the Pecorino and stir until completely melted, then add the butter. Sprinkle in the Parmesan, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir until melted and smooth-the cheese will clump at first but will melt into the sauce and thicken it up after about 4 minutes. Divide the spaghetti among 4 bowls and garnish with additional Pecorino and pepper.

Servings: 4

The success of this recipe is dependent upon the specific pasta shape suggested, so we don't recommend substitutions

Have a great day

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipse to Balcony, Hair Salon, Bowling,

I understand that the traffic jams for people who travelled to see the eclipse are horrendous. I heard of one woman who travelled 20 hours to see it. In my opinion she is nuts. We sure didn't get any noticeable diminution of light here, too far away I guess. Not only that we had men crawling all over our balcony and dismantling scaffolding. I hadn't realised just how much light had been cut out by this scaffolding and the wood which was used for the concrete formers. Our balcony looks one heck of a mess with lots of bits and pieces and unused concrete etc. Still a fair amount of work to be done I guess. Another thing they did today was to grind the edges of the concrete. Glad I saw it so I could turn off the a/c. There was a heck of a lot of dust.

Today I am going to a new hairdresser for a hair cut. The couple we used to go to just disappeared without saying anything which I thought was rather odd. Matt has been there twice already but I haven't been there yet. But, boy do I ever need a cut. I hacked at some of it a few weeks ago and just have not had the time to go.

I meant to check whether the other bowling alley in town was open this week. Will have to do so this morning. If they are we will have to pick up our shoes and balls from our home alley.

I am always on the lookout for mushroom recipes. This sounded like a good one.

Mushroom Almond Paté

You can substitute walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts for the almonds
in this recipe with excellent results.

4 Tbs butter
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 lb sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1. Heat the butter in a skillet over moderate heat and saute the onion, garlic, mushrooms, thyme, salt, and pepper until the onion is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Process the almonds in an electric blender or food  processor to make a paste. Add the mushroom mixture and process until smooth. Refrigerate until set.

2. Serve with bread, crackers, or pita bread.

Servings: 6-8

Source: WW Recipes

Have a great day

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse, Bowling,

For those of you in the path of the eclipse today, do please be careful of  your eyes. A very short amount of exposure is damaging to them. I must admit I would not bother to travel to see the event. I gather they are expecting hundreds of people to do so. I think I might be nervous about driving home in case some of the 'viewers' had not properly protected their eyes and could no longer see well enough to drive home.

We will both be upset not to be able to bowl this week but they are re-surfacing the lanes which has to be done every year.There is just a slight possibility we might be able to bowl on Thursday. At least there is a possibility we might be able to go to Victoria Bowl.

The author of the following recipe started off by making a filling for pot stickers but, as he said, he spent another 45 minutes or so, after making this recipe, pleating the pastry for the pot stickers. He decided in future to just make the filling and eat it as is. I thought this was a good idea too and share the recipe with you.

Quinoa Cabbage Salad

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 cup cabbage
1/2 cup carrots
1/2 cup green onion
1/2 cup zucchini
3 Tbs soy sauce
3 Tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tsp natural cane sugar
2 tsp sesame oil

1. Place quinoa and water in a medium pot, bring to a boil, reduce, and cover. Let cook for 15 minutes until water has been absorbed.

2. While quinoa is cooking, in a pan, heat oil. Place carrots, green onions, and zucchini in pan and saute until vegetables are slightly tender. Add in cabbage and continue to saute until cabbage has cooked through and wilted slightly. Once vegetables are ready, stir in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sugar. Continue to cook until liquid is almost gone, about 1-2 more minutes.

3. Stir vegetables into quinoa and serve right away.

Servings: 2

Source: Naturally Ella
Author: Erin Alderson

Have a great day

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday Recipe

I have been hunting around on Pinterest to find a copy of the Red Lobster Chocolate Wave Cake. I fan find lots of pictures but between Denise Hammond and myself, the only actual recipe we found was the one that follows. This recipe makes individual cakes and not one complete cake as made by The Red Lobster. Not only that theirs has layers of a ganache or something similar and is absolutely delicious.  Finally there is no white chocolate used. The picture above is the one of the original cake. However, this does look like a good chocolate cake recipe so thought I would post it anyway. I have seriously thought about buying a whole cake $40 and cutting it in slices then freezing it. I do so love this cake and as I am a confirmed chocoholic I am tempted to do just that. I brought a slice home with me last Tuesday and have been eating small amounts of it all week. Their servings are huge.

Chocolate Wave Cake

3/4 cup butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp Grand Marnier

White-Chocolate Truffle
6 oz white chocolate
3 Tbs heavy cream
3 Tbs softened butter
2 Tbs Grand Marnier

1. Melt butter in a double boiler over medium-low heat. Add chocolate chips, heating until mixture is melted.

2. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl. Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture and beat well.

3. In a separate bowl, combine four eggs, four yolks, and Grand Marnier. Add this to the chocolate mixture and beat until well mixed. Cover and chill overnight.

4. For Truffle: Melt the white chocolate and heavy cream in a double boiler over low heat. Add butter and Grand Marnier and stir until smooth. Chill overnight.

5. Butter and flour individual 5-ounce ramekins. Fill 1/3 of each with the chilled chocolate mixture. Add a rounded tablespoon of the truffle mixture. Fill to the top with the chocolate mixture.

6. Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes. Let the cakes sit for 15-20 minutes before inverting. Run a knife around the edges to loosen.

7. Serve with chocolate sauce, raspberries, and/or ice cream if desired.

Servings: 6


Have a great weekend

Friday, August 18, 2017


Wednesday we went to the bowling alley for our lunch and played one game but I was not feeling 100% so we came home early. IBS playing me up. Then I really didn't feel like writing a blog as I had little or nothing to talk about. I stretched out in my lounger and felt sorry for myself LOL.

Thursday I made some Picadillo for supper and then we went bowling. I had two excellent games and one reasonable. Matt was the same. No pressure I guess. The Picadillo, which we ate in the evening, was very good. First time I have ever made it. Matt always did so before.

I bought a DVD of Dunkirk which I thought was the movie but turned out to be BBC programmes as it turns out, the two episodes we watched were excellent. A lot of people probably don't realise it is only 22 miles across the Channel from Dover to Calais. The channel is wider in some places of course, but it isn't very far which is why a number of small yachts were able to cross to Dunkirk to help with the evacuation of the BEF. (British Expeditionary Force). My history of that time isn't very good, but certainly England was not prepared for war, Prime Minister Baldwin having tried everything he could to not get into a war, they didn't do anything much about arming and training British soldiers. In fact Baldwin and his faction didn't/wouldn't believe Germany was rearming.

I just came across this recipe tonight, one I saved a while back and which I intended to try but have never done so. I save so many recipes and sometimes I forget that I have done so.

Chocolate soup

3/4 cup double cream
7 1/4 oz good-quality dark chocolate
1/2 cup strong coffee
4 Tbs brandy (optional)
vanilla ice cream, to serve

1. Put the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat and gently bring to the boil. Meanwhile, chop the chocolate into small pieces using a heavy knife and prepare the coffee.

2. Once the cream is just boiling, turn off the heat and throw in the chopped chocolate. Stir gently until completely smooth, then add the coffee and brandy (if using).

3. To serve, divide between 4 small bowls and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to each.

Servings: 4

Author: Barney Desmazery
Source: BBC

Have a great day

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Scaffolding, Red Lobster, Bowling Banquet, Recipe by Request,

They have finished erecting the scaffolding on our tier and are now in the process of building the wooden formers to hold the concrete. Hopefully that will be poured soon to give it a chance to cure before there is any concern about cold weather. This is how it was across from us last year and how it presumably looks here now. There are lots of predictions, especially amongst my exercise group, that these balconies will not be finished this year. I hope they are wrong.

We had an excellent supper at the Red Lobster and I ate my Dueling
Crab Legs with much pleasure. Matt polished off a large chunk of Chocolate Wave Cake (he only ate seafood stuffed mushrooms and a Caesar Salad), so I ordered a serving to bring home. The serving in the restaurant includes ice cream but I wouldn't have had that anyway. I like ice cream and I like cake, but not together thanks. Matt ordered his way before I had finished my crab. I guess he figured that way he wouldn't have to share any at all. I got at least two forkfuls last time!!!

Tomorrow, of course, is our final day of Summer League bowling so we are having our "banquet". High falutin' word for lunch of KFC. Matt and I will continue to bowl twice a week on Wed. and Thurs. until the winter league starts when it will be Monday and Thursday. Preferable, to two days combined. We also have to watch someone else be fêted for being in first place. Grrrr.

In the last few days I thought about Picadillo which for some reason we haven't made in years. There are lots of different versions of this recipe depending on which part of South America you are searching. Everyone seems to have their own recipe.  Today, when we were shopping, I was talking to the cashier who follows my blog and I promised her I would post the recipe. I also mentioned the Korean Bulgogi Flank Steak to her as well. I have already posted this recipe. I hadn't realised I had been making this for a year, off and on. I actually bought a couple of pieces of flank steak today.


1 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 lb lean ground beef
5 green olives, pitted and halved
1-1/2 oz capers, rinsed and drained
2 tsps wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 tsp hot sauce
2 cups canned tomatoes, half-drained
Handful Raisins

This recipe has been scaled back from 12 servings to four.

In a large stock pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onion and green pepper until onions are transparent. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl and set aside. In the same pot, heat the remaining olive oil and brown the ground beef.

In a separate saucepan, combine the olives, capers, vinegar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and hot sauce. Let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Place the olive mixture and the onion mixture into the pot with the ground beef. Add the half drained tomatoes and cook for 1 hour over medium heat; stirring occasionally.

Servings: 4

Author Notes
"Ground beef, onions, green bell peppers, garlic and tomatoes, stewed together and seasoned with cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves. Can be served alone or with rice."

Have a great day

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Health Card, Red Lobster,

Monday morning we both had a doctor's appointment and then I finally managed to get round to going to apply for my new health card. Last time we went there was a huge line up. There was again but we had more time and in fact I was in and out in half an hour not too bad. However, it is going to take 6 to 8 weeks for the card to arrive. I wonder what takes them so long?  They insist you remove your glasses when you have your picture taken and they also do not allow you to smile. The result, an awful picture. I thought I had to pay for a new card but luckily I was wrong. Have to pay for a driver's license though. Mine, which was recently renewed, expires when I hit the big 80 and then I have to go for a new license every two years. Matt has now done this twice. The cards for both health and driving are useful for ID.

Tonight we are going to the Red Lobster with a friend. She and I are both crab fanatics and as Crabfest doesn't end til August 31, we will take advantage of it. However, she has a very small appetite so I don't suppose she will have the Dueling Crabs which I found so delicious last time and which I will probably choose again. The dish is part Snow Crab and part Dungeness if you don't remember. This time I will take my lobster pick with me, they give you some tools but this gets right down inside a leg to draw out the flesh. Having written this I got out my pick and had to clean it in the silver dip as it was a tad tarnished. I don't get to eat lobster very much after all.

We passed the Korean store this morning and I thought about stopping but wanted to get to the Service Ontario Office to get my card. Will have to plan to get there soon.

For this recipe you would probably need to have a Korean store in your area, luckily I do. I love recipes for skirt and flank steak as these meats are flavourful and inexpensive.

Gochujang-Marinated Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is the ultimate summer steak for grilling—quick cooking, buttery, and versatile.

3 Tbs gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), plus more for serving
3 Tbs olive oil, plus more for grill
3 Tbs plus ½ cup seasoned rice vinegar
Kosher salt
1 medium red onion, halved through root end
1 skirt steak (about 1 pound), halved crosswise
Warm tortillas (for serving

1. Combine 3 Tbsp. gochujang, 3 Tbsp. oil, and 3 Tbsp. vinegar in a large resealable plastic bag. Throw in several generous pinches of salt and grate in half of onion on the large holes of a box grater. Add steak and seal bag, pressing out air, then rub steak to coat; chill at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.

2. Meanwhile, thinly slice remaining half of onion and combine in a large bowl with remaining ½ cup vinegar and a pinch of salt. Let sit until onion is softened, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours; drain.

3. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; oil grate. Remove steak from bag, letting excess marinade drip off; discard marinade. Grill, turning once or twice, until lightly charred on the outside and medium-rare in the thickest part, 4–6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.

4. Season meat with more salt and serve with tortillas, pickled onion, and more gochujang.

Servings: 4

Author: Claire Saffitz
Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day

Monday, August 14, 2017

Builders, Pavlovas, Ballet,

Interesting, the builders worked all day on Saturday, not sure what time they actually clocked on and off, but I guess they are as concerned with finishing the balconies as we are to see them finished. Today they were attaching new rods to the original rods of the balcony flooring. Makes it a lot stronger I presume. Although I watched when they did the balconies across from us, I didn't realise about the small fiddly bits they were doing.

We are really enjoying these Pavlovas whilst the summer fruits are so good. Small problem today, I didn't whip the cream quite enough so it ran down the side a bit. Not serious. Still tasted delicious.

Watched a programme about Ballet Boys on Saturday night/ Basically about some young Norwegian men who were training to dance and one of them was finally invited to the Royal Ballet company in London. I had no idea just what these young men had to go through during their training. One is aware that ballerinas have a lot of pain through dancing on their points, but the comment made was "pain was part of dancing".if that is so, why on earth do they want to do it. I must admit I love to watch male ballet dancers - especially the really good ones who seem to almost fly when they do their leaps. I was lucky enough to see some wonderful dancers at Sadlers Wells in London many years ago including Margot Fonteyn who was one of the top ballerinas in her day. I don't remember the names of all the others I saw which is a shame, but they were so wonderful. The young Norwegian who was accepted by the Royal Ballet had to pay €40,000 a year for his tuition. A lot of money. My only complaint about the programme was the subtitles which one is so busy reading, you miss a lot of what is happening.

Saturday morning I did my first half hour exercise with Miranda Esmonde-White - the one designed to reduce pain. Difficult to watch TV and do the exercises at the same time, but not impossible.

I saw this recipe on Sunday morning and thought it looked delicious. It does include a few ingredients I don't have but that can easily be remedied. I have metal and bamboo skewers and would probably use the metal ones.

Sambal Chicken Skewers

Kebabs get a bad rap. (Decades of alternating zucchini coins and cherry tomatoes can do that.) But this Asian take, with a spicy, sticky glaze, makes for a very convincing comeback

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1/4 cup Sriracha
2 tsp finely grated peeled ginger
1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch–2-inch pieces
Special Equipment
8 bamboo skewers soaked in water at least 1 hour

1. Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Whisk brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha, and ginger in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Remove chicken and thread 4 or 5 pieces onto each skewer.

2. Transfer leftover marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half (about 1 cup), 7–10 minutes.

3. Grill chicken, turning and basting often with reduced marinade, until cooked through, 8–10 minutes

Servings: 4

Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day

Saturday, August 12, 2017

This 'n That plus Saturday Recipe.

Sorry no blog yesterday, got stuck into Poldark again and hadn't written anything earlier during the day. Apart from which, I was a bit stunned at what happened in the last episode I watched. Something I definitely did not expect.

I received my Miranda Esmonde-White DVDs on Thursday. At the time of writing I haven't looked at them but there are two disks with several half hour exercises plus some extras. Being Friday as I write, I will probably leave them til Saturday now. Friday is exercise class anyway. I am hoping to use them on my desktop as there isn't a heck of a lot of room in front of the TV.

Somewhat nervous evening, watching Jeopardy there was a warning for the area of a possible tornado and a violent storm with hail etc. The tornado warnings have been dropped now, but still warnings of violent storms. I don't know what we should do for a tornado, I assume go down to the undergound garage area. At the current time of writing there is quite a storm raging outside.

This recipe really appealed to me, seems somewhat different.

Warm Buttered Tomatoes With Ginger And Scallions

This versatile peak-of-summer condiment can be served on top of white rice, pasta, toast, steamed
fish, steak, or roast chicken.

4 Tbs unsalted butter
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, cut into thin matchsticks
4 scallions, white and pale green parts finely chopped, dark green parts thinly sliced
1 ½ lbs tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
2 Tbs plus 1 ½ teaspoons white or regular soy sauce
Kosher salt

1. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium. As soon as butter stops foaming, add ginger and scallion whites and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, turning gently with a large spoon, until tomatoes are juicy and just warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt, if needed. Top with scallion greens.

Servings: 4

Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great weekend

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bowling, Drilling.

As most of you will know by now, we lost our bowling tournament by 1 point. Unfortunately we were playing one of the best teams and the team which beat us had a walkover due to absent players who didn't bowl ahead. Tees me off a bit. Still, what can you do. I could have borne it more easily if we had lost by lots of points. Next week is our final banquet for the summer league plus prizes which we now won't get, boo hoo. Don't get anything for second place unfortunately. Matt and I both had excellent games in the first of the three. After that, I couldn't bowl worth a damn, I didn't even make 100 in the second game. Pitiful.

We had an absolutely gorgeous bout of drilling today, not sure which was worse, when they were drilling our balcony floor or when they were doing the one above us. It was far worse than when they were getting rid of the wall. Matt and I were shouting directly into one another's ears in order to communicate. It's bad but although we weren't sorry to go bowling, it really isn't so bad it drives us out. To hear other people complaining, it's terrible and yet we find it really bad but not so bad it drives us out of our home.

This site, Laa Loosh, appears to specialise in Weight Watcher meals. Looks pretty tasty doesn't it?

Skinny Peruvian Beef Saltado

Flavorful, light, and super easy to make, this healthy Lomo Saltado Recipe is a treat for the eyes as well as the palate. Traditionally served with fries or potatoes, my skinny version eliminates them to
save on Points Plus, but is just as delicious.

1 lb lean sirloin, sliced into thin, wide strips
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 large tomato, sliced into thin wedges
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Season beef with salt, pepper and cumin.

2. Add beef and cook until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Add in garlic, onions and peppers, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

3. Stir in the vinegar and soy sauce. Cook for another 2 minutes, then add in the tomatoes and cilantro, and cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Serve immediately

Source: Laa Loosh

Have a great day

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Miranda Esmonde-White

This is what I was talking about in my first post today.

Have a great day