Saturday, June 30, 2018

Air Fryer, Canada Day,

Not been able to "play" with my air fryer much, but I have been trying Prawn Crackers (name we give them in the UK, not sure about in North America) the first time they came out very overcooked, this time they were perfect. I put them in the basket, sprayed them with Pam and gave them about 2 minutes without heating the fryer before hand. These were frequently served at Chinese restaurants in England, I have never seen them here, certainly not at the Mandarin.

Just realised that being Canada Day on Sunday July 1, the Mandarin will be serving chocolate covered bacon for the whole month of July.

To all my Canadian Friends, hope you have a happy Canada Day and are careful if you are in the area where it is going to be so hot. I know we have heat warnings out in our neck of the woods.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Breakfast, Bowling,

Half listening to GMA this morning and they discussed the kinds of breakfasts you should buy at various restaurants to stay healthy. My response was - how about breakfast at home? Matt said - well they are going to the office - so were we, once, and always had breakfast at home. It astounds me that people would buy their breakfast when going to work, is it laziness or what? If you really have no time, a cereal or some oatmeal is always quick, but, in my opinion, you should always make time for a good breakfast before you go out. You don't know when you might get to eat again, if things got super busy or something. You can always boil eggs the night before or even several for the week. An egg sandwich is quick.

We went league bowling today and discovered their computers were down. A lot of the people there had never scored on paper before in their lives, so what kind of a mess they made, I can't guess. I haven't scored on paper for a long time either so I was having some difficulty. Not only that we had to press a button as we exited the lane to clear off any pins left over and most of us kept forgetting. Press the button was heard up and down the alley. Of course, without the computers, we have no idea who won and who lost. I do hope their computers will be up next week. It was a bit of a pain in the butt to say the least. Pleased to say I had one very good game, one mediocre and one at least above my average which went up about 0.3 points. Better up than down. At least my tablet was working LOL.

As usual, my brain was spinning around wondering what to serve for supper Thursday night. I was pretty beat due to a)bowling, not too bad and b) walking to the Post Office to return the plug to Amazon. However, I remembered an asparagus salad I haven't made for a year or so and then thought Devilled Eggs to go with it. A very simple recipe but delicious. My Devilled Eggs are pretty spicy too, with English mustard and Tabasco sauce. Most of the Devilled Eggs I come across are very bland. For just the two of us I used 1/2 lb of asparagus and one endive.

Asparagus and Endive Salad

1 lb fresh asparagus , trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1 Tbs Juice, orange, fresh
2 Tbs seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs small shallots , minced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp black pepper
8 oz Belgian endive, fresh, head , cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips (2 heads)

1. Place 1/2 inch of water at the bottom of a 12 inch pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add in asparagus and cook until tender yet crisp, about 2 minutes. Place in strainer, rinse under cold water, drain, and pat dry with paper towels.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the orange peel, orange juice, vinegar, oil, shallots, sugar, salt, mustard, and pepper until well combined.

3. Add the asparagus and endive to the bowl with the dressing. Mix well to evenly coat and serve.

Servings: 4

Source: dLife

Have a great day

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Electrical Gremlins Newegg, Lazy Day,

I think the electrical gremlins are out to get me. I put a piece of bread in my toaster oven and even on its longest time, I got a piece of dry white bread. I had been having difficulties with it such as baking potatoes just didn't seem to work, but that finally made me realise something was wrong. However, I am being sent a new one as it isn't very long since I bought this one.They identify the age with a number on the plug and often ask for one to cut off the plug and return it. However, the guy I was talking to, said you (Canadians) have to pay so much for postage, just send us a picture. I was pleased, because I defrost/toast a bun in it for lunch and although it doesn't work properly, it does do the job, kind of.

May not just be electrical gremlins, I ordered printer inks from Newegg ages ago, they haven't arrived and despite lots of contact I still haven't had a refund. They keep sending me a copy of an email to the supplier, established on Jupiter I assume, takes such a long time to get a response. I have to start chasing them again. Later - I phoned them again and I am promised a refund in about a week.

I had a thoroughly lazy day other than phoning people. Supposed to go to our coffee klatsche this morning but didn't get off  the phone soon enough. This afternoon was exercise class, didn't go to that either. Can't remember if I mentioned our league bowling was moved to Thursday.

This recipe is touted as being no cook - presumably because of the summer heat - not round here lately although I understand we are going up into the 30s at the weekend. I thought this looked pretty good. Matt not too crazy about avocados but maybe done this way....

Hasselback Tex-Mex Avocados 

Transform an avocado into a showstopping dish that tastes even better than it looks. Just cut slits in
an avocado half using the hasselback technique, then add tomato, cheese and a flavorful dressing for a healthy Mexican-inspired side.

2 firm ripe avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
1 medium plum tomato, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1 Tbs avocado oil or olive oil
1 Tbs lime juice
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
2 Tbs crumbled queso blanco
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

1. Place avocado halves cut-side down on a cutting board. Make crosswise cuts every ¼ inch along each half, slicing almost to the bottom but not all the way through. Carefully transfer the avocados to a serving platter. Fill each cut with a slice of tomato, skin-side up.

2. Combine oil, lime juice, chili powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle over the avocados. Top with cheese and cilantro.

Servings: 4

Author: Carolyn Casner
Source: EatingWell

Have a great day

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Busy Tuesday, Asparagus,

Things are not going my way lately. I took the bras to the post office and collected the parcel with the other bra plus a wall plug. Bra seems fine, but nothing would plug into the wall plug again so it too has to go back. Thinking I need to take my hair dryer (lightest thing I could think of) and go round all the damned stores in the area. What a pain. After the Post Office I picked up my groceries then went to the library to pick up and drop off and finally to the bakers to get my favourite buns. I phoned Matt to say I would be home in a few minutes and to meet me, and he was all in a panic and stressed out again because he didn't now where I had got to (I was only just over an hour) and had forgotten I was going to several places. By the time I had done all this I was exhausted again. Although not taking up energy of the body, I had been reconciling bank accounts in the morning and dealing with various appointments. I am beginning to think I need some help. Not only that, Matt complained that the bananas I brought home were tasteless. Grrr. Now of course I have to go back to the post office to return the plug.

When doing my canning yesterday, I had chopped off ends of the asparagus so they would fit in the jars so I had about half a pound of ends which I am now going to make into Cream of Asparagus Soup. Got part way but didn't complete it, will do so tomorrow. We watched My Fair Lady in the evening, not seen it in a long while. Really enjoyed it. It has been restored apparently, certainly nothing wrong with the quality of the film.

Forgot to mention about driving to the asparagus farm. The original route I took was blocked off two years ago because they were repairing a bridge. I found another route and have followed that for the last two seasons then two weeks ago, I was almost there and, guess what, road closed. Luckily there is another route I knew, but I think someone has it in for either me, or Barrie's Asparagus Farm. I probably won't be going there again this year, will have to check the route before I go again next year.

I think I have the pickling bug, I just came across this recipe and thought aha. It isn't canned though, but even so...

Southern-Style Pickled Shrimp

1 Vidalia or sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup capers with their juices
3/4 tsp celery seeds
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Splash of Tabasco sauce, to taste
1 1/2 lbs (41/50 count) peeled and cooked shrimp

In a large bowl, combine the onions, lemon, cider vinegar, canola oil, capers, celery seeds, sugar, salt, and Tabasco. Add the shrimp and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve chilled. Keeps for at least a week.

Servings: 6

Source: Kitchn

Have a great day

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Monday Shopping at the Farm,

I decided to leave my return parcel til Tuesday when I am going to the mall where the post office is anyway. Saves on gas at least. Turns out I have a parcel to pick up at the post office tomorrow so that worked out fine.

So, went to the asparagus farm instead and bought loads of asparagus for myself and others plus some rhubarb for someone else oh, and strawberries for us. I have rhubarb in the freezer now, don't need more. This is probably the last fresh asparagus this year. We then came home and as the car was filthy we went into a gas bar, topped up the tank and washed the car. Does look a lot better now.

Came home and thought I would leave my pickling and canning til tomorrow (Tuesday) then thought,
I'll just do the brine then that at least will be ready. Then thought, well it won't take long to sterilise the jars, and so on and so on, so now I have three more jars of pickled asparagus sitting cooling and popping (well two of them have) although I Googled and even if they don't pop, it can be OK and you can check by pressing the top which, so long as there is no give, means they are sealed properly. Now have 5 jars in all. Once I had finished, I was done for and virtually threw some soup and some cheese and crackers on the table.

I need to write things down, thought of two ideas to write about and have forgotten them both!!

I thought this looked good. Especially since we cannot have a barbecue.

Blackened Shrimp with Citrus and Roasted Fennel

You don’t need to grill outdoors to get smoky char on this shrimp dish, just a quick spice rub and a hot skillet. The fennel and shallots caramelize and become tender as they roast, and the orange slices
become concentrated and fragrant. The multigrain medley is a fun alternative to brown rice; it includes brown, red, and wild rice, plus quinoa. Can’t find it? Use any precooked brown rice or quick-cooking quinoa

2 small navel oranges
2 medium fennel bulbs with stalks (about 7 oz. each)
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
6 small shallots, halved
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
2 (4.4-oz.) pkg. precooked multigrain rice medley (such as Minute)

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Grate one orange to equal 1 teaspoon rind; reserve. Cut oranges crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Remove stalks from fennel; chop fronds to equal 2 tablespoons and reserve (discard stalks). Cut fennel bulbs into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Combine orange slices, 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, shallots, and fennel wedges in a bowl. Arrange fennel mixture in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for 25 minutes or until fennel is tender and lightly charred.

3. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, paprika, and next 4 ingredients (through red pepper) in a ziplock bag. Add shrimp, seal, and shake to coat. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until done.

4. Heat rice medleys according to package directions; place in a bowl and stir in reserved 1 teaspoon orange rind. Divide rice mixture, fennel mixture, and shrimp among 4 plates; sprinkle evenly with reserved fennel fronds.

Servings: 4

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Monday, June 25, 2018

Shopping Online,

Such an exciting weekend, I ordered some bras online which arrived on Friday. Saturday morning I went to put one on and guess what, it was way too small, turned out I had been sent the wrong size. I wrote to Walmart instantly, I was a tad annoyed, and I now have to take them to the post with a
special voucher to return them. I am also supposed to get an evoucher!! Not sure if I mentioned I had bought an adapter plug (you know, so I can plug in more than one thing to an outlet) and that turned out to be useless, nothing will plug into it. I am getting a refund, but have been having the devil of a time finding what I want. I finally did find it at and not wanting to pay horrendous shipping, I ordered a replacement bra to go with it. I must admit I find the internet to be an extremely useful source of products so I don't have to go hunting around. I can't believe the adapter was so difficult to find. This one is a surge protector, but  it looks as though it will do the job I want. I have a coffee pot and a toaster plugged into the same wall outlet. I have to unplug the toaster every time I want to use the plate warmer and as that is almost daily, it is inconvenient to say the least. Especially as I am dumb enough to forget and try to cook something in the toaster which doesn't have power any more.

We got some rain, in fact, as I write, it is still raining. Not hard, a gentle rain which is best, especially when it hasn't rained in a long time. I just hope it will be enough. I have my fingers crossed, not only for the grass seed around our building, but for the remaining asparagus crop which has been somewhat skinny due to the lack of moisture.

Monday I plan to go to the farm and get myself extra asparagus to finally use my Mason Jars!!!

Saturday night we had Keema with Peas again, made with minced lamb. It has been in the freezer for a while and it was still delicious, I had forgotten how good. I still have some plain minced lamb in the freezer so will be making it again soon. In case you too have forgotten it, I am posting it again. Not having any poppadums I decided to serve it with bow tie pasta, mixing Italy and India.

Keema with Peas

Put a new spin on mince with this spicy Indian dish. Serve with poppadums, chutney and cooling 

1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cm piece ginger, grated
2 green chillies
3 Tbs oil
500 g lamb mince (approx 2 cups)
2 Tbs garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
½ a can chopped tomatoes (freeze the rest), or use 2 medium fresh tomatoes
2 Tbs natural yogurt
200 g frozen peas or cooked fresh peas (just under a cup)
1 small bunch coriander, chopped

1. Chop the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies together in a food processor. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the mixture until it becomes very fragrant. Add the mince and fry until it begins to brown, stirring to break up any lumps.

2. Add the spices and fry for 1 min. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, cook for 1 min, then stir in the yogurt, some salt and a good grind of black pepper. Add a splash of water if you need to, then cook the mixture for 30 mins. Add the frozen peas and cook for 5 mins, then stir in the coriander. Serve with Indian breads or poppadums, chutney and some more yogurt.

Servings: 4

Tips: Can be frozen before peas are added

Source: BBC Good Food

Have a great day

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Saturday Recipe

This looked an interesting recipe.

Creamy Asparagus and Pancetta Penne

This vibrantly colorful dish is chock full of amazing veggies. In taking advantage of produce that is
in season, this pasta dish truly shines.

2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 Tbs butter, softened
1 tsp olive oil
2 oz chopped pancetta
1 (8-ounce) package sliced cremini mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine or
2 Tbs each lemon juice and water
1 tsp salt, divided
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
3 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
12 oz uncooked whole-wheat penne (such as Barilla)
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen green peas
12 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
3 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp grated lemon rind
3/4 tsp black pepper

1. Combine flour and butter in a bowl until a paste forms.

2. Place a large high-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pancetta; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until browned and liquid evaporates. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer mixture to a plate.

3. Add stock, 2 cups milk, penne, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas, asparagus, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1 cup milk, and thyme; cook 2 minutes. Add butter-flour paste, in pieces, stirring constantly to combine and thicken. Remove from heat; stir in mushroom mixture, parsley, rind, and black pepper.

Servings: 6

Author: Maureen Callahan
Source: Cooking Light

Have a great weekend

Friday, June 22, 2018

Mason Jar Hunt, Song of Woes, Bowling,

Tuesday morning, as I said, I took the car for servicing and asked them to look at the tire which was losing air. Turned out it was losing it from the rim so they cleaned it and fixed it - then I went to Home Hardware. Yes they had Mason jars, no they did not sell them individually. I  tried everywhere I knew to get just one or two more and then someone told me to go to Dollarama. I phoned and checked and they did sell them singly.

I seem to be doing a lot of 'wearing myself out' lately. Wednesday we went bowling, of course. Pleased to say I bowled well and my average went up 3 points. Mind you, the high average ladies during the summer league are 189 to my 151. I think it is extremely unlikely I can catch them. However our team is currently lying in 2nd place, tied with another team, so you never know!!! Because they had a school crowd bowling, our start was delayed til 1:30. Next week we are bowling on the Thursday because Wednesday they have more school bowlers who will take over the whole alley.

After bowling I decided to go to the Dollarama to get my Mason jars. What a fiasco, I had never been there but knew which mall it was in. Went to the mall and in the front doors and could see nothing to tell me where it was. A man came up to me and asked if he could help then told me Dollarama was "way down there", so I started walking and was already hurting so went back to the car to drive around and see if there was an outside door. There was, but I couldn't park near it. I drove round again and managed to park close-ish. I then walked to the store and saw a Wheelchair parking spot but figured if I tried to go back and get the car, it would be filled again, so on I plodded. Once in
Dollarama, I was directed to where the Mason jars were with the proviso, if we have any, that took me back. What a huge store. They did have them, lots of them. I then plodded back to the car by which time I was hurting quite badly (legs). I was so tired when we got home that I ordered pizza. Never do that. Had a Pizza Pizza Artichoke and Chicken one. I liked it, don't think Matt did much.  Watched a bit of TV and then fell into bed and went out like a light. One hour later I was awake with screaming cramps right through my legs and also in my arms a bit and in my stomach. Got up, drank tonic water, swallowed a magnesium pill, drank pickle juice. Every cure I had ever heard of.  I ended up sleeping in my chair (read a bit first) and finally around 4 in the morning went back to bed. I was not a happy camper. I am assuming it was a combination of the bowling and then all the walking.

However, went bowling again today, was feeling better, actually, letting hot water pour onto my sore legs (in the shower) really seemed to help. Relaxing muscles I suppose.

Finished the pizza tonight, Wednesday. Found an excellent way of reheating it. Much better than shoving in the microwave or even in the oven. The pizza was like it had just been delivered.

Bowls seem to be very popular these days and as I like sushi I thought this would be right up my street. Give the asparagus haters a rest too LOL. Not that Matt and I claim to be sushi chefs, they do study a long time, but we have definitely rolled our own sushi in the past.

Sushi Bowl with Tofu and Brown Rice

Training to become a sushi chef can take up to 43,800 hours. Making this delicious Sushi Salad of brown rice, marinated tofu, avocado and edamame, all tossed in a ginger wasabi dressing will take
you less than 1 hour. We don’t know about you, but we aren’t going to roll our sushi…we’re going to bowl it.

Marinated Tofu
12 oz firm tofu, pressed dry between layers of paper towel and cut into ¾-inch thick strips
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs mirin
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
½ tsp sesame oil
Brown Rice
1 ½ cups short grain brown rice
2 ¾ cups water
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
½ tsp soy sauce
Ginger Wasabi Dressing
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs peanut oil
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp wasabi paste
1 tsp honey
½ tsp grated fresh ginger
1 small English cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup shelled frozen edamame, thawed and drained well
1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds
1 nori sheet, cut into thin strips

1. Place tofu in a medium bowl and toss with soy sauce, mirin, ginger and sesame oil. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

2. For the rice, in a fine-mesh strainer, rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Combine rice and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let steam covered for 5 minutes. Spread rice on a baking sheet. In a small bowl whisk rice vinegar, sugar and soy sauce sprinkle vinegar mixture over the rice let cool.

3. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place tofu in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, turn tofu and continue to bake 5 minutes more until golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

4. For the Ginger Wasabi dressing, using a blender, combine rice vinegar, mayonnaise, peanut oil, soy sauce, wasabi paste, honey and ginger until well combined.

5. To assemble salad, using 6 individual serving bowls, place rice in the bottom of each. Add tofu, cucumber, carrots, edamame and avocado. Generously drizzle each bowl with dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds and nori strips to garnish.

Servings: 6

Source: Zoomer

Have a great day

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Sleep Deprivation, Road Works, Shopping, Pickling,

Monday night we watched an English documentary The Truth About Sleep which I found very interesting. It was hosted by a doctor who had given up being a doctor because he was an insomniac and became extremely bad tempered due to lack of sleep. Not good for patients. There is, apparently, a lot of research going into sleep deprivation in the UK and they carried out a few tests in conjunction with some research labs. The ex doctor said he would go to sleep til 3 a.m. and then that was it. By the end of the programme he was getting a much better night's sleep. So by this time I was too tired to write a blog and so went to bed, I had to take the car in for service at 8 a.m. The programme must have affected me because at 3 a.m. I was wide awake. I did manage to go back to sleep about an hour later. At the end of the programme they tried a few old wive's tales or similar. One was to eat 2 Kiwi fruits an hour before bed (could get expensive) another to have a hot bath an hour before and to go to bed in a cold bedroom. Mindfulness was also tried, but the ex doc himself was taking a probiotic powder in a drink before he went to bed and it really seemed to work. Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain and diabetes which can then be followed by strokes and heart attacks. Not to mention driving, there is an ad on our local radio station "Never drive when you are DEAD tired".

I made it to Meineke for 8 a.m. and got our free service (from now on we have to pay again and build up points to get more freebies) - I asked them to check our back tire, passenger side. Turns out it was leaking air at the rim and they took it off, cleaned and resealed it. So I'm good to go for a day or two. Oh, nearly forgot, Monday I went to the asparagus farm (what a surprise). 18 months ago they pulled up a bridge so we had to get a new route. Toodling along the country road I found they were pulling up the road where I wanted to go. I was somewhat annoyed, putting it politely. It's a fairly long drive, then I remembered I could back track slightly and use a different junction which I did. My luck, they will decide to close that road as well although there are two golf courses, one, a major one, and I don't think they would be too happy if people couldn't get there for a couple of years.

Today, Tuesday, I ordered my groceries on line again. This is actually saving us money because I see how much I am spending as I add things to my order and not being in the store, do less impulse buying.

I have been hunting for more large Mason jars. I can buy them in packs of 12 but I only want a couple more. I have now been told that one of the local dollar stores, Dollarama, sells them individually. Just phoned them, they do sell them individually. Hurrah. I gave my asparagus pickling recipe to one of the women I buy asparagus for. She is almost as nutty about the stuff as I am. Only got a couple of weeks to go before the season is over. Those of you who don't like asparagus will be relieved!!

Asparagus is enjoyable in a salad and this is a good one.

Asparagus, Strawberry and Quinoa Caprese Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 tsp olive oil
30 spears asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
16 strawberries, sliced (about 12 ounces)
4.5 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
? cup Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh basil

1. Place the cooked quinoa in a large salad bowl.

2. Prepare the balsamic vinaigrette and set aside.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once heated, add the asparagus and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the asparagus is bright green and slightly tender, yet still has a little crunch.

4. Add the asparagus to the quinoa. Mix in the strawberries, mozzarella cheese, and the balsamic vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Top the salad with chopped fresh basil.

Servings: 7

Author: Krista
Source: Destination Delish

Have a great day

Monday, June 18, 2018

Wine Production, La-Z-boy Chair, Downsizing,

Here is a bit of trivia from How To Geek. The annual production of wine in France, when measured by the bottle, usually exceeds the world population. We could all drink a bottle of French wine and there would still be hundreds of millions of bottles left over. So, for those of us who enjoy our wine, we needn't worry.

I don't know if you remember but about a year or go, or a bit longer, I was moaning that my La-Z-boy had broken and the footrest would no long stay up. I got in touch with La-Z-boy who referred me to another company called Vynew. They said they would send someone to look at the chair and it would cost me $60 which, if I had the chair repaired, would be rolled into the final cost. They sent a guy with totally fractured English who turned the chair upside down and took some photographs, told me it was mechanical (I could hardly understand him but I already knew it was mechanical!) charged me $60 and disappeared. I then had to call Vynew again and they said they would repair it for $160, and no the $60 would NOT be rolled over. I was furious and have not done anything about it since. Along comes Wayne Berry to fix my VHS player. I mentioned the problem to him and he took a look but said he didn't think he could fix it. A couple of weeks later he called and said he had had an idea. He called today, Friday, took away a part, drilled a hole in it, came back and fixed it. The chair now works fine and it cost me $80. I plan to get in touch with La-Z-boy again and complain. Probably won't do me any good, but.....  I suggested Wayne give me some of his cards to distribute. Gave a couple away at Exercise Class. I know we will need him again, especially if we move into something smaller.

It seems to be the vogue these days to minimalize or downsize - the first person I know who did this was Ivy the Happy Whisk. She got rid of so much stuff, I am surprised they still had a bed. However, I am beginning to hear of more and more people doing this, a friend in the building for instance, plus others I know. I can see the point, but I am of the school of thought "I might need it" we got rid of a propane burner which was for doing things like Creme Caramel, I had never used it, guess what, within a week of getting rid of it, I needed it. If one cooks as much as I do, I can't imagine not having access to all kinds of items. As for anything else, we mostly use what we've got. I have sold off a few things over the years, but I still seem to have one heck of a lot, but I use it.

Tuesday, I am taking the car in for service, have to be there at 8. Dreading it, but at least I will be first in line. Monday I have to get to the hardware store for more large Mason jars. I also need to get to the asparagus farm as well.

This is another recipe I haven't yet tried and bearing in mind the farm sells both asparagus and rhubarb, you'd think I would have done so by now.

Asparagus with Rhubarb Hollandaise

2 lbs 1-1/4 cup finely diced fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/3 cup sugar
2 sprig fresh tarragon
2 large egg yolks
3 Tbs lemon juice
½ cup melted butter
salt and pepper
butter for saute pan
chopped chives, for garnish

1. Bring a pot of water up to a boil and salt generously. Trim asparagus and add to water. Blanch, uncovered, until tender (check by tasting – time will vary depending on thickness of asparagus). Once tender drain and shock in a bowl with ice and water to halt cooking. Strain and chill until ready to serve.

2. For hollandaise, stir rhubarb, sugar and tarragon sprigs in a pot over medium heat. Simmer until rhubarb is just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove tarragon and keep warm (but not hot).

3. To assemble Hollandaise, whisk egg yolks and lemon juice over a pot of gently simmering water until they hold a ribbon when the whisk is lifted. Whisk in rhubarb mixture to warm. Remove bowl from heat and gradually whisk in melted butter (try to avoid adding white solids that have settled to the bottom of the butter). Season to taste and keep warm (hollandaise should be prepared as close to serving as possible)

4. To heat asparagus, simply warm in a sauté pan over medium-low heat with butter and season lightly. Place warm asparagus on a platter and spoon hollandaise over. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.

Servings: 6

Author: Anna Olson
Source: Food Network

Have a great day

Friday, June 15, 2018

Bowling, LCBO, TV Series,

Matt's bowling for the league was disastrous, his bowling on Thursday was excellent. Mine wasn't bad on both days so I was happy. Not only that, the team took 7 our of 7. Actually surprising Matt did so well as the alley was full of kids, some screamers, and Matt was doing his grumpy old man bit. The young man running the alley was on his own today as his sister was graduating so mom and dad had gone to the ceremony. Amazing how many people's babies seem to be graduating lately LOL.

Went and bought up the liquor store afterwards. Amazing how it mounts up. There was a French Bordeaux; we haven't had Bordeaux in a while so decided to try it. I included a bottle of Cassis which Matt enjoys after Saturday dinner. His Father's Day present I guess. It isn't a bad addition to champagne either, making a Kir Royale which I enjoy occasionally. (Cassis and champagne). Cassis and white wine is a Kir.

Otherwise, not a lot happening today. Did watch another installment of Vera which is on PBS at 9:00. The character is Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope and it is an excellent cop programme set in Northumberland. Apparently it is an older programme, originally made in 2011. I am really enjoying it. I see Poldark starts on Sunday, not sure I want to see any more of that. Will see how I feel on Sunday.

I haven't tried this one but reading it again, I really think I should do so soon.

Shaved Asparagus Quinoa with Soft Boiled Eggs

1 cup (250 mL) quinoa
2 cups (500 mL) CAMPBELL'S® Ready to Use Vegetable Broth
3 eggs
1 lb (454 g) asparagus, tough ends trimmed
2 tsp (10 mL) honey
2 Tbs (30 mL) lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 mL) minced shallots
1 Tbs (15 mL) chopped fresh tarragon
1 Tbs (15 mL) dijon mustard
1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil
1/2 tsp (3 mL) each salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 cup (250 mL) flat leaf parsley leaves

1. Place quinoa and Campbell's broth in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the liquid is absorbed; about 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

2. Bring a pot of water to a simmer (small bubbles, not a rapid boil). Add eggs and cook for 6 minutes. Adjust heat to keep a consistent temperature going. Remove eggs from water and run under cold water until cool. Peel and set aside.

3. Use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the asparagus lengthwise into thin strips, starting at the bottom end. Put into a large pot of boiling salted water for 30 seconds and then remove from pot and directly into a colander. Run under cold water until cold.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together honey, lemon juice, shallots, tarragon, dijon mustard and slowly incorporate olive oil until well blended. Add salt and pepper. Toss with quinoa, asparagus and parsley. Arrange on platter and top with halved eggs before serving.

Servings: 6

1.  Make ahead: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

2.  For something different, replace the soft boiled eggs with an equal amount of hard boiled eggs, grated.

3.  PLANNING TO COOK GLUTEN-FREE? Before preparing a recipe always read product labels to ensure each ingredient is gluten-free. Products and ingredients can change.

Source: Campbell's®

Have a great day

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Canning, Coffee Klatsche, Joke, Summer Fruit, Summer Fruit,

Having checked with the grocery store, they will not be having any more 1 litre Mason jars in this year?? They have smaller ones, but not much use to me, although I guess I could chop the asparagus up in pieces I suppose. I am now in a quandary, do I put these jars aside until later in the year, or do I open one to check it is OK? By the way, it wasn't 5 lbs of asparagus, it was $5 worth. Of course, if I plan to do any more, I really should check these are OK although I don't really want to open a jar.

This morning was one of our Coffee Klatsche days so I went. Matt did murmur about going yesterday but changed his mind pretty quickly. The attendance is not as big as it was I don't think. I read out a joke I had got in the email and someone read a couple one of which I have been passing around ever since.

A married couple, arguing who should make the morning coffee. Husband says she should, she does the cooking. Wife says no way, and you are up, first apart from which, there is an instruction in the bible. Husband says what are you talking about, wife opens a bible and points to the book heading "Hebrews".

Don't think I've mentioned, I was complaining about unsweet strawberries. Girl at Barrie's farm said to try theirs, just picked that day. We ate them last night, they were delicious. Didn't need sweetening at all. Trouble is, I can't buy more than one punnet as they wouldn't keep for long. I have also seen peaches in the store. The White Flesh ones seem to be the ones which are clingfree - that's what I was buying last year anyway. I love summer fruits - not that keen on the winter ones. of course I have to have cream and often use them in a Pavolva.

I often see recipes for "bowls" like this, thought I would try this one asap especially as it includes my favourite.

Rainbow Veggie Spring Roll Bowl

With tons of colorful vegetables, sesame rice noodles and a healthy peanut sauce, this noodle bowl is
a hit with adults and kids alike. Assemble the bowls before serving or let everyone make their own. Serve with Sriracha hot sauce, if desired.

Noodle Bowl
4 oz bean thread noodles (see Tip) or thin rice noodles
1 Tbs toasted (dark) sesame oil
24 asparagus spears, trimmed
2 cups shredded green or napa cabbage
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs chopped fresh mint
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 cup thinly sliced carrot
1 cup thinly sliced beets
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper

Peanut Sauce
½ cup smooth natural peanut butter
¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs maple syrup
1 tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

1. To prepare noodle bowl: Prepare noodles according to package directions. Rinse well with cold water. Toss with sesame oil. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot. Place a medium bowl of ice water next to the stove. Cook asparagus in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer to the ice water. Drain well, pat dry and cut into 2-inch pieces. Combine cabbage, basil, mint and rice vinegar in a medium bowl. Divide the noodles among 4 bowls. Top each bowl with ½ cup of the cabbage mixture, some asparagus, carrot, beet and red and yellow bell pepper. To prepare sauce: Whisk peanut butter, tamari (or soy sauce), water, rice vinegar, honey, garlic and crushed red pepper (if using) in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle ¼ cup sauce over each bowl

Servings: 4

Bean Thread Noodles: Look for bean thread noodles, sometimes labeled vermicelli, mung bean or cellophane noodles, in the Asian section of large supermarkets or at an Asian market.

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Source: EatingWell Kitchen

Author Notes
To make ahead: Refrigerate sauce for up to 2 days.

Have a great day

Tuesday, Shopping, Pickling,

Weird, didn't sleep too well, awake at 5 anyway, finally gave up and got out of bed around 6:30. So, felt headachy again so cancelled my bone density. By lunchtime I wasn't too bad, had a short nap afterwards and headed out to get my groceries. Now their computer system is playing me up and dropping some of the stuff I ordered. Anyway, I checked with the packer when I got there and we got it sorted out.

Got home and having especially bought an extra 5 lbs of asparagus yesterday and having purchased a couple of 1 litre Mason jars and some mustard seeds, I got cracking and pickled me some asparagus. Took a bit of time but I sterilized the jars in the microwave which cut it down somewhat. I am quite surprised 5 lbs went into two Mason jars. I shoved the ends in too. Had to cut the spears to fit them into the jars in the first place.  Using the recipe I posted yesterday, I added a few hot pepper flakes to the mix so will be interested to see how they turn out. They only had two 1 litre Mason jars, maybe they will have more next week. Got the bit between my teeth now. During all this shopping and stuff I scratched my arm somehow, no idea how, so had a blood streaked elbow area. Surprised nobody mentioned it. Mind you with the huge bruise I have on my right arm, maybe they didn't see it. These days I have only to brush against something and I look as though I have been beaten up. Partly age and partly blood thinners I believe.

Got a few deals today, two delicious salmon steaks which will make two  meals for us. Beef was on special today too.

Tomorrow is our bi-weekly coffee morning and then bowling league in the afternoon.

This sounded like an interesting, and unusual recipe. I would need to stock up a few things to make it though. I would not use calorie reduce mayonnaise though.

Asparagus Guacamole

Excellent, I actually thought it was nicer than standard guacamole. It was light and the wonderful sweet flavour of asparagus just shone through. It really is delicious!

1 1/2 lbs asparagus, trimmed
1 Tbs reduced-calorie mayonnaise
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
3 medium scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 medium jalapeno pepper, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/8 tsp table salt, to taste
1/8  tsp black pepper, to taste

1. Bring large pot of water to boil.

2. Add asparagus and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Drain.

4. Place asparagus into food processor and purée until smooth.

5. Stir in remaining ingredients and serve.

Servings: 10

Author: Nat Da Brat

Have a great day

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Migraine, Barrie's, Pickling,

Monday morning I had a migraine, thought I wasn't getting many of those any more but... anyway, I didn't feel like handling a 6 pm visit to the hospital so I postponed it - til August would you believe? Soonest they could do it. Now, at 6:30 in the evening, I am thinking seriously of re-booking my bone density scan tomorrow. My head is still feeling achy. I didn't know, until recently, you can have migraines without actually getting a headache. In fact there is a lot more to migraines than I thought. We saw a documentary the other day.

I managed to get to the asparagus farm though. Friday I bought some at the store where the guy assured me they were really good. He also told me that he had bought from Barrie's farm before and they were delivered with white ends and he had to cut a large chunk off them. I am really not sure how many years I have been going to Barrie's but I have NEVER had asparagus from them with remotely tough ends. I think someone is telling me porkies. Not only t hat, the asparagus I did buy from him was not great. Didn't realise how tasteless until I had some of the fresh I bought today. What a difference.

I am planning to pickle some asparagus and have ordered some Mason jars with my online order - I only have little ones left - together with some mustard seeds. Think I have everything else. I can buy them pickled at the farm but they aren't cheap. You can also add hot peppers (sliced) or pepper flakes. Been doing a bit of Googling. The ones you can buy have slices of hot green peppers in them.

Mrs. Barrie's Pickled Asparagus Recipe

5 lbs of Ontario asparagus (cut to fit your Mason Jars)
For each jar
1/2 clove Garlic
1 tsp Dill seed
1 tsp Mustard Seed
6 Peppercorns

8 Cups water
2½ cups White vinegar
3 Tbs Pickling salt
½ cup sugar

Using 5 lbs of Ontario asparagus, wash well and soak in ice water while you are preparing the 6 pint jars. Place 1/2 clove of garlic, 1 tsp dill seed, 1 tsp mustard seed, and 6 peppercorns in the bottom of each jar. Place asparagus, tips up in jar. Bring 8 cups water, 2-1/2 cups white vinegar, 3 tbsp pickling salt, 1/2 cup white sugar to a boil and pour over asparagus. Process in hot bath for 5 to 6 minutes.

Source: Tim Barrie

Author Notes: Don't waste tender ends. Can them also for bite size treats

Have a great day

Monday, June 11, 2018

Online Shopping, Supper, Air Fryer, Weather, Medical,

What an idiot, I scheduled this for next Monday, duuh.

I may have given the wrong impression after my latest online shopping experience. I am actually pretty satisfied and just need to sort out a few things - not really surprising. Last week I also bought fillet steaks and forgot so didn't check them out. Unwrapped them on Saturday and they were just what I wanted, well marbled and one slightly smaller than the other. I just need to be sure that the young man who picked and packed last week is reading my instructions. In fact you can't go far wrong with this store as their produce (green grocery to Brits) is always excellent which is one of the reasons I shop there in the first place.

I decided to make my first Pavlova of the summer (what summer?) for Saturday dessert. Used strawberries from local farms. I don't know what they are like in England these days, but when I was a kid, strawberries were sweet. Not any more unfortunately. Have to give them a good soak in Splenda before I use them. No, not sugar, not good for us. I am also going to do a baked potato in the air fryer - supposed to be great - keeping my fingers crossed.

Update. Having looked up all kinds of recipes for a baked potato, I opted for one which said about 35 minutes at 390°. No way. I ended up cooking it for around an hour, if not a bit longer. In fact, at the end, having served up dinner, I cut  the potato in half and gave if around 5 minutes more. That worked. Of course the cut part of  the potato was a bit crispy but it was still nice inside and the skin (which is my favourite part) was really crispy. This was a large potato, but we split one between us.

Regarding my comment "what summer" we have been having quite chilly weather and we both went back into long pants and I even wore a sweat shirt earlier in the week. Of course, there is no heating on in the building. I have said, several times, that we need some  kind of heater. Last week we certainly did need it.

This week is more doctors. Matt has an ultrasound at 6 p.m. this evening, Monday, and I have a bone density on Tuesday morning. Then I think we are free for a while.

I had had lots of heart searchings about what to cook for supper and couldn't think of anything so on Saturday morning I grabbed a couple of fillets out of the freezer, as I mentioned above and then wondered what to do with them. This is what I ended up with. This picture is on my table but I am damned if I remember cooking it before. I had to make a few changes, instead of tomato concasse I used some tomato purée and a little tomato juice. I also used more wine as it seemed to be drying out on me. Anyway, it was delicious.

Chef John's Steak Pizzaiola

1 lb beef tenderloin steaks, cut into 4 medallions
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tsp butter
1 pinch salt
1 cup sliced sweet and hot peppers
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 cup tomato concasse
2 Tbs chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. Season steak medallions with salt and black pepper on both sides.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add steaks and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Reserve oil in skillet.

3. Place mushrooms and butter into the skillet and season with salt; cook and stir until mushrooms are softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add peppers and cook and stir until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in wine and sprinkle in dried oregano. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until the wine is nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes.

4. Stir tomato concasse into the mushroom mixture and simmer until tomato is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add fresh oregano, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper flakes; stir to combine. Adjust salt and black pepper to taste.

5. Place steaks back into the skillet with the mushroom mixture and cook until warmed through and cooked to desired doneness, 4 to 10 minutes.

Servings: 4

Author: Chef John's

Have a great day

Friday, June 8, 2018

Butterflies, Doctors, Asparagus, Online Shopping,

Our son-in-law, Mike Woodcock, the artist, took this photo and posted it on Facebook this morning (Friday) and I thought it was so beautiful it cheered me up tremendously. It is an Adonis Blue and is fairly rare apparently. The picture was taken in England. I don't know how widespread a butterfly this is. Funnily enough we watched a fascinating programme the other night all about butterflies. Did you know they are millions of years old and all the different varieties stemmed from one, fairly plain, brown butterfly. Apparently the migration of the Monarch butterfly is NOT the longest one - this record is held by Painted Ladies which, they have recently discovered, begin their return journey at heights of 3,000 ft. which is why, until picked up by radar, they had never been seen returning before.

As for the doctors, despite all these tests they seem to be somewhat inconclusive. My hip is still bad (well I never!) and they think my leg pain is probably referred pain from my arthritic back. I'm not too happy but then, not really surprising. I am not too convinced about my legs either. I think I will pursue it perhaps. I still have to go for a bone density test next week.  Matt has to go for an ultrasound at 6 p.m. (right on supper time, do we have it earlier or later?) but I guess it's better than having to get up at 6 in the morning which I hate. Not so much getting up as having to rush around to get ready to leave.

Being so busy, I bought some asparagus in the local store yesterday. Matt complained about my travelling so far to buy asparagus, but when I brought the store bought he said it looked horrible. Can't win!! It is definitely local grown, but not as local as Barrie's farm where I normally buy it. I actually had a long chat with their Produce Manager who told me he had bought what were supposed to be 2 yr old asparagus crowns last year, but which yielded very little this year. He said he had problems buying from Barrie's. How odd, I have been buying from them for years and never had any problems.

Not used my air fryer much yet, just not had time. Also, this week had problems with my online order. The person who packed it (I think I know who) didn't read the additional notes which one can add to the order. I ended up with Prosciutto so thin I have problems removing it from the paper and I could certainly read a newspaper through it. I always specify NOT too thin. Never had a problem before, then Matt didn't need much milk so I ordered 1 L and got 2 L. There were several other things like that. I couldn't get hold of the Click and Collect Manager so I complained to the company on line. I ended up with a $20 credit to use next week so that's OK by me.

I don't think I have posted this recipe recently, apologies if I have. I really have to try this, simple but delicious sounding.

Asparagus Shandong-Style (Liang Ban Lu-Sun)

1 ½ lbs asparagus, trimmed and cut crosswise on the diagonal into 2" pieces
1 Tbs Japanese reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
2 drops red chile oil
½ tsp toasted sesame seeds

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add asparagus to pot and cook until tender-crisp and bright green, 1½–2 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain, then immediately plunge into a large bowl of ice water; set aside to cool, 2–3 minutes. Drain again, then transfer to paper towels, pat dry, and set aside.

2. Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, and chile oil in a medium bowl. Add asparagus and toss. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with sesame seeds.

Servings: 2

Source: Saveur

Author Notes
A specialty of Shandong province, this dish is traditionally reserved for banquets because asparagus is so expensive in China. But in the United States, when the price comes down in summer, take advantage of this flavorful dish.

Have a great day

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Busy, Busy.

My blogs may be a bit sparse for a while. As you will have gathered from my previous blogs, we have doctor's visits galore coming up and having to get up pretty early - unusual for me anyway - etc. etc. I am feeling somewhat beat. I haven't even really had time to play with my new air fryer much yet. I did at least get to go to Mandarin for lunch, first time there for ages.

Tonight I am planning an early night although that doesn't always work for me.

Oh, and Matt's skin surgeon is pleased with his scars etc. She couldn't even see one of the places where she operated. So she figured that was good.

Of course we have league bowling Wednesday but cleaner in the morning, earlyish.

See you when.

Have a great day

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Wounded Toes, Medical. This 'n That.

After wounding myself with my cane, I didn't wear shoes on Sunday. Monday however, I did and they were OK. I actually used my diclofenac (given to me for bursitis) on the toes and it seems to have helped. I didn't go to exercise class though, not sure whether I was too lazy or too tired. Bad girl. I had to go for blood work first thing in the morning too, just threw on my shorts and shirt from the day before. Big mistake, it was cold out there. I felt a bit of an idiot when others were dressed more warmly.

Tuesday morning, fairly early, we have to go to the Cosmetic Surgery clinic for the doctor to check her skin cancer handiwork. Looks pretty good to me. Thursday we have to get up even earlier to go see the doc about my tests lately. We both have an appointment and so have to be there at 9:10. Considering it is in the neighbouring town, we will have to get a move on.

Of course Wednesday we bowl and Thursday too if we can. Should be plenty of time. Supposed to lunch at the Mandarin with friends on Tuesday too. It's all go isn't it? Also, got to pick up my groceries on Tuesday afternoon and that will be my last freebie, after that, I have to pay $3. Not a bad deal.

Stir-Fried Asparagus with Bacon and Crispy Shallots

¼ cup black vinegar
¼ cup sherry vinegar
2 small shallots, thinly sliced into rings
4 oz slab bacon, cut into 1x ¼-inch pieces
1 Tbs vegetable oil, plus more for frying (about 3 cups)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup fine-grind cornmeal
Kosher salt
1 lb asparagus, trimmed, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 Tbs white soy sauce

1. Combine both vinegars in a medium bowl. Add shallots and let sit, tossing occasionally, 1 hour. Drain and pat dry.

2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until most of fat is rendered and bacon begins to brown, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Pour off fat; reserve for another use (scrambled eggs!). Wipe out skillet; reserve.

3. Fit a medium pot with thermometer and pour in oil to come 2" up sides of pot. Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 300°. Whisk flour and cornmeal in a shallow bowl. Dredge shallots in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Fry, tossing occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels; season with salt.

4. Heat reserved skillet over medium-high. Swirl remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in pan to coat (this keeps food from sticking); pour out excess. The oil should be shimmering—if it’s not hot enough, the asparagus will steam not caramelize. Add asparagus, season with salt, and cook, tossing, until almost cooked through, about 1 minute. Add bacon and 1 Tbsp. water; cook, tossing, until asparagus is cooked through, about 30 seconds. Add soy sauce; toss to coat. Serve topped with shallots.

Servings: 4

Author: Jonathan Wu, Fung Tu

Have a great day


Monday, June 4, 2018

Canpar, Air Fryer, Cramp Story,

I was not a happy camper on Friday/Saturday. I had placed an order for an air fryer with Walmart. We were here all day Friday but when I went down later for the mail I found a notice saying Canpar had not been able to deliver a parcel. When I went to the collection place (a convenience store) the next day, I found a large box which they loaded into the car for me. I pulled up in front of our building and tried to get the box out, with a cane in hand, luckily a very nice woman offered to carry it for me and took it all the way to our door. I was extremely grateful. I could NOT have managed it. I have emailed Canpar to complain.

However, I now possess an air fryer. All Ivy, The Happy Whisk's fault, she made it sound like something I really wanted to have. It was an inexpensive machine and happened to be on Rollback too so I snapped it up. I had grabbed a bag of frozen fries at the convenience store and added some for supper. They turned out to be a tad overcooked although they were edible, even if very crisp. Now of course I have to do lots of experimentation with it to see what I can cook. Ivy and I exchanged lots of emails about it on Saturday.

Saturday night, I had cramp in bed really badly. Mostly I get up and drink tonic water, one time I didn't turn on the light and tried to find my Cramp Defense Pills and take one. Ended up knocking over  my glass of water. I was not too happy about that either, I remembered that there was paper towel in a cupboard near the bedroom so got that and then, whilst mopping up, knocked over my cane which slammed into my toes. Now I have a sore toe. This is NOT my weekend. I haven't been wearing shoes today, only flip flops. I hope I will be able to wear shoes in the morning as I have to go for bloodwork. Actually, I now find this episode quite funny and somewhat exasperating, but it wasn't at the time.

Talk about coincidence, I just subscribed to MamaShire and today she has a recipe for Air Fried Asparagus. Will have to figure out something to use as a spritzer.

Air-Fried Asparagus

Quick and easy Air-Fried Asparagus. Just a few minutes and you can have a tasty side of asparagus
with little effort and easy cleanup

1/2 bunch of asparagus, with bottom 2 inches trimmed off
Avocado or Olive Oil in an oil mister or sprayer
Himalayan salt
Black pepper

1. Place trimmed asparagus spears in the air-fryer basket. Spritz spears lightly with oil, then sprinkle with salt and a tiny bit of black pepper.

2. Place basket inside air-fryer and bake at 400° for 10 minutes.

3. Serve immediately.

Servings: 2

Author: MamaShire

Have a great day