Saturday, September 29, 2018

Saturday Recipe

Friday I was feeling lazy and spent a lot of my day trying to think of something easy to cook. I ended up taking a little of this and a smidgin of that and this is what I ended up with. It tasted pretty good.

Jo's Firecracker Shrimp Spaghetti

2-3 Tbs Sriracha or Hot Sauce
1 Tbs soy sauce
1/ 2 tbs white vinegar
1 tsp Sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Zest and juice of 1/2 a lime (I actually used bottled lime juice)
1 Tbs sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive Oil
2 Tbs tomato ketchup
Half an onion sliced
A handful of bean sprouts
12 oz frozen shrimp defrosted

 Mix first 8 ingredients in a plastic bag, add shrimp, and marinate for an hour or so. When you are ready cook spaghetti in a large pan of salted water. Meanwhile add olive oil to a fry pan and sauté onions until soft. Then add some bean sprouts and the tomato ketchup. Finally when spaghetti is done, add shrimp and sauté until almost done then drain pasta and add to shrimp sauce. If you want add Parmesan and sprinkle with parsley or chives.

Have a great weekend

Friday, September 28, 2018

Travel League, Doctor's,

Would you believe back at the Red Lobster once more only for lunch with the travel league today. I was a bit surprised to see the same waitress we had on Tuesday evening. Matt and I both had Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms - very hot and very cheesy (bit like that pizza soup yesterday). Also had a side Caesar salad, Matt didn't want one. I had decided not to bowl with the group but just Matt and I on our own as he is pretty slow and I have my leg problems and can only manage 2 games. I actually bowled pretty well today, Matt didn't bowl too badly either. Funnily enough my legs were not giving me nearly the bother they usually do. Hmmm!! We left early and went to pick up my few extra groceries and some booze, run out of Fizz, that's serious.

Came home and neither of us were very hungry, I had eaten a donut at the bowling alley and Matt had eaten 2 although he said he didn't want one!! So we just had some asparagus soup, home made of course. Having bought some more inexpensive shrimp, I want to see if I can find a copy cat Dragon Shrimp online. It really is a good dish.

I wasn't sure we would make lunch today as Matt had to go to the doctor this morning because a waxed ear which he couldn't shift. As it turned out, nor could the nurse, so we need to work on it I guess. Tickled me, the Cannabis Clinic I was originally sent to, not by current doctor, is just across the road from the doctor's offices but, whilst waiting, I was reading notices and they refer people to an entirely different clinic.

Another pretty simple recipe which I liked the look of.

Juicy Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Citrus Dressing

4 ½-inch-thick bone-in pork chops (about 2 pounds), patted dry with paper towels
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tsp sugar, divided
2 Tbs plus ¼ cup olive oil
1 lemon, zest finely grated (about 1 teaspoon), plus 2 tablespoons fresh juice
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ bunch cilantro leaves with tender stems, chopped

1. Season pork chops generously on one side with salt and pepper. Turn and season other side generously, then sprinkle evenly with ½ tsp. sugar.

2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Carefully add chops sugared side down and cook, gently shaking skillet occasionally but not disturbing pork, until underside is caramelized and chops are deeply browned all over, about 5 minutes. Turn chops and reduce heat to low. Cook just until second side is opaque, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and let chops rest 10 minutes in skillet (the cooking will carry over and finish the chops while they rest).

3. Meanwhile, whisk lemon zest and juice, garlic, mustard, oregano, cumin, and remaining ½ tsp. sugar in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in remaining ¼ cup oil until emulsified. Fold in cilantro and season with salt and lots of pepper.

4. Spoon half of dressing onto a platter. Transfer chops to platter, then whisk any juices that have accumulated in skillet into remaining dressing. Spoon dressing over top of pork. Swipe pork through dressing as you eat.

Servings: 4

Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Rent Increase, Transplanting Hope,

Apart from my big refund yesterday, we had our annual notice of rent increase to take place in January. When I read it, it scared the hell out of me, they are proposing a rent increase of $66 a month because of all the expenses on the building. (I didn't ask for new balconies!). They did tell me they had submitted this to the Rent Tribunal and I would be notified of the hearing. This would be a 4.8% increase. The standard is 1.8%. I phoned the Rent Tribunal office and they told me that our landlords were very unlikely to get more than 2%. Better. He also told me to discuss it with others in the building. I phoned one friend and she told me that a mutual acquaintance was under the impression the approval had already gone through. I assured her that it hadn't and told her what the Tribunal had told me.  I have been complaining for years that rent goes up $20 odd per month/year but pensions rarely go over a couple of a dollars. This kind of increase would really hurt. One very good  thing about this building, we do not have to pay for what is referred to as hydro in Canada, i.e. electricity and water.

Just watched an incredible programme called Transplanting Hope all about organ donations. I must admit I had never really thought about it in detail before. I was aware that finding donors was extremely difficult, as one surgeon said, they lose 1/4 of their patients because of lack of donations. Maybe everyone should see this documentary. The surgeons who do the transplants are absolutely incredible, a lot of the work shown was of Canadian hospitals. However, both in Canada and in Texas work is being done on reviving hearts which were originally considered unusable, often through being deprived of oxygen too long. A heart, for instance, is only viable for a few hours on the death of the donor.

The picture of this recipe attracted me, thought a number of people would find it interesting. That toasted cheese looks absolutely delicious.

Michael's Pizza Soup

2 Tbs olive oil
2 onions, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbs dried oregano
3 cups or so your favourite pizza toppings (such as sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, olives, cooked bacon)
4 oz spicy pepperoni, thinly sliced into rounds and halved
4 cups rich chicken broth or plain old water
lots of freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat your broiler.

2. Splash the olive oil into your soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring, as the onions soften, 2 or 3 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, then stir in the oregano, your pizza toppings and the pepperoni.

3. Pour in the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a vigorous boil for a moment, then immediately reduce the heat to a slow, steady simmer and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavours brighten and the textures soften, 10 minutes or so.

Yield: 4-6

Author: Michael Smith

Have a great day

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Mystery Refund, Dinner,

Just before we went out to supper, I checked our mail box. In it I discovered a refund cheque for $1.41. A letter saying this was in full settlement of my claim. I had no idea who it was from or what it was about and it kept puzzling me through dinner.  Finally when we got home I looked up the name of the company and realised it was when, months ago, I bought a plug into which nothing would fit. I complained and I guess they decided to send me some money for it. Weird. I will try not to spend it all at once LOL.

We had a fairly quiet day for our Anniversary and went to the Red Lobster fairly early so I could see Jeopardy when we got home. Matt isn't that fussed although he always watches. This time I had Dragon Shrimp which is spicy as all get out and is served with chili pods. No, I did not eat them. Matt had the Yucatan Tilapia again which he enjoyed. He then tried their new dessert which was a Vanilla Bean Cheesecake - Matt loves cheesecake so this was right up his street. We had a coupon each for a free dessert which officially meant we should have had two more people with us, but I persuaded them to give us both freebies. I had a Chocolate Wave Cake which I ended up bringing home, well most of it anyway. Matt ate every bit of his huge dessert. They sure aren't mean about the portions at Red Lobster.

So having stuffed myself with shrimp tonight, I had to give you a shrimp recipe. This looks pretty simple.

Asian Garlic Butter Shrimp

1 1/2 lbs shelled and deveined shrimp
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
3 dashes ground black pepper
3 dashes cayenne pepper, optional
1 Tbs chopped scallion
4 slices lemon wedges

1. Thaw the frozen shrimp.  Rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Heat up a wok or skillet on medium heat. Add the melted butter, follow by the garlic. Saute the garlic for 10 seconds and add the shrimp. Stir the shrimp back and forth a few times before adding the fish sauce, sugar, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper, if using.

3. Stir and cook, add chopped scallions to the shrimp. Squeeze some lemon juice on top of the shrimp and serve immediately.

Servings: 4

Source: Rasa Malaysia

Have a great day

Water Shutoff, Pickles, Anniversary, Bowling,

Matt is due for a severe thumping, having got up at the crack of dawn (well it seemed like it) and showered well before the water was supposed to be shut off, we eventually left to go bowling and I saw the notice that he had read two or three days ago - it said 12 - 4 pm. Grrrrr. We were both hanging around Monday morning with nothing much to do waiting to go bowling. I did pickle some cucumber slices but that didn't take too long.

The pickles I have been making lately involve reheating the pickling fluid and adding fresh spices to the jar then whatever I want to pickle is stuffed in as full as I can get. Boiling juice is poured over, lid is put on tight and when cool put in fridge. This stuff would not last like pickles done in a hot water bath, but they suit me down to the ground and I am the only one who eats them.

I had almost forgotten that today, Sept. 25th, is our wedding anniversary - 46 years - unbelievable really. So I booked a table at the Red Lobster again, guess what, they sent free dessert coupons because it was our anniversary. We'll be there for lunch again on Thursday with the travel league crowd.

There were only 3 of us on our team today so it went a bit quicker than usual which is not good for me. I ended up bowling the first game, terrible, sitting out and using a bowl ahead for my second game and then bowling fairly well for my third game. Don't know if we won any points at all as we left before the other team had finished.

Having posted a fairly complicated recipe for French (Canadian) Onion Soup yesterday, here is a much simpler recipe which I got from my mother many years ago.

French Onion Soup

1 tbs butter                                                                      1 2 lbs onions, chopped
1 sm tsp curry powder                                                     2 pints chicken stock (5 cups)
1 tbs Marmite (or beef extract which can be                  Salt and pepper to taste
found in the US)                                                              Croutons
Cheddar cheese

Melt the butter and soften the onions in it, adding the curry powder. Add the chicken stock, marmite and seasonings. Simmer 20 mins. To serve, sprinkle croutons over soup in bowls and grate cheese over the top. You can pop the bowls under the broiler to brown the cheese if you wish.

Have a great day

Monday, September 24, 2018

Water Shut Off,, Hurricanes,

We have to be up somewhat earlier tomorrow as the water is due to be shut off yet again. Need to get our showers in before hand. Of course, as we will be prepared, it probably won't happen. I think they are gradually replacing all the piping in the building - I don't know that for a fact but it seems probably as they were getting lots of leaks and pipe breaks etc. I guess it would take way too long to do the whole lot at once and we would be without water forever.

Heard from another friend in North Carolina that, although there is plenty of water around, everyone is safe. Excellent news. I get the feeling that nobody really believed Florence would cause so much flooding. Considering there was one hurricane, when we lived there, I think it was Floyd but don't quote me, that decided to hang around one part of NC for a few days causing a lot of flood damage, one would think people would remember. However, Googling, it appears to have been in 1999  This picture is the kind of thing I remember seeing on TV at the time.

I must admit I haven't had French Onion Soup in a very long time. I remember particularly, when I was fairly young, a bunch of us used to go to the Kursaal in Ostende, Belgium, which was a kind of casino, theatre, dance hall, and drink and dance til the wee hours. Then we would wander back home stopping at one or other of the cafes and having some French Onion Soup before we ended the night. This recipe is somewhat different and certainly not traditional, but it sounds pretty good to me. Traditionally it is made with beef broth, this one is pork.

French (Canadian) Onion Soup

2 lbs lean slab bacon, in one piece
1 whole pig's foot or two halves
8 large yellow onions—1 whole, 7 sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 gallons of water
1/4 cup rendered pork fat or vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 12-ounce bottles brown ale
6 rosemary sprigs
Freshly ground pepper
12 oz rustic bread, cubed
6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
6 garlic cloves, peeled
4 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (about 1/2 pound

1. In a pot, cover the bacon, pig's foot and whole onion with the water and boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the foot is tender, 3 1/2 hours. Strain the broth and return to the pot, reserving the bacon and pig's foot.

2. Boil the broth until reduced to 2 quarts, 25 minutes; skim off the fat or refrigerate overnight and then skim off the fat. Remove all the lean meat from the bacon and pig's foot, cut into bite-size pieces and reserve.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the rendered fat. Add the sliced onions and season with salt. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring, until the onions are wilted, 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until the onions are very soft, 30 minutes. Uncover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onions are lightly browned, 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour until smooth.

4. Return the pot to the burner. Add the strained broth, ale and 4 of the rosemary sprigs and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the soup thickens. Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes, until no floury taste remains. Add the reserved meat and season the soup with salt and pepper. Discard the rosemary.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread cubes, melted butter, garlic and the remaining 2 rosemary sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, until the croutons are crisp. Discard the rosemary and garlic.

6. Preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into heatproof bowls on a baking sheet and top with the croutons and cheese. Broil for about 2 minutes, until bubbling, and serve.

Servings: 10

Author: Hugue Dufour

Have a great day

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Saturday Recipe

Not sure why, but I seem to frequently pick up on oriental style recipes.

Cabbage Lo Mein

2 Tbs plus 2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
3 Tbs reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ¼ -inch slices
8 oz lo mein noodles
1 tsp chile-garlic sauce
3 Tbs vegetable oil, divided
5 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs chopped fresh ginger
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
2 cups small broccoli florets (about 1 large crown)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup snow peas, halved
4 ½ cups thinly sliced napa cabbage ( ½ head)
¾ cup unsalted chicken broth
1 tsp cornstarch

1. Combine 2 tablespoons sesame oil, soy sauce and crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat, and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and toss with the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil and chile-garlic sauce. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook until juices are released and the mushrooms are golden and tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger and scallions and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli, bell pepper, and snow peas. Cook until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cabbage and cook until wilted, 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the mushroom mixture. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the reserved chicken, leaving the sauce in the bowl. Sauté the chicken until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, add broth and cornstarch to the reserved sauce and whisk to combine. Add the sauce to the pan with the chicken; simmer until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vegetable mixture to the pan and toss to combine. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to the bowl with the noodles and toss to combine.

Servings: 4

Author: Lauren Grant
Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

Have a great weekend

Friday, September 21, 2018

Cannabis, Actor

One minute I am moaning and groaning because the Cannabis isn't working, another day I think it is. Today we went bowling (Thursday) and although I had some pain, not as much as usual. So, I just don't know. Despite the expensive I plan to hang on a bit longer until I see what our government do in October and then what our insurance decides to do.

Other than that, not much happening in our neck of the woods today. Watched a couple of mystery shows I like, Dr. Blake mysteries and Midsomer Murders. Dr. Blake takes place in Australia and I was fascinated to see one of the principal actors from "The Dish" but I can't figure out from the cast of characters what the actor's name is. Very few of them have photos. OK, I have finally figured it was Kevin Harrington. He's aged somewhat since The Dish which was a 2001 film.

Another Giada recipe which appealed to me today.

Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

For the lemon oil
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested

For the pasta
1 lb(s) linguine pasta
2 Tbs olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz frozen shrimp
¼ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 lemon, zested
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 oz arugula (about 3 packed cups)
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

For the lemon oil

Combine the olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl and reserve.

For the pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked linguine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Turn off the heat and add the arugula. Using a mesh sieve, strain the lemon zest out of the reserved lemon olive oil and add the oil to the pasta. The zest can be discarded. Add some of the cooking water to desired consistency. Add the chopped parsley to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 - 6

Author: Giada De Laurentiis

Have a great day

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Language, Florence,

Had to contact Toshiba yesterday and as usual ended up with someone who's first language was not English. It is frustrating, most of them know the words to say but they are frequently incomprehensible - their employers should give them a course on the spoken language. I am having the same trouble with my shopping orders. They call me and say they haven't got such and such is this OK to replace. I have to fight to understand what they are saying. More important for technicians of course. Most of these people know what they are talking about, but I don't know what they are saying.

Just heard from a friend in North Carolina who lives near the coast. She says it is terrible where she lives, although she went north during the storm, she lives in a mobile home and has been told the park was flooded so she doesn't know if there is any water damage to her mobile home. Another friend posted pix on Facebook and his yard is littered with trees which came down, none on the home apparently. Looks worse than anything we were involved in although as I often say, we lost 19 trees to hurricanes during the time we lived there. Heard indirectly that another friend "who rode it out" is OK and lost a couple of big trees. He used to have pecan trees, not sure if he still does. I remember one storm when the nuts were all blown off his trees and ended up miles away. They weren't ripe either.

I love recipes from Giada de Laurentiis. She is a cook I really admire. If you decide to try this, do buy the real Mascarpone. There are many versions which are not from Italy and which carry preservatives. These preservatives tend to sweeten the cheese which is not good for a savoury meal. The real thing is more expensive of course, but it is a much better product.

Pork Milanese with Creamy Caper and Lemon Sauce

Creamy Caper and Lemon Sauce

2/3 cup Mascarpone cheese
3 Tbs mayonnaise
¼ cup whole milk
¼ cup capers, drained and chopped
1 lemon, zested
1 Tbs fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pork Milanese

¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
3 Tbs vegetable oil
6 thin-cut pork chops

Creamy Caper and Lemon Sauce

Combine the mascarpone and mayonnaise in a medium bowl. Slowly add the milk, stirring as you go, until all the milk is incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Pork Milanese

Combine the flour and the 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a shallow dish and stir together. Crack the eggs into another shallow dish and beat until combined. In a third shallow bowl, place the breadcrumbs. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Dip the pork, 1at a time first in the flour, then the eggs, then the bread crumbs. Warm the vegetable in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot place the breaded pork in the pan. Cook until golden and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a serving platter and serve with the sauce alongside.

Yield: 6 - 8

Author: Giada De Laurentiis

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Breaker Breaker, Supper, Cannabis Delivery,

Poodling along quite nicely on Tuesday morning, nothing much to do except pick up shopping in the afternoon, when suddenly, there's a knock on the door and it's the superintendent to tell me the electrician is coming at 11 to put in a breaker box. Gulp. Not only do we have to wash and dress, but I bethought me of lunch and we have made ours because, of course, the power will be off. We have had a fuse box ever since we came here (nearly 18 years now) - I didn't even know they had been installing breaker boxes until we had trouble with the fuse for the air conditioner. Well, now we have a nice new breaker box, everything is clearly labelled and I have been told what to do if it trips. Which I just made a note of as my memory isn't infallible any more LOL.

I was also pleased to receive another delivery of Cannabis. I haven't finished the one I have, but it is getting close to the end and I don't want to run out. I must say it is pretty efficient, I call in an order one day and have a delivery the next.

I took the lazy way out for supper tonight and made Toastmaster Basic Chicken which is a recipe that came with my air fryer. I posted it before, but can't find it, but it is so simple and incredibly it's delicious and moist. So, here it is again. Of course, if you don't have an air fryer!!! Yes you could deep fry it but that would negate the whole point of having an air fryer. For those of you who don't like cooking, or haven't time etc. it is very quick and very simple to make.

Toastmaster Basic Chicken
2 Chicken Breasts
1 Tbs Flour
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
melted butter or cooking oil

Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.Combine all dry ingredients in plastic bag. Lighly brush chicken with oil and drop into bag to coat the chicken. Cook for 8-10 minutes. turn and cook for another 8-10 minutes.

Have a great day

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Bowling, Repairs,

Monday being league day, we headed to the bowling alley. Unfortunately, I couldn't last very long. Played 2 of three games. Despite the fact that I had taken 3 mL of cannabis, the pain of my legs got to be too much for me today. Somebody suggested the weather, but it was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine and not a drop of rain in sight. So, I don't know about this cannabis. I had been thinking it had been helping me, but it sure didn't seem to be today.

Matt has a leather lounger which he has been using for a few years now. Unfortunately the leather has split slightly at the end of the arms so I ordered a repair kit which arrived today. Now all we have to do is check how to do the repair and then get on with it.  I haven't really read the instructions yet but will do so, maybe tomorrow. Not a lot to do except pick up the shopping.

This is a recipe I just came across and thought sounded pretty good.

Stuffed Onions (Cipolle Ripiene)

2-3 large onions, ends trimmed, peeled, and halved horizontally
Salt to taste
2 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 Tbs (30 ml) milk
1 Tbs (15 ml) capers, finely chopped
2-3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
2-3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1. Place the onions cut side up on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake in a 375F (190C) oven until the onions are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. While the onions are cooling, soak the bread in the milk in a small bowl. Mash the bread with a fork to make a smooth paste and stir in the egg, capers, and anchovies. When the onions are cool enough to handle, scoop out the centers of the onions leaving hollow shells of 2 or 3 layers. Chop the scooped out onion finely and stir into the bread mixture. Spoon the mixture into the hollowed onions and drizzle with olive oil. Return to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Servings: 4

Source: WW Recipes

Have a great day

Monday, September 17, 2018

Birthday Dinner, Senior's Day, Cooking.

As you know, we planned to go for dinner at the Red Lobster. They had endless shrimp so I decided
to try that. I didn't even manage a second helping. Unusual for me, I figured I could have lasted a bit longer. I didn't even finish my Chocolate Wave Cake but brought some home. I very much enjoyed the food though. My BF bought me a present of a bottle of Champagne. It wasn't until I got home that I realised she had bought me French Champagne. I am not familiar with this particular champagne, Nicolas Feuillatte but the bottle is covered in gold with white flowers. Very pretty.

Saturday, I decided to make Steak Diane, kind of rounding off the birthday week. Mind you, I have discovered that Mandarin is doing a senior's day where everything is 50% off, might be pretty crowded mind you. Trouble with that is that it takes place on a Monday and as that is a bowling day, probably wouldn't have time for lunch.

Discussing with friends about cooking at home as opposed to eating out, it seems that for most people time is the biggest problem. Apparently, even in France where, once, every housewife could prepare gourmet meals, the younger women are no longer learning to cook at all. Of course you can buy very good frozen meals these days, but it appears that people would rather opt for fast food such as tacos, burgers or pizzas, which is both expensive and not very healthy. Then, of course, if you have a hungry family to feed when you come home from work, this puts extra strain on everything. Of course there is nothing to stop your kids helping you, especially if they are older, they can certainly peel things or chop things. Someone to do prep work is always helpful. Your family has to remember, they are not helping you, they live there so they should do part of the work in maintaining the family and home.

I love tomatoes done this way so obviously I had to select it. We always buy grape tomatoes but I have no doubt they would work the same.

Slow-Cooked Cherry Tomatoes with Coriander and Rosemary

1 ½ lb ripe cherry tomatoes
½ head of garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¾ tsp coriander seeds
¾ tsp kosher salt
1 Tbs red wine vinegar

1. Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°. Toss tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, oil, coriander seeds, and salt in a shallow 2-qt. baking dish to combine.

2. Turn garlic cut side down, then roast tomatoes, tossing 2 or 3 times, until golden brown and very tender, 40–50 minutes. Let cool slightly, then add vinegar and toss to coat.

Servings: 6

Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day

Friday, September 14, 2018

Octogenarian, Bowling, Cannabis, Red Lobster,

So, I guess I confused you somewhat. It is today that I became an octogenarian, but you don't all have to wish me happy again. I really appreciate all the good wishes I have received. Thank you so much.

Went bowling Thursday afternoon, Matt had the nerve to beat me again on the second game. I shall have to deal with him somehow LOL. By the way, I think I am beginning to get some relief from the Medical Cannabis. I am just hoping that in October at some point it will all get sorted out so I can get financial help from our Insurance company. The stuff is excruciatingly expensive.

Now, have to think what I am going to have for lunch today bearing in mind I shall be feasting on fish tonight. Red Lobster are having a special of Endless Shrimp at the moment, not sure if I will take advantage of that or not.

These looked so good I wanted to pull them right off the page.

Potato Zucchini Fritters

2 large zucchini grated
4 large potatoes grated
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs hot sauce such as Frank's hot sauce or Sriracha sauce
2 eggs
2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp pepper or to taste
1 Tbs dill fresh or dried
vegetable oil for frying

1. Line a big bowl with paper towels. Grate the zucchini in the prepared bowl, do one zucchini at a time, then strain all of the water from them using paper towels. Alternatively, you can place the grated zucchini in a colander over the sink, and add about a tsp of salt to the zucchini. Gently toss, then using paper towels, drain the zucchini.

2. Add the shredded zucchini to a large bowl and in the same bowl grate the potatoes. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well with a spatula or with clean hands.

3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Take a spoon and drop a tablespoon of the potato zucchini mixture in the skillet, or use your hands to form a ball then flatten it for a patty. You can also use a 1/4 cup measuring cup, as seen on the video.

4. Turn the heat down to a medium. You can fry about 7 to 8 fritters at once. Fry on both sides until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minute per side, then transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining fritters.

Yield: 25

Source: Jo Cooks
Author: Joanne Cismaru

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Birthday, Superintendent, Water,

Hey, I like this, being 80 isn't so bad when you get presents. Went to lunch and friends gave me a bottle of whisky. Plus of course my meal was free and I got Happy Birthday sung to me extremely loudly LOL. Plus a little cupcake with a candle. In case you are wondering, my present from Matt, which I bought a while back, was my air fryer.

Just hear that our Superintendent is leaving at the end of the month, pity, they have been very good. However, was chatting to him earlier and he was telling me there was no time off and no social life which was not good for their relationship plus, as I already knew, they don't pay enough here. He was telling me of other places in the area where the pay is $60,000 per annum with benefits. He didn't say, but I am damned sure they don't get anything like that here. We have had so many supers since we have been here. Pity really, especially when you get good ones.

Typical, there was a notice that the water would be shut off from 8-12 this morning so I had to cancel the cleaner and we had to get up early to shower etc. Of course our section didn't get shut off anyway but you can be sure if I hadn't taken precautions they would have shut us off. The super once told me it is difficult to forecast which part of the building will be turned off so they just tell us the lot will be shut off.

However little we wish to acknowledge it, winter will soon be upon us. Those of you in the south have a longer period of summer, but winter will still arrive for you too even if it is only a cooling down of temperatures. This means, of course, that a lot of the recipes I am seeing at the moment are intended to help warm you up. I wonder what this would taste like served chilled?

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup

2 Tbs olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
¼ tsp salt
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup full fat coconut milk
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp curry powder
a dash of chilli powder

1. In a large pot, on medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrot, onion and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, and then add the spices.

2. After everything has been mixed together, add the squash and sweet potato, then pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover while allowing it to cook for approximately twenty minutes or until the veggies are very tender.

3. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the vegetables. The texture should be smooth. Transfer mixture back to the pot then pour in the coconut milk. Stir to combine then heat it through on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.

Yield: 4

Source: Iris

Have a great day

Parking, Shopping,

You have read me moaning and groaning about hospital parking lot fees. Well, today we had to go for a doctor's appointment at one of the hospitals and unfortunately the gate machines had broken down so parking was free. Whooppee. Mind you we weren't there very long. But still....

Came home and had lunch then out to get the shopping. Had a prescription to get filled as well. When I got the shopping home I was annoyed to find a couple of things missing which I could swear I ordered, but maybe I didn't - onions and cabbage. I sure can't do without onions all week so will have to stop off there tomorrow.

Tomorrow, of course, is my free lunch at Mandarin. It is also Moon Festival which means they have specials including moon cakes which I like and seem to  be the only one who does. Of our group of friends anyway. I think I once posted a recipe for them too. They actually serve them sliced into small pieces in the restaurant. I'd like to get hold of a whole one. They aren't very big. Quite rich though.

Thanks to the management of the building, our water is going off yet again tomorrow morning. My cleaner was due to come in but no point if there is no water. She has agreed to come in around 3 in the afternoon. Nice of her. Matt and I will have to remember to get our showers in before 8 as well. Pain in the you know what.

I decided to find the Moon Cake recipe and post it again. Actually, they don't look that difficult to make.

Moon Cake

A step by step guide for making mooncake, a traditional Chinese dessert typically eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival for good luck.

For the dough
100 g all purpose-flour
60 g Golden Syrup
1/2 tsp Alkaline water available at Asian grocers
18 g Vegetable oil

For the filling
420 g Lotus seed paste
6 Egg yolks salted
1 Tbs Rose-flavoured cooking wine available at Asian grocers

For the egg wash
1 Egg yolk
2 Tbs Egg white

2. To prepare the Chinese mooncake dough use a large bowl, mix the golden syrup, alkaline water and oil well. Sift in the flour. Use a spatula to combine all the ingredients. Don’t over–stir. Knead into a dough. Cover with film wrap and rest for 40 minutes.

3. Mix egg yolks with wine. If the salted egg yolks are homemade and freshly broken from the shells, you’ll see the egg whites turn opaque after mixing with the wine a few minutes later. Wipe the yolks dry with kitchen paper. Cut each into two halves. Set aside. Roll the lotus paste into a long tube.

4. Cut into 12 equal portions of 35 grams.

5. Roll each portion into a ball shape. Set aside and preheat the oven to 180°C.

7. Whisk the egg yolk with the egg white. Sift through a fine sieve.

9. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a small ball shape. Cover a dough portion with a plastic film and roll into a thin disc. Then take a lotus paste ball and poke a hole in the middle with your finger.

10. Place the egg yolk inside and roll and shape into a ball. Wrap and seal the lotus paste ball with the dough disc.

11. Spray the mooncake mould and place the stuffed mooncake into the mould. Lightly press the mould handle, then remove the mooncake from the mould. Transfer the stuffed mooncake onto a lined baking tray.

12. Repeat this step to finish the remaining dough and lotus paste.

13. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. Brush the mooncakes with egg wash, at about five minutes, before removing from the oven. Continue to bake until the pastry turns golden brown. Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Store in an air–tight container. The pastry will become soft and shiny in one or two days: the mooncake recipe is ready to be enjoyed.

Source:  Fine Dining Lovers

Have a great day

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Winter League, Weather, Dairy

Well the bowling league started today and our team came in second. I'm pleased to say I bowled what I think of as my average. Don't know our handicaps til next week. The computer works it out. Don't seem to be as many this year, some are involved in operations and will come back later in the year. But there are one or two who won't be coming back at all. My legs held up today though.

Miserable day today, yesterday too but I didn't go outside, cold and rainy all day. I didn't realise just how cold until I got outside, I was frozen and didn't have a coat. Silly me. Supposed to warm up by the end of the week. I do hope so.

Busy day Tuesday, doctor's appointment for Matt in the morning and then shopping in the afternoon. I still couldn't post my order. They keep telling me things to do most of which I have already done several times. I am getting a little fed up with it, I must say.

The recipe I posted for Cottage Cheese, a couple of friends have found or already knew, good dairy farms in their area. I need to do a bit of searching too.

It was so damned cold today that one's thoughts turned to things like stews and pot roasts. Here is one for you.

Peppery Beef Stew With Root Vegetables

1 Tbs olive oil
2 lbs trimmed chuck roast (about 2 1/3 lb. untrimmed)
2 tsp black pepper, divided
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups unsalted beef stock
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 Tbs unsalted tomato paste
4 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 lb small turnips, peeled and cut into wedges (about 3 cups)
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 1/4 lbs celery root, peeled and cut into cubes (about 2 cups)
2 cups fresh pearl onions, peeled, or thawed frozen pearl onions (about 8 oz.)
1 cup water
2 Tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Sprinkle roast with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add roast to pan; cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove roast from pan; set aside. Add garlic to pan; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine; cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes, scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits.

3. Whisk together stock and flour in a small bowl. Stir stock mixture into wine mixture; cook, stirring often, until thickened. Stir in tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Nestle roast into stock mixture. Cover and bake at 350°F 1 hour and 30 minutes.

4. Remove pan from oven. Add turnips, carrots, celery root, onions, and 1 cup water; toss carefully with gravy. Cover and bake at 350°F until vegetables are tender and sauce is thick and glazy, about 1 hour. Coarsely shred beef; discard thyme and bay leaves. Top with parsley.

5. Slow Cooker Method Omit preheating oven. Prepare as directed in step 2, substituting a skillet for the Dutch oven. Place roast and wine mixture in a 6-quart slow cooker. Omit steps 3 and 4. Stir together stock and flour; pour over roast. Stir in tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add vegetables and 1 cup water. Cover and cook on LOW until roast is tender, about 7 hours.

Servings: 8

Author: Ann Taylor Pittman
Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Monday, September 10, 2018

Bowling, Freebies. Kindle Cover,

Monday we begin our Winter League bowling. I just hope I can cope with it. I thought I knew who our team was, but somebody backed down and decided she wasn't bowling. She has been off for at least a year with health problems. Guess that is one of the problems with a Senior League. Illness and aging. On the other hand, we have a couple of 92/93 yr olds who seem to be doing fine. I was saying to Matt this weekend about a time at school when we were asked to think about the millenium and how old we would be. I figured out 61 and I thought that was so very old.

By the way, I had a coupon for a free desert from Red Lobster (for my birthday) so now, with my free meal at Mandarin and my dessert at Red Lobster I should end up my birthday week as fat as a flawn. I have no idea what a flawn is. Oh, that's interesting, it is an old fashioned word derived from the French flaun, a maker of pancakes and custards. By the way, you have to buy two entrees to get this free dessert. Guess who will be having a Chocolate Wave Cake?

I originally bought one of the early Kindles which had a keyboard but apart from being able to download ebooks, it's internet connection is not much  use. I have used it for reading so long that the case I bought was falling to pieces. I wondered if it was possible to replace. I checked it out on Amazon, of course, and found one which I wasn't too sure about although it seemed to be right. I ordered it and it arrived on Friday. It works perfectly and in some ways is much better than  the first cover I had. The Kindle itself snaps into the back of the case and is designed that you can use all the buttons etc. I must admit I do like reading on a Kindle - some people would tell you there is nothing like a book, but as I used to say when people said things like "why keep paper backs" it's the content that matters, not the cover. Although I do like this one. My Kindle Fire is not as easy to use as a reader but it is great for going on the net if I wish.

When I lived in England I used to eat cottage cheese fairly regularly and enjoyed it. When I came to Canada I tried it once or twice and have never eaten it since. Bon Appétit describes it as sad, low-fat watery cottage cheese. I agree. However, I have now got their recipe for making your own which is not in fact that difficult. I just hope that this comes out more like the cottage cheese I remember. Not sure where I would get the milk mind you.

Cottage Cheese

½ gallon whole milk, preferably locally sourced and not ultra-pasteurized
1/8 tsp liquid animal rennet
2 ¾ tsp kosher salt, divided, plus more
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 Tbs heavy cream
Special Equipment - Cheesecloth

1. Gently heat milk in a large saucepan over low, stirring occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer registers 80°. Remove from heat, add rennet, and stir to combine. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid. Let rest in a warm place (so milk will maintain room temperature) until curd is set, looks like the texture of silken tofu, and is just beginning to pull away from sides of pot, 4–5 hours.

2. Using a sharp knife and inserting into pot, cut curd vertically into 1" strips, then cut 1" strips horizontally to create a grid pattern. Let sit 5 minutes.

3. Line a colander with 2 layers of cheesecloth.

4. Return pot to very low heat (as low as possible) and add 2 tsp. salt. Gently stir with a wooden spoon to break up curds. Continue to cook, stirring once every 5 minutes, until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of curds registers 115°, about 15 minutes.

5. Pour curds into prepared colander set over sink and let drain until curds are room temperature, about 15 minutes. Transfer drained curds to a medium bowl. Add buttermilk, cream, and ¾ tsp. salt. Stir with a fork to break up curds and combine. Taste and add more salt if needed. Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Yield: 1 pint

Author Notes
Rennet is an enzyme found in animals’ stomachs used to coagulate milk.

Do Ahead: Cottage cheese can be made 4 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Have a great day

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Answer, License,

What has a bed but keeps on running? A river!!

Hm, just learned that it is grandparent's day on Sunday. Didn't know there was such a thing. 

Friday morning I got me to the Service Ontario Office around 10. Just a few people there and I saved my place in the line. Sat down for a very short while and then it was my turn. (Monday there were no vacant chairs even) had my photo taken (bet it will be awful) paid my money, got me a temp license and left. I might say, when I did so, there wasn't a soul waiting to be served!! What a difference. Don't have to do this again for 2 years. I have to wait 2 to 4 weeks to get the actual license itself.  I have to carry my expired one together with the temporary one until I get the new card. ID I suppose. Mind you our health card is good for ID as well.

For supper on Friday night we tried some Thai Basil Shrimp Spring Rolls. They were pretty good. I didn't do them in the air fryer as there were 14 of them and they only needed 11 mins in the oven. I made some sauce to go with them. We both enjoyed them. I didn't really taste a lot in the way of shrimp, but they were tasty nevertheless. Think I will buy another packet. They were very slim spring rolls and made me think of cigars.  I used to buy crab cakes but they have apparently stopped making them any more which is rather sad as they were good. 

The other day it was Firecracker Shrimp, this time it's Firecracker Salmon. Looks pretty good to me.

Firecracker Baked Salmon

1 1/2 lb salmon fillet no skin
2 green onions chopped
For Marinade
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp fresh ginger minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce low sodium
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbs Sriracha sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper

1. Place salmon in a baking dish and pour marinade over the salmon. Rub the marinade over both sides making sure the entire salmon is covered. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for 2 hours up to 24 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.

3. Remove the plastic wrap from the baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Note that the baking time could vary depending on the thickness of the salmon.

4. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve immediately.

Servings: 4

Author: Joanna Cismaru

Source: Jo Cooks

Have a great weekend

Thursday, September 6, 2018

World Wildlife, Bowling, Cars,

A joke from World Wildlife - What has a bed but keeps on running?

Went bowling this afternoon. A little relief but not a lot. I did bowl a 200 game though - my second game was not so hot though.  Next Monday our Winter League starts so hope things are better.

An article from Reader's Digest about the 15 craziest cars ever built. This is one of them.

Actually, I think this is rather a fun car, very clever. It was actually parked on NY streets to advertise Meow Mix. There is also a car that beats the speed of sound (on which roads I wonder?) I am surprised they didn't include the one built for a Saudi Arabian which was covered in diamonds!!! Oh, apparently there was more than one, this one sells for $4.8 million.

I just thought, what a waste of money. I know these guys have more money than they know what to do with, but.....

We love salmon and ginger so this should be delicious I think. I can't imagine diving 1/4 tsp of salt though.

Ginger Roasted Salmon and Broccoli

1 ½ Tbs toasted (dark) sesame oil
1 ½ Tbs reduced-sodium tamari
1 ½ Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
¼ tsp salt, divided
8 cups large broccoli florets with 2-inch stalks attached (about 1 pound)
1 Tbs molasses
1 ¼ lbs wild salmon, cut into 4 portions
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Whisk oil, tamari, vinegar, ginger and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add broccoli and toss to coat. Transfer to the prepared pan using tongs or a slotted spoon, leaving as much marinade as possible in the bowl. Whisk molasses into the remaining marinade. Roast the broccoli for 5 minutes. Move it to one side of the pan and place salmon on the other side. Season the salmon with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and brush with the molasses glaze. Roast until the salmon is just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Servings: 4

Author: Breana Killeen
Source: EatingWell Magazine

Have a great day