Thursday, January 31, 2019

Coooold, Chocolate.

I am grandmother to dragons!!
I have never known it so cold. We cannot get our apartment above about 69°F. We went out to lunch and getting into the restaurant was bad, but we survived it and had an enjoyable lunch. Matt got his birthday celebration (although his birthday isn't until the 4th) and everything was good. Cold getting back to the car but it didn't take long to warm up again. We then went to get the shopping, underground parking and you don't have to get out of the car, then we went to the liquor store. Bad getting in there, but coming out the wind decided to blow extra hard and it was a totally arctic blast. Unloaded in the underground garage and I didn't realise just how cold Matt had got. He was shaking with cold. I heated him up some warming pads and covered him with a blanket and eventually he warmed up. I was cold, but not that bad. I therefore decided we would not venture out again until this cold passed. Supposedly after Friday. I must admit, right now, I am shivering as I am typing. We have had the stove on all evening and it still didn't get more than 69°F. The wind chill has been giving temps of -31°C  that is about -23.8°F.

If you are dieting, here is something to stop you eating chocolate According to ABC News, the average chocolate bar contains eight insect parts. Anything less than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate (two chocolate bars' worth) is deemed safe for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration. If you are wondering why I looked this up, I found live bugs crawling around my Hershey's Kisses which had been there since before I went into hospital in October. I am not too sure I am going to be eating chocolate any more although I guess it hasn't killed  me in 80 years. Mind you I threw out the old Hershey's and replaced with new before I read this. Funny, I didn't have any chocolate all evening. And here I have posted a chocolate recipe.

Feeling decadent? If you can resist these, you are "a better man than I am Gunga Din."

Triple Chocolate Coffee Brownies

Ever wonder how to get all your vices in one bite? We’ve got the answer, these fudgy and fantastic
Triple Chocolate Coffee Brownies. Yes, it’s mocha madness with these moist brownies chock full of brewed coffee, the trinity of chocolate (milk, semi-sweet and white chocolate) and chunks of chopped Oreo cookies. If that doesn’t sell you on these blissful brownies, consider that they’re topped with a creamy coffee frosting!

1 ½ cups butter, melted
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups brown sugar
4 eggs
¼ cup coffee, cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
1 cup chopped Oreo cookies
1 cup chopped milk chocolate
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
Coffee Frosting
¼ cup butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
2 Tbs strong brewed coffee, cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. For the brownies, preheat oven to 325ºF. Coat a 13×9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk melted butter, sugar and brown sugar until combined. Add eggs, coffee and vanilla extract and continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, Oreo cookies, milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate, stirring just until flour has disappeared. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Once cool, refrigerate for 2 hours before frosting.

3. For the coffee frosting, using an electric mixer, cream butter and icing sugar on low to combine. Add coffee and vanilla extract and continue to mix on medium speed until reaches a smooth and desired spreading consistency.

4. Spread frosting on cooled brownies.

Servings: 25

Source: Zoomer Magazine

Have a great day

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

TV, Appointments, Bowling Alley,

Well, it arrived, fairly early too. It was also light enough for us to handle. Had to put the feet on it and then couldn't find where the power plugged in. Talk about hidden, when I finally was  told where it was I couldn't believe they would hide it so much. We didn't get a booklet with it so I guess you are supposed to know what goes where. There are pictures on the box but I didn't find them helpful. I have arranged for Rogers, our provider, to come in and set it all up on Thursday afternoon. More money. Lucky the TV was so cheap. What a difference though to the old TVs. I have wanted one of these for a long time. Our picture got cut off at the edges on the old one. OK it's only 32" but that is plenty big enough for us. I notice it has a USB port on it amongst other things, I have no idea what that's for. Attaching a computer or something.

I could have gone for my cannabis appointment after all, but have now arranged to go on Thursday morning. It's only to renew my prescription. Then later in the afternoon the ISP are coming to set up for us. After lunch at the Mandarin on Wednesday, have to pick up groceries and go to the liquor store. I am a tad scared because it is so cold, not good for people who have had heart attacks I read. OK we won't be outside long, but..... I was reading this article and it is worth having a look if you are going to get really low temps in your area tomorrow. Bit fed up with having to keep changing appointments but hopefully this will be it for now.

Planning to go to the bowling alley on Monday to say hi. That will be Matt's actual birthday as well. Will be nice to see everyone. Not sure if we will bowl or not. Ve shall see.

I saved this recipe the other day as I have a small roast of beef tenderloin left from my purchase with my friend a few weeks ago. Mind you it's only a small roast, as I said, so it won't take long to cook. I am also planning to make Kedgeree again on Friday, we enjoyed it so much.

Coffee-Crusted Beef Tenderloin

Our highly caffeinated Chef Lisa always has a cup of Joe at her side, so it should come as no surprise that she’s taken her favorite grinds and brought them to this most special cut of beef, the tenderloin.
This Coffee-Crusted Tenderloin is a pull-out-all-the-stops star, a juicy, super-flavorful and tender (hence the name, tender-loin) main course guaranteed to have everyone buzzing with praise.

Coffee Rub
2 Tbs medium grind coffee
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
3 lb beef tenderloin, center cut

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine coffee, brown sugar, rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pat evenly over the beef and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until desired doneness. For medium rare, you want to reach an internal temperature of 135-140ºF. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Servings: 8

Source: Zoomer Magazine
Have a great day

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

TV, More Snow, Dogs,

Well, got rid of the old TV and have arranged our lives differently to be here when the new TV arrives on Tuesday, I just hope it does arrive Tuesday. Fingers crossed please. Cost us $84.75 which, considering the prices I had heard, wasn't too bad. It was a company called Junk Works and when I spoke to them, the guy on the other end of the phone was in San Francisco although they have local offices. However, they were pretty prompt. Matt was horrified, but nowhere else I tried for help could do so. Community Support said they couldn't ask their drivers to lift heavy stuff. Actually, when the Junk people came, there were 3, two younger, one of whom just picked up our old, heavy, TV and walked out with it, easy as pie. This is basically what it looked like.

It has been snowing all day so maybe it's just as well we aren't going out tomorrow. Have moved the birthday lunch to Wednesday and the cannabis, who knows, not heard back from them. Still snowing and now it is almost 11 p.m.

I mentioned a dog yesterday, we brought one German Shepherd with us to Canada, she was young enough and fit enough to fly. Her name was Brandy and she absolutely adored the snow. This is her, playing in someone's pond with one of our other GSD's visible in the background, we had 3 of them at one time. They were definitely not supposed to be in that pond. We were visiting the owners and didn't realise there was one. They also had horses and the male dog decided to chase them, the horses decided to return the compliment so he jumped back into the garden. I was going spare. I used to take them to training school with my previous hubby. Worked well obviously!!! Later, in Canada, we obtained a mutt from a colleague of Matt's. She was a marvellous dog - part husky, part collie and a dash of GSD we think. She was a real ball of fluff when we went to choose one of the puppies, and scrambled over them all to get to us, so obviously we picked her. Sadly she was a very fit 13 1/2 yrs old when she got a twisted gut somehow, vet said he couldn't operate on a dog that old, so that was it. We decided we wouldn't have another. I do miss having a dog though except, these days, we couldn't walk one. I'd have a cat but Matt isn't too keen on them.

I have mentioned before how much I like the dark meat on poultry, this is another recipe for turkey legs which I thought sounded delicious. Gotta get me some turkey legs now.

Turkey Legs with Cider and Apples

This dish tastes like the holidays. The chili balances the sweetness of the sauce, but it can be omitted. Turkey legs braise very well and become tasty and rich. Always pat turkey dry before searing to ensure it browns well. Turkey legs come in different weights. Smaller ones will cook in 15 to 30
minutes’ less time. Serve with roasted parsnips, Brussels sprouts and buttermilk mashed potatoes. Leftover turkey makes a sensational turkey potpie. Just thicken the sauce and add any leftover cooked vegetables, cover with a puff pastry crust and bake at 350°F (180°C) until pastry is crisp and golden.

2 large turkey legs, about 6 lbs (2.7 kg), split into thighs and drumsticks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbs (45 mL) olive oil
½ cup (125 mL) chopped pancetta
3 pork or chicken sausages, sliced 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
3 tart green apples such as Spy or Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut in wedges, about 5 cups (1.25 L)
2 cups (500 mL) chopped onions
2 cups (500 mL) chopped celery
1 Tbs (15 mL) chopped garlic
2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock
1 cup (250 mL) hard apple cider
1 Tbs (15 mL) cider vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme
1 dried chili
6 fresh sage leaves
12 fresh sage leaves

1. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).

2. Season turkey legs with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) of oil in large ovenproof pot or in a skillet. Working in batches, add turkey pieces and brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.

3. Add pancetta and sauté until beginning to crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in sausages and apples. Saute for 2 minutes or until sausage browns slightly. Remove sausages and apples to a bowl. Add onions and celery and sauté for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

4. Stir in stock, hard cider, cider vinegar, thyme, dried chili and 6 sage leaves. Bring to a boil. Return turkey legs to liquid. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Stir in apple wedges and sausage. Bake, covered, for 30 more minutes.

5. Increase heat to 350°F (180°C). Remove cover and bake another 30 minutes or until flavours are combined and legs are very tender.

6. Heat remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) of oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves and fry until crisp and slightly curled, about 1 minute. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate.

7. Carve meat from thighs and drumsticks and serve a portion of each per serving with sauce. Garnish with fried sage leaves.

Yield: 4 to 6

Source: LCBO

Have a great day

Monday, January 28, 2019

Kedgeree, Cold and Snow, TV, Instapot.

I got round to making Kedgeree on Friday - I used 2 of the 5 pieces of smoked haddock. I was pleased it turned out very well and we both enjoyed it. The grated egg yolk really makes it, in my humble opinion.

Too cold to go out so the fish pie will have to wait for a while, although I might make another kedgeree and get some more smoked haddock from the store. The temps haven't been this cold for a while, today it was -24°C with the wind chill. I remember that temperature from when we first came to Canada. Took the dog out for a walk and I ducked back into the car. Matt returned with frozen tears. The dog loved it mind you.

To say I am harrassed is to put it mildly. Sunday afternoon the TV decided to quit on us. I thought it was going to go any time but was hoping it would last a bit longer. I phoned Best Buy and got a good deal, we don't watch much TV anyway and it would be delivered for free. Once I had paid for it I discovered the delivery would  be through Canada Post and it would probably arrive Tuesday. Great, except we won't be here Tuesday. Even if we were, the mailman doesn't bring parcels upstairs so we would have to find someone to help. However, we have lunch out and a medical appointment on Tuesday and I can't cancel the latter yet again. That means we have to go to the post office to collect the parcel, us? We are in our 80s and I don't think either of us could carry a TV. By the time I realised all this it was too late to cancel, I could just leave it at the Post Office and they will eventually return it to Best Buy who will eventually return my money, or, hopefully, I could get Community Support Services to pick it up for me. Will probably have to ask them to take away the old one for us too.

I have been toying with buying an Instapot. A friend swears by hers and I need a new Dutch Oven so an Instapot would do the job. Trouble is, having such a small kitchen, where am I going to put it? Apart from which, having to buy a TV maybe I will have to put it off.

I thought this looked good especially if you are serving lots of snacks.

Air Fryer Shrimp a la Bang Bang

"This is my take on a popular dish from a restaurant chain. My version is made in an air fryer instead
of being deep-fried. The end result was perfectly crispy sweet and spicy shrimp."

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1 Tbs sriracha sauce
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 head loose leaf lettuce
2 green onions, chopped, or to taste (optional

1. Set an air fryer for 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2. Mix mayonnaise, chili sauce, and sriracha sauce in a bowl until smooth. Reserve some bang bang sauce in a separate bowl for dipping, if desired.

3. Place flour on a plate. Place panko on a separate plate.

4. Coat shrimp first with flour, followed by mayonnaise mixture, then panko. Place coated shrimp on a baking sheet.

5. Place shrimp in the air fryer basket without overcrowding.

6. Cook for 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining shrimp.

7. Serve in lettuce wraps garnished with green onions.

Author: Soup Loving Nicole
Source: All Recipes

Have a great day

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Saturday Recipe

Potato Spinach and Gruyere Frittata

When it comes to breakfast and eggs, some countries like to play the heavyweights. The French with their finicky Hollandaise and fussy soufflés. The Brits with their deep-fried Scotch eggs. So, what’s
the Italians’ secret for La Dolce Uovo? The easy- going frittata: a thick, hearty, open-faced omelet that can be served at any temperature, eaten at any meal, and, best of all, filled with whatever you like. We love this combo, but also adore peas, feta and mint… red peppers, onions and goat cheese…

2 Tbs butter
10 (10oz/285g) small red potatoes, sliced 1/8-inch thick
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 cups fresh baby spinach, stems removed
8 large eggs
3 Tbs melted butter
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb (approx. 3 cups) shredded Gruyère cheese

1. In a deep 10-inch ovenproof skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, salt and pepper, sautéing until cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

2. Using the same skillet, add spinach leaves over medium heat, cooking until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan. When cool, squeeze spinach to drain excess liquid. Chop spinach and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs very well. Whisk in melted butter, salt and pepper. Spread cooked potatoes and spinach evenly on the bottom of your 10-inch skillet. Sprinkle Gruyère evenly over potatoes and spinach. Pour egg mixture in skillet and place in oven. Bake until golden brown around edges and just firm to the touch, 23-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Run a spatula around the skillet edge to loosen frittata and invert it onto a serving plate.

Yield: 4-6

Source: Zoomer

Have a great weekend

Friday, January 25, 2019

Snow, Medical, Rent, Supper.

Having had quite a dollop of snow the other night, and morning, it rained later on and by now it has almost disappeared. Pity really, looks so nice in the park especially when it is on the trees, although it is nice to have the roads clear again. Rescheduled my appointment at the Cannabis lab for next week. Actually, after we have been to the Mandarin for Matt's birthday meal, we are almost half way there. Unless we get more snow of course, always possible at this time of year. The eastern part of the States is certainly getting hit with a lot of snow. Just hope it doesn't come up here.

Went to see the urologist who informs me my kidneys are extremely healthy and that my current problems are more likely to be a hangover from my UTI rather than anything else. Told me not to eat spicy stuff, drink alcohol or eat citrus fruit. Yeah, well, maybe. I came home and had Nong Shim noodles which are extremely spicy. My current condition is not that bad. One thing I did do was to fax the cardiologist, will see what happens.

A friend went into the super's office and read the document he has there. It turns out it is basically a long treatise about the landlord's application for a 4.8% increase. However, the super appears to have misunderstood what it was about and my friend explained it all to him. On the advice of the Landlords and Tenants Board, I am saving the difference between the 1.8% I am paying them and the 4.8% they want. Just in case.

I have taken the smoked haddock out of the freezer. Got to defrost it carefully as I don't want all of it so want to put the remains back. I am planning to make kedgeree for Friday night's supper.

The Happy Whisk, or Ivy Shorts, found a link about PAD which is my main problem at the moment. If you are interested, I have linked to the article.

I know, another soup, but it's winter round here and this too attracted my attention. Not sure what Tuscan kale is, but I would just use ordinary kale. Googled, Tuscan kale is a bit more tender. I think I would use baby kale anyway.

Simple Ribollita

The only thing better than soup with bread? Soup that not only has chunks of bread in it, but crunchy croutons on top as well. This (vegetarian!) Italian classic is about as comforting as it gets, packed with hearty greens, meaty beans, and plenty of rich olive oil and umami-packed Parmesan. A note on
that cheese: If you've been throwing out your Parm rinds all these years, that stops right now. The rind is full of flavor, and makes a great addition to any broth-y, stewy situation.

1 large onion
3 medium carrots
2 celery stalks
8 garlic cloves
2 bunches Tuscan kale
1 small wedge of Parmesan with rind
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
½ loaf crusty country bread (about 10 oz.)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt
1 14 oz  cannellini beans
¾ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1. Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450°. Time to prep your veg! You are going to make a mirepoix, which is just a fancy French word for the combo of chopped onions, carrots, and celery that form the flavor base for a lot of European dishes. First, cut 1 large onion in half through root. Peel and discard skins. Finely chop and transfer to a medium bowl.

2. Wash, peel, and trim 3 medium carrots. Cut in half (or in quarters lengthwise if they’re large), then cut crosswise into ½" pieces. (You can also just chop the carrots down into coins if you don't mind larger pieces of veg in your soup.) Add to bowl with onion.

3. Chop 2 celery stalks crosswise into ½" pieces. Add to bowl with the rest of the mirepoix.

4. Smash and peel 8 garlic cloves with the back of your knife. If any of them are left more or less intact after that initial smashing, give them another good wack with the back of your knife so they really open up and start to break apart. Add to bowl, also.

5. Strip stems from 2 bunches Tuscan kale and discard. Wash if they're gritty or you really care about washing vegetables, then tear leaves into 2" pieces; set aside.

6. Cut rind off of 1 small Parmesan wedge; set aside.

7. Place 28 oz. canned tomatoes and their juices in a strainer set inside a medium bowl. (You need that bowl to collect the juice, which you're going to use later—don't throw it out!) Squeeze tomatoes and crush them with your hands while leaving them submerged in their liquid so they don’t squirt.

8. Tear ½ loaf crusty country bread into 1½" pieces.

9. Heat 1/3 cup extra-virgin oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium. Add bowl of mirepoix and 2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not browned, 8–10 minutes.

10. Lift strainer full of tomatoes and give it a few shakes to remove any liquid. Add tomatoes (but not juices!) and cook, stirring occasionally, until some of the rawness is cooked off, about 10 minutes. Giving those tomato solids a chance to caramelize before adding the liquid back in helps to add a lot of flavor to the stew. (Remember: Reserve the juices, you’re going to use them!)

11. While tomatoes are cooking, drain and rinse 14 oz. canned cannellini beans in the strainer you just used, then add to pot along with Parmesan rind, tomato juices, ¾ tsp. red pepper flakes, and 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer.

12. Add kale in two additions, stirring often and allowing to wilt in between.

13. Add about one-third of torn bread (no need to measure, just eyeball it) and cook, stirring occasionally, until coated and warmed through, about 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning.

14. Remove from heat. Place remaining torn bread chunks on top of stew. Drizzle generously with olive oil.

15. Transfer pot to oven and bake stew until thick, bubbling, and bread is golden brown on top, 10–15 minutes.

16. Ladle stew into bowls, drizzle each generously with olive oil, and grate lots of Parmesan over.

Yield: 4–6 servings

Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Rent, Snow,

I finally got hold of the Landlords and Tenants Board again on Wed. morning. They assured me that, although there is an application outstanding, and it has been issued a file number (which I now have) nothing has, as yet, been done and no tribunal has been held. She also assured me that we tenants would be informed of the date of the tribunal and the results once it had been held. Of course we are able to go to the tribunal if we wish. What this document is that the management have, I don't know.

So it snowed, and snowed, and snowed. The roads were white this morning so there was no way I was going to drive to Cambridge to the cannabis clinic, it not being an urgent matter. Then this afternoon it rained and it is supposed to freeze so I am not planning to go anywhere today. Tomorrow I have the urologist appointment, but that is in town and not far away.

Had to post one of my favourite snow pictures. He is so cute. I suggested to Matt we went and played snowballs this morning, funnily enough he wasn't keen on the idea. Shame on him.

I just thought; maybe the landlords are pulling a snow job!

I am making Sicilian Olive Chicken for supper tonight. Haven't had it in a while. Matt is not keen on the olives but they are fairly easy to pick out.

There were a bunch of recipes for people with sore throats which I read this morning. This one particularly appealed to me. I happen to have a packet of soba noodles too, used to make Yaki Soba a lot once, haven't made it for a while. I particularly like the comments. For instance, the recipe yesterday contained Spanish Chorizo, in my researches, I found that Italian sausage can be used instead.

Orange Ginger Broth with Soba Noodles

A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason feel free
to stir your own ideas into this dish. When you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don't like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!

1 sml pkg soba noodles
2 cup orange juice
2 cup chicken stock
2 inch piece of ginger, frozen
1 Tbs soya sauce
1 cup sliced green onions
2 cup baby bok choy, chopped
1 cup bean sprouts
1 carrot, grated
1 Tbs sesame seeds

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

2. Season with salt and then add soba noodles.

3. Boil just until they have softened, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Drain and rinse.

5. Bring orange juice and chicken stock to a simmer.

6. Grate in frozen ginger, reserving some for garnish and add soya sauce, green onions, bok choy, sprouts and carrot.

7. Stir until bok choy is wilted.

8. Place some soba noodles into soup bowls.

9. Ladle in some broth and vegetables and garnish with sesame seeds and grated ginger.

Servings: 4

Author: Michael Smith
Source: Food Network

Have a great day

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Red Lobster, Hair Cut., Cannabis Scrip, Rent Increase,

Went to the Red Lobster and used our discount coupon for lunch. Apparently if you choose a dinner item, you get the dinner discount. Don't quite understand their logic but I am not complaining. Matt had a tilapia and shrimp dish which is spicy, it has 3 slices of jalapeño (I think) as garnish and Matt ate one. He didn't really know what it was. He found out!! Drank a lot of water. I chose an "Ultimate Feast" again, I particularly wanted some crab legs. I had taken my lobster pick with me which is much smaller than the fork they supply. Enjoyed it. I didn't bother with broccoli or any other veg and no sides of any kind. They knocked $1.25 off for that, nice of them.

Then went to the hair salon - decided I wasn't ready for a cut yet. She cut an amazing amount off Matt, incredible, she did all the things like ears and eyebrows. She also took a straight razor to his neck. Could have cut his throat with that. I forgot, she made me a cup of green tea whilst I was waiting. I was very impressed. She is a very nice woman. Matt doesn't remember going to her before, but he was impressed with her today. Well, when I had my hair cut she did the stringing I mentioned. Fascinating how she gets the string to vibrate and pull out chin hairs etc. Never seen that done before.

I might mention that it is bloody cold outside too. Coldest I have felt in a while.

Today, as I said, I have to go to the Cannabis doc for a renewed scrip. In the afternoon, I want to study the document the superintendent says he has from the Landlords and Tenants Board giving our landlords the right to increase the rent by 4.8%. If this is true, I will be making a noise about why none of us have been so advised by the Board. That, in our case, is over $60 a month. That is going to put a big strain on our budget although, I forgot, Matt just got a $5/month increase on his work pension. Makes the raise $55 I guess!!!

As so often happens, the picture grabbed me on this recipe. Not sure if I can get Spanish chorizo. I know I can get Portuguese but am not sure it is quite the same thing. My mother always had some on hand when they lived in Spain and we used to chomp on it all the time.

Chorizo and Potato Stew

This is the hearty, rustic, and deeply warming comfort food you'll be craving on all snowy days. Yes, it’s a large amount of paprika, but it serves as a base flavor for the stew and gives it a deep red color
and smoky aroma.

6 bacon slices, chopped
2 medium sweet onions, finely chopped
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 Tbs tomato paste
2 ½ lb russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ¾" pieces
2 lb smoked Spanish chorizo, cut into rounds, halved into half-moons
1 lb button mushrooms, cut into ½"-thick wedges
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
? cup hot smoked Spanish paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
1 cup sour cream
2 cups torn dill
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook bacon in a large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown but not yet crisp, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels.

2. Add onions to same pot and cook, stirring often, until golden and softened, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until slightly darkened in color, about 2 minutes. Return bacon to pot, then add potatoes, chorizo, mushrooms, broth, paprika, and cayenne and bring to a boil. Reduce heat so liquid is at a bare simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, 25–30 minutes. Remove from heat; season with salt.

3. Stir sour cream and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl to combine; season with salt.

4. Divide stew among bowls and top with sour cream, dill, and a few grinds of pepper.

Servings: 8

Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Food, Birthday's. Year of the Pig, Cannabis,

Well, I got my haddock and my Italian sausages. They didn't deliver the haddock to the store again but eventually the boss man from the main store delivered the smoked haddock himself. Not sure when I am going to use it though. Whilst in the store I picked up some nice thick honey. I have previously only bought it at the asparagus farm because last year the store didn't have it. Should have checked it out before.  I am not sure what the difference is, but this calls itself wildflower honed and raw. I love it, it is so thick and tasty. I also opened one of my pickled asparagus jars today too, I still have one more to go. I am already beginning to salivate about fresh asparagus!! In the Victoria St. Market, where I got the things above, they had some very thick asparagus spears. I was tempted, but they looked somewhat old so I didn't buy them.

Today we got the coupon for Matt's free birthday meal at Mandarin. I also got a notice from them
telling me it was Chinese New Year's starting today, it's the Year of the Pig. Chinese New Year's means dumplings and more dumplings. I will certainly celebrate Matt's birthday with a dumpling or two or three. They have such a variety. I see they have a link on Instagram now, not a site I have had anything to do with. Maybe I will check it out. This photo shows a selection of some of the dumplings, they all can be improved with sauces which are spread around.

Today we are planning to get hair cuts, Matt's hair is really long, mine isn't too bad but it needs trimming at least. Then we will go to the Red Lobster for lunch using our discount coupon. I think they will send Matt a coupon for a free dessert for his birthday. Believe that's what we got last year.

Wednesday I have to get my cannabis prescription renewed. Of course I didn't take it for months and only recently started again. I have actually found that, although I am only taking 1.5 mL a day, it is helping my back somewhat. Nothing really helps my legs of course. Thursday I go to the Urologist to find out about my ultrasound. Heard nothing from the Infectious Diseases dept. at the hospital, will ask about it on Thursday.

Here is a recipe for Chinese steamed pork buns. They are delicious.

Char Siu Bao (Chinese BBQ Pork Buns)

Light and airy steamed buns filled with tasty BBQ pork.

1 cup char siu, chopped finely
1 green onion, sliced finely
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 Tbs hoisin sauce
1 tsp honey
1 tsp xiao hsing wine
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp Chinese five spice
1 batch dough (see below)

1. Mix the char siu, green onions, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, xiao hsing wine, sesame oil, Chinese five spice.

2. Roll the dough into a log and cut it into 12 equally sized pieces.

3. Roll each piece into a ball, flatten and place a tablespoon of filling into the center. Pinch the dough on both sides then pinch the dough on the top and bottom. Pull the four pinches up to the center and given them a little twist.

4. Place the balls on squares of wax paper, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

5. Place the balls into a steamer, without touching each other, and steam for 10 minutes.

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking.

Char Siu Bao Dough

A dough to make light and airy buns whether steamed or baked.

1/3 cup water, lukewarm
1/3 cup flour
1 package active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs oil
~1/2 cup water (lukewarm)
1 tsp baking powder

1. Mix the water, flour, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes.

2. Add the flours, baking powder, salt, sugar and oil.

3. Mix while slowly pouring in the water until it just forms a dough.

4. Knead the dough until smooth, about 3-5 minutes.

5. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 3-4 hours.

6. Sprinkle the baking powder over the dough and knead it well.

Servings: 12

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking

Have a great day

Monday, January 21, 2019

Cooks, Effort, Shopping,

I have often groused about chefs who leave the tails on shrimp. OK if you are going to pick them up that way and dip them in a sauce, but when they are already in a sauce, it is messy to have to grab the tails to remove them. My second huge grouse is people who use Parmesan Cheese, in an English speaking country and call it Parmijan. It is ParmeSan - if you happen to be in Italy it is Parmigiano, but there is no such thing as Parmijian or Parmigian. There was a cook (don't think he deserved the title of chef) on Good Morning America on Friday who did both these things. I thought his recipe was a tad odd anyway, he was making a healthy version of Shrimp Alfredo and he used coconut milk and almond milk - 2 nut milks? Isn't one enough?

I tried to get round to a few blogs on Sunday. I am still having to push myself somewhat to do things so I am sorry if I have neglected your blog lately. Everything seems such an effort still - not having my veins done doesn't help of course. Roll on the summer. I am almost wishing away the time like I did as a kid waiting for my birthday.

Today, Monday, I get my haddock and will get us some Italian sausages from the same store. We both enjoy Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions now and again.  I have to pick up some shopping too, a half order again.

I have been meaning to try this for breakfast for a couple of days, but as I said above, pushing myself to do things isn't easy at the moment. Matt wouldn't eat this for breakfast I don't think.

Parmesan Eggs

creamy skillet eggs that redefine breakfast for champions. Loaded with heavy cream, Parmesan cheese and butter, these eggs will change your mornings forever.

1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp chopped parsley, more for garnishing
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs unsalted butter
4 large eggs

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Parmesan cheese, cream, parsley, salt, and pepper.

2. Using a six-inch skillet, heat one tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add half of the the cream mixture to the skillet and cook until the mixture is bubbling all the way through, about 1 minute. Crack two eggs into the skillet and cook until the egg whites are set but yolks are runny, about two minutes. Cover the skillet with its lid to help cook the egg whites faster, and before the Parmesan cheese is burnt or turn dark brown.

3. Season the eggs with a wee bit of salt, ground black pepper and garnish with some chopped parsley. Repeat the step above and cook the remaining. Serve the eggs with a hot sauce, if you like.

Servings: 2

You can cook all four eggs in a regular-sized skillet. If you have a non-stick skillet, use it to prevent the Parmesan cheese from being burnt and stick to the bottom of the skillet.

Author: Cravings, Chrissy Tiegen

Have a great day

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Restaurants, Kedgeree,

Until our friends mentioned the Mandarin free birthday lunch, I had kind of forgotten that it was Matt's 84th birthday on the 4th. My hospital stay has kind of skewed my thinking lately. They said they wouldn't be able to make it because they fly on the 1st, but Mandarin gives you one week either side of your birthday. I have a coupon to use at Red Lobster too, nothing to do with birthdays, but just $3 off lunch or $4 off dinner for the next week.

Unfortunately the fish store phoned, they received smoked cod although smoked haddock is available. Apparently she can have the smoked haddock in for me on Monday afternoon. I wasn't in any hurry so that's OK. Another way we used to eat smoked haddock was with a poached egg on top, the yolk and the fish really melded well. I'm salivating LOL. I would never have let the yolk run onto the plate though. When I was a kid, I used to eat all the white and then put the yolk, whole, into my mouth so I didn't lose any of it!!!

Meanwhile I looked up my father's recipe for Kedgeree. I have no idea where he got it from and from all I have learned over the years, it isn't very genuine, but I always loved it. The picture is not how we served it, we sieved the yolks, but I have never taken a photo myself. Will have to do so when I get this smoked haddock.


1 lb smoked haddock (smoked cod can be substituted)
Milk to cover
1 cup long grain rice (Basmati is best)
2 hard cooked eggs.

1. First poach the haddock in the milk until the fish flakes easily. Remove the fish,  break it up and make sure there is no skin or bones left. Meanwhile cook the rice as directed on the package. Melt a large knob of butter (2 oz.) in a saucepan and add the rice and fish and cook, stirring, til warmed through. You may need more butter, I use lots when making this. Taste for seasoning and add if required. Slice the eggs and remove the yolks. Turn the fish and rice onto a serving dish, decorate with the slices of egg white and then sieve the yolks over the top. As a variation you can add a dash of cayenne and/or a teaspoon of curry powder blended into the butter. You can also add thick cream at the end, if you wish and don’t care about cholesterol.

2. You can decorate the final dish with more hard cooked eggs and even parsley if you wish.

Source: Daddy

Have a great weekend.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Community Support, Smoked Haddock,

I went for my ultrasound at lunchtime and was in and out of the hospital very quickly. I had my ride from Community Support. Great service. I can highly recommend it to those of you who live in Ontario. I had placed an order for half a week's shopping and went down to the lobby to wait for Matt to bring up the car. Funnily enough there was a guy who did rides for Community Support and I was chatting to him for a while - not sure why he was sitting in our lobby, but went to get the shopping and he was still there when I returned.  This is the same group that run the exercise classes and also Meals on Wheels. A neighbour of ours was chatting to him as well and when I returned she was delighted to know about the luncheon which happens once a week or month, can't remember. I wonder what the food is like. Maybe we should try it out at least once. Not sure if Matt would go. Forgot to mention, it was much easier to bring a half week's groceries upstairs.

I phoned the store - Victoria Street Market, just up the road from us - where they sell great Italian sausages amongst other stuff: they have a seafood department, a branch of Caudle's Catch a local seafood store. She said she could order smoked haddock for me and it would be in on Friday. About $14 a pound. I will certainly use it for a couple of dishes I haven't been able to make for a while, one is Kedgeree which is based on an Indian dish. My father used to make it for us for breakfast but it makes a very good supper dish too. Will post it later. I am so pleased to find a source of smoked haddock. It won't be as good as the Finnan Haddock we used to get in England, but better than not getting it at all.

Having found a source of smoked haddock, I then searched for a fish pie recipe which I used to make when we lived in North Carolina. I guess I didn't write it down so this one, with some adaptations comes from the BBC. I have no idea what Maris Piper potatoes are, in the UK these days they seem to have an endless variety of potatoes, I would just use Yukon Gold myself. Also they talked about a packet of mixed fish pie fish, not come across that here. If you can find one, feel free. Two essentials though are smoked haddock, or smoked cod if haddock isn't available, and shrimp.

Fish Pie Recipe - Easy

A simple fish pie recipe that’s quick and easy to prepare. Portion into ramekins and freeze for quick toddler meals or cook in a big dish for the perfect family supper

1 kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and halved (just over 2 lbs)
400 ml milk, plus a splash (about 1 1/2 cups)
25 g butter, plus a knob (about 3/4 oz.)
25 g plain flour (about 3/4 oz)
4 spring onions, finely sliced
300-400 grams mixed fish cod, salmon, smoked haddock, shrimp, etc.  (10 1/2 - 14 oz)
1 tsp Dijon or English mustard
a small bunch chives, finely snipped
handful frozen corn
handful frozen petits pois
handful grated cheddar

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C 392°F

2. Put 1kg potatoes, peeled and halved, in a saucepan and pour over enough water to cover them. Bring to the boil and then simmer until tender.

3. When cooked, drain thoroughly and mash with a splash of milk and a knob of butter. Season with ground black pepper.

4. Put 25g butter, 25g plain flour and 4 finely sliced spring onions in another pan and heat gently until the butter has melted, stirring regularly. Cook for 1 -2 mins.

5. Gradually whisk in 400 ml milk using a balloon whisk if you have one. Bring to the boil, stirring to avoid any lumps and sticking at the bottom of the pan. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes until thickened.

6. Take off the heat and stir in 320g-400g mixed fish, 1 tsp Dijon or English mustard, a small bunch of finely snipped chives, handful of corn and handful of petits pois. Spoon into an ovenproof dish or 6- 8 ramekins.

7. Spoon the potato on top and sprinkle with a handful of grated cheddar cheese.

8. Pop in the oven for 20 - 25 mins or until golden and bubbling at the edges. Alternatively, cover and freeze the pie or mini pies for another time.

Servings: 4 - 6

Source: BBC Good Food

Have a great day

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Ride, Grocery, Mandarin, Wild Horses,

We overslept on Wednesday morning, not sure why. Cleaner was coming at 9 so had to really rush around. Took phone into the bathroom with me (I need it to open the front door of the building) and it rang whilst I was in the shower so assumed it was the cleaner, no, it was about our ride for Thursday. They had booked it for 12:45. Small problem, my appointment is for 12. They phoned back to say they had managed to reschedule for 11:30. Phew, I had visions of not getting a ride at all.

I have put in a grocery order for Thursday afternoon too, just a half order and then will have another half order on Monday or Tuesday next week. Maybe this will be easier on us.

Went to Mandarin for lunch and enjoyed seeing our friends. They are off to the Dominican Republic in February so will not be here for Matt's birthday which means, unless I can find a couple to join us, Matt won't get his free lunch. Everybody is going to the sun.

Just watched a fascinating documentary about horses on PBS. A guy spent a day with a wild horse, riding a trained horse, and by the end of it he was riding the now tamed one. We watched every step of the training (not breaking) and it was fascinating. There is another episode next week so must remember to watch it.

I saw the picture of this recipe and thought it looked good, however, not sure about the squash. Not having been brought up with the family of squash vegetables it is something I am not all that enthusiastic with using - however.... Of course I would NOT use the low fat cream cheese.

Spanish-Style Mac and Cheese

It’s surprising how much flavor you can achieve in such a short amount of time. Little bits of Spanish chorizo (the hard, cured kind) are wonderful in the breadcrumb topping.

12 oz uncooked short whole-grain pasta (such as penne, farfalle, or rotini)
1 cup frozen butternut squash puree (about 12 oz.), thawed
3 oz Manchego cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
2 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (about 1/4 cup)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 oz dry-cured Spanish chorizo, finely chopped
2 Tbs canola oil
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 Tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp smoked paprika

1. Preheat broiler to high with oven rack in middle of oven. Cook pasta according to package directions in a Dutch oven. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to pan; add reserved cooking liquid, squash, Manchego cheese, cream cheese, salt, and cayenne. Stir until well combined. Spoon mixture into an ungreased 11- x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.

2. While pasta cooks, heat chorizo and oil in a skillet over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until chorizo is crispy and oil turns red, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in panko. Spoon over pasta mixture in baking dish.

3. Broil in preheated oven until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and paprika.

Servings: 12 (Hm I wonder).

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Herbs and Spices, Medical, Ride, Mandarin,

I have been thinking about fresh herbs which are always nice to have, but difficult to always have them available when you need them. The chicken recipe I posted yesterday was supposed to have fresh tarragon. It is winter here, so couldn't grow it outside, in an apartment there isn't room to grow it (and lots of other herbs) inside so I would have to buy it specially. So, you do that and end up with a large bunch of tarragon which wouldn't keep fresh all that long so most of it would be wasted. It's OK
for professional cooks because they are using this stuff all the time, but impossible for the home cook without access to a herb garden of some kind. If only. Talking of herbs and, of course, spices, I was completely out of cloves and cashews. I don't buy the latter at my grocery store any more as I can get them far cheaper at Bulkville which has recently opened in the same shopping mall. Much to my surprise my grocery doesn't sell whole cloves. Bulkville only had Pepper Cashews, I tasted one, not bad, Matt is a pepper freak anyway, so that's what I bought. As for the cloves, I ended up with way more than I needed, but they do keep. I will certainly buy all my herbs and spices there, it is so much cheaper. Mind you it is a bit of a walk for me, but surprisingly I managed pretty well yesterday. I just discovered a few other uses for cloves.
I use them when I make bread sauce to go with turkey, I stick an onion with cloves and then sweat it in milk for a long time prior to adding fresh breadcrumbs (having removed the onion and cloves) then some butter and cream. I should make it more often, no reason not to have it with chicken.

Well, went to see the urologist who examined Matt and has determined that he doesn't have a bladder infection but is sending him for a kidney ultrasound. Assume that's what mine will be on Thursday. I was delighted by the ride. Joe picked us up promptly, dropped us at St. Mary's and told us to phone the office when we were ready. Did so and it turned out he was already outside waiting for us. Great. Doing the same thing on Thursday. It costs less than parking and is door to door of course. 

Wednesday, today, we are going to the Mandarin again with a couple of friends, haven't been with them since Sept./Oct. Suspect it was for my free birthday meal in September. We usually go together at least once a month. Oh dear, I'll have to eat more Hot and Sour Soup!!!

OK, went back to early blogs and came across this Weight Watcher's recipe which we used to make a lot at one time, well Matt did. If you can't get plaice, flounder is very similar.

Plaice and Tomato Pinwheels

Serves 2

12 oz plaice fillets
4 tsp made mustard (that's Coleman's or Keen's mixed with water). You could use Dijon for a milder flavour
8 oz cherry tomatoes
juice of 1 lemon
4 Tbs chopped parsley
1 tsp powdered rosemary
1/2 tsp salt and pepper

Skin the fillets, slit in half lengthways and spread one side with mustard. Wrap each half
fillet around a tomato, mustard side inwards. Secure with wooden cocktail sticks. Arrange
the fillets in a shallow dish, sprinkle with lemon juice, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper.
Bake in the over 400°F, for 15-20 minutes. Serve with French cucumber salad.

French Cucumber Salad

Serves 2

4 oz. cucumber, peeled and diced (if you use an English cucumber, no need to peel)
pinch mixed herbs
2 Tbs cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
ground black pepper.

Arrange the cucumber on the plate, mix the herbs with the vinegar and pepper and pour
over the cucumber.

As they are shown in the picture, I suppose I had better add the rest.

Pineapple Sherbet.

Serves 2

1 envelope gelatine
4 rings unsweetened pineapple
4 tbs pineapple juice
4 tbs lemon juice
pinch powdered ginger.

Dissolve the gelatine in a heatproof dish with 2 tbs water, over hot water. Place the
pineapple rings and juice in a blender, blend until smooth. Add the dissolved gelatine.
Blend for 2-3 minutes. Pour into 2 dessert glasses then chill and sprinkle with ginger.

Have a great day

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Shopping, Urology, Delicious Recipe,

I have bitched about the shopping before, had arranged for someone to help on Wednesday, nobody available, so decided to go ahead and pick up Monday. When I got home, I discovered a bunch of stuff was missing, it didn't seem to have transferred through at all. Not sure why. The young man who delivered the groceries to our trunk was really helpful with a couple of things though. We have a chandelier which takes bulbs with the tiniest threads and he finally found them for us. Also a couple of those Grand Ferero Rocher I talked about last week. Yes I know, shouldn't have them, but... they really are delicious. We both ate the whole outside chocolate again this evening. Greedy pair.

Liz Seckman asked if we didn't have some young men in the building who would help with the shopping. Not as far as I know. She has four hulking great sons. Wish we were close.

So, hopefully the driver will be here tomorrow (today now) to take us to Matt's hospital appointment with the urologist. Talking of which, I seem to be having pain in my right kidney, will try and ask him about it when we get to the hospital, or before we leave.

This is a recipe I have just come across and have bought some drumsticks with which to make it. I do like drumsticks very much for their moist meat. This is  actually delicious. I cheated a lot, used coriander powder and dried tarragon. Crème fraîche was sour cream or cream with a little lemon juice. However, we both thought it was good. Forgot, no crusty bread, served it with egg noodles. However, the times quoted are a lot of nonsense, took a lot longer to brown the drumsticks for a start. But I do highly recommend this. Certainly a recipe I will cook again. I had 10 drumsticks in the end, had 3 each tonight, 2 for tomorrow. I could have eaten 5 quite happily. I might make up the quantity with some chicken breast.

Chicken Dijon

Melissa Clark's favorite part of the chicken is the drumstick, because it's juicy and easy to brown. She likes using only drumsticks in this mustardy stew—thickened with tangy crème fraîche—so that all
the meat cooks at the same rate.

1 tsp coriander seeds
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
8 medium chicken drumsticks (about 3 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbs whole-grain mustard
3 Tbs crème fraîche or sour cream
2 tsp chopped tarragon
Crusty bread, for serving

1. In a large skillet, toast the coriander seeds over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a mortar and let cool. Crush the seeds coarsely with a pestle.

2. In the same skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Season the chicken drumsticks with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until golden brown all over, about 10 (at least 20) minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 (5) minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and crushed coriander and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

3. Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover and keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk the mustard with the crème fraîche and tarragon. Whisk the mixture into the skillet and simmer the sauce over moderate heat until thickened, about 5 (nearer 10) minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet and turn to coat. Serve the chicken with crusty bread.

Servings: 4

Author: Melissa Clark
Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Monday, January 14, 2019

Blogiversary, Older Recipes, Medical, Pickling,

Hilary Melton-Butcher mentioned her 10 yr. Blogiversary this weekend. Made me check on mine, I have made a note of it for future reference. I have already written over 3,000 blogs. Who knew I had so much to blether about. Maybe I should re-publish a few of my earlier blogs. I started reading some of the very first ones and see Matt was still hunting for recipes and cooking them. He no longer does that unfortunately. Luckily we have similar tastes so he always enjoys what I cook. Saturday I tried a simple recipe for pork loin with mushrooms and onions. It wasn't bad  but not that exciting. However, Sunday I did a favourite sautéed cabbage dish and added the remaining pork loin, cut in pieces, and it worked pretty well.

I should check my older blogs for recipes I thought were good then too, probably some I have forgotten that I would enjoy still. One recipe I did come across was one of my father's but unfortunately it calls for smoked haddock which is something I haven't seen in this part of the world. It used to be a favourite of mine too.

Decided to do grocery pick up today. The CAS bunch couldn't do me a shopping driver for Wednesday so I am going with just Matt and I this afternoon - decided he can push the shopping trolley upstairs, it kills me. Hard on him too, but not quite so bad. Then Tuesday, Matt has an appointment to see the urologist at the hospital so we are being picked up at 12:40 by, coincidentally, Joe, in a blue car. Got another appointment on Thursday for me this time, ultra sound. Right on noon too so I will be lunching at breakfast time I think.

Didn't mention, I bought some Lunch Herring last week. They are delicious. Matt doesn't seem to like them, he doesn't like pickles anyway. I think I will be buying some more. I must do some more of the pickles I was doing before my hospital visit. No cucumber though, it doesn't work. I do cucumber to eat that day with a little sugar, salt and vinegar. But if you actually put it in brine in a jar overnight the cucumber makes the brine too watery. Yes, I know they sell pickled cucumbers, but not with the same kind of brine I guess. I still have two jars of asparagus which I pickled properly with a water bath and everything.

I thought this might be a good way to cook some of the steak I have in the freezer.

Pan-Roasted Steak with Crispy Broccoli

4 servings plus leftovers
2 large heads of broccoli (about 2 ½ lb. total)
6 Tbs plus ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt, divided, plus more
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup finely chopped shallot or red onion
¼ cup fresh lime juice
3 12-oz. sirloin, boneless rib-eye, or New York strip steaks (about 1 ¼" thick)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 Tbs rinsed capers, coarsely chopped
½ jalapeño, finely chopped

1. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425°. Cut broccoli into large florets with some stalk attached. Divide between 2 rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment or foil. Drizzle each with 3 Tbsp. olive oil; season generously with salt and some pepper. Toss to combine. Roast, tossing and rotating baking sheets halfway through, until crisp around the edges and charred in spots, 35–40 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.

2. Meanwhile, mix shallot, lime juice, and ½ tsp. salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Season steaks generously all over with salt and pepper, pressing to adhere. Heat a dry large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Swirl vegetable oil in pan to coat. Pat steaks dry; cook 2 steaks, undisturbed, until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn; cook until other sides are browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 130° for medium-rare, about 5 minutes. Turn steaks onto fat cap and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Wipe out skillet, leaving just enough fat to coat pan. Repeat with remaining steak.

4. Mix cilantro, capers, jalapeño, and remaining ¾ cup olive oil into reserved shallot mixture. Reserve 1 steak and ¼ cup cilantro salsa verde for making the Steak Sandwiches another night. Thinly slice remaining steaks against the grain. Top with salsa verde and serve with broccoli.

Servings: 4

Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Toe, Technology, Laundry,

I decided to wear shoes and socks today and it seemed to support my sore toe. I managed to do a bit of walking without suffering too much. Had to go to the library as they had a book on hold for me and also had to go to the liquor store - I didn't have any bubbly for Sunday!!!!

Also, did I mention, my computer guy said I shouldn't have my laptop mouse on the arm of my chair but on the table. He was right, the mouse is behaving itself now although I always have used the mouse on the chair arm, used to work fine. He fixed the desktop by removing an attachment in one of the USB ports. I could have done that had I known!! He was kind, didn't charge me a penny. I wished him a belated Happy Christmas!!! We discussed me buying a laptop to replace my stuff which is all fairly old, however, I will put it off for the while because everything is working fine at the moment.

Tomorrow, being Saturday, we do laundry which means a bit of a walk to me, it's not actually that far, we have a laundry room on every floor, but with my legs..... However, I do some of it and then Matt goes and gets the dry stuff once it's finished. There is a woman lives next door who does laundry but not sure what she charges. I really should ask her. Oh to get some vascular surgery done.

Whilst I was without my desktop, I saved some recipes to my cookery programme on the laptop. Like an idiot I don't remember what they were now. Last night I did Italian sausage with peppers and onions which I haven't done for a while - it was good. Tonight, being Friday, I did Salmon cooked in Foil. Saves a lot on washing up. I'm not sure what I altered now. But it works very well.

Ginger Sesame Salmon - Jo's Version

4 thin onion slices, separated into rings
2 sheets (12x18-inches each) Reynolds Wrap(R) Non-Stick Foil
1 medium carrot, cut into julienne strips or shredded
2 (4 ounce) salmon fillets, thawed and skinned
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 Tbs wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbs Tomato Ketchup
1 tsp Soy Sauce
1/4 tsp Tabasco - or to taste.

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

2. Center one-fourth of onion slices and carrots on each sheet of Reynolds Wrap(R) Non-Stick Foil.

3. Mix sugar, vinegar, ginger, tomato ketchup, sesame oil, soy sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper in a small basin. Cover the fillets with the mixture.

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

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

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

7. Serve salmon and carrots. Sprinkle with additional seasoned rice vinegar, if desired.

Source: Reynolds Kitchens

Have a great weekend