Friday, March 29, 2019

Medical, Bunnies, Age,

Having been up at the crack of dawn, for me anyway, we went, by cab, to the hospital where I was quickly ushered into the Nuclear Imaging Dept. After they had pumped me full of gas then given me an injection and taken lots of pictures of my lungs, I was allowed to put my coat back on and eventually a doctor came to see me to tell me that my lungs had no blood clots. I didn't think so, one of the few parts of my body that does seem to work.

Got some more shopping again this afternoon including our Lindt Gold Bunnies for Easter. (Don't tell anyone, we have already eaten one each). I ought to get us some lamb for Easter. Will have to check into it. One thing our grocery doesn't do well. However, the store "up the road" where I bought my smoked haddock has a good butchers, they might have lamb. Costco has great lamb of course, but those stores are too huge for me these days, couldn't walk that far any more. 

Funny, went into the liquor store and when we came out, a guy opened his car window and commented about it being no fun getting old, he then said he was 86. I told him he had us beat. That reminds me, one of the volunteers told me they had a female volunteer working in the hospital who was 106!!!! Now that's incredible. Mind you it seems age is just a number these days. When I was a kid, people my age were positively ancient - which they were - pretty decrepit bunch as I recall. Mind you some of them are anyway today.

Somehow we got Granny Smith Apples the other day by mistake so I wanted a pork and apples recipe. This is the one I found. I plan to cook it for Saturday.

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples and Onions

1 large pork tenderloin (about 14 ounces)
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 Tbs whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup dry white wine or apple cider

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Season pork with salt and pepper.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear until all sides are brown, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to plate. Cool slightly. Spread mustard over top and sides of pork; press fennel seeds into mustard. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add onion slices and apples; sauté over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Spread evenly in skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork atop apple-onion mixture.

3. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until apple-onion mixture is soft and brown and meat thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 150°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to platter and tent with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, pour white wine over apple-onion mixture in skillet. Stir mixture over high heat until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Cut pork on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon apple-onion mixture onto plates. Top with pork and serve

Servings: 4


Have a great day

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Car Troubles, Medical, Red Lobster,

With everything that is happening, or has been happening, I decided Mercury must be in Retrograde. Sure enough it is, until tomorrow. March 5 - 28. Having told you about the accident, took the car in this morning and it turns out that the Emergency Brake Cable - which I had to use when they were jacking up the car - was seized so needed a new cable. Then, when they took the donut wheel off they found one of the bolts had been cross threaded when my helpers had put the wheel back so that snapped when they tried to undo it. There are a list of small problems which happened, I thought there might be, so we haven't got the car back and when we do the bill will break us!!!

Then the cardiologist called, he is worried about my lungs and wants to be sure there isn't a blood clot, or something, so I have to go in for an exam at the hospital tomorrow, at 8:30. Who gets up so early. So, I have been trying to get a ride. The ones I have been using are all booked up, a friend who lives locally is not home today, and so on and so on. My husband is extremely upset about this new test, I think he believes it is more serious than it is and I can't reassure him.  Still got another day of Mercury Retrograde, help. Apparently one is supposed to take a step back and analyse things during Mercury Retrograde, not blame it for the bad things which happen. Funny how the bad things happen then you realise what the dates are. I had never heard of it before JoJo mentioned it.

Finally, late afternoon, I called the garage and they said they were just about to call me. They sent a cab to pick us up and when I came to pay the bill, it was about $200 less than they had told me, however, the cable for the emergency brake which had been delivered was the wrong side, left instead of right, or vice versa, so for the moment I haven't got an emergency brake. However, as Tuesday was the first time I had ever used it, I am not too worried. As the garage guy said, just don't park on a steep hill, I asked him where there was such a thing round here!! I am to take the car back when I can bearing in mind my hospital visit tomorrow. We went straight from the garage to the Red Lobster and gorged ourselves. It really is a good restaurant, the food is excellent and the staff are too. On the way in I used the electronic buttons to open the doors, the first doors didn't open so I mentioned it to the hostesss. On the way out, they told me the buttons worked OK now and then the next thing we knew, the manager was opening the doors for us anyway and we were discussing electronic door openers.  Marvellous place.

I have ordered a cab to pick us up at 8 a.m. tomorrow. I gather I have to go to nuclear imaging. I went there last November. So, gotta go to bed early as I/we have to get up early.

I, of course, love lamb and thought this sounded like an interesting recipe.

Spiced Lamb Kebabs with Fresh Herbs

For the one-year anniversary of her company, Diaspora Co., Sana Javeri Kadri and her supporters prepared a turmeric-spiced banquet. You can buy her ruddy, flavorful ground turmeric online at In this recipe, aromatic lamb and creamy chickpeas soften into a crispy, moist patty once cooked. Look for chana dal and asafoetida at local Indian grocers or online.“These pan-fried lamb and chickpea patties are an ode to my Gujarati Muslim heritage on my father’s side,” Javeri
Kadri says. They’re stuffed with onions and herbs, then cooked and served with big scoops of fresh green chutney and yogurt. To make them ahead of time, prepare the kebabs through step 4, then freeze for up to 1 month, thawing fully before proceeding. You can find chana dal and asafoetida powder in Indian markets or online.

1 lb ground lamb
1 cup dried chana dal (split chickpeas)
1 cup water
3 Tbs ghee, divided
1 tsp finely grated garlic (about 1 large garlic clove)
1 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger (from 1 [1/2-inch] piece)
1 tsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
1 Tbs kosher salt, divided
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 serrano chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
2/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Plain whole-milk yogurt
Spicy Green Chutney

1. Stir together lamb, chana dal, and 1 cup water in a 6-quart programmable electric pressure cooker (such as an Instant Pot). Close and lock lid. Turn steam release handle to “Sealing” position. Press “Manual,” select “High Pressure,” and program 8 minutes pressure-cooking time. When cooking time and time for float valve to drop are complete, turn pressure cooker off. Carefully open using the natural pressure release.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a small saucepan over low. Add garlic, ginger, chile powder, coriander, cumin seeds, turmeric, and asafoetida powder; stir with a spatula to combine. Cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds; transfer mixture to a food processor. Add cooked lamb mixture and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; process until texture is mostly smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to stir and scrape down sides as needed. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

3. Stir together onion, chiles, mint, cilantro, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a medium bowl.

4. Shape lamb mixture into 16 (3-inch-wide) patties (about 3 tablespoons each). Make a 2-inch-wide, 1/2-inch-deep circular indentation in center of each patty. Place 1 heaping teaspoon onion mixture in center of each patty. Press lamb mixture together, sealing filling inside, and shape into a ball. Flatten slightly into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Place patties on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. (Alternatively, freeze patties on a baking sheet. Transfer frozen patties to ziplock plastic freezer bags, and freeze up to 1 month. Let thaw completely in refrigerator before cooking.)

5. Working in 3 batches, add 2 teaspoons ghee to a large nonstick skillet. Heat over high until bubbling but not smoking. Add 6 patties, and cook until fully browned on one side, 2 minutes to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Flip and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels to drain slightly. Serve with yogurt and green chutney

Servings: 8

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Cardiologist, Car Problems. The Rest of Tuesday,

What a day. We set off good and early to go to the cardiologist. couldn't find a wheelchair parking area but Matt dropped me at the front door and went and parked the car, as it turned out, not far away. Having checked in I went for my ecg and then my echocardiogram pretty quickly. My appointment with the doctor was for 11:15, however we didn't get in til 12:30 - 1:00 (not quite sure). Matt was having a fit and fuming about it, but the receptionist said he had had two very sick people to deal with. Anyway in we went and had a longish chat. I didn't realise the vascular surgeon had sent him details of my arteries. So, they are kind of co-operating. The upshot is that the cardiologist suggested I have an angiogram to check my heart arteries, etc. so that I will be in better shape for the vascular surgeon. So now I have to wait for dates and paperwork. Won't be that far off I guess as I am supposed to have the vascular surgery some time around May I believe.

So, finally we are heading home (must have cost us a bit in gas I think) and about half way home I hit a pothole which turned out to be a sinkhole, well seemed like that to me, there was a very loud bang and there we are tipped to one side and forward. Blown tire. I phoned for a tow truck and the next thing I knew a guy stopped in a private car and said could he change the tire for us. I thought he was form the towing company. Turned out he was a Good Samaritan, not only that, a second guy stopped to help who was also a Good Samaritan. The tow truck arrived and they said thanks but we've fixed it. The driver seemed happy enough, I would have thought they would be annoyed because they lose business. I was so impressed that these guys would stop and help us. They both carry heavy weight jacks around with them so they are looking for cars in trouble. What wonderful people. I am going to Meineke, our local garage, at 8:30. For me that is before the crack of dawn. We are driving on a donut wheel at the moment so they will fix it all.

Got home and, for me, it was late in the day so I shoved some Nong Shim Noodles in the microwave to feed myself. Did so and then started phoning - had several calls I needed to make, seemed like I was busy for ages. The garage first of course. I had ordered a jar lifter and it arrived whilst we were out. Purolator left a ticket saying it would be at an office which is half way back to the Cardiologist. They have agreed to re-deliver on Thursday, that's a relief.

We wrapped my wrist in a bandage by the way to give it some support. I think it has helped a bit. So, please keep your fingers crossed still.

A friend is spending time in Florida and just wrote me that their asparagus season is under way. I said she could have waited to fell me until ours was ready. She is getting local strawberries too.

I just cooked the Instant Pot Tikka Masala which I posted a couple of weeks ago - it was delicious. Have leftovers of course.

Never been big on tacos, not sure why, the few times we have eaten them we have enjoyed them. I liked the look of this dish though.

Shrimp Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

Tim Byres’s shrimp tacos are delicious with this tangy salsa, but the surprise here is the crunchy
celery salad on top.

1/2 lb tomatillos—husked, rinsed and quartered
1/2 small onion, quartered
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced crosswise
1 1/4 lbs medium shrimp (about 36), shelled and deveined
12 6-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
12 corn tortillas, warmed
Shredded green cabbage and parsley leaves, for serving

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatillos, onion, jalapeño and garlic with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender.

2. Boil the cooking liquid until reduced to 1/4 cup, then add it to the blender and let cool completely. Puree the salsa and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the salsa to a bowl, stir in the chopped cilantro and refrigerate until chilled, about 45 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the celery with the lime juice; season with salt and pepper.

4. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan; oil the grill grate. Thread 3 shrimp onto each skewer. Brush the shrimp with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the skewers and transfer to a platter. Serve the shrimp with the salsa, celery salad, warm tortillas, cabbage and parsley leaves so guests can assemble their own tacos.

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Cardiologist's Office,. Recipe Competition, Bowling,

Because I was concerned about where to go for my cardiology appointment, we decided to drive there and "case the joint". Am I ever glad we did. There seems to be miles of road known as The Boardwalk. Not only that lots of traffic islands. Nor could I see any numbers. Eventually spotted a tall glass building with Medical Centre. Pulled into the parking lot and double checked we were in the right spot, drove round a little bit and didn't see a wheelchair parking spot anywhere, called the office and they assure me there are lots, hope there is one free tomorrow.  Looking at the photo, I guess it's not all glass, just the frontage. That parking area in front was chock full today. It took us about 40 minutes to get there. May take a bit less tomorrow although I will not work on that assumption.

I seem to have competition, on The Really Real Housewives of America Liz Seckman is posting recipes for Instant Pot meals today. Sounded good and I am certainly going to make a note of it, despite the competition. Especially as Matt is now eating sweet potatoes after so long of not cooking them at all.

Today we managed to pick up our own groceries although it meant Matt used his cane which he has been told not to. However, he will have to use it when we go to the bowling alley. Talking of which, I have a major crisis I seem to have hurt my right thumb and wrist somehow and if it doesn't get better, I am screwed for bowling. Fingers crossed everybody. No idea what happened but it hurts. Also went to the baker, when I phone them they save 7 Grain buns for me in their freezer and I buy them at half price. Well, they are going straight in my freezer. They had so many saved today, wasn't sure I was going to have room for them, but I managed with less problem than expected.

This sounded interesting although apparently it was originally a chicken recipe. I happen to like prunes although I don't keep them in house. Olives I buy when I need them.

Pork Marbella

We took the classic, beloved Chicken Marbella recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook and made it weeknight-friendly by using quick-cooking pork tenderloin instead. The meat is marinated and then
cooked in those same delicious juices, which get turned into a luscious sweet-and-sour pan sauce.

2 1-lb. pork tenderloins
2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup pitted prunes, torn in half
? cup (packed) light brown sugar
¼ cup capers, plus 1 Tbsp. caper brine
¼ cup pitted Spanish green olives
¼ cup red wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs dried oregano
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs unsalted butter
¼ cup chopped parsley

1. Season pork with salt. Let sit 15 minutes while you prepare the marinade.

2. Combine wine, prunes, brown sugar, capers and brine, olives, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, and ¼ cup oil in a large resealable plastic bag. Add pork, seal tightly, pressing as much air out of bag as possible, and turn to coat. Chill at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

3. Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°. Remove pork from marinade and pat dry; reserve marinade. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high. Cook pork, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over, 6–8 minutes.

4. Remove pan from heat and let cool 1 minute. Pour reserved marinade over pork. Transfer pan to oven and bake, basting pork once with its sauce halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of tenderloin registers 145°, 22–26 minutes, depending on thickness.

5. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add butter and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until slightly reduced, 3–5 minutes. Stir in parsley.

6. Slice tenderloin crosswise against the grain. Transfer to a platter and spoon pan sauce over.

Servings: 4

Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day


Monday, March 25, 2019

British Rivers, Medical,

Well,  being a weekend nothing much happened to us I'm afraid. Sunday night watched Jeremy Paxton's Rivers about British waterways. I had no idea there were so many rivers in Britain, apparently there are over 6,000 which figure astounds me. For a tiny island that is a lot of waterways. His programme only covers 4 rivers - three of which are the Tweed, the Severn and the Thames. Not sure what the fourth will be. It is incredible what one learns about the country of one's birth having left it. This is the one about the Thames.

Tuesday, tomorrow, I finally get to see a cardiologist. I have an ecg first I gather and then get to see the doctor. Will have to get cracking as I am not 100% certain where the office is. I have never been to that area of town. I have, of course, googled, but it's not quite the same as having been there before.

Oh, for those who are interested, my rice, with the addition of a little water, came out fine. Thanks.

It's funny, for years I have been making cucumber salad with a recipe I inherited from my mother. Never really questioned it. Then a similar recipe just turned up on Food and Wine. The way we made it was to cover the cucumber with salt for a while until it wilted then rinse it and add sugar and white wine vinegar, never any onion. In fact, over the years, I have tended to make it much like this recipe but still with white wine vinegar. From the picture, it looks like white was used anyway. Might try adding onion next time.

Cucumber Salad

1 lb seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced crosswise on a mandoline
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

1. In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber slices with the sugar and salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and onion and refrigerate for 10 minutes, then serve.

Servings: 4

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Rice Cooking,

I have been wanting to cook rice in my Instant Pot since I got it, but all the recipes made too much rice. Then I Googled and found I can keep cooked rice, in the fridge, for 4-6 days. Everything I had been reading had frightened me off keeping rice. So Friday evening I made Thai Pineapple Shrimp Curry and put 1 cup Basmati, 1 cup water and a smidgin of salt in the Instant Pot. I cooked it for 4 minutes and allowed it to vent naturally for 10 minutes. It was great and I have enough for leftovers. I am so pleased because I frequently boil over the small amount of rice I cook in a pan. So, three cheers. Tomorrow I am doing the Pork Tenderloin I did a couple of weeks or so ago.

I have never heard of this cake before and yet I can taste it. From the description before the recipe, it sounds absolutely wonderful.

The Best Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake is a fantastic combination of banana bread and carrot cake (sans the carrots) with
a touch of pineapple! This recipe never disappoints and delivers a special treat for any occasion.

3 cups flour (gluten free or regular)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs , room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh pineapple , crushed (see below)
2 cups roasted bananas* , mashed (approximately 4 large or 6 medium-small bananas with peel left on; instructions below)
1 cup chopped pecans
Parchment paper to line bottom of the cake pan
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter , chilled
3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese , chilled
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups powdered sugar , sifted
1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F

2. How to Roast Bananas

3. Place bananas on a cookie sheet with peels left on. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until the skins are black (the bananas may leak which is fine). NOTE: Leave the oven heated to 350 degrees.

4. Remove and let cool until they can be handled. Peel bananas, place in a small mixing bowl and mash. Set aside.

5. Peel bananas, place in a small mixing bowl and mash. Set aside.

6. Making the Hummingbird Cake

7. Butter and flour 3-9 inch round baking pans.

8. Trace the bottom of the pan (for all three pans) onto parchment paper, cut out circle and place in the bottom of each pan.

9. In a sifter over a large mixing bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Sift into the bowl. Set aside.

10. In a second large mixing bowl combine the granulated and brown sugar; stir to combine.

11. Add the eggs and stir briskly by hand to combine all ingredients into a smooth mixture.

12. Whisk the oil and vanilla into the sugar/egg mixture until combined and smooth.

13. Add the flour mixture all at once and hand stir (do not beat) to combine the mixture fully.

14. To crush the pineapple: Place 1 cup of finely diced fresh pineapple in a medium mixing bowl and using a potato masher, crush the pineapple.

15. Add the crushed pineapple fruit and juice to the batter.

16. Add the mashed banana and the pecans. Stir just until combined; do not over stir.

17. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans. Tap the pans on the countertop to release any air bubbles and place in the 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until cake bounces back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

18. Allow to cool in pans on racks for 5 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks to fully cool before frosting. NOTE: Be sure to peel off and discard the parchment paper.

19. Instructions for Cream Cheese Frosting:

20. Cut sticks of chilled butter into 1 inch pieces and place in the bowl of a standing mixer (can use a hand held mixer if needed). Beat on low speed, gradually increasing speed to medium until the butter is still cool but has softened together (about 3 minutes).

21. Cut the cream cheese into 1 inch strips and add to the butter. Mix at medium speed until fully combined, and smooth.

22. Add the vanilla and slowly add the sifted powdered sugar. Beat until well blended, increasing speed to beat on medium-high for 3 minutes or until the frosting becomes light and fluffy.

23. Fold in pecans by hand.

24. Instructions for Cake Assembly:

25. Place the first layer of cake upside down (the bottom of the cake will be frosted) on the serving plate. Cover with 2/3 cup of frosting. This will be a thin covering.

26. Place the second layer of cake right side up (flat cake bottom onto the frosting) and frost the top of this layer with 2/3 cup again (note: I found I needed just a bit more to cover this layer).

27. Place the last cake layer with cake right side up and use the remaining frosting to cover top of cake and the sides.

28. Allow cake to stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving and store any uneaten cake in the refrigerator. Cake best when made the day prior to serving!

Servings: 12

Source: Boulder Locavore

Have a great weekend

Friday, March 22, 2019

The China Syndrome, Wheelies, Medical,

Just watched one of my favourite movies, The China Syndrome with Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas. It is about the possibility of a nuclear core being exposed and the explanation of the title is: "China syndrome" is a fanciful term—not intended to be taken literally—that describes a fictional result of a nuclear meltdown, where reactor components melt through their containment structures and into the underlying earth, "all the way to China." If you have never seen this movie it is well worth watching. It was made in 1979 shortly before the Three Mile Island accident - apparently they stopped promoting the film when that accident happened but the mere fact of Three Mile Island promoted the movie anyway. Although the central plot is about a potential nuclear accident, the film is basically about TV reporting. According to the presenters on TV tonight, it is very realistically done. I have talked about this movie before, I always watch it when I get the chance.

Been a busy day for us today, the main thing is Matt having got his "wheelie" it is much snazzier than mine (pout, pout), and the guy who delivered it asked if I had bought mine in a bargain basement. I could get one the same, the goverment pays a large percentage, but we would have to shell out $81 as our insurance wouldn't pay for me to have a second machine and I would still have my current "wheelie".  In fact, the brakes are metal clamps and stick out at the side of the wheels and catch on walls, doors, furniture, you name it. Bit of a pain in the rear end.

Our cleaner phoned about doing some extra time for us as we can't manage some things right now, our blister packs (medication) arrived, right now, I can't remember everything that happened, but it seemed it never stopped. Tomorrow, as far as I know, the only thing due to happen is the therapist will be here in the afternoon. Matt's back has been pretty bad today for some reason. I thought the TENS was doing a good job.

Ordered some shopping today and forgot to get some ice cream. Maybe I shouldn't eat it anyway!! I recently saw a snipped of history about the ice cream manufacturer, Chapman's who make our favourite ice cream. Apparently the place burned down a few years ago. Glad they decided to rebuild, it really is good.

I have always been keen on Irish Coffee. Here is a dessert based on the drink. Yummy.

Irish Affogato 

3/4 oz Irish whiskey
1/2 oz Baileys Irish cream
1 scoop Coffee ice cream
1 1/2 oz Cold-brew coffee

Whipped cream
Chocolate shavings
Glass: Georgian Irish Coffee mug

1. In a Georgian Irish Coffee mug, add all ingredients.

2. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.


Have a great day

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Cooking, Medical, Bowling, Instant Pot Merger,

I goofed with my chicken and defrosted way too much plus it was chicken thighs not breasts. I had intended to do the Tikka Masala recipe but ended up doing a kind of French Garlic Chicken which had yoghurt in the marinade. As it turned out it was good. Of course I ended up with way too much chicken and not sure how many leftovers I have, one or two days. I need to keep my mind on what I am doing I guess.

Still using the TENS machine on Matt's back and it does seem to be helping him he is moving around a lot better - will be interesting to see what the therapist says on Friday. I had forgotten Matt was getting a bath stool - the kind which is half in and half out of the bath, but when they phoned to say they were delivering it today, I cancelled it as he is getting in and out of the shower OK now. Still waiting for the new "wheelie" (walker) though, not heard anything about that.

Because we are not sure when it's coming, we will be unlikely to be able to go bowling. Maybe Matt should leave it a bit longer although he does have the Tension Belt to wear. We both miss going bowling but them's the breaks I guess.

Just come across an article about Instant Pot merging with Corelle - apparently it is already a huge seller so they figure it may become a world wide phenomenon. It is certainly very popular with me and a number of my friends. Only trouble is, I need to get rid of my slow cooker for a start.

Here's a simple, but interesting way of serving Flank Steak. It is a cut of meat I like but it does need to be tenderised and it should always be cut on the bias. Of course we don't have a barbecue so I would have  to cook it on my indoor/outdoor grill I guess. Even the Instapot can't emulate that I don't think. I noticed had a whole bunch of Instant Pot accessories on sale today. I tried not to look although they did have things for my smaller pot. Sigh.

Lemon-Garlic-Marinated Flank Steak

Chef Jimmy Bannos, Jr., of Chicago's The Purple Pig, swears by his double-marinating technique. Here, he marinates his steak before it goes on the grill in a tangy lemon marinade and then gives it a
quick dunk in a clean batch of marinade when it's hot off the grill. Bonus: The high amount of acid in the marinade also makes tougher cuts like flank and skirt steak extra tender.

20 garlic cloves, peeled
2 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt Pepper
2 1 1/4 lb flank steaks
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 8 lemons)
2 Tbs dried oregano

1. In a small saucepan, cover the garlic cloves with 1 1/2 cups of the olive oil and cook over low heat until the garlic is tender and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Strain the garlic through a fine sieve set over a small bowl; reserve the garlicky olive oil for another use. In a small bowl, mash the garlic with 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper. Rub 3 tablespoons of the garlic paste all over the flank steaks

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the remaining 3/4 cup of olive oil and the oregano. Place the steaks in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and coat with 1 1/2 cups of the lemony marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

3.  Light a grill. Remove the steaks from the marinade, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Discard the marinade. Grill the steaks over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 125°, 8 to 10 minutes. Dip the grilled steaks in the remaining marinade in the bowl and transfer to a carving board. Spread the remaining garlic paste on the steaks and let stand for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the meat against the grain and serve.

Serve With French fries.

Yield: 6 to 8

Author Notes
Both the garlic rub and the marinade can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Books, Wheelies, Cooking, DVD,

I have been reading a lot of Jeff Wheeler books lately. I think I read some of his before - he has at least a couple of worlds interconnected but only one magic although it has different names in different worlds. Just checked, yes, I read his Kingfountain series which I remember thoroughly enjoying. I have just been reading his Harbinger series but, much to my disgust, the 5th and final book, is not out til the summer this year.

Supposed to get a new walker for Matt this week. He has a loaner at the moment. The government will pay a large percentage apparently (I could have gone this way but didn't know the details although I should have been told) which means you can get a better wheelie (my name for them) then the insurance will pay the balance. Of course when we go bowling, canes will be in order. We couldn't get two wheelies in the trunk, not sure we could get one in the back seat anyway.  Planning to make the Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala tomorrow night. Tonight (Tuesday)we had leftover IP Mac and Cheese.

I also ordered another Celtic Thunder DVD. Matt does so like them. Well so do I of course. Amazon Prime is definitely dangerous.

Such Korean foods as I have eaten have always delighted my palette so I figure this one won't be any different. Mind you, the word Kimchi always perks up my interest. I have a recipe for Kimchi and keep meaning to give it a go. We have a Korean shop near to us so getting the ingredients should be no trouble. Mind you it does sound pretty spicy.

Kimchi Jjigae

This warming, comforting stew gets its spicy-funky flavor from a mix of kimchi, gochugaru, and gochujang. Soft slices of tofu are the traditional companion, but any vegetable or meat would make good company.

6 oz pork belly or pork shoulder or 4 oz. bacon
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups chopped Napa cabbage kimchi with juices
2 Tbs gochugaru (coarse Korean hot pepper flakes)
1 Tbs gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
8 oz firm tofu, cut into 1" pieces
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Cooked rice (for serving)

1. Slice pork belly into long strips about ½" thick, then thinly slice strips crosswise. Heat a small pot over medium. Add pork belly and cook, stirring often, until some fat has cooked out into the pan and meat is cooked through but not browned, about 3 minutes. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. fat (if needed). Add onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add kimchi and juices and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates and kimchi is softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Add gochugaru, gochujang, and 2 cups water and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until kimchi is very tender and flavors in stew come together, 20–30 minutes.

3. Add tofu to stew and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Divide stew among bowls and top with scallions. Serve with rice alongside.

Servings: 4

Do Ahead: Stew can be made 4 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Sweet Potato, VHS, Medical,

I am astounded, I cooked Sweet Potato again Monday night, it was so tough to cut in half, I ended up baking it in the air fryer although I had planned fries. It was delicious. Matt, who swore off them some 40 odd years ago, has now eaten Sweet Potato twice recently.

A young woman from Community Support came and tried to fix up my VHS player for me, however, it appears I need a Universal Cable. Can't find it online so will phone our TV cable supplier and see if they know where I can get exactly what I need. Probably Best Buy who are now a long way away having closed down our local store. I know VHS is an old system, but I have a lot of tapes plus some with recorded personal stuff.

This is going to be a quiet week for us. Matt is showing signs of improvement and is enduring the TENS machine every day. He keeps nagging me to call the surgeon about my vascular surgery, but he told  me 6 months, so May/June it is. I must admit my legs seem to be getting worse though.

A bunch of close cyber friends have insisted I take a Selfie of me wearing my dragon earrings and my violent orange shirt. Never been good at selfies, will see what I can do, or  maybe what Matt can do.

Always loved avocado although Matt doesn't, mostly used to eat it with vinaigrette. However, I have an email with a bunch of recipes  today and thought this sounded good. I can buy frozen avocado chunks from my grocery store now too, I just chuck a handful in a salad.

Avocado-and-Shrimp Salad with Red Goddess Dressing

Chef Jonathan Waxman makes his tangy goddess dressing red instead of the classic green, using red
bell peppers for color and flavor

1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp minced jalapeño
3 Tbs plain yogurt
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plus
1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 head of lettuce, torn into large pieces
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 tsp fresh lime juice
2 Hass avocados, cut into wedges
1 lb cooked shrimp

1. In a blender, combine the roasted pepper, shallot, garlic, jalapeño, yogurt, vinegar and lemon juice and puree until smooth. Scrape the puree into a medium bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Season with salt.

2. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the cilantro leaves, lime juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt. Arrange the dressed lettuce, avocado wedges and shrimp on plates and drizzle with some of the dressing. Serve the remaining Red Goddess dressing on the side.

Make Ahead : The dressing can be refrigerated overnight.

Have a great day

Monday, March 18, 2019

Pickle Juice, IP Beef, Sunday Afternoon, Roasted Broccoli, Tapas

I just read an article on Food and Wine entitled What to do with Leftover Pickle Juice. There are some good ideas like using it instead of vinegar or for flavouring dressings etc. but one they didn't mention, chop up some vegetables, boil the pickle juice and pour it over the vegetables in a Mason jar, seal and hey presto, more pickles. You need to keep them in the fridge mind you. Without putting them in a water bath they would not be safe to leave in a cupboard somewhere.  Another use for pickle juice is for cramps I am told.

Saturday night I cooked the Instant Pot Deli Style Roast Beef again. I cut down the resting time inside the pot from 35 to 15 minutes and only used 1 cup of beef stock. Much better, very successful in fact. I will certainly be doing it again now I have the hang of it for a smaller piece of beef. I didn't use Bisto this time either. There is enough for seconds, but I chickened out again, preparing veg and I have a Yam I want to make into fries. However, Mac and Cheese is so quick.

Matt managed to do the washing on Sunday morning so that is OK. He has had 3 sessions with the TENS machine now, poor man twinges for 20 minutes. He swears it's set OK and the same as the therapist set it. Sunday afternoon at 1 ish my friend turned up - we had a good visit and talked up a storm. She described the trip she and her family are taking to South Africa in about a month's time. They will also be meeting up with our friend Mary and her husband Jeff. We met Mary a year or two back when they made a brief visit to Canada. Would love to visit South Africa, but not likely to happen now unfortunately.

Also went shopping - Sunday is a very busy day for the Click and Collect people. They had 61 orders to complete.

I just came across something saying everyone would rave about a roasted broccoli side. Not us, I did some the other day and Matt thought it was awful. I wasn't particularly keen either. IMHOP it spoils the vegetable.

This recipe reminds me of the days when my parents live in Alicante, Spain and when we visited we would go on what we called a Tapas Run, i.e. visiting various places and eating their tapas with a drink. Tapas were served in most (if not all) bars and have a long history in Spain. They can range from something extremely simple to something pretty complicated, but this shrimp dish used to turn up all over the place. Absolutely delicious. The first time Matt ate this, he was with my father and was served two huge shrimp as big as lobster tails. Never got to try those myself. This recipe adds a few chilies and some parsley, but otherwise is absolutely the same. This brings back so many memories.

Garlicky Shrimp with Olive Oil

At La Casa del Abuelo, a tiny taberna in Madrid, gambas al ajillo (shrimp with garlic) are cooked in individual earthenware cazuelitas and served with plenty of bread to dip into the garlicky oil once the
shrimp have been eaten. This dish can also be prepared in a skillet.

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 whole dried red chiles
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
2 lbs shelled and deveined medium shrimp
Crusty bread, for serving

1. In a very large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic, chiles and parsley and cook over moderately high heat for 10 seconds, stirring. Add the shrimp and cook over high heat, stirring once, until they are pink and curled, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to small bowls. Serve with crusty bread.

Yield: : 8 first-course servings

 Source: FOOD & WINE

Have a great day

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Friends, Therapy, Supper,

There really are some wonderful people in the world. If you have been reading my blog, you know I have been moaning and groaning about what's wrong with Matt and I. Today I get an email  from a friend who lives a long way away from us, she is visiting on Sunday with the intention of doing as much as she can for us to get us set up for the week. I am thrilled to bits that she is doing this for us. If she is reading this, thank you so much and very big hugs to you. I know there are more people who would help if they lived closer, but unfortunately most of my friends are cyber friends and live a long way away.

Yesterday, the TENS 7,000 machine for Matt arrived and today the therapist came and set up his back and showed me how to do it for the next few days. Poor Matt was jumping a bit, but hopefully, by the end of the week things will improve tremendously. Please keep everything crossed for us.

I had all kinds of Instant Pot plans for Friday night's supper but in the end I chickened out and cooked a Wild Mushroom Risotto from a packet and added shrimp to the final dish. It was actually very good. I have some Instant Pot risottos but I just couldn't face up to it all tonight.

I, of course, love smoked salmon. When I saw this I couldn't resist it because I also love crispy pork rinds.

Salmon Carpaccio with Lemon Aioli and Pork Rind Crumble

After Paul Qui won the Top Chef Season 9 title, F&W decided to throw him one more challenge: Create a dish based on four ingredients, including salmon and pork rinds. Turns out, Qui loves pork rinds. “My grandmother cooked everything in pork fat,” he says. “If I was lucky, I got to snack on the
rinds she made.” The Top Chef winner used them to make a brilliant crumble for salmon carpaccio (raw fish is a specialty at Uchiko, the Japanese-accented Austin restaurant where he is executive chef). To finish the dish, Qui made a lemon aioli and served it with broccoli rabe.

3 Tbs finely crushed pork rinds
3 Tbs finely crushed toasted rye-bread crumbs
Kosher salt
2 large egg yolks
1 small garlic clove
3/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 Tbs finely chopped dill
4 oz broccoli rabe, trimmed
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/2 lb sushi-grade, skinless salmon fillet, preferably wild, thinly sliced at a slight angle

1. In a small bowl, toss the crushed pork rinds with the toasted bread crumbs and season with salt.

2. In a blender, combine the egg yolks with the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and puree until smooth. With the blender on, drizzle in the canola oil and puree until thickened. Scrape the aioli into a bowl and stir in the chopped dill; season with salt.

3. In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli rabe until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli rabe to a bowl of ice water to chill. Drain well, pat dry and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a bowl and toss with the 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice. Season with salt.

4. Spread a little lemon aioli on each of 4 plates and top with the broccoli rabe. Arrange the sliced salmon over the broccoli rabe and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle each serving with some of the pork rind crumble. Serve right away, passing the remaining lemon aioli and pork rind crumble alongside.

Servings: 4
Yield: 4 first-course servings

Have a great day

Friday, March 15, 2019

Celtic Thunder, Cooking, Amazon.

It being St. Patrick's Day on Sunday, I am sharing on of my favourite's with you. Matt and I are very fond of Celtic Thunder - this is their version of an Irish Rovers' song, and although some of the Celtic Thunder group have left to go out on their own plus one of them died unexpectedly, they still put on an excellent show. If you haven't seen this, enjoy.

I cooked the French Garlic Chicken from  yesterday, and when I got down to it, thought there couldn't possibly be enough liquid. I was seriously considering adding more but managed to get an email through to the friend who recommended it (some of you will remember ladydog) and she said to trust her, there was plenty of liquid. I did and she was  right. She also said I could have used wine, thought about doing that, but ended up using stock. We both enjoyed the dish although I had a little problem with my Instapot which I finally solved.

Not decided when to cook the Chicken Tikka Masala, although I now have the ingredients. Tomorrow, being Friday, it will be a fish dish. Maybe the risotto below.

My deliveries from Amazon all arrived good and early this morning with the exception of my steamer. That is not arriving til April. That's a bummer.

Here's a recipe that has me thinking. I am sure I can do it in the Instant Pot, just have to work out how. Pretty sure risotto is one of those things which are so much easier in the Instant Pot. Get thee to the Google Josephine. Not only that, I love Goat Cheese in Puréed Potato so I am sure it would be fabulous in rice.

Shrimp and Goat Cheese Risotto

The amuse-bouche—that bite size gift from the chef that starts the meal— is designed to leave you
wanting more. Laurent Tourondel offers a tiny mound of pesto risotto in a pool of foamy goat cheese. The recipe below presents those flavors in a more ample serving size.

1 quart chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
3/4 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice (8 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup soft fresh goat cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
2 Tbs freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. Add the shrimp, cover and simmer over moderate heat until just cooked, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a plate to cool. Cover the stock and keep it at barely a simmer.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until it is coated with oil, about 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1 scant cup of the simmering stock and cook, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed. Continue to add the stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it is absorbed. The risotto is done when the rice is tender but still slightly firm and creamy, about 25 minutes total. Stir in the shrimp. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the basil, goat cheese, Parmesan, ginger and lemon zest. Season the risotto with salt and pepper and serve.

Servings: 4


Have a great day

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Wednesday, Yellowstone,

My cleaner found my TENS machine for me this morning, Wednesday, so the physiotherapist dropped in during the afternoon to put Matt on it, but... it is an elderly unit and would not switch on. I ended up buying a new unit from Amazon as well as a support back brace for Matt. So, I thought, whilst I am spending all this money, I will buy me a steamer for my Instant Pot!! As I have Prime for a month for free, shipping is costing me nothing for a while. Great. Wonder what else I can or should buy. Of course we will be flat broke at the end of all this. Hopefully the back brace will help Matt with bowling and stop him from bending forward - the alley proprietor suggested he could use the ramp. (Designed for invalids and kids). The therapist is coming back on Friday to use the TENS machine and show me how to work it.

I have been doing some reaching out and our neighbour, who does some cleaning in the building, is going to collect our groceries for us on Thursday. She has never done it before and says it will be a new experience for her, kind of conveying she won't charge me. As she did my laundry on the weekend, I will certainly pay her something.  Our situation is rather difficult at the moment with Matt's back being so bad and my legs being the same. We just can't do things at the moment.

Matt keeps urging me to contact the vascular surgeon to try and advance my surgery, but he told me 6 months or so after my heart attack otherwise it would be too dangerous.

Everyone is wishing away the snow at the moment. It has been an incredible winter for us round here, lots of the white stuff and lots of extremely cold weather. With the amount of snow makes us wish we could still cross country ski - would have been perfect this winter. I am surprised we have never seen anyone cross country skiing in the park outside the windows. Would have been great, basically walk out of the door and hey presto, skiing.

Saw an enjoyable video early on this evening, fabulous pictures of Yellowstone Park set to classical music. Really impressed with it. Mind you Yellowstone contains a Super Volcano which I can't help remembering when I see all the volcanic action taking place with geysers and hot mud splashing from pools plus the rocks covered in sulphur - hence Yellowstone.

I am going to try the Instapot Chicken dish my friend sent me the other day. I now have all the ingredients. TwoSleevers do lots of recipes and this one has a normal method of preparation on their site as well as the Instant Pot version.

French Garlic Chicken

At the risk of sounding conceited, had I been served this Low Carb French Garlic Chicken in a
restaurant in Paris, I would not have complained. And of course, since it’s my recipe it’s stupid simple. An easy recipe that can be made in the Instant Pot Gem or stovetop.

For the Marinade
2 tsp Herbes de Provence.
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 Tbs minced Garlic
1 lb chicken thighs boneless skinless

For Cooking
2 Tbs Butter
8 cloves chopped Garlic
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Cream

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade, using a wire whisk to emulsify the oil and vinegar together.
Add in chicken thighs and allow it to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. If you need to marinate for longer, put in the refrigerator.
1. For Instant Pot

2. When you are ready to cook, turn your Instant Pot to Sauté and when it is hot, add the butter and allow it to melt.

3. Add chopped garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add in the chicken leaving behind as much of the marinade as you can. Do not discard the marinade.

5. Cook the chicken thighs so that they can lightly brown on one side, 3-5 minutes.

6. Add the marinade and 1/4 cup water.

7. Close the instant pot and set it to cook at High Pressure for 5 minutes. Allow it to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, and then release all remaining pressure.

8. Remove the chicken on to a plate and add 1/4 cup cream into the pot, mixing well with the liquid in the pot.

9. As soon as the sauce thickens, pour it onto the chicken thighs and serve.

Servings: 4

Source: TwoSleevers

Author Notes
If you don't have Herbes de Provence, sub Italian blend herbs or even Greek blend herbs for a slightly different taste

Go easy on the salt in this recipe. I have reduced it to 1/2 teaspoon based on reader feedback

Have a great day

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Dragon Earrings, Physiotherapist, Sweats and Hair,

I treated myself to a gift, not sure whether it was for Valentine's or Easter, but along with my new lid and gasket for the Instant Pot, I bought some dragon earrings. Well I am called Grandma Dragon after all. I think they are made of pewter and the jewel is somewhat like crystal with opalesque colours. Not tried them on yet, only just arrived.

At 5:45 this aft, Matt's physiotherapist came. He agreed with me that it was probably bowling last week which had caused Matt's bad back. He basically came today to do an assessment. He thinks Matt will be able to bowl again with the help of a special belt which will prevent, or at least hinder him bending so that he has to remain upright when bowling. Several people do that anyway and are pretty accurate bowlers. Pratt (yes I know!) will start therapy on Friday or Saturday. He wants to use a TENS machine. I have one, but I can't find it. Will have to hunt for it but I have trouble bending low so will have to ask my cleaner to help me. A couple of minutes bending over and I am in agony. Roll on May/June when hopefully I can have some vascular surgery done to help. Keep your finger crossed please. How's this for a coincidence, his family doctor is the same as ours.

I ordered a couple of sweat shirts, most have mine have lost their soft fuzziness inside through washing in hot water. Originally didn't know you shouldn't. They arrived today and one is a very bright electric orange. Matt hates it.  It doesn't do much for my complexion I must say. What with my extremely short hair (did I mention that) and such a brilliant colour, it doesn't look like me at all. Everyone compliments me on my very short hair, I hate it. I will be so glad when it grows. However, it does seem to have helped the condition which had become really dry and horrid plus I was moulting like a dog LOL.

Finished off the mac and cheese to which I added a bit more milk, and it was still just as good.

I was following one recipe and came across this one. The English are big on Indian food because of extensive involvement with India once upon a time. I suspect some of the Indian dishes served are, like Chinese, no longer totally authentic, but this is a very popular one and lucky me, I found an Instant Pot version. Haven't got all the ingredients so can't make it tonight. Although I can use sour cream instead of yoghurt and I might have some marinara sauce (home made) I could use. Oh, I need 2 cups cream all told, haven't got enough I don't think. However, AllRecipes have lots of Instant Pot recipes so I must check them out. You can make many of these recipes without an Instant Pot of course.

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

See how to make this top-rated recipe for spiced chicken in a tomato cream sauce.

1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbs garam masala
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pinch ground ginger

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbs garam masala
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream

1. Combine chicken, yogurt, garam masala, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and ginger in a bowl; toss until fully coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Turn on a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot(R)) and select Saute function. Add chicken with marinade; cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

3. Place tomato sauce, garlic, garam masala, paprika, turmeric, and salt in the pot; stir until well combined. Close and lock the lid. Select high pressure according to manufacturer's instructions; set timer for 10 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.

4. Release pressure carefully using the quick-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, about 5 minutes. Remove lid and select Saute function. Pour in cream; stir well. Simmer until sauce has thickened, about 4 minutes.

Source: AllRecipes

Have a great day

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

That Instant Pot Again, Travel Costs,

Monday I goofed somewhat - I decided to make Macaroni and Cheese and to use the delay timer. My math has never been very good, eventually I had to turn the timer off otherwise we would have been eating very late. Then I misread the recipe (will publish it tomorrow) and chucked all the ingredients into the pot, but I wasn't supposed to add the milk and cheeses until the macaroni had cooked. Duuh. As it turned out it was very good, but some of the cheese had stuck to the bottom so I currently have the dish in soak. I was very pleased with it and have enough for a second supper. Even though I was soaking it. the bottom of the inner pot was pretty bad. I Googled and found a recommendation for dish soap, water and baking soda. Didn't have any baking soda so I used Calgon (water softener) pressure cooked for 3 mins and then learned another lesson, this all went foamy (of course) and it is not a good idea to vent. There's lots of tips about foamy rice and such, but did I think of it, nooooo. However, I won't forget again. Quite a learning curve on these Instapots. Or you shouldn't give one to dummies like me LOL. No comments thank you. The end is, the pot is now brilliantly clean once more. Phew!

I have ordered a replacement ring, just in case, and a silicone storage lid. I watched a YouTube video and the storage lid is useful for filling up your inner pot and then saving for later or the next day. I also discovered one of my regular saucepan lids works fine for when I am sautéeing rather than having to buy one. Ivy, you are costing me money LOL! So far I am thrilled with my new toy and if you are thinking of getting one it would be my recommendation to do so. The 3 qt is plenty big enough for the two of us so far and just fits nicely into a space on my countertop. My only problem is having four things which use the same plug so we are forever changing one thing or another. I couldn't find a double plug of the right size. In case you are wondering, coffee pot, toaster oven, Instant Pot and Plate Warmer. The latter we can always put on the dining table and plug in there.

My legs having been giving me trouble the last few days, so what do I do Monday evening, decide to pickle some onions. Admittedly I did sit down to cut the onions. However, two nice jars full for me to munch on later.

As I told you, it cost us $40 to travel to the hospital by cab and back. Being Saturday, one can't get a ride. However, just received our bill for two trips to St. Mary's (there and back) about the same distance, and it cost us $13.39, some difference!! I will have to smack Matt upside the head if he decides to need the hospital at the weekend. Mind you parking would have cost us around $12, so that only leaves an extra $8 so I guess not that bad.

This was the recipe I intended to cook on Saturday night but ended up cooking Sunday.

Instant Pot Deli-Style Roast Beef

3 1/2 lb eye of round beef roast
1 12 oz  bottle dark beer (or red wine which is what I used)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard (I used dry English Mustard - by mistake but it worked)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper (coarsely ground)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups beef stock

1. Gather the ingredients.

2. Pat the beef dry with paper towels; place it in a large container or sealable plastic bag.

3. In a bowl, combine the beer, mustard, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk to blend the ingredients thoroughly.

4. Pour the marinade over the eye of round roast and seal the bag or cover the container tightly. Refrigerate the beef for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Just before cooking, remove the roast from the bag and pat it dry. (Don't) Discard the marinade.

5. Select the sauté function setting on the Instant Pot and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the roast, and sear it on all sides. Searing will take approximately 10 minutes (took longer than that). Remove the roast to a plate and set it aside.

6. Place the trivet in the Instant Pot and add 1 1/4 cups of beef stock. The legs on the trivet will keep the roast above the liquid. (Make sure the meat is centred, my trivet tipped over) (This is where I added some of the marinade to the liquid)

7. Lock the lid in place and ensure the vent is in the "sealing" position. Choose the manual button (or pressure cook button), low pressure, and set the time to 4 minutes. When the cooking time is up, do not remove the lid. Leave the roast in the Instant Pot for 35 minutes (it will automatically switch to the "keep warm" setting). You can always extend the "keep warm" time if the roast temperature registers too low. (Be sure of the weight of your meat, mine was less than specified so I overcooked it slightly)

8. Remove the lid and check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer; it should read approximately 115 F for rare and about 120 F to 125 F for medium rare. The temperature will rise as it rests. If it is too low, place the lid back on the pot and keep it on the warm setting for 5 to 10 minutes longer.

9. Remove the roast to a cutting board or platter and tent it loosely with foil. Let the beef rest for 15 minutes before carving. (At this point I mixed two tsp. Bisto with a little water, turned the pot back to Sauté and added the Bisto, made a delicious gravy.)

10. Slice your deli-style roast beef thinly for sandwiches or serve it as a main dish. Enjoy!

Yield: 8-10

Source: The Spruce Eats

Have a great day

Monday, March 11, 2019

Whale of a Tale, Our Weekend,

Maybe the story of Jonah and the Whale was true. In the news, Sunday morning, a tour operator in South Africa was caught in a whale's mouth

He was out filming a feeding frenzy and watching out for the sharks when he was suddenly in the whale's mouth. No doubt the whale was as surprised as he was. The video is worth a watch. He said his first thought was "he can't swallow me I'm too big".

What a weekend. Friday Matt's back was really hurting him and he was having trouble walking. Saturday morning he was worse and insisted he needed to go to the hospital. Called the ambulance and they carted him off. They couldn't take me because of my walker. They took him to the hospital where I spent 3 weeks last year!!! Finally, after lunch I called a cab to get there $20. I just couldn't walk to where our car is parked underground, fold up my walker and put it in the trunk, drive to the hospital, maybe find a fairly close parking spot and then drag out the walker and have another long walk to get into the Emergency Department. Matt left home around 10, I arrived at the hospital by about 3:30 and he still hadn't seen the doctor. Guess they were super busy. Prior to this, bearing in mind where his pain was, we thought maybe it was the kidney stone. However, when he did see the doctor she figured it was all to do with degenerative arthritic disks. (Otherwise known as old age) and she has said a) he should  use a walker, not a cane, and b) gave him some flexion exercises to do. She has also ordered a physiotherapist for him. I might say, when I arrived in the hospital, Matt had no idea where he was, at one point he seemed to think he was in jail. Very confused. He didn't know he was in Emergency at the hospital. He had taken Tylenol 3 for the pain but the doc said Codeine (which is in the pills) could cause confusion. She recommended he took just Tylenol. Eventually we called a cab and came home. Matt fell by the door leading into our corridor and as the floor is tiled, he couldn't get up plus he had hurt his hand. I couldn't get to our apartment because he was in the way. I was yelling help down the corridor. Finally he managed to slide away and I knocked on a neighbour's door, nobody home of course, so I phoned the super. The Assistant Super came up and helped. Apparently he has a bad back so probably shouldn't have helped at all. Matt was OK once he was upright. I bandaged his hand for him. I had planned to cook some beef, but it was fairly late so I used the remaining Shrimp Creole sauce threw more shrimp into it, cooked the rice and, hey presto, supper.

Sunday morning I had my fizz. I also got a neighbour (who does a bit of cleaning, etc.) to do our laundry as neither of us were up to walking to the laundry room, not far, but.... I also got a Delivery company to collect some groceries I had ordered for today, not cheap but needs must. I must talk to the neighbour about doing that for me or at least, pulling the shopping trolley upstairs for me. Actually she ended up not charging me, really nice of her. Turned out to be a pretty expensive weekend. Monday afternoon (although 12:20 is still morning to me) we have appointments at our family doc - in the next town. Missed the last one due to snow.

Roll on when I have my vascular surgery, hopefully in May or June. Right in the middle of Asparagus season!!!

The beef I was planning to cook was an Instant Pot recipe so I cooked it for Sunday. It was delicious, but I think I maybe gave it a tad too long. Also, the trivet tipped so a corner of the roast was in the liquid. Didn't seem to hurt though. The recipe calls for marinading the beef and then chucking the marinade. I added some of it to the stock underneath the trivet and then when I took the beef out, I added Bisto and it was great. I was delighted with the dish and will certainly make it again. I will post the recipe tomorrow with my alterations. This was definitely one of those dishes you could just walk away from and forget about. It will be a favourite of mine I think.

Don't remember if I shared this recipe with you before. I made  it just before I went into hospital last year and it apparently kept Matt going for a while. I tasted it, but never ate it. I cheated and used canned beans. Now I think I actually did post this last year but as I plan to make it again in the very near future and had trouble finding the recipe, now I've got it, you get it too.

Stewed White Beans with Tomatoes and Rosemary

1 lb dried white beans, such as Great Northern or cannellini, picked over, rinsed, and drained
1 onion, 1 half finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 carrot, cut crosswise into thirds
1 celery stalk, cut crosswise into thirds
1 dried bay leaf
1 can (28 ounces) whole plum tomatoes, with juice
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp red-pepper flakes
1 sprig rosemary
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Soak beans in water overnight. Drain, and transfer to a large pot. Cover beans with 4 inches water. Add the intact half of the onion, the carrot, celery, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until beans are tender but not bursting, about 1 hour. Drain, and remove onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaf; discard.

2. Pulse tomatoes, with juice, in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Heat oil in a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, the garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and garlic are tender but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and rosemary. Bring to a boil.

3. Add beans, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomato sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm, and drizzle with oil just before serving.

Servings: 8

Source: Martha Stewart

Have a great day

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Spam, Cold, Shrimp Creole,

See I had a bunch of spam comments in the last few blogs. Why do they bother? Mind you although I deleted a couple, I couldn't be bothered to delete them all, maybe later.

Complaining of the cold as I was, yesterday, I snuggled up with a hot water bottle which did the trick. Today I have been quite warm, mind you it was one of those days when the winter sun was pouring through our windows.

Friday I made Shrimp Creole, in a regular pan though. I have now figured out how to do it in the Instant Pot so that will be how I do it in future. Mind you, the one I made was delicious. I have figured I can never do rice for the two of us because I only cook half a cup in 3/4 cup water. I could be wrong, but don't think I could cook something so little in the Instapot. Might try a spaghetti plus sauce some time next week, watching You Tube videos has given me some insight.

Saturday doing a roast. No, in the regular oven. We like our beef rare - so you can slap on a bandaid and send it back in the field. I don't think I could get it that rare except in the oven. Only trouble is, I didn't think to get some Yorkshire Puddings from the grocery store so I might have to make them from scratch. Not done that in many a long year. Just made me think of Toad in the Hole, another thing I haven't made in a long time. I don't know if this was a product of the war years when we couldn't get much although I wouldn't think we could have got sausages either.

Toad in the Hole

8 links pork sausage
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2. Pour the oil into the bottom of a baking dish, and arrange the sausages over it in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, and half of the milk until smooth. Gradually mix in the rest of the milk until a smooth batter is achieved. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Remove the sausages from the oven, and ladle the batter over them until the sausages are 3/4 covered. Return to the oven, and bake for 35 minutes, or until the center is risen and browned. Don't worry if the underside seems slightly soft, as this is normal.

Author: stablespy

Have a great weekend