Saturday, June 29, 2019

Technology, Bowing Pictures,

Ain't technology wonderful? Checking my bank records and saw a cheque I couldn't remember. Clicked on it and was shown a black and white photo of said cheque. So easy.

Later in the day I was cursing technology!! During the afternoon went to check my email and it would not let me in. Not even into the website. Spent forever on the phone with Rogers, my provider, and now I can get into the website, but still can't get into my email programme which I prefer to use. Grrr. Guess I will have to get on to them again tomorrow in between doing laundry and planning supper. Double grrrr. Not to mention possibly going to the asparagus farm for my final batch this year.

Matt, Ruth (d), Faye, Me, Jack
The photo I was looking for was in an unexpected folder called Bowling. I would never have guessed. Don't know why I couldn't find it. Isn't the best picture of us but, better than none. However, the picture on her obituary was a nice one. My picture was taken at the Senior Summer Games a few years ago.

Just decided to post the following recipe when I was reminded I had some hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot which I had forgotten about. They should be OK though, I hope. They are now sitting in ice water. I was planning to use them for my Congee breakfasts.

Shaved Asparagus Quinoa with Soft Boiled Eggs

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

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

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

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

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

Servings: 6

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

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

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

Source: Campbell's®

Have a great weekend and Happy Canada Day on Monday.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Museum, Bowling, Death of a Friend, Shopping,

Hilary Melton Butcher has been posting about the Towner Gallery and showing pictures of its colourful mural. This made me think of the very colourful museum I pass on the way to the asparagus farm. I didn't know what it was called, it is apparently the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum, and this is why I noticed it.

It took me a while to distinguish the word museum when I was driving past. I have never been in to it, I really should do so one of these days.

Didn't do a lot this morning, but this afternoon we went to the bowling alley. The younger owner is off on his month's vacation now so we talked for ages, his boat is still not repaired from last year, incredible, so they cannot use it for this holiday weekend, Canada Day on Monday. We spent so long talking that Matt and I ended up only playing one game and much to my chagrin, Matt beat me.

One thing we did learn during our talks was that a very good bowling friend had died the previous day. I had heard she had fallen once again and broken bones once more, but I didn't think it would cause her to die even though she was 92 years old. How very sad. I have a photo of us from some years ago when we were in a tournament together with a few other friends. Damned if I can find it, must do some more searching. Tragic though. She was such a nice woman.

Having left the bowling alley, went to the liquor store, I was out of Champagne, sorry, Sparkling Wine, serious that. Then we went to the Victoria St. Market where I stocked up on Italian sausages, bought some Brie too. When we got home I packed the sausages except four which I used to make a Sausage and Peppers recipe in the Instant Pot. This time I tried browning the sausages first, last time I made it I thought they looked a tad anaemic. They did look a bit better in the finished dish.

This is a recipe I picked up last year but haven't tried yet. I really should do so but just hadn't had the time plus I love asparagus just cooked and doused in butter. Monday is not only Canada Day but also the last day for fresh asparagus. Picture me weeping salt tears on Monday night.

Asparagus with Indian Spices 

Long green spears of asparagus are not the usual Indian vegetable but with the right spices it really does work.
Hari says
Asparagus is a beautiful vegetable that only has a very short season, but when it is fresh, it’s perfect. Asparagus starts to appear in May until about July and I know it's a vegetable that needs very little to be done to it. The more simply it's cooked, the more tasty it is. That being said I like to experiment and try new things and although this was a tricky one to put with some spices, by using the lovely aromas of fennel seeds I found that it really worked. I decided that keeping it simple with a couple of flavours worked well…so here you have my Asparagus with Indian spices - make the most of it while it’s in season. If you can’t get hold of amchoor, just use a little squeeze of lemon instead.

2 garlic cloves
3 cm piece ginger
500 g Asparagus, chopped
3 tsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 onion, sliced
1 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
½ tsp amchoor powder (dried mango powder) (or a squeeze of lemon juice)
3 tomatoes, chopped finely
Salt to taste

1. Crush the ginger and garlic in a pestle and mortar to a paste.

2. Heat the oil in pan and on a medium heat add the cumin and fennel seeds.

3. Once sizzling and fragrant add sliced onions with the chopped green chilies and crushed ginger and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the chopped asparagus and sprinkle in the salt, red chili powder and amchoor.

5. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Servings: 4

Author: Hari Ghotra

Have a great day

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Boring Day,

I really don't have much to write about today. Been feeling exhausted, didn't get up til almost 8 a.m. and had a long nap in the afternoon. Do I need more blood or is it just late nights?

One thing I did today was to try kohlabi. I'm not sure whether I have had it before. We do have a similar vegetable in the UK but a relation not an exact twin. Anyway, I quite liked it although it was difficult (thought of another phrase but refrained) to peel. It has a very delicate taste. Matt said it was tasteless so if I get it again, doubtful, but if, I will probably use it in my salads.

I made Sesame Chicken in the Instant Pot for supper. This is the second time I have made it, but I'm not sure what went wrong this time. I did an Instant Release as instructed and it blew sauce all over the place. What a mess. I have no idea why this happened. Maybe Six Sisters will know.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbs vegetable oil (could also use olive oil or canola oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional - doesn't really add heat, just adds more flavor)
4 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds

1. Place your chicken in the bottom of the Instant Pot.

2. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken and put your Instant Pot Lid on and seal.

3. Cook on the Meat setting for 20 minutes and then quick release once the 20 minutes is up. Remove chicken from pot, leave sauce.

4. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and pour into your Instant Pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Push the Saute button and cook sauce for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

5. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

6. You can also sprinkle more red pepper flakes on top if you want more heat.

7. I removed my Honey Sesame Chicken from the Instant Pot and put in a bowl and cooked my rice in my Instant Pot.

8. To make rice in your Instant Pot you need to have the same ratio rice as you do water.

9. I used 2 cups of Brown Jasmine Rice.

10. To make it: Rinse and drain 2 cups of rice and dump it into your Instant Pot. Add 2 cups of water. Seal your instant pot with the lid and push the Rice button. It will cook for 10 minutes then quick release. You will have PERFECT rice!

Servings: 4

Source: Six Sisters Stuff

Have a great day

Wednesday, June 26, 2019


Then I forgot to post this. Sorry..

It's getting on and I have been missing out on sleep lately so I'm off to  bed.

Just watched The Moonspinners with Hayley Mills and Joan Greenwood. Talk about a synthetic British accent, although I looked her up and she was born in England. I would have sworn it was a put on voice. Quite enjoyed the movie but not the best movie I have ever seen.

Busy day including lunch at the Red Lobster with ladydog. Brought home two slices of chocolate wave cake for Saturday. In the freezer right now. Then later had to go get groceries. I had ordered two boxes of single packets of instant oatmeal. What they had picked for me were two 2 Kg packets with enough oatmeal to feed a school.

So, sorry no proper blog and no recipe. Oh, that r eminds me, because it is in season I opted for a side of asparagus for which I paid $2.99 I ended up with a small amount of very skinny asparagus which looked more like grass. Awful stuff, won't do that again. Might write to the company about that, if that is what they are serving all over.

Anyway, good night and sleep tight.

Have a great day

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Brigadoon, Barrie's Asparagus, IP Spaghetti,

Damn, damn and double damn. I bought the DVD of Brigadoon and was really looking forward to seeing it. Monday night tried to play it and kept getting "No Disc" no matter what I did. So, it is, of course, going back, but boy was I disappointed. We watched The Bucket List instead which is a favourite of ours.

Went to the asparagus farm and bought my penultimate asparagus. Got some honey and some strawberries. They didn't have the key lime "tarts" so I got something like butter tarts. On the way home I called in at the bakers where I buy my favourite seeded buns and fell for some carrot cake, looked delicious. Had it for supper. Just what I need. When I phone them, they save me some buns in the freezer for which I pay half price. Still seems to cost a lot of money though. I was going to do a few other things whilst we were out, but Matt needed to get home.

You know, I can't believe how much better my legs are since that transfusion which is not why they gave it to me. I still have problems of course, but nothing like I had been having. When I see the vascular surgeon next month I'll probably suggest they give me some more units of blood! I wonder if it would work.

I could not find an Instant Pot recipe anywhere for just plain ol' spaghetti. It was all with sauces or meatballs or something and there are times that is what I want to cook. So, I did it by guess and guess what, it turned out beautifully. So, if you ever want to cook just plain spaghetti just ask me.

Tuesday is the day for our foot nurse and then we are going to Red Lobster with ladydog. I had an email from Mandarin saying they are giving anyone who is a Canadian citizen a free meal. I suspect the place is going to be packed. Pity, I wouldn't say no to a free meal but can you imagine how crowded it will be?

Giada de Laurentis is one of my favourite TV cooks. although I haven't seen her for a while.

Asparagus With Grilled Melon Salad 

1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 small cantaloupe, peeled, seeds removed, and cut in 1/2-inch slices
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 Tbs chopped fresh mint
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 tsp Calabrian chili paste
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 lb medium-thick asparagus, trimmed
Ricotta salata cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler (optional)

1. Heat a stovetop grill pan over medium-high.

2. Drizzle oil on the cantaloupe, and place the slices on the grill. Grill the slices, without moving them, for about 30 seconds, or until browned on the first side. Flip the melon slices, and grill on the other side for an additional 30 seconds. Transfer to a cutting board to cool slightly.

3. Cut the melon slices into 1/2-inch pieces, and place them in a medium bowl. Add tomatoes, mint, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, chili paste, and lime juice. Mix well; set aside to let the flavors mingle.

4. Meanwhile, heat 5 tablespoons of water in a large skillet over medium. Cut butter into 8 pieces. When bubbles just start rising to the water’s surface, begin adding the butter to the pan, 1 piece at a time, whisking constantly to form an emulsion. When all the butter is incorporated, reduce the heat to medium-low to keep the temperature just below a simmer. Add the thyme and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and swirl the pan to combine. Add the asparagus to the pan, and toss gently to coat it in the butter.

5. Cover the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender all the way through when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Transfer the asparagus to a platter, and spoon the melon salad on top. Scatter a few shavings of ricotta salata over the salad, if desired

Servings: 4
Yield: 4

Author: Giada de Laurentis

Have a great day

Monday, June 24, 2019

Bear Paw Claws, Asparagus Season,

I'm impressed. On Saturday I ordered some sealing rings and some bear paw claws for my Instant Pot from, they were just delivered at about 9:30 a.m., on a Sunday? I don't think I have ever received a Sunday delivery of anything before. What are bear paw claws you ask, they are for shredding meat. I saw them being used on SixSistersStuff and thought I would like some. You can use them for both shredding meat or just handling meat. Useful little gadgets. One of the new sealing rings is blue so I will save it for desserts, if I ever get round to making any.

On Saturday I changed my mind and grilled/broiled the lamb chops but I braised some leeks in the Instant Pot. They turned out very well.

Monday I have to go to the asparagus farm and then the following Monday will be my last asparagus purchase for the year. Seems to have gone by so fast this year.

Been a pretty quiet day today - I had a long nap in the afternoon and we had leftovers for supper. I had forgotten it was the dish I made with Italian Sausages and Peppers. It was very good. Now I have to get more sausages though.

Tuscan Roast Asparagus

Asparagus and tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper and roasted to perfection with a topping of
melted parmesan cheese.

1 1/2 lbs asparagus, trimmed
1 Tbs oil
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp oregano (or Italian seasoning)
1 large tomato, sliced thinly
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated

1. Toss the asparagus and tomatoes in the oil, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper, place the asparagus on a baking sheet in a single layer with the slices of tomato on top, sprinkle on the parmesan and roast in a preheated 400F/200C oven until they start to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes, mixing half way through.

Servings: 4

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking

Option: Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or toss in balsamic vinaigrette.

Have a great day

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Instant Pot Mania, Alzheimer's Society,

How dumb can one get. I was cooking salmon in foil packets. I put it in the Instant Pot which worked very well. However, had I cooked it in the oven I wouldn't have had a pot to wash up. Duuh. It was fine, but really.

My two good friends, ladydog and Sue came today and we went to the Alzheimer Society to see what they had to say. Knew a lot of it, but not, by any means all. Have now to digest what was said.

I copied a recipe for Instant Pot Lamb Chops but after the above fiasco, I am wondering if I am stupid and should stick to broiling like I used to. Although the recipe I have sounds pretty good. I'm not sure how many this is for as I have no idea how many chops 2 lb comes to. Salt seems a tad heavy too.

IP Lamb Chop

2 Tbs olive oil, split
1 yellow onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 Tbs rosemary, fresh
2 lb Lamb Loin Chops
2 Tbs of jalapeno based hot sauce
¼ cup white wine
1 ¼ cup beef stock
1 Tbs cornstarch
¼ cup water
Salt and Pepper (I used about 3 tbs salt and 1 tbs pepper

1. Put Instant Pot onto Sauté, put in 1 ½ tbs olive oil, let it come to Hot, add in lamb that has been salted and peppered. Sear on one side for about 2 minutes, flip, saute for another 2 minute. Take out.

2. Add onions, saute for 1 minute, add garlic, saute for another minute. Take off of saute, deglaze with white wine.

3. Place the carrots, the rest of the olive oil, a pinch of salt, pepper, and rosemary, into foil and wrap securely.

4. Add stock, hot sauce, salt, and pepper in with the onions and give a good stir.

5. Place carrots on top of the onions, trivet on top of carrots, and meat on top of the trivet. Set on High Pressure for 5 minutes for medium or 8 minutes for well. Let natural release for 15 minutes.

6. Take meat out and let rest. Stir carrots in with the onions. Mix cornstarch in with water and place in with onion mixture. Put on saute for about 5 minutes or until thick.

7. Taste gravy and adjust seasoning.

Source: Mom Noms

Have a great day

Friday, June 21, 2019

My Thursday, Movies,

As I was planning to go to Costco on Thursday afternoon, I figured I should defrost the freezer to make more room and to check exactly what I had of what, so, when I got up, I started the process and unloaded all the food into cool boxes plus a few things went in the fridge freezer and so on. Was well under way and came to the computer when the phone rang, it was my driver asking if she could pick me up at 11:45 instead of 3:35.  Wasn't sure about leaving the freezer, but decided it was OK so I agreed and then had to rush around a tad.

Went to Costco and ended up buying a roast of lamb, some lamb chops, fillet steaks and a heap of skinless, boneless chicken thighs. A lot of the Instant Pot recipes I have been making call for chicken thighs. Tammy, my driver, pushed the shopping cart and I used my walker and managed to get to the back of the store but had to sit for a few minutes once there. (Didn't see any motorized carts, might have missed them). Tammy was extremely helpful putting my purchases in plastic bags and such. I ended up with one large shopping bag full which was great. I said to the cashier that at least I hadn't spent $300, her response was "well we'll see you tomorrow, you only bought meat, you need the vegetables". I must say my legs were pretty sorry for themselves by the time we had finished. We were lucky though, got through the checkout quickly despite the hundreds of people there. Never seen it so crowded. We were also lucky to get the closest wheelchair spot in the parking lot.

When I got home, the freezer was well and truly defrosted so I dried off any dampness and turned it back on again. Of course, I ended up with quite a few soggy towels which I had used to catch the wet. Shoved everything back in and endeavoured to update my freezer list at the same time. Then came the fun part of unpacking the chops, steaks and chicken and repacking them in the freezer. At least the roast could go straight in. I do hate having to repack things like that, got Matt to help me with the chicken. He held open the plastic bags and I shoved the thighs in. That way I didn't have to wash my hands every time.

I saw a very nice looking carrot cake (thought it was meringue at first) but I resisted. Spent quite enough as it was. By the time everything was done, I was knackered but didn't have time for a nap as it was getting on for supper time.

There is a theatre in Niagara on the Lake which celebrates the summer season with the Shaw Festival. They do have Shaw plays, but other stuff as well. This year they are doing Brigadoon which is one of my favourite shows. Would love to go and see it but not likely. Anyway, I thought "why don't I have that movie?" well, I do now. Haven't opened it yet, but next time there is an uninteresting TV night we will watch it. Gene Kelly, Van Johnson and Cyd Charisse are the stars. Long time since I last saw it so I am looking forward to it. I've always loved Cyd Charisse. I am not 100% sure if I prefer Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire. Love to watch both of them. In fact watched Astaire the other night - don't remember the name of the film right now but it is the one where he dances on the walls and ceiling of his room.

We had leftovers for supper so I shoved some rice in the Instant Pot to go with them. I always used to end up with a boil over when making rice, not any more. Thanks Ivy.

I had kind of forgotten about this recipe which I enjoyed very much last year. Must make it again. Got to get some endive of course. Because they are so involved in installing a Starbucks in my grocery store, it is not always possible to get what I want. What on earth we want a Starbucks here for I don't know, especially as we have a Tim Horton's close by and that is a very Canadian coffee chain.

Asparagus and Endive Salad

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

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

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

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

Servings: 4

Source: dLife

Have a great day

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Breakfast, Freezer, Costco,

Something I haven't mentioned, my Oatmeal Congee breakfasts. What I have been doing is to take a packet of instant oatmeal, mix it with stock/broth and 1 tsp of soy sauce and cook it. You can also add a veg like a few spinach leaves, but mostly I don't bother. I then top it with a fried egg - non stick pan and Pam - and eat. Delicious and it makes a nice change from the usual breakfasts. I have just realised I posted a recipe for Oatmeal Congee a year ago. I had forgotten mushrooms could be used. Must remember that. My post a year ago was about boring breakfasts. When I came out of hospital, I was eating Fibre One every day for a while. Partly because of the cold milk I think, and partly because I wasn't up to thinking about or making myself something different. I do wish I could get herrings which I could roll in oats like my mother did. Or really good kippers. There is also a recipe for Rice Congee on my blog here. However, I think that is a bit complicated for a regular breakfast.

Have decided to defrost the freezer in the morning (Thursday) so, hopefully, it will be nice and clear by the time I return from Costco's in the late afternoon. The car is coming for me at 3:45. Bit late, but better than not at all. The only trouble with defrosting the freezer is, being in an apartment, there isn't a heck of a lot of room. Not only that, I end up with a stack of wet towels to deal with.

For a few years I have been making a dish with sausage and peppers which we always enjoyed. I Googled and found something similar, however, I changed it out of all recognition. It was delicious and we both enjoyed it.

IP Sausage and Peppers

1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 Rotel can of diced tomatoes (drained)
Half onion chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1 tsp dried Basil more if fresh
2 tsp of garlic salt (or crushed garlic clove and salt)
1 tsp Italian seasoning (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
4 Italian sausages - pierce with a fork so they don't explode
1 bell pepper, seeded, cored and cut into strips

1. In pressure cooker insert, add Rotel tomatoes, then pour some diced, canned tomatoes into the Rotel can. Add everything else except sausages and bell peppers. Stir. Place sausages on top and then add sliced peppers - don't stir.

2. Close the IP lid, select High Pressure. Set timer for 25 mins and press start. When beep sounds, turn off the IP and release the pressure. Once valve drops, carefully remove lid and serve over rice.

3. If you do not wish to use wine, don't drain the tomatoes.

Servings: 4

Have a great day

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Rides, Instant Pot,

Today was a shopping day so I went down to the lobby to wait for my driver. Eventually I phoned and said where was he and they informed me he was coming at a later time. About 10 minutes or so. Not much but I had got down there early. Had I known there were things I could have done at home before I came down stairs.  I wish they'd let me know. Just got a call about another ride and mentioned just that. I don't mind if they change the time, but I do hate waiting and not knowing if and when someone is coming. I am now booked to go to Costco on Thursday. I need lamb!!

Actually, I watched a Six Sisters Stuff video today with 4 "dump and go" recipes for the Instant Pot. I tried a chicken on tonight which we both enjoyed (cooked some rice in the pot first). There is another recipe made with frozen meatballs from Costco so I might have a look at those when I go.

This is another of my all time asparagus favourites. For the non Canadians, Food and Drink is the free magazine put out by the LCBO (Liquor Board) three or four times a year which always has great recipes in it, some of which are doable for me. Don't tell anyone, but I have never been that keen on Basil Pesto, but this I enjoy.

Asparagus Pesto Toasts

1 lb trimmed green asparagus
1 cup toasted walnut halves (I used pecans)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground pepper

1. Cook asparagus until just tender. Refresh in cold water, then drain and dry well. Place asparagus, walnuts, garlic and salt in food  processor. Process until blended.

2. With motor running, gradually add olive oil, then add cheese and pepper. Blend together and check seasoning. Place in covered bowl.

3. It shows the recipe served on crunchy toasted French or Italian bread with a curl or two of parmesan on top and some asparagus at the side.

4. We freeze this in ice cube trays, then wrap the cubes in pairs (separated by Saran, and put in a bag in the freezer until we need them.

Source: Food & Drink

Have a great day

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Egg Roll Wrappers, Asparagus Farm,

I had a phase, last year, making egg rolls. I bought some more wraps and then ended up in hospital (October). I have just thrown them out!! Not sure what their life span was, but I am sure they must be well out of date by now. Wonder if I can make egg rolls in the Instant Pot.

I went to Barrie's Asparagus Farm Monday afternoon and apart from my usual asparagus, I also found some strawberries. First local ones I have seen so far. I also bought some more Key Lime tarts/pastries, whatever they are. Delicious. Tim Barrie, the farmer was around, don't see him a lot, and his little dog, Millie, who is the Vice President, was running around under everyone's feet. The girls popped her up on a shelf and gave her some asparagus to eat. Asparagus, for a dog? Apparently she loves it and won't eat dog treats, just asparagus which she is nuts about. I mentioned I don't eat dog treats either but am nuts about asparagus.

My recipe today is for Emily at the asparagus farm. One of her customers gave us a recipe for Thai Coconut Asparagus Soup. Obviously no measurements, so I looked it up and couldn't find exactly what he told us. This is the nearest. I adjusted a few things to align with what the customer told us so I hope it is similar.

Spicy Thai Asparagus Soup

2 Tbs (30 mL) canola oil
2  tbs green curry paste
1 can 400 mL coconut milk
1 ¼ lbs asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs (15 mL) lemon juice

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add curry paste; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice

2. Heat oil in large saucepan set over medium heat; add asparagus, onion, garlic and lemon zest. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Add coconut milk mixture.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

4. Tips: Serve garnished with blanched asparagus spear pieces. You can also puree this soup for an added creamy elegant touch. After cooking through to end of step #3, transfer soup, in batches, to blender. Blend until very smooth. Garnish as you would above and with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. You can also use an immersion blender.

Servings: 4

Source: Food Network

Have a great day

Monday, June 17, 2019

Food Bloggers, Victoria St. Market, Dogs, Car,

I know, these days, I don't use many pictures, but I fail to understand those food bloggers who post dozens of pictures of what they are cooking and some of them look the same anyway. I always end up skipping to the recipe anyway.

Saturday we had run out of bananas, I knew that before hand, and had thought about going "up the road" to the Victoria St. Market. I was also hungry for some steak and we didn't have any. Victoria St. have excellent beef. Eventually I got up off my lazy rear end and went there. Ended up with flank steak, sirloin steak, and tenderloin steak. I then ended up with two desserts and guess what, some  bananas. It really is a dangerous place to go. They have an excellent fish counter but I didn't do  more than glance its way. I figured I would have to take out a mortgage as it was. So, fillet for supper. It is Father's Day tomorrow so that's my excuse!

We were chatting to ladydog the other day about dogs and how useful they are at cleaning up dropped food especially if you have very young kids. I was thinking about it and remembering our last dog, quite a few years ago now. On a slightly different tack, we could open the fridge 100 times, she would take no notice, but the minute we went to get cheese she was right alongside. How she knew we never figured out. Another thing she used to do, we could give her a can of beer from the fridge and tell her who it was for and she would take it to them. Close friends of course.

This morning I got a call from the super saying there was an interior light on in the car and suggesting if the car started, I took it for a drive. I went down and checked it out. At first I couldn't see a light then when I got really close I did. It was the lights on the rearview mirror. I didn't even know it had lights on it. Then I had trouble turning them off. I have no idea how they got turned on in the first place. The car started fine, and whilst it was running, I had to check the handbook. One thing I found out, there is a safety feature built in which ensures that something like this doesn't drain the battery. I finally discovered how to turn off the lights. I took the car for a short drive just in case. I still can't figure out how these lights got turned on in the first place. I still have to get the emergency brake cable fitted too. Just don't feel like sitting in the garage whilst they do it. Gotta be done though.

This is one of my all time favourite recipes for asparagus.

Asparagus Phyllo Bundles

For one roll:

Phyllo - 1/2 sheet for 2 asparagus
2 stalks asparagus
Parmesan, grated

Brush phyllo with butter, sprinkle with Parmesan, place 2 asparagus in middle and roll. Place in baking dish, sprinkle more Parmesan and put in oven 375°F for 15 mins.

Yield: one roll:

Source: Paula Deen

Have a great day

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Sun, Lunch,

We need sun, not only for the asparagus but for strawberries too. As far as local produce is concerned, the weather has not been good. Some of the asparagus has been as thin as grass. It will also delay the corn I think if something doesn't happen soon. That will upset ladydog. Asparagus may be yuck but corn is a different matter.

We were supposed to go to the Red Lobster for Friday lunch but things conspired against me. An 11 delivery didn't come til 12 for a start, so we ended up with subs again. Good, but I wanted to go out to lunch.

Asparagus and Double Smoked Bacon Popover

Asparagus, double smoked bacon and leeks baked on a puffy popover topped with melted cheese!

1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 Tbs butter
1/2 cup milk, warm
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup gruyere, shredded

1. Bring a pan with 1 inch of water to a boil, add the asparagus and cook until it turns bright green.

2. Rinse the asparagus under cold water and pat dry.

3. Cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet over medium heat, and set aside on paper towels to drain reserving the grease in the pan.

4. Add the leeks to the pan, saute until tender, about 2-4 minutes, set aside and turn off the heat.

5. Add the butter to the skillet and let it melt.

6. Mix the milk, eggs, flour, salt and pepper and pour it into the pan.

7. Sprinkle the asparagus, bacon, leeks and the cheese over the batter in the pan.

8. Transfer the pan to a preheated 425F/220C oven and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Servings: 4

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking

Have a great weekend

Friday, June 14, 2019

Instant Pot, Delivery, Movie

How annoying, Walmart have a deal on the Instant Pot for $60. Having written that, it occurs to me that is probably Stateside and not here. Damned good price though if you haven't got one. Cooking in it has given me endless pleasure since I got it in February.

Tired and busy I decided to get a delivery firm to bring us some wine etc. This was this afternoon, thought they would bring it today, obviously not. Wonder when we will get it. Going out to lunch at Red Lobster on Friday, with ladydog. Had thought about going to Costco on my own but decided to try and get a ride anyway. That way I can get help bringing whatever I buy upstairs.

Basically another quiet day so not much to write about. Either we are so busy we can't turn round or we have nothing much to do. Typical. Just watched The Sands of Iwo Jima with John Wayne. Not sure if I ever saw the movie before or not. If so it was a long time ago. The film was released when I was 11 years old!! No comments please.

I was looking for something with mushrooms to do in my Instant Pot. This one doesn't sound too bad. Not that I am either vegetarian or vegan, but I am sure there are many out there who will like this anyway.

Instant Pot Mushroom Stroganoff

Instant Pot Mushroom Stroganoff - a simple, easy vegetarian weeknight dinner that is creamy, hearty
and full of delicious depth and flavor!  Vegan Adaptable

3 Tbs olive oil
½ a red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
16 oz mushrooms, sliced (cremini, shiitake, button)
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ cup cooking sherry (or sub white wine)
2 cups veggie broth
2 Tbs mustard (whole grain or dijon)
1 Tbs flour
8 oz pasta (rotini, penne) about a scant 3 cups

Stir in after cooking:
½ to ¾ cup sour cream ( or sub vegan sour cream)

1. Heat oil on “sauté” function.  Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, salt and pepper and saute 7-9 minutes or until mushrooms release their liquid.

2. Add sherry wine,  broth, mustard and flour and stir well. Add the  pasta, stir.

3. Set instant pot to pressure cook on high for 3-4 minutes. (see notes)

4. Manually release ( placing a towel over the steam).

5. Stir in the sour cream, and keep on warm setting for 5-10 minutes. Sauce will thicken slightly, but will remain “saucy” enough for dipping garlic bread.

6. Sometimes for extra depth I’ll add a teaspoon of soy sauce in at the end, up to you.

7. notes

8. Instant Pot cooking times will vary depending on pasta. A good rule of thumb is to halve the cooking time on the pasta directions on the package and subtract one minute. For example, 9 minutes on the package would be  4 minutes in the pressure cooker.

9. You can make this on the stove top, following the same directions, just cook the pasta separate. Cook the sauce down to desired consistancy, drain the pasta, add it to the pot and stir in sour cream last. Save some pasta water incase you want to loosen up the sauce a bit.

Yield: 4

Author: Sylvia Fountaine

Have a great day

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Quiet Day, Costco,

I can't believe it, we didn't do much of anything today. Mostly I sat around reading. I did use the remaining sauce from the Butter Chicken to make a shrimp over rice dish which was pretty good. The sauce is good just on its own.

I wanted to go to our local Costco and get a roast of lamb and maybe some lamb chops and such. Nobody seems to be a member any more, so in the end I renewed my membership. I let it lapse because, as you know, they are huge warehouses, and I couldn't walk from one end to the other. However, these days I think I can manage it. Maybe I will arrange a ride though. I can get all kinds of goods from Costco online without being a member, but for things like lamb, I have to go to the store. I have always liked their meats anyway.

Here's a  simple enough little asparagus dish but it looks pretty good. I must confess that this year I haven't done much with asparagus other than pickling and canning and today I froze a bunch. But as for recipes, just haven't had the time or energy I'm afraid. Pity, because some of the recipes I love.

Grilled Asparagus and Tomatoes in a Kalamata Olive and Feta Vinaigrette

Charr grilled asparagus topped with juicy tomatoes in a salty and tart kalamata olive and feta dressing.

1 1/2 lbs asparagus, trimmed
1 Tbs oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups tomato, sliced
1/4 cup kalamata olive and feta dressing

1. Toss the asparagus spears in the oil, salt and pepper and grill over medium-high heat until crisp-tender and slightly charred.

2. Serve topped with the tomatoes and the kalamata olive and feta dressing and enjoy!

Servings: 4

Author: Kevyn Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking

Have a great day

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Aftermath, Busy Day, Bowling, Bear, New IP Dish,

I finally got to bed at midnight. This morning, when I rolled out of bed, Matt was much more himself. Incredibly he hasn't felt any pain. I also felt fairly well rested even if I didn't get as many hours as I would have liked. I had a leisurely morning, I cancelled my dental check up on Monday when we got home. After lunch we drove out to the asparagus farm - it was a really nice day and a pleasant drive for both of us. Later I was picked up to go get my groceries. It was a guy I had driven with twice before but I'm afraid I didn't recognise him. Duuh. He and I talk cooking and his daughter and son-in-law live up north and have a website he recommended. Apparently they have chickens now and had a bear visitor who showed considerable interest in them. Could be a tad scary.

Might try the bowling alley on Wednesday afternoon. Haven't been there in a while. Depends how Matt feels.

ladydog keeps asking me if I had made the Instant Pot Butter Chicken and so far I hadn't for one reason or another, so today I did. Most of the work I did before I went shopping and then finished it later. Had to cook some rice, just as well I have two inserts now. then finished making the Chicken. We both thoroughly enjoyed it although I did find it a bit had work for me. Especially as I had all the damned shopping to put away. Not a job I relish. Anyway, for those of you who have an Instant Pot, here is the recipe.

I know nothing about the keto diet although I know causing the body to produce ketones is not supposed to be good for you. Mine didn't look quite like that, but it was good. Thanks ladydog.

Instant Pot Keto Indian Butter Chicken

Restaurant-quality butter chicken in under 30 minutes at home! Join the thousands who have made this very popular Butter Chicken Recipe that went viral. Super easy yet authentic Keto Indian Butter Chicken. An easy Instant Pot Keto Recipe that's family-friendly and ready in 30 minutes.

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
5-6 cloves garlic
1-2 Tbs minced ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (or use breast, bone-in, or whatever works for you. If frozen, add 1-2 minutes to total time)

To finish
4 oz butter cut into cubes (use coconut oil if dairy free)
4 oz heavy cream (use full-fat coconut milk if dairy free)
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1. Place all ingredients into an Instant Pot in the order listed, EXCEPT for the butter, cream and 1 teaspoon of the garam masala, mixing the sauce well before you place the chicken on top of the sauce. If it's frozen, push it into the sauce a bit so it defrosts better

2. Close the cooker and set for 10 mins on high, and let it release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. After that, release all remaining pressure.

3. Open up the pot and remove the chicken carefully and set aside

4. Blend together all the ingredients, preferably using an immersion blender

5. Add the cut up butter, cream, cilantro, and garam masala and stir until well incorporated.

6. It's best to let the sauce cool just a little before adding the butter and the cream. Adding it into the boiling sauce will make your sauce very thin. If that happens, just put it in the fridge for a little and let it thicken up. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon

7. Take out half the sauce and freeze for later or store in the fridge for 2-3 days

8. Add the chicken back in and heat through. Break it up into smaller pieces if you need but don't shred it.

9. Serve over rice, or zucchini noodles

10. Using leftover sauce

11. Use leftover cooked chicken and mix in with the gently heated sauce, let it simmer for a few for the flavors to meld together and there you go. Add some fresh cilantro on top.

12. You could also use this for Paneer Makhani. Defrost a cup of peas and 1 cup of paneer and mix gently into the heated sauce and let it simmer for a few for the flavors to meld together and there you go.

Servings: 4

Author: Urvashi Pitre
Source: TwoSleevers

Author Notes
If you use a stand blender, be very careful with the hot sauce and be sure to leave the inside lid open to vent.

Yes, I know the recipe doesn't call for additional liquid. The chicken and tomatoes release a LOT of liquid. Unless you do something wrong, it will not burn.

Have a great day

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


Got to the hospital around 9 and ended up leaving at 4. Long day. After all the work done by the urologist, Matt went to the bathroom and pulled the string hanging from his penis and extracted the stent put in. Doc had gone for the day, nurses going a bit frantic but in the end sent us home. Not sure if they got hold of the doc or not. Will find out more tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I am very tired. Guess where I am heading? Good night.

Have a great day

Monday, June 10, 2019

Trader Joe's, Charcoal, Lunch, Hospital,

Friday I was wondering about Trader Joe's products and whether we could buy them in Canada. The answer is - yes, through, but not many items. I remember eating at a Trader Joe's many years ago, I know I was attending a conference, but can't remember which town I was in at the time. I also remember I enjoyed whatever I ate. As it was some 40 years ago, roughly, I can be pardoned for not remembering  the details.

Talking of restaurants, there is one here we haven't been to for a while, the Charcoal Steakhouse, and I was thinking the other day (pass it on the way to get asparagus) that we should do so. They do very good pigtails there I recall. Long time since we were there so they might not have them on the menu any more. They used to have the place split into 3 or 4 different restaurants with different atmospheres and some different food choices. I know friends of ours used to go there all the time.

Friday ladydog picked up some subs and came to lunch. Brought some lovely lilac with her, the lilacs have been absolutely beautiful this year. I have noticed the most gorgeous bushes this year, full of flowers. Always loved lilac. Had a really enjoyable lunch but she didn't stay all that long. Afterwards, I finished pickling/canning two more jars of asparagus and 4 small jars of the ends which I had to cut off. These have just gone in the fridge as cold pickles and will get consumed very quickly.

We are spending most of Monday in the hospital whilst Matt gets his kidney stone zapped. As I understand it, we won't be leaving til around 3. Matt has removed his jewellery, amusing it says to remove his piercings too. Hasn't got any thank goodness.

I have never tried these but re-reading I think I might do so. I only have one serving of asparagus and I jokingly told Matt I would go while he was in the hospital. Not sure when I will get there. Could open my canned ones I suppose, I don't think so.

Asparagus and Jalapenos Cornbread Muffins

3 Tbs coconut oil
1/3 cup apple sauce or reduced/cooked peaches
1 large egg
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup gf flour (Bobs Red Mill)
1/2 tsp baking soda
Sea salt and pepper
1 red chili/ jalapenos, diced
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped BUT save tops for garnish.

Preheat oven to 350°F and coat muffin tin with coconut oil. Mix all wet ingredients together with peppers and asparagus. Mix dry ingredients together thoroughly and slowly incorporate into wet batter. Pour into muffin tins approx. 1/4 full. Finish with aspara-tops. Bake for 15/20 minutes until golden.

Author Notes
Good for up to 4 days fresh OR freeze for a couple weeks. Great with a fried egg, with preserves or what we did at home is use for sloppy Joe’s using Walter All Natural, Craft Caesar Mix.

Have a great day

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Saturday Recipe

I know at least 2 of my readers can't stand asparagus. Never mind, the pair of you, my day is coming. July 1 will be the end of asparagus season. You will all be rejoicing, and I will be weeping big fat tears. Meanwhile.....  Must admit I have never tried these, not sure if I can buy either kind of beef anywhere locally.

Asparagus Beef Rolls

8 asparagus spears
1 lb shabu-shabu style thinly sliced beef
4 Tbs regular soy sauce
1/2 cup sake
2 Tbs mirin
2 Tbs sugar
Water for blanching
2 Tbs canola oil
Japanese hot mustard (karashi), optional condiment

1. Combine marinade ingredients (soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar) in a medium bowl and stir until mixed. Add thinly sliced beef and marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, trim bottom of asparagus, then slice asparagus spears vertically in half or quarters, depending on the thickness of the spear. Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from pot and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

3. Take 2 to 3 pieces of beef and gently spread it out on a plate or cutting board. Lay 2 or 3 asparagus pieces across one edge of the sliced beef. Gently roll-up the asparagus in the beef, tucking the end under the bottom of the roll. Repeat until all the beef and asparagus have been used to make several rolls.

4. In a large pan, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add beef and asparagus rolls to the pan and sear the beef until all sides are lightly and evenly browned. Add any remaining marinade into the pan and simmer the beef and asparagus rolls together for 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Slice each beef and asparagus roll into thirds or fourths, plate, then serve with Japanese hot mustard (karashi). The rolls can also be served as is, without any hot mustard.

Servings: 4

For this recipe, either shaved beef, shabu-shabu or sukiyaki style beef may be used. It is easier to work with the sukiyaki style beef, as it does not tear as easily as the shabu-shabu style beef when wrapping the meat and vegetable rolls. I prefer the thinner shabu-shabu cut of beef for a thinner and more delicate roll, however, for a slightly heartier version I recommend using sukiyaki style beef.

Author: Judy Ung
Source: About Food

Have a great weekend

Friday, June 7, 2019

Short Blog

Very little sleep last night and been somewhat on the go all day. Cancelled dentist check up - next week.

Went to asparagus farm in afternoon as I had pickled myself out of it. Got two more jars but have to  make more brine.

Chicken and Asparagus with Melted Gruyère

8 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1-1 1/4 pounds), trimmed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs canola oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 Tbs chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tsp lemon juice
2/3 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

1. Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan, add 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus; cover and steam for 3 minutes. Uncover, remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Whisk broth and 2 teaspoons flour in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.

3. Place the remaining 1/4 cup flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and dredge both sides in the flour, shaking off any excess.

4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side, adjusting heat as needed to prevent scorching. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

5. Add shallot, wine and the reserved broth mixture to the pan; cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in sour cream, tarragon, lemon juice and the reserved asparagus until combined. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top of each piece of chicken, cover and continue cooking until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.

Servings: 4

Source: Eating Well

Have a great day

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Pickling, Cleaning, Weather, Pictures, D-Day,

The anaesthetist would say I looked tired today. I am knackered. I have canned/pickled three jars of asparagus and one of mixed veg. Did them properly in a hot water bath, etc. etc. as I want them to last - well the asparagus that is. I will probably do some more before I am done. I have to cut them to a uniform 6 inches to fit in my Mason jars. As for stuffing the spears into the jars, I really need the wide mouth jars I guess. Not this year.

Also, decided to buy a mop and bucket rather than rely on Swiffer. It seems to end up with a somewhat sticky deposit after a while. My cleaner agreed with me.

Our lovely weather has been raining today. Wet and miserable. Seem to be getting May, or even April, showers, only trouble is, it's June and it is not "busting out all over", at least, not round here. Admittedly the trees are looking beautiful, we are lucky, we have a lot of them round here. The spring colours are always lovely to see.

Thanks to ladydog's suggestion, I finally got the few pix I took of the hospital food onto my PC. Only trouble is, it doesn't look that bad!! I should have picked the omelette up to take a picture of its rigidity. Guess my brain wasn't that active at the time. One thing I have is some lovely carnations which had to be cut down in order to fit into a hospital cup. Shame, but they were still lovely. I have always enjoyed carnations, they last so long. I remember years ago I used to buy a lot of flowers to decorate our living room and I would order blue carnations, dyed of course, which looked pretty. Gosh, that's a long time ago.

I nearly forgot, it is the 75th anniversary of D-Day today. I was about 5, Matt about 8. Bearing in mind how old we are, it staggers me to see the veterans of that day still alive, in their 90s and travelling to France to revisit their memories. One of them even parachuted in as he did all that time ago. One of my favourite movies is The Longest Day which tells the story of that time. I think everyone and his brother is in that movie. War is a terrible thing but man fights for the slightest thing it seems. Despite the lessons learned in World War II we are constantly either at war or on the brink of war. What idiots we are.

Asparagus with Rhubarb Hollandaise

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

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

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

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

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

Servings: 6

Author: Anna Olson

Have a great day

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Hospital, Driver, Shopping, Salve, Caesar Salad, Old Age, Driver's License,

So, we left here at 9:15 to go to the hospital to see the anaesthetist. I had told the CSC that we would be an hour. Once we got signed in, etc. etc. I discovered it was a 2 hour appointment. Like, they couldn't have mentioned that before? I phoned the driver to let him know and then we settled down to wait, or I did. Matt is not good at waiting any more. He gets very upset. I explained about him getting panic attacks and I think they pushed him along. We were already half an hour or so overdue anyway. He had all kinds of tests done, ECGs, bloodwork, and so on. Then we had a long talk with the nurse who did all that testing. We then had to wait to see the anaesthetist - but not too long. She chatted to us both although I don't think Matt understood half of it. We discussed whether he should have a spinal or a complete anaesthetic. I said complete, but thinking about it, maybe spinal would be OK. Will talk about it again on Monday. At the termination of the conversation the anaesthetist said I looked tired and, as the prime caregiver, I should look after myself. She also said, not to worry myself about housework, however, I explained that I have a cleaner from CSC which she was pleased to hear. Finally, we were told we could go home and then the driver couldn't come for at least half an hour. Not his fault, he had been told we would be over and done with in an hour. Matt was not too happy with this guy, he had a tendency to drive one handed and on the way home he was waving both hands in the air. Uuuuumm!!!  Whilst waiting I had a coffee and donut. Not Matt. It was compliments of CARP (like AARP) when I renewed my membership, they sent  me a Tim Horton's card. I have a whole 39 cents left. I also discovered the hospital has a Subway there too, might have a sub for lunch next week. We will be there at 9:15 and, as I understand it, will probably not be out of there before 3 at least. I also discovered the hospital have doubled their parking fees. Thank goodness for CSC although not sure if  they can handle our Monday trip - will phone them tomorrow. Wednesday.

Finally got home safely, despite the hand waving, I couldn't wait to get some lunch even though I had eaten a donut.

After lunch I went down to collect some groceries, they couldn't supply a driver for that this afternoon so I will do two small shops this week. Actually, I am not sure I don't prefer it and Matt managed to take the groceries upstairs so that was OK.

Forgot to mention, ladydog had popped in whilst we were out and left me some Cann Salve (Cannabis) which her son had developed (he works in forestry etc.) specifically for her headaches. I think he is on to something. Seemed to help my arthritic hands not to mention my aching neck. My back was bad today, maybe I should have tried it for that. In fact I ended up wearing the support belt we bought for Matt and which he has never used, it actually helped quite a lot. Lovely getting old!!!

Finished our Cauli Cheese for supper and I also made a Caesar Salad. Haven't made one in years for some reason. Matt especially seemed to enjoy it. Have lots of dressing and more Romaine so will have to make more tomorrow.

Got it nagging at the back of my mind that there was something else I was going to talk about, but can't think what it was. Another symptom of getting old. Need to get my ear trumpet out as well LOL. Oh, just went down to the mail and lo and behold, my proper driver's license. I am now all set til my birthday in 2021.

One certainly sees some incredible sights in the hospital. Sitting there waiting for the driver to pick us up, I couldn't believe some of the people we saw. One woman I felt very sorry for, she was wheeling herself around and was so huge she literally overflowed her chair. One of the volunteers tried to help her and she seemed to snap at him.

Made a start on canning some pickled asparagus. Got as far as making the brine. Cleaner will be here in the morning so probably won't achieve a lot.

One of these days I must shell out for some lobster and try this recipe, I have had it for a year or two but lobster isn't regularly on my menu LOL. I just realised it says to cook asparagus about 10 minutes. I never cook mine longer than 4 and it is perfectly done. Never seen fresh chervil either. In fact, not a herb with which I am very familiar. Think I have dried.

Asparagus and Lobster Crêpes with Fines Herbes Hollandaise Sauce

1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed
Cooked meat of 1 large lobster, or 2 lobster tails (about 1 1/2 lbs lobster before cooking)
sprinkling of salt plus 1/2 tsp.

Fines Herbes Hollandaise

2 Tbs white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and cubed
2 Tbs lemon juice
white pepper to taste
1 Tbs fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 Tbs fresh chives, finely chopped
1 Tbs fresh chervil, finely chopped.

1. Preheat oven to 300°F.

2. In a large pot, steam or boil asparagus until just tender, about 10 mins, cool under cold water, drain and set aside.

3. Coarsely chop cooked lobster, set aside

4. Prepare crêpes.

5. Divide the asparagus into 8 separate bundles. Place a bundle in each of 8 crêpes, sprinkle with salt and roll to enclose. Place asparagus in a glass baking dish, top with lobster and cover with foil. Just before serving, and no sooner, place in heated oven for 15 mins to warm through.

6. In a small saucepan over medium high heat reduce (boil) vinegar, water and 1/2 tsp salt until approximately 3 tbs remains, remove from heat.

7. Lower heat to medium-low, add yolks to pan and return to heat, whisking constantly until foamy and lightly thickened. Make sure not to scramble eggs; if the eggs begin to cook too quickly pull off the heat and whisk vigorously to cool slightly before continuing.

8. Begin to whisk butter into pan 1 cube at a time. Once all the butter is incorporated, whisk in lemon juice, white pepper and fresh herbs. Use immediately.

9. Place two asparagus crêpes on each plate and top each with some of the warmed lobster. Spoon hollandaise overtop, serve immediately

Servings: 4

Source: Food and Drink Spring 2010

Author Notes
If preparing this for a dinner party, the asparagus, lobster, crêpes and vinegar reduction can all be prepared beforehand so that the only thing left to prepare is the hollandaise. Make sure to use a good quality butter so that the hollandaise has great flavour.

Have a great day

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

New Book, Ultra Sound, Exercise Class, Supper,

I should mention my friend Elizabeth Seckman has just released her latest book, Hoosier Dad. I am proud to say I helped with the proofing and quite a bit of encouragement, but it is a very good book. She writes excellent romances and this one is no exception. I think I have read all her books and I certainly have copies of several of them. So, do check this new one out. If you enjoy romances I am sure you will enjoy this one.

This morning (Monday) I was awake at 5:30 and seriously considered getting up and having an Ensure before 6 but decided to get back to sleep. I eventually toddled off for my ultra sound and was extremely hungry by lunchtime. I noticed the gas prices were down this morning and thought about filling up on the way home. In the end I did it later in the day.

After filling myself up with fuel, I went downstairs to exercise class. First time since I was in hospital. I did a lot better than I expected. Almost as well as I used to. Big surprise. Different instructor these days, she certainly kept us moving. A reasonable sized class too for this building. When they first started they had two classes three times a week but not enough people took part. Pity really. Once you get into the swing of things you feel so much better.

Also went to the asparagus farm this afternoon having totally run out. I still haven't had any today, horrors. Normally I eat it every day without fail during the season. Dunno about your neck of the woods but it has been pretty chilly round here. Tim Barrie, the farmer, was saying how much they needed the sun to produce more asparagus. I thought it was cold in our apartment but one of my friends at exercise said her place was less than 70°F this afternoon. Ours was about 74°F. Felt pretty chilly.

I had a cauliflower in the fridge which I wanted to use up. Had leftover pork loin to finish up. Having checked for IP recipes, I discovered that to make a cauliflower cheese is basically the same as making it in a saucepan, so I did just that. Made some cheese sauce, cooked the cauliflower and put them in a dish. I then covered the top with Panko crumbs mixed with a little more cheese and some Paprika and shoved it all under the broiler. Delicious. Simple enough. It looked very much like this when it was finished. Didn't think to take a picture.  No recipe as I assume you all know how to do this. If not, don't hesitate to ask how to make it.

Have to be up early again as Matt has to go to the anaesthetist on Tuesday morning. Next week he has to have his kidney stone zapped.

Asparagus with Anchovies and Garlic

4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs minced garlic
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 bunches asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbs water
2 tsp anchovy paste or 1 anchovy fillet, minced

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add asparagus, water and anchovy; cook, stirring often, until the asparagus is tender-crisp, 5 to 6 minutes

Servings: 4
Yield: about 3/4 cup each

Source: Eating Well

Have a great day