Monday, September 30, 2019

Cooking, Bowling. Il Volo,

I was delighted to discover how to cook both cauliflower, which I had cooked before and broccoli in my Instant Pot. For a number of years I have had to use distilled water for broccoli as the water here, which is softened, gives it a horrid taste, to me anyway. Doing in the IP I just bunged in a 1/2 cup of tap water, added the steamer basket with broccoli florets and turned it on for 0 minutes. Instant Release. It was perfect. Slightly crisp but not like they serve in restaurants which I consider virtually raw. I didn't have to watch it and could get on with something else. I served it straight away and it made my day. Little things please little minds I guess.

Tomorrow (today to you) I get to see my cardiologist. If I don't have to wait long (sometimes it happens) we will then be going bowling. Might have lunch at the alley anyway. Will be bowling with our new team mates whom, for some reason, I don't remember. They did bowl last year I understand.

Whilst writing this I have set Matt up with a DVD of Il Volo and I am also listening and enjoying it in the other room.They are an excellent group. In this DVD Placido Domingo is conducting. 

I think this recipe looks good and yes, I think one could make it in the Instant Pot. We had soup tonight as it was pretty chilly out - I had some cauliflower soup in the freezer which I had to add cheese to - not sure it was meant to be spicy cheese, but tasted good anyway.

White Bean, Fennel, and Italian Sausage Soup with Parmesan Toast Recipe

Pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients combine to make a comforting soup that’s ready to eat in
less than an hour. This one-pot dish was dubbed “a staff favorite” by our test kitchen, and you’ll see why when you serve it. The White Bean, Fennel, and Italian Sausage Soup is colorful and hearty, and the Parmesan Toast adds a little crunch. You can use any kind of white beans, but our test kitchen professionals recommend cannellinis. The recipe also calls for mild Italian sausage, but you can substitute hot Italian sausage for a spicier soup. When the nights start getting colder, the whole family will enjoy coming to the dinner table for this warm and hearty soup. Don’t forget the Parmesan Toasts on the side for dunking. Everyone will be asking for seconds, so hopefully you’ve made enough.

1 lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion (from 1 medium)
1 cup thinly sliced celery (from about 3 stalks)
1 cup thinly sliced fennel (from 1 small fennel bulb)
3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp black pepper, divided
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken stock
2 (15-oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
16 (1/4-inch) French baguette slices (from 1 large baguette)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
Chopped fresh rosemary

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add sausage, and cook, stirring to crumble, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, leaving 1 tablespoon of drippings with sausage in Dutch oven. Add onion, celery, fennel, garlic, salt, red pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add white wine, and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in chicken stock, beans, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes.

2. Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Place baguette slices on a rimmed baking sheet, and brush 1 side of each piece with olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Broil until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven.

3. Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 8 bowls; sprinkle with chopped rosemary, and serve with toasts.

Servings: 8

Source: Southern Living

Have a great day

Friday, September 27, 2019

Cramps, Bowling. Sleeping, Exercise Class

For some reason I spent Wednesday night jumping in and out of bed with cramps of one kind or another. Then going to the kitchen for tonic or pickle juice or something. I figure I ended up with about 3 hours sleep. I got up, had breakfast, phoned the person who organises the travel league plus lunch at Red Lobster, and then went back to bed.

One thing, turns out the bowling alley have now organised a team for us from Monday on. Only trouble is, I have a cardiologist appointment at 10:15 but should get back in time, fingers crossed. Can always have lunch at the alley.

I ended up sleeping a fair chunk of the afternoon as well. I think I must have made up for my disturbed night. I have had a few cramp twinges today so I do hope I won't have a rotten night again.

I plan to go to exercise class in the afternoon assuming all is well. Our regular instructor is off to Ireland so I don't know how long she will be away.

This is a recipe I have had for years. It is quite delicious but I haven't cooked it for years either, no idea why.

Chicken Breasts in Island Aromas

1- 1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions (4 bulbs)
2 Tbs finely chopped shallots (2 shallots)
2 Tbs chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, ground
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup dry sherry
1- 1/2 tsp sugar
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp grated lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs Rosemary
1/2 cup dry white wine

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small pan heat oil over med heat. Add scallions, shallots, 1 tbs mint; saute until softened, 2 - 3 mins. Stir in fennel and ginger. Add orange juice, lemon juice, sherry and 1 tsp sugar; bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced by half, 5 - 10 mins. Set aside

2. Place the defatted, trimmed, chicken skinned side down on board. Make a horizontal slit on thinner, long edge, cutting nearly through to opposite side. Open each breast to form two flaps and sprinkle with zests. Season. Pat closed and place between plastic wrap. Pound to flatten slightly.

3. Place rosemary sprigs on bottom of a baking dish, put chicken on top, season. Pour wine and warm citrus sauce over. Bake uncovered 25 - 30 mins until chicken not pink inside. Transfer to platter and keep warm.  Discard rosemary.

4. Pour sauce into pan, boil, reduce by half. Taste and adjust seasonings. Spoon over chicken and sprinkle with remaining mint.

Servings: 4

Source: Eating Well

Have a great day

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Anniversary, TEACH,

Ladydog just took this Anniversary picture of us. If you look closely, there is a glass of fizz on the right hand side.

I think it's quite funny having Subs and a glass of fizz. Enjoyed it though.

Later we went to a restaurant we hadn't been to for years. Almost forgotten it. The Golf Steakhouse. I was determined to have a restaurant fillet. There are a lot of stairs at this restaurant. Having got to the top I was then told they have a service elevator they use for people with problems. I didn't know that. We were shown to our table and I ordered my fillet, Matt had the same. When we first got there it was pretty noisy and there was some kid down the other end of the room screaming. Just what I enjoy when I go out. We both had a chicken vegetable soup. Not bad and then I went to the salad bar. Matt of course didn't walk that far. He didn't want me to get him anything. Eventually the steak came, it was delicious. However, they also put the ubiquitous broccoli on our plates which put Matt right off, especially as it was - as so often - too crisp. He then told me at least four times that he was never coming back. We both had dessert and then headed home being taken downstairs in the elevator. I guess he won't remember he doesn't want to go there again, but it is a bit offputting. I did think seriously of the Red Lobster but, as I said, we are lunching there tomorrow with a bowling group. Wish now I had gone there.

I don't perfectly understand why restaurants can produce much better steaks that I can buy. I can spend a small fortune on them but they are never the same quality.

Driving home was a bit of a nightmare as it was getting pretty dark  - I am obviously now in the "can't drive at night" brigade. It seemed to me everyone had their headlights on full beam.

Anyway, so here's to another 47 years LOL. Forgot, we had a lovely card from ladydog together with some flowers and fresh corn. Yummy, thanks. Maybe I'll have some corn for breakfast.

Nearly forgot to write that I had been to my TEACH session at the Alzheimer Society this morning. Today we were talking about resources. I seem to have already made use of many of them. However, I was advised to call the LHIN to see what I was entitled to. Local Health Integrated Network, I think. They are always around when you come out of hospital or something, but not too sure of the other services they can offer me.

Kevin Lynch always comes up with some good recipes. I don't like to keep swiping them, but they are so delicious looking.

Thai Peanut Pumpkin Turkey Curry

A fall harvest themed Thai style turkey curry with pumpkin, apple and cranberries!

1 Tbs oil
1/4 cup red curry paste*
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup pureed apple (or apple sauce)
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 Tbs lime juice (~1 lime)
2 Tbs fish sauce
2 Tbs palm or brown sugar
1 lb turkey (or chicken), cut into bite sized pieces
4 cups pumpkin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 red pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup peas
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped

1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the curry paste and cook until fragrant, about a minute.

2. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, pumpkin puree, peanut butter, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, pumpkin and turkey and simmer until the pumpkin is tender and the turkey is cooked, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Add the red pepper and cranberries and simmer until the pepper is tender, about 5 minutes before mixing in the peas and cilantro and removing from the heat.

4. Option: For One-Pan: Make this a one-pan meal by adding 1 cup of rice and 2 cups broth or water (or 8 ounces of pasta and 2 1/4 cups broth or water) to the sauce in step 2 and simmer, covered, until cooked, about 20 minutes (or 12 minutes for pasta).

5. Note: Different curry pastes have different concentrations so use what yours recommends as a starting place.

6. Option: Instead of browning the turkey, simmer it with the pumpkin to cook it and save some time.

7. Option: Use leftover cooked turkey!

8. Option: Replace the peanut butter and peanuts with pecan butter and pecans to make it more festive!

Servings: 6

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

47 years, Dinner, ALZ course,

Funny actually, we were nearly divorced the day we got married. We had one heck of a quarrel at the end of the day. However, we resolved it. I can't believe we lasted 47 years. Mind you, I threatened to divorce Matt once I realised he never gained weight no matter what he ate. He is still the same, appetite like a horse and can stuff himself on anything, sweet, carbs, you name it, and it doesn't make any difference. I figured that was cruelty. I had been married to my first husband for 10 years and used to joke that I changed husbands every 10 years then said I had decided to keep Matt another 10 years and so on.

I still have not made up my mind about where to have dinner. Another thing against the Charcoal, we feel we have to dress up a bit to go there whereas both the Mandarin and Red Lobster we can be more casual. Decisions, decisions.

I have my second session at the ALZ Society today and we will be discussing resources. That is certainly a subject which interests me. My cleaner will be here all morning til about 11 and ladydog is bringing Subway lunch for us. I have some fizz in the fridge, maybe we will have a sub sandwich and a drink. Not Matt, he doesn't like fizz.

I love shrimp and I enjoy leeks, but have never tried the two together. Looks good doesn't it?

Shrimp and Leek Spaghetti

This Quick Shrimp and Leek Spaghetti Has 1/3 of Your Daily Fiber

8 oz uncooked whole-grain spaghetti
1 lb peeled, deveined raw medium shrimp
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped leek (from 1 large leek)
1 Tbs chopped garlic (from 3 garlic cloves)
2 cups frozen baby sweet peas (about 9 oz.), thawed
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs chopped fresh dill

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Cover pasta to keep warm.

2. While pasta cooks, pat shrimp dry with paper towels; season with pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat half of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high. Add shrimp; cook, stirring often, until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate; cover to keep warm. (Do not wipe skillet clean.)

3. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add leek, garlic, remaining oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until leek is slightly tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add peas, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp to skillet; toss to coat.

4. Divide pasta among 4 bowls; top evenly with shrimp and sauce. Sprinkle with dill, and serve immediately.

Servings: 4

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Time, Bowling, Laptop, Anniversary, Fried Veg.

Seem to be having a time problem lately. I have emails I haven't replied to yet, blogs I haven't yet read, Spanish lessons I haven't done. Oy vey. However, we did get to the bowling alley this afternoon and much to my surprise, Matt bowled all three games. He even beat me on the second game. Mind you I was bowling appallingly badly until the last game. However, despite getting a pretty good score on that game, my average dropped a point. Frustrating to say the least. For those of you who know bowling, I got 5 spares in 6 frames in my last game. Helped my score considerably.

I have been spending some time trying to sort out stuff on my new laptop. I was a tad annoyed, I could not get my mouse touch pad turned off (easy to do on my last laptop) so talked to Hewlett Packard. They ended up taking over the machine and then having done a few things, they decided to reset the laptop. I gave them permission knowing I would lose some programmes. They still haven't really finished and last night I was up late with the Intuit people trying to install Quicken again. I also needed to install Dropbox but that won't talk to my PC now. No idea why. I will be getting on to HP so they can finish whatever they left undone. I am not a very happy camper.

Dithering about where to go for our Anniversary Dinner on Wednesday (47 years). I was a bit put off by the Charcoal Steakhouse because of the parking debacle. We have never been to Mandarin in the evening and we also thought of going to Red Lobster 'cos I do love crab. However, we are going to RL for lunch with the bowling travel league on Thursday. Decisions, decisions.

Having eaten Dragon Broccoli at Red Lobster I have been looking into battered vegetables and found a couple. This one appealed to me, might try it for tomorrow. A lot simpler than some of the recipes I found. Although I did find a broccoli recipe which is stirred into Aunt Jemima Batter. Didn't sound bad.

Air-Fried Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

1 head (large) Cauliflower, Cut Into 1 1/2-inch Florets
8 Tbs Melted Butter
1/2 cup Cayenne Pepper Sauce (Like Frank's Wing Sauce), Plus More For Dipping
1-1/2 cup Almond Flour Or Bread Crumbs
2 tsp No-salt Seasoning (optional)
1 cup Ranch Dressing, Or As Needed, For Dipping

1. Turn oven to a “keep warm” setting or preheat it to the lowest temperature and then turn the oven off.

2. Put cauliflower florets in a large bowl.

3. Mix melted butter and cayenne pepper sauce in a small bowl and pour it over the cauliflower. Mix everything together well.

4. Combine almond flour or bread crumbs and seasoning (if using) in another large bowl or a large resealable plastic bag. Transfer cauliflower into the bowl (or bag) with the breading. Use tongs or a slotted spoon so you don’t end up pouring the remaining sauce from the bottom of the cauliflower bowl. Toss (or shake) the cauliflower to coat it in the breading.

5. Transfer half of the coated cauliflower to your air fryer, putting them both on the bottom and upper rack.

6. Set air fryer to 350ºF and cook for 12–15 minutes, until cauliflower has golden brown spots and is cooked through, but not mushy.

7. Put the cooked cauliflower in a warm oven to keep warm. Cook the rest of the prepped cauliflower the same way.

8. Make the buffalo ranch dipping sauce by adding a desired amount of wing sauce to the ranch dressing, to taste. Serve the buffalo cauliflower with the dipping sauce.

Servings: 5

Source: Pioneer Woman

Have a great day

Monday, September 23, 2019

Weekend, Spanish, Pork Tenderloin,

Went to Victoria St. Market on Friday to get some more of their cole slaw. Also bought some bananas to last us til the next shopping and found I hadn't bought enough even then, duuh. I particularly like a banana ever day because I tend to get cramp in one part of me or another which can be damned painful. Like a fool I looked at their desserts and I was in the mood for chocolate (not sure when I am not in the mood for chocolate) so ended up buying two delicious desserts. When will I ever learn? There is a poster in the store saying they will deliver to your door, but it doesn't give any details.

Still working on my Spanish although I came across an anomaly on Friday. One of the women in the exercise class had on a shirt which said "Como la flor". Como, to me, means I eat. However, it turns out it has a double meaning, in this case, Like a Flower, but in other cases it means I eat. How very confusing.

Matt announced that when he had finished the current bottle of gin,  he was quitting drinking it!! I wonder if he will remember that. He always says how nice his Bombay Sapphire is when he has a drink. We shall see.

I cooked a pork tenderloin on Saturday but it was a recipe I have posted fairly recently so I found this one today and thought it sounded pretty good. Pork tenderloin is a relatively inexpensive meat, especially compared to pork chops. Pork and apple always go well together.

Pan-Roasted Pork with Apple Chutney and Pepper Relish

3 1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 Tbs mustard seeds
1/4 tsp whole allspice berries
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup minced, peeled fresh ginger
2 12-ounce pork tenderloins

1. In a medium skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the apple and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, allspice and cayenne and simmer over moderate heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the jalapeños, red and yellow peppers, onion, garlic and ginger. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pepper relish to a bowl and wipe out the skillet.

3. In the same large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season the pork tenderloins with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook them over moderate heat on 4 sides until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Cover and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 145°, about 10 minutes. Transfer the tenderloins to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the pork 1/3 inch thick and serve with the chutney and pepper relish.

Servings: 4

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Saturday Recipe

This looked so good I could have eaten it right off the page.

Beefsteak Tomato and Burrata Salad with Olive Streusel

The crunchy, savory kalamata olive streusel that tops this salad from Bryan and Michael Voltaggio is
our new condiment obsession. Toss it in your next kale salad, sprinkle over roasted root vegetables or use it to garnish steamed grains. If you can’t find good beefsteak tomatoes for this dish, use the best greenhouse tomatoes you can get your hands on

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms, chopped
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 8 in pc kombu (see Note), broken into pieces
2 tsp sugar
Kosher salt
1 cup panko
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
4 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cubed
4 large, ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
2 4 oz balls of burrata, patted dry and halved
Basil leaves and small fennel fronds, for garnish (optional)
Flaky sea salt, for serving

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the 1/2 cup of olive oil. Add the dried shiitakes and garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, kombu and sugar and simmer until thickened slightly, about 30 minutes. Strain the pomodoro sauce through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, pressing on the solids; season with kosher salt. Let cool to room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the panko, flour and cocoa powder until combined. Add the olives and pulse until finely chopped. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spread the streusel on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until toasted and golden brown. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

3. Spoon some of the pomodoro sauce onto a platter or plates. Arrange the tomato slices over the sauce and top with the burrata. Generously sprinkle with the olive streusel and garnish with basil leaves and fennel fronds, if using. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt before serving.

Yield: 4 to 6

Make Ahead The pomodoro sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. The olive streusel can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container overnight

Source: Food & Wine

Author Notes
Kombu (dried seaweed) is available at Whole Foods and from

Have a great weekend.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Instant Pot, Tired, Spanish, Alarm, New Recipe

Having been patting myself on the back for my recipe conversion, I emptied the pot this morning and put it in storage boxes only to discover a slight amount of scorching on the bottom. I think that means I will have to add more liquid if and when I make this dish again. We had some for supper and it heated up very well. We have another meal to come, but probably not til Sunday.

Had a really bad night Wednesday, somehow the bedroom became hot as Hades at around 2:30 a.m. - not I wasn't hot flashing (flushing in England) but just got overheated. Not really sure why. So I got up and went into the living room where the air conditioner was going full blast and picked up my Susan Kelley book, mistake, however, when I got back to bed I was quite chilly and slept happily for the rest of the night. Only trouble was, I was too tired to go bowling this afternoon.

Not only that I haven't done my Spanish lessons today either and as it is already gone 11 I think I will be saving them for tomorrow.

I realised I hadn't done the monthly alarm test lately, so did it this afternoon. I don't think Matt has grasped what it is for, but after ending up in hospital last October I was bullied persuaded to get one. You know "I've fallen and I can't get up". Seems like a lot of money per month, but I guess if there was an emergency, I would be grateful to have it although last October I couldn't have used it anyway as one hand was supporting me and the other was useless, totally limp.

Just found another chicken recipe which I thought might also work in the Instant Pot. Only thing is, I have more or less decided that sautéing a lot of meat, chicken, whatever in my pot is not very easy as it is rather a small unit, so I think I will do it in a frying pan first. Does mean two things to wash etc. but I find it rather awkward anyway as the pot is fairly high up, sitting on the counter and it takes a long time with such a small pot. We shall see how I get on with that.

Chicken and Mushroom Fricassée

This lightened up classic is fast to pull together—especially if you buy presliced mushrooms. It has a rich, slow-cooked flavor. A splash of cream makes it extra-decadent but still light

1 Tbs grapeseed oil
4 8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
Freshly ground pepper
2 tsp unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 lbs cremini or white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 Tbs flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbs minced tarragon leaves
1 1/2 Tbs heavy cream

1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

2. Add the butter, shallot, salt and mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Add the flour and cook until it smells lightly toasty, about 1 minute.

3. Add the wine, broth and reserved chicken and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over moderate heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish.

4. Increase the heat to moderately high and simmer the sauce, uncovered, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the minced tarragon and heavy cream. Spoon the sauce and mushrooms over the chicken and serve immediately.

Servings: 4

Swap out the mushrooms for leeks for a lighter flavored dish. Tip: Chop any leftover chicken and mushrooms and serve as a sauce over pasta or polenta.

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Alzheimer's Society, Groceries, Instant Pot Conversion, Jeopardy,

I had a marvellous morning at the Alzheimer's Society TEACH session today. I met four people who also have spouses suffering from the disease and found I was not the only one. I was also not the only bad tempered witch with a b in front and I felt a whole lot better leaving the course. It is a tragic situation to be in, you basically lose your spouse and the person you married before they have left you physically. We are all learning to cope with what is going on in our marriages. We are all upset with the basic loss of our partners. Although one is aware that this is so, meeting others in the same sinking boat is actually a joyous experience. I am not the only one. I am sure the others felt the same. ladydog was my saviour today by spending the time with Matt but he has since informed me, in no uncertain terms that he does not need a babysitter. Actually, he does. One never knows what may happen. Today he wouldn't talk to me when I got back because he said he didn't know where I was. I told him that I had informed him several times and apparently ladydog did so as well but, of course, he doesn't remember us doing so.

I also picked up my groceries on the way home and ladydog helped me bring them upstairs. Nice of her. She is a godsend of a friend.

After lunch I realised I hadn't received the chicken thighs I had ordered (turns out they only had packets which were out of date tomorrow. In fact it wouldn't have mattered, they would either have been frozen straight away, or cooked tonight).  Anyway, I went to Victoria St. Market and got some
there. They were huge. I think they were ostrich thighs, not chicken. Anyway, I cooked the Miracle Mango Salsa Chicken which I posted yesterday, and it turned out very well. I started browning the thighs in the Instant Pot but decided it was taking too long so put the remainder in a fry pan and browned them that way. I then deglazed the pot with a little wine. Added the rice and water together with the Mango Salsa, stirred everything, put in the browned chicken and set it for 10 minutes. I did a 10 minute natural release and worried if it would all work. Turned out brilliantly and I have enough left for two nights more I think with such huge chicken thighs. It was delicious.

We were a tad late, but I made it to Jeopardy, there is another excellent champion named Jason Zuffranieri who is up at the $300 thousand level. He is much more unassuming than James Holzhaur  but seems to be doing just as well. I am certainly rooting for him. Turns out Alex Trebek, the host, is not doing too well with his cancer and has to go for more chemo. The show will not be the same without him.

Well, my Instant Pot Version of the Miracle Mango Salsa Chicken is my recipe today.

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Music, Mandarin, Movie, TEACH, Birthday Card,

I have a big problem with earworms, i.e. getting tunes stuck in my head. I kept hearing 'What a Feeling' lately and I could not remember what the name of the film was. I Googled this morning and of course it was Flashdance. Then they just played 'Hungry Eyes' but I remembered that was Dirty Dancing. - or where I know it from anyway. Not long ago I had 'Close Every Door to Me' stuck in my head. That's from Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Today, Tuesday, we are going for my free birthday lunch at Mandarin. Just come back after stuffing myself. I forgot the Moon Cake (Moon Festival right now) but the entrance to the washrooms is right by the counter where the Moon cake is so whilst I was waiting for Matt, I helped myself to a couple of pieces. I would have kicked myself if I had forgotten and then realised when I got home.

Just watched To Sir With Love, one of my favourite movies with Sidney Poitier. I really enjoyed seeing it again.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, I go to the first course for caregivers at the Alzheimer Society. Will be interesting to see what its about. It is called TEACH.

This is one of the funniest birthday cards I have ever seen - from Ladydog. Hope you can read it OK.

This seems like a good recipe and I think, with adaptation, I can cook it in the Instant Pot.

Miracle Mango Salsa Chicken

A one-dish chicken and rice dish that's ready in a snap

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 16-oz jar mango salsa
1.5 cups water

1. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and sear the chicken thighs until browned well, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a plate.

3. Add the rice, 1 1/2 cups water and 1 cup of the mango salsa. Stir and bring to a boil. Add the chicken back to the top of the rice, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the chicken and rice are cooked through, 17 to 20 minutes.

4. Serve up a pile of rice, topped with the chicken and garnished with additional mango salsa.


 Add everything to Instant Pot - cook for 5 minutes, plus 10 minute natural release.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Have a great day

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Books, Bowling, Shopping,

I am tired tonight, all my own fault or maybe the fault of Susan Gourley Kelley or Susan Kelley which is the name she is using for the books I have been reading. I find I have trouble putting them down. Luckily I mostly don't have to get up early in the mornings. She has written a lot of Fantasy Romance books which have a lot of punch to them and I am thoroughly enjoying them.

Went bowling this afternoon and bowled on a team who's members were still away. Matt has just about given up I think. Pity, he needs the exercise. I will be part of a team eventually,  but they too are away until the end of this month and so I am just floating around LOL. I bowled really badly, for  me, for the first two games and then had a good last game. That little animation just about fits, only I wasn't picking up the head pin when I was bowling.

We  ran out of bananas over the weekend so went to Victoria St. Market, bought a box of coleslaw as well but that is the first time I've been there and spent so little. Guess I can do it. I used a spicy dressing for the slaw, haven't used it in a long time and had forgotten how good it is. We were finishing off the sirloin steak from Saturday.

I need to go to Costco but unfortunately haven't enough cash in the bank and can't use my credit card there. I do wish they would allow Visa. They do take Master Card but I don't have that and have no wish to possess a second credit card. I think that would  be asking for trouble.

Just realised our Foot Nurse comes at 10 a.m. so guess I should go to bed instead of reading. Won't do  me any harm, that is a dead cert.

This is the dressing I used for the coleslaw. Use your own recipe for the slaw part.

Coleslaw in Triple-hot Dressing

The dressing
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 tsp creamed horseradish
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
5 Tbs olive oil
salt and ground black pepper

1. Mix the mustard, horseradish and Tabasco sauce, then gradually stir in the vinegar with a fork and finally beat in the oil and seasoning. Toss the salad in the dressing and leave to stand, if possible, for at least 1 hour, turning it once or twice.

2. Immediately  before serving, season the salad if necessary, toss again and sprinkle with dill and cayenne.

I sometimes make my own coleslaw, but frequently, for a quick vegetable, I buy a pack of prepared cabbage.

Source: The Ultimate Hot and Spicy Cookbook

Author Notes: The triple hotness in this coleslaw is supplied by mustard, horseradish and Tabasco.

Have a great day

Monday, September 16, 2019

Duo Lingo, IP Recipe.

Can't remember if I mentioned that Jan made me aware of a site called Duolingo where she was learning Spanish. I thought I would try brushing mine off as I think I have forgotten a large amount of it. Maybe I will brush up my French afterwards - when you don't use these languages much, you get somewhat rusty.

I cooked cauliflower in the basket I bought for my Instant Pot. I found a recipe which said for tender cook it for 2 minutes. Matt ate a few very crisp pieces and said it was raw. So next time I tried 3 minutes, better but I think 4 will do the trick. The person who wrote the recipe must have a very odd idea of tender cauliflower.

So having realised I hadn't got enough soy sauce for the recipe I posted the other day and being too busy to go and get some, I hunted around for a good sauce to use on the sirloin steak. I give you the original sauce I found, but I added some mushrooms to the shallots - turned out to be delicious. I didn't drain off the mushrooms and shallots either, I liked them left in although I guess if I were trying to impress someone I wouldn't. Don't do much impressing chefs any more though LOL. Of course we finished off our meal with Chocolate Wave Cake. Only trouble is, being my birthday meal, I had to cook it!!

Red wine jus

Create a red wine jus to serve alongside beef dishes. A classic French sauce made with red wine, port
and shallots, it's an ideal topping for steak

2 tsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
175 ml port
175 ml red wine
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
800 ml beef stock
2 Tbs butter
pinch sugar

1. Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots until golden and caramelised, about 10 mins.

2. Add the port, wine and herbs and simmer for 10 mins, or until reduced by half.

3. Pour in the stock and continue to cook until reduced by half again, then strain, discarding the shallots and herbs.

4. Transfer the sauce into a new pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, then season to taste.

Source: BBC Good Food

Have a great day

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Bowling, Restaurant, Birthday Dinner, Exercises,

Sorry no blog this morning, I was feeling  teed off with the world. I started off OK, I bowled a couple of games, first time in about 3 weeks, and didn't do too badly. Matt didn't bowl, he has decided his leg hurts too much. Later we were booked in at the Charcoal which is a slightly upscale steak house, especially for my birthday dinner - a treat because I don't have to cook. It started to go south when we got there and found the normal parking lot was blocked off. Went underground and had no idea where we were and how to get to where we wanted to go. (I noticed a faded sign afterwards which directed us to the restaurant parking, by then too late). There is a Pizzeria downstairs so I asked them and they said I could get an elevator into the restaurant or even order what I wanted from upstairs and they would bring it down. Unfortunately by this time, Matt wanted to go home or he suggested I should go dine and he would sit at the outside table or in the car. Home we went. I was both very disappointed and fuming. End of story. Threw some samosas in the air fryer and that was my special dinner.

Luckily for Saturday, I have a sirloin steak and some Chocolate Wave Cake.

Today, Friday, I went to exercise class and am hurting a tad. Got too enthusiastic I guess. This evening we had coconut shrimp which I bought at Victoria St. Market, ladydog bought some too. I didn't read the packet properly so made some dipping sauce and then discovered there was some in the packet. Duuh. I have small bottles of fizz to drink on Saturday morning - for my birthday and then more for Sunday when I normally drink fizz. Spoiled, me? Naah.

One of my friends is 93 today. Amazing isn't it? I am 81 tomorrow. When we were kids, nobody lived that long. Now it's almost normal and 100 is nothing any more.

I thought of turning our Sirloin into a London Broil and then realised I didn't have enough soy sauce and wasn't up to going to get any so it will just be sirloin steak tomorrow.

London Broil

For Flank steak, use same marinade (only less) and flash fry in skillet for about 5 minutes a side. Let
stand for 5 or 6 minutes before cutting diagonally.

5 Cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup veg oil
1/4 cup of oregano
6 slices ginger, slivered
2 tsp hot sauce
salt and pepper
4 lb London broil 2" to 3" thick (inside round) (or sirloin steak)

1. Mix up marinade. Marinate meat for several hours, minimum 8 hours,  the longer the better, store in fridge and turn frequently.

2. Light barbecue and get it good and hot then reduce heat to medium to cook. Suggest you  remain with meat initially to reduce flare ups. Give it 10 mins on the first side, baste and then turn, then cook 5 mins a side until you have cooked for a total of 25 mins. from the start.


4. Let the meat stand 10 - 15 mins before carving. Carve at a bias across the grain, not straight up and down.

Servings: 8

Source: Ramsey's

Have a great day

Thursday, September 12, 2019

No blog

Nothing today, sorry.

Have a great day

Shopping. Movie, This 'n That, Recipe,

I have decided Matt and I should give up eating then we won't have to worry about shopping LOL. Discussing it with my cleaner this morning, she suggested I could get the groceries myself and she could come downstairs and help me bring it upstairs. Brilliant. As she says, I am paying her anyway so it will save me $15 every other week. Can't do it til after mid October as I am going to be going on a course at the Alzheimer Society on Wed. mornings for four weeks. ladydog is going to come and keep Matt company.

Just watched 12 Angry men with Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb amongst many other well known actors. Apparently this is the only film Henry Fonda directed and acted in. He didn't do it again because it was too stressful. Did you know that Birgit, you probably did. It is one of my favourite movies, so brilliantly acted. I have seen the local theatre do it once too, very well. They did it again this year but I didn't get to see it. ladydog who is/was very involved in the theatre says it has been produced as 12 Angry Women and also 12 Angry Jurors. It would  be interesting to see the different versions.

I made it to exercise class today as the woman who was picking me up to collect the shopping called and asked if I would change the time. In the end, we agreed she would come for me at 4 so I had lots of time to go to class and also to pop out and do a couple of errands myself. One included getting some fizz as I have to celebrate with it on my birthday. I have booked a table at the Charcoal Steakhouse for Thursday evening (not going out on a Saturday).

I tried to find a copycat recipe for Red Lobster's Dragon Broccoli but although I found pictures, I didn't find a recipe. Pity, it was delicious.

Although I never eat asparagus (other than what I have frozen or pickled) out of season, I know some of you do and I came across this recipe yesterday and have saved it. Maybe you would like to try it. I couldn't find an actual picture, but this looked similar.

Asparagus Spears with Citrus-Ginger Dip

2 lb asparagus
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbs vinegar
1 Tbs orange juice
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 clove garlic crushed
1 Tbs Dijon-style mustard
1 1/2 Tbs grated fresh ginger root
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar

1. Snap tough ends off asparagus. Peel stalks, if desired. In large skillet, bring about 1-inch of water to boiling. Add asparagus and simmer, uncovered, until barely tender, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and dunk in ice water until cold; drain, cover and chill until serving.

2. Meanwhile, combine well all remaining ingredients in medium bowl. Transfer to serving bowl, serve with asparagus spears or cover and chill until serving.

3. Variations: This dip can also be made with the reduced fat versions of mayonnaise and sour cream.

Author: Stu
Source: WW Recipes

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Anniversary, Red Lobster, Lamb's Kidneys, Charcoal,

I was reminded that yesterday was ladydog's 47th wedding anniversary (same as ours). For some reason it was not on my calendar. It is now. We all went to lunch at Red Lobster to use my birthday dessert coupon. ladydog and I both had a new combo, Seafarers Feast. It was delicious although ladydog took the shrimp home with her. So did I, inside me!! Matt had his usual Yucatan Tilapia with Shrimp.

I ordered desserts to go but as our Chocolate Wave Cake comes with ice cream, I said we would eat it in house.- they brought me, what they call a Celebration Sundae which was ice cream covered with piped cream, chocolate ganache and a touch of fruit ganache too. Delicious. Matt was given just the ice cream and chocolate and they gave ladydog one as well. Nice of them. We also got a doggie bag with two chocolate waves which are now in the freezer for Saturday.

ladydog wasn't too happy, she has heard me rave about this ice cream and has been avoiding trying it in case she had to drive all the way to Peterborough. I don't think she was as nutty about it as I am though.

I had been talking about going to the Charcoal Steak House on Thursday as a birthday dinner because my actual birthday is Saturday and we never go out on Saturday evenings. ladydog suggested going there for lunch. Hadn't thought of that.

I finally got round to cooking some of the lamb's kidneys I bought weeks ago. For some reason I kept
forgetting about them. Anyway, this is the recipe I used for supper tonight. It wasn't quite as hot (spicy) as I expected although after I had mixed the ingredients it was supremely hot. It occurred to me, the Victorians were great ones for devilling foods, they would have loved all the spicy hot foods we get today.

Devilled Kidneys

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (pronounced woostersheer)
1 Tbs prepared English mustard (Coleman's)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs tomato purée
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and ground black pepper
2 Tbs butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
8 lamb's kidneys, skinned, halved and cored
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley to garnish

1. Mix the first 6 ingredients together (including salt and pepper) to make a sauce.

2. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the chopped shallot and cook stirring occasionally, until it is softened but not coloured.

3. Stir the kidney halves into the shallots in the pan and cook  over medium high heat for about 3 mins on each side.

4. Pour the sauce over the kidneys and quickly stir so that they become evenly coated. Serve immediately sprinkled with fresh parsley.

Servings: 4

Note: To remove the cores from the kidneys use sharp kitchen scissors rather than a knife. Much easier.

Source: The Ultimate Hot and Spicy Cookbook

Author Notes
"Devilled" dishes are always hot and spicy. If you have time, mix the spicy ingredients together in advance to give the flavours time to mingle.

Have a great day

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bowling, Asparagus, Freebie.

Sadly, this was the first day of the Winter League and what happened, I got a stomach upset so we couldn't go. How annoying. Mind you, I'm not even sure we are on a team anyway. I haven't been able to get in touch with anyone to ask.

I opened a jar of my pickled asparagus the other day. Delicious. Then I forgot I had done so and until today I didn't eat any more. Unbelievable. It is really crisp and good, I am very pleased with myself LOL.

Today I got my coupon for a free dessert from Red Lobster. Might go there for lunch Tuesday. Must see if ladydog is free to go with us.

Being a limey, I enjoy lamb so was interested in this dish.

Mediterranean Lamb Casserole

This easy take on Greek comfort food is rich, meaty, and tangy. The strong lamb is balanced by sweet onions and carrots, and rich eggplant that are all set off with the warm spices. Tomatoes and yogurt
give it brightness and the pitas provide texture and toastiness. If you’d like to add a veggie side, try a salad or roasted asparagus or broccoli with lemon zest and olive oil.

2 Tbs olive oil
2 lbs ground lamb
2 cups chopped unpeeled eggplant (from 3/4 lb. eggplant)
1 1/2 cups cups chopped onion (from
1 large [12 oz.] onion)
1 cup chopped carrots (from 2 large [7 oz. total] carrots)
2 Tbs chopped fresh oregano
8 medium garlic cloves, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp.)
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups uncooked basmati rice
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 cups crumbled pita chips (2 1/2 oz.)
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
2 Tbs thinly sliced fresh mint
1 tsp paprika
Lemon wedges

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a 12-inch high sided skillet over medium-high. Add lamb; cook, stirring to crumble, until just browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggplant, onion, and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 7 to 8 minutes. Add oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and cinnamon; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in rice, chickpeas, and yogurt. Transfer mixture to a 13- x 9-inch casserole dish; pour stock over mixture. Cover tightly with foil.

2. Bake in preheated oven until mixture is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove foil; bake an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle with pita chips and feta; continue baking until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with mint and paprika. Serve with lemon wedges.

Servings: 8

Source: My Recipes

Have a great day

Monday, September 9, 2019

Birthday Fundraiser, Birthday Meals,

At Facebook's suggestion, I have started a Birthday Fundraiser for World Wildlife Fund - if you are on Facebook, I would be delighted if you could contribute something to this worthy cause. I thought it was rather a good idea.

When Lisa and Geoffrey were here a few weeks ago, we took them to the Charcoal Steakhouse. I really enjoyed my meal there and thought maybe we would go there again this week. Of course next week I have a free meal at Mandarin and at some point should receive a free dessert from Red Lobster.

I thought this looked like an interesting soup.

Instant Pot Chicken Taco Soup

Serve a bowl of chicken taco soup made in the Instant Pot for a delicious and easy low-carb dinner
made in 30 minutes!

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces
1 10 oz frozen soup mix
3 cups water
2 Tbs taco seasoning
4 6 oz evaporated milk.  Switch out the evaporated milk with heavy cream or half and half.
salt to taste
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend optional

1. Place the cut boneless chicken thighs into the inner liner of your Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker.

2. Add frozen soup blend (frozen veggies), water, and taco seasoning.

3. Close the lid and turn the knob to Sealing. Set at high pressure for 10 minutes.

4. At the end of the cooking cycle, allow the pot to rest undisturbed for 10 minutes. Then release all remaining pressure.

5. Stir in the evaporated milk (or milk substitute). Add cheese if using and stir.

6. Taste and add salt if needed before serving.

Source: Two Sleevers

Author Notes
Taste the soup after you’ve added everything including the milk, and then you can add salt if needed

Have a great day

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Saturday Recipe

Would you believe I totally forgot about writing a blog yesterday. Until ladydog asked me about it I never thought about it once.

I'm not sure if I posted this recipe before, but Kevin Lynch of Closet Cooking posted it today and I thought I would like to try it in the near future. If you don't have mirin, and I don't, you can use sweetened white wine. Follow the link. This takes about 20 minutes to prepare.

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

A Japanese style rice bowl with tender chicken and egg in a sweet and savoury onion broth!

Red decoration is beni shoga Japanese pickled  red ginger

1 Tbs oil
4 chicken thighs, skin-on and boneless
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups dashi or chicken broth
2 onions, sliced
4 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
4 Tbs mirin 
4 tsp sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups cooked short grain rice
2 green onions, sliced

1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper, skin side down, and cook until the skin is browned and crispy, flip and cook the other side before setting aside.

2. Add the broth, onions, soy sauce, mirin and sugar sugar to the pan and simmer until the onions are tender.

3. Pour the eggs over the onions and broth, top with the chicken, and let sit until the eggs are just cooked, about 1-2 minutes.

4. divide the rice between four bowls, top with the chicken and egg mixture and sprinkle on the green onions before enjoying!

Tips: Add some extras like sliced shiitake mushrooms!

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking

Have a great weekend

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Instapot Again, Hurricanes,

I decided to make the Tuscan Shrimp and White Bean Salad which I posted yesterday. Only thing was, I forgot to take the shrimp out so I could defrost it and cook it. Googled and then cooked the frozen shrimp in  my Instant Pot for one minute. They came out absolutely perfect, better than if I had done it in a saucepan. I was delighted. If you haven't bought one, you really should they are marvellous. The final result of the recipe, with a few tweaks from me, was a delicious meal. I changed the dressing to a regular vinaigrette which, in my opinion, tasted a lot better than the recipe.

Just been watching a programme about super hurricanes in 2017. Must admit, I don't really remember Harvey, Irma and Marie. But they certainly caused some damage. Mind you, we humans are totally stupid to have built on coastlines and islands the way we have. A lot of places we have destroyed the natural protections such as mangrove swamps which acted as a barrier. The global warming is a lot of our fault too which doesn't help. Of course exploding volcanoes adds to the problem as well. Hurricane Dorian seems to be another such storm and I am so very glad we no longer live in North Carolina. We did a lot of running in the 12 years we lived there. We have friends who still live there so I wish them all the best in the next few days.

I thought this was such a good idea for a Pot Pie.

Skillet Chicken-and-Mushroom Potpie

Grace Parisi proves that making potpie doesn't have to take a long time with this one-skillet version,
prepared with store-bought rotisserie chicken and—her stroke of brilliance—buttered white bread in place of the usual labor-intensive puff pastry crust.   

4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 Tbs Madeira
2 cups whole milk
3 cups shredded chicken (from a rotisserie chicken)
1/2 cup frozen baby peas
8 1-inch-thick slices of bakery white country bread (about 1 pound), crusts removed

1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large ovenproof nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion, mushrooms and carrots and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring once, until the vegetables are just softened, about 1 minute. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock and Madeira and cook, stirring, until blended. Add the milk and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in the chicken and peas and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

2. Arrange the bread over the chicken mixture, trimming it to fit snugly in a single layer. Brush the bread with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the bread is golden. Serve right away

Servings: 6

Author: Grace Parisi
Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Grapefruit, Shopping,

Interesting that I was concerned about grapefruit and drugs yesterday and Denise discovered, by Googling, that you have to have a lot of grapefruit for it to do any real harm.

We did our shopping again today and by the time Matt had pushed the buggy upstairs we were both knackered and so I have asked the Community Service people to resume our shopping trips. $15 is very expensive but these days it's the way we have to go. The big grouse I have is - I don't need a vehicle to drive me there, just a person to help me bring it upstairs.

This is a recipe I picked up today from World Wide Recipes and thought it sounded good. Plus pretty simple to make. I've always got cans of white beans and I certainly have shrimp in my freezer. Actually I think the tails have been left on in the picture. However, the Chef at WW Recipes is one of the few who agrees that tails should not be left on. They are, in my opinion, just a nuisance.

Tuscan Shrimp and White Bean Salad

1 lb (450 g) frozen cooked shrimp, thawed and tails removed
1 15-oz (425 g) can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup (250 ml) cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup (125 ml) diced red onion
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs (30 ml) red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, passed through a garlic press
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Salad greens for garnish

1. Combine the shrimp, beans, tomatoes, and onion in a mixing bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper and pour over the shrimp mixture. Toss gently to combine and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve on a bed of salad greens.

Servings: 4

Source: WW Recipes

Have a great day

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Labour Day, Sirloin Steak,

Not much happening round here today although this evening we have fireworks again. Unusual to have fireworks for Labour day.

I don't think I mentioned, but when I went with ladydog to Victoria St. Market I bought another sirloin steak which I cooked for Saturday night. I was quite pleased that it fed Matt and I for three nights, had a bit extra tonight. Obviously I added different sides each night. When it was hot I added garlic butter which was good. Pretty good value for money. I hadn't thought of it before, but I realised they sold thicker sirloin steaks and I could turn that into the London Broil we learned to cook in the States. London Broil is totally different here - never tried it, seems to be a cut of beef rolled and stuffed. Not what we think of as London Broil at all. If and when I get some more sirloin steak I will post the recipe. Think I  may have done so years ago, not sure.

I thought I would like this recipe but on copying it I realised it has grapefruit juice which is a no-no for both Matt and I. Double checking I am not sure that still applies, will check with my pharmacist. They talk about bubbly drinks too, I guess my Sunday fizz would be a good match.

Rice-Noodle Salad with Chicken and Herbs

Bubbly drinks in all their forms, from sparkling wine to fizzy ginger beer, inspire an effervescent
bubble party. Pair them with a cool Vietnamese-style noodle salad tossed in a bright (and fat-free) citrus dressing.

1/2 lb dried rice noodles, about 1/4 inch wide
3/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 cup plus
1 Tbs asian fish sauce
1/2 lb cabbage, finely shredded (4 cups)
3 large scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 lb cooked chicken, cut into long strips
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped mint
Sriracha, for serving

1. In a bowl, cover the noodles with cold water and let stand until pliable, 25 minutes. Drain. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring, until al dente, 1 minute. Drain the noodles in a colander and return them to the pan. Fill the saucepan with cold water and swish the noodles around. Drain and swish the noodles 2 more times. Drain the noodles in the colander, lifting and tossing, until dry.

2. In a small bowl, stir the grapefruit juice with the garlic, sugar and fish sauce until the sugar is dissolved.

3. In a large bowl, toss the rice noodles with the shredded cabbage and scallions. Add the dressing and toss well. Add the chicken, cilantro and mint and toss. Serve right away, passing Sriracha sauce at the table.

Yield: 4 to 6

Make Ahead: The dressing can be refrigerated overnight.

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day