Friday, January 31, 2020

Doctor, Visitor, Lunch,

Managed to persuade the doctor's office to get the doc to call us and give us the rundown on Matt's ultrasound and X ray. That saved us the pain and drag of going to their office. Nobody phoned yet though. Now it is bedtime and still nobody phone, guess I may have screwed that all up right royally, but taking Matt such a distance in the first place and then waiting, as one does, to see the doctor, makes him get very agitated. I have to take him for blood work in the morning, maybe I will have time to phone them  before we go out to lunch with ladydog.

Margaret, the Social Worker, called again this morning. Not sure why, just checking up on us or something. I remembered to ask her where she was from, Ghana was the answer. Nice woman. Still having a little trouble understanding her. Says she will phone me in a couple of weeks.

A I mentioned, we have planned, ladydog and I, to take Matt to the Red Lobster tomorrow for a birthday lunch. He received his free dessert coupon this morning. Chocolate Wave Cake in the offing once again.

I thought this might be a meal worth trying. I have an idea they could be adapted to be cooked in the air fryer, not studied it closely yet.

Loaded Cauliflower Bowls

Enjoy these comforting roasted cauliflower bowls topped with cheese, bacon, scallions and sour
cream on their own, or add grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a full meal

6 cups small cauliflower florets
1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
½ tsp ground pepper, divided
¼ tsp salt
2 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
4 Tbs sour cream
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425° F.

2. Toss cauliflower and oil together in a large bowl. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet; roast until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Return to the bowl and stir in 1/2 cup Cheddar, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, salt and half the scallions. Divide the cauliflower mixture among 4 bowls, then top each with sour cream, bacon and the remaining cheese, scallions and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Servings: 4

Source: EatingWell

Have a great day

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

I Was Right, Busy Day Again, Doctor's, Car Service,

I knew it wasn't me. Having tried four different browsers to get on to the grocery web site on Tuesday, and then the IT people having agreed to look into it, I was talking to the manager of the PC Express (the bunch who shop for customers) and she couldn't get in either. However, tried at about 4 in the afternoon and lo and behold, there was the web site and it recognised me and still had my "most purchased" items listed. I get a tad annoyed when people in IT departments treat me like an idiot and/or novice. They do tend to talk down to one and especially when they find our I'm as old as the hills.

So this morning our cleaner came and I toddled off to get my grocery order which had been posted by their IT department. Spent time phoning to add the missing items which I hadn't been able to add before. Anyway, got back and slowly put them away. Not sure that isn't the worst part. Had my lunch and then went down to exercise classes. Only managing one a week at the moment. However, hopefully we will be getting an instructor for a few weeks, ostensibly for me but actually for Matt. The deceptions one has to practice. After class we went to get our ears lowered once again, seems only five minutes since we were there, however, we both needed it. Stopped at the liquor store on the way back, I was out of bubbly, serious that.

I phoned the doctor's office and asked if I could save us a trip (about 45 mins) and find out the results of the tests over the phone. Not heard back, but a) it's a long way and b) Matt gets antsy about the long drive and then sitting for ever in the waiting room and c) he won't understand any of it when we do see the doctor. I thought of going on my own, if I have to, but then I don't want to leave Matt that long and be so far away.

Finally I remembered to re-book a service appointment for the car. Did it around Christmas and had to cancel, there's always somebody coming here or we are going there. Couldn't go until Feb 13, this is ridiculous. But just don't have time to wait whilst they do a service. Doesn't take that long but... at least it's free. Meineke award you points and after my tire episode last year I have lots of points at the moment. Mind you, I always enjoy "hanging out" with Bob, the manager, he is a really nice and fun guy.

I am sure this recipe can be adapted for the Instant Pot, but for now I give you the original as emailed to me.

Chinese Chicken Curry

Placing the chicken breasts in the freezer for 10 minutes makes them much easier to slice.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbs vegetable oil
4 scallions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh red hot chile pepper, minced
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbs Madras curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 13 1/2-ounce can coconut milk, well shaken
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 cup bamboo shoots
2 Tbs coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
Steamed white rice, for serving

1. In a medium bowl toss the chicken with the soy sauce and cornstarch until it is evenly coated. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over moderately high heat. Add the scallions, garlic, chile pepper and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the curry powder, cumin, coriander and turmeric and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Heat the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over moderately high heat. Add the chicken pieces, stirring to separate them, and stir-fry 5 to 8 minutes, until they are no longer pink.

5. Carefully pour the curry sauce over the chicken and bring it to a simmer. When the chicken is cooked through completely, add the peas and bamboo shoots and simmer just until heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

6. Serve the chicken curry over steamed white rice.

Servings: 4
Yield: : 4 to 6

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Jinx, Snow Bunting; Birds and Boats, Web Site,

The fates have got it in for me, or maybe it's Mercury Retrograde, never thought of that. Tuesday morning I wanted to access my grocery order and couldn't get into their website. I needed to add a couple of items and then post it for Wednesday morning. I phoned their IT department who said they thought it was an internet problem, phoned my ISP and they couldn't find anything wrong so I went back to the store IT having tried two more browsers (I have Chrome) that is Internet Explorer and Edge. I later tried it on my tablet which used Silk, and  none of them could get into the website. In the end they posted my order for me and said they would send the problem to their technical department and so forth and so on. I then decided to delete Internet Explorer but need special permissions to do so, on my own computer if you please, and although I followed instructions, couldn't seem to change the permissions. For now I have given up and decided to moan about it all here. It really isn't  my day.

Well, I shouldn't say that. Went to see the urologist. Forgotten, got the car and then needed to go to the bathroom really badly. Had to dash up to our apartment. This then made me late for my apartment, so I was harassed once again! Not to mention that my legs were on fire. However, I was careful to drive properly and not put my foot down. Also I discovered my cell phone was almost out of battery. Gotot to the doctor, had a urine test and everything was alright - have to see him in a year. In fact I will see him in a couple of weeks, but for Matt, not me.

It must be Mercury Retrograde. Just remembered I had an email from ladydog this morning and she says she has snapped something in her knee at the gym and it hurts, I bet it does. Nope, just checked, Mercury Retrograde isn't until Feb 17. So if it's this bad now what on earth will happen then.

Today, David Gascoigne in his blog Travels with Birds talked about Snow Buntings. I had never seen a Snow Bunting, but it reminded me of long ago a friend of my parents had a boat named Snow Bunting. She was the bearer of a plaque stating she had been one of the many little private boats which had set sail to Dunkirk to help rescue the beleaguered troops on the beach there. A memorable memoriam to a cute little bird. What, I wonder, was an English boat doing being called by the name of a North American bird. Odd how these things happen. Had to have been a pretty old boat because Dunkirk was in the early days of World War II. The plaque went to the boat, not to the people who sailed her. I wonder if the owners got any recognition at all.

My grocery store web site is still not up. I hope I have everything covered that I need. If I think of anything I will have to phone them early in the morning.

I'm a sucker for any shrimp dish and this one sounds really good. However, I would have to peel the shrimp as Matt would never be bothered - even in his better days. One could perhaps wrap them in cheese cloth to get the flavour in the oil although I once tried boiling shrimp shells and didn't think the liquid tasted of much at all.

Peruvian Shrimp-and-Corn Chowder

In Peru, small streams wend their way from the mountains to the coast, and the delicious shrimp that
fill them are cooked with local corn, squash, and potatoes to make this South American chowder called cupe. Don't peel the shrimp before cooking them in Step 1: The shells will flavor the cooking oil, which in turn will flavor the soup. the corn is traditionally left on the cob, but if the prospect of eating it this way (it is messy) bothers you, use two cups of kernels instead

3 Tbs cooking oil
1 lb unpeeled medium shrimp
3 tsp salt
1 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
dash Tabasco sauce
1 small butternut squash (about
1 1/2 pounds), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 small head green cabbage (about 1 1/4 pounds), chopped (about 1 quart)
1 lb baking potatoes (about 2), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
4 ears of corn, halved
2 quarts water
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen peas (optional)

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the shrimp and 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are pink and firm, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. When the shrimp are cool enough to handle, peel them and set aside.

2. Add the onion, cayenne, paprika, cumin, and another teaspoon of the salt to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the Tabasco, squash, cabbage, potatoes, corn, and water to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Add the cream and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the peeled shrimp, the remaining teaspoon of salt, and the peas, if using. Cook until the shrimp are just heated through, about 2 minutes.

Servings: 4

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Monday, Bowling, Car troubles, Shopping,

Another busy day. The morning I spent phoning, specifically my ISP because they charged me twice. They said they couldn't refund it, the bank said they couldn't stop payment an so on and so on. Also had to phone the bakery to ensure they had my favourite buns which I ran out of.  Plus the pharmacy about my pills then the cardiologist about the same pills. Then I had some lunch and Matt and I headed to the bowling alley. At least that was comparatively less frazzling and I bowled very well for me, 170, 154, 175 and my average went up 2 points. We had a new guy join our team as Matt isn't bowling at the moment. He was another limey from Somerset. Hadn't bowled in 30 years. Matt sat in the same chair and never moved the whole time and then complained about the chair. Told him he should have got up and moved around. Says he is not coming again much as he enjoyed watching me bowl well. Don't blame him, he looked bored to tears. One friend gives us Lindt truffles every week, we were given six, I got one. Matt scoffed the lot. Probably just as well, he can afford it.

When we  left, one of the members of our team helped Matt out to the car and noticed one of our front tires was pretty soft. He told me to go straight to the garage which was virtually next door. I did as he said, I wanted gas anyway. Whilst I was pumping gas he turned up and told me where the air was. Drove over there but turned out it was out of order. So decided I needed to go to another garage on the way home. I was a tad teed off because I had bought gas in the first garage but was going to our regular garage to use their air. They give points the same as the grocery store. Anyway, got there and couldn't see their air pump so went in to ask and requested help at the same time. A young man came out and first I had to pay $1.50 for the air (I thought air was free!!) then he did all our tires. The front one was very low on air, need to keep a particular eye on it. Too used to Matt keeping an eye on the tires anyway, not any more.

Then went to a local pharmacy for cough mixture, still need it but not as much, then next door to get my buns then finally got home. Phew. Getting to the door of the garage, a woman who's husband also had a walker, opened the door for us (keyed entry from garage to building) and I let them go ahead with the elevator as no way we could get three walkers in there. I was exhausted by the time we got home and was very glad I had supper ready.

I thought I would post a cartoon of me feeling harassed. All I could find was Sexual Harassment or Teenage Harassment. Oh well, I certainly felt harassed today, by circumstances rather than people.

Maybe I should stop reading cooking tips. Having heard how very good mussels are for one, full of the right kind of vitamins etc. I spotted a recipe I liked. However, I have also read that olive oil should never be used for frying but basically for flavouring. Whatever, I give you this recipe which I personally would follow to the T. I know I can buy mussels at Victoria St. Market but whether they are clean farmed or not, I will have to enquire. I wish I knew where Mandarin gets their mussels, they are huge and delicious.

Steamed Mussels with Tomato-and-Garlic Broth

Mussels have three things going for them: They're cheap, quick to cook, and delicious. Using clean
farmed mussels negates their one big drawback—the tedious chore of scrubbing and debearding.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
2 cups drained canned tomatoes in thick purée, chopped (from one 28-ounce can)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried red-pepper flakes
4 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/8 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
Salt, if needed
Garlic Toast (optional)

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, tomatoes, thyme, and red-pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Discard any mussels that have broken shells or that don't clamp shut when tapped. Add the mussels to the pot. Cover; bring to a boil. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, just until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Remove the open mussels. Continue to boil, uncovering the pot as necessary to remove the mussels as soon as their shells open. Discard any that do not open.

3. Stir the black pepper into the broth. Taste the broth and, if needed, add salt. Ladle the broth over the mussels and serve with the garlic toast.

Servings: 4

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Monday, January 27, 2020

Cough, Cooking,

I'm pleased to say that having gone to bed so very early on Friday night and haven woken occasionally managed to dose myself all night with cough mixture, I awoke feeling a lot better and not coughing nearly as much. I was concerned because it felt like bronchitis which I haven't had for years, not since I gave up smoking. When I was a smoker, I got bronchitis every winter. Must be going on 30 years since I quit and I am so glad I did although funnily enough, I occasionally think I would like a cigarette which is odd after all these years. Passes off quickly though.

When we were at Victoria St. Market ladydog bought some potatoes stuffed with cheese. I thought they looked good and bought some too. However, I didn't think til later, were they already part cooked or what. Saturday morning I phoned  the store and was told "no, they weren't part cooked and
to put them in a 350°F oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I had already emailed ladydog and she said she had cooked hers for a 1/2 hour in a 400°F oven and then 3 minutes in the microwave. We shall see tonight, Saturday. Of course, by the time you read this, it will be all over and done with. As  I said the other day, I also bought a London Broil, Canadian style. Not the same thing that we called London Broil when we lived in NC. They are stuffed and I just read a recipe which recommends broiling the meat on both sides for 7-9 mins and then cooking in the oven for about 25 mins. One is certainly enough for two people. Mind you, these days, Matt seems to find all beef tough!! After supper - I didn't really think much of the potato or the Canadian style London Broil. Disappointing. Funny, their meat is excellent and their desserts also, but this is the second time I have bought a pre-made meat dish and it will be the last.

I just read an excellent tip. If you are pressed for time and need meatballs, take the casing off sausages and roll the meat into balls. The filling is already well seasoned. Of course that's always assuming you keep sausages.

This recipe appealed because it is good for you, requires no cooking and only has three ingredients.


3 Ingredient Healthy Energy Bars – these delicious energy bars are simple to make, require no
cooking and no fuss. Just pulse, refrigerate and enjoy.

1 cup peanuts
1 cup dates pitted
1 cup dried apricots

1. Place the nuts, dates and apricots in a food processor. Pulse a few times just to break them up. Separate the dates if they start to clump together.

2. Scrape the edges of the bowl as needed and continue processing for another 1-2 minutes, until the ingredients clump together and gather into a ball.

3. Lay a piece of parchment paper on your work surface about the size of a baking sheet. Press the dough with your hands until it forms a thick square, roughly 8? x 8? in size. I found it easy to roll it with a rolling pin to get it nice and smooth. Wrap it with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour or overnight.

4. Unwrap the chilled power bar dough and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 8 large bars or 16 small squares, as desired. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap or wax paper.

Servings: 16

Source: Jo Cooks
Joanne Cismaru

Have a great day

Saturday, January 25, 2020


Very little happening this morning until ladydog and Zoey turned up. Matt perked up amazingly and proceeded to feed her. We stopped him to eat lunch which was good. I have started having the Ciabatta buns from Subway and they are very good. After a chat and a cup of coffee ladydog and I went to Victoria St. Market, not a good idea. She bought things and I thought, that looks good, so promptly bought the same. Once again, the most expensive bananas anywhere. I also bought a London Broil, not the same thing as London Broil in NC, but a piece of beef rolled and stuffed. I also bought some ostrich thighs (well I don't believe they are chicken) two lots of shrimp one in coconut can't remember what the other was. Two desserts, one because ladydog did and I thought they looked good!! Oh, and some bananas!!!

I've been coughing myself stupid since last night and righr now all I want to do is go to bed, so that's where I am going.


Have a great day

Friday, January 24, 2020

Time, Father Dragon, Ultra sound, Zoey and Boney,

A friend recommended I listen to this piece of music. I was impressed with it. Such a powerful sound and evocative of so  many things.

A very powerful sound. The pictures are good too. This came about because Father Dragon has risen again, do you remember his blogs? These are pictures of Father Dragon's Caves

Re Matt's ultra sound etc. he is booked to see the doc next week so we will then find out, hopefully, what is wrong and whether anything can be done.

Today, Friday, Zoey is coming to see us and bringing lunch too. Clever dog. She is bringing ladydog with her as well. Zoey certainly works as a therapy dog. Matt particularly loves to see her. There is a chance we may get to see Boney in the spring which will be fun. Of course seeing his owners will be more fun.

I saw this recipe and couldn't resist. I love crèpes although I am not sure about bought ones. I bought some once before and Matt wasn't keen. Mind you they are sweet and for this recipe it wouldn't matter. Also, once again, bought lemon curd? It is pretty easy to make your own and it is so delicious. However, buying these ingredients does make it simpler to make.

Lemony Crêpe Casserole

Reminiscent of a classic bread pudding, this sweet-tart crêpe casserole has a beautiful lacy top and
tender-but-sliceable center.

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup store-bought lemon curd
1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
24 (10-inch) store-bought crêpes
1 medium Meyer lemon, very thinly sliced and seeded
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbs powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, lemon curd, and 1/8 teaspoon salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

2. Grease a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with butter. Arrange 1 crêpe on a work surface. Using a small offset spatula, spread 1 1/2 tablespoons cream cheese mixture evenly over crêpe, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold crêpe in half, and then fold in half again. Place folded crêpe in prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining crêpes and remaining cream cheese mixture, overlapping folded crêpes in baking dish. Bake in preheated oven until crêpes are heated through and edges are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low. Add lemon slices, sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lemon peel is softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in maple syrup, and remove from heat. Spoon lemon sauce over casserole. Dust with powdered sugar, and serve.

Servings: 8

Author: Justin Chapple
Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Ultra Sound, X-ray, Words for Wednesday, Cooking.

At the sound of the alarm, I crawled reluctantly out of bed. I use my CPAP machine's alarm, most expensive alarm I have ever had, never use it for it's proper purpose any more. Anyway, 6 a.m. is far too early for me. I went to get the car and met Matt at the front door. I had told him to bring his walker - it is way easier to fold and put in the trunk than mine is. No wonder his type is so much more expensive. I'm glad the government paid for it though.

I hadn't registered before that it would be dark. These days, I hate driving in the dark and certainly don't do it from choice any more. Especially if it's raining. All the cars seemed to have their headlights on high beam and I felt blind half the time. There was one accident which I could hardly see until cars were coming towards me on the lane I was using. Scary to say the least.

They took Matt in for an ultra sound and the young lady who was doing the job was Asiatic, not sure if she was Chinese or Japanese. Anyway, I didn't think Matt would understand her but luckily he seemed to be able to. She told us he was having an X-ray too. Didn't know that. So he had to move down the corridor and remove his pants and shoes. He said the seat in the change room was extremely hard. I was sitting on his wheelie (walker) which wasn't terribly comfortable either. In the end I walked round the corner where I found some chairs. I waited there whilst he was X-rayed. Eventually it was all over and we headed home. By this time it was light, thank goodness. Matt's breakfast was ready, he likes his cereal well soaked in milk, but I had to cook mine.

Shortly after, I went online and did my Words for Wednesday which is a fun thing to do. It is hosted by Sue at Elephant's Child and I was referred there by Mark Koopmans. One gets a list of words and the idea is to write a poem or a story or something  using as many of the words from the list as you can. I think I left out three, or maybe four, this morning.

After lunch, I threw the chicken thighs I had been defrosting, into a marinade and plan to make French Garlic Chicken in the Instant Pot. It can also be made on the stove top. Click on the Two Sleevers link if you want to try the stove top version.  I then promptly went to sleep for a couple of hours.

French Garlic Chicken

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Servings: 4

Source: TwoSleevers

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

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

Have a great day

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Ultra Sound

Sorry, gotta get up early for the Ultra Sound. Was watching Air Force One, had forgotten what a great movie that was. Well, I thought so, so now I have to skedaddle off to bed.

Have a great day

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Movie, Bowling, Shopping,

We have just watched the newest version of The Lion King, I was absolutely delighted with it. It was so clever. It looked like the real animals acting their parts - I thought it was brilliant. Been wanting to see it for a while and now I have. Way to go Disney, OK, it's an old film re-vamped but, in my opinion, with great success.

I went bowling all on my own today. Matt insists he doesn't need a "babysitter" so I left him alone. He was fine but then as ladydog says, he's fine on his own until he isn't. He has an ultrasound for Wednesday so hopefully with that we will be able to find out what's wrong with his leg(s). Fingers Crossed please. As it turned out, I was the only one on our team today so I joined another couple who were the only two on their team (teams are usually 4, occasionally 5). Bearing in mind that I haven't bowled for 4 weeks, I did pretty well, 156, 172, and then a somewhat lousy 110. It was nice talking to everyone. The woman I was bowling with was from Limey Land too so we have a lot in common. One bowler came up to me and said how much she had been enjoying this blog. Thanks, appreciate it.

After bowling I went and bought the liquor store, I was going to go to Victoria St. Market and get some bananas, but I will be getting my shopping tomorrow so didn't risk more expense. You know what happens when I go there!! Their frozen coconut shrimp have been calling me for a day or two.

I thought this sounded delicious. Guess I need a few more mushrooms. Bet you could do this in the air fryer.

Roasted Mushrooms with Red Wine Butter

Instead of cooking mushrooms in a skillet, chef Geoffrey Zakarian roasts them in the oven until
tender before tossing them in a buttery red wine sauce with garlic and fresh herbs.

3 lbs mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster and chanterelle, halved if large
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
1 Tbs thyme leaves
1 tsp minced rosemary
1 large shallot, minced
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 cup dry red wine
3 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cubed
Kosher salt Pepper
1/4 cup chopped tarragon
1/4 cup chopped parsley

1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 400°. Heat 2 large rimmed baking sheets in the oven for at least 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms with 3/4 cup of the oil, the thyme and rosemary. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and immediately spread the mushrooms on them in an even layer. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender and browned, stirring halfway through roasting.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.

4. Add the wine and simmer until reduced to a glaze, 3 to 5 minutes. Swirl in the butter and season with salt and pepper.

5. Scrape all the mushrooms onto 1 baking sheet. Add the red wine butter and toss well. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Transfer to a bowl, top with the tarragon and parsley and serve.

Servings: 8

The roasted mushrooms and red wine butter can be refrigerated separately overnight. Reheat the mushrooms gently before tossing and top with the herbs just before serving.

Author: Geoffrey Zakarian
Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Monday, January 20, 2020

Our World, Our Home,TV, Breakfast

For those of you who read my post yesterday, Our World, Our Home, this is the link to the video on YouTube which I thought I was posting yesterday. Not just a prelude. This is David Attenborough actually giving a speech about the movies to come and if you are sufficiently interested, the next one is Prince Charles talking about the same thing in his own way. I didn't realise he was President of WWF in England. Nice to know that someone high up although with not a great deal of power, believes in the problems we are causing for our planet. I joined Netflix today but unfortunately I cannot seem to get it on my TV. Have to get in touch with Toshiba tomorrow to see if I can do it. These days I am somewhat behind on technology. According to the Internet I have a Smart TV, but perhaps it is too smart for me LOL

Just thought I would try a little experiment today. I mentioned that I had taken an idea from Six Sisters to make my own breakfast. First I take a Ramekin and spray it with Pam. A couple of times I forgot and then had to tip it out and start again, washing the Ramekin so I could spray it. Not recommended.

I then add an egg and whisk it well with a little salt. Matt has thinly sliced ham for sandwiches so I take half a slice and tear it into bits and stir it into the whisked egg. Finally I top it all with Habanero Cheese.

I then put it in my air fryer and cook on high for 10 minutes. I experimented with different times but kept getting uncooked eggs. 10 minutes seems to be just about right. I then lift the Ramekin out of the Air Fryer with tongs. It will be extremely hot and untouchable for a while. I use a tea towel to hold the Ramekin when I tip it out onto my plate.

Occasionally the middle comes out with nice runny cheese but otherwise I would call it a cakey type of texture. Very enjoyable. You can, of course, add other things, I tried dry English mustard the other day. Not sure about bacon, you would probably have to cook it first. I will have to try it.

Have a great day

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Our World, Our Home

This is exceptionally important and if you are reading this I hope you will pass it on in any way you can to whomever you can.

I am not a subscriber to Netflix but plan to become so in time to see the programmes they are talking about.

Make a great world.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Social Worker, Supper, Saturday Recipe

The social worker, Margaret, came this morning and was a very nice woman. Her family had lived in Newcastle in the UK for a number of years. Her son was born there which makes him a Geordie. Just as well he wasn't brought up there or nobody would be able to understand him. Most of the British cannot understand them. My first husband said he worked with a Geordie for two years and still didn't know what he was talking about. Matt's dad was from that area where they too have a strong regional accent. He had lived down south long enough to lose it in every day speech but could put it on when he wanted to fool you. Margaret herself is, I assume, from the Caribbean Islands, I forgot to ask her. Her knowledge of English was perfect, unfortunately her pronunciation was not. Anyway, after chatting for an hour, it basically seems we slip through the cracks. If Matt needed help with showering, we could get someone in who would also help me with things I need, but he doesn't so we are out of luck. However, when she left, she took my recycling bags down for me and then brought the bags back before she left. Really nice of her. She is coming back again in two weeks.

Seems like we are getting that snow storm tomorrow morning with up to 15 cm (almost 6 inches) of snow likely. Quite a bit for this area.

For supper I had some Butter Chicken Sauce left over, so I sauteed some shrimp and snow peas and then poured in the warm sauce. Served over rice, delicious. If you haven't got an Instant Pot yet, you should get one, if only for the Butter Chicken recipe.

I never knew Egg Drop Soup was this easy.

Egg Drop Soup

A super quick and easy Chinese style egg drop soup!

4 cups chicken broth or pork bone broth
4 green onions, sliced
1 inch knob ginger, sliced
1 tsp white peppercorns
2 slices bacon or ham (optional)
1 dried shiitake mushroom (optional)
salt to taste (or soy sauce)
2 Tbs corn starch mixed into 2 tablespoon water
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced (optional)

1. Bring the broth, the whites of the green onions, ginger, peppercorns, bacon, and mushroom to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, before straining out the solids and seasoning with salt to taste.

2. Mix the cornstarch and water mixture into the simmering broth until it thickens, about a minute.

3. Swirl the broth in the pot and while it is still swirling, pour a thin stream of the eggs into the broth until it has all been added.

4. Remove from heat, add the sesame oil, the greens of the green onions, and the mushrooms and enjoy!

Servings: 4

Option: Add 2 tablespoons white miso paste!

Tip: Do step one the day before to save time when serving it.

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking

Have a great weekend.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Thursday, Parcels,

Today has actually been a quiet day with nobody calling much other than the LHIN woman who came the other day, to give me an update on progress. However, Matt has slept most of it. He seems to have been somewhat confused most of the day, when he was awake that is, but by supper time he was somewhat better. Bit of a confusing day for me too.

All kinds of parcels arrived today as well, the Pirouline Wafers which I ordered and shouldn't have, the bag of 16 bean soup, and the DVD of Kismet. When I saw it the other day on TCM I couldn't resist sending for it. Odd actually, the items from Amazon were left at my door, remember, we live in an apartment building, I am not sure how they got in (or who let them in more like) but I was somewhat surprised that two parcels, arriving at separate times, were left at our door. I don't mind that, but I am concerned someone let these people in.

So, not a lot to talk about today, sorry, the Social Worker comes at 10:30 today and then later, of course, I have exercise class.

Looking for a recipe, I came across Baked Custard which I haven't made in years and have always enjoyed. Decided I should make it again. They used to serve it in the local hospital where we lived in the UK and I remember a friend was in hospital and I used to eat her custard because she didn't like it.

Baked Custard

3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
2 1/2 cups very warm milk (120°F to 130°F)
Ground nutmeg

1. Heat oven to 350°F.

2. In medium bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt with wire whisk or fork. Gradually stir in milk. Pour into six 6-ounce custard cups. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

3. Place cups in 13x9-inch pan on oven rack. Pour very hot water into pan to within 1/2 inch of tops of cups (see box, below).

4. Bake about 45 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Remove cups from water. Cool about 30 minutes. Unmold and serve warm, or refrigerate and unmold before serving. Store covered in refrigerator.

Servings: 6

Source: Betty Crocker

Have a great day

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Shopping, Social Worker, Supper,

This morning I went out to collect my groceries so that our cleaner could bring them upstairs for me. Half way to the store I realised I  had left my cell phone on my desk. Duuuh. When I got to the store, I went to the PC Express desk and luckily one of the staff was there, they aren't always because they are upstairs "picking" orders. I asked if I could use their phone to call home and arranged for our cleaner to meet me in the garage in 15 minutes. Actually worked perfectly. Unpacking I realised I only had one portion of fresh salmon and that I had ordered lentil soup mix instead of a 13 bean mix which they don't have - I have now discovered. So in the afternoon I went back got a refund and some more salmon. Then I went to Victoria St. Market. I particularly wanted sausages. So first I went and picked up some of their fresh cole slaw, so far so good, then I got a dozen Italian sausages, that was OK. Decided I wanted some flank steak too - disaster. I asked the butcher for a flank steak and for him to cut it in half and wrap it separately. I was looking around whilst he was working. He handed me two parcels and I headed to the checkout. That's when I realised, he had given me two whole flank steaks, not one cut in half. However, I decided to got with it. More money than I had anticipated spending, but.. not like I wouldn't use them. When I got home I cut them in half and then froze them all. I have a good recipe for the Instant Pot that I like to do with flank steak.

I had a call from a Social Worker and she is coming to see me/us on Friday to discuss what she can offer me. I am a tad concerned as I had difficulty understanding her on the phone, I couldn't quite place her accent. Certainly wasn't Canadian. Hopefully, face to face, I will be able to understand her.

Having bought sausages, I cooked some in the Instant Pot for supper, one of my favourite dishes with bell peppers. I need to be careful as I am cooking Butter Chicken and Sausage and Peppers a lot, it will get boring if I do it too often. I do so love using my Instant Pot.

My mother used to make fish cakes for breakfast when I was a young 'un so when I saw this recipe for Salmon Patties I thought it sounded good. Can be eaten for any meal of course. I think my mother used cod which used to be pretty inexpensive in those days.


1 lb skinless salmon fillet, cut into chunks
1 egg yolk
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
3 dashes cayenne pepper
1 Tbs chopped parsley
1 1/2 Tbs cooking oil
lemon wedges
sweet chili sauce, for dipping

In a food processor, add the salmon, egg yolk, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Blend for 10 seconds or until all ingredients are well combined. DO NOT over blend. Transfer the salmon mixture into a bowl and mix well with the chopped parsley.

Wet both hands with water and shape the salmon mixture into 8 balls. Flatten into patties.

Heat up a skillet with the cooking oil on medium heat. Transfer the salmon patties onto the skillet. Cook 1 minute on each side, uninterrupted, or until the salmon patties are just cooked through. Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm with lemon wedges and sweet chili sauce.

Yield: 8

Author: BEE

Have a great day

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Ultrasound, Mandarin, LHIN, Indigestion, GOAT,

I am gobsmacked, I have an appointment for Matt to have an ultrasound at 7:30 a.m., I normally get up somewhere between 7 and 8, I am not usually running around town at that time. Horrors. Luckily it isn't far away, but, just the same, 7:30. Shudder. It's not til the 22nd either. Guess they must be extremely busy.

Matt decided he definitely didn't want to go out to lunch, so I made his and then went to Mandarin to meet our friends on my own. It's Chinese New Year's so I stuffed myself on dumplings which I came to regret. Enjoyed my lunch though and it was good to see our friends. Boy was the place crowded though. They had trouble keeping the food going, every time we went out there were empty dishes. Not that we really went short of anything.

Got home and eventually ladydog arrived. She was there as kind of support when the Care Coordinator from LHIN came to see us. Her primary job was to do an assessment on Matt. I thought that had been done before, but I suppose it hadn't. Boy did it ever take a long time. We also asked her about getting a doctor in  the town where I live instead of about 40 minutes away. Nothing wrong with our current doctor except distance. ladydog also brought up the topic of Long Term Care homes etc. plus we also discussed what would/could happen it I go in for a hip replacement. I now have a sheaf of literature to read and lots of time to do it in. I suppose I could stop writing this blog and learning my Spanish!!! Anyway, the young lady left about 4:15 and ladydog left shortly after.

Before they left I had developed a chest pain which I initially assumed to be indigestion (see Mandarin and dumplings) I took a pill but nothing seemed to happen so I ended up taking my blood pressure which was pretty high. To be on the safe side, I called the ambulance. Think those guys had better move in here with the pair of us. The took a picture of my heart and my BP several times (forgot I had been told to chew aspirin). Whilst they were doing all this the pain did ease slightly and they said they didn't think I was having a heart attack but without my having blood tests they couldn't give me a definitive answer. Anyway, decided not to go in to hospital and apologised to them. They said better I called them than the alternative. They had a  learner with them too. She was doing pretty well. I told them I was now going to have a drink and they said, good thing, thin the blood down a bit LOL.

So, had a drink and reheated the Butter Chicken from last night. We then sat down, latish, to watch TV and of course Jeopardy G.O.A.T. It was actually pretty funny. However, I checked the Guide and was disappointed to see that it didn't continue tomorrow or even later so knew Ken Jennings was going to win. In a way I was disappointed as I wanted James Holzhauer to win, but as Alex pointed out it wouldn't make any difference to their status, Brad had won the most money ever on Jeopardy, Ken had won the most regular games, 74, and James had broken lots of Jeopardy records. However, I was sorry for Brad in that he didn't do too well at all. Mind you he still won $250,000. So, boo hoo, it's all over. The camaraderie between them was fun to watch, especially between James and Ken.

You couldn't have a much simpler recipe than this. And yes, I do have gochujang.

Tofu and Kimchi Stew

If gochujang hasn’t made it to your pantry yet, this stew recipe would also work with virtually any

1 Tbs vegetable oil
6 scallions, white and pale-green parts chopped, dark-green parts reserved
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 Tbs gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
3 Tbs soy sauce
1 small daikon, peeled, sliced
½ cup kimchi
¼ block firm silken tofu

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high. Cook white and pale-green parts of scallions, garlic, and ginger, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add broth, then whisk in gochujang and soy sauce. Add daikon and gently simmer until daikon is tender, 15–20 minutes.

2. Add kimchi and tofu. Simmer until tofu is heated through. Carefully divide among bowls. Thinly slice reserved scallion tops and scatter over.

Servings: 4

Author: Alex Lau
Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Touch, TV, Matt,

I had recently been thinking what an incredible thing the hand is. I sit in my shower and I have a dish with soap and a face cloth sitting on the edge of the bath, behind the curtain. I then feel with my hand for the item I want and it can tell me whether I am touching the soap, the dish, the face cloth or even the shampoo and conditioner which are in the same place. It really is quite incredible. So then, Sunday night, there was a very interesting programme about the sense of touch and all the work being done with prosthetics to try and emulate the original thing as close as possible. They have made some incredible strides with computerised prosthetics. It is a programme I would recommend if you happen to come across it. Human + was the name of the programme and I think the sense of touch was one segment of a series. I had never thought of the whole of one's skin as being sensitive to touch, one is so busy accepting what it does that you never think about it. They interviewed a woman, one of two in the world, who has no sense of touch whatsoever. To her, that is normal, but to scientists, doctors and me, it is an incredible way to live.

I then watched the first episode of Sanditon which is based on an unfinished Jane Austen story. Didn't know there was such a thing. Presumably someone has decided how it should end. I have already decided who is going to marry the protagonist.

Tomorrow G.O.A.T. is on again. Interesting that they have split it up this way. Prolonging the agony no doubt.

Poor Matt has been suffering badly with his legs. One of the Paramedics suggested a reason for the pain, I didn't understand it properly, but he suggested an ultrasound or MRI. Wonder how Matt would take an MRI these days. Anyway, doc is going to book him an ultrasound and we will hopefully see something useful. We didn't go to bowling today (Monday) but he insists I go to Mandarin with friends tomorrow. Then someone from LHIN is coming to chat and ladydog is coming to help remember and ask some questions no doubt.

I just came across a recipe for Vitello Tonnato. Think I posted a recipe for this some time ago. It takes me back to when we lived in England and an Italian friend who owned a great restaurant locally. He was married to an Englishwoman and they had several kids. The last one, Adriana, is my godchild. Gino held a great Christening party and one thing he served was Vitello Tonnato which I loved. I have made it myself, once, but not for a long time. It is unusual but absolutely delicious.

Vitello Tonnato

Classic Italian

2 1/4 pounds(1 k) boned veal, cut from the rump.
3/4 lb (320 g) tuna packed in oil
3 eggs
6 salted anchovies (the canned variety, sold by delicatessens)
A handful of pickled capers
1/2 cup (approx.) olive oil
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
A bottle of dry white wine
The juice of a lemon
A rib of celery, thinly sliced crosswise
A few leaves of sage
2 bay leaves
3 cloves (some people omit these)
A few more perfect capers, some lemon slices, and sprigs of parsley for garnishing

1. Put the meat in a bowl with the bay leaves, cloves, sage and celery, and pour the wine over it. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning the meat occasionally. The next day place the meat in a Dutch oven. Strain the wine and add it to the meat, then add enough water to cover. Lightly salt the pot and simmer the meat for an hour. In the meantime, wash, scale and bone the anchovies. When the hour is up add them to the pot and continue boiling for another half hour; the liquid should be reduced by half.

2. Hard boil the eggs, run them under cold water, peel them, and extract the yolks (you can discard or fill the whites as you prefer). Rinse, squeeze dry, and mince the capers.

3. When the meat is fork-tender remove it from the pot and strain the broth into a bowl. Transfer the fish filets to a clean strainer and press them through it, together with the tuna and the yolks, into another bowl. Stir in the minced capers, the vinegar, the lemon juice and the olive oil, and then dilute the sauce to your taste with some of the reserved broth.

4. When the veal has cooled slice it finely and lay the slices out on one or more platters (you want just one layer). Spread the sauce over the meat, garnish the platters with the lemon slices, capers and parsley. Cover them with plastic wrap and chill them in the refrigerator before serving.

Servings: 8

Author: Kyle Phillips

Have a great day

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Thursday Continued, Hospital, Chinese New Year,

Having got rid of the medical equipment, things settled down and we had supper and watched GOAT and then Matt went to bed at his usual time, 10. I got to bed at 12 and for once in my life I dropped off quickly. Next thing I know Matt is groaning. I can't have been asleep an hour I don't think. Anyway, he was lying in bed in agony with his left hip. He was crying in pain. I sent for an ambulance and they ended up taking him in to the hospital. They gave him some Tylenol. I packed him some clothes etc. and followed on. I had to sit and wait because they hadn't found him a bed. Eventually I saw, through the doors, that they were moving him so next time the doors opened I skidaddled through. By this time the Tylenol (which I had tried to give him earlier) appears to have worked and he wasn't in pain any more. He then started agitating to go home!!! However, as this was the second time we had ended up in hospital because of his leg, I refused. Eventually the doctor came, about 5 I guess, and he decided to get Matt walking with the nurses and if he was OK to send him home, he figured Matt didn't need an X-ray or anything. So I guess we got home around 6.

Whilst in the hospital we were entertained by a girl (sounded like a child but she was in fact 21) screaming at the nurses and constantly using the f word. Saying they didn't know what they were doing because they were stupid!! Five minutes before she had been talking to them in a normal voice. She then started to cry saying she was in terrible pain and the effing nurses did this or didn't do that. Matt even yelled shut up. It was getting on our nerves. It sounded put on. Anyway, they apparently moved her. I said to one of the nurses "do you want me to slap her for you". I would love to have done so, talk about a spoiled kid.

Life isn't dull these days. I just got a phone call (Friday morning) that the care co-ordinator, Nan, was coming in to see me Tuesday afternoon. I will be interested to see what happens. Tuesday lunchtime, by the way, we are going to Mandarin. It's New Year's and therefore they have dumplings. Haven't been there for a while, seems like weeks. Kung Hei Fat Choi. Happy New Year in Chinese. Actually the New Year is on the 25th but Mandarin celebrates it for about a month which means plenty of opportunity for me to stuff myself with dumplings. Just what I need, but I do so enjoy them. We have made the regular pot stickers, but never tried any of the others. I believe the Instant Pot is a very good way of cooking them.

Despite having napped today, I still slept through Jeopardy and subsequent TV programmes so I am too tired to do a recipe for today. Sorry. Matt is the same although he got some sleep last night.

Funny, ladydog visited today with Zoey. During their visit, the plumber came to "snake" our toilets and Zoey would not stop barking at him. Guess she visits so often she thinks she has to protect the place.

Have a great weekend

Friday, January 10, 2020

Cooking Instructions, Sweats, Bad Afternoon, Supper, GOAT

I am sure it will surprise many of you that I have never eaten a waffle. Going through my online order last week I came across Eggo and thought I would try them for breakfast. So this morning I got the box out of the freezer and checked how to cook them. Tells you how to use the toaster or the oven, but not the air fryer. I have been thinking a lot lately that prepared food manufacturers need to "get with it" you never see instructions for air fryer or Instant Pot use even when these are perfectly suitable for preparing the product. For instance, pasta and rice can both be cooked in the Instant Pot, Potatoes can be baked or "fried" in the Air Fryer and so on and so on. I rarely use my conventional oven and I also have a toaster oven which I also rarely use these days. By the way, I enjoyed my Eggo done in the Air Fryer and served with some Black Pepper Goat Cheese.

Funny, there is an article in an email I received (Well Done) which talked about Meat Sweats which apparently some people get when they eat a heavily meaty meal. I had never heard of them, but it reminded me that my father would start to sweat if he ate a very rich cheese. He is the only person I know who did that.

Today (Thursday) turned out to be a very bad day. This afternoon, they delivered a transfer bench for Matt's bath and a rail for his bed. He threw a hissy fit and a sort of temper tantrum and went on and on about it. I was trying to stuff peppers at the time. In the end I really lost it and the results were most unpleasant. Eventually we calmed down a bit and I called everyone I could think of to get the stuff taken away. In the end I spoke to the Occupational Therapist who said she would come after her personal appointment, i.e. in her own time. She came and first of all went through Matt's routine of getting into the bath and of using the transfer bench. She agreed he did better without it. Then we went to the bedroom. I agreed with her that he needed it, she went through it several times, but he was adamant he didn't want it. I think she was getting a tad annoyed too. In the end she removed it from the bed and later the med company collected the items. The trouble is I called LHIN for help for us as a couple and the upshot is, we still don't have any help. So I still have to lug out the garbage, the recycling and the laundry amongst other things. I could pay our cleaner for more hours but quite frankly can't afford it. Of course after all this I felt guilty because I know he can't really help what happens, but I am no saint unfortunately. Even the OT looked mad.

I managed to cook the peppers and we ended up having them for supper plus I have 4 more in the freezer. Of course they were cooked in the Instant Pot. So easy.

Watched the GOAT Jeopardy again and now I know who is going to win. Not the guy I was rooting for unfortunately.

I would never, in a million years, have considered baking potatoes in the Instant Pot, but here is a recipe for just that. For the crispy bacon, I would do it in the microwave. I put 3 slices of bacon between double layers of paper towel, zap for 3 minutes and get really, really crisp bacon.

Instant Pot Twice Baked Potatoes

Learn how to make the Ultimate Instant Pot Twice Baked Potatoes (Pressure Cooker Twice Baked
Potatoes)! These deluxe baked potatoes are loaded with creamy cheesy fluffy mashed potatoes & crispy bacon topped with melted cheese. A potato lover's delicious dream come true!

6 slices bacon , cut into crisp bits
4 russet potatoes (8.5” circumference) , poked, well-scrubbed & dried
Kosher salt & black pepper
½ cup (96g) grated smoked cheddar cheese
½ cup (96g) grated mozzarella cheese
2 stalks (14g) green onions , sliced
½ cup (125ml) sour cream , room temperature prefered
¼ cup (63ml) whole milk
¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter , room temperature prefered

1. Crisp Bacon: You can crisp bacon with Instant Pot’s Saute Mode, Oven, or "Air Fryer" function of Instant Pot Duo Crisp.

2. Option 1 - Duo Crisp Method - install the broiling tray on Air Fryer Basket. Layer 6 slices of bacon on the tray. Place 1 cup cold water and air fryer basket in Instant Pot Duo Crisp. Place the air fryer lid on Instant Pot. Press "Air Fry" button, set the temperature to 400°F and cooking time to 10 minutes.

3. Option 2 - Oven Method: Place bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place it on the middle rack of a preheated 400°F oven. Bake bacon until crispy and golden-brown. Set a timer for roughly 18 - 20 minutes.

4. Option 3 - Instant Pot Saute Method: Layer bacon slices in the inner pot. Press "Saute" button and adjust to "Saute Less". It takes roughly 10 - 12 minutes to crisp the bacon slices.

5. Place crisped bacon on a paper towel to absorb any excess fat, then cut them into bacon bits.

6. Preparation: While the bacon is crisping, prepare the remaining ingredients. Scrub potatoes under running water, and poke holes throughout the potatoes with a fork.

7. Pressure Cook Potatoes: Clean and dry Instant Pot's inner pot. Add 1 cup (250ml) cold water, and a trivet or air fryer basket in Instant Pot. Place 4 potatoes on the trivet.

8. Close lid, turn Venting Knob to Sealing position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 34 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release. Open the lid carefully.

9. Cut Potatoes: Allow potatoes to cool to the touch. Use a paring knife to remove the top part of potatoes (see below photo). Use a small spoon to scoop out the inner flesh (leave about ¼ inch of potato flesh attached to the skin), then place them in a large mixing bowl.

10. Make Mashed Potato Filling: Add ¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter to the scooped potatoes, then mash with a potato masher. With a silicone spatula, mix in ½ cup (125ml) sour cream.

11. Pro Tip: Reserve about 2 tbsp cheese for later.

12. Mix in grated mozzarella cheese, grated smoked cheddar cheese, finely sliced green onions, and bacon bits. Pour in ¼ cup (63ml) whole milk, then mix everything up with a spatula.

13. Give it a taste and season with salt & black pepper (for reference, we added 2 - 2.5 pinches of salt).

14. With a spoon, fill the hollowed potato shells with the yummy loaded mashed potato. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top.

Twice Baked Potatoes:

Option 1 - Twice Bake with Duo Crisp: Place the stuffed potatoes back in Instant Pot. Place the air fryer lid on Instant Pot Duo Crisp. Press "Air Fry" button, set the temperature to 400°F and cooking time to 8 minutes.

Option 2 - Twice Bake with Oven: Place the stuffed potatoes on the top rack of the oven, then use the "Broil" function for a few minutes.Serve immediately & enjoy~

Source: Amy and Jacky

Have a great day

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Coffee, Bitter Cold, Bed Bugs, PSW, Equipment, OT Visit.

Went down to the grocery store's Starbucks this morning and had my gold plated coffee (you mean it isn't? but why do they charge so much?) two of the group managed to make it. Both the guys, neither of the gals. I hadn't realised one of the guys was an Englishman. He has been here a long time and I can't tell from his accent. Mind you I can't tell these days anyway. All the accents blend into one nowadays unless it is a very broad accent from somewhere like Newfoundland or the more rural parts of North Carolina. In NC we once played golf in company with two friends and a fifth guy who joined us and was known as the Major. I didn't understand a word he said for the whole 5 hours and basically just nodded and smiled, as I tell people, he could have told me his wife had died that morning and I would still have nodded and smiled. Our two American friends, who were from the Detroit area, seemed to understand some of what he said.

I then had to go outside (having gone from underground parking to underground parking, and nearly froze to death. It is bitter with a wind blowing today. A lazy wind, it blows through you instead of going round you.

Came home and prepared lunch and then realised I was running late so left half mine and went down to the exercise class. Not having seen our leader since before Christmas, I told her the chicken and egg joke and she cracked up too. I also took down some of the small brown seeds from my lunchtime bun (wrapped in a tissue). One of the class had asked me what bed bugs looked like so I showed him. Everyone else had a look too. I once mistook one of these seeds during the time we had the bed bug problem and tried to squish it. Couldn't figure what it was doing in the kitchen anyway, duuh.

Finished my lunch, sat down in my chair and nodded off. Phone went about 3:30 it was the Personal Service Worker. When she came up, we explained to her that Matt did not need help showering but that I needed help with heavy stuff in the household. She said she would talk to her supervisor about it all.

I am almost wishing to be bored to death Thursday, but I am expecting the equipment for Matt and I was hoping we could go bowling in the afternoon. Friday the Occupational Therapist is coming to see everything is installed properly.and then Zoey is coming to see Matt. I believe she has invited ladydog to come with her.

Of course we watched the Jeopardy G.O.A.T. again tonight. My favourite won. However, I am  rooting for Brad Rutter to win at least one game, he isn't doing too well so far.

I would love to cook this recipe but unfortunately himself does not like bones. I, on the other hand, love bones to chew on.

Instant Pot Red-Cooked Short Ribs

The cooking liquid is so delicious that I didn’t want any to go to waste. I skimmed off the fat (trust
me, it would be too greasy on the palate if you didn’t do this) and reduced it slightly, then steamed some bok choy over it to make a more complete meal. Plated with a little rice, the ribs and bok choy—along with that luscious cooking liquid—made for a meal the kids immediately asked me to put in regular rotation. And since it takes less time thanks to the Instant Pot, that’s a request I can easily (and happily!) accommodate.

1 Tbs canola oil 8 (3 1/2 x 1-inch) bone-in beef short ribs (about 4 pounds)
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dry sherry or Shaoxing wine (not Shaoxing cooking wine)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped shallots
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 2 coins
4 (3- to 4-ounce) heads baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
Hot cooked rice, for serving
Chopped scallions and sliced fresno chiles, for garnish (optional)

1. Program a 6-quart programmable electric pressure cooker to SAUTÉ. Add oil. Season short ribs with salt. Working in batches, brown short ribs on all sides, about 20 minutes per batch. Transfer browned short ribs to a plate. Press CANCEL on cooker.

2. Combine 1/2 cup water, sherry, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Add to pressure cooker, scraping bottom to release browned bits. Add shallots, star anise, cinnamon, and ginger. Return short ribs and any accumulated juices to pressure cooker. Lock lid. Program cooker to PRESSURE COOK at HIGH pressure 45 minutes. Turn cooker off, and release pressure naturally 10 minutes. Turn pressure release valve to release remaining pressure until float valve drops. Remove short ribs from cooker.

3. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve into a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Discard solids. Skim off and discard most of liquid fat from top. Program cooker to SAUTÉ, and add cooking liquid. Cook until reduced to about 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Press CANCEL on cooker.

4. Pile bok choy onto pressure cooker’s steamer insert, and lower into cooker over cooking liquid. Lock lid. Program cooker to STEAM at HIGH pressure for 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately turn pressure release valve to release pressure. Serve short ribs with bok choy and sauce over rice. Garnish with scallions and chiles, if desired.

Servings: 4

Source: Food and Wine

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