Monday, August 31, 2020


I still don't know whether I have shingles or not. However, the cream the doc sent seems to be helping. I now have the problem in three places, under both breasts and in one groin. I haven't worn a bra for about a couple of weeks, but I can't very well go around without any underwear. We have some Large Depends, maybe I should wear those. The doctor said she would phone me during the week.

Only thing is, I have been referred to a doctor in town which means I will not have to drive all the way over to Cambridge which is some distance so I will have to tell her when I speak to her next. Ladydog reckons she will understand, I hope so. I also hope their parking is easy. I don't want to have to walk forever to get in the door. They are wheelchair accessible, that much I know.

This afternoon I zonked out, must have been at least 4 hours if not a bit longer. I did wake up now and again, read for a bit and dropped off, woke again, dropped off. Did that twice I think. Partly because I read late last night (Saturday).

Monday the cleaner comes and I am hoping between the PSW and her, they will get the mattress cover on. It's bed stripping day anyway. Lots of lovely laundry for me to do. Also I need to yell at the laundry machine operators. One of the dryers has been out of order for at least 2 weeks. I know the super has spoken to them but the more the merrier I hope.

Not only that, their machine for loading money onto our laundry cards wouldn't take my debit card for some reason. Said something about a limited amount??? $30 is a limited amount. So I had to use my credit card for which they charge 85¢. Not a lot I know, but I get cash back for my Visa expenditures and doing this, negates my cash back. Once, OK, regularly, no thanks. I was going to use Matt's debit card but couldn't find it. Guess that means I will have to go into the bank. I could phone but that takes forever and they cannot seem to sort out that I have Power of Attorney. I can't for the life of me imagine what has happened to his card, He never goes anywhere and never spends any money.

This looked like a good dish, something I know we would enjoy. However, I have added a paragraph about substitutes for the Muscat Wine in case you can't get hold of it.

Pork Loin Braised with Mushrooms and Wine

Fistsful of fresh herbs, fragrant strips of orange peel, and plenty of garlic perfume the wine-infused
braising liquid penetrates this essential Corsican comfort food. The resulting jus is vibrant and richly seasoned; ladle extra over the polenta on each plate.

Muscat = Moscatel = Muscatel = Muscadel = Moscato Notes: This is a sweet and fruity dessert wine made from Muscat grapes. Don't confuse it with Muscadet, which is a dry white wine. Substitutes: port OR Riesling OR Gewürztraminer OR 1C = 1/2 C white wine + 1/2 C water + 1/3 C sugar.

1 (2-pound) boneless center-cut pork loin, tied with kitchen twine
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 Tbs olive oil
1 lb white button mushrooms, quartered
8 small white spring onions (about 10 ounces), trimmed, white parts only
3 large garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Corsican Muscat wine
1 cup lower-sodium chicken stock
3 rosemary sprigs
6 thyme sprigs
8 (3-inch) orange peel strips
Cooked polenta, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high.

2. Add pork to pan; cook over medium-high, undisturbed, until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn pork. Repeat until each side is browned, about 12 minutes. Remove pork from skillet, and set aside.

3. Add mushrooms, onions, and garlic to pan; cook over medium-high, stirring often, until liquid from mushrooms has released and evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add wine; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add stock, rosemary, and thyme; cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes. Return pork to pan. Cover, transfer to preheated oven, and roast until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of meat registers 130°F, about 30 minutes.

4. Remove pan from oven. Transfer pork to a cutting board; let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add orange peel strips to mushroom mixture in pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high; boil until sauce has slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Discard orange peel strips, rosemary, and thyme.

5. Remove and discard twine from pork. Slice pork against the grain. Serve over polenta with mushroom mixture.

Servings: 4

Tips: If you can’t find Corsican Muscat, you can substitute Moscato d’Asti.

 Source: FOOD & WINE

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Ambiguous Loss, Wash Day, Supper, River Dance,

Sue from Elephant's Child sent me a link to an article about grief in dementia. In North America this is known as Ambiguous Loss. It is an interesting article and one I wish you would read. It would enable you to understand anyone you might know who is struggling through this situation. It is, in my mind, so very important that more people reach out to families in this situation. It does appear, from reading the article, that we are luckier in Canada because the health services are co-ordinated under the LHIN umbrella, i.e. the Local Health Integrated Network. This is why I - and others - am able to get PSWs to come and help Matt to wash and dress in the mornings and why they will allow me another PSW on Monday afternoons to be with him whilst I go bowling in order to give me some respite. Mind you, I bought a new mattress cover and tried to get a PSW for half an hour to come at the same time as one of the regulars so that they could put the cover on the mattress. No go. However, I talked to the PSW who will be here on Monday as will my cleaner and I am hoping we can manage to do the job between us (not that I will be much help).

Tomorrow is wash day. I have such fun trotting up and down the corridor and then resting in considerable pain until the it wears off then doing it again when the next part needs doing. Three journeys there and back. It is not actually that far, but for my legs, more than enough. When I bowl, I don't have to be moving for very long and if I get a strike, I have no problem at all. A spare not bad, the problem begins when I have to bowl a third ball (maybe I should take up 10 pin, you only get two balls).

Of course, my next problem is "what shall I cook for supper?". I like to cook something special for Saturdays although lately I haven't been worrying about that as I don't think Matt notices any more, he enjoys whatever I cook, I'm pleased to say, but certainly doesn't know if it's anything out of the ordinary. If I am feeling up to it, I might pop up to VSM and buy a sirloin steak.

We just watched River Dance Celebrating 25 Years, think that's what it was called. Matt was thrilled with it so I have joined the PBS station in order to get a copy of it. I enjoyed it too of course. For those of you who remember the original River Dance, the star was Michael Flatley and he held a record for the speed of his feet. I was wondering what the current lead dancer clocked in at. He seemed to be able to dance very fast. I just Googled and found that the fastest feet, at the moment, belong to a young  man named James Devine who was clocked at 38 taps per second.

A Kevin Lynch dish I posted some time ago which is something I would really enjoy but haven't made yet. Simple enough. Not sure about the chicken thighs with skin on and boneless. Never seen those for sale. Guess one would have to do the boning oneself. Otherwise, simple enough to make.

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

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

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 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!

Servings: 4

Tips: Add some extras like sliced shiitake mushrooms!

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Kitchen

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Another of those Days.

Today my legs, hips and rear end were all hurting so I took some Tylenol 3 - which I try not to take because they are going to be scarce in future as the doctors are running scared about Opiods. I had more or less decided not to go to the walk-in clinic because of getting to my car. When ladydog came she persuaded me to call my family doctor as she said her doctor was doing internet stuff these days. I did and they asked me to send pix so ladydog took a couple and we emailed them to the doc. They arranged for me to have a consult with the doctor later in the day between 2:30 and 3.

Poor ladydog, when she arrived, she was fuming. She had ordered Subways online and just before she got there, found out that they hadn't done the order because their internet was down. In the end we didn't have subs 'cos she was so mad with them for not letting her know earlier, by phone, if no other way. In the end we decided to have Thai/Viet food so we ordered it and she went to pick it up. I had ordered Pad Thai for Matt and I. We had enough noodles to feed an army. So did ladydog. I have saved a lot for future munching. I had just settled down to eat when the phone went. I forget who or what now, but eventually went back to my lunch when shortly after the phone went again. It went on like this for a while. Eventually people let me have lunch in peace. There was no way I could eat all my noodles and I didn't even give Matt all his, I had put his food on a plate. He then went to his lounge chair and shoved dog biscuits into Zoey. Then the phone went again, it was Purolator with the waterproof mattress cover I had ordered from Amazon. The courier wouldn't come upstairs even though I told him I was using a walker. Of course ladydog went down and let her temper go on the poor man. She told him her 83 yr. old neighbour was in tears and how dare they not come up and deliver to my door etc. etc. I felt quite sorry for  the poor guy.

I then got a phone call from the doctor, much earlier than they had said so ladydog decided to leave anyway, the doctor suggested my problem could be shingles. Something that had never occurred to me. She said I might have to go in to see her next week but she would send me some ointment meanwhile and call me next week. From what I know of shingles, I don't think it can be that. But what do I know.

Later I phoned Para Med who provide the PSWs and asked for a second guy for half an hour to help pout the mattress cover on. No way I can help. They said I had to call the LHIN co-ordinator. I did and she eventually called back. She said the PSWs are not allowed to lift anything heavy. Said she would talk to Para Med and call back. Putting a cover on a mattress is not really heavy work just awkward. Have done it in the past when we had bed bugs. So, will expect to hear from her tomorrow.

Of course, I forgot to mention I didn't get much sleep because I was so damned hot I had to get up and sit reading near the A/C so of course wanted to nap this aft. I had just dropped off when I got a phone call, bit later I had dropped off again and was woken by another phone call. Think I should unplug the bloody thing. Of course they are all basically important. But..... I don't even remember who called me now apart from Jamie from the bowling league and the ones I have mentioned above oh, and of course tomorrow's PSW. They always call and let me know they are coming.

I am told the convention will be over tonight so hopefully I will get my TV programmes back again. Mind you with no TV to watch, I get my blog written early. Not that that helps if I can't sleep anyway. I ordered a portable A/C but no idea when it will arrive. Hope they will bring it up when it comes! It it comes on a Thursday I will send ladydog down to tear a strip off them LOL.

Ostesibly tomorrow should be a quiet day, ha!

I keep coming across recipes I haven't tried yet.

Slow Cooker Thai Beef Curry

The challenge: The flavors are always too bland.

Our solution: It’s true that the long, slow cooking period mellows flavors. But bold spices, in bold amounts, will hold their own over time. Here, we start with big flavor from a good amount of curry
paste and fish sauce, and we finish with fresh touches of cilantro and lime juice that amplify the taste of everything. Serve over a bed of brown rice or brown rice noodles to catch all the sauce.

1 Tbs canola oil
2 lbs beef stew meat
1/2 cup unsalted beef stock
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
2 Tbs fish sauce
1 Tbs light brown sugar
1 (10-oz.) yellow onion, sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup well-shaken canned full-fat coconut milk
8 oz haricots verts (French green beans), halved crosswise
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
9 oz fresh spinach (about 9 cups)
3 Tbs fresh lime juice
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add beef, and cook in 2 batches, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Place browned beef in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add stock to skillet, stirring and scraping to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet; transfer mixture to slow cooker. Add curry paste, fish sauce, sugar, and onion; stir to loosely combine. Cover, and cook on low until beef is very tender, about 8 hours.

2. Add coconut milk and haricots verts to slow cooker. Increase heat to high; cook until haricots verts are tender, about 12 minutes. Turn off heat; add cilantro leaves, spinach, and lime juice. Stir gently until spinach starts to wilt. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired

Servings: 8

Author: Ann Taylor Pittman
Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Super Sniffers, Visit, Doctor, TV,

Now that's a new one on me, in India they have been training dogs to sniff out illegal wildlife trade items. The dogs are trained to identify all kinds of scents "So far, 74 wildlife sniffer dog squads have been trained. They can detect tiger and leopard bone and skin, elephant tusk, bear bile, deer antlers and plant products like Red Sanders and Caterpillar Fungus. Thanks to this team of super sniffers there have been 350+ reported seizures of illegal wildlife parts" Although. the trade brings in so much money it is difficult to stamp out. Seems like a good idea.

Had a visit from a friend, this afternoon, whom I hadn't seen for quite a long time. She just lost her husband to cancer although he was suffering from dementia which must have made things very difficult. She came loaded with Depends which will be very useful.

I decided I was going to get some ground beef out to make stuffed peppers tomorrow and then I realised I was going to the doctor's tomorrow. Oh well, Friday. Being a walk in clinic, I am not sure how long I will be sitting there. Could be hours or I could be seen quickly. Fingers crossed its quickly.

I am totally fed up that for the last week and a half, probably longer, my local PBS station has "Convention" stuff scheduled. Considering there are a lot of Canadian customers, I think they should take us into account. I believe they have at least as many Canadians as US viewers. Not being interested in American politics, I have no idea how long this is going to go on. I don't remember it happening last time there was an election in the States. Covid-19 perhaps? I have no idea.

This recipe is for those of you who don't mind buying asparagus out of season although I am informed that in South America they have two asparagus seasons. I should move perhaps!

Creamy Asparagus and Pancetta Penne

This vibrantly colorful dish is chock full of amazing veggies. In taking advantage of produce that is

in season, this pasta dish truly shines.

2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 Tbs butter, softened
1 tsp olive oil
2 oz chopped pancetta
1 (8-ounce) package sliced cremini mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine or
2 Tbs each lemon juice and water
1 tsp salt, divided
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
3 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
12 oz uncooked whole-wheat penne (such as Barilla)
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen green peas
12 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
3 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp grated lemon rind
3/4 tsp black pepper

1. Combine flour and butter in a bowl until a paste forms.

2. Place a large high-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pancetta; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until browned and liquid evaporates. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer mixture to a plate.

3. Add stock, 2 cups milk, penne, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas, asparagus, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1 cup milk, and thyme; cook 2 minutes. Add butter-flour paste, in pieces, stirring constantly to combine and thicken. Remove from heat; stir in mushroom mixture, parsley, rind, and black pepper.

Servings: 6

Author: Maureen Callahan
Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Spouse's Meeting, Groceries, hairdresser, Supper, Visitor.

A busy day. This morning I had my Spouse's meeting moderated by the Alzheimer Society. It was nice talking to everyone. We have all agreed to exchange email addresses - in fact I already have quite a few - and I also volunteered to run Zoom meetings for the group from now on. Everyone seemed interested/

Once it ended I quickly made lunch for Matt and I. Shortly after, Kathy came with the groceries for us. She had also picked up some chicken thighs for me at Costco. She brought Oates with her too but forgot to bring any dog biscuits. Kathy is off up north for a week and Oates is probably going to school during that period. They have to assess whether she will be good for her intended working life.

Then, I am not quite sure what I was doing in the afternoon, a little reading and a little napping I think. I completely forgot the hairdresser would be here at 6 and therefore I had to get supper early. In fact I had bought some chicken tenders already cooked - just wanted to try them, so when they arrived they were warm. So when I realised I had goofed, I decided to have them for supper. Katy came and cut our hair. She is so very good to do this. I told her some of my Alzheimer spouses were interested and she said she would be prepared to go to their homes as well. She cleaned up the floor before she went.

I then took the chicken tenders and heated them in the air fryer and threw a salad together. Worked fine. Had some Tamarind sauce to dip the tenders in. Worked very well. Still more tenders for tomorrow.

Talking of tomorrow, i.e. Wednesday, a friend I haven't seen in a long time is coming for a visit. She just lost her husband who had dementia and then cancer. Very sad.

Haven't mentioned I have a problem with the skin under one breast and I want to try and get to the doctor on Thursday as it doesn't seem to be clearing up. Ladydog is prepared to sit with Matt meanwhile. She is also bringing Subway for lunch.

I forgot, I ordered some antiseptic wipes for today's shopping. First time I have seen any available for a while. When I got them, they are in a huge bucket. Not what I expected at all. I should have enough for a very long time.

I don't think you can go wrong with mushrooms and I also love Leeks and Spinach. This is a dish I will definitely give a go.

Spinach Polenta with Mushrooms, Leek & Poached Egg 

 This rich and flavourful polenta dish is perfect for a weekend brunch or weeknight meal. Creamy polenta is elevated with the addition
of umami-rich mushrooms. A poached egg on top completes the dish and adds another layer of texture.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 30 mins. | Serves: 4




  • 4 cups (1L) water
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped spinach
  • 1 cup (250 mL) polenta
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper


  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 lb (500 g) fresh mixed mushrooms (portabella, shiitake, oyster), coarsely chopped
  • 1 large leek (white and light-green parts only), halved lengthwise, rinse and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1/2 tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar

Poached Eggs:

  • 4 large eggs
  • Water for poaching
  • 1 tbsp (7 mL) white vinegar
Optional Garnishes: 
  • Fresh chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese



1. In a large pot, over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Stir in chopped spinach. Slowly add polenta while whisking constantly. Continue to whisk until polenta is smooth, 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cook polenta 25-30 minutes. Whisk often. Remove from heat and add butter, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.


2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add leek and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and butter, heat until butter is melted. Add white wine vinegar and stir until the liquid evaporates, about 2-3 minutes. Set mushrooms aside.

Poached Egg:

3. In a large saucepan, bring 3 inches of water and a splash of white vinegar to a simmer over medium-low heat. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl. Gently stir the water in a circle, and then gently slip egg into water. Poach about 3-4 minutes, then remove egg with a slotted spoon and pat dry. Repeat with remaining eggs.


4. To assemble, spoon polenta into bowl, top with mushroom & leek mixture, and then poached egg. Add optional garnishes.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Busy Tuesday, Liquor Delivery, Basil,

Not much happening Monday. On the other hand, Tuesday starts with our final meeting of Alzheimer Spouses. In fact there is another get together organised for September, but it is not specifically the current group. Not quite sure what the difference is going to be.

Then in the afternoon, Kathy will be here with the shopping. Be the last time for a couple of weeks as she is off on vacation for the first week in September.  I must ask her if Oates is going too. In the evening our hairdresser is calling. Not sure how that is going to go as we haven't had Katy over before. We both need a hair cut at the moment.

Somewhat odd, we needed some booze but I was too achy, too tired, and too hot, to go so decided to get the delivery firm to pick it up. It never arrived. Must admit I forgot about it by supper time and then later realised they hadn't been. No idea why. Maybe I will be able to do it myself on Tuesday.

Decided to do the sausage dish I like so much for supper on Tuesday night - this does get confusing, I am typing on Monday but you will be reading on Tuesday, unless you are in Australia - anyway, sausage dish and I want to finish the basil I have had growing in water for a while and then get rid of it as it is on its last legs.

I recently remembered this recipe which Matt used to make. It was very good and maybe I should do something about it. I wonder if one could make the filling in the Instant Pot?

Chicken Burritos
Readers Digest Great Recipes
Serves: 4

1 Tbs corn or peanut oil
1 lb chicken meat cut into 1/2 in cubes
1 lge yellow onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs flour
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 C chicken broth
1 C buttermilk
4 oz chopped green chilies, drained
2 tsp tomato paste
8 6 in flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 375F. In a heavy 10 in skillet heat the oil over moderate heat for 1 min. Add meat and cook, until no longer pink (unless using precooked meat) transfer meat to a bowl. Cook onion and garlic uncovered in same pan until soft. Blend in flour, chili powder and cumin and cook stirring constantly for about 2 mins.

Stir in chicken broth, buttermilk, chilies and tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 4 to 5 mins or until slightly thickened. Return meat and stir.

Place a scant 1/4 C of the mixture on the lower third of each tortilla and roll it up like a cigar. Place seam side down in an ungreased baking plan and drizzle any remaining filling down the center.

Bake uncovered for 5 mins.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Dementia, Book, TV, Supper,

I guess I am an itch with a b in front.  Matt continuously says he loves me which is nice to hear, then he asks what I am going to do (this is supper time), work, I say, doing the dishes etc. etc. oh, he says, can I help you? Yes I say you can dry up (we don't have a dishwasher). Suddenly he is in agony again and crying because he "can't do it". Actually, he could, but he gives in to the muscle pain which is why he has it in the first place. He then starts to grizzle which annoys the hell out of me, and being the sweet tempered person I am (some hopes) it develops into a shouting match. I disappear for a while and sit here feeling guilty. When I go back into the living room, he has forgotten all about it. Wish I could. Just as well he can forget so easily otherwise I would never forgive myself.

I mentioned that I have been reading a book called Loving Someone with Dementia, one of the things they emphasize is how much alone caregivers can be and how they need  to build up a network of friends and/or family, whether actual or psychological - i.e. on the internet and such. It is great when I get support from my internet friends and I just wish some of them were closer. I have no close family. Although one cousin does keep in regular touch with me. I do have the support of a couple of close friends locally, as you know, ladydog in particular has been an extremely good friend.

Watched the end of season episode of Endeavour tonight, I find I really enjoy that series as well as Vera another cop show. Actually, thinking about it, I also watch Midsomer Murders, yet another cop show, didn't realise just how much I was into cop shows. Tonight there was also a programme about the Queen in War, which we both enjoyed. Matt doesn't watch a lot of TV any more. Don't think he understands a lot of what is going on. He does like music but that seems to be it mostly. I still don't know how to PVR programmes, I have to get in touch with Rogers. Probably find I have to pay extra to be able to do so.

I tried a new dish Sunday night, I was concerned about the water/liquid level but read the comments and it seems OK, however, one comment said it was tasteless. I agree, I ended up doctoring it with siracha, some sugar and a lot more salt. I also used garlic rather than garlic powder.

Instant Pot Pepper Chicken

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
½ onion chopped
1 Tbs garlic powder
4 Tbs water
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the chicken in cubes

2. Add oil into your Instant Pot and sauté chicken for 5 minutes, add the onion and bell peppers add continue sauté for 2 minutes.

3. Add the garlic powder, the cumin and the water to the chicken. mix well to combine everything.

4. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.

5. Quickly release the steam and serve.

6. Serve with rice if desired.

Servings: 3

Source: Corrie Cooks

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Hairdresser, Mushrooms, Dentistry, Record High Temps,

As Matt has difficulty negotiating his way into the hairdressing salon and as I am about to start braiding both his hair and mine, I have arranged for our hairdresser to come here next week. Really nice of her. I, of course, can go there, but it is too difficult to get Matt there. Last time the hairdresser almost carried him into the salon.

I seem to have ended up with a plethora (love that word) of mushrooms so found a recipe for making Creamy Mushroom Soup in the Instant Pot, of course.

Matt complained of toothache on two separate occasions. I have asked him about it and so has ladydog but he denies any knowledge of toothache, so having booked a dental appointment, I have cancelled it again. Which, of course, means he will be complaining of toothache again soon. ladydog suggests Sensodyne toothpaste. Don't know if he will notice the change or not.

Just heard a report that the highest temperature ever recorded on earth was yesterday in Death Valley, "One of the hottest air temperatures recorded anywhere on the planet in at least a century, and possibly ever, was reached at Death Valley in California's Mojave Desert where it soared to 54.4° Celsius (130° Fahrenheit)." That's hot. I've been having trouble with the heat here, I can't imagine what I would do in temps like that. 

Yet another recipe I really should try.

Cabbage Lo Mein

2 Tbs plus 2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
3 Tbs reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ¼ -inch slices
8 oz lo mein noodles
1 tsp chile-garlic sauce
3 Tbs vegetable oil, divided
5 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs chopped fresh ginger
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
2 cups small broccoli florets (about 1 large crown)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup snow peas, halved
4 ½ cups thinly sliced napa cabbage ( ½ head)
¾ cup unsalted chicken broth
1 tsp cornstarch

1. Combine 2 tablespoons sesame oil, soy sauce and crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat, and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and toss with the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil and chile-garlic sauce. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook until juices are released and the mushrooms are golden and tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger and scallions and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli, bell pepper, and snow peas. Cook until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cabbage and cook until wilted, 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the mushroom mixture. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the reserved chicken, leaving the sauce in the bowl. Sauté the chicken until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, add broth and cornstarch to the reserved sauce and whisk to combine. Add the sauce to the pan with the chicken; simmer until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vegetable mixture to the pan and toss to combine. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to the bowl with the noodles and toss to combine.

Servings: 4

Author: Lauren Grant
Source: Diabetic Living Magazine

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Quiet Day

This morning the PSW was supposed to be here at 9. Around 7:30 he said his client had cancelled and could he come at 8, I said sure. He came in and attended to Matt who was just about crawling out of bed, and after he had gone, Matt then ate his breakfast. Maybe 8 would be a good time, but usually 9 works too.

After that, the day was somewhat boring to say the least. I finished making calls on behalf of the bowling alley to see who was joining the Senior Winter League in September, surprisingly one or two are not, at the moment I don't know if it's because of Covid-19 or for other reasons. One woman asked me if I had any idea how many germs there were on a bowling ball, as I have my own, it doesn't particularly concern me but I know the owners are planning to disinfect everything before anyone arrives. Of course we will have to wear masks, but it won't be necessary to actually wear them when we are on the lanes - I think they would restrict breathing somewhat when you are actually bowling.

After lunch, I shot down to the grocery store to get more beefsteak tomatoes, they only gave me one the other day, and some artichokes. They only got baby artichokes this week. 8 little tiny ones to a pack. I can get all of them in the Instant Pot at once. We had some leftover leek and potato soup and then some Pakora which came with Tamarind Sauce - I tried the sauce with the artichokes, it was pretty good.

My only criticism here is that he leaves the tails on the shrimp That really annoys me when it is not for eating with the fingers. If there is an integral sauce, take the damned tail shells off.

Spinach Pesto, Feta and Shrimp Tortellini

A fresh spinach pesto and feta tortellini that is packed with all of the flavours of spinach and feta
pies, aka spanakopita.

For the spinach pesto:
1 cup baby spinach (packed)
2 Tbs dill
2 Tbs parley
1 green onion
1 clove garlic
2 Tbs walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
salt and pepper to taste

For the shrimp souvlaki:
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deviened
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 Tbs yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

For the spinach pesto, feta and shrimp tortellini:
1 lb cheese tortellini
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbs dill, chopped
1 Tbs parley, chopped

1. For the spinach pesto:

2. Puree everything in a food processor until smooth.

3. For the shrimp:

4. Marinate the shrimp in the mixture of the remaining ingredients for 30 minutes to over night before cooking in a pan or grilling over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.

5. For the spinach pesto, feta and shrimp tortellini:

6. Cook the tortellini as directed before tossing it with the pesto, feta and shrimp and herbs and enjoying!

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Cooking

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Nuclear Test. Fresh Corn, Dentist, Phone Calls,

Had a lovely day today. I am a tad annoyed because they told me hours and I ended up spending 5 hours there, I  was not happy.. Ladydog was sitting with Matt, but he still got very agitated because he was worried about what was happening to me. I don't know what he thinks was happening. I tried to explain it was just a test, but.... Of course I am now radioactive for a while - not sure how long it lasts. When I was finally allowed to eat, it turned out they had a picnic table outside and I sat in the . n although there was a cool breeze it was still pleasant/ When I got home, there was a vase full of gladioli which are absolutely lovely. Jan was kind enough to stay for the whole time so when I got home, she shot off home. I then got treated to almost tears.because he didn't know what was happening to me and if I was alright!!! Oh well.

Ladydog also brought a couple of corn cobs which I cooked for supper and they were delicious. We then had some of the leek and taties soup I made last night, it was delicious. I will share the recipe, but I didn't use the same measurements - or not exactly.

Whilst I was out, got a bunch of calls from the dentist to whom I sent an email last night. They called again once I was I have an appointment for Matt next week.

Not only that, Dr. Jahromi's office called, he is the vascular surgeon, so maybe they have a date for me. Of course, he won't have today's results by then I don't think.

This was the recipe I used for the soup. I used 4 leeks and maybe a tad more cream. I used the fish sauce but couldn't tell the difference, but the soup ended up being really delicious so maybe it was the fish sauce. We have some left for tomorrow, yum.

Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup

Make Creamy Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup under an hour! Healthy Pressure Cooker Leek Potato
Soup is super easy to make with simple ingredients. A satisfying bowl of comfort to warm your soul!

2 (1.5lb or 552g) Yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 (375g - trimmed & chopped) large leeks, chopped
1 Tbs (28g) unsalted butter
1 (0.5g) bay leaves
1/2 tsp (1.5g) dried thyme
1/2 cup (250ml) heavy cream
2 cups (1L) unsalted chicken stock
2 (13g) garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs (30ml) fish sauce (or sub with regular soy sauce)
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Sweat Leeks: Heat up Instant Pot using Sauté More function. Wait until it says HOT (~8 mins). Add 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter and chopped leeks in Instant Pot. Season with a pinch of salt, then cook leeks until softened (~4 mins). Once the leeks are softened, add in 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp (1.5g) dried thyme, and minced garlic. Saute for another 30 seconds.

2. Pressure Cook Potato Leek Soup: Pour in 4 cups (1L) unsalted chicken stock, 2 tbsp (30ml) fish sauce (or sub with regular soy sauce), and diced potatoes. Give everything a quick mix. Pressure cook at High Pressure for 5 minutes + 15 minutes Natural Release.

3. Season & Thicken: Add in 1 cup (250m) heavy cream. *Note: Some enjoy the potato leek soup without blending. Since we like a thicker soup, we blend the potato leek soup at this step with an Immersion Hand Blender. Taste and season with more salt if desired (for reference, we added 2 large pinches of salt at the end to season this properly).

4. Serve Leek Potato Soup: Garnish with finely sliced green onions, bacon bits, fried leeks, chives, or fresh herbs. Season with some freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 -8

Source: Amy and Jackie

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

PSW, Stress Test, Toothache, Soup,

David criticized me for fussing about the PSWs, but Tuesday morning one came at 7 and Matt would NOT get up. Neither for her or for me. Said he had had a bad night! I don't really think so and anyway he sleeps a lot during the day. I have been assured they will come at 9 tomorrow. We shall see.

Wednesday I have this "stress test" which takes 3 hours. I have now been told I must not drink even decaf coffee for 12 hours before. I can have a light breakfast and take a snack, for after, It's called a Persantine Cardiolite Scan and I will be slightly radioactive after it. If one was travelling by plane, they would give you a certificate to pass you through the check point.

Before he went into hospital Matt complained of toothache. I told his nurse. Tonight he is complaining again so obviously they didn't do anything for him. I just emailed a local dentist and asked if they could assist me.

Ladydog brought me some leeks from the Mennonite stand and I have finally managed to deal with them, boy were they filthy, and chop them up for soup which I am, of course, making in the Instant Pot. Supper is now ready for Wed. night.

I don't actually have a slow cooker any more, I gave it away, but one can use an Instant Pot as a slow cooker. Actually, don't see why I couldn't do this in the Instant Pot anyway.

Slow cooker Spanish chicken

1 Spanish onion halved and sliced
12 large bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
225 g pack chorizo picante, thickly sliced
3 pack pack fmixed colour peppers, cut into chunks
150 g (drained weight) pitted Spanish pimento stuffed green olives
300 ml dry white wine (serve the rest of the bottle with the meal)
300 ml chicken stock
1 Tbs tomato purée

1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry 1 sliced Spanish onion for about 5 mins until golden.

2. Tip into the slow cooker pot (we used a 6.5-litre model), then fry 12 large bone-in skinless chicken thighs and 225g thickly sliced chorizo picante in the same pan until starting to colour – you will need to do this in two batches.

3. Add to the slow cooker with 3 mixed colour peppers, cut into chunks and 150g pitted Spanish pimento stuffed green olives.

4. Tip 300ml dry white wine, 300ml chicken stock and 1 tbsp tomato purée into the pan.

5. Scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom, then tip into the slow cooker, cover and cook on Low for 6 hrs.

Servings: Source: BBC Good Food.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

IP, Matt, Il Volo, Soup. PSW,

Just got a pop up ad for "Instant Pot Home made Wine". Really? Maybe I should look into it. I did and I think I will continue to buy wine from the liquor store, thank you.

Just a quickie tonight. Picked Matt up at 2:00 today, he was so very pleased to see me. Think he thought I had abandoned him. Once I got him home he didn't seem to remember he had been in hospital nor what had happened there.

We watched Il Volo as there was nothing on TV for us tonight. Matt absolutely enjoys them. So do I of course.

Basically threw some beans and veg in the Instant Pot to make 15 Bean Soup. Very tired this aft so slept and didn't make supper until a bit late. Jeopardy is now going through another tournament. Oh for some new stuff.

PSW coming at 7 in the morning. Regular guy was scheduled for 10 so I pitched a fit. Trying to keep Matt from dressing before 9 is hard enough. The 7 a.m. is temporary they tell me, it had better be. So, I'm off to bed.

Nightie Nightie.

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Cheering Up, Lunch, Respite, Scheherezade,

It's the little things. Around Friday supper time I was feeling a bit down and lonely when I heard a knock on the door and it was Karen, my next door neighbour, with some, what she called, Long Johns. They were a long donut with cream in. I picked one up for dessert. Chatted to her for a bit and off she went. I felt much happier after. Then I got an email from ladydog suggesting we went out for Sunday lunch/brunch which will make a nice change.

Just come back from lunch which turned out to be a treat from ladydog. She is so very good to me/us. We ended up going to Oscars which isn't far from me and where they are very popular for breakfasts and lunches. They are not open in the evening. I might say it is raining quite hard. I ordered a crépe

I phoned the hospital this morning and spoke to Matt's nurse, he is doing fine she said, he had his shower this morning and his breakfast. She says he is eating well and is her best behaved patient. I spoke to the nurse again this afternoon and asked her what she thought about him going into respite when I go into hospital for an operation. She said she thought he would be fine, he is doing well at the moment. It seems that there is an unexpected result from his hospital visit, I have been worrying for months about this situation and it seems I have been worrying unnecessarily.

I was reminded today of Scheherazade which I haven't heard for many a long year. Used to be one of my favourite pieces to listen to. As I sit here typing I am enjoying the Sinfónica de Galicia conducted by Leif Sergestram (who looks like Santa in tails) playing it. I really don't know if we still have a copy, I must check it out. I think my memory is going back some 60 years when the girl who was my flat mate had a copy of it which we played on her very up to date, at that time, radio and stereo system. For those of you who are interested, here it is.

I would like to listen again, but I end up with very swollen feet sitting forever at my PC. Maybe later.

Funny, the spelling of swollen just didn't look right so I had to Google it to be sure. Odd how words can suddenly look wrong.

Blackened Shrimp with Citrus and Roasted Fennel

You don’t need to grill outdoors to get smoky char on this shrimp dish, just a quick spice rub and a hot skillet. The fennel and shallots caramelize and become tender as they roast, and the orange slices

become concentrated and fragrant. The multigrain medley is a fun alternative to brown rice; it includes brown, red, and wild rice, plus quinoa. Can’t find it? Use any precooked brown rice or quick-cooking quinoa

2 small navel oranges
2 medium fennel bulbs with stalks (about 7 oz. each)
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
6 small shallots, halved
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
2 (4.4-oz.) pkg. precooked multigrain rice medley (such as Minute)

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Grate one orange to equal 1 teaspoon rind; reserve. Cut oranges crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Remove stalks from fennel; chop fronds to equal 2 tablespoons and reserve (discard stalks). Cut fennel bulbs into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Combine orange slices, 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, shallots, and fennel wedges in a bowl. Arrange fennel mixture in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for 25 minutes or until fennel is tender and lightly charred.

3. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, paprika, and next 4 ingredients (through red pepper) in a ziplock bag. Add shrimp, seal, and shake to coat. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until done.

4. Heat rice medleys according to package directions; place in a bowl and stir in reserved 1 teaspoon orange rind. Divide rice mixture, fennel mixture, and shrimp among 4 plates; sprinkle evenly with reserved fennel fronds.

Servings: 4

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Matt, Movie, Spanish,

I called the hospital around 9 and was told to call back at 11 as "she hadn't visualised him yet" - I thought he was in Emergency but it turned out they had him in a ward. After a lot of hoo ha, I ended up speaking to him, he wasn't very happy and didn't really know where he was. Later the doctor - I presume the "she" - phoned me and said as far as the TIA was concerned he was fine. They want to do a CT scan tomorrow apparently (today I guess) and would keep him til Monday. I was surprised but the doctor said she thought I might like a respite. I wasn't sure about that because I know he will be distressed not being with me. Discussing it with ladydog later she thought it was a good idea. I haven't really made up my mind.

I spent the rest of the day reading and doing nothing much of anything. I got rather bored. Lonely too I guess, we haven't been away from one another this long for a very long time. I had a few naps in the afternoon but got a couple of phone calls which woke me up. In the evening I watched Jeopardy and then rented an On Demand movie, The Secret Garden. I read the book a long time ago but had totally forgotten the story. Colin Firth was in it and he has always been a favourite of mine. I enjoyed the movie very much. Think I can watch it again if I want to for the same price. Hope so, it wasn't cheap.

Also, did my Spanish during the day - I only do a few minutes a day but seem to be getting somewhere with it. Still at a very simple stage though. Amazing what I have forgotten but also amazing how I remember certain phrases every so often when they crop up.

For lunch I had left over Pho from our Viet/Thai lunch on Thursday and then for supper I had some cevaps. I enjoy them and they always remind me of Yugoslavia, as it was when I was there anyway. Technically I should have served them on a bed of chopped onion as they did when I was there. One of the PSWs we had a while back came from that part of the world and said he made his own cevaps. I cheat and buy them. I believe they are made by double mincing the meat, they are then made into small sausage shapes but no skins.

Saturday morning is wash day and I have a pile of stuff to do, later I will phone the hospital and see how things are and maybe talk to Matt. At that time perhaps I will make a decision about bringing him home.

I am not sure how authentic this is, I know I was told that they minced their meat twice to make it really fine. That was when I was in Yugoslavia.

Serbian Cevapcici

A delicious little sausage-like meat. Great served as a sandwich.

1 ½ lbs ground pork
1 lb lean ground beef
½ lb ground lamb
1 egg white
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp paprika

1. Preheat a grill for medium-low heat.

2. In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, ground beef, ground lamb and egg white. Add the garlic, salt, baking soda, black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika. Mix well using your hands, and form into finger length sausages about 3/4 inch thick.

3. Lightly oil the grilling surface. Grill sausages until cooked through, turning as needed, about 30 minutes.

Servings: 4


Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.

Sleep, Food, Massage, TIA,

Early night be damned, it was gone 11 by the time I got to bed. Then I couldn't sleep again. I even took a sleep aid but it didn't help. Most nights I go to bed and zonk out, but not the last couple. Oh well, better luck tonight.

Ladydog is picking up some Viet/Thai food for lunch today which will make a change. Oh, that reminds me, it turns out the Sweetbreads weren't rotten at all, they were in the freezer. Looks like I am going to end up with 2 lbs. Luckily Matt doesn't mind leftovers. I never understand people who won't eat them, I know a number of people who turn up their noses at "réchauffés" which wouldn't work for us as I frequently cook for two meals at once or for the freezer. I know at least one person who doesn't like food that has been frozen. Our food was good and I still have enough to have lunch tomorrow. Ladydog also picked up some cherries from VSM along with the sweetbreads. The cherries turned out to be $20 a bag, about 1 kilo. They'd better work at that price. Ladydog apologised, she hadn't realised how much they were until she looked at the bill. She also brought us some fresh corn on the cob, a bunch of nice leeks and some tomatoes. I think we came out of the deal pretty well.

Odd, last night I gave Matt a massage on his thigh and he was moaning and groaning at me. This morning I have just done it again and no yelling at all. Maybe I wasn't doing it hard enough!

10:00 p.m. I just sent Matt off in an ambulance as he was having TIA (mini stroke) symptoms. He has had them before, probably why he has ended up with dementia. I requested that I NOT be called at 3.a.m. this time. Actually the symptoms had more or less disappeared, but they took him anyway. Just as well. One of the women, both of them were women, asked if I needed more help. I said definitely, she said she would tell whoever that I needed some. Wonder what that will produce.

I am not actually worried too much, because he has had these symptoms many times, but one never knows I guess.

 Friday - Posted this for the wrong time this morning. Don't know what's happening with Matt. Just rang the hospital and was told he was on a ward and to call back at 11 a.m.

Asparagus, Onion and Potato Gratin Makes a Great Vegetarian Main

This meatless main dish is hearty and cheesy yet light enough for spring. Be sure to use fat asparagus spears; thinner ones will overcook. Feel free to use 4 oblong, shallow gratin dishes for individual


1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes, quartered
Cooking spray
1 lb fat fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
6 spring onions, trimmed to 5 inches and halved lengthwise
1 cup whole milk
1 oz all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 oz aged Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 oz multigrain bread, finely chopped or torn
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; cover with cool water. Bring to a boil over high; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon; place in an 11- x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Add asparagus to boiling water; cook 1 minute. Add onion halves; cook 1 minute. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid; drain asparagus mixture. Arrange asparagus and onions in baking dish with potatoes.

4. Whisk together milk and flour in a small saucepan. Add reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer over medium-high; cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add salt, pepper, and cheese; stir until cheese melts. Spoon evenly over vegetables in baking dish. Bake at 375°F until top is bubbly and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small skillet over medium. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add bread and parsley, and toss to combine.

6. Remove gratin from oven. Preheat broiler to high with oven rack in upper middle position. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over gratin; broil until browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

Servings: 4

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day, stay well, stay safe.