Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lunch, Storms, Tournament,

Mushroom--Cheese-Toasties_thumb1For our lunch on Tuesday we had the mushroom recipe I posted on Monday, Mushroom Cheese Toasties, they were very  good. We changed things a bit, it says half a muffin per person, insufficient in our opinion so we had a whole muffin each, plus we used extra cheese. Other than that, we both enjoyed them.

Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I think Katya is veering north. I do hope she continues to do so. Damn, Later I found she had veered south again, so much for that. I am watching this storm like a hawk. Have you seen all the pictures of the flooding caused by Irene, particularly in the northern States. One picture was of a historic covered bridge being destroyed, the rivers backed up when the storm hit and they now feeling the results. I feel so sorry for people, I know what its like to be flooded. Homes being badly damaged and in some even recommended being caught in their homes by the floods. I said 1 billion dollars damage, they are now quoting $7 billion. As usual there were idiots who ignored warnings and surfed on the waves and then had to be rescued. That kind of thing really tees me off.

Today we are heading to Chatham, Kent, Ontario, for a bowling tournament on Thursday. In the end we decided to stay down there for the night, I booked at a Howard Johnson’s (known as Ho Jo’s) in Ridegetown about 20 minutes away from Chatham, which is a lot better than 2 1/2 hrs. from home. They have a fairly reasonable restaurant, well I haven’t eaten in one for a year or two, but they always were pretty good. Once upon a time they were noted for their fried clam strips, but they don’t do those any more, certainly not in Canada. Pity, I used to love them. Not sure if there will be a blog on Thursday, so don’t hold your breath. Wish us luck though.

Another recipe in the little booklet sent to me by Mushrooms Canada is this ragout below. I see the original comes from Mushroom Growers in Australia.

Mushroom, Tomato and Basil Ragout

This recipe is Immune System Approved!mushroom,tomatoandbasilragout

Serve a green salad and crusty bread with this one-pot vegetarian dish - perfect for a fast meal or as a side dish with grilled meat or fish. Orzo is tiny rice shaped pasta.

1 leek

2 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb. small fresh mushrooms, halved

1 can Italian flavoured tomatoes*

1 cup water

2/3 cup Orzo pasta

1/2 cup Fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


Slice off and discard the dark green tops and roots of leek. Cut in half lengthwise and rinse under water to remove any grit; thinly slice. In a large, deep skillet or saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until the leek begins to soften. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, breaking up with a spoon, water and orzo. Bring to boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 -15 minutes or until the orzo is tender and it has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the basil. Pass the cheese to sprinkle on top if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 main course servings

* Substitute stewed tomatoes or Herb and Spice flavoured tomatoes for the Italian flavoured tomatoes and add 1tbsp dried Italian seasoning with the tomatoes.

Nutritional Information
Per Serving
Calories: 237
Sodium: 266 mg
Protein: 7.4 g
Fat: 8.0 g
Carbohydrates: 36.8 g
Dietary Fibre: 5.4 g

Recipe adapted from the Australian Mushroom Growers' Association.

Have a great day


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Poachers and Hurricanes.

A friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to this picture and article. Her poached rhino xgoldcomment, they should all be shot, I do so agree. The picture shows a rhino and a calf killed by poachers who were after rhino horns (do calves even have horns?) - one poacher was shot, five were arrested, I don’t suppose they will get enough of a sentence to cause them any real distress although I agree with my friend, they should all be shot. Particularly those who remove the rhino horn when the poor animal is still alive. What creature deserves such torture? Maybe the poachers themselves? As members of the human race, we need to do something about this. Education is one very important aspect – teaching the buyers that rhino horn won’t do them a damned bit of good whatever they believe. No buyers, no poachers. If you are horrified at this picture, good, I hope it horrifies you enough to do something about it. Read more here.

On a lighter note, we both bowled pretty well yesterday considering how long it is since we last bowled. Other than our tournament on Thursday, we will only bowl once more before we go on vacation.

Irene has been and virtually gone although north Eastern Canada is still being pounded. However, there is another storm forming out in Katyathe Atlantic. If it becomes a hurricane it will be Katya. At the present time it is headed for the east coast of the United States, including North Carolina of course; just about arriving when we do. Matt thinks I shouldn’t get my knickers in a twist yet awhile, but one can’t help being concerned. This map comes from my programme TrackingtheEye.NET which I find very useful when travelling in hurricane prone areas. I used to have another programme when we lived in NC, but it will no longer work on modern computers, pity, it was a good little programme. Have you ever noticed some of the programmes which used to be available were better than some of the programmes around today?

Slow cooker or crockpot cooking isn’t a bad way to go in the warm weather. Admittedly things are cooling down a bit round here, but there are still lots of places having very warm weather.

Slow-Cooked Lemon Chicken


6 ServingsLemon chicken

Click here to find out more!


6 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 3 pounds), skin removed

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

Hot cooked rice


Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Combine the oregano, seasoned salt and pepper; rub over chicken.

In a skillet over medium heat, brown the chicken in butter; transfer to a 5 quart slow cooker.

Add water, lemon juice, garlic and bouillon to the skillet; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Baste the chicken. Add parsley.

Cover and cook 15-30 minutes longer or until meat juices run clear. If desired, thicken cooking juices and serve over chicken and rice.

Have a great day


Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene, Supper, Bowling.

I am glad to say that my friends appear to have survived pretty well during the attack by hurricane Irene over the weekend. There was a lot of damage and flooding all up the East Coast of the States and Canada will be getting the aftermath although Irene did start to fall apart by the time it reached New York. The Governor of New Jersey was saying there would be secondary flooding from the backed up creeks and rivers, the extent of which would not be kBogue Piernown too quickly. This applies to all the States in Irene’s path. We were told by one friend that Bogue Pier which is a feature of Emerald Isle where we stay on vacation, had been destroyed, however, another friend said it was just the end of the pier, an actual report says about 200 ft. were lost – they hope to rebuild. I have emailed Bogue Inlet Pier’s website to ask them. I don’t suppose we will be able to walk out on it when we go there on vacation. This morning on TV there are lots of pictures of flooding especially in New York and surrounding States. Quite horrific pictures.

One report this morning said there has been $1 billion’s worth of damage from Irene. Does that include the little people I wonder. A friend lost his boat – he found it but is not sure he can rescue it. I hope it was insured.

We went to a friend’s home for supper last night and had a very enjoyable evening. She had invited a mutual friend plus one of her girlfriends whom we had met once before. I indulged in Pecan Pie which is really good for diabetics!!!!! I enjoyed it though. Haven’t eaten pecan pie for a long time. I have also made it once or twice, but again, not for a very long time. Luckily my readings this morning weren’t too bad.

Today we start our new bowling season. We will bowl today and then next Monday is a holiday, and My Ballthe following two Mondays we will be on vacation. Bit pointless although we will get a couple of Friday games in. Thursday we have our tournament in Chatham – have to get up really early for that one. Leaving about 7 a.m. I guess, so wish us luck. Not sure if there will be a Thursday blog or not.

I promised to share the recipes sent by Mushrooms Canada when they sent me my apron the other day. Here is the first one. I think it looks rather delicious.

Quick Mushroom and Cheese Toasties

1Tbs vegetable oilMushroom & Cheese Toasties

1 package (250 g) white or crimini mushrooms, sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 English muffins, split

4 tsp. tomato sauce or paste

1.8 oz. mature cheddar cheese, grated.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the mushrooms and cook over a high heat for 4-5 mins. or until the mushrooms are golden brown. Remove from the heat and season to taste.

Preheat the grill. Place the muffins, cut side up, on the grill rack and toast on both sides. Place cut side up and spread some of the tomato sauce/paste on each muffin. Top with the mushrooms and a sprinkling of cheese.

Cook the muffins under the hot grill for 1-2 mins. until golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Serve hot.

4 servings.

Have a great day


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Statues, Irene. Apron.

One of the things I enjoy doing is jigsaw puzzles on Old Menline. I like them because you don’t have to turn all the pieces the right side up (I’m a tad lazy) although there aren’t, generally, as many pieces as you would get in a normal puzzle. Yesterday there was a picture of some statuary portraying a couple of sitting old men. Usually once you have done the puzzle it tells something about the picture, but in this case it didn’t. I decided to Google and discovered the picture was of a park, Vigeland, in Oslo, Norway which is famous for its sculpture by one man. It seemed such an unusual subject for a sculpture. Not sure why. I have been to Norway, but was never in Oslo. We mostly stuck to the west coast and went to places like Bergen. A lot of my memory of Norway was of rain. Maybe it was just the wrong time of the year.

ApronI nearly forgot to say that the apron which I won from Mushroom’s Canada arrived yesterday. I got Matt to take a picture – I do have rather a silly grin on my face - just to show you I received it. One thing I especially like, it has pockets which so many aprons don’t have any more. I also received a care and use book with a couple of recipes and a mushroom storage bag. I will share some of the recipes later, they look good. Thanks Mushroom’s Canada.

Today is the day Irene is supposed to make landfall, I wish all my friends in North Carolina the very  best. This time, I am not sure ‘riding it out’ is such a good idea although the point of impact is supposed to be Cape Hatteras, it is such a very big storm that a lot of places in its path will get pretty badly damaged. To everyone in the path of this storm I wish you the best and hope you will get through it safely. New York City will be shut down by midday today, they think lower Manhattan could well be flooded not to mention the tunnels of the subway system.

Yesterday I finished making some Pickled Red Red cabbage UKCabbage, English style. Much as I love the sweeter pickled red cabbage made around here, I do love the sour kind we use as a condiment when making hot pot. It cuts the fat of the recipe. I love it as a condiment anyway although its not on Matt’s favourite list. Actually, I would just eat it on its own, delicious. It is very simple to make. You shred a red cabbage and put it in a big bowl then salt it liberally. Leave it for 24 hours. Meanwhile boil 1 quart (UK) 100 ml. vinegar (I used white wine vinegar) with half an ounce of whole allspice and half an ounce of peppercorns. Let that cool thoroughly. The next day drain the cabbage in a plastic colander and when it is well drained, feed it into jars and pour the vinegar over top. It takes about 3 days for it to be mature enough to use. This recipe came from my mother’s copy of Mrs. Beeton’s household management which was printed in 1936. It is falling to bits, but you can still get wonderful recipes from the book.

One recipe, of course, is for and old English dish called Hot Pot (she also calls it Hodge Podge, new one on me) which I give you below. As you will see the wording is a little old fashioned, the book is, after all, over 70 years old, but I leave it to you to interpret it. For mutton read lamb; who can get hold of mutton these days? In fact we used to use scrag end of lamb – these days I have to pay a fortune for the type of lamb I want to use. Maybe lamb chops would actually be cheaper.

Hot Pot or Hodge Podge
Mrs. Beeton’s CookeryHot Pot
1 1/2 lb. neck or loin of mutton
1 lb. potatoes
1 good sized onion
1 oz. dripping
1/2 pt. good stock
chopped parsley
dried savoury herbs
salt and pepper

Wash, peel, and slice the potatoes, peel and cut into slices the onion, par-fry both potatoes and onion separately. Trim the mutton and cut into conveniently sized pieces, lightly fry them in a pan containing the dripping. Line a jot-pot jar with alternate layers of potatoes, meat and onion. Season each layer with salt and pepper and a pinch of dried savoury herbs. Moisten with the stock, cover the jar and place it to cook in a fairly hot oven for about 1 1/2 hours. The stew must cook slowly, and the fat must be carefully removed before the dish is sent to the table. When ready for serving, sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top.
Serves 4.

Have a great weekend

Friday, August 26, 2011

Family News, Books, Irene,

Yesterday we heard the news from family in England that Granddaughter, Beth, REsults_thumb2got 10 A*s and one A in her GCSE’s. What is particularly phenomenal about this is that she has taken them a year early. We are both thrilled to bits with these marks although with her it seems to be par for the course. I just felt I had to do some bragging about it in my blog. She is actually planning to go into the theatrical world which seems a little bit of a waste to me.
I finally finished A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin A Dance with Dragonsyesterday, I did enjoy it but I didn’t like the continual switching of characters every time a new chapter started. Another thing I am not keen on, every time he introduces sympathetic characters, he ends up bumping them off. Someone pointed out that he has too many main characters, I guess this is the problem although when he kills them off, that deletes that segment. A chapter or two we won’t have to worry about in future books, however many he ends up writing in this series. His books are available on Kindle by the way.

The Golden KeyI am now reading another book which was recommended to me by someone on line and I am damned if I can remember who that was. It is The Golden Key a collaboration by three authors, Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson and Kate Elliott, not sure if I have read any of their work before. Its actually an old book (1996) although the copy I have looks absolutely new and is not a paperback. I haven’t yet got very far, but what I have read is good.

Irene is causing lots of worries along the east coast of both the States and Canada. During a golf game in New Jersey which Matt was watching, they were talking about plans for Saturday or Sunday when the hurricane would arrive. All our friends in NC are battening down the hatches, and the outer islands are being evacuated. It is being described as a monster storm, particularly as it is over 500 miles wide. If you are out that far, high winds and rain will be about it, for you, but closer to the eye it could be very nasty in some areas. It is being touted as a category 4 in the near future. On GMA yesterday they were advising people not to try and take hurricane pix in cities and towns because of the dangers from flying debris. Even taking pix on beaches you could get caught in storm surge. Matt nearly was once. The swirling water came up the beach and surrounded him, luckily there were steps he could hang on to til the water retreated and that wasn’t even a hurricane just a major wind storm. We are hoping the rental cottage will be OK of course.

This morning there was a report of a rogue wave in Florida which swept 8 people from a dock/pier area. This wave was tied in with Irene. As they pointed out on GMA, today the hurricane is off land so there won’t be a lot of pictures about it, but tomorrow it is expected to hit land at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and the tides are morning and evening this weekend, just when the storm is expected to hit causing a surge. New York city is also evacuating low areas in the expectation of a storm surge too.
This looks like a good lunch.

Turkey, Corn and Sun-Dried Tomato Wraps

From Eating Well: July/August 2011
Fresh corn kernels, tomatoes and lettuce fill these hearty turkey wraps. This wrap is great for picnics or when you need to have Turkey Wrapsdinner on the run. Add some crumbled feta or shredded Cheddar for another layer of flavour. Serve with carrot sticks, sliced bell pepper or other crunchy vegetables plus your favourite creamy dressing.
4 servings  Ingredients
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh (see Tip) or frozen (thawed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped soft sun-dried tomatoes (see Shopping Tip)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 8 thin slices low-sodium deli turkey (about 8 ounces)
  • 4 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  1. Combine corn, tomato, sun-dried tomatoes, oil and vinegar in a medium bowl.
  2. Divide turkey among tortillas. Top with equal portions of the corn salad and lettuce. Roll up. Serve the wraps cut in half, if desired.
Per serving :321 Calories; 12 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 5 g Mono; 35 mg Cholesterol; 35 g Carbohydrates; 19 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 682 mg Sodium; 325 mg Potassium
2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 2 fat
Tips & Notes
  • Tip: To remove corn kernels from the cob, stand an ear of corn on one end and slice the kernels off with a sharp knife. One ear will yield about 1/2 cup kernels.
  • Shopping Tip: Look for soft sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed) in the produce section of most supermarkets. If you can only find dry (and hard) sun-dried tomatoes, soak them in boiling water for about 20 minutes before using.
Have a great day.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Irene, Tornado, Looking Good at 83.

I was talking to friends in North Carolina yesterday, they are making provisions for a visit from Hurricane hurricane-irene-projected-path-map-1Irene. Earlier Irene was only a Category 1 but is forecast to strengthen to a 3. There have been 7 named storms already this year, but this is the first one which has actually developed into a hurricane. The maximum sustained winds late last night were 120 KT which is about 138 mph and expected to become stronger. Looking at the curve of the projected route, the eye may well miss the Carolinas altogether but even a glancing blow at that ferocity is likely to cause a lot of damage. At the moment Irene is likely to come ashore in New York or further north. I think the Canadian Maritimes may feel quite a bit of the storm. The software on my laptop shows a slightly more eastern path. Anyway, I hope, for my friends, it will not be too bad. I believe it didn’t do the Bahamas a lot of good last night according to reports, but the map above hasn’t changed on the internet although on my programme it still looks more eastern.

Meanwhile back at the ranch yesterday, we had tornado warnings for our area, but they dissipated and in the afternoon we had quite a pleasant day however, later in the evening we had one hell of a thunderstorm with lots of lightening but, round here certainly, we didn’t get a tornado thank God. I was feeling somewhat nervous though as the skies close to sunset looked pretty threatening. This morning you would hardly know it even rained although a lot of people had their power knocked out by the storms.

A report on GMA today about an 83 yr. old womanBreast Implant who had a breast enhancement. Why not? Apparently some of her family were dead set against it, probably worried about their inheritances!! She looked good and felt good which is what its all about. If you can afford it, go for it. And, she did look good.
I like beans, I like rice, what more can I say. I’ve never heard of vegan Worcestershire sauce, but I wouldn’t use it personally.

Baltimorean Beans and Rice

By The No Meat Athlete
WebMD Recipe from
Picture of Baltimorean Beans and Rice Rice and beans come together to make a simple way to get both complex carbohydrates and protein in a single vegetarian meal. Throw in fantastic versatility at pennies per serving and you've got yourself not just the backbone of the vegetarian diet for runners but also a universal staple food. In this recipe, black-eyed peas take the place of beans.
1 cup dry brown rice
4 cups black-eyed peas
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chopped kale
2 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (can substitute with regular Worcestershire sauce)
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 tsp Old Bay, or any Chesapeake-style seafood seasoning
Put brown rice and water together in a pot with a lid. Use the ratio of 1.5 cups water to 1 cup rice. Set the heat to maximum, and bring the rice/water to a boil uncovered. Then put the lid on the pot, and reduce the heat to low/simmer. If your lid has a steam valve, keep it closed. Let the rice simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the rice sit in the covered pot for another 10 minutes.
Heat up the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and heat through. Fry the kale with the peas and onion mixture for a few minutes until wilted. Add the cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and corn, heat through. Sprinkle rice with the Old Bay seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the pea mixture with the rice.
Total Servings: 4
Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories: 396
Carbohydrates: 99.5g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat:
Fiber: 41.2g
Sodium: 126 mg
Protein: 37.7 g
Have a great day and keep away from hurricanes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shakes and Twists. Layton Cartoon.

Quake mapMatt was in the living room and I was in the bathroom. I could hear something clinking which I thought he was doing then I saw the vanity shaking. It was an earthquake – the whole building shook. I subsequently found out the epicentre was near Washington, DC, about 360 miles away as the crow flies. It was a 5.9 magnitude quake and lots of buildings were evacuated – silly thing is it was all over by the time an evacuation would have been complete. Apparently the broad area of its effect was because it wasn’t very deep, approximately 1 km., it was felt from Southern Ontario to North Carolina.

We are doing very well in Ontario lately we had a twister last Sunday which did a lot of damage in Goderich which isn’t too far from here. One person killed and 37 injured. People aren’t too prepared for tornadoes in Ontario although we do get them now and again. We sure aren’t well prepared for quakes.

A friend posted this cartoon on Facebook yesterday, it was from the Toronto Star, I thought it was Layton Cartoonsuch a fitting one for Jack Layton who died the day before. Her comment was “he would probably have worn a helmet, but…”  Everyone seems to have thought a lot of him no matter what their politics. He is to lie in state in both Ottawa and Toronto until his funeral on Saturday which will take place in the Roy Thompson Hall, downtown Toronto at 2 p.m.

We have a lot of cauliflower in the house at the moment so I was looking for a soup recipe. I found the following one which involved the most unusual use of Cheerios so I thought I would share it. I will not be making it as I don’t intend to go buy a packet of Cheerios just for it, but if you already have them in your cereal cupboard…..

Cauliflower Soup



Courtesy of : Bob Blumer

Yield :  6


  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • Butter
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 3 cups half and half or whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon Indian spices (i.e. garam masala)
  • 1 cup Cheerios
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter and add spices. Add Cheerios and toss thoroughly. Transfer spiced Cheerios to a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes, or until crispy. Reserve.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat bring cauliflower, onion and cream to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cauliflower is completely soft.
  4. Purée entire contents of pot in a blender until smooth. Thin with vegetable stock until soup consistency. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  5. To serve, pour soup into a cereal-style bowl and sprinkle generously with spiced Cheerios.

Have a great day


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

RIP Jack, Gold Prices,

Jack LaytonI was sorry to hear NDP leader Jack Layton died  of cancer early yesterday morning. I hadn’t realised he was that ill, the publicity certainly didn’t give us that impression. I don’t know what kind of cancer he had, originally he had prostate cancer which was treated then he announced he had a new bout of cancer and had to step down from the party leadership. At our last election he made a big killing in Quebec. His politics were not mine, but I liked him just the same, he certainly had charisma. The party and the country will miss him. I learned later he was 61, not very old, but then as Matt said, cancer doesn’t care how old you are.

As most of you will know, gold prices have been reaching the moon,scrap gold its just short of $2,000 an ounce right now. I remember when America came off the gold standard it was $35 an ounce. That being said, Matt was telling me tonight that thieves are ripping bracelets and necklaces, etc. off people in the streets as well as breaking into jewellery stores and stealing gold from them. They then melt it all down so no one can tell where it came from, presumably they then sell it – to buy drugs perhaps. I sold a lot of gold a couple of years ago, I should have waited, but who knew? I still have some pieces I wear but now I am scared to, not that I walk in the streets very often.

I promised Devilled Kidneys and here they are. I was glad to hear at least one of my readers eats the things I talked about yesterday, including kidneys.

Devilled Kidneys

Devilled Kidneys

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

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

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

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

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

Servings: 4

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

Source: The Ultimate Hot and Spicy Cookbook

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

Have a great day


Monday, August 22, 2011

Diabetes Fund Raising

I have been asked if I would publicise this event for the Canadian Diabetes Association. I hope there will be people in this area who can join in.


Join us this fall for a fun-filled crop. Find a babysitter, bring a girlfriend & support the

Canadian Diabetes Association by doing something you love.

WHERE: Waterloo Mennonite Brethren Church, 245 Lexington Rd., Waterloo, ON

WHEN: Saturday, September 17th, 2011

~ 9:00AM - 4:30PM

WHAT: - Great workspace

- Cool Door Prizes

- “Stampin Up” Make & Take Station

- Visit with Pampered Chef, Latasia (jewlery), Epicure, Tupperware Displays & MORE

COST: $40/person - Includes lunch, snacks, goodie bag *Sorry no refunds

To REGISTER, or for more info., please contact HEIDI at:



***Register by Aug. 31st & receive early bird prize tickets***


Register TODAY!


You can also check us out on:

Have a great day

Market, Breakfast.

KidneysSaturday morning, Matt nipped over to the Kitchener market to pick up the lamb’s kidneys I had ordered. I asked for 24 and got 26 so I was very pleased as they weren’t sure they could do that many for me anyway. Saturday night we had a lot of leftovers although no pork so we defrosted steaks. Matt bought some more flat beans in the morning too although I still had a few left. I guess a number of people are going to say yuk about the kidneys, but I was brought up with them and love them, devilled, in sherry sauce, fried with bacon and eggs for breakfast, yummy. My father was a great gourmet and loved all kinds of things which you rarely hear of people eating any more. We often had herrings and kippers for breakfast of course, but we also had things like salted belly of pork or sliced brisket (I guess what would be known as corned beef here – no I don’t mean the canned stuff) and then of course there was black pudding. Delicious stuff. These days in Canada, if you find black pudding, it is almost fat free and does not taste the same. We managed to find a butcher in the UK who made real black puds, delicious if not all that healthy for you.

Sunday night we had Devilled Kidneys for supper, I know some of you are busting to get the recipe, LOL, so I am going to post it tomorrow. Talking to Matt whilst eating our kidneys, which were delicious by the way, I started remembering that a couple of Fry Uphundred years ago, they would have been served for breakfast along with lots of bacon, scrambled eggs, maybe lamb chops, etc. all of which would have been in chafing dishes on the sideboard waiting for the guests and family. Those were the days. Of course there would have been all the fish dishes, various meats as I mentioned above not forgetting porridge with lots of cream to go with it. Not many people ate their porridge with sugar in those days, like my dad, it would have been a sprinkling of salt, I never liked that.

These days we would be way too fat (well we are anyway) with breakfasts like that, but they thought a 3 mile walk was close by and of course they rode horses a lot too, lots of exercise which we don’t get today. Looking for a suitable picture I kept finding breakfasts with Heinz Baked Beans on the plates, these were certainly not served in those days, they wouldn’t have been available anyway. This is a very modern thing and I personally cannot imagine anything worse for breakfast. We certainly never had anything like that although, as a kid, shortly after the war, I was sometimes fed baked beans on toast for my supper before being sent off to bed – dinner being served later of course.

Now to fatten you all up, I thought this recipe looked absolutely delicious so I had to share it  with you.

Blueberry Sour Cream Torte

By Dana Treat
WebMD Recipe from

Picture of Blueberry Sour Cream TorteThe thing about having people over to our house is I can’t just make dinner. I have to make dessert.
Sunday night is casual at our house, so rather than flipping through the wrong baking books, I immediately turned to The Greyston Bakery Cookbook. Sometimes desserts just call to me and this time it was this Blueberry Sour Cream Torte.

I had my doubts about this one. Going in, the crust seemed awfully dry and like it was going to be too tall. The torte took much longer to bake than the 45 minutes given in the recipe and when I pulled it out, I still wasn’t sure the top was going to be set. I got impatient to take photos before it got dark, so I released the springform pan before it was completely cool. As a result, I had some blueberry leakage. But none of it mattered once I’d tasted it. The crust was perfectly crisp (not soggy at all – even with all that wet stuff on top), the blueberries burst in our mouths, and the topping was creamy and just a bit sour. Another winner from this terrific book.

The recipe says to serve this with vanilla ice cream or a small dollop of sour cream sweetened to taste with maple syrup. I made blueberry frozen yogurt which tasted wonderful with it. Before you take the collar off the springform pan, I would run a thin knife around the sides, just to make sure you don’t have anything stick.


For the crust
1½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
½ cup ground almonds
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup butter (1 stick)

For the Filling
4 cups fresh blueberries
½ sugar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup cornstarch

For the topping
2 egg yolks
2 cups sour cream
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9″ found springform pan and line the pan bottom with a parchment paper round. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, almonds, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it forms coarse crumbs.

Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF.

Prepare the Filling
In a medium saucepan, toss the blueberries with the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat until the blueberries are bubbling and beginning to burst, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring gently several times. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Prepare the topping
In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.

Finish the Torte
Spoon the filling over the crust. Spoon the topping evenly over the filling and smooth it with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping browns and appears to have set. Set the pan on a wire rack until completely cool. Release and remove pan sides.

Total Servings: 12

Nutritional Information Per Serving

Calories: 376
Carbohydrates: 49.8
Cholesterol: 72mg
Fat: 18.7g
Saturated Fat: 10.3g
Fiber: 2.2g
Sodium: 175mg
Protein: 4.6g

Have a great day


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Funnies, Dinner.

SignA friend on Facebook posted a link to these amended signs which I think are funny and so I thought I would share them with you. Some people have a wonderful sense of humour and the Mail Online has collected a bunch of these signs. It brings to mind the time I was teaching in the Borstal in England (a Borstal was a young person’s prison) and I went to the ladies loo one day – the doors were the type which didn’t reach the floor. Someone had scratched on one “beware of limbo dancers”. I thought it was very funny.

We had friends over for dinner last night and served them IndianCarrot Cake Spiced Cold Tomato Soup, I posted the recipe on July 25, followed by Pork Tenderloin “Rosa di Parma”, recipe on April 6. For dessert I bought a carrot cake from M & M Meats. I guess I should learn how to make carrot cakes, only trouble being, as usual, most of it would end up on my hips. Matt enjoys it, but not like I do. I should mention we served flat beans and baked potatoes with the pork. Something Europeans may not be aware of, North Americans tend to eat crackers with their soups, but what they do is crumble lots of crackers into the soup so, in effect, they end up with cracker soup. I think this is a bit of an insult to the chef. Of course I don’t serve crackers anyway so they don’t get a chance. Best I ever do is crusty bread.

I thought this was a fun dessert particularly in barbecue season. Something the kids could make.

Grilled Banana SplitKK_09_0320_shot_07_v3-032.tif


Cut a small piece off the curved side of 4 unpeeled bananas so they'll sit level, then make a deep slit down the center of each through the peel; place on separate sheets of foil. Open the slits and brush the inside of each banana with melted butter, then sprinkle with sugar and 1 ounce chopped semisweet chocolate; fold up the foil. Grill the packets over high heat until the chocolate melts, 6 to 8 minutes (don't worry if the peel turns brown). Open the peels and top the bananas with ice cream, whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry.

Photograph by Kang Kim

Have a great weekend


Friday, August 19, 2011

Old Coin, Fish, Blogging

300 yr old gold coinAt an archaeological dig in Newfoundland, they have discovered a 300 yr. old gold coin from Portugal, read here The coin was minted in 1708 and was bent in an S shape signifying it may have been presented as a love token to a woman. She thought a lot of it obviously, LOL. Apart from the fact that it was gold and she must have lost it somewhere. At one time the town was sacked by the French, but that was before this coin was minted, so she had no excuse. It is in fact the second gold coin found there in Ferryland, Nfld. the first was an even older Scottish coin.

For health reasons we should eat more fish, particularly if you don’t fish_monger_at_fish_marketeat fish at all. Here is a quiz from WebMD to see what you know about fish. Fish Quiz I didn’t do too well the first time, but I got 100% the second time. Well for a start I had no idea about pregnant women and fish, well that’s my excuse anyway. We both enjoy fish – unfortunately, living so far from the sea, it is a very expensive commodity in Ontario.

Yesterday I had the devil’s own job posting my blog from Windows Live Writer. I hope I have no difficulty today. What I had to do was copy it all over to the Blogger site then reinsert all the headers and pictures. Took forever. Until I try, I won’t know if I have the problem today. I do hope not. I have been blogging from my laptop lately so I can keep my feet up (oedema from my op) so haven’t checked it out on my desktop.

I guess I now have to post a fish recipe. This is a poached salmon recipe. I had a friend who always poached her salmon in the microwave, she swore it was the best tasting poached fish possible.

Cold Poached Salmon with Ginger Mayonnaise

The Homemakers Test Kitchen

Cold poached fish, especially salmon, is a classic summer dish. For a salmon on mayonnaiserefreshing light meal, serve with cucumber salad or cooled, blanched summer vegetables and a fresh baguette from the bakery.


1 piece (2 inches/5 cm) gingerroot

4 green onions

2 tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar

4 salmon fillets (each 4 to 5 oz/125 to 150 g)

1/3 cup (75 mL) mayonnaise, light or regular

2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil

Salt and white pepper or pepper


Thinly slice half of the ginger; finely grate enough of the remaining ginger to make 2 tsp (10 mL). Cut white parts of onions into 1-inch (2.5 cm) lengths; finely slice green parts and place in small bowl of ice water. Set aside.
In saucepan just large enough to hold salmon in one layer, pour in enough water to come 2 inches (5 cm) up side of pan; add sliced ginger, white parts of onions, 4 tsp (20 mL) of the vinegar and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salmon; cover and cook at bare simmer just until fish flakes easily when tested, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove fish with slotted spoon; let cool.

(Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)
Drain green parts of onions. Mix mayonnaise with grated ginger, onions, remaining vinegar, sesame oil and ¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper. Serve with salmon.

Serving(s) 4

Have a great day


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Top Tomato, M & M Meats, Movies

As I mentioned yesterday, I joined Matt on his shopping expedition at the crack of dawn, well seems like that to me to go shopping at 7 a.m., and amongst other things, I came across a “family pack” of small artichokes, 12 for around $6 as opposed to two larger ones for $8 although I must admit the larger ones did look delicious. When we were home I cooked the little ones so I could have some for my lunch. Much to my surprise I discovered they were grown in Markham, Ontario. I had no idea artichokes could be grown in Canada, to me they are a product of warmer climes (mostly from California here) although it can get pretty warm here in the summer. I Googled the name of the grower and found an article in The Star all about it. The grower’s name is Dominic DeFilippis and he was born here, but is of Italian descent. The company is Top Tomato Foods and they have been in business with more usual crops for a number of years, they have only recently branched out into experiments with such things as artichokes. One thing in the Star article, the author mentioned eating artichokes and dipping the leaves in melted butter, new one on me, I have always used a good vinaigrette sauce although these days I tend to use a bought Italian salad dressing which works very well.

I remember Markham, Ontario for its acres and acres of black soil where there is an inordinate amount of farming carried out. At the end of the article in the Star it states that the land the DeFillippis are renting may well be sold for housing. God forbid. What a dreadful waste of wonderful farming land. If you look at their site, they grow many other things and market Zucchini Blossoms which I have not seen for years. You can do all kinds of wonderful things with them, not least of which is to stuff them. They are delicious. I don’t know where these are sold locally, if at all, but I will be looking out for them.

In the afternoon, we went to M & M Meats, an interesting store which sells all kinds of frozen pre-made foods, if you click on the link it will give you some idea of what they sell. I was actually after a Carrot Cake, however whilst there we decided to try one of their pizzas. It was a thin crust with tomatoes, basil and cheese. We cooked it for supper and it was very enjoyable. I think I will buy some more and keep them in the freezer for a quick meal. M & M’s started around the time we first came to Canada some 36 years ago and have been very successful. They have quite a fantastic range of foods, not all of which we have tried, not all of those we have tried do I like. In fact we have bought teriyaki sirloin steaks which I found horribly sweet – Matt thought they were OK. We have bought other sirloin steaks from them with different marinades which have been very good.

I watched Dragonheart last night, I have seen it before, but I really enjoy that movie. Well its about dragons isn’t it? I have also got Jane Eyre to watch. There is a second Dragonheart: A New Beginning movie which I need to check out.

I had the devil's own job posting this blog today.

This recipe came from their website.

Fried Zucchini Blossoms


12 Zucchini Blossoms, stems and pistils removed
1 cup self rising flour
5 Eggs
1 tbsp Parmesan Cheese grated (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying


Prepare flour in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Wash zucchini blossoms and ensure they are relatively dry (use salad spinner or pat dry).

Heat up vegetable oil for frying. Dredge blossoms in flour and then in the egg mixture and place them in the frying pan and fry until golden. Enjoy!!

**Try stuffing them with goat cheese and then following the recipe instructions**

Copyright © 2011. Top Tomato Foods Ltd.| designed by m.sullivan

Have a great day