Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall Photos and Cars.

I took a couple of pictures on and from our balcony which I am sharing with you today.
Fall 2013 003
This is one of the many trees we can see from our windows and it is busy flaunting its fall colours. Once fall really gets into swing, we have lots of great colours right in our own ‘backyard’.
Much to our surprise our geraniums and basil was still alive and thriving when we got back from vacation.Fall 2013 005 Well, OK there are a couple of brown leaves, but lots of flowers.Fall 2013 006 The brown leaves will soon disappear.
Here again, there are a few dead leaves at the bottom but the top part is thriving and I am planning to make some more tomato soup to use up some of the leaves. Maybe some pesto as well. Considering these plants were not touched in two weeks we were somewhat impressed they were doing so well.

L. Diane Wolfe in her blog Spunk on a Stick discussed all the cars she has owned in her life so far, which, of course, made me think about the cars I have owned. Diane had pictures, I do not, but I do remember my first car was an old Ford and its license plate was RD9295. I called her Jemima (one of my mother’s favourite names, glad she didn’t choose it for me, Victoria was her other favourite and a cousin got lumbered with that, not as bad as Jemima though). I have never had a ‘thing’ about cars, to me there are purely and simply a means for getting from place to place, except – many years ago, in Paris, France, I saw a bright red Mercedes Sports Car and I always wanted that car. Now they would be collectibles I suppose. In fact we did see one on the road recently, although I can’t remember where, probably on our trip to NC and back.

Bowling today again. Keep everything crossed for me please.

These chicken crisps I found from Food and Wine sound delightful and probably very moreish. I am not sure where one would obtain 3 or 4 chicken skins mind you and I suspect their calorie content is NOT low. I love crackly pork rinds too – I bought a bag whilst in NC and I am sure these would be equally delicious.

Chicken Crisps

Contributed by Matthias Merges

Crispy chicken skins are even better than fried pork rinds. At Yusho in Chicago, chef Matthias Merges bakes them until crackly, then tops them with sweet-and-salty seasonings. The skins are an utterly addictive snack that's especially good with cocktails or beer.Chicken Crisps

  1. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  2. 5 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  3. 3/4 pound chicken skin in large pieces (from 3 to 4 chickens), excess fat removed
  4. Kosher salt, for seasoning
  5. Togarashi (Japanese seasoning mix), for seasoning
  6. Whole-grain mustard, for brushing
  7. Honey, for drizzling
  8. Finely grated lime zest, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, combine the vegetable oil with the sliced garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until the garlic is golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic chips to paper towels to drain.
  2. Spread out the chicken skin in a flat single layer on the prepared baking sheets and season lightly with salt and togarashi. Top the chicken skin with another sheet of parchment paper and another baking sheet to weigh it down. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the skins are golden and crisp; rotate the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking.
  3. Transfer the crispy chicken skins to paper towels to drain. Lightly brush with whole-grain mustard and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle lightly with honey, garnish with the garlic chips and lime zest and serve.
Make Ahead The crispy chicken skins and garlic chips can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 hours. Brush with mustard and drizzle with honey before serving.

Have a great day

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall Weather? Stains. Supper. The Book.

Friday morning we awoke to pretty thick fog. I guess because of all the hot weather we have been having. It has been like summer for the last few days. In the afternoon we had to turn on the a/c again and I was still sweltering because the sun was pouring in the windows. I also changed into shorts and a lighter shirt. Amazing weather really. The first thing we did was head to Vincenzo’s and I found the recommended horseradish and the Kimchi. Bought myself some mascarpone too, the real Italian stuff not the version with various gums in it for preservation. Makes it taste sweet which, I suppose is OK if you want to make a dessert, but for a savoury item, Kimchi stainno thank you. At lunchtime I finished off the Kimchi I bought in NC and splashed my shirt, now I can’t get the spots out. My Oxy Clean didn’t do the trick. I have seen a tip about the juice of spring onions (green onions) but I don’t have any handy. Another shirt I appear to have splashed with bleach (I think that’s what’s given it a couple of yellow blotches anyway) and that won’t remove either. As both shirts are fairly new, I am not a happy camper.

We bought steak for supper tonight so that I can try out the Shrimp Creolehorseradish so keep your fingers crossed for me that I find it really hot and spicy. Meanwhile for Friday night I used some of our recently imported shrimp to make a Camarones a la Criolla or Creole Shrimp which is a favourite of ours. Peeling the shrimp, I was quite surprised at how large they were. We don’t normally buy the larger shrimp as they are generally too expensive. There were certainly a lot of large shrimp in the package I used for supper. It’s a simple enough recipe to do.

Cassa StormSome of you may have heard that there is a new book out called Cassa Storm. I am reading it right now and am about half way through. The promise of the first two books has been continued in the third and this one is definitely very exciting and full of excellent characterisations. I am enjoying it and the only reason I am not reading it right now, I am blogging instead!! The book was written by some Ninja Captain Guitarist who has a noticeable internet presence, in his saner moments he is Alex J. Cavenaugh. Once again Alex, excellent book. I will be sorry to finish it.

I assumed you would like to have the recipe once more, so here it is.

Shrimp Creole

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepperShrimpCreole2
1/2 cup celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tsp peanut oil
flour for thickening
ground black pepper
2 cup fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes drained
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder (or Tabasco sauce) and/or fresh chillis
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup sherry
1 lb shrimp cleaned and deveined
cooked white rice, basmati for preference

Sauté onions, peppers, celery and garlic in hot oil until tender. Make a roux with a little flour. Add tomatoes, paste, sherry and seasoning. Simmer 45 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer for 10 mins. Just before service add Worcester sauce. Serve over rice and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Servings: 4

Have a great day

Friday, September 27, 2013

Lunch, Bowling, Vincenzo’s.

Thursday we started our Seniors Travel League bowling. We meet once a month at different alleys around the area and just have a fun Red Lobster Sweet Chilli Shrimpafternoon of bowling. A number of us meet for lunch first. This time we went to The Red Lobster which is the nearest restaurant to Towne Bowl which, these days, is home alley for Matt and I. Having checked on line I found that the dish of garlic shrimp was 150 calories, I thought that’s what we had eaten and enjoyed before. Turned out I was wrong, it was the Sweet Chilli Shrimp, so both Matt and I chose it. I limited myself to one of their biscuits only as they too were 150 calories. When I got home later, I checked on line and was horrified to find that the Sweet Chilli Shrimp was 1,040 calories, almost my whole day’s allowance. Horrors. Delicious as it is, I will not be eating it again any time soon. However, if you like things a bit spicy and are not counting calories, I can highly recommend the dish.

On to bowling which was fair, I actually had a turkey today (three strikes in a row) which I haven’t done in a long while. Matt too was Pin_Animation1bowling well – he was on another team. On these Travel Leagues we always have coffee and donuts. I had allocated calories for a cake type donut. I had only eaten one biscuit and now one donut, thought I was doing fine. Hah!! A bowling friend brought his wife along to bowl too, she had never bowled before and much to our delight she was getting spares and at least one strike. She played two games and was hurting so stopped. Not sure if she wants to join us again or not. I do hope so.

Vincenzo'sToday, Friday, we have nothing special to do although we will probably go to Vincenzo’s to investigate the kimchi and horseradish situation. The first time we ever went to that store, we met a friend coming out and she expressed the hope that we had left our credit cards at home. It is a very tempting store and we would find it very easy to spend a small fortune on goodies there. This is an article about the store. This is the store’s website. They have the most wonderful cheese counter amongst all their products. Also wonderful cakes and such, but I avoid that section. There is a Chinese girl who works there, several days a week, making dumplings which are to die for.

Obviously, now I have to give a recipe for dumplings. Matt used to make a similar potsticker years ago, will have to get him to do so again. As I recall, he used to buy the wrappers in the grocery store rather than make them himself.

Chinese Dumplings - Potstickers - Panfried Pork Dumplings

By Rhonda Parkinson,

Potstickers are one of the most popular types of Chinese dumplings. This recipe includes a dipping sauce and instructions on making the dough.

Yields about 48 potstickers.potstickers pork dumplings
  • Dumpling Dough
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Filling:
  • 8 ounces celery cabbage (Napa cabbage)
  • 3 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions, with tops
  • 1 TB white wine
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Dash white pepper
  • Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Other:
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cut the cabbage across into thin strips. Mix with 2 teaspoons salt and set aside for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the excess moisture.
In a large bowl, mix the celery cabbage, pork, green onions, wine, cornstarch, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and the white pepper.
In a bowl, mix the flour and 1 cup boiling water until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly flour surface about 5 minutes, or until smooth.
Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a roll 12 inches long and cut each roll into 1/2-inch slices.
Roll 1 slice of dough into a 3-inch circle and place 1 tablespoon pork mixture in the center of the circle. Lift up the edges of the circle and pinch 5 pleats up to create a pouch to encase the mixture. Pinch the top together. Repeat with the remaining slices of dough and filling.
Heat a wok or nonstick skillet until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, tilting the wok to coat the sides. If using a nonstick skillet, add 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil. Place 12 dumplings in a single layer in the wok and fry 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown.
Add 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook 6 to 7 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.
To make a dipping sauce, in a small bowl, mix the soy sauce with 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Serve with the dumplings.

Have a great day

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fox, Boa Nova.

Why am I posting a picture of a fox? No special reason really, I just saw it in a World Wildlife Fund email requesting donations and I liked it so I borrowed it. I support WWF wholeheartedly although not as much financially as I used to. I already have a number of plush animals from donations I made and have often done memorial donations too. However, rent increases and pensions don’t so can’t do much financially any more. I do like the picture though. Before I grew up, I used to think fox hunting was wonderful with all those splendid horses and wonderful riders in pink (that’s what they call the red coats, hunting pink, no real known reason although there is a legend about a tailor called Pink) then I began to learn more about animals and their preservation and realised I do NOT like fox hunting although they are still a splendid sight. Wish they could chase something else though.

We went to the Boa Nova as planned, accompanied by a friend, her hubby had gone away forgetting the occasion. Pity, we had a good evening. But I was full to bursting by the time we left. Everything was delicious as usual and I over ate at the buffet of starters first, they had some delicious mussels and some gorgeous fava beans, very Portuguese. One disappointment, they didn’t have any lamb although there were lots of other meats to eat. I chickened out before the others did. I had extra pineapple though, that is especially delicious.

This recipe appealed to me although sounds as though it could be very hot and spicy.

Poblano and Skirt Steak Fajitas

WebMD Recipe from

This variation on fajitas pairs fresh poblanos with steak and scallions. Skirt steak has fabulous flavour but tends to be chewy, so slice it thinly across the grain.poblano_skirt_steak_fajitas
  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, divided, plus lime wedges for garnish
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 2 bunches scallions, trimmed
  • 3  poblano peppers, (see Note)
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile, (see Note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1-1 1/4 pounds skirt steak, trimmed
  • Hot sauce, for serving
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed (see Tip)
  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Mash avocados in a medium bowl with a fork. Stir in cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Brush scallions and poblanos with 2 teaspoons oil. Combine ancho chile, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub both sides of steak with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and the spice mixture.
  4. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the poblanos, turning often, until softened and charred, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and cover with a plate or plastic wrap to trap the heat. Grill the scallions, turning frequently, until softened and lightly charred, 2 to 4 minutes. Grill the steak 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest.
  5. Meanwhile, slice the scallions into 1-inch pieces and transfer to a serving dish. Peel as much skin as possible from the peppers, discard the stems and seeds, and slice into 1/2-inch-wide strips; transfer to the serving dish. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the vegetables and toss to combine. Slice the steak very thinly, then chop into small pieces. Serve the steak and vegetables with the guacamole, lime wedges, hot sauce and tortillas.
Note: Poblano peppers can be fiery or relatively mild; there’s no way to tell until you taste them. Ancho chile peppers, one of the most popular dried chiles used in Mexico, are dried poblano peppers. They have a mild, sweet, spicy flavor. Ground ancho chile pepper can be found in the specialty-spice section of large supermarkets, or substitute ground chili powder plus a pinch of cayenne. Tips: To heat tortillas: Wrap in foil and bake at 300°F until steaming, about 10 minutes or wrap tortillas in barely damp paper towels and microwave on High for 30 to 45 seconds. To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray before placing it on the grill.

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Grouse, Anniversary, Vincenzo’s.

Well after all my grousing yesterday, I do feel better today. What an Red Grouseodd word grouse is, do Grouse grouse? I just did some Googling and Wiki tells me the grouse with which I am familiar is the Red Grouse which is considered a game bird and as every Britisher of my age group knows, is hunted from August 12th or The Glorious Twelfth. I have never eaten a grouse and understand it is a similar bird to the Ptarmigan and the only thing I know about that is that in The Clan of the Cave Bear, it was a favourite of their Mog Ur when cooked stuffed with its own eggs. I imagine Red Grouse are very good eating from all I have heard and the amount which are shot each year. However, I still haven’t found a connection between the bird and grousing or complaining.

Today the old man and I celebrate 41 years of wedded bliss, or something, and have decided to go to the Boa Nova Rodizio Boa Nova SkewersGrill which calls itself a Portuguese restaurant with a Brazilian twist; in Kitchener. You know; where they bring the skewers of fire roasted meats to your table and carve off what you require. Delicious. There is an hors d’oeuvres bar and then when you are ready you eat the barbecued meats and if you wish you can finish with barbecued pineapple. I just realised today that in fact the pineapple isn’t considered dessert and they have desserts as well. They gave Matt a cheesecake with a candle for his birthday some years ago, so I guess I should have known. Our anniversary is yet another of those celebrations where I drink fizz, or wines made by the methode champenoise. Sparkling wine anyway.

This is getting like being on vacation because Thursday we will be eating at the Red Lobster prior to our first Travel League outing this season. Now where can we go Friday? I gained a few pounds whilst away so I actually have to work at losing them again. Restaurants don’t help.

Think I mentioned I brought back some Kimchi from NC. Meant to get more. Matt doesn’t like it but I adore it. I guess I could make my own, but don’t really have room in an apartment for storage of such things. I decided to call my favourite deli store, Vincenzo’s and lo and behold, they have it. Not only that, I thought I would ask about horseradish and they assure me they have one which brings tears to the eyes. They are a good place to shop so I believe them and will try it out. Now we have a different bowling alley, we don’t pass them each week so have to make a special trip.

This recipe comes from Kevin at Closet Cooking who is also a fan of Kimchi and does make his own. Actually, re-reading it, maybe I will have a go at making my own. Not sure if I can get gochugaru, maybe I should check in Vincenzo’s for that too.


1 medium napa cabbage (about 2-3 pounds)Kimchi
1/2 cup salt
1 bunch green onions (sliced into 1 inch pieces)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 inch ginger (grated)
1 cup gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes)
2 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce for a vegetarian version)

1. Cut the napa cabbage in half, remove the core and slice the cabbage into 1 inch wide strips.
2. Place a layer of cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle some salt onto the cabbage. Repeat until all of the cabbage is in the bowl and salted.
3. Let the cabbage sit in the salt for a few hours.
4. Rinse the salt from the cabbage.
5. Mix the cabbage, green onions, garlic, ginger, gochugaru and fish sauce in the large bowl.
6. Place the cabbage mixture into a sealable container, leave a couple of inches at the top.
7. Seal the container and let ferment at room temperature for 2-3 days.
8. Place the container in the fridge and let ferment for a couple more days.

Have a great day

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Travelling and Arriving, A General Grouse.

There is definitely insanity in my family.

We had two long days of driving, Saturday it rained for 5 or 6 hours and it wasn’t just a sprinkle, it came down in buckets. So much so Hitchcockthat when we reached the motel Matt grabbed the overnight bag and we ran into the lobby. By the time Matt actually got indoors, he was drenched. With the result, it was too wet to go out to dinner so we went for some Italian, wasn’t bad but the room wasn’t really designed for dining!! Matt eventually managed to slip out and get the booze bag, by that time we needed a snort. I didn’t get my CPAP machine so didn’t sleep that well. We had no cards to while away the time playing cribbage. Matt in particular wasn’t a happy camper. In my case, I had no computer or anything. However, I did find Hitchcock on a movie channel. Not sure how much I missed, but what a wonderful movie. Will have to rent it or something. I thought Hopkins was  marvellous in the part. So was Helen Mirren.

Sunday we set off and got as far as the Pennsylvania Turnpike, everything running smoothly. We were headed west by then towards Pittsburgh (a fact I had forgotten) I reminded Matt to head west, I 2013-09-22 08.40.32don’t know how it happened, we ended up heading east. We finally realised when we went through 3 tunnels, there is only one on our way home. So, we left the road paying a $5 toll and did a U turn getting back on the right road. We had lost an hour, i.e. 2 hours altogether. It also racked up our final toll. However….. We finally cross the border in to Canada and head up the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) which is one of the worst I have ever encountered traffic wise. I am not all that familiar with the route as I let Matt do it. We got to a section where we were to branch off and reading the signs I thought we should stay on our current route. No way, so, my fault definitely this time. We dithered around, came off the road and then back on it. Got thoroughly lost. Finally stopped at a garage and found out how to get back to the right route. Finally, we got home about a couple of hours later than expected. Next came the unloading. The Assistant Super was great helping get the shrimp and turkeys upstairs.

Monday, we went bowling. With 5 pin bowling, if you are not on form, you end up throwing three balls for every one of your thirty frames. I did manage to cut that amount down a bit but I definitely was not on form. Then we went to the grocery store, and did a week’s shopping, traipsing round the supermarket. Next we went to pick up my Avon orders. Matt was the one who got to carry all the stuff upstairs although we do have a cart which helps. I might add, we had been doing laundry in the morning, I had been making all kinds of phone calls plus doing our accounts etc. etc. Monday night, my body felt it had been in a rugby scrum with a dozen 300 lb. men kicking and beating me. That is now, right this minute. I said, there is insanity in my family. Would you believe we bowl again on Thursday? The first of the Travel League meets. Oh, I forgot to add I have been chipping ice for ages to free the bags of shrimp and get them in the freezer. The turkeys we managed to get into the freezer last night. Supper was a rotisserie chicken bought at the grocery store with some kettle chips and some tomato juice. I ask you? Right in the middle the young receptionist from our Doctor’s turned up to collect her huge bag of grits and her 2 lbs. of boiled peanuts. She hails from Georgia, what do you expect? I forgot to add that I have been suffering from edema for the last two weeks and my ankles are like tree stumps, travelling doesn’t help matters nor, apparently, does keeping my legs up.

I saw a very odd cloud formation but my tablet didn’t really catch it, it looked like a lot of flat topped cliffs all sawn off neat2013-09-22 08.44.18ly. It was a very odd sight, I was fascinated. I also saw a dragon so immediately thought of Father Dragon of course.

No recipe today, sorry, I am just too beat.

Nice to be home though, I think, actually as I told several people today, I need a vacation.

Have a great Tuesday.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Weather and Shopping. Eating and Bowling.

So far, we have had wonderful weather on our vacation. Not really been too hot most of the time. Then Monday afternoon the heavens decided to open. We were driving and about to cross one of the bridges fromLowe's Emerald Isle to the mainland and ended up having to pull over as we just couldn’t see to proceed. We were in a chain of cars pulled over, not for very long, but boy did it ever pour, buckets full. Once it eased off we went to Lowes Grocery store, first time this trip, they really do have a lot of things which one doesn’t see elsewhere. I found a jar of Kimchee which I couldn’t resist buying, haven’t eaten it in years and I usedButter Buds to love it. When we got back I realised it was Mild, not what I wanted. Maybe I will try it and then go back for a hot version. They have lots of unusual things as well as every day groceries of course. I also managed to find my Butter Bud sprinkles which I use a lot instead of dolloping stuff with butter. Like asparagus!!!! One cannot buy it in Canada. Saw some horseradish, but how do I know if its really hot? Buy it, try it, if it’s no good chuck it? Not very efficient and certainly wasteful.
I mentioned Sammy’s Seafood here recently. Finally got round to driving the 20 odd miles into Morehead City and arrived at the Sanitary Fish Marketrestaurant only to find that on Tuesdays they don’t open til 4 p.m. Every other day they appear to open at 11 a.m. So I guess that’s it again for this year. However, we went to the Sanitary Fish Market and Restaurant where we haven’t eaten in years. We were pleasantly surprised, it has changed quite a bit. They also have a liquor license which when I last was there they didn’t have. I wondered how long it had been open, 1938 or 75 years ago. That did surprise me. I also noticed all the lunch customers were seniors which also surprised me; there must be some young people working in the area or travelling. For our lunch we had a seafood lasagne which came with a salad. It was delicious. Very little pasta, mostly seafood (shrimps and scallops, not sure what else) and spinach. Lots of cheese sauce too. I highly recommend it. I will certainly go back for that again one day although it’s not on their regular menu.

Wednesday night we went with friends to SnappSteampoterz Steam Bar and Grill in Morehead City. Went there last year with the same friends. Same as last year, two of us shared their Steam Pot which is a specialty. Meanwhile Matt had a huge plateful of flounder which he said was delicious. The steam pot consists of crab legs, shrimp, clams, andouille sausage, corn cobs and potatoes. Absolutely great. They serve drawn butter too, molten lava cakeplus give you tools to crack and then pick at your crab legs. Once we had finished this, they asked about dessert. At first no-one was interested, but they mentioned plain NY cheesecake and Matt was sold then lava cakes which peaked my interest. Our friends had a lava cake and ice cream between them. I didn’t bother with the ice cream but the lava cake was one of the best I have ever had. Matt makes them, but this was even better, lusciously scrumptious. I am still dreaming of it. No picture of theirs, but there was a dollop of cream and chocolate swirls on the plate.

Thursday saw us back at MacDaddy’s where I was tempted by the Reuben Sandwich special, Matt too, but made sure to have their homemade kettle chips too, they are sooooo good. We then went in to bowl and I did much better this week than last. I might have won the dwarf tossing contest. Admittedly I didn’t beat Matt over all three games. Talking of dwarf tossing, I was concerned about Mexico and Father Dragon’s home cave. Having emailed him he replied that so far his cave was doing fine.  Thursday night I made some Jambalaya for supper which turned out very well. There will be leftovers for lunch.

So now it’s Friday, our last day, washing, packing, buying boiled peanuts, yes, for an American friend living in Ontario. Then tomorrow heading home.  We’ve had a great couple of weeks even though we haven’t managed to see everyone or to see as much of others as we would have liked. Not sure when I will start regular blogging again, probably not til Tuesday.

I thought this recipe looked interesting.

Grilled Vegetable Focaccia

Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Country Inn
Serves 4

Combining the taste and texture of Italy’s famed rustic flat bread with grilled seasonal vegetables yields a wealth of flavour from simple ingredients. The wholesome sandwich is wonderful served hot from the grill, but it is also excellent eaten cold, making it an ideal choice to be included in a patio menu.Grilled Vegetable Foccacia

For Oil:
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
5 fresh rosemary sprigs
For Vegetables:
1 red bell pepper
4 thin slices fennel, cut through the stem end
4 slices eggplant, cut crosswise
1 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
12 asparagus spears, tough ends removed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 fresh portobello mushroom, brushed clean
4 slices red (Spanish) onion
4 sandwich-sized focaccias
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups lightly packed inner yellow frisée leaves

FOR OIL: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the oil, garlic cloves and 3 of the rosemary sprigs and heat until the oil is too hot to touch comfortably, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Re-move and discard the rosemary sprigs. Add the remaining 2 rosemary sprigs to the oil and set aside.
FOR VEGETABLES: Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill using hardwood charcoal such as mesquite or hickory. While the coals are still glowing red, place the bell pepper on the grill rack and grill, turning as necessary, until charred on all sides. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes, then, using your fingers or a small knife, peel off the charred skin. Cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs. Cut each half in half again. Set aside.
Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the fennel, boil for 1 minute and drain. In a large bowl, toss together the fennel, eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, salt, pepper, thyme and garlic. Drizzle on just enough of the rosemary oil to coat everything lightly and toss again. Brush the mushroom and the onion slices with some of the remaining rosemary oil.
When the coals have burned down to a gray ash, place all the vegetables on the grill rack and grill until they begin to appear translucent. Turn the vegetables as needed and move them around on the grill to prevent burning. The fennel and eggplant will take 3 minutes on each side; the mushroom 2-3 minutes on each side; the asparagus and zucchini about 2 minutes on each side.
TO ASSEMBLE: Split the focaccias in half horizontally. Brush the cut sides lightly with the remaining rosemary oil and place, cut sides down, over the coals to toast lightly. Place the bottoms, cut sides up, on 4 plates. Divide the grilled vegetables evenly among the focaccia bottoms. Cut the mushroom into 4 slices and place a mushroom slice and a piece of roasted pepper atop each stack of vegetables. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar evenly over the tops, then cover with equal amounts of the frisée and finally the focaccia tops.

Have a great weekend.


Monday, September 16, 2013

More Vacation, Birthday Celebration.

For the very first time, since I began blogging several years ago, I decided to take some time off. I have neither been writing nor reading.  I wrote one blog of course, about meeting Jeff and Diane last week. Both of them sent me pictures they had taken, as usual I had forgotten to take my camera. This is one Diane took of Jeff at the bowling alley. Because of my lack of camera, it is the only one I have of Jeff that day. He took several of Matt and I at the miniature golf site. He also took the picture below on both his camera and Diane’s.  Not sure which this one is. Then one of me putting and Matt watching. As Jeff won, we were Me puttingboth left in the dust by the Dragon Knight. We played again a couple of days later and Matt won but I came a close second – I even got a hole in one!
We had a lovely day. We all wish it had been longer. Jeff is now back home and we have another week to go.

Yesterday was my birthday and much to my delight, we had found some champagne splits, because it came from Spain one is not really supposed to call it champagne. Sparkling wine or frequently described as methode champenoise. That apart, I was delighted to have some for a birthday drink, in my family it was always a tradition to drink champagne on our birthdays. As I am the only one who drinks it though, it isn’t worth buying a whole bottle. Not that I Floyds2couldn’t drink it, but I probably wouldn’t be much use for the rest of the day LOL. We didn’t do a lot during the day, I rested a bit on the bed as I have been having swollen ankle trouble and the only place it goes down is in bed at night even though I keep my feet up a lot during the day. In the evening we went to Floyds 1921 restaurant in Morehead City where we met up with 5 of our friends for dinner. One friend had just been released from hospital that day, she said she was determined to make it to dinner.
I chose the High Cotton Crab Cakes over creamed spinach which came with a Tomato Crab Bisque first (could have had a salad). Matt chose the Shrimp and Grits and had Brunswick Stew as a starter. If you have Adobe here is a copy of their menu. I finished with a crème brulée made with blueberries and flavoured with lavender. It was delicious. They put a candle in it and everyone sang Happy Birthday, aaaaah. I was given some small token presies as well which were delightful to receive. Homemade jams, chocolates, soaps, etc.

Hallowe’en is on it’s way and I am beginning to see recipes. This one was on the page of our local radio station, same place where I have broadcast recipes before.

Broken Glass Cupcakes
Broken Glass Cupcake
1 Can white frosting...
1 Box Red Velvet Cake Mix
Sugar Glass:
2 cups water
1 cup light corn syrup
3 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Edible Blood:
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water, or more as needed
15 drops red food coloring
3 drops blue food coloring

Prepare Red Velvet Cake Mix According to box, line cupcake tins with paper cupcake liners.
Divide cake batter between lined cupcake tins.
Bake according to box instructions. Let cool and frost cupcakes with white frosting.
Make the sugar glass. Mix 2 cups water, 1 cup corn syrup, white sugar, and cream of tartar in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Use a candy thermometer and boil sugar syrup until temperature reaches 300 degrees (hard ball), stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken as water evaporates. When sugar reaches 300 degrees, quickly pour onto a metal baking pan. Cool until completely hardened. Break into "shards" using a meat mallet.
Make the edible blood. Mix together 1/2 cup corn syrup and cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly stir in the 1/4 cup of water, adding more if necessary, until the corn syrup mixture has thickened to the consistency of blood. Stir in the red and blue food coloring.
Stab each frosted cupcake with a few shards of broken sugar glass. Drizzle on drops of "blood" to complete the effect.

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vacation, Bloggers Meet.

On our journey south, we stopped at Angola’s rest station in New York State and had lunch. I wanted a coffee so went to a coffee bar there and asked for a large decaf. $3.58. I nearly flipped. A ridiculous price, I still paid it, I wanted a drink for the next part of our trip.
I am not sure how far along, I could see what I thought were a couple of dogs crossing the hiway. Turned out it was a mother deer and her baby. I had never realised they were so small. Bit later I was looking at a flock of hawks in the sky, couldn’t believe there were so many then I noticed some parachutes in the same area, there were quite a few of them. We figured there was some kind of air show in the area. Then we saw a bi-plane doing loops etc. Not sure where the show was. A few minutes later, saw a large hawk at the side of the road enjoying a meal. He really was a big bird. It all made the trip more interesting.

Friday night we spent at a Super 8 in Winchester, VA. we went next door to the Chinese restaurant where we had eaten before. The food was still as good, but the ambience was gone. Matt didn’t like the place at all this time. I had some Hot and Sour soup, very good. Then garden rolls which were shrimp and veg wrapped in rice paper, and some dumplings. Deeeelicious. I forgot to take my camera of course. I really am a lousy photographer. Our second day on the road was pretty uneventful. Once we had unloaded the car we went to a nearby restaurant and had a lovely fresh flounder. Afterwards we headed for the grocery store

CornholeOn Monday afternoon on we went for a walk along Bogue Pier, one of our favourite places to be. Nobody was catching much but pinfish and the odd blue. Blues are delicious to eat, but pinfish are all bones and best used for bait. I took a few pix which somehow didn’t register in my camera, I have no idea what happened. Pity because we came across a game on the beach which was being played by four guys tossiCornhole2ng bags at a board with a hole in it, a bit like horseshoes. They had a board either end. I took some shots of it from the pier and then someone asked if we had ever seen the game before, we said no and so she explained it to us. It is apparently called Cornhole. Looks fun, I was never any good at horseshoes as the shoes were too heavy. These were like small bean bags. Maybe everyone knows the game, but we had certainly never seen it before. I am not sure what was wrong with my camera, but when I checked it out the date wasn’t set, I don’t know if that makes a difference. I took a pic and that seemed to come out OK so I am puzzled.

Monday evening we had dinner with friends we hadn’t seen in 12 years which was a fun event. So nice to see them both.

Tuesday was the great day, we went to MacDaddy’s in Cape Carteret and there we met Jeff Hargett. I had so been looking forward to this meeting.  Much to my MacDaddysdelight all three of us seemed to get on so well. I don’t think Jeff and I ever stopped talking. We had lunch and then went in to bowl. Father Dragon had declared that the winner would be awarded the dwarf tossing championship due to the lack of dwarves in this area of North Carolina. To our shame, Matt beat the pair of us making him the new champion. Part of the way through the first game a woman came up to us – I looked at her and said I know you, but who are you. She looked at me as though she thought I had gone bonkers. I had, it was L. Diane Wolfe – idiot that I was, I had assumed she wasn’t going to make it and didn’t click when she arrived. I was delighted to meet her as well. Her husband hadn’t been very keen on her coming because not being internet savvy, he had thought we were murderers and rapists. Diane took photos of us to prove we weren’t like that at all. I didn’t get any pictures myself, camera in the car this time.  Diane was unable to stay very long, so we carried on bowling and it turned out that Matt won, I couldn’t bowl at all, worst I have ever done at 10-pin. Bowling again on Thursday, hope I do better.

We then decided to go to the Golfin’ Dolphin which is part of the same complex, and play miniature Golf. Matt and I have played there Bogue Pier2a number of times over the years. It was there quite a long time before the MacDaddy’s building was erected. This time Jeff won, Matt came second, and there I was, last again. Not my day at all. We then decided to take Jeff over to Bogue Inlet Pier which is one of our favourite spots. He agreed and found it very peaceful sitting there in the sun. Sadly it was getting latish and Jeff wanted to be back at his rental before it got dark so we said our goodbyes and off he went. Such a pity we couldn’t have met up one more time, but he is only at the coast for a week. By the way, the fishing was still bad at the pier as there were still sharks swimming around.

It was really great meeting these two blogging friends and I’m only sorry it wasn’t possible for us to have more bloggers there. I am only waiting for them to post their pictures.

I love crèpes or what we English call pancakes, I would eat them a lot more but…. I am doing enough damage to my weight now I think. I’m not sure what classifies these as Swedish, they are the same as the pancakes I have been making all my life. Never eaten lingonberries, but I imagine any berries would be equally delicious. I, by the way, would use cream.

Swedish Pancakes

Source: Taste of Home
20 pancakes

Served with lingonberries, these super-thin pancakes are truly elegant.
Swedish Pancakes
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Lingonberries or raspberries
Seedless raspberry jam or fruit spread, warmed
Whipped topping

In a blender, combine the first six ingredients. Cover and process until blended. Heat a lightly greased 8-in. nonstick skillet; pour 1/4 cup batter into center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Repeat with remaining batter, adding oil to skillet as needed. Stack pancakes with waxed paper or paper towels in between. Reheat in the microwave if desired.
Fold pancakes into quarters; serve with berries, raspberry jam and whipped topping.

Have a great day.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dolphin Appeal

Dolphins anDolphind Whales at Risk

If a dolphin like this one becomes trapped in the killing cove, his fate is uncertain. He, along with countless others, including pilot whales, are at risk of suffering the cruellest of deaths, being slaughtered in what can only be described as a bloodbath. Please help urge officials to show the world they do not sanction cruelty, by ending this brutality.

This picture and text was taken from an appeal being sent to the Australian government. If you have ever seen the dreadful Japanese Protestorpictures of the blood red waters of the Taiji Bay where dolphins are caught in nets and then slaughtered, then do please sign the petition you could also sent the letter to your own government. Apparently if you stick your head under water in the bay you can hear the terrified animals screaming in fear. There is a picture on Facebook of a young Japanese protester crying his eyes out because of what he heard when he did duck his head into the water. These are virtually sentient animals being killed for food.
When you read today this I will be travelling. But I really wanted to spread this appeal and I hope some of you will spread it too, this slaughter so needs stopping.

1/2 cup butter...
3/4 cup sugarFruit Pizza
1 egg
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 3/4 cup flour
1- 8 oz. pkg cream cheese
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
2 Tbsp Orange/Pineapple juice
1 cup Cool Whip
Fresh fruit for topping

Preheat your oven to 350°. In a bowl, beat butter, sugar, and egg until fluffy. Add baking soda, cream of tartar, and flour. Mix until well combined. It should be the consistency of a soft cookie dough. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. In a separate mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, juice, honey, and cool whip. Mix until well combined and spread on cooled cookie crust.

Have a great day

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Vacation, Melting Cars.

Honestly, there is so much to be done before going on vacation, I Vacation Carsometimes wonder if it’s worth it. You then spend 2 weeks at the beach and when you come back, there is lots to be done once again. Even though the cottage has a washer and dryer, we always end up with washing to be done when we get back and that’s just the start of it. Well no, I guess unpacking the car is the first chore. Then if we bring back shrimp, we have to get the packets sufficiently defrosted to transfer to the freezer. The cooler sits in the bath and we usually spend time on and off chipping at ice for a few hours. I’m exhausted just thinking about coming home LOL.

Walkie TalkieA story I just heard on the news, there is a new skyscraper building in the financial district (The City) of London, England, which, because of the curvature of its design is causing intense heat in certain parking spots which is melting cars. It acts just like a magnifying glass by reflecting intense heat onto the road.Walkie
A man claimed his Jaguar was damaged and since then several more people have come forward to report problems. A you can see from this picture, in the sun it is absolutely blazing. It is known as the Walkie Talkie building, I have no idea why. The article also has a picture of the melted car.

I am not sure how much blogging I will be doing over the next few days. So if I’m not around, see ya later. We actually leave on Friday but I will be a tad busy today.

Just reading the ingredients I liked the sound of this. Won’t be trying it til I come home again of course.

Chicken Tagine
Source: dLife 

A traditional, hearty Moroccan dish of chicken, olives, and spices.

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients Chicken Tagine
2 each  boneless skinless chicken breasts  
2 each  chicken legs, raw 
1/4 tsp  salt
1/4 tsp  black pepper
1 tsp  olive oil
1 cup  fresh chopped onion
2 each  medium garlic cloves
3/4 cup  low sodium chicken broth
6 oz  canned green olives
1 tsp  ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp  ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp  fresh lemon peel  
1/4 cup  fresh lemon juice  
1 tbsp  fresh cilantro
1 tbsp  chopped parsley

  1. Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper.
  2. In large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high.
  3. Place chicken in pot, cook 3 minutes per side or until chicken is browned.
  4. Remove chicken from pot, set aside.
  5. Combine onion, garlic in pot. Sauté 30 seconds, stirring continually.
  6. Return chicken to pot, add broth, olives, cinnamon, ginger.
  7. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low, simmer 45 minutes.
  8. Turn chicken, continue cooking uncovered 15 minutes.
  9. Remove chicken from pot using slotted spoon, place on serving platter.
  10. Using same pot, combine lemon rind, lemon juice, cilantro, and parsley. Sauté for 30 seconds.
  11. Serve sauce over chicken or on side.
Hope you all have a great day and stay well until I blog again.