Friday, February 28, 2014

Gravity, Sushi, Travel League.

I watched Gravity on Wednesday night, quite a movie. There was Gravity 2one big disappointment for me though, George Clooney. If you have seen the movie you know what I mean, if you haven’t I don’t want to spoil it. Certainly lots of tension throughout the movie, very nail biting moments. We are so used to space these days we kind of assume nothing will go wrong and of course it can, so easily. The Apollo 13 near disaster was a case in point. Whenever I see that movie I am still on the edge of my seat although I remember the whole thing happening so I have known the ending way before they made the movie. I loved George Clooney’s comments on the views of the earth from space. All the astronauts I have heard speak about it say how wonderful it is. I wondered how they did the weightless scenes. Guess I could research it. Probably won’t though.

I was reading about Sushi from one of the blogs mentioned  by  M.J. Joachim on Thursday morning’s A to Z Challenge blog; the blog is called Service from Heart, you have to go back a few issues to where she is talking about SushiSushi Rice. Made me start thinking, well something has to, right? I first came across Sushi many years ago whilst attending a NAFA convention in Chicago and one of the big car companies had brought in a sushi bar. I was a tad hesitant, but found I thoroughly enjoyed everything I ate although, thanks to a colleague, my introduction to Wasabi was very painful. I have since eaten sushi in quite a few places such as Kissimmee, Florida and San Francisco, CA. In Florida we got to know the Itamae or Sushi Chef quite well and learned quite a bit from him. We have also made sushi at home to entertain our guests. When we moved to North Carolina, sushi was virtually unknown in our part of Canada, but when we returned 12 years later, every grocery store had/and still has, someone making sushi. Only problem is, here we are 1,000 miles from the ocean so it is unsafe to use raw fish. However, the chefs are inventive and other than smoked salmon and cooked shrimp, they use all kinds of other toppings and fillings. There is an art to making the rice too, the recipe we used included a particular seaweed which was supposed to be removed when cooking was finished. It was delicious and I ate it up with gusto.

BLTBowling you say? I had two absolutely lousy games and then retrieved my reputation with the third game, only because I almost got a turkey in the last frame. Enjoyed seeing friends we hadn’t seen in a long while, also enjoyed hearing people exclaim at my weight loss, made me feel really good. I had a BLT for lunch. We were given packets of Miracle Whip, sorry Kraft, I can’t stand the stuff. I thought about asking if they had anything else and then didn’t bother as it makes the sandwich lower calorie. Actually knocks about 100 off. Much to my surprise, three bowlers who have never lunched with us before, turned up today. It was great to see them there.

Yesterday I posted a recipe for Crêpes Suzettes, today I have a gluten free pancake recipe or what, in North America, you would call crêpes.

Gluten-free pancakes

BBC Good Food
By Caroline Hire

Makes 6 small pancakes

Beat the bloat by using specialist flour in these light crepes and Gluten Free Pancakessafely cater for those with a gluten intolerance

  • 125g gluten-free plain flour (we used Doves Farm)
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml milk
  • butter, for frying


  1. Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg in the middle and pour in a quarter of the milk. Use an electric or balloon whisk to thoroughly combine the mixture. Once you have a paste, mix in another quarter and once lump free, mix in the remaining milk. Leave to rest for 20 mins. Stir again before using.
  2. Heat a small non-stick frying pan with a knob of butter. When the butter starts to foam, pour a small amount of the mixture into the pan and swirl around to coat the base – you want a thin layer. Cook for a few mins until golden brown on the bottom, then turn over and cook until golden on the the other side. Repeat until you have used all the mixture, stirring the mixture between pancakes and adding more butter for frying as necessary.
  3. Serve with agave syrup and a squeeze of orange juice or your pancake filling of choice.

Have a great day

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Unknown, Bowling, Pancake Day.

We seem to be getting more and more calls from “unknown Name” –Unknown phone the numbers are from all over the place and although I generally never answer them, they are becoming something of a nuisance. The trouble is, the odd time, they are from someone I know, like when my cousin called from California, as I said before, I don’t know what made me answer that one. Even my cleaner has a phone number with Unknown – I think it’s a cell phone. How many people do bother to answer calls from sources they don’t know. Maybe shut ins who are lonely and this is how they get caught in scams. Once in a while I do answer and I get someone selling duct cleaning, tough cookies Mr. I live in an apartment thank you. Wish I could get rid of this irritation. We are already registered for no advertising calls but presumably if they are Unknown, they can’t be stopped either. Don’t know how it works.

Today we are going to lunch and bowling with our Travel League. Missed last month, and afterwards were we glad as it’s the day our Angels Dinerbrakes went. We could have been out in the middle of nowhere when it happened, in fact, probably would have been. Today it’s all in town eating at Angel’s Diner and playing at Victoria Bowl. All of which are basically ‘just up the road’. I’d like to play well, but it doesn’t matter a damn because it’s just friendly stuff. Angel’s is a chain and seem to do pretty good food. There is one young man who often accompanies us and who often orders fish and chips. I frequently pinch a chip from his plate and this particular Angels has excellent chips, or French fries as they are known here. Not sure why. I don’t usually order any for me as they are not considered diet food, at least not on any diet plan I have come across.

I knew Pancake Day was fast approaching, Shrove Tuesday in case you don’t know. In England they used to have (maybe still do) Pancake races when people ran tossing pancakes in a pan whilst doing so. Diet or no diet I was planning to make some pancakes as I do enjoy them. Then I came across this recipe for one of my favourite foods. Tickled me, so very English to talk about elevating it to a “smart pudding”, dessert please. To me a pudding is something served in the nursery. This recipe comes from BBC Good Food. Do remember that caster sugar in the UK is very similar to the sugar we buy every day in North America. I see they give liqueur quantity by the tbs. well, if you like, we usually are more heavy handed when we make the sauce. We always used Cognac as well. My father used to say if you could bottle the sauce you would make a fortune.

Crêpes Suzette


Serves 4 - 6
This classic French recipe is a fine way to elevate the humble Crepes Suzettespancake into a smart pudding.
  • 1 x classic pancake recipe See Jacques Pépin
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 250ml freshly squeezed orange juice (2-3 oranges)
  • zest 1 orange
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  • 50g unsalted butter



  1. Prepare pancakes following the classic recipe - see 'Goes well with'. Fold the pancakes into quarters.
  2. Tip the caster sugar into a non-stick frying pan and set the pan over a low-medium heat. Allow the sugar to melt slowly without stirring and continue to cook until it becomes a deep amber-coloured caramel.
  3. Immediately slide the pan off the heat and add the orange juice – be careful as it may splatter and spit as it hits the hot caramel. Add the orange zest, lemon juice, the Grand Marnier and return the pan to a low heat to re-melt the caramel into the liquid.
  4. Add the butter to the sauce in small pieces, bring to the boil and simmer gently until glossy and reduced slightly. Add the pancakes to the pan and warm through. Serve immediately.
Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Nephrologist, Movies, Cleaners.

I am not happy. The visit to the specialist was OK. It turns out that I Monitorhave a bit of a dysfunction in my kidneys, at my age it should be at 75% and I am running at 60% which means I might have to have kidney dialysis when I am 120-130 years old, so I'm not worrying about it. He quoted some other stats which I honestly don`t quite remember but I am not worrying about that either. I also have a high uric acid reading which necessitates yet more pills for a couple of months. He took my blood pressure and decided I should be much lower and therefore I should have a 24 hour blood pressure monitor. Don’t like that, but.. what I am really pissed about, the monitor will cost me $60. Matt has had one twice and it cost $50 each time. I know it is not refundable on insurance and I don’t know why the government won’t pay for them. He kept saying “well it’s a $4,000 machine` like I give a damn! I guess to those of you who live in the States, this is nothing, but it is to me. So, as I said, I am not happy. Not that I want to wear one anyway. I think they go off every half hour and every hour at night.  I have to pick up the monitor at 9:30 am and return in 24 hours later. At least it`s not as bad as Matt, his are much earlier in the morning 7:30 I think and it`s also in another town. Oh, and just to add to my current displeasure, I seem to have a UTI again.

I have just rented Gravity and The Butler from iTunes.  I haven’t Gravitywatched them yet of course. Gravity sounds like a pretty scary movie. The Butler is one I was going to see in a theatre and then didn’t get to go in the end. There are a lot of other movies now available, but I wasn’t sure which ones to rent. I know everyone has talked about Thor, but reading the blurb, I’m not too sure about it. After what I read about the Lego movie, I don’t think I will be renting that when it becomes available. Must check some more out later.

I was going to spend today making Tourtières but now I have to go have some bloodwork done this morning and I have the cleaners calling this afternoon. I felt pretty guilty about this, but Matt really wanted our previous cleaner back, she was very, very good, and now she seems so much better and back to normal that we agreed that she would start again on Friday. I apologised profusely to the other couple who have done cleaning for us lately and explained what had happened. They were very reasonable about it. I am getting my keys back. They too were very good at the job but… also a bit more expensive.

I found this on Food Network Canada and thought it sounded really good, the Chestnut sauce in particular appealed to me.

Pan-Roasted Tuscan Chicken with Chestnut Sauce  

serves 4

A terrific and impressive meal that's perfect for both a simple weeknight meal and more extravagant weekend dinner. Tips: For a more adventurous version of this recipe try slicing a lemon very thinly, almost see-through, and inserting a slice under the skin of each breast before cooking. You can find peeled roasted chestnuts in the frozen food section of most grocery stores. Courtesy of



1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
4 (16 oz/450 g) chicken breasts, boneless, skin on
1 ounce (30 g) prosciutto, coarsely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
6-8 peeled and roasted chestnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon (5 mL) fresh thyme, chopped
½ carton (240 mL) Chicken stock.


1. Warm oil in a large heavy bottom oven proof skillet, sear chicken skin side down only, until well browned, about 6-8 minutes. Do not turn chicken breasts over! Transfer to 375°F (190°C) oven and roast for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
2. Pour off excess oil and add prosciutto and shallots to pan. Sauté over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add chestnuts and thyme and sauté 3-4 minutes more.
3. Add stock to deglaze pan, scraping any brown bits from bottom of pan, and simmer over medium-high heat until sauce is reduced by half, about 4-5 minutes.
4. Arrange chicken breasts on serving platter or plates and spoon sauce over chicken.

Have a great day

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bowling, Specialist.

I was hot yesterday, even my worst game was still on my average. I Pin_Animation1was trying to get a 600 triple but missed it by 40 points. Ah well. Matt had one good game. Thursday is our Travel League where we have lunch with a bunch of bowlers and then go to a different alley; this month it is Victoria Bowl. We go there every year but some of the people from our old bowling alley now bowl there regularly.

Today I go to the Nephrologist, again. If you remember there was a screw up with my appointment last week. This week the secretary Kidneyshas already called me to change the time!! I do hope I get to see him this time. I don’t know much about nephrology but I finally managed to find out that my kidney function was suspect when I had my last diabetic blood test. So we will see what he says. So long as he isn’t chatting continuously to a staff member and ignoring the waiting patients which happened last week.

This recipe turned up on Facebook today and I thought it looked pretty easy. I am not quite sure why one would use imitation crab though. I definitely would make sure I used the real thing. Makes me wonder what the ones I have eaten in a restaurant are made of.

Baked Crab Rangoon:

Crab Rangoon
1/8 tsp Garlic Salt
1/8 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Small Green Onion (Finely Chopped)
3 oz Cream Cheese
4 oz Imitation Crab
14 Won Ton Wraps

Mix first four ingredients together, then gently mix in the Imitation Crab. Spoon into each Won Ton Wrap and Fold.
Bake at 425 °F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Have a great day

Monday, February 24, 2014

A to Z, Hockey Gold.

I spent a large part of the weekend writing my blogs for the April A Alphabetto Z Challenge. It’s basically the only challenge I take part in but this will be my third and I enjoy doing it. It is particularly fun for me to try and find suitable recipes starting with the appropriate letter. Luckily there are lots of Chinese recipes starting with X. I seem to be developing a wildlife theme this year, previous years I haven’t had any kind of theme but it just seems to have fallen out this way. Not quite sure why it happened. I like to get as many (if not all) blogs done in advance as I am a minion again, one of Tina’s Terrific Team as you will see from the badge, and that necessitates visiting lots of participating blogs. Some people can do it with the use of clones, some of us can’t. Despite the fact that I now own a franchise on cloning machines. If you don’t know what the heck I am on about, don’t worry. I guess it’s a bloggers joke.

I don’t follow hockey (ice hockey of course over here) I have only sidney-crosbyever been to one game, years ago when I missed every goal because someone started talking to me. However, Sunday I was glued to the TV, along with nearly every other Canadian, to watch the Canada/Sweden gold medal match. Way to go guys. 3-0. After the way the Canadian women came back at the end we couldn’t take it for granted that Canada had won until almost the last minute. I hope my Canadian friends wintering in the States were able to see the match too. Congratulations Canada, way to go. That gives us 10 gold, 10 silver and 5 bronze. Russia came first in the medal rankings with Norway second, we were third. Whoopee. The picture shows Sidney Crosby who’s name even I know.

Hey, d’you think that augers well for my bowling today?

This sounds like an interesting twist on Eggs Benedict from Food & Wine.

Avocado Hollandaise

Avocado Hollandaise
Christina Holmes
Contributed by Kay Chun
Luscious, rich and lemony Hollandaise gets completely re-imagined here in a light, supremely creamy puree of avocado, lemon juice and olive oil.
  1. 1/2 very ripe medium Hass avocado, peeled and chopped
  2. 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  3. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  4. Kosher salt
  5. Freshly ground pepper
  6. Poached eggs, for serving
  1. In a blender, combine the avocado and lemon juice with 1/3 cup of hot water. Puree until smooth and light in texture, about 2 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally. With the machine on, drizzle in the olive oil and puree until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the hollandaise over poached eggs.
Have a great day

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saturday Recipe

This sounds like it would pack a punch. We have the sherry and brandy, not the other ingredients. Pity, I would like to try it tonight.

Sherry Cocktail

Food & Wine
Contributed by Junior Merino
Makes 1 drink
    Mexican-born mixologist Junior Merino balances flavours like a chef, creating classically inspired, invariably pretty drinks, such as this sherry-cocktailsherry-spiked riff on a brandy sour.
    1. Ice
    2. 1 ounce palo cortado or amontillado sherry
    3. 1 ounce brandy, preferably Spanish
    4. 1/2 ounce grenadine, preferably homemade
    5. 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
    6. 1/4 ounce Cherry Heering or other cherry liqueur
    7. 1 orange twist, flamed
    8. 1 brandied cherry
    1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the sherry, brandy, grenadine, lemon juice and Cherry Heering and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish the drink with the flamed twist and the cherry.
    Have a great weekend.

    Friday, February 21, 2014

    Olympics, Bowling, Toronto Mayor, Kiev, Reindeer.

    Thursday, we heard that the Canadian women had won the gold for curling. In the afternoon we went bowling as usual, and the hockey match between Canada and the USA women’s teams was taking place so we spent a lot of time watching it on Canada Women's Hockeythe TVs in the bowling alley. It was a tense game, for a lot of the time the USA had two goals and Canada didn’t have any. Eventually, almost at the end, Canada scored two goals which made it a draw and necessitated overtime. Finally Canada scored the final goal with only 3 minutes of overtime left. The whole bowling alley erupted in cheers. I know nothing about hockey (although I did play field hockey many years ago) but I was thrilled when we won the gold. Sorry Josh Elliot (Good Morning America) but our team did it.  Everyone is thrilled. Congratulations team Canada.

    All that going on, I actually bowled quite well, maybe I need the distraction.

    I can’t believe it, all over the news on Thursday night, Rob Ford, Toronto’s infamous mayor, is planning to run again at the end of the year. His brother is even putting aside his own political ambitions for a while to help him by being campaign manager. If people vote him in again, they deserve everything they get. A lying, drunken, drug taking mayor is not my idea of a desirable candidate for re-election.

    Also in the news is the situation in Kiev with the government actually shooting the protesters. The death tolls are pretty horrendous by now although I gather the government numbers are somewhat minimised compared with the actual death count. Poor Ukraine, I feel so sorry for a country in such a situation.

    In Finland, an experiment is being tried to prevent thousands of road finland-fluorescent-antlersaccidents involving reindeer which roam all over the place. They have painted the antlers of 20 deer with fluorescent dyes to see how the animals react and whether the dyes will survive the harsh Arctic climate. If successful the animals will be free to roam Lapland where herders have some 200,000 reindeer. Won’t be just Rudolph who guides the Christmas sleigh.

    I eat a very simple breakfast of cereal, as a kid we had a lot more, my father loved a large variety of different foods for breakfast, things like herrings rolled in oatmeal and fried, or salt beef and so on, bacon and eggs too, but nothing different about that. have come up with some breakfast suggestions and this one appealed to me. Breakfast anyone?

    Individual Ricotta and Egg Casseroles with Spinach and Tomato

    Source: America's Test Kitchen
    Makes 6

    Rec Image
    Removing the excess moisture from the spinach is important here. We found that 7-ounce ramekins worked perfectly here, but 6-ounce or 8-ounce ramekins will also work. Be sure to fill the ramekins evenly so that they will all cook at the same rate.

    1 onion, chopped fine
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) whole-milk ricotta cheese
    10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup)
    4 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    2 plum tomatoes, cored, sliced 1/8 inch thick, and patted dry

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease six 7-ounce ramekins with baking spray with flour and arrange on rimmed baking sheet.
    Cook onion, oil, and salt in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in ricotta, spinach, fontina, eggs, and pepper until uniformly combined.
    Divide mixture evenly among prepared ramekins and shingle tomatoes over top. Bake until filling is set, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

    Have a great day

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    Birds of Paradise. Our Wednesday.

    A friend sent this to me today, a  stupendous video about Birds of Paradise in New Guinea. I didn’t know there were so many varieties nor such clever displays. Do watch if you possibly can.

    Wednesday we decided to try for Costco again and managed to part relatively Costconear. Despite the light snow and wind, it was actually +2°C today so not really too bad. We managed to get everything we wanted in the way of meat and pills (vitamins and Co Q10) then went to check out, oops, our membership had lapsed since last July, I didn’t realise, so had to pay it and that made the bill a lot higher than I expected. I am planning to make some tourtières in the near future and needed some ground veal, Costco had some, but I really didn’t need to buy several pounds of it, I only use it for the one thing, so left it alone.

    Having broken the bank, we decided to head up to Sobey’s, a not so local grocery store (lots in town, none close to us) to get the veal. We were stopped at a traffic light when suddenly BANG!*!* an SUV rear ended us. Frightened the life out of both of us. We both thought poor little car, we have an OldsOldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, old but reliable. When Matt went to look there was, thank God, no damage. The silly female who had rammed us kept saying “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry” and Matt said she should watch the traffic properly in future. I wonder if she was texting. Illegal here. Anyway, she hung back and didn’t come near us all the time she was following us. Eventually she turned off. Actually, writing this some while later, my shoulders hurt, maybe we should have exchanged names! Oh well, too late now.

    Got to Sobey’s no ground veal, they don’t grind/sell it any more. However, the Tourtierebutcher we know quite well advised us to go to Central Meat Market, one street over. Got there, they didn’t have any til tomorrow. I asked if they would save me some for Friday, they assured me they would. Now all I need is pastry. That, thankfully, is easy to get. I can make 4 pies with my recipe and the bought pastry which is enough to last us for a while. Although I ordered 2 lbs of ground veal, maybe I should make eight pies, hmmm.

    D’you think I should stay in bed, life doesn’t seem to be treating us too well lately. Not only that, I can’t apparently bowl worth a damn any more either. Of course when I hear other people’s problems  I wonder what I am complaining about.

    Obviously some of you have kids and it seems BBC Food are running a “Cooking With Kids” series. Here is the one I got today. I’m in the mood for some chocolate, maybe some wine too.

    Cooking with kids: Chocolate cornflake cakes

    By Caroline Hire


    Makes 12 Chocolate CornflakesEveryone loves crispy cornflake cakes, whatever their age. Get the whole family in the kitchen to make these simple bites
    • Tip
      Tip for cooking with kids
      Before you start tie back any long hair, put on your aprons and wash your hands. Make sure your child is stable where they are cooking and comfortable with the angle they are cooking at. As you cook explain what the different ingredients are where they come from.
    • Ingredients

      50g butter
      100g milk or dark chocolate, broken into chunks
      3 tbsp golden syrup
      100g cornflakes


    1. Children: Weigh out the ingredients. Older children can do this by themselves with supervision and little ones can help to pour or spoon ingredients into the weighing scales. Put the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a saucepan or microwavable bowl. Put the cornflakes in another large bowl.
    2. Grown ups: Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in the saucepan over a low heat or briefly in the microwave. Allow to cool a little before pouring over the cornflakes.
    3. Children: Stir the ingredients together gently using a wooden spoon. Spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases arranged on a muffin tray (or baking sheet, if you don’t have one). Grown ups will need to do this for younger children or simply arrange on a tray and let the mess happen. Put in the fridge to set.
    Or of course you could make them on your own.

    Have a great day.
    Jo (2)

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Medical, Kiev.

    I seem to be having trouble with the medical profession lately. Tuesday morning it was snowing, the roads and sidewalks were a mess and parking for the specialist was some distance away so Matt Doctordropped me off. I arrived at 10:45 am for my 11 am appointment. By 10:15 we had been listening to the doctor talk to a colleague and I was getting antsy. Another couple also waiting, I asked them what time their appointment was and they said 11 am. Oh really!! I then spoke to the secretary/receptionist who said my appointment was 12:40 pm which is what she had faxed my family doctor. My response, I phoned and changed the time (I never book lunchtime appointments because of my diabetes). She said did I speak to her, I said if you are the only one here, then yes. In the end she gave me another appointment for Feb 25. Grrrr. Because of the lack of time before bowling, we had made some lunch to carry with us. Got to the bowling alley really early because of not seeing the specialist and discovered that on Tuesdays they have someone come in to cook food. Didn’t know that. Oh well. We munched on our lunches quite happily and they provided us with coffee and water. Matt bowled two really good games. Nuff said.

    Pretty serious rioting in Kiev at the moment. My IT guy comes from Kiev on Firethe Ukraine so I hope, for his sake, it doesn’t affect any of his family. The last report I saw said Kiev was on fire and 18 people were dead in the rioting.  Haven’t really studied it so don’t know what it’s about, will have to check it out. Oh, a struggle over the nation’s identity. There is a protest camp in the centre of Kiev and thousands of police tried to get rid of them. A lot of police were shot and/or injured with seven died along with 11 protesters. What a terrible situation.

    I didn’t really watch any Olympics as we were out bowling so can’t tell you what’s happened. I am told Canada is doing well in ice hockey and curling. I do hope so because we have dropped behind lately on the medals.

    Rusty Carl mentioned Lemon Meringue Pie in his comment the other day which made me want some. It is one of my favourites and Alton Brown is a source of very good recipes.

    Lemon Meringue Pie

    Food Network

    Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2003

    6 to 8 servings
    • Lemon Filling:
    • 4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
    • 1/3 cup cornstarch
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 1/3 cups sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
    • 1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell
    • 1 recipe Meringue, recipe follows
    • Meringue Topping:
    • 4 egg whites
    • 1 pinch cream of tartar
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    Lemon Filling:
    Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside.
    In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn heat on medium and, stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually, 1 whisk-full at a time, add hot mixture to egg yolks and stir until you have added at least half of the mixture.
    Return egg mixture to saucepan, turn heat down to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter, lemon juice, and zest until well combined. Pour mixture into pie shell and top with meringue while filling is still hot. Make sure meringue completely covers filling and that it goes right up to the edge of the crust. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Make sure pie is cooled completely before slicing.
    Meringue Topping:
    Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Use to top lemon filling.
    Yield: topping for 1 (9-inch) pie

    Have a great day.

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    Skating, Dutch Speeders, Downton Abbey.

    This is the third blog I have written today. Two for the A to Z Challenge in April. I was doing well with those but have slowed down a bit. It’s the Olympics, I am spending time watching. Today I watched the American couple, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, win the Gold at ice dancintessa-virtue-scott-moirg being followed by the Canadian couple, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, with the silver. Both couples were flawless and in my personal opinion the Canadians were better. The American performance was more athletic than dance. As the commenters remarked though, a lot of it is subjective. I also thought the French couple were excellent too but the Russians, also very good, won the bronze. Tessa repeated a phrase I liked “We didn’t lose the gold, we won the silver”.

    The Dutch are doing really well in speed skating sweeping the podium in the women’s 1,500 metre race. As I commented to a Dutch SkaterDutch friend though, aren’t all the Dutch born with speed skates on? They have 5 gold medals with a total of 18 over all at least 16 of which were won in speed skating. Great Britain sadly have only one medal, gold, this year. As I said to Matt, where are the Torvill and Deans, the Robin Cousins’ and others, they used to be so good, but British skaters seem to have disappeared for now. They showed a snippet of Torvill and Dean’s wonderful short programme which they danced to Bolero at the games in Sarajevo 30 years ago. That’s incredible, 30 years!!!

    Mr BatesBeing Tuesday when you read this, I have an appointment to see the doctor (a nephrologist) about my kidney function. We have to take our lunches or we won’t have time to eat and get to the bowling alley for our League meet. After all, I have to discuss Downton Abbey with two of my friends. “Did he?” “What do you think?” Matt hasn’t the least interest so I can’t discuss it when it happens. If you are a fan, you will know what I am talking about. Just discovered there is only one more show this season, Boo Hoo.

    I mentioned that on Saturday I made a different sauce for our fillet steaks. As I said, Matt didn’t like it, but I did. Here it is for your opinion. I didn’t take pictures, of course.

    Balsamic Vinegar Sauce

    1/3 cup balsamic vinegar di ModenaBalsamic Vinegar Sauce
    1 clove(s) garlic, minced
    1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
    1 Tbs cornstarch
    1/4 cup beef stock
    1 pinch(es) pepper

    1. Mix together balsamic vinegar, pepper, lemon and garlic and pour into a small skillet. Bring to a boil, and let it reduce a bit.
    2. Add cornstarch and whisk it in. Once the sauce thickens pour it over your choice of meat, i.e. fillet or steak.

    Servings: 1
    Author: alexia_cu

    Author Notes: A very yummy Italian sauce for all steak and fillet lovers

    Have a great day

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    Holiday. Weekend Cooking, Skating,

    Today is Family Day in Ontario. This is a relatively new holiday, first observed in 2008, and is not universal in Canada although most provinces have a statutory holiday in February. It does mean that our bowling alley will be swamped with families with parents and kids so they cancelled our League today. However, many of us are going to bowl tomorrow afternoon instead.

    We had quite a lot of snow on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Luckily we haven’t had the snow which has hampered most of the States.

    As you may have seen from the comments last week, I changed our Shrimp_Linguine_in_a_Tomato_and_White_Wine_Sauce_1_500planned menu for Valentine’s Day to decrease the calorie intake somewhat. We ended up having spaghetti with a shrimp in white wine and tomato sauce inspired by a recipe by Kevin’s Closet Cooking followed by the Chocolate Volcanoes. Saturday we had our fillet steaks which I served with a Balsamic sauce. Matt did not like the sauce, but I did. When we made the chocolate volcanoes we ended up with three egg whites. Saturday afternoon I turned them into meringues – I am not very good at meringues, but they turned out pretty well. It is one of my favourite things to eat, especially with cream. Cornish cream for preference of course. Sunday we had a favourite standby of Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Capers. Hadn’t had it in a while so it made a nice change.

    Japanese skaterBeen watching a lot of the Olympics over the weekend too. Was so disappointed that Patrick Chan didn’t manage to win the gold especially as the Japanese skater, Yuzuru Jason BrownHanyu, left the door wide open for him. However, everyone was falling and Patrick Chan was no exception. I though both the winning skate and Chan’s skate were rather boring and I much preferred that of the American skater Jason Brown. However, I am not the judge and I can’t tell one jump from another anyway. I never managed to stay upright on skates without hanging on to someone.

    I have posted this recipe for Chicken with Lemon and Capers before, but I thought you might like to see it again as it was a long time ago and it is such an easy but tasty recipe.

    Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Capers

    1/4 cup FlourChicken Lemon Capers
    1/4 tsp Black Pepper
    1/2 tsp Paprika
    2 Skinned, boned chicken breasts about 1 lb, halved and pounded to ¼  in thickness
    5 tsp corn oil
    1/4 cup chicken broth
    2 Tbs lemon juice
    2 Tbs Capers, drained

    1. FLATTEN the chicken first by putting it between two sheets of Saran wrap and beating it with a mallet, using the side not the spiked part of said mallet.
    2. Combine the flour, pepper and paprika on a plate. Press the chicken breasts  into the mixture, coating them evenly all over and shaking off any excess.
    3. In a heavy 10 in skillet, heat the corn oil over mod high heat for 1 mins. Add the breasts and cook about 3 mins on each side, do not overcook. Transfer the breast to a heated platter.
    4. Add the chicken broth to the skillet scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Stir in the lemon juice and capers and heat through. Pour the sauce over the breasts and serve.

    Have a great day

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

    Saturday Recipe

    I thought these sounded delicious. Seeing a lot of these recipes using Pillsbury products lately, they look pretty good and mostly quite easy to make.

    Loaded Potato Pinwheels

    Source: Pillsbury® Crescents

    28 servings

    Rec ImageApps and drinks at home? Roll up a cheesy bacon and potatoes mix in crescents for an awesome appetizer.

    1 bag (11.8 ounces) Green Giant® Steamers frozen backyard grilled potatoes
    1 1/4 cups finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (5 ounces)
    1/2 cup cooked real bacon bits (from a jar or package)
    3 tablespoons milk
    1 can Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet or 1 can (8 ounces) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
    1/3 cup sour cream
    2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion tops (3 medium)

    Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two large cookie sheets with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Microwave frozen potatoes 3 to 4 minutes to thaw. In medium bowl, with fork, mash potatoes leaving some small pieces. Stir in cheese, 1/3 cup of the bacon bits and the milk until well blended.
    If using crescent dough sheet, unroll dough on cutting board; press into 14 x 8-inch rectangle. If using crescent rolls, unroll dough on cutting board, press into 14 x 8-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Cut into two rectangles, 14 x 4 inches each. Spread half of the potato mixture on one rectangle to within 1/4-inch of long edges. Starting at one long side, tightly roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. Using serrated knife, cut roll into 14 slices. Place slices, cut side up, on cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
    Bake 17 to 21 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately, remove from cookie sheets to serving plate. Top each pinwheel with sour cream, remaining bacon bits and the green onions. Serve warm.

    Have a great weekend
    Jo (2)

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    A to Z, Bowling, Valentine's, Booze.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone, I do hope you have a great day.Valentines

    Having talked about people with less than 100 followers of their blog, Bloggingit occurred to me, I haven’t got that many over 100 myself. I guess I need a few followers of my own blog. Today the A to Z blog mentioned sites with photographs, some lovely pictures. However, as I mentioned in the comments, some didn’t have anywhere to make a comment. I noticed that last year with some of the blogs I was trying to follow and suggested it should be addressed in the blog.

    I had a wonderful afternoon of exercise yesterday, I figure I bowled My Ball88 balls. I had two spares which are only 2 balls each and that was my lot. Disasterous bowling but great exercise. Funny, at the moment Mondays seem to be good, Thursdays seem not to be. I guess it is more important to have good games in the league anyway. My bowling balls sure don’t seem to be working well for me lately though. We have 2 in 5 pin by the way as opposed to one in 10 pin.

    Having worked out a Valentine’s menu which was loaded with calories, I/we decided to split up the goodies over two nights. Have the volcanoes on Friday and our Steak with a Bois Boudrin sauce on Saturday. We woulG & Td be drinking wine on Saturday too which increases the count. Friday we have a couple of drinks each as in Scotch and water and Gin and Tonic. Matt is the G & T. In case you are wondering, we decided to cut down our booze consumption considerably, partly for health reasons and partly because we found we were spending a large part of our not very big income on booze. Not having access to the billions of dollars promised to the Palestinians, we decided to cut back.

    As everyone will have made their preparations for Valentine’s dinner, I figured I would give something different today. This was from

    Parmesan Chicken Mini Pies

    Source: Pillsbury® Crescents
    6 servings
    Rec Image
    Italian-flavored mini pies made easy with frozen chicken bites.

    1 can (8 ounces) Pillsbury® refrigerated seamless dough sheet or 1 can (8 ounces) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
    12 Tyson® frozen popcorn chicken pieces
    1 1/4 cup tomato pasta sauce
    3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

    Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 12 regular size muffin cups with cooking spray.
    Remove dough from can; press to 8 x 18-inch rectangle. Cut dough evenly into 12 squares. Press dough squares into muffin cups.
    Microwave chicken pieces on microwavable plate 1 minute on High. Place chicken pieces in muffin cups; top each with 2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.

    Have a great day