Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Recipe

I love tomatoes and I love bacon. Today happens to be Bacon Day so I am informed. So here is a recipe from Food and Wine

Bacon and Tomato Salad

Contributed by Laurent Tourondel

SERVINGS: 6 Bacon tomato salad
  1. 3 pounds tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  2. 12 basil leaves, torn
  3. 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
  4. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  6. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  7. 3/4 pound sliced bacon
  8. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  10. 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  11. 3/4 teaspoon Cajun spice mix
  12. 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  13. 1 small garlic clove, minced
  14. Dash of hot sauce and crusty bread, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, basil, onion, olive oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet and arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the rack. Bake the bacon in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp-chewy. Let cool, then break into small pieces.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the mustard, curry powder, Cajun spice mix, lemon juice, garlic and hot sauce.
  4. Sprinkle the bacon over the tomato salad and serve the mayonnaise and bread on the side.
Have a great weekend

Friday, August 29, 2014

Igudesman and Joo

On Thursday evening, on PBS, we watched a new (to us anyway) couple called Igudesman and Joo – a Russian violinist and an Asian pianist. They are both excellent on their chosen instruments, but they make fun whilst they are playing. They are absolutely hilarious, shades of Victor Borge if you remember him, the Great Dane. We really enjoyed these two and will watch out for more of them. They are apparently all over YouTube and get millions of hits. This clip actually shows a little bit of many things they do. There is one section where they are using lumps of wood to play chords – why? Because Rachmaninoff had big hands!!!! I hope you enjoy.

I’m not a big potato eater, but I thought these from Kraft looked absolutely scrumptious. Saw them when I was copying yesterday’s recipe.

Crispy Parmesan Baked Potatoes

Meet your family's new favourite side dish: Yukon gold potatoes Crispy Parmesan Baked Potatoes recipecoated in Parmesan and garlic powder and baked till tender and crispy.

8 servings

What You Need

1/2 cup  KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp.  garlic powder
8 small  Yukon gold potatoes (1-3/4 lb.), cut lengthwise in half
3 Tbsp.  butter, melted

Make It

HEAT oven to 400ºF.
MIX cheese and garlic powder in shallow dish.
DIP cut-sides of potatoes in butter, then in cheese mixture. Place, cheese-sides down, on baking sheet; drizzle with any remaining butter.
BAKE 30 to 35 min. or until potatoes are tender.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Serving Suggestion Mix 3/4 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream with 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives. Serve with potatoes.
Note from the Kraft Kitchens After testing a variety of potatoes for this recipe, we found 2-inch Yukon gold potatoes worked best.
Note Do not cover the baking sheet with foil since the cheese mixture will stick to it.

Have a great day

Thursday, August 28, 2014

DVDs, Bowling, Tina’s Blogfest.

My birthday present from Matt which I bought for him to give me, arrived on Tuesday and I started watching it on Tuesday evening. It The First Churchillswas three DVDs of the programme The First Churchill’s which was shown on BBC TV in 1969. I might add that I was a bit miffed to have to pay duty of $17 on the parcel, the DVDs were expensive enough as it was. I had forgotten just how good this series is, John Churchill is played by John Neville, a top English actor at the time and Sarah Churchill played by Susan Hampshire also very well known at the time. Both excellent actors. The whole cast is very good and I am particularly enjoying the actor playing Charles II. It is a very historical series as well as a love story of the Churchills. I need to do a bit of googling I think. One minute we (the English) are fighting Holland alongside France and the next we are fighting France alongside Holland. One of the English princesses was married to a Dutchman so I guess that made a difference. It really is an excellent show. Can’t recommend it highly enough. I know have it.

For the first time in I don’t know how many weeks, I had a really good day of bowling on Wednesday afternoon. Best scores I have had in I don’t know how long. Needless to say I was delighted although, of course, we are not playing in a league at the moment. Our winter league starts on September 8. I would like to think I will bowl well in the league. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Don’t forget the blogfest for Tina. If you haven’t signed up yet, click on the sunflower badge and it will take you to the linky list.

When we lived in North Carolina, around this time of the year people would tell you not to leave your car windows open or you would return to find it full of zucchini. Well, if you have an over abundance here is a good Kraft recipe for using them. I had never heard of arbol chiles so I looked them up and have provided a link.

Three-Cheese Stuffed Zucchini

Really, just one cheese would have sufficed to make our stuffed zucchini good. But we opted for zucchini greatness—with feta, mozzarella and Parmesan.
Three-Cheese Stuffed Zucchini recipe
6 servings

What You Need

6 zucchini (3-1/2 lb.)
1 cup  KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA
1 pkg.   (4 oz.) ATHENOS Traditional Crumbled Feta Cheese
2 tsp.  oil
1 onion, chopped
3 arbol chiles, stemmed
1 clove  garlic, minced
1 can   (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 Tbsp.  KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
3 cups  hot cooked long-grain brown rice

Make It

HEAT oven to 350ºF.
COOK zucchini in boiling water in large saucepan 5 to 7 min. or until tender; drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Cool zucchini.
CUT thin slice off stem end of each zucchini. Carefully scoop out centers, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Chop removed zucchini; combine with mozzarella and feta cheeses.
HEAT oil in medium skillet on medium heat. Add onions, chiles and garlic; cook and stir 3 min. or until onions are crisp-tender. Remove from heat. Add half the onion mixture to zucchini mixture; spoon into zucchini shells. Place in 13x9-inch baking dish.
BLEND reserved water, tomato sauce and remaining onion mixture in blender until smooth; pour over stuffed zucchini shells. Cover.
BAKE 25 to 30 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve with rice.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

How to Make the Zucchini Shells
Use an apple corer to scoop out the centers of the cooked zucchini to make the shells.
Cooking Know-How For even cooking, pick zucchini that are similar in shape and size.
Substitute Prepare using Mexican zucchini.

Have a great day

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Merger, Sunflowers for Tina.

tim-hortons-burger-king-dealVery much in the Canadian news at the moment is the proposed merger of Burger King and Canada’s top coffee/donut shop Tim Horton’s. The merger is apparently going through with Tim Horton’s accepting a bid of $94 a share – wish I had some of those shares. Why I am writing about this is I was amused by a picture I saw today of Timbits inside a burger bun. For those of you unfamiliar with Tim Horton’s, Timbits are a bit like the centres of donuts and people often buy them instead. I have also heard cracks about burger bits. I do hope it won’t make too much difference to Tim Horton’s. I don’t patronise Burger King so I don’t know what they are like but Tim Horton’s donuts are often provided for get togethers or our Travel Leagues and it is a treat I usually make room for. Although over the years they have discontinued two of my favourite donuts.

I have just received this from Alex J Cavenaugh -

In memory of Tina Downey, the A to Z Team is hosting a sunflower Sunflowers for Tinatribute on September 8, 2014 – Remembering Tina Downey.
Prior to that date, purchase or plant a sunflower in her honor. (If you have to resort to plastic, that’s cool.) Take a photo of your sunflower and post in in her memory on Monday, September 8. Tina loved her sunflowers, and we want to splash the blogging world with sunflowers that day and honor a truly amazing woman who was friend and family to so many.
You can sign up now or add your link when you post your sunflower.
Please help us spread the word! Let’s brighten the Internet with sunflowers the way Tina brightened the lives of so many.

This will appear on the A to Z blog site and on Alex’s site too with the linky list. Tina’s blog was at

This recipe came from Incredible Eggs and appealed to me. It seemed like a very easy supper to prepare.

Pad Thai (Thai-Style Noodles, Sprouts and Eggs)

A classic Thai dish. Add tofu or extra vegetables for a filling meatless meal.

Servings: 4 servings


1 cup fresh bean sprouts (3 oz.)
Pad Thai (Thai-Style Noodles, Sprouts and Eggs)
1 jar OR can (7 to 8-3/4 oz.) whole baby corn, drained
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup fresh straw mushrooms (2 oz.)
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
4 oz. uncooked rice noodles OR vermicelli pasta, cooked, drained
1/2 cup bottled Pad Thai sauce


Step 1
COMBINE bean sprouts, baby corn, green onions and peanuts in medium bowl; toss.
Step 2
COAT large nonstick saucepan with cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. ADD mushrooms; sauté until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
Step 3
BEAT eggs and garlic powder in small bowl until blended; pour over mushrooms. COOK, stirring to break up eggs, until eggs are still moist but no visible liquid egg remains.
Step 4
ADD noodles, sauce and bean sprout mixture. COOK, tossing gently with 2 spoons, until heated through.

Have a great day

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cyber Friends

The weekend loss of our dear blogging friend Tina made me think Tina Downeyabout cyber friendships. The outpouring of love and affection for Tina is quite incredible and yet most of us never knew her in person but we loved her anyway. This made me think of all the other close friends I have made through the internet, starting with a group called Recitopia UK which began through our connection to a recipe ezine which we all used to read. The Yahoo group of Recitopia UK is more or less disbanded nowadays and yet we are all still very close friends. I was lucky enough to meet some of them face to face when I went to England a few years ago and it was just like meeting up with people I had known for years. We also had members from Australia, Portugal, South Africa, Canada, Cyprus and the States and I have been lucky enough to meet some of them, the Canadians being local we see each other quite a lot. When we went to Portugal a few years ago, we stayed a couple of nights with the member from there. The member from South Africa visited this continent so we met at that time.

Then there is blogging. Once again, I feel very close to a number of blogging friends from all over the world. I have managed to meet a couple from North Carolina, and once again, it was like being with long term friends. Some bloggers are closer than others of course and we have email connections as well as blogging ones. Tina Downey was one of these and she and I became very good friends. I will be among the many who miss her very much. I wish I could meet many more of my blogging friends, it would be so much fun.

This recipe from Food and Wine landed in my inbox on Monday. To me it’s a big pity that I didn’t get it during asparagus season. Asparagus is still available of course, but it just isn’t as good or as flavourful. However, I thought it sounded good, not sure if I will try it now or wait til next season.

Raw Asparagus Salad with Tomatoes and Hard-Boiled Eggs

Contributed by Molly Chester
The key to this simple salad is slicing the raw asparagus thinly, so it takes on the flavour of the lemony marinade. Asparagus Salad

  1. 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  2. 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  3. One 2-ounce can anchovy fillets, drained
  4. 2 small garlic cloves
  5. 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  6. Kosher salt
  7. Pepper
  8. 1 pound asparagus, woody ends discarded and stalks thinly sliced diagonally
  9. 4 large eggs
  10. 2 cups mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
  1. In a blender, combine the lemon juice with the scallions, anchovies and garlic and puree until nearly smooth. With the machine on, gradually add the olive oil until emulsified. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Transfer one third of the dressing to a serving bowl and toss with the asparagus. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover the eggs with water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain and cool the eggs under cold running water. Peel the eggs and pat dry, then quarter lengthwise and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Fold the tomatoes into the asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the eggs on top and serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.
Make Ahead The dressing can be refrigerated overnight.

Have a great day

Monday, August 25, 2014

Inflatables, Recipe, Birthday Gift.

Friday it was a rturtle_thumbubber duck, now we have a giant turtle in Sidney harbour. Last week, a 49-foot-long inflatable turtle cruised past Sydney's famed Opera House in celebration of a new underwater art exhibit at the city's aquarium. The floating sculpture will reside in the harbour until mid-September. I must say I would like to see that exhibit. I would like to see the turtle too.

Having posted a steak recipe on Saturday which we were planning to have for dinner, I developed a problem with my mouth so I have had to postpone cooking this for a while because I couldn’t have eaten it. Hopefully, next weekend.  Need to see the dentist I guess.

I got an early birthday gift this week. My favourite Chinese restaurant sent me a coupon for a free meal, so long as I brought three friends. So we have a couple who enjoy going there as much as I do and they are prepared to come with us. I had the option of going on the day, up to three days before or three days after. As my birthday is a Sunday this year, I certainly didn’t want to go then, we rarely go out at the weekends as there are usually too many people.

I’m sorry, but I am feeling so very sad at the moment because of the loss of our blogging friend Tina that I really am not in the mood to go recipe hunting. My apologies.

Have a great day

Sunday, August 24, 2014

RIP Tina.

Tina's WeddingSunday we heard the tragic news that Tina Downey of Life is Good has succumbed to the illness which she has been fighting all year. Tina was such a wonderful person and a prominent figure in the blogging world. Her loss is causing much sadness amongst her blogging friends. I was shocked when we heard she had gone back into ICU last week but not as shocked as when I heard this news on Sunday. She leaves behind a devoted family whom she often wrote about in her blog giving them all fun names. I am sure they are all devastated. This is a picture from her blog posted on her wedding anniversary. She will be very much missed in the blogging community as well as by her family and friends. She was such a positive influence on all of us and considering what she went through with her health, I don't know how she managed to be so update. She was an example to all of us.

I was on Tina's Terrific Team for the 2014 A to Z Challenge which allowed me to get to know her even more and we became very good friends. I will certainly miss her.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday Recipe

This is what we are having for dinner tonight.


Blue Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon With Port Wine Sauce

This is a flavourful and tasty presentation of a very tender cut of Blue Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon With Port Wine Sauce. Photo by JanuaryBridebeef. We made it for a birthday dinner and it was memorable

Servings 4
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup white onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 cup beef broth
1/2 cup port wine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 filet mignon steaks, 1 1/2-inches thick
3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbles
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender. Stir in the beef broth, scraping any onion bits from the bottom of the pan, then stir in the port wine. Bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1/2 cup. Set aside. This may also be made ahead of time and reheated.
Preheat oven to 350°F Heat oil in a cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet over high heat. Sear steaks quickly on both sides until brown, then place the entire pan into the oven.
Roast steaks in the oven for about 15 minutes for medium rare, with an internal temperature of 145°F You may adjust this time to allow the steaks to finish just below your desired degree of doneness if medium is not what you prefer. Remove from the oven. Stir together the bread crumbs and blue cheese. Top each steak with a layer of this mixture.
Preheat the oven's broiler. Place steaks under the preheated broiler until the cheese topping is browned and bubbly, 3 - 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with warm port wine sauce.

Have a great weekend

Friday, August 22, 2014

Weather Disasters, Sunflowers for Tina.

FloodingThe meteorologists keep telling us we are going to have severe rain storms which do not materialise. We have had a little rain lately but really not very much. I am not complaining mind you, when you see all the weather problems in the States and even down the road from here. Friends who live in Burlington posted a picture of their back yard awash and various areas around them flooded. They, themselves, were lucky apparently and didn’t get a flooded basement. When you see some of the horror stories from the States lately with people being flooded, their cars being washed away, others with their house burned to the ground and more destroyed by tornadoes. We do get tornadoes in Ontario, but not often I’m glad to say.

Our much beloved blogging friend, Tina Downey of Life is Good, isSunflowers suffering from health problems and although a few days ago she appeared to be on the road to recovery, she is back in ICU again. A group of us are planning to have a kind of vigil for her at the same time every day where we will either pray for her or send our strongest thoughts of healing to her all at the same time. We believe that enough positive thoughts being aimed in her direction at one time will help considerably. The times we will be doing this are as follows:

3.00pm Eastern Time
2.00pm Central Time
1.00pm Mountain Time
Noon Pacific Time
9am Hawaii Time

However, should you wish to join in, and not be in the above time zones, here is a link which will assist you to figure out the right time in your part of the world.
We do hope you will be able to join in with us.

Here’s a delicious sounding recipe. I used to make Indian curries a lot once upon a time but haven’t in a long while. You can make them as hot and spicy as you like of course.

Quick Thai Chicken and Vegetable Curry

Quick Thai Chicken & Vegetable Curry
WebMD Recipe from

Curry quick enough for a weeknight supper - especially if you use precut cauliflower and baby spinach.


2 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1- to 2-inch-long julienne strips
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1-2 teaspoons red curry paste, to taste (see Ingredient note)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup “lite” coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce, or reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups baby spinach
1 tablespoon lime juice
Lime wedges

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and curry paste; stir to mix. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, coconut milk, fish sauce (or soy sauce) and brown sugar; bring to a simmer. Add cauliflower, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach and lime juice; cook just until spinach has wilted. Serve immediately, with lime wedges. Vegetarian variation: Substitute 1 pound extra-firm tofu (drained) for the chicken and vegetable broth for chicken broth. Tip
Ingredient Note: A blend of chile peppers, garlic, lemongrass and galanga (a rhizome with a flavor similar to ginger), commercial Asian curry paste is a convenient way to add heat and complexity to a recipe. Look for it in small jars or cans in the Asian section of the store. Brands differ in spiciness so use sparingly. Once opened, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.

Have a great day

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rubber Ducky, Hunting Orca.

A giant rubber duck sailed into the Port of Los Angeles where they are holding a tall ships festival. I remember seeing this before somewhere, it’s, or they, t here’s more than one, have been around for a few  years, but it’s always funny to see. The floating artwork was created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman in 2007.
It doesn’t say how this is propelled unless that is a tug towing it, I can’t quite tell. How would you like that in your bath?

I'm saying nothing about bowling!!!

Another snippet in the news is a picture of an Orca flipping a sea lion into the air. I feel so sorry for the sea lion who at the beginning of the clip was sheltering by a fishing boat which then decided to move off allowing the Orca to get close to it. The Orca flipped it 6 metres into the air apparently.

Here’s a slightly different version of a Gazpacho which is one of my favourite summer soups.

Golden Gazpacho with Avocado

Food and Wine
 Golden Gazpacho

This fresh, tangy, yellow-tomato gazpacho comes together quickly in the blender. A jalapeño adds subtle heat.

  1. 2 pounds yellow or orange cherry tomatoes, halved
  2. 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  3. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  5. Kosher salt
  6. Pepper
  7. Diced avocado and tortilla chips, for serving
  1. In a blender, puree the halved tomatoes and crushed garlic with 1/4 cup of water. With the machine on, gradually add the olive oil until incorporated. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the jalapeño and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Ladle the gazpacho into bowls and top with diced avocado. Serve with tortilla chips.
Make Ahead The gazpacho can be refrigerated overnight.

Have a great day

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Almost Human, Tattoo Removal.

Karl Urban Almost Human 3I don’t watch very much TV so when the Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavenaugh, recommended a programme called Almost Human I thought I would try and see it. Didn’t appear to be on TV in this part of Canada, so I got the episodes from iTunes. I ended up having the whole of season 1. Now I am looking for season 2 and it isn’t happening. Fox decided they didn’t want to take up an option. Although there is a buzz that the option may still be taken up. I do hope so as I loved the show. There is an article about Karl Urban, the human cop, where he says he will be relieved not to do any more TV as he saw so little of his family during the filming and would certainly not take any more TV roles if he could help it. If you have never seen the series, I highly recommend it. The show is set in the future (actually I think they should have dated it further ahead) where technology is so advanced police are having trouble keeping up so they have adopted the use of robots to act as partners. However, Urban’s character Kennex can’t stand the regular robots and ends up with a DRN (Dorian), they were all decommissioned but were built with a synthetic soul which his Captain feels would be a good match for Kennex as he is “almost human”. I also think Karl Urban is a good looking guy. Dishy - is that word used any more?

An amusing, to me, headline that the tattoo removal business is booming. All the Tattooskids who went and got cool tattoos are now finding, years later, that they are no longer cool. Personally I have never liked them and always figure the people that have them are nuts. I understand it is pretty painful to have them removed too. I guess these people who cover themselves in tattoos wouldn’t want to go through the pain. I once met a woman who was covered in them, it turned out she was a daughter-in-law of a friend. She ended up at a pig pickin’ we did. She was heard complaining that all the people locally stared at her – none of us were surprised. I just cannot comprehend anyone doing this to themselves.

I have one bugaboo here, this sounds like a good dish, but everyone seems to think if you add feta to a dish that makes it Greek. It doesn’t. I have spent a lot of time in Greece and their food is delicious but does not include feta all the time. In fact, not even frequently. However, in this case, I love shrimp, I love risotto so what more can I ask.

Greek Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto

Sweet onion, rich feta cheese, and fresh dill provide dynamic flavor in this easy weeknight meal. The hardest part about making risotto is the constant stirring, so grab a magazine or plan to call out homework while you let this dish simmer, about 30 minutes. Balance the plate with a lively fennel salad.

Cooking Light MAY 2009
  • Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups risotto) greek-risotto

  • 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 3/4 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 3/4 cups (1/2-inch) slices asparagus (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring broth and 1 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total).
3. Stir in asparagus and shrimp; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and remaining ingredients.
Fennel salad: Combine 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl. Add 6 cups torn romaine lettuce and 1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb; toss well to coat.

Have a great day

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Churchills, Age.

The First ChurchillsNo, this isn’t the same post. However, thinking about Winston, I started remembering the TV show I saw in Britain in 1969 called The First Churchills, I mentioned this yesterday, and I later discovered that the series had been shown by PBS in North America and they had the DVDs for sale. I have a birthday coming up so I bought them for Matt to give me. I told him later LOL. I think there are 4 DVDs. Funnily enough I was watching this series when I first met Matt. It really was a fantastic series and John Churchill was a fantastic man. He earned his fame and was duly rewarded by Queen Anne who was a great friend for many years – she made him Duke of Marlborough and the family still retains the title. Winston was grandson to the 7th Duke. There is still a Duke, the 11th is 88 right now. Sadly his son has had a battle with heroin. I should also mention that the Churchill family is also related to the Spencer family from which Princess Diana came which makes them relatives of Prince William and Prince George.

One of my commenters yesterday, Pinky Poinker a blogging friend from Australia, talking about Churchill, mentioned her dad was born in 1935. Boy did I feel old, my husband was born in 1935. I guess a number of my cyber friends are young enough to have been my kids. When I was a kid, people of our age were considered really ancient and a lot of them had already kicked the bucket before even reaching their 70s. What a difference today when you see people of 101 dancing on TV and 90 year olds doing Olympic training, or bowling regularly, etc.

I like lima beans. They are the nearest things here to broad beans which are/were very popular in England when I lived there. Not sure why they are not available here. Used to be one of my favourites.

Lima Bean Spread with Cumin and Herbs

From EatingWell:  August/September 2005, November 1997, The EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook (2005)

Humble limas are transformed into a sensational Mediterranean spread that is vibrant with a mix of fresh herbs and spices. You can substitute frozen edamame beans for the limas in Step 1; cook according to package directions.

About 1 1 /2 cups
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen lima beans
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lima beans, garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until the beans are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool in the liquid.
  2. Drain the beans and garlic. Transfer to a food processor. Add oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper; process until smooth. Scrape into a bowl, stir in mint, cilantro and dill
  3. Make ahead tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
Have a great day

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Churchills

Young ChurchillsMatt and I started talking about the Churchills last night and it made me start doing some googling. We all know, or those of us from England do, about Winston Churchill and what he did for England during and prior to the war years, but I knew little or nothing of Baroness Clementine Spencer-Churchill, his wife. Their youngest daughter, only died in May this year at the age of 90. They had a son and three more daughters. She and Churchill got married the same year my father was born, 1908. I hadn’t registered they were so much older than my parents, Churchill was 40 years older than Clementine. WinstonChurchill himself was such a part of my early life having lived through World War II. We decided to watch The Gathering Storm again which is about Churchill between 1934 and 1938 when people accused him of warmongering when in fact he was warning Britain about the Nazis who were building a war machine. On British TV some considerable time ago, there was a series about John Churchill, the original Duke of Marlborough and Winston’s ancestor, which I thoroughly enjoyed and I should check and see if I can get a copy of it. The first picture is of their engagement and the second a typical war time pose for Winnie. Some politician, not English, was visiting Australia and was trying to use this sign, trouble was he turned his hand round and that means something very different. The English way of giving someone the bird. The Australians were very insulted. To me, and to Matt, Winston was a great leader and we were so lucky to have him during the time of war.

Gotta have our eyes tested today. Annual thing. We don't pay for it of course, the government does and if we should need new glasses, our insurance pays for that.

I don’t actually make jam, I tried once and it was very unsuccessful. However, this one is supposed to be very easy to make and I like the combination of blueberries and rhubarb. I still won’t be making it myself as, being diabetic, I really don’t eat jam much at all – an occasional smear of spicy jam on cheese and I do mean occasional.

Blue-Barb Jam

Food and Wine

Blue-barb JamSERVINGS: 4 cups
Instead of strawberries, fresh blueberries are paired with rhubarb in this incredibly simple and delicious sweet-tart jam.

  1. 1 pound rhubarb stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
  2. 1 pound blueberries
  3. 3 cups sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  5. Pinch of salt
  1. In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly and skimming off any foam, until the berries have burst and the rhubarb is soft, 12 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, mash the rhubarb and berries against the side of the pan. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 minutes. Pour the jam into jars and let cool completely; refrigerate until well chilled.
Make Ahead
The jam can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Have a great day

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday Recipe

South Beach are promoting the “goodness” of mustards this week and this is one of the recipes from their cookbook. I always enjoy bean salads. When we first came to Canada there was a local restaurant which made a fabulous bean salad. I was given the recipe verbally but didn’t write it down sadly.

Seared Tempeh and Three-Bean Salad

This recipe makes 4 servings
Chef's View
Tempeh is a flavorful soybean product that provides ample protein, fiber, and vitamins. In this warm salad, it combines with a colorful variety of beans and a handful of great summer veggies. This recipe is very flexible: You can use black beans instead of kidney and add whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand. Additional fresh herbs, like basil and cilantro, also make a good matchRecipe Image

  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 tablespoon oil, olive, extra-virgin
  • 3 teaspoon soy sauce, less sodium divided
  • 2 teaspoon mustard, Dijon
  • 2 clove(s) garlic minced
  • 1 pinch pepper, black ground
  • 1 pinch sugar substitute
  • 1 can(s) beans, red kidney (15 ounces), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can(s) beans, white kidney (15 ounces), drained and rinsed
  • salt to lightly salt the water
  • 12 ounce(s) beans, green trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 spray(s) cooking spray to coat pan
  • 8 ounce(s) tempeh or three-grain, cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 4 medium scallion(s) (green onions) thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup(s) parsley, fresh chopped
  • 1 cup(s) tomato(es), cherry halved
  • In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce, mustard, garlic, pepper, and sugar substitute. Add kidney beans and white beans; stir to combine.
  • Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add green beans, return to a boil, and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately run under very cold water to stop cooking. Drain again and pat dry. Add to the bowl with other beans and toss to combine.
  • Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add tempeh and remaining 2 teaspoons soy sauce. Cook, turning occasionally, until tempeh is browned on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer tempeh to the bowl with beans and add scallions and parsley; toss to combine.
  • Divide salad among 4 plates, top with tomatoes, and serve warm.
Source: The South Beach Diet Taste of Summer Cookbook

Have a great weekend

Friday, August 15, 2014

Stars and Recipes.

For those of us who missed the feast of astral bodies in the past week, here is a fabulous picture taken at Uluru in Australia. This doesn’t show the supermoon though. Uluru looks a bit dwarfed here. It is, in fact, a very large rock. A place I would love to visit but would never want to climb as I don’t believe in contravening the beliefs of the aboriginals.

I sort of noticed our freezer the other day and I thought, what makes one think there are cooks round here? I usually print up a recipe which I am planning to prepare in the near future.
2014-08-15 08.13.33

It’s difficult to get a proper shot because there is so little room between the freezer and the stove, especially with the new one which doesn’t fit into the space properly. In case you can’t tell, these are all recipes. The fridge looks much the same. I guess you will also realise we have been to Disney!!!

Being Friday it's a good day for a fish recipe. This is a McCormick’s recipe so obviously they use their own seasonings.

Sweet 'n Smoky Salmon with Orange Salsa

Serves: 4


1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons McCormick® Perfect Pinch® Salt Free Southwest Sweet 'n Smoky Seasoning , divided
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
1 pound salmon fillets
Orange Salsa:
2 cans (11 ounces each) mandarin oranges, drained and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Perfect Pinch® Salt Free Southwest Sweet 'n Smoky Seasoning


  1. For the Salmon, mix juice, oil and 1 tablespoon each Seasoning and sugar in small bowl. Place salmon in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Meanwhile, for the Salsa, mix all ingredients in medium bowl until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix remaining 1 tablespoon each Seasoning and sugar in small bowl. Remove salmon from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Rub salmon evenly with seasoning mixture.
  3. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with Orange Salsa.
Have a great day

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blogging, Car, Bowling.

You know what, I completely forgot about writing a blog. I got very involved in a book I was reading, The City and the Ship by Anne McCaffery and S.M Stirling, and now I have finished it I suddenly remembered. However, it is somewhat late at night, so this will be short and sweet.

Matt took the car in to have the turn signals fixed. They took a $4 something part and inserted it into the car taking about 5 minutes. This cost us about $78. Unbelievable isn’t it? However, I guess we are now safe again.

At Towne Bowl 3Had our bowling banquet of KFC yesterday. I was disappointed. I remember KFC as being a lot better than it was. Then we bowled and I was disappointed again. You would have thought I had never had a bowling ball in my hands before. Matt didn’t do too badly,  but my game was appalling. Oh well, maybe I’ll do better today.

I love blackberries but have never had them in a drink. I thought this sounded really refreshing.

Blackberry Limeade 

This summer cooler is great to bring along on a picnic or to serve at a backyard party. Pour over ice, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings
Blackberry Limeade Recipe
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 8 thin lime slices
  • Fresh blackberries (optional)
  1. Place 1 cup water and 3 cups blackberries in a blender; process until smooth. Press blackberry puree through a sieve into a large pitcher; discard seeds. Add remaining 5 cups water, sugar, and juice to pitcher; stir until sugar dissolves. Place 1 lime slice and a few blackberries, if desired, into each of 8 glasses; pour about 1 cup limeade over each serving.
Have a great day

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

RIP Robin Williams, Lipstick, Car.

Robin WilliamsSeems like the whole world is mourning Robin Williams today. What a tragedy. I cannot imagine what his thoughts were to take his life so drastically. He was a wonderful man as well as a great artist. However, it has been said so much better than I can by all kinds of media. Best thing I can say is Rest In Peace. On GMA I heard a funny story of when he was entertaining the troops and there was a bugle call and every soldier turned his back on Robin who didn’t know what was happening and he joked about it for years that he had never had an audience turn their backs on him before. I later read the quotation his daughter tweeted which brought tears to my eyes and I just had to add it to this blog. “You—you alone will have the stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night, you — only you— will have stars that can laugh.” from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's book The Little Prince. I said to Matt, earlier, this whole thing made me keep thinking of Pagliacci.

I had a frustrating time yesterday. This is a very feminine complaint, I was trying to get a l’Oreal lipstick I like. My pharmacy didn’Lipstickt have it any more. So I phoned l’Oreal – turns out they have withdrawn it. Will somebody please explain why whenever one finds a lipstick one really likes it gets withdrawn. It is most frustrating. I don’t wear a lot of makeup these days, but I like to wear lipstick so I am not a happy camper. The girl in the pharmacy may have found a replacement, I will check it out later on.

Then we discovered whilst we were out that the indicator lights have gone on the car. They switch on, but they don’t blink. Matt is getting that fixed this morning. Hopefully they can do it quickly enough for us because our bowling banquet is today so have to be at the alley earlier than usual.

This is an interesting recipe. I am always looking for different ways to prepare vegetables.

Sicilian-Style Broccoli

 WebMD Recipe from
Serves 4

Capers and garlic add real Sicilian flavour to sautéed broccoli.
1 bunch broccoli (1 1/4 pounds)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Cut off and separate broccoli florets. Trim the tough ends of the stalks; peel the stalks if desired and cut crosswise into 3/8-inch-thick slices.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add capers and garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. 
  3. Add the broccoli florets and stalks and water; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Uncover, increase the heat to high and cook, stirring, until any remaining water evaporates, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Have a great day