Saturday, January 31, 2015

Snow, Bowling, Birthday Meals.

They predicted snow today (Thursday) and by the time we were ready to leave home for lunch and bowling, it was just beginning. I At Towne Bowl 3counted 5 flakes of snow. However, whilst we ate lunch, it really came down and we had to clean the car before we could head to the bowling alley. Quite a lot of the white stuff by then. Thought we were in trouble, but luckily it stopped whilst we were bowling and the roads weren’t too bad, a bit slippery, but not lots and lots of snow thank goodness. Our lunch was disappointing, in fact several people ordered BLTs (waitress said she had never served so many at once) don’t know if it was us, but ours fell apart and we ended up using a knife and fork to eat them. They gave us Miracle Whip on the side, so nothing stayed inside the bread. Won’t order that there again (if we can remember for a full year). Bowling wasn’t too bad although for me it wasn’t the greatest. I did have one pretty good game. We are supposed to get a lot of snow so whether it will happen tonight or not at all, who knows.

I was reminding people of the get together at the bowling alley for Matt’s birthday party next Thursday. Not the actual day but easier to surprise him as we bowl on a Thursday anyway. I do hope it all Mandarinworks and he is pleased. When we got home this afternoon, there was an envelope from his kids in England. Turned out to be two cards (one from each family) and a large amount of Canadian cash, they took a risk there. It was inside a printed card which had the names of a bunch of local restaurants and a slot for certificates inside. I am intrigued to know how they got hold of it. Matt will phone the daughters and families at the weekend. We have been discussing where we might go for dinner with the money. We will be going to the Mandarin (our favourite Chinese buffet) for lunch on Wednesday, you will recall he gets a freebie as I did last September. As far as I know he hasn’t a clue about Thursday.

I am not into the Superbowl (except maybe the ads) but many are. Here are some footballs for you to make for your party perhaps.

Chocolate Raspberry Football Cookie Truffles
Chocolate-Raspberry Football Cookie Truffles
Shape this easy-to-prepare cookie truffle mixture into ovals and decorate to resemble mini footballs for game day parties.



Makes 3 dozen or 18 (2 cookie truffle) servings. Makes 3 dozen or 18 (2 cookie truffle) servings.
4 cups crumbled chewy chocolate cookies
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme
2 teaspoons McCormick® Raspberry Extract
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 ounce white chocolate, melted



  1. Mix crumbled cookies, marshmallow creme and raspberry extract in large bowl until well blended. Shape mixture into 1-inch ovals. Set aside.
  2. Melt semi-sweet chocolate directed on package. Using a fork, dip 1 cookie truffle at a time into the chocolate. Tap back of fork 2 or 3 times against edge of dish to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place on wax paper-lined tray.
  3. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. Spoon melted white chocolate into small resealable plastic bag. Cut a small piece from one of the bottom corners of bag. Close bag tightly then pipe lines on truffles. Let stand until chocolate is set. Store in covered container at room temperature up to 5 days.
Have a great day

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Seventh Man

Today I am featuring the book written by another friend of mine. I seem to have acquired many author friends since I started blogging and it is wonderful to know these great people.


Book description:

When a young writer is kidnapped by a man who can't be seen, her only hope of escape rests on the one London cop who believes in ghosts.

On a cold, white, before-Christmas day, an assassin completes a job only to be pursued by police. Dodging through crowded city streets, the assassin nabs a young woman for cover.

Celia Wight, a reclusive American writer is shopping between engagements during a book tour. When a knife is pressed against her back, she loses her tenuous grasp on her carefully controlled existence.

Assigned to the homicide case, Detective Alban Thain, of the Metropolitan Police, suspects an assassin he calls the Wraith. The problem is, only Thain believes the assassin exists. Disregarding the consequences, Thain, who is the only one who believes there is a connection between the murder and the kidnapping, will do whatever it takes to exploit the Wraith’s first and only mistake: the kidnapping of an innocent bystander—if she is innocent.

Available now in ebook and soft cover on

About the Author:

Lisa is a mother, wife, sister, and daughter, has waited tables, been a dental clip_image002[5]assistant, teacher, journalist, gardener and architectural administrative assistant. She's traveled in Europe, New Zealand, and the US. French and English are her languages of preference, with a little Spanish on the side. She grew up in Florida, lived four years in Georgia before moving to Texas for eighteen years. For the moment, she once again lives in Georgia. She writes full time and has completed six novels.
Photo credit: Steven Heddon

If you go to Lisa’s website, there is a Rafflecopter for one of three of her books signed by the author. Wishing you good luck Lisa.

At this time of the year, winter in my hemisphere anyway, I love soups and we often have them for supper. This one looks particularly good.

Mushroom-Beef Noodle Soup

WebMD Recipe from
Mushroom-Beef Noodle Soup
You don’t need much beef in this homey mushroom-beef noodle soup recipe, since mushrooms and a little Worcestershire sauce give it plenty of savory flavor.
  • 1/2   ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1   cup boiling water
  • 2   teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2   cups chopped celery
  • 1 1/2   cups chopped carrots
  • 3   cloves garlic, minced
  • 1   pound cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 1/2   cups chopped onion
  • 1   pound boneless sirloin, or flank steak, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2   tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2   cup dry red wine
  • 1   tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 6   cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1    large turnip, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1    bay leaf
  • 1/2   teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2   teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4   teaspoon salt
  • 2   cups whole-wheat egg noodles, cooked
  • 1/2   cup chopped fresh parsley, or dill for garnish
  1. Place porcini in a bowl; add boiling water and soak for 10 minutes to soften. Line a sieve with a paper towel, place over a bowl and strain, reserving the liquid; finely chop the porcini and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook celery, carrots and garlic, stirring frequently, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add cremini and onion; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl.
  3. Add steak to the pot and cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes; add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add wine and Worcestershire and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 30 seconds. Stir in the porcini and liquid, reserved vegetables, broth, turnip, bay leaf, thyme, pepper and salt; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in noodles. Garnish with herbs, if desired.
Have a great day

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Travel League, Medical.

Today is our Travel League and we are having lunch at Angel’s 5 PinDiner, a restaurant chain (not sure if they are in the States) and then bowling at Victoria Bowl which isn’t that far from us although not as close as Towne Bowl where we normally go. Jim from Towne said say hi to the owner, I assured him I have never met the owner in all the times we have been there. Not a bit like town when we know both the owners, their wives and kids. A very nice family. It is also a very nice bowling alley.

surgeonAs you know, Matt had a bone scan on Friday. We were told the surgeon would have the results in the afternoon. Wednesday I called the office and was told he hasn’t seen them yet because he has been in the hospital all week and wouldn’t be in the office til Friday. Well, after all he is a surgeon I suppose. I can’t say we are very happy about it though.

This recipe looks absolutely delicious. I don’t suppose I will ever make it for just Matt and I. I might get adventurous for dinner guests one day though. On second thoughts, now I have seen the calorie count……. I have added it in tiny figures in case you don’t want to know. I just followed the link below but it turns out it is a place to purchase this Bacon Explosion. I couldn’t find any pictures. I then explored further and found the following link which shows how this should be made. Actually it makes some pretty interesting reading and some of the comments are hilarious.

Bacon Explosion!

By Sharlene~W on February 01, 2009

Servings: 8

About This Recipe

"My husband sent me this recipe with a note reading, "You know I HAVE to make this." It is quickly making the internet and tv rounds and I saw it the next day on Good Morning America. It is from the BBQ Addicts website. You can see photos of the process at I posted for your Superbowl eating pleasure (but you may not want to see the calorie count)."  (944.9)


    • 2 lbs thick cut bacon
    • 2 lbs Italian sausage
    • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce ( your favourite)
    • 3 tablespoons barbecue seasoning ( your favourite rub, recommended Bad Byron's Butt Rub, Rendezvous Famous Seasoning, or Steven Raichlen)


  1. To kick off the construction of this pork medley you’ll need to create a 5x5 bacon weave. If the strips you’re using aren’t wide enough to span 5x5 inches, then you may need to use a few extra slices to fill out the pattern. Just make sure your weave is tight and that you end up with a nice square shape to work with.
  2. The next step is to add some barbecue seasoning on top of your bacon weave. (BBQ Addict recommends Bad Byron's Butt Rub, Rendezvous Famous Seasoning, or Steven Raichlen's All-Purpose Rub).
  3. Now that you’re pork is well seasoned, it’s time to add more pork. Take two pounds of Italian sausage and layer it directly on top of your bacon weave. Be sure to press the sausage to the outer edges of the bacon creating a patty that is the same thickness all the way across. Most grocery stores carry loose sausage, so just pick out one you like.
  4. Next up is bacon layer number two. Take the remaining bacon slices and fry them up the same way you would for breakfast. If you like soft bacon, make it soft. If you like crunchy bacon, make it crunchy.
  5. Since this is a barbecue recipe, we need to add another layer of barbecue flavour. Take your favourite sauce and drizzle it all over the top of the bacon pieces. (BBQ Addict recommends Burnt Finger BBQ’s homemade competition sauce). Once you’ve sauced the bacon, sprinkle on some more of the barbecue seasoning you used on the bacon weave.
  6. Very carefully separate the front edge of the sausage layer from the bacon weave and begin rolling backwards. You want to include all layers EXCEPT the bacon weave in your roll. Try and keep the sausage as tight as possible and be sure to release any air pockets that may have formed. Once the sausage is fully rolled up, pinch together the seams and ends to seal all of the bacon goodness inside.
  7. At this point we can start to see the final shape of our Bacon Explosion, but we’re missing one key item. To complete the construction process, roll the sausage forward completely wrapping it in the bacon weave. Make sure it sits with the seam facing downward to help keep it all sealed up.
  8. Sprinkle some barbecue seasoning on the outside of the bacon weave, and now it is ready for the smoker. Cook your Bacon Explosion at 225°F in a constant cloud of hickory smoke until your meat thermometer gives an internal temperature reading of 165°F Normally this will take about 1 hour for each inch of thickness, but that could vary depending on how well you maintain your fire and also how many times you open the smoker to take a peek. BBQ Addict recommends 2.5 hours, for a roll 2.5 inches in diameter.
  9. Now that the Bacon Explosion is fully cooked, you need to add some finishing flavours. Remember that barbecue sauce you used for inner flavour? You'll be using that same sauce to glaze the cooked bacon weave. Using a basting brush, coat the entire surface with a thin layer of sauce. Sweet sauces are loaded with sugars, so they’ll give your fatty a nice glossy finish. Spicy and vinegar based sauces don’t contain as much, so they won’t set up as well. If you’re dead set on using those sauces, just cut them with a bit of honey and you’ll get the same effect.
  10. Slice the Bacon Explosion into quarter to half inch rounds to serve. If your roll was good and tight, you should now see a nice bacon pinwheel pattern throughout the sausage.
  11. Obviously pork is best served by itself, but if you feel the need to make this meat monster into a sandwich, BBQ Addict recommends placing a couple Bacon Explosion slices on a warm Pillsbury’s Grands Biscuit.
Have a great day

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bowling, License Office, Underpass.

Monday bowling as usual. Matt had a good day and scored very well, yours truly did NOT. This week I got strikes, but I didn’t turn them into good scores afterwards. I seem to be getting worse and worse at the moment, I shall have to some serious re-thinking about the way I bowl.

Tuesday afternoon we drove to where Matt has to go for his senior driver’s license interview so that he knew exactly where it was. I had researched it on Google Maps so it was relatively easy to locate especially as I had used the photo version. It’s actually a fair distance from here so he will have to leave around 8:15 a.m. to be there for 9. When driving we used the new underpass they have built to accommoWeber St. Underpassdate the new rail lines they are installing. There are four pillars which we have noticed because the ones we see regularly have a design of a shoe on one and a jacket on the other. Today we discovered that the other side of the underpass there is a chair and a suitcase. I discovered that in fact these are designs cut into the metal of the pillars. What they are, what they represent, I have no idea and I am not sure where I would go to find out. Puzzling. Of course being a dummy as usual I did not hArtists concept Weber St.ave a camera nor even my tablet. So I’ve found some pix. The first shows the underpass open but not finished by any means. The second shows an artist’s concept of how it will be. The White tops to the posts are what I was talking about and I now think from what I have just read, they are supposed to be lamps. Not been there at night so don’t know.

I have never eaten empanadas, but they look, to me, very much like Cornish Pasties. Anyway, Kraft has, today, sent out a whole bunch of recipes for them and this one sounded tasty. It’s got bacon in it for a start.

Bacon, Poblano and Cheese Mini Empanadas

Bacon, Poblano & Cheese Mini Empanadas recipe 

Kraft Kitchens 



12 servings

What You Need

4 slices  OSCAR MAYER Bacon, chopped
1 small  onion, chopped
2 cloves  garlic, minced
2 roasted poblano chiles, peeled, seeded, deveined and chopped
3/4 cup  KRAFT Finely Shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheeses
1 sheet  frozen puff pastry (1/2 of 17.3-oz. pkg.), thawed
1 egg, beaten

Make It

COOK and stir bacon in medium skillet on medium heat 5 min.; drain. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir 4 min. or until bacon is crisp; drain. Stir in chiles; cool.
HEAT oven to 400°F. Roll out pastry on lightly floured surface to 11-inch square; cut into 12 smaller squares. Brush edges lightly with egg. Spoon about 1 Tbsp. bacon mixture onto center of each square; fold diagonally in half. Press gently on tops to remove excess air; seal edges with fork. Bend slightly to resemble half moons. Make small cut in top of each to vent steam. Place on parchment-covered baking sheet; brush with remaining egg.
BAKE 20 min. or until golden brown.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Make Ahead
Bacon mixture can be cooked ahead of time. Cool, then refrigerate up to 2 days before using as directed.
How to Thaw the Puff Pastry
Thaw the puff pastry as directed on package before using as directed.
Have a great day

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Today the internet will be flooded with announcements about the new book by David Powers King and Michael Jensen. It is called Woven. If you check David’s blog you will find there is a rafflecopter for this and another new book.


Having had the opportunity to read the book, I loved it. It is actually classified as young adult I gather, but this “old adult” really enjoyed it. You can’t go wrong, in my book, with love, ghosts and magic. Best of luck David and Michael. I might say, the book has already been spotted in a number of books stores around the world and people have purchased it so it’s off to a good start.                                                          

Book description from Goodreads:

WOVEN by Michael Jensen and David Powers King, published by Scholastic

Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself.
All his life, Nels has wanted to be a knight of the kingdom of Avërand. Tall and strong, and with a knack for helping those in need, the people of his sleepy little village have even taken to calling him the Knight of Cobblestown.

But that was before Nels died, murdered outside his home by a mysterious figure.
Now the young hero has awoken as a ghost, invisible to all around him save one person—his only hope for understanding what happened to him—the kingdom’s heir, Princess Tyra. At first the spoiled royal wants nothing to do with Nels, but as the mystery of his death unravels, the two find themselves linked by a secret, and an enemy who could be hiding behind any face.

Nels and Tyra have no choice but to abscond from the castle, charting a hidden world of tangled magic and forlorn phantoms. They must seek out an ancient needle with the power to mend what has been torn, and they have to move fast. Because soon Nels will disappear forever.

Available now wherever books are sold

Books A Million!

About the Authors:

Michael Jensen is a graduate of Brigham Young University’s prestigious music, dance, and theater program. Michael taught voice at BYU before establishing his own vocal instruction studio. In addition to being an imaginative storyteller, Michael is an accomplished composer and vocalist. He lives in Salt Lake City with his husband and their four dogs.
Photo credit: Michael Schoenfeld

Woven Website
Woven Facebook Page
David Powers King was born in beautiful downtown Burbank, California where his love for film inspired him to become a writer. An avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, David also has a soft spot for zombies and the paranormal. He now lives in the mountain West with his wife and three children.
Photo credit: Katie Pyne Rasmussen


Of course, being my blog, I had to include a recipe. This one comes from Food and Wine today.

Tomato Salad with Pickled Walnuts and Blue Cheese

Contributed by Richard Blais1.  Tomato Salad

Richard Blais garnishes his take on a caprese salad of tomato and mozzarella with pickled walnuts, made by tossing candied walnuts with a little vinegar. (Alternatively, use British pickled walnuts, available at some specialty food stores.) "The blue cheese and the celery give this dish a little 'adultness,'" he says.
  1. 1/2 cup candied walnuts, coarsely chopped
  2. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  3. 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  4. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  5. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 2 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes—thickly sliced, quartered or halved if small
  7. 2 small celery ribs with leaves, ribs thinly sliced crosswise
  8. 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  1. In a bowl, toss the walnuts with 2 teaspoons of the vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the mustard with the remaining 2 teaspoons of vinegar and the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange the tomatoes on a platter; season with salt. Add the celery and leaves, nuts and cheese. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.
Have a great day

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bone Scan, Bowling, Birthday, Paddington.

As you know, Matt had a bone scan appointment on Friday. Our intention was to go to the hospital in the morning when he would be given his radioactive injection and then pop over to some friends to kill the couple of hours until he had to be Boredomback for the main scan. When we finally got into the parking lot (they are rebuilding everything and everything is very different now) we realised it was $3 for half an hour or a maximum of $12. We figured that the way things usually went in a hospital it would probably cost us $12 for each visit. There was no way we were going to spend $24 on parking so we decided we had to stay. What a boring, draggy morning. Not so bad for me as we went into Tim Horton’s coffee shop and I had a coffee and donut and then later another coffee. Matt doesn’t drink coffee or tea and didn’t want water, so it was worse for him. We didn’t take anything to read which might have been better had we known. The technician told us that the surgeon would have the results in the afternoon so I figured I would call on Monday to see if they had any results.

Of course I missed my exercise class. That was expected anyway, but I was hungry when we got home and somewhat late for my lunch. Just as well I had eaten the donut.

Having email conversations with the caterer, she says she thinks the cake is going to look very good from the pictures I sent her. I asked her to include the English, Canadian and US flags too as we have lived in all three places. I do hope Matt enjoys all this stuff and is pleased with all the people I have invited.

Thursday is one of our travel leagues again. We will be staying in town and going to Victoria Bowl which is our alley’s only competitor in town these days. The idea being to stay local in January because of the possible bad weather. At the moment it’s gorgeous weather with very little snow anywhere. Next month we go to New Hamburg which is way out of town with lots of country roads which are susceptible to snow and blowing snow, it’s February, so what do you bet!!!

I arranged with a friend to go see A Bear Called Paddington on Feb 3 so I am looking forward to it. I saw one review which said Two Paws Up but lots Paddingtonof bear nudity. From what I have seen, it looks hilarious. I am so impressed with the bear itself. I was always impressed with the lion in The Narnia ChronicPaddington Trail Bearsles, not to mention all the other animals, but I wasn’t expecting Paddington to look so real somehow. They installed a Paddington Trail in London recently placing 50 specially designed bear replicas all over London near places which are particularly associated with the bear. The bears were eventually auctioned off and raised thousands of pounds for the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). Do follow the link, there are pictures of all the individual bears.

I suppose after that I should have had a marmalade recipe, marmalade sandwiches being a favourite of the above mentioned bear. However, here is a dessert I think sounds pretty good.

Custard Phyllo Pie With Almonds and Pistachios

Contributed by Ghaya Oliveira

  Custard Phyllo Pie
For this unusual open-face pie from executive pastry chef Ghaya Oliveira of Daniel in New York City, buttered phyllo is layered with nuts and baked, then drenched with syrup and filled with rich custard.
  1. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  3. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1 large egg yolk
  5. 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  6. 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
  7. 1 cup raw almonds
  8. 3/4 cup raw pistachios
  9. 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  10. 10 sheets of phyllo dough
  11. 3/4 cup water
  12. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk 2 tablespoons of the sugar with the cornstarch and salt. Whisk in the egg yolk, then whisk in the milk and vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, and cook until a loose custard forms, about 3 minutes. Strain into a bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard. Let cool, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the almonds and pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool; coarsely chop the nuts. Leave the oven on.
  3. Butter a 9-inch pie plate. Set 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface and brush the top with some of the melted butter. Arrange the buttered phyllo in the pie plate and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the nuts. Repeat the process with the remaining phyllo sheets and melted butter, and more of the nuts; reserve the remaining nuts.
  4. Poke holes through and around the phyllo layers with a fork. Using scissors, trim the overhanging dough. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the phyllo is golden brown and crisp, rotating the pie dish halfway through baking. Place the dish on a rack set over a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir the remaining 1 cup of sugar with the water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the syrup thickens slightly, about 4 minutes. Slowly drizzle the syrup all over the phyllo crust, including the edge. Let cool completely.
  6. To serve, pour half of the custard into the crust and sprinkle the reserved nuts on top. Serve the pie sliced into wedges with the remaining custard on the side.
Make Ahead The pie can be prepared through Step 4 one day ahead: Refrigerate the custard; let the nuts and phyllo crust stand at room temperature.

Have a great day

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Recipe

In the New York Times food letter they were talking about Lobster Thermidor so I thought that would a good recipe for today. I have never eaten this dish. Apart from anything else, I thought that lobster was so expensive it was a shame to “muck it about”. Lobster has always been my favourite food. These days I might try it if I was ever in a position to do so.

Lobster Thermidor

"This stunning lobster dish is surprisingly simple to make. LobsteLobster Thermidor Reciper shells are stuffed with cooked lobster in a creamy white wine sauce, then topped with Parmesan cheese and broiled until golden."


Original recipe makes 2 servings
1 medium (1 1/2 pound) cooked lobster
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 3/8 cups fresh fish stock
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup double cream
1/2 teaspoon hot English mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Cut the lobster in half lengthwise, and remove the meat from the claws and tail. Leave to one side. Remove any meat from the head and set aside. Cut the meat up into pieces and place back into the shell.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot; cook and stir until tender. Mix in the fish stock, white wine and double cream. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half. Mix in the mustard, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat your oven's broiler.
  4. Place the lobster halves on a broiling pan or baking sheet, and spoon the sauce over the lobster meat in the shell. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.
  5. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, just until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Have a great weekend

Friday, January 23, 2015

Target, Bowling.

Target ex CEOTarget didn’t make it in Canada. I personally have only ever been in the store once, in the States, and didn’t think much of it. So, now they have closed all their stores and according to a news headline, the ex-CEO’s package, estimated at $61 million, will be about the same amount as is being offered to the 17,600 workers as a whole. I think this is disgusting as these workers will probably be out of work for a while – the ex-CEO might be out of work too, but I bet he is crying all the way to the bank. The workers are supposed to end up with the equivalent of 16 weeks pay. He looks unhappy doesn’t he?

Bowling yesterday was pretty disastrous again. I suppose we are neither of us as fit as we would like to be. My bruised leg is getting a lot better, but still hurts somewhat. I think my fall stirred up my hip too and it is making me think hip replacement on that side. I hope not, I am still hoping it will settle down. Meanwhile, Matt is still suffering from his hip problem and goes for his bone scan today (Friday). It didn’t help being next to a couple who were bowling strike after strike after strike. Turns out that the woman was once among the top 5% of bowlers in Ontario and I believe they were both Masters at one time. Must get boring bowling so well, they don’t get the extreme excitement of having to wait 18 frames to get a strike LOL.

Our local seafood store sends out recipes periodically. I like the sound of this one, yes, another soup but delicious I think.

Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup

INGREDIENTS:Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup canned mini corn chopped into quarters
1/2 cup julienned carrots
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 stalk lemon grass, minced
2 teaspoons red curry paste
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 pound raw medium shrimp - peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


1.Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the ginger, lemongrass, corn, carrots and curry paste in the heated oil for 1 minute. Slowly pour the chicken broth over the mixture, stirring continually. Stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar; simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and mushrooms; cook and stir until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp; cook until no longer translucent about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice; season with salt; garnish with cilantro.

Serves 8

Have a great day

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Nothing but Ants.

I have absolutely nothing to write about today. The only thing I picked up from the news was an app which costs you $25 a month and you can have a fake love interest. What a crock of ……..

I went to exercises and none of the ladies said they were cold yesterday although I gather a lot of them are infested with tiny critters they are calling ants although one person said they are not. So far they are on floors below us and above us but, knock on wood, we haven’t seen anything yet. I’m not sure I will make it on Friday because of Matt’s bone scan. Do get to go bowling on Thursday though.

This looks an interesting soup. I wonder how they get it so very green or is that just the photo shopping? I love the taste of Rosemary.

Spinach Soup With Rosemary Croutons

Spinach Soup With Rosemary Croutons
WebMD Recipe from

Rosemary has a strong flavour, but offers only a subtle hint in this spinach soup. If you like, any seasonal greens you have on hand can be substituted for the spinach.

  • 2 cups 1/2-inch cubes country-style sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1  medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups diced peeled red potatoes
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
  • 6 cups fresh spinach or chard leaves, tough stems removed
  • Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish
  1. To prepare croutons: Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Toss bread cubes, oil, garlic and rosemary in a large bowl until well combined. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, to prepare soup: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Pour in broth (or water). Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach (or chard) and continue to simmer until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes more. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or regular blender (in batches), leaving it a little chunky if desired. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
  4. Serve the soup garnished with nutmeg, if desired, and topped with the croutons.
Have a great day

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Heat and Water, Flash Drives. Money.

I seem to have principally been concerned about Matt’s bone scan on Friday. Arranged to spend and hour or so at a friend’s house between the injection and the scan rather than sitting around in the hospital.

Regarding the heating repair which was postponed to Tuesday, our apartment actually got boiling hot because the sun was pouring in the windows, not that it was very warm outside. We do get the sun in t he winter and it turned out that today was one of the days when we did so. It was so hot I had to put on a lightweight shirt, so obviously we never even noticed the heating system being turned off. Not only that, despite making sure we had some water if we needed it, it was never turned off after all. Ah well.

Not much to write about today; one thing, I ordered two flash drives flash drivesthrough Amazon and they arrived today. I had ordered the smallest size I could find and paid, what I considered a reasonable price. They arrived today, direct from China by the look of it, and to my astonishment turned out to be 30 gig. I couldn’t believe it. I really didn’t want them so big. I just wanted them to be able to put some music on them but certainly not that much. I have already recorded 5 CDs and the space has hardly been touched. I think one of these sticks would take our whole CD library and still not be full and we do have a lot of CDs.

One thing, Matt’s got a pension increase in the mail today. A whole 7. It’s a bit of a joke really. Our rent went up by about $20 again this year.

This recipe sounded pretty easy as well as tasty. I found it at MyRecipes although it was from Cooking Light.

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

Take your basic beef stew to the next level by making this simple, fragrant beef tagine featuring butternut squash.

Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Cooking Light JANUARY 2011
  • Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (1-pound) beef shoulder roast or petite tender roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 shallots, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add beef; toss well to coat.
2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and shallots; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Add squash; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Have a great day


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Book, No Heat, Bone Scan.

dagger's path coverFriday, I received my copy of The Dagger’s Path with my name in the acknowledgements. That is the third time Glenda has done that and I am thrilled to bits. She also signs the copy for me too which is another fillip for the book as far as I am concerned.  It’s a while since I helped proof the book so I am going to read it again. In fact I will probably read both of them again to refresh myself. The only thing I don’t like, as somebody commented yesterday, is having to wait for the next book although I believe Glenda is well on the way to the finishing line, so maybe it won’t be too much longer. Funny I am re-reading these books using a Cassa Fire bookmark. Having started book one again, I am astounded how little I remember. The main story, but a lot of the detail I had totally forgotten. Almost like reading a new book.

Went down to my exercises on Friday and then saw a notice posted No heatsaying that on Monday 19th (today) they are replacing some pipes and the heat will be off from 9 – 5. Why on earth couldn’t they have done this during the summer? With the kind of temps we are having lately, that is going to be pretty serious. Will have to make sure we are fully dressed before 9 and ready with sweaters etc. At least we go out bowling in the afternoon so will get away from it. Considering how many really elderly people there are here, that might cause a problem. I know I mentioned this yesterday too.

When we finally went out on Monday afternoon we discovered it had been postponed til Tuesday. Now from 8 to 5. Not only that we had a note slipped under the door that our water would be off for an hour or two on Tuesday afternoon. Our heating is water based so I assume it’s connected.

It was kind of snowing Monday morning and it fascinated me because the flakes were not falling down but just floating around in all directions just like inside a snow globe. Looking out of the window I thought we were in such a globe.

Bowling Pin Placement 5First thing Monday, Matt having had a really painful weekend as I told you, was to phone the orthopaedic surgeon’s office. I was a tad miffed because Matt could have gone for his bone scan Monday although we would have missed bowling. Turns out it will be on Friday. You have to go for an injection and then wait around (or go home) for a scan 2 hrs. later. Not worth us going home as we live in the next town, not sure what we will do. This is an odd problem Matt has, over the weekend he was in agony again, then Monday he managed to bowl although he was obviously in pain towards the end.

I have always liked Steak au Poivre but never thought of doing that with pork chops. Not sure I would use fat free sour cream, but you are welcome to do so of course.

Pork Chops au Poivre

WebMD Recipe from
Turn your dining room into a French bistro when you dress up pepper-crusted pork chops with a rich, creamy brandy sauce. Serve with roasted sweet potato slices and green beans.
Pork Chops au Poivre

  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 4-ounce boneless pork chops, 1/2 inch thick, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  1. Combine pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Pat the mixture onto both sides of each pork chop. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge each chop in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops, reduce heat to medium and cook until browned and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add shallot to the pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add brandy and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve the pork chops with the sauce.
Have a great day

Monday, January 19, 2015

Movie, General, The Ninja Captain Plays.

Saturday night we watched an old film (1965) called The Hill.There were several well know names in it, Sean Connery, Michael The HillRedgrave and Roy Kinnear for instance. One of those movies where you said “I know him” all the time without being able to find the name. After a short while I wasn’t going to watch any more but then we both got hooked and watched it to the end. It was a very good movie although the ending was a tad ambiguous. The IMDb description of the story “WWII, in a British disciplinary camp located in the Libyan desert. Prisoners are persecuted by Staff Sergeant Williams, who made them climb again and again, under the heavy sun, an artificial hill built right in the middle of the camp. Harris is a more human and compassionate guard, but the chief, S.M. Wilson, refuses to disown his subordinate Williams. One day, five new prisoners arrive. Each of them will deal in a different way with the authority and Williams' ferocity. “ Williams commits atrocity after atrocity and is supported by his boss, until a death occurs. We both wondered how much truth there was in this movie, we were both horrified to think there may be more than we would like to acknowledge. Excellent old movie. Interesting that Connery made this movie the same year he was making James Bond movies. This one I had never heard of before.

Today we will be without heat for the day. I hope it doesn’t get too walking stickcold although we will be out in the afternoon. I’ll be bowling. At the moment we are not sure if Matt will be. He has had a lousy and painful weekend as many of you know if you are a Facebook friend. I will be on the phone to the specialist’s office asap on Monday morning. When Matt uses a cane you can be sure he is in pain same with taking pain pills. I have been told about pain meds which can be delivered via a patch. Not heard of them before, I think they are available here but not certain. Will make enquiries. A friend in Australia swears by hers.

Oops, I nearly forgot. The Ninja Captain has produced a video, 1 minute long, of him playing his guitar. He is playing a piece from Easter by Marillion. I am no expert on guitar music by any means but it sounds excellent to me.


This recipe sounds a sure fired winner to me. I think it could also be done with a tenderloin and we have some in the freezer. The link came from the NY Times letter.

Bacon-Wrapped Roast Pork Loin Stuffed With Dried Fruit

Molly O'Neill
  • Time2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield6 servings

This impressive dish sounds far more complicated than it is. The oven does most of the work. Don't forget the sauce: the tang of the Dijon cream sauce is a welcome counter to the sweetness of the Bacon Wrapped Pork Loinbrandied fruit. Add a green salad (maybe some red potatoes?) and you have the perfect Sunday supper.

  • ½ cup brandy
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) mixed dried, pitted fruit (for example, apples, prunes, apricots, pears)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped sage leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 boneless 3 1/2-pound pork loin, trimmed
  • 8 slices (about 1/4 pound) bacon
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • ⅔ cup red wine
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  1. In a small saucepan, warm, but do not boil, the brandy. Place the fruit in a small bowl, cover with the brandy and soak for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the brandy, and coarsely chop the fruit. Return the fruit to the bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon of the sage and 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme and season it lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the pork on a work surface. Using a long, round metal or wooden skewer about 3/4-inch thick, pierce a channel through the center of the loin. Stuff the fruit into the channel, using the skewer to pack it in. Season the loin lightly with salt and pepper and drape the bacon slices over it.
  3. Use butcher's twine to tie the roast. Place the roast in a roasting pan fitted with a rack and roast for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and continue to roast until the pork is cooked but, when poked with a knife, the juices at the center still run slightly pink, about 1 hour more. Transfer the roast to a serving platter and allow to rest, covered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, remove the rack and place the roasting pan on top of the stove over medium heat. Add the shallots to the pan juices and cook, stirring, until they are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved brandy and the wine and simmer until reduced by half. Whisk in the cream and mustard and continue to simmer until slightly thickened.
  5. To serve, remove the twine from the roast, slice and serve with the cream sauce.
Have a great day

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday Recipe

In common with many English people, we love lamb and I thought this sounded like a delicious new recipe. I wish we had some chops in the freezer. Better visit Costco next week.

Seared Lamb with Balsamic Sauce

Get a healthy taste of the Mediterranean when you serve these hearty sweet-seared-lamb-balsamicsavory chops over rice pilaf.
  • Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 chops and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 none (4-ounce) lamb loin chops, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 none garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle lamb loin chops with salt and pepper. Add lamb to pan, and cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn lamb over, and cook 4 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove lamb from pan; keep warm. Add chopped onion and garlic to pan; cook 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Stir in broth and balsamic vinegar; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until reduced to about 2/3 cup. Serve sauce with lamb.

Have a great weekend