Friday, February 27, 2015

Gloves, Black Hole.

glovesI just saw a segment on Good Morning America about germs and gloves. Something I never would have thought about. Obviously gloves touch all kinds of germy surfaces and although they would not survive long on your gloves because there isn’t much for them to thrive on, nevertheless they can be covered in germs for a while, some of which can be serious health risks. They recommend washing gloves regularly or using disinfectant wipes. They also say do not leave gloves bunched up in your coat pocket but let them “air out”. Mine are not washable, but I do have wipes. I have already taken them out of my pocket where I usually stuff them.

Just heard on TV and since Googled about a massive black hole Black Holewhich is billions of times bigger than our sun. It was apparently formed after “the big bang” which throws all our current scientific knowledge out of the window according to this article. It is being called a super massive black hole. Given what we currently know about how black holes are formed and grow over time, a hole of that magnitude that soon after the Big Bang shouldn't be possible. I would love to know what Stephen Hawking thinks about this.

This recipe was created specifically for Taste Book by Yasmin Fahr. As you may recall, I am nuts about Chinese dumplings.

Pork and Lemongrass Dumplings

Yasmin Fahr
This recipe makes about 30 dumplings, give or take. Before starting, set up foil- or parchment-lined baking sheets to arrange the completed dumplings. Tip: Using a microplane is an easy and fast way to grate ginger or garlic.

About 30 dumplings
Pork & Lemongrass Dumplings photo







For the Dumplings:
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 scallions, light white and green parts thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 tablespoon freshly grated or minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and minced (about 1/4 cup)*
  • 1/2 package of gyoza or wonton wrappers (about 30 wrappers)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or more as needed
  • 1/4 cup water
For the dipping sauce:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sambal or garlic-chile sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Tip: Wonton or gyoza wrappers can be found at most Asian markets or at supermarkets such as Whole Foods.
  • Note: If you don’t have or can’t find lemongrass, feel free to leave it out. This recipe will still be delicious.


  • 1 In a mixing bowl, combine the pork, scallions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil and lemongrass. Mix without overworking the meat.
  • 2 Prepare your work station. Set a large plate or butcher block for preparing the dumplings and a small cup of water. Place 1 tablespoon of filling into each wrapper and wet half of the outer rim of the wrapper. Fold like a taco, gently pushing the filling into the belly of the taco with your forefinger.
  • 3 To pleat, hold the dumpling in the left hand, using the right hand to fold the flap closest to you toward the middle, and repeat, to create a pleat, gently pressing the filling into the belly of the dumpling as you move to the right. The dumpling will form a crescent shape. Set completed dumplings on a foil-lined baking sheet.
To Pan-Fry:
  • 1 Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add as many dumplings pleated-side up as possible into the pan without overcrowding or touching each other. Cook until the bottoms are browned, about 2 minutes.
  • 2 Add the water carefully as it will steam and cover. Cook until the water has evaporated, about 2 minutes more. Remove the lid and cook until the wrappers are translucent and the filling cooked, about 2 minutes more. Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce by combining the ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with the dumplings.
To Boil:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When ready, carefully lower the dumplings into the water, one at a time. Cook in batches. Similar to ravioli, you will know the dumplings are done when they float to the top and are translucent. Drain and serve with dipping sauce.

Finally, enjoy

Have a great day

Thursday, February 26, 2015

This ‘n That, Movies.

As you know, I have been sick, I am still not bouncing with health, but things are improving I am glad to say. Today, Wednesday, I went to my exercise class but could not do more than a few minutes. Monday I didn’t even try bowling. During the last 10 days I have thought of half a dozen things to blog about all of which would have been frantically interesting except I forgot what they all were. I suppose I should have written them down, but… I don’t think I will be back full time yet awhile though.

I was somewhat annoyed that on top of all my problems I discovered Mrs. Mopmy cleaner wasn’t coming in, ever again. I wish she had let us know before as the place has had more or less no attention for close on 6 weeks now, for various reasons. Neither Matt nor I are really fit enough to clean house unfortunately. So now I am scrambling trying to find someone to come and clean.

A week or two ago, I ordered a copy of the movie The Theory of Everything. This is the story of the incredible journey and struggle faced by Professor Stephen Hawking and his family. In 1964 he was told he would have 2 years to live because he has what, these days, is known as Lou Hawkings RedmayneGehrig’s disease or ALS, this was 52 years ago. Thanks in great part to his first wife, Jane, he is still with us today and has proved to be one of the most brilliant minds of our time. I only just got round to seeing the movie as, having been ill, I just couldn’t concentrate on movies or anything much else, but finally, on Monday night, I watched it, particularly having heard that Eddie Redmayne got the Oscar for best actor portraying Stephen Hawking. What a brilliant film, I loved it from start to finish. It was a wonderful portrayal of a terrible disease and what it can do. It was also a beautiful love story between Jane and Stephen. If you get half a chance, you really should see it. Even if you don’t understand all the science/cosmology involved, you should certainly see the film. The Professor sent Redmayne a congratulatory message on Facebook after his win. Apparently he is a newbie to FB.

I now want to get the movie Imitation Game about Alan Turing, another brilliant man and his contribution to the war effort in the 40’s and of course I want a copy of Paddington Bear.

I caught sight of this pie and thought it looked both unusual and delicious.

Sky-High Brunch Bake

Kraft Kitchens

Sky-High Brunch Bake









What You Need

1 pkg.  (17.3 oz.) frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup  POLLY-O Original Ricotta Cheese
Dash  hot pepper sauce
2 pkg.  (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
4 slices  OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cooked, chopped
1-1/2 cups  KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup  chopped red peppers

Make It

HEAT oven to 400°F.
UNFOLD pastry sheets. Roll out 1 sheet to 11-inch square; set aside. Roll out remaining sheet to 12-inch square; use to line bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan sprayed with cooking spray.
RESERVE 1 Tbsp. eggs. Mix remaining eggs with ricotta, pepper sauce and spinach. Layer half each of the bacon, cheddar, ricotta mixture and peppers in crust. Repeat layers.
COVER with remaining pastry sheet; fold under edges of pastry, then tuck inside pan. Brush pastry with reserved egg. Cut slits in top crust.
BAKE 45 to 55 min. or until golden brown. Cool 10 min. Run small knife around edge of pan to loosen crust before removing rim.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Size Wise
Your family will know it is the festive season when this special morning dish is served. Remember to balance your food choices throughout the day so you can enjoy a serving of this indulgent dish.
Make Ahead
Assemble and bake pie as directed. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. When ready to serve, bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 30 to 40 min. or until heated through.
If you don't have a springform pan, this recipe can be baked in a 13x9-inch baking dish instead. Roll out bottom and top pastry to fit dish. For ease in serving, line empty baking dish with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Spray with cooking spray. Prepare crust and fill with ingredients as directed. Bake at 350ºF for 35 to 40 min. or until golden brown. Let stand 10 min. Use foil handles to lift pie from dish before cutting to serve.
Have a great day

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Wolfgang and Oscar

I am not basically a pizza eater, I used to eat them many years ago in Italy and Paris when they were relatively simple creations but the North Americans got hold of them and – in my opinion – ruined them. However, Wulfgang Puck has come up with an Oscar Party pizza which I am sure I would find delicious. In fact the only reason I would like to be important enough to attend an Oscar party is to be able to try the goodies presented every year by Mr. Puck and his staff. I would also like to have the opportunity, chance, and money to dine at Spago’s. What really tees me off, I can have the smoked salmon but, because of this stupid illness of mine, and the antibiotics which go with it, I cannot drink the champagne. If you plan to watch, enjoy the Oscars, I believe that after what happened, American Sniper will win.

Wolfgang Puck’s Smoked Salmon Pizza


Each year, Hollywood's A-listers are served Wolfgang Puck's signature smoked salmon and caviar pizza at the annual Oscars Governor's Ball — and now you have a chance to taste it, too!

From Wolfgang Puck

Pizza With Smoked Salmon and Caviar


1 recipe (24 ounces) pizza dough (see recipe below)
Flour, for dusting
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, julienned
1/4 bunch fresh dill, minced, plus 4 small sprigs for garnish
1 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
16 ounces smoked salmon, sliced paper-thin
4 heaping tablespoons domestic golden caviar or salmon caviar
4 heaping teaspoons black osetra caviar
  1. 30 minutes before you're ready to bake the pizzas, preheat the oven to 500ºF with a pizza stone inside.
  2. Prepare pizza crust: Dip the ball of dough into flour, shake off the excess flour, place the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface, and start to stretch the dough. Press down on the center, spreading the dough into an 8-inch circle, with its outer rim a little thicker than the inner circle. If you find this difficult to do, use a small rolling pin to roll out the dough.
  3. After the dough has been rolled or stretched into four 8-inch circles, place the pizzas on a lightly floured wooden peel. Brush the center of each pizza to within 1 inch of the edge with olive oil and sprinkle it with some of red onion. Slide the pizza onto the stone and bake 8 to 12 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  4. Make the dill cream: Mix the dill with the sour cream or crème fraîche and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  5. Arrange the pizzas: Transfer the pizzas to heated dinner plates and spread them with the sour cream mixture.
  6. Divide the salmon, and arrange decoratively over the cream.
  7. Place a spoonful of golden caviar in the center of each pizza, then spoon a little of the black caviar into the center of the golden or salmon caviar. Cut each pizza into fourths and serve immediately.
Have a great Sunday

Friday, February 20, 2015

Don’t Starve

I’m not really blogging yet, but I was just concerned you might all be hungry unless I sent you a recipe. I saw this one and just had to share it. It might even tempt me during my current lack of desire to eat anything at all.


Focaccia Reubens

Contributed by Dennis Leary

At The Sentinel, Dennis Leary's riff on a Reuben uses locally made corned beef and fresh focaccia, but the sandwiches are just as delicious with top-quality deli corned beef and store-bought flatbreads.
  1. One 1/2-pound green cabbage, thinly sliced (4 cups)
  2. 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. Four 4-by-6-inch pieces of focaccia, split
  6. 1/4 cup ketchup
  7. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  8. Eight 1/4-inch-thick slices of Gruyère cheese (4 ounces)
  9. 1/2 pound thinly sliced corned beef
  10. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  1. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the vinegar, sugar and salt. Let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally, until softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a panini press or griddle. Arrange the focaccia on a work surface, cut sides up. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup with the mayonnaise. Spread the dressing on the bottom halves of the focaccia. Set a slice of Gruyère on the dressing. Top with the corned beef, pickled cabbage and the remaining slices of Gruyère. Close the sandwiches and spread the outsides of the focaccia with the softened butter.
  3. Add the sandwiches to the press and cook over moderate heat until the cheese has melted and the focaccia is crisp and golden, about 6 minutes. Cut each sandwich in half and serve right away.

Have a great weekend

Monday, February 16, 2015

No blogs

OK, I know this is a blog, but there won’t be any regular blogs for a while. I am sick as a dog. Why a dog I wonder?

Not really interested in anything (I missed Downton Abbey last night, horrors. Nothing I eat tastes right, even chocolate.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Ancestors, The Coulter Men.

I am quite excited to discover that there once was a woman, Maria Woodland CemeteryDuttson Cattermole who died in 1912 in London, Ontario where she is buried in Woodland Cemetery. Apparently the funeral home which handled the arrangements has closed since that time so I have been contacting London funeral homes in the hopes of finding which one has the records. I do hope I can find them. My maiden name was Duttson in case you don’t get the connection. Incredible really, I have a relative in Australia who wrote to me about this originally. It’s a small world. The Grounds Superintendent has offered to send me a picture of her headstone (if there is one) when the snow has gone.

I have just finished the last of the books I had on my KindleDefying Reason which was written by Elizabeth Seckman. It was actually the third of her Coulter Men series. I really enjoyed her books and can recommend them to anyone. Her most recent was Defying Reason which was, in fact, the first book I read in the series.

I love shrimp so often choose shrimp recipes. This one sounded somewhat different.

Tequila-Chipotle Shrimp

Contributed by Deborah Schneider


12 Minute + A141023 + FW + Hanbook Feb 2015
Chef Deborah Schneider calls this easy, 12-minute dish “firing-squad shrimp” because it gets a little spice from a chipotle in adobo sauce.
  1. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  2. 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  3. 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
  4. One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  5. Salt
  6. Pepper
  7. 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  8. 1/4 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
  9. 1 tablespoon tequila
  10. Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and chipotle and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until just starting to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, then nestle the shrimp in the sauce and cook, turning once, until just white throughout, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pineapple and tequila, garnish with cilantro and serve right away.
Have a great day

Thursday, February 12, 2015


This is an incredible video about elephants. Their emotions, their loyalties and the disturbing results of what we euphemistically call culling  If you click on the link below, it will take you to this incredible video story which appeared on Facebook. I do hope you will take the time to watch this. It is both enlightening and heartening.

A delightful looking recipe from Closet Cooking by Kevin Lynch who produces the most extraordinary recipes in his tiny kitchen.

Miso Glazed Black Cod on Baby Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushrooms

Prep Time: 10 minutes Marinate Time: 72 hours Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes 

Servings: 4

Buttery soft black cod in a simple and tasty miso marinade that melts in your mouth taking your taste buds on a trip to heaven.
    For the miso glazed black cod:
  • 1/3 cup white miso
  • 1/3 cup sake
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 (6 ounce) black cod fillets or chilean sea bass, salmon, etc
  • For the baby bok choy and shiitake mushrooms:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound baby bok choy, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dashi or broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    For the miso glazed black cod:
  1. Mix the miso, sake, mirin, and sugar, heat in a sauce pan over medium heat until the sugar has melted and the miso has mixed in smoothly, about 5 minutes, before letting it cool.
  2. Marinate the fish in 2/3 of the marinade in a sealed container in the fridge for 30 minutes to overnight or optimally for 2-3 days.
  3. Place the fish on a greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400F oven until the fish just starts to flake, about 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish, turn the oven up to broil and let it broil until deeply golden brown on top, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. For the baby bok choy and shiitake mushrooms:
  5. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat add the bok choy stems and shiitake mushrooms, cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes, add the garlic, saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the bok choy leaves, dashi and soy sauce and simmer until the leaves have wilted, remove from heat and mix in the sesame oil.
  6. Serve the fish on a bed of the baby bok choy and shiitake mushrooms drizzled with the the remaining marinade and optionally garnished with green onions and/or sesame seeds.

Note: For optimal flavour marinate the fish for 2-3 days but if you are in a hurry, overnight or while you are at work or 30 minutes or even just brushing the marinade on the fish and broiling right away will work, but with less flavour.
Option: Use honey or other sweetener rather than the brown sugar if desired but the brown sugar brings the hint of molasses umami.
Note: If you use broth or water to braise the bok choy you may want to add a teaspoon fish sauce for that extra kick of umami.
Note: If I was making the baby bok choy and shiitake mushrooms as a side dish without the miso marinade for flavour, I would add more soy sauce and maybe some oyster sauce for more flavour.

Have a great day

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cancellation, Paddington Bear, Dangerous Chocolate.

Matt has his driving license interview tomorrow morning, Wednesday. When they take an hour and a half to find out it you can drive or not – now he is 80. They ask you questions to establish your cognitive abilities. According to friends they are so simple as to be almost insulting. I might go with him as they are turning off the water once again and there will probably be no heat as our heating system is water based. So I went to the movies and when I returned they had phoned to say his interview/class was cancelled and postponed until the end of April? No reason given, we are somewhat puzzled. They have to send him another extension of his license to cover the period.

The mPaddington2ovie, Paddington. What can I say, I absolutely loved it. Beautifully made, and, my friend agreed, we never once thought of Paddington as anything other than a bear. It was hilarious, sad, adventurous. Absolutely wonderful. I will certainly be buying the DVD when it comes out. I understand from another friend the cinematography is excellent, I have no idea. The beginning, in Deepest Darkest Peru, surprised Paddington3me, I was not expecting it and thoroughly enjoyed it. My friend commented about the eyes and the facial expressions they achieved, I mean, just look at this picture. You could fall for this bear. In this second picture can’t you just see him thinking “uh oh”. If you haven’t seen it, do go. I know you will enjoy it.

Lindor DarkAfter the movie we went over to the Lindt Store – I was telling the Beer for the Shower guys about it. When we walked in they gave us both a Lindor Ball, yum, I love those things. Then I asked about one that was available only at Christmas apparently but they gave me a similar one to try. I think I could have tri2015-02-10 17.27.18ed one Lindor Ball of every flavour in the store. I bought Matt a box of deep dark chocolates. It turned out the boxes of 13 balls were on sale for $6 a box if you bought two. Nothing loath, I bought two. One box for me of course, of mixed balls. On Matt’s box the assistant taped a red heart2015-01-10 17.22.00 (chocolate inside of course) for Valentine’s. I managed to get a couple of pictures before my camera decided to give up the ghost on me. (Batteries!!). This is a somewhat fuzzy one of the loose Lindor balls. Dozens and dozens of them.  I could have made myself really sick there I think. My friend said she would be delighted to bring me to this store whenever I wanted. Dangerous.

Now here’s another recipe you could use for that Valentine’s dinner and probably somewhat easier than the one yesterday. I got this from the Dragon Knight, Jeff Hargett, of Strands of Pattern who plans to try it out. He got it from Recipe Palace. I wonder if these would fit into my diet plan? I am not big on cooked apples, but these do look good.


These little guys will send your taste buds soaring! 

4 Apples peeled and sliced
½ C Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Nutmeg
½ C Water
Tortilla's (flour) 6" size
Oil (for frying tortillas)
1/2 c sugar-cinnamon mixture
Whipped cream

Place apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water in a sauce pan. Stir until well blended and cover and cook on medium stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until apples are semi soft. If needed, thicken sauce using 1 Tbl of cornstarch to 3-4 Tbl of water. Mix into sauce and stir until thickened. Heat oil on medium heat in a skillet and holding the tortilla folded in half, place the bottom of tortilla in the oil for a few seconds. Then lay it on one side until browned and then place other side down until browned. Remove from oil and Sprinkle browned tortilla with sugar-cinnamon mixture. Fill taco shells with apple pie filling and top with whipped cream, and sprinkle a little more of sugar-cinnamon mixture on top.

Have a great day

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wildlife, Movies.

Last Thursday morning I received my regular newsletter from World Wildlife Fund spreading the good news that tigers, in India, are WWF-Internationalapparently recovering due to good management and conservation.

A roaring success for India's tigers

Tiger numbers are up! In 2006 it was estimated that there were only 1,411 wild tigers in India. In 2_U6C7513010 there were 1,706, and we’re really pleased to say that the 2014 survey counted an incredible 2,226

Directly copied from the newsletter. Unfortunately with that good news comes the news that more rhinos were poached in 2014 than ever before despite all the efforts being made. 1,215 rhinos were slaughtered last year.

We finally got the DVD of the movie The Dish. I loved this film from The Dishthe first minute I saw it. I had it on my PC, from iTunes, but decided to buy the DVD for Matt so he could see it again. In fact he had more or less forgotten the movie. We watched it Monday night and both enjoyed it. A friend in Oz tells me if I love this movie I should watch The Castle. I will have to check it out. I learned a great word, drongo, and then my friend, Michelle, who writes Pinky Poinker’s blog used the word in her blog which I found amusing. It means a fool basically. Of course today, Tuesday, I am going to see Paddington Bear and will be telling you all what I thought of it. From everything I have seen, it looks hilarious.

A lot of people have been saying how much they hate Valentine’s Day and particularly because of it’s commercialism. I can see where you are coming from, but it doesn’t have to be commercial. Arrange a nice dinner at home, or even a lunch if you prefer, with your sweetie and just practice some togetherness. Even easier this year as it falls on a Saturday. Here is a dessert you could serve to your special someone. If you want to be lazy you can always buy the wafers rather than making them yourself.

Chocolate-Butterscotch Icebox Cake

Melissa Clark

  • Yield 8 to 12 servings 
With homemade chocolate wafer cookies and a maple-laced butterscotch whipped cream, this recipe takes icebox cake to a more sophisticated level without sacrificing any of its lusciousness. You can build the cookies and cream into any shape you like — a round, a rectangle or a heart, which is what we do here. If you have cookies and cream left over, you can sandwich them together, whoopee-pie style. The wafers can be made up to a week ahead of when you’d like to assemble the cake. Store them airtight and try not to eat them all before you make the rest of the cake.
For the chocolate wafers:
  • 1 ½ sticks/170 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons/230 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters milk
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon/3 grams baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon/5 grams kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups/190 grams all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup/88 grams unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-process
For the maple-butterscotch cream:
  • ½ cup/100 grams firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons/28 grams unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 3 ½ cups/840 milliliters cold heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters bourbon
  • 1 ounce/28 grams semisweet chocolate, for serving
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters coconut oil, for serving
Make the chocolate wafers:
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract; mix until smooth. Whisk together baking powder, salt, flour and cocoa, then add to mixer bowl and mix until combined. Roll into a 10-inch-long log, wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice dough into 1/8-inch rounds and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. You should have about 48 cookies. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool.
Make the maple-butterscotch cream:
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, maple syrup, butter and salt. Stir continuously until mixture is combined and sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking without stirring until mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup cream, then stir in bourbon. Let butterscotch cool completely.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine remaining 3 cups cold cream and the butterscotch. Whisk until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.
Assemble the cake:
  1. Divide wafers into six batches, about eight cookies per batch. On a serving platter, arrange one batch of cookies into a heart shape, breaking into pieces to fill in gaps if necessary. Top wafers with about 11/4 cups butterscotch cream, smoothing into a heart shape with an offset spatula. Repeat layers until cookies and cream are finished, ending with a layer of cream. (There may be extra cookies and cream; build the cake higher if you like.) Cover with plastic wrap and chill cake in the refrigerator until cold, at least 1 hour, before decorating the top.
Decorate the cake:
  1. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir in coconut oil. Let chocolate cool until lukewarm but still fluid. Drizzle over cold cake. Return cake to the refrigerator and let sit overnight or up to 2 days before serving.
Have a great day

Monday, February 9, 2015

Cake, Candles, Chocolate, Paddington.

2015-01-07 17.16.47We have lots of cake left over from the birthday party. So Saturday night we had some for dessert. The piece had a picture of Matt and I. Still not sure I like the idea of eating my own face. Of course the cake itself is delicious. I mentioned on Friday that we had completely forgotten to light the candles 2015-01-07 19.20.51so when I served Matt his slice of cake, I put the candles in and lit them up. They are very attractive candles with a glitter finish. I’ve never seen any like it before.  See what a great photographer I am. The top is too dark the second too light. Ah well. Today, Monday, back in the bowling alley with situation normal. Matt has removed all his cards now. He got 14 which he was pretty pleased with not to mention the dozens of good wishes on the internet.

LindtTomorrow I am finally hoping to get to see the Paddington Bear Movie. I am also planning to visit the Lindt chocolate store which is close to the theatre in order to pick up some good dark chocolate (they make some of the best in the world) for Matt as a Valentine’s Day gift.  He buys store brand chocolate for himself because he says the Lindt is too expensive. Hence the idea for Valentine’s. Guess I will have to think of something special for dinner that night too. No, we don’t go out, never at weekends and certainly never on special days like that. The restaurants are crowded, the service is frequently poor and the food often isn’t as good as usual.

The following recipe was in my Panna email this weekend and I am very fond of this kind of spring rolls. I love the translucent rice paper.

by Charles Phan

Twenty years ago, I decided to open a restaurant and this spring roll recipe is something my mom developed. It's a classic dish from Vietnam but also very unique to my restaurant, Slanted Door.

Spring Rolls
10 servings

15 Shrimp, medium (peeled and deveined)
1/2 lb Pork shoulder, boneless
5  c Cooked rice vermicelli
3  Egg yolk
1/2 c Shallot oil or canola oil
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
10  Rice paper, 12-inch round sheets
1 1/4 c Peanut sauce for dipping
1  Cooked sweet glutinous rice
1/2 c Roasted peanuts
3  tbsp Red miso
3  tbsp Ketchup
3  tbsp Sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1  Thai chili, stemmed, chopped
1/2 c Water
2  tbsp Vegetarian stir-fry sauce or oyster sauce
1/2 tsp roasted sesame oil

For the spring rolls: Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp and blanch until the shrimp have turned bright pink, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a spider, transfer the shrimp to a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain the shrimp on paper towels and cut each shrimp in half lengthwise. Set aside. Return the water to a boil and add the pork. Turn the heat down to low and simmer until the pork is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Check for doneness by removing the pork from the water and poking it with a chopstick; the juices should run clear. Let cool completely, then thinly slice. Cook rice noodles in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, then drain in a colander and rinse under cold water, then hot water, then cold water to prevent noodles from sticking together. For the mayonnaise: Put the egg yolk in a large mixing bowl and whisk well. Pour the shallot oil into a measuring cup with a spout and begin adding the oil to the egg yolk a few drops at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and emulsifies. Continue to add the oil in a slow and steady stream, whisking constantly, until all the oil is incorporated. The mixture will be very thick. Whisk in the salt and set aside.

For the spring rolls: Fill a large bowl with very hot water. Dip one sheet of rice paper halfway into the water and quickly rotate to moisten the entire sheet. Lay the wet rice paper on a flat work surface. Arrange one lettuce leaf over the bottom third of the rice paper, flattening the lettuce to crack the rib. Spread a generous teaspoon of the mayo over the lettuce, then top with three mint leaves placed end to end and a few slices of pork. Top with about ½ cup of the noodles. Fold in the left and right sides of the rice paper, then fold the bottom edge up and over the filling tightly and roll toward the tip end one full turn, enclosing the filling completely. Place three pieces of shrimp, cut side up end to end, in a row on the rice paper, then roll another turn to enclose the shrimp. Continue rolling as tightly as possible toward the top edge, tucking in the sides, until you have a tight cylinder. Repeat with the remaining rice paper and ingredients. The rolls can be made up to two hours in advance. Cover with a damp towel until serving.

For the peanut sauce: Cook the rice in a rice cooker based on the manufacturer’s instruction. In a food processor, combine the peanuts, miso, ketchup, sugar, lemon juice, chile, and cooked rice. Process until the mixture becomes a fine paste. Thin the sauce with a little water and continue processing until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Check the flavour, then add the stir fry sauce and sesame oil and continue processing. Transfer into a bowl and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Just before serving, cut each roll crosswise into thirds. Serve with peanut sauce.

Have a great day

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Saturday Recipe

I thought these sounded pretty good.

Pork Fajitas

WebMD Recipe from

Pork Fajitas
Like the restaurant favourite, these fajitas will satisfy your Tex-Mex craving and be on the table faster than you can get takeout.

  • 1  pepper, plus 1 teaspoon sauce from a can of chipotle chile in adobo (see Tips)
  • 1   clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2   cup orange juice
  • 3   tablespoons lime juice
  • 1   tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1   teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2   teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4   teaspoon salt
  • 1/4   teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8   ounces pork tenderloin, (see Tips), trimmed
  • 1    small green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 1    small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 1    small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 2   teaspoons canola oil
  • 4   6-inch or two 10-inch flour tortillas, preferably whole-wheat, warmed (see Tips)
  • 1/4   cup nonfat sour cream
  • 1/4   cup prepared salsa
  1. Combine chipotle chile and sauce, garlic, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a blender or mini food processor; blend or process until the chipotle is chopped and the mixture is relatively smooth. Pour into a sealable plastic bag, add pork and seal, squeezing out any excess air from the bag. Turn to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat grill to high or heat a large indoor grill pan over high heat. Remove the pork from the marinade (discard marinade). Grill the pork, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally into the center of the meat registers 145°F, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  3. Lightly brush bell peppers and onion with oil. Grill until lightly browned and soft, turning once, 3 to 7 minutes. (If using a grill pan, you may need to grill the vegetables in two batches.) Let cool on a cutting board.
  4. Thinly slice the pork and chop the onion. Toss the onion, peppers and pork together in a large bowl. Serve the fajita filling in tortillas with sour cream and salsa.


Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapenos packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they’ll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. One pork tenderloin typically weighs about 1 pound, enough for 4 servings. You can marinate a whole pound in the same amount of marinade used to marinate the 8 ounces in this recipe and have enough cooked tenderloin for 2 dinners (for 2 people). Or freeze half for up to 3 months. To warm tortillas, wrap in foil and bake at 300°F until steaming, about 5 minutes. Or wrap in barely damp paper towels and microwave on High for 30 to 45 seconds.

Have a great weekend

Friday, February 6, 2015

Birthday Lunch, Bowling Birthday Party

2015-02-04 12.37.34-1Woo hoo, it worked. He was gobsmacked (love that word) and really taken aback that all these people were there to celebrate his birthday. We were short two or three people (one because, horribly, she died during the last two weeks, long story). I didn’t know her well but it was a shock. However, on a happier note – first of all came Matt’s free birthday meal at the Mandarin on Wednesday. I overdid the dumplings, it’s Chinese New Year so they were on special. I tried everything I could find that was newl for the New Year. I was a tad disappointed, when it was my birthday several of the staff came to sing Happy Birthday and they took a photo which the presented me. For Matt our waiter put the hat on his head. Presented him with a cup cake plus candle which he lit and then we had to join in singing. I had to grab for my tablet, which I am not really used to using, in order to get a pic. 

Then Thursday, with the co-operation of one of the alley owners, I IMG_20150205_120221convinced Matt that they were feeding us lunch. The owner had already emailed me and said we would have to go downstairs to bowl as he had a big group coming in. We got there and whilst changing shoes Matt was commenting on the shoes and coats with nobody there. He still didn’t click. Finally I took him into the room where everyone was hiding. He was absolutely staggered. I was so pleased it worked. Not until it was all over did I realise how exhausting it all had been. Matt couldn’t believe I had managed to keep it all from him. Without email, it would have been a darned site more difficult.

The caterer did a wonderful job. This is the cake.The Cake Nope, the woman beside Matt in the centre is not me, it’s Matt dressed for a Hallowe’en party some years ago. All those pictures were printed on icing and were totally edible by the way, although I found them impossible to cut. Don’t know if you can see it, she, the caterer, had even included bowling pins and a teeny bowling ball. Under the Union Jack Buffeton the right. 
We hadn’t discussed what kind of cake so she had made a carrot cake, couldn’t have been better as far as I was concerned. It was delicious and the remains are now freezing in my kitchen and will be wrapped tomorrow. This is one end of the buffet table. We had stacks of delicious sandwiches and wraps, cheese and crackers, vegetables and dip, pickles – think that was it. Guess who ate too much again!! We sent a large dish of sandwiches up to the girls bowling on their Thursday league. The rest, hopefully, were consumed by the guys of a later league. 
The friend who was taking most of the pictures got this splendid one of Matt, one of the best I have seen for a while. Makes me want to marry him all over again. He had a super game bowling too. Even I didn’t do too badly today either. He got lots of presents. Wednesday he was given a large bottle of gin, today he was given a bottle of wine, two vouchers for the liquor store, another for Tim Hortons, a large box of different Macadamia nuts, a scratch lottery ticket (didn’t win sadly) and a lot of birthday cards. It all went splendidly and I was pleased as punch.


No, I’m not doing a recipe today, I am way too tired, sorry. I am off to bed toute suite. 
Have a great day

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Birthday, Dumplings, Lemon or Lime,

This is the second blog for today so there will be no Thursday blog.

Today is the big day, my husband is now officially old. 80 years since Dumplingshe came into the world. I can say what I like he doesn`t read my blogs anyway LOL. He has now spent half of his life in North America. I have already passed the halfway point when I have spent more of my live on this side of the pond. But then I`m younger than him!! We are supposed to go to the Mandarin today, free lunch for the birthday boy, but at the moment (Tuesday evening) I am worried about the possibility of another snow storm. I don`t know if I mentioned, it is their celebration of Chinese New Year which means dumplings and I love dumplings. As well as my Hot and Sour Soup of course.

I already blogged once today but then Dixie at dcrelief asked me to post a recipe with lemon. I had actually received a recipe for ceviche from my local fish shop, this is made with lime. Dixie agreed I could sub lime for lemon, so here you are Dixie. One thing I would disagree with, using shrimp. I have always been told shrimp absolutely had to be really cooked with heat. I could be wrong but I wouldn’t chance it myself.

Seafood Ceviche
T and J Seafoods

1 lb. mixed seafood (halibut, tilapia, shrimp, or scallops) cut into 1/2-seafood cevicheinch cubes
1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice or a mixture of lime and lemon
1 small sweet white onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1or 2 large jalapeños, stemmed and roughly chopped (use your own good judgement)
1/4 cup pitted green olives
1large (about 10-ounces) ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces OR 1/4 cup (lightly packed) sundried tomatoes, chopped into 1/8-inch pieces
1/4 small jicama, (or 1/2 of a green apple) peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1/3cup (loosely packed) chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Pound of large tortilla chips or 3 to 4-inch tostadas for serving.

Ceviche is a South American dish made by immersing small chunks of fish and/or seafood in acidic juices such as lemon or lime to cook the flesh. This recipe for Ceviche comes in two parts 1: cooking the fish in lime juice, and 2: flavouring the cooked fish with olives and tomato.
STEP 1:“Cook” the fish in the lime juice. In a large stainless steel or glass bowl, combine the fish, lime juice and onion. The fish should float freely in the juice; if not, add a little more. Cover and refrigerate until the fish is as “done” as you like: An hour or so for medium-rare, 3 to 4 hours for “cooked” all the way through. Drain the lime juice.
STEP2: Flavor the ceviche. In a mini food processor, process the green chile and olives until finely chopped (or finely chopped by hand). Add to the fish along with the tomato, jícama, cilantro and olive oil. Stir well, then season with salt and sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with Tortilla chips or Tostada's

Have a great day

Present, Snowy Day, Plans.

For those of you to whom I mentioned the groundhog biting the mayor, it happened in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. There is a video of it actually happening. Mayor says he is going to wear ear muffs next year.

I had a wonderful surprise on Monday, a very good friend sent me a copy of one of her books. Totally unexpected. It was intended to cheer me up after the rotten start we had had to 2015. I was delighted.

We had quite a dollop of snow as I mentioned so the bowling alley phoned and suggested people might want to forget the Snow Shovellingleague bowling for Monday. However, Matt and I didn’t want to miss bowling and the roads didn’t look too bad, so we went. As it turned out, so did three more of our league and another couple who bowl on Mondays as well so we had enough people to make up a couple of teams. There was quite a prang (by the look of it) at the junction of two roads we have to cross, so we ended up going through the parking lot of one plaza, through the garage courtyard, across the road and then into another plaza, round the back and then out onto the road we wanted. There were so many emergency vehicles I imagine it took quite a long time to open the crossroad up again.

Not our greatest achievement in bowling Monday, but not being league play it didn’t matter. We had fun and of course, bowling so many balls, we got our exercise as well.

I was supposed to go see the Paddington Bear movie with a friend Paddingtonon Tuesday, but it turned out her son was coming to town and as she doesn’t see he and his wife very often, she postponed our trip. Fine with me. So next week to see the bear. I am really looking forward to it. I plan to buy the DVD when it comes out too.

They are talking more snow for today, Wednesday and we are going for Matt’s free lunch at the Mandarin. I hope we won’t have to cancel. I don’t know if the restaurant will give us a “snow day”. Then, of course there is the cosmic bowling party on Thursday which I would hate to be ruined because of the snow. Of course Matt is 80 today.

This vegetarian recipe sounded a good one to me and as we have a lot of extra taties in house, maybe I will give it a try. This is a Cooking Light recipe which appeared in My Recipes today.

Potato, Mushroom, and Leek Croquettes

For a low-calorie vegetarian option, try these crispy, pan-fried potato and mushroom croquettes.
  • Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 2 patties)
  • 8 ounces coarsely chopped peeled Yukon gold potato
  • 4 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 4 ounces sliced button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped leek
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Place potato in a pan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 8 minutes or until tender. Drain. Press potato through a ricer or food mill into a bowl.
2. Place mushrooms, leek, and thyme in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushroom mixture; cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mixture to potato. Add Gruyère, 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, pepper, and egg yolk; stir until blended. Shape mixture into 8 (2-inch) round patties.
3. Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine egg white and 2 teaspoons water in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-­Reggiano and panko in a shallow dish. Dredge patties in flour. Dip in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add patties; cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden.

Have a great day