Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Matt saw his surgeon this morning (Tuesday) Wednesday he sees the anaesthetist, Friday he has the operation. Because he has to have two excisions, one on his face (easy) and one on his leg, more difficult and they may even have to do a skin graft, he will be basically off his feet for a couple of weeks. So, I am not sure how much I am going to be around for a while.

Oh, and his doctor didn't look much like the picture at all. Nice woman, but not glamourous as shown.

Have a great day

Bowling, Plastic Surgeon.

I'm going to register a complaint, Matt bowled really well on Monday, I only had one good game, again. As a team we didn't do that well either but as we were up against the best team in the league, I wasn't terribly surprised.

Today, Tuesday morning, we are going to see the Plastic Surgeon about Matt's basel cells and skin cancer. Not too much else on our minds at the moment. Mind you, when I showed Matt the picture of the physician he is going to see, he wanted to leave me at home. No such luck fella. I am still puzzled that she is a Plastic Surgeon. I did not know that they dealt with such stuff. I thought it was all face lifts and similar surgeries. Of course Matt's visit will be covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) now I am trying to figure out how I could get some surgery done on my face covered by OHIP. I am getting a tad saggy in places. Oh well, guess I have to put up with it. The dermatologists always say these skin cancers are caused from the sun when we were younger. However, I am under the impression that the ozone layer was thicker in those days. It is a fact though that we played in the sun for hours without thinking anything about it. In latter years, when we lived in NC Matt would go out clamming or something and not wear a shirt. I would have thought that was much more likely to have been the problem but of course I am no expert.

Tacos are not something we serve very often, but these sounded pretty tasty to me.

Lime-Cilantro Pork Tacos

Cooking Light

4 servings

1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped plum tomato
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and black pepper. Add oil to pan. Add pork, and sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Remove pork from pan; place in a bowl. Add onion and jalapeño to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add broth; reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in tomato; simmer 2 minutes.
Return pork and accumulated juices to pan. Stir in cilantro and lime juice; cook 1 minute or until pork is done.
Heat tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/2 cup pork mixture into each tortilla; roll up.

Note: Browning the pork improves its color, and the browned bits enrich the sauce's flavor. Add more jalapeño pepper if you enjoy spicy food. Use the same pan to brown the pork and make the rave-worthy sauce.

Have a great day

Monday, September 28, 2015

Donkeys,Weather, Mt. Kilauea, Eggs.

I just discovered we have a Donkey Sanctuary in the area. Never heard of it before. Apparently they have over 100 donkeys in their care. They are a not for profit organisation. Heard about them on the local radio because there is a walk being organised to benefit them. They have visiting on Wednesday and Sunday so I shall persuade himself that we should go. I just love donkeys. So, I thought, do most people, but from looking at their web page, maybe not. They are certainly loaded to the gills in other parts of the world, but one doesn't think (well I don't) of them as being working animals round here but again, from what they say, I am wrong.

The weather has been absolutely incredible here lately, we have had the most beautiful days. Warm enough to sit out but not too warm. Lots of sunshine but cool at night for sleeping. Having written that, Sunday seems to have changed somewhat.

I get a regular email from National Geographic with current award winning pictures. This one, showing Mt. Kilauea - a volcano which has been erupting on Hawaii's Big Island for the last 30 years - pumping out lava and setting light to all in it's path. I found it pretty incredible and thought you might like to see it too. Some of the shots made me wonder where the cameraman was standing. Others I presumed he was in a chopper.

D'you remember about a week ago I was carrying on about dropping an egg carton and only breaking
one egg. Well, I guess I was determined, I grabbed for something in the fridge on Sunday and forgot I had a basin with the last two eggs in it standing on top. So, I not only broke two eggs, I broke the basin as well. Fate was quite determined I suppose. What a mess and what a pain to clean up. How come broken china or glass spreads so far? Now that really is inconceivable!!

I chose this recipe because the picture looked delicious.  I am afraid, being a totally lazy (and somewhat inept) pastry maker, I would be using a bought crust. It turns out much better than I can make it.



This is my favorite tart because it’s made with whole lemons. I fell for it twice—first when Daniel Boulud made it, and then when I had it again in Paris at a patisserie and it reminded me just how much I love it.  

8 servings


1 1/2 c All-purpose flour
1/2 c Confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
9 tbsp Unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1 Large egg yolk
Butter for the tart pan and tin foil

1 1/2 Lemons, scrubbed and dried
1 1/2 c Sugar
1 Large egg, at room temperature
2 Large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp Cornstarch

4  tbsp Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 c Heavy cream

For the dough: Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses— about 10 seconds each—until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing. This is done by using a French technique called “fraisage” by smearing the butter pieces into the flour using the heal of your hand.

Flatten into a disc and place between two pieces of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough, turning it ⅛ of a turn until it’s just bigger than the tart pan.

Flatten into a disc and place between two pieces of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough, turning it ⅛ of a turn until it’s just bigger than the tart pan.

Butter the tart pan. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Using a fork, give the crust a few pricks and freeze for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Par-bake the crust: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil tightly against the crust. Add pie weights on top of the foil to keep the crust flat as it bakes. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes

For the filling: Cut the lemons into small pieces and remove the seeds. Put the lemons and sugar in the blender or processor and pulse, blend and scrape down the sides until you have a smooth mix. Add the remaining filling ingredients and pulse and blend on low speed until the filling is homogeneous. Tap the bowl on the counter several times to de-bubble the filling as much as possible

Remove the tart shell from the oven and carefully remove the foil and pie weights. Place back in the oven for 8-10 minutes to lightly brown. Remove the tart and patch any cracks with the leftover dough. Cool and reduce oven temperature to 325° F.

Make the tart: Stir the filling, then pour it into the tart shell. Bake for 20 minutes, then increase the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes (total baking time is 45 to 50 minutes).

When the tart is properly baked, it should be set, although perhaps still shaky in the center, and most of the top will have formed a light sugary crust. Don’t be alarmed when the filling starts to bubble up. (It might even bubble over the edge of the tart—that’s okay.) Cool to room temperature.

When the tart has come to room temperature, remove the outer ring by setting the tart on top of a sturdy can so the ring can fall away. Place on a dish and serve

Have a great day

Friday, September 25, 2015

Anniversary, Recipe Trial.

As you will have read, it was our 43rd wedding anniversary on Friday. We basically don't like to go out at the weekend, we figure the service is not as good and the restaurants more crowded. Not always true I know, but very often. So, we decided to have a kind of grazing meal so I didn't really have to cook. We ended up with 10 minute Risotto, Smoked Salmon dressed with thinly sliced onions and capers followed by Brie with crackers, the whole accompanied by a bottle of Pinot Grigio.

Having posted the 10 minute Risotto recipe the other day, I decided
I would try it. But then I thought I had bitten off more than I wanted to chew. Eventually it turned out to be good though, but it needed at least another 4 minutes in the microwave and a couple of tablespoons more stock than called for in the recipe. At one point I thought the rice was never going to cook, It was very crisp for the whole time specified. Luckily the extra 4 minutes did the trick. Not even sure, if I make it again, I might add yet another minute. I decided to add mushrooms and prosciutto which were good too. We both enjoyed it. I love asparagus risotto (surprise, surprise) and want to try the recipe with that in the future, but the mushroom and Prosciutto was a good combination. It was better than standing stirring for a long time which is the object of the exercise.

Here is a nice simple, but tasty, way of cooking chicken. I keep home made herbes de Provence in my stores.

Bon Apétit - Mary Frances Heck


  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup herbes de Provence
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 3 1/2–4-pound chicken
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)


  • Preheat oven to 475°. Mix garlic, herbes de Provence, oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub mixture all over inside and outside of chicken. Place on a wire rack set inside a roasting pan.
  • Roast chicken until skin begins to brown, 25–30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thigh registers 165°, 25–30 minutes longer. Let rest 10 minutes before carving. Serve with lemon wedges.
  • DO AHEAD: Chicken can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool. Cover and chill; bring to room temperature before serving.
Have a great weekend.

Thanksgiving, Travel League, Tiling Progress

Oops, at the foot nurse's on Wednesday, she wished another client Happy Thanksgiving. I thought "oh that's ages away" but it isn't. Canadian Thanksgiving is October 12.  We celebrate a month earlier than they do in the US. Gotta get me a dicky bird to cook etc. etc. Our foot nurse was saying she bought a turkey breast recently because she was hungry for turkey. It cost her over $20. I used to pay around $10 or $11 in North Carolina. I don't know what I will get, probably a breast too as there are only two of us. We have already been booked for Christmas this year too. A friend did so. We are all going to the Waterloo Motor Inn for dinner at 6. The Inn does a fantastic meal; Matt and I have been several times before. Not a lot of fun for just two people though.

I enjoyed my day with the Travel League, all except the bowling that is. We ate at the Red Lobster
and I had coconut shrimp with Piña Colada dip. The dip was a tad sweet, but the shrimp were good. Then we went to the bowling alley. Matt was bowling up a storm and was having the cheek to complain when his scores were not as high as he would have liked. He never seems to remember that the high scores he used to get, were when he was in his 40's and 50's. Meanwhile I was struggling to get over 100. I did manage that and the last game was not too, too shabby. Well compared to the other two anyway. Of course, I have an excuse, we normally take pain killers before we bowl. Matt took his but didn't remind me so I forgot. Not been bowling long before my back was killing me. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. It was a fun afternoon though and the donut was delicious.

Every time we go in and out of the building, there are different areas taped off, bit like the crime scene tape the cops use. They are plastering all over to smooth everything before they lay any tiles. We haven't had any exercise classes all week because of this work going on. The 'party room' is still full of furniture I gather.

So I found a Baked Coconut Shrimp recipe, the one's I had were deep fried which added to their calorie count of course.

Baked Coconut Shrimp

girlbob at Allrecipes

"This crunchy coconut shrimp is baked instead of fried, and so easy! Great for dinner or as an
appetizer. I serve with orange marmalade for dipping."


1 Lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 cups flaked, sweetened coconut
3 egg whites, beaten until foamy.

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Rinse and dry shrimp with paper towel. Mix cornstarch, salt and cayenne in a shallow bowl, pour coconut flakes into a separate shallow bowl. Working with one shrimp at a time, dredge it in the cornstarch mixture, then dip it in the egg white and roll it in the coconut, making sure to coat the shrimp well. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining shrimp.

Bake the shrimp until they are bright pink on the outside and the meat is no longer transparent in the centre and the coconut is browned. 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the shrimp half way through.

Have a great day

Thursday, September 24, 2015

El Papa, Car CD Player. Anniversary, Bowling.

Been watching lots more of the Pope in the US today. What a wonderful man. I had tears in my eyes several times whilst watching him. And yet 3 Catholic Judges are staying away from him tomorrow. JoJo said he was upsetting his own church somewhat, but they needed a good shake up in my opinion. I just hope he stays safe.

We took the CD player in on Tuesday and the store owner has taken it out of the car. He managed to see inside and can see what is stuck. He has kept it to see if he can unstick it. It's one of the the cartridge trays which is giving the problem. We probably won't be doing any more long trips in this car so it probably won't matter if he can't fix it. Nevertheless, I hope he can. He says it will be an intricate operation which doesn't surprise me.

Printed a card for the old man this morning. He hasn't bought me one yet though I know.  After 43 years one gets a bit blasé about it all I suppose. In case you wonder, it was a registrar office or civil wedding. I had a church wedding the first time I got married.

Today, Thursday is our Travel League for bowling Unfortunately at least a couple of good friends can't make it for one reason or another which is a pity especially as it's the first one this season. Lunch at the Red Lobster and then of course donuts during the bowling. I always kid people I only go for the donuts. I have to be really careful only to eat one. I do like donuts. Well I like most food I suppose LOL. You might not have guessed that.

I watched a movie on Tuesday night, bought it on special, and then posted on Facebook " It is inconceivable you would guess what movie I watched". People guessed pretty easily I thought. One friend came back with "You use that word a lot. I do not think it means what you think it means".

I love risotto but along with everyone else, I do not like having to stand around stirring forever as standing, for me, ends up being painful. Here is a fantastic microwave recipe which I haven't tried yet but will be very soon.

10-Minute Risotto Cups

Brit+Co Sarah Jones

Alright, this recipe is amazing for 2 reasons. First, we’re making risotto in the microwave. Second,
we’re making it in 10 minutes. No more standing at the stove and stirring for an hour. This is quite a hack, if we do say so ourselves.


Basic Recipe
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 1/2 onion, finely chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– 1 cup Arborio rice
– 2 cups broth
– 1/2 cup white wine

Butternut Squash + Sage
– Butternut squash
– Sage leaves
– Parmesan

Mushrooms + Thyme
– Mushrooms
– Thyme
– Parmesan

Bacon + Kale + Mushrooms
– Bacon, cooked and crumbled
– Kale
– Mushrooms
– Parmesan

We’re starting you off with a basic risotto recipe that makes 4 ramekins of risotto. You’ll add your mix-ins midway through the process. All of our risottos start with butter, onion, garlic, Arborio rice, and broth.

Begin by adding 1/2 tablespoon of butter to each ramekin and adding a spoonful of onions. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes on high, stirring after 30 seconds to distribute the melted butter.
(Note: Onions can spark in the microwave. Yes, we know it’s freaky and weird. Don’t worry, they’ll stop sparking once they’re covered with the melted butter, yum).

Next, add a pinch of garlic, 1/4 cup rice, and 1/4 + 2 tablespoons broth. Cover with loosely with plastic wrap and heat in the microwave at 50% power level for 2 minutes. Remove and stir. Add additional broth if necessary. Repeat heating process.

After heating for a total of 4 minutes, it’s time to add your wine. About 1-2 tablespoons per ramekin should do it. At this point you should also add your butternut squash or mushrooms, depending on which recipe you’re making. Cover again with plastic wrap and heat for another 2 minutes at 50%.

Continuing with the Butternut Squash + Sage recipe, add your chopped sage leaves. Heat on 50% power for another minute, then add your Parmesan.

If making the Bacon + Kale + Mushroom recipe, add the chopped bacon and kale. Heat on 50% power for another minute, then add your Parmesan. E perfetto!

If making the Mushroom + Thyme recipe, add your thyme. Heat on 50% power for another minute, then add your Parmesan.

At this point, you should be really impressed with yourself.

The result is as good as the stovetop method but takes about a quarter of the effort.

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Poor Me, El Papa, Busy Week

So sorry there was no blog for Tuesday. Sunday night I was taken rather ill with a gastric condition and neither of us got much sleep. We did go bowling although it was touch and go for me until the last minute when I decided to risk it. My first game turned out to be great, the second two, I might as well have stayed at home. By the time I did get home, I was drooping and not feeling too good anyway. I ended up going to bed early and a good night's sleep appears to have helped. Hence, no blog. I was supposed to make an important phone call to Father Dragon that evening, but didn't do that either. I didn't do much in the way of visiting other blogs either. I just heated up a couple of Cornish Pasties for supper and that was the extent of my efforts all round.

Actually we have quite a busy week, Tuesday we were supposed to go to the optometrist. I cancelled
that as I was still feeling rough. Wednesday we have our foot nurse and later we are going to visit a company about the CD player from the car. Thursday it is our first Travel League bowling which means lunch at the local Red Lobster and then Friday is our 43rd wedding anniversary. No idea what we are going to do to celebrate that yet. Especially as we are planning to go to the Mandarin on October 1 when they are offering seniors 50% off.

Sitting here typing this, I have just seen the Pope landing in the States. I am not a Roman Catholic but I must say I am very impressed with this current Pope. I do hope nothing happens to him whilst he is in the US. I guess I am a bit like the Queen, I have seen several Popes, lots of US Presidents and lots of Prime Ministers in both Canada and the UK. Of course, she has met them, I have not. Actually I did meet one UK Prime Minister, a couple of times. Edward Heath some time between 1970 and 1974. Once at a yacht club in the UK and once in a yacht club in Malta where my parents lived for a few years.

I love pineapple and I particularly like Grilled Pineapple which they used to serve at our local Brazilian restaurant, you know, the one that closed and about which I was moaning a while back. However, this morning I came across this recipe;

Brazilian Grilled Pineapple

1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 pineapple - peeled, cored, and cut into 6 wedges

1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.

2. Whisk brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Pour sugar mixture into a large resealable plastic bag. Place pineapple wedges in bag and shake to coat each wedge.

3. Grill pineapple wedges on the preheated grill until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

Servings: 6

Have a great day

Monday, September 21, 2015

Duck, Egg Carton, Bowling.

Sunday I received a recipe in my email for an updated Duck à l'Orange. Sounded good, but who can afford duck these days? The prices they charge round here are horrendous. I used to buy ducks and geese in the UK and when we arrived here in 1975 I was shocked at the difference in price. I suppose they are horrendously priced in the UK these days as well. It's such a pity as duck is one of my favourite foods. Mind you, the last duck breasts I bought turned out to be as tough as old boots. Very disappointing. I don't remember ever pricing them when I lived in North Carolina so don't know how they compared.

Sorry about posting a nothing twice lately. I keep clicking on the publish button by mistake.

I was telling friends how I put a carton of eggs in the fridge door this week and guess I wasn't careful
enough, it fell out and onto the ground. I though there was going to be one hell of a mess but lo and behold, much to my astonishment, only one egg cracked. Those cartons can take more punishment than I realised. I know a lot of egg cartons are used to make projects of one kind or another, I have seen them made into Santa's sleighs and things like that. A lot sturdier than one thinks I guess.

Being Monday as it now is, we are, of course, bowling in our winter league. I would like to think I could bowl as well as I did last week but... our team placing was right in the middle too. Only one week I know, but the team we played against took most of the points. Actually most of the people in the winter league don't give a damn about points and just go there for the fun of bowling.

Now this is a recipe I had totally forgotten about until I saw it in the NY Times email today. We used to make it now and again but haven't done so for years, I cannot imagine why. It is very good. there are many different versions of it depending on where the cook is from. This sounds like a pretty good version.


  • Yield 6 servings

Picadillo is one of the great dishes of the Cuban diaspora: a soft, fragrant stew of ground beef and tomatoes, with raisins added for sweetness and olives for salt. Versions of it exist across the Caribbean and into Latin America. This one combines ground beef with intensely seasoned dried Spanish chorizo in a sofrito of onions, garlic and tomatoes, and scents it with red-wine vinegar,
cinnamon and cumin, along with bay leaves and pinches of ground cloves and nutmeg. For the olives you may experiment with fancy and plain, but rigorous testing here suggests the use of pimento-stuffed green olives is the best practice. A scattering of capers would be welcome as well.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-size yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ounces dried chorizo, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped, or one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • cup raisins
  • cup pitted stuffed olives.


  1. Put the olive oil in a large, heavy pan set over a medium-high flame, and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add onions, chorizo and garlic, stir to combine and cook until the onions have started to soften, approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef, and allow it to brown, crumbling the meat with a fork as it does. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  3. Add tomatoes, vinegar, cinnamon, cumin, bay leaves, cloves and nutmeg and stir to combine. Lower the heat, and let the stew simmer, covered, for approximately 30 minutes.
  4. Uncover the pan, and add the raisins and the olives. Allow the stew to cook for another 15 minutes or so, then serve, accompanied by white rice.

Have a great day

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Recipe

This is a recipe which appeared on Facebook this week. Several of us were interested in it. What we saw was a video showing 4 ingredients. I decided to try it for supper on Friday night. Couple of slight alterations - I did not have, and do not much like, basil pesto, and I didn't have any Mozzarella in house. There were no quantities given either but....

Tomato, Pesto Chicken with Cheese.

4 Chicken breasts
Place them in a casserole, in one layer.
Cover the chicken breasts with basil pesto, I used asparagus pesto which I make during asparagus season.
Slice Roma tomatoes and cover the chicken breasts with them.
Sprinkle with grated mozzarella - I used cheddar.

Place in a 400°F oven for 40 minutes.

I served it with sautéed snow peas and we both enjoyed it. Certainly a dish we shall be doing again.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Busy Doing Nothing. Staples, Elections,

This is what my life appears to be like right this moment.

I actually remember this song from Alice in Wonderland, but YouTube doesn't seem to have that version. Googling, it seems I was right.

Wednesday I was a tad annoyed to put it mildly. I had placed an order with Staples for what I thought was a deal on a box of paper and some envelopes and expected the delivery that day. Later in the afternoon a woman I know from the exercise class turned up with a box from Staples. The driver had called her apartment not mine. Apparently she had a relative staying who accepted the parcel not realising it wasn't for her hostess. Lucky she knew me. Then, when I opened the parcel, it turned out the paper wasn't what I thought. I am not paying close on $50 for a ream of paper, however special it might be. Maybe it was thin sheets of gold??? So now we have to go to Staples at some point to take it back. Looking at the packet, I don't know what's so special about this, apart from the price, anyway.

I registered to work at the elections too. I have done it two or three times before. So has Matt but he won't be doing it this year. It's a long day mind you, 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and for the poll booth people it's even longer, probably midnight before they get away. Used to be 8 to 8 but they have changed it to align with the rest of the country. Considering the huge time differences from BC to Nova Scotia, I am not sure how they can do that, but..... One good thing our elections are called and over in a fairly short time not like the US which takes a full year of campaigning. Trump for president anyone??

I am not a bit apple fan, but I thought this recipe sounded good.

Apple-Pecan Chicken Salad


For a moister, tastier chicken salad, we use both light and dark meat (instead of just chicken breast), with crisp apples and crunchy pecans. If you’re pressed for time, a supermarket rotisserie chicken works great.
 Apple-Pecan Chicken Salad by TasteBook

Makes 6 servings

Makes 6


  • 1 package assorted chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups cored, diced apples
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise-type salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash cayenne pepper


  • 1 Place the chicken pieces and bay leaf in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently 30 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read 165 degrees). Remove the chicken to a cutting board until it is cool enough to handle. Discard the skin and bones, and dice the chicken.
  • 2 Combine the chicken and remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well, taste again for salt and pepper, and serve chilled.

Have a great day

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Car, CD Player, Renovations,

I just told Matt that we would now be on bread and water for a while after he had paid the bill for the car repair. It included four new tires so I guess you can imagine the sums I am talking about. It is still cheaper than buying a new car though. We have a CD player which was installed in the trunk, after market. Not sure how old it is, but it seems to have jammed. Maybe not worth repairing, but it has 8 CDs inside it (cartridge) which I would really like to get back. Going to a place called Audio Concepts next week to see what they can do. Of course if we could get the system working again it would be nice. We have 2 cartridges and that much music carried us to North Carolina and back without repeat.

The tiling job in the building carries on apace. We are now unable to have an exercise class on Friday
because they will be heaving up the tiles in the main entrance lobby. I cannot imagine all the problems this is going to cause. I really don't know why but I understand they are going to take up the carpet which was installed maybe 3 years ago? Also the furniture is supposed to be being replaced, that too was new at the same time. Seems nuts to me. At least on each floor the tiles were some 40 odd years old, but to replace the carpet and furniture so soon seems crazy to me. Not my money I guess, or at least, not directly my money. No picture of the lobby unfortunately. Probably too late to take one now. Forgot to mention, they have also just had the carpet cleaned. As Mr. Spock would say, this is not logical. Certainly not to most of us anyway.

Nothing really exciting happening in my neck of the woods right now I'm afraid. Although I seem to be extremely busy at the moment, doing what I can't imagine. I still haven't caught up on all my blog reading yet, but I will, I will.

Of course, you mention Toad in the Hole to a Brit, they will think of something totally different involving sausages and Yorkshire Pudding. I have seen this recipe before, and I fully intend to try it one of these days. I get bored with too many same 'ol' same 'ols'.  This recipe came from Kraft Kitchens.

Cheesy Toad in the Hole

1 Slice of whole wheat bread
1 egg
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbs Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Tbs chopped fresh chives

Heat heavy nonstick skillet on medium heat. Meanwhile, cut hole in center of bread slice, using 1-1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Discard removed bread circle or reserve for another use.

Place bread in skillet. Break egg into hole; sprinkle with pepper. Cook on medium heat 2 min.; turn bread and egg with spatula.

Top with cheese; cover. Cook 2 min. or until egg white is set and yolk is cooked to desired doneness. Sprinkle with chives

Have a great day

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Mandarin, Bowling,

Went to the Mandarin as I told you and had a great lunch, as usual. Started with a bowl of hot and sour soup which was hotter than usual and delicious. Alex J. Cavenaugh tells me it's easy to make so maybe I should get off my duff and make it. Much to our surprise, the place was crowded. Turned out they had several large parties. I guess I chose the wrong day. The first time I went up I couldn't get near the Chinese food so I ended up getting sushi and some dumplings for starters. They also had some things that looked like Crab Rangoon which they called seafood casserole, I think. They were pretty good anyway.  I think I managed to sample all the things that were on special for the moon festival. There were a couple of dishes with lotus root, one was stir fried, the other was tempura. Both delicious. Of course I finished off with both Crème Caramel and some Moon Cake. Quite a few pieces actually. I guess you could now say my birthday celebrations are over.

Because they are pulling out all the tiling in our building, and because the noise is so really, really,
bad, we decided, instead of going home, to go bowling instead. My first game was good again, second ones not so good, but hopefully it helped use up some of those calories I consumed at the restaurant. Our bill, by the way, came to $16 as mine was free. The waiter took a photo of us, bit orange looking so I want to see if I can do anything with it before I post it. Looks a bit better, only problem was I was munching on a fortune cookie. They were so busy I didn't even get a little dessert with a candle in it. Our waiter asked if I wanted him to sing, I said no thank you. We could hardly understand what he said anyway, Happy Birthday would probably have been terrible. His name was Dracon which immediately made me think of our dear Father Dragon. Then we decided to go get some bananas as Matt had forgotten them this morning. Turned out to be very expensive bananas as there were a few other items I wanted to buy.

Supper was very light, home made tomato soup and crackers. Followed by pineapple spears and a few grapes. Pineapple was yummy.

I had to post a recipe for Hot and Sour Soup. As you can see, there are a lot of ingredients.

Hot and Sour Soup

About this recipe
"This is my family's very favorite soup! It tastes just like take-out! It's quick and easy. I have been making it for years. Have a cold? Forget that plain old chicken soup! ***IMPORTANT TIP*** I suggest making this soup a day or two ahead to let the vegetables and tofu marinate! Then just heat and serve. Enjoy!"


    • 6 cups chicken stock
    • 1/4 lb julienned lean pork or 1/4 lb chicken
    • 2 tablespoons garlic and red chile paste
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 4 eggs, beaten
    • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom
    • 1 (15 ounce) cans peeled straw mushrooms
    • 1/2 ounce dried black fungus ( soak in water for an hour before using)
    • 1 (7 ounce) cans sliced bamboo shoots
    • 1 (7 ounce) cans sliced water chestnuts
    • 1 (15 ounce) cans baby sweet corn cobs
    • 1/2 lb soft tofu, sliced into 1/4 inch cubes
    • 1/4 cup white vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • finely chopped scallion ( to garnish)


  1. Bring stock to a simmer, add soy sauce, pork, mushrooms& chile paste, simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Add meat, pepper, vinegar, bamboo, baby corn, water chestnuts, fungus and tofu, simmer 10 min Mix cornstarch with 5 tbsp water and add.
  3. bring back to a simmer and pour the eggs in a very thin stream over the surface.
  4. Let stand for 10 seconds before gently stirring in the sesame oil.
  5. Serve with a garnish of chopped scallions.

Have a great day

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Birthday, Bowling, Car.

To all my cyber friends, thank you so much for my birthday wishes, you really made my day. To my blogging friends, sorry, I  just haven't had a chance to visit your blogs today, time just slipped away from me. Hopefully I can make up my lack tomorrow although as most of you know we are out for lunch tomorrow, also for my birthday. I will be stuffing myself on Hot and Sour Soup, which I love and finishing up with Moon Cake which I also love. Funny, much as I love this soup, I have never made it myself. I just wait with longing for my chance to eat it at the Mandarin where the do a particularly good one. Of course Moon Cake is only available during the Moon Festival which is right now. I posted a picture of that yesterday.

Today was the first day of Winter League bowling and I opened with a 213 game which I was thrilled
to bits with. My second game was nothing to write home about, but my third was another good one. I was well pleased. Matt, I'm afraid, was not pleased with his game. It was also fun seeing everyone that didn't bowl during the summer, again and hearing what they had been up to. One woman had been on a river cruise in Germany travelling from Antwerp to Zurich - lucky, I would love to do one of those river cruises. Matt doesn't want to, thinks they would be too crowded. Also I hear there is quite a bit of walking, as neither of us is a good walker any more, that cuts that out I'm afraid.

As Matt is taking the car in at the crack of dawn on Wednesday, his usual shopping day, we have had to re-arrange shopping to Tuesday morning. Hopefully we have remembered everything. By the end of Wednesday we probably won't have enough money left to buy anything more. You think I'm joking?

When I saw this recipe on Monday morning, I was hungry for lamb chops. Unfortunately I don't have any at the moment so we ended up with Shrimp Creole. Nothing wrong with Shrimp Creole but when you are in the mood for one thing, another doesn't always suffice.

Greek Lamb Chops and Mint Yogurt Sauce

Give lamb chops a Greek twist with the addition of fresh oregano and a minty yogurt sauce.
  • Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 lamb chops and 2 tablespoons sauce)


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 (4-ounce) lamb loin chops, trimmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


1. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle lamb with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; rub with oregano mixture. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add lamb, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Combine yogurt and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Serve sauce with lamb.

Have a great day

Monday, September 14, 2015

Birthday, Moon Festival, Rosh Hashana, Renovations,

Today is the anniversary of the day I first came into the world. I celebrated on Saturday really as today is the beginning of our Winter Bowling League which is kind of a celebration anyway. On Saturday we had fillet steaks with Port Wine Sauce (one of my favourites) sautéed Portobella mushrooms - a baked potato for Matt - and then followed it up with some Crème Brulée which I had bought in our grocery store. The Crème Brulées were pretty good. You have to sprinkle the sugar (provided) on top of them and then either use a torch to melt the sugar or put them under the broiler. We used to have a torch but never having used it we got rid of it a while back. Under the broiler worked but usually the sugar is hard when you get to eat it, this wasn't. We also have two new ramekin dishes which I hadn't realised when I bought them. I also bought two boxes because I hadn't known there were two desserts in each box. Duuh.  Of course we drank wine, my favourite, Zinfatuation which is a really good, dark red Zinfandel. I looked it up on line and they described it as medium purple? Whoever wrote the description seems to like the word medium too. Uses it three times. Looks dark red to me.

Tomorrow I get to go the Mandarin, our favourite Chinese restaurant, and have a free birthday meal on them. Also on the 1st of October, they are allowing all 65 yr olds, and older, 50% off their meal. Right now it's Moon Festival time and so I will be able to have some of their moon cake which I enjoy but nobody else I know seems to do. I am not sure just how authentic the recipe is, it may be altered somewhat for Western tastes. A friend's daughter was living and working in China a few years ago and I remember she hated moon cakes so it's possible they are not the same here at all. Short of taking a trip to China myself, not sure how I can taste test. Not that I wouldn't like to go to China, but not possible.

I forgot to mention that it is Rosh Hashanah today too. so to my Jewish friends Shana Tova or a Happy New Year. I know one particular friend has been cooking herself silly, for the celebration, as she does every year.

It occurs to me I haven't mentioned that the owner of this apartment building has decided to replace
all the tiles in the lobbies by each elevator entrance, i.e. all 9 floors. Thanks be that there are only 9, it is dreadful. When they were doing our floor the noise was appalling. They have removed all the tiles on both the floor and walls as well as removing some of the carpet which led into the corridors. When they were doing our floor I ended up with a migraine and a half. Of course whilst they did each floor we couldn't access the elevators so had to walk down to the next floor to get on. To get back to our apartment, I rode up to the floor above us and walked down rather than walking up. Not good at stairs. I am now wondering what kind of tiles they are going to put in. The original were little tiny ones. I was speculating that they would come in sheets rather than having to lay individual tiny tiles. I will be interested to see what we get. These don't look so small now although they did when I googled. There were different colours on some floors. One floor had a deep red which I personally did not like at all. Ours were a creamy yellow. They could use wallpaper changes in a few corridors too and maybe new carpet. They were probably fine when first laid or papered, but today they are somewhat out of date. Of course, I didn't even mention the dust, Oy vey!

Talk about coincidence, on Friday I talked about our local restaurant and how I had eaten Mantu which were Afghani beef dumplings. Now in the mail I get Turkish Manti which is a slightly different recipe, but essentially, beef dumplings. This came in an email from Food & Wine. I rather like the sound of the Tomato Butter Sauce.

Manti with Tomato Butter and Yogurt

Contributed by Scott Conant
Manti with Tomato Butter and Yogurt

Servings: 6

These classic boiled Turkish dumplings are filled with tasty ground beef and served with generous amounts of smoky tomato-butter sauce and garlicky yogurt sauce.



  1. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Meat Filling

  1. 1/2 pound ground beef
  2. 1 small onion, grated
  3. 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  4. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Yogurt Sauce

  1. 1 cup Greek yogurt
  2. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic
  3.  Kosher salt

Tomato-Butter Sauce

  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  3. 1 teaspoon paprika
  4. Dried mint and Aleppo pepper, for garnish
  1. Make the dough In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients with 5 tablespoons of water and mix with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Clean the bowl and return the dough to it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Make the meat filling In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Make the yogurt sauce In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and garlic and season with salt. Mix well and refrigerate.
  4. Make the tomato-butter sauce In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the tomato sauce 
and paprika and keep warm.
  5. Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  6. On a lightly floured work surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough 1/16 inch thick. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares. Spoon 
1/2 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square. To form the manti, fold the dough over the filling to form a triangle; press the edges together to seal. Transfer the manti to the prepared baking sheet.
  7. In a large pot of boiling water, boil the manti until tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowls. Top with the yogurt sauce and warm butter sauce, sprinkle with dried mint and Aleppo pepper and serve.

Have a great day