Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saturday Recipe

 I love risottos and this one sounded appealing. I was wondering if it would be good for the 10 minute risotto I posted recently. I will have to check it out.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Shrimp

Food and Wine

Roasted butternut squash gets incorporated into decadent risotto, then topped with juicy shrimp in this fantastic dish.


  • 1 medium (about 1-pound) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4–inch pieces
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 sage leaves, roughly torn or chopped
  • 2 medium onions, 1 roughly chopped and 1 finely diced
  • 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups dry carnaroli rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup (about 2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 pounds large shrimp in the shell


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Peel the butternut squash and cut into 1/4-inch squares, discarding the seeds and fibrous parts of the squash, but not the skin or scraps. Reserve the peeled skin and remaining scraps for the stock. Place the 1/4-inch pieces on a baking tray and season with, salt, pepper, sage leaves, and drizzle with olive oil over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, make a quick squash stock, combine the squash peelings and scraps, roughly chopped onion, celery, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a 3 quart saucepot with 6 cups of water. Slowly bring the stock to a boil. Once it comes up to a boil, turn off the heat. Let it sit warm on the stove and after 20 minutes, strain out the solids and pour it back into the saucepot. Cover and keep hot over low heat.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Add the diced onion, and cook over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally until translucent and glossy, about 6 minutes. Add the rice to the onions and stir until rice is evenly coated, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated. Add enough of the hot butternut stock just to cover the rice; cook while stirring, until the stock is almost absorbed. Repeat with about 5 additions of stock until the rice is al dente and bound in a creamy consistency, about 25 minutes. There should be about a 1/2 cup of stock remaining, keep it hot and reserve.
  4. When the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and carefully fold in a 1/2 cup of Parmesan, the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and roasted squash. Add the reserved stock to loosen and let the whole pan rest for a few minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed frying pan over medium to high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until it begins to shimmer in the pan. Make sure the prawns are dry, and season with kosher salt. Once the oil is hot, drop them into the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until the shells are brightly colored and have slightly charred. Turn off the heat, add a tablespoon of butter to glaze the shrimp and set aside.
  6. To serve, give the risotto a quick stir and taste to adjust for seasonings. Spoon onto plates, and place a few shrimp onto each serving of risotto. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and freshly cracked black pepper, and drizzle with a touch extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately. 

Have a great weekend and a Happy Hallowe'en. See you next month.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sacrificed Animals, Restaurant, Bowling,

Wednesday night we watched an interesting programme on Nova about mummified animals. What really shook me is the millions of animals which were sacrificed over 500 years. They have found mummies in several places in Egypt. It wasn't just cats and dogs either, it was birds such as the Ibis too as well as crocodiles. The animals were purchased from the priests (they were on to a good thing) and you chose the animal which was associated with a particular god to whom you wished to appeal. The idea being the animal spirit would be able to keep reminding the god about your plea which, I forgot to mention, was written down to accompany the mummified animal. I couldn't get over the numbers though, in the millions. Of course some of them were beloved pets which were supposed to be company for you in the afterlife. There was also the sacrifice of the Apis bulls which were buried in the Serrapeum at Saqqara which were buried in huge sarcophagi which weighed up to 70 tonnes. Pretty interesting stuff we thought.

So Thursday, we went to New Hamburg for lunch and bowling. I must say I am not overly impressed with the restaurant food. Been there a few times. Later, at the alley, it was suggested we should try MeMes just across the road. It is supposed to have European food. Sounds good to me. New Hamburg is a nice little town and also the home of one of the best restaurants in the region, The Waterlot, although we haven't been for a year or two. We used to go there for Sunday brunch before we went to NC, but when we came back we went once and found their brunches not nearly as good. They offered good food, but no breakfast items like they used to have and in my book, to be brunch, there should definitely be breakfast foods too. Haven't been to dinner as we rarely go out in the evenings any more. Certainly would no longer travel that distance for dinner.

My bowling reflected that it was Thursday and was moderately good until the last game which was very good. I even bowled a Turkey today, don't often do that. (Three strikes in a row if you don't know). Why oh why can't I do that on a Monday for the league. Matt had 2 good games and one mediocre. Overall it was a fun afternoon. Next month we go to Elmira and eat at the Mennonite restaurant called The Crossroads. They have wonderful pies and I usually end up getting a mincemeat tart (or two) to save for Christmas. Yum. Elmira Bowling alley is another small lanes like the one in New Hamburg, but they make one very welcome and we always have fun there. I forgot to mention that the owner of the alley today has just had some major heart surgery and only been out of hospital 2 weeks so he wasn't around very much. I spoke to him briefly and he says is doing well (confirmed by the young man running the place for him) but to me he looked much thinner and very weak.

This recipe came from McCormick. I can't believe I am promoting a recipe with packet chocolate cake.

Creepy Crawly Spider Cupcakes

Turn innocent cupcakes into scary black spiders with black-tinted frosting, black string licorice and
other assorted candies.


Serves: Makes 24 (1 cupcake) servings.
  • Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla.
  • Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
  • Tint frosting black with 1/2 teaspoon black food color. Frost cupcakes, mounding frosting in center of cupcake to create a dome shape. Sprinkle cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles. Cut string licorice into 2-inch lengths and use for the spider legs. Attach candy-coated pieces to flat side of chocolate chips with some frosting. Use for the eyes.

Cooking tip

Test Kitchen Tips: For easier measurement, 1/4 tsp. Food Color = 20 to 25 drops

Have a great day

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wallpaper, Loose Blimp, Weather, Chocolate Gifts.

I now have the Jacaranda picture as wallpaper on my laptop. Looks pretty good. Not sure how long I will keep it.

Funny story about a military blimp today. Apparently this blimp was worth something like $175 billion. It is used to watch for incoming missiles. It broke loose and floated along damaging some power cables and causing a few planes to scramble presumably because they thought there was something dangerous happening. This is the link to the BBC report. These blimps are used in other countries such as Afghanistan and have certainly broken loose before.

Today has been a typical fall day, the wind was blowing and the rain was sluicing down. Needless to say all the pretty leaves are now spread all over the neighbourhood. I went out to the store after my exercise class and was really glad we could travel from our underground parking to the store underground parking. Tomorrow we are going out of town to bowl and I am wondering what to wear, I think we are going to have more rain and there will be no underground parking for us.

I had an email from Costco today telling me about their chocolate gifts. I cannot believe the prices. This bundle here is $1,649.99. I've sent for a couple of packs!!!

Freaky finger red velvet cake


For the red velvet cake
175g soft butter, plus extra for greasing
225g white caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp red food colouring paste (we used Christmas red from Sugarflair)
200g plain flour
50g cocoa powder (we used Green & Black's)
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
150g pot low-fat plain yogurt, loosened with 2 tbsp milk

For the fingers and frosting
about 3 x 114g boxes white

1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. For the cake, grease 2 x
20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Cream
together the butter, sugar and vanilla, then add the eggs, one at a time,
beating well after each egg, until fluffy and light. Beat in the colouring.
2. Mix the dry ingredients for the cake, and sift half onto the creamed
mix. Fold in with a spatula, followed by half of the thinned yogurt. Repeat,
then spoon the smooth batter into the tins and level. Bake for 25 mins
or until risen and springy when pressed lightly in the centre. Cool for
10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
3. For the fingers, line a baking tray with parchment. Cut one end
from each chocolate finger. Mix 50g icing sugar, the milk and a small
blob of colouring to make a thick, red icing. The icing needs to be thick

Have a great day

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Jacaranda, Hospital, Honey, Hip Dysplasia.

 For those of you who were curious yesterday, here is a picture of a branch from a Jacaranda where you will see it has green leaves and purple blossoms. This is what Wiki has to say about the Jacaranda.

Jacaranda is a genus of 49 species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Central America, South America, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

In case you didn't see it. here is the picture I posted yesterday. This came from Australia which means they grow there, in the tropical regions I assume.

Tuesday afternoon we went to the hospital to get Matt's stitches removed. Everything went  well and she told him to keep an eye on his skin and consult the dermatologist asap if anything suspicious occurs as he is likely to get more such spots. We will lady, we will.

After the hospital we went to the asparagus farm to get honey. Well fresh asparagus isn't available now unfortunately. I bought two large honeys to, hopefully, see me through the winter. I also got a jar of pickled asparagus. I love that stuff. Looking around I couldn't see anyone and was thinking of leaving some money or a note or something when Tim Barrie turned up. He had been collecting his puppy from the vet's and he was cuddling her in his arms. She was somewhat dopey. Turns out she has hip dysplasia. I thought that was only a problem with big dogs. Something we had to watch for when purchasing German Shepherds, and breeders would offer certification of several generations free as it is a hereditary problem.  I used to be very involved with the breed and at one time had three German Shepherds. This picture is not the same make of raw honey, but this is the type I buy. Absolutely delicious and not as runny. Wonderful by the spoonful or spread on toast. Tim tells me they now have the hives on their land so it will be interesting to see what their honey tastes like. He says it will be available next year.

We have a local rain warning - it sounds like they are expecting quite a storm.

 Hallowe'en recipes are beginning to flood my inbox.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

  • Yield: 1 cheesecake

About This Recipe

"A friend brought this to a silent auction, I was the lucky winner of one. This is so easy and so delicious! She got the recipe from the back of a cream cheese container. I would have taken a picture but the cheesecake vanished too quickly!"


  • 2 (8 ounce) packages low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 graham cracker crust ( ready to go type)
  • 6 Reese's Peanut Butter cups


  1. Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until well blended.
  2. Add eggs and beat until mixed.
  3. Pour into crust.
  4. Chop candy bars and sprinkle over filling.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until center is almost set.
  6. Cool.
  7. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
  8. Tip: This can also be made as a Snickers cheesecake by chopping three bars instead of using the Reese's.

Have a great day

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fall Foliage and Jacarandas. Bowling.

Denise at Yes Virginia There is Life After Retirement posted fall colours from her garden so I thought I would take a few pix of the park outside our window.

 At least we don't have to rake up the leaves.

Then there is this fabulous picture from Australia showing Jacaranda Trees.

It was Monday again, and I bowled an average game. Better than below average I guess. Thursday is our Travel League.

Here's something I have  never heard of before, from Kraft Kitchens. Yes I know, noodles again.

Shrimp Stroganoff

Serves 10

If you like stroganoff and shrimp, this entrĂ©e has your name written all over it. It's packed with noodles, broccoli and shrimp—not to mention flavor!

3 cups egg noodles, uncooked
4 cups small broccoli florettes
1 lb Velveeta cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of shrimp soup
1 cup Sour Cream
1 lb uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Cook noodles in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt and adding broccoli to the boiling water for the last 5 min. Meanwhile, cook VELVEETA, soup and sour cream in separate saucepan on low heat 8 min. or until VELVEETA is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta mixture; place in 13x9-inch baking dish. Top with shrimp. Pour VELVEETA sauce over pasta mixture; cover.

Bake 25 min. or until heated through; stir.

Have a great day

Monday, October 26, 2015

Heinlein, Skin Cancer Op, Books Galore.

I have just read, what I think, is a fabulous book. It is Robert A. Heilein's Stranger in a Strange Land. What a fantastic story. I cannot think why I have never read it before nor anything else written by this author. Something I will be correcting. Stranger is about a baby being born to humans who had just landed on Mars. It was subsequently reared by Martians (the crew of the space ship having perished) and learned to be and think like one of them. In later years another space ship landed on Mars and when they returned they brought the young man with them. Valentine Michael Smith was the young man. His development on earth and his subsequent life are what the story is about and it is a fantastic story. He makes it his mission to teach how to achieve peace and happiness. The book was written and published in the '60s so I was amused that some of the characters smoked. These days you rarely read of anyone doing so. When it was first published, the books was drastically cut to decrease the costs of publishing I believe. This version has all the original wording, written by Robert Heinlein, restored. I cannot recommend it enough. I now have to check out his other books.

Matt now has a black eye from his latest skin cancer operation. He was allowed to shower on Saturday (op was Thursday) and then Saturday night he discovered his forehead was bloody although there was no apparent actual bleeding. Been OK since though. Tuesday he goes to get the stitches removed but I am wondering if they will do it so soon. I gather this was a much deeper excision than before.

I am suffering from a plethora of books at the moment. I order books from the library when I hear
about them. Very often they are books (or movies) a lot of other people want to read too so it often takes a while to get them. However, I ended up with the book above, and suddenly 4 other books came available together with a movie - The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which The Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavenaugh, recommended months ago. Not only that, I have an ebook which a friend has asked me to proof read for him. I do have a couple of weeks to do that and one of my library books is on a list with 18 others waiting to read it.

Oh dear, I have chosen a noodle dish yet again. But I do love noodles

Spicy Ginger Pork Noodles With Bok Choy

  • Yield 4 servings


  • 12 ounces baby bok choy (3 or 4 small heads)
  • 1 ounce ginger root (1 fat 2-inch-thick knob)
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces rice noodles, not too thin
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or safflower oil
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • ¼ cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh Thai or habanero chile, seeded if desired, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil, more for drizzling
  • Cilantro or torn basil, for serving
  • Black vinegar, for serving


  1. Trim bok choy and separate dark green tops from white stems; leave tops whole and thinly slice stems. Peel ginger and finely chop half of it. Slice remaining ginger into thin matchsticks.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package instructions. Drain and run under cool water; drain again.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook, breaking up with a fork, until golden and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar. Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to a bowl.
  4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Stir in half the scallions, the finely chopped ginger, the garlic and the chile. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bok choy stems and a pinch of salt. Cook until bok choy is almost tender, about 2 minutes. Toss in leaves and return pork to skillet.
  5. Toss noodles, remaining 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar into the pan. Cook until just warmed through.
  6. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with remaining scallions, sesame seeds, sesame oil and herbs. In a small bowl, combine ginger matchsticks with just enough black vinegar to cover. Serve ginger mixture alongside noodles as a garnish. 

Have a great day

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturday Recipe

This is a recipe I got from a bowling friend. I have posted it before I think, but it is what I decided to do for supper tonight. I'm not quite sure where that picture came from. I think I will take my own pic tonight and substitute it.

Pork Tenderloin in Slow Cooker

1 (2 lb) tenderloin
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup red wine
3 Tbs minced garlic
3 Tbs soy sauce
Black pepper

1. Place meat in slow cooker with the contents of the soup packet.

2. Pour water, wine and soy sauce over the top, turning the meat to coat. Spread garlic over the pork.

3. Cover and cook. Low 4 to 4 1/4 hours, serve with cooking liquid on the side as 'au jus'

Servings: 4

Have a great weekend

Friday, October 23, 2015

Maggie Smith, Bowling, Sinkholes.

Today, Thursday, Matt's last skin cancer op was performed. Whilst waiting I went down for a coffee. Riding back up in the elevator a woman said to me
"you look like someone famous, Maggie Smith. I bet you get told that all the time" I replied 'not for a very long time'. In fact I was once told that about 50 years ago. I didn't think I looked much like her then and I don't think so now either. I guess she was a bit younger in this picture. Matt says her eyes are bigger than mine, but he is looking at my eyes today and not from a few years ago. I must admit my first reaction was to think of her in Downton Abbey when she does look pretty elderly. Turns out she is 80. I am not there yet although of course Matt is.

After the hospital we went straight to the bowling alley and had toasted cheese sandwiches for lunch. Do you know I have never had a toasted cheese sandwich. Not bad at all. We bowled Wednesday and now Thursday. I was bowling well both days but Matt leaves it to the third game to get a good one. My last one today was a bit puny. But overall, I just wish I could bowl like that for the league. Maybe I'm trying too hard or something.

After watching Nova on Wednesday night, I am never going to Florida again. I now understand about the sinkholes and why they happen. From what they explained, the whole of Florida is rife for sinkholes and a lot of them come without warning. It was a very interesting programme, but quite frightening. I feel very sorry for people who have bought retirement homes and such and then have found out they are liable to be caught by one because of where their homes have been built. So, sorry if you really want me to visit you, ain't gonna happen. Yes, sinkholes happen in other places, Canada is not excluded, but because of the construction of the rock which is mostly karst, Florida is particularly susceptible.

Ginger Beef Salad with Miso Vinaigrette

Skip the grated cheese and croutons and serve an Asian-inspired salad with homemade seven-ingredient vinaigrette. Serve with soba noodles, followed by dessert.
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons white miso (soybean paste)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile paste with garlic
  • 6 cups torn Bibb lettuce (about 3 small heads)
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced


1. Preheat broiler.
2. Sprinkle steak evenly with ginger, salt, and garlic. Place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
3. Combine cilantro and next 6 ingredients (through chile paste) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle half of miso mixture over lettuce mixture; toss to coat.
4. Place 1 1/2 cups lettuce mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each with 3 ounces steak; top with miso mixture.

Dessert: Heat 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup torn mint, and 1/4 cup water until sugar melts. Strain; cool. Stir in 4 cups halved strawberries.

Have a great day

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Death of a planet, Pirates of Penzance, Power Bar Failure.

Pictures and a paper came out on Wednesday showing the death of a solar system very much like ours, this is being revealed by the Keppler K2 telescope and the article includes an artistic rendition of what is happening with the White Dwarf star is causing the planet to be shredded by the star's gravity as it has fallen towards the White Dwarf star. Interesting article. This is the first time this kind of event has ever been witnessed before. Of course, this kind of news is much more in Stephen Tremp's line than mine, he knows more about it all.

As you know, I went with a friend to see The Pirates of Penzance on Tuesday. They did a wonderful job and we both really enjoyed it. The d'Oyle Carte company in London, England, is the place to see Gilbert and Sullivan and they always do lots of "business" which makes the audience laugh. The Drayton Theatre Company did the same with this show and we laughed ourselves silly. There were little snippets from other stories - we saw Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion, The Three Little Girls from the Mikado, The Abbess from Sound of Music (she sang Climb every mountain and brought tears to our eyes she was so good), to name a few, this was all happening during a scene where the Bobbies were chasing the pirates. Very funny. Then there were quite a few dance scenes where they suddenly broke into some completely different steps, and then back again. Very clever. There were some brilliant voices. Plus the actor who played the Major General did a wonderful job of singing "I am a Modern Major General" which is not an easy song to sing. Don't have this on full sound.

There are several versions of this on YouTube of course. It's been an ear worm for me all day. I understand the president of the local Gilbert and Sullivan Society has been three times. I don't blame him, it was excellent. I would love to go again but I don't have $50 to throw around. See below LOL.

Wednesday morning, as usual, I was on my laptop with no problem. After breakfast I went into the
other room to use the desktop and had trouble getting on the internet (although I had done so earlier) eventually, it turned out that it was my power bar which was no longer working. I managed to find a point for the modem connection, but presently I have no sound nor can I use my shredder or the phone in that room. I haven't yet discovered what the other plugs are for. I was talking to a guy at my ISP and he said "oh they're only about 50 bucks" with an airy tone. I assured him there was nothing "only" about it when you were a pensioner.  I might have been similarly casual when I was working. I don't think he will do that again. I went to and found one which was about $20 plus tax and shipping of course. I have a big surge protector which most of the stuff is plugged into, but about 5 or 6 things were on the power bar. Funny using the PC without sound though.

I think that Arctic Char is probably my favourite fish. We used to go to a restaurant where he smoked his own salmon and also the arctic char. In my opinion it was better than the salmon and I love smoked salmon. Pity the restaurant closed down. I also love soba noodles and used to make Yaki Soba a lot once upon a time.

Arctic Char With Soba Noodles, Pine Nuts and Lemon

  • Time30 Minutes
  • Yield 4 servings


  • 6 ounces soba noodles
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 4 arctic char fillets, about 8 ounces each, preferably center-cut pieces, skin removed
  • Meyer lemon wedges, for serving
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or mint, for serving


  1. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Rinse under cold water; drain well.
  2. Pulse the pine nuts in a food processor until finely ground. Scrape them into a large bowl. Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and lemon zest. Whisk in the lemon juice. Slowly whisk in 3 tablespoons oil. Toss noodles with the dressing.
  3. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
  4. Set a small skillet over medium-high heat and allow to heat up, about 1 minute. Add the cumin seeds and sizzle until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and add remaining oil. Allow to cool slightly.
  5. Season both sides of the fish with remaining salt and a pinch of pepper and place on the baking sheet. Spoon the cumin and oil evenly over the fillets. Roast to desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium rare.
  6. Divide the noodles among four plates and place the fish over the noodles. Garnish with the lemon wedges and cilantro or mint.

Have a great day

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Salem's Daughters

Cornwell's Turkeyville 
Hi everyone, and thanks for stopping by. And thank you Jo Wake for hosting me on my Salem’s Daughters Blog Tour. We all know Jo posts delicious recipes ranging from casseroles to soups and roasted chicken to lamb chops. 

In my books, food plays an inanimate yet important role. I use real existing restaurants regardless of the setting. If local, I drive there and eat the food and drink the wine or beer my characters order. 

Cornwell’s Turkeyville: One such establishment in Salem’s Daughters is a restaurant that I remember well growing up in southern Michigan. When I visit family and friends, I almost always revisit a place called Cornwell’s Turkeyville. This is not only a great place to eat a year-round homemade Thanksgiving dinner, the place holds countless memories of my extended family gathering together at a centralized location over great food. 

Located near the interchange of I-94 and I-69 close to Battle Creek, Michigan, I mention Turkeyville often in Salem’s Daughters. Here’s a snippet: 

A Murcat Manor Cat
Bob pulled into the parking lot of Cornwell’s Turkeyville, just north of Marshall. He knew how much Debbie and her family loved the restaurant. All the countless times they took him there while dating Debbie from high school and college he feigned interest to get in their good graces because he loved Debbie and wanted to fit into her family. 

But now he was appreciative of the journey back in time. The place was built on four hundred acres and boasted an ice cream parlor, gift shop, general store, dinner theatre, Civil War re-enactments, summer kids’ camps, to a heated pool for RV parking. The place was huge, and situated at the intersection of two interstate highways, he understood why the lines to get in and eat were always so long. 

Murcat Manor Cats: What do the cats of Murcat Manor eat? People food. They are still thirteen witches, or people, only they're inhabiting the bodies of cats. Dead mice and birds? Little Friskies? Cat food from a can? Nope. They never developed such tastes. 

Question: Do you incorporate some of your favorite childhood places into your stories? 

Short Blurb: A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast. 

Stephen Tremp writes Speculative Fiction and embraces science and the supernatural to help explain the universe, our place in it, and write one of a kind thrillers. You can read a full synopsis and download Salem’s Daughters by Clicking Here

Stephen Tremp posts weekly blogs at his website Breakthrough Blogs. 

Next Stop: Thursday October 22nd Barbara in Caneyland for Bad Girls in the Bible. 

I asked for Stephen's favourite dish and he assured me he liked Chicken Madeira with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. Here is a copycat recipe from the Cheesecake Factory:


This Chicken Madeira recipe is easy, scrumptious, and such a people-pleaser! It's simple enough for busy weeknights, yet delicious enough for weekend guests. (Note: The Madeira wine's alcohol content evaporates during the cooking/reducing process, so it's a kid-friendly dish.)

Serves: 4
  • For the Chicken:
  • 4 skinless chicken breast fillets
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 TB olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • For the Sauce:
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 8 oz fresh white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups madeira wine (almost a full bottle)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 TB cornstarch dissolved in 2 TB of the beef broth
  • 1 TB salted butter
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Flatten chicken breasts to an even ¼-inch thickness throughout. Lightly sprinkle both sides of each chicken breast with kosher salt and black pepper. In a large skillet, heat 3 TB olive oil over medium heat until hot. Place chicken breasts in skillet, without overcrowding (if needed, cook them in two separate batches.) Cook 3-4 minutes per side, until nicely browned on both sides and no longer pink in center. Transfer cooked chicken to a baking pan and cover to keep warm.
  2. In the same skillet (don't wash out the skillet) add 2 TB olive oil over medium heat until oil is hot. Add mushrooms and stir 1-2 min. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Stir and bring sauce to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes or until sauce is reduced by one-fourth of its original volume. Finished sauce will be dark brown and thickened. Transfer sauce to a container and keep warm.
  3. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly on top of chicken breasts on baking pan. Broil 3-4 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted.
  4. Serve chicken immediately, generously drizzled with Madeira sauce. Extra sauce is delicious over mashed potatoes, angel hair pasta, or fluffy rice

Have a great day.