Monday, November 30, 2015

Mince Pies, Funeral Home,

I can't believe it's the last day of November already. This year seems to have flown past.

As you know, I was very disappointed not to be able to get my mincemeat tarts the other day whilst out bowling. Saturday I ended up buying a jar of mincemeat and some pastry shells. Sorry, making one's own mincemeat is really too involved although I will certainly doctor this jar slightly. It talks about rum and brandy flavours but I think we want a tad more than flavours. I looked up a couple of recipes for mincemeat and there are a number of things I don't keep in house which I would have to buy and then only use little bits of them and then, unless I plan to do it again, they items would be wasted. I would like to have been able to obtain Crosse and Blackwell Mincemeat but....

Sad news yesterday for those of us involved, but the funeral home where I worked as a part timer for
6 years and where we have our arrangements, has been forced to close - guess why? Those stupid road works. All kinds of businesses are closing down and those that haven't are feeling the pinch. With the funeral home, it is a very old building, used to be a private home before it became a business. I just called them and it appears the files for all pre-arrangements will be sent to an associated home in the area. The girl, who was my boss, says she is going to try and arrange a reunion. That would be fun.

Pecan-Berry Coffee Cake

WebMD Recipe from

  • This scrumptious coffee cake recipe has a crumbly pecan topping and is speckled with blueberries or raspberries. You’ll never guess there’s apple in the berry coffee cake: it replaces some of the butter found in most coffee cakes and adds a decidedly sweet taste and moist crumb. This is a great recipe to serve at brunch and can be made the day before.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, or white whole-wheat flour, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, or raspberries, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped peeled apple
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Step 1
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch-square pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Lightly coat the foil with cooking spray.
Step 2
To prepare cake: Whisk 1 cup flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Beat softened butter and oil in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Add 3/4 cup sugar and beat on medium-high until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, milk, lemon zest and vanilla and beat on medium-high until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated.
Step 3
Place berries and apple in a small bowl, sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons flour and toss very gently to coat. Sprinkle the fruit over the batter and very gently fold in until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
Step 4
To prepare topping: Combine cold butter and 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl. With two knives or a pastry blender, cut them together until the butter is in small pieces and uniform crumbles form. Add pecans and toss until evenly incorporated. Sprinkle the topping over the batter.
Step 5
Bake the cake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the nuts are a deep brown, 50 to 55 minutes.
Step 6
Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 2 hours. Lift it out of the pan, using the edges of the foil, onto a cutting board, and cut into 16 squares. Use a spatula to lift the cake from the foil.

Have a great day

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday and Saturday Recipe

Black Thursday for me as well. My internet service has been non-existent. I am now somewhat at sixes and sevens as I was without for 1 1/2 days. I do so  much on line that I am now considerably behind. I had a lovely blog planned for Black Friday too. I forgot to say that I was a bit miffed with the Crosswords restaurant. I have been going there with the bowling group once a year and always in November for at least 3 or 4 years. This Thursday they said they hadn't started making the mincemeat pies yet and didn't do so until December 1. I ended up buying a Mississippi Mud Pie. I phoned later and asked if it would freeze. They weren't sure and thought the chocolate might not take it. I have stuck it in the freezer anyway.

I used to make something like this with, I think, cream cheese. I have been wondering where the recipe got to. I always call drained yoghurt "yoghurt cheese"

Smoked Trout-Caraway Rillettes

Lebneh is yogurt that's been strained to remove all the whey, resulting in a thick, creamy fresh cheese. Here, it provides the base for a light and tangy smoked trout spread.

  • Servings: Makes 2 1/2 cups


  • 1 1/2 cups lebneh
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 3 thinly sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 smoked trout fillets (12 ounces), skinned, meat flaked into large pieces
  • Spicy Quick-Pickled Radishes and rye crackers, for serving


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the lebneh, shallot, olive oil, caraway seeds and the 3 sliced scallions; season with salt and pepper and mix well. Gently fold in the flaked trout. Garnish the rillettes with scallions and serve at room temperature with pickled radishes and rye crackers.

Make Ahead

The rillettes can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days and brought to room temperature before serving.

Have a great day

Thursday, November 26, 2015

At the Crossroads, Thanksgiving.

Sadly, all that lovely snow has disappeared except for a few patches here and there. As we have a longish drive to go bowling with the Travel League today I am not sorry.  We get to have lunch at the restaurant which actually calls itself "At The Crossroads". I hadn't realised that before. It is a Mennonite run restaurant and extremely popular locally. It is also where I buy mince meat tarts for Christmas. It always astounds me how little I liked mincemeat when I was a kid and nowadays I love it. The tarts made by the restaurant are absolutely delicious especially if served with a large dollop of cream and especially again if the cream is Double Devon English cream. I have no doubt I will be eating a slice with my lunch today anyway.

Of course, my American friends are all stuffing themselves today on turkey, ham and pumpkin pie. Or pecan of course. I really will have to try pumpkin pie, it is a long while since I tasted it and maybe this time I will like it. Maybe for lunch today. However, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and hope you all can find lots of things for which to be thankful.

I can't image anyone is interested in a recipe today so I am not going to offer one. Just hope you all find many blessings today.

Have a great day

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sauces and Chili.

Well, I feel really industrious today, Tuesday. I have just made Marinara sauce for the freezer, Cheese sauce for a Cauliflower
cheese, the remains of which will also go in the freezer. A large pot of Chili con Carne which also will end in the freezer. My back is killing me. My stool didn't really work I'm afraid. In the first place one has to move around too much. I thought I had everything close, but I didn't, then I found one leg was hurting whilst the other was on the step stool. Bit different if you are a prep chef. All you do is stand and chop, dice or slice.  The cheese sauce shows a whisk
which is something I never use when making sauces. Presumably to whisk out lumps, but I make mine carefully in order to avoid lumps in the first place. I have "gone on about" making such sauces properly before. I forgot, naturally, to take pix of the sauces before I froze them. Same with the chili. Making it I realised I didn't have any pinto beans so decided to use black beans instead. Looks OK tastes OK too. Had a little lamb left so chopped it up fine and threw it in. Don't tell Matt he had enough roast lamb last week he said. I haven't made chili in  years - I really don't know why not. Have a friend in NC who submits chili to the local chili fest tournament every year. I once asked him for a recipe and he sent me his second best, the first is a secret. I have no clue what happened to that recipe.

We have cooked a similar recipe to this a number of times. Ours was a Jacques Pépin recipe, similar and always very popular with our guests. I would choose heavy cream for this dessert.

Poached Pears in Red Wine

Neal Brothers Cookbook - Day 10
Neal Brothers Cookbook 

From Kristina McMillan, director, NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre, Winnipeg Poached pears in red wine is pure heaven. This is a traditional Italian recipe made with simple ingredients. Chef Anna Paganelli of De Luca’s in Winnipeg shared the preparation with me. I had the pleasure of working alongside Anna for a few years, and she taught me that if you use quality ingredients in your recipes, the flavours will absolutely sing.

6                   ripe Bosc pears, unpeeled, cored and halved
1                   lemon, sliced
1                   cinnamon stick
2 cups       dry red wine
½ cup       granulated sugar
Vanilla ice cream or gelato

Place pears in large saucepan, skin side up, and cover with water. Add lemon and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until pears are cooked but still firm.
Drain pears, reserving cinnamon stick. Return pears to pan, skin side up, along with reserved cinnamon stick. Pour in wine and sugar. Simmer over medium heat, uncovered, until liquid has reduced slightly and thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Divide pears among serving plates. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the centre of each pear. Drizzle with wine syrup.

Serves 6 to 12

Have a great day

Monday, November 23, 2015

Windows 10, Carbonite, Bowling.

Today, Monday, I downloaded Windows 10 for my desktop. I have had 10 on my laptop for quite a while now but it has taken them forever to produce a version which would automatically start without typing in a password. Now I have it. Everything is working fine. For the laptop I backed up a few things which are not covered, but on my desktop everything is backed up off site with a great programme called Carbonite. I have been using this site for years and have occasionally had to get my stuff back from them which is really easy to do. I have, in the past, lost stuff through not being properly backed up and it is very frustrating to put it mildly.

Bowling was the usual story. I bowled pretty well in the first game and pretty badly in the second two. Matt didn't have very good games at all. There was only one other member of our team today and she had 3 super games. We told her she couldn't play with us any more, she was too good! She sure showed us up today. Talking of bowling, I posted a pic I have used before, with me holding one of my bowling balls. The swirling colours inspired Birgit at BB Creations to design a Christmas Card. In her card the ball became a tree decoration.

Tuesday, I plan to do some sauce preparations for the freezer. I will be able to try out my new footstool. Ivy, at The Happy Whisk, assures me it does work, she used to do it when she prepped food, and that they used to call it The Captain Morgan. If you have ever seen the ads you will know what she meant.

The picture for this cake really made me feel hungry to try it. Not sure why. The recipe sounds delicious though. One thing I personally would change, I would probably use pecans as I find walnuts around here are rather bitter.

Greek Walnut Spice Cake

WebMD Recipe from

12 servings

A rich, flavorful syrup infuses this Mediterranean-inspired walnut coffee cake with the bright
aroma of oranges and cloves. Heart-healthy olive oil and whole-grain barley flour add subtle complexity and texture to this nutty treat.


  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour, (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup barley flour, (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 small strip orange zest, (1-by-1-inch)
  • 2 whole cloves


Step 1
To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square glass baking dish with cooking spray and dust it with flour, shaking out the excess.
Step 2
Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast, stirring once halfway, until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
Step 3
Whisk whole-wheat flour (see Measuring Tip), barley flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until thoroughly blended. Combine yogurt with orange zest and juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth; gradually whisk into the egg mixture along with oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 additions, stirring well in between until just blended. Fold in 1 cup of the walnuts. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Step 4
Bake the cake until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 45 minutes.
Step 5
To prepare syrup: Meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar, orange zest strip and cloves in a small heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring a few times. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes (you will have a scant 1/3 cup); remove the zest and cloves. Let cool.
Step 6
When the cake is done, transfer the pan to a wire rack. Using a toothpick, pierce the top in about 18 places and brush the syrup over the cake 3 or 4 times, allowing it to seep in each time. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts and let cool for 30 minutes; loosen the edges with a knife; cut into 12 squares. Enjoy warm or room temperature.


Ingredient notes: Barley flour has a mild yet distinct flavor, which some describe as slightly sweet and malty. Barley is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets or at natural-foods stores; it’s often available in bulk. Store in the freezer. White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. It is available in large supermarkets and at natural-foods stores. (Or find it online from or Store it in the freezer. Measuring tip: We use the “spoon and level” method to measure flours. Here’s how it is done: Use a spoon to lightly scoop flour from its container into a measuring cup. Use a knife or other straight edge to level the flour with the top of the measuring cup.

Have a great day

Snow and Ice.

Friday evening and Saturday, we spent time worrying about the possibility of snow. There were snow warnings posted on the weather channel and they forecast several inches for Friday evening. Saturday we saw a few flakes a couple of times during the day but nothing much, although the skies looked threatening, so we finally decided to go and get our pig tails. Well mine anyway, not for Matt and not for the friend who is coming with us. I noticed a friend from Sweden was posting snow pictures on
Saturday. We had our meal at the Legion and were home again by 7:30 a.m. but it was raining so a difficult journey home particularly as our friend, who was driving, was unfamiliar with the road. Matt and I spent the rest of the evening watching a programme called Coast which we enjoy. This one was Coast Australia and talking about the West Coast of that land. Then we watched a programme about Winston Churchill during the first World War which was fascinating. After that, we looked out of the window to see a magical snow landscape. The park looks really beautiful, but I haven't got a camera which will take pictures of such a scene. The above is not our park, but that's kind of what it looks like with the trees looking as though they are made of white lace. Sunday we had more snow. It is really looking like winter round here now.

I just had a thought, I have been blogging for 8 years, I wonder how often I have written about snow.

We have just watched a programme on Public TV called Extreme Ice. I have heard many people pooh pooh scientists and global warming, but if you were to watch this, you can visually see, yourself, what is happening to the once enormous glaciers and vast ice sheets. There was a lot of science explained which I understood but basically couldn't possibly explain but a comment at the end was so very true. We are programmed to think of geology happening millions of years ago or millions of years into the future when it is, in fact, happening right here, right now. They showed a map of the world in about 100 years time with the expected water levels and many coasts and low lying islands will be under water. In fact some islands will completely disappear.

And that is only in the next 100 years. People living in the southern part of Florida won't be able to any more. What they don't know is whether this whole thing is reversible or not. Obviously for many of us today, it won't matter. But if anything can be done it should be done and we should support any such efforts whole heartedly. I don't  believe it is all fossil fuel use, I read somewhere that what volcanoes spew into the atmosphere doesn't help and in many cases is much worse than what we do.

The programme, linked above, was predominantly following scientists and a photographer, James Balog, through the cryosphere to study what is happening and why. Do read it, there is some very interesting information on the page. By the way, that tiny dot is James Balog.

This sounds great. I love Crème brûlée although I have never made one. Not sure why. I did recently get some from our local supermarket which were good, but I discovered I had lost my kitchen torch. No idea how that happened. Trying to caramelize the sugar with the broiler does not work very well, it doesn't crisp which is the essence of this dessert.

Salted Butterscotch Crème Brûlée

Teresa Floyd

Crème brûlée is a classic French dessert that consists of rich custard topped with a thin layer of caramelized sugar. The sharp snap-sound of shattering hard sugar as the spoon breaks the surface and digs into the smooth custard is one of its greatest pleasures. 
Salted Butterscotch Creme Brulee by Teresa Floyd

Makes 6 (five-ounce) servings


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • fine sea salt for sprinkling


  • 1 Preheat oven to 325°F. Arrange ramekins on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • 2 In a medium-saucepan combine heavy cream, milk, and fine sea salt. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low to keep warm.
  • 3 Melt butter in medium-saucepan and stir in brown sugar. Over medium-high heat bring mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. The sugar will begin to caramelize and turn dark amber in color and become fragrant.
  • 4 Remove from heat and immediately whisk cream into the caramel mixture until smooth. Do this carefully and gradually, as the hot mixture will bubble up vigorously when the cream is added.
  • 5 Whisk together egg yolks and vanilla extract in a large bowl. While whisking continuously, slowly stream the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks until combined. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl or large measuring cup. Carefully pour or ladle custard into each ramekin until full.
  • 6 Place the baking sheet in the oven and pour hot water into the pan until it fills halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until edges are set and centers jiggle slightly when gently prodded.
  • 7 Remove baking sheet from oven and place on cooling rack. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove ramekins from water bath and continue to let cool. Transfer ramekins to refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours. Crème brûlée can be stored, wrapped, for up to three days in refrigerator.
  • 8 To serve, sprinkle each of the custards with one tablespoon of sugar. Using a kitchen torch, melt the sugar until caramelized and golden. Sprinkle with fine sea salt and serve immediately.

Have a great day

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Saturday Recipe

Here's a delicious sounding recipe. No good to me, Matt does NOT like sweet potatoes. Tonight I will be munching pigtails and sauerkraut. Delicious.

Sweet Potato, Red Onion and Fontina Tart

WebMD Recipe from
Try this roasted-vegetable free-form tart as an appetizer or side dish for a special dinner or as a vegetarian main dish. The pastry dough is very forgiving and quite easy to roll out on parchment
paper or a nonstick baking mat. The walnut-studded crust is crisper served warm, but you can enjoy the tart at room temperature or cold too.


  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Note)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, and/or rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup shredded fontina, or Cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg white, mixed with 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, and/or rosemary


Step 1
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Step 2
To prepare crust: Pulse walnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Combine in a large bowl with whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons thyme and/or rosemary, 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Make a well in the center and add 1/2 cup oil and water. Gradually stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to form a soft dough (it will seem wetter than other types of pastry dough). Knead in the bowl just until the dough comes together. Pat it into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 days.
Step 3
To prepare filling: Combine sweet potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Spread on three-fourths of a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss onion in the bowl with 1 teaspoon oil. Spread evenly on the remaining one-fourth of the baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce temperature to 375°.
Step 4
Line a work surface with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat, lightly dust with flour and dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll the dough into a rustic 15-inch circle, adding more flour, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Transfer the crust to a baking sheet with the parchment or baking mat in place.
Step 5
Leaving a 2-inch border, sprinkle cheese evenly over the crust. Make an overlapping ring of the larger sweet potato slices over the cheese, leaving the 2-inch border. Spread the onion slices in another ring closer to the center. Using the rest of the sweet potato slices, make an overlapping circle in the center of the crust (the pattern will look like a bull’s-eye). Pick up the edges of the crust using a spatula and fold over the filling, making pleats in the dough as necessary (it’s okay if the dough cracks a little as you fold it); the filling will not be completely covered. Brush the crust with the egg-white wash. Drizzle the vegetables with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon thyme and/or rosemary.
Step 6
Bake the tart until lightly browned on the edges, about 50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.


Ingredient Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour has less gluten-forming potential than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure tender baked goods. Find it in the baking section of the supermarket or online at and

Have a great weekend.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Day off

 Got a good book, decided to take a day off.  Maybe two days. We'll see.

Have a great day

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Natural Wonders, Flu Shot.

There is a programme running on public broadcasting right now showing the ways certain tribes, all over the world, live or earn their living. Absolutely horrifying. From collecting swiftlet nests in caves where the human has to climb over 300 ft. to get at the nests with very little security protection. Another group collecting honey in a mangrove swamp which is heavily populated with Bengal tigers. Another tribe, living in the Amazon forests and have to cope with the Bullet Ant so they put their kids through a painful ritual to enure them to these ants. The kids have to wear gloves laced with these ants, for 10 minutes. They do this several times in their lives. It has been proven that in fact, the venom from these ants has medical properties and this race of people are rarely ill and have long lives. The kid who put the gloves on for the first time was howling, but his best friend, who'd done it before, was more stoic. The boys were 9 yrs. old. The gloves contained hundreds of ants. The sting of one is like a bullet wound, hence their name. Interesting programme.

Talking of pain, I mentioned we had our flu shots yesterday. They are given to you in the top muscle
Deltoids in red.
of the arm/shoulder - the deltoid. We had to hang around a while particularly because we are on blood thinners. Then we had to be in the mall for a while, totalling about 15 minutes. Eventually we came home and carried on with our day. About mid evening I started to feel a throbbing pain in my arm, lower than where the shot was administered. I ended up taking some Tylenol 3 as it was so bad and, oddly, I was also getting throbbing pain in my nipple on that side. This effectively prevented me going to sleep for quite a while. I was feeling very sorry for myself. Matt felt nothing. The next day, the throbbing pain had gone but my arm is sore. Matt is still fine. According to the woman who runs our exercise class, she has heard of others who suffered the same problems. I have now found a blog talking about Christina's flu shot experience. Reading her experience I am wondering if some of what happened to her could have happened to me. Apart from soreness though, mine is not all that painful any more. I will keep an eye on it though.

I have never before heard of cooking radishes. I was fascinated by this recipe so obviously have to share it.

Roasted Radishes With Anchovies

  • Yield 8 servings


  • 1 (2.8-ounce) jar oil-packed anchovies, drained
  • cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ garlic clove, grated
  • 2 bunches radishes with fresh greens (1 1/2 pounds), preferably French breakfast radishes
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice, more to taste


  1. In a small saucepan over very low heat, combine anchovies and 1/3 cup olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until anchovies have melted into the oil, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in garlic.
  2. Clean the radishes thoroughly under running water, leaving any nice greens attached if possible; drain and dry very well. Leave smaller radishes whole and halve any large ones lengthwise.
  3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a very large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Add the radishes in a single layer. Cook, without moving, until undersides are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip radishes and transfer skillet to oven. Cook until radishes are tender enough to be easily pierced with a knife, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size of radishes.
  4. Return skillet to stove top over medium-high heat. Toss with anchovy oil, butter, parsley and lemon juice. Serve warm.

Have a great day

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Undead Road.

Having had a very good lunch at the Mandarin, Matt and I went to get our flu shots. Because we are both on blood thinners, we were asked to remain in the store for 5 minutes and in the mall for about 15. We walked down to Wal-Mart and I got myself a small step stool. Now to see if it does the trick.

I recently read The Undead Road by David Powers King. He asked me to proof it for him and although I don't like zombie books and am by no means a Young Adult, I agreed to do so. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed the book and have no hesitation in recommending it to you. It is not yet available to purchase but will be an ebook at the beginning of the new year. 

Title: The Undead Road: My Zombie Summer: Part 1

Publisher: CreateSpace / Dashboard Books
Ebook Release: January 1st, 2016
Paperback: January 26th, 2016
Cover by Steven Novak


Nothing brings the family together like a zombie apocalypse …

Fifteen-year-old Jeremy Barnes would rather watch a zombie movie than shoot a real one, but he has no choice if his family wants to survive the end of the world. Their plan? Drive across the infected United States to a cabin in the Colorado Rockies without a scratch, but their trip takes a complicated detour in the middle of Nebraska when they find Kaylynn, a girl who can handle a baseball bat better than Jeremy can hold a .45 Berretta. And when they stumble into a sanctuary, Jeremy soon learns that Kaylynn is stronger than she looks—a deadly secret lies inside her.

After the radio picks up a distress call from Kansas City about a possible cure, Jeremy’s parents go with a team to investigate. They never return. The only way to find their parents is for Jeremy and his sister Jewel to rely on a dangerous girl who might just turn on them at any moment.

Contest Details:

A while ago, David invited the blogosphere to let him turn one unfortunate lucky contestant into a zombie for The Undead Road. The winner was Ilima Todd, who is now the awesome author of Remake. The next installment of My Zombie Summer is underway, and David wants to do this contest again. Want to be in a zombie book? Not only is this your chance, but it is your choice!

Between now and next Wednesday, send an email to dpowersking [at] gmail [dot] com, with the subject line: Zombify Me! Contest. In your email, David wants you to tell him three things:

1: The name you will be identified as (example: your first name).
2: A description of yourself—the more detailed you are, the better.
3: How would you like the survivors to put you out of your misery?

Four casualties contestants will be chosen on Wednesday, November 25th. The most inventive or interesting entry will be zombified! The other three who are unlucky fortunate enough to survive will be given special honors. Winners will be announced on December 2nd on David’s blog.

Prizes? The winner will be zombified in the pages of My Zombie Summer: Part Two, receive a signed proof of the novel (when it’s ready), and a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card. The runner ups will receive a free ebook of The Undead Road for their Kindle (other platforms TBA).

Thank you for participating, and good luck!

About the Author:

David Powers King was born in beautiful downtown Burbank, California where his love for film inspired him to be a writer. He is the co-author of the YA fantasy novel WOVEN, published by Scholastic. An avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, David also has a soft spot for zombies and the paranormal. He currently lives deep in the mountain West with his wife and three children.

This sounds absolutely delicious to me although I don't have jars of sauerkraut lurking in my fridge. I can soon change that though. I don't think I have ever seen red sauerkraut.

Chilled Beet-and-Sauerkraut Soup With Horseradish and Crème Fraîche

  • Yield 4 to 6 servings



  • 4 or 5 large beets (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large fennel bulb, or 2 or 3 smaller bulbs
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 8 or 9 cloves garlic
  • ½ pound green or savoy cabbage
  • Olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups sauerkraut, preferably red sauerkraut, because it looks better
  • 1 cup sauerkraut liquid
  • Red-wine vinegar
  • A handful of mushroom butts, tied in cheesecloth or a coffee filter (optional)
  • Crème fraîche
  • 1 small piece fresh horseradish, peeled
  • Black pepper


    1. Preheat the oven to 375. Wash the beets, and trim only their stem ends, leaving a little of the stems attached. Crowd beets in a single layer in a roasting pan, season lightly with salt and pour in about an inch of water (less if the beets are small, more if they’re large). Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and roast until a skewer slides easily through the beets, about an hour.
    2. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel. Trim away any fibrous root ends, and cut into ½-inch cubes. Clean the fennel, keeping tough outers for another purpose. Dice the fennel and onion into pieces slightly smaller than the beet cubes. Slice the garlic. Slice the cabbage to about the size of the sauerkraut.
    3. Set a large pot over medium heat, pour in enough oil to cover its bottom and cook the fennel and onion with a small pinch of salt until they soften. Add the sliced cabbage and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the beets, sauerkraut and ½ cup of the sauerkraut liquid, then enough water to barely cover. Add a small splash of vinegar and the mushroom butts (if you’re using them). Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Chill the soup.
    4. Taste the soup, and add remaining sauerkraut juice to season instead of salt. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche, a little grated horseradish and a few grinds of black pepper.

    Have a great day

    Tuesday, November 17, 2015

    Vivent les Français

    If you haven't seen this, this is a delightful conversation between a young French kid and his dad in response to the attacks on Paris.

    Have a great day

    Lunch, Doctor's Offices,

    Today we are going, with friends, to the Mandarin. Our favourite Chinese buffet restaurant. I especially am looking forward to their Hot and Sour Soup. It is, as I have said before, one of the best I have ever tasted. One of these days I will have a go at making it properly. I have recently read, in a couple of places, that if you end up with back ache whilst standing (as I do when cooking) you should have a small stool and rest one foot on it changing periodically. I am now planning to get a small stool to try it out. It really does put the kibosh on cooking these days to end up in agony. I try and sit down a lot, but when you are cooking, that isn't always possible. Sorry to be a moaning Minnie.

    Damn, damn and double damn. Our doctor in the next town over, Cambridge, opened two satellite
    offices in our town, one of which was just up the road from us. Sadly, I got an email today telling me they are now closing them again because - they say - of Ministry of Health cuts to family practices. I am so annoyed. It was a pain in the butt to have to go all the way over to Cambridge, but gotta do it again I guess. Nothing wrong with the care they offer, but .....  Just remembered I had an appointment for my Diabetes Clinic in January so phoned the Cambridge office and changed it. I thought it was all going so well, but I guess it wasn't. They had a couple of Nurse Practitioners working there and one fully fledged doctor. In Cambridge they have a lot of doctors and one can always get to see one  - especially if you are over 70 when you can get an appointment the same day if you need it.

    We bowled today, not good again. Only 3 of us so it went by pretty quickly. I had one fairly good game as did our other team member but generally the three of us were terrible. Saw the father owner before he went off to visit his wife in hospital, he seems to think she is doing pretty well but it will take some time. This being the woman who had back surgery as I mentioned last week.

    Although I would be unlikely to make this recipe myself, I had to share it because it has obviously taken the chef so much time to arrange and is, in my opinion, absolutely beautiful. I would certainly like to eat it of course.

    Rye Pecan Pie

    • Yield 8 servings


    For the crust:

    • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
    • ½ pound cold unsalted butter, cut into dice
    • ½ cup ice water, more as needed
    • About 5 cups dried beans (for baking)

    For the filling:

    • 5 eggs
    • 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • cup molasses, dark or unsulfured
    • cup light corn syrup
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3 tablespoons rye or bourbon, not more than 90 proof
    • 2 cups finely chopped pecans
    • 2 ½ cups pecan halves
    • Whipped cream, for serving


      1. Make the crust: In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine flour, salt and white sugar at low speed. Add butter and mix until pea-size lumps form. Raise the speed to medium-low and add 1/2 cup ice water in a slow, steady stream, mixing just until dough holds together. To test, pinch a small amount of dough. If it is crumbly, add more ice water, one tablespoon at a time. Shape dough into a ball and wrap it loosely in plastic, then roll it into a disk. Refrigerate at least one hour, or up to 3 days, before rolling. (Dough can be frozen for up to a month.)
      2. Open a 10-inch springform pan, flip the bottom over so the outside surface faces in, then close. This will make removing the pie easier when it is done, by preventing the dough from sinking into the pan’s crease. On a lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough into a circle 16 inches in diameter. Lift it and let it settle into pan, fitting the dough down into the edges. Press the sides firmly against pan and pinch around the top rim. Trim dough with kitchen scissors so it hangs over the rim by one inch, reserving excess. Refrigerate in pan until very cold and firm, at least 45 minutes.
      3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prick bottom of dough with a fork. Lay a piece of parchment or wax paper in pan, then a piece of aluminum foil. Fill foil lining with dried beans to top of pan. Bake 15 to 25 minutes, until the sides of the crust have set and turned a light golden brown. Remove from oven and lift out the beans, foil and parchment. Patch any holes with reserved dough, pressing firmly. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until golden brown. Let cool at least 30 minutes before filling.
      4. Fill the pie: Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, molasses, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and rye or bourbon. Place baked pie shell, still in the pan, on a sheet pan. Gently pour in the filling. Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly over surface. Working from outside in, arrange pecan halves in concentric circles, without overlapping, until entire surface is covered. (Use only as many as needed.)
      5. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, just until filling is firm and a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into center. (Do not worry if the overhanging crust becomes very dark brown.) Let cool completely. Use a serrated knife to saw off all overhanging pie crust. Carefully remove outer ring of pan. Slice with a large, very sharp knife and serve with whipped cream.

      Have a great day

      Monday, November 16, 2015

      Books, The Everglades, Paris and ISIS,

      Phew, I have finally finished Fool's Quest by Robin Hobb. I enjoyed the book immensely but it took some reading. Now I assume I have to wait forever to get the last book in the trilogy. I have heard people say they don't start reading trilogies, etc. until they know the last book is out. Not a bad idea but it would mean a lot of reading all at once. I do find myself thinking "oh yes, I remember that, but how did it come about?". Talking of books, the Violet Needham book I mentioned ordering, arrived on Friday. It will have to wait until I have got through all these library books though. I got them to recycle another one which had arrived. As it is, I still have 3 to go. I have never had this problem before and I am not too happy reading under pressure like this. I cannot believe that books I requested so far apart ended up arriving at the same time. I just discovered there is a Goodreads mention of The Horn of Merlyn's. These Violet Needham books are 70 or so years old. I am staggered they should be mentioned. I am staggered I could still get this book anyway.

      Matt and I started watching a programme about the Everglades in Florida. There are creatures there
      that are found nowhere else in the world. But the Everglades is being deprived of water because - guess - man is taking a lot of it for his own purposes. I found it so distressing that I couldn't watch it any more. There is absolutely nothing I personally can do about it. If you are an American, you should be protesting about it. Another problem in the Everglades, I was already aware of, was the masses of Pythons which now live there - guess why? Man again. Purchasing exotic pets, tiring of
      them and then releasing them. They are causing a shift in the balance of the ecosystem. The more I see of what man has done or is doing, the more I am glad I won't be here to worry about it for that much longer. We saw another programme the other day about a huge underground waterway below Death Valley outside the area of Las Vegas. They want to tap it to provide water for the ever expanding city. There is a very rare fish living in this underground lake which would probably disappear. An Australian friend of mine has predicted (she is not alone) that the next World War will be fought about water.

      I haven't written about Paris, there are many people doing so. I have spent time there and love the city
      so I am sorry they were attacked. I personally am worried about ISIS even thought we Canadians have been assured, by our defense minister, Harjit Sajjan, that we do not have to be afraid of them. I think that is a load of nonsense. I have described it in stronger language but usually refrain from doing so on my blog. One particular well known member of ISIS is (I'm ashamed to say) an Englishman known as Jihadi John. If he landed in any North American airport, who would know who he was.

      Here's a nice easy breakfast/brunch dish to do - particularly if you are entertaining. This is from Kraft Kitchens.

      Bacon and Egg Squares

      Hello, new favorite brunch idea! These cheesy Bacon and Egg Squares start with a golden brown hash brown crust—and just get more delicious from there.

      Serves 12

      • 1 doz. eggs
      • 1/2 cup milk
      • 1/2 cup sour cream
      • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
      • 6 slices cooked Bacon, crumbled, divided
      • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
      • Heat oven to 450ºF.
      • Crumble hash browns into 15x10x1-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray; press gently to form even layer.
      • Bake 15 to 20 min. or until golden brown. 
      • Meanwhile, whisk eggs, milk and sour cream in large bowl until blended; stir in half each of the cheese and bacon.
      • Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF. Pour egg mixture over crust; bake 15 to 20 min. or until set. Remove from oven. Top with remaining bacon and cheese; sprinkle with onions. Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve. 

      Have a great day

      Saturday, November 14, 2015

      Saturday Recipe

      Here's something different you could serve with your Thanksgiving Meal. I like bok choy but haven't tried cooking the baby ones. I am cooking some lamb  for Saturday supper. If I hadn't got flat beans again, I would be tempted to go get some Baby Bok Choy. I wonder if it would work with beans. Hmmm.

      Baby Bok Choy With Oyster Sauce

      • Yield 4 servings


      • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
      • 3 ½ tablespoons oyster sauce
      • Pinch of sugar
      • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (do not use seasoned rice vinegar)
      • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
      • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
      • 4 to 6 bunches of baby bok choy, approximately 1 1/2 pounds, cleaned, with ends trimmed


      1. Combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and rice vinegar in a bowl and set aside.
      2. Heat oil in a skillet or wok set over high heat. When it shimmers, add garlic, then bok choy, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water to the skillet or wok, then cover it and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until bok choy has softened nicely at its base.
      3. Remove bok choy from the skillet or wok and place it on a warmed platter. Drizzle the reserved sauce over the greens and serve.

      Have a great weekend

      Friday, November 13, 2015

      Friday 13, Bowling, Weather.

      Friday the 13th. How many of you are superstitious? I have a very good friend who has a birthday today. Didn't ask her, but hope she isn't concerned.

      As usual, Thursday bowling went pretty well. Kept a good average. Matt was not as good but he won the last game. On Thursday there is another couple (usually a threesome, but one is away) who bowl next to us. They play 3 or 4 games in the time we take to play 2 and a bit. They are not young but I think younger than we are. I said to them today, "don't you have any aches and pains?" they assured me they did not. Not that I would want to race through our games, but we are physically unable to play that fast. I am feeling very sorry for the "son owner" who is working some 15 or 16 hours a day this week because his dad has to go to visit his mom after her back operation on Monday. His dad is worn out driving up and down to Toronto every day as well. Apparently her hemoglobin was low today so she had to have a second blood transfusion. Doesn't sound too good to me. Not a medic of any kind though of course.

      We are getting some of the predicted wind storm this evening (Thursday) but so far not as bad as some of the pictures we have seen from the States. Hope it won't get worse. It's been blowing pretty hard all afternoon, had trouble walking around. Had to pop into the store which has an underground parking lot and it was howling through there so had trouble walking there too. It was also damp, raining off and on, and pretty cold. I didn't want to take my coat off in the bowling alley for a while. A couple were just leaving when we arrived. I told them they would do better to stay where  they were, but the husband assured me he had bowled so badly he preferred the weather. He had been beaten by his wife so had to buy her lunch.

      I occasionally borrow recipes from Kevin at Closet Cooking. He's OK so long as I don't do it too much. He really comes up with some unusual recipes. This one appealed to me.

      Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Carbonara

      Servings: 4
      A roasted cauliflower and mushroom pasta in a creamy egg and bacon sauce seasoned with plenty of fresh cracked pepper.
      • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
      • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • salt and pepper to taste
      • 8 ounces fettuccine (or pasta of choice) (gluten free for gluten free)
      • 4 ounces pancetta, diced or 4 ounces bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
      • 1 clove garlic, chopped
      • 2 eggs
      • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
      • plenty of fresh cracked black pepper
      • salt to taste
      • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
      1. Toss the cauliflower and mushrooms in the oil, salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated 400F/200C oven until they start to caramelize, about 20-30 minutes, mixing half way through.
      2. Start cooking the pasta as directed on the package.
      3. Cook the pancetta in a pan, pour off all but a tablespoon of the grease from the pan, add the garlic, cook for 30 second and turn off the heat.
      4. Mix the egg, cheese, pepper and salt and parsley in a bowl.
      5. Drain the cooked pasta reserving some of the water.
      6. Mix the pasta, egg mixture, cauliflower and mushrooms into the pan with the pancetta, adding reserved pasta water as needed.

      Note: To speed things up, about 20 minutes into roasting the cauliflower and mushrooms, get your pot of water for the pasta on the stove and start bringing it to a boil.
      Option: Replace the parmigiano reggiano with pecorino romano.

      Have a great day