Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas

I have decided to slow down over the holidays so although I will still blog, it won't be as frequently.

I will try and be certain to read everyone's blogs as and when they appear.

Have a wonderful holiday.
 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Not a good Day.

Just a quickie today, wasn't feeling too chipper and ended up not bowling. Slept for a couple of hours or so and felt much better. Not sure what was wrong but did have a restless night. Maybe I got frightened by the Krampus

Not only that, Windows 10 was updating taking at least 24 hours to complete so for a fair amount of time I couldn't use my laptop and didn't feel like going into the other room to use the desktop.

Now I am all fit and raring to go it is bedtime.

Have a great day
 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas, Wine, Christmas Devil, Baking Risotto,

Saturday afternoon, just sitting quietly reading when we heard a knock on the door. It was a neighbour who had been cooking with her three grandsons making Christmas cookies and decided to share them with everyone. They had them all set out on a pretty tray which one of the boys was carrying. I thought it was such a nice gesture. I took one for Matt, told them my hips didn't like cookies (or words to that effect). Maybe I should have just taken a couple and shut up.

Friday we went to our LCBO (liquor store) to replace some wine and some bubbly. There was a taste testing taking place with two wines. One of which they recommended for cellaring for 10 years - you're joking, us cellar something for 10 years!! We hesitate to buy green bananas. However the second wine was Tenuta Frescobaldi di Castiglione which we both liked. The woman running the tasting assured us the wine had been drunk by Henry VIII. (Before or after he beheaded his wives). In fact, on the bottle it says it was supplied to the Papal Court and Henry VIII's court in the 1500s. That doesn't say Henry himself drank it, he might have, but who knows. It does say that this particular vineyard has been going for a year or two, or three. We bought a bottle and enjoyed it but Matt has decided it wasn't THAT special nor was it THAT expensive. Oh well.  I didn't see him leave any. I would recommend it as a very pleasant wine to have for dinner. We ate Korean Bulgogi with it, it seemed to match fairly well.

Have you heard of the Christmas Devil or Krampus? I never had, but there is a video provided by

National Geographic showing a parade with Krampus taking part. I understand he originated in the Teutonic areas of Europe and is supposed to deal with kids who are "naughty" and don't deserve a visit from Santa. He visits them on December 5th - do watch the video. From the video seems a pretty frightening character to me. National Geographic say he is also popular in America!!!

We have had quite a bit more snow this weekend but as yet not enough to completely cover the grass or in our case mud. I assume there will be people in to landscape the grounds in the spring. I hope so anyway.

I have just discovered, from Viveka of My Guilty Pleasures, that you can cook risotto in the oven, so much easier than standing and stirring. As Viveka is, herself, a professional chef, her word on cooking is good.  She has posted a recipe for Risotto with spicy sausage. I have all the ingredients so will be trying it later this week.

Meanwhile I have resurrected a recipe for Chocolate Volcanoes which I love. Matt used to make them but he doesn't do much cooking any more and I have been buying them at the local grocery store.  I decided that is probably a bit of an expensive way to go hence finding the recipe. They were labelled as Warm Chocolate Cake so it took a bit to find it LOL.

Chocolate Volcanoes

6 oz Bittersweet Chocolate
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
3 egg whites
1/3 cup all purpose (plain) flour

1. Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). In heavy pot on low heat, melt chocolate and butter together. Cool slightly.

2. Beat together sugar and egg yolks with electric mixer until thick and creamy, about 4 mins.

3. Pour in chocolate mixture and beat together for 5 mins.

4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, about three mins. Fold into mixture along with flour.

5. Pour into 6 nonstick buttered moulds or non-stick muffin tins (we use cocottes or ramekins). Bake for 5 to 7 mins or until edges are just cooked and centre is still liquid. Cool for 5 mins in cooking dish. Carefully remove to serving dishes. Serve with lightly whipped cream

6. Freeze overnight or up to 2 weeks.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Take ramekins out of freezer and remove plastic wrap. Bake volcanoes for 18 minutes - no longer! Cool on rack for 5 minutes. The outsides will be crusty and the centers will be gooey - sort of like your average volcano

Servings: 6

Source: Food & Drink

Have a great day
 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday Recipe

These look like the kind of thing I probably couldn't stop eating. They also recommend  Jimmy Dean sausage meat. I have never seen that in Canada, could get it in the States and to me it was the nearest thing to English sausage meat that I had ever found.

Sausage Balls

These homemade sausage balls are a healthy riff on the original—we add riced cauliflower for moisture and a veggie boost, whole-wheat flour stands in for prepared biscuit mix, and sharp Cheddar adds flavor. Serve these sausage balls for brunch, as an appetizer, or mix them with your favorite
marinara for dinner

½ lb bulk pork sausage, broken up into pieces
2 cups cauliflower rice (see Tip)
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 ¼ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese 
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine sausage, cauliflower, flour and cheese in a large bowl; stir until just combined (do not overmix). Form into 36 balls (a generous tablespoon each) and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the balls until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, about 25 minutes.

Tips
To make your own cauliflower rice, pulse ½ pound cauliflower florets in a food processor until chopped into rice-size pieces.

To make ahead: Freeze baked, cooled balls in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen in a 350°F oven for about 25 minutes.

Author: Carolyn Casner
Source: Eating Well

Have a great day
 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hurrah Hooray, Bowling, Library,

Woo hoo, hurrah, hip hip hooray, it's open. Our balcony door of course. I checked it out, it was in July they first shut our balcony door which makes it approximately 5 months not being able to get out there. Dunno if we will bother to put the furniture back out until the spring though. After all, we had snow today. Actually I didn't think we would be "released" today because of the snow.

We went bowling as usual of course, I couldn't get going at all today. Hope things change for Monday, I was pretty poor today I can tell you. Matt beat me once, I beat him once and the last one we tied. Unusual.

On the way home had a few errands to run including the library and picking up the last book in the Soldier Son Trilogy. Discovered I had lost my library card but they let me have the book and I promised to have all my info next time. However, once I got home, checked another jacket and it was there so problem solved. So I have a Daniel Silva book I just started and then the last of the trilogy to finish. I noticed the 3D printer wasn't working today, hadn't quite registered that it was working when I saw it before. Gotta figure out when I could use it and what I could use it for.

You would have to be careful of the Mascarpone here. Most of the cheese available has various preservative chemicals in it which adds sweetness to the cheese. However, if you get the real, genuine Italian Mascarpone, it is unadulterated.

Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta

The nutty flavor of fontina and creaminess of mascarpone create a delicious updated version of mac
and cheese

1 lb uncooked penne
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
3 cups fat-free milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
1/4 cup (2 ounces) mascarpone cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
3 (1-ounce) slices white bread
1 Tbs butter
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F

3. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and milk in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook 10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; add cheeses, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir in salt and black pepper. Add cooked pasta, stirring to coat. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

4. Tear bread into several pieces. Place bread in a food processor; process until fine crumbs measure 1 1/2 cups.

5. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Stir in breadcrumbs until well combined. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture evenly over pasta mixture. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley.

Servings: 8

Source: MyRecipes

Have a great day
 

Phew

I cooked - Leftover Chicken and Ham for the freezer and Cherry Tomato vinaigrette - my back and legs hurt. Then I went to exercise class after lunch. Still hurting. Then we went bowling for a couple of games ( I had one 200 game) hurting more. Came home and cooked supper Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Bowl. We ate and then I collapsed and went fast asleep. I had taken some pain pills too. For me, this was a lot of work/effort, whatever you want to call it.

I started watching the TV at Jeopardy ( Matt watched a couple of programmes before that) and then went on to PBS and watched an interesting documentary on Scott Kelly who has just spent a year in space, and his identical twin brother who stayed on earth. Scott is being tested for practically everything they can think of and compared with his brother. They are endeavouring to discover  how people will fare on longer space journeys. For instance they figure a trip to Mars would take about 3 years including about a year there. I hadn't realised that the body would be subjected to lots of radiation which would shorten the lives of such astronauts. They are talking about the possibility of genetically modifying foetuses so that they will be able to stand up to such radiation in the future.

Following that Nova was all about Memory and brains and how we store memories. Yet another programme which shows the likelihood of being able to modify brains suffering from Alzheimer's. Fascinating stuff.

Now I want to go crawl into my bed so, sorry, no recipe. Tired again.

Have a great day

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Pho Ga, Weekly Shopping and Cooking,

Having finished the rest of our Pho Ga Tuesday evening, I thought about the pronunciation which my friend said she thought was "fuh" - I figured she was right but checked it on Google and yes, that is how one says it. My friend also makes her Pho from scratch with the meat bones to make a good base. I am afraid I am too lazy, achy, whatever to do that and I find Campbell's Pho in cartons to be very good. What we ended up looked very much like the picture. I have twice fried shallots until they were crispy as in my recipe, but I don't see the point of getting them crispy because the soften up in the soup almost instantly. I don't like them because they make me cry. For years I have been mostly using sweet onions (Vidalias when I can get them) and as they say, the only time Vidalias make you cry is when you can't get them - sounds like asparagus to me LOL

Had our tootsies done - amazing how quickly 6 weeks goes by. Then after lunch we went shopping - we did what we thought was a light shop, ha! It wasn't a light bill. I bought myself some more chicken thighs and cartons of Pho (2 for $5) so I can make it when I want to again. It's good. I also bought a rotisserie chicken which I shall turn into several servings of what I call Leftover Chicken it was originally a Leftover turkey and Ham Pie from Paul Holliday of Great British Baking fame. I bought some leeks today, they are the biggest I have ever seen. Enough for my Chicken Dish and maybe some Leek and Mushroom Soup. I was talking to a woman in the checkout and telling her what I did with leeks. She had never cooked them but said her mom recently did Leek, Potato and Bacon Soup. Doesn't sound bad. I make Leek and Potato soup which, hot, is called Potager Parmentier and cold with a couple of chives and a lot of cream, becomes Vichysoisse. My all time favourite cold soup.

So I had to Google the Leek and Bacon soup didn't I? By the way, streaky bacon is like the bacon we get regularly in North America.

Leek, Bacon and Potato Soup

25 g butter
3 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
400 g pack trimmed leek, sliced and well washed
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1.4 liter hot vegetable stock
142 ml pot single cream
4 rashers streaky bacon, to serve

1. Melt the butter in a large pan, then fry the bacon and onion, stirring until they start to turn golden. Tip in the leeks and potatoes, stir well, then cover and turn down the heat. Cook gently for 5 mins, shaking the pan every now and then to make sure that the mixture doesn’t catch.

2. Pour in the stock, season well and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 mins until the vegetables are soft. Leave to cool for a few mins, then blend in a food processor in batches until smooth. Return to the pan, pour in the cream and stir well. Taste and season if necessary. Serve scattered with tasty crisp bacon and eat with toasted or warm crusty bread on the side.

Servings: 4

Tips
For really crisp bacon, grill on medium-high until browned, then turn the bacon over with tongs and cook on the other side for about a minute more. Drain on kitchen paper, then crumble to serve.

Source: BBC GoodFood Magazine

Author Notes
This soup will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but if you want to freeze it, don’t add the cream until you reheat it.


Have a great day
 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Really?? Shopping, Increases,

This cartoon, which I originally found on Facebook, might give you a smile and hopefully it will also cheer Bryan from A Beer for the Shower too or at least give him a smile.


Not a great deal to talk about. Of course bowling today and I was pleased to have two very good games - the second game we won't talk about. Not sure how many points the team took as we left before the other team had finished. We took two on the first game, nothing on the second but might well have gained on the third. Will know when we go in on Thursday. However, my average, which had dropped somewhat, went up one point. Bowling is a very odd game, you can bowl brilliantly in one game and then the next bowl as though you had never done so before.

I needed tissue paper for Christmas wrapping and decided to go into Dollar Days where I picked up some Christmas tissue. I don't know why I don't go to that store more often. They even had Voortman Cookies which is the make we like but not the flavour. You can keep your vanilla and/or strawberry. We want chocolate or mocha.

We were close to Walmart too so went in and bought some underwear for Matt, his has been disintegrating lately.

Got home and had an unwelcome letter saying the cost of our cleaner was going up by $3.50 an hour in January. That's one hell of an increase. Our pensions go up maybe $2 a month, the rent goes up $20 a month!!!

This sounds like a pretty substantial breakfast. tasty too.

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Casserole

When you're looking for a breakfast that is both elegant and easy this holiday season, our crowd-pleasing casserole is just the ticket. This multilayered marvel is loaded with crispy potatoes, hot-smoked salmon, and a smattering of fresh herbs. Cottage cheese naturally melds into the eggs, creating pillowy lightness throughout the mixture, while goat cheese creates dense pockets of creaminess. Hot-smoked salmon, unlike cured, is fully cooked—look for it in the fish case or packaged in the meat aisle of your grocery store. Our recipe hits all the marks for a hearty one-dish meal, with 25% fewer calories, 7g less saturated fat, and over 600mg less sodium than traditional
meat-and-cheese breakfast casseroles. Use a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet for best results.

6 large eggs
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup plain whole-milk cottage cheese
2 Tbs minced fresh chives
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs canola oil
1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks
1/4 cup minced shallot
8 oz hot-smoked salmon, flaked
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
2 Tbs chopped fresh dill

1. Place eggs, egg whites, milk, cottage cheese, chives, mustard, and pepper in a large bowl; whisk to combine. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium. Add potatoes; stir to coat, and arrange in a single layer. Cover and cook until potatoes are almost tender, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, add leeks and shallot, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.

3. Scatter salmon evenly over potatoes in pan. Pour egg mixture over salmon and potatoes. Sprinkle goat cheese evenly over top. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until egg mixture is set. Garnish with dill.

Servings: 6

Author: Jamie Vespa, MS, RD
Source: Cooking Light





Have a great day
 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Super Moon, Reading, Bowling,

Well I looked at the super moon on Saturday night. I am afraid it looked like any other moon I have ever seen. Somewhat disappointing.

I am currently reading The Soldier Son Trilogy which I got from the library. It is by Robin Hobb whose books I love. However, I am not so in love with these. Excellent story but I found the first book very heavy going. On checking my records at the library I see I actually borrowed it in 2009 but apart from recognising the cover, I had no memory of reading the book at all. I persevered and am reading book 2, Forest Mage, which I am finding much better so far, we will see how it proceeds. There are two possible ways (as far as I can see) for the story to unfold and I am not sure which way I want it to go. I wrote this earlier and have been reading it pretty solidly since. This time I am really enjoying the book. I am glad I persevered.

Tomorrow is, of course, league bowling and I do so hope we give a better showing of ourselves than we did last week. Fingers crossed except that makes it difficult to hold the ball.

Being a chocoholic, I couldn't pass off this easy chocolate dessert. Of course for me it requires a dollop of cream.

Quick Chocolate Fudge Pie


1 cup (250 ml) sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter
2 egg yolks
2 oz (55 g) melted unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup (80 ml) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 cup (250 ml) coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, or whole peanuts
2 egg whites, beaten until stiff

1. Cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg yolks and chocolate. Add the flour, vanilla, and nuts, mixing to

2. combine thoroughly. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour into a well greased 8- to 9-inch (20 - 23 cm) pie pan and bake in a preheated 325F (165C) oven for 30 minutes.

Servings: 8
Yield: Makes 1 pie to serve 6 to 8.

Source: WW Recipes


Have a great day
 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday Recipe

Had a bunch of errands to run today including picking up a couple of books in the library. As I walked to where they put the "hold" books I saw a machine and wondered what it was. On the way back I had a good look at it and realised that it was a 3D printer. I have been fascinated by 3D printers for years - this was actually pretty small though. Anyone can use it but you have to finish whatever you want to print at least half an hour before closing and you have to stay in the library whilst it is printing. I brought a sheet of instructions home with me and it seems pretty technical. I cannot imagine what I would ever  use it for but I really wish I could think of something. I have seen the most incredible things printed including copies of mummies which are too fragile to be worked on so they can use the 3D to do so.

We also had to go to the liquor store for some wine. A couple of the staff greeted me and obviously knew me. I am not sure that is a very good sign!! Same thing happened at the Mandarin last week.The hostess recognised us and took us to what she called "our table".

Campbell's do come out with some good recipes using their products. This one looked good to me.

Quick Chicken and Noodles

Chicken and egg noodles are coated in a velvety, creamy mushroom sauce for a delicious meal
perfect for busy weeknights.

2 Tbs (30 mL) olive oil
2 cups (500 mL) mixed vegetables
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups (500 mL) cubed, cooked chicken
1 can CAMPBELL’S® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup (250 mL) milk
4 cups (1 L) medium cooked egg noodles, al dente and drained
1/3 cup (80 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbs (30 mL) lemon juice
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs (30 mL) fresh parsley, finely chopped

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add mixed vegetables,and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender-crisp.

2. Stir in chicken,soup and milk; bring to a simmer. Cook,stirring,for 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is heated through. Stir in noodles,parmesan,lemon juice,and pepper; return to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

Servings: 4

Tips
Substitute any of your favourite vegetables,such as broccoli and carrots or kale and corn.

For a quick weeknight tip,substitute fresh mixed vegetables for frozen vegetables.

Source - Campbell's

Have a great weekend.
 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Tired, Sorry

Wednesday night my brain was whirling with Neuro Plasticity information - I got to sleep OK but awoke around 5 and couldn't get back to sleep again. Guess who was very tired all day Thursday?

Only bowled two games as apart from anything else my Piriformis muscle was hurting like heck every time I bowled so left early.

Nobody commented yesterday - I wonder why? For those of you who have Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendars, don't forget to start them today. Haven't got one? You should visit https://www.JacquieLawson.com and get yourself one. They are fun to do running up to Christmas.

Anyway, off to bed, sorry not much of a blog.


Have a great day

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Neuro Plasticity. Exercises, Balcony,

I have just been watching an incredible programme by a Toronto Doctor, Dr. Norman Doidge, who was basically saying the brain is not a machine and it is NOT hardwired but it can heal itself and it is possible to stimulate such healing. There are now many people in the field and they have done a lot of work with autistic kids and there were several cases when we saw the child when autism was at its worst and then watched some of the treatments and later saw the older version of the same child with incredible differences. This neuro plasticity of the brain can be stimulated by many things which was explained during the programme. But, and this is the thing which most interested me, they consider stimulating such neuro plasticity will help dementia and Alzheimer's. Dr. Doidge has written two books, The Brain's Way of Healing and the Brain that Changes Itself, one of which I have ordered from the library in ebook form (only one they have). It seems to me that it is necessary to work with a doctor/therapist who will assist in making the patients interested in the necessary steps to heal themselves. Diet and exercise are necessary adjuncts too. Particularly the foods of the Orient as opposed to the foods we stuff ourselves with in the west. I am hoping Birgit of BB Creations managed to catch the programme as well.

Being particularly stupid, I went to exercise class this afternoon, 45 minutes, and then went bowling for an hour or two. My legs were a tad tired at the end of this. However, Matt won't come to exercise class (which, I might add, is free) so I feel the more often we can go bowling, the better it is.

Can't believe it's the first of December tomorrow. This year really seems to have shot by. I have been told that the balcony workers will be out of here by the end of the week (never to come back as far as I know) but our balcony door is still firmly shut. Are we going to get it opened this week? I sincerely hope so as I will be an extremely unhappy camper if we don't.

Seems like now I have decided to make more use of Turmeric, so has everyone else.

Turmeric Pork Chops with Green Onion Rice

Tumeric is the trending seasoning of the year. Its subtle flavor notes bring out the best in this simple pork chop recipe. We love that the side dish recipe allows you to dress up precooked brown rice by adding fresh lime juice and cilantro. You'll love the pork chop, but it may be the rice side dish that you make again and again, as it pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes, ranging from Spanish to Asian.
Opt for bone-in pork chops for this recipe to get the full depth of flavor the recipe promises.

4 (6-oz.) bone-in pork chops
1 large garlic clove, halved
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 Tbs fish sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp tomato paste
1 bunch green onions
2 (8.8-oz.) packages precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high. Rub pork with cut sides of garlic; discard garlic. Sprinkle pork with turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Combine 2 tablespoons oil, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and tomato paste. Brush both sides of pork with half of oil mixture. Add pork to pan; grill 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate; brush both sides of pork with remaining oil mixture. Keep warm.

2. Add onions to grill pan over medium-high; grill 2 minutes. Coarsely chop onions.

3. Heat rice according to package directions. Combine green onions, rice, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve rice with pork. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with lime wedges.

Servings: 4

Author: Adam Hickman
Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day
 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Our Tuesday

Phew, busy day. After dropping off the monitor we stopped for gas on the way to the restaurant and paid $1.24 a litre, expensive, then I was totally annoyed that when we came back a few hours later, the same gas bar was charging $1.18 (I'm rounding up).i.e. 6 cents less. Grrr.

Had a very enjoyable lunch with our friend whom we haven't seen for a while. Then dropped into Costco and bought some chicken breasts and pork loins. I really like the meat there. I just wish I could pay with my Visa. Apparently these days they will accept Master Card but we don't have one and are unlikely to get one. One credit card is enough thank you. Talking of that, we get cash back every November. The cashback disappeared last Friday from our information on line and should have been deposited into our account.  No sign of it to date. I phoned them and they said it was on my next statement but I would not see it on line because I wasn't paperless (still get statements 'cos Matt can't use a computer). He said I would see it on the statement next week. What nonsense. If it didn't show up on line, my online accounts would be inaccurate. Another Grrrr.

After Costco I realised I had forgotten the shopping list so we had to go home and get it. Another grrrr. Although it did mean I could put the meat in the fridge. Headed to the grocers and bought up the store. I discovered they were now selling Kinchi so, of course I had to buy some to try. Hope it's good.  Didn't mention that I had some kelp salad at lunch (had it once before) and I loved it. Wondered if I could buy it round here and discovered I could at a Vietnamese store which I have been to a few times in the past. It really is delicious. Of course I don't know what is in the salad at the Mandarin. Looking on line, looks like it might be cooked and then dressed with a sweet and spicy sauce.  From what I am reading Kelp is the new Kale. Must say I like it better. Will have to look up some recipes.

Having been told that Eastern foods and spices are enabling them to fight off any kind of dementia problems, I am endeavouring to add more things like turmeric and cumin to the foods we eat. This soup fits the bill. I used to boil chickens like this to make stock anyway using the meat from the chicken to turn it into something else. I have always loved Chicken Noodle Soups. They don't say how many scallions but I would think 4 or 5 would suffice.

Turmeric-Ginger Chicken Soup

Chicken noodle soup never gets old. If you don’t have udon for this recipe, use rice noodles or regular old spaghetti. A small knob of fresh turmeric can replace the dried type.

1 3 ½–4-pound chicken
2 medium onions, unpeeled, quartered
2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
1 4-inch piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
3 dried bay leaves
1 Tbs ground turmeric
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp coriander seeds
Kosher salt
12 oz carrots (about 4 medium), peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces on a diagonal
8 oz dried udon noodles
scallions, very thinly sliced
Chili oil (for serving)

1. Place chicken, onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, turmeric, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and several pinches of salt in a large pot. Pour in cold water to cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and gently simmer until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 155°, 30–35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool slightly; keep stock simmering. Remove skin from chicken; discard. Pull meat from bones and shred into bite-size pieces; set aside. Return bones and carcass to stock. Increase heat and bring stock to a boil; cook until reduced by about one-third, 15–20 minutes. Season with more salt if needed.

2. Strain stock into a large saucepan; discard solids. Add carrots, bring to a simmer, and cook until carrots are tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.

4. Divide noodles among bowls. Add shredded chicken meat to stock and cook just until heated through; season stock with more salt if needed. Ladle over noodles. Top soup with scallions and drizzle with chili oil.

Servings: 4

Author: Claire Saffitz
Source: Bon Appétit

Have a great day
 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cyber Monday, Bowling, Our Tuesday,

It was Cyber Monday, right? So what are clothing stores, Avon and other such, doing, offering me bargains. Don't they know what cyber means? I also had a recipe for Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie in my mail today. No, please. Give it another name. The name has been screwed around with enough, Shepherd's Pie was originally made with lamb and Cottage Pie with beef. You cannot have a Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie, sorry.

Bowling for Matt and I was basically a disaster. My average went down 2 points which shows you had badly I bowled. I thought of blaming my back which has been aching more since we did decorating at the weekend, but that would be dishonest, it was not aching when I bowled. One of our missing team turned up. Apparently he and his wife had both had a bad bout of flu as had their grandson, and yes, they do get flu shots??? Anyway, he bowled like a demon and got some good scores but we still didn't take a single point off the opposing team. Bet I bowl well on Thursday! I was really disgusted with myself today.

Busy day today. First take Matt's monitor bank, then join a friend for lunch at Mandarin, then a quick visit to Costco and finally our weekly grocery shopping.

This looks a pretty easy recipe to do and if you have any still kicking around, you could use turkey of course. The only think I would change would be regular mayonnaise. I don't eat low fat anything, I either eat the regular or I don't eat it at all.

Chicken and Bacon Roll Ups

Made hearty with shredded chicken, these easy sandwiches can be endlessly adapted to suit any taste.

1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tsp minced fresh tarragon
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
4 (2.8-ounce) whole wheat flatbreads
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped tomato (about 2 medium)
4 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and drained
2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast

Combine reduced-fat mayonnaise, minced tarragon, and fresh lemon juice in a small bowl. Spread 2 tablespoons mayonnaise mixture over each flatbread. Top each with 1/2 cup shredded romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup chopped tomato, 1 bacon slice, crumbled, and 1/2 cup chicken. Roll up.

Servings: 4

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day
 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Decorations, Bowling, Cooking and Shopping. Monitor.

I said to a friend that I had never had a real tree but thinking about it, I must have done as a kid in the 40s and 50s because I don't suppose there were such things as synthetic trees. I have used a synthetic for years but I only just found out that we are not allowed to have a real tree in this apartment building. Just as well I do, I never knew there was a rule about it. So, ours is now up and decorated and lots of other stuff is spread around but what a lot of work. Every year we swear we won't bother next year and then when it comes down to it, we kill ourselves decorating once more. I haven't totally finished, had enough for one day.

Of course this is Monday's blog so we will be off to the bowling alley. I do hope the rest of our team will be there. Never found out what happened last week. I know our team sank quite a bit in the standings. Emailing with a friend in England recently she tells me her husband lawn bowls in summer and one of the most popular games around is 9-pin bowling!!! I had never heard of that but googling I gather it is very popular all over Europe. I thought it was 10 pin there like in the US.  It's popular here too of course but 5 pin is a very Canadian game and, IMHOP, much better.

We enjoyed the Pho so much the other week that we decided I should make it again soon although I have just remembered we are going to the Mandarin on Tuesday. So it won't be at the beginning of this week. I want to get into Costco soon too, need a couple of things. It's close by the Mandarin so maybe we'll go then. I complained before about having to walk so far to the meat counters. Then we go regular grocery shopping on Tuesday afternoon anyway. Oh well, I'll live I think.

Forgot, Tuesday Matt will be delighted to get rid of his Cardiac Event Monitor which keeps falling off his belt, especially when bowling. He has been keeping it in his pocket which seems to work a bit better but he will be so glad not to have to wear it any more.

Not sure of the origin of this recipe but it is in my recipe programme. I chose a picture which I figured looked like the salad although I don't think there are any tomatoes in it, not sure why not.

Grecian Pork Tenderloin Salad

1 lb pork tenderloin
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1- 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1- 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1- 1/2 cup peeled, sliced cucumber, divided
1 Tbs fresh dillweed
1 8 oz carton plain nonfat yogurt
veg cooking spray
4 cups tightly packed torn Romaine
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion separated into rings
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
2 Tbs crumbled feta
2 tsp chopped fresh mint
2 med ripe tomatoes in 8 wedges each
1 med green bell pepper, 12 rings
8 pitted whole ripe olives

1. Trim fat from pork. Combine oregano, vinegar, oil and garlic in a large ziplock. Add pork, seal bag, marinate in fridge for a minimum of 30 mins, turning in bag occasionally.

2. In a processor put 1/2 cup cucumber, dill and yogurt. Process about 10 secs until smooth, scraping sides of bowl. Set aside.

3. Remove pork from the bag, reserving marinade. Coat grill rack with spray and place meat over med hot coals. Cover and cook 30 mins turning occasionally. and basting with marinade.  Thinly slice pork and set aside.

4. Divide lettuce among 4 plates. Top each with 1/4 of the remaining cucumber, onion and next 6 ingredients (radishes to end). Divide pork evenly. Top each plate with 1/4 of the yogurt dressing. Serve immediately.

Servings: 4

Have a great day
 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Saturday Recipe

It occurred to me that one of my favourite recipes was designed for leftover turkey and ham. I normally use chicken as I don't often have turkey - in fact I frequently buy a rotisserie chicken, have some for supper and the next day turn it into my Leftover recipe. The original was from Paul Hollywood famous from The Great British Baking Show. For him this was a pie filling but as I have never been all that enamoured of pastry, I altered it slightly and don't  make it into a pie. I nearly always have some in the freezer these days. Of course it you wanted to turn it back into a pie, there is nothing to stop you. Either way, it's delicious. I should add that I don't use single cream. Maybe I should change the recipe.

Leftover Filling only


1 1/2 ounces butter
1 lge carrot, chopped
2 large leeks, washed and roughly sliced
finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
3 tbs medium sherry
3 Tbs plain flour
2 cups chicken stock (or 1 cup left over gravy and 1 cup stock)
1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
3/4 cup single cream
1 1/2 lbs left over turkey meat, cut into bite size pieces, or chicken
1/2 lb left over ham, cut into bite size pieces (optional)
2 Tbs tarragon, roughly chopped
salt and white pepper

 For the filling, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the leeks to the pan with the orange juice, zest and sherry. Cover and cook gently for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the leeks are just tender. Remove the lid and increase the heat, reduce the liquid until you are left with a few spoons of the buttery liquid. Sprinkle the flour over the leeks and stir to mix evenly. Gradually add the stock, simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the mustard, turkey and ham and stir. Finally add the tarragon and cream. Season to taste with a little white pepper and salt.

Have a great weekend
 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Brilliant Book, Thanksgiving Day, Bowling,

I almost forgot this blog because I am reading the most absorbing book. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon. It is an incredible story written from the perspective of an autistic boy of 15 years  who is also a savant, and is, in my mind, the most incredible piece of writing. It has been made into a play and is running in a Toronto theatre at the moment. I want everyone to read it. Mark Haddon has done a lot of work with autistic kids so he understands how they think. I could really believe that this book had been written by someone with autism. Brilliant. I am having trouble putting it down. The book was published in the States in 2003. It is set in the UK.

Some of the stuff happening today, US Thanksgiving, is ridiculous. On GMA this morning they were suggesting alternate desserts and also saying you could cook a turkey breast if you like. What I wondered was, how were you going to obtain a turkey breast on Thanksgiving Day unless you had grocery stores open near you!!! Or suddenly change what dessert you were going to prepare assuming you had those ingredients in your kitchen. Helpful hints on cooking the bird itself would be useful, but not changing your menu on THE day.

While many of you were slogging away in the kitchen, we, of course, went bowling. One 200 game one mediocre game, a little over my average. Matt had a bad day I'm afraid. It really is a weird game, how can you throw lots of Strikes and Spares in one game and then have trouble finding the middle in the next.

This sounded like a pretty good recipe to me and made me wish I had some turkey.

Grilled Turkey and Brie Sandwich with Cranberry Chutney

A grilled, roast turkey sandwich with cranberry chutney and ooey gooey melted brie.

2 slices bread
1 serving roast turkey, sliced
2 Tbs cranberry sauce or cranberry chutney
4 oz brie, sliced
1 Tbs butter, room temperature

1. Assemble the sandwich and grill over medium heat until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.

Servings: 1

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Kitchen

Have a great day
 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

5 Messiahs, Oxygen, Cartoon,

Whilst at the optometrist's yesterday, I picked up a National Geographic and was astounded to read an article about 5 men who believe they are the Messiah come again. They have disciples who follow them, some in large numbers. These guys are both black and white. Spread around the world. What hubris. Do look at the article if only for the pictures, the first of which is priceless I think. This one from Siberia who's name is Vissariaon, does look somewhat Christlike I must agree, but...... looks ain't everything.

Another snippet of information I picked up from How To Geek the other day was that although everybody is worried about trees and the lack of oxygen because they are being cut down, apparently 70% of the world's oxygen actually comes from marine plants. Not that anyone is advocating cutting down trees of course.  Most of the oxygen emanates from phytoplankton. How about this for a coincidence. I wrote this on Wednesday morning having originally read about the oxygen on How to Geek. Watching Nature, PBS TV on Wednesday night, they covered the phytoplankton and their importance in oxygen production. They say the phytoplankton produce 50% of the earth's oxygen. I like the 70% figure best but don't know who is accurate. I googled and this is what I found "Prochlorococcus and other ocean phytoplankton are responsible for 70 percent of Earth's oxygen production. However, some scientists believe that phytoplankton levels have declined by 40 percent since 1950 due to the warming of the ocean. Ocean temperature impacts the number of phytoplankton in the ocean." and who says global warming isn't crucially important?

Talking of the optometrist's, they have all kinds of fun pictures of cartoon animals in glasses. I took one picture of my favourite. Don't think the colours are quite right, but gives you an idea.

Finally, I wish all my American friends a fabulous Thanksgiving. I am not posting a recipe today as most people won't be terribly interested today.



Have a great day
 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Travel, Optometry, Roadworks, Balconies.

Keep hearing reports on the radio and TV telling how many Americans are travelling this week to get home for the holidays or wherever they are planning to spend Thanksgiving. Flights are packed as are the roads. However, as I said to Matt, I don't think I would want to risk flying anywhere at the moment - too many terrorists around for my liking. Hope I'm wrong.

We saw our optometrist today, annual check up, and no change, no problems. In fact, I have had a somewhat wonky eye (right) for 20 or more years and I told him I thought there was a slight improvement. He said I was right. Hey, wouldn't it be wonderful to get 20/20 sight in that eye again. Not likely to happen though, but any improvement is welcome.

The road works are getting worse at the moment. Don't they know winter is here and outside work won't be possible soon. Everywhere we go there are road workers - nearly always just chatting when we see them!!!

Talking of workers, not much seems to have been going on with the balconies. They have moved one hoist to the front (visitors) parking lot and just parked it there. They have the other one on the ground outside our window but for 2 days as far as we know, nothing has happened anywhere. Yesterday we did have a smattering of snow on the ground in the morning but it had disappeared by mid morning. Maybe they are just waiting for the inspector.

The picture of these shallots made me hunt out the recipe because they looked so delicious. They recommend them as a side for the Thanksgiving Turkey.

Glazed Shallots

1 ¼ lbs (about 36) small shallots, peeled
½ cup white wine
1 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbs unsalted butter
A few grinds black pepper

1. In a skillet just large enough to hold the shallots in a single layer, combine the shallots, wine, stock, sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the liquid evaporates and the shallots are very tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Raise heat to medium high and cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the shallots begin to brown and are coated with a thick syrup. Remove from heat and add the final tablespoon of butter, shaking the pan until it is melted and incorporated. Serve immediately.

Author: MOLLY O'NEILL
Source: New York Times

Have a great day
 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Piglet and Pooh, Bananas, Bowling, Medical,

I don't use Facebook a lot these days but happened to go in tonight. I came across a cartoon which I thought was funny. There appear to be two or three of these cartoons. Piglet and Pooh talking about the current US President. I was going to show the cartoon here but changed my mind as I didn't wish to be offensive.

This week, I tried the recommended way of keeping bananas by wrapping them tightly in plastic and putting them in the fridge. I think it was Helen Venn who suggested it. It worked beautifully so that is what we will be doing from now on. Thank you.

Bowling was pretty disastrous today. Two of our team didn't turn up, nor did they bowl ahead which is very unusual of them. They didn't phone the alley or anything so I am wondering what happened. I had one good game as did Matt but the other team of 5 bowlers beat us although one game they only beat us by 13 pins. Oh well, I can't see us climbing back up very far for the rest of the season.

Tuesday it's our annual visit to the optometrist - don't anticipate any problems or changes. Wednesday back to the doctor's with Matt's skin cancers which do seem to be clearing up OK. He is still wearing the Cardiac Event Monitor, it seems to be clocking up events even though Matt hasn't felt anything in the way of dizziness or anything else - he says. Has to wear it for one more week.

If you want something ooey gooey and decadently sinful for the holidays, how about this dessert? It comes from Closet Kitchen where there are quite a few different pictures of this delicious looking treat.

Pecan Pie Cheesecake with Pecan Caramel Sauce

A pecan pie topped with a cheesecake topped with a pecan caramel sauce!

FOR THE CRUST:
1 3/4 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE PECAN PIE FILLING:
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup maple syrup (or corn syrup)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped

FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:
3 (8 ounce) bricks cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

FOR THE PECAN CARAMEL TOPPING:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

FOR THE CRUST:

 Mix the crumbs, butter and sugar and press into the bottom of a 8-10 inch spring form pan.

FOR THE PECAN PIE FILLING:

Bring the brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, eggs, vanilla and pecans to a boils and simmer until it thickens, about 5 minutes, before pouring into the crust in the springform pan.

FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:

Beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, cream and vanilla until smooth before pouring on top of the pecan pie filling in the springform pan, wrap the bottom of the pan in foil, place in a larger pan with a small amount of hot water and bake in a preheated 350F/180C oven until set, about 60 minutes. (It is recommended that you let the cheesecake cool completely on the counter and then chill it in the fridge overnight, but it's also amazing while still warm from the oven!)

FOR THE PECAN CARAMEL TOPPING:

Heat the butter and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat until bubbling, let it bubble for 3 minutes, carefully add the heavy cream, mix until smooth and add the cinnamon and pecans and let cool before pouring on the cooled cheesecake

Servings: 12

Author: Kevin Lynch
Source: Closet Kitchen

Have a great day
 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Alzheimer's Disease and Dolphins, Pho Ga, Snow,

How very sad. I find Alzheimer's is the most pernicious and terrible disease, particularly as there appears to be nothing that can be done. They have now discovered that Dolphins can also get Alzheimer's Disease. I had always believed it was man's curse, but apparently not. Care2 was the first source I read but I later verified it on Google. I have discovered that there are particular areas in India and other parts of the world where they are not prone to the disease and it is attributed to the various herbs and spices they use together with the fact that they eat little or no beef.

Sunday I made Pho Ga which I posted a few days ago. I realised that although it lists peas on the recipe it doesn't tell you what to do with them. I added them at the same time as the carrots. I was assured it was both different and delicious. Matt has never eaten Pho in a Vietnamese restaurant. I have always been put off making it before because of the "boiling beef bones" part prior to doing the rest. The Campbell's carton of Pho makes an excellent start to the dish. One thing I personally found, the raw carrot shavings were a tad tough for me although Matt didn't find them so. Also, the rice noodles said pour hot water from the tap and soak for 25-30 minutes. The hot water from our taps is almost boiling, but they were slightly soft but not enough so I shoved them in the microwave, water and all for 4 minutes total and they came out perfect.

More odd weather on Sunday, we had snow flakes for a while, but they were coming down so slowly you could count them. They never settled on the ground, not enough of them.

I just came across this recipe in my cookbook software. As an Englishwoman I have made many Yorkshire Puddings or what North America calls Popovers, but never with cheese. They sound pretty good.

Roquefort Popovers

Popovers and blue cheese are naturals in their own right with beef, but when combined into one, the results are incredible. This recipe is not complicated but it must be made and served at the last minute to ensure the best results. If you are not a fan of blue cheese, try using a crumbly goat cheese in its place.

Vegetable oil, shortening, or lard for the pans
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 oz Roquefort cheese, crumbled
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
9 oz (2 cups) all-purpose flour
6 large eggs

1. Set the oven rack to its lowest position in the oven. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously grease 12 popover tins (preferably nonstick) with oil, shortening, or lard (butter won't work).

2. In a small saucepan, warm the milk and cheese over medium-low heat until the cheese is melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt and pepper. (You can also melt the cheese in the milk in a glass measuring cup in the microwave on low power for 1 min.)

3. Put the flour in a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk mixture until just combined; it's fine if the batter is a bit lumpy. Add the eggs one at a time to the batter, whisking well after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake on the lowest shelf for 20 min. at 400 degrees F. Don't open the oven, but reduce the temperature to 350 ddegrees F and continue to bake another 15 min. until the popovers are browned and fully puffed. Remove the popovers from the oven and immediately take them out of the tin to keep them from getting soggy. Poke each popover with a knife to release steam. Serve immediately or reheat just before serving.

Servings: 6
Yield: 12 popovers

Source: Fine Cooking - Issue No. 30

Have a great day