Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Worldwide Food Production, Bowling, Gas,

On Monday I was sent this article on Food production worldwide. The article is full of maps which are self explanatory. It is absolutely fascinating and extremely worrying. I think it is something everyone should read. It talks about what and where meats of all kind are produced and the effect such vast food production has on the rest of the world. I had heard about methane gas produced by cows, but this article talks about a lot more than just that. We are, once again, doing things to damage our environment. Most of us are totally unaware of this. I certainly was and thanks Hilary of Positive Letters - Inspirational Stories for sending me the link.

For once, our team actually took all 7 points at bowling today. One of our team had two excellent games. Matt had one excellent game which helped in the third game. I had 3 mediocre games and our other bowler had an excellent game in the third as well. I had a 206 on Thursday, why oh why can't I get a score like that on Monday? Nobody commented on my teeth. I would like to think they didn't notice but they may well have been too polite to say anything. One of the players had a birthday yesterday and brought in 4 dozen donuts. Nice of him. I took one so had to rethink the rest of my day.

Funny we left home and the gas was $1.9 a litre. On our return home it was $0.99 so Matt went back to fill up. I don't really think the price should jump about like it does, but not much we can do about it. Just take advantage when it seems to be in our favour.

Here's a nice, easy and vegetarian dish for supper.

Broccoli and Wild Mushroom Casserole

Photographer and Alabamian Robert Rausch grew up eating vegetable casseroles—he and his mother are both vegetarians. The broccoli casserole his family ate is a step up from the standard church cookbook recipe, which calls for using canned mushroom soup: In place of that, he uses wild mushrooms. He still relies on Ritz crackers, though, for the crispy, buttery topping.

3/4 lb mixed wild mushrooms, such as cremini and shiitake, stemmed and quartered
1 stick unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted
1 large onion, minced
4 large celery ribs, finely diced
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 lbs broccoli—heads cut into 1-inch florets, stems peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded sharp cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
1 1/3 cups crumbled Ritz crackers (from 1 sleeve, about 35 crackers)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a food processor, pulse the mushrooms until coarsely chopped. In a large saucepan, melt the stick of butter. Add the onion and celery and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until their liquid evaporates and they begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and cook, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan, until the mixture is very thick, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl to let cool, then stir in the mayonnaise.

2. Arrange the broccoli florets and stems in a large steamer basket and steam until barely crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli to the mushroom mixture and season with salt and pepper.

3. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Pour in the broccoli-mushroom mixture, smoothing the surface. Sprinkle the cheese on top. In a small bowl, toss the cracker crumbs with the melted butter and scatter them over the casserole. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, until bubbling. Remove the foil and bake for about 40 minutes longer, until the topping is golden and crisp. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Servings: 12


The baked casserole can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat before serving.

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great day

Monday, March 27, 2017

Railways, London Food Markets, Asparagus,

Watching a programme on Saturday night on TV Ontario, it was all about how trains changed Britain in particular in the transportation of food all over the country and particularly to London. The people doing the narration ended up in a big London market where they bought the most beautiful lamb chops I have seen in over 40 years. I wanted to go 'home'. These in the picture look pretty good, but not as good as the ones I saw on TV. The food they showed in the markets, in particular Billingsgate which is a fish market in London, made me long for the foods which were so readily available there. They even visited a guy who smokes herrings to make them into kippers (I drooled) and another man who runs a genuine fish and chip shop. Unfortunately, I understand the old fish and chippers are giving way to the corner Indian takeaway. On this side of the pond there is too much emphasis on production for the masses and not enough on quality and taste. I have talked before about aging meat which is not done long enough in North America as a whole. One can get meat well aged, but as it is a specialty item instead of the norm, the price is astronomical. Another thing they did, was herd some sheep to the station and load them onto the train. There was a sheep dog so I don't think they were totally on their own. I was surprised, the sheep were being transported in an open carriage and didn't seem to be a bit worried at all.

Not a lot going on this weekend. We've been cleaning silver and glassware which is a bind but looks so nice once it's done. Taking it by easy stages, a shelf at a time. We had quite a lot of rain over the weekend and Sunday it was somewhat foggy. They keep mentioning snow on the weather forecast but so far, nothing has materialised round here.

I have just found a site on Cooking Light with lots and lots of asparagus recipes. So I won't have  to
repeat the same 'ol same 'ol although some I will repeat because they are so good. We had asparagus soup tonight, need to use it up as I will soon be making more, I hope. A lot of the recipes I found called for roasting the asparagus. Not my favourite way of cooking it as steamed or boiled it is such a succulent vegetable. A couple I saw were roasted and then a sauce added. Those I would definitely boil for preference. Looking at this picture, hadn't noticed before, the ends are white which shows the asparagus is NOT farm fresh. You never have to snap off the ends with farm fresh asparagus. You can eat the whole stalk.

If you are like me and love carrot cake and pancakes, this is the perfect brunch dish for you - or breakfast or any meal.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Want to have your cake and eat it too? You can (and for breakfast!!!) with these incredible Carrot Cake Pancakes. Drizzled with a cream cheese topping and sprinkled with a vanilla wafer crumble,
these decadent and fluffy pancakes are the perfectly delicious and tasty way to eat dessert for breakfast.

Carrot Cake Pancakes
2 ¼ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups finely grated carrots, pat dry on paper towel

Cream Cheese Topping
4 oz cream cheese
6 Tbs icing sugar
3 Tbs whole milk
½ tsp vanilla extract

Crumble Topping
½ cup vanilla wafer crumbs
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tbs butter, melted

1. For the pancakes, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Stir milk mixture and grated carrots into the dry ingredients. Do not over-mix (lumps are okay in the batter). Let the batter rest while the skillet heats up.

2. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Coat the skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon ¼ cup pancake batter into the hot skillet. Cook until bubbles form, then flip over and cook on the other side until golden. Keep warm in 200ºF oven or serve immediately. To serve, stack pancakes, drizzle with cream cheese topping and sprinkle vanilla wafer crumble over top.

3. For the cream cheese topping, using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, icing sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth. Can be refrigerated until ready to use over pancakes.

4. For the crumble topping, preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, combine vanilla wafer crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter. Place mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes and then remove from oven and let cool. Crumble over pancakes.

Yield: 15 pancakes

Source: Zoomer Weekend

Have a great day