Monday, October 31, 2011

Bear or Beaver, Early Snow. World Population.

Senator Nicole Eaton is urging Canada to change its symbol from a beaver to a polar bear which she considers morpolar-beavere indicative of modern Canada.  Dunno, I rather like the beaver symbol myself, but then I like the look of polar bears too so I am not sure what I would vote for. She derides the beaver as a 19th century has been and a dentally defective rat. It is, nevertheless, a great builder and a great survivor. Polar bears, on the other hand, are very aggressive as well as being a very much threatened species due to global warming, if we aren’t careful we might have a symbol of an extinct animal. I hope that doesn’t come to pass of course, polar bears are such magnificent creatures.

Its quite incredible, they had all kinds of snow Snow in NJon the east coast of the States and so far we have escaped. Normally its way too early for snow both there and here, but some places had 28” overnight on Saturday. The picture shows an accident in New Jersey – of course everyone forgets, year to year, how to drive in the white stuff. I was surprised when a friend in Colorado said they had snow a few days ago, but I am really staggered at the amount of snow the east coast got over the weekend. I suspect we won’t get away with it for long.

I mentioned the other day that they anticipate the world population to hit 7 billion by the end of today. An interesting statistic is that you could put all 7 billion in Texas, so I guess the world isn’t as crowded as it sounds. Main populations are in India and China although reports say that China’s population boom is slowing down, India’s, on the other hand, is increasing. There are hundreds of babies born per minute but at the moment there is no real worry except for feeding people. More food could be grown  but it’s the lack of water which is or will be the problem.

I finally found the recipe below. I guess its actually a form of Chicken Cordon Bleu but when I saw it on TV the other morning, it looked very easy. There is a video which you can watch to see how he did it. He doesn’t give a recipe for Parmesan Tomato Risotto, I shall have to hunt around for it.

Chicken Breast with Ham, Provolone, Rosemary, and Tomato Sauce

Try This Easy Weeknight Fall Meal From the Kitchen of Wolfgang Puck

Servings: 8Chicken Breast with ham and cheese.

Make this beautiful dinner for your next family get together. This main course is also great for a fancy fall dinner with friends!


4 chicken breast halves, skinless, boneless, about 8 ounces each
4 slices prosciutto or any thinly-sliced ham
4 slices provolone cheese
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of chile flakes
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons white wine
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 ounces homemade or jarred tomato sauce
4 tablespoons buttered bread crumbs
Basil oil, for garnish
Fried basil leaves, for garnish
For the basil oil:
2 cups basil leaves, packed
1 cup olive oil


Pound chicken breasts with mallet until 1/4 inch thick, then season each piece with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place 1 slice of prosciutto and cheese on each. Tuck in sides and roll up as for jelly roll. Skewer with bamboo skewer or tie. In medium size bowl add olive oil, pinch of chile flakes, rosemary, white wine, salt and pepper, and tomato sauce. Whisk ingredients together and pour in to a baking dish. Place rolled chicken breast on top of sauce.

Sprinkle top of chicken with buttered bread crumbs, cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil, and place in pre-heated 400 degrees F. oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook
chicken breasts until bread crumbs turn golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Remove from oven let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with a little basil oil and fried basil leaves. Serve with Parmesan Tomato Risotto.

For the basil oil:
In boiling salted water, blanch basil leaves for 2 seconds. Refresh in bowl of iced water and drain well. Place on baking tray lined with paper towel and let dry for 1 hour. Pour oil in a blender. Turn machine on to puree and slowly add the blanched basil. Continue to process until pureed and well blended.
Transfer to a squirt bottle and allow to steep for a few hours. Use as needed.

Recipe courtesy of Wolfgang Puck.

Have a great day


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Drug List, Acai.

Sorry, overslept today so my blog is late being posted. My aches and pains have been aching a lot in the last 24 hours. I went to the bowling alley, tried for a while and then gave up.

Don’t know if I mentioned when I was on vacation, but when I Acaistocked up on some of the over counter pills I take (mostly on the doc’s recommendation) I came across some Acai pills so I bought some then forgot to use them. However, I have started to take them and I am hoping they work. This morning I hopped on the scale and I seemed to be down a couple of pounds, but I can’t believe they work that fast, I will keep you posted. Acai are berries which are reputed to flush away the fat from one’s body, what I have are pills made from the berry.

If you have diabetes, I have just been sent the following list of drugs which might affect glucose levels. I thought it was very useful and hope some of my readers will also find it useful.

I have never been as fond of Lasagne as most North Americans are, however, on Friday morning I saw Mario Batali cook a version which I thought I would really enjoy. He used Heirloom tomatoes which, in fact, I haven’t seen at all this year. I also saw Wolfgang Puck do a chicken recipe the other day which, so far, I haven’t been able to find. OK I have found it and will post it for Monday.

Mario Batali's 'Not Baked' Lasagne with Green Olives, Tomatoes, and Basil

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 pounds fresh very ripe mixed tomatoes, cut into ½ inch dice, with all of the juices
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup store-bought green olive paste (like Crespi brand)
  • 1 ½ cups pitted green olives such as Nyons
  • 1 ½ pounds lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (from 2 bunches), torn in half
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
    Cooking Directions

    Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large pasta pot.

    While the water is heating, heat the oil in a 14 inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it is starting to color. Add the tomatoes and their juices, and cook until the liquid reduces a bit, 4 to 5 minutes. Season the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon salt and the black pepper. Stir in the olive paste, and then the olives. Remove the pan from the heat.

    Add 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling water. Drop the lasagna into the water and cook for 1 minute less than the package instructions indicate. Just before the pasta is done, careful ladle ¼ cup of the cooking water into the olive mixture.

    Drain the pasta thoroughly in a colander, and add it into the sauce. Add the basil and the parsley over medium heat for about 30 seconds, until the pasta is nicely coated. Pour into a warmed serving bowl, and serve immediately.

    Have a great weekend


  • Friday, October 28, 2011

    The Iceman, Giant Pythons, Facebook Follies,

    We watched an absolutely fascinating programme on Wednesday night about the Iceman. It was on Nova and talked about the 5,000 yr. oiceman-murder-mystery-icld mummified man they found some years ago in the mountains in perfect preservation. It was talking about his apparent murder, he had an arrow  in his back, and they were trying to solve the mystery. Its amazing what they can find out from the tiniest particles these days. If you check the site, you can see the programme Iceman Murder Mystery. I do like the programmes which are frequently shown on public television, Nova being one of them.

    Another one is Nature which Wednesday night coveregiant pythond the invasion of Burmese Pythons in Florida, the programme was called The Invasion of the Giant Pythons and showed horrific footage of these huge snakes, which are perfectly capable of killing a human, slithering around the Everglades and even along the side of roads. They only have two enemies, very big crocodiles and man. Even very big crocodiles don’t always win. I wasn’t planning to visit the Everglades, but I sure won’t be now. Admittedly they are fascinating to watch, bit like a rabbit being caught in a car’s headlights at night!!! You can see the full programme on their website too.

    Yesterday was our Travel League bowling so we went to New Hamburg – had lunch first of all and then bowled. I had two lousy games and one really good one. Better than last Monday when you would have thought I had never bowled in my life before.

    Don’t usually watch a lot of TV, but last night I watched the final part of the Nano Revolution and then a programme on the dangers of Facebook. It really is a very dangerous place to be and one of the main centres of criminal activity today so they stated. Makfacebookes me a bit nervous and Matt, who doesn’t really know much about any of the social networking or the cyber world in general, is pretty horrified about what he is learning. There is a YouTube video here. Despite all the warnings, I see Doc Zone has a Facebook page. As for the nano revolution, it discussed things which are already being done to clean up the environment whether it be air, ground or water. They are carrying out lots of experiments with various nanos but are still not sure what effect these marvellous results will actually have in the future.

    I love lamb and this sounded like a very good way to cook it.

    Caribbean Grilled Lamb Skewers with Long Beans

    By The Food Gal

    WebMD Recipe from


    ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1/3 cup fresh lime juice
    2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
    6 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tablespoon cumin seed
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 tablespoon curry powder
    Kosher salt
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    Freshly ground black pepper
    2 jalapeno peppers, minced
    3 pounds boneless lamb loin or well-trimmed leg, cut into 1-inch cubes
    1 pound long beans, tips removed, left long or cut into 3-inch segments (or substitute green beans)
    2 teaspoons unsalted butter

    Put 12 wooden skewers in a pan of water to soak for at least 20 minutes.


    To prepare the lamb marinade, whisk together ½ cup of olive oil, lime juice, lemon zest, garlic, cumin, chili powder, curry powder, 2 teaspoons salt, cayenne, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and jalapenos in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, cayenne, and lime juice.

    Put lamb cubes and marinade into a large glass baking dish and toss, rubbing marinade all over lamb. Thread 4 to 5 pieces of lamb onto each skewer. Place skewers into baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 4 hours.

    While lamb marinates, preheat a grill or broiler to medium-hot and prepare beans. Sauté beans in remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until they are tender and begin to blister. Stir in butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. When butter just begins to brown, transfer beans to a warm serving platter and drape with foil.

    Grill lamb, turning skewers every few minutes, until medium rare (internal temperature of 130 degrees), about 6 minutes. (Alternately, skewers can be broiled until medium rare.) Transfer skewers to a plate and let stand for 5 minutes.

    To serve, place long beans to the side, and lay skewers across them.

    From Without Reservations by Joey Altman

    Total Servings: 12

    Have a great day


    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Flu Shot, Health Care, Tsnumai Debris, Snakes.

    Tuesday we went for our flu shots. Somewhat flu vaccinedifferent from previous years and this time I was given a different injection as I am allergic to tetanus shots. I am wondering, I normally have a very sore arm for a week or so although Matt doesn’t, we shall see what happens this time. I noticed, in September, flu shots were available at drug stores in the States for which one had to pay $25. I am so glad I am in Canada, doesn’t cost me a cent. Talking of medical services, I noticed one or two people I spoke to in NC this time had no idea that medical services were totally free in Canada. Yes, I know we pay for the services in our taxes, but nevertheless, Matt, for instance had had 2 hip replacements, a knee replacement and a spinal stenosis operation plus Health Care pricesseveral other minor treatments. I had one hip replacement. None of this cost us a penny. If we had been in the US we would have been in debt up the kazoo unless we had paid a whacking great premium every month to an insurance company, or been there long enough to have worked and got insurance that way. An acquaintance of hours had a major back operation and will be paying for it for the rest of his life. Personally I am at a total loss as to why so many Americans fought not to have government interference in their health care.

    tsunami-debris-620In the news now, 18 million tonnes of tsunami debris is drifting to the British Columbia coast and is expected to arrive in 2014. By that I mean the tsunami which hit Japan early in the year. These pictures show comparatives of before and after off the coast of Japan. There is a huge field of debris drifting somewhere off the Midway area, however, at the moment they don’t think any of it is radioactive.

    Every woman’s nightmare, a snake in the toilet. Apparently a one meter python was found curled up in the toilet bowl in a Toronto apartment. The cops who removed it had earlier found a 3 ft. corn snake in another apartment building which had come through the wall. That is going to make me real nervous going to the bathroom. They are not sure but assume these are escaped pets.

    We had this dish for dinner last night. I haven’t  made it in years and I don’t think I have ever made it for Matt. I forgot to take a picture and I found one which looks more or less like the finished dish. It is actually a French recipe which my mother used to make and passed on to me. The name was my idea although its not the best French.

    Poulet Sauce Maroc

    8 Chicken breasts -- boned and skinnedMoroccan Chicken
    4 Tbs flour
    7.5 cups chicken bouillon
    5 sweet oranges or
    3 cups orange juice
    6 Tbs olive oil
    3 cloves garlic
    2 chilies

    Wash chicken, coat in seasoned flour. Fry lightly in oil with crushed garlic until chicken nicely coloured. Drain and set aside. Make roux with oil, blend in bouillon and cook over gentle heat adding orange juice and chilies. Put chicken in oven proof dish and pour on sauce. Cook at approx 350F in centre of oven for 1 1/2 hrs. Just before serving add cream and sprigs of parsley.

    Servings: 8

    Have a great day


    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Javan Rhino, World Population, Warship and the First Lady.

    Articles on both the World Wildlife web site and the Times Live reporting that the Javan rhino in Vietnam has Extinct Rhinonow been poached to extinction, what a tragedy. Apparently a lot of wildlife in Vietnam is on the verge of extinction due to poaching for the exotic wildlife market, but the rhino, which was hunted for its horn, has now gone forever. If only the Asian population could learn that the rhino horn will do nothing for them medically. For this rhino species its too late, but other rhinos are still being decimated and butchered to remove their horns, even sometimes removing them whilst the animal is alive. It is dreadful that despite all efforts to protect and conserve this animal, the poachers still prevailed. This makes me so angry I would like to string the poachers up by their private parts and just leave them hanging in the jungles. It has been decided it is not economically feasible re-introducing the animal into Java. Certainly not if you are just re-supplying poachers.

    Now there’s an interesting statistic, the world populationpopulation is projected to hit Seven billion on October 31st this year. According to the report though, the gap between rich and poor is widening and there are more and more people without the security of enough to eat or clean water to drink. People are living longer in many parts of the world where supplies are sufficient and medical help is more available, but there are still many parts of the world where this isn’t true. Makes me wonder how soon there will be too many people for earth to support and it will be necessary for us to find homes in space. Science fiction writers have been predicting such situations for years.

    EdinburghLots of interesting news stories; this one is about a British warship, the HMS Edinburgh, being accused by US secret agents of pointing its missiles at Michelle Obama, America’s first lady, when she was on a visit to South Africa staying at the Table Bay Hotel. Turns out that, in fact, the missiles were blanks. They were saluting a British lieutenant who had died off the coast of Angola the week before.

    If I didn’t live in an apartment building, and if I had kids coming to the door on Halloween, I would try making these, but in my case, there is no point. However, I thought others might like to try them.

    Halloween Butterfinger Eyes

    By Rollin’ in the Dough!

    Hallowe'en Butterfinger EyesServes: 40, Yield: 1 eyeball

    About This Recipe

    "Ahhhhh! Scary! These are so fun for a Halloween party, children and adults both devour them. They are different than the usual recipe because you add Butterfinger candy bars for a nice crunch!"


    • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 2 1/8 ounces Butterfinger bar, finely chopped
    • 12 ounces white chocolate or 12 ounces vanilla candy coating
    • 40 M&M's plain chocolate candy
    • red food coloring or decorating gel
    • black food coloring or decorating gel


    1. In a mixing bowl stir together peanut butter and butter until creamy.
    2. Gradually add powdered sugar, stirring until combined.
    3. Stir in Butterfinger candy.
    4. Shape into 1-inch balls; place on waxed paper.
    5. Freeze about 45 minutes.
    6. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or get a med sauce pan filled 1/4 of the way with water and heat until simmering and place a large glass or stainless steel bowl over top and turn heat off -if water is boiling it will scorch chocolate.
    7. Add chocolate to bowl, stir constantly until melted and smooth, if you want the coating thinner add a Tbs. shortening until desired thickness is reached.
    8. Dip balls, one at a time, into coating. Let excess coating drip off
    9. Place on waxed paper, immediately press an M&M onto center of each peanut butter ball (you can also wait to put M&M's on until after set and just use a dot of your piped colored chocolate to adhere)
    10. Refrigerate until coating is firm.
    11. Using leftover white chocolate add red food coloring until desired color is reached (you may have to reheat) and place in a Ziploc or pastry bag, cut a corner very small, pipe squiggly lines on eyes to make them look blood shot or use red decorating gel.
    12. Add a dot of black gel or black food colored coating to the center of M&M pieces for pupils.

    Have a great day


    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    Bowling, Tariffs, Internet Child Porn.

    Well, yesterday I bowled as if I had never done so, 5-pinabsolutely terrible. My excuse, I was aching all over the place, which is true, but it didn’t really stop me bowling as such. I hadn’t realised that this Thursday is our travel league when we are going to New Hamburg. Some of these alleys we visit this way are so much better than the ones we play on regularly in Waterloo, they are well kept and everything works. No computer glitches and so on. We keep saying we’ll move, but we have quite a few friends in Waterloo these days, whom we would miss.

    It appears that the States have reinstated a tariff which charges Canadians, Mexicans and visitors fromPassenger tariff the Caribbean $5.50 when entering by air or sea. It appears this is one way to raise money which is needed by the American government. I suspect Canadians won’t be too happy about this, the US has already emphasised the “made in America” slogan and don’t wish to buy goods from Canada which is, in fact, one of their major trading partners although it seems they still wish to buy our oil. This is something of a contravention of the free trade agreement which has been in place for a number of years. The Canadian government say they are disappointed!!!

    GERMANY/It seems there are hacktivists out there who have taken down child pornography rings on the internet – sounds like a good thing to me although officials say it could do more harm than good. Not sure why. Hackers are not usually so helpful and if they can do it, they should be praised, in my book.

    I could have sworn I posted the following recipe a week or two back,  but if I did, I can’t find it. I made it a while back and then defrosted it on Saturday and finished off the recipe with cheese and cream. I thought it was delicious and I didn’t see any soup bowls coming back full.

    Creamed Cauliflower Soup with Cheese

    6 cups cauliflower, or brocoflower , cut into florets
    1 clove garlic, finely choppedCauli Cheese Soup
    1/2 onion, finely chopped
    1 Tbs butter, unsalted
    1 Tbs canola oil
    4 cups chicken broth
    1/4 cup cream 15%
    1 1/3 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
    salt to taste
    ground pepper to taste

    1. Prepare the vegetables: cut the cauliflower into florets, finely chop the garlic and onion.

    2. Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté 4-5 min, until translucent. Add the cauliflower and cook 2 min with stirring. Pour in the warm broth. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer about 20 min until very soft. Add a little salt and pepper.

    3. Purée the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour in the cream, half of the grated cheddar and adjust the seasoning. Put the soup back on the stovetop, add more broth if the soup is too thick, and reheat it throughout.

    4. Serve into bowls, adding the remaining cheese on top of each bowl.

    Servings: 6

    The soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 4 months in the freezer. Cheese and cream should not be added before freezing, but later when the soup is reheated.

    Source: SOS

    Author Notes
    A blender or food processor will be very useful to purée the soup.

    Have a great day


    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Breast Cancer, Eviction? Penguin Sweaters

    Forgot to mention that when we were driving to Pink TruckParis on Friday we were following a propane truck. The main part of the truck was white, but there were areas all round which were pink and carrying paintings of pink ribbons plus all kinds of support breast cancer research messages. I was pretty impressed. I found this picture, not the same truck of course, but it appears propane companies throughout North America are doing this. There were pictures of trucks from all over the place.

    seniors evictionA story we heard the other day, an elderly couple (80’s) decided to get married, she was living in assisted housing for the elderly. He moved in and now the government say between them they earn too much money and have to move out. They have an income of the princely sum of $36,000 per annum. $22,000 is the minimum. She is considerably fragile and he says he will leave her if that’s what it takes. I can’t imagine why, at their ages, they didn’t just live together and none of this would have happened. I do sympathise with the problem, except one you have to except everyone, but…… she has lived there for 14 years.

    Although this is, in fact, somewhat serious, I thought this was a funny article about penguins needingpenguin_sweaters sweaters to stop them preening. I guess its really the picture which is funny. A yarn store in New Zealand is asking for help for these penguins who have been caught in an oil spill until they are well enough to be scrubbed down. The story is spreading world wide. I first heard about it on Facebook.

    I thought these looked different and sounded pretty tasty. I am not a big fan of Gruyère but Matt likes it.

    Oven-Fried Rice Balls with Gruyere

    By Dana Treat
    WebMD Recipe from

    oven_fried_rice_balls_with_gruyereI could easily have eaten about half the rice balls on that platter – they were that good. I made them the night before and just let them rest in the refrigerator on a baking sheet. They tasted incredible just out of the oven but were still good after sitting out for an hour or so.

    Adapted from Food and Wine

    This recipe serves 15/ makes 30 rice balls


    1 tbsp. olive oil
    1 medium shallot, minced
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 cup arborio rice
    2 cups water
    3/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (2 1/2 ounces)
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
    1/4 cup mixed chopped herbs (I used lemon thyme, oregano, and basil)
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 large egg whites
    1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)


    Preheat oven to 450°. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Stir in the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the water has been completely absorbed, about 10 minutes. Scrape the rice into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

    Stir the Gruyère, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and all the chopped herbs into the rice.

    Season the rice with salt and pepper.

    In a medium stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form. Stir one-fourth of the whites into the rice to loosen the mixture, then stir in the remaining whites. Roll the rice into 1 1/2 inch balls. (Periodically wetting your hands will keep the rice from sticking to you and will allow you to make more compact rice balls.)

    In a shallow bowl, toss the panko with the remaining 1/4 up of Parmesan. Dredge the rice ball in the panko crumbs and transfer to a large baking sheet. Bake the rice balls in the upper third of the oven for 25 minutes or until golden and crisp. Let stand for 5 minutes then transfer to a platter and serve.

    Total Servings: 15

    Nutritional Information Per Serving

    Calories: 109
    Carbohydrates: 13.3g
    Cholesterol: 9mg
    Fat: 3.9g
    Saturated Fat: 1.8g
    Fiber: 0.7g
    Sodium: 105mg
    Protein: 4.8g

    Have a great day


    Saturday, October 22, 2011

    Nano Revolution, Our Friday.

    I watched the Nano Revolution again on Thursday night. Fascinating programme. Apparently they have Nanotubealready started human testing on specific nano technology designed to target cancer tumors, this is mind blowing technology. They can now target the tumor without destroying healthy cells and give the tumor higher doses (20 fold) than possible before, that amount would have killed the patient before nanos were used. The Programme also covered regeneration, which they are hoping to test on humans in the not too distant future. That is regeneration of damaged skin, brain cells, teeth enamel, etc. I so wish people like Isaac Asimov were alive today to see their stories come true.

    We had a fabulous lunch get together yesterday, it was wonderful to see everyone after all this time and it almost seemed like it was only yesterday, not 22 years ago. People said we hadn’t changed, we are often told that. Some of my friends hadn’t changed either, others definitely; wouldn’t have recognised them on the street. We got a tad lost on the way there, we had my laptop which has a GPS but Matt figured he knew better, we ended up in downtown Paris (not a big town) when we didn’t need to be there and found the bridge we needed to cross was closed so until we asked for directions we had no idea where we had to go. However, we got there in the end and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

    At one point we were following a Lexus SUV with the license plate CALL ET which we thought was funny.

    I have been distributing the MP3 of my broadcast all over the place, I am glad I have a copy of it as I didn’t hear it at the time, of course.

    Today we have friends coming over for dinner so gotta get cracking. Although its no longer asparagus season, I thought these sounded great.

    Asparagus Frittata with Creme Fraiche and Chives


    Makes about 40 squares

    Frittatas are flat Italian omelettes. In spring, theyAsparagus Frittata are made with seasonal vegetables such as young artichokes, tender asparagus, baby leeks or wild mushrooms. When cut into bite-size pieces and garnished with a little creme fraiche and spring chives, they make a tasty hors d'oeuvre.

    6 large eggs

    1/2 cup minced fresh chives

    1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    2 tablespoons half and half

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

    One 1-pound bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces

    1/4 yellow onion, minced

    1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream


    Preheat broiler.
    Whisk eggs, 1/4 cup chives, parsley, Parmesan cheese, half and half, salt and pepper in large bowl until just blended. Melt butter and oil in heavy nonstick 10-inch-diameter omelette pan over medium heat. Add asparagus and onion and saute until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Pour egg mixture over asparagus. Reduce heat to low; cook until edges are just set, about 3 minutes. Using heat-proof spatula, lift cooked edges of egg mixture and tilt pan so uncooked eggs run beneath. Continue cooking until egg mixture is nearly set on top, about 5 minutes.
    Broil until just puffed and lightly golden on top, about 2 minutes.

    Slide spatula under frittata to loosen; slide out onto cutting board. Cut frittata into 1-inch squares. (Can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

    Arrange squares on serving platter. Spoon dollop of creme fraiche atop each square. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chives and serve.

    Recipe created exclusively for by Georgeanne Brennan.

    Serving size = 1 square

    Have a great weekend


    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Lunch, Gadhafi, BB Guns? Cell Bill.

    As I mentioned, today we are off to Paris, Ontario (be nice if it was Paris, France) for lunch with a group of work colleagues and friends whom I haven’t seen since 1988. I really wanted to contribute something to the meal but was told it wasn’t necessary so I will be going empty handed. I am looking forward to seeing everyone, we used to enjoy each other’s company away from work too.

    So they finally got Moammar Gadhafi. Not much onegadhafi can say about it that hasn’t been said in the news already. One up to revolution, but so often revolutionary governments turn out to be just as bad as the government they overthrew. I guess in the west we are fairly lucky in as much as they don’t end up killing us (unless they send us to war that is).

    A report that caught my eye, apparently thousands of replica AK-47 BB guns have been imported into replicagun-Canada from China and the RCMP are racing to track them all because they fear they could be so easily converted into the real thing, a prohibited weapon. Just what we need in our virtually gun free society. Its funny the difference in attitudes, our neighbours defend the right to bear arms with vigour, here we don’t want them at all. Matt and I did have a shot gun when we lived in the States, for snakes, of which there were many in our development for a while because it was newly cleared land. Later we rarely ever saw one.

    Sort of funny story, a woman ended up with a NYC Subway Cellphones$201,00 cell phone bill. It was no mistake. Turns out her brothers are on her phone plan and during a trip to Canada, because they are deaf and cannot speak, they texted some 2,000 messages plus downloading videos and she had forgotten to switch to an international plan. She managed to get some relief, but what a shock.

    I have added a new banner, fro Pedigree Adoption Drive. This is a UK drive, but is very worthwhile I dogsthink. If you click on the banner you can take Ripley for a virtual walk by clicking on a few buttons. Once you have done the whole walk, which only takes a few minutes, Pedigree with donate £1 to help abandoned dogs.

    What are the odds, I just heard Dan Joseph on CKWR telling some stories including one about a woman who was cooking up some moose entrails for her dogs when she noticed a gold ring amongst them, on fishing it out she found it was her ring which she lost 3 years before, it dropped off when she was helping her husband push the car out of some snow. Not only that, it was her husband who bagged the moose from which the entrails were taken.

    I cannot imagine the following recipe so when I came across it, I had to post it. A shepherd’s pie should include lamb although a lot of places make it with beef, but with no meat at all??? I just might try this one day although I will be changing a couple of the ingredients

    Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

    By The Gluten Free Goddess
    WebMD Recipe from

    Veggie lovers, if you like your vegetable pie less vegetarian_shepherds_piespicy, use regular diced tomatoes and leave out the red chili flakes . But if you want a killer combo of heat, tang, and sweet, try my version. It's not your mother's shepherd's pie.

    This recipe makes 6 servings.


    For the mashed potato crust:

    3-4 large gold or white potatoes, peeled, cut up
    Vegetable broth or your favorite non-dairy milk or cream, as needed
    Vegan buttery spread or olive oil, to taste
    Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
    Chopped fresh chives, to taste

    For the filling:

    1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon cumin or mild curry spice
    4-5 cloves garlic, minced
    1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (about half a smallish head), cut to bite size
    3 medium-large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
    1 zucchini squash, sliced and cut into quarter moons
    1 yellow summer squash, sliced, cut into quarter moons
    1 heaping cup shredded cabbage or slaw mix
    1 14-oz. can Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles, with juice
    2 tablespoons chopped roasted Hatch chilies or jalapenos -- whatever you like
    1 cup vegetable broth
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    1-2 tablespoons low-sugar apricot jam, to taste -- to balance the heat
    1 tablespoon rubbed sage
    Hot red pepper chili flakes, to taste (or use hot pepper sauce)
    Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
    1 14-oz. can butter beans, drained and set aside

    Place the cut potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted cold water; bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about twenty minutes.

    In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet and add the cumin or curry, and garlic. Stir one minute and add the fresh chopped vegetables. Stir and cook about five minutes or so.

    Add the canned diced tomatoes with green chili, the chopped Hatch chilies or jalapenos, vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar, apricot jam, sage, pepper flakes, sea salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.

    Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce begins to reduce. You want the vegetables to be tender-crisp, not too done, and the sauce to be thickened and not too thin. (If, by chance, you need a little more liquid to cook the veggies, add a splash more broth or water). When this has been achieved, taste-test the sauce for seasoning adjustments; then remove from heat and gently add in the butter beans. Set aside.

    Mash the cooked potatoes with a little liquid and olive oil.

    Season the mixture with sea salt and pepper. Add chives if you like. Taste-test. Don't add too much liquid or over mix the potatoes or they'll get gluey. Gluey spuds = not so good.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Assemble your pie:

    Spoon the vegetables into a casserole dish . Top with mounds of mashed potato. I like to leave a few peaks (they get a bit golden). Sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley. Bake in a moderate oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the pie is bubbling and heated through.

    Total Servings: 6

    Nutritional Information Per Serving

    Calories: 311
    Carbohydrates: 60.6
    Cholesterol: 0mg
    Fat: 3.9g
    Saturated Fat: 0.6g
    Fiber: 11.0g
    Sodium: 382mg
    Protein: 10.7g

    Have a great day


    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    Broadcast, Restore Family Nutrition, Easy Corn. Animals Shot.

    WMeell, my broadcast worked pretty well although I was somewhat nervous. Randi asked for a different pic and I sent him one from Christmas a couple of years ago which was taken by a friend. Matt listened to it and a friend phoned and said could she have my autograph, funny. Randi, the DJ, is going to send me an MP3 so I can email it to anyone who wants to hear it. He also asked me if I wanted to do this again, I said sure, it was fun.

    I have talked before about the efforts of some of us locals to promote healthy cooking and eating in the area, particularly the local schools. Restore Family Nutrition is our banner and this is a link to the blog which goes with this promotion – there is also a link on my blog list on the right hand side. We are looking for people to participate in the conversation to Restore Family Nutrition.

    I have just watched a video on YouTube corn which shows how to clean corn without fighting the silks, the cobs come out clean as a whistle. Mind you I don’t know how well cooked they are, probably fine, I often microwave corn in grease proof paper (waxed paper) and it comes out fine, probably even better in the husks.

    An incredible story from Ohio  about a man who had a preserve with lots of dangerous wild animals, Exotic Animals Looseopened all the cages and then shot himself. There were some 58 animals on the loose including 18 rare Bengal tigers all of which had to be shot as explained in the article here. Some of the animals did end up at the Columbus Zoo, but not many of them. What a tragedy, Jack Hanna who is the Director Emeritus of the Zoo was particularly distressed about the rare tigers which he considers to be such beautiful animal. There were also lions, bears, wolves and so on. No-one really knows why the owner did this and shot himself, a neighbour said she thought it was an f*you situation.

    I promised the recipe which I spoke about on the radio yesterday. Some years ago we ran a small catering company, we cooked for people in their own homes, and this was always a favourite. We didn’t last long as it was pointed out to us that we needed hefty insurance for such a business.

    Roast Pork with Apple and Nut Stuffing

    Reader’s Digest The Cookery Year

    3.5 Loin of PorkRoast Pork w Apple & Nut Stuffing
    1 Sml onion
    2 oz pecans
    2 oz white crustless bread
    1 cooking apple
    1 stick celery
    1 Spoonful chopped parsley
    1 oz butter
    Salt & pepper
    1/2 tsp dried summer savory
    Lemon Juice
    3 Tbs veg oil
    1/4 pint dry cider

    1. Peel and finely chop the onion and roughly chop the nuts. Dice the bread; peel, core and dice the apple. Wash and finely chop celery and parsley.

    2. Melt the butter in a small pan over moderate heat and fry the onion and nuts until they are just turning color. Add the bread, apple, celery and parsley and continue cooking until the apple is softened. Season to taste with salt, pepper, summer savory and lemon juice.

    3. Open up the pocket of the roast and spread stuffing evenly. Roll up and tie with kitchen string. Roast in a 400° Fahrenheit oven for 20-30 mins then reduce to 350°Fahrenheit and cook for a further 1 1/2 hrs or until juice comes out amber coloured when the meat is pricked.

    4. Remove roast and keep warm. Skim off fat in roasting dish. Add the cider and deglaze the pan. Season to taste and put in a sauce boat to serve.

    Servings: 6

    Have a great day


    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Kindle, Broadcast, Printing Cheques.

    Yesterday I was offered two free audio books,  by Audible Books, for my Kindle, so needless to say, I accepted and downloaded the first Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan) book – Eye of the World, and theStormfront first Dresden Files (Jim Butcher) book – Stormfront. It appears I can join this audio service after a month’s free trial for $14.95 a month. I don’t think the books themselves are very cheap so I am not sure I will be in the market for more. I was also disappointed to discover that neither of the sets of earphones I have work with my Kindle so if I listen so does everyone else in range. Later I checked out the available books and there aren’t a whole heck of a lot of books I would want to buy anyway.

    This morning I am doing my very short radio Roast Pork w Apple & Nut Stuffingbroadcast with a recipe from a book which is over 40 years old, but contains some fabulous recipes. I still have my mother’s cookbook which is 76 years old. I will post the recipe tomorrow although it will be on the CKWR website Midday with RJ if you want to check it out there before tomorrow. Here is a picture to stimulate your interest. I have actually published this recipe before, but some year's ago. It is from Readers Digest’s Cookery Year.

    For something like 11 or 12 years we have been writing out 12 rent cheques for our realtor because they haven’t set up automatic deposit with their bank. They are not, unfortunately, very computer savvy and even the individual accounts done by the super’s wife have to be done in a book. This would drive me nuts, let alone the pain of writing 12 rent cheques every year. So, think I, what about pquickenrinted cheques for my computer. Having checked with both Quicken and my bank’s cheque supplier, I discover the price is about $130 for roughly 250 cheques which would last me about 20 years, but even so, I don’t think it would be worth my while. Pity. It may not sound like much, but it really is a pain to have to write them out year after year. Having written this, I did some more searching and found ASAP cheques, I have ordered 100 for $30 which is great. I can print them with my Quicken software and my HP printer.

    Hallowe’en is on its way, some people may ignore it, some people may buy candies in the stores, and some people may want to prepare goodies. If you are one of the latter, here are some cute cupcakes for you to try. Don’t forget me, they look good!!!!

    Mummy Cupcakes
    Kraft KitchensMummy-Cupcakes-51857

    Makes 24 cupcakes

    What You Need
    1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
    14 OREO Cookies, coarsely chopped
    1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
    1 cup milk
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
    48 semi-sweet chocolate chips, for eyes

    Make It

    HEAT oven to 350°F.
    PREPARE cake batter as directed on package; stir in cookies. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans 10 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.
    BEAT pudding mix, milk and sugar in large bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in COOL WHIP. Spoon into pastry bag fitted with basket-weave tip.
    PIPE pudding mixture onto tops of cupcakes. Add chocolate chips for the eyes. Keep refrigerated.

    Kraft Kitchens Tips

    Make Ahead
    Decorated cupcakes can be stored in refrigerator up to 8 hours before serving.

    If You Don't Have a Piping Bag
    Fill a resealable plastic food storage bag with pudding mixture; seal bag. Cut corner off bottom of bag, then squeeze pudding mixture from bag onto cupcakes.

    Have a great day