Friday, July 29, 2016

Leg Pillow, Unpacking.

I bought, and received on Wednesday, a memory foam leg pillow. When it got here I thought it was way too big (thick) however, I used it on Wednesday night and it worked. I have a dicky hip which can give me problems when I am in bed. Only one difficulty when I turned on my other side, it was fine for my legs but not for my bad shoulder. In case you wonder, these are some of the delights of getting older. Now I need something to stop my arm dropping down and pulling on the shoulder. Oy vey. Mine is white by the way, not blue. Of course if I had another hip operation I wouldn't need it anyway, but really and truly my hip is not bad enough to warrant a replacement. Pity, it would mean I would get to see "Doogie Howser" in action. In case you don't know or remember, I am referring to my orthopaedic surgeon who looks about 20 to me. Actually I wouldn't see him in action although it is possible. Matt stayed awake once for a hip replacement. It caused him much amusement because he was listening to music on a cassette and it happened that the 1812 overture was playing just when the surgeon was hammering the spike into his leg. The hammering was exactly on time with the cannons firing in the music.

A goodly portion of our home restoration has been completed now. We have all the pictures back on the walls too, they looked so bare. Bugs can hide in them apparently. Just got two more plastic containers to unpack but as they contain a lot of silverware which is somewhat tarnished and needs cleaning, I probably will leave most of it til the weekend. My silk flowers are still in hiding though and the cases containing our winter clothing will probably remain where they are for now too. Both things are in are storage room. My linen cupboard is a right mess at the moment, I wasn't really up to sorting it properly today. Of course we bowled this afternoon too. Still managed to get a lot done.

Not much food preparation been happening, supper has been cheese, crackers and salad although we had a few strawberries to finish off. Yesterday I had my hot and sour soup for lunch which I enjoyed. I suppose if I ate that more often I would get sick of it, but at the moment I feel I could eat it forever.

I bought some salmon fillets on Wednesday so maybe for Friday night.......

Poached Salmon in Lemon Dill Sauce
Zoomer Magazine.
1 1/2 cups dry white wine1 1/2 cups water
1 lemon, sliced
2 sprigs fresh dill
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 (6oz) salmon fillets, skin removed

Lemon Dill Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grainy mustard
1/2 tsp lemon zest


1) In a large skillet, combine wine, water, lemon slices, dill sprigs, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat.
2) Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Once the water has boiled, add salmon to skillet, cover and turn the heat off, letting the fish poach for 10 minutes or until flaky. Remove salmon from liquid and transfer to plate, refrigerating for at least 2 hours before serving.
3) For the sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise, buttermilk, chopped dill, lemon juice, mustard and lemon zest. Chill and serve with poached salmon.
Serves 6

Have a great day

Thursday, July 28, 2016

After the fair is over.

Now we are unpacking it. Plus all the plastic containers you can't see etc. etc. So that's my blog for today.

Oh, by the way, I heard from the cleaner who is working with a government assisted programme. She is coming in next week. Hurray.

Have a great day

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Our Tuesday,

So, Tuesday morning we are taking life at a fairly leisurely pace. Most of the preparation for the pest control people was done anyway. 8:30 a.m. there is a knock on the door and it's them. I proved that they were supposed to come at 12:30 not 8:30. Not sure who made the screw up (they are blaming the building manager). Anyway, I said we could be ready to leave in an hour so we dashed about and got ourselves ready and off we went. Wanted to exchange something at the grocery store so that is where we went. I then bought a coffee there and sat in their cafeteria area to drink it. Used up a little time. Eventually we went to the Mandarin for lunch. We were there a bit early - the doors are open but they don't start seating til 11:30.  Guess what, they still had chocolate dipped bacon so, of course, I had some. I also got some hot and sour soup to go which I will have for lunch on Wed.

Then we headed for Victoria Lanes bowling alley. To get there we had to follow a detour as they have part of the street pulled up (what's new round here lately) and I was interested to see that all the streets we crossed during the detour had had their names removed. I wondered why. However, we got to the lanes and bowled four games and Matt really teed me off by getting a turkey (3 strikes in a row) I had a couple of good games, but no turkeys.

When we got home, wonder of wonders, Matt's bed hadn't been moved out of position, or it had been put back, so all we had to do was make it. Now of course we have to restore everything to it's proper position but I don't suppose we will do much of that until the weekend now. Hopefully this is the end of it. If I never see another bed bug that will be too soon. I think I am going to lay down some diatomaceous earth by the doorway in case the bugs from down the corridor decided to take a long walk.

I have been using skirt and flank steak a lot lately. So long as they are treated properly, they make delicious meals.

Skirt Steak with Corn and Red Pepper Purée

Red bell pepper gets used two tasty ways: as a vegetable in the corn sauté and as a pureed sauce for the plate. Fresh corn is not just sweet; it has a surprising hit of umami intensity. Because of skirt
steak's oblong shape, it may be difficult to fit the entire steak in your grill pan. If so, simply cut it in half across the grain and cook both halves at the same time. You can always substitute flank steak, if you prefer.

3 Tbs fish sauce
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
1 lb skirt steak
2 red bell peppers, divided
1 cup water
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
2 cups fresh corn kernels (3 to 4 ears)
1/2 tsp black pepper
Fresh thyme leaves (optional)

1. Combine fish sauce and 1/3 cup onions in a shallow dish; add steak, turning to coat. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, turning after 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cut 1 bell pepper into 1-inch pieces; place in a saucepan with 1 cup water and 1/4 cup onions. Bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer to a food processor; process until smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

3. Slice remaining bell pepper. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl. Add sliced bell pepper, corn, and remaining 3 tablespoons onions. Cook 10 minutes or until peppers are wilted and corn is lightly charred, stirring occasionally. Stir in black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove from pan; cover and keep warm.

4. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Return skillet to high heat. Add steak to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until glazed outside. Remove from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Cut diagonally into slices. Serve with corn mixture and pepper puree. Sprinkle with thyme, if desired.

Servings: 4

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pest Control, Kimbap,

Today is, hopefully, the last day we will be getting a visit from the pest control people. I haven't seen one of those living fossils (I have a much better name for them) for a long while so I think they have finally gone. I was talking to a woman who lives down the hall from us who has also had the problem as long as we have. She is still having a lot of problems and she says now the landlords say she has to pay for the pest people herself because when they come to her place they don't find anything. I feel very sorry for her as she is totally on her own and told me she has hardly seen her daughter since it all began. Nice daughter. I told her to report it all to the Landlords and Tenants Bureau. I can't really help her, let's face, it we needed help ourselves. I might say our pest workers don't look anything like the picture. They sure don't wear any kind of hazmat suit which is what this looks like and I haven't seen them wear masks either, but then I am not here the whole time.

Having missed the opening of the Kimbop company being started by the grandaughter-in-law of our friends, we have decided to have a luncheon, with the other friend who was coming with us and then couldn't, so I have now ordered several trays of kimbap to have for lunch on August 9th by which time I hope our home will be back to normal and we can relax and enjoy it. There are, apparently, several differences between kimbap and sushi. In case you wonder or are confused, I was, kimbap is what the food is called, Kimbop is the name of the new company started by Jinah Allen. I do hope she makes a success of it. I think it's such an excellent idea. Although you can buy sushi round here, there is no source (or wasn't) of kimbap which is why she decided to start making them.

You don't have to turn on your oven to make this decadent recipe.

No-Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake with Strawberries

In his version of no-bake cheesecake, baker and cookbook author Kamran Siddiqi beats melted white chocolate and citrus zest into the creamy filling for a deep, decadent flavor. Makes one 9 inch cake.

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (7 ounces)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of fine sea salt
7 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
1 lb cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp finely grated orange zest
1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs strawberry jam mixed with 1 teaspoon hot water
Quartered strawberries, for garnish

1. MAKE THE CRUST In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until evenly moistened. Press the crumbs over the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan. Freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.

2. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the white chocolate on high power in 10-second intervals until just melted. Let cool slightly.

3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the cream cheese with the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla bean paste and orange and lemon zests until smooth. Gradually beat in the white chocolate. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl.

4. Wipe out the bowl of the stand mixer and add the cream to it. Attach the whisk and beat the cream at high speed until firm peaks form. Stir one-third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain. Spread the cheesecake filling over the chilled crust in an even layer. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

5. Unmold the cheesecake. Top with the strawberry jam and garnish with quartered strawberries. Cut the cake into wedges and serve.


7. The cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Top with the jam and strawberries before serving.

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day

Monday, July 25, 2016

No Roof, no Walls, Shark Picture, George and his Dog,

Well, this is a new one. A Swiss hotel with no roof and no walls. It's an interesting read as to what it's all about. The advantage of this room is that it has the most incredible views although the nearest public restroom is 10 minutes away (I would never make it).

It costs $250 a night and is subject to last minute cancellation in case the weather turns bad. You get a salami sandwich delivered to you for breakfast too. What I wondered were all the furnishings made of? Can they cover it all up when it rains? Do they deconstruct in the winter? It is obviously only available between spring and fall. I forgot to mention that is over 6,000 feet up.

I get emails from National Geographic and my most recent one included this picture.

If you go to the link there is an interesting video showing how they obtained this picture and all the work that goes into such shots. There is interesting video footage of this picture showing this huge animal leaping out of the water with the decoy in it's mouth.

On Friday it was Prince George's 3rd birthday so new pictures of him were issued by his parents. They are rather cute pix, but one of them has caused a storm of protest.

Apparently that is ice cream and people are protesting about feeding ice cream to dogs. Tut tut, I do hope they will spank George. This business of what you can or cannot give dogs is a bit stupid. I have owned dogs most of my life and used to give them all kinds of things which are now considered to be a no no. Chocolate in particular. I remember one time - in Canada - when we unthinkingly had a wrapped box of chocolates under the tree and went out for the evening. I might say these were special chocolates my mother had brought from England for Matt because they were his favourites. When we returned, the foil wrappings were strewn all over the floor and she, the dog, had left Matt one chocolate. She had eaten the rest. Didn't do her a scrap of harm. Annoyed us though.

This recipe was on MyRecipes among a lot of kebab recipes. I like lamb so it appealed to me of course. I love kebabs,  not sure why, but a whole bunch of recipes for them is good.

Lamb, Tomato, and Mint Kebabs

2 tsp fresh ginger
2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb boneless lean leg of lamb (cut into 24 pieces)
16 cherry tomatoes
16 (1/2-inch) slices cucumber
16 mint leaves
8 (8-inch) skewers
Cooking spray
1/4 tsp salt

1. Combine ginger, olive oil, cumin, coriander, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, minced garlic, and lamb; toss. Thread lamb, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and mint leaves alternately onto skewers. Coat with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place skewers on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 6 minutes (for medium-rare) or until done, turning skewers occasionally for an even char.

Servings: 4 (2 skewers each)

Tips If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes before grilling.

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday Recipe

Matt is a devotee of crab cakes. I enjoy them but don't go for them as often as he does. Of course I am talking about when we lived in NC. I used to make them now and again with the fresh crab which was available. Here I suppose one would probably have to use canned crab.

Crab Cakes with Smoky Onion Remoulade

Smoky onion remoulade is a terrific accompaniment to these crab-studded cakes from Marc Forgione at American Cut in Manhattan. At the restaurant, he smokes onions, but the sauce is also great made
with charred onions and seasoned with smoked salt.

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 Tbs canola oil
Kosher salt
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs minced chives
1 Tbs minced shallot
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
Smoked sea salt, such as Maldon

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup minced fennel
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
2 Tbs minced seeded jalapeño
2 Tbs brandy
1 Tbs Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs minced parsley
1 1/2 tsp minced tarragon
3 dashes of Tabasco
1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups rice flour
4 cups cornflakes (4 ounces), finely crushed

1. MAKE THE REMOULADE Preheat the broiler. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the onion with the oil and season with kosher salt. Broil 8 inches from the heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and charred in spots. Let cool, then finely chop. In a medium bowl, whisk the onion with the mayonnaise, vinegar, chives, shallot, chili powder and cayenne. Season with smoked sea salt.

2. MAKE THE CRAB CAKES In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the fennel, onion, red pepper and jalapeño and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and just starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the brandy and Old Bay and cook until the brandy has evaporated, about 1 minute. Scrape into a large bowl and let cool; wipe out the skillet.

3. Stir the mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, tarragon and Tabasco into the vegetables. Gently fold in the crab. Shape the mixture into 6 cakes and transfer to a wax-paper-lined plate. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Spread the rice flour and crushed cornflakes in 2 separate shallow bowls. Gently but firmly pack each crab cake so it holds its shape. Dredge in the rice flour, then dip in the egg and dredge in the cornflakes, gently patting to help the crumbs adhere; transfer to the plate.

5. Heat the remaining 6 tablespoons of oil in the skillet until shimmering. Add the crab cakes and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crusty on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the crab cakes for 5 minutes, until heated through. Transfer to plates and serve with the remoulade.

Servings: 6

Source: Food and Wine

Have a great weekend and be careful of the heat.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Padlock, Retirement Home, Kimbop,

The oddest thing. We leave our bowling bags, containing balls and shoes, in a locker at the alley. Today, Thursday, we went bowling as usual and Matt went to get the bags. He tried to insert the key into the padlock, it would not turn and unlock. I tried with my key, in case, and the same thing happened. We got the son to have a go as well as it involves a lot of bending. He couldn't get it to open either so in the end he produced some bolt cutters and we got our gear. But, we used the stuff on Wednesday and had no problem opening the padlock then. If that isn't odd, I don't know what is. We ended up bringing our bags home with us and trying to find a padlock in the grocery store (well they don't just sell groceries). We got one but think the hasp may be too big for the locker so will take it back and go to a proper hardware store for one. I did wonder if someone had tried to undo our padlock and by doing so, broken it somehow. Otherwise I have no explanation for it at all.

Didn't tell you, our league bowling was pretty good and we gained 5 of the possible 7 points so we are still in 8th spot. Only one point behind the 7th team. Our friend who broke her ankle came to cheer on the teams. It was nice she could make it. It's odd that, since starting the seminars on Stand Up to Falls, so many people I know have fallen and hurt themselves. One woman from exercise class has ended up in a senior's home, I don't suppose she is very pleased about that. Poor woman. I know a lot of the people in the class are worried in case their children insist they go into a senior's home. I don't understand how they are forced to do this but am very glad there is nobody to force us into such a place. We might well end up in a retirement home but it will be our choice whatever the reason be it health or simply age.

Late this afternoon we are going to the launching of a young friend's Kimbop business in which she is making Korean kimbap also known as gimbap, which are somewhat along the lines of sushi. I am not quite sure what the difference is but will no doubt find out later today. I certainly enjoy sushi and we have even made it ourselves in the past. Another foodie friend is going with us, actually she is picking us up, I thought she would be equally interested. I am not quite sure how Jinah Allen is going to handle her business and whether she will deliver orders to clients or what, but that too I will find out later. I know she is doing vegetarian, beef and crab. Oh, I have been exploring and it seems this business has been going for a while and Jinah will deliver or you can pick up. There is a blog about her business here and a description of what will be available this evening.

This vegetable dish appealed to me today.

Turkish-Style Braised Green Beans

6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut in half widthwise
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
Black pepper
¼ cup roughly chopped mint
Thick yogurt, for serving
Lemon wedges, for serving

1. In a large sauté pan or heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onions and stir occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.

2. Add the beans, tomatoes, 1 cup water, sugar, salt and pepper and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low, then cover and simmer until the beans are very tender, about 45 minutes.

3. Remove from heat, adjust the seasoning to taste and cool to room temperature, uncovered, about 45 minutes. Stir in the mint and serve, with thick yogurt and lemon wedges.

Servings: 4

Author: Sabra Krock for The New York Times

Author Notes
In this Turkish method, vegetables (and sometimes beans) are cooked in plenty of olive oil — usually with tomatoes, onions and one or two other ingredients — until they have almost lost their shape. Then they are cooled and served at room temperature, when their flavors are at their fullest. Very often an herb or citrus juice is added just before serving for a little spark; thick yogurt and lemon wedges are standard accompaniments.

It’s probably obvious that these dishes are pretty much ideal for warm-weather meals. They not only can be made in advance, but also must be, so they can cool down. Even a day or two ahead is fine; just take them out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes before serving.

Have a great day

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Deer, Balconies, Sound.

I have recently been made aware, by Denise of My Life in Retirement, of the problems cause by deer. I am one of the many who think Bambi thoughts a lot of the time when I see deer, but I never realised the damage they do or the long range effects such damage can cause. Apparently they tend to eat lots of the flowers planted by people which in turn means the bees have nowhere to go and thus this contributes to their dying out. In Denise's case, culling in any form is not permitted where she lives, but it appears that culling is necessary and should be permitted under supervision. People are allowed to hunt deer in woods so what is the problem in culling those in more urban areas. It could be done professionally I have no doubt. Looking for a picture I see all kinds of ads to prevent the animals from eating garden flowers, but apparently many of them don't work like they are supposed to.

I talked to our Assistant Superintendent today about the railings or walls of the new balconies. Apparently the concrete has to cure for at least 30 days before anything else happens but he doesn't know when the walls will be installed. Looks like the people concerned will be without the use of their balconies for the whole summer. What a pain. Obviously I am waiting to see what happens so we can know what to expect when they get round to us. The apartment across the hall is now let, I wonder if they told the new tenant(s) about how bad the noise is etc. etc. Come to that, I wonder if they told the new tenant(s) about the bed bugs? I'm thinking I might put some Diatomaceous Earth by the front door, just in case.

Started watching a movie on my laptop and suddenly the sound went. Eventually I re-booted and the sound came back again. I am wondering if that means the sound card is going or something. No expert me, so maybe I should ask the experts.

How typically English. Once upon a time there was a cooking show called Two Fat Ladies and nowadays we have The Hairy Bikers. This is a recipe of theirs which popped up yesterday and I thought sounded pretty good.

Hairy Bikers' cauliflower and chicken pilaf

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep time:
  • Cooking time:
  • Skill level: Easy peasy
  • Costs: Cheap as chips
Hairy Bikers' cauliflower and chicken pilaf is a delicious, healthy lunch or light dinner option. It's so easy to make and tastes great too. This recipe serves 4 people and will take only 20 mins to prepare and cook. A portion of this mouth-watering pilaf works out at only 274 calories per serving. The Hairy Bikers say; 'Everyone loves a pilaf but the rice makes it quite a high calorie dish. But if you use
cauliflower instead of rice you get all that lovely comforting flavour and texture with far fewer cals. We’re happy putting in the whole spices into our pilaf and we’re used to fishing them out as we eat but if you’re worried you could wrap them in a little bit of muslin.'


  • 500g chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 large onion, sliced into thin crescents
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5g fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • large pinch of saffron
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 2 x 3cm pieces of cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1 medium cauliflower (about 750g)
  • flaked sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
  • 1 tbsp pistachios
  • ½ pomegranate
  • small bunch of coriander or parsley
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.


  1. First prepare the chicken. If using thighs, trim off any fat, then slice them thinly. If using chicken breasts, cut them into 2cm chunks. Peel and slice the onion into thin crescents. Finely chop the garlic and ginger. Put the saffron in a bowl with a little hot water and leave it to steep.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, lidded frying pan or a shallow casserole dish. When the pan is hot, add the chicken. Fry the chicken for a minute, stirring constantly, until the pieces have seared, then add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the whole spices and the bay leaves.
  3. Pour the stock and the saffron with its water into the pan, then season with salt and pepper. Stir vigorously, scraping up any brown bits from the base of the pan. Bring the stock to the boil, then leave to simmer while you prepare the cauliflower – this should take about 5 minutes. Cut up the cauliflower and blitz to the size of coarse breadcrumbs in a food processor – use the stalks as well as the florets.
  4. When the liquid has reduced so it just coats the base of the pan and the chicken and onion are tender, remove the chicken and most of the onion with a slotted spoon and keep them warm. Add the cauliflower to the pan and stir so it is coated with the remaining liquid and spices – it should start to turn a light ochre in patches.
  5. Cook over a medium heat for at least 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the cauliflower is cooked through and the remaining liquid has evaporated. The cauliflower should be fluffy. Put half the chicken and onion back into the pan and stir it through the cauliflower, then add the rest on top.
  6. While the cauliflower is cooking, lightly crush or chop the pistachios and remove the seeds from the pomegranate. Serve the pilaf sprinkled with the pistachios, pomegranate seeds and herbs.

Have a great day

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Internet, Speech, Movie

A quickie as it's late and I only just got internet back.

I was absolutely gobsmacked about Melania Trump's speech which was a plagiarism of Michelle Obama's speech. Who was stupid enough to make that big a gaffe? Makes them look such fools.

Just watched A Fistful of Dollars. Enjoyed it years ago but watching it with Matt he will not shut up with his criticisms. He should have been a continuity person, he notices absolutely every error and totally spoils my enjoyment. Grrr. I tell him to shut up but although he does for a few minutes, something sets him off again. Matt is totally unable to suspend disbelief and just enjoy something. I managed to shut my ears for most of the movie though.

Right, I'm off to bed. Sorry no recipe.

Have a great day

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Balconies, Elections. Balancing Poles,

They have finally finished drilling on the wing across from us so the worst of the noise is over. They are working on the front balconies which we can't really hear from our apartment. However this morning Matt said when they do get to us we should go on vacation, I suggested we should emigrate. Everyone is very unhappy with the whole situation. This morning it looked like one of the balconies or the apartment was on fire; there was so much dust it looked like heavy smoke. Far worse than the picture. Our balcony is thick with dust, the plastic boxes of ornaments etc. we have out there are covered. We will have to be very careful when we get round to unpacking the stuff. Meanwhile, some of the wallpaper is torn in the corridors. I thought we were excluded but I saw one of the corridors leading off from our lobby had a great rip in the paper. I can't believe they have been spending all this money, first on tiling all the lobbies etc. and now on the balconies, but they haven't done anything about the wallpaper.

Yesterday I mentioned the tightrope walker. After several comments I thought I would Google balancing poles. I couldn't find any where, in Canada anyway, to buy one so maybe that is why he isn't using one. There are dozens of books telling one how to do tightrope walking, maybe they also tell you where you can get a pole. I actually think he is setting himself a difficult task because the length of his practice wire (or whatever it is) is quite a distance. He does pretty well to walk as far as he does.

I see the Republican Convention tried a last ditch effort to stop Donald Trump but failed. Looks like you might have a racist, misogynist, bigotted president at the end of the year. Good luck America. I also see a lot of big name Republicans are not attending this convention either. I wonder what will happen when he has to deal with the Queen!! She is a woman, after all, I wonder if he knows that?

This recipe caught my eye today. It is supposed to be a no cook recipe, but it uses pre-cooked chicken so either you have to cook it or buy it cooked. I guess I will have to get myself a rotisserie chicken.

Chicken Fusion Salad


This chicken fusion salad is a delicious, easy recipe that's perfect for using up leftovers from your Sunday roast. With a range of crunchy veggies and sesame seeds and vibrant flavour from mint, chillis and ginger, it takes just 30 minutes to make and the only thing you'll need to cook is the rice noodles. At just 417 calories per serving, it's great as part of a healthy eating plan too

150 g Thai rice noodles
1 lge carrot, peeled (or 3 medium)
1/2 a cucumber, sliced (seedless cucumber)
2 Little Gem lettuces
4-6 sprigs fresh mint
250 g leftover cooked chicken, shredded
2-3 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

For the dressing:
1 good tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
1-2 red chillies, deseeded
3 tbs each red wine vinegar, soy sauce, vegetable oil and sesame oil

1. Spread the noodles out in a large dish and pour enough boiling water over them to cover. Leave for 15 mins, stirring occasionally with a large fork or tongs.

2. Peel the carrots into long, thin ribbons straight into a large bowl and add the cucumber slices.

3. To make the dressing: mix the ginger with 1 of the chillies, finely chopped. Add the vinegar, soy sauce and oils.

4. Drain the noodles, then refresh them under cold water, drain again, then add to the carrot and cucumber with almost half the dressing. Mix well with your hands, then add torn outer leaves of lettuce and quartered hearts, tear in the bigger mint leaves and mix lightly.

5. Spread the salad out on a a platter. Mix the chicken with the rest of the dressing and arrange it on the salad. Garnish with small mint leaves, the rest of the chilli, finely sliced, and the toasted sesame seeds.

Servings: 4

Author Notes
Use egg noodles if you don’t have rice noodles and add mangetout or other veg, if you like.

Have a great day

Monday, July 18, 2016

Pandas, Tightrope Walker,

Along with many people, I love Pandas, they look so cuddly. There is a fascinating National Geographic article about the breeding of Pandas and their reintroduction into the wild. China is doing all that they can to change the status of these animals from endangered. We hope it works.

I particularly loved this picture with the bears surrounding the man known as Papa Panda. However, there are some great Panda pictures in the article. I think the work the Chinese are doing is admirable.

By the way, for those of you who remember my "tightrope walker" he was out there again today and I have seen him several times since I first wrote about him. I think he is walking a tad further. Still not using a balance pole. I really wish he would. I certainly give him full marks for effort and persistence. He did seem to get a little further this time.

I don't know about you, but I could eat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits forever. These are a copycat recipe and supposed to be somewhat lighter in calories. Mine you they are still 403 calories each.

Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits (Weight Watchers)

2 cup reduced-fat baking mix, such as Bisquick
3/4 low-fat (1%) buttermilk
1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Tbs fat-free margarine or butter substitute
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried parsley, finely crushed

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

2. Add baking mix, buttermilk, and cheddar cheese to a medium bowl and mix by hand until well combined. Divide dough into 12 equal portions (about 3 tablespoons each) and spoon onto prepared baking sheet.

3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits start to brown.

4. In a small bowl, combine margarine or butter substitute with garlic powder and parsley flakes. Heat mixture for 30 seconds in the microwave, stir to combine, and brush over the top of each biscuit as soon as they come out of the oven.

Servings: 12

Have a great day

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday Recipe

I started to write a blog for Friday but in the end I was just too damned tired. Sorry about that. I am getting lots of sleep but it doesn't seem to be helping.

Our Ontario LCBO (License Control Board of Ontario) sends me suggested wine selections and this week they have also sent a recipe which I share below.

Vegetable-Fusilli Bake with Ricotta Topping

Use regular ricotta (10% or 13%) for the topping; lower-fat versions may curdle.


2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 sweet yellow pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch (1 cm) pieces
1 zucchini, cut into ½-inch (1 cm) pieces
1 medium carrot, shredded
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
½ tsp (2 mL) granulated sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes
1 can (796 mL) diced tomatoes
¼ cup (60 mL) tomato paste
1 cup (250 mL) drained and rinsed canned romano beans
¼ cup (60 mL) each chopped parsley and slivered basil leaves
3 cups (750 mL) fusilli pasta

2 eggs
1 container (454 g) regular ricotta cheese
¼ tsp (1 mL) each salt, freshly ground black pepper and grated nutmeg
½ cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, yellow pepper, zucchini and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until vegetables are just tender but not browned. Stir in garlic, salt, pepper, sugar and hot pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Stir in tomatoes (with their juice) and tomato paste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in beans, parsley and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook fusilli for about 8 minutes, until tender but firm. Drain well. Do not rinse.
Spoon half of fusilli into a lightly oiled 10-cup (2.5 L) baking dish. Spoon vegetable mixture over fusilli. Top with remaining fusilli.
For topping, lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl. Whisk in ricotta, salt, pepper and nutmeg until well combined. Pour ricotta mixture over fusilli to cover completely; sprinkle evenly with Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8
Have a great weekend

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bowling, Air Boot,

My home is a thorough mess (see yesterday's post), my hips/thighs/back are hurting, but I had two super games at bowling today (Wednesday) so at least something is working for me. One was 160 the second 211. I even got a turkey (three strikes) which I haven't had in I don't know how long. Considering the way I have been bowling lately, I am over the moon about these scores. Matt had a bad day so he wasn't too happy. The team we were against this week contains four of the best bowlers we have so we were pleased to score 3 points out of the possible 7. Our last game was great.

Tuesday we went to a friend's and spent the morning with her and then she took us to lunch at a
Vietnamese/Thai restaurant Ben Than she knew. Good place for lunch and I had a noodle soup. Matt had Ginger Chicken I think. She was pleased to get out as, having broken her ankle, she has been climbing the walls as she is unable to drive at the moment. She is hoping to be able to start doing without her 'boot' in the next day or two. These boots are really quite impressive. Just read that David Beckham wore one for a while. So much better than the old plaster cast idea. Although my friend will be awful glad to get out of hers I know.

This recipe from the New York Times really appeals to me although there are many who wouldn't even consider eating it. I wonder if we can get dry packed scallops. I must make enquiries.

Sea Scallop Carpaccio

  • Yield 6 appetizer servings


  • 1 large shallot, peeled and sliced thin crosswise
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) or kosher salt
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¾ pound large sea scallops
  • 8 ounces small cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (peperoncino)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • Handful of basil leaves
  • 1 large lime, halved
  • Fruity extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


    1. Put sliced shallots in a small bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add vinegar and mix gently, keeping shallots submerged. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. (May be made 1 or 2 days in advance and refrigerated.) Remaining vinegar may be reserved for another use, such as salad dressing.
    2. With a sharp knife, slice each scallop crosswise into very thin slices. Distribute slices among six chilled plates, laying them flat in a circular pattern. Arrange halved cherry tomatoes over each plate. Sprinkle scallop and tomatoes with salt, a little peperoncino, a few capers and some pickled shallot.
    3. Garnish with torn or sliced basil leaves and some small basil leaves. Give each plate a squeeze of lime juice and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

    Have a great day

    Wednesday, July 13, 2016

    Wordless Wednesday

    Having decided it was going to rain. All the things stored in plastic bags were brought inside, there are still storage boxes on the balcony. Pictures off the wall, ornaments off the shelves.

    Have a great day

    Sunday, July 10, 2016

    Comfort Food, Preparation. Tree Cutting,

    Watching an ad for a food programme on TV where various chefs were stating what their comfort foods were, for instance, Nigella Lawson says hers is fish and chips. I then discussed with Matt what were our comfort foods. Matt reckons he doesn't have one, I think my only comfort food might be soup, and I'm not really sure about that. It is a fact that whenever I have been particularly ill, I have always been able to consume soup. And I know you have heard me rabbit on about Hot and Sour Soup. So then I wondered what your comfort foods might be. Do tell me in the comments section, I will be very interested to know.

    Today, as I am sure everyone knows, I will be spending finalising the clearing out of our apartment in preparation for the pest control people on Tuesday. One of our friends is coming in to help us which is just as well, something has happened to my hip/leg over the weekend and I am having trouble walking let alone doing things like vacuuming which I can't do anyway. The majority of our knick knacks are on the balcony - lucky they haven't started doing ours yet, where on earth we would put stuff otherwise I cannot imagine.

    Talking of balconies, I haven't been out front for a day or two but I hear they have already started cutting down trees to make way for all the machinery and scaffolding. What a tragedy. There are some gorgeous trees there.

    This recipe is from the New York Times and made me think of my time in Spain when my parents lived there for a few years.

    Spanish Tortilla With Tomato-Pepper Salad

    YIELD 4 servings

    A Spanish potato tortilla is an egg dish unlike any other. It doesn't resemble the French omelet, which is loose and wobbly. Nor is quite like an Italian frittata, which is puffy and custardy. Instead, a tortilla is a solid cake with just enough egg to bind the soft, sliced potatoes.

    The first step to making it is to gently cook sliced potatoes and onions in plenty of olive oil. And plenty means at least a cup, or maybe two. It sounds like a lot but most of it stays in the pan (and you can reuse it). Other than adding great flavor, the oil turns the potatoes velvety and luscious. Just make sure the heat is low enough so the potatoes and onions cook but don’t brown very much, though a few darkened spots are okay.

    In Spain, a tortilla is a tapas staple nibbles with drinks. But it’s also delightful for brunch, dinner or
    lunch, served either warm or at room temperature.

    5 medium Yukon gold potatoes (1 1/4 pounds)
    1 white onion, diced
    1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
    ¾ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
    About 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
    6 large eggs
    ¾ cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
    ⅓ cup diced Italian frying pepper(also called Cubanelle), or green bell pepper
    ¼ cup sliced scallion, white and green parts
    1 garlic clove, minced

    Peel potatoes and halve them lengthwise. Thinly slice them crosswise. Pat potatoes dry with a dish towel or paper towels. Toss potatoes with onion, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
    Place a large skillet over medium heat and warm through. Add oil, then add potatoes and onion. (You need enough oil to almost cover the potatoes, so adjust amount according to your pan size.) Cook until potatoes are just tender enough to cut with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes, adjusting heat so vegetables do not burn or take on too much color. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes and onions to a colander set over a bowl and let cool. Reserve 3 1/2 tablespoons oil from the skillet to use for finishing the recipe. (You can reuse the rest of the remaining oil, too; store it in the refrigerator.)
    Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil in an oven-safe 8- to 9-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir potato mixture into eggs. Pour mixture into pan and use a spatula to flatten out surface. Cook, using spatula to occasionally loosen eggs from edges of pan, until top is almost set, with just a small amount of liquid remaining, about 5 minutes. Transfer to oven and cook until top is just set, 5 to 7 minutes longer. Slide tortilla onto a plate.
    In a large bowl, toss together tomato, pepper, scallion, garlic and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Top tortilla with salad and serve warm or at room temperature.

    Have a great day