Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bowling, Lamp Base,

Well, well, well, our team actually took all the points at bowling today. Matt and I both bowled pretty well for a change. Long may it continue. I won't know our position in the league until Thursday as not everyone had finished bowling by the time we left.

Somewhat odd, I have a reading lamp by my chair and much to our surprise the base seems to have been weighted with concrete which has split in half. Half is still there but the rest fell out. Weird. I had no idea that the weight of the base included concrete. Anyway, we have to go to a lamp guy in the next town over. Only one in the area. He says he can fix it. Not sure how much this will cost of course. I do know he isn't cheap because we had something done by him before.

I love things like this and will almost certainly make it in the near future.

Tofu and Kimchi Stew

If gochujang hasn’t made it to your pantry yet, this stew recipe would also work with virtually any

1 Tbs vegetable oil
6 scallions, white and pale-green parts chopped, dark-green parts reserved
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 Tbs gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
3 Tbs soy sauce
1 small daikon, peeled, sliced
½ cup kimchi
¼ block firm silken tofu

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high. Cook white and pale-green parts of scallions, garlic, and ginger, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add broth, then whisk in gochujang and soy sauce. Add daikon and gently simmer until daikon is tender, 15–20 minutes.

2. Add kimchi and tofu. Simmer until tofu is heated through. Carefully divide among bowls. Thinly slice reserved scallion tops and scatter over.

Servings: 4

Author: Chris Morocco
Source: Bon Appetit

Have a great day

Monday, January 30, 2017

Asparagus, Car,

I am always rabbiting on about the waste in store bought asparagus. On Friday I prepared 20 spears to be used in my Salmon and Asparagus dish. I even tasted some of the asparagus raw, the fresh stuff tastes delicious, this very much less so!!!

The fish turned out to be delicious but the asparagus left a LOT to be desired. I will NOT make this again until asparagus is in season. Serves me right!! I finished the asparagus the next day and even on it's own it wasn't great.

Funny bit of Trivia from How To Geek this morning "The sound of velociraptors barking at each other in Jurassic Park is actually a recording of tortoises mating".

We drive an old  car and today Matt took it in for service (9 a.m. and we both forgot) at 1:30. He comes home and says we are in trouble and had to go to a body shop. We went and it turns out we had a small hole in the driver's side floor and a large one on the passenger side - $300 cheaper than I thought it would be. You should see the guy who runs this place. Not a bit what I expected although they seem to be a fun bunch. Matt took the car in at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. We got it back at lunchtime. Pretty good.

This recipe sounded pretty good although I would be cooking my own rice from scratch. For two of us I add 1/2 cup of basmati rice to 1 cup of boiling salted water. I cook covered on low heat for 15 mins and then let it sit - no heat - for 10 mins. Comes out perfect every time. I have never come across rice in microwaveable form.

Sticky Yakitori Chicken

Cheap as chips
 Woman's Weekly recipe Give dinner time a Japanese makeover with this classic yakitori recipe served with soft grilled spring onions and fluffy Basmati rice. The chicken is marinated in soy sauce,
sherry vinegar, honey and sesame oil for a flavoursome treat. You can have this made in just 20 minutes to satisfy hungry tummies quickly.

4 Tbs dark soy sauce
3 Tbs runny honey
2 Tbs sherry vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
400 g mini chicken breast fillets
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed, quartered
1 tsp vegetable oil
280 g packet Basmati rice (we used Vetee Dine In)

1. Preheat the grill to high and line a grill pan with foil. Meanwhile, mix the soy sauce, honey, vinegar and sesame oil in a shallow dish.

2. Add the chicken and stir to coat completely in the soy mixture.

3. Put the chicken and marinade on the lined grill pan and grill for 5 minutes. Turn the chicken, push up one end of the pan and arrange the spring onions on the other. Drizzle with vegetable oil and cook for 5 minutes.

4. Microwave rice according to packet instructions. Serve the chicken and spring onions with the rice.

Servings: 2

Source: GoodtoKnow

Have a great day

Friday, January 27, 2017

Saturday Recipe

I have always loved Pavlova, but never thought of making small ones. I think I would be inclined to add a dollop of cream too. The only time I was in Cornwall, UK, I pigged out on meringues and Cornish Cream.


3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
¾ cup sugar
6 clementines: 2 used in the meringue and the syrup, 4 cut into rindless segments (suprêmes) for the topping

1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 anise pods
1 vanilla bean

1. Preheat oven to 195ºF with the rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-low speed. Gradually add sugar and increase the speed of the mixer to medium, then medium-high. When all sugar is incorporated, continue whipping on high speed for about 10 minutes until the whites are stiff and glossy. The time spent will be worth it! With the mixer turned off, zest 2 clementines into the meringue and carefully fold in.

3. With a spatula, scrape the meringue out of the bowl to form two round mini pavlovas on the baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1.5 to 2 hours, running your oven’s fan if it has one. The pavlovas are done when the outsides are dry to the touch but still white and sound hollow when (gently) tapped. Leave them in the oven to cool with the door ajar.

4. Make the syrup: In a small saucepan, combine water with sugar, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and anise pods. Squeeze the 2 zested clementines into the mix and add the flesh as well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, strain the liquid (discard the spices and the clementines) and allow to cool.

5. When ready to serve, top the mini pavlovas with fresh clementine segments and the syrup.

6. You can store the baked pavlovas in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days. Top with the fruit and syrup before serving. Don’t refrigerate the meringues because they absorb moisture and become chewy. This dessert is best eaten the same day.

Servings: 2

Author: Kate Kosaya
Source: Tastebook

Have a great day

Bowling, Asparagus

I'm feeling lazy and tired tonight (Thursday) so this will be a short blog. Bowling went well today I'm pleased to say, pity it's not league play though. Admittedly I have been banking these scores just in case, but they could end up never being used.

Those of you who know me will be surprised to hear I broke down and bought some asparagus from the store this week. Normally I don't touch the stuff from one asparagus season til the next and then buy it at the farm. However, I was hungry for Baked Salmon with Asparagus in Foil and so I gave in. So guess what we are having for supper tonight? Mind you, I am counting the days until the first farm asparagus is ready for sale. The stuff I bought looks a bit weedy to say the least.

Baked Salmon and Asparagus in Foil
Classy Cooking with a Sprinkle of Fancy

Yield: 4 servings

4 (6 oz) skinless salmon fillets
1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed (unless they are fresh picked)
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon thinly sliced
Fresh dill sprigs, or chopped fresh thyme, rosemary or parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut four sheets of aluminum foil about 14-inch long. Divide asparagus into 4 equal portions (about 8 spears per foil packet) and layer in center of each length of foil. In a small bowl stir together oil with garlic. Drizzle 1 tsp of the oil over portion of asparagus then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rinse salmon and allow excess water to run off, then season bottom of each fillet with salt and pepper. Layer fillets over asparagus. Drizzle top of each salmon fillet with 1 tsp of the olive oil mixture and season top with salt and pepper to taste. Top each with about 2 sprigs dill and 2 lemon slices (if using fresh thyme or rosemary use about 3/4 tsp per each if using parsley use 1 1/2 tsp). Wrap sides of foil inward over salmon then fold in top and bottom of foil to enclose.
Place foil pouches in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until salmon is cooked through, about 25 - 30 minutes. Unwrap and serve warm.

Have a great day

Thursday, January 26, 2017

RIP Mary Tyler Moore, Snow,

RIP Mary Tyler Moore - what a sad loss. I used to watch the Dick Van Dyke show in England and it was one of my favourites. I don't think I ever saw the Mary Tyler Moore show. I do remember in recent years that she was pro releasing lobsters. Not something I could ever support, cruel I may be but it's my favourite food. I always thought she was great in the Dick Van Dyke show and was so disappointed when the show ended. I learned one thing tonight that she lost her son who shot himself accidentally. Dreadful for any mother to lose their child.

According to the forecast we are supposed to get some more of the white stuff at noon today but checking on my computer it doesn't look too serious, keeping my fingers crossed. At least the bowling alley isn't too far away.

Dunno if it was those dumplings or something else, but about 3 a.m. I developed one heck of a guts ache and felt extremely unwell. Ended up with not much sleep and have been drooping around all day. A lot better now. I insisted Matt went for subs so I didn't have to cook. I did make us a dessert, two decadent chocolate chip cookies sandwiched together with frozen whipped cream. Delicious.

Sorry, more on dumplings. Yesterday I was looking for a picture of mixed dumplings. Today I found one on Facebook.
The little ones on the bottom left hand corner are the ones they call Treasures and I love them. Well, I love them all, you might have guessed.

And now for something completely different. They say this recipe puts you to bed, tucks you in, reads you a story and turns out the lights and no, it is not a shot of whiskey. So for any of you who have trouble going to sleep here is a remedy.

Moon Milk

In Ayurveda (one of the oldest systems of natural healing in the world), warm milk is a common remedy for sleeplessness. This recipe features nutmeg (a natural sleep aid) and ashwagandha (an adaptogen that helps your body deal with stress) to shepherd you to dreamland. Look for
ashwagandha at health food stores, Indian specialty stores, or Whole Foods

1 cup whole milk or unsweetened nut milk (such as hemp, almond, or cashew)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp ground ashwagandha (or another adaptogen, like shatavari or astralagus)
2 pinches of ground cardamom
pinch of ground ginger (optional)
pinch of ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp coconut oil or ghee
1 tsp honey, preferably raw

Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in cinnamon, turmeric, ashwagandha, cardamom, ginger, if using, and nutmeg; season with pepper. Whisk vigorously to incorporate any clumps. Add coconut oil, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook until warmed through, 5–10 minutes (the longer you go, the stronger the medicine). Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in honey (you want to avoid cooking honey or you'll destroy its healing goodness). Pour into a mug, drink warm, and climb right into bed.

Servings: 1

Author: Alaina Sullivan

Have a great day

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mandarin and Dumplings

Kung Hei Fat Choi to everyone. This is a New Years wish for Good Luck. So, of course, I ate dumplings, dumplings and dumplings. I tried to find a picture showing assorted dumplings, without any luck. But they had dumplings this year I had not come across before and others which are old favourites.

These are probably the most frqeuently seen, but there are many different ones. I am in my element. Not only that, we are going back again for Matt's free birthday lunch in a couple of weeks. Maybe that's why one of the words is "fat"!!! Not only that, the friend who joined us today has a birthday at the end of the month and will also get a free meal. Hopefully she will be able to go before the celebration is over.

Something they also had today was grapes done in a hard toffee glaze. They were delicious, served on sticks (like kebabs) they are a well know street food apparently.

A bit like this only they were red or green grapes in a hard toffee glaze. Delicious. I did eat a couple of other things such as salmon, they do a beautiful one, and Kung Pao Chicken.

I booked for Matt's birthday lunch and also for Christmas Day. Christmas is $31.99 not too bad at all. Bet they do a pretty good day - they serve turkey all through December so I can always have some if I feel deprived at Christmas.

So, of course, here is a recipe for Pot Stickers which is one of the names used for this kind of dumpling. Matt has made these many a time and they really are not that difficult. Especially as you can buy won ton wrappers in practically any grocery store these days. You can make the dough yourself if you wish, of course. I thought you would enjoy the legend too. Writing about these, now I want some more.


imperial kitchen when a cook, making dumplings for the emperor, forgot a batch that was slowly cooking. They were singed brown, slightly burned. With no time to spare, and an impatient, hungry emperor waiting, the cook, a nimble and adaptive fellow, arranged the dumplings on a platter, burned sides up, and presented them to the emperor as a new dish that he called, quotie, which means "stuck bottom." The emperor was delighted. Legend or not, it is a fact that these browned half-moons filled with pork and vegetables were eventually sold daily by the thousands from small streetside stands to satisfy the morning habits of people in Beijing and Tianjin, who called them jiaozi, or "little dumplings." It is a tradition that exists to this day.
As popular foods do, these jiaozi migrated to Shanghai, where they became known by their imperial name of quotie, to describe their cooking process. The habit of morning pot stickers swept Shanghai, and to this day they are sold, as in Beijing, from small streetside stands. Over the years, they migrated south to Guangzhou and Hong Kong, carried by Shanghainese fleeing the Japanese invasion of their city, and sold first by refugees on the streets as a way of making a living.
They have become part of the accommodating dim sum repertoire, and are referred to in Cantonese as
wor tip, or "pot stickers." Serve them with a ginger-vinegar sauce (see below).

4 cups water
1 Tbs salt plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 tsp baking soda (optional)
3/4 cup sliced bok choy stalks (1/4-inch-wide pieces)
1 1/2 cups firmly packed sliced bok choy leaves (1/4-inch-wide pieces)
14 oz ground pork
1/3 cup finely sliced scallions
2 tsp peeled and grated ginger
2 tsp white rice wine
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
pinch of white pepper
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 cups Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
6 Tbs peanut oil
1 cup water

1. To make the filling, first water blanch the bok choy. In a pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the 1 tablespoon salt and the baking soda (if using). When the water returns to a boil, add the bok choy stalks and allow the water to return to a boil. Add the bok choy leaves and blanch for 1 minute, or until the leaves turn bright green. Immediately turn off the heat. Run cold water into the pot, then drain off the water. Repeat.

2. In a large bowl, place the bok choy, the 1 teaspoon salt, and all of the remaining filling ingredients. Using a wooden spoon or 2 pairs of wooden chopsticks, mix the ingredients together, stirring them in one direction. Stirring in this way ensures the mixture will become a cohesive filling. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. The longer it rests, the easier it will be to work with.

3. To make the dough: In a large bowl, place the flour and make a well in the center. Gradually add the water to the well, and use your fingers to combine it with the flour until it is absorbed and a firm dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water. Knead the dough in the bowl for about 15 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 1 1/2 hours.

4. Dust a work surface with flour. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Work with 1 piece at a time, and keep the others covered with the damp cloth. Using your palms, roll into a log 12 inches long. Cut crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Using a small rolling pin, roll out each piece into a 3-inch round. Keep the work surface well dusted with flour as you work.

5. Place 1 round on the palm of one hand, place 1 tablespoon of the filling on the center, and fold the round into a half-moon. Using the thumb and forefinger of the other hand pleat the seam closed, making from 5 to 7 pleats. Repeat to form more dumplings until all of the rounds are used. Cover the dumplings with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out, then repeat with the remaining two pieces of dough in two batches to make a total of 36 dumplings.

6. In a cast-iron frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the peanut oil over high heat. When a wisp of white smoke appears, turn off the heat and place 18 of the dumplings in the pan. Turn on the heat to medium and allow the dumplings to cook for 3 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the water into the pan and allow the dumplings to cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the water evaporates. Reduce the heat to low and allow the dumplings to cook for about 2 minutes, or until they are golden brown on the bottom and the skins are translucent on top. To ensure the dumplings cook evenly, move the pan back and forth on the burner to distribute the heat evenly and prevent sticking.

7. Remove to a heated dish and serve. Because these dumplings are best eaten hot, serve in batches.

8. Notes:

9. These dumplings can be frozen uncooked for up to 6 weeks. Dust them liberally with flour to prevent sticking, then stack them neatly, separating the layers with sheets of waxed paper. Next, wrap them in a double layer of plastic wrap, and then wrap again in heavy-duty aluminum foil and slip into the freezer. To cook them, thaw and allow to come to room temperature, then cook as directed. These dumplings are eaten with a ginger-vinegar dipping sauce that is as traditional as they are. In a bowl, mix together 1/3 cup red rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup peeled and finely shredded ginger. Let stand for 30 minutes before use. Then serve the sauce in a common bowl, from which each diner can spoon the sauce over a dumpling. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Servings: 8

Source: Epicurious

Have a great day

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tuesday, Hostess Gifts, Vultures,

Weather permitting we should be having lunch at the Mandarin today with a friend.

Couple of things I saw on TV which I found incredible - there was a report in the Daily Mail, I believe, about dinner parties. When I hold one or other people invite us, we usually take a bottle of wine or receive one. According to the article people are being requested to take all kinds of things to a dinner. Someone offered to bring 40 bruschetta and the host said, not enough, bring 100. Another host requested the guests to bring plates. Yet another asked the guests to do the washing up after and whilst they were doing it, the host was drinking up the champagne the guests had brought as well!! Unbelievable.

The second thing, in a National Geographic programme they were saying that in India dead cows
were dragged out into the desert where the vultures cleaned up. However, cows are treated with a drug called aceclofenac which the cows metabolise into diclofenac which is killing off the vultures. This has been causing a major crisis because the cows are rotting and being eaten by feral dogs which are increasing in large numbers and the dogs have rabies. I immediately pricked up my ears because I have a diclofenac cream which I apply to my bursitis as it is an anti-inflammatory. I then read that cows are doing well on Meloxicam instead which does not poison the vultures. Hmm, I take Meloxicam too so I figure from that I must be an arthritic old cow!!!!! Matt doesn't think this is interesting, I find it absolutely fascinating. I was telling this to people in the bowling alley and one friend said she had been given diclofenac pills and they had made her ill. She and the vultures but their illness was fatal.

Regrettably Monday bowling was pretty lousy all round although finally in the last game we won some points. However, we were up against the top team. One of our team did bowl above his average in every game and one had a 200 game in the last game. Matt and I were along for the ride I think.

I love dishes like this although I would have to buy a lot of the ingredients. Funnily enough I was trying to remember the name of the seaweed we used when we made sticky rice for sushi, it was Kombu and tasted absolutely delicious. I have the soba noodles which is a start but definitely not the dashi or Kombu.

Soba Noodles with Dashi, Poached Egg and Scallions

Chef Douglas Keane of Cyrus restaurant in Healdsburg, California, and an F&W Best New Chef 2006 creates a quick but flavorful broth using kombu (a type of seaweed) and dashi powder (an instant Japanese stock made from shaved bonito--tuna flakes). He poaches eggs in the broth and
serves them for a protein-rich lunch or even breakfast.

1 1-ounce piece of kombu
4 cups water
2 Tbs dashi powder (see Note)
4 oz dried soba noodles
1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
2 heads of baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
2 large eggs
2 Tbs thinly sliced scallions
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, cover the kombu with the water and simmer gently until the kombu rises to the surface, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the dashi powder and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer.

2. Return the broth to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Add the soba noodles and the sesame oil and cook for 3 minutes. Add the bok choy and submerge them in the broth with a spoon. Crack one of the eggs at a time into a small bowl and gently tip it into the warm broth. Poach the eggs until the whites are just set and the yolk are still runny, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to bowls. Stir the scallions, soy sauce, lime juice and crushed red pepper into the broth. Transfer the soba noodles and bok choy to the bowls, pour the broth on top and serve immediately.

Servings: 2

Source: Food and Wine

Author Notes
Dashi powder is available at many health food stores and at Asian markets.

Have a great day

Monday, January 23, 2017

Crispy Lamb, Fog. Movie,

As I said I would, I cooked the recipe for Crispy Lamb with Cumin, Scallions and Red Chilles on Saturday night. I made a few alterations, I didn't have cumin seeds only ground cumin. I didn't have green onions so I used leek and I only had pepper flakes. However, it didn't seem to make a noticeable difference and was absolutely delicious. I served it over rice. I had a 3 lbs roast of lamb which is now a 2 lbs one and which will be used twice more to make this dish. I was a tad disappointed because there was no way it was crispy, I thought the egg white in the marinade would achieve that but it didn't. However, we both enjoyed it very much. I used to have two large woks and Matt did a lot of Chinese cooking, however, we hadn't used them very much in years so we got rid of them. Typically, I could have used one to make this dish.

Incredible weather, it's been thick fog for three days. We still have some snow but it's been warmer
which is what's causing it. Sunday, it seems to be thinning down somewhat but it has, by no means, gone yet. I don't think I ever remember it being this foggy in our part of Canada before. Hmm, it did thin down around noon both on Saturday and Sunday, but by mid afternoon it was as thick as ever. You really can hardly see your hand in front of your face. No idea what it's like at street level as we haven't been anywhere.

I saw a cute movie on my computer yesterday, Bunyan and Babe which I enjoyed. Basically a kid's movie I guess but then I am a big kid according to Matt. Babe's voice was Jeff Foxworthy. John Goodman voiced Bunyan and Kelsey Grammar did the two villains. Babe, the Blue Ox was funny.

This is interesting, I haven't made Scotch Eggs in a long time and I certainly didn't make them for picnics. But here is a soft boiled version which sounds pretty good. At the end they talk about baking the eggs. No doubt healthier, but the fried version is delicious. I just realised this recipe says 1 lb meat to 6 eggs. I always used 4 eggs for that amount of sausage. Also, I always use a Fry Daddy to cook my Scotch Eggs so they are in deep oil.

Soft-Boiled Scotch Eggs

A common picnic and party dish in the UK, Scotch eggs were likely first inspired by the Indian and Pakistani dish nargisi kofta, which encases a hard-boiled egg in spicy ground meat. This soft-boiled
approach presents an unexpectedly tender egg yolk within a crispy exterior.

6 eggs, soft-boiled and peeled
1 lb sausage meat
1 Tbs brown mustard
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup lard or other cooking fat

1. Place the eggs in a pot, then cover with 1 inch salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat; as soon as it is boiling, cover the pot and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 4 minutes in the hot water, then carefully transfer to a bowl of ice water. Allow to cool, about 5 minutes. Carefully peel the eggs.

2. Combine the sausage, mustard, parsley and nutmeg, mixing together by hand. Divide the sausage mixture into 6 portions; spread each one out into an oval shape. Add an egg to the sausage, then gently form the sausage around the egg as evenly as possible.

3. Warm the cooking fat to 350° in a skillet, then add an egg or two. When first adding the eggs, gently roll them back and forth to allow the sausage to cook evenly and retain a round shape. Cook until the sausage is cooked through, about 5 minutes per egg.

4. Preheat oven to 170°. Transfer the cooked egg to a plate lined with a paper towel, then place in the oven to stay warm while finishing the other batches of eggs.

Servings: 6

Source: FoodandWine

Author Notes
To bake the eggs instead of frying, place the sausage-covered eggs in large muffin tins and bake at 425? until golden and cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Have a great day

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday Recipe

Now I just happen to have some lamb so I might try this recipe for tonight.

Crispy Lamb With Cumin, Scallions and Red Chiles

the Dongbei restaurants in Queens, makes an elegant, tender version of a popular Dongbei stir-fry of lamb with dried chilies, made fragrant and crunchy with cumin seeds — a legacy of the nomadic Mongols who long ruled Central Asia, carrying spices on horseback along with their arrows. Lamb is considered a Northern taste and excessively “strong” by many Chinese cooks; it is always cooked
with powerful aromatics, like chili peppers and garlic, to subdue it.

1 Tbs egg white
1 Tbs rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt, more to taste
½ tsp black pepper
1 lb boneless leg of lamb or lamb shoulder, cut into strips about 1/2 inch by 2 inches
3 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs cumin seeds, lightly cracked in a mortar or grinder
2 Tbs whole dried red chile peppers, about 2 inches long
4 scallions, white and green parts only, cut on diagonal into 1-inch lengths
sesame oil for seasoning

1. In a bowl combine egg white, wine, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add lamb and set aside to marinate 1 hour.

2. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. Swirl half the oil into wok and carefully add lamb, spreading it in a single layer. Let sear a moment, then stir-fry briskly just until lamb is no longer pink. Transfer to a plate. (If your wok is not large enough to hold all the lamb, do this in 2 batches, using extra oil.)

3. Swirl remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil into empty wok, add cumin seeds and chiles and stir-fry a few seconds until cumin seeds start to pop. Press chiles against sides of wok to char their skins.

4. Add scallions and stir-fry 1 minute. Then return lamb to wok and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes more until lamb is cooked through. Turn off heat, sprinkle with salt and drops of sesame oil, and serve immediately.

Source: The New York Times

Have a great weekend

Friday, January 20, 2017

Language, Bowling,

Funny I just heard a guy on the radio singing something about "you'd best go back to where you came" I don't think he even used "from" and it occurred to me that lyricists should return to the use of 'whence'.  For example - go back from whence you came. Old fashioned word to most people these days and probably never been used on this side of the pond at all. It is a fact that language has deteriorated considerably in my lifetime and these days the use of cell phones and abbreviations has made the language deteriorate even further. I think if I were to return in 50 years or so, I wouldn't be able to understand what people were talking about at all. Maybe I should have chosen a picture of Roget's Thesaurus instead?

Because I am expecting to have surgery later on, I thought I would do some bowl-aheads for when and if I couldn't play. I don't remember the recovery period. So, much to my surprise, I bowled better today than I have for a long time. In fact it would be good for my team if I stayed away and those games were used LOL.

Sri Lankan sounds a bit different so I thought this would be something to try.

Sri Lankan vegetable curry with brown rice

Warm cinnamon, root ginger and smoked paprika go together wonderfully in this tasty Sri Lankan vegetable curry. If you want to add a bit of fish, try cod or sea bass fillets. Fearne's inspiration for this charming dish came from a holiday: "Many moons ago, before Rex and Honey came along, Jesse and I went on a far-flung adventure to Sri Lanka. It is such a vibrant country where the people smile from
the heart and the food is made with love. On the entire trip, there wasn’t a dish I didn’t love. This curry is inspired by the flavours we encountered and the warmth their food provides. I love adding fish to this curry as it adds an extra boost of protein and makes it even more hearty."

1 ½ Tbs coconut or sunflower oil
10 fresh curry leaves (optional)
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated
5 cloves garlic, crushed ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ Tbs mild curry powder
½ tsp chilli powder (optional)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 400 ml cans full-fat coconut milk
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
200 g skinless and boneless cod or sea bass fillets, cut into bitesized pieces (optional)
Sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 spring onion, finely sliced, to serve
Cooked brown rice, to serve

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the curry leaves (if using) and fry for 2–3 minutes until the leaves begin to crisp up and brown.

2. Add the onion and ginger and sauté gently for 5 minutes, until the onion has softened, then add the garlic and fry for a further minute until aromatic.

3. Add the spices, tomatoes, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Fry for a further 2 minutes until aromatic, then add the coconut milk, carrots and green pepper.

4. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and the sauce has reduced down a little.

5. If you are using fish, add it to the curry for the last 5 minutes of cooking time, until just cooked through.

6. Serve with the spring onion scattered over the top and rice alongside.

Servings: 6

Author Notes
You could use chicken instead of fish in this lovely curry if you prefer, simply brown off in a pan before you start making the curry and simmer in the sauce until cooked through

Source: Fearne Cotton

Have a great day

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Well the 'ant man cameth'! and placed some more goop around the kitchen and put a few more traps down but whether they (the ants) bother with those or not I don't know. Turns out that the apartment across the hall has them too. I know of other people who are also bothered by the stupid things. They are absolutely tiny but persistent. Pete, the pest control guy, says they are after food of any kind. They are small as a breadcrumb.

Other than that, it has been a nothing kind of day. Cleaner came in the morning and that was it.

I am sick and tired of Trump.

You may have picked up that one of my favourite foods is Smoked Salmon (or Smoked Arctic Char) and I thought this would be a delightful way of serving it. They suggest brunch but depending on several things, you could certainly serve it as a light supper or even a Sunday breakfast perhaps.

Smoked Salmon and Egg Sandwich

This decadent sandwich would be perfect for brunch. Look for salmon that's labeled "wild Alaskan," and you can be sure you're getting sustainable seafood. You can also use soft-boiled eggs in p
lace of the poached eggs.

4 cups water
1 Tbs white vinegar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
2 Tbs minced red onion
1 Tbs chopped dill
3/8 tsp kosher salt
4 (1-ounce) slices whole-grain bread, toasted
1 cup fresh arugula
4 oz smoked wild salmon
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Bring water and vinegar to a simmer in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add eggs, 1 at a time; simmer 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

2. Combine cheese, onion, dill, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; spread 1 tablespoon cheese mixture over each bread slice. Top each serving with 1/4 cup arugula and 1 ounce salmon. Remove eggs from pan with a slotted spoon; top each sandwich with 1 egg. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Servings: 4

Sustainable Choice: Look for salmon that's labeled "wild Alaskan salmon," and you can be sure you're getting sustainable seafood

Source: Cooking Light

Have a great day

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Freezing Rain, Vascular Surgery,

If you wondered where I got to on Tuesday, I totally forgot. Sunday night I slept very badly with the result that Monday I was so tired I could hardly see straight. We still bowled on Monday afternoon quite well in fact, and when we got home I prepared supper then stretched out on my lounger for a bit. Didn't sleep but did kind of doze which allowed me to cope for the rest of the evening although, as I said, I completely forgot to blog.

It's now Tuesday morning and I can't figure out whether the freezing rain, which was forecast, happened or not. The big muddy area beneath our windows looks like a sheet of ice but it could also just be a large puddle. I was supposed to go see my doctor this morning but they changed the appointment to this afternoon by which time I am hoping the roads will be fine even if they are icy, which I can't tell from here.

Tuesday afternoon I had an appointment with my family doctor to review the results of my ultra sound a couple of weeks ago. I had to walk through fairly heavy rain to get there, I was wet and cold. Anyway, it turns out that, as I thought, my legs are not getting sufficient blood into them. Part of my femoral artery, is totally occluded (damn, can't remember which leg now) plus there are lots of other areas which are pretty bad apparently. The upshot of this of course, is another vascular operation sometime in the future.

Having been to an Indian restaurant the other day my thoughts have turned to Indian food.

Fried Tandoori Chicken

For extra-juicy--and flavorful--fried chicken, chef Rupam Bhagat of Dum in San Francisco marinates his meat using the traditional two-step tandoori process: He first lets the chicken sit in a blend of aromatic spices for 12 hours and then folds in yogurt that helps tenderize the meat and caramelize the
crust when it's fried.

6 garlic cloves, chopped
One 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs ground coriander
1 1/2 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs ground turmeric
2 tsp cayenne
2 Tbs vegetable oil, plus more for frying
Kosher salt
6 small chicken thighs
6 small chicken drumsticks
1 1/2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
Chaat masala, for sprinkling
Small cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, for garnish

1. How to make this recipe

2. In a food processor, puree the garlic with the ginger, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, the 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper until smooth. Scrape the marinade into a large bowl, add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.

3. Stir the yogurt into the marinade, re-cover the bowl and refrigerate for 12 more hours.

4. Preheat the oven to 250° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a shallow bowl, mix the chickpea flour with 1 teaspoon of salt. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

5. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 325°. Set a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Working in batches, fry the chicken until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each piece registers 160°, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the rack, season with salt and keep warm in the oven while you fry the remaining chicken.

6. Sprinkle the chicken with chaat masala and transfer to a platter. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lime wedges; serve.

Servings: 4

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day

Monday, January 16, 2017

Bulgogi, Pre Chopping, LRT,

Saturday night I made Korean Flank Steak Bulgogi which I posted last year and have cooked a
couple of times. It suddenly hit me in the middle of the night that I didn't have a pear which is what the recipe calls for. So I improvised and used half an apple instead. As it turned out, it was fine. I couldn't taste any difference. So that is useful to know. Looking at this picture, I would never get a job as a food photographer would I?  It really looked so much better than this. The meat is sitting on top of rice which hardly shows.

Some of the recipes I get in my email are a bit stupid. Like the one I read the other day which informed me I could have it on the table in 30 minutes from start to finish. I then proceeded to read it and it called for pre-chopped onion, pre-chopped carrots and such and then called for a rotisserie chicken. How many of us keep pre-chopped vegetables handy and just happen to have a rotisserie chicken as well. I actually tried keeping pre-chopped onion in the freezer once but it didn't work very well - couldn't get what you needed off the frozen lump. I might try it again one of these days and spread it out on a tray to freeze and then put it in a bag. I do have chopped peppers frozen but they are easy to split up. Good for stews and gravies.

Locally we have been complaining about the fact that the city is installing a Light Rail Transit System. Roads have been closed for years and getting anywhere in the city has been dreadful. Still not completed. I also understand that Bombardier, who are making the actual train cars, is not going to be read when we are. This weekend I read that Hamilton is going to be doing the same thing. That is a very big city and I cannot imagine the chaos this will cause there.

I wanted to use up some snow peas and some cauliflower tonight so I found a recipe for Garlicky Cauliflower and Snow Peas. I found something good in a blog called Judy's Kitchen. I left a comment saying I was going to try the recipe and Judy replied with the following: Hi, Jo -- In the interests of saving time and more pots, I now just put everything in one preheated cooking vessel, use less oil, and cook on medium-low to low heat, covered, for about 5 minutes. Leave in pot, covered for another 3 minutes before serving. Of course, if you like your cauliflower crunchy or if your flowerets are very small, your time would be less. Very good sprinkled with Parmesan and crushed thyme. 😊 When I got this email I had already steamed the veg. However, it was very good as was the Bulgogi.

Garlicky Cauliflower and Snap Peas

About 2 cups cauliflowerets
About 1 cup snap peas
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
About 1/3 cup sliced scallions
About 1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

Trim cauliflowerets and snap peas; steam for 3 minutes. Set aside to cool. Heat olive oil and scallions over medium heat in large heavy saute pan or fry pan till scallions start to sizzle; lower heat; add garlic, cauliflower and peas and stir for 3-4 minutes, or till veggies are well coated with olive oil and everything is hot. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately

Servings: 4

Source: Judy's Kitchen

Have a great day

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday Recipe

This would appear to be a nice simple recipe, very quick to prepare.

"Take-Out" Orange Chicken

Enjoy takeout-style orange chicken—without having to tip the delivery guy! Your family will enjoy
this simple version just as much (if not more).

1/4 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
zest and 1/2 cup juice from 1 orange
2 Tbs honey
2 tsp minced gingerroot
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbs oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 each orange, red and yellow pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 green onions, thinly sliced

1. Tap or click steps to mark as complete

2. Mix dressing, orange zest, juice, honey, ginger and crushed pepper until blended.

3. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken and peppers; cook 5 to 6 min. or until chicken is done and peppers are crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Remove chicken mixture from skillet; cover to keep warm.

4. Add dressing mixture to skillet; cook and stir 3 to 4 min. or until thickened. Stir in chicken mixture; cook and stir 2 min. Top with onions.

Servings: 4

Source: Kraft

Have a great weekend

Friday, January 13, 2017

Thursday, Vijay's Indian Restaurant, Bowling, Coupons

We've been home from the restaurant about three quarters of an hour and I am still stuffed. I thoroughly enjoyed the food and boy was there a lot of it. We started with a pappadum to nibble on then we got an onion bhaji plus a samosa served with a spicy Tamarind chutney which I thought was delicious. Having eaten those, our main course was Buttered Chicken, Rogan Josh (beef curry) Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potato cooked in spices with fresh ginger) and a large dish of rice also Nan bread for dipping. At the end of all that I was totally full up but I managed to "force" down a little dessert which was a small ball of something sweet in a delicious syrup. I don't remember the name. This all came with a choice of beverage so I ordered wine. Matt, as usual, will not drink when he is out, just water, so I had his wine too. I was impressed with what we were served although the quantities were rather large I thought. Matt was not so keen. Pity. I have a small pot of Tamarind chutney which I brought home. We did have some leftovers which were mainly sauces and rice so didn't have them in a doggy bag. I thought it was all pretty good value for money too. Of course we took our coupon and on the way out met another couple who asked how it was and they too had a coupon. Just shows you (well me) these coupons do work.

This afternoon we bowled as usual and Matt beat me every time. At least one time I thought I was doing well and he suddenly threw a couple of strikes or so and raced ahead. Grrrr. There was another couple there bowling next us. They were doing a bowl ahead for their league and the woman started with a 304 then a 276 and dropped down to a 210. I didn't know whether to be intimidated or impressed LOL. Turned out her average was 175. I should be so lucky.

Yesterday's mail I was scrabbling for the coupon books to get the bowling ones people threw away, and yet our friends at the alley today still haven't received their coupon books. I gave them one of mine today. I have plenty. The super's wife was looking for them for me as well. I figured it out I save $156 a year using them. Actually, today we were invited to join the league which plays on Thursday afternoons, they used not to accept men but their numbers have fallen so much they now do so. However, we decided we didn't really want to join a second league.

So today is Thursday the 13th. Why does no-one worry about that day but only Friday 13?

Had to give you a recipe for Onion Bhaji didn't I?
Onion Bhaji

Onion Bhaji


2 free-range eggs
onions, sliced
120g/4oz plain flour
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra if required
  • Method

  • Beat the eggs in a bowl.
  • Add the onion rings and mix well.
  • Add the flour, ground coriander and cumin seeds and stir well to combine
  • Heat the oil in a deep-sided frying pan over a medium heat. When hot add a large spoonful of the bhaji mixture and fry for 30-45 seconds, until golden-brown.
  • Turn the bhaji over and fry for a further 30 seconds, until crisp and golden-brown all over. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Repeat with the remaining bhaji mixture, replenishing the oil in the pan if it runs low and allowing it to heat up again after a new addition

  • Have a great day

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Vijay's, Wheel of Fortune,

I finally got the coupon books I have been waiting for. The contain many discount coupons including ones for Towne Bowl. I cannot use them for the League but we can use them on Thursdays. I grab them out of as many books as I can - people just throw them in the bin by the mail boxes. I even have the super's wife looking for them for me!! The coupons for the bowling alley don't save us a lot but it mounts up over the year. I also pulled out a coupon for a local Indian Restaurant which I have been wanting to try for years and for some reason, we have never got round to it. The coupon is "2 can dine for $39" and the menu sounds pretty good. We have decided to go this evening after bowling. If it's any good I have a couple more coupons. I haven't been to an Indian Restaurant since we came to Canada. There used not to be many but there are 3 I know of in this area. I also used to cook curries but haven't done that for quite a few years too.

I don't know how many of you watch Wheel of Fortune. Matt does most nights and I watch sort of. I am somewhat suspicious of the programme because when time becomes short, Pat Sajak spins the wheel and in all the years we have been watching it, he has never landed on a bankrupt. That says to me the wheel is being controlled.

I just love pickled vegetables but have never tried making them. I thought this was a recipe I would try.

Mexican Pickled Vegetables

These spicy pickled vegetables are like a Mexican version of Italian giardiniera and are delicious with tacos and as a condiment for any sandwich or burger. The recipe makes a large batch but it keeps well
in the refrigerator. Packed into glass jars, it makes a nice gift

1 Tbs black peppercorns
2 tsp allspice berries
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large head cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 lb pearl onions, fresh (peeled; see Tip) or frozen (thawed)
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 small habanero, or 2 small jalapeño peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
6 bay leaves
2 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs salt
1 tsp cumin seeds

1. Place peppercorns, allspice berries, coriander seeds and cloves on an 8-inch-square double layer of cheesecloth. Bring up the sides, making a bundle that encloses the spices, and tie at the top with kitchen string (or put the spices in a stainless-steel tea ball).

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat Add sliced onion and garlic cloves and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, pearl onions, carrots, bell pepper and habanero (or jalapeños). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in vinegar, bay leaves, oregano, salt, cumin seeds and the spice bundle and cook 2 minutes more.

3. Let cool for 15 minutes before transferring everything to a large nonreactive bowl (see Tip). Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until cool, about 2 hours. Serve using a slotted spoon to leave behind excess oil.

Yield: 8 cups

If using fresh pearl onions, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add onions and cook 1 minute to loosen the skins. Drain. When cool enough to handle, trim both ends, leaving enough of the root end to keep the onions whole while cooking. Peel off the skins. A nonreactive bowl or pan—stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking with acidic foods, such as vinegar, to prevent the food from reacting with it.

Author: Elvia
Source: WebMD Recipe from EatingWell.com

Have a great day