First attempt at PRESSURE COOKING!

Loved it!  Absolutely!  A  while back when I had posted about wanting a pressure canner a friend of mine mentioned that she had a pressure ‘cooker’ and she loved it.  I had no clue as to what it was, but she sure peeked my interest!  On the weekend I was at Canadian Tire and they had these ‘pressure cookers’ on sale, half price…so of course I picked one up.  So glad I did.

I cooked this entire chicken in 8 minutes and it was soooo tender, delicious!  I cooked it in a liquid (non-thickened wine, chicken broth and a tablespoon of curry) and it was done in 8 minutes.  8 minutes!  I thickened the sauce after cooking with butter, milk and a paste of flour and milk.  The cooker was a fantastic purchase.  Thank you Kathy!


I forgot the picture pre-dinner, this is all that was left.  Ooops.

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A Good Morning.

This morning I made chewy, oatmeal cookies with big juicy raisins and of course a splash of cinnamon.  Judging by the reaction in the house, I know a) they are really good and b) worth the effort!  I finished the morning with a couple of loaves of Julia Child’s bread.  The house smells like home.  I should have had more children…or closer neighbours….or come from a bigger family.  The more people who enjoy my cooking the better.  There’s a little love in everything I do.  (well at least click on the first cookie picture and take a bite!)

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FLLLLLOPPPPP! We all have ‘em!

I was thinking back to when I was a small child of 6 or 7 years old.  Things were different then.  My BBF and I used to go on walk-a-bouts.  We lived in Rattle Snake Harbour and would get it in our heads to walk to Nixon (a cool store used to be there) or Delhi (we never made it to Delhi).  Of course at our tender ages, we would decide we were hungry or thirsty and knock on doors asking for water…yes, or food.  One time, we were going to walk to Delhi and Deb’s little bother Rodney decided to tag along, he was 4 or 5 years old.  We walked probably all of 10 minutes and decided we were dying of hunger and of course we knocked on a door.  I remember it was a red brick house and an older woman answered and the wonderful smell coming from her house I’ll never forget.  When she answered we told her of our distress and we were invited in.  She gave us each a slice of a fresh jelly roll…in the center was whipped cream and a blueberry filling.  To this day…I remember how absolutely wonderful this cake was.

Today I tried to duplicate it…and although I almost made it…I had a horrendous FLOP!  The blueberry filling turned out nice, the whipped cream was delicious and I even found a new simple white cake recipe.  But, as you can see by the pictures, this ‘roll’ became a mixed up mess which is now in a bowl in the refrigerator.  My mistakes?

Even thought the cake was good, I should have used a sponge cake recipe, they roll without breaking.  White cake doesn’t!  Also, the receiving parchment paper should have been buttered and floured to prevent sticking. 

Lessons learned.  Next time….next time.

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Bami with Quinoa (instead of noodles, high in protein and cuts the carbs)

This week has been so incredibly busy, I can’t believe it’s Friday all ready!  Had 1000 and 1 things to look after today, which included a trip to Canadian Tire and then my local butcher.  I have gone to VG Packers in Simcoe for as long as I can remember as my mother used to go there as well.  The place is clean and the service is next to none.  But above all of that, they raise their own beef and no steroids or antibiotics are used.  I had to pick up an order for my dog food meat as well as stock up on our own.  By the time I got home, I needed something fast yet, healthy, yet a kind of treat (Dutch style).  So I made my bami using quinoa instead of noodles. READ DIRECTIONS TO PREPARE BEFORE MAKING  First I rinse well one cup of balmi, then I cook it in chicken broth with lots of flavouring….tons of garlic, onion powder, pepper, onion flakes and dried parsley.  This gives the quinoa an amazing flavour all on it’s own.  When it’s done, I set it aside.  IN my wok like pan (I want a real wok) I mix a little butter and peanut oil.  I whisk 4 eggs in a bowl.  Then I heat the wok up nice and hot …a medium high heat.  Then I swirl into it the whisked eggs so it resembles a thin omelette, I put nothing in but fresh ground pepper and some salt to taste.….  In a minute it’s cooked and I transfer it to a cutting board and slice it into strips.  Set that aside as well. In the wok, put in a good tbsp more of peanut oil and sauté fresh chicken breast that has been cut into thin strips.  Then, put in prepared vegetables.  Tonight I went to the garden and got a fresh zucchini and a couple of green onions and added yellow sweet pepper, a cup of bean sprouts, a good half to 3/4 cup of frozen leek, a chopped belgian endive and stir fried it all in peanut oil until tender.  This all only takes a few minutes!  Last I add the quinoa and Ketjap Manis to taste.  While all this is taking place, heat up your deep fryer and prepare some kroepok and peanut sauce (peanut sauce is so easy! Just put in a mic safe bowl three crazy big-heaping tbsp peanut butter, two tbsp ketjap manis, a pinch red pepper flakes, a half cup of milk, heat o high two minutes, whisk till blended and thickened). Put your egg strips on balmi, serve with kroepok and peanut sauce…and there you have it.

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Handy and Helpful.

As this blog slowly progresses in the future I’d like to include posts and input from readers about handy helpful hints.  We can all use them!  Time savers and money savers, we know they are out there.  For example we all know nothing cleans out a stainless steel pot as well as a good old SOS pad or any steel wool pad.  However, within a day or two after use they turn into this soupy yucky rusty useless mess.  Freeze it.  I put mine in a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer.  It stays bacteria free, yuck free and I can use it for at least a month.  By the way, they work incredibly great when frozen. 


So, this evening as it cooled to a comfortable 30 muggy degrees celcius, we took our pooches on their  usual outing.  Back to the pond for a nice swim and a romp through the soy beans.  The heat didn’t slow them down too much at all.  Yesterday, I had picked the green beans and zucchini but for some reason thought I should stop again and check it out.  Well there was another two meals of green beans and I took each of my carrots and beets.  I also came out of there with three more good sized zucchinis (not pictured)  which I will turn into zucchini bread tomorrow.  Our little garden, despite it’s rough start just keeps on giving.  Not complaining. 

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Tonight’s fair.

Today it was so hot, 32 degrees Celsius and so muggy you can almost cut it with  knife.  So, Peter and I both wanted something ‘light’, yet, satisfying.  Since I bake all of our bread, baking despite the heat had to be done.  Thanks to a new air conditioner this year, the house stayed nice and cool.  We were lucky.  So we had fresh warm french bread, a fresh Caesar Salad with homemade croutons, left over bacon and lots of grated parmesan.  I grilled halibut fish in a butter, lemon, spice brush and made a side of orzo summer salad. (can also be made with couscous).  It consisted of cooked orzo mixed with a little chicken broth (warm) then toss in the cool veggies; tomato chunks, chopped cucumber, chopped green onion and chopped fresh parsley.  Lucky for me I have most of these ingredients right outside in my garden.  This was the perfect meal on a hot summer day.

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