Friday, October 18, 2013

Still here

Sorry, seems like I've abandoned this blog, but that isn't exactly what happened...

I couldn't think of much to say, or to talk about, or anything "out of the rut" to share recipes for.  And I got busy with other things...then I just never got around to coming back.

BUT - all  that should change... I hope :)

I'd like to get back into sharing and writing on both my blogs - this food related one, and my other craft and assorted blabbering one - catsrmecrafter.blogspot.com, in case you want to have a look see.

I'm not very good with tags and labels for posts.  And not in the habit of adding them!!  But, I'm thinking about trying something different.... Posting themes.  Like, for example, Monday might be "toy day", where I'll post about one of my appliances of gadgets.  Then, maybe Tuesday will be back to basics - simple "staple" recipes for making soup stock, basic recipes, how-to basic recipes for the newbie or inexperienced cook.  And so on....Wednesday, maybe I'll do a "free for all" where I'll post reviews if we go to a restaurant or something...

Just trying to get things "back on track".  But don't look for this to happen any time soon!!  Unfortunately, my life is still a little chaotic, and on top of that, I seem to have picked up a bug of some sort - aches, upset tummy, puffy eyes...  So, it may be another couple weeks before I can try to reset my routine.

So, hope to "see" you all soon!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

1/18/13 I have to stop doing that...

I have to stop saying I'll download pictures from my camera and post - seems every time I do, my day changes and I have to renege... That happens all the time on my other blog.

So, I'll do my part two post about the Paddlewheel tomorrow later.

In the meantime, yesterday I did a stir fry for supper.  It wasn't one of my better ones, unfortunately.  I have a bunch of cut up veggies in the freezer, but that wasn't the problem.  I couldn't find my sauces and spices that I normally use.  And, the meat was storebought precut for stir fry.  It was thicker than I'd normally slice the meat, so that meant a messed up cooking time, and tough meat. :(

Somewhere, while it was still edible, both my husband and I agreed that it was missing something.  Neither of us could put our finger on it, though.  I think it might have been pepper - I usually add fresh ground pepper when I do a stirfry... somehow or other I forgot this time.  Like I said, though, it was edible, and tasted "ok", but not "great" like it normally does.

At least it was a break from the rut I'm usually in for dinners!  (now I need to decide what to make for tonight!)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1/17/13 You can never go home....

I had heard that a restaurant in a downtown department store was closing.  I knew the store itself had been sold, and I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised.  I just hadn't really given it any though. Yet, when I heard the announcement that the restaurant was going to close, I decided I wanted to go.  So, I contacted my new friend, A., and asked her if she'd like to go with me.

Well, it was a disappointment.  I shouldn't really complain, since I'm just as guilty of not going to the store or restaurant in many years.  But, there had been some renovations since the last time I was there; nothing major, but took some of the charm away.  And I was shocked, as we took the escalator to the top floor, that several of the floors were drastically reduced in size and scope, and one floor was completely closed off!!  Oh, the times I recall getting off the escalator to browse in the book department...

Anyway, we went in, picked up our trays to select some food (cafeteria style) --- there was nearly nothing there.  The sign indicated your soup could come in a cup, bowl, or big bowl - they only had the smaller bowls.  Another section - the salad bar - had horribly thin pickings.  The sandwich bar (one of the few places I ever found sandwiches that I liked) was totally closed/empty/darkened.... The "burger bar" was only serving fries and gravy.  No burgers.  The hot meal section - the sign apologized that there was no roast beef, no turkey today.  The gentleman in front of me requested shepherd's pie - sorry, didn't have any - only sausages.  I had rice and beans with mine.... the other options were carrots, mashed potatoes, gravy, and some sort of fried square potatoes - maybe they were meant to be "roasted", but they looked like little hash brown cubes.  Dessert  - I had been looking forward to maybe finding some jello squares with whipped cream on top - another treat I remember only really liking served that way - but all they had were some slices of apple pie (quite thin - not the slice/portion size, but the pie - I wouldn't have expected a "deep dish" apple pie, but certainly more than a half inch deep) and a small assortment of four small "slices" - you know, like a marshmallow slice, a brownie, two others that didn't appeal to my taste...

I am still not quite comfortable taking pictures of my food.  In fairness I will say that the sausages were good - probably the first time in about 4 years that I have eaten other than home made sausages.  And the rice wasn't dry, but could have had a bit more flavour.  And the beans were cooked.  I also had a bun - or was it a biscuit?  To me, a biscuit should be about half the size of this thing.  It was about the size of a hamburger bun around, and what the pie lacked in height, this more than made up for!  (no, I didn't bother getting a dessert there).  Anyway, the bun had a melted cheese crust on top, and what I believe to be spinach inside.  It was rather dry - which is why the word "biscuit" probably is better to describe it.

The restaurant itself - the renovations took their toll.  It just isn't the same as it was.... I did take pictures.  I'll upload them tomorrow, and tell more about the atmosphere...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1/16/13 In a rut

I seem to be in a rut again.  Can't think of interesting things to cook.  Last night I made chili.  Maybe tonight will be leftovers - except I'm not sure if that is what my husband took to work for lunch.  I don't think so, since there is still so much left..

I also think I should make some sort of notes to myself, so I know what I've posted about before, and what I don't need to repeat myself about.  I should also try to remember to utilize the blog labels a bit better - I started adding the label "recipe" if I include one.  I think I'll make some other labels - general chit-chat for posts like today, restaurant reviews for the few I ever go to, toys when I talk about my toys ;)

In the meantime - I know I don't always have to post, I just feel like doing it.  Discipline, getting in the habit of keeping track of what the date is for one thing.  Getting in the habit of doing some sort of writing each day - I have a written project I need to do.  I used to be really good at that sort of thing - got A's and A+'s in University for term papers on a regular basis.  But for some reason - I'm out of practice...

But I digress. That has nothing to do with food! :)

I do love food - love to eat, mostly love to cook.  Just not very good at the ideas of what to cook sometimes.  Sometimes, I get to thinking ahead- my grandson will be spending a weekend with us soon, and he has a few likes/dislikes to consider.  So, I've been mentally planning meals for that.  Plus, I'm getting a little ahead of myself thinking about a birthday cake I will be making and maybe special dinner.  Not sure about the making dinner part.  So that kind of takes up all the thinking room, bumping the mundane, every day dinners right out of my head!!

Tomorrow will be better... I think I'll do a stir fry for supper tomorrow.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

1/15/13 Errands, shopping, library

Yes, those things all have to do with food.  Ok, maybe not all my errands today were food related.  But, I did do my grocery shopping.  I enjoy it, some days.  Other days, it is simply a chore.  Today was somewhere in between.  I tried to keep to my list today and not buy any extras.  I did buy something I'd seen advertised on TV, though.

President's Choice often advertises various products on TV.  Sometimes, they are at a special price, other times they are seasonal foods.  They just had a bunch of Christmas special foods, that are no longer available.  A few years back, I kept seeing an ad for a seafood or shrimp "en papiatte" (I know I probably butchered the spelling of that -  high school French was a long time ago - my apologies to the Francophones of the city who may be reading this).  Anyway, basically shrimp in a paper pouch.  The pictures on TV looked interesting, and the price was also attractive.  By the time I finally found some in the local store, the price had risen to the point that it wasn't worth the risk that it wouldn't be well received.  So, I never did buy it.  BUT - a good friend came to my rescue.  She told me of a recipe she had to make it.   I now make it every so often.  (I will share the recipe next time I do)  Well, now I saw an advertisement for  "bacon marmalade".  Since I love bacon so much, I figured I'd try it...

It is a luxury.  Not cheap, but the jar is big enough, that it isn't too much...

I opened it when I got home.  I didn't really have any preconceptions.  I really didn't know what to expect.  But, I have to be honest - I'm a little disappointed.  It tastes like breakfast.  Like, as if you were to make yourself some bacon (and probably eggs) and have toast with marmalade on it on the side... As if, you take a bite of bacon, then a bite of toast...   In other words, nothing special... So, I'll eat the jar I have, but I won't likely buy it again.

Before I went grocery shopping, though, I stopped in at the library. Returned a book, picked up one on hold.  But for some reason, I was thinking about a birthday meal I'll be making in a few weeks, and how I will need to pick up the ingredients for the cake soon, which led me to think about Mexican food/cooking, and I thought I'd see what sort of Mexican cookbooks were at my branch.  I came out with not just the one book I went in to get, but four Mexican recipe books, one Canadian cookbook, a book on Chrsitmas traditions, and a book of short stories about dogs (one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books).  Quite an armful!!

So, I know what I'll be doing for a while ;)

Monday, January 14, 2013

1/14/13 Another dislike...

Not really meaning to be so very negative...

In fact, in a couple days I'll be meeting up with another Manitoba Food Blogger, and we'll be going to The Bay Paddlewheel for a lunch before it closes... wait a minute - maybe that is a negative rather than the positive I was working it up to be...

I have so many good memories of the Paddlewheel restaurant, and it will be great to get to know a new friend in person, that I guess I kind of forgot the sad part that it will be closing down.  So many great restaurants are closing... not sure if it is all easy to blame on the economy, since there are also lots of new restaurants opening.  I guess it is just a reshuffling.  Would be kind of hard for such an establishment to simply "downsize" - you need your full staff of cooks and serving personnel, and you really can't get by with a smaller kitchen (trust me on that one!) or dining room...

But, what I'd meant to post about is that I'm probably one of the few people on the planet who could "take it or leave it" when it comes to chocolate.  Really.  I sometimes crave it when I'm feeling down, and I love mint chocolate and I love peanut butter cups.  But plain chocolate?  Not so much.  Maybe because the quality just isn't the same as it used to be...

Well, at least later in the week, I'll have a happier, with underlying sadness, post to make.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

1/13/13 Tea Time!

I once wrote about tea on my regular blog.  But that was a while ago...

I've been a tea drinker ever since I can remember... I used to get up in the morning, and sit in the kitchen with my Dad and have a cup of tea.  Only thing I liked about going to school, lol.  I still have my favourite teacup!!  I also still have the Bunnykins two-cup teapot that my sister bought me when I was born (or maybe it was my first birthday - even she didn't recall exactly).

At one point in time, I think when I was in highschool, I started drinking coffee "because that is what people do".  I guess I must have thought that I would develop a taste for it eventually... I don't recall ever really liking coffee.  Though, I will admit, that now and again I'd have a cup at a restaurant when we used to go out for breakfast or brunch, and it would be "good".

A few years ago, though, I decided that it was silly to drink something that I didn't enjoy one bit, "just because".  So, I stopped.  It has been - oh, gee, I don't even remember exactly, but four or five years at least...

I now drink tea.  My preferred tea is English breakfast.  I also enjoy a cup of Earl Grey now and again.  And I also like Lady Grey, and Irish breakfast.  Then there are the herbals... not all created equal, I'm afraid!!  And finally, regular tea.

Under the heading of "herbal", I lump in all flavoured teas.  So, some of them are really black, green or white teas with flavourings, while others are tisanes.  But I just like to drink it, not get all technical about what it is.  I do know the difference, but when I'm sitting by myself in my kitchen, I really don't much care!  I just know what I like to drink ;)

Today, I felt like having one of the "herbals".  As I said, though, they aren't created equal!  Some of them are "just as good" as others - Celestial Seasonings, and PC store brand for example.  I enjoy either one - just depends on price and flavour availability and mood.  Stash is a slightly better quality, but also a bit pricier, so I tend to hoard that one and only drink it for special.  Another of the hoarded teas is David's Tea.  That is so good, but expensive!!  So those are for sure special occasion teas!! :)

Then there is the one I'm drinking, or should I say, just finished drinking.  A tea I'm stuck with...

Back in the summer, a friend was having a "tea party".  Home party sales, but tea.  (remember back when Tupperware was the only home party thing?) So, to help out, I ordered a "sampler" thing.  I'm very dissappointed.  I find them to be flavourless... but I guess I have to drink them, because I've opened them all to try, so I can't give them away.  And the price of them - not that I begrudge spending to help my friend - but it really makes it hard to just throw the tea into the composter.  I've just finished a cup of cinnamon tea, and I think I'd get more cinnamon flavour if I'd put my jar of spice on the counter beside the cup while I steeped it...  Oh well - at least I'm not thirsty anymore...

I think I'll go have a cup of David's Tea to rinse the bad taste out of my mouth....