here and there

Friday, May 31, 2013

How many of these did YOU know about?

A sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a
knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed. (hmmmmmm..)  
============Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords It keeps them
neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to.
For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put
Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't
refreeze. (wish I had known this for the last 40 years!) 
To remove old wax from a glass candle holder, put it in the freezer for
a few hours. Then take the candle holder out and turn it upside down. The
wax will fall out.
Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped
in baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is!)..
Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt
BLUE!) rubbing alcohol on paper towel.
Whenever I purchase a box of Steel wool pads Pads, I immediately take a pair of
scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw
away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would
be much more economical. Now a box of Steel wool pads last me indefinitely!
In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get 'sharpened'' this way!
Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen
peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works
every time! (Now, where to put the body?) LOL 
Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal
for inside windows..
 This way you can tell which side has the streaks.
Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash windows
on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak. 
Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create a lovely
light scent in each room when the light is turned on. 
Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell
freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linen. 
Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3
hours prior to burning .
XX To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the
flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt
and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm! 
To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap
and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove top.
Spray your TUPPERWARE with nonstick cooking spraybefore pouring
in tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains.
===========Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.============= When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the
corn's natural sweetness
===============Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half, and rub it on your
forehead. The throbbing will go away.

Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future
use in casseroles and sauces .........
 LEFT OVER WINE, WHAT'S THAT? :)=============To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area
and you will experience instant relief.
============Ants, ants, ants everywhere ... Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line.. So,
get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself. 
Use air-freshener to clean mirrors.
 It does a good job and better still,
leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
===========When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to
tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, and
then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily. 
===== Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer...... ... Clean a toilet.
Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush.
The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China...
========Clean a vase.To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water
and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.
============= Polish jewelry.Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the
jewelry for two minutes.
============== Clean a thermos bottle.Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak
for an hour (or longer, if necessary).
Unclog a drain.Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the
drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar.. Wait a few minutes,
and then run the hot water.
================ Do your friends a favor. Pass this timely (and some not-so-timely)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Jamaican Food- Browned Fish

The following recipe was given to me by one of the servers in Bayside at the Whitehouse Sandals resort.. It was part of the breakfast buffet.

Bammy is a flat bread made from Cassava, formed into a patty, heated in a cast iron pan, then soaking in coconut milk and  frying, steaming or baking them.  The bammy was bland tasting.  I couldn't taste the coconut but thought they were a cornmeal mixture. The server said that they were served with the browned fish and a typical dish in a Jamaican Kitchen.

The fish was marinaded in seasoning for at least a half an hour, dusted in flour and fried in oil until crispy and a golden brown colour. The vegetables, a mixture of onions, red peppers and carrots  were julienned, steamed and seasoned with butter. 
The seasoning was mild for breakfast , but at the evening beach party the fish was seasoning was spicy and hot!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Spicy Rice Noodle Salad

Pan fried Atlantic Salmon with Spicy Noodle Rice Salad

 For this recipe, soften rice noodles in warm water

Mix noodles in the following dressing


minced garlic- 1 -3
brown sugar -1 teaspoon
chili paste- 1/2 - 1 tablespoon
rice vinegar- 1/3 c
fish sauce- 2 -3 T

Add Chopped Herbs ( Cilantro, and/or Mint and/or basil) and julienned vegetables .. I used a carrot, zucchini, green onions out of the garden and sweet pea pods.

I proudly used my new julienned matchstick slicer and was pleased with the results!

Drizzle  a little of sesame seed oil.  Garnish with peanuts, chopped green onion and chopped herbs.

Since I had soften too many rice noodles, I only added the vegetables to some of the noodles.. I left the rest of the noodles for another night!  Leaving out the vegetables gives you a fresher salad the next day when you mix in new vegetables .

Grandma's Raisin Nut Oatmeal Cookies

Couple of days ago, I had a delightful message on the telephone requesting the oatmeal cookies I had made while babysitting my grandchildren.  The messages talked about me making the " best cookies"!  

I had made a classic old recipe of my Mom's, Chocolate Chip cookies.. However, I could not find Chocolate Chips or Raisins at the time I had started the recipe, so I used what I found in the cupboard.   

I used chopped up mixed dried fruit (apples, apricots, cranberries) with walnuts to make 2 cups of mixed fruit and nuts.  

My granddaughter loved them!  Since I had reduced the amount of sugar due to all the sugar in the dried fruit, these cookies were a healthy snack.  

I was delighted with the message as I am not a big cookie maker, I used to find it most discouraging to have plates of cookies disappear soon after being baked.  However, my Mom made cookies frequently with an Oatmeal base.  She also reduce the amount of sugar as felt the amount of sugar in the recipes was unnecessary.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

south west road trip from Calgary, Travel Alberta

The inspiration for our little road trip was in the  Travel Alberta magazine, Summer, 2013.  The article talked of towns and local interests but didn't really plan out a driving route. When we lived in Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Free Press would feature day trips from Winnipeg with local interests and a road map along with driving times.  We enjoyed these day trips very much and certainly learned a lot about southern Manitoba.  After studying a map we headed off to High River on Highway 2, where we stopped at Peavy Market as it is the closes to us living in Calgary.

On to Nanton on Highway 2 to find Big D Burger Shack, which we found on Trip Advisor. The reviews did not disappoint. 

The shack was a brightly painted food truck parked in a large vacant lot on 20th avenue

My husband ordered a Cowboy burger which was a 6 oz homemade fully dressed burger with cheese and bacon, mine was a fully dressed burger with a 3 oz patty... the burgers and onion rings were delicious!

Nanton is truly packed with antique stores as the article mentioned.  But we were off to the Ultimate Trains store.  The store was filled with G gage train sets and plenty of accessories.  We learned from the daughter of the owner that her father was Swiss and always loved trains as a youngster.

A picture taken of Thomas the train through the window,

 He opened the shop 12 years ago at the age of 59.  His wife and him developed this garden railway where children could ride on the train.  The unfortunate thing was that one could not view this garden from inside or outside unless you paid an admission fee. The shop was dusty and dark and did not suggest an impressive garden. The poster below suggested  otherwise.

 My suggestion was not well received and as we left the store, a young couple was seen peeking through a knot hole in the fence, trying to see the train which you could hear!

After Nanton, on to Highway 533 then to Highway 22 which took us into Black Diamond on Government Road to Centre Street.

Here we walked into Marv's 50s style diner.  The outside decor certainly did not provide for what one would see in Marv's diner.  Once you got around a display, you walked into a 50 style diner which was decorated in pink and black.  The booth seats were covered in these colors too.  The waitress were dressed in pink with black trim and black aprons. The floors were oiled hardwood.  50s music playing from the table top jukebox that I remember so well!

The nostalgic place did need some cleaning and although chocolate malt from old fashion was suggested from the old fashion soda fountain, we settle for hard ice-cream in waffle cones.

Although this was not one of the points of interest, we went back down the hill to Vale's Greenhouse.  We were disappointed that their beautiful garden were not opened as as everywhere in Alberta, their pots were still empty. The place was buzzing with patrons, so we left shopping here for another time!

We ended the perfect day, at our neighbourhood pub, Dixons for 10 cent wings and happy hour prices!

A perfect way to celebrate Victoria Day!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spinach Crepes

This is an interesting recipe I came across on the net and decided to make today as since Mother's Day , I am a proud owner of a new Cuisinart Blender. 

Into the blender throw in
1/2 cup of Spinach
3 eggs
1 T oil
1 cup of flour
11/2 cup milk

Whisk in blender and refrig for 30 minutes.

The colour of the crepes is spectacular.  The recipe made 10- 8 inch crepes and I have 4 crepes left over for appetizers tonight!  

For the breakfast Burritos, I made a filling of scrambled eggs, grated cheese, cooked sausage meat, green onions and spinach not used in the batter. I then baked the  crepes for 10 to 15 minutes until warm.. A white sauce with cheese would have been a great addition! Next time!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Basic Crepe/ Nalysniki recipe ,

My cousin Eleanor's blog always features a new recipe and tidbits on family life.   In a recent blog she wrote about my Mom and her entering the work field at a tender age of twelve.  My Mom's memories of working as a domestic helper at farm were most interesting...  She worked in the kitchen and helped with meals which were sent to the family via a dumb waiter.  She spoke of having to iron the linens for daily meals and for Sundays.  She was very appreciative of being loaned a horse to ride home at Easter  to see her family.
At sixteen, she worked in a Hospital run by the Felician sisters from Chicago.  Here she worked under a chef in the kitchen that was Cordon Bleu schooled.  Her culinary skills benefited greatly from this exposure, as her desserts and pastries were not only delicious but beautiful to look at!
One of my favourite if only Ukrainian dishes was Nalysniki, which I remember her making in her square electric frying pan.  The crepes which she lifted with her fingers when a golden brown colour were paper thin.
One of the few recipes that she actually hand wrote for me as she rarely measured and went by sight and feel!   After many tries of this recipe, I was finally successful when I increased the amount of flour and have the cast frying at a constant medium heat.  Constant heat and a lightly oiled cast iron pan is the secret in successfully making these crepes.

Basic Crepes: 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 pinch of salt 
2 large eggs 
1 1/2 cups milk 

The modified crepe recipe comes from Macheesmo's site

 These are Nalysniki made by my Aunt Marion for Ukrainian Christmas Eve 2012 at the age of 90.
The filling for her crepes is Home Made Cottage Cheese made by Mrs H. Marion pours heavy farm cream over the crepes to bake until hot before serving. Mom used doted butter on her crepes to keep from sticking as they bake.

These are the crepes I made this year for Christmas using a caste iron pan.

 The crepes can be made a head of time, rolled with a cottage cheese filling and frozen as a whole piece or cut in to 2 inches pieces and assembled in a casserole with butter.

These are the crepes my Aunt made this year for Ukrainian Christmas Eve 2013, so delicious! 

My Aunt Florence sent me this recipe that she says is her Mom's recipe for Crepes which she makes for Christmas Eve supper.. I know my mom never makes then for Christmas but did for Easter.. I am pretty sure that my Grandmother Anna never did either as the traditional Christmas Eve dinner was dairyless and meatless.. in other words pesnya!