Saturday, February 27, 2021

Dipped

 Linking up at Marg at The Intrepid Reader 


February 2021 - Toronto ON



Still in lockdown...think I hit the Covid wall...
The days are starting to run together, as I type this I think of someone captured either on an island, kidnapped or in jail. No, it's not like that, but it does make one chomp at the bit a little to get out and about. Shopping online is fine, but it isn't the same as finding unique local crafts that you love or coming across something new and different. 
I love cooking at home and coming up with new and interesting, sometimes awful dishes (two fails this week). But I miss going out to August 8 for all you can eat (AYCE) sushi and dim sum. Or stopping at a favourite spot for a quick bite while poking around the stores or running errands. On the other hand we might never have bothered driving to Hamilton for the best GF fish and chips ever.

On the virus front, our building finally had its first Covid case, so disappointing as the building was doing a great job keeping us safe. Seems the infected recently took a trip........................can I say stupid!!!!!


ON THE HOME FRONT

John took a couple of lake walks. Clearing the ice for skating.







It's been a sunny week as I sit with my tea.


Very cool late afternoon shadow.


Saturday's sunset.


Monday by the lake.








Tuesday I received a gluten free flour order (bread flour, pie crust mix and white balsamic vinegar bought because I have wanted to try it and it brought my order to $50 for free shipping) I had placed because it is a local Ontario company and I would like to find a Canadian flour that I like. I currently buy my gluten free
 flour from a US company. UPDATE - as mentioned below the pie crust was horrible.




Wednesday I took the shuttle downtown for the first time since January! The driver mentioned he had only had two riders all morning. Two others got on after me. 
I walked around, didn't go inside anywhere.

City Hall


Ice time is controlled by hourly bookings.


Black History Month honoured famous Canadians. These are just a few of the banners around the rink.












Coming back on the 3 PM bus was myself, the same couple and another man.

Thursday we went to Hamilton for our fish and chips fix. 
As we were driving into Hamilton we were talking about a movie we had recently seen that was filmed in Hamilton and we pointed out various sights. But neither of us could remember the name. John looked it up when we got home Guest of Honour 2019 a Canadian film produced by Atom Egoyan which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, excellent.


Hamilton had moved into the red zone on Monday so it was much busier. It was nice to see people out and above shopping.


Some street sights.


Another church.


John pointed out the mounted police and I managed a quick, not great, photo.


Banners outside the Armoury on James Street North, also called the John Weir Foote Armoury National Historic Site of Canada, is composed of two armouries that together form one large complex. We have to go back and take photos of this gorgeous building.


Wild Orchid restaurant and mural featured in the Guest of Honour movie.



Each neighbourhood has a uniqueness shown in their banners.




More of this mural on a Monday Mural in a few weeks! We found some more great murals. Hamilton has murals everywhere!



I took these photos as we quickly drove by. This was created by Ninehouse Productions.


Another spot from the Guest of Honour movie - Trocadero Tavern. You can see it in the first few seconds of the trailer above.




The Port of Hamilton handles the largest volume of cargo and shipping traffic of all Canadian Great Lakes ports. Annual tonnage has increased steadily since the 1912 establishment of the Hamilton Harbor Commissioners — the body charged with responsibility for governance of the Port of Hamilton. That year, tonnage totaled 89,400 tonnes. Today, the Port of Hamilton averages volumes in excess of 12 million metric tonnes, ranking it among Canada’s top ten ports. About 11,000 metres of dockwall allow 700 vessels to berth yearly. The Port of Hamilton is linked to two major Great Lakes shipping routes, the Welland Canal entrance sitting approximately 26 nautical miles from the Burlington Canal and the St. Lawrence River, approximately 151 nautical miles from the entrance into Hamilton Harbor.




COOKING

Saturday Cocktails V3.0 - Rob Roys required a trip to the LCBO Liquor Control Board of Ontario, our government controlled liquor store(s), at least they are considered an essential service. We needed sweet (red) vermouth. We had to figure out where we would buy Angostura bitters. I, at first, thought the grocery store but it turned out they contain alcohol so can only be sold at the LCBO. It seems Angostura is a brand of bitters. John found them at the LCBO (I'll have to look for them as I've never seen them). 
A bitters (plural also bitters) is traditionally an alcoholic preparation flavored with botanical matter so that the end result is characterized by a bitter, or bittersweet flavor. Numerous longstanding brands of bitters were originally developed as patent medicines, but now are sold as digestifs, sometimes with herbal properties, and cocktail flavorings. Since cocktails often contain sour and sweet flavors, bitters are used to engage another primary taste and thereby balance out the drink and make it more complex, giving it a more complete flavor profile.



To date we've tried:
Mai Tai with orgeat which is new to us
Tequila Sunrise


Dinner was pizza on focaccia and I made a tangerine mousse with a dusting of chocolate and blueberries and tangerine slices.




Sunday morning breakfast - rosti potatoes and sausages. Have I mentioned I love my food processor??

Dinner pork belly with Thai peanut noodles using rice (GF) noodles and salad with a sesame ginger dressing. I also made my first recipe from my new cookbook Chasing Flavors - a citrus dipping sauce for the pork, it was delicious.



Monday hamburger stew and I used my slow cooker. It might need a permanent spot on the counter, if I can find one. I browned the meat with salt and pepper, added the finely chopped onions, carrots and celery, then tomato paste, beef broth, potatoes and chopped carrots, onions and bay leaf and left it cook on low for 8 hours. The other thing I love about this crockpot is that I can switch it to bake if it needs thickening with a corn starch slurry.

Tuesday is movie day and dinner needs to be easy peasy. I am so loving my new Crockpot. Beth, have you tried yours yet?
I love that I can cook the bacon before I add the chowder ingredients without dirtying another pan. I removed the bacon once cooked and then added back at the end. Since I opened a can of clams for the juice I added them at the end along with the haddock and shrimp.
I used this Canadian Living recipe for slow cooker fish chowder.

I had a glut of carrots (Costco!!) that really needed using up so I shredded them in the food processor and froze then in packs of 2 cups as this seemed the amount most carrot cakes use.

Wednesday I decided to use some of the tourtiere pie filling I had frozen. I used the gluten free pie pastry that I received this week. HORRIBLE!! It is made with almond flour so it is brown in colour. That wouldn't be so bad if it didn't taste so bad! I was making a savoury pie and this had so much sugar in it that I would habe hated it even in a sweet pie.

Thursday I thought pork dumplings would be a good light dinner after fish and chips. I had also come across a gluten free dumpling wrap recipe that sounded good. I prepared the filling used my old tried and true recipe from the late 80s. 
Then I started the wraps which take three kinds of flour, chickpea, tapioca and rice.
It was more labour intensive than I thought so I called in the troops John and we got them done. I steamed them although the recipe made pot stickers. I found the dough to be a little too thick (roll thinner) and gluey. John enjoyed them We still have some filling left so I will make the GFJules GF recipe which we made once before. 
WHY WHY WHY did I try a new recipe when I see in my post that we thought the GFJules recipe was perfect?????? And I used my tortilla press???

Friday I used some of the shredded carrots and made this carrot cake with applesauce and I added raisins instead of nuts. I also used my own cream cheese icing recipe. I baked it in a 9 X 13 pan so cut it and froze half.
We had stopped at our favourite green grocer yesterday and I decided we needed to expand our fruit and vegetable staples (that's what happens when you watch MasterChef The Professionals). So I chose Swiss chard, passion fruit (1) and gooseberries.
We had our usual steak (airfryer) with sauteed Swiss chard, mushrooms and onions with a splash of sriracha and soy sauce. No leftovers tonight! 

WATCHING

I am almost finished with Breaking Bad and John is watching Scandal.

We started watching the much acclaimed British black comedy series Fleabag but it got real tired really quickly. 



Finished series Behind Her Eyes


Tuesday movie selections were:

Red Dragon yet another Hannibal movie from 2002.



Lies We Tell it didn't have great ratings but we enjoyed it.



READING

February 2021 - Hamilton ON

Browsed on my laptop - MasterChef:Street Food of the World not impressed, didn't find any recipes of interest.

Also browsed 365 Slow Cooker Suppers. The crockpot she used doesn't have any of the additional features like browning or baking.
I like her idea of putting gluten free biscuit mix on top of a chicken stew to make a pot pie. I am going to do this with the rest of the tourtiere filling so I don't have another disaster like above.

She offers gluten free options when required.

There are tons of chili and chicken recipes.

All in all there are lots of great ideas. I would buy this book if it was updated for the latest line of crock pots that have multiple features. I will keep this library copy for the loan duration so that I can go back and get more ideas.

Some recipes I would like to try
KFC inspired chicken I would use the roast feature on my slow cooker.
I'll be doing my St. Patrick's Day corned beef and cabbage in the slow cooker.



I would make this with lamb! Love the selection of spices.




John has mentioned wanting to try barbacoa tacos.


I came across a website 365 Days of Slow Cooking - not by the book author.
Another A Year of Slow Cooking blog.

24 comments:

  1. Hi Jackie,
    I love your cover photo of Toronto with that beautiful blue background. Living in Florida for the past ten winters, I haven't done or seen ice skating in many years. When I was young and our winters were continuously cold, we used to all own skates and go to a local log basin. Moms would stop by with thermoses of hot chocolate for the kids!

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  2. I am literally loving your photos, we've got problems with our lockdowns here, sigh. Just adding you to my following list now.

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  3. We were quite excited to see mounted police a couple of times. They certainly attract tourist attention.
    I always like broken wall murals.
    I've only ever seen Angostura brand bitters.
    Have you got your hands on the Colonel's secret recipe for chicken?

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  4. Wow, you really make me miss Toronto! I’m about 9 hours north of you, I’m just longing for life to return to some version of what we know as normal. Such a great post, I’m glad I found you today. Some yummy recipes, you’re a masterful cook!

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  5. I recently started working with Steve's Gluten Free Bread Flour for a client. Looking to improve my G/F baking skills! Baking G/F is new for me.

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  6. Really love the Coles note version of our week.

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  7. I understand what you mean about hitting a Covid wall. I had to set a new rule for myself where I get dressed for the day when I first wake up. I spent several days in my pjs, and that's just not a good habit to get into, I think.

    I bet it would be gloriously fun to ice skate there. I've only skated in an indoor rink a few times.

    The murals are great. Our town has gotten one new mural ever year in recent years.

    The slow cooker cookbook sounds super. We love ours.

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  8. That tangerine dessert looks wonderful.

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  9. I love looking at your pictures. Now that I've read your menu I must go make dinner - I'm starving! See what I read at Girl Who Reads

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  10. A nice collection of photos, Jackie. I hope the covid case in your building is contained and is just a one-off. The weather forecast calls for sunny days this coming week. Good to get out and about and clear our heads. Thank you for linking with #WeekendCoffeeShare.

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  11. I am always so inspired to look at your plethora of photos. Thanks for sharing. My Sunday Salon post this week

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  12. Never dull moment in Torondo. I'm sure the covid wall will be having doors and such opening up. Once a good portion of population has there shots they can gain more freedom.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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  13. I like Lemon , Lime and Bitters as long as it’s well balanced.
    I use my slowcooker to make beef gyro’s, I think it comes really close to what you’d buy from a Doner kebab takeaway, Let me know if you’d like the recipe :)

    Wishing you a great week

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  14. Love the mural done by the nine house Co. Happy that at least people are allowed to skate:) A slowcooker that can bake? That's the first time I hear about this! A tagine... I have wanted to buy one forever, but where I lived the stores are not that specialized in things of other cultures:) Happy you guys went out, like you used to (and braved the cold!)Many thanks for this lively share for All Seasons. PS That shadow of the afternoon sun is just perfect:) Have a bright week, Jesh

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  15. Toronto is definitely on my list for after-disaster travel! You do show lots of good things to do even if. you can’t really do them now. Hamilton, too. It’s hard to believe it’s only a few hours drive (if the border crossing isn’t too slow). I like your cocktail photos!

    be safe... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  16. The views of the lake really stand out.

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  17. hi jackie
    thanks for the mention. I love street art! all that snow cooled me right down. it is now autumn here as of yesterday, but it's still hot. we may get a storm later in the day. tangerine mousse sounds delicious. have a great March.

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  18. Jackie, your post was a feast for the eyes and tastebuds. Thank you. I also took a tour of your "about me" page and enjoyed your photo album-scrapbook style. Interesting life and delightful reading. Again, thanks!

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  19. Well, I wrote a comment but it seems to have disappeared... try, try again! (Apologies if you get two.) Thanks for this fascinating tour of your life and tiems. I enjoyed it very much. Great photos and recipes, too.

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  20. The lake walk looks so pretty. I didn't know they cleared the snow for skating. Breaking Bad was a prettty good series, we enjoyed that. Now we are about to rewatch Justified with Timothy Olyphant.

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  21. Love all the photos, especially of the murals. I hear that COVID wall; I think I hit it three months ago. There's some talk that we might stop teleworking in May. I'm not optimistic.....

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  22. Great photos and I really enjoyed reading about your month. All I can say about Toronto is burrrr... I have also tried GF pizza dough from a mix, not something I will repeat making. And, yes to what you have said about Covid, I hope the one case in your building is contained and doesn't spread.

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  23. Thanks for sharing the photos, I lived in Toronto for a year and remember how cold it was this time of year! Never tried GF pizzas, how interesting

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  24. I love Toronto. Thanks for this post. Toronto is "New York ruled by the Swiss." And it's true, because here you will find world-class theaters, shops and restaurants, while keeping the sidewalks clean and people friendly. The best place to start is the CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere.

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