Saturday, July 11, 2020

Self-Isolation Week 18

Weekend Cooking is now hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader!

July 2020 - Toronto ON


This map shows why it would be 'terrifying' to open Canada-U.S. border.

U.S.-Canada border could remain closed until next year unless 'something miraculous' happens: doctor

Doug Ford’s Ontario government is extending emergency orders to July 22 to align with proposed legislation.

Provincial public health officials have reported a spike in COVID-19 due to increased testing among farm workers in Windsor-Essex.

Toronto and many surrounding regions have now made it mandatory to wear face masks while inside enclosed public spaces. The policy came into effect on Tuesday in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as more businesses start to reopen.
People in Toronto will now be required to wear a mask on public transportation and inside shops, grocery stores and malls.
They will not need to wear a mask while at home, while eating on a patio or at most workplaces where physical distancing is possible. It will also not apply to child-care centres or people who have underlying medical conditional that make it difficult to wear a mask.

What is so difficult about wearing a mask? You wear shoes and a shirt so why does a mask interfere with your rights during a life-threatening pandemic?
If we have to go back into lockdown, I'm fine with that, but the non-maskers will be yelling and screaming then too.

Yelling racist slurs at store employees asking you to wear a mask is beyond acceptable.


Saturday we had a consultant come and design and provide an estimate to replace the island I currently have in the kitchen. She did a great job and we signed a contract. The wait time is eight weeks. All the contractors are so backed up after being inactive for three months!
UPDATE I have an August 27 start date.

Replacing this:

With this:

I have to buy a new garbage/recycling bin, I had planned on putting it in the new counter but have decided it is better under the sink, utilizing the space more efficiently. AND then a πŸ’‘πŸ’‘πŸ’‘lightbulb πŸ’‘πŸ’‘πŸ’‘ moment, just move what I have under the sink!!! $120 saved πŸ’΅πŸ’΅πŸ’΅

Garbage/recyling was at the end of the island. Now moved under the sink.

Monday John played golf. I toyed with going out but decided to err on the side of safety. 

I decided to play it safe most of the week and stayed in other than a visit with a neighbour, wearing masks and/or practicing social distancing, on the grounds outside our building.

Our plants are loving this hot weather!
Finally our windows were cleaned this week, including the balcony and a spider treatment is being applied. We cleared the balcony and put the plants in the shower to have a good wash to rid them of spider webs.
I spoke to the guys and it was hot so I filled up their water bottles. They were spraying and were back later, 9 PM, to clean the windows. John offered them more water. What a great job they did.

I also heard from a local Facebook group that eucalyptus deodorant helps deter the spiders.

DAY TRIPPIN' Niagara-on-the-Lake
Thursday HOT HOT HOT! It's been nine days of heat warnings.

Heat Warning

Issued at 04:32 Friday 10 July 2020
A prolonged period of hot weather continues.

Daytime high temperatures in excess of 30 degrees Celsius, with humidex values in the high thirties to low forties, are expected. Overnight lows near 20 degrees Celsius are also expected, providing little relief from the heat.

I had made a reservation (required for patio with 90 minute timeslots) for a place in Niagara on the Lake NOTL that served gluten free pizza, Bricks and Barley .
Our first eat out excursion since March.

Burnt Ship Bay Savignon Blanc $25 ($13.55 at the winery) from Pondview Estates.
See our wine diary.

Pizza was good, the gluten free is smaller and the crust is not as good as Libretto's. So verdict, good if you're in the neighbourhood but not worth the drive just for pizza. Menu is huge, so mostly frozen and then deep fried. Salads are gigantic, most people didn't finish so just a waste.
Rose we requested was not available. Service good.
Patio distancing excellent and tables and chairs were sanitized after each set of customers.
Of note, the regular pizza did not reheat well at all.


Just a couple of wineries today. Too hot!

Wayne Gretzky

Our surprise today! We thought it was closed and ready to drive away but we watched a woman enter so we followed to our delight. We were treated to a great wine tasting by a very friendly, funny server.

Friday we can finally see Immersive Van Gogh. 

Our original tickets which I bought back in February for May 5 that then got moved to July 10. This is the same show we saw last year in Paris and we are excited to see the North American premiere.

Just a couple of photos. I'll post more separately.
The show was outstanding.
I have to admit I love social distancing. There were circles on the floor and you could move from one to another. People were very good about staying in their circles, except of a couple of couples who didn't seem to get the concept!
We had so much space to enjoy without people being next to you.

Might have to be my new Sidwalking badge!

The show runs on a 35 minute loop so people are coming and going all the time, and the circles limit the crowd.


Cee from Cee's Photo Challenges says:
I had a marvelous response from all of you on last week’s Anything Painted, from a cabinet to peeling paint challenge. I want to say thank you to each of you. Here are the featured bloggers for this week. Their posts really grabbed my attention. They are all worthy of a second or third look.
Travel with Intent
Junk Boat Travels


Jamie Oliver's 15 and 20 Minute Meals shows are rerunning on one of the channels. I am obsessed with him at the moment. I own the 15 Minute cookbook but couldn't find a 30 Minute book anywhere. John tracked it down in the UK and ordered it for me!!

Saturday and I went to my trusty 15 Minute Jamie Oliver and we made seared Asian beef with noodle salad and ginger dressing minus the noodles, which would be delicious with it. Definitely a keeper!!!

I also made two of the cinnamon raisin loaves and froze one. Still no photo πŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“Έ


Continuing with our Sunday breakfast "tradition". My new food processor is being put to good us. It is being used several times a day. For breakfast we made hash browns, something I never eat out, too greasy. John cooked them to perfection.

I made strawberry banana ice cream.

Herb crusted pork chops with cauliflower au gratin and carrots. This was absolutely delicious pork, from Costco, they are thick boneless chops.

Monday I decided to use up the leftover pork as spring rolls. This was fantastic. It was the tastiest use of leftover roast pork. I used GF rice paper rolls. I think I wouldn't add the cabbage and carrot mix to the pan, they would be crunchier if left raw. I also added onion to the mix.
I do need to find a better sweet and sour sauce. I used this one and it was too ketchupy. John loved the peanut sauce I made from Cookie and Kate.

John bought three whole chickens are Costco today. I took one and removed the breasts and wings (for tomorrow) and the rest I simmered with star anise, 5 Chinese spice, cumin, carrot, onion, ginger, garlic,celery and shrimp shells. I then removed the legs and shredded the meal. Strained the broth, sauteed a pan of cilantro, star anise, cardamon, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, fish sauce, and added to the broth. Then added the chicken meat and shrimp along with shredded carrots and cabbage along with vermicelli noodles. Served with cilantro, scallions, lime and jalapenos.

My cooking streak this week came to an end on Wednesday as I made spinach feta stuffed chicken breasts. I used frozen spinach as I had it. Many recipes did too so I wasn't worried about that. Much as I like spinach although John doesn't like it as a separate vegetable, we both thought this mixture was uninspiring and not worth the work.

Thursday John took it upon himself to make dinner from start to finish. He made beef nachos with salsa. He even had to run out and get sour cream at the last minute.

Friday and it's steak night with mushrooms, green peppers and onions.


Click here for 2019 Scoops!

Monk's Grimsby
Pink grapefruit and raspberry lemonade

Nani's Gelato
Last year we tried carrot and cream and sweet potato as samples at his food truck so it was top of my list for 2020.
Indian chai and espresso liqueur
Mojiito (V) chocolate raspberry (V) ricotta strawberry

NONE this week other than homemade banana pineapple coconut.
AND we had our first Starbucks caramel drizzle frappacino of the season. Does it count?


Let me know if you want the answers!

Borrowed An Anonymous Girl as it popped up in the 7 day rental section at the library.
A creepy thriller on morality, and what would you do? I'm not quite finished and I have been second guessing the ending. Can't wait.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Day Trippin'

Welland ON Week 1
Niagara Wine Region Week 2
St. Catharines Week 3
Niagara Wine Region Week 4
Niagara Wine Region Jordan Week 5
St. Catharines Week 6
Niagara-on-the-lake Week 7

Cork Screwed TV introduces you to the Niagara wine region and the wines.

Wine Diary WIP

July 2020 - Niagara Region ON

This week we headed to Niagara-on-the-Lake for lunch and some wineries. It was an incredibly hot and humid day.

We are still in Stage 2 so patios are open but not inside restaurants.
Pandemic talk - YEAH πŸŽ† patios are open
DARN 😭 it's too hot out

After a pizza lunch we tried a few wineries.

Not surprisingly, Wayne Gretzky's winery is big and bold and lacks any personal touch.

We wanted to visit Pondview as we had their Sauvignon Blanc Burnt Ship Bay (winery $13.55) at lunch but they were closed.

But the true gem of today was a stop at Between the Lines, a small family run winery who do not sell to the LCBO.

We did an extensive wine tasting and bought 5 of them. Our server was totally knowledgeable and passionate about their wines. She helped us decide which wines we would like.

She pointed out the Pinot Noah Reserve and the Cabernet Leon Reserve named after the owner's sons.

Type: Red wine   Variety: Pinot Noir
Description: The 2017 Pinot Noah Reserve is a tribute to BTL owner Greg Wertsch' son Noah. "Grapes grown the year Noah was born were made into my favorite wine, Pinot Noir. Like Noah, this wine will develop into its full character and become a part of Between The Lines' story." - Gregory Wertsch
A rich full-bodied wine, the Pinot Noah has intense fruit aromas of rich cherry and smoke. On the palate, it reveals bramble fruit and ripe cherry.
Tasting Notes: Nose: Strawberry, cherry, and layers oak.

Wine type: Red Wine   Variety: Cabernet Franc
Description: As a tribute to Greg Wertsch's son Leon, he took his finest Cabernet Franc vines and turned their fruit into this stellar Niagara Red. Like Leon, this wine will develop its full character over time and become a part of the family's history in winemaking.
Tasting Notes: Nose: Blackberry, fresh oak

Just way too hot so we headed home.