Saturday, January 9, 2021

What's Cooking

January 2021 - Toronto ON

Oh no! The St. Patrick's Day parade has been cancelled for this year!!

The weekend was a quiet uneventful end to the holidays.

Since we're in lockdown, I have to amuse myself. I learned how to fold hoodies and it works.

In the interests of not wasting, and a lot of time on my hands, I froze the leftover orange juice (from our holiday mimosas) in ice cube trays and then into a baggie for baking. I also took 3 sad dried oranges that John was going to throw out and zested and juiced them to add to the ice cube trays.

Finally on Thursday we decided to do a driving outing to check out some murals and some odd/weird houses.

This was on the side of a bus stop shelter. Is this thing over yet?

These murals are just some extras found on the way. I will have the others on Monday Mural.

This house is attracting attention for its huge house number.

The Elephant House has been there since 2003, a life-size plaster mammoth sculpture in the front yard. The sculpture is titled An Elephant in the Room and was made as a student project. We Live Here article.

This was a surprise as I stepped out to get a photo of the Greek house.

The piece de resistance of this outing will be shown at Tuesday Treasures. And a hint on Weekend Reflections.

I had the biggest surprise when I arrived home. I had a parcel with a book from Deb Nance over at Readerbuzz, Deb had promised that she would pass on her copy of 50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life when she was finished. It cost her a fortune in postage (international from Texas to Canada). I promised her I would pass it on to someone else when I was done.

We had a lobby/social distanced/masked visit with a friend. I must mention the lobby was notably more busy than usual. With only 2 people per elevator at a time it also takes longer. A woman that we sort of know in passing, had gone upstairs and forgot her grocery cart. She had returned to retrieve it and chatted, then complained that we don't have our valet service (stopped in March when pandemic safety measures began), "after all she pays for that service". I said "oh, what tough first world problems you have", I don't think she appreciated that.

Friday John took the car in for service and I took a quick trip to the $ store and Longo's for groceries, nowhere else is open.


You can do curbside pickup.

An escalator was out of order so I had to take the elevator at Maple Leaf Longos. First time to see self-clean buttons...

But the sun was out and it was a crisp day so that made all the difference. This was the first time that I noticed the name St. Regis on the hotel that was originally The tRump Tower. It is the blue building in the middle.

We've (read I) decided to keep track of our NYT mini crossword puzzle.


New Recipes - 2
1 hit - Chicken Alfredo
1 miss - almond flour banana bread

Saturday was New Year's Day leftovers, still delicious. Prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes carrots and turnips and mushroom gravy. 
The bones and leftovers went into a stock pot along with any suspicious looking characters lurking in the vegetable bin.

Sunday John requested au gratin potatoes and cauliflower (we already had last week) and pork chops.

Monday I reheated the frozen tourtiere I had made and served with baked beans.
The beef stock went into the freezer.

Tuesday shrimp and salad. I made a creamy lemon dressing using this recipe.

Sunday's leftover au gratin cauliflower and potatoes became cauliflower cheese soup. I first made a stock with a piece of leftover ham, an onion, celery and the stalk of the cauliflower. Strained and I added the au gratin and some fresh cauliflower (not enough to do anything with) and then blitzed everything with the hand blender. Added lots of black pepper and we had lunch with soda bread.

Wednesday John was pining for pasta. I used this recipe for creamy Alfredo with chicken because I had some chicken breasts frozen. We both agreed this was better than  my carbonara recipe.

I also made almond flour banana bread no sugar which was awful! John didn't mind it, but it felt undercooked. 

Thursday was tried and true Spanish chicken thighs, which includes chorizo and is best served with mashed potatoes, although rice, noodles or crusty bread.

Friday and we are back to our weekly steak with sauteed brocolini, bok choy and bean sprouts and onions.

How to keep your bagged salads fresh - add a paper towel to the bag when you get home!


2020 reading totals - 76 books not a great record. It seems I spent way more time watching shows/series on Netflix and my laptop.

I started reading Good Faith and am glad I am enjoying the first book of the year.

I also thought I should do more classics reading. So I borrowed Look Homeward, Angel, slow going but I will persevere. 

Still watching Ozark (for me) and we finished Yellowstone.
We started on The Flight Attendant. I had read the book by Chris Bohjalian and parts of me prefer the book, the series has a bit too much of a comic twist.

Torontonians borrowed eight million audio and ebooks in 2020. I was thinking this wasn't a really great number but then realized hard-copy books were not in that number. With libraries closed for part of the year people turned to online.
Most borrowed:
  1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  2. Talking To Strangers: What We Should Know About The People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell
  3. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  4. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
  5. Atomic Habits by James Clear
  6. Normal People by Sally Rooney
  7. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
  8. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  9. The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
  10. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett


  1. And that´s what I forgot to buy today, mandarines. Argh!
    Huh, the skull :-)
    How often do postmen run around here asking for housenumbers. THAT is a good one! The mammoth is a bit... big. The Greek house sure makes a point!
    Great pressie and book, I just started a journal - it´s from the flow magazine, available to anyone?
    Self-clean buttons are cool!

    LOL, I had a miss, too. Sadly I found three bags of frozen banana!
    Hmmm. Cauliflower I have frozen, too, sounds good as soup with cheese!
    LOL. Breast-post to come. I yelled loud enough! Oh, I never had bok choy yet.
    Miss the Obamas, am sick of Trump in our news (not the point, I know)!

  2. I liked The Dutch House and I a lookign forward to getting a copy of the book Normal People.
    That elephant is very cool!

  3. Great elephant! I also love your murals and the "Greek" house. Thanks for another tour of Toronto. When it's possible, I'm really hoping to visit there once again, as it's only a 5 hour drive if you don't get stuck at the border.

    be well and safe... mae at

    1. When you do, Mae, let me know and we can grab a coffee.

  4. Would love to see the inside of the Greek House

    1. Me too! You got me curious so I googled the inside but didn't find anything.

  5. Always such great photos! We want to watch Yellowstone also (it is filmed around our area), but don't want to have to purchase another viewing subscription...

  6. I don't know those self cleaning lift buttons. I only press lift buttons now with the the knuckle of a finger.

    1. I know, seriously?? I'm an elbow or key button pusher.

  7. Glad to see that you could still get out for a drive.

    That recipe for spanish chicken thighs looks amazing!

  8. I'm very glad the book arrived. I think the authors are in some way affiliated with Flow magazine. It's fun to think of the book being passed around.

    The murals and other art you post always lifts my spirits. I've been quite down this week, dispirited about my fellow Americans. How has this wicked man managed to win the hearts of so many people? It leaves me feeling despair.

    I love seeing all the cooking you have done in the past week. We've been making lots of soups and soup-ish things.

    Have a good week, Jackie!

  9. That huge elephant made me smile. Guess they still love it now they're not a student anymore (or, too hard to get rid off?) Love that Greek house. I can just hear you say that to the lady complaining paying for all that service!! That banana bread looks very easy:) We got the bowls at Target (do you have Target in Toronto?), because I needed bowls for treats for the grands to put treats in munch - so they couldn't be too big. Always fun to see at All Seasons what's new in your week's cooking plan:) Jesh

  10. Greek house looks interesting. I don't think events and such might happen in late summer. I hope it safe to see some things let say September or latter. There a few galleries, museum, and shows I like to see.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

  11. I was just wondering if there would be room for the elephant somewhere in my garden ... nope, no chance!


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