Sunday, February 28, 2021


 One Word Sunday

Toronto ON

Dirty snow on city streets. This was taken last winter, we haven't had much snow this year and it now looks like an early spring.

Saturday, February 27, 2021


 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!!!!!


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.


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! 


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.


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.