Saturday, February 13, 2021

That's My Jam

February 2021 - Hamilton ON

The weekend was the usual, stay home. It was Superbowl Sunday and John was settled for that while I watched Netflix.

I had ordered a couple of things on Amazon for a friend in the building so we met for a chat.

Sunday sunset.

Monday and were are in a deep freeze. It was minus -13 C ( 9 F) but with the wind chill factor it would feel like minus -20 C ( - 4 F).  Didn't go anywhere.

Tuesday I had checked the flyers and Metro had beef broth (can't find at Costco lately) on special 2 for $4. So we decided to go to a new to me (John had been there once) Metro. What a great store. I was like a kid in a candy store and emerged $155 later. To be fair, I was planning on crab legs for Valentine's so I picked those up and they are not cheap. It had a great gluten free selection and a fabulous frozen fish offering.

Home and it is Movie day. 

Wednesday we took another drive to Hamilton for fish and chips. Today they had a special, 3 pieces of haddock and chips for $21.

Driving around to find more murals, I got enough for three Monday Mural posts.
This area is called Hess Village, full of trendy restaurants. We'll be back whenever we can dine inside or out again.

Random murals.

On King William St. we got out for a bit, but it was still very cold.
Take a load off your feet!

Green bin is called "Bin There, Dump That". John put his hood up pretty quickly.
Another area with lots of cool restaurants.

Thursday and cold again. We stayed in and got chores done. You can't avoid laundry and fridge cleaning forever.
 John also cleaned the labels off his wine bottles in prep for another batch. 
House plants got some pampering and several got repotted. Lost my big ivy, got a weird fine web on it. 

Friday was snowy and very cold again, so staying home it was. We were looking forward (again) to a good snowfall. 
Feeling like -22C and up north, Muskoka it is -21C feeling like -24C.

Once again we didn't get much snow along the lake but my BFF not that far west from us sent this photo in the afternoon. Earlier in the week she had sent a photo of a hawk sitting on the bench waiting to eat from the bird feeder.


We've decided to start a new tradition on Saturday nights, cocktails. Neither of us have ever really liked mixed drinks with soft drinks. But since I had gotten a couple of kits before Christmas (supporting the local businesses) we used one of them, making mai tais with the new-to-us ingredient ORGEAT!! 
Orgeat syrup is a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose water or orange flower water. It was originally made with a barley-almond blend. It has a pronounced almond taste and is used to flavor many cocktails. Orgeat syrup is an important ingredient in the Mai Tai and many Tiki drinks.

I tried a new very easy recipe for dinner that was really quite good. The sauce is not even cooked! Penne with shrimp and spicy tomato sauce with a salad and homemade oil and vinegar dressing. Olive oil, red wine vinegar, molasses, Dijon mustard.

Sunday Superbowl and John requested chilli. 

I had ordered a new to me sauce for a Peruvian chicken recipe that John had found.
Habanero and Aji Amarillo click here to make your own.
Aji Amarillo peppers have a good level of heat – in the 30,000 – 50,000 Scoville Heat Units range.
I also got Panko gluten free bread crumbs because they were a good price.

Monday I wanted to finally test out the browning feature on my new crockpot. It worked so well! It takes a while to pre-heat but then it does an amazing job.
We had beef (Korean beef ribs) and lamb kidney stew with lots of vegetables.
I should have taken a photo after they had browned.

Tuesday leftover stew.

Wednesday chicken fajitas - delicious on the gluten free wraps we had found.
Thursday roast pork mashed sweet potato, potato, parnsip and cauliflower au gratin (cauliflower cheese).

Friday steak with broccoli mushroom stir fry.

Here is an example post from a local gluten free bakery, Queen St. explaining the various types of gluten free flour and their uses.

Read a Mark Bittman article on the staples you should have ✅ only thing I'm missing is miso and it is on my list.


I was talking to John about BBC's Masterchef The Professionals 2020 and what one of the contestants had done. I showed him the clip and explained the premise and he was interested so we watched S13E01 together and he was hooked. We've watched 5 episodes together. 

It is such a pleasure to watch UK and Australian cooking shows without all the meanness of reality television. Contestants often help each other as witnessed on the Great British Bake Off series.

My favourite part of the show is the Skills Test, where the professionals, Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti demonstrate how to prepare two dishes before the contestants are in the room. The contestants then enter the room are told what to make and have 20-25 minutes to provide the same dish which is then judged. You can learn a lot of tips and ideas in this section.

After they complete the Skills Test they then get a chance redeem themselves with a two course menu of their choice.

Four professional chefs compete and two go home on each episode.

Episode 1 - mushroom tortellini and butterflied mackerel.
Episode 2 - sweetbreads with a rustic red wine sauce and a glazed sabayon fruit dessert
Episode 3 - quarter final between the winning four chefs from E01 and E02 cook with spices and then for two restaurant critics. Again two go home.
Episode 4 - butcher a chicken, debone the thighs and cook them with asparagus and a brandy, mushroom and mustard cream sauce, all in just 20 minutes.
Fruit tart filled with a berry compote, piped pistachio chantilly and candied pistachios
Episode 5 - French-trimming a rack of lamb and filleting a plaice
Episode 6 - is a quarter final conducted the same as Episode 3. In all 32 chefs will compete and the series continues in this format.

For anyone interested all the seasons and episodes are available on Dailymotion.

I finally found the rest of Masterchef Australia Season 12, I had watched some episodes last year at the beginning of the pandemic but could never find the rest, now I am a happy camper. This is the season with the new judges and previous contestants competing to win!

New judges!

We chose Greenland to watch on Saturday night and it was an excellent action/disaster!

I am still watching Breaking Bad and also started The Cable Girls (Spanish) for some lightness. I may or may not go back to Cable Girls.

Tuesday movie selections, chosen randomly from some PVRs we had.
Suspect Zero was first up, serial killer movie with Ben Kingsley.
Next random choice and it happened to be also a serial killer also with Ben Kingsley. Night Hunter was definitely a suspense and we didn't see the turn it would take.

This week we also watched The Pelican Brief, which we had seen/read when it first came out.
Presumed Innocent was another 1990s hit that we enjoyed.
The Vanished was surprisingly interesting and kept us hooked.

John is reading a John Lennon biography which prompted us to look at our photos from our trip to Liverpool in 2010.

I browsed Naturally Nourished on my laptop. She made me want to make mushroom soup!

I think John would love her coconut zinger black bean soup!
And she reminded me that I wanted to try making chickpea croutons in her grilled Caesar salad recipe.

Format she uses.

I was worn out by The Scarlet Letter on my phone so I started House of Correction by Nicci French (thanks, Tina).

On my tablet is I Should Have Honor A Memoir of Hope and Pride in Pakistan.


  1. You certainly have some cold weather conditions. Our son lives in Omaha nebraska and he is getting very low temps and loads of snow.
    Yes to that photo of fish and chips, looks delicious. Hope you like House of Corrections. The main character is sometimes hard to like but I admire her tenacity. The Lennon bio sounds good, I am actully looking for one ofn McCartney these days.

  2. You really hit the jackpot on murals this week. Those are just beautiful!

    be safe... mae at

  3. That sunset is amazing!

    It seems you've got quite a lot of utility boxes with artistic designs to them.

  4. I think you would have probably come across cooking judge Peter Evans. He is now an absolute crackpot and is thinking of running as a candidate for an extreme political party. If you haven't come across it, and no matter how old the episodes are, I can recommend The Cook and The Chef. Maggie and Simon are an unlikely combination but it works.
    I've had Mai Tais but it was so long ago and I can't remember the taste now.
    The snow where your BFF lives looks great.

    1. Yes, I know Peter Evans, have one of his cookbooks. Thanks, Andrew, I hadn't heard of The Cook and The Chef, I will definitely look for it!
      It's been donkey's years since we had cocktails and it is fun. I even dug out the cocktail stocks this week.

  5. I love all your photos! Have a great week ahead.

  6. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts about the new judges on Australian Masterchef. It's a very different series because of the COVID-19 restrictions that came in part way through the series. I think here a lot of people were going to not watch without the original judges but it's pretty much agreed that they have rejuvenated the series.

  7. thanks so very much jackie for joining in with IMK. lovely to have you! your post is wonderful. Love the street signs and street art. lots happening in your world. take care.

  8. I don't know how you can take all that cold. We're supposed to have a week of cold this coming week. It will go down to 20 F (-6 C). We worked all day prepping things for the cold.

    Thank you for getting out and sharing the murals you saw. I love seeing these.

    My crockpot will go right on the stove for browning. It's nice to really just use one pot.

    I read Scarlet Letter in high school, and I don't think I want to return to it. Sometimes teachers can spoil a good story.

  9. That fish looks delicious! I love seeing your pics, it’s nice to see other parts of the world.

  10. I agree that British and Australian (and I assume Canadian?) shows are much better than US shows at being "real." I find the US shows to be exhausting.

  11. Gorgeous photos - love the murals! There are crockpots with a browning feature?? Clearly it's time for me to upgrade. I remember loving The Pelican Brief and Presumed Innocent way back when... thanks for the reminder.

  12. Br.r.r. So m. cold. Hope you are indoors and staying warm. The fried fish looks so delicious. Yum. My Sunday Salon Post


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