Saturday, January 21, 2023

Brioche Dorée

   Linking up at Marg at The Intrepid Reader

January 2023 - Toronto ON

January 2023 - King St. W Toronto

Oddly enough, parts of Canada (including some very surprising spots) ended up warmer than the entirety of the United States this weekend. If anything it's a friendly reminder that no, 2023 will not be a normal year for weather.

Bank of Montreal buys Bank of the West in US, the biggest deal ever for a Canadian bank! John retired from BMO, I also worked for them. John's son is working on this deal for the last year.

Saturday passed as usual. We both caught up on the news on our laptops, did Wordle, crossword puzzles, read blogs and then it was time for lunch.

 I received two parcels from Amazon, a large kitchen scale and a bread slicer. The slicer is being returned, it was cheaply made and didn't fit together well. As John said, we do have good knives. I put dinner in the slow cooker at 2 and then watched some shows while I knitted.

Sunday we had bacon and eggs for breakfast. John settled in with an extra coffee and started watching his football/hockey games. I read blogs and did Wordle and the crossword puzzle.

I had a long chat with my friend who moved into a retirement home on Thursday. This is the first chat since the move as she caught me up on all the news. I learned about all the different characters she is meeting.

Then the usual domestic chores had to be done. Strip the bed, do laundry, etc.
I repotted and divided some plants. I baked. 
I took out tourtiere filling to make a pie but John said we had one in the freezer! Bonus!!

I made afternoon tea (Lady Grey for me and lemon ginger for John) with fresh scones and whipping cream! We usually would have coffee (if we were having) but the tea was perfect with the scones.

I had an AHA moment when reading the scone recipe, she is in the UK and mentioned storing her scones in a cake tin. I googled it and most referred to cake pans for baking unless the site was UK. Then I looked on Amazon and found some pretty (expensive) cake tins. 
We had just finished the last of our Christmas chocolates that happen to come in a tin. Voila! I kept it for the scones, then I looked in my catch-all closet and found three more tins!
Now I have a stash.

I had planned on watching some shows while knitting but that never happened. I was saying to John that we almost never use the library for magazines so I downloaded a few to read. So many ads, I wouldn't bother buying them but I got a few ideas. But seriously, some of the fashions!
Then I decided to update/add new recipes to my blog.

Monday we had a conference call with the contractor, Zoran, for the kitchen reno. We now have a budget, project plan, and tentative schedule in place. He scheduled a visit next week with the cabinet maker to review, measure and select doors, counters and backsplash.

I had planned on going out but then ended up making soup and bread (see below). John's scotch order arrived.

Tuesday John had his last chiropractor appointment so I headed downtown with him. I wanted to buy the gluten free cookbook I was raving about last week.

I made another loaf of the bread I made yesterday.

Wednesday we went downtown, we were early for our reservation so we went for a walk to Queen and John.

This is really getting up there. This is the building that I posted the video of the construction guy dangling back in June!

Dining outdoors in wintertime, bubble dining or heated geodesic domes (terrariums/igloos).

I took John to see this mural I posted last summer. the bubbles above are hiding the other mural.

John took a photo through the fence, I had posted this patio when we visited in 2021.
It doesn't look as cheerful in January!!

Pizza at Libretto's, terrible photo, I forgot to change the setting. I had the vegetarian (sans olives!) for the first time and really liked it. John had the diavola - spicy salami, san marzano tomato, olives, onion, fior di latte mozzarella, crema di peperoncino, fresh basil. 
We needed a nap when we got home!

I received an order of 3 sweaters, originally $60 for $25 each.

I also received by British grocer order from Blighty's! Click on the photo if you want a larger view.

Thursday rainy with a forecast of freezing rain as temperatures drop. As usual the weather guessers were wrong, it rained but didn't freeze around here.

John went to Metro to get a "few" things, a $175 later... He did get some good deals on lamb chops, ribs (Super Bowl dinner request)  and a large roast pork (will easily make 8 meals at least), as well as 4 large yogurts on sale, a couple of gluten free breads (never cheap), grapefruits, kiwis, avocados 5 for 2.99, raspberries, 2 blueberries, cauliflower, tomatoes, potatoes, 4 ice cream Hagen Dazs, eggs.
I received my order of sorghum and tapioca flours and the oven thermometer.

Friday John went down to the golf simulator for a couple of hours.
We tested out the oven with the new thermometer and it is definitely not getting hot enough. We'll work on the calibration on the weekend.
Click here to see how calibration works - this woman's oven was 30° F too hot and everything she baked got too brown. Mine is likely the opposite.

We had afternoon tea with the gluten free orange chocolate cookies from Blighty's. They are delicious. You get 8 cookies for $6, not that bad in the gluten free world.


Saturday lamb shanks in stout with cauli turnip mashed potatoes. I used Glutenberg gluten free stout.

The photo was an after thought, I should have presented it better!

Sunday tourtiere, filling was frozen from Christmas so I only had to make pastry. We had it with Caesar salad.

Monday I made Scotch Broth, lamb and barley, from the lamb shanks.
 I also made a bread from Cannelle et Vanille, a cookbook I am contemplating buying. The video is here. I followed the instructions word for word and it proofed wonderfully.

I also took it out of the baking pan after an hour and put it back on the oven rack for 45 minutes. Then I decided (wrongly), at 30 minutes, that the internal temperature was 210 F (as it should be) and removed it fifteen minutes earlier than the recipe. The bread had a wonderful crustiness but the inside was gummy. I should have left it the additional fifteen minutes. I would definitely make it again. Maybe even tomorrow!

Tuesday I made another loaf, first testing my yeast, it was dead, so I bought another one. I also saw in some comments that I should weigh the psyllium husk powder that said 4 teaspoons or 16g. it turned out my 4 teaspoons were only 12g. 
 This time I left it in the full 45 minutes out of the pan. I also put a pan of water in the oven as I had read about that. 

Well, this loaf proved what I always knew, my stove does not heat to its set temperature.
Both loaves ended up being undercooked, I even tried putting the second one back in the oven to try to get it cooked, which didn't work.
 I ordered an oven thermometer. 
But it looks good, so I will give them another try once I can check my oven temperature. 
BTW we did eat the first one. The second one, I cut up and roasted it with olive oil, garlic and Italian seasoning to make croutons.

Really nice and crusty.

Nice texture and crumbs. 

Slices well but you can see the dense gummy line at the bottom. I am persevering with this recipe because the bread looks so good and is so tasty. It is fun to make and only costs around $4 a loaf compared to store bought that cost between $8 and $10 each!

BTW we did eat the first one. The second one, I cut up and roasted it with olive oil, garlic and Italian seasoning to make croutons.

Tuesday dinner was leftover tourtiere and salad.

Wednesday light supper since we went out for pizza. We weren't hungry so we had egg sandwiches.

Thursday I wasn't sure but then John bought lamb chops so we marinated them and served with cauli potato mash and broccolini.

Friday we added kiwi to our morning fruit and yogurt.
 Dinner was steak and fries with roasted mushrooms, onions and tomatoes.


The Judge Season 2 Episode 1 - A judge confronts his convictions when his son is involved in a hit-and-run that embroils an organized-crime family. Facing impossible choices, he discovers how far a father will go to save his son's life. We wanted a longer episode!

The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 1- is an American post-apocalyptic drama television series. Based on the 2013 video game developed by Naughty Dog, the series follows Joel (Pedro Pascal), a smuggler tasked with escorting the teenage Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across a post-apocalyptic United States.
It is the largest television production in Canadian history, was filmed in Alberta from July 2021 to June 2022.

Steel Toes - A Jewish humanist and lawyer (Academy Award-nominee David Strathairn) is court-appointed to represent a Neo-Nazi Skinhead on trial for the racially-motivated murder of an East Indian immigrant. This is very cleverly done with good dialogue.

We started a Spanish series Sky Rojo listed as a comedy/drama. I would say less comedy and more drama. 
(transl. Red Leatherette) is a Spanish black comedy action drama television series. The series traces three prostitutes who flee from their pimp. According to the creators, the series shows "the impunity, ambiguity and brutal reality of prostitution, and the psychological portraits of those on both sides of the scale". WARNING EXPLICIT EVERYTHING!


I am continuing to read The Palace Papers, I haven't been reading that much. I managed to borrow it a second time.


Canadian Living I did get some recipe ideas. But beet and apple soup, nope.
Yes to this!

We eat a lot of clementines in the winter! Perfect tp add tp scones or muffins!

Taste Australia

There was an article about Poh Ling Weow's new cookbook What I Eat When Nobody is Watching. I "know" Poh from watching Masterchef Australia. Click here to see some of her recipes.

Who knew you could freeze guacamole? Simply drizzle oil over the top before freezing in an air tight container.

BBC Good Food


  1. Your bread looks lovely, I cooked and baked for a GF family for awhile, bread is hard! We had -35 at our Wyoming home, broken pipes and lots of flooding damage when it warmed up. When we return from winter travel, I will only have walls and studs to go back to. Have a great week ahead, your photos were wonderful to view as I sit here in the Arizona desert.

  2. Those pizzas look amazing! We owe bank of the West for our RV. Maybe oour loan will get lost in the transition!!

  3. The last of my Christmas chocolate is in the fridge- a bag of Lindt.

  4. The only time now I drink tea now is with scones. Coffee would just seem so wrong.
    The igloos are a good idea but I would feel so closed in, I may as well be inside.
    Poh is terrific and well respected.

  5. I'm glad you were able to get the gluten-free cookbook. I bet it is more expensive to bake gluten-free. Fortunately for us, we can both eat gluten without difficulty.

    I suspect that my oven isn't showing the right temperature. I should get an oven thermometer, too.

    Those pizzas!

  6. Too bad the bread slicer was cheap goods, but what I like about amazon ordering is that they take things back without a lot of trouble. Our return location is a Whole Foods store less than a mile from our home.

    best… mae at

  7. Love all your pictures. And wow, making your own croutons! Which may I say look delicious! Glad you had a good, but busy looking week! Hope this week is good for you as well!
    Lisa Loves Literature

  8. I learned, from another blogger, that the reason the heating elements in my oven got burnt out is because I used the self-cleaning setting! And that makes perfect sense because the first heating element stopped working not long after that and then the other element stopped working about a year later after I used the self-cleaning setting again.

    I know that has nothing to do with YOUR oven issue. Your issue just made me think of my issue. lol

    But yes, until I get that heating element replaced, I have to use an oven thermometer and set my oven 5-10 degrees higher to get the oven heated up to the temperature I want. And things do get cooked thoroughly but I can forget about anything browning as it is the top element that's not working. G-r-r-r-r-r-r. Even cheap, frozen pizza is not the same if that cheese won't brown a little bit.

    I'm drooling over the lamb shanks.

  9. I love the photos and the food! You're getting a kitchen reno? That sounds awesome. My house badly needs one of those.

  10. We banked at Bank of the West several years ago when that bank was in the town we lived in. Isn't it fun to find things around in the house that we saved such as the tins, that become be very useful. I would like to eat out in one of those bubbles. The murals are amazing & colorful. We like onions & peppers on our pizza. I like olives, Kevin doesn't. Thanks for sharing the recipes. I think I will make a variation of the chops, rice & slaw. Thanks for the idea. We have pork chops in the freezer that need to be cooked. Karen #Weekendcoffeeshare


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