Saturday, January 14, 2023


  Linking up at Marg at The Intrepid Reader

January 2023- Toronto ON

2016 - San Miguel de Allende Mexico

Sunday I went to help a friend that is moving from the building. She needed help taking stuff to her car and out of her locker. She also wanted to order something online from the States. 
She gave me this plant that she didn't want to take with her. Bird came with it.

Monday I received a call that the alarm guy would be coming. To say I am upset is an understatement.

The technician arrived, looked and said that he thought he was just replacing a hardwired alarm and went on to state that if he was installing a new one there would be electrical involved (yes I would think so for that price).
Instead he replaced the expired one and added a new one outside the bedroom.
Time 1/2 hour which involved going back to his truck twice.
Parts $90
Service $285
Truck $50
For a total of $480.25 - the same as the quote I was given assuming I was getting a hard wired alarm installed!
We could have done this ourselves or even hired our handy man at $75 an hour would have been cheaper.
After I had written my outraged emails, I calmed down. UPDATE no response received from alarm company.

I spent a lot of time this week watching/reading/learning/shopping about baking gluten free bread.
I did break down as mentioned below and bought some additional flours for baking bread.

Tuesday I met a friend for lunch. We had wanted to try a new place in First Canadian Place but we reached it at noon and it was packed with workers from the various office towers. We tried another food court that was also packed so we went back to our usual in Union Station, WVRST.

John did a Costco run as we were out of several things including coffee.

John is doing well, he broke a side plate today.

Wednesday I went to get a haircut although it was so cold and windy on King St. I almost turned around but then I'm Canadian, I can do this! I picked up lunch at The Daily Ritual Café, ham and cheese, described like this on the menu. It was pre-made. The lettuce was limp, tomato almost invisible, cheddar - plastic slices and aioli completely missing in action. What a waste.

What do you think of this guy's fashion style?

John went to bottle his wine and then lunched (he had curry) with a friend at The Brogue Inn.

Thursday (wet and foggy) view out our window.

I met up with my friend for the last time, in our building before she moves!

Friday we both stayed in and we actually got a dusting of snow. That white bus is our bus.

Meanwhile Ottawa got 16cm of snow!

We did get a cold weather alert from the office for this weekend, as it is supposed to go to -11C (12F), reminding us that the heat should be on to avoid burst radiators.

 I placed an order from Blighty's, a British grocer, as we wanted jam. Of course I also ordered crisps, cheese and onion and a few other items that will come next week.
I also bought a larger kitchen scales and a bread slicer.


Saturday John made tuna sandwiches for lunch, delicious.
Dinner - ham, au gratin potatoes and cauliflower, turnips and Brussel sprouts. I mashed the turnips and put the oiled and parmesan Brussel sprouts in the oven.

Sunday John made a classic omelette , we decided on the basic, with cheese only. I love these in France. He declared it was perfect!

As I looked for this recipe I wondered on the correct spelling of omelette, as spell check told me that my omelette was incorrect. It seems omelette is the correct French or English spelling and omelet is American.
Dinner - lasagna. I had frozen homemade meat sauce. I used the gluten free lasagna sheets and should have baked it longer as John thought they were too hard.

Typical breakfast but we always have yogurt with it.

Monday lunch - I used the ham to make ham salad sandwiches. This was delicious, I added a little Dijon as well.
When we lived in Montreal and worked at the Bank of Montreal we could walk to their head office on Rue Ste. Jacques for lunch that cost about 75 cents. One of my favourite sandwiches was their chopped ham. I've thought of that sandwich often over the years and finally decided to try making it. I think this recipe finally got it right. 
Another sandwich that stands out in my mind, although I never tried it, was their peanut butter and bacon!
That was before 1985. In 1985 the federal government brought in taxable benefits which meant the bank had to charge more for meals among a lot of other things as it was considered a taxable benefit.

Dinner - baked chicken thighs with roast potatoes and carrots.

Wednesday fish chowder.

Thursday chicken thighs and Caesar salad with cornbread. I've never made cornbread, this recipe seemed the simplest, I used gluten free flour instead. 


1923 is an American Western drama television series is a prequel to the  series Yellowstone and serves as a sequel to the series 1883. The series is set to run for two seasons with eight episodes each. The first season was divided into two parts, with the second premiering on February 5, 2023. Helen Mirren is amazing, and much as I love Harrison Ford, he is just too old for this part.

The Golden Globes were fun to watch as we had seen most of the nominations. 

Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street - The rise and fall of financier Bernie Madoff, who orchestrated one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in the history of Wall Street. This was so good as I didn't really know a lot about him. As The Guardian said "grubby and jaw-dropping from the start, he was a financial serial killer".

Woman of the Dead - In a vengeful quest to find out who killed her husband, a woman ends up exposing her small community's deepest and ugliest secrets. Filmed in Austria.


I finished The London House and was totally absorbed by the weaving of the letters, diaries and historical documents into a story. I didn't care for the current day story line so I skimmed over Mat and Caroline.         

I really enjoyed fact checking as I read and learned some interesting tidbits.

I started Trust. It was the winner of the Kirkus Prize and longlisted for the Booker Prize. It was named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by both The New York Times and The Washington Post, and it is currently being developed as a limited series for HBO.
It is a collection of four manuscripts at different stages of completion, and they tell different versions of the story of a Wall Street businessman and his wife in the years leading up to the Great Depression. I gave up on it.

Instead I started The Palace Papers, with Harry in the news this week, I am enjoying this.

NEW WORD OF THE WEEK - happen to be baking words

LAME - A Lame (pronounced LAHM, meaning “blade” in French) is typically a long thin stick made to hold a metal razor used to cut, or score, bread dough to help control the expansion of the loaf as it bakes.

BANNETON - Proofing baskets are called bannetons or brotforms, they give structure and shape to the dough during its final rise. They may vary in shapes and sizes, can be round, oval or oblong and from small (8 inches) to extra large sizes (12 inches).


I mentioned at the end of last year that I am on a mission to create good gluten free bread! Since then I have been going through recipe sites, pinning recipes, watching YouTube videos, and borrowing library books. I even joined a couple of FB groups.

I flipped through Gluten-free and Vegan Bread cookbook. I despair of these recipes that require a million flours! I have enough in my cupboard already. I do not have teff flour, garbanzo bean flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, millet flour, oat flour, cassava etc. 
I don't have flaxseed meal. Chia seeds can be used, I have some. UPDATE ordered flaxseed and brown rice flour.

So I finally checked my cupboard and I do have buckwheat and sorghum, bought for who knows what.
I also have masa harina, chickpea, almond, coconut, white rice and Robin Hood all purpose and Cup4Cup all purpose.
I do have tapioca and potato starch.
I also learned that sorghum and millet are interchangeable.

I also flipped through Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple, another gluten free book also recommended on a Gluten Free FB group. 
Here is a gluten free bread recipe, I will skip the olives! 
This link will take you to a video of the above recipe where she says you don't need to add the olives or caraway seeds.

This is a very nice book that I might consider buying, It has a great section on creams, jams, glazes, caramels and curds.
It also provides a lot of good information. I actually flipped through it several times.

This book actually talks about all-purpose gluten free flour and includes a simple recipe to make your own.

So I priced out making my own vs buying a mix like Robin Hood and there really isn't any difference.


  1. Your meals look so good and I admire anyone who can make an omellete look that good. Mine are always sad looking affairs.

    1. Tina, that was the best result yet in this household.

  2. UGH on the whole alarm thing. How maddening.

    I need to remember this post when I have to bake for my gluten-free friends and relatives. That broccolini looks wonderful. Omelet, omelette -- that was word I was always on the look-out for when I was still editing.

    Glad to know I'm not the only person who was less impressed by Trust. I'm still wondering how it got on so many best books of the year lists.

    1. Beth, I really thought I would like Trust, but alas...

  3. That is an outrageous price for an alarm, I am always rocked by the thievery going on. I was defrauded by Instacart recently, no idea how they accessed my credit card, I wouldn't use them if you paid me but it was through the Dominion site I order my pickups from. the time I spent with Visa, Instacart itself and Dominion was hours of my life I'll never get back and all for naught. Deniers all the way and $120 lighter in my wallet.
    I tried GF baking for Daughter and it was challenging. I now buy her goodies from Nourish a local gf bakery which has delicious stuff. Love your recipes and recs. Jackie

    1. WWW, it was outrageous! I had thought I was extremely clear in my expectations. I haven't heard back from them and didn't/don't expect to. I agree, arguing with these companies is a losing argument. I will admit, I only use AMEX and in all the years with them, I have never had a problem getting my money back. We even had a hit and run in Hawaii and AMEX took care of the whole thing. So I stand by them.
      BTW this company didn't even take credit cards so I could get some points! And they didn't do debit, I had to hunt for a cheque.

  4. Gluten-free baking really appears to be challenging. Trying to make the result as close as possible to traditional bread is so difficult!
    I can see why you need so many types of flour, as there's no real standard like AP flour and Bread Flour for the traditional recipes.

    best... mae at

    1. Mae, there are many gluten free flours that call themselves AP or bread or one to one, but the brands all differ and sadly it seems the more you pay the better they are. But in reviewing many books and videos the best results come from a combination of flours.

  5. I love flaxseed flour and use that a lot! Baking bread is so much fun, I do it at least twice a week. This morning I made scones for breakfast, one of my daughter's favourites. I enjoy baking with live yeast more, and I'll probably make some flaxseed ciabatta tomorrow. I'd love to hear more about your adventures in gluten-free baking. Have a great rest of your weekend.

  6. Your homemade meals look quite good. Thank you for your weekend coffee share.

  7. Lasagna is one of life's great pleasures.

    1. Sadly, William, I am not a pasta person, much to John's dismay.

  8. Your post is dangerous: it makes me hungry, lol! I love working with all these different types of flour, but if you are experimenting, you have to be careful with quantities of liquid you work with

    1. I have learned that you should weigh your liquids as well as your dry ingredients. I also learned that when using other flours you should let the mixture (only for breads and buns NOT cake) sit for a while so that the flours absorb the liquid, which reduces that gritty texture.

  9. Your Saturday dinner sound lovely.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

  10. The $50 truck charge sounds weird. The alternative is that he walked?
    "he broke a side plate today" Not over his argumentative wife's head I hope.
    I've seen that fashion look and I don't think it is flattering but I am sure some of the fashions I wore when I was young were not flattering.
    I've always spelt it omelette but I have seen it on menus as omelet. Spell checker does not like the latter.

    1. Truck charge is quite common since the pandemic. The plumbing company does the same.
      Are you saying I can be argumentative? I'm sure John would never say that LOL!
      The fashion statement was in the heart of the financial district, full of hip dudes.

  11. Just to add, I expect the scenery in Woman of the Dead was wonderful.

    1. Yes, the scenery was magnificent! ALMOST made me want to go there in winter!

  12. I am eager to hear more about your gluten-free bread experiments.

    And...what? Am I reading this correctly? You have never made cornbread? That seems unbelievable to me as I make it at least once every two weeks.

    I think I'll scratch Trust from my possible reads list.

    1. You read that correctly. It is not that common up here. But the main reason is that I intensely dislike the taste of corn in baked goods. I don't like corn tortillas either. But this wasn't too bad and John loved it.
      You can see in the comments that Beth F didn't like Trust either.

  13. That view out your window is amazing, all fog. I love the look of the food in your kitchen.

  14. Trust was on a lot of best-books-of-the-years lists in 2022. I thought I'd try it but now I doubt I will. Life is too short for bad books.

  15. Bacon goes with everything including chocolate. I wonder how the cornbread turned out. We like honey cornbread. I like seeing the views out your window. It looks like you are high up. Karen #Weekendcoffeeshare

  16. That omelette! (I'm American and that is the spelling that spell check gave me.)

    Are you sad that your friend is moving? Or will you still be able to meet up?

    Even though the end result was that the cost to make your own is about the same as buying a mix, it sounded like a very fun baking mission!


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