Tuesday, May 19, 2009

If you saw my pictures on Flickr and Facebook, sorry this a repeat. I just had to post them here, as well. There are four baby American Robins in a nest on our front porch area. This is what it looked like when we found the nest approx. a fortnight past:

This is the scene we discovered a few days ago:

They all have appropriately silly names ROCK'N, TRIP (Those of you that know the show 'Man About the House' will get this name,) RED (Part of a restaurant name) and CHRISTOPHER.

To my European friends, American Robins look very different to your native Robins. Here are the parents:

Here is a link to a picture of a European Robin:


Here is a nice link with facts about American Robins:


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Here is the Mother's Day report a few days later.

First, I made raspberry and chocolate chip scones, with bacon and Mimosas. They cleaned the mess - SORTA! Caitlin gave me a gift of a book and tea cups. The boys worked hard in the garden, I said I wanted more raised beds to plant in for my present. I turned my back and to go scrapbook in my room...when I came downstairs to look at the Robin's nest (more to follow in another post soon) on the front porch- Voila I found this:

For dinner we went for Ethiopian food at Nyala, here in town. It was Cait's 21st b-day the next day, so a Mother's Day/birthday combined dinner seemed the thing to do (she has finals this week as well, so no time to party really.) The pictures below are from a previous trip to the restaurant, as I left the camera home for once. :-)

I had Addis Tej, which is a honey/hop wine. It is sweeter than wine I usually drink but compliments the food rather well. There was a lovely bread with a spiced, peppery sauce to start us off. We all shared:

-Gomen (Fresh marinated collard greens)
-Fosolia (Flavorful fresh green beans and carrots)
-Yebeg Alicha
Fresh tender pieces of lamb, marinated in Ethiopian white wine and cooked with onions, olive oil, green peppers and seasoned with garlic, ginger, rosemary and turmeric.
-Duba Wot (Butternut Squash stew)
Butternut squash flavored with spiced red pepper sauce with onions, garlic, ginger, and assorted Ethiopian spices.
-Yekik Alicha (Yellow split peas)
-Doro Tibs (chicken) sauteed with olive oil, onions, garlic, tomatoes, green peppers, spiced butter and assorted Ethiopian spices.
Siga Wot (beef) marinated and stewed with onions, spiced butter, cardamom, ginger, red peppers and Ethiopian spices.

All of this served on injera, with rolled injera on the side to pick-up the dishes. It was quite a feast between the 5 of us. I had left-overs for lunch. Ryan and Sean had never been to an Ethipoian and they were quite happy and their eyes as big as saucers when the tray was brought out. I think I will order "hot" next time as it was quite mild, flavourful but mild heat.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chuck Norris doesn't blog......

I've been making cards, as well as scrapbooks. It seems there are quite a few birthdays in May and April. Here is my brother's birthday card. He has a resemblance to Chuck Norris, at least in these pictures, so that made for an easy theme. I have my brother's permission to use the pictures on this blog.

If you can't quite see it, the front says: "Chuck Norris doesn't wear motorcycle helmets....The concrete scoots out of the way."

Inside it says: "Chuck Norris doesn't have birthdays....Birthdays have Chuck Norris."

Enough Chuck Norris jokes already!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Scrappy Favours

This is the title page and the start of a favour I am doing for some friends that visited York, England. They want me to use the pictures they took and make a scrapbook for them. I love to scrapbook, so it is no problem for me! I have never been to York, as of yet, but after this scrapbook I am looking forward to a trip there myself. Doing this project I find myself researching and finding out things I didn't know. I learned the original Roman name for York in AD 71 was Eboracum then, the Angles called it Eoforwic, then after taking over in 866 the Vikings called the city Jorvik. The name slowly evolved into the name we know today- York.

I am using postage stamps and vintage postcards that reflect the images taken by my friends.

Below is Clifford's Tower and it is a stone quatrefoil keep and has been rebuilt a couple times. Many Jews took their own lives here in 1190 rather than face a violent mob in an event regarded as one of the most notorious examples of antisemitism in medieval England.

I'm off now to find more nuggets of information about York....It is a walled city, The Shambles, York Minster....Having never been there, this could be called scrapping in reverse.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

You are my WonderWall-O-Water

I said maybe
you're gonna be the one that saves me
And afterall
You're my wonderwall....With frosty temperatures still possible in Northern Colorado at this point and my tomato and pepper seedlings over-growing their peat pots, this was the solution. They should be ok down to 16 deg. f. The worry now is they will out grow the water tents before it is warm enough. I have a dozen tomato plants done today. Tomorrow will be the peppers turn. Afterall I hope my garden turns out to be an oasis.
Did the Romans enjoy the lovely roundness of flavour that is now known as Umami? While I have not come across the name they used for the flavour sensation (probably "MMMMMM") the product they used was Garum. Garum is the crushed and fermented innards of fish in brine. Garum combined with wine, vinegar, black pepper and/or oil was used in recipes from main courses to even desserts.

Try this (I owe you a picture):

Ambrosia Trifle


1 quart whole milk
8 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 vanilla bean split
1/2 tsp fish sauce

Heat milk in heavy duty saucepan over medium low heat, stirring constantly until milk comes to a near boil. Gradually (temper) pour into eggs and sugar that have been combined (Not too soon though, as the sugar will cook the eggs) Return to pan stirring constantly until mixtures becomes thickened. Add fish sauce . Strain, especially if using vanilla bean. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla (or cook split vanilla bean with the milk from the start.) Plunge contain holding the custard into an ice bath. Continue to cool with cling film touching the surface in the refrigerator.

*Fruit mixture:

1/2 cup honey
2 roasted pears ( peeled and diced)
1 c. grapes (halved)
2 oranges, supremed
2 cups cherries (pitted and halved)
1 c. flaked coconut
1 c. yogurt
1/4 tsp. fish sauce

*Pound Cake:

1 3/4 c. (230 grams) cake flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup (226 grams) (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) superfine, or castor sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Zest of a lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray with a pan spray, a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter or spray the paper.

In a large bowl, sift together twice, the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy and smooth. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (this will take about 5 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. After about five minutes the batter should be light in color and fluffy in texture. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. You will notice that the batter will look curdled. Don't worry as the batter will come together again after you add the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and lemon zest, if using, and beat until incorporated.

*1 pint heavy (double) cream whipped and sweetened with 1/4 c. confectioners (Icing) with 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract (the real stuff.)


In a trifle bowl layer fruit, pound cake sprinkled with port, custard and whipped cream.

The following recipe is taken from Around the Roman Table. I will endeaver to make this recipe soon, maybe you can beat me to it:

Nut Tart
400g crushed nuts—almonds, walnuts or pistachios

200g pine nuts
100g honey
100ml dessert wine
4 eggs
100ml full-fat sheep's milk
1 teaspoon salt or garum

Preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/Gas 9.

Place the chopped nuts and the whole pine nuts in an oven dish and roast until they have turned golden. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Mix the honey and the wine in a pan and bring to the boil, then cook until the wine has evaporated. Add the nuts and pine nuts to the honey and leave it to cool. Beat the eggs with the milk, salt or garum and pepper. Then stir the honey and nut mixture into the eggs. Oil an oven dish and pour in the nut mixture. Seal the tin with silver foil and place it in roasting tin filled about a third deep with water. Bake for about 25 minutes until the pudding is firm. Take it out and when it is cold put it into the fridge to chill. To serve, tip the tart on to a plate and pour over some boiled honey.

Some informative Umami links:









Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sweet Sour Salty Bitter....

Umami- The umami taste is due to the detection of the carboxylate anion of glutamic acid, a naturally occurring amino acid common in meats, cheese, broth, stock, and other protein-heavy foods. Salts of the glutamic acid, known as glutamates, easily hydrolyze and give the same taste. It is not just some cute name for a blog!

On a basic level this is a cooking blog- recipes, world cuisine, new and exciting discoveries, seasonal treats, terms, highlights- Anything relating to food. You may also find subjects related to; life with teens and offspring that have flown the nest, music, photography, scrapbooking, travel, cars, gardening, crafts, trains and graffiti on trains, hockey. It will also become very apparent that I am an Anglophile.