Friday, September 30, 2016

Travel League, Thanksgiving,

Tonight (Thursday) I'm too tired to write much at all. Bowling really took it out of me today. Went to lunch at the Red Lobster which was enjoyable. Saw friends we hadn't seen since the end of the Winter season last April. Then on to the bowling alley. The bowling seemed to go on and on and on and by the end of it I was totally whacked. We didn't get out of the alley until about 4. It was quite funny, I was using my cane to get up to the alley then propping it up while I hobbled around throwing balls then picking it up again. The women on my team started bringing me my cane when I had finished each time. Nice of them but it became a joke too and if the woman who followed me forgot I pretended to be teed off and complained about the poor service. That part was fun. My bowling was, of course, lousy. I am still not able to bowl properly of course. Things are better but I am not back to normal by any means.

Got home and it was almost time to fix supper. I had done a few preparations in the morning and also make a whole batch of tomato sauce for the freezer. After supper whilst waiting for Jeopardy I tried to have a zizz but was too keyed up to do so. Ah well.

Last day of September, unbelievable really, the year seems to have been shooting by. Another week and it is Thanksgiving in Canada.

Here's a quick soup with some interesting sounding dumplings. A more complicated tomato soup than the one I usually make, but it sounds good.

Tomato Soup with Parmesan Dumplings
 Looking for the perfect quick and easy tomato soup recipe? Here it is, a delicious tomato soup that
can be made in under 30 minutes, but, don't let the speed fool you. This quick bowl of comfort not only offers up depth of flavor, but also is elegantly topped with Parmesan dumplings to make it a perfect entertaining first course.

Ingredients

Tomato Soup
2 tbsp butter
1 large white onion, chopped
1 tbsp shallots, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
2 small celery stalks, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
3 sun-dried tomatoes, not oil-packed, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
Parmesan Dumplings
1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp chopped fresh basil
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp vegetable oil
Thinly sliced fresh basil, for garnish

Directions

1) For the soup, in a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion, shallot and garlic, cooking 4-5 minutes until tender. Add carrots, celery, red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes to soften vegetables. Add chicken broth and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and either puree directly in soup pot using a handheld blender or place half of the tomato soup mixture in a countertop blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with remaining tomato soup. Return all of the soup to the saucepan. Reheat when ready to serve.
2) For the Parmesan dumplings, combine flour, Parmesan, basil, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the egg and vegetable oil. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture with a wooden spoon until combined. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Using ½ tsp measuring spoon, drop slightly rounded dough into boiling water. Cook 4 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Serve with soup. Garnish soup with sliced basil
Yield: 25 dumplings
Serves 6

Have a great day
 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Kitchen Tool, Travel League

Well, well, well, a couple of years ago I bought a mango splitter from Avon but for some reason I haven't bought any mangoes since. I really didn't believe it was going to work. However, Tuesday I bought a couple of golden mangoes and Wednesday afternoon I decided to try it. Damn me it works like a charm. Split the mango beautifully not leaving too much on the seed at all. Mind you there's not a heck of a lot of flesh on a golden mango anyway.

Today we have our Travel League bowling which, being the first of the season takes place at Towne Bowl where we bowl normally. We will be lunching with many of the bowlers at The Red Lobster. Hopefully I will be able to bowl but I don't want to hold anyone up so we will see. I did go to exercise class on Wednesday and remained sitting for the whole class. However, I managed to achieve a surprising amount.

This looked and sounded scrumptious. In the original recipe it calls for agave nectar as a sweetener however, as I wasn't familiar with the ingredient I looked it up and from what I read, it isn't a very healthy sweetener as it's preparation entails boiling it which removes all the potential health benefits. I therefore have substituted fresh natural honey instead. You can, of course, make your own decisions.

Sticky Toffee Whole-Wheat Date Cake

This cake is a showstopper that a baker with rudimentary skills could pull off. The topping is a toffee glaze made with brown sugar, agave, butter and sea salt; you pour half of it over the cake while still
hot so that it saturates the cake, giving it a puddinglike consistency, then wait before using the rest as a high-gloss frosting you sprinkle with sea salt. Seemingly complicated, but surprisingly simple.

FOR THE CAKE:
14 Tbs unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks), at room temperature, more for the pan
8 ounces pitted dates, chopped
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
½ cupdried currants
1 cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp fine sea salt
¾ cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
FOR THE STICKY TOFFEE:
½ cup fresh honey
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ tsp fine sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Fleur de sel

1. In a small pot, combine dates, lemon juice and 3/4 cup water. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer gently until dates soften and start to fall apart, about 6 minutes. Add currants to the pot and set aside to cool completely.

2. While date mixture cools, stir together whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and salt.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla and cooled date mixture, followed by flour mixture.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly and smoothing the surface. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with just a few crumbs clinging to it.

5. Meanwhile, make the sticky toffee: In a small pot (you can use the same one you used for the dates), combine honey, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking to dissolve sugar. Once sugar dissolves and bubbles, remove from heat and swirl in butter.

6. When the cake comes out of the oven, spoon half the sticky toffee over it and let cool in the pan on a wire rack. (It will soak into the cake.)

7. When the cake has cooled completely and the remaining sticky toffee has thickened, spread it over the cake with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and serve. Store, loosely wrapped, at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Servings: 9

Author: Jim Wilson
Source: The New York Times

Have a great day