• Thyme and Bees

    Pruning – think of the bees and their importance!

    Think about the bees when you prune your flowers! Bees are an extremely valuable part of the ecosystem. In an article I found their importance is discussed and I’ve read numerous other sources that say the same thing. They are the pollinators for a great variety of our foods and without them we’d have to say goodbye to our apples, melons, cranberries, asparagus and many more items. Just Google “the importance of bees” and you will find many sources. Personally, I have to admit that I’m a little scared of bees because of some nasty childhood experiences. But since I love flowers and growing my own herbs, vegetables and fruits I’ve…

  • Pork or Chicken Chili 6

    Pork or Chicken Chili – an alternative to Beef

    Pork or Chicken Chili – an alternative to Beef. Traditionally chili con carne is made with beef, but many people are shying away from beef for a variety of reasons and don’t often think of pork or chicken as an alternative. The issue is with the fat content. In my opinion chili needs a little fat to have the right flavor and texture but pork and chicken are very lean. So you need to augment and I do so with butter. Here’s my approach. Serves 2 Approx. 300g (1/2 lb.) Pork mince (or chicken mince) Approx. 1/2 cup each red, yellow, green capsicum (bell pepper) or any combination thereof, chopped…

  • Dryer
    Frugal tips

    Add dish towel to Dryer to dry clothes faster

    Add a dry towel to the dryer along with the other items to improve drying speed saving both time and money When you add your wet clothes to the dryer throw in a dry dish towel, tea towel, pillow case, etc. This simple trick will make the clothes dry faster saving both time and money. Give it a try – it really works!

  • Pork and Onions

    Sweet and Sour pork and onions – deliciously different

    Sweet and Sour pork and onions, a nice change of pace from standard pan fried pork chops. Serves 2 2 pork chops 1 1/2 cups chicken stock 2 medium onions, sliced 1/4 cup sweet wine (such as a Rosé, or apple juice works nicely if you prefer not to use wine) 3 Tbl cider vinager 2 cloves 2 Tbl cornstarch dissolved in a little water Braising the pork (a combination of searing the meat then cooking in liquid) lets you add nice flavor via the liquid an also keeps the pork nice and moist. Don’t worry about the (apparent) excess onions used – they will soften and add their unique…

  • Goldenrod Finished

    Eggs Goldenrod – a pretty and hearty breakfast

    Eggs Goldenrod I started making eggs goldenrod for my kids when they were young. It was an easy way to fill them up in the morning and they loved it. In fact I was very gratified when my daughter told me that she had been making the dish for her kids. I’m glad my grandchildren got this passed-down recipe. I usually have hard-boiled eggs in the fridge so there was not very much prep. With some milk to make a Béchamel there wasn’t much else to do and the goldenrod came together reasonably quickly. A heartwarming and filling dish for a gold winter day. I suggest pre-heating the plates for…

  • Oven steak

    Oven Steak – delicious and an alternative to grilling

    Oven baked steak – simple and an alternative to using the grill Usually I prefer cooking steak on my grill but sometimes (most often due to weather) I prefer doing it inside in the oven. It comes out juicy and mouth-watering with a minimal effort. I usually use sirloin but any cut of steak will do. While the hugely popular fillet mignon is known for being super tender I tend to think that a cut with a little more marbling (e.g. sirloin, porterhouse or T-bone) have a lot more flavor due to the streaks of fat and can be just as tender if you handle the meat properly. Always take…

  • Chicken Potato Gratin

    Mustard Chicken with Potatoes Gratin – stunning!

    Mustard Chicken with Potatoes Gratin Looking elegant on the plate this refreshing spin on baked chicken is delightful. The earthy floral hints of the thyme combine nicely with the pungent flavor of the mustard. Along with a nice green salad and a nice Sauvignon Blanc this dish is sure to please. If at all possible work with fresh thyme; it seems the dried version doesn’t work well in this case – but if that’s all you have then it’s better than nothing. Chicken and potatoes are naturals together. Yields 2-3 servings 2 Tbl wholegrain mustard 1 packet onion soup mix 1 Tbl fresh rosemary leaves, chopped 2 tsp all purpose…

  • Bolognese Sauce

    Bolognese sauce – a classic Italian meat sauce

    Iconic in the world of pasta sauces is Bolognese. Ragù alla bolognese (or simply ragu) in Italian, this classic meat sauce is most likely people are thinking of when they think of ‘spaghetti’ sauce. There are many variations but this is the most common approach. For convenience I usually use minced beef I get from the supermarket but it you want to really do Bolognese right you will need to go to a butcher and have some chuck steak rough ground so it’s still quite chunky. Make sure there is a good amount of marbling in the meat so that you get the best flavor. If you are using ground beef…

  • Shrimp Udon Noodles

    Shrimp with Lemon Grass and Udon Noodles

    For a touch of Asian cuisine use some basic Asian condiments and methods for an easy touch of Eastern flair. In this case I use Udon noodles and Lemon Grass along with Shrimp. Critical to stir-fry is having all the ingredients ready. The French term for this is Mise en place. This means nothing more than having all the ingredients prepped: Cut into ready to use pieces, measured, etc. This is because when stir-frying you use high heat and cook the food quickly. If you take the time to peel, chop, etc. what you have in the pan will burn. So have everything ready and sitting next to the stove in order…

  • Fish Almondine

    Fish Almondine – Classy but amazingly easy

    Fish Almondine This Fish Almondine is classically done with Trout but any whitefish will do. The sauce traditionally uses only lemon juice, but I find combining lemon and orange juice provides a refreshing result that is not so tart. Make sure to use fresh juice, nothing else is quite the same. Yield 2 servings                   /2 cup sliced almonds 2 fish fillets, I usually use Hoki but any whitefish will do salt, black pepper, all purpose seasoning 1/4 – 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 2 Tbl olive oil 1 Tbl butter For the Sauce 4 Tbl butter 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice 1/8…

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