Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Random Photo


I think my Mum would have been the first person I would call after having Afternoon Tea with the Queen and we checked, the Royal Standard was flying high, which means the Queen was home.  We heard someone say what was going on.  Gregg and I were walking by the big open gates of Buckingham Palace, and a long line of people were coming out of one of the huge doors.  Ladies wore either very large hats or the smaller Fascinators on their heads, and several gentlemen were in top hat and tails.  It was quite a fashion show.  This young lady looks like she could have carried everything but the kitchen sink in that bag.

You can visit this page here to read about the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Autumn Wishes

"The woods are full of fairies,
The sea is full of fish, 
The trees are full of golden leaves.
Let's make an Autumn wish."

~Anon~


"And as the seasons come and go,
Here's something you might like to know.
There are fairies everywhere:
Under bushes, in the air, playing games
Just like you play,
Singing through their busy day.
So listen, touch and look around,
In the air and on the ground.
And if you watch all nature's things,
You might just see a fairy's wing."

~Author unknown~

Monday, September 29, 2014

Food Post - Vegetarian - Red Curry Tofu with Coconut Chile Carrots and Bok Choy

Another blog, another delicious recipe found here at "eats well with others", hosted by Joanne.  I made this for the first time on August 29th, 2014.



Red Curry Tofu with Coconut Chile Carrots and Bok Choy.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Serving size is a 1/4 of the recipe


For the carrots:

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon coconut milk
1-1/2 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
1/2 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced


For the tofu:

1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon Canola oil
12 ounces super firm sprouted tofu, cut into 1-inch slices
1 head of bok choy, coarsely chopped 
(I also had some snow peas left over from another dish, which I sliced and added to the mix)

You will need enough rice depending on how many people you are making this for, white or brown according to your preference, or even Quinoa was suggested.  (Because there is just the two of us I put 2 cups of water in a small saucepan, waited for it to boil and poured in 1 cup of uncooked white rice.  Lower the heat and cook the rice according to directions on your packet, which always seems to work out at about 20-25 minutes for me.  I have a rice steamer somewhere but I don't use it much any more, just my small saucepan.)


Heat oven to 450 degrees F.


For the carrots: in a large bowl combine the oil, sugar, lime juice, soy sauce and coconut milk.  Toss together with the carrots, onion and chile.  Season to taste with salt (I often leave this last step out but I keep hearing this brings out the flavors of the vegetables more.  Depends on you and whether you are trying to cut your sodium intake down).

Pour into a large baking pan and roast for 45 minutes, or until carrots are tender, stirring every 15 minutes.


While they are roasting prepare the tofu.  In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, soy sauce, red curry paste and minced ginger. Set aside.


In a large wok heat the oil over medium heat, and add the tofu slices. 


Saute until lightly browned on each side, about 5 minutes per side.  Add in the bok choy, along with the left over snow peas if using them, and saute until bok choy is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.  


Stir in the sauce and coat all the vegetables thoroughly.  Cook for a few more minutes.


Serve the tofu and carrots atop a bed of your choice of white or brown, rice, or Quinoa.


What did we think of this recipe?  Nothing ever gets put on here unless we enjoy it thoroughly and this is now one of our favorite dishes.

I am trying to put more vegetarian meals into our weekly menu and I'm happy that Gregg has started to enjoy tofu.  It might seem very bland to some but it is one of those foods that takes on the flavors of the sauces and other ingredients you are cooking with, and can become a delicious part of the meal.

Years ago when we lived in California I had a wok.  I don't know what happened to it as it disappeared long ago, probably in one of our many moves.  One day I may buy another but in the meantime I took out the largest frying pan I had in my cupboard. 

I probably should have cooked the tofu in batches because I know all about over-crowding your food while cooking.  However, I can occasionally get impatient and when the center pieces of the tofu browned nicely, I moved them to the side and brought in the others that I had placed around the edge.

I am a big fan of roasting vegetables and that sauce gave it a delicious flavor.  The veggies caramelized beautifully.  

Also I used a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil to make clean up easier.  You may have to oil it a little by using two to three teaspoons of olive oil or cooking spray.  I have one of those little spritzers that are specially used for olive oil and that way you add just enough.  Mostly, however, I love my non-stick aluminum foil because you don't need to add any oils.

And yes, I am probably preaching to the choir and don't want to insult all the good cooks out there, but just in case any newbies to the kitchen want to make this recipe, any recipe, my biggest piece of advice is to get everything measured out before you start.  It makes things go more smoothly and you don't feel like you are dashing all over the kitchen and getting yourself in a tizzy trying to get things done.  I say this from experience from when I first started getting into the kitchen.  Cooking for me is for the fun, not for the stress.

This meal was a big hit and we had leftovers for another meal. Gregg insisted on being the chef for the next one and he made a great stir-fry.  We had a bag of shredded coleslaw mix which he steamed until just wilted in the frying pan, added our left-over meal along with a few beansprouts and fresh basil leaves.  He turned out another delicious meal.   

Thanks for this great recipe Joanne, and please visit her blog - link here - as she has a lot of other very tasty recipes for you to browse through.  

Added note:  Linda Kay at Senior Moments asked if chicken could be used for this recipe.  I would say yes and will try this next time.  I'm thinking even shrimp or scallops would make a nice change also but then you'd have to take the word 'vegetarian' off the title. Thanks for the question Linda Kay.

Sallie from A Full Time Life mentioned she had used Veggie Crumbles in another recipe I had posted, which is another good idea I will try for this one.   Thanks Sallie and I am so happy you enjoyed that other one I had posted.

Also, William at Ottawa Daily Photo wondered if it was too spicy and I thought I should add that it wasn't really.  I can't eat anything that makes my mouth feel on fire, and this was more flavorful than 'hot'.  It did have a little heat but honestly, if I can eat it.  If in doubt don't forget to take the seeds out of the jalapeno.  I took them out before I chopped it up.  The 2 tablespoons of Thai Chili Paste was okay with me too.  Then again if you like things hot add more and leave the seeds in.