Subscribe: Kits Chow
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
add  chopped  cook  dish  don  food  made  make  noodles  pasta  pot  recipe  rice  sauce  soup  thrift  vegetables  water 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Kits Chow

Kits Chow

About cats, home-cooking, ceramics and everything else

Updated: 2017-11-29T09:41:36.517-08:00


435. Pasta with grilled vegetables


Pasta with grilled vegetables In Vancouver we have rain and more rain in the winter so I really look forward to summer. I don't want to be in the kitchen. I want to be outdoors - to grill food and enjoy our meals outside. We can really enjoy it because we don't have mosquitoes in Vancouver. There is the odd wasp or two but it isn't a problem I love grilled meat and vegetables. Preparing vegetables for grilling is easier than making a salad - just marinate the veggies with some chopped herbs, garlic and olive oil and put them on the grill. In fact, grilled vegetables are my latest craze - the zucchini tastes so sweet. When grilling vegetables, put more vegetables on and use them with pasta the next day. I am just giving you a general idea for the dish. The ingredients are: Pasta - any kind you like. I used penne. Grilled vegetables - You may grill whatever vegetables you like for this dish. I had grilled zucchini, onions, red peppers, eggplant and a portabello mushroom. Cut the vegetables in chunks or slices. Leave the mushroom whole. Make a marinade of thyme, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Put the vegetables into the dish and toss everything together. A can of peeled, whole tomatoes Crème fraiche or regular cream Chopped garlic, shredded fresh basil and olive oil Grated Parmesan cheese Chopped parsley for garnish Method: Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta. Chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces.Heat some olive oil in a pan and add some pieces of chopped garlic. Fry the garlic a bit but do not brown it.Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook, stirring to break up the tomatoes, for about five minutes.Add the basil and the chopped vegetables and stir together to heat up.Add the crème fraiche to the sauce and cook for about a minute. Add as much cream as you like or omit it.Add the pasta to the pan. Toss everything together and cook for a couple of minutes.Dish up. Garnish with chopped parsley.Pass the grated cheese. Enjoy. Note: Crème fraiche is very expensive in North America. It is economical to make at home. There is nothing to it. You just need whipping cream and plain natural yogurt (I use the Balkan style yogurt). I keep an eye out for whipping cream that is marked down (50% off at my local supermarket). It doesn't matter that the cream is reaching its sell by date because it will be sitting on the counter for a day or two to turn into crème fraiche. Pour a pint of whipping cream in a small glass dish (eg Pyrex casserole with lid). Add a couple of tablespoons of plain yogurt and stir to mix. Cover the dish and leave in a warm place. I just leave the dish on the kitchen counter. The cream will have thickened in a day. If it is still thin, leave it out for another half day. Put the crème fraiche in the refrigerator and use a dollop or two in pasta, soups or with fruit. It can be kept for about a week but we go through the stuff very fast so I have never had it go off. I am entering my recipe to Presto Pasta Nights #227. The host is Jennifer Sikora of For such a time as this. PPN is the creation of the wonderful, Ruth Daniels of, Once Upon a Feast, fame. [...]

434. First day of Lent 2011


Vegetarian rice rolls, 素腸粉Lent has begun and it is the time for simple, meatless meals. One Lenten dish I like to make is vegetarian rice rolls. Chopped cilantro is spread on rice noodle sheets which are rolled up and streamed.I bought fresh rice noodles from a local noodle shop, Hon's. They are uncut and sold in 2 lb or 5lb packages. Fresh rice noodles in slabs, 沙河粉Ingredients:Sheets of fresh rice noodlesChopped cilantroSesame oilGarnish: Toasted sesame seedsMethod:Open the slab of rice noodles carefully and peel off a sheet. Put the sheet on a cutting board and cut into rectangles about 6" long. I used the folded edges as a guide for the width.Spread the chopped herbs on the rectangle and roll it up like a jelly roll.Place the roll, seam side down on an oiled plate. Continue rolling as many as you need.Place the plate in a steamer and steam for about 5 minutes until the noodles are soft and translucent.Drizzle some sesame oil over the rolls and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.Serve with soy sauce or hot sauce.Note:It is best to use fresh noodles as they are pliable. They harden and become brittle after they have been refrigerated.Here is a recipe if you want to make the rice noodles from scratch.To soften refrigerated noodles - Bring some water to a boil in a wide, shallow pan or wok. Turn off the heat and wait till the boiling has subsided. Slide the noodles into the hot water and submerge them for about a minute. Use a wide skimmer to remove the slab. Or slide a plate under the noodles and then drain the water. The noodles should have softened but they shouldn't be mushy. Cool the noodles. They should be pliable and you'll be able to separate the sheets.Use a lot of cilantro. The rolls look very nice with bright green bits showing through the translucent noodles.Any leftover sheets can be refrigerated and cut into strips for soup or fried noodles. I would advise against softening a second time in boiling water for rice rolls.If you don't feel like going to all this trouble, use dried rice noodles rather than sheets. Soften the noodles by soaking them in cold water for about fifteen minutes. Drain. Mix the herbs and sesame oil with the noodles and steam for five minutes.I am sending my recipe for vegetarian rice rolls to Sarah, of Maison Cupcake, who is hosting Presto Pasta Night No. 204.Congratulations to Ruth, of Once Upon a Feast , for creating this fabulous pasta lover's event. PPN is four years old. Here is the 4th Birthday Bash.[...]

433. Drunken spaghetti


Drunken spaghettiI fell in love with Italy when Mr. KC and I visited the beautiful country a couple of years ago. The food was just wonderful. I have been trying to recreate the delicious Italian food at home.I have been watching David Rocco's show on TLN and also Lidia's Italy. A friend scoffed at David Rocco, calling him an idiot.Well, she doesn't cook and didn't see beyond the goofing. In my view, David Rocco is an excellent cook. He is a natural. I don't know if he is a trained chef or what but he has the cooking sense. Cooking sense is what distinguishes a good cook from one who just follows recipes exactly. The latter isn't cooking; it is just learning by rote.This is a show I would recommend to beginning cooks because of the relaxed, casual way DR cooks. Cooking shouldn't be stressful. Plus, the dishes he makes are delicious.I saw him make Drunken Spaghetti and tried it myself. It was so easy I made it from memory but, if you want more details, here is the recipe.Boil some spaghetti. Remove from the pan when it is still firm and drain it.Fry some garlic, hot pepper flakes and anchovy paste in olive oil.The recipe uses chopped anchovies but I find it easier to keep anchovy paste on hand.Drain the spaghetti and add to the pan. Toss it around.Pour some red wine into the pan, mix the pasta and simmer until the pasta is al dente.I was pouring the wine with one hand and taking the photo with the other, so I added a lot of wine because I kept snapping away. So my spaghetti is Dead drunk spaghetti.The sauce smells wonderful! Add some grated cheese and garnish with chopped parsley.I am sending my recipe for Drunken spaghetti to Heather, the GirliChef, who is hosting Presto Pasta Nights #197.Presto Pasta Nights is a weekly, food blogging event featuring pasta. It is the brainchild of Ruth, author of the fabulous blog, Once Upon a Feast.[...]

432. Tastes Like Home - My Caribbean Cookbook by Cynthia Nelson


(image) Happy New Year!

I know this is the 19th but I haven't been blogging for a while and this is the first chance I have to wish my readers a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

I haven't posted recipes because I have been all blogged out. The dishes I made were just ordinary ones and Christmas dinner wasn't different from previous Christmas dinners. I didn't want to repeat same of the more.

Plus, the winter lighting isn't good for the photos. But that has all changed now and I am back blogging.

One, Mr. KC gave me the Optex Photo Lighting Kit for Christmas. I don't need to depend on natural lighting to photograph the dishes:

(image) and

Two. My stalled food blogging has been jump started! I received Cynthia Nelson's fabulous book, Tastes Like Home - My Caribbean Cookbook.

I haven't got much done in the past day or so as I have been poring over the pages. The food looks and sounds wonderful. Cynthia's photographs are beautiful.

Caribbean food is a new cuisine for me and her book has made me very interested to learn about it. I can't wait to try her recipes.

As every food blogger knows, Cynthia is the author of the award-winning blog, Tastes Like Home. She has a very large international following.

We became friends when I asked her for a recipe. She is very generous and helpful to bloggers. Cynthia had some problems with the first publisher and the book was delayed about a year. But she has overcome all the difficulties and has produced an excellent cookbook featuring Caribbean recipes. Here is a sample recipe.

(image) (image) Her tips are so thoughtful.

Thank you very much for your beautiful gift!

Congratulations, Cynthia! May this be the first of many more cookbooks!

431. Some useful things from the thrift shop - Photographs


(image) Grip light

Hands free. It is a great design. With the weather causing power outages in Vancouver, this light is very handy. One can never have too many flashlights at home. I'll probably keep this in the car. One dollar.

(image) Zojirushi Ms.Bento Stainless Lunch Jar

I owned this lunch jar (paid full price) and would bring a lunch of soup or rice for hikes or wandering around the city taking photographs.

We took it on road trips too. I left it behind in a motel and only remembered eighty miles later. So I was glad to find another one in good shape at my favourite thrift store. The manager had to ask me what it was. It didn't have the insulated carrying case but for one dollar I'm not complaining.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(image) I'm linking to Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday.

430. Macro Monday - Photograph


(image) Meet Ember at Lisa's Monday Macro.

428. Peacock blue - Photograph


A peacock appeared in our friends' yard one day and decided to stay with them. This is his feather that I picked up on the lawn.

Whenever I see the three together, I urge the humans to strive for some sartorial elegance. Fleece and duck boots are pale in comparison to peacock feathers.

Comparisons are so odious, aren't they?

(image) Do join Smiling Sally for Blue Monday.

427. Ducks at Jericho Beach - Photograph


(image) My first entry to Shadow Shot Sunday

T(image) hank you "Hey Harriet" for Shadow shot Sunday

426. Cheat's beef and barley soup and bahn mi op la - Recipe


Cheat's beef and barley soupFirst winter snowfall in Vancouver It started snowing last night and, by morning, we had 7 centimetres of the white stuff . The heavy snow caused burst water mains, power failure in some areas because of fallen trees, etc. Roads were blocked and traffic lights were not working in some intersections. As it snows so seldom in Vancouver, many drivers have little experience of winter driving. It is frightening to be out on the road with cars skidding and worse. We opted to stay home. But staying home doesn't mean staying indoors. Mr. KC was outside shovelling the driveway and working up a good appetite.Nothing beats soup and a sandwich for lunch on a winter's day. I made Cheat's beef and barley soup from 2 cups of wine sauce and a piece of short rib, leftover from last night's Vietnamese braised short ribs with wine.So basically, this is a thinned sauce with bits of vegetables and barley. But my, the soup was delicious. The wine sauce gave the soup a rich flavour.Ingredients:2 cups of sauce from beef stew and any leftover meatOne cup of barley, cookedOne cup of frozen peas, carrots and corn4 cups of soup stock or waterMethod:Cut the meat into small pieces and put it into a pot with the sauce and the rest of the ingredients.Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.Thin the soup, if necessary.Dish up and serve.Now for the fried egg sandwich:Bahn mi op la - Vietnamese fried egg sandwichA friend described a sandwich she ate in Vietnam which sounded like a fried egg sandwich. She raved about it so often that I decided to make it.There is nothing to it. Here is how I interpreted bahn mi op la.This recipe is for one large serving:Fry a couple of eggs. I don't care for runny eggs so I fried both sides. But make it sunny side up if that is what you like.Split a piece of baguette in half. Slather with butter and fill with the fried egg.Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and grind some pepper over the eggs. Mr. KC sprinkled some Maggi sauce on his.Enjoy!Note: I often do things backwards. After we had eaten the sandwich, I went online for information on bahn mi op la. I discovered that the sandwich is usually made with fried eggs and greens. Cilantro, cucumber and other greens are added to it. I'll have to remember that next time. And there will be many more times. Who knew a simple fried egg sandwich could taste so good!Also the baguette is not sliced into two but cut so that the bread opens like a clamshell. It would hold the slippery egg better than two slices of bread.Don't throw out any leftover beef stew. Turn it into soup. I am sending this soup and sandwich to the wonderful Deb, of Kahakai Kitchen, in warm and sunny Hawaii for Souper Sundays.Lucky Deb is probably enjoying herself on a surfboard or lolling on the beach in her bikini.If you want a great recipe for a turkey burger, here is Deb's Spectacular side dish turkeysliders's.[...]

424. Pink Saturday - Photographs


(image) Chrysanthemums in bloom about a month ago

(image) I am sending these photos to Beverly, at How Sweet the Sound, for this week's Pink Saturday.

423. Red in the kitchen - Photograph


(image) I love red!

Happy Rednesday! Share something red at It's a very cherry world.

422. Seen at Granville Island - Photograph



(image) Happy Ruby Tuesday !

Here are the wonderful entries to this week's Ruby Tuesday.

421. Mellow Yellow - Photograph


(image) I can understand why Van Gogh painted so many sunflowers!

Posted for the Mellow Yellow Monday meme, hosted every week by Drowsey Monkey.

Happy Mellow Yellow #95.

420. Two sisters - Photographs


Swedish embroidery afghan A few months ago, I caught a glimpse of this afghan amid a jumble of used bedding in a thrift store. I saw immediately that it was beautiful needlework and it looked new.Well, I couldn't leave it there, could I? I paid $5.00 for this handmade afghan. Only $5.00 for all the care, skill, time and expense that went into making it.When I returned home I examined my purchase and saw this label:The concise text fulfils 4 of the 5Ws.Who made it: Sylvia Whyte (sister)What it is: Swedish embroidery, made with acrylic yarn on 100% monks clothWhen it was made: 2003Why it was made: for Helen HahnOnly where the afghan was made is not mentioned.I didn't know about Swedish embroidery but Mr. Google was most helpful. I discovered that it is an old needle craft. It is also known as known as Swedish huck weaving, huckaback darning, huck embroidery and punto yugoslavo.Swedish embroidery begins with a row of stitches across the material, then works the design upwards or downwards to repeat a motif. There are excellent instructions on YouTube for Swedish embroidery.Mrs. Whyte must have loved her sister dearly to make this afghan for her.My post would have ended here but, on impulse, I googled the name Helen Hahn. You'll be surprised at the many Helen Hahns on the Internet.I narrowed the search with the terms Helen Hahn, Sylvia Whyte and sisters. I found Helen Hahn's obituary. She passed away in August 2010. Syliva Whyte lives in North Bay, Ontario.This is the first time an object that I bought told me something personal. I caught a glimpse of a stranger's life. A life well- lived. Here is what I gathered from the obituary:Miss Hahn was well-loved by her family, friends and colleagues. Sheloved maps and books, especially mysterieswas an accomplished artist. Worked in various mediawas a world traveller. Her favourite places were southern France, Australia and the golden wheat fields of Saskatchewanan avid bird watcher. She enjoyed field trips while keeping track of the migration avid follower of the Tour de Franceloved baseballmust have loved opera as she was a volunteer for the Vancouver Opera Guildwas a researcher who worked for 35 years at the University of British Columbia. The University flew their flags at half-mast on Tuesday, August 17th, the day of her memorial receptionwas a genealogist. She researched the family names of Hahn and Lengert and was able to trace their history back to the 17th Century.From the University sources I learned that Miss Hahn, the researcher, knew a great deal about UBC. The University memorial book is based on interviews with Helen Hahn and Irene Alexander, and sources held in the University Archives.She must have been a competent, responsible woman. In 2001, Miss Hahn (now retired) was appointed by the University for a four-year term on the Pension Board.Here are her words: “I want to help make the Plan do well and improve benefits ... “I want to add a retiree perspective and represent the concerns of retired folks, but I also have concerns for staff who are not yet ready to retire.”I feel a bit uncomfortable to have this afghan that Mrs. Whyte made for her sister. I would like to return it to her. I'm not sure I want to contact Mrs. Whyte directly as I don't want to intrude.So I'm keeping it for a year (just like the lottery tickets that are valid for one year!) and hope someone who knows Mrs. Whyte might read this post and tell her. After that, I'll probably donate it to a hospice.In the meantime, let's say a prayer for the two sisters. Rest in Peace, Miss Hahn. God Bless, Mrs. Whyte.This post goes to Apron Thrift Girl for Thrift Share Monday, Novembe[...]

419. Tisane of thyme - Recipe


Tisane of thymeIn the spring I bought some 4-inch pots of herbs and planted them in a barrel. They thrived. This is through no skill on my part as I don't have a green thumb but I had put the planter in a spot that suited the oregano and lemon thyme very well.There is a bee among the lemon thyme Lemon thyme, Thymus citriodorusIt is such a pleasure to be able to drink infusions made with my own, home-grown herbs. It is so simple to do, it is just like brewing a pot of tea.Ingredients:Some sprigs of thyme from the garden4 cups of boiling waterHoney or any kind of sweetenerMethod:Put the thyme in a pot (I used a Pyrex carafe with a lid)Pour boiling water over the herbs.Cover the pot and steep for about 5 minutes.Strain into a pretty glass, add sweetener if you like, and enjoy this soothing drink. I like mine without any sugar.Lemon thyme has antispasmodic properties. It soothes coughs and relieves muscle spasms. It is an ingredient in cough mixtures. Deb, author of Kahakai Kitchen in Hawaii, made her own herbal cough syrup with thyme.Thyme infusion can be used as a mouthwash as it has antiseptic and antimicrobial qualities. It is an ingredient in Listerine mouthwash.Best of all, lemon thyme is said to have anti-aging properties.It is 2.50 pm on Sunday and I am rushing to get my post for Thyme tisane to Weekend Herb Blogging.The rules state the deadline is 3pm Utah time.WHB#259 is hosted by the fabulous Susan, of The Well-Seasoned Cook.[...]

418. Happy Blue Monday - Photographs


(image) (image) Orcas at Gabriola Island, British Columbia

This is the reason I always take my camera along when I go for a walk.

These whales were having such a great time chasing each other. They were so exuberant.

I was so lucky to see these beautiful creatures. They move so fast I was just snapping away, hoping I would get a picture. I had to guess where they would be next and wasn't able to catch them bursting out of the water.

Do join Smiling Sally for Blue Monday.

417. Scotch broth - Recipe


Scotch brothScotch broth is a delicious, hearty soup that is a meal in itself. It is usually made with bits of things thrown into the pot.For my soup, I had a bit of leftover roast leg of lamb and pan drippings to throw into the pot. Barley is traditionally used but my barley was over two years old so I used Farro instead of my rancid barley.Faro, the food of the Roman legionsIngredients (for 4 - 6 servings):For soup stock:One bone from a leftover roasted leg of lamb (cut the meat into small pieces and chill it. Save the pan drippings too)One onion, cut in quartersOne large carrot, cut in big chunksThree stalks of celery, broken in thirdsA few bay leavesA few black peppercornsWater to cover the ingredients - about 6 cupsFor Scotch broth:Strained lamb soup stockHalf a cup of yellow split peasA cup of farroHalf a cup of dried vegetable flakesSalt and pepper to tasteGarnish: chopped parsleyMethod:Make the soup stock by simmering the bone and vegetables in water for a couple of hours. Strain the soup (yield - 4 cups) into a container and let it cool. Chill in the refrigerator overnight. Discard the residue. The vegetables are tasteless and mush. It isn't a good idea to give the bone to the dog.Soak the farro and split peas in water for a couple of hours (in separate bowls). Strain and put into a Dutch oven or stock pot. Add the dried vegetable flakes.Take the stock out and remove the layer of hardened fat on top.Add the stock to the potSimmer the soup for about half an hour.Add the bits of lamb and the pan drippings. Cook for a minute.Dish up. Garnish with chopped parsley. Enjoy this delicious soup! Everyone loved it, especially my cats. I am sending my cottage pie recipe to the wonderful Deb, of Kahakai Kitchen, in Hawaii for Souper Sundays.Here is last Sunday's roundup of delicious soups, salads and burgers.[...]

416. Blue and white - Photographs


Blue and white Chinese bowlI went to my favourite thrift shop yesterday with some donations and ended up buying this bowl.In order to drop off the donations, I had to walk through the store to the back . So I had a good look at the merchandise. Nothing caught my eye. Wonderful! I felt I was quite safe - I could comply with Mr. KC's wishes. He doesn't say goodbye when I go out, he tells me not to buy anything.Alas I had to walk past the manager, who knows of my fondness for blue and white. He pointed out the lovely bowl to me. I didn't say "No thank you, I'm leaving". Instead, I picked up the large bowl to take a look. When I turned the bowl over I saw this label:Woodward's was a Vancouver department store. Everybody shopped at Woodward's. I have happy memories of shopping there, especially on the Food Floor. They had $1.49 day which was a Vancouver institution. It closed in 1993. Vintage blue and white! What can I say? It had my name on it.Interior of the bowl- the diameter is 10 inches.Since this post has the b/w theme, here are some other pieces of b/w that I thrifted in the last couple of years:$2 for 3 plattersMy blog is a cooking blog and I look for dishes that will enhance the food. I try to match the dishes to the food. Here is a picture of noodles served on the platter:Chicken and vermicelli saladA little plate for snacks and a b/w pitcherB/w pedestal plate, copy of b/w Chinese export porcelainGlass noodles (Mung bean vermicelli) salad with vegetablesThree lidded cups. The design reminds me of Japanese textiles.Condiments on a silver salver. All the items were thrifted. None cost more than one dollar. The pepper grinder had pepper corns in it, though I threw them away.I am sending this post to Apron Thrift Girl for Thrift Share Monday andto Linda, of Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays.[...]

414. White bean soup - Recipe


White bean soupMy late mother-in-law loved my white bean soup. She would ask me to make large portions so that she could give some to her friends. I became famous among the seniors set for my bean soup.They said that they had never tasted anything like it. What was my secret?White bean is usually made with a ham bone. As I seldom had a ham bone on hand, I made the stock with roasted pig's feet that are sold in Chinese BBQ shops. The pig's feet give a very rich and delicious taste to the soup. I think that was what they meant.I was making bean soup so often that I started taking short cuts. It didn't affect the taste at all. No one noticed. I didn't use canned beans. I still soaked and boiled the beans but I stopped all the prep work with fresh vegetables and used dried vegetable flakes that I bought from the bulk foods section of the supermarket.Roast pig's feetTo make the stock:Cook the pig's feet in a pot of water. Add some bay leaves and black pepper corns. Simmer the soup until the meat is falling off the bone.Strain the soup into a container. Cool and refrigerate overnight. The soup will set into a jelly.Senior's favourite but kids love it too. Try it!Ingredients: For 6 servings2 cups of great northern beans or any other kind of white beansStock made from BBQ roast pig's feetHalf a cup of mixed, dried vegetable flakesA tablespoon of Mrs. DashGarnish: Bits of crispy, fried bacon and chopped parsleyMethod:Soak the Great Northern in cold water overnight. The water should cover the beans.On the next day, simmer the beans in a pot of water until soft. Drain the beans.Remove the layer of fat that has hardened on top of the meat stock.Put the stock into the pot with the beans. Add the dried vegetables and Mrs. Dash.Simmer the soup for an hour.Fry a few slices of bacon till crispy. Drain on paper towels. Break them into bits. Mince some parsley.Use a wooden spoon to mash the beans. Thin the soup with some hot stock or water to the consistency you like.Served the soup with a garnish of bacon bits and chopped parsley.I am sending my cottage pie recipe to the wonderful Deb, of Kahakai Kitchen, in Hawaii for Souper Sundays.[...]

413. Pasta with olives and peppers, Trecce dell'orto alla contandina - Recipe


Trecce dell'orto alla contandina I don't know how it happens, but I always have plenty of pasta on hand. I seem unable to follow the very sensible "use it up before buying new" rule. Now I'm trying to use up the dried pantry goods before year end. So that I can start the New Year with fresh stuff! Ha!Ha!What do I have here?Fattora pastaA package of multi-coloured pasta called Trecce dell'orto. Google translate says it is "Braids of the garden". Don't you just love the poetic names Italians give their pasta?The manufacturer describes these braids as "Durum wheat semolina pasta with vegetables, spices, aromatic grasses and squid ink".Close up of Trecce dell'orto, Braids of the gardenI have never used this type of pasta so I decided to try the recipe printed on the package. It is in Italian but that is not a big problem. Not when there is translation software.Let's start with the name of the dish. Trecce dell'orto alla contadina. Contadina means peasant or farmer, so I figure the name of this dish translated literally is braids of the farmer's garden.So, with Google translate's help, here is my version of the farmer's braids:Ingredients: For 4 servings400 gr of the pastaOne onionHalf a pepper (I used a red pepper)One clove of garlicOne cup of tomato sauce8 black olives3 anchovies packed in oil or one spoon of anchovy paste - I used the formerOreganoBasilHalf a glass of olive oilSalt, pepperGrated pecorinoBay leafMethod:Chop the onion and pepper.Sauté them in oil with the garlic and bay leaf.Add the tomato sauce, black olives, anchovies, oregano and basil.Add the salt and pepper and cook until the sauce thickens.Cook the pasta to al dente. Here are the manufacturer's instructions on how to cook pasta correctly.Drain the pasta and put into the pan to cook with the sauce.Add some freshly-ground pepper and grated pecorino.Serve.Note: I didn't read the recipe properly when I bought the olives. I used sliced olives but the recipe must use whole black olives as it doesn't mention chopping olives. Also, I garnished with chopped flat-leaf parsley.Here is the scientific reason we must eat pasta:"the true strong point is that pasta makes happy and not only thanks to its good flavour; the sugars and the tryptophan amino acid concur to the production of the hormone of the happiness, the serotonin, that it is famous to contributes to improve humour. "Eat pasta, pasta is your best medicine. I am sending my happy making recipe to the fabulous, Ruth of Once Upon a Feast.Ruth is the creator of Presto Pasta Nights, the weekly food blogging event for pasta lovers, aka happy, good-natured people.Send your entries to ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com by November 4.Check back for the roundup on November 5.[...]

412. Beautiful needlepoint cushions - Photographs


Beautiful needlepoint cushionsHere are 3 needlepoint cushions I found at lunchtime at the Value Village in Richmond, BC. The cushion backs are black velvet and the pansy cushions are down-filled. All three are in perfect condition. Such beautiful things for $3.99 each - the price of a cappuccino!An accomplished needlewoman made them. I imagine she displayed them in her living room. I don't think they were used.I am a potter and appreciate how much thought and skill is involved in producing handmade things. I do what I call handwork rescue - I buy hand knits, ceramics, artwork. I also do tarnished silver rescue. So there was no way I could pass on these cushions even though I don't need them.I love the bold, graphic design and the beautiful colours. The colours are more vibrant "in person".Close up of the down-filled pansies cushionsThe day after Halloween I got this bat cushion for $1.99. It is made by Flaming Angels. I'm keeping it out all year round. Bats are good luck symbols.Flaming Angels produce handmade and indie fashion right here in Vancouver. I have never heard of them even though they have operated since 2000. This is one of the things I love about thrift shops. One discovers new things all the time.Want to see more thrift finds?Visit Apron Thrift Girl for Thrift Share Mondayand join the party at Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays hosted by Linda of Coastal Charm.[...]

411. Spicy bean sprouts salad - Recipe


Spicy bean sprouts saladOne of the most popular recipes that I have posted is Sukji namul, Korean bean sprouts salad.Sukju namulI was a bit puzzled about the big interest in this simple side dish that I serve often. But I thought, why not? It is delicious, healthy, low-cal, low-cost and easy to make. It is light and fresh, the perfect salad.Sometimes, I want more zing to the sprouts and I add Kimchi. Keep a bottle of store-bought Kimchi in your fridge and you can jazz things up so easily. Or, if you feel like doing a bit of work, make your own.Up close and spicyThis is so easy to make, I'll just give you a few pointers:Chop some kimchi into small pieces. Use as much as you like.Blanch some bean sprouts. A handful per person, plus another handful gives each about a cup of salad.Drain the bean sprouts.Toss the sprouts and kimchi.Splash some soy sauce and sesame oil over the salad and toss again.Garnish with a bit of chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds.Enjoy!I am sending my post to Divya, of Dil Se. She is hosting My Legume Love Affair No. 28.Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook created this food blogging event that is a vegetarian's delight.MLLA should be the go-to site for people cooking legumes.[...]

409. Cottage pie, Pâté Chinois - Recipe


Cottage pie, Pâté ChinoisYou'll never find Paté chinois on a menu in a Chinese restaurant. Pâté Chinois is a popular Québec dish, a gratin of meat topped with mashed potatoes. A British person taking a bite of Paté chinois would recognize it as Cottage Pie or Shepherd's pie.Mr. KC is familiar with Paté chinois, having partaken of it while enjoying a couple of brews in Québec taverns. I ate it at school lunches in Hong Kong, where it was called Cottage pie. Whatever its name, it is perfect, comfort food and just the thing to eat on a rainy day in Vancouver.I'm not giving a recipe because everything you need to know about making this dish can be found in the Guardian's How to make perfect cottage pie and Simon Hopkinson's, Shepherd's Delight. I'll just give a couple of tips I gleaned from these authors.Simon Hopkinson uses anchovy sauce instead of salt in his recipe.I didn't have Geo Watkins anchovy sauce but I figured it is probably similar to Vietnamese fish sauce, nước mắm. I used this and, for good measure, added a couple of tablespoons of sambal belacan. I added these Asian condiments to a pot roast I made. The result was the best sauce ever. You can't taste the fish sauce or belacan but it blends into the sauce and gives it a very deep flavour. Talk about umami!My cottage pie was made with leftover pot roast cut into cubes. Here is my recipe. I used a whole blade roast instead of short ribs and I didn't use the wine. Also I added some corn and green peas to the mixture.Both sources advise to cool the meat before topping with the mashed potatoes.My tip:Have plenty of thick gravy. Give the meat a good blanket of gravy.Mash the potatoes with butter instead of milk. I think a firmer mash is better. My topping was quite gloppy. It seemed to have absorbed a lot of the gravy.Try it! You'll love it.I am sending my cottage pie recipe to the wonderful Deb, of Kahakai Kitchen, in Hawaii for Souper Sundays.[...]

408. Steamed rice flour cake, 盆粉, Banh bot chien


Steamed rice flour cake, Banh bot chien, 盆粉I was surfing the net and found a lovely blog called Ch3rri-Blossoms. I saw a Vietnamese recipe called Bahn bot chien that looked and sounded like a dish called 盆粉, Poon fun. Poon means a basin and I assume the name means rice pasta made in a basin. How about that for serendipity. I found a recipe that I wanted for a long time!I loved Poon fun but hadn't eaten it in years. I couldn't find a recipe. Sad to say, no one seemed to know or remember this dish. It appears that the dish has become forgotten in Hong Kong and China. However, it is alive and well in SE Asia.Wikipedia describes Banh Bot Chien as "A Chinese influenced pastry that exists in many versions all over Asia; the Vietnamese version features a special tangy soy sauce on the side, rice flour cubes with fried eggs and some vegetables. This is a popular after-school snack for young students."In Singapore, rice flour cake is known as Chwee Kwei, 水粿 and is steamed in little bowls. Here is a very informative and interesting read about this favourite breakfast food.The Malaysian version is Woon Chai Koh, 碗仔糕So I made Banh bot chien. It was very easy. I realized that it is an abbreviated version of Lo Bak Go.I made it with a package of rice flour and got two large pans of steamed rice flour cake. I used an electric steamer to cook the cake.Ingredients:A package of rice flour (1lb)3 tablespoons of cornstarchHalf a teaspoon of sugarHalf a teaspoon of salt2 tablespoons of vegetable oil7 cups of cold waterMethod: Oil the pans for steaming.In a large pot, add the dry ingredients and stir to mix.Add 2 cups of cold water and stir to mix. Add another 2 cups of water to thin the paste. Pour the rest of the water and the oil into the mix and stir till the batter is smooth.Stir and cook the batter on medium/low heat until it thickens slightly. Keep stirring. Don't leave the pot unattended. The paste has to be cooked evenly and have no lumps. You don't want to scorch the mix.Pour the mixture into your oiled pan(s).Steam until the cake is cooked. It should take about an hour to cook and you'll probably have to add more water to the steamer.Remove the dish from the steamer. Let it cool.Turn the cake out and serve.To serve: fry slices with eggs the way Wandering Chopsticks does. Orcut into cubes and put it into chicken or vegetable soup, orcut it into slices and top with a sauce composed of soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, sugar and topped with chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds.I am sending this post to Tigerfish of Teczcape, who is hosting Presto Pasta Nights No. 187. Come back to see the round up on Friday, 29 October 2010.PPN is a weekly food blogging event created by Ruth from Once upon a FeastHappy Halloween to all the Pasta Lovers! Would you like a couple of digits, my lovelies? You'll find these Witches Digits at Shockinglydelicious.Aren't these grotesque, fabulous, creepy cookies![...]