Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blueberry Mango Peach Salad with Mango and Yogurt Dressing

While I can get fresh fruit and veg, I become less of a carnivore.  Latest yummy treat

2 Cups of Blueberries
2 Peaches
1 Mango

1/4 Cup Mango puree
1/4 Cup Vanilla Yogurt
splash of lemon/lime juice

Nice, easy, yummy; serve with a toasted bagel with cream cheese, and you be looking for seconds or thirds.  I'm so envious of people that can get this stuff fresh year round. I like my stuff a little more acidic so I add the lemon or lime juice because I like the tartness, nice offset for the sweetness of the fruit.

More Later....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Faithful Friend

Oh horse you are a faithful friend
Your springs Don't brake or fenders bend.
No gas bills rising everyday
to steal the joy of life away.
You always star, come rain or snow
and stop when you are told to "whoa."
Your fuel is good for many a mile
and your body never changes style.
With temperature that never boils
you don't drink up expensive oils.
A coat that is so nice and sleek,
you don't need polish every week.
Your brakes will never squeal or slip
or cushion ever crack or rip.
Your piston rods are nice and tight
and headlights beam both day and night.
You do not have a horn that toots
to scare nice folks out of their boots.
Your inner tubes are all O.K.
and thank the Lord they stay that way.
You are air-conditioned in the breeze
and don't need any anti-freeze.
No matter where you drivers roam
You always bring them safely home.
Your value don't depreciate
the minute you are out the gate.
You don't consume expensive gas
So live old friend and you'll get grass.

Tom Hoy

More Later....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Roast Pepper and Garlic Salad

Since I normally can get reasonably fresh bell peppers, I often make a roast pepper and garlic salad as a vegetable side dish when I cook other things.

  • Variety of Coloured Bell Peppers 
  • Variety of Chilli Peppers ( if desired)
  • Slivered Garlic, to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste
Cut and seed  all the peppers and chillies into bite size pieces lightly coat with the olive oil and a light dusting of s&p, put them in a hot oven (425->450) or toss them under the broiler.  Give them a couple of stirs so they don't burn.  Once they are soft with a few pieces starting to brown and blister, mix them in a bowl with more olive oil, the slivered garlic and more s&p to taste.  I personally don't remove the skins from the peppers, because I don't mind the fibre.  The heat from the peppers will cause the garlic to perfume everything nicely.

Alternatively, char all the peppers and chillies on a fire, under the broiler etc.; place them in a bag to steam.  Once they have cooled a bit, you can remove the skin. Chop and seed the works and mix evo, crushed garlic and season with s&p.  

You can replace the slivered garlic with roast garlic if you have it on hand, but I usually don't.

More Later....

Friday, July 23, 2010

SpinRite 6 -- The Magic Tool -- A Tale of Drive Recovery

Over the weekend I had 4 hard drives fail , 3 different models, 2 different vendors, 4 different lots.  'Twas a very bad day!! I was doing my weekend mirror, in preparation for migrating my laptop to a new hybrid drive.  Every other weekend, I clone my working drive to a target drive.  I swap the working drive with the target, and finally do a backup to a third drive. I then carry on working with the knowledge that my laptop is very recoverable.

I fire-up my clonezilla live cd, add check my target drive, and then start my disk-to-disk clone. I go to bed, because it normally takes a few hours, and dream about my new Momentus XT.  I wake up, and HORROR!!!! it's stuck, on a couple of bad blocks!! WTF!!! I told clonezilla to continue on bad blocks, but it didn't.  SIGH!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Maori Movies From New Zealand

There are a couple of great movies picturing the struggle of Maori kids trying to navigate their way through the modern world
Once Were Warriors is set in Auckland New Zealand, this is a riveting and powerful movie dealing with alcoholism and abuse. There are many moments in this movie that aren't for the faint of heart, but I believe it is a must see.  Jake Heke played by Temuera Morrison (AKA Boba/Jango Fett), plays a drunk abusive SOB brilliantly. You really want to hate him as you see the havoc he wreaks on his family after a couple (dozen) cold ones.  I had originally seen it as part of an aboriginal film festival and could see why it included at such an event. A must watch even it you do find it disturbing and troubling.

Whale Rider is about a teenage girl who must fight the patriarchal traditions of her Maori family.  She fights for the love of her grandfather, as she tries to prove herself worthy to break a generations old tradition of male  rule.  Pai immerses herself in Maori traditions and culture, but often receives the wrath of her grandfather, because she is bucking traditional roles.  This feel-good, heart warming flick looks at the softer side of a warrior culture and is worth a watch.  It might be a good way to unwind from Once Were Warriors.

More Later...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Time Capsule From My Grandma

WOW! 25 years ago my grandma put a time capsule down for me, and I finally received it.  She didn't do this for the other grandkids, just me! As think about it, so many emotions and memory come rushing back again.  I so miss my grandma (sniffle... sniffle).  It's only been a year since her passing...

The time capsule consisted of a number of photos, some poems by my step-grandpa, a few word history, and some Canadian Centennial currency (the year of my birth).  Unfortunately, the time capsule got wet, the paper damaged, the coins corroded... but it was the thought, and she thought of me.

What is funny, is that my current girlfriend has a few of her mannerisms, and that helps bring random smiles to my face.  My girl friend will be perplexed with me, as I will randomly start laughing, and I can't help it, as I see a little of my grandparents in what ever just happened.

I'm gonna transcribe my step-grandpa's poems and stories into my blog so that they may bring some joy to others.  They were deemed important enough for my grandma to pass them on, so I will deem them important enough to share to everyone else....

Thank you grandma for being you and loving me.....

More Later....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sausage And Goat Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

A new frequent favourite of mine is grilled or baked stuffed portobello mushroom, and I started looking for a rapid but simple filling.

In most grocery stores you can find packaged sausage meat, I usually grab a one of sweet italian and one of spicy italian.  I mix them together in a bowl, I then add a tablespoon or so of caraway seeds; a tablespoon or two of fennel seeds;  if I have it on hand some roast garlic, or some caramelized onions; occasionally I've added sun-dried tomatoes.  Totally depends on what I have on had or what flavours I'm craving.

Take a gilled and stemmed portobello mushroom, but try to leave the sides intact when you remove the gills, otherwise the cheese tends to escape. Add a teaspoon or so of goat cheese, and cover with the sausage mixture.  I like mine meaty so I'm more generous on the sausage, but when you cook your food do it your way.

I've baked them in a 425 oven, I've broiled them, barbecued them, I've even pan fried them.  It has totally depended on what else I have been doing.  As long as the sausage meat is cooked things are good.

Serve with some vegetables, or a salad, and a starch of your choice .... or use them for a "hamburger" the concept is what was important....

More Later....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes With Boccaccini Salad

I love summer, we are now starting to see good fresh produce, and the street markets are open so you can even get some of the local gems.  I recently scored some heirloom cherry tomatoes (silly me didn't take a snap... sorry :( ).  I headed to Spinnelli's (AKA the Italian Centre) and scored a fresh large boccaccini, some fresh basil and made me one yummy salad.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blog Migration Completed

It's done!! I've managed to migrate everything that I intended to bring over. Only a dozen or so posts related to out dated software and sites that no longer exist, weren't migrated.

I have touched up some of the photos from my hosted gallery site, and they are hosted within itself. The rest of my images were linked to my flickr pages.  I didn't spend a lot of time re-formatting posts.  In a few I fixed some grammar and spelling stuff, but for the most part things were left as is.

I was also fun revisiting my trips to Ecuador and México; getting frustrated by some of my older rants; and composing some new ones.

Over the coming weeks, I will try to make my topics a little more focused or possibly a little more scheduled,  making you trips to my Hidey Hole worth while.

More Later....

Friday, July 9, 2010

Anchovie Pasta Sauce di Papa Joe

Many years ago I dated an Italian girl and became part of the family.  Every special occasion or anytime Papa Joe had a hankering for it, he made this awesome little quick sauce with anchovies.  His kids didn't want to touch it with a hundred foot pole, but I was all over it.  He loved me, because I would try pretty much anything he put on a plate in front of me.
  • Anchovy fillets (in a pinch anchovy paste)
  • Good Olive Oil 
  • Garlic, Minced
  • Cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • Crushed tomatoes 
  • Red pepper flakes to taste

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Grilled Portobello and Vegetable Sandwiches de Gregorio

Often for my friends for a medium-light meal, I've resorted to making a loaf sandwich of grilled vegetables, and they seem to be a big hit.  It has become one of my most requested dishes after my crepes. While I don't have a specific recipe I have a general technique that I do based upon what is available at the market at the time.

  • Usually I hit Save-On-Foods because I like their bread, I grab a French Loaf or a Ciabatta Loaf depending on what's there.  
  • Grab some of the jalapeño jack or monterrey jack and havarti cheeses, but I will substitute some swiss, emental, or edam in the mix as well.  
  • Some washed mixed greens, or arugula, or spinach, or lettuce de jour.  
  • Portobello Mushrooms enough to be the length of the full loaf
  • Assorted baby zucchinis, spring squashes, asparagus, bell peppers, chilies, snow peas, or what ever grabs your fancy
  • Good Tomatoes

Monday, July 5, 2010

World Cup 2010 -- And Then There Were Four

We are now at the semi-finals for Worldcup 2010, and it has been an interesting run. As usual there is always controversy over sportsmanship, diving (aka simulating), officiating, and finally goal-line technology. But over all I think it has been a good event.

The quarter finals did bring a lot of drama to the event, mostly in the Ghana-Uruguay and Spain-Paraguay matches. But now we are down to our final four teams:
  • Germany vs Spain
  • Netherlands vs Uruguay

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Library...

This takes me back to my university days where what is now Hudson's, was called The Library. It was a quaint watering hole that had the walls covered with bookshelves filled with old books.  Food was ok, but it had a nice atmosphere, so it became a favourite haunt when we had a couple of bucks to spare.

More Later....

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tabouli de Gregorio

I'm a big big fan of tabouli as a salad and as a condiment for other things.  The other night I started with a recipe from Great Party Recipes and tweaked it for my own preferences.

  • 1 1/2 cups cracked wheat (bulgur)
  • 1 1/2 cups very hot salted water 
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, (8) sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
  • 2 cups fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste