Thursday, September 25, 2014

What's for Dinner? Korean Beef Bowl

Delicious...simple...few ingredients...quick to marks in our house last night... : )

Now, this recipe has been around for a few years (at least). I found it at Kitchen Simplicity, but then found basically the same recipe at Six Sisters Stuff, Damn Delicious and Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers. The oldest version seems to go back to Lizzy Writes (May, 2010). Exciting update... Lizzy Writes has revamped her recipe and turned it into Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps!

Note: Korean Beef Bowl takes only about 20 minutes, start to finish! Put on your rice before you do anything else, or it won't be ready in time.

Korean Beef Bowl

Korean Beef Bowl

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used “less sodium” soy sauce)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

1 pound lean ground beef
2-3 cloves garlic
2 green onions, sliced

Brown ground beef in skillet. Drain off fat.
Add garlic and stir for one minute.
Stir in sauce and half of green onions.
Simmer 5 minutes.
Serve over rice and garnish with green onion.

I served this with a platter of raw vegetables, but sauteed green beans and red pepper strips would be nice. Steamed broccoli sprinkled with sesame seeds could be another option.


Take care,

PS Be sure to scout around the food blogs listed above. I saw some more tasty recipes I'd like to try!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Classical Ballet : )

Classical ballet.


Not always!

Click here to watch the Vienna State Opera Ballet perform...

...and have a giggle!

So well done!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Good Manners

The Calgary Eyeopener had a feature on table manners this morning. Numerous people tweeted and emailed comments about their pet peeves and gave examples of some atrocious manners they'd witnessed in public. No matter where you live, I think we'd all agree that clipping your nails while standing in a buffet line (one example this morning) is definitely over the top!

One of the points made in today's radio interview was that “the rules” are no longer so clear cut, partly because of the many different cultures represented in a typical community today. As people travel greater distances, they quickly learn there's definitely more than one way to do things!

I still remember a lesson I learned many years ago when I moved to France. Rules of Table Etiquette in France – this exact situation happened to me! Fortunately, a very kind, grandmotherly lady gently pointed me in the right direction.

I guess it all boils down to respect for others.

A few days ago, I happened upon an excellent article, 30 Manners Everyone Should Know. Please read it. It's very good!

Thank you,

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Great Little (Buttermilk!!) Biscuit

Maggie's Great Little (Buttermilk!!) Biscuits

Last April, I shared a recipe for A Great Little Biscuit. Why was it great? It used only 1/4 cup of oil instead of the more standard butter. No doubt about it – I love butter, but using oil made these super quick to prep. In fact, they're ready before the oven's heated up.

Great just as they are, as a side for a hearty bowl of soup or chili, you can also mix it up a bit by adding raisins or Craisins...

Or, turn them into Ham and Cheese Pinwheel Biscuits...

Maggie's Ham and Cheese Pinwheel Biscuits

Today, this great little biscuit morphed into A Great Little (Buttermilk!) Biscuit. Buttermilk really kicks it up a notch! Life is good!!!

A Great Little Biscuit

2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix together.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk

Add to dry ingredients; stir with a fork until just combined.
Turn out onto a floured surface.
With floured hands, gently pat out (3/4 inch thick).
Cut out round biscuits, triangles or squares.
Bake for 15 minutes at 425ºF (ungreased cookie sheet).

Note: If you wish, add about 1/2 – 3/4 cup raisins, craisins or grated cheese. Makes about one dozen biscuits.

Monday, September 15, 2014

More cookies! Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk by Julie Van Rosendaal

We were expecting some company yesterday, so I tried a “new to me” cookie recipe recently posted by nutritionist, Julie Van Rosendaal.

Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk
A great cookie recipe by Julie Van Rosendaal

On Tuesday mornings, I enjoy listening to Julie on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One.  You can listen to her here.  She's also the author (or co-author) of six cookbooks, a freelance writer and creator of a great food blog, Dinner With Julie.

Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies – what an extraordinarily long name for a cookie!

Think “crisp oatmeal cookie with yummy overtones of peanut butter and chocolate” - very tasty! In fact, they were given a gold seal of approval by my “testers”. I'd definitely make them again.

NOTES: I followed the recipe as written, using chocolate chips (rather than chunks) and chunky peanut butter (the only kind allowed in our house) instead of smooth. The recipe makes about 3-4 dozen. They really do spread, so space them out on your cookie tray. Based on a question/answer in the comment section, I put some of the dough (shaped into balls) in the freezer to bake later as needed.

I love that little gadget!  A lot less messy than scooping
up dough with a spoon.  Freeze the balls of cookie dough
separately so they don't stick, then pop in a container.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

G.'s Refrigerator Cookies

Do you save little slips of paper like this one?

Tucked inside a book...

Memories of sitting around the kitchen table after school...

If I picked all the kids up, G. always had something hot out of the oven. A good friend.  A good deal!!

Now, look again. G. only ever wrote the ingredients! If you insisted, she'd write down the oven temperature. I'd always have to scribble my own little notes on the side.

These little guys are super easy – a very old-style cookie, probably from G.'s mother.  They'd be simple to make with kids.

G.'s Refrigerator Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Mix all at once in the mixer (about 4 minutes).
Gather dough and divide into four balls.
Roll each ball into a snake shape.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, parchment paper or wax paper.
Slice and bake at 300 degrees C for 12 minutes.
Makes about 4 dozen small cookies.
Recipe can be easily halved. 

Chocolate cookies: Melt and mix 2 squares of unsweetened
chocolate into dough.

Want something a little fancier? Whisk a small drizzle of maraschino juice into a heaping tablespoon of icing sugar. Spread a little on each cookie and add sprinkles.

Or, instead of slicing your cookies, take a teaspoon of dough, roll into a ball and flatten into a disk. Press one side firmly into rainbow sprinkles. Bake as described above.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Learning to Knit? Three Easy Fingerless Glove Patterns!

Maggie's Crocheted
Fingerless Gloves

Well, Mother Nature made her point very clear this week in southern Alberta. 

Yes, she's in charge. 

Snow, sleet and a nasty temperature dip after a lovely late summer weekend.  : (

Maggie's Knit
Fingerless Gloves

My tomatoes are grumpy over my insistence that they wear sheets at night...

...and I'm grumpy about needing to wear a jacket and fingerless gloves! 

I still have (and wear) the two pairs of fingerless gloves I crocheted and knit in the fall of 2012. I love them because they're tiny enough to tuck into my jacket pockets and always have on hand (pun intended).

Link to crocheted gloves here.

Link to knit gloves here.

Looking for my gloves, however, reminded me that I forgot to tell you about a great little pattern I found this summer.  Even better, this pattern comes with a great little video from one of my favourite knitting websites, Very Pink.  Quick to complete, they were a perfect birthday treat for my sister.  If you want to learn to knit, you really need to check out this website and the mitts would make a wonderful first project. 

A great "free" pattern from
Very Pink

For wool I used Malabrigo Rios Yarn (871 Playa). I mention that because it's a wonderful pure marino superwash wool made in Peru.

Rio means 'river' in Spanish. Malabrigo Rios is named after the four major rivers in Uruguay: Rio Cuareim, Rio Uruguay, Rio de la Plata, and Rio Negro. Each river is represented by one ply. These plies twist together like winding rivers. Rios also signifies the yarn's washability; for millennia, rivers have provided water for washing garments.”

Makes you look at a ball of wool in a new light, doesn't it? If you're looking for wool to go with demin, this is it!

Side note....

My original plan was a little hoodie for my grandson. However, by the time I got through the back, I realized I did not have nearly enough wool. Too late to buy more (and it would have cost a fortune to buy enough). Oh, well. I learned a lesson about yards vs grams and substituting yarns!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Salvadorian Breakfast Cakes

We've just returned from our annual trip to “the Lake” - a good time, a family time, a relaxing time. An almost “Internet Free” vacation, unless you're willing to walk up to the top of the road with your phone... : )

Back here in southern Alberta, after yesterday's monsoon, summer seems to be on on the edge of being over. A bit sad to think about that...

I do, however, want to share an amazing recipe my daughter whipped up. Salvadorian Breakfast Cakes. Buttery, rich, a satisfying nibble indeed! These are dense little cakes to be enjoyed with a fresh cup of coffee. Yum!

Salvadorian Breakfast Cakes

My daughter discovered the recipe at food52, but I was able to trace it back to the original posting by Sasha at Global Table Adventure, a site worth exploring. Sasha's post is a full photo tutorial. She actually won first prize for this recipe in food52's Gluten-Free Baking competition.