Sunday, 31 December 2017

I'm adopting this one... won't be easy

Potatoes & Peppers in Passata

Carole's Chatter: Potatoes & Peppers in Passata

The silly name I've given this dish at least has the merit of being alliterative!  I have never cooked potatoes in a pot in anything other than water so this was a first.  I was inspired to try it by having half a bottle of passata open in the fridge.


Potatoes – cubed
Garlic oil/Extra virgin olive oil
Onion, chopped
Spring onion (scallion) chopped
Peppers (Capsicum) – sliced
Passata (tomato puree)
Grated Ginger
Cayenne Pepper
Salt & Pepper


Fry off your onions in the oil first. Add the grated ginger and the sliced peppers.  Then add the potatoes.

Pour the passata over the top and simmer for almost 40 minutes – I thought that was too long and next time would cut the potatoes up smaller.

Add your seasonings right at the end – checking what is needed.  Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs on top.

This made a really attractive and tasty side dish – a keeper.

Friday, 29 December 2017

I haven't decided my resolutions yet - have you?

Where Did That Come From?

This is the first of a new series – on some Fridays.  I have always been curious about words and sayings.  So I have been making a little list and thought I would share with you some sayings and their origins.  Hope you enjoy this.

Here we go (this time with a feline theme):

Catty-corner: I was reading a book set in the States and it said that someone's house was catty-corner from the church.  It means diagonally across from but where did this come from.  And what has it to do with cats?

Well, nothing.  It apparently is a distortion of the French word 'quatre' meaning 4 as in 4 corners.  In Old English that became cater which was used for a diagonal move.  And then it became catty (or kitty)

Catnap: This word is inspired by cats and the way they doze during the day.  A catnap is also known as a power nap – or forty winks.

The cat's pajamas: As in 'He just thinks he's the cat's pajamas'  - he thinks very highly of himself.  It seems that this phrase has nothing to do with cats in the feline sense.  From the 1920s hip or cool people were known as 'cats' as in cool cat.  There is speculation that pajamas for women became popular outerwear and were avant-garde so the 'cat's pajamas' was something cool and up to the minute.

Catwalk: This word isn't just applicable to fashion shows but to all high narrow walkways.  It's quite an old word and probably derives from a person needing the balance of a cat to walk on them.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The Happiness Project Revisited Just In Case

I enjoyed The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and decided that I would remind you about it.  Rather than trying to be happy by changing geographies like the Eat Pray Love approach, Gretchen just tried to change one thing a month for a year to be more happy while staying right at home.

It is a light hearted but useful book.  It is practical and never preachy. Do give it a go if you are feeling that you should be happier than you are.  This is not a book to help medically depressed people or people who are grief stricken – it is for ordinary people who just need a tad more joy in their lives.

I do like her one minute rule (but don't do it very well). The rule is that if you can do something in a minute or less, do it right away and don't postpone it.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

I find the big sales a bit too much to bear - Happy Boxing Day to you

Cajun Spiced Salmon Fillet – Reprised

Cajun Spiced Salmon Fillet Reprised

These Cajun spiced salmon fillets were easy to do and, if I do say so myself, turned out just perfectly.

I often find salmon quite strong so we just bought one salmon fillet and then I halved it with a sharp knife.  I sprinkled the bottom of a oven dish with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and a Cajun spice mix together with some olive oil. 

After pinboning the salmon – that is, taking out the long bones you can feel by running your fingers over the fillet – I use a pair of tweezers I keep in the kitchen and only use for this.  Then I put it skin side down on the spices in the dish, I then sprinkled more of the same on top.  I let it sit for about 20 minutes while preparing other elements of the meal.  It is good for letting the flavours meld and also it helps not to have the salmon too fridge cold when you start to cook it.

I heated up a pan and popped the fillets in – skin side down.  I left them to sizzle on a high heat for about 3 minutes – enough to make the skin crispy.  Then you take the fillets out of the pan, pop them back in the oven dish and into a moderate oven for 12-15 minutes.  Please note that I did not sear the flesh side.

The result was perfectly cooked soft salmon flesh with tasty crispy flavoursome skin – hard to say which was enjoyed the most.  This one definitely got the seal of approval from the better half.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas wishes and blessings are winging their way to you!

The Last Quiz For A While

This month's quiz is about Christmas what else!  Quizzes will then be taking a break.

As always you can see if you got the right answer by highlighting the line under the question.

  1. After leaving Bethlehem, to which country did Joseph, Mary, and Jesus travel?
  1. Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December. Who is the patron saint remembered on the 26th of December?
  1. Everyone is familiar with the mistletoe tradition. What is the color of the berries of the plant?
  1. Name the eight original Reindeer.
Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Prancer, Vixen, Dancer, and Donner
  1. What is the French name for Santa Claus?
Père Noël
  1. What are the gifts that the Three Wise Men gave baby Jesus, according to Christmas history?
Gold, Myrrh & Frankincense
  1. Which is the most popular ornament used to place at the top of the Christmas tree?
  1. How do you say Merry Christmas in Spanish?
Feliz Navidad
9  Who starred in the movie 'White Christmas'?
Bing Crosby

  1. Which Christmas food is it considered good luck to eat one of on each of the 12 days of Christmas?
Mince pies