Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hot Pink Hummus

The next bookstore I walk into, I will be purchasing this book.

Only because I don't want to give my copy back to the library. Yesterday I made Beet Hummus.

Her recipe:
1 med beet roasted, peeled and chopped
1 1/4 c cooked,canned chickpeas
1/3 c tahini
1/4 c toasted pin nuts
2 garlic cloves
1/2 c olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Well I had 3 roasted beets and the can of chickpeas measured 2 cups so I improvised. It didn't help that my food processor is at my daughters either. Hmmm well I do have a smaller itty bitty will have to do.

My recipe:
3 roasted med beets
2 c canned chickpeas
2 russian garlic cloves (thank god I didn't use 4) they are larger and much more pungent than regular garlic
2/3 c tahini
1/2 c roasted pecan halves, chopped
1 c+ olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
salt and pepper

I had to make it in three batches in the small processor. I used two of the larger garlic cloves.....that was a mistake

I had to open another can of chickpeas and make another batch
1 cup chickpeas
1/3 c tahini
1/2 c olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

and mixed it up with the original one, had to thin out the was very powerful....after the intervention it was much better. So basically I quess I trippled the recipe.

This morning I went to grocery store to pick up a few things and noticed a big bag of lemons for $.50, and a large bag of Brussel Sprouts for $1.25 in the vegetable reduction bin. The only reason I went over to check it out was because so many other shoppers were standing grabbing stuff, that I grabbed some cauliflower, lemons, and sprouts, and I managed to leave the area with all body parts intact.

I was planning on making mashed potato and chicken for the grandkids for a late lunch early dinner today and I thought I would try combining the cauliflower and potatoes. They were a hit. Wow I will probably make mashed this way all the time. Shepards Pie for sure. It was very good.

I also thought it might be a good idea to juice the lemons and zest and stick in the freezer, so I washed the lemons and poured boiling water over them twice, and voila ...lots of juice when I need it, and I never seem to have a lemon when I need one, so hopefully this will end that problem.

The lemon waste will be a nice addition to the compost
The brussel sprouts....well I thought I'd give pickling them a try, i've always wanted to but never thought of it before. I've only ever bought them for thanksgiving or xmas dinners.

Monday, March 19, 2012

RIBS...chez moi

I've been reading this book over the weekend. And I gotta say snacking up a storm. I realized that I probably would enjoy every recipe in the book, unfortunately I'm going to have to buy myself a copy instead of renewing it continually at the library. I went to the Co-op to replenish my lottery ticket on saturday and was walking around the store, I haven't been in this particular one for ages, I used to live in the neighborhood and have forgotten how much I enjoyed the smallness of the store. Even though it's half the size of most of the others in the city, its a great store. One doesn't have the feeling of exhaustion roaming the aisles. Since I haven't been in it for a bit I went for a stroll and managed to pick-up a few things including a rack a ribs. Only because they looked good and happened to be on sale (one of my new years resolutions - it must be on sale if Im going to buy meat products that are not currently in the freezer)

As I was reading, and enjoying this book I figured It really needed to be tested just for accuracy sake etc. So I decided the rib recipe should be tested, not because I had some of them in the fridge, but the story behind the recipe was interesting. And I have to say hear, that every recipe has a story in the book. I love cookbooks like this.

Her recipe:

Apricot Ribs
6-8 servings

4 racks spareribs
salt and pepper
2 cups apricot jam or marmalade
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 scant tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 c water

Season ribs and lay them don bone side up in roasting pan. Everything else gets put into pot and heated till melting then dumped over the ribs blah blah blah...its not rocket science from here.

Well, I thought I had my own apricot jam, but after much searching of the basement, none was found. Wow that was a surprise, then I cleaned the fridge out and none there. Bummer....another new years rule was "no grocery shopping if at least 5 things aren't on the list, made do - or do something else" I also don't do a large grocery shopping every 2 weeks anymore either. It's only quick pick ups when I need more than 5 things and since I tend to go to at least 3 different locations around the city in a given week, I make a point of going somewhere different instead of the usual place at least once in awhile.
No apricot jam but several plum jam where available, so that's what I used (it was either plum, or strawberry or blueberry) I figured the plum would add a nice demention of color to the ribs.
And since I had only 1 large rack of ribs, I halfed the recipe.

My recipe

1 rack of ribs
Peal of the ucky thin skin off the bone side (it's there, it always is, it MUST be taken off. And it's easy, just pick one corner off and pull --- hard.
Cut ribs into sections of 3 bones and put them into a freezer bag and dump in equal portions of soya sauce, lea and perrins, and balsamic vinegar. Set aside and take the laundry out of the dryer, vacuum ---turn the bag over, and set aside

Into a pot, goes
1 cup plum jam
1 tbsp lea and perrin
1 tbsp lime juice (didn't have any lemons)
1 tbsp honey dijon mustard (that's what I had)
1/4 cup water
after melting the mess down I tasted it and decided it needed
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
scant squirt sriracha hot chili sauce (red rooster brand)
scant shake (and I mean scant) McCormick's smoked paprika, and ancho chili pepper
after tasting this....good to go

I didn't really need the water, next time will leave it out.
I removed the ribs from the freezer bag, lined a pan with parchment and put the whole mess into toaster oven, convection combo thing. At 425 for 1/2 hour bone side up. Then turned oven down to 325 for about 1- 1 1/2, I can't remember and I also turned them a couple times and repeatedly put more sauce over them. After what seemed like a bit ( I was sewing a quilt top, so kinda lost track of time here) before turning temp down to 200 I sectioned the ribs indivually and smushed then around the remaining sauce in pan and returned them to oven for about 1/2 hour.

Best ribs I ate, Don't know why I never made them with jam before. But will every time from now on.....

I bought a bunch of beets at the store the same trip and they are roasting away in the toaster, convection combo expecting to be put into the Beet Hummus that the author promises to be a "beautiful thing-hot pink hummus"

Sunday, March 04, 2012

The saga of the toilets

Just around xmas my husband removed the toilet from the ensuite....because it was wobbly. I came home and found the toilet (in one piece) sitting on a pile of towels in the tub. I was amazed that he was able to do this all by himself (its kinda heavy and awkward and then there's that wall of the tub to get the whole thing over) anyway there it sat. The ring under the toilet was cracked and a piece was broken off and the wood under the toilet sustained some damage and necessitated (is that spelled correctly....who cares?) the lino removal and replacement. So it took me awhile to decide what to replace it with. For some reason that took forever. It's probably due to the fact there are two other toilets to use, that we were so lazy. So once the floor was finally replaced and sealed and baseboards installed etc., the ring was replaced and then I decided that we had to replace the toilet because I figured since the floor was kinda damaged under the old toilet, a new toilet would not sit on exactly the same spot. (I could have replaced the wood sub floor under the toilet, but that just seemed like way toooooo much work, so i guncked up the space and figured a new toilet would be best. That took a month.....actually my son (works in plumbing supplies in another province) came to visit february long and I insisted he come with a toilet. I failed to mention that there was a banjo (didnt know that thing had a name) and the toilet and the space under said banjo were exactly the same measurement. just.....wouldn' coarse, the visit was very busy and no one thought to take the said toilet out of the boxes and put it together and measure....until after he left town......

Pissed me off....I called him to moan about the size...wondering if I could put a different tank on it maybe....Then----It struck me. I could put the new toilet downstairs in the powder room (no banjo there - a pedestal sink in that room) and move the toilet from that room up here into the ensuite. It would fit because it's the same toilet that was up here, so fit, it will yay. Wow---what a brainstorm....I'm so smart I scare myself. I hung up the phone and patted myself on the back and headed upstairs to tell my husband the good news...when I remembered why I wanted a different toilet in the first place......I must say here that in a fit of getting really pissed at having to shower in the guest bathroom (because there was a toilet sitting in the ensuite bath tub). One day in a fit of getting things done I ripped that toilet out of the tub and toke it downstairs and dumped it next to the backdoor, and there it sat for about 4 days. When in another fit of getting things done I toke it apart and hid it in garbage bags (we aren't supposed to throw stuff like that into the dumpster, fines fines fines threatened) so I waited until the cover of darkness and dumped the thing into the dumpster. Why plan was to put in a different toilet, why do I need this stupid thing....landfill is where it went.

So.... today, I removed the toilet in powder room and put in the new toilet in that spot and had to go back to home depot for another set of screws and bolts because they are plastic (probably made in china, cause they suck) and one of the plastic bolts, snapped into two pieces. While at the store of coarse no bolt could be found to replace the old one so I would have to remove the friggin thing off the floor to insert a new screw thing into the plate because the old one would not work with any bolts known to man. So yet another wax thing had to be installed.

*One trip to home depot down

Back home the toilet was raised, the wax ring removed and discarded, the new bolts installed, the wax re-installed, the toilet put down, screwed...yay, this time I didn't screw the thing down tight, just enough. And the screw and bolts were bronze, or yellow METAL anyway.

The tank screwed down...."wait, we should screw on the water supply thing first"
Well....i purchased new water supply flexable hose things cause the new toilet sit higher than the old one, thereby needing a new pipe/hose thingy...I didn't want to rebend the old one, figured it would spring a leak why bother, replace it.
The 18 year old guy in plumbing at home depot gave me two new flex hose things about two weeks ago and I figured he worked here, he knows what he's doing....I bought them and went home with new hoses and piles of wax rings.
The 18 yr old GAVE ME THE WRONG HOSES....grrrr doesn't fit.

*Second trip to home depot that day
Seems he gave me hoses for a sink...not a toilet - don't trust children working at home depot, cause they know ....shit!!!!

Came home with new hoses and silicone tape.

Siliconed up the knob and then proceeded to unbolt the water supply from the pressure connection thingy. It would budge ....stuck. So I made my husband do it, cause I didn't want to be responsible for the water plume that was inevitably going to start shooting up into the air at any moment. I was maddly scrambling to remember in my mind "just where was that main water shut off anyway". Hmmmm....I should go check for the darn thing...Oh too late, he managed to remove it...heavy sigh!!!! No water shooting up into the air.

Everything was screwed on, bolted down, sealed and then we stood back and admired our amazing job and tried to decide who was going to be responsable to turning the water do you do I insist, you do it.

Well I didn't do it, but water was filling, flushing and no water was on the floor. Wow, one down.

The second toilet was hauled upstairs, (the same exact toilet model that was there in the first place)grrr....I'm living with this turn of events, so I don't want to hear anything about it again!!!!

The bolts and screw were matched up and again metal, the two different wax rings (two, one on the floor and one on the underside of the toilet-because that's the way we did the one downstairs, the newer one and that's the way my son instructed me to do it...blah blah blah and it worked downstairs just tickety boooooh)and I proceeded to screw the thing down to the floor. And screw, and screw and screw....this must have been the screw from hell cause it just wouldnt end. Then you stand on the thing and sort of press the wax down and then screw some more.....When I finally finished the thing I stook back and noticed that the front of the toilet was a good 1/4 inch off the
so I unscrewed the bolts a bit and put some weight down on the thing again and screwed the bolts again and again and stood back and .....still up off the floor. Hmmmmm

My husband said....give it a day we will use it and it will sit down after a I unbolted a bit...again and screwed the tank on, and the water line, I used the old one still attached to the pressure bolt thing attached to the floor, CAUSE ITS THE SAME FRIGGIN TOILET...see, it will work!!!!
I turned on the water, and there's water on the floor, grrrrr
"is it tight"
"yes, it won't turn anymore,it's tight"
"hmmm, did you check if there's a washer in the thing"
turned the water off, emptied the tank....turned the water off, washer....where the f*ck is the washer.....It's been almost two months....since original dismantalling was done, it could be anywhere, but it's not the new flex thing has to be installed.
"you do it", no "you do it"...
I took the bull by the horns and managed to unscrew the old one without any major catastrophy.....big sigh of relief
Bolted this, screwed on that, bolted that...turned on the water, flushed, reflushed, water on the floor. Oh, happy day!!!!
I left to do some shopping and on the way to the mall, it came to me....We have to remove the stupid second toilet cause obviously tooo00 much wax under the toilet.

*third trip to home depot, for yet more wax. I've seen more than my share of toilet wax, enought for a lifetime. Sick to death of the stuff at this point.

So when I came home with fish and chips take-out for dinner, fixing the damn toilet upstairs was put off for another day. Maybe tomorrow....maybe not...

So this morning I'm getting out of bed for my cup of timer coffee (yay great invention), when I almost couldn't Wait, what's going on, why am I so butt...hurts like someone hit me with a baseball bat, my legs won't bend. I do not remember climbing any mountain yesterday. Let's see now, I went to the library, stairs were involved, the mall...again no stairs, couple other stairs, no mountains. Man am I out of shape or what. I complained and staggered out of the room, when my husband mentioned "it was probably the heavy toilet up and down the stairs"

"OH yeah, ...i completely forgot about that stupid toilet thing....wierd
But the toilet wasn't really all that heavy"

It was all that bending and screwing and unscrewing ....and rescrewing....Who would of thought that bending over a toilet and manovering yourself into tight places and screwing down bolts, into said tight places COULD BE CONSIDERED A 'WORKOUT'

Well, the toilet will have to wait another day.....I'm done... maybe tuesday
We are still using the toilet in the guest room, but the new toilet in the powder room is really comfy.....sits a little higher for us old folks. I don't think the grandson just learning about the potty will like it all that much....and my grandaughter will have to hike herself up a little bit more, but its all good.