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Posts Tagged ‘celery’

Spring has been slowly emerging, taking its dear sweet time, but today, it’s finally going to be 17°C (62.6°F). Even on Tuesday, the sun was shining and it was actually warm enough to sit outside in the sun with a cup of hot coffee. We’re cautiously hopeful for spring, although there is still some ice in our backyard believe it or not. Stubborn ice that just won’t give up. One of our radio stations has a repeating ad that goes something like this: “April, you have just one job: melt the GD ice so spring can finally show up.” Seriously, just one job! Can it be THAT hard? Yes, we are frustrated! But at least it’s starting…

I’m beginning to think about summer foods, lighter fare and this is a quick and delicious recipe I came up with for lunch about a month ago; I think it may have even been snowing at the time (a month ago). The bright, fresh flavours contrasted against the peppery arugula will make a sensational meal on a super hot, humid day (soon, please be soon). Definitely making this lovely dish for the cottage, it’ll be perfect for eating on the dock, wearing shorts and a light T!

CevicheWW_2269

A delightful combination of shrimps and scallops cooked in lime juice

Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche

Makes 1 small serving (to make a meal of it, increase the weight of shrimp and scallop to 100 g in total).

Ingredients:

  • 30 g shrimp*, cubed rather small
  • 20 g scallop*, cubed rather small (similar size to shrimp)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp non-calorie sweetener of your choice
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, cubed
  • 5 cm (2 inches) English cucumber, cubed
  • 1/4 apple (or Jicama)
  • 5 cm (2 inches) English cucumber, cubed
  • 100 g Arugula

Directions:

  1. Combine the lime juice and the non-calorie sweetener of your choice and mix well.
  2. Make sure you cube your seafood into equal sized cubes so that they ‘cook’ at the same rate. Combine the cubed shrimp, scallop, cilantro and green onion with lime dressing and toss well. Set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour.
  3. When the seafood has become opaque, add the celery, cucumber and apple and toss well. Serve over arugula or lettuce of choice
CevicheWW_2270

The apple adds the sweetness that the jicama would have.

*’cooking’ seafood in citrus does not kill off any parasites, so you should be very careful with the choice of seafood — it should be fresh, or boil in water until done and prepare the salad just prior to serving.

Ceviche Nut

Based on 1 small serving

CevicheWW

Based on 1 small serving.

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Today is my dear Mother’s birthday; were she alive, she would have been 78 years young!

Happy Birthday Mom, I miss you.

Happy Birthday Mom (21 in this photo), I miss you.

Several years ago we dined at Diego, a lovely Mexican restaurant in the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas and I had a wonderful Ceviche that I have not been able to forget. It was an unusual combination of coconut milk and lime juice that just hit my taste buds perfectly. I adore ceviche and order it whenever I see it on a good restaurant’s menu and have not had the pleasure of these flavours together in one since. So, I thought I’d take a stab at it and create an opportunity to use one of my pearls in the process! Clever, don’t you think?

I’ve made ceviche before, the non-cheater kind but I wanted to put this together quickly for an hors d’œuvres recently and I didn’t feel like waiting for the acid to ‘cook’ the shrimp so I came up with this ‘cheater’ version. You can make the ceviche the old fashioned way, but this really worked out well!

I would have liked to add cubed avocado to this dish but sadly forgot to put it on my shopping list! I’ll remember next time, this is a very quick and tasty recipe.

It’s also rather coincidental in this cyber world how we all post about similar things so I can’t go without mentioning my dear Australian Blogging friend Lorraine who just last week posted this gorgeous recipe about real ceviche. Great minds think alike…please don’t finish the last part of this saying, it kinda bursts my bubble!

CheaterCevicheSpoons_2007

It’s just as tasty and doesn’t take long to make.

Cheater Shrimp Ceviche

Makes ~200 mL Ceviche (slightly more than 3/4 cup), or 8 single serve Chinese Spoons

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut milk powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated finely
  • 1 tbsp rosa’s lime cordial
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 80 g cooked cocktail shrimp, chopped
  • 3-4  slices of English Cucumber (0.5 cm or 1/4″ thick) cubed
  • 1 celery rib, cubed
  • 1/4 cup avocado, cubed
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp green onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika pearls

Directions:

  1. Combine the coconut milk powder, finely grated ginger, lime cordial and lime juice in a measuring cup and blend until smooth with a stick blender.
  2. Combine the chopped shrimp, cubed English cucumber, avocado (if I had some) and celery with the cilantro and green onion, toss with the coconut milk dressing to coat evenly.
  3. Serve immediately garnished with the smoked paprika pearls.
CheaterCeviche_2004

A refreshing combination of flavours.

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Thank you for your wonderful birthday wishes, I am so blessed to belong to such a giving community. XOXO to you all!

The same weekend of my birthday, we were invited to another benchmark birthday party at one of our wonderful neighbours; it was a special “Studio 54” theme! What fun is that? And everyone came dressed like the 70’s — it was glam and it was fun. Thank you Iona (and Tom), and I hope you had an amazing birthday.

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JT looking cool and hip; his pants usually don’t match my dress, though

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Those are curtain grommets decorating my dress!

Can you believe July is almost over? What ever happened to the summer? We’re still in high humidity and high temperatures so our meals tend to reflect lighter fare and foods that don’t need to be cooked or baked to limit the additional heat. This tuna Waldorf is a lovely adaption of the original Waldorf Salad made by Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel of the Astoria (the predecessor of the Waldorf Astoria) in New York City sometime between 1893 and 1896*. The original recipe is basically apples, walnuts and celery dressed in mayonnaise, but you know me, I try to healthy up the dish so I’ve made some alterations. I also like to serve it on a bed of greens but you can serve it on toasts or a wrap. We enjoyed this fast and easy dish at the cottage during our renos in early July.

Tuna Waldorf Salad

Serves 2 as a main coarse or 4 as an appetizer

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin albacore chunk tuna in water or stock (to make this vegetarian, you can omit this or used firm cubed tofu in its place)
  • 1 cup diced celery (dice all items similar size)
  • 1 green onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (you could give them a toast, if you’d like)
  • 1 diced apple
  • squirt of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp chopped lemon thyme
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used fat free)
  • 1 tbsp mayo (I used full strength)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (I added more lemon juice to imitate the tart flavour of the mayo, so I didn’t need to add more mayo)

Directions:

  1. Drain the tuna and set aside.
  2. Add the apple to a small bowl and squirt a bit of lemon juice on it to prevent it from oxidizing.
  3. Add the celery, green onion, walnuts and apple to a bowl and combine well.
  4. Combine the Greek yogurt, mayo and 1 tbsp lemon juice and stir well. Add it to the vegetable fruit mix and coat evenly.
  5. Add the chunk tuna and stir until equally distributed.
  6. Serve on a bed of greens or toast.
Waldorf Celery_0454

I have no idea why I shot the celery and nothing else, but since I had it, here it is!

Tuna Waldorf_0458

It was nice enough to sit outside even though it was a very overcast weekend.

I know many of the lovely readers of this blog have cottages or summer homes, so I thought I would pass along a little something I invented to help keep the mice off the cutlery in the drawers. Even though the mice don’t tend to enter the cottage during the warmer months, I cannot be 100% sure they are not having a hay-day dancing or whatever all over my cutlery, so I tend to wash them before use (as well as after use). I created this little invention to keep the buggers away from the cutlery, and I specifically chose plexy-glass so it would infuriate them as much as they infuriate me! So there, bugger mice, dance away because you can’t get there from here!

MouseProofDrawer_0459

The plexy-glass is cut to fit the parimetre and is glued with a bonding agent to the drawer without interfering with the roller mechanics. It is hinged about 1/3 the way out so that you can easily lift the other two thirds and balance it on the counter for easy access the cutlery.

*from Wikipedia

I’m taking a little time off over the next few days so if I am absent from your blog, I do apologize, but I need a bit of a break. See you soon.

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It’s a holiday weekend today, Queen Victoria’s birthday to be exact! What is interesting is that Canada celebrates this day, but the UK does not!
And it’s our wedding anniversary weekend (actually was yesterday)!
I met JT when I was 15 and knew instantly that we would be together! The day we met I went home and wrote my new name; I still have the book (it was the Book of Nothing) I wrote my new name “Eva Taylor” in script. We met through Facebook -10.2 — the Citizens Band Radio (breaker, breaker; remember Smokie and the Bandit?) it was my brother’s radio but he quickly discovered he could talk to cooler people if he had a girl on board. My Dad forbade us to use our real names so I was Leslie and my “handle” was “The Roxy Roller” and he was John “The Baracuda” both from some cool songs of the day. JT was “Blue Magic”. Blue Magic was a wee bit older than I and I knew my parents wouldn’t approve; we were together a year before they found out. I went to the library a lot; my parents thought I was very studious. At night, JT used to come over to our apartment after my parents went to bed and we’d toss love letters to each other from my second floor bedroom window (not sexts but actual love letters, the Romeo and Juliette kind). When my parents met him, they also fell in love. My biggest regret is lying to them for a year but they forgave me. After my Dad’s first heart attack, he gave JT permission for my hand, if he should ever want it. He passed away three months later.
We dated 8 years before we married (not exactly smooth sailing, but in my heart I always knew it would work out and we’d be together).
My Mom and I hand sewed a million pearls onto my veil; the night before the wedding I tried on the dress and decided to cut (yes, CUT with manicure scissors) the neckline because it was too high! I still have the dress, anyone want it?
It rained the entire day of our wedding, except for the very few times I stepped outside (thanks Dad); and by rain, I’m talking teaming, pouring, drenching rain, not the spitting kind! Even the limo driver asked if I wanted to be carried to the car! My brother walked me down the aisle. I wish I had asked my Mom too, but it wasn’t done back then, and I hadn’t thought of it. In the limo, on the drive to the church my brother offered me his savings if I wanted to escape, exact words “I’ve got enough money for you to go to the airport and buy a plane ticket outa here”. I thought it was sweet. And then I found out he offered the same thing to JT in the church! We had both declined. 🙂
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Speaking of all dressed up, back in April, my friend Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella posted a gorgeous Salmon en Papillote recipe which inspired me to come up with one for Tilapia, a staple in our house, it really isn’t a recipe, just a guideline — completely customizable to your taste and what you have on hand.

Tilapia with white wine en Papillote (French for ‘in parchment’)

We used basil pesto, but you can use any flavouring you want.

We used basil pesto, but you can use any flavouring you want.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 120 g fennel cubed*
  • 200 g zucchini cubed*
  • 170 g red pepper cubed*
  • 100 g yellow pepper cubed*
  • 50 g celery cubed*
  • 50 g carrots cubed*
  • 3 tbsp pesto (home made or otherwise)
  • 3 tbsp white wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 x 100 g Tilapia filets

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
  2. Begin by cutting three ‘heart’ shapes from parchment paper. I found it easier to cut a square of parchment, fold in half and cut a half heart shape.
  3. Mix the cubed* vegetables all together and divide into three portions on the parchment, placing the vegetables in towards the centre of the heart.
  4. Top with the tilapia filet, add 1 tbsp pesto and spread on top of the filet, drizzle with one tablespoon white wine and season.
  5. Fold over the other half of the heart and begin folding the edges in at the top of the heart so that the parchment seals completely (I googled how to do this and used this method). Continue with each heart. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (just in case they leak, but mine did not) and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove and plate carefully, open the parchment very carefully because inside is very hot steam. Serve immediately.
Papilotte_4623

It’s easier to cut a heart shape if you fold the parchment in half.

Filling the parchment toward the centre on one side of the heart.

Filling the parchment toward the centre on one side of the heart.

Add the fish, white wine and season.

Add the fish, white wine and season.

Folded up all nice and cozy.

Folded up all nice and cozy.

*it’s imperative that your vegetables be cut the same size so that they all cook at the same rate. This 7-10mm (1/4″) cube was perfect for 20 minutes in the oven, they weren’t over cooked and had a bit of a crunch left in them.

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