Friday, September 30, 2011

Saturday Sightseeing - Venice Flooding

We'd heard and read about Venice flooding and seen the news shots of people wading through the waters in St Mark's Square. The flooding is known as acqua alta or high tides.
But to actually experience it was another story.

The main difficulties result from the water rising in the canals so that boats can't get through them (public transport schedules are shot!). There are plenty of pedestrian routes equipped with special raised walkways (called passarelle) to avoid the flooding so you can reach most parts of Venice.

Venetians are so used to this flooding that maps are posted at the boat stops showing 11 alternative pedestrian routes around the city equipped with special footbridges to avoid the high water. You can also pick up a brochure with a map of the walkways at the tourist office. 

 These are our photos from San Marco Square

Our table where we had pre-dinner drinks earlier

Leaving restaurant after dinner

My personal favourite photo 

 Me on the walkway

My Recipe Box - Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I made these cookies yesterday and we really enjoyed them. I thought they were a little too sweet and would reduce the amount of granulated sugar the next time.

Since it makes so many I would probably freeze half the dough mixture for future use.


Just made these again, and suggest that 350 degrees is high enough and just bake a little longer so that they do not become too dark.


Printed from COOKS.COM

1 1/4 c. butter (2 1/2 sticks) or 283.5 g

3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour I use gluten free

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt, optional

1 tsp. cinnamon, optional

1/4 tsp. nutmeg, optional

3 c. quick or old fashioned oats

1 1/2 c. raisins

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices; mix well. Stir in oats; stir in raisins.Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes for chewy cookies, 10-11 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Store tightly covered. Yield 4 1/2 dozen.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Foodie Fryday - London

I posted about Brick Lane in London on Tuesday under Thirsty Tuesday.

As a quick recap it is an Bangladeshi area in the east end of London that features many curry houses. We ate here twice on our visit last year.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thirsty Tuesday - London England

Even though I had been to London many times I was unaware of this area until I read (and loved) the book Brick Lane.

Last year we visited the area twice, once for dinner with a Toronto colleague who just happened to fly into London that day. The second time was a more leisurely visit for several hours on a beautiful Sunday.

Brick Lane in the East End of London. It runs from Swanfield Street in the northern part of Bethnal Green, crosses Bethnal Green Road, passes through Spitalfields and is linked to Whitechapel High Street to the south by the short stretch of Osborn Street. Today, it is the heart of the city's Bangladeshi community and is known to some as Banglatown. It is famous for its many curry houses.

Brewing came to Brick Lane before 1680, with water drawn from deep wells. One brewer was Joseph Truman, first recorded in 1683. His family, particularly Benjamin Truman, went on to establish the sizable Black Eagle Brewery on Brick Lane.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Book Journey is hosting It's Monday What Are You Reading and I'm linking up.
The Black Book
I started The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk. According to his website:
The Black Book, in which the streets, past, chemistry and texture of Istanbul are described through the story of a lawyer seeking his missing wife. This novel was published in Turkey in 1990, and the French translation won the Prix France Culture. The Black Book enlarged Pamuk's fame both in Turkey and internationally as an author at once popular and experimental, and able to write about past and present with the same intensity. In 1991 Pamuk's daughter Rüya was born. That year saw the production of a film Hidden Face, whose script by Pamuk was based on a one-page story in The Black Book.

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to finish this. I recently read his autobiographical book Istanbul which I enjoyed but think mainly because I have been to Istanbul and could relate to the areas he described.

Read last week:

The Ice Princess

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekly Menus - What We Ate

Monday - Saturday's leftovers from our roast beef dinner.

Tuesday - I was out to dinner with a GF. Great fun but crappy fish and chips at Hemingway's.

Wednesday - hamburger stew using up lots of the vegetables that were in the fridge. Leftovers were great for Thursday's lunch.

Thursday - homemade pizza with pepperoni, green peppers, onions.

Friday - Spaghetti with with turkey meatballs and bread with homemade garlic butter.

Saturday - steak with baked potatoes and grilled snow peas, green peppers, mushrooms and onions.

Sunday - Chicken a la orange with naan bread.

My Recipe Box - Turkey Meatballs

I had never used ground turkey until this recipe. I had come across some recipes and decided to give these a try. I loosely followed the ingredients below. Feel free to improvise. 

They were very good added to spaghetti sauce and served over pasta with toasted garlic bread.


  • Cooking spray - for pan
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • Breadcrumbs - I make my own from stale bread
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced 
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the broiler. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. I forgot and they definitely will stick!! Combine the turkey with all other ingredients in a large work bowl. Form into 2 1/2 -inch balls ( I use an ice cream scoop) and place on a baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes, or until browned and  cooked through.

New Blogs This Week

New blogs I started following this week.

Personal Finance
Mr Money Mustache a man's take on finances.
Beantown Happy Homeowner
The Debt Myth

Grilled Cheese Social the blogger makes different themed grilled cheese sandwiches using unique ingredients.
The Travelling Chopsticks
Mrs. Bent's Diary

And Then She Snapped


Sunday Skies - New Mexico

The Rio Grande (known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte, or simply Río Bravo) is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Recipes To Try

Oven fried onion rings

Blueberry cream cheese muffins UPDATE made these last week and have a post with the outcome and recipe.

Wienershcnitzel - had this in Russia and really enjoyed it.

Buffalo chicken wraps because I am always looking for chicken recipes.

Sweet potato brownies great way to use them up and uses a lot less sugar.

Homemade taco seasoning something I've always wanted to make as I don't like store bought mixes and this is from Kevin  from Closet Cooking a Toronto guy and one of the first food blogs I followed.

Easy chicken Cordon Bleu

Grown up chicken fingers from Mitzi'sa Winnipeg Chinese restaurant. Featured in Saveur's magazine no less.

My Recipe Box -Garlic Butter

Grow garlic

1 cup butter, softened or margarine
1 tablespoon minced garlic, fresh or from a jar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

In a small bowl, combine softened butter, minced garlic and parmesan cheese. Mix until smooth.

We used to buy garlic butter but couldn't find it a while ago so I decided to make our own. After Googling some recipes I took my favourite components of several using what I had on hand.
I took a partially used container of margarine and mixed the other ingredients into the margarine.

I made sure I used a Sharpie to write on the label so no one got any surprises at breakfast the next day.

Saturday Sightseeing - Texas

The Alamo

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wednesday's Words

Today I am simply going to add a link to Wrestling With Retirement's blog where every Wednesday Eva posts a word definition for all those non-words used in comments on blogs that use word verification.

Thirsty Tuesday - Portugal

From a trip to Albuferia, one of many towns we visited while staying in the Algarve in Portugal.