Thursday, 30 January 2014


Let's go to Greece.

For dinner.

And make a pot of Avgolemono (egg-lemon) soup with chicken and rice.

A Mediterranean dish that will transport us from the chill and fog that rolled in today.

Inspiration came from:

* a big bag of juicy lemons picked and delivered by a very dear friend

* a comprehensive internet search (lemon bars, lemonade, lemon cream mini-pies were all contenders)

* pictures that hang in our bedroom, sent by another dear friend that is a frequent traveler to Greece

After combining a couple of different recipes and adding a touch of dill, this is what I came up with for making quick and easy Avgolemono:


1 store-bought rotisserie-cooked chicken
2 32-oz. containers of chicken stock/broth
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 cup of arborio rice (uncooked)
2/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 large eggs
Salt and Peper, to taste
Lemon zest and chopped Dill for topping


Discard skin from chicken, pull meat off the bones and chop into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large pot and add chopped onions. Cook until translucent (6-8 minutes).

Pour chicken stock over onions. Add rice. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook for approximately 20 minutes (taste test to see if rice is completely cooked).

Add the diced chicken to the pot.

In a separate bowl, whisk 3 eggs. Add lemon juice and continue whisking.

Slowly pour a ladle of hot broth mixture into egg-lemon mixture while continuing to whisk (this is called tempering and will prevent the eggs from cooking). Continue with one more ladle of hot broth. Once combined, pour this mixture into the pot of hot broth/rice/chicken/onions.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle lemon zest and dill on top.

This is the first time I have eaten/made Avgolemono.

Years ago when we travelled to Athens, Santorini and then Crete, I spent the trip indulging in Greek Salads almost every day (doesn't come with any lettuce, by the way), fish, yogurt and the best tatziki in the world!

I wish I had ventured over to the soup section of the menu.

Sunday, 26 January 2014



Just like that I was stretched out flat on the sidewalk.

It started with an evening walk in flip flops. Just a leisurely one-miler around the block. Chatting away with my husband about all the yard work we hoped to get done this weekend.

Already dark, the only illumination came from street lights. The kind that save energy.

Which is why I didn't see that the sidewalk had a bit of a buckle. Where the otherwise flat path was raised a couple of inches.

Photo taken during the daylight. 

And in a split second I was down.

Man did it hurt.

I rolled over onto the ice plant, clutching my leg, rocking back and forth, until I could catch my breath.

Then the adrenalin kicked in and I was able to hop up, continue our conversation and walk home.

And now my toe looks like this....

Didn't smudge a fresh pedicure.

But the bump sticks out so far I might not be able to jam my right foot into a shoe until the swelling goes down.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Rose Apple Pie Bites

A bite-size apple pie in the shape of a rose --- so stinkin' cute ya don't want to eat 'em.

What you will need:

     *  Favorite pie crust, rolled out and cut into strips
     *  Thinly sliced apples simmered in apple juice for 10+ minutes to soften/cook slightly
     *  Sugar/cinnamon
     *  Mini-cupcake pan

Here is the process:

Cut a red apple in fourths, core, slice thinly (or use a mandolin).

Place apples in saucepan, cover with apple juice, simmer for 10 minutes or so till pliable.

Roll out pie dough, cut in strips, sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Not the best photo as this is when all my 'experimenting' came into play and I put the camera down.
I ended up sprinkling the cinnamon/sugar onto the dough strips, then placed the apples (which were drained, dried and cooled)  side by side (with no overlap) and a bit of dough at the end to finish the wrap. Start at one end and roll the apple/dough. It is a bit messy, go slow. This when you realize the importance of slicing the apples super thin. 

The 'roses' were placed in a mini-cupcake pan to hold the 'roll' in place while baking. 
Bake at 350 degrees for half an hour or so until pie dough is fully cooked. 

Gilding the lily, errrr rose. Reduce the leftover apple juice to a syrupy consistency, brush it on the tips of the baked apple, then sprinkle with sugar for a sparkly-glistening touch. Apple rose in front is plain while rose in back is 'gilded'.

Enjoy your apple pie, one rose bite at a time...

Monday, 6 January 2014

Hot Toddy


Due to a nasty head cold I didn't stay up till midnight to drink champagne, watch the ball drop or celebrate in any way.

Wrapped up in blankets, asleep before 8, it was a rather quiet New Year's Eve at our house.

It has taken a number of days to shake completely but I am feeling much better.

Well enough to stay up and watch the Season 4 Premiere of Downton Abbey last night and enjoy a signature cocktail (courtesy of the internets) called a 'Downton Toddy', good for what ails you.

Pour 1 Tablespoon of honey into a mug, then 1 ounce of brandy, squeeze in half of a fresh lemon, then pour boiling hot water over an English Tea bag.

Happy Belated New Year!