Never ending weekend

Is this what it feels like to be retired.. no longer knowing what day it is?   I expect it will be different when we’re not Self Isolating, can visit, shop, volunteer.

I will say this.. Guillermo is a morning person, and he’s making me into one.  I’ve been off work now for almost 6 weeks and the time has flooooown by.  At first I was all “to do listy” and organized, then i fell off the wagon for about a week.   Now that Guillermo is home (laid off due to Covid-19 this past Thursday) we both have a desire to be structured and productive.  We still have a couple of weekly things that bookmark our days, like Sunday morning church and Monday evening Zoom life group.  But today (Tuesday, i think?) I woke up and took my brain a few minutes of going back in the memory banks to figure out what today was.  Bill mentioned a few times to friends yesterday.. I’ve had 4 Saturdays in a row!

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His first day off, I procured a 1000 pc puzzle.  We’ve never done one together, and I’ve always wanted to, but felt it was a guilty pleasure.. or a time waster.. and took up too much room.  Since Bill & Amy’s kitchen isn’t entertaining right now, and the dining table is out of use for dinner parties… what better time?   We finished this lovely scene of the Trattoria Sempione (Restaurant) in Venice, Italy in 3 days, working on it mostly in the early mornings when the sun was streaming in our East dining window. I don’t know if you’ve ever tackled a Springbok puzzle – perhaps this is the norm for puzzles – but it has the ODDEST shapes and variety of sizes.  Finding and identifying the edge & corner pieces almost had me giving up.  But we kept at it.

It was interesting doing a quiet project together side by side for hours.  Not watching TV, or individually reading books, or working on different things in the same room.. but quietly together – we talked, sang along with the radio, let our conversation just flow from one thought to another.  We made phone calls on speaker phone while we puzzled.  And had some very good “together” time that we haven’t had in a long while.  I no longer felt that it was a time waster, but something very beneficial.

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We finished it Sunday after (on line) church.. and I haven’t the heart to disassemble it quite yet, while on the other hand I’m itching to start the next one.  Maybe i’ll wait til the real weekend?  After all, it is only Tuesday.. 😉We’ve been busy at other important things and Bill & Amy’s kitchen kept buzzing with activity too.  Guillermo has been doing what makes his heart sing.. fixing a dryer for a couple in our church, and changing a dear lady’s tires from snow to summer (all with careful social distancing) fixing his van that ‘broke’ 2 weeks ago.  And we’re back making to do “Honey do” lists, checking boxes and taking numbers.  

I dug up an old recipe my dear friend/cousin Hope gave me several years ago.   It looks like its on Christmas paper and I don’t know where it originated, so I can’t give credit where due.. she may pipe in in the comments below and have an idea of where it’s from, and I can edit to include afterwards.  The recipe is called:

Salmon Cannelloni with Creamy Lemon sauce.  I made this once before for a family potluck and remembered how well it turned out and tasty it was.

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This time I was less enamoured… maybe my palette has changed, maybe i changed something.  I was looking for Gruyere Cheese to grate for a couple of weeks to do this recipe – and we couldn’t find it anywhere.  So I cut up sliced lactose free swiss cheese (using what we had) as tiny as i could.  I guess that alone would make a big enough change to the taste.

You’ll need a 9×13 greased greased glass pan, and a 350F oven.

img_8802Sauce: 

3 tbsp butter melted
3 tbsp flour
2.5 cups milk  (used lactose free 2%)
1/2 tsp dried dill (ok.. I put in more like 1.5 tsp)
1/2 tsp salt (I put in likely less)
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
2 tbsp lemon juice

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In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour.
Add milk, dill, salt, and half the cheese.
Cook and stir until bubbling and smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
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Filling:

Combine these ingredients and spoon filing into 12-14 oven ready cannelloni.

213g canned salmon (drained) (and I removed the spine bones)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 green onions
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/4 sp salt

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Caveat.. i realllly stuffed mine, and barely had enough for 12 cannelloni.   I think if I do this recipe again, I’ll do 1.5 times the filling ingredients, or maybe even just add another full can of salmon to be able to stretch it to 14 cannelloni, which would likely fill the 9×13 pan better.

Preheat oven to 350F (180C) Pour a thin layer of sauce on bottom of greased 9×13 baking dish.  Place canneloni in a single layer and cover with remaining sauce and cheese.  Cover and bake for 35-40 min.

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Instead of using foil to cover while baking, I used my Charles Viancin Banana Leaf silicone cover. img_8809

I am a HUGE fan of the Charles Viancin silicone covers line.   I first discovered them in Havana Florida while on vacation several years ago, and bought a couple of the large sunflower lids, and gave one to my sister – and said.. you need to be carrying these in your store.  At the time, there wasn’t any representation in Canada of the line.. now several years later, you can find them quite easily.. but I recommend (if you’re local) purchasing them through Avant Garde Emporium.

here’s a fun quick video of the line and how they work.  And I can attest.. they do really work.  you CAN use them on frying pans, in the oven (up to 260C) and in the microwave.  They are great for on glasses outside to keep fruit flies and bees out of your drinks, or keep tea hot.  Listen to me.. i should be selling them!

Here is the finished product.. and looking at it.. yes, it definitely could have used 14 cannellonis.  And maybe a bit more dill on top.

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Last week, I pulled the One Dish Salmon dinner that I blogged about HERE out of the freezer and popped it in the toaster oven.  It turned out pretty good for a freezer meal.  I would do it again and try different variations for sure.  This was a recipe that called for grated Gruyere cheese, and we only had sliced swiss..  The instructions also said to bake uncovered.  I found the cheese was overdone, maybe covered for part of the baking time would have been better, or to leave the cheese off until the last 10 min?  Still, turned out pretty good, and a perfect 2 portion meal that was super quick & easy.  (400 in toaster oven for 35  min from frozen) I was impressed, the broccoli wasn’t soggy, and it had really good flavour.

Today we are bringing out the 2 big guns.. the bread maker and crock pot.. Guillermo is following in his dad’s footsteps and making bread today, and I’m cooking up a peanut ginger chicken “the Nutcrocker” from LooneySpoons for dinner, which will pair nicely with some wild rice and stir fry veg.  One of our favourites lately that is really quick is stir fried mushrooms and snap peas.  It takes about 5 minutes and makes such a yummy side.  I usually throw in a few halved grape tomatoes in the last 30 seconds for some extra punch of flavour.  Here it is with some Maple Balsamic chicken breasts I made last week.  That’s a teaser for tonite’s dinner, and tomorrow’s blog.

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One thing on my heart a lot lately is to send “happy mail” –  the Post office ladies here and the mail carriers as well have been hopefully getting some joy.  I often write little things on the outside of the envelopes as well.. like “enjoy your snail mail” or “this envelope has NOT been licked, coughed or sneezed upon”   We have a mail carrier at our church, and I sent her one and she’s delivered a few of my envelopes as well.   Decorating the envelopes with bright happy stickers and away they go to hopefully spread some joy during these unsettling and lonely times.

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What can you do to spread JOY and reach out to others?   We’ve been the recipients of flowers twice, phone calls, emails, Face Times.. and hearing stories of others going for walks, porch visits, dropping off flowers and baked goods.. I’m encouraged by people’s enthusiasm and desire to do good things.. bringing this verse from Galations 6:9 to mind.. so I’m going to spend some time thinking for this week ahead.. what GOOD can I do?

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Never give up.

 

 

Published by billandamyskitchen

Bill (Guillermo 'cause he likes pretending he knows Spanish) and I (Amy) have been married since Sept 2005. We live in Southern Ontario, Canada - Niagara Peninsula in fact, smack dab between 2 of the Great Lakes. We love God, our family, our church family, and making each other laugh. (ergo the profile pic, he decided to make our photographer laugh by throwing a leg up on me just before the shutter clicked, which made ME laugh) When we married, I told Bill: "I don't know how to cook" but he had faith in me. So 15 years later, I'm still learning, and having fun. I've never (in my whole life) cooked a whole bird, chicken, turkey or otherwise. I've never roasted a beef, other than in a crockpot on low for 8 hrs. I like trying to find healthy & easy recipes and then I rarely follow them. I don't enjoy recipes that take hours or intricate steps. I have a special fondness for the Podleski sisters, writers/creators of the Looney Spoons, Crazy Plates and Yum/Yummer cookbooks. In 2018 we suddenly decided to rip our small house apart from stem to stern, moving out for 4.5 months while the house was demolished inside and out, and then rebuilt with an addition. If you go back in the archives to July-Dec 2018 you can follow that story. It's made our house open and so much more conducive to entertaining, small groups and large. It's given us the kitchen I've dreamed of to create and learn in. We feel incredibly blessed to be able to write about our journey, our faith in God and some fun recipes along the way. Thanks for joining us.

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