I hope that I don't meet any of these on our trip toCalifornia later this week!
Airports are stressful. No secret there. But sometimes the problem isn’t with the security line or the confusing signs. To paraphrase Sartre: “Hell is other travellers.”
Here’s a list of the people you don’t want to meet on your journeys, and, even more importantly, that you don’t want to be:
The Barricade Builders: Whether it’s on the moving sidewalk or in the seating area, these travellers have beaver-like instincts. They mark and protect their areas by creating a veritable fortress of suitcases, purses, take-away food containers, you name it! Woe betide the traveller trying to pass or get around them to catch a plane: these improvised structures can be real traffic-stoppers.
The Undecided: The line is long, but this wanderer has a wandering mind. He or she stands at the kiosk, at the check-in counter or at the fast-food outlet pondering life’s deeper questions, for minute after long minute, while those behind him or her wait in silent fury. “Maybe I should pay for early boarding,” the traveller muses as he or she stares at the screen, unaware of the glares of waiting travellers burning into his or her back. “Can you make that burger medium-rare, and with a side salad rather than fries? And what’s in the Happy Meal prize box for my kids?” the traveller asks the stupefied server at McDonald’s.
The Over-Accessorized: Back and forth these travellers buzz between the entrance to the body screener and the carry-on-luggage screener, doing a frantic striptease of all the extra stuff they’ve layered their bodies with. “Whoops, can’t go through with that belt. Sorry! Oh darn! I have to take off these 30-hole lace-up boots right now? But this is just a parka: Why can’t I wear my ski parka into the sensor?” And those behind them do a tango back and forth, too, going toward the sensor and then back to their stuff as they realize, once again, that they’ll need to wait until the fashionista has finally rid him- or herself of all the objects that haven’t been allowed through security for years.
The Rebels Without a Cause: Akin to the fashionistas, these are the folks who are spoiling for a fight and see any security check as either a violation of their human rights or disguised molestation. “I am NOT going through that machine,” they declare loudly, staring down the agent. “And I won’t agree to a pat-down, EITHER!” And, suddenly, all grinds to a halt while those in line behind the “rebellion” wonder if they’re going to be on vacation soon . . . or on the evening news.
The Child-Haters: Even before boarding, they’re staring daggers at parents and their tots, loudly “joking” that they “pray to Heaven that baby isn’t near me.” All of which has the effect of making the poor parents even more nervous than they already are, which riles up the kids and all but ensures tantrums on board. If you want to have a more peaceful flight, engage in a bit of peek-a-boo or ask the overwhelmed parents if you can help with anything as they struggle to board, carseat, stroller and child in hand. Trust me, everyone will get fewer airborne kid noises when everyone helps!
Pauline Frommer is the creator of the Pauline Frommer’s Travel Guides series.
The genesis of this recipe was dill and zucchini appearing in the same CSA shipment. I turned to google for inspiration and this recipe popped up from the Serious Eats site (although it was originally from Bon Appettit).
The highlights of this recipe were the easy sauce: mustard, honey, dill, and water and the delicious quick-pickled zucchini, which end up vinegary and crunchy and really delicious. I made extra pickled zucchini and for an entire week enjoyed the zesty crunch on sandwiches and just when I opened the refrigerator looking for a wee snack.
While this would be great served for company, in the end, this is a dinner low on prep time and huge on flavor, which is what I'm after on a regular old weeknight.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Dill Sauce and Quick-Pickled Zucchini
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/8 inch rounds 1/4 cup Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon honeyv1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound
In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 tablespoons water, and 2 tablespoons of the chopped dill until the salt is dissolved. Add zucchini and allow to marinate while preparing other ingredients, tossing often. Drain once ready to use.
In another bowl, whisk together mustard, remaining fill, honey, and 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and pepper.
Season pork with salt and pepper and spread with 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Prepare a grill or preheat a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat. Grill tenderloin, turning occasionally, until thickest portion reads 145°F on a thermometer, about 25 minutes. Allow to rest at least ten minutes before slicing. Serve with zucchini and mustard sauce.
I love cucumber salads in the summer - they always seem so refreshing.The only challenge is that they can be overladen with mayo making a healthy side decidedly UNhealthy!
When our CSA was overflowing with field cucumbers we decided to make a cucumber salad for dinner. After searching online I found this recipe which was decidedly more healthy than other versions that we have made in the past.
This recipe is a high protein, low fat, and super flavorful treat for any day! Don't forget to do a taster test to see if more salt and pepper is needed for your preference.
Cucumber Dill Salad with Greek Yoghurt
2 cups 0% Fage Greek Yogurt 3-4 Large Cucumbers 1 Red Onion 1/2 cup Light Sour Cream 1/2 tsp Salt* 1/2 tsp Black Pepper* 3 tbsp Dill Weed 1 tbsp Lemon Juice 1 tbsp Sugar *more or less to taste
To start, finely slice your cucumbers and sprinkle with a small pinch of salt. Place into a colander and let sit for 1 hour. Press down and remove the water to help prevent your salad from becoming too runny. After pressing let the, sit again while you prep the salad.
Next, whisk together all remaining ingredients (except for the red onion).
Finely slice the red onion so it is thin and bite sized. I halved my onion to maintain the shape, then sliced it very thin - less than 1/8 in. This way no one go a major piece of onion in their salad.
Now it's time to do a final press on the cucumbers to remove the water, then place into a large bowl, Fold in the onion and yogurt mixture until all cucumbers are coated. Chill and serve when needed.
This summer we rediscovered agua fresca. Aguas frescas are a combination of fruits, cereals, flowers, or seeds blended with sugar and water to make light non-alcoholic beverages. They are popular in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean.
I say 'rediscovered' because we had played around with them a number of years ago but not really had any since.
When we were in southern California every taco stand worth its salt had a big jar or three of the brightly-colored drinks standing by, but you don't have to be eating a drippy carnitas taco to enjoy the thirst-quenching, pure fruit flavor of aguas frescas. Especially not when they are this easy to make at home. All you need is a blender or food processor to puree the fruit and cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve to strain the pulp. From there, any ripe fruit is fair game.
Watermelon Agua Fresca
8 cups seedless watermelon cubes 6 tablespoons honey or agave nectar 1/3 cup fresh lime juice plus 1 sliced lime A few sprigs mint or rosemary Ice
Puree watermelon in blender. Strain into bowl through fine-mesh sieve. Stir in honey and lime juice. Transfer to pitcher; stir in 1-1/2 cups water, lime slices and mint. Chill; serve over ice.
This recipe was a great way to use up some of the flowing bounty of tomatoes that flood the market in the late summer. With only 5 ingredients it won't fill the sink with dishes.
We made this for a Sunday dinner with mom but it comes together so quickly that it would be just as good for a weeknight meal.
Cooked as written in the recipe this comes in at under 300 calories.
Grilled Flank Steak with Onions, Avocado, and Tomatoes
2 medium red onions, cut into 1/2 inch slices 1 1/2 pounds grass-fed flank steak 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved 1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar 1 ripe firm peeled avocado, cut into 8 wedges extra virgin olive oil
Place steak in a glass baking dish, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil and vinegar. Turn to coat both sides.
Preheat grill to high.
Drizzle onion with olive oil. Place onions on grill rack and grill 10 minutes on each side. Transfer to a medium bowl and cover tightly with foil.
Grill steak for approximately 4 minutes on each side, or until it reaches your desired degree of doneness. Let rest 3 minutes and slice thinly against the grain.
While steak cooks, add tomatoes and vinegar to onions and stir to combine.
To serve, divide the steak evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Top with tomato mixture and avocados.
I know that people are usually wary about healthy recipes (I've gotten over that myself). Often times, they sacrifice flavor in order to be healthy. But that is not the case with this delicious salmon recipe. Although the salmon is only flavored with salt and pepper, the salsa more than makes up for it with the sweetness of the grilled onions, the acidity from the lime and the heat from the jalapeno. If you are looking for a healthy seafood dish that packs a ton of flavor, this just might be the recipe for you.
One thing that just seemed wrong to me about this recipe is that they want you to grill the salmon first, then grill your veggies, chop them up and make the salsa. To me that just seemed wrong. The salmon would get cold while taking care of the salsa. And to me, warm salsa on cold salmon did not sound appealing. But cool (or at least room temp) salsa on top of hot salmon….now that holds more appeal. We made the salsa FIRST and then grilled the salmon - the perfect solution.
Grilled Salmon with Smoky Tomato Salsa
4 (6 oz) salmon fillets 4 large plum tomatoes, halved 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices 1 jalapeno pepper 1 lime (additional lime to sprinkle on salmon if desired)
Set up your grill to 400F or medium high
Grill onion and jalapeno for 6 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Grill tomato, cut side down, for 6 minutes. Turn and grill for one minute. Remove from grill and allow to cool.
Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper. Grill for 4 minutes per side or until desired degree of doneness.
While resting salmon under foil, coarsely chop tomatoes and onion. Finely chop jalapeno, for a mild salsa, remove seeds first. Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and juice from 1/2 lime. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve salsa over salmon and garnish with lime wedges
Does that title make sense? I guess so but it is confusing, to say the least.
Every year mom gives Paul and I tickets to see a play at the Stratford Festival in, yes, Stratford, for our birthday. For the past few years our play coincided with a food festival which made the visit even more enjoyable. So enjoyable that last year we stayed for the entire weekend. We had intended on doing that again this year but a) we are going on vacation in less than 2 weeks and wanted to save our cash for that, b) the food festival was moved to the summer, c) having spent the equivalent of a trip to Europe on the cat recently we needed to watch the pennies, and d) I have a MESS of work to do.
Each year we go back and forth - one year Paul selects the play, one year I do. He selected the production of Noel Coward's play Hay Fever. I think it was the draw of Cynthia Dale and the act that it wans't a play with Shakespearian dialogue which Paul sometimes struggles to follow. :-)
After doing a gazillion errands we drove to Stratford yesterday (almost running out of gas on the way. Don't ask I am easily distracted these days). Paul had decided on a Thai restaurant for lunch. 'Stratford Thai' was well reviewed on yelp and tripadvisor so we figured 'why not'
Paul had the Thai version of arancini (fried rice balls) for an appetizer:
(sorry, he ate one prior to my taking the pic. LOL)
He followed this with Pad Thai.
The restaurant had some great lunch specials. For $ 12.95 you could order a spring roll/soup or mango salad and a main course. I went with the mango salad to start:
Followed by the garlic/pepper beef stir fry.
The verdict on this restaurant? I'd give it a 4 out of 5. The food was delicious, prices reasonable (we haven't had lunch for under $40 in some times), and the service wonderful. We did think that the food could have had more heat to it (as in spicy heat). We overheard the waitress explaining to another table that nothing on the menu was spicy but the kitchen could add heat is requested. We will remember that for our return visit.
After lunch we wandered around and did some shopping. Happily when I popped into Your Local Market Co-op store they had some of the Arva flour that they were out of on my last visit. Arva flour is an independent mill which has been in operation since 1819 making it is Canada's oldest continuously operating water powered flour mill and perhaps the oldest in North America. They use organic, local grains for the flour and add no preservatives or chemicals.
Having this bag of clour downstairs makes me want to bake something today! LOL
Next up was our theatre experience.
(no, I did NOT take a picturein the show - this is from the Stratford Festival site)
Hay Fever tells the tale of oft-retired stage diva Judith Bliss who has invited a young admirer down to her home in the English countryside for the weekend. This would be fine if her husband, daughter and son had not also invited a guest for the weekend, a confusion only enhanced by the family's utter lack of consideration for anyone else.
The story is funnier than it sounds - it is a Noel Coward play, after all, not Pinter. Coward is said to have written it in a kind of fever himself, basing it on the antics he witnessed at similar weekend gatherings at the home of American actress Laurette Taylor.
This was the perfect play for me to have seen yesterday- it wasn't deep and didn't make me think hard trying to comprehend the message. LOL The acting was incredible - love a play where the actors are given rein to 'chew' the stage.
We left the snow behind and headed to California for a long weekend of fun. We shoppedm toured wineries, tasted olive oil, met up with good friends, and ate some wonderful food. I can't wait for slow bowl 2009.