Category Archives: Travel

Shrimp, Mango & Avocado Salad Cups

I was given, by a very lovely lady at my old apartment building, a cookbook called Yum and Yummer, by Greta Podleski, a Canadian author of four very successful healthy eating cookbooks. She and her sister, Janet, created the Looneyspoons cookbooks and I must say they are the BEST cookbooks! Fun to read, exciting pictures of fabulous food and delicious, easy-to-follow recipes for a beginner cook.

I found this recipe and have tried it, but neglected to take my own picture (in reality, her picture looks a lot better than mine would have) and it was so delicious I wanted to share!

Dressing
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. liquid honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. grated lime zest
1/4 tsp. each sea salt and ground pepper
1/8 tsp. each ground cumin and chili powder

Salad
1 lb (454 grams) large cooked shrimp, chopped (about 25-30 per pound)
2 medium mangos, cubed
1 large or 2 small avocados, cubed
1 cup peeled, diced English cucumbers
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
2/3 cup green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk together all dressing ingredients, refrigerate until ready to use.

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix gently to avoid mashing the avocado. Give dressing a quick whisk and add to salad. Mix gently until salad is coated with dressing. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Divide salad among small cups (see photo below) and serve with small spoons. May be served immediately or refrigerated until serving time.

Greta does not recommend using baby shrimp for this recipe. Also, don’t prepare this salad too far ahead of time as avocados tend to turn brown quickly. Fresher is better!

And my own tip – this is great for lunch, and to be honest, I ate it all myself and used a regular plate and a normal sized spoon! I was the only one who liked avocados back home so I had this all to myself! I halved the recipe since I knew it was just for me and it was a perfect sized meal for one !

Photo courtesy of Yum and Yummer, Greta Padleski

Chocolate Bites

Some people also call these macaroons- whatever you call it they are quick and easy and don’t require turning the oven on!

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups granulated sugar
6 tbsp. cocoa
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup coconut

Combine butter, milk, vanilla, sugar and cocoa in large saucepan. Heat to boiling. Add oats and coconut. Drop by teaspoon on to parchment paper (or waxed paper) and allow to cool. Store in refrigerator in hot climates.

The addiction continues…

When I was leaving China back in 2017 I had to get rid of most of my notebooks since they were too heavy for my luggage. It was depressing to get rid of them but I knew I had to.

Fast forward to my recent move and I have been unpacking just to discover that apparently the addiction is back haha. These are just a few of them. I have at least 10 more in my bedroom.

Again they are filled with journalling, lists, scribbles and many other ramblings. I have enjoyed collecting them again but I really should organize them to know what’s what.

Do you have a collection of things? Did you stop and start again?

Overnight buns

1 pkg. quick-rising yeast

½ cup lukewarm water

1 tsp. granulated sugar

½ cup oil

¾ cup granulated sugar

4 eggs, well beaten

2 tsp. salt

2 ½ cups warm water

10 cups flour

At 6pm, dissolve yeast in ½ cup water with 1 tsp. sugar.  Let stand about 12 minutes.  Beat eggs, sugar and salt with oil.  Add warm water and stir in yeast mixture. Work about 10 cups of flour into the mixture, mixing until medium stiff.

Let rise in a greased bowl for 1 hour.  Punch down at 1 hour intervals four times.  Make into rolls and put into greased pans (muffin tins, cake pans –whatever you have!). Cover with a clean dish towel. Bake in the morning at 375◦ for 12 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen rolls.

Daily Thought- August 5

What is your why? Is your why a big why or a little why?

Why did you go to university? Did you want to become a teacher? Or did you want to become a professor? Those are two different why’s. A teacher is definitely an honourable job but when people hear that you are a professor – well that to a lot of people is prestigious, much more than a teacher.

Why did you take the job you’re at? Was it for the money, or was it because you needed money? Another big difference in your why.

Why do I write every day? Because I enjoy it, and I enjoy using my creative skills to put things down on paper (or computer). Also, I’m practising my skills at writing to accomplish bigger goals.

Take the time each day to discover your why!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

2 1/2 cups (312g) all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. EACH ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg

1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil

1 1/4 cup (250g) packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 large carrots, grated (about 2 cups)

1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup (125g) chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces (224g) cream cheese, softened

½ cup (115g) butter, softened

1 cup (360g) icing sugar, plus an extra ¼ cup if needed

1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×13 inch pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and other spices. Set aside.

Stir the oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a medium bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Fold in the grated carrots, pineapple, and walnuts.

Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely

Make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Add 3 confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of icing sugar. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This helps sets the frosting and makes cutting easier.

Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.