Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Wishes

The critters here in eastern Ontario wish you a very happy new year.

Here's hoping that your glass is always half full.

That you make new friends...

...and always remember to share with others.

May the road rise up to meet you, and may the wind be ever at your back.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Vanilla Snowflake Cake

This cake has white chocolate snowflakes, which I piped onto waxed paper and then once cooled, applied them to a vanilla frosted cake. It looked just right for the season and was kind of fun to make.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Godfather Saga

My parents started a tradition many moons ago that over the holidays, we'd have a Godfather Day, meaning we'd watch all 3 films and have an eating fest of lasagne, garlic bread and the works.

Richard offered to cater the affair and while Connie was getting married... Clemenza when the boys went to the mattresses, Richard was cooking the sauce for the lasagne.

I was taking notes on how to make a wedding cake this tall...

...and Richard was getting ready to put the lasagne in the oven.

It looked fantastic...

...and it was delicious!

I hope we can do it again next year. Perhaps I'll make Richard an offer he can't refuse!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Domino 1990-2010

Domino showed up at our house on December 24, 1990...

...and Mom named her Domino because she was wearing a domino mask, like the ones worn at carnival.

She gained fame when her image was featured on a door hanger for New York's Hotel Pennsylvania.

When she sat on my lap, which for the past few years was every mealtime, I often dressed her up and swore that she'd be a shoe-in for a part in Fiddler on the Roof.

She celebrated her 20th birthday just last September.

One of her favourite things was to drink milky tea from a mug. I'd make a cup of tea especially for her when I was fixing a cup for myself.

In the past week, almost exactly twenty years to the day she appeared, her health started to deteriorate and she passed away. I will miss you my sweet Domino.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hey, Who Took My Peanut?

Doesn't that blue jay look a little peeved? Maybe that peanut was the jay's Christmas dinner?! Share Mr. Squirrel, share! Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Silly Times at the Office

A half day of work today meant Bailey's in my coffee...

...and too many sweets (is there such a thing?) at my desk.

At noon we locked the front door and headed to the shipping area for a fantastic lunch...

...and tricks performed by our managing editor Steve, who moonlights as a magician.

After that was a funky horse racing game, which I won three times!

Chantal and Helen were pretty happy with their win too!

See ya next year, dear office...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Days Are Getting Longer

We're now over the hump of the winter solstice and the days are starting to grow longer...

Check out the hopeful signs of budding plants I found in the woods. Happy winter everyone. Spring is only three months away so enjoy the winter while it's here!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Decor

Richard and I went to see Stuart McLean over the weekend at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa where there was a magnificent Christmas tree.

It was covered with lovely decorations.

Here's my self portrait in a Christmas ball. Fun.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

X Marks the Spot

Since it's the season, we decided to roast chestnuts...but not in an open fire. It's pretty easy to do it in your oven. Just heat it to 425F and cut an X onto one side of each chestnut.

Put chestnuts into a baking pan, cut side up.

Roast in oven for 15 to 25 minutes, or until chestnuts have opened up and are tender and easy to peel.

Peel the nuts when they are cool enough to handle. Enjoy this seasonal treat!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Tree Me

The other day I went to the Christmas meeting of the Alexandria (and area) Women's Entrepreneurs. They had a lovely supper and silly games, one of which was to dress up someone sitting at your table as a Christmas tree.

So, guess who they dressed up as a Christmas tree?

Whaddya think? Can I pull it off?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mourning Dove Study

I've been practising using my brand, new camera with a zoom on it. I was lucky enough to have a lovely Mourning Dove sit and pose for me.

I was taking so long shooting her that she dozed off...

...and puffed up her feathers to keep herself warm. Lovely bird. Fantastic camera. Thanks Richard!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil

I read this recipe for rosemary-infused olive oil in a magazine while waiting in the check-out line in the grocery store. I knew I had some rosemary poking out of the snow, so I figured that instead of drying the herbs, I'd try this recipe.

Put a couple of hanks of rosemary in a small saucepan and pour 1-2 cups of good olive oil over the herbs.

Bring to a boil. Let cool completely.

Pour the olive oil into a jar and add the herbs. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
I've already used this oil in a salad dressing and it's terrific. I think it would also work well on roasted potatoes or brushed on top of a warming baguette.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Lights of Alexandria

Over in the small town of Alexandria, very close to where I live, is Island Park, where there's skating in the winter and pedal boats in the summer.

This year, they've done an outstanding job creating a Festival of Lights for the month of December. They've made paths through the park and have asked various local businesses to sponsor brighly-coloured trees.

Some businesses added their own flair. Richard particularly enjoyed Santa in the manger.

My camera reacted very strangely to the bright lights at night...

...and kind of created abstract images. Beautiful!


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