Sunday, January 31, 2010

Operation Smile in Haiti

I thought I'd share some amazing photos of my cousin Jane who is an anesthesiologist and is now in Haiti. That's her at the end of the gurney.

And here she is again. She's one amazing gal. To see more photos of work being done by Operation Smile, click on their Blog from the Field.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wild Blueberry Muffins

The gals on the Art Fayre committee were coming here for an early meeting the other morning so I decided to serve them warm muffins. These are very easy to make. I mixed up the dry ingredients the night before so it was even easier! The recipe was from The Joy of Cooking and I used their basic muffin recipe, so you can add any fruit or nuts that you have available.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Whisk in another bowl:
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
4-8 tablespoons melted butter (or oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stilr with a few light strokes just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

I added frozen wild blueberries from last summer and mixed them in lightly.

Divide batter into pan. I added coarse, sanding sugar to the tops for texture (just like at Tim Horton's). Bake at 400F for 12 to 15 minutes.

Yum-o. There weren't many left after the meeting. Nice taste and not too heavy. Try it!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chip Stand Art

I love stopping at chip stands that dot the countryside. Not only are their fries usually fantastic, so is their folk art. Here's a fun thing seen at Jean Burger in Wakefield, Québec.

Closer to home there's the famous Gaetan's chip stand in Alexandria, Ontario.

Don't you love Monsieur French Fry with his bouffant made of ketchup, salt and vinegar in hand.

Looks like I can't wait to get my arms around him, eh?

To see more adventures at Gaetan's, click here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Two Beans Café

There's a little place that opened up a few years back called the Two Beans Café. It's in an old Victorian house in Alexandria, just down the road a piece.

They have a simple menu with two soup choices, several sandwiches and two hot specials. My friend Rosemary and I both chose the Italian Wedding soup which was fantastic.

I had a turkey bacon wrap...

...and Rosemary had the roast beef with horseradish sandwich. Both were served with a tasty bit of potato salad.

For dessert she had the apple coffee cake...

...and I had two chocolate cookies, hot from the oven with a cup of tea. If you're ever in Alexandria, the Two Beans Café is a great place for a light lunch.

Two Beans Café, 124 Main Street, Alexandria, Ontario K0C 1A0
Phone: 613-525-1466
Hours: Mon - Friday: open at 11:00 a.m.
CLOSED: Saturday and Sunday

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rabbits in the Snow

Richard and I spent much of the weekend walking through the woods. There are so many animal tracks in the snow, it's fun to see what's been visiting. Lots of deer, coyote, racoons and snowshoe hares.

This year I decided to set up several brush piles in the pine/spruce woods. There is little undergrowth and I figured it might be a good place for a rabbit or small animal to go for cover.

A-ha! I noticed snowshoe hare prints all over the place and then I saw this in one of the brush piles. Bunny poop!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pizza Cake

My friend Dave's birthday was celebrated on Saturday night and I made him a deep dish pizza cake.

I made the pepper slices and mushrooms out of buttercream icing, piped onto the cake. Melted cheese was a lemon and icing sugar glaze. And the bacon bits were made from a chopped dried fruit bar.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Amazing Cousin Jane

My amazing cousin Jane is off via military transport to join a surgical team for two weeks to Haiti to help in the relief efforts there.

She is an anesthesiologist and I'm sure her two weeks in Haiti will be well spent. We're all very proud of her and are praying for her safety and also for her quick return.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Moose Creek

I just love this sign that welcomes you to Moose Creek, a small town not far from me. Every other little town around here has turned to a professional sign maker -- and now all the signs look exactly the same. Except for this one. I hope they don't change it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Richard the Woodsman

Here's Richard on his way to the woods to chop dead trees. Don't you just love the coordinating orange Husqvarna suspenders, hard hat and boots? Quite the fashion statement I think.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hockey Night in Ottawa

Last night Richard and I headed up to Ottawa to see a hockey game.

Richard's beloved Chicago Blackhawks were making a rare appearance here so we just had to see them in action. My cousins Saul and Cindy gave up a pair of their season's tickets so we could go.

Fantastic seats! You could see all the action.

Unfortunately for the 'Hawks fans, most of the action was thanks to the Sens.

I'm a Montreal Canadiens fan so I cheered both sides! Chicago lost
4-1 but Richard was still cheering his team on right to the end.

And, we even found a poutine to share. Perfect outing I'd say.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Birthday in Snow and Fire

My friend Vlasta celebrated his 60th birthday over the weekend with a big outdoor bash.

His wife Susan is a talented sculptor and she made a gigantic fire with a sort of snow sculpture bench around it, complete with flags on tall wooden sticks outside the circle.

It was a round bench seat, surrounded by igloo-like ice blocks.

We all sat or stood around the enourmous fire. It has been very warm this week and sitting outside in -1C temperatures and a roaring fire was almost like being down south. Er, well, sort of.

And chocolate birthday cake in the snow. What could be better? Happy birthday Vlasta!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sketching Florida

I wonder why I generally only sketch my surroundings when I'm on vacation.

Florida was mighty windy in November with Hurricane Ida blowing through. You kind of get that idea from this drawing. Fun to look back at what I've doodled...

Friday, January 15, 2010

ATC Call for Entries: The Beatles

ATC Quarterly is looking for artist trading cards with the theme The Beatles for the spring issue's centrefold. You still have one month to do one! Cards: 2.5" x 3.5". Any medium. Deadline: Feb. 15, 2010. Please e-mail me a hi-rez (300 dpi) jpeg to: or via snail mail to:
ATC Quarterly, 19698 County Rd. 24, Dunvegan, Ontario K0C 1J0 Canada
If you want it back, please include an SASE or $1 US

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winter Birds at my Feeder

I have a bird feeder pretty close to my window so it's easy to see the visitors. Here is an American Goldfinch. He's much brighter in summer with his yellow plumage.

The chickadees are my favourite because they're so friendly.

This year I got a peanut feeder which keeps the blue jays busy and distracted.

The mourning doves roost in the spruce tree behind them in this picture. I put seed on the ground for them because they don't use the feeder.

Today I saw a pair of male cardinals. These guys are usually pretty shy and come to eat at dusk but today they were here mid-day.

This northern shrike was last year's visitor and grabbed a mouse right out of the snow as I was watching from the window. When it appears, all the other birds scram!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Poutine in the News

This article by Sheryl Ubelacker entitled "It's all in the curds: Quebecois mainstay poutine making culinary inroads in U.S." is running in the Canadian Press and I'm quoted! To read the article click here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Heat in a Can

It was bright and cold on the weekend -- the perfect time to take a walk in the woods and maybe pull in a few cut logs and fallen branches.

But what to make for lunch that would warm us up?

Then I remembered the can of conch (pronounced 'konk') chowder that I'd bought in a grocery store in Nassau in November.

I made sure to make it really nice and hot.

It warmed us up right away.

The soup was nicely spiced and warm and kept us that way for the rest of the day. After lunch: out to find more wood!


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