Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sunday Brunch

I just love Sunday brunch, especially when you're having a glass of thirst-quenching white Sangria and enjoying conversation with friends. That's what I did last Sunday when our disbanded book club got together.

Judy invited the former "Book Babes" to share a few laughs and current reading suggestions, as well as a delicious appetizer of garlicky artichokes on goat's cheese toasts with shaved Parmesan.

Judy served up the mixed green salad with zucchini strips and toasted pine nuts.

The entrée was something called "Molly Coddled Eggs" that Judy said she found in one of Donna Dewar's cookbooks. It was a layer of lemony polenta, then spinach, sauteed mushrooms and shallots, with a Gorgonzola cheese sauce and an egg on top, baked in the oven.

Louise wanted a larger spoon so that she could taste all the flavours at once.

It was one of the most amazing combinations of flavours. Wowza!

Meanwhile, Judy's daughter Kelly enjoyed a Sunday ice cream cone while cute doggie Elliott looked on, wanted to have a Sunday snack as well. Ahh. Sundays.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Singing for My Supper

Well singing for my lunch, actually. And not singing -- decorating!
My friend Janet asked me to decorate a cake that she had baked -- and old family recipe -- for a party to celebrate her daughter's burning of the mortgage. Thing is, I only get an hour for lunch!
I brought all my cake supplies in a bag, including icing and some roses I had made the night before. We had a delicious hot lunch and then I swung into action. Thankfully Janet's daughter Karen washed up all my piping bags and tips and I was back to work in time.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cupcake ATCs

I made these artist trading cards for our monthly trade which is tomorrow. (I can't believe how fast the month gone by!) The technique I used for these black and white cupcakes is a linocut; the design was cut from a rubber block and then printed with black ink. Buttons added afterwards as the cherry on the cake.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wood Fair

Over the weekend we went to Wood Fair at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum in Dunvegan. There was a huge wood auction where they sold lumber...

...and other oddities like burls, used by carvers to make bowls and other cool things.

One of the booths had a cute chainsaw display...

...while across the way a fellow demonstrated his carving skills with a chainsaw. (Note Richard at work in the background.)

And there was a load of these dowels for sale. Hmm. Wonder what I could do with these?

My friend Susan Valyi had her fabulous sculptures on display, most of which are created using wood.

And Beau's Beer brewed just down the road in Vankleek Hill had a tent, so Richard and I had a glass with our sausage. Great day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fran and Andy's Wedding

My friend Fran got married over the weekend to her British beau, Andy. She walked down the aisle with her youngest daughter, Becca.

Purple was Fran's theme colour. She wore a purple dress with a bouquet to match. Lovely!

Fran's mum Anne Marie blessed the meal.

Richard had a good chat with the bride's dad, Frank.

Fran and I had a few good laughs.

Lots of love and happiness you two! Frandy forever.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

100 Things to Eat Before You Die #5

Sausages. Grilled. Fried. Sautéed. Whatever. And try a few types: breakfast sausages or Italian sausages, either mild or hot. There's something so fabulous about biting into a crackly skin and tasting that wonderful mixture of meat and spices. Love 'em.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sock Monkey ATCs

I traded these sock monkey artist trading cards at our last monthly meeting. I followed the tips in the Technique section of the last issue of ATC Quarterly on how to use "Speedy-cut" lino blocks. These cards were really fun to make. I actually sewed on the buttons and the mouth and nostrils are made using embroidery thread. Totally silly.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Puffball Schnitzel

Yesterday, my doorbell rang and there was my neighbour Percy with a large bag. He said, "I heard you like these." Inside the bag was a soccer ball-sized puffball mushroom. Thanks Percy!

It was gorgeous and fresh and big!

After posing it on cake stands and plates, I decided I'd better cook it up while it was still fresh. There are many recipes on the web for making schnitzel with puffballs so I thought I'd give it a try.

First of all the mushroom has to be pure white inside, which means it's very fresh.

Remove the peel and cut the mushroom into 1/2" slices.

Coat on both sides with beaten egg.

Mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese with salt, pepper and whatever dried herbs you have and coat the slice...

...on both sides.

Place in a hot frying pan with oil...

...and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes a side. This is UNBELIEVABLY delicious. The inside is like warm, velvety mushroom--very mild in flavour and the outside is crunchy and delicious. I can't wait for the doorbell to ring again!

Postscript: Today I went out into the woods and lookie lookie what I found. Twelve more puffballs! Schnitzel anyone?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Sister's First Poutine

My sister Marci came to visit my from Ithaca, NY over the weekend. We headed to Alfred, ON (the French fry captial of Eastern Ontario) to try some poutine.

Marci had never had poutine before! It was an exciting moment.

She loved the fries and kinda liked the poutine. This was a good one too from a little place on the main drag called Kennebec.

Crisp fries, curds and gravy. What else could a gal ask for?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bridal Shower Fun

I went to Fran's kitchen-themed bridal shower a few weekends back and it was so much fun. Fran made her grand entrance wearing an apron covered with kitchen utensils and purple rubber gloves. And a tiara! We drank wine and chatted. Then the games began.

Fran disappeared and we had to remember what was pinned to her apron. Needless to say, the glass of sangria had taken effect and I could hardly remember anything. (And I see on my list I said "measuring cups" but there weren't any on that apron. Oops.)

There was a smelling game where you had to identify the spice or herb in each numbered cup. I think I got 3 out of 8. (Okay, so again, I'll blame it on the delicious, white sangria!)

Then all of a sudden, a Husky pup showed up and settled down in the middle of the party. Luckily, she had a collar with a phone number and her owner came within minutes to get her. Okay, back to the party...

We broke up into groups and dressed one of our members in a toilet paper bridal gown. In our case, we dressed our two youngest members.

Don't they all look adorable?

One of the games was "don't cross your legs." At the start of the party, everyone got a clothespin but if you crossed your legs, someone could claim your pin. Here's Fran's sis Chris with a few pins...

...but this little girl was working hard at getting more pins...

...and ultimately won the contest.

Then it was time for food inside...


A great, silly and fun time was had by all!

Happy days, Fran and Andy.


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