Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Puffball Schnitzel

What could be more 100-mile-diet than a freshly picked puffball, breaded with crumbs, fried up and served topped with just-picked tomatoes and peppers that were quickly cooked together. A scrape of local cheddar and a few basil leaves to top it all off. Great lunch!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Sis Arrives Today!

My sister arrives from Ithaca, NY and I'm just on my way to go pick her up at the airport in Ottawa. We have three crazy days and nights of activities together. Let the games begin!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sponge Bob Cake

I don't hang out with small kids and so don't really have much idea about cartoon characters. Of course I've heard of Sponge Bob Square Pants but never really noticed him before until the other day when my friend Helen asked me to make a cake for her six-year-old granddaughter Gaby. Now I know a lot about Mr. Square Pants: he lives in an underwater pineapple (!?), his best friend is a star fish and something about a squirrel who has to have a bubble on his head so he can breathe.
Okay so he's an underwater sponge...but not an ocean sponge but a cellulose one. Uh...well...he is kinda cute. So was the cake!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer in a Jar

I had ten very ripe tomatoes, a large zucchini and plenty of parsley and basil. I cooked down the tomatoes, added grated zucchini along with a chopped onion, a squished clove of garlic and the herbs and volia! In the depths of winter, I'll head over to the freezer and I'll have summer in a jar. Summer soup. Delish.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Retro Desserts: Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

I love retro desserts and featured my tomato soup cake a while back.

In a book called "The Kitchen Sink Cookbook" I found out this neat history of the chocolate mayonnaise cake. The blue ribbon on the Hellmann's Mayonnaise jar is not there in commemoration of some long-ago prize. It's there because of the way New York deli owner Richard Hellmann first began selling his mayonnaise; as a to-go item out of two big glass jars he decorated with blue ribbons.

As for his beloved recipe for Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake: it was actually invented by Mrs. Paul Prince, the wife of one of the Hellmann's company's sales distributors in 1937, or about twenty-two years after manufacturing mayonnaise had beome Hellmann's only business.

Her original recipe was dense like a brownie and contained walnuts and dates but no eggs. The company's current version has neither walnuts nor dates and is lighter in texture. But the mayonnaise still makes the cake magically moist and tender without revealing its own taste.

2 cups flour
1 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/3 cups water
3 eggs
1 cup Hellman's (Best Foods) real or light mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour 9" x 13" cake pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, soda & powder, set aside.

In a large bowl with mixer at high speed, beat eggs, sugar & vanilla, scraping sides of bowl occasionally, for 3 minutes or until smooth & creamy.

Reduce speed to low; beat in mayonnaise till well blended.

Add flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with water, beginning & ending with flour mixture. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in centre. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on rack.

Decorate with your favourite chocolate icing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Taste of the Town

What do you do when you have one day to show your friend from Oregon the highlights of your area? Hmmm. Poutine and beer seem a natural. We started at Leduc Snack Bar in Hawkesbury.

It was a real hit! To see the details, go to the review on poutine chronicles.

And after that? Wash it all down with a beer from Beau's Brewery in Vankleek Hill. What a fun day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I've been typing the classified ads at my job at the newspaper for a little over a year now and Diane, the copy editor/proofreader always joked with me that when I did them without any typos or corrections, she'd light a sparkler for me.

Today was the day!

I wonder how many more sparklers I'll have lit for me over the next few years? Ahhh, perfection feels grand!

Monday, August 22, 2011

3rd Annual Wood Fair

Our friend John from Oregon arrived for a quick visit over the weekend and since he's a tree guy, we figured he'd enjoy the Wood Fair at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum.

There were all sorts of demonstrations. Here, Gerdine Van Woodenburg is making what she called "funky fungi" using a chain saw.

Richard and I sure could use this doohickey to move our wood in the wintertime.

These spiders made from tiny burls were kinda cool.

A large tree on the grounds of the museum recently sustained wind damage and they waited for Wood Fair for it to be tended to. It made for a great demonstration.

There were teeny trees for sale...

...and other booths with info about growing trees and woodworking. Loved this guy's t-shirt.

Best of all? Beau's Beer was being sold over at the Star Inn...the oldest bar in Eastern Ontario. Cold beer on a hot day shared with friends. Nothing better.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Big Beaver Schoolhouse

The Big Beaver Schoolhouse from Laggan has finally arrived to its new home at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum in Dunvegan, just down the road from me.

It is now part of our local museum! To read more, click here to get to the Glengarry Pioneer Museum's website.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Favourite Quilt

This quilt from the show I attended on Sunday was amongst my favourites.

Here are a few close up details.

Cool, eh?

Great cow.

Wonderful images.

Terrific quilt.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quilt Show

On Sunday we went to the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo Quilt Show. It's a preview of the show that'll be held at the IPM in September.

The quilts were amazing...

...and elegant.

Some were small quilts...

...real pieces of art.

This flower quilt was charming.

This star quilt was a real eye popper.

Very graphic images.

I especially loved this quilt made of award winning ribbons.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


2 garden tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
6 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 demi-baguette or ciabatta loaf

In bowl, stir together tomatoes, oil, garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and basil. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, halve baguette lengthwise; broil or cut sides until golden, about 2 minutes. Spoon tomato juices onto baguette; mound with tomato mixture. Cut each half into 4 pieces.

Monday, August 15, 2011

'Tis the Season

It's pickle time! Richard chopped jalapenos plus sweet red and yellow peppers.

Meanwhile I was hot water processing the dill pickles we had just finished.

Here are the canned hot peppers.

And here are the Kosher dills.

And my favourites, bread and butter pickles!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Veggies, Veggies Everywhere!

With all the heat this year, my garden is going gangbusters! These scarlet runners are running right over the little garden shed.

The chard has kicked in finally..

...and this baby acorn squash is going to taste yummy this fall.

I have an abundance of jalapenos and I think I might just pickle them.

Sweet, yellow peppers have been great in salads... this Greek salad that has my own peps, tomatoes and cukes. Now all I need is an olive tree and a goat to make my own Feta!

In the meantime, this is so pretty, I might have to paint it.


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