Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Eve picnic

It was a perfect day to be in the woods for a picnic. December 24, 2015 and 17C. What??

First order of the day? Eggnog!

With a fresh dash of nutmeg on top, right?

I found an old bottle of whisky at the back of the liquor cabinet.
Man, that's old hooch! Dad likely got it as a gift and never drank it.
No time like the present.


 Hors d'oeuvres in the woods seemed like a good idea.
Hot Genoa salami, brie and Edam cheeses, olives and hard-cooked quail eggs.
Chocolate truffles and clementines for dessert.

It was pretty yummy.


 Christmas tomorrow but today we bask in the warm, windy air. So crazy for the Great White North.

We had to navigate our mighty stream with all our belongings, but this year we didn't need snowshoes.
Happy days!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas to Ewe!

And here they are...this year's Christmas cookies. 
Merry Christmas to ewe and ewe and ewe!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Oh no! Melting snowmen cookies...

I did these fun cookies for a Christmas cookie exchange a few years back. They remind me of the old skit "Mr. Bill" on Saturday Night Live where the sad Plasticine character was always being pulled apart or in this case, melted.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas cookies

 I love baking...mostly cakes but sometimes I make cookies too. 
These are from my sister's famous whipped shortbread cookie recipe. Light and airy and buttery.

 I love to decorate cookies and give them as gifts at work. One year I made snowflake gingerbreads.

Last year I made polar bear gingerbread cookies with red and green scarves. This year? Just wait!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cat lover's birthday

My friend, and former next-door-neighbour Barb turned 80 today and we helped celebrate by joining her husband and daughter from L.A. with bagels and champagne. Barb has been involved with her local feral cat program for years and has even taken in a kitty or two. So her husband suggested I make a coconut cake, with dark chocolate and keep to a cat theme. Here's the result. Barb was tickled pink, I think. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A nature photo a day

 On Facebook, my sister challenged me to post a nature photo for seven days.
No pets allowed. I have so many I didn't know where to start! 

I found this polyphemus moth last year. To get an idea of its massive size, I carefully placed my fingers under its feet.
I managed to take one photo and then it flew away.
Check out those spots...they are see through! You can see the cement ground right through them.

 An influx of redpolls at my feeder a few years ago.

 Chippy. The cutest of critters loves peanuts and was very tame.

 I saw some critters playing on the dirt road ahead of me. I slowed down and they ran to the field.
Turns out it was a mom and her two does.
She was as curious about me as I was about her!

 I heard noises outside my window one night and thought, oh, there are squirrels at the feeder. At night?
Then I realized that squirrels sleep at night and these were flying squirrels. Oh my!

 A merlin our local grocery store. Apparently it had driven a sparrow into the glass door, and a staff member put it in the garbage pail. 

When he told me, I asked him to take it out and give it to the waiting merlin.
The fellow went to the pail, pulled out the dead sparrow, threw it and the merlin caught it mid-air and flew off to eat his lunch.

Driving on the back roads two years ago, Richard noticed this great grey owl. We got out of the car and took a bunch of photos and then left him to catch his supper. What a beauty!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tales of a former barn cat

 When this little soul showed up in my barn in 2013, I had to feed him! 
He was shy and beautiful. In the fall of that year, I got him fixed and brought him inside.

 He's so happy  indoors, particularly because he's found the love of his life, Cookie, 10 years his senior. 
They are pretty much inseparable -- particularly in winter.

Matzo Man is very shy and doesn't hang around when visitors are here. 
But the rest of the time, he's king of all he surveys.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hospital fundraiser

Last night, there was a black-tie fundraiser dinner held in support of our local hospital. I was asked to make two cakes for the cake auction. So I made a scrubs cake, along with a stethoscope, scissors, bandages and syringe, all made of either fondant or gumpaste. The cake was chocolate and could feed 20.

I also made a cake to look like the classic board game "Operation." Thought it kind of poked fun at the hospital theme. The cake itself was carrot and was pretty big and could feed about 40.
 I'm wondering what these cakes went for at auction? Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Happy birthday Richard x 2

I made a cake for my cousin and my boyfriend, both cat lovers and both named Richard.

 It was a so-called "naked cake" where there is no icing on the little fondant cats could be seen coming in and out of the layers.

 Bonus: my other first cousin from Texas, Len was in town too. He doesn't have any cats but that's okay.

 The two Richards with their kitty cat birthday cake.

 Happy birthday Richard 1 and 2. You are both terrific guys!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Autumnal retirement

 One of the county correspondents at our local newspaper, The Glengarry News, retired this week.

 The News had a small get-together for her at a local watering hole in Williamstown and I made a cake.

Sue wrote for the paper for some 30 years, covering local council as well as penning her Williamstown column for 20+ years. She definitely will be missed by all.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Drum roll, please

My first ever drum cake! This carrot cake fed 40 party-goers for "baby" Adam's birthday. Apparently the rock 'n' roll drummer was turning 30. The moniker must be an in joke. Hope his party rocked!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Bits 'n' pieces

 My little corner of the world used to be marked by a sign, very much like this one. But over the years it had weathered and because we are so minuscule, the county said they wouldn't replace the sign. Lucky for the few families that live here, a neighbour took it upon himself to coordinate the county, township and local building supplier (who donated the wood for the sign) and re-created the sign to mark our part of the world. I thought I looked rather Joan of Arkish in this pic...

 A few weeks back we headed into the big city of Ottawa to hear a friend from Israel speak at a hall in Little Italy. I've known Florence (the gal in stripes to my right) since kindergarten and hadn't seen her since high school. Good Lord. Suzanne (gal in red) and I have been friends since elementary school as well as sharing a major in university, but it's been ages. And Bev, (purple) and I hadn't seen each other since high school either, some 35 or more years!

I was invited to a potluck and I offered to bring a cake (natch). I decided to try a recipe I had seen online. Epic fail! The cake itself was yummy. But...the salted caramel frosting was hopeless. It broke partway through cooking and cooling and became crystallized. Having the consistency of plaster, I slapped it on and pressed it into the sides of the cake. And guess what? Not enough icing for the top. Chocolate ganache to the rescue. Topped with homemade caramel apples too. Best of all? It was someone's birthday, so candles were put on and Happy Birthday was sung. The gal came up to me afterwards and said it was the best cake she had ever had. I was touched!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Autumn cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for a friend whose aunt is coming to see the changing fall colours. 
She's from New Orleans, so the fleur-de-lis topped cakes are a nod to her visit.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Fall happenings

 We took our annual trip to Richard's family's place in Muskoka over Thanksgiving and were blessed with perfect weather. 
That's nephew Michael's dog Winston.

 The temperature last Sunday was 18C and sunny.

Richard's sister Mary taking in the view at Lake of Bays.

 Sparkling water had us all down at the dock hanging out with a bottle of wine.

Say ahhhhhhh.

 Meanwhile at home, autumn is in full fettle.

My new woodshed (to the left) is starting to fill with wood. There's Oreo posing at its doorway.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Thanksgiving pie cupcakes

I bring a dessert up to Richard's family every Thanksgiving and this year I was puzzled. Last year was just delicious and not gorgeous. Year before I painted a scene on fondant and before that, mini-turkeys made of peanut butter cups and candy. I was stumped this year until it came to me. Pie! The ultimate Thanksgiving treat. But this year, I made spice cupcakes with a variety of "pies" on top. Fun or what?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Woody woodpecker sighting

On my way to work the other day I saw this bird  just over the top of my garage.

 An amazing bird, you couldn't miss him! Lucky I caught him on camera...wish I could have gotten just a bit closer to him. Wow!


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