Thursday, 30 August 2012

Four more "Ticks" for my Bucket List!!

My Summer 2012 "Bucket List" that is on my refrigerator is starting to look pretty in pink, as I slowly strike off the items it contains.

Over the past few weeks, I have taken out another four items--they are.....

Lie on the ground and watch clouds...

This one looked like the map of Newfoundland, so I ran inside to grab my camera,but it had dispersed a lot by the time I got back out, but the resemblance is still evident here.

Map of the Newfoundland portion of Newfoundland and\Labrador

I remember spending hours, as kids, lying on our backs cloud-watching....we'd find elephants, fish, cars, and so much more.  Great memories.  We should take the time to do it more often.

Next off the list is..
Eat fries in downtown St. John's 

Drenched in malt vinegar.....Yummy!!

The smell pulls you in from afar..ha ha

Wear a dress....
I have worn a t-shirt dress once or twice, but when I made my list, I was thinking of something a little fancier, but there hasn't been a "fancy-dress" occasion, but I think my casual dress warrants taking that one off my list too.

Last, but not least......A walk in the summer rain.

We haven't had much rain this summer, but I did make a point to take a stroll in the rain on one occasion.  We were having showers between intense sun and heat all day, so I laced on my runners and headed out. 

I drove to my favorite trail, around Middle Brook Falls. I didn't take my camera....for obvious reasons, but you'll have to take my word for it. It was amazing.  Everything transforms when it's raining...things sound so different and even smells different.  

I am so lucky live in a place where I can simply go outside and take a walk in the summer rain.  We often lose sight of the fact that not everyone has that privilege.

“Life is like a rainbow. You need both the sun and the rain to make its colors appear.”


 Cheers everyone, have a great long weekend!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

"Girls Day Out" in the city

Hey sister's daughter, Penny, is here for a quick summer visit from out west to help us celebrate my Mom's 87th birthday on Friday.  Us girls took a quick trip to the city to pick up some supplies.  Here are some pics....

My niece, Tonya had a fabulous dinner prepared when we arrived on Sunday evening...complete with appetizers and dessert... 

Here's Tonya, making sure everyone had lots of wine with their dinner...

On Monday, we started out with a fabulous brunch at Bagel Cafe in downtown St. John's

From left to right---Tonya (Niece), Rana (Daughter), Penny (Niece visiting from Alberta), and Sister Brenda
 After our bellies were full from brunch, we set out on a leisurely stroll around downtown.....We grabbed dessert after brunch at the Newfoundland Chocolate Company.....YUMMY!!!!!!!!

All that walking made us thirsty, so we popped into Bivver for a cold beverage......

We walked some more and worked up an appetite for a little treat from the Ziggy Peelgood truck on Water Street.  We had fries with loads of malt vinegar....can't you just smell them!!??!

After a great day with these beautiful daughter, sister and nieces, we were all happy to go back to Rana & Mark's house and relax.  Mark barbecued some great chicken and we finished our day together with a light supper of chicken and salads.  I am sooo lucky!!

Rana's centerpiece of fresh cut hydrangea blooms, from her flower garden
I had a nice little get-away for a night with those who are

Cheers ;o)

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Off the radar

Hey everyone

I've been totally "off the radar" for awhile. 

My Mom, who will be 87 on August 24th, has been having some issues with her health and after many blood tests, a colonoscopy, two CT scans, and finally an MRI, we've made some disturbing discoveries.  She has to have part of her bowel removed and there are some issues with her liver.

So, as you can imagine, I haven't been putting much thought into blogging, however I do check my regular blogs every night.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

"Best-Ever" Chocolate Chip Muffins

"Best-Ever" Chocolate Chip Muffins

Sift together and set aside:
2 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment in place, whisk together on
high speed until foamy and slightly stiffened.
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix together in a measuring cup with a spout:
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Slowly add the oil and butter mixture to the egg mixture in a slow stream as the
mixer continues to whisk.

Mix together
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Add slowly to the mixing bowl continuing to mix but at a reduced speed.

Fold in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula being careful not to over mix.
Don't worry about lumps in the batter, they are fine. When the dry ingredients are
almost incorporated, gently fold in  1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.
(I use 3/4 cup white chocolate and 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Spoon batter into well greased muffin tins, filling them to the top.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for about 20 minutes or until a wooden skewer
inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Here's how mine looked ....

Friday, 10 August 2012

Stuffed Zucchini

I am always stumped about what to do with those huge zucchini that I am so fortunate to be gifted every year about this time.  I've tried relishes, cakes, muffins, even marmalade, and I love them all, but this year I really wanted to try something different.  I found some recipes online for stuffed Zucchini.  Most of the recipes didn't cook the zucchini before stuffing.  I was afraid that the zucchini would be tough, so I came up with a recipe of my own, using a variation of my meatball/meatloaf recipe for the stuffing.  It was delicious!!!!

Here's my recipe......
Stuffed Zucchini

1 large zucchini (sliced in half, lengthwise)
1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup each of green pepper, red or yellow pepper, zucchini, green onion and celery (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Dash of salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C).
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds.
Place prepared zucchini half on a cookie sheet face down, then cover bottom of sheet with water.  
Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, fry ground beef, peppers, chopped veggies, garlic and seasonings until well cooked.
Add tomato soup, bread crumbs and egg, stirring well.

Remove zucchini from oven, turn upright and season with a dash of salt & pepper.
Place zucchini on a baking sheet, mound up meat mixture in the cavity, then top with cheese
Bake at 350* for 30 minutes, or until cheese bubbles and turns golden brown.

I didn't actually slice the zucchini in half.  You need to be sure you'll have lots of
 room for stuffing, so on this one,it was more like 2/3 to a 1/3.  I then used a pieces
 from the smaller portion for the stuffing mixture.

Here's how it looked.....

It was Yummy!!!!!!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Fifty Shades of ……Green ??!!??

This fallen maple leaf really got my eye

The last of this season's gooseberries

A large patch of bull rushes near the entrance to my favorite walking trail

 The next four photos are of sights along the walking trail at Middle Brook, here in town.

The long spell of hot, dry weather has left most of the brooks and 
rivers in the area really low....... the point where a ban has been placed on recreational salmon fishers.

 Roger's brother, Cal, grows beautiful veggies each year--here's a peek at just a few........



Cheers everyone

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

S'Mores Cookies

I tried a new recipe for S'Mores Cookies on Friday morning, for my weekend guests.....they were a hit ;o)

S’mores Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups miniature chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 or 2 bars of fine milk chocolate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, and salt. 
In a separate larger bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy. 
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. 
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes, and remove from the oven. 
Push 3 to 4 marshmallows and a piece of chocolate bar into each cookie. 
Return to the oven and bake an additional 3-4 minutes until fully cooked. 
Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Here's how mine looked.........

 Yummy---these are delicious!!

Cheers y'all

Monday, 6 August 2012

Awesome weekend with family and friends

 We had a fabulous weekend.  Rana, Mark & Bailey came on Friday night. 

This is our civic holiday weekend in Gambo.  There's tons for everyone to do.  
Since logging is a major part of our heritage in these parts, logger's competitions are a big component of the festivities.  There are events such as axe-throwing, log sawing and log rolling.  There was a Logger's Breakfast, outdoor dances, kid's activities and a great parade.  
The finale is a fireworks show on Monday night, that seems to get bigger and better every year. 

The weather has been wicked hot, so on Saturday we went to the beach.  Bailey had her first swim......pretty cute...

Another highlight from this weekend was a visit from my great-niece, Sophie.  She sure 
enjoyed our berry bushes....

She loves to make a grand production of smelling the flowers....

One of life's greatest simple pleasures has to be playing hide and seek with a small child...........

or "peek-a-boo"........

Giggles from a playing child are contagious.....

Getting tired now, though......

Cheers everyone!