Monday, 28 December 2015

Happy Holidays

Just took a few moments to peek in and say hello----hope you are all enjoying a super holiday!!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Oh Christmas Tree....

I've been so busy and totally ignoring my blog.  I think I'm finally ready now.  Spent the day wrapping gifts and decorating our tree.  I bought this lovely owl last year, after Christmas, and I thought I'd use it as a tree topper this year..........

Hope you all enjoy this week......It's almost Christmas!!!!!!!


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Smoked Atlantic Salmon - just in time for Christmas

We both love to have special treats on hand for guests, especially Christmas-time.  
Hubby really enjoys making things like moose jerky and  smoking fish and salmon. 
We bought four small whole salmon last week.  
To prepare them for the smoker, he filleted them and seasoned with sea salt and pepper, 
and a generous sprinkling of brown sugar.  
The fillets then set overnight with to absorb the seasonings......
 Roger built a new smoker about three years ago, and jumps at any chance to fire it up. 
 The smoker is built from plywood, and has a small electric burner mounted in the bottom.  
A small frying pan is filled with cherry wood chips and placed on the burner to slowly smoulder.
 There is a door on the smoker, which is closed to contain the heat and the smoke.  
The fish slowly cooks while being smoked at the same time.   
The smoking process takes about eight hours. About every hour, the door is opened to add more chips.  
The burner is turned up on high until chips start to burn well, then it is turned back to medium, to allow the chips to slowly smoulder,creating lots of smoke and a nice slow heat.   
 The smell is amazing during the entire process, but the end result is a true delight to 
see, smell & taste!
 Each piece is turned upside down to cool, then vacuum-sealed for
when company comes!!!


Sunday, 29 November 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas............

Remember the feeling
when you were a child, 
as it started to approach December-
and then it snowed......
That was the scene outside my bedroom window this morning.
It gave me
my first case of
"Christmas Butterflies".

I just had to get bundled up and go for a walk on a trail just inside where our house is......

 The sun is coming through the clouds now, and it has warmed up to whopping 2 degrees Celsius!!
The snow on the branches and berries is starting melt and drip off.

What a beautiful day for the Flatrock Santa Claus Parade!


Friday, 27 November 2015


Happy Friday--
perfect night to sit home, 
have a glass of nice wine. 
and relax

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Birch Christmas Centerpiece

When hubby was moose-hunting in the North Pond area in central this fall, he brought back some nice clean birch.  We like to have a good supply on hand for the fireplace at Christmastime, rather than just burning the fire-logs.  I also had asked him to make me some birch tea light holders, for Christmas centerpieces.

Here's the birch sticks on the garage floor.........
Hubby dried the birch for a couple of weeks in the garage, then cut the sticks to the lengths I needed for the centerpieces.  Then, he used a forstner bit to drill out just the perfect sized cavity, for a tealight.

In the meantime, I had been collecting different types of cones over the fall.  I use them as filler on the centerpieces.  I gathered some huge pine-cones on one of my walks. 
To make a centerpiece, I arrange three pieces of birch, of different heights on a charger. 
Add cones around the birch, 
a few cinnamon sticks with some red berries (if desired), and 

A nice little centerpiece to enjoy over Christmas.
This one is for the "Silent Auction"  fundraiser at work!


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Cookie Exchange

You know that Christmas is right around the corner when you start hearing about cookie exchanges........and I love it!!  Not only is it a great opportunity to make and trade some delicious cookies, but for me, the social aspect of it is awesome. 

I went to a cookie exchange last evening, and it was so nice to see everyone, some I hadn't seen in months.  It was the perfect opportunity to just sit and chat, and enjoy your choice of some nice teas, coffee or hot chocolate, and just catch up.  

Our hostess had pulled out some of her Christmas things, just for the occasion.  There was some great Christmas music playing, and as we all sat around chatting and laughing, I think I got nipped by the Christmas Spirit!!! 

There were seven of us in the group, so we each made seven dozen cookies.  You keep one dozen of your own and bring the other six dozen to "exchange".  That way, we each came home with six dozen cookies (one dozen from each other person at the exchange).  The hostess keeps track of who is baking what, so two or three participants don't bake the same type of cookie.  

My contribution was a new recipe to me........Cuban Cups.  My good friend, Kathy shared it with me a couple of weeks ago.  These cookies are simple to make, yields a load, and are quite nice for a festive cookie platter.  Here's the recipe.......

Cuban Cups
(makes 80 pieces)

2 cups peanut butter chips
2 cups butterscotch chips
2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups crushed plain-rippled potato chips
1 1/2 cups chopped peanuts

Melt first three ingredients in top of a double boiler.
Stir in potato chips and peanuts.
Spoon into mini cupcake liners, and let set.

Take a look at how mine turned out....... 

 Here's all of the cookies at the exchange..... 

It was an awesome evening...
fun and laughter....
and lots of cookies 
to share
with friends and family


Monday, 9 November 2015

Remembrance Day--November 11

Flanders Poppy on the First World War battlefields. 

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 +   +   +   +   +   +  +   +

I hope you all take time to
on this
Remembrance Day

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

From old closet doors to a beautiful hand-crafted headboard......

I've been tormenting hubby to make me a headboard for years.  He finally gave in....
and boy am I happy he did.  
He re-purposed some old wooden closet doors......
 four by four posts with  a wooden decorative piece at the top......
 and built the headboard to attach to a Queen-size bed-frame.
  Even at that point, I was pretty pleased.
 but, when he started to rub dark walnut stain on it......
 it was transformed.
 I love it, and I think we have a beautiful piece to pass down through 
the future generations of our family. 


Sunday, 1 November 2015

It's Caramel Apple Time!!

I think my favorite Halloween treat, to make, is caramel apples. They are so easy to make and everyone just seems to love them.  The tart and juicy apple combined with thick, chewy, sweet caramel is just divine.

For six large caramel apples, you will need one bag of caramel candy.  
I always use Kraft caramels.....
 You simply melt caramels in the microwave, 
  insert craft sticks into washed apples
dip apples in the caramel  
 and then roll in crushed peanuts.

Set them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet to cool, and enjoy.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Battery

The Battery must be one of the most photographed areas of the city of St.John's.  It is breathtaking, captivating, and spell-binding. I think Dr. Suess must have grown up in a place as beautiful as this, to have inspired the whimsical imagery he wanted in books.  

Monday, 26 October 2015

Signal Hill and Cuckold's Cove Trail

Yesterday was such a beautiful day, 7 degrees and sunny with lovely breeze.  Hubby and I joined my niece and her husband for a late morning hike.  We decided to do a portion of the East Coast Trail, so we drove right downtown, to Signal Hill, and took the Cuckold's Cove Trail. 

Take a look.......

This was my first time doing this portion of the trail.  It was so nice to get out in the fresh air and sunshine and enjoy the magnificent scenery.

Hope you all have a great week.