Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's been a while but I can explain...

So you go away for two weeks and it nearly takes a month to catch up. Guess that is what happens when life, work, school and an artisan sale take up your time. But now it's almost the holidays. Well today I start the holidays so some needed blog time.

Here's a photo from our recent trip to Amsterdam.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

More on that theme and planning for the Fall

Here's another carousel. I'm busy planning ahead for a Christmas craft show and art sale. It's our now annual show but it will be expanding this year so I just ordered some greeting cards that I will do up in packs of five with a Parisian theme. I'm even hoping for some Parisian style ribbon or something to tie them together. I'm even thinking about doing a calendar but maybe just one of those desk calendars with some sort of interesting hanging system. Still working on that one...

I did a lot of art related work last week attending meetings (my first Beach photo club meeting) and submitting works for competitions and shows. One more week of rest and art before doing classes again.

And the big trip planning continued with the purchase of a larger suitcase. Look out Le Creuset factory outlet.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

And the winner is...

Bordeaux last October
So we're going to Amsterdam this time for our vacation. Getting very excited already. But there will be a side trip to France because we just have to. And we have to check out the Le Creuset factory outlet as well! I think I may need a larger suitcase...

Friday, September 7, 2012


There's a fantastic cafe near the gallery that sells these amazing coffee cake muffins that are a little like donuts. And so I got to wondering how I could have more of these lovelies. Oh Google you are so helpful. Up popped this website and recipe and voila. And now I've found a new blog to follow to boot.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Where to go to next?

Just thinking about our last trip which was to Bordeaux. Couldn't resist doing another storefront especially as I really didn't add any to my collection after that trip.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I just love our new Emile Henry pizza stone. Especially on the bbq (necessary with the oven out of commission). Their Flame line is fantastic. I think Friday night is going to be a regular pizza night. Just have to work on the pizza from peel to stone technique.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tomato canning extravaganza

Well it's been a while since I posted anything! It's been one of those busy summers with loads of guests. There was always the preparing for guests, then having the guest(s) and then preparing for the next. But now the 2012 season is over for visiting and it's tomato time! We've been waiting patiently for the first delivery of bushels of tomatoes at the local supermarket. Sadly our own tomato harvest is way too small for that.
The setup. One bowl in front for the crushed tomatoes
and one behind for the skin and seeds.

Waiting for their pressing.

We're pretty lucky in this city to have more than one Little Italy. I trekked out to Dufferin and St. Clair over a month ago to pick up the O.M.A.C. tomato presser, made in Italy, at Consiglio's. This place is the place to go for such items and has an amazing coffee maker section. Actually it's not so much a section as just all over the store.
Yes, that's a Pimm's in the background. This works up a thirst.

Boiling the tomatoes for about 5-10 mins on the bbq.

Anyway, I was a bit hesitant when buying it as it came with absolutely NO instructions (and yes I tried googling it but no luck there either). Not even a "don't put your hand in here" warning. And we didn't test it out before getting the bushel of tomatoes so it was baptism by fire. And... it worked! It worked a lot, lot better than doing it by hand last year. There was still some mess so we took it outside (including using the bbq burner). I think it did help to parboil the tomatoes first to loosen their skins.
The sauce bubbling away.

We'll be enjoying the tomato sauce, the passata, and the tomato jam throughout the year until this time next year (we still have some from last year!).

Jars, jars and more jars.
Now what to can next?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Red Velvet delights!

Thought I would have a go at making red velvet cupcakes. I've been meaning to do it for a while. I did have some on my recent trip to New York. I haven't iced them yet so no photos of that. I think they look really good without, though. They're based on a Magnolia bakery recipe although I did make some modifications like halving the recipe and using colour paste rather than liquid dye. To make up for that instead of one and a half eggs (difficult anyway) I used two for extra moisture. I was also a little short with the buttermilk so added a bit of regular milk too.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Finally flowers

Couldn't wait to get flowers into pots in front of our house and yesterday's holiday and good weather gave us that chance.

I also wanted to test out my new macro lens and I'm pretty happy with it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New York flowers

More flowers from New York

Saturday, March 31, 2012

New York panoramas

Off again on some travels. This time it was New York for a course last weekend but there was time to catch up with friends and for trips to museums and the Brooklyn botanical garden, seen here.