Sunday, October 31, 2010

Box ON! 2010: Black-and-Orangeville

We had an amazing time letterboxing in Orangeville, ON this weekend.  Thanks again to Trailfeathers and her crew for all their hard work.  It was especially fun to meet another St. Thomas family that letterboxes . . . Dream!!
Island Lake

I've never even heard of orange lichen.

That way !!

Cameron is very meticulous about re-hiding boxes.

Lunch at the Orangeville Library.

Have a bite of sandwich, make another exchange, another bite of sandwich . . .

Logbooks come in every shape, size and style.

Cameron's favourite dish at the pot luck lunch.

Nothing to do with Box ON! but we saw this on the side of the road on the way home and just had to pull over and take photos.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shhhhh . . . it's a secret until tomorrow . . . LOL . . . my Crop Circle swap layout . . .

Knit-Alongs (KALs)

I've always been a fan of doing mystery needlework projects.  I haven't done any for a few years but I'm back in a knitting frame of mind.  Actually I want to make a pile of dish cloths for Christmas and this seemed like a great way to kick start the project.
This KAL is from a Yahoo! group called Monthly Dishcloths.

Darn, the photo doesn't really do it justice.  It says "My Pal" in the middle and has a butterfly on each corner.  

Monday, October 18, 2010

Polar Express

Polar Express
by Pam



by Joyce


Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Are You Afraid of the Dark?
by Joyce


Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon and Apple Cider Dressing

10 ounces pre-washed baby spinach
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
3 ounces Canadian bacon, finely chopped (I just used 2 more slices of bacon)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced (1 cup)
1 pound button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 cup apple cider
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Place spinach into a large bowl.  Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat for about 4 minutes, or until it is just crispy.  Add Canadian bacon to the skillet and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove meat from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels.  Drain any remaining fat from the skillet.  Add olive oil and onions to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, or until onions soften slightly.  Add mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 more minutes.  Put onions and mushrooms on top of the spinach.  Add apple cider and vinegar to the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high.  Stir to scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes or until cider is reduced to about 1/2 cup.  Whisk in mustard, salt and pepper, to taste.  Pour warm cider dressing over the mushrooms and spinach and toss until the vegetables are well coated.  Sprinkle the bacon on top and serve.


Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2-1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9x5" loaf pan.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.  Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.  Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 60-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into centre of the load comes out clean.  Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Simple Chilled Pumpkin Cheesecake

Serves 8

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 cup pumpkin puree
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 tsp pur vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg or ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly butter a 7" springform pan and line the bottom edge with parchment paper; set aside.

For the Crust:
In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, ground ginger and melted butter.  Mix well.  Tip crumb mixture into bottom of the prepared pan and spread evenly across the bottom.  Tamp the crumbs down firmly with the bottom of a glass.  Bake until golden brown and toasted, about 7 minutes; set aside to let cool completely.

For the Filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1/4 cup softened butter and the cream cheese until smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the mixer.  Add pumpkin puree and mix to combine.  Add vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt and combine until smooth.  Reduce speed to medium low and add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time; beat until smooth.  Transfer pumpkin mixture to prepared pan, spreading it out evenly over the crust.  Cover and chill until set, about 6 hours, or overnight.  Remove outer ring of pan.  Cut into slices and serve.

Note:  This cheesecake has a lovely texture but it is more savory then sweet.  I enjoyed the tang of the cheese.

Saturday, October 16, 2010