Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sauteed Mushrooms with Shallot

Sautéed Mushrooms with Shallot
Quantity : 4 servings
Preparation : 5 min Cooking : 5 min
60 calories/serving


1 1/2 tbspolive oil23 mL
1shallots, finely chopped40 g
28button (white) mushrooms, cut in quarters400 g
1 pinchsalt [optional]0.1 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]


  1. Clean the mushrooms and finely chop the shallot.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté, with stirring, until the mushrooms are browned and any liquid they give off has evaporated, 3-4 min.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low, then stir in the shallot and sauté until translucent, 2-3 min. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

Spinach a l'etuvee

Spinach à l'étuvée
Quantity : 2 servings
Preparation : 5 min Cooking : 5 min
80 calories/serving


280 gspinach10 cups
1 pinchsalt [optional]0.1 g
1 tbspextra virgin olive oil15 mL
1 tsplemon juice, freshly squeezed1/4 lemon

Before you start

Don't be surprised: the original volume will be considerably reduced after cooking.


  1. Prepare the spinach. Wash and drain rapidly and transfer to a pot or saucepan without adding any water. The water trapped in the leaves after gentle shaking is enough to cook them.
  2. Add salt, cover and cook over high heat 3-4 min until the leaves wilt and turn very deep green. Avoid overcooking otherwise the spinach will become brownish.
  3. Transfer the spinach to a colander, press to remove excess water, then put into a salad bowl. Sprinkle with oil and lemon juice. Serve.

Top Movies of All Time according to IMDB ~ #19 Seven Samurai (1954)

It seemed to take forever to find this movie online but I finally did.  It has subtitles which is good but subtitles are difficult to read when you are watching an action scene.  Of course, who cares about the words when it is an action scene?

This is the story of a village that was being attacked by a powerful gang of bandits.  The villagers recruited seven samurai who were down on their luck to teach them to fight and help them defend against the bandits.  Apparently the movie ends with a fantastic fight scene but, sadly for me, the streamed video ended abruptly before that point.

What I did see of the movie was very interesting, humourous in a very comic book sort of way, and I haven't given up on finding a more complete video online.

Apparently this movie has been remade at least a couple of times.

Academy Awards, USA 1957

Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White
Takashi Matsuyama 
Best Costume Design, Black-and-White
Kôhei Ezaki 

Aylmer ON ~ Pinecroft

Last stop on our most recent road trip in the Aylmer area was to the tea room at Pinecroft for a snack and coffee.  I've been to Pinecroft a few times over the years.  The dining rooms are beautiful, rustic, and quite eclectic.  One dining room has huge windows so you can sip your coffee and enjoy the scenery.

Our server shared the dessert offerings with us and we decided to split an apple crepe.  I was surprised but delighted that our dessert was split between two plates.  The coffee was excellent, served in handmade cups from the nearby pottery.

I have not always enjoyed my visits to Pinecroft, but other than not having a teaspoon to stir our coffee, this visit was nice.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Classic and Simple Meat Lasagna


  • 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, or to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 (16 ounce) package cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 (25 ounce) jars tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the lasagna noodles a few at a time, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes. Remove the noodles to a plate.
  3. Place the ground beef into a skillet over medium heat, add the garlic, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Cook the meat, chopping it into small chunks as it cooks, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Drain excess grease.
  4. In a bowl, mix the cottage cheese, eggs, and Parmesan cheese until thoroughly combined.
  5. Place 4 noodles side by side into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan; top with a layer of the tomato-basil sauce, a layer of ground beef mixture, and a layer of the cottage cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice more, ending with a layer of sauce; sprinkle top with the mozzarella cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until the casserole is bubbling and the cheese has melted, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese has begun to brown, about 10 more minutes. Allow to stand at least 10 minutes before serving.

Easy Cranberry Orange Relish

 Easy Cranberry Orange Relish
  • Prep
  • Ready In

"A delightful change from the ordinary...the only relish most of my family will eat! Relish can be chilled up to 3 days."


  • 1 navel orange
  • 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Grate 2 teaspoons of zest from orange; discard remaining peel and pith from orange. Divide orange into sections.
  2. Place orange sections, orange zest, cranberries, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Transfer relish to a bowl and cover; refrigerate to allow flavors to blend, at least 2 hours.

Chicken Adobo

Quantity : 4 servings
Preparation : 15 min Cooking : 30 min
280 calories/serving


8chicken drumsticks900 g
4 clovesgarlic, coarsely chopped
1 tbspcanola oil15 mL
1/3 cupapple cider vinegar85 mL
1/4 cupwater65 mL
1/4 cupsoy sauce, low-sodium65 mL
1/2 tsppeppercorns2 g
2bay leaf0.4 g

Before you start

Keep the serving plates in the oven at the lowest setting so they are warm when you serve.


  1. Pat the chicken dry. Coarsely chop the garlic.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken drumsticks, without crowding the skillet in order to ease the browning of the meat on each side, about 7-8 min per batch. Transfer the chicken as browned to a plate. If applicable, repeat the operation with the remaining drumsticks.
  3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet and cook the garlic 1-2 min in the remaining fat over low heat, with stirring. Add the vinegar, water, soy sauce, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a boil, then put the chicken with any accumulated juices back into the skillet, lower the heat and simmer, covered, 15 min.
  4. Remove the lid and cook over moderately low heat, turning the chicken 2 or 3 times, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is tender, about 15 min (there should be no need to add any salt since the soy sauce is already rather salty). Serve.


Serve the chicken with its sauce on a bed of rice.

2017 Craft Space Organization Challenge Take 2 ~ Challenge #8

I have not yet finished Challenge #7.  There . . . I said it out loud . . . LOL.

In my defense, I was busy packing for a scrapbooking cottage vacation last week and now I am on that lovely vacation with a great group of ladies.  I promise to post photos of my finished Challenge #7 as soon as it is done.

On the other hand, I have all my paper cosmetics organized . . . but no photo to share until I get back home.  

I would love it if you would share your organization photos with us either here in the comments section or in our Facebook group.

Challenge #8


It is time to organize our "paper cosmetics": paints, inks, embossing powders, mists, and other products that add a little something special to our pages.

SORT: first go through each of these items and make sure your colours haven't expired.  Are ink pads still juicy?  Are lids still intact? Do paints still mix together when shaken? Are your chalks still intact enough to use?  Sort all of your paper cosmetics into TOSS, KEEP, SELL, DONATE

PURGE: Throw out the toss items.  Bag up and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile, and put them immediately in your garage sale box.  Arrange for pick-up or drop-off of the DONATE pile.

ASSIGN: Sort your KEEP pile into categories that make sense to you.

CONTAINERIZE: Inks last longest when stored horizontally, upside down (that's why Stampin' Up ink pads flip that way!) on a shelf, in a drawer, or maybe a cassette tape holder?  Paints could be stacked on a narrow shelf, on a tiered rack, in spice racks, etc.  Embossing powders, chalks and other cosmetics could be stored in well-labeled drawers.

EQUALIZE: take a few minutes at the end of each scrapping session, when you return from a crop, or return from a shopping trip to put your paper cosmetics away where they belong.

Warm Quinoa and Arugula Salad

Warm Quinoa and Arugula Salad

Quantity : 4 servings
Preparation : 10 min Cooking : 15 min
360 calories/serving


1 2/3 cupquinoa280 g
3 cupswater750 mL
3 tbspextra virgin olive oil45 mL
4 tsplemon1/2 lemon
1 1/3 buncharugula200 g
6 tbspfresh mint, chopped18 g
1 pinchsalt [optional]0.1 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
120 gfeta cheese, light, cut into small cubes

Before you start

You may serve this salad warm or at room temperature.


  1. Cook the quinoa in the water.
  2. Meanwhile, clean the arugula, chop the mint, then put them in a salad bowl. Pour the oil and lemon juice in a small bowl, add salt and pepper, then beat using a fork until the mixture is well emulsified.
  3. Add the quinoa to the salad bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad then toss well. Add the Feta cheese, adjust the seasoning, then serve.

Top Movies of All Time according to IMDB ~ #18 The Matrix (1999)

You know I don't like scary movies but I have to say I thought The Matrix was pretty cool.  Of course I like the stars of this movie -- Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, and Carrie-Anne Moss.  Humanity is being used as energy to keep machines alive.  They think they are having a real life but their minds are actually locked into an artificial reality known as the matrix.  Neo (Reeves) finds Morpheus (or did Morpheus find Neo?) and learns about the matrix.  Now the Machines are after them as they foment a rebellion.  There is lots of great  CGI and larger than life cinematography.

Academy Awards, USA 2000

Best Film Editing
Zach Staenberg 
Best Sound
John T. Reitz
Gregg Rudloff
David E. Campbell
David Lee 
Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing
Dane A. Davis 
Best Effects, Visual Effects
John Gaeta
Janek Sirrs
Steve Courtley
Jon Thum 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mixed Greens and Strawberry Salad

Mixed Greens and Strawberry Salad
Quantity : 2 servings
Preparation : 10 min
160 calories/servin


4 cupsmixed greens100 g
9 tbspstrawberries, thinly sliced80 g
1/2bocconcini / fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced28 g
30 mLClassic Vinaigrette 
2 tbsp
1/2 tspbalsamic vinegar2.5 mL
1 pinchsalt [optional]0.1 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]


  1. Wash the mixed greens and blot or spin dry. Put them in a salad bowl. Thinly slice the strawberry then add them to the bowl. Cut the bocconcini into thin slices, then add them to the salad.
  2. Pour in the Classic Vinaigrette and the balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste, then toss well and serve.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Top Movies of All Time according to IMDB ~ #17 Goodfellas (1990)

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Apparently I love gangster movies.  Of course this another one that was shot back in the day when we didn't have to see all the gory details.  Most were just suggested.  Ray Liotta  plays Henry Hill, a quiet young boy who gets involved in the mob and works his way up through the ranks.  When drug addiction and a couple of mistakes torpedoes his career he decides to not be so quiet.

Goodfellas is a movie that typecast so many actors as mobsters for the rest of their acting careers.

Academy Awards, USA 1991

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Joe Pesci 
Best Picture
Irwin Winkler 
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Lorraine Bracco 
Best Director
Martin Scorsese 
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Nicholas Pileggi
Martin Scorsese 
Best Film Editing
Thelma Schoonmaker 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

2017 Craft Space Organization Challenge Take 2 ~ Challenge #7

So how did you make out with Challenge #6.  I'm not a huge fibre user on my pages so I was pretty sure this was an easy challenge for me.  It was fun re-discovering just how much pretty ribbon, floss and washi tape I actually have.

Are you ready for Challenge #7?

Embellishments are some of the easiest things to buy.  Everything looks so good, and you really believe you NEED everything!  Embellishments are also one of the supplies most affected by trends.  Careful consideration is really needed here.

It's also important to find a system that will help you store all of your embellishments in a way that won't overwhelm you, yet also is visible enough that you don't forget to USE them.  

Let's S.P.A.C.E. them.

SORT: As always, bring all of your embellishments together.  Touch every piece that you have and ruthlessly sort through them, deciding what to KEEP, TOSS, SELL, DONATE

PURGE: Immediately throw out the TOSS pile. Bag up and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile, and put them in the garage sale box. Set up a drop-off or pick-up of the DONATE pile.

ASSIGN: Sort through the KEEP pile in a way that makes sense to you.  Some ideas for sorting your embellishments
1) by category (buttons, brads, alphabets, charms, etc.)
2) by colour
3) by manufacturer
4) by type (metal, acrylic)
5) by theme

CONTAINERIZE: Now that you've decided how to sort your embellishments, the next step is decided how to store them, and how to label them!  Research online will give you great ideas. Talking to other crafters may give you an idea what worked for them.

EQUALIZE: take a few minutes at the end of each scrapping session, when you return from a crop, or return from a shopping trip to put your embellishments away where they belong.

Scrapbooking with Sketches #4

Scrapbooking with Sketches #4

Paperback, 200 Pages 

Price: $20.00
Prints in 3-5 business days
Sometimes those piles of photos and scrapbooking supplies can become overwhelming, actually making it harder for you to be creative. It is okay to let go of creative, labour intensive layouts and make some layouts that are crisp, clean, and simple. Simple layouts allow your journaling and photos to take centre stage on your pages.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Aylmer, ON ~ Howe's Farm Market

On our recent road trip our first stop was at Steed & Company Lavender and our second stop was to Howe's Farm Market.

The store is so clean, attractive, and well-stocked.  We needed nothing and yet still managed to make a few purchases.  The staff were extremely personable and helpful.  Thoroughly enjoyed this stop.