Friday, November 29, 2019

Journal Challenge 29 Nov 2019 ~ Giggles

Scrapbook a layout about a photo that makes you giggle.

Don't scrapbook?  

Journal about this or create a page in your art journal.  

Just get creative!

Image result for giggle

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Journal Challenge 28 Nov 2019 ~ Tell it Again

Scrapbook a layout about a story you've told before. 

Don't scrapbook?  

Journal about this or create a page in your art journal.  

Just get creative!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Journal Prompt 27 Nov 2019 ~ Melting Away

Today's Writing Prompt: Melting Away

Image result for snowman

You're a snowman and the weather has turned warm and sunny. Describe what it feels like to melt away, little by little.

Frankly I have no idea what it would feel like to be a snowperson since my inner thermostat is broken and I am boiling hot all the time. You may think this is a nice thing especially in winter. But it really is not. People frown on you stripping down to your undergarments in the middle of the grocery store. People come in my house and comment on how cold it is. I have afghans on the backs of every chair and couch in my living room in answer to those comments. My husband runs around shutting windows and doors and making me insane because then I have to get up and open them again, which makes him insane. So really I have no concept of what a snowperson feels.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Journal Prompt 26 Nov 2019 ~ Airplanes

Today's Writing Prompt: Airplanes

Write about an experience - unusual, interesting, or just a fond memory - that you had on an airplane.

For our 10th Wedding Anniversary, Hal and I took our very first plane ride to San Diego, California to attend a REACT Convention.  I was sharing the story of our flight with some other convention-goers and they encouraged me to write it out for the convention newsletter.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Save 15% this week . . .

My publisher is having a sale.  

Order direct from them and save!

You can see my books at A Fresh Start.

Journal Prompt 25 Nov 2019 ~ Bad Manners

What do you think of people who have bad manners?

Image result for no problem meme

Here is my pet peeve . . . In fact, I think it is the worst etiquette faux pas today . . . saying thank you for something and being told "no problem".  I can't even tell you for certain why it bothers me so much, but it really really does.  Perhaps this article can explain my annoyance better than I can . . .

(CBS News) A certain catch phrase is posing a problem for our contributor Bill Flanagan: 
When did everyone born after 1980 decide that "No problem" was interchangeable with "You're welcome"? Who spread that virus? The Taliban?
Listen, today's young people: If you want to infuriate someone born before 1980, just keep telling him "No problem" when they ask you to do something that is most certainly NOT a problem.
A very nice young man who worked for me used to have a little trouble getting in on time. Like, every day. Once a week I would say, "Look, you really have to be at your desk at 10 o'clock." Did he say, "Sorry, I'll try to do better?"
No. He would just smile and say, "No problem."
That nice young man does not work for me anymore.
Saturday night, I took my wife to a good restaurant. The waitress asked if we wanted sparkling water, still water, or tap water. I said, "Tap water, please." She said, "No problem."
I felt like saying, "Why do YOU think I think it would be a problem for you to get me a glass of water?" Luckily, my wife gave me a look that said, "Don't start."
And of course my wife was right. The waitress didn't mean to be rude. So consider this a public service announcement.
To all the young people of the world: If you want to get good tips or just generally not infuriate older people, PLEASE, only say "No problem" when there is a reasonable expectation that the task you are performing might be PROBLEMATIC.
i.e.: "Thank you for stopping your car in the rain to help me change a flat tire."
"No problem." Appropriate.
"Thank you for lending me ten thousand dollars to stop the bank from foreclosing on my house."
"No problem." Gracious.
"Thank you for giving me your kidney."
"No problem." Classy.
That's what "No problem" is for! It's a graceful way of telling someone you've gone out of your way to help, not to feel indebted.
But if you work in a doughnut shop and a customer thanks you for selling him a coffee, don't say, "No problem." He's paying for the coffee!
Just say, "You're welcome."
Try it. "Thank you." "You're welcome." Is that so burdensome?
And look at the bright side -- all of us old people will be dead soon, and then everybody born after 1980 can say "No problem" to each other for the rest of your lives.
Just hold off till then, okay? Okay.
You're welcome.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Movie Review: Two Lovers

Two Lovers (2009) was directed by James Gray and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw.  Loved it.

Two Lovers is a romantic drama full of truth and emotion that kept me riveted to my office chair for almost two hours.  (I was in an office chair because I was watching the movie on Netflix on Hal's computer.)

If you like action, lots of skin, noise, colour and slick lines don't bother even turning this movie on.  If you enjoy a movie that moves you emotionally and intellectually, that doesn't require all the schtick to keep you interested, and that feels true, turn it on.  Their is a lot of emotion in this movie which might make some people a little uncomfortable but it comes across to the audience as very real.  I think that is the theme of this review . . . it is real.

Joaquin Phoenix plays the part of Leonard, a young man, who is bi-polar, living with his parents after a failed suicide.  He is quiet and a little brooding, yet funny and sexually confident.  Leonard is still grieving for his fiance, who broke off their engagement and disappeared from his life, when he meets two very different women and faces choices which he isn't emotionally ready to make.  Sandra, played by Vinessa Shaw, loves him and just want to care for him.  She wants a real relationship with Leonard.  Sandra is safe and comforting.  Michelle, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, is focused only on herself, rather manic and needy and accepts as her due that Leonard will take care of her whenever her married lover doesn't step up.

If you are hoping for a "love-conquers-all" kind of ending, don't turn it on.  Even at the end of the movie Leonard still isn't capable of making his own decisions, allowing life to happen to him.  And isn't that real?

Saturday, November 23, 2019

How to Start an Art Journal

I did not write this article. I am sharing part of it because I think it is really well done. I hope you will follow the link at the bottom of the page to read more . . .



Wondering how to get started with art journaling? In this post we’ll go over everything you need to know to learn how to start an art journal step by step.
Whether you’re already a paper crafter or planner addict – or even if you’ve never touched a paintbrush in your whole entire life – you can learn how to start an art journal!
The best part? It doesn’t have to be completely overwhelming – or even cost a lot to get started!


Take the First Step!
What is this one thing you need to know? You need to know THERE ARE NO RULES! Truly, no rules. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to get started!
Many people all around the world enjoy art journaling – and as you explore more into this fun and good-for-your-happiness activity, you will find there all sorts of styles out there.
Some art journals are like sketchbooks, some are like diaries, some are like smashbooks and scrapbooks, some are a mish-mash of everything, some are perfectly organized and neat.
All of them are great, all of them are perfect – because your art journal is YOURS. It is not up to what anyone else’s opinion on what should be in it or what you create!
Your art journal is your place for creative expression – and so you should do absolutely whatever makes you happy and toss all reservation out the window. Don’t worry if it’s good enough – because if you enjoy the process, it most definitely 100% is perfect.
So, yes, there is only one thing you really need to know about starting an art journal: There are no rules!
The emotional and stress-relieving benefits are many, and the more you create in your journal, the more beautiful your pages will become with time and practice!


Starting an art journal can be a very freeing way to express your creativity, work through thoughts and ideas, and experiment with new creative techniques. Learning how to create an art journal can give you a place to really explore your creativity!
Your art journal is your own private and personal space where you can write, draw, and create almost anything. It can be extremely freeing, because there are no limits.
Your journal pages can be about anything – from the playful silly to the contemplative and serious.
Here’s a Couple of Ways I Use My Art Journals – And the Benefits
art journal prompts inspiration


Ever have one of those Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days? They happen to all of us every now and then – sometimes it feels like more than just now and then!
Art journaling can give you the space to get all of those feelings out and express yourself, rather than bottling all of those heavy emotions up inside.


art journals for planning
Every project I’ve ever started and goal I’ve reached successfully has had their humble beginnings in an art journal.
I’ve used art journals to plan events, organize my house, create business plans, set financial goals, and even for reaching my own personal health and fitness goals! 
I’ve used art journals as planners so often it is actually what inspired me to write the post about planner theme ideas. There’s a creative planner idea for everything!
Something about being able to create freely can really help you overcome potential obstacles and see a path ahead to moving forward to where you want to be in life!


Many people who start an art journal for the first time do not consider themselves artists, or even creative.
However, I truly believe all of us are creators – even if we do not feel that way!
An art journal is an easy way to help you connect with that inner artist and awaken your creative gifts that you may not even be aware you have yet.


Art journaling for me is a wonderful way to do some reflective thinking and grow both personally and spiritually.
It can be enlightening to explore your own personal beliefs and deepen your own personal understanding of this great mysterious thing we all know as life.
You can also use art journaling to help develop your own intuition or even explore your own spiritual gifts.


Something we often miss more and more as we get older is playtime.
Between busy hectic schedules, and all those pesky adult responsibilities like having to pay the bills and clean the house – making some time for just totally pointless fun and play is so important!
I love getting together with friends for creative art journaling get togethers, as well as exploring new techniques in my art journal that are simply just a big giant mess of fun.
So, yes, these are my top 5 reasons for WHY I believe art journaling is so important and beneficial!
And I realize we haven’t even gotten into the basics of how to start an art journal yet – but I think sometimes having a clear understanding for the intentions or even the reason for creating your own visual journal can help make the process so much easier in diving in!
Now that we have our why, we’re ready to start creating! Let’s get into this step by step tutorial, shall we? 🙂


how to start an art journal Learn more here . . . 

Sketch Challenge 23 Nov 2019 ~ 7 photos 2 pages

Friday, November 22, 2019

Journal Prompt 22 Nov 2019 ~ Six Words

Today's Prompt - Six Words

Describe your life or current situation using exactly six words.

Image result for i got a cold

cloudy open window cool sick day

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Journal Prompt 21 Nov 2019 ~ Sandwich

Today's Writing Prompt: Sandwich

That's right, sandwich. Describe your ultimate sandwich.

I actually have THREE favourite sandwiches.

My happiness sandwich is peanut butter and bologna.

My I'm stressed sandwich is cheese slice, Spanish onion, mayo and salt.

My holiday sandwich is turkey, stuffing, cranberry jelly and mayo.

All three should be on whole wheat or whole grain bread whenever possible.

What's your favourite sandwich?

Hellmann's Creamy Hot Artichoke Dip

Just in time for holiday parties . . . 

1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine all ingredients in 1-quart casserole.  Bake uncovered 25 minutes or until heated through.  Serve with your favourite dippers.


A Taste of Canada ~ Thrills Gum

Thrills is a Canadian brand of chewing gum originally produced by the O-Pee-Chee company of London, Ontario, Canada which was subsequently bought by Nestle in the late 1980s. It is well known for its purple colour and its distinctive floral rosewater flavor.  Comparisons of its flavor to soap are so prevalent that recent packaging states "IT STILL TASTES LIKE SOAP!".

On Amazon:

Thrills Chewing Gum, 10 Count - 20 Pack
by Thrills Co
Price: CDN$ 40.99 & FREE Shipping.
5 new from CDN$ 20.75
Sometimes You Just Need To Have A Taste Of Soap - What, Wait, What
Uniquely flavored gum tastes like soap, but everyone loves it
You have to try it to understand
Now Certified Peanut Free
Made In Canada

I love that you can buy NEW gum for $20.75 . . .

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Journal Prompt 20 Nov 2019 ~ Delayed Gratification

Today's Writing Prompt: Delayed Gratification

Image result for delayed gratification

What's something good in your life you've had to wait for in order to have?

Pretty much everything would be my quick answer.  It has only been in the past few years that I've discovered what I am passionate about and actually been able to have the time and resources to explore those passions.

I love paper art.  I love paint and ink and glue.  Most of the time I follow the unwritten and often written rules of scrapbooking and paper art.  Sometimes I prefer not to.  I am happiest when I have glue on my hands and ink on my arms and paint pretty much everywhere.

And I've found a way to support my addiction.  I create books about scrapbooking.  Have you ever had a look at my website?  Please check it out at  

If you could only ever buy one of my books, I would recommend Design Strategies for Scrapbookers based on a class I have been teaching for the past 6 years.

Design Strategies for Scrapbookers - black & white edition

Paperback, 47 Pages 
Design Strategies for Scrapbookers - black & white edition

Price: $10.83 $7.68
Ships in 3-5 business days
Do you ever sit and stare at your scapbooking supplies and wonder where to begin? Do you believe your friends are more creative than you are? Do all of your scrapbooking layouts look the same? Are you in a scrapbooking rut? In my 20+ years of scrapbooking I have learned a few things that will make all the difference to you. So take a deep breath, relax and open up to page 1 of Design Strategies for Scrapbookers.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Ladies Night Journal Prompt 19 Nov 2019 ~ TV Characters

Journal Prompt:  TV characters

What TV characters on popular TV shows do your friends remind you of?

Image result for Tim the toolman



Monday, November 18, 2019

Book Review: The Wife's Tale

Image result for the wife's tale by lori lansens

The Wife's Tale by Lori Lansens is definitely a good read.  My hand isn't working well yet this morning so I'll just leave you with this published review . . . 

Library Journal Review

Mary Gooch is beyond shock when her husband leaves the night before their silver anniversary party. Jimmy Gooch has always loved her, but with each new trauma-two early miscarriages, her father's death, even the loss of her feral cat-Mary has felt less worthy of his affection and more hungry. Now weighing 302 pounds, Mary can't seem to move past her malaise. Finding $25,000 in their bank account, Mary flies, for the first time, from their small Canadian town to her mother-in-law's home in Southern California, determined to wait for her prodigal spouse. While there, she loses her appetite but discovers a measure of self-worth through the "kindness of strangers." VERDICT Lansens's (The Girls) portrait of a woman who hides behind the Kenmore as protection from life's heartache is earthy and primal in its pain. Yet Lansens doesn't resort to an overnight makeover to save Mary. Instead, our heroine uncovers a hidden strength she had all along.

Journal Prompt 18 Nov 2019 ~ Weeds

Tanka Tuesday: Weeds

Tanka is a form of poetry similar to haiku. It's short, and the lines don't need to rhyme. The just must have a set number of syllables: 5/7/5/7/7.

Today's tanka prompt: Weeds.

I binge watch Netflix
and view very unusual
television shows
Weeds is the most peculiar
show I've seen in a long time.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Christmas Movie Review: Surviving Christmas (2004)

Image result for surviving christmas movie

You know Christmas is only a month away when Christmas movies, great and good and bad, start running on TV.

Surviving Christmas is one of the bad Christmas movies. Apparently Ben Affleck opened his own production company in order to direct and star in some very stupid movies.  I hear he's doing better now.  This was an annoying movie because Ben Affleck, as a lonely obnoxious millionaire, played his part way over the top . . . way way over the top.  He could not possibly have been more obnoxious.  In fact, he was way way way too obnoxious.

The high point of this movie is Tom and Christine Valco, played by two amazing actors . . . James Gandolfini and Catherine O'Hara.  The Valcos were just trying to get through the holidays with their kids before telling them that they were splitting up.  Unfortunately for them, Drew Latham (Affleck) grew up in their house.  He tours the house and then offers the Valcos a huge pile of money if they will pretend to be his family for Christmas.

It doesn't go well because Latham is demanding and obnoxious and the Valcos have their own problems.  Like any Christmas movie worth its salt, everything works out in the end.

My favourite little gem in this movie is Bill Macy, playing Latham's Doo-Dah (pretend grandfather).  I remember Bill Macy from the TV show Maude.  Best gag of the movie is when Doo-Dah can't make it to a dinner party at the Valcos and decides to send his understudy, played by Sy Richardson.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Sketch Challenge 16 Nov 2019 ~ 3 photos 1 page

How to make your own textured paste

Homemade Smooth Texture Paste

1/4 cup Talcum Powder (I used Johnson's Baby Powder, Make it smell good too!!)
1 tablespoon White All purpose School Glue
1 tablespoon White Craft Paint
Some Water

Instructions: Combine talcum powder, glue, white paint with disposable chopsticks (or plastic spoon) in an airtight container, adding water to get it to the consistency you are looking for. You want a nice thick texture much like toothpaste. The mixture will keep perfectly for many months.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Journal Prompt 15 Nov 2019 ~ Sunshine

Tanka is a form of poetry similar to haiku. It's short, and the lines don't need to rhyme. They must have a set number of syllables: 5/7/5/7/7.

For more about tanka.

Today's tanka prompt is sunshine!

the sunshine changes
rising in the morning dawn
peaking after noon
ebbing with the end of day
beautiful at any time

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Cereal Jumbles

I had to get out one of my old cookbooks and come up with a sure-fire recipe. What better way to remember which recipes are best than to look for the pages with the most spills on them . . . LOL . . .

And that's how I chose this recipe . . .

Image result for wheat flakes cereal cookies
online photo similar to cereal jumbles

Cereal Jumbles
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 well-beaten egg
1-1/2 tbsp milk
1 cup sifted enriched flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup finely cut dates
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flakes**

** I went to 3 different stores and could not find any wheat flake cereal. I ended up using Presidents Choice On Track cereal. It was a good decision. And I've been really enjoying eating the leftover cereal. **

Cream shortening; add sugar gradually, and blend. Add egg and milk. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture. Add vanilla, dates, and nuts. Crush cereal flakes slightly. Drop cookie dough from teaspoon into crushed cereal flakes and roll so that balls of dough are entirely coated. Top with nut meat halves, if desired. Place about 3" apart on greased heavy baking sheet. Bake in hot over (400F) about 12 minutes. Makes 2-3 dozen.


Note: The next time I made these cookies I was in a rush and just dumped the cereal into the cookie dough. Tasted just as good and a lot less work.

Ladies Night Journal Prompt for 14 Nov 2019 ~ Guilty Pleasures

Today's Prompt:  What are your guilty pleasures?

Image result for julie newmar thanks for everything

guilt·y pleas·ure
  1. something, such as a movie, television program, or piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.

One of my guiltiest pleasures is watching campy old movies like Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.

A Taste of Canada ~ Nova Scotia Lobster Roll

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Journal Prompt 13 Nov 2019 ~ What Would You Do?

Today's Writing Prompt: What Would You Do?

How far would you go for your family or loved ones? Give up your career? Your life? Take someone else's life?

You know, I've been sitting here thinking about this for quite some time and I'm still not sure of my answer.  I know I have sacrificed for my family but never so far as to take a life.  I'm not sure I could ever do that.  But you just never know . . . given the right circumstances . . . 

I hope I never have to find out.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Journal Prompt 12 Nov 2019 ~ The Road to Hell

Today's Writing Prompt: The Road to Hell

Write about a good deed that brought trouble.

I can't think of an instance where this happened to me but if I do I promise to write about it.

Many, many, many years ago a lady's car broke down near my home.  My brother and another gentleman went to her assistance.  They reminded her not to start the car until they told her to.  Somehow she got the idea that she was supposed to start the car and the good Samaritan's hand was badly injured.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Ladies Night Journal Prompt 11 Nov 2019 ~ All Alone

Today's Prompt:  All Alone

Image result for perfect night alone

What is your idea of a perfect night alone?

My perfect night alone is a hot cup of peppermint tea, music playing, and working on a favourite project or binge watching a mindless TV series.

Book Review: Marching As to War by Pierre Berton

“I have called this period Canada’s Turbulent Years – turbulent not only because of the battles we fought on the African veldt, the ravaged meadows of Flanders, the forbidding spine of Italy, and the conical hills of Korea, but turbulent in other ways. These were Canada’s formative years, when she resembled an adolescent, grappling with the problems of puberty, often at odds with her parents, craving to be treated as an adult, hungry for the acclaim of her peers, and wary of the dominating presence of a more sophisticated neighbour.” – From the Introduction

Marching As to War is "only" 632 pages in paperback but Pierre Berton's writing held my interest to the very last page.  I've always been interested in history.  I even took a history of WWI and WWII in university.  I wonder if they would consider swapping out the texts from that course for Marching As to War?

Here is a little biography:

Pierre Berton was one of Canada’s most popular and prolific authors. From narrative histories and popular culture, to picture and coffee table books to anthologies, to stories for children to readable, historical works for youth, many of his fifty books are now Canadian classics.

Born in 1920 and raised in the Yukon, Pierre Berton worked in Klondike mining camps during his university years. He spent four years in the army, rising from private to captain/instructor at the Royal Military College in Kingston. He spent his early newspaper career in Vancouver, where at 21 he was the youngest city editor on any Canadian daily. He wrote columns for and was editor of Maclean’s magazine, appeared on CBC’s public affairs program “Close-Up” and was a permanent fixture on “Front Page Challenge” for 39 years. He was a columnist and editor for the Toronto Star and was a writer and host of a series of CBC programs.

Pierre Berton received over 30 literary awards including the Governor-General’s Award for Creative Non-Fiction (three times), the Stephen Leacock Medal of Humour, and the Gabrielle Leger National Heritage Award. He received two Nellies for his work in broadcasting, two National Newspaper awards, and the National History Society’s first award for “distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history.” For his immense contribution to Canadian literature and history, he was awarded more than a dozen honourary degrees, is a member of the Newsman’s Hall of Fame, and is a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Pierre Berton passed away in Toronto on November 30, 2004.

Here's a review of this book:

Canada's twentieth century can be divided roughly into two halves. All the wars and all the unnecessary battles in which Canadian youth was squandered belong to the first — from the autumn of 1899 to the summer of 1953. From the mid-1950s on, Canada has concerned itself not with war but with peace.

The first war of the century, which took Canadian soldiers to South Africa, and the last, which sent them to Korea, bracket the bookends on the shelf of history. They have a good deal in common with, these two minor conflicts, whose chronicles pale when compared to the bloodbaths of the two world wars.

Canada's wartime days are long past, and for many, the scars of war have healed. Vimy has been manicured clean, its pockmarked slopes softened by a green mantle of Canadian pines. Dieppe has reverted to a resort town, its beaches long since washed free of Canadian blood. Nowadays, Canadians are proud of their role as Peacekeepers, from which they have gained a modicum of international acclaim the nation has always craved, with precious little blood wasted in the process.

In this monumental work, Pierre Berton brings Canadian history to life once again, relying on a host of sources, including newspaper accounts and first-hand reports, to tell the story of these four wars through the eyes of the privates in the trenches, the generals at the front, and the politicians and families back home. By profiling the interwar years, Berton traces how one war led to the next, and how the country was changed in the process. Illustrated with maps and line drawings, Marching as to War describes how the experience of war helped to bind Canada together as a nation and chronicles the transformation of Canada's dependence upon Great Britain and its slow emergence as an independent nation caught in a love-hate relationship with the United States.

Movie Review: The World's Fastest Indian (2005)

 The World's Fastest Indian is based on a true story about a feisty old man who spends all his time working on his 1920s Indian motorcycle.  His friends and neighbours are inspired to  raise funds so Burt Munro and his Indian can travel to the United States and try to break a speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

When Burt (Anthony Hopkins) arrives in Los Angeles in 1967 he gets help from some very unlikely characters and is able to make his way to Bonneville, Utah.  Hopkins plays the part of Burt with naivete and down-under charm.  The story of his trip is truly enjoyable.  

When Burt arrives at Bonneville he learns that he needed to preregister in order to run the salt flats.  Burt is not one to give up and his passion and charm draws supporters to his cause and he is allowed to run unofficially.  

The story is amazing.  Anthony Hopkins as Burt Munro is charming.  The movie is long but I just didn't care.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Ladies Night Journal Prompt 8 Nov 2019 ~ Movie Characters

Journal Prompt:  Movie Characters

Image result for tom hanks and meryl streep

Movie characters that most inspire you.

Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are actors who I really love.  Their lives and their work are so inspiring to me.  If I see either name listed in the credits of a movie I will always watch the movie . . . sometimes many many times.

My favourite Streep characters are Florence Foster Jenkins (movie of the same name) and Karen (Out of Africa).

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Journal Prompt 7 Nov 2019 - So What Do You Do?

Today's Writing Prompt: So What Do You Do?

Related image

What do you spend most of your time doing - when you're not journaling , of course!

Most of my time is spent working on various craft projects, trying to keep my apartment clean, looking for the joy in my life, and spending time with my family and friends.

A Taste of Canada ~ Fiddlehead

I do enjoy fiddleheads.  They have a green bean-y, asparagus-like, pea-ish taste and they are just fun to look at.

From Chateline Magazine:

It’s Almost Fiddlehead Season! Here’s How To Cook This Springtime Veggie Properly
Fiddleheads are a Canadian delicacy, but undercooking them can lead to food poisoning
by Amy Grief 
Updated Apr 9, 2019

The fiddlehead season is short, so get 'em while you can! Photo, iStock.

Fiddlehead season is short, so when you see the adorable green curlicues at your grocery store or farmers’ market, buy them while you can. Before chowing down on these little springtime delicacies, there’s a few things you should know first since fiddleheads can cause food poisoning if they’re not cooked properly.

What are fiddleheads?

These tightly curled coils are ostrich fern fronds. They start appearing in late April and early May in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and are usually found in forests, marshes and by rivers and streams. Taste-wise, fiddleheads, which are popular amongst food foragers, are often compared to asparagus and artichokes. They’re packed with nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C and are a good source of fibre.

How to cook fiddleheads

Health Canada urges Canadians to never consume raw or undercooked fiddleheads since these spring greens have been associated with cases of food poisoning. Here are its recommendations for properly preparing fiddleheads:

Start by removing as much of the brown husk as possible.
To get rid of the rest of the husk and dirt, wash your fiddleheads in multiple changes of cold water.
Cook fiddleheads before adding them to stir-fries, frittatas or any other dish by boiling them for 15 minutes. Or, steam them for 10-12 minutes.

Fiddlehead Soup

Poached Orange Scallops with Mint

Image result for Poached Orange Scallops with Mint
Closest photo I could find online.  We were too busy eating to take photos when I actually served this recipe.
1 orange, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup light cream or whipping cream (next time I'm using the whipping cream)
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp dried mint or 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp dried basil or 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb scallops

Combine all of the ingredients, except the scallops, in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the head, add the scallops, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the scallops are whie and tender.  Remove the scallops and set aside.

Cook remaining mixture until the liquid reduces by half.

Return the scallops to the pan.  Heat the scallops in the sauce for 1-2 minutes.  Serve immediately.