Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Leek and Tomato Crostini with Brie

Makes 2 servings
Prep 10 minutes / Cooking 20 minutes
280 calories per serving

1 leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt to taste
ground pepper to taste
2 slices country bread, lightly toasted
45 g brie cheese, thinly sliced
1 tomato, Roma type, thinly sliced

Prepare the leeks. Cut off the dark green tops then thinly slice the white and pale-gree parts crosswise.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and oregano, then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are very tender and just beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Arrange the toasted bread slices on a baking sheet. Distributing the ingredietns equally, layer the bread slices with the cheese, cooked leeks, and sliced tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Broil at 10 cm from the heat until the cheese has melted and the tomatoes start to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Serve immediately.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Perfect Pot Luck Picnic Recipe

A fellow letterboxer brought a delicious pasta salad to our meet up in May.  I begged for the recipe and she sent it to me.

Whole package of tricolor spiral pasta
Whole cucumber, sliced up and cut in half
Whole plastic container of grape tomatoes, tomatoes cut in half
Whole jar of pitted kalamata olives (make sure to drain the brine well before using)
Whole yellow or orange pepper, diced
Whole red onion, diced
Bunch of green onions, diced
Whole package of kraft crumbled feta cheese (I like the one with oregano)
Whole small bottle of balsamic salad dressing (for the picnic, I used the real olive oil kraft version with fig - I like the sweetness of it)

Cook the noodles and then mix everything together. It's nice warm, too - but let it chill in the fridge if you like it cold. If you're making it the night before (like I did), it's better to leave out the salad dressing until the day of then mix it in - the noodles suck up the dressing like crazy and it dries out a bit if you put it in early.


Thanks Jo aka Bumble

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Some finished layouts I can share . . .

Because a lot of the layouts I am doing these days are for a manuscript I'm working on I can't share them.  But every once in a while I do a few pages just for fun.  Like these . . .

Friday, May 27, 2011

Paper Piecing for Sale: A Baseball

Every year I do an All About Me album . . . this one is for 2010

This project is the result of a class I took through Big Picture Scrapbooking called i scrap.  I really enjoyed the process.  And my album is even more special because I used the papers Hal & the grandsons bought me for Christmas.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Letterboxing Road Trip Part 2

We spent the night at the 5th Wheel Truck Stop in Grimsby.  I was so tired that I didn't hear a thing . . . that is until Hal started complaining he was cold at around 4 am . . . sigh . . . I was quite comfortable so chances are he really was cold . . . LOL . .  I suggested running the van for a while, putting on a sweater, and by 5 am I was suggesting he just suck it up . . . LOL . . . Other than that it was a great night sleep.  Except for the whole I could hardly move thing that happened when I did try and get up in the morning.  Maybe I should have taken the hint then that I was really hurt, but I had been looking forward to this weekend for so long, and I know Hal was too.  I really didn't want to go home so I popped a couple of muscle relaxers and Aleve.  I wanted to find letterboxes.

We had a lovely breakfast in the truck stop restaurant and they had Internet so I went on Atlas Quest in search of letterboxes in the Grimsby area.  I found a couple I really wanted to check out.  While we were in the restaurant a SUV with three young adults pulled in.  The one lad was still drinking beer as they fell out of the car.  Fortunately they had a designated driver who was trying to get them home from the wedding somewhere the night before.  The young man with the beer proceed to strip off his dress clothes and put on a T-shirt and deodorant before finishing his beer.  And then they came in for breakfast.  It's been a long time since I've been at a Dinner & a Show . . . LOL.

The server who had been on duty for 18-hours was very happy to see the day staff start to come in.  And there were quite a few of them.  Turns out they were serving a Mother's Day Brunch.  I'm not sure if I would be so thrilled if my family said "hey Mom, we are taking you to the truck stop for Mother's Day" but it looked like it was going to be a pretty good spread . . . and guests were already starting to come in as we were getting ready to leave.

Unlike the strip tease artist from the SUV, I used the ladies room to get cleaned up and into clean clothes.  I don't think I would ever be good at really roughing it.  I like to be clean.

Our first stop was Canada Nurse, Grimsby ON.  What a cool cemetery and really enjoyed the stamp.  It brought back lots of girlhood memories for me.

You really need to be stealthy to pick up Canoodling Canada in Grimsby.  We staked out the location and than sat back sipping coffees until there was a break in the muggles.  Hal sauntered over and stooped to pick something up . . . oh yeah . . . it was the letterbox!!   The box was really wet but the stamp and log book were okay in their plastic bag.

Our next stop was War of 1812 Series:  Battle of Stoney Creek in Stoney Creek (of course).  WOW!  WOW!  WOW!  We loved the location and the stamp.  And best of all it was Doors Open so all the buildings and the monuments were open and there were people everywhere in period costume.  We spent a fair bit of time here and loved every minute. 

On the way to Burlington we spotted this on the side of the road.  The MTO vehicles aren't in the photo.  My question is Who stole the Crimestoppers truck?

Before searching for The Waterspout in Burlington ON, we decided we needed lunch.  Hal decided the squirrel would enjoy lunch too.  Hal has a thing about squirrels.  If you ever meet us on the trail, just ask about the missing keys and the squirrel . . . LOL . . .

The park is quite lovely with playing fields and gardens and a labyrinth . . . and a beautifully carved letterbox stamp.  We also picked up a hitchhiker in the box.

We tried to get Gossip while we were in Burlington but two huskies in the next yard were standing guard and since a willow tree had smashed into the fence, we weren't too sure the dogs couldn't get through.  And they were bringing attention to us so even if we were brave enough to face them everyone else in the park would have turned to check out what we were up to . . . sigh . . . so close.  We stayed here for a little while so Hal could have a nap.  He did all the driving this weekend so he deserved a little nap.

We enjoyed looking at all the ships and boats on the lake.  Hal remembers fondly take his Mom on drives to Port Lambton to watch the boats go by.  He's not sure if she like the ships or just the getting out for a drive part.

And then we were off to Oakville.  Here's something I've rarely seen -- red trillium.  Isn't it gorgeous?

I think Yummy House in Oakville was my favourite find and favourite stamp of the weekend.  We just loved the hike and the humour and the furniture . . . and the stamp was great.

Hal:  Dor-val Dor-val Dor-val
Me:  Why?
Hal:  I just like the way it sounds

We took a chance that the Greenhouse in Oakville might be available even though it was Sunday, but it was locked up tight.  We are looking forward to returning to try again.

Next stop, Hubcaps:  Acura 007 . . . our first Hubcaps find . . . near Eden Mills.  Our next stop was Who Doesn't Love a Picnic? in Guelph.

There was a policeman in a cruiser parked under a shady tree.  Hal decided to distract him while I solved the clues.  Apparently Hal isn't very good at distraction or just not distracting enough the the police officer couldn't help noticing the crazy old lady counting telephone poles and evergreen trees.  So we ended up explaining letterboxing to him and he seemed quite interested.  Oh yeah, and we did find the box . . . LOL . . .

We decided this park was the perfect place to stop for supper so out came the cook stove and cooler.  Lasagna soup and salad for supper . . . yummy.  I really love that little stove.

And we were off again to A Gift in Guelph, ON.  This was our third try.  Last May we made our first attempt, solved all the clues and right where we needed to look for the box was a couple on a blanket kissing their faces off.  We waited for a while but they seemed determined to stay for a while so off we went to find some other boxes and came back a while late . . . and they were STILL kissing.  So we left.  This year there was no kissing couple, but there also wasn't a box.  Darned kissers.

Our last stop was Fido and Friend in the Forest in Guelph.  It was a nice easy find.

Believe it or not, we traveled 620 km in these two days . . . and had a marvelous time.

See ya on the trail,