Monday, July 29, 2013

Sketch #17

Lasagne Bolognese

4 servings
Preparation 20 minutes
Cooking 30 minutes
Standing 5 minutes
480 calories per serving
Cooking dish:  19 cm x 19 cm

3-1/2 tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine
7 tbsp white all purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk, lukewarm
salt and pepper to taste
6 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1 pinch grated nutmeg
10 over-ready type lasagna noodles
1-1/2 cups Bolognese Meat Sauce

Make the bechamel:

Heat the margarine in a heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then add the flour and cook the roux over low heat, with whisking, for 3 minutes.  Add the milk in a fast stream while whisking vigorously to avoid lumps.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 6-7 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add all the grated Parmesan minus about 3 spoonfuls.  Stir in the grated nutmeg.

Assemble the lasagna:

If desired, you may precook the lasagna noodles.  Working in batches, plunge 3-4 noodles at a time in a large pot of boiling salted water.  Add one spoonful of olive oil to the water to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other.  Do not cook the noodles through, but just until a bit soft, about 2-3 minutes, then drain them, pat dry and place them in one layer on a kitchen towel.

Spread a few spoonfuls of bechamel sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.  Arrange some lasagna noodles over the sauce, without overlapping them (allow room for swelling during cooking), until the bottom of the dish is covered.  Spread some spoonfuls of bechamel and bolognese meat sauce over the noodles, then cover with another layer of noodles.  Repeat the layering of sauce and noodles 4 to 6 times, depending on the serving size and the shape of the baking dish.  Top the lasagna with the reserved Parmesan.


Preheat the over to 400F.  Bake the lasagna, uncovered, until the top is golden-brown and the sauce is bubbling, about 30-35 minutes (or about 20-25 minutes if the noodles have bee precooked).  Let stand 5-10 minutes at room temperature before cutting and serving.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thank you for supporting the Pink Scrappers Relay for Life team

Well we went and did it again this year.  We put together a Relay for Life team and went full out in fundraising gear.  We are fortunate to live in a town that, no matter how badly hit financially, still steps up to support organizations that help others.

The Pink Scrappers had a yard sale and a scrapbooking crop to raise funds.  We also hit up all our friends and family as well.

With the help of our community our team raised $4112.06.  The grand total for the Relay was $129,279.96!!  We are proud to have been a part of this success story despite the cold.  And it was coooooold on Relay night.

We were able to honour our survivors.

We remembered those who lost their battle.

Our team was thrilled to be part of the Fighting Back Ceremony.

And I'm pretty sure you will see us out again in 2014.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Letterboxing near Cambridge ON

June 3rd was a very lovely day to head out for some letterboxing in the Cambridge area.  Our very first stop was Chickadee Chickadee in Ayr, ON.  We took along a bag of sunflower seeds, hoping to coax some chickadees out to visit.  No luck . . . but we did meet a very friendly chipmunk who appreciated our treats.  We left the bag of seeds on the bridge so the shy birds could come out and enjoy a snack.  Oh yeah, we found the letterbox as well . . . LOL.

Our next stop was to hunt for the Lady of the North in Glen Morris ON.  I know this may sound weird but this was the best box we never found.  Never in a million years would we have even known about these amazing historic ruins if we hadn't been searching for a letterbox.  I took many many photos of this beautiful area.

Our next search was for Sisters in Cambridge, ON.  Sadly this box seems to be missing as well.  Of course, the whole back of the host tree was also missing! 

Our last stop of the day was another hidden gem that we found while looking for Troll Bridge:  Billy Goat Bridge.  I nearly laughed myself silly trying to get Hal navigated to the correct step.   But we found it!!!  

So a 50:50 day for hunting letterboxes but that is okay.  It was a beautiful day, we had a lot of fun together and made some new memories.

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013 sketch

Not quite a sketch this week.  Instead a layout.  This was designed for a class I teach called Design Strategies but I changed my mind and went a different way for the class.  So this layout has not found a purpose yet . . . until now.

I hope it will inspire you to have some fun with some pretty papers . . .

June knitting finishes

All My Love
Oddball Sampler Afghan Square
Very tricky

A Mystery Knit-along Dishcloth
Very Fishy . . . 

Knit Knitting Bag

The first three strips of the 
Mystery Knit Along Afghan are sewn together.

A fancy stitched mystery knit-along dishcloth

Little Boxes
Oddball Sampler Afghan Square

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cold Asparagus with Prosciutto and Lemon

Cold Asparagus with Prosciutto and Lemon
recipe image
Submitted By: Lisa K
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 25 Minutes
Servings: 5
"This cold asparagus dish is tender, tasty and easy to create. The zesty lemon and the salty prosciutto work perfectly together to add wonderful flavor and great presentation to a vegetable that many are cautious to try. I have had people who normally turn their noses up at asparagus thoroughly enjoy this side dish."
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 (3 ounce) package prosciutto
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling hard, add the asparagus and cook until tender but still crisp, about 4 minutes. Quickly drain the asparagus and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and maintain the bright green color. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels.
2.Separate the asparagus into 5 small bundles and wrap each one with a slice of prosciutto. Sprinkle each bundle with lemon zest and lemon juice.

Online Crop at Crafting Made Simple

Other than a quick trip to pick up my van from the garage it is my intention to hide inside in the a/c today, avoiding the hot hot hot weather we are having in SW Ontario right now. 

Can you think of a better way to spend a miserably hot and humid day than scrapbooking? I can't. I've posted 10 challenges . . . from sketch to word to product challenges . . . beginning at 10 am EST at Many of these challenges are blog contests so read the challenges carefully and submit your layouts to the host blogs for chances to win some pretty cool prizes. 

Have fun and stay cool.

The Witch's Grave . . . a tale of cemetery letterboxing . . .

I love letterboxing in cemeteries.  Not everyone will agree with me but that is okay.  These days many cemeteries have bike paths and jogging paths adding to the reasons to visit your neighbourhood cemetery.  Add in all the awesome gardens and statues.  And don't forget all the history to be seen.  I promise not to be disrespectful but I plan to continue cemetery boxing . . . 

Our fellow boxer Bumble (aka Jo) from Toronto blogged about this topic recently.  Bumble was in town mid-May for our mini-meetup and left a treasure behind . . . Siste, Viator:  Old St. Thomas Churchyard.  It was fun hunting for a box in our own hometown.  To solve the clue we needed to know about the witch's grave which we did, of course.  This is as close as Hal was getting to the witch's grave though . . . LOL.

Our second box of the day was Pal 2013 - Five Alarm Fire near Aylmer.  Yes, it was another cemetery.

Since we were in a cemetery kind of mood we planted a box of our own near Thames Centre called Lost Little Letterboxer (Almost a PAL 2013 Box).

Yes, another cemetery box near Mount Elgin, Grandma Rocks.  

Do you sense a theme here?  We attempted to find a cemetery box in Stratford called The Scottish Letterbox but didn't find it.  Primrose Up the Garden Path was also elusive but not a cemetery box.

Just to change things up a little we also found a library box, John Neville as Richard II in Stratford and on the way home, one last cemetery box in London, Pitcher Plant.

It was a hot day . . . but it was a great day.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Butterscotch Sundaes fix EVERYTHING

It has long been my mother's belief that a butterscotch sundae can solve all things . . . and I'm pretty sure she is right . . .

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sketch #15

These layouts are from Album in an Afternoon, an instruction book to create a 20-page 8"x8" gift album in 4 or 5 hours.  You can order your copy in black & white or colour.  I hope these layouts inspire you this week.

Lentil and Tomato Salad with Mint


2 servings
Preparation 15 minutes
220 calories per serving

2 tomatoes, Roma type, deseeded and diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1-1/2 tbsp Classic Vinaigrette
1 cup lentils (canned), rinsed and drained
salt and ground pepper to taste

Dice the tomatoes, discarding the seeds (I left them in), then put them in a salad bowl.  Coarsely chop the celery, finely chop the shallot and mint, then add them to the bowl.  Pour the Classic Vinaigrette over the salad (I used Italian dressing).

Rinse and drain the lentils, then add them to the salad.  Toss well, adjusting the seasoning then serve.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

May Knitting Finishes

This is an ice pack from a pattern at Holiday Mystery Gifts Yahoo group.
The lovely thick pad is soaked in rubbing alcohol and water and then frozen.
I've actually made use of it already and it works lovely.

This is the third strip from the mystery knit along afghan project
at Holiday Mystery Gifts Yahoo group.

Another oddball square accomplished.
This one is called Applique Star.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Chicken Legs with Vegetables

2 servings
Preparation 10 miutes
Cooking 35 minutes
280 calories per serving

1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, cut into 3-4 mm thick rounds
4 button (white) mushrooms, quartered
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp canola oil
4 chicken drumsticks, skinless
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 tsp herbes de Provence
salt to taste
ground pepper to taste

Prepare the vegetables:  finely chop the onion, slice the carrots, cut the mushrooms.  Soak the raisins in a small cup of lukewarm water.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, then add the chicken drumsticks and saute thoroughly on each side until golden, about 7-8 minutes.  Take the chicken pieces out of the pan then set them aside on a warmed serving plate in the oven.

Add the onion to the pan, then saute 2-3 minutes.  Add the carrots and mushrooms then cook 2-3 minutes.  Add the raisins and broth.  Scrape the bottom of the pan thoroughly as the liquid comes to a boil.

Put the chicken back into the pan, then add the diced tomatoes and herbs.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover, then simmer 20-25 minutes until the chicken is tender.  Serve.

Monday, July 1, 2013

At the driving range . . .

My cousin, Kim, gifted two sets of golf clubs to us because 1.  she wanted to get rid of them and 2.  my hubby keeps saying he'd like to try out golfing.  He golfed as a young man but I'm quite sure he's forgotten more than he remembers.  That was an awfully long time ago . . . LOL.  The deal was that Hal would go golfing with Kim's hubby.  Well since he never answers invitations on Facebook Hal and the boys decided to try out the clubs at a local driving range.  Each of them had a bucket of balls and away they swung.  I spent a lot of time giggling and offering words of encouragement.  As long as they had fun, that's all that mattered.

I'm just pretending to swing.  A real swing would probably cause more trouble than I could handle with my poor old back, neck and shoulders.  I kind of look like a slasher with an axe . . .

It took quite a while to hit three buckets of balls.