Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cordon Bleu

I love it when I buy something new to try and I actually like it! No, really. How many times have you seen a new food product that looked great on the package and sounded like the next best thing only to go home, very excitedly take that first bite and nothin'. No fireworks, no zing, no eye closing ecstasy encased in a huge MMMMM! Just blah. We've all been there.

A while ago, Megan wrote about a new product she'd heard of but couldn't seem to find. She was talking about Schneider's Oh Naturel Cordon Bleu Melts. Lo and behold! I found them at Ultra Mart and they are soooo good! It's a vegetarian version of chicken cordon bleu and back when I was a meat eater, I really liked that sort of thing. These are not vegan as they contain milk ingredients.

I was also lucky enough to find a whole stack of $1 off coupons hanging on the shelf. So I took half a dozen. These things are pretty pricey at $6.49 for a package of 4, so the coupon was a bit of a help.

I also served baked potatoes, some beets, and garden fresh peas that I found as well while I was shopping. These were from a local farm and were very, very tasty.

So, even at the steep price, this is one product I will buy again for a special treat because it did make me close my eyes and go MMMMM! when I took the first bite.

And from Schneider's! Who woulda thought?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Poor Alicia!

I love my sister Trina to death!! Really. I do. But I think it's time for a tough love intervention. What she has done to my niece, Alicia, is bordering on child abuse. The picture below will confirm my fears. It's a photo of Chris, my sister's fiance, and Alicia. LOOK AT WHAT THE GIRL IS WEARING!!! Trina, have you no shame!? You let her go out in public looking like that?

SACRE BLEU!! Get that girl a proper jersey!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pasta Night

If Jim had his way, pretty much every night would include some form of pasta. I really like it too. It's such a versatile food. I was in the mood for a spaghetti type of meal, but not with traditional spaghetti sauce. And since I was cooking, that's what we were going to have.

I remembered a recipe that I had bookmarked in
Vive Le Vegan that I thought might be just what I was in the mood for. Once again, it was Dreena to the rescue!

Here we have Tomato Lentil Pasta Sauce which I served with Linguine.

The recipe said to garnish with pine nuts, hemp seed nuts or non-dairy Parmesan "cheeze". I didn't want the "cheeze" (surprised?) and I don't like pine nuts, but really like hemp seed nuts. When I served Jim his bowl, he said "What's that?" I said "Hemp seed nuts. They're good." To which he replied "Maybe to you. Your palate is used to eating bark." (he is of course joking) I said "Just try it. I know you'll like it."

And he did! He finished his in record time and said it was very good. We had a salad with it and some delicious foccacia. A few days ago, I was reading Crystal's blog and she had made foccacia and posted a picture. That got my craving started. Mine was store bought but was still very yummy (but I forgot to take a photo - sorry!). We opened a bottle of Vineland Estates Cabernet Franc, and dinner was complete. Almost.

To finish off with a little sweet treat, we had Raspberry Coconut Squares from The Everyday Vegan.


These weren't too heavy or too sweet - just perfect. We had a couple of pieces each and had to put them away before things got out of control.

Bark?! HA! Showed him, didn't I?

Just a little is a picture of some of the vineyards at Vineland Estates Winery. You will never guess what is in the field across the road.



I took these pictures from the truck using "super zoom" so the quality isn't the best, I thought it would be fun to share.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Peachy Keen

Ahhhh, the beautiful peach. One of the best fruits going. I have found a lot of people, including Jim, can't get past the fuzz. The fuzz gives peaches their character and charm! I got a basket of freestone peaches. Don't they look delicious?

So I have 2-3 pounds of peaches. I can't eat all of them and Jim won't, so what's a girl to do?


Both of these recipes are from La Dolce Vegan by the lovely Sarah Kramer.


The first thing I made was Peachy Pecan Muffins. Holy crap, were these good! I loved the sugar and pecan crumb mixture that got sprinkled on top. And inside....


So moist and delcious. Cinnamon gave it just enough spicy goodness. The recipe said frozen peaches, but fresh is always better. YUM!

Next up - Wolffie's Quick Peach Cobbler.


Another winner! This was so easy (so were the muffins) and it was sooooo good!! The batter is put in the pan first, then the hot peach mixture gets poured on top. No stirring!! Just throw it in the oven. We both had a big bowl for dessert.



It kept OK until the next day, but I wouldn't want to have it much after that. It would get too soggy. It wasn't a problem at my house. It was pretty much done for after the second go-round. This recipe also called for frozen peaches, but again, fresh is better. It is good to know that if in the dead of winter, I'm craving a peach dessert, I can do both of these recipes with frozen fruit.

I put the leftover muffins in the freezer and have since thawed one out here and there to take to work for a snack and they freeze wonderfully.

Even Jim, a peach-fuzz-phobe, really enjoyed both of these goodies.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Canada's Favorite Driving Song?

You might be surprised.

Granted, this poll was only of 1000 Canadians in 3 provinces and there was a list of songs to choose from that was compiled by music journalists.

Once this was released, radio stations were having all kinds of phone-in's for people to add their favorites to the list.

What's yours?

I'm partial to G&R, Welcome to the Jungle or Nine Inch Nails, Only.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Tragically Hip

I would like to introduce my American friends to The Tragically Hip. (And we Canadians can enjoy a backtrax video) In my opinion they are the best Canadian band ever! The Hip released their first album, an EP, in 1987, but really made it big with their second album release in 1989, which included the huge hit New Orleans Is Sinking.

An excerpt from Wikipedia says " The band is immensely popular in Canada. They have never found great success in the United States, but have never specifically sought it. Their most-seen appearance in the United States was on March 20, 1995, when they appeared on Saturday Night Live with fellow Canadian and friend Dan Aykroyd guest starring, and with John Goodman hosting. In 1999, The Hip were also one of the featured bands at Woodstock '99 held in Rome, New York. When touring in Canada they typically play to sold-out arenas; when touring in the United States they will play smaller venues and clubs, or festivals where they aren't the headliner. Performances abroad are usually attended by Canadian expatriates. The band permit recordings of their performances, so an active trading community thrives. The tone and content of much of their music is a paean to the Canadian experience and touches on such themes as small-town life, geography, and hockey. The historical, geographical and individual references in many of the lyrics are a source of much internet discussion." To read all of it, click here. I've been lucky enough to see them live and it is always an event to say the least.

The video is for their song Poets off of the 1998 album Phantom Power. This is Gordie (who bears an uncanny resemblance to a friend of mine) at his quirky best.

I taped this the night it appeared on SNL, but then my dog ate the tape. I was happy to find it again. The song is "Grace, Too". One of my favorites.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I Haven't Forgotten You

Hey everybody! I just wanted to leave a quick note saying Thank You for dropping by and leaving comments. It lets me know that other people are indeed reading my kooky ramblings.

I've been rather absent from returning the gesture. Things on my end have been hectic and stressful the past little while. (work mostly) I don't seem to have a whole lot of free time. I hope to visit my Blogger friends over the next few days and catch up on what you've all been up to. (And comment). I will quite often zip around just to see what's happening, but can't always take the time to leave remarks. I will get back on track.

See you at your blog!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Corn, Quinoa & Dogs

The last time Jade was over for the weekend, we decided to have a barbeque. I was working in the morning, so that was perfect. I get Meatout Mondays newsletters in my e-mail and they had featured a recipe by The Vegan Chef, Beverly Lynn Bennett, using quinoa that I really wanted to try. It was easy to make and turned out marvelous!

I puttered around making this while Jim was getting the BBQ ready. The recipe said it was to be served warm, but once I got it all together and in the bowl, it just sat at room temp and it was fine. Doesn't it look pretty?

And it tasted wonderful! We all really liked it and had second helpings. The recipe makes a huge amount, so I halved it and we still had lots of leftovers for lunches.

Along with the quinoa, Jim barbecued corn on the cob that he picked up fresh and the last package of Morningstar Veggie Dogs that we'd gotten on our last trip to the States. We like these veggie dogs the best so we stock up when we go across the border. The best Canadian veggie dogs, we think, are Oh Naturel! but still not as good as the Morningstar brand.

I think Jim and I did a great job with dinner that night.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Love At The Dog Park?

Mom and Dad have to give me my allergy shots every two weeks. I don't really like it, but it's not THAT bad. I've learned though, that if I really play it up and look all sad and scared, they feel guilty and take me to the dog park. HA! So a few days ago we went. It wasn't hot any more so I was able to run around and check things out.


Oh, something over there looks interesting. What is that? Is it a cow?


Holy crap! It's a giant dog! Now, I'm a big boy, but this gal was huge! I was feeling a little timid. I didn't quite know what to make of this and was feeling a bit unsure.

We sniffed each other and she seemed OK. Actually, she smelled kinda nice. She was young like me so I figured she'd want to play. I wanted to run and have her chase me, then she could run and I'd chase her, but she just wasn't into it.

She gave me a kiss though. Maybe she likes me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Along with burgers, pizza is one of my favorite "junk" food meals. When I first read the recipe for "The Joint's Cheeseburger Pizza" from La Dolce Vegan I thought it sounded a little weird. Mustard & pickles on pizza? Melissa had made it and said it was really good, so I decided to give it a whirl. What a hit! That was months ago and I'm still making it and it's still a favorite for us. Although I've never blogged about it, this is a repeat meal at our house.

I make the crust from scratch using the recipe in
La Dolce Vegan but I leave out the herbs for this pizza.

Jim likes white bread. I try to get him to eat a healthier alternative, but he won't. So I sneak things in where he won't notice. Like a whole wheat pizza crust. The recipe makes a lot, so I split it between two pans.


Here it is with some of the toppings. Disregard the onion bits all over the counter. I got sprinkle happy when I was putting this together. The recipe called for tomato sauce. I mixed some ketchup into the sauce to make it taste more burger-like.

Then topped with cheese and almost ready for the oven. I've used vegan cheese for this and it works quite well. This time I used real cheese - a mix of mozzarella and cheddar.

Voila! The finished product.
Every time I make this I forget how unbelievably good it is. It may take a bit of time to put together, but I get two pizzas out of it, so I wrap one for the freezer and on a night when I don't feel like cooking, I just throw it in the oven and dinner is served. In that respect, the little bit of extra time initially is well worth it.

And when you taste'll see that it's definitely worth it!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tim Horton's In The Desert

Several months ago, Tim Horton's president and CEO, Mr. Paul House received a call from the
Canadian Military's top man, Canadian Chief of Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier on behalf of the troops stationed in Kandahar. They told the General that the one thing they would really like on base is a Tim Horton's. That got the ball rolling and on Canada Day, July 1, 2006 the Kandahar outlet was officially opened.

It has now been one month and it has received extremely positive response from the troops. Iced Capp and coffee are the top sellers in the 50 degree heat, followed closely by donuts and Timbits. Demand was so great that the trailer ran out of donuts and Timbits within the first two weeks! The inventory has been replenished and a regular sustainment program is now in place. General feedback is that the Canadian troops are thrilled to have a "little taste of home"; Americans are enjoying the iced capp's; Romanians like the Timbits; and the British troops love the hot cappuccino.

Tim Hortons is Canada’s largest coffee and baked goods chain with more than 2,900 stores in Canada and over 290 locations in the United States.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

I Heart Trish

My friend Trish is a thrift store junkie. She finds the best deals. She said if you're patient enough and are willing to browse and really dig, you can find some real treasures. Yesterday, she gave me a present! She got these at the Goodwill and they are brand new!

An insulated wine bag! There is a pouch in the front for my corkscrew. How awesome is that? I've been looking at some but haven't splurged. This one is much nicer than the ones I've seen. Also....

HOCKEY WINE CHARMS! Are these not the cutest? I have some wine charms, but I've never seen hockey ones. The Leafs home opener is in 60 days. (can you tell I'm anxious for hockey to start?) They'll be playing Ottawa, so I'll use these for good luck as we toast the Blue & White on a successful 2006-2007 season. GO LEAFS!

Trish rocks.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Delicious Dinner

Out came Vegan With A Vengeance again! This time I was dying to try Mango-Ginger Tofu. I needed to get a couple of things for this recipe, one being mangoes, so I hit the grocery store. Organic mangoes were on sale for 99 cents each. I took this as a sign that this dish was meant to be made. Again, Isa has created a winner. This recipe is rockin'! It was easy to make and since things were done in stages, it seemed like almost no work. The marinade was made in the morning and the tofu was left to sit and marinate all day. Then into the oven it went. It was served over jasmine rice, which cooks in about 15 minutes, so tell me, how simple is that?

Since the oven was already on, I roasted some carrots to go with this. The slow cooking brought out some sweetness in the carrots which went fairly well with the tofu. I would probably do sweet peas, or sugar snap peas next time though, because I think that would better compliment the dish. Maybe broccoli with some of the leftover sauce drizzled on top would work too.

I cut the recipe in half and it made enough for us to have a dinner meal and then a smaller portion that we had for lunch.

I woke up a few days ago wanting some chocolate chip cookies. Then on a stop over at Melissa's blog I saw that she had made cookies from Vive Le Vegan and that made me want them even more. I had everything for these babies and finally got around to making them.

Awesomely delicious! Jim had one before dinner and said "Now that's a chocolate chip cookie." I like how Dreena's recipes make a small batch instead of something crazy like 3 dozen cookies. There are only two of us, so a dozen is perfect.

Or so I thought.

Not this time. After a day and a half, they were history. I guess that just gives me an excuse to make more.

I'll Still Be His Dirty Girl

Here's an alternate for those who couldn't get the other one to load. And for those who did, it's a double shot.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

He Needs A Dirty Woman?

I'll be his dirty woman. Oh yes. I'll be his dirty girl.