Thursday, December 28, 2006

What I Got From Santa

It was finally Christmas morning. I wanted to sleep in, but Mommy & Daddy just HAD to get up at the unGodly hour of 10am. Geez! Why those two can't sleep all day like me I'll never know.

There was an awful lot of activity going on. Hmmm, presents. What's in that one Dad?

A bottle of Scotch. Well a lot of good that does me.

What else have we got? Come on. Look at me wearing my Christmas handkerchief. Don't I look cute enough to deserve something? I've been a good boy.

What's that Mom's got? Tickets to a show and a CD?! I can't eat that. Mom's happy about the CD though. She lost hers a long time ago, so Santa brought her a new one.

Come on Santa! I know you must have left me something.

Ahhhh YES!! Now we're talking!


Mmmmmmm!!!! Delicious! Thanks Santa!

Whew! I'm pooped now. I'll sleep while those two read their new books.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was upon us and I had a rare day off. Wooo-Hooo!! I finally had some time to cook. I worked with a couple of recipes and made a vegetarian tourtière for our Christmas Eve dinner. Tourtière is a French-Canadian meat pie that is served at réveillon, which is a Christmas Eve feast. It's traditionally made with pork and/or other meats and back in the day when I used to eat meat, I can tell you, my Acadian stepdad made a wicked tourtière.

This one is meat-free and I was very pleased with the results. Jim and I each had a big slice.

I also made mashed potatoes and vegetarian gravy, some side veggies and this:

It's Bryanna Clark Grogan's Savoury Tofu Dinner Loaf. I really like this recipe. The loaf comes out tasting similar to the turkey stuffing my grandmother used to make. Jim wasn't too keen on it, but that's OK. More leftovers for me! HA!

And at our house, we, of course, serve wine! This particular wine came into the store and never even made it out to the shelves. A few of us staff pretty much bought it all. Our product consultant, Terry, recommened it to me and I bought 3 of them. I'm really glad I did. It's very good for the price. I wish he was as good at picking the staff lotto numbers.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The video below was sent to me by my wonderfully stupendous "cousin" Chuck in Seattle. The group is called Straight No Chaser. Thanks Charles & Merry Christmas!

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Who's The Winning Diva?

Yay! My best friend Michelle was home for the weekend from Calgary, so we went for a night out with her and her boyfriend Joe. You might remember them from a previous post. Michelle is still in Calgary, but Joe is back in Burlington for school.

We decided to go to the Bishop & Firkin because they have some pretty good veggie selections on the menu, a half decent wine list and pool tables.

Here are Michelle and I playing a round. Neither one of us is a shark by any stretch of the imagination, but we like to play and have fun doing it.

Notice the orb on my back? Weird, eh? I had another photo of Michelle and there was one way up on the wall behind her. Could it be spirits in the pub?

We had a couple of games with the guys and then they decided they wanted to play video games.

Now we were starting to get a bit hungry. One thing I love about pub grub is making a meal out of appetizers. Jim and Joe are omni-men while the ladies are veg-heads. The guys got some chicken wings - passed on that photo-op. There were also some sweet potato fries with chipotle mayo that were gone before I could get my camera out of it's case.


I ordered vegetarian spring rolls with a hot chili sauce for dipping. These are one of my favorites.

Always crispy, always tasty.

This is hot spinach and artichoke dip. OMG!! This was so friggin' good. I could have bathed in it! I'd love to find a similar recipe to make at home. I'm going to do some searching to see what I can find. Does anyone have a recipe they would be willing to share? Please?

Their house wine was Mission Hill, so I had a glass of the merlot. It was pretty good for a house wine selection and the price was very reasonable.

While relaxing after we ate we decided to play trivia. You know the game you play at bars - used to be called NTN, now it's Buzztime. Well, Carrie was smokin' the competition and then we got the sweetest question:

Hey Kleo!! Look!

I answered lightening fast and scored 1000 points on this baby. Woo-Hoo! When all was said and done, I reigned supreme.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Is Coming!

Here's a Christmas carol to help you get into the spirit of the season!

Friday, December 01, 2006

A Hit, A Miss & Some Other Stuff

When I got into work on Thursday, Nov. 16, Terry had done up a lovely display of the Beaujolais Nouveaus right by the entrance. We carried 6 different ones this year and I bought one of each! The middle bottle below is not a traditional Beaujolais because it is made from Syrah grapes as opposed to Gamay, so it's called Primeur, not Beaujolais Nouveau. (Remember all the French rules!)

Even Italy is getting in on this wine craze. Two of the bottles above are Italian versions of Nouveau. They incorporate the same fermenting process that they use in Beaujolais. Italian bottles are called Vino Novello.

I was also surprised (and a few customers commented on this too) to see screw caps on two of the French varieties. With France being the wine capital of the world, they tend to be a bit stoggy in moving away from corks. Mommessin seems to be quite progressive. They even offer a version of their regular Beaujolais in a tetra pak! Since these wines are never meant to age, why not use a screw cap? It's a great seal and there is no chance of cork taint. I highly doubt you'll see a screw cap on a Haut Brion or Chateau Latour anytime soon though.


I thought one of these light, refreshing selections would go wonderfully well with a dish I've wanted to make for a long time and finally got around to doing so.

Here we have Curried Vegetable Pie with Chickpea Crust from The Garden of Vegan.

This was soooo good. Really flavourful and delicious. There was a lot of filling and it was a real "stick to your ribs" dish. The crust was very nice and provided a perfect contrast to the savoury filling. (A Hit!)

We had some beans & baby carrots on the side and mashed potatoes with Mi-So Good Gravy from The Everyday Vegan. Unfortunately, the gravy wasn't much of a hit with Jim. He said all he could taste was vinegar and he didn't like it at all. It was a bit overpowering, but I would like to try it again and do some adjusting; maybe make it a bit more mellow. (A Miss.)

I've been so tied up with work that I don't seem to have a whole lot of free time for baking. I did manage to make some scrumptious cinnamon rolls.

HA! You were getting all impressed with my baking skills weren't you? I really cheated on this one. These are Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.

They were pretty awesome though for a junky treat.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Treat (as told by Simon)

Mommy gave me a treat. It's like a cross between a Greenie and a Dentabone.

I can't have Dentabones because they have chicken in them and I'm allergic to chicken. Mommy found these for me. They're chicken-free and I love 'em!

Now if I like them this much, I bet Mommy & Daddy really like them too. This one is all mine, so I'm going to hide it for later. Where would be a good place?

Ahhh, yes! I'll hide it in my Leafs bed. Mommy and Daddy never lay in it, so it should be safe here.

Gotta dig in good. I hope no one is watching. I don't want anyone to know it's here.

Oh this is perfect. I can use my rope and the left over piece of my pink monkey's head and cover it up.

Oh yea! Great burying I must say. Even if that damn Collie came in here, he'd never find it. He'd better just stay on the 8th floor where he belongs, if he knows what's good for him.

I'll just lay on it for a while and pretend I'm resting. That way, if anyone saw me messing around in my bed, they'll think I was just getting it ready for sleepies. Am I clever or what? Gotta throw them off the trail.

OK, my treat is safely hidden away. Yea! Let's see now what Mommy and Daddy have for food. I know they'll share with me. I have them wrapped around my paw! Sweet!

Friday, November 24, 2006

"Throw Together" Dish

I had some veggies in the fridge that I wanted to use up before they went bad. Hmmm, what to make?

There was still a package of brown rice pasta left over from when I was on that anti-inflammatory diet , so I pulled that out.


As I was poking around in the veggies, I spied this. I like Pete's Tofu. They are a Canadian company, which is worth supporting, and they have great products. This Szechuan one is awesomely delicious. I figured I could use that too.

I remembered that I had this sauce - President's Choice Memories of Mum's Kitchen It's a soya ginger sauce that is really yummy and works great for a stir-fry. Ah, yes. An idea was coming together.


After a bit of chopping and stir-frying, I had this.

Not bad for a meal made out of stuff hanging around, eh? It tasted incredibly good. Jim & I both ate more than we probably should have. My tummy was full!

There was no need for dessert that day. What's your best "throw together" dish?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

John Mayer

This is my favorite song at the moment. I could listen to it over and over.

If you have Direct TV, channel 334 is playing "John Mayer in Concert". I don't know how long it's going to run for, but check it out if you can.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Give Me My Daily Bread

There is no way I could ever follow an Atkins-type diet. I like bread waaaay too much. In fact, I think I'm a carb junkie.

On my way back from the chiropractor the other day, I stopped into one of my favorite places, Pane Fresco. Jim did some work for these people when they first opened and we've been their customers ever since. They make the best pizza ever and the bread.....ahhh, the bread! Heaven must smell like Pane Fresco.
It was near closing time when I popped in, but was lucky enough to snag a loaf of Fig Raisin & Walnut bread.

This is so yummy toasted. The raisins and figs make it sweet and the walnuts give it nutty goodness and a bit of crunch.

Sitting there, all alone, just one left, was a foccacia loaf.

It had my name all over it! I could not pass this baby up. I

Marc, the owner, also makes the best biscotti outside of Italy. My favorite is the almond-hazelnut.

My delicious treats were packed up to go and I grabbed an espresso for the walk home. They also have excellent coffee by the way.

I don't know if any of you reading this will ever end up in Burlington, but if you do, go see the folks at Pane Fresco. They are really nice people. They've had the same staff pretty much from day one so that tells you something. They also serve lunch with delicious soups, wicked sandwiches and they make their own gelato!