Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Appetizer Mini Quiches

These are a staple in my Appetizer repetoire. I like that you can partially bake them and then freeze ahead. They are so much tastier then the purchased quiches and quick as you can use ready made tart shells.

Sometimes I use Swiss cheese and sometimes cheddar but the filling is mostly the same.

Mini Quiche Lorraines
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups of half and half
pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg

Fry bacon until crispy, drain on paper towels. I used about 6 slices.
Grate approximately one cup of cheese (cheddar or Swiss)
I bunch of green onions chopped finely
Frozen pre-made tart shells (maybe about 20)

Put your bacon, onions and cheese in tart shells. Pour filling on top. Do not overfill.
Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes or continue baking until browned if you are going to serve right away, otherwise cool and freezer for your next hostessing event.

Monday, 26 December 2016

November 30 Day Challenge

I'm finally getting around to posting the cards from the November challenge. This month, our challenge was to use something from our own stash that we had never used. Keri did this adorable shaker card using her Lawn Fawn Coffee stamps and dies.
I decided to use my new stitched Quilt die from My Favourite Things. I love my paper piecing and even though it takes a bit of time to put together, it was pretty fun to be able to quilt and not have to pull out the sewing machine.
So I originally gave it to Keri without the kitty but I thought it looked too one dimensional so I quickly pulled out another previously unused stamp set from MFT and coloured and popped up a little kitty so the theme of the paper was more obvious.

And I stamped the inside to tie it all together....
It was fun to work with some new items. Heaven only knows I have plenty to choose from. I'm off to make my turkey soup.

Friday, 16 December 2016


Look familiar? This is Jersey, one of the 3 sponsored pups from the Loonies for Lindor charity scrapping event. And she just happens to be Lindor's grandpuppy from her daughter Eden.
The eyes are different but she still looks like my girl. Jersey is in Advanced training to become a service dog. The fundraiser also sponsored brothers Jovi and Java. Hopefully they will make a family very happy one day soon.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Rally Obedience

As we are nearing the end of 2016, I'm starting to revisit my 16 in 16 list, and one of my goals was to get another Rally Obedience title with Lindor. Although we still have one leg (one trial at one show) to go to get our Intermediate CKC Title, we have enjoyed taking lessons and practising and becoming more familiar with the sport. It's really incredible what the dogs can accomplish and so cool to watch the other handlers with their dogs. It definitely strengthens your bond and the labs especially love to be out and about working.
Lindor doesn't look too thrilled about her ribbons but I was happy with scores of 93 and 96. Maya decided to get into the photo shoot and show off her nice new haircut. She feels like a velour blanket. So soft. There was a little pudge under that fur though so we'll have to work on that over the winter.

Monday, 5 December 2016

ADS Auction Wrap Up

I got to hang out at Conestoga Mall yesterday handing out Auction prizes to the lucky bidders. It was a lot of work but we raised $3800 and that makes one family that much closer to getting a lifetime companion and assistant to help make their lives a little easier.

Max was the sweetest, softest Golden Retriever I ever met. I just wanted to smuggle him home. He is just about to be recalled to start his Advanced Training and his lovely handler will have to send him on his way.
What a great service the puppy raisers do for the community and so difficult to let these babies go.

Harley is a big ole yellow Lab that looked up everytime the Mall Custodian wheeled his garbage cart past.
He is currently in Advance training...
It was a busy day at the Mall and lots of people stopped by our Booth to chat and ask questions and make a donation. It was encouraging and made the Auction work that much more worthwhile. Now its on to the Christmas baking.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

October 30 Day Challenge

It's been so long since I posted, even the format of Blogger has changed so its another technical learning curve for me.  We have been doing great on our 30 Day Challenges, in fact, we have been exchanging our cards AHEAD of time but I haven't gotten around to posting because I've been busy with this....

I was the ADS Online Auction Chair for 2016 and it was a big job soliciting donations and uploading photos and descriptions of the 110 items but it was a big success and the main part of the Auction ended last night so now I should have time to catch up on other pursuits.

So on to the October challenge. We both used Fall themed items. I borrowed the Lawn Fawn pie stamp and came up with this....
using this stamp set...
I apologize for the over-exposed photos but it's winter, what can I say?

And Keri used a Penny Black stamp set featuring hedgehogs but I couldn't find an image on the Internet to show you. Here's her card....
She also used the circle die cutouts from Your Next Stamp. A super versatile item to have and can create many different looks by changing the background paper.

So there you have it. I'm back at least for the time being.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Cooked Cabbage

So I had a weird encounter at the grocery store the other day. I was stopped chatting with a friend in front of the cabbages and this lady joined in, assuming we were talking about the many uses of cabbage. One thing led to another, my friend bailed on me and I was caught talking to this Polish lady for about 20 minutes. She told me everything I needed to know about cooking cabbage so I felt I had to give it a try.
Tip #1 - use purple cabbage
Tip #2- fry bacon and don't dump out the grease, YIKES!
Tip #3 - add a splash of malt vinegar
Tip#4 - add a tsp of sugar or a few plums (whaat?)
Tip#5- a little bit of grated ginger adds a nice taste
Tip#6 - cover and let it steam
Tip#7- if you get gassy, add some peppermint, if you don't have any, break open a peppermint tea bag and stir it in
You get the idea. I actually ran into her 2 more times even though I was hiding in the pharmacy. I got a small history of Poland while I was doing my grocery shopping. Oh well, I just think she was happy to share her wisdom in the culinary dept etc.

So I kind of based my recipe on this and then added a few of her suggestions....

Cooked Cabbage
1/2 red cabbage coarsely chopped
4-5 slices of bacon
1 large onion diced
1 tsp sugar
salt, pepper, dash of paprika and onion powder/garlic powder to taste

Fry bacon and then add onion and cabbage and spices. Cover and steam and occasionally stir for about 20 minutes or until tender. This was really good and I didn't need to use Tip #7

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Freshly Made Sketches

I'm back with my favourite Sketch site. I like clean and simple cards with not too much frou-frou and this fits the bill to get the mojo going. I borrowed a cute Gina Marie Onsie die from my friend and before you know it, I had whipped up 4 baby cards.
Here's the Sketch 259...
And here's the card I made based upon it...
I think it would work great for a boy!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

September 30 Day Challenge

We DID have these cards made and exchanged before the last day of September but I'm just getting around to posting them now. It is so much fun seeing what the other person comes up with using the items that they borrowed from you.

This month, I borrowed Your Next Stamp (Fisherman Guy) not sure of his real name and I have given it back but this is what the set looked like...
Oh ya, it's called "Keeping it Reel" and I confess I copied my idea off something very similar that I spotted on the Internet. I need to go back to my Sketch challenges but can't seem to find the time lately.
I sponged the clouds in the sky again. My picture looks a little washed out. It's much nicer in person as they always say.

Keri borrowed this sweet stamp set from Simon Says Stamp that  had just arrived in the mail...
And here is her card....
It's so nice only making 2 cards instead of the usual 10 or so that we make for Card Swaps, this way you can experiment with some techniques that you want to try. Keri used the new scratch off which have a hidden sentiment underneath.
So that's it. Hope to be doing a little more cardmaking once the snow flies.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Autism Dog Services Grad

So I volunteered to make and fill bags for the Graduating teams of Autism Dog Services for 2016. The Ceremony was held at the Parade of People and Pets that took place last Sat at Confederation Park in Hamilton and although the weather didn't cooperate, we had a nice large pavilion to take shelter in. More on the actual event later.

I made up cards with help from my friend Keri for the 10 families that would have their lives changed by welcoming a Service dog into their family. For such a small organization, this is a great accomplishment to match so many teams up.

And inside the card...
I also made a bunch of Chocolate covered Oreos for the bags and for the Silent Auction.

For the bags, I found a design on my Silhouette for both the dog name and the child's name and used my Lawn Fawn alphabet dies to cut out the actual names. I was happy to finally use the Silhouette again. I should be using it more often.

The bag was stuffed and topped off with tissue...
It was a fun day and making the bags was right up my alley. Although I'm very glad that this Event is wrapped up and I can move on to some other things, like CLEANING!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Parmesan Potatoes

I seem to be on a run in the recipe department. While I have been crafting, its for an event coming up this weekend so I don't want to show off the results of my work until after the fact.

I recently had some company and wanted to fancy up my potatoes to go with the yummy T bone steak and grilled veggies.

Parmesan Potatoes
Baby new potatoes (about 12, just guesstimate how many for your family)
Green onions (2)
Red Onion 1/4 cup
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil, 3 Tbsp
Parmesan cheese (grated) 1/2 cup

Mix up everything but green onions and parsley (which I didn't have judging from the photo), its only for garnish anyway.
Spread potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with foil and bake at 350F until tender. Stir occasionally to get all the edges nicely browned.
And then garnish (or NOT)

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Butter Brickle Dessert

This dessert is a long time favourite but you better make sure that you have lots of company coming over because it makes a big batch and it will be calling your name from the freezer. You can amp it up and make your own caramel sauce but I opted to go with store bought. This recipe comes together very quickly and your guests will thank you for it.

Butter Brickle
2 cups flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1 jar Caramel sauce
1 pint vanilla ice cream

Melt butter, add flour, oatmeal, sugar and pecans. Pat thin on a large cookie sheet and bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Crumble while hot and spread half on bottom of 9x13 pan. Drizzle half caramel sauce over crumbs. Spread ice cream over top. (I but it with a knife and just lay it on top). Cover with remaining crumbs and drizzle with the rest of the caramel sauce.

I like to scoop some extra caramel over at the last minute. You can never go wrong with lots of sauce!

Monday, 5 September 2016

August 30 day challenge

For this month's 30 day challenge, I borrowed the Die-namics 3 hole die from Keri and she borrowed the Penny Black Dog image from me. For the life of me, I couldn't find a picture of the die image but you can get the idea from the card. I cut this one the closest ever, leaving just 40 minutes to complete the challenge on time. I confess I took a similar idea from the Net because time was of the essence, if you know what I mean.
It wasn't my original plan to use the same Penny Black stamp set but it ended up quite well although the images were a bit of a pain to fussy cut....
And here is Keri's card using the Stampin' Up Grunge stamp and the larger Penny Black image. I totally LOVE it and may have to make a few more for my collection....
Super cute cards. Here's the stamp set that we used...
We've already picked our items for next month. Stay tuned to see what we come up with. Hopefully I won't leave it to the last minute again.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Lemon Chicken

I'm back again with another great recipe. It's always really good to have a tried and true recipe from someone else. I've been going over to my friend Kathy's for years and quite often she will serve this recipe with mashed potatoes. YUM! We recently had it over the weekend and while its not exactly summer friendly requiring about an hour of oven time. It's a good recipe to have in the repertoire. Bake uncovered.

This product has recently come to my attention and while its pretty easy to boil rice, I especially like Basmati, which does take a bit of time to prepare. This pouch is ready in 90 seconds and comes out beautifully.
So there you have it. A quick and yummy meal and its also gluten free which is a nice option.

Lemon Chicken
Boneless, skinless chicken (2-4) depending on size ( this dish works better if the chicken is not too thick)
Dredge chicken in flour, salt, pepper and thyme (pinch)
Fry in butter

Mix 1 cup white wine
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
And pour over

Fry 1 bundle green onion and 1 tray sliced mushrooms in butter. Put over chicken and bake, uncovered, for approximately 1 hour at 350F until chicken is tender.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Collie Envy

Two of my friends just adopted dogs and I must say, I'm having a little "Collie envy".
Let me introduce Finn...
Isn't he just gorgeous? Those kind eyes just melt your heart. He's so gentle and calm. Rescued from a shelter, he's about a year old and was surrendered. I don't know how anyone could give away such a sweet dog. He's got the best family now and he's going to have a wonderful life.

And then there's Jupiter....
Ahhh! the sweet smell of puppy breath. Jupiter is about 12 weeks old and also came from a Rescue organization. She seems to be the calmest puppy ever, and those markings! I am a sucker for those eyebrows and she has the tiniest white tip on her tail. She's going to be spoiled rotten and have a great life with her new family. Can't wait to see both of these dogs grow and develop their personalities in the coming years.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Freshly Made Sketches

As soon as I saw this week's Freshly Made Sketches 248,  I knew I wanted to use my wheat dies which I had never used before since they reminded me somewhat of the feathers. Who knew I would have to cut them out several times attempting to find the right colour. I'm not happy with my final colour selection even though I tried to darken them up by inking but I wasn't going to start again. It's a beautiful die but very intricate so it was fussy to glue down and this was NOT my first attempt. All in all, it turned out not too badly.... they always look better in person.
And here's the Sketch I based it on ...
I guess that's why they call them "challenges".

Saturday, 6 August 2016

A new Monthly Challenge

In order to try and use some of our stashed supplies and save money by sharing stamps and dies, my friend Keri and I came up with a 30 day challenge. I have tried "joint custody" before but it wasn't specific enough. This new challenge seems to work really well. We can borrow whatever we want from the other person's stash for 30 days. Keri suggested we make 2 cards, one for her and one for me, that way we will actually use the items. So here is what we came up with for July, we both cased our cards, no need to be original is there?
I borrowed her MFT The Whole Herd stamp and die set..
and made us this card...
I wanted to try sponging the cloud background and I think it turned out pretty well.

Keri borrowed my Lawn Fawn set...
And made this card....
We have already chosen our items for August. Can't wait to see what we come up with.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Beautiful Northern Ontario

So this is what I have been enjoying for the last few days. It's been a tradition for many years for a large group of friends from our University days to meet up for the long weekend in August in the Kawarthas.
Our gracious host extends the welcome not only for the weekend but the week before and after depending on everyone's availability. It was so nice to relax, catch up with friends and enjoy the pristine waters of this beautiful Lake not to mention the delicious meals and many, many laughs. I feel so refreshed and ready to get back to the day to day chores with renewed vigor. So grateful to have this tradition and hope it continues for many more years. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Happy Birthday Lindor!

My sweet girl turned 8 today. She got a few liver snacks and some belly rubs but we'll have to celebrate tomorrow as I just got back from vacation.
Hopefully it will cool off a bit so we can enjoy a long walk.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

The Milestone Misti

So I recently retired from my career as a Secondary School teacher. I have many good memories from those days but I am ready to have a little more free time down the road. My very good friends who know me so well got me a Misti with all the accessories. I am having a blast figuring it out and it certainly will become a very useful tool in my arsenal...
I had a wonderful PAW-tay and this is my favourite retirement photo.
I don't have many/any photos of myself recently and I really wanted one with the dogs. Look at the gray on Lindor's chin. She's going to be 8 years old on Wed. Hard to be believe. She just became a grand-doggy again as her daughter Eden had another litter of 4 pups. Maya is slowing down. She likes to sleep a lot and chase the odd squirrel despite a bum knee.

I am looking forward to planning my next Fund-raising endeavour and volunteering more, travelling a bit, and spending more time with my family and friends. OH and maybe reading at least 20 books a year! Looking forward to this next phase.