Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Scribble Picnic: Hot Chocolate and Fondue Nights!


This week's Scribble Picnic theme is "Hot Chocolate". During the next few months, my goal will be warm and cozy as we enjoy what winter has to offer. Sitting by my window on a cold winter night, looking at the Moon and watching the snow fall with a big cup of hot chocolate (laced with a little rye whisky!) is warm and cozy! I painted this scene with watercolours.


And just for fun for those who remember the disco era, here is a video of Hot Chocolate's "You Sexy Thing". I was seven when this came out but I remember rollerskating to this tune at the local rink, Caesar's Palace in Lasalle, Quebec. Martha did you ever go there?? Oh my gosh, I was ensconced in satin in those days lol!! Please follow the above link if you'd like to see other scribbles! :) Next week's theme is "Table Cloth", why not join in yourself? :)


Whoda-thunk-it? On the 14th of each month, Alex and I have a fondue night to celebrate our "monthly anniversary". December 14th's fondue night brought a big storm and a power failure. Guess what happened again on January 14th??? Big storm and a power failure! Kind of weird huh? :) There was a big blizzard and wind storm that knocked the lines down. This one lasted nearly 5 hours though, so it wasn't very pleasant in -25C weather. We had all the pets in the living room with the fire going. We were all able to keep warm though thankfully!


We decided to make our fondue night anyway and actually made the fondue in the pot with the little gas burner underneath and it worked pretty well, but it took a long time for the cheese to melt! We had an Italian fondue with Mozza, tomatoes and garlic. Mmm! :)


Monday was Alex's 30th birthday! :) I made him breakfast in bed, his Grandma's recipe for "Toast-ettes".


For his birthday dinner I made ANOTHER fondue night! This time it was a Hot Pot fondue. It's also called Chinese Fondue. You dip your meat and veggies into boiling broth and cook it that way. It was a fun meal and we both loved it! :) Note the different fondue pot - I guess we have become fondue folk...different pots for different fondues! :)


Here's an action shot of my cooked chicken. When fondue meats are on sale, I buy a bunch of them for the freezer. It's very difficult to slice meat as thinly as the butcher does; but it can get pricey if you buy the meats regular price. They're also good to make Philly Cheese Steaks.


For his birthday cake, I made a Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie! This was a first for me and it was a success! :)


Look at that...it's homemade lemon curd mixed with vanilla ice cream and a meringue topping on a graham cracker crust. It was SO SWEET...we needed a glass of milk after one little slice! :) 


I hope everyone is having a great week. It's been really cold here again. This is the scene every morning when Alex wakes up. Marlene, Pavlov, Stella and Jack wait patiently when they hear him stirring...


Charlie is so lazy, she waits at the bottom of the stairs, not using up her precious energy...


The hounds. I think I will take their lead and laze about for the rest of the day. :) It's too cold to go outside!

53 comments:

Sunnybrook Farm said...

You don't need power to have a wonderful time of it!
We are getting snow today, no fondue but I will fix something,
maybe it will involve bacon!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Happy Birthday, Alex! I thought of you this week when I was grocery shopping, Rain. I saw BAGGED SWISS FONDU for sale! Can you imagine? I just shook my head and put it back. The great recipe I have for Hot Pot à la Chinoise fondu came from a Quebecoise friend about 40 years ago -- just delicious!

Rain said...

HI Gill :) You're right, but...it would have been nice to have a generator to bring some heat inside...we had our hats and gloves on at one point! Bacon sounds great to me! I have a fondue recipe that calls for bacon too! :)

Rain said...

Hi Debra :) Oh my gosh...BAGGED Swiss Fondue...that goes against all of my cheese values lol...The hot pots are SO GOOD...and it makes dinner fun too! :)

wisps of words said...

Another great scene...

Oh my, more power outage! And a recurring one, at that! -sigh- And with those temps! I am such a wimp, with what we think of, as awfully cold. Hahhhhh... Compared to your lows, ours are nothing.

All that delicious food you make, certainly takes the edge off the cold though!

Belated Happy Birthday to Alex!!!!

Oh mercy, that pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -happy sigh-

We are in a "Marshmallow Covered World" again. It is very pretty. But I worry about lots of snow, on power lines. But! Worry does nothing!!!

Stay in and stay warm. We will tooooo. Hugssssss...

laurie said...

your painting is beautiful and is very cosy!!! Rain you are honestly a force to be reckoned with, look out Martha stewart lol,,you are an amazing cook!!
She has lots of dogs too lo, ( I had to add that lol )

Sandi said...

The food photos are fantastic! And I LOVE the window painting.

Pam Jackson said...

I love your drawing. Sitting here looking out at the snow we had yesterday. Enough to cover the grass and make the roads a mess. It has been crazy cold here in TN this yr. We don't normally have temps this low. Last yr we only had a dusting of snow. This is our second one in a week. The cold has be lazing around like the pic of your dogs! haha....Dakota stays right next to me while Lily is not a cuddler. Stay warm, stay safe, keep those furbabes warm also! Smiles.

Jenn said...

Ooh I love the Hot Chocolate scribble picnic! They should be greeting cards!
Hot Pot is one of my favourite things ever! I haven't had it in years though.
Hope the Feb 14th fondue/anniversary/v-day goes well!!

John M said...

Say happy birthday. The mid-month fondue night is a good idea.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

You and Alex make the best of everything. What a wonderful relationship you two have.

Serena Lewis said...

Lovely sketch for the theme, Rain! I know computer monitors can vary in colour tones but, on mine, it's a lovely Teal blue/green...one of my favourite colours.

Yep, great minds do think alike! Too funny that we both thought along the lines of the Hot Chocolate group. haha

I love seeing all the pics of the pooches!

My kids used to love black-outs as I would get out my guitar and we would have singalongs. We used to also play with a torch and make shadow shapes on the wall. Fun times. hehe

Sam I Am...... said...

I like your 'rigged' fondue pot....I may do that since I don't have a pot although I think I could pick one up really cheap as I see them at the thrift stores. Happy Birthday to Alex! 30? I am more than twice his age! LOL! How sweet of you to fix him him all his favorites. My favorite is lemon merengue pie but that one sounds too sweet for me but it sounded really good with lemon curd and ice cream too!
Your 'pack' is so darn cute and they all have such unique expressions.
Your art work is amazing as usual. I love how you have trees on the mug like the ones outside in your picture. Lucky you with the snow! It is just cold here but suppoed to warm up to 60's by Sunday and then rain. Wonderful dishes you prepared as usual. I'm off to make your pizza dough right now! Hugs ~ Sam

Wanda said...

Rain, it's always fun to come to your house and see a slice of your life. It's a good life, darling animals, warm and friendly food....you are most inviting.

Your painting of the winter scene and mug to match is so cozy and love the rich and beautiful greens and blues.

You food is to die for....or should I say to live for!!! haha. Blessing,...have a great day.

Christine said...

The food always looks so good at your house! Happy Birthday to Alex, that's a big one. 5 hours is a long time to go without power, we have a gas fireplace which is reassuring. You set the scene so beautifully for your hot chocolate, I love the idea of sipping in by the window under the moon.

Stefanie said...

I love the green and teals you used in your Scribble. What a loving and thoughtful wife you are. What a lucky husband he is. I'm sorry you had another power outage again. I'm glad you were able to at least keep warm. I have to try hot pot at home. My kids have never had it.
Thank you for your recent visit. I love green, blues, and purples for sure. And thank you for telling me what are your favorite pens to use. I'll look them up.

Fallingladies said...

So glad you are joining in with Michael and I in our sketching!

I used to love fondue, we did all sorts growing up but my husband doesn’t Care for it so I haven’t had it in years. Used to be a New Years treat especially!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

What a fun post! Where to start... I laughed out loud with Charlie waiting at the bottom of the stairs. That is so cute...and so funny! LOL

Your painting is gorgeous! I love it. Such a comfy and cozy winter scene. It is a beautiful season and I can't imagine living somewhere where we didn't enjoy four seasons. I only wish it didn't get as cold as it does sometimes. And that it didn't last so long!

I love fondues but we haven't done it in ages. I used to enjoy doing them together with the girls when they were young. Our favourite was chocolate fondues but we also enjoyed fondues with thin slices of meat. That was so tasty! We have a brand new fondue set and I keep saying I'll take it out, dust it off and put it to use. One of these days!

I was a huge fan of the disco era. My friends and I used to go downtown and get into dance clubs with our fake ID's. Did you have one of those? They looked soooo fake...lol... Anyhow, we went there to listen to the music and dance. I still play disco songs sometimes and dance around the house. Unfortunately, I never went to Caesar's Palace in Lasalle, although I'd heard of it. It's not an area we knew at all and we really didn't hang out there.

And most important of all, happy birthday to Alex! Wishing him many more happy and healthy years ahead!

Lorraine said...

I love your painting Rain. It is the perfect wintry scene. So sorry about the power deal. We've been without power in the winter and I know it's not fun. Glad it didn't last that long and you were able to have your little celebration. And that pie is making my mouth water!!!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

The pie looks great Rain! And I have always viewed power outages as (yet) another reason catch up on reading...

Michael said...

Your painting here is wonderful, Rain. I love it. Did you use masking tape there too for the windows? look great! It's perfect for the theme and oh so cozy...just like your life and those fab rituals you and Alex share. Happy belated bday to him too.

That lemon meringue looks utterly gooey and delicious. Way better than my doughnut. Yum! ha.

Anyway, so happy to see you jumping in to the drawing thing. It will be interesting to learn what sort of images each of us do. It's funny how doing dry media challenges you more whereas most people would say the opposite. As it is, I plan to work on my pen and ink too as I really want to be up to speed for Oktoberfest and continuing through my folklore and urban legends series! there's several letters I never got to. :)

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

I need to scour the thrift shops for a fondue pot! You have inspired me! :)

Another storm?!?! We haven't had a good and proper storm for quite a few years. I wish we would get one that shut the city down for a few days. That would be nice. :)

I love hot chocolate with peppermint extract in it. That's my fave :) So cozy to drink.

That pie looks good! (sans meringue for me). Was it hard to make the curd?

Happiest of birthdays to Alex too! :)

LOL - our house has baby gates up too! One day I am sure that once all the puppies get out of puppy hood than maybe the gates will come down. But for now they stay up!

Andrea Priebe said...

By the time I finish reading your posts I am so hungry, I have to run downstairs and eat something ... but then it is never as exciting or satiisfying as what you post. I love Fondue and haven't done it for years. We have done the broth, the cheese and the chocolate Fondue for desert. And OMG that Lemon Meringue ice cream pie ... you will do me in. I am trying not to eat sugar because it makes me hungry and I eat more and more, but if I were to come to your house, I would surely make a pig of myself. You and Alex live a wonderful love filled life to be admired ... and not to be forgotten, your beautiful painting. I can see the snow and feel the cold wind. Beautiful, Rain ...

Andrea @ From the Sol

Susan said...

I love your painting - it really captures the feeling that hot chocolate gives one. Isn't that interesting, storms on your monthly anniversary...hmmmm. It looks so cozy with the dogs. And that pie - OMG. That pie. I almost was brought to tears. Happy Birthday, Alex!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Hot chocolate does sound good on a cold day! I have only had fondue once that I can remember and that was at a friend's house. Glad you could stay warm when the electricity was off! That pie looks so good but would you make a gluten free crust so I can have some! LOL Nancy

Leigh said...

I love your watercolor! And that shot of the dogs on the stairs is great. Happy Birthday to Alex! And oh my, the pie. Lemon is my favorite and who doesn't love ice cream. I'll have to try this recipe.

Mary said...

Rain I love your piece for the Hot Chocolate theme - wasn't it a fun one this week!
Those doggies are amazing to me - one is a lot of work but five must really keep you hopping. The looks in their eyes are so loving though - and it's nice they get along with the kitties too! You amaze me Rain, and your cooking skills are awesome too!

Belated Happy Birthday to Alex.
Happy weekend - stay warm.

Rain said...

Thank you Wisps of Words :) It was odd to have another power failure on fondue night! But we made it. When we buy our property, we're going to have it set up to handle outages, right now, the rent and hydro alone are taking up all of our income practically! The food definitely helped! :)

Rain said...

Thank you Laurie :) Ha ha ha...I am Martha Stewart here at my house! :) I know she has tons of dogs...I wish I could handle more, I would love to rescue them all! :)

Rain said...

Thank you Sandi :)

Rain said...

Thanks Pam :) I don't normally equate snow with Tennessee! Though my geography isn't very good. :) I find that our dogs are much more cuddly than the cats. Oscar the rescue cat though, he thinks he's a dog anyway, so he's always on my lap! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Jenn :) The hot pot was awesome! I have to try different broths now...we stick to the beef style, but I do have a Fondue cookbook, I've been focusing mostly on the cheese fondues, but the hot pots are next! :) I hope next 14th we have power too lol...double whammy, monthly anniversay AND Valentine's day!! :)

Rain said...

Thanks John :) I love this monthly tradition!

Rain said...

Thank you Starting Over :) We both are lucky to have found each other. :)

Rain said...

Thanks Serena :) How nice...I think the painting itself is more of a bluer turquoise! :) But I love teal blue/green as well! I try to only use blues and whites in my paintings lately, I love those colours and they make such beautiful hues and textures! Oh that's fun about the shapes on the walls! I do love power failures, I find them fun and it's good once in a while to be forced away from technology! But...not when it's so cold!! :)

Rain said...

Hi Sam :)) You could probably easily find a fondue pot at a thrift store! The stores here have lots of them, but we wanted to find a nice new one because we will be having lots of fondues in our lifetime!! That Raclette machine that melts the cheese, that was a $6 or $8 (can't remember) thrift store find too. Next time we go out, I'm going to try to find a small fondue pot for chocolate fondue. Yeah, Alex is just 30 :) The pie was SO sweet...mostly from the meringue though.

You noticed that I mimicked the scene on my mug! :) I hope the pizza turned out well! :)

Rain said...

Thank you Wanda :) Ha ha ha...I hope my food is to live for lol! Though I have to start being a bit mindful of fats!

Rain said...

Thanks Christine :) I have a nice window here in my office (the former dining room) and when the moon is out, it's gorgeous. I often sit and just enjoy the view. It's all so blue outside in the winter! Oh that's great to have a gas fireplace. I can handle no power and water (we have candles, flashlights and a big supply of extra water)....but heat in the winter? That scares me when we lose it.

Rain said...

Thank you Stefanie :) I think you'll enjoy the hot pot! It's such a fun dinner for the family. There's a little ritual I used to play when we had it as a kid. If you drop your meat or veg in the pot (from the fondue fork), you had to kiss the person to your right. Of course, we kids changed that to PUNCH THE ARM of the person to your right...but the kids like that kind of silly thing! :)

Rain said...

Hi Andrea :) Thanks for visiting!! :) I think if Alex didn't like fondue, I would still have it for myself! LOL...I love it so much! And yes, I am enjoying the daily drawing...it's really a lot of fun! :)

Rain said...

Hi Martha :) Charlie will NOT expend any unneeded energy. I call that LAZY lol...actually Marlene is the same, she'll be lying down and if S&P start playing, she'll just bark from her laid down position, no need to get up lol...And thanks! That painting was fun to do. But I agree about the cold...it gets right into my bones it seems.

Oh you NEED to take out that fondue pot!!! Dust it off and have a romantic Valentine's dinner with the hubs! :))

Yes, they were SO fake those ID's...I don't know why they let us in, we looked our age for sure...sometimes we would just "grease" the doorman a $10 and he'd let us all in. The clubs we went to probably weren't doing so well lol...

Rain said...

Thank you Lorraine :) The pie was so good! I still have some lemon curd so I'm going to make yet another one tonight lol...musn't waste! :) This was a long outage. Normally the power company gets it back going quicker, 5 hours was a little long in such cold weather though.

Rain said...

Thanks TB :) I'm the same, I don't mind the power out as long as it's not too cold! We just sat by the fire after we ate and digested and played some board games while we waited for it to be restored. It was a nice evening! :)

Rain said...

Thank you Michael :) Yes! I used masking tape! I use that for the borders all the time, it works really well with the watercolours! I just thought of it last minute when I thought of a window. My own windows don't have those frames, but I thought it looked nice!

Ha ha..I must say that yes, the pie was much better than ANY doughnut lol! :) Though yours looked delish!

I love that you are doing the folklore and urban legends. I have a monster theme going in my head at the moment! :)

Rain said...

Hi Dianna :) Yes! Get to the thrift stores!!! :) Fondue is necessary especially in the winter! :) Chocolate and peppermint sound really good together! But I'd opt for some Bailey's now and then too :) Does hot chocolate and wine mix? Lol ;)

Yeah, the baby gates...those stay on always! Well, we keep one to lock the dogs out of the basement so the cats can "litter" in peace! And the one on the stairs is just there at night so we don't hear them walking along the hallway and waking us up! I don't think they'll ever come down lol...

Rain said...

Hi Andrea :) Ha ha ha...I'm glad my posts give off that hunger appeal lol! I just love fondue...I want to find a little second hand chocolate pot next time we go to the thrift stores. I haven't done chocolate fondue in ages. I have a recipe that calls for an entire Toblerone bar (the big one) for the fondue...imagine...mmmm! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Susan :) Yeah, interesting...I hope it's not some kind of omen about those storms! I'm just thinking it was a terrible fluke, but if it happens on Feb 14th, I'll be a little suspicious lol! Ha ha..brought to tears...I think it's gluten free though with graham crackers? Do they have gluten?

Rain said...

Hi Nancy :) I was just wondering but now I guess that graham crackers do have gluten! But you could eat the filling! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Leigh :) The combination of the ice cream and lemon curd...oof. It makes it so nice and creamy! I hope you do try it, let me know if you do!

Rain said...

Hi Mary :) Thank you, it was a fun one this week! :) I already have my idea for Table Cloth! :) Five dogs is a lot of work...but as the days go by, it is getting easier. There is always an adjustment period when you add a new pet and in our experience it's from 3-6 months before things calm down. And it's not just the new pets, the other ones act up too, all trying to get used to the new pecking order lol...We just have one of the three cats that is still kind of nasty to the dogs and tries to swipe them, but he's learning that it's not such a good idea when the dogs bark back at him!

joeks said...

Your painting looks like it felt here yesterday, with the wind driving the snow along. Now why in the world didn't I think to fix a cup of hot chocolate?

Rain said...

LOL Jolene! That's funny...considering the theme for the picnic last week! :)

Andrea Priebe said...

I have not figured out how to post on Instagram. Micheal tried to help me, I even watched a youtube tutorieal, but my computer doesn't seem to have the same prompts that they had so that didn't do me anygood. And, I now seem to have two Instagram accounts. One I knew I had and then another suddenly appeared after Micheal tried to help. I just threw up my hands in disgust and made a new page on my blog and I am posting there. If you click on the little mouse at the sidebar it will take you to the few drawings I have accomplished.
I am open to suggestion, Rain if you know something I haven't tried, otherwise I thank you for your thoughtful offer and it will just have to be what it is :) You are a sweetheart ... Thank you, Rain.

Andrea @ From the Sol