Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sunday Food and Pets Post - 🍲 Best Asparagus Soup I've Ever Made! 🍲


Hi Everyone 😊

How are things by you? It's another cold winter day here in the mountains. I'm settling into my winter routine, hibernation basically! We're still eating from the freezer and pantry though I found some really nice asparagus on sale at the market last week, so I made the best Asparagus Soup I've ever made, honestly. It was flavourful, rich and creamy (without having to add dairy), and SO easy to make. We ate the entire pot in one sitting! 


I had some leftover asparagus, so I used it in a basic pasta dish - nothing special, just some cooked pasta, lemon, olive oil, Parm and breadcrumbs. It was just so-so! Needed some jazzing up!


Another recipe that could use some jazzing up: Taste of Home's Crispy Fried Onion Rings. I'm sharing the recipe that I tried, but it needs some kind of spice to it. The onion rings were fabulous and crispy. I used Vidalia onions - the flavours of the sweet onion with the salty batter were great, but a bit bland. Do you make onion rings, and if so, what spices do you use? We thought maybe Old Bay Seasoning next time.


I served the onion rings with my Mushroom Burgers. These are great with a little melted Cheddar, some tomatoes and a light scrape of mayo!


A lot of the meals I'm making lately are simple proteins with a veg on the side. I bake my fish in foil at 450 F for about 10 minutes, with a little olive oil and Balsamic vinegar and it's a treat every time! Christmas is coming up and there will be some heavy eating so I'm taking the opportunity to try to eat cleaner for a little while!


Having said that...I couldn't help myself! I made Cinnamon Crunch Knots yesterday!! They're so yummy and make the house smell so good while they're baking!


Another delicious soup night! I made a Tomato Basil Ravioli Soup last night and it was really nice. I guess traditionally one would use tortellini in soups, but we had ravioli and it worked well! This was another "empty the freezer/pantry" soup!

Charlie, Baby Oscar and Big-Nose Marlene

The most comfortable place in my home - our bed! Alex and I rarely use the living room. The pets basically took over the couches so when we relax and watch movies, we are usually in bed. Of course, the pets hang out with us too; and they are always generous enough to leave us a wee bit of space!


With temperatures dipping to the minus 20's Celsius, Jack is in his full winter gear every time he goes outside. I think he'd rather be snuggled in bed under the covers! (Here's my post from 2018 showing how I make these $4 dog boots)

Thanks for visiting! 😊 See you on Thursday for our art date, the theme is CHILLING - very appropriate for this cold November!!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Forest and Critters & Paint Party Friday!


Hello Friends :)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date, today our theme is Forest and Critters! Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck landed the roles of Hansel and Gretel this week. They just emerged from the haunted forest. What do you think - will they go into the candy house or call their agents for less dangerous acting jobs? 😊

Important Note: I don't want to be an πŸ‘Ή ogre πŸ‘Ή, and I hate that I'm forced to say this; but PUH-LEEZE...don't include your link if you aren't following the weekly art theme!!! I'm not a marketing tool to give you hits on your blog! I will have to remove your link if that's the case! Thanks for respecting me and my fellow artists who put their minds, hearts and souls into creating art for the themes!!!



Here's Algie in oil pastels - I've been wanting to whip those pastels out for a while now! Oil pastels are so much fun to use! Algie was one of the three squirrels that Alex and I found in our basement walls last spring. We babied those critters for nearly two months before releasing them into the woods. Algie was the gentlest and the sweetest of the three - here's a video I took with her in my pocket.


Here's a gorgeous critter! This drake is a chick-magnet with his brilliant colours! We are lucky to live in an area where we can see such lovely wildlife all year round!


I really enjoyed using my markers this week! I love how colourful they are when you mix them up with coloured pencils! This is my Enchanted Mushroom Forest. Alex and I went to the art supply store a few days ago and I'm just itching to try new things...I'm thinking about pan pastels, charcoal, oil pencils and special blending tools. Art is so much fun!!!


Still using that watercolour layering technique, I decided to paint the biggest critter in the forest, the moose. I ran into a moose once during a long mountain hike in Orford Quebec, he was very docile. I kept my distance though. I WISH I had a photo to show you! But I think my nerves got to me and I'm not one of those idiots who tries to take a "selfie" with a wild animal! 😊 You definitely don't want to run into a male moose during mating season, they are known to be very aggressive during the rut. They are beautiful animals, the largest deer species in the world.


Something got the dogs' attention this morning!


Jack got cold and ran for the door; but the girls kept digging. I'm guessing a little critter must have hopped across the ground before it snowed.

Cold Mountain River

That's all for now folks, please check out the link widget below to see more Forest and Critters artwork! And please join me on Sunday for my food and pets post. 🐾🐾🐾


I'm also linking up with Paint Party Friday tomorrow!

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Chilling weather last February - notice my frozen hair!!

November 21st: Next Thursday's theme is Chilling! Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! 😊

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes.

Don't forget to add the URL link to your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! The link gadget expires Sunday at noon (EST).

⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡  Be forewarned ⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡  If you include a link that doesn't follow the art date theme, it will be removed! Thanks for your understanding and for respecting my fellow artists who put their minds, hearts and souls into creating art for the themes!

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday Food and Pets Post - ❄️ Snowy and Cold Sunday ❄️


Happy Sunday Friends!

How's your weather? Winter is here in the Laurentians. It's very pretty but dang is it cold! The huskies love it, but Jack will soon be giving me those bedroom eyes in hopes I won't make him pee outside. I don't blame him!!


It's clean out the pantry, fridge and freezer week! I had some leftover blueberries that I froze last summer so I made some really delicious Blueberry Muffins. I LOVE muffins! I don't think I have a favourite though, do you?


I had bags of frozen tortillas so the other night I made a Meatless Mexican Lasagna. This lasagna is a mish-mash of ingredients that I needed to use up. One layer of roasted potato slices, lots of fried onions and tomatoes, salsa, scrambled eggs and of course, Cheddar cheese. I wasn't sure it would work but it was very good! 


I gleefully discovered that I had a frozen pie crust in the deep freezer; and I had leftover Thanksgiving pumpkin pie filling, so I made another Creamy Pumpkin Pie.


I had a Butternut squash sitting in the bottom of the fridge (that I'd forgotten about!), so I made my Apple and Butternut Squash Bisque. I tried a new recipe for Dinner Rolls and they went very well with the soup! 


I'm planning on using up a lot of veggies this week for some lovely soups: French Onion Soup, Carrot Soup with Orange and Ginger, Roasted Tomato Soup and Leek and Potato Soup. Alex and I are "clean-eating" for the next few weeks. Our Thanksgiving and Halloween feasts were a lot of fun but we both need a break from the sugary fatty foods for a while! What's for dinner tonight chez vous?


The heat is on now in every room. It's very cold for November, I hope that's not an omen for the next six months!! The cats all hang out together on the couch right in front of the heater. They love being toasty warm!


Marlene and Jack love being warm under their little blankets too!


Charlie though...she is a pure husky and she would live in an igloo if we let her!


Here's another gif from photos I took of Jack. He's trying to stay awake!

See you on Thursday for our art date, remember, the theme is Forest and Critters! 😊

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Crisp and Brilliant; and Paint Party Friday!


Hello Friends :)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date, today our theme is Crisp and Brilliant. I'm so proud of Tweety Bird aren't you? 😊 Granny definitely is! I think he graduated Summa Cum Lada in the subjects of innocence and cheek-pinch-ability.

I have to admit, I stumped myself for this theme. The ideas for future themes just come to me but I don't always think them through lol. Was it easy for you to come up with something? I can't wait to see your creations!! By the way, check out the 2020 Art Date Themes I came up with last weekend during the last power outage. It's just a rough list and I'll add links and pages for inspiration as time goes on!


I'm also linking up with Paint Party Friday tomorrow!


Here is my rainbow of pine trees - painted with brilliantly colourful watercolours.


And what better way to spend a crisp cool Autumn evening, than snuggling with the one you love? (Human or furball!!) I did this in watercolour as well.


It's been a busy week for me. It's monthly meal planning and shopping week! I have lots of comforting meals planned as winter starts to set in here in the mountains. Soups, stews, pastas and cheese..oh so much cheese! πŸ˜‹ Speaking of cheese, I opened my Monterey Jack yesterday and it was not quite what I expected! (See  Rainy Day Cheese Making for the video!)

That's all for now folks, please check out the link widget below to see more Crisp and Brilliant artwork! Visit Paint Party Friday tomorrow as well for more lovely creative art. And please join me on Sunday for my food and pets post. 🐾🐾🐾

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Baby groundhogs in the woods behind my cottage back in 2010.

November 14th: Next Thursday's theme is Forest and Critters! Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! 😊

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes.

Don't forget to add the URL link to your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! Please don't include a link unless you participate in the art date!

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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sunday Food and Pets Post - Mostly Pups!


Hello Friends!

It's a snowy Sunday here in the Laurentian mountains! I'm back in the woods early in the morning now that we set the clocks back an hour. I got this photo just as the dogs all heard something. It ended up being a rabbit and they went nuts! I have SO much energy today...the house is spotless, I've got loads of laundry going and I have some dinner rolls rising...I'm emptying out the fridge and making a few soups too, that should offset the Halloween candy hangover!! 😏


Due to high winds, we lost power all day Friday and most of the day/night yesterday. Every time we lose power for extended periods of time, I get anxious and scared because it reminds me of the 1998 Ice Storm in Montreal that I lived through. It was traumatic for me. No power for 2 weeks in frigid January weather, no clean water, price gouging and looting. I was all alone then, my parents told me I could stay with them (they had a fireplace and a barbecue), but I couldn't bring my dogs. How nice huh? None of the bank machines worked and I had maybe $10 to buy water. The army was trying to force people out of their homes to stay in shelters, but again, no pets allowed. There was no way I was abandoning my 2 pugs. I remember soldiers banging on my door and me trying to keep my dogs as quiet as possible...I hid for 2 hours until they left my street before I lit another candle. It felt dystopian...I learned a lot having lived through that.

Experiences like this strengthen my resolve to set up my future home off grid. We were okay the last few days though I could use some brushing up on my prepping...thankfully it wasn't too cold out, we had lots of blankets, candles and water. Good thing we had plenty of Halloween food to eat too!


This was the Halloween feast! I'm so thankful we had power on Halloween so I could cook!


Shrunken head potatoes.


Halloweenie shaped mini pizzas.


Mummified Baked Brie. This was the star of the show! You can make this without the mummy attire for any occasion. I'm thinking it'll be back for Christmas time!


The oozie goodness! 😊 There is a layer of cranberry sauce in there, leftover from Thanksgiving.


And to end my favourite holiday of the year, Halloween Cupcakes. The cupcakes have an orange flavour, so I added Grand Marnier to the frosting. 

What are you up to today? I'm just about to clean out the cupboards, take inventory and plan the monthly shopping trip and meal plan.

See you on Thursday for our art date, the theme is Crisp and Brilliant! Oh, by the way, during the power outage, I grabbed my notebook and wrote out the themes for every Thursday's Art Date in 2020. I just listed them for now and I'll update them with a linked page for ideas if you want to check it out!