Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Walks on the beach

I know, it was just a few days ago that I declared on this blog that I did'nt want to rush winter but my mind is slowly drifting towards thoughts of beachcombing and walks on the beach. Do you think it's wrong to think like this ?

Happy middle of the week day tomorrow !

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Let's not rush winter

Although the signs of winter are still very visible outside...

... it's very clear that warmer days are not that far away.

But let's not rush winter shall we. I might need it for just a short while longer, to stay all toasty warm inside and enjoying our butter toffee caramel sauce on ice cream.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend and that you're finding time to ''breathe''.

Intended to be candy

One evening earlier in the week I set out to make these caramels. Everything was going smoothly and bubbly but I just could'nt get the candy thermometer to go over 225. I did'nt want to keep boiling it as not to burn the mixture so I stopped at 225, poured it in a pan and put it in the fridge for a few hours to cool. The next morning the mixture was nice and creamy - the perfect butter caramel topping for ice cream. I guess those extra 10 degrees would have made a difference but we don't mind our ice cream delicious-ness one little bit. Next time, I might just stop boiling at 225... just because.

And this last picture of my best-bud doing what she loves best - chillin' on her favorite blankie which she's had for 12 years.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Food week : Dessert

I know, this picture illustrates the beginnings of a pie and I love pie but my fav dessert is Blueberry Buckle. And not just any blueberry buckle... it's Martha's own version (and her mom's streusel topping recipe).

Visit here for Martha's recipe.

I never bake blueberry buckle without having vanilla ice cream in the house to put a generous serving on top of my piece and anyone else's.

Thank you to Sherrie for hosting yet another fabulous theme week and to all the participants for sharing many delicious recipes that are now neatly stored away in my recipe three-ring binder.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Food week : Vegetable

We are in the middle of a wintery snow storm this morning and it's also "Vegetable Recipe" day for Sherrie's food week.

(No pictures today, sorry)

Baked potatoes

I don't really have a recipe, here is what I put together.

Wash and scrub two large potatoes, poke a few times with a fork. Cover each individual potato with foil wrap and bake in a 350 degree oven until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool down a little so you can easily handle them. Slice both potatoes in half. Lay the four pieces on a cookie sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with dried basil, small pieces of broccoli, grated cheese (I usually put what I have on hand which is cheddar and mozzerella). Broil in oven just until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven, top with snipped chives and serve with a dollop of sour cream. (Note - you can add fried bacon before you add the cheese).

I love eating baked potatoes, especially in the Winter.

Take a look at what others are cooking.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Food week : Supper

It's suppertime bloggies !!!!!

Here is my contribution for today's "Food Week" recipe - Maple salmon with sweet spinach salad.

Salmon glaze :

Mix the following in a bowl until well blended.

2 tablespoon butter, room temperature
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon mustard
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup

Spread over whole salmon, salmon steaks, or salmon pieces in a baking pan. Cover pan with foil and bake in 350 degree oven until salmon flakes easily. I usually bake the salmon pieces and these take about 20-30 minutes.

Sweet Spinach Salad

1 pkg. baby spinach
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I use these instead of the mandarin oranges)
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 hard boiled eggs
Dressing :
1/3 cup sugar (I use organic cane)
3 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey (I use Agave)
2 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil

In a large salad bowl, toss spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms; set aside. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine the first 7 dressing ingredients. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Whisk in the oil. Drizzle over salad, add dried cranberries, toss to coat. Finally, top with sliced hard-boiled eggs.

I can't seem to have enough salmon. I just love it to death. And leafy green veggies - well they taste good and they're good for you. Y'all knew that right !

(Both pictures are from Google Images because I just could'nt find pictures of my own creations).

Check out the delicious-ness others have on their blogs.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Food week : Lunch

Our gracious hostess is asking to see our favorite recipe for lunch. Here's mine.

Black Beans and Rice

(Google Image - this image is not at all what this dish looks like, I just wanted to add a picture to my post)

Don't be fooled by the simple ingredients in this recipe. Thinking that it could be taste-less. Believe me, it's very tasty and delicious (at least I think so). I make this dish at least once in two weeks - making about five lunches for the work week. If you're like me and don't eat meat, black beans are the perfect addition to your diet.

Black Beans and Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked white basmati rice
1.5 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1.5 cups black beans, drained

In a stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the rice and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and cumin, bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes. Add the black beans.

Enjoy !

Hop-on over to Sherrie's blog for a list of participants in Food Week.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Food week : Breakfast

(from Google Images)

Sherrie over at Frenchy's Finds is hosting "Food Week". Thank you Sherrie ! Share our favorite recipes in each of the categories she has identified. Hop on over to her website to see how you can play along.

Here is what Sherrie is looking for today - our favorite recipe for breakfast.

Although I am not usually a breakfast person I force myself to have a light breakfast on weekdays - two slices of toast with jam and my "loving" cup of coffee or a small bowl of oats. But on weekends I enjoy treating myself to a nice breakfast and this is what I love to enjoy :


1 cup all-purpose flour (I use unbleached flour)
1 teaspoon white sugar (organic cane for me)
1/4 teaspoon salt (sea salt)
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted butter

Sift together flour, sugar, salt and orange rind; set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla together with an electric mixer. Beat in flour mixture until smooth; stir in melted butter.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan (I use a small frying pan and it works fine. The size of the pan depends on how small or big you want your crepe) over medium heat. Pour the batter onto the pan, using approximately 2 tablespoons for each crepe. Tip and rotate pan to spread batter as thinly as possible. Brown on both sides, slide onto a plate and roll-up and serve hot with the following drizzled on top :

Orange maple syrup :

1 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Put all ingredients in a small saucepan on low to medium heat and heat through. No need to let it boil. When butter is melted and all ingredients are well blended together - it's ready to drizzle over your rolled-up crepes.

You can very well add fruits on top of your crepes such as orange slices, strawberries, banana slices, etc. No limits - it's up to you; add whatever you like or what you have on hand. Gee, you can spread some Nutella before rolling, that's always good, right.

On the side - a cup of coffee.

Yup, you guessed it - tomorrow will be "Lunch" Tuesday. If you like black beans, I have the recipe for you.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

The lifestyle I prefer

To follow-up on my post of turning 50 later this year and my gifts to myself I would like to take a few minutes here and go a little further to explain why I had mentioned that my body prefers foods that are "cool". After practicing yoga for a few years and trying to live a yogic lifestyle as much as possible (this is a work in progress) I decided to further study the subject of Ayurvedic Medecine. Yoga and Ayurveda are sisters.

Ayurveda is India's 5,000 year old "Science of Life" - it's the art of living in harmony with nature. Don't get me wrong, I still prefer alternative medecine but the "doshas" are what brought my attention to Ayurvedic medecine. Your dosha is your ayurveda mind and body type (I won't go in details on this subject; way too complexe, but if you want to know more go ahead and google). There are three doshas and after talking with an ayurvedic consultant we've come to the conclusion that my dosha is "Pitta".
Here are a few facts about a "pitta" person :

- should keep a regular bedtime and morning routine. In bed by 10 p.m. and up by 6 a.m.
- are generally of medium built.
- body temperature is always very warm or hot.
- have a sharp wit and a good ability to concentrate.
- fire is a characteristic - shows up as fiery red hair or a short temper.
- can go out of balance with overexposure to the sun.
- are ambitious by nature but also can be demanding and abrasive.
- known for strong digestion.
- alcohol and tobacco show up as imbalance.
- to keep Pitta in balance - avoid jealousy, intolerance and hatred.

Our diet should consist mostly of the following but not limited to :

- cool liquids.
- sweet or bitter taste.
- moderate portions.
- butter, milk.
- olive and soy oils.
- barley, oats and wheat.
- apples, avocado, fig, mango, melon, pear, rpune, raisins.
- asparagus, peppers, brussel sprouts, cabbage, peas, sprouts, leafy greens.
- cardamon, cilantro, cinnamon, mint.
- coconut, pumpkin seeds.
- garbanzo and mung beans.
- chicken, egg whites, turkey and shrimps.

If you don't mind, I would love to talk about alternative medecine/lifestyle in another post. This is a subject very dear to me. But as I've mentioned a few times, this is the lifestyle I have chosen for myself. I do not impose this on any member of my family. Everyone is unique and individual so we should each be allowed to live the life we want to live and not worry about what others will say. I have to quote my favorite Dr. Seuss again - "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind".

Celebrate Life my friends and be well.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Starbuck Cookies

My niece can make me do just about anything. Last week she mentioned that she found the recipe for the Starbuck Big Ginger Cookies. And tonight I just had to bake them. (Sorry for the poor lighting in these pictures). BIG they are... actually they're giants.

My taste testers have already reported that they are delicious and chewy.

And look at the gorgeous yarn I got yesterday in Halifax. It will ''eventually'' become something special for a new arrival late Summer. But first, I have to find the courage to start my very first sock.

Is everyone making the most of February ? it's almost behind us.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spontaneous Healing

(taken from Amazon.com)

How many of you know of this man ? He is in part responsible with the way I view my own health. It was with this book (pictured above) that I started being interested in the natural healing system I had within. I started with this book (I've read it at least 5 times from cover to cover and have used it as a reference regularly) and have since read many books and articles on how the body has the ability to heal itself. This is why I am so ''obsessed'' with having and keeping a strong, healthy immune system. And BTW, I have a lot of his books on my shelf.

Continuing with the theme of ''Gifts I am giving myself this year on the occasion of my 50th later in the year'' and to follow-up on my last post of the gift of healthier eating I thought it was appropriate to share my faithful dedication for Dr. Weil.

Do you own Spontaneous Healing ? if you don't and would love your own copy let me know and I would be more than happy to send this one off to you. No worries, this is not my original copy. I thrifted this one for .25 (the first one to leave a comment will get it).

Be well.


Lately, seems that a lot of us blogging friends are looking forward to Spring. Today if you went outside and closed your eyes... well for those few precious moments you thought Spring had sprung. The mercury was a few degrees over the freezing point, no wind, rainy foggy, snow melting, almost muddy. Yup, sure felt like Spring.

Forecast for tomorrow - all that water will freeze over !!!! ya, a slip n' slide for going to work tomorrow morning.

Have a good start of the week everyone.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just because pictures and turning 50

Here are a few random pictures I took tonight... just because I wanted to share them with you. Ya, that's right, I'm pointing to you my all time favorite person that takes the time to read this blog. If it wasn't for you I would'nt be doing this and if I wasn't doing this - well, who knows what I would be up to. But nothing as wonderful as having blog conversations with a whole bunch of wonderful like-minded human beings.

As some of you know from reading this blog, my daughter is getting married in August and she recently inquired if we still had our wedding glass wine goblets from 30 years ago. You know the kind - Bride and Groom. I knew exactly where they were. Here they are all polished and sparkly for the soon to be Bride and Groom.

We are once again knee-deep in renovations here at the LeBlanc household. This time, the stairs. We are removing the aweful, ugly looking (did I mention dirty) rug than we will have to do a LOT of sanding to bring everything down to the natural wood. And when I say ''we'' I mean my husband and son :-) We are still shopping around antique stores to find an antique railing and banister.

We had a snow storm yesterday so this morning we had to dig-out at 7 a.m. so we could go to work. Yes, it's still dark at 7 in the morning.

Later this year I will be turning 50 (and I'm happy and excited about it). From now on you will, once in a while, read on this blog about some of the ''gifts'' I am going to be offering myself from now to November. You'll probably be surprised by what I mean by ''gifts''. They are not your typical ''material things''. My first gift to myself is eating healthier. Some of you are saying ''hasn't she been doing that for the past few years''. And yes, I have but I've always known that there was more I could do. I want to educate myself on the right foods for my body type. One thing I've learned so far is that my body prefers cool foods. I will update this post at a later date.

But for now, I am making an effort to eat more fruits and raw vegetables. I have to be honest with you - I've never been a big fan of fruit but I need a generous amount - daily. I'm liking it.

During my short visit to Moncton last weekend I bought myself (and one for Ginette also) a frother.

I don't have a lot of artifical flowers in our home but I've had these silk sunflowers for a few years and I hold on to them because they are so pretty and they're a constant reminder of the warmer days to come.

How many days til Spring ?