Sunday, October 28, 2007

Aaron Lines & Jason Blaine on Tour

Last nite, I was a guest of CMT to the Aaron Lines concert In Belleville. I was able t0 go backstage before the concert and meet with Aaron and Jason Blaine. The surprise was actually special guest Jason Blaine. Originaly from Pembrooke, On but now living in Nasville, I'm sure we will hear much more about him shortly: his 30-minute concert had a very enthoused crowd and the line up for autographs after confirmed his success. He's a real cutie and has talent to boot!
Aaron Lines show was very good too, just a bit more engrossed in himself. He did say they were saying a lot of "crazy" things! Probably because they were on the 8th day of a 9-day/9-city tour.
All around a great evening of music with these 2 Canadian boys!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Amazing Shots!

A friend sent me those pictures circulating on the internet; they are so beautiful that I had to share them with you. Unfortunalety, I cannot give credit to the photographers. Enjoy!










And don't forget to SMELL THE ROSES!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

BBQ Party 2006

More pictures but this time from the 2006 affair! Maybe I'm a bit nostalgic because I stored the garden furniture this past week-end and the deck is so bare without the beer fridge ready to dispense refreshing beverages....

BBQ Party 2007

Today was such a morose fall day that a bit of sunshine from this summer's BBQ would lift anyone's spirits! 8 more months till the next one and hopefully more of Marion and Doran's tasty rum punch!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Pause Button

Today my aunt sent me this article from about why When Being Right Is Wrong; the timing was exceptionally eerie. How could she'd know that I needed that right now?? It's basically about the wasted energy we spend proving we are (I am) right when it would be far more fructuous to move on and focus on the big picture and what's really important. I seem to be doing a lot of that right now and I have to practice pushing the Pause Button next time before I try to prove I'm right. Thanks Rachel for the reminder and I hope all will turn out well for you, soon.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Beware of this Cat!

Sometimes she's a real cat: bringing back a bird trophy, chewing on rodents and jumping after crickets. Sometimes she's like a dog: guarding the house, fighting with the neighbourhood cat and chasing the fox.
But always so cute!

So Long Clippy and Rocky!

Good bye my friends! You've been helpful, but now that my office computer has been updated to MS Office 2007, I'm moving on! The new Office 2007 is so full of great features that I might not even miss you....
And darn you IT guy for introducing me to it: I enjoy it so much now that I might have to update my home computer as well! Ahhh so tough to keep up with the latest technology!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Something To Be Thankful for this Thanksgiving

My Dad! Thanks to him, I've been enjoying veggies all summer long! In the spring time, he made 2 raised beds and after cutting down 2 ill trees to make room, filled them with compost and triple mix he went to pickup at the garden centre. I only had to pland and water the radishes, beets, purple, green and yellow beans, snow peas, yellow and red peppers, carrots, coriander, basil and 4 varieties of tomatoes. I'm now eating the last of the crop and I've enjoyed every bite of it.
Thanks Dad ~ I'm very lucky!

Hummm, smoky cedar-plank salmon!

Corn Dog Trials

Quite an experiment in corn dog making today!
I added some chili powder to the batter to give it some zing! But I could barely taste it! Maybe my taste buds are not so sensitive anymore??
I then added some chopped jalapenos, as per a recipe sent by Jamie. It still didn't do it! I expected a hot and spicy corn dog and it ended up tasting just like a regular one.
Then I mixed some grated cheeses with the batter, aiming for a cheesy corn dog. Again I could not taste the cheese! What's with that???
However, the wieners were very good: I took the regular, all beef ones and they tasted just perfect.
But there's so just many corn dogs I can eat at one time! I'll have to make more trials on another day.
I also have to get a thermometer for oil to make sure the oil temperature is just perfect. It was probably not hot enough for the first one and the batter ended up absorbing the oil too much. Too greasy. And my last one was overcooked on the outside but raw on the inside = oil too hot.
Maybe I'll put a proper thermometer on my Christmas list. Hint Hint! Mom??

Simple Breakfast ~ but so good!!

To make great food, not only to you need good ingredients to start, you also need great cookware! A few years ago, I whined enough to my Mom that just to shut me up, she parted with her 35 y.o. Le Creuset enameled cast iron skillet. You see, this skillet is synonymous with great stuff from my childhood; my Mom makes the best scrambled egg and the best grilled cheese shandwiches possible. Now with THE skillet, I can do the same. Almost! Since I can't really upstage my mom in the sandwish department, I have to make variations: I made this grilled cheese sandwich with a mix of greated cheeses: cheddar extra mild and old, swiss and a bit of parmesan. And I added bacon, cooked on the BBQ grill of course!
Merci Maman!
I also remember my Mom made corn dogs (commonly called Pogo in Quebec!) sometimes for lunch when I was in grade school. This must where I took my love for the things! I have all the ingredients ready to try a few homemade ones for lunch today! Stay Tuned for an update!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Thanksgiving Turkey

This year, I decided to try to roast the turkey on the spit. It was a first for me and I certainly learned a few things. I learned that I have to learn to truss a bird, I should be using a butter-basted turkey, I should collect the drippings to add to the gravy and I should check the cooking carefully not to overcook it!
It seems that everything I do on the rotisserie cooks quicker than by traditional methods. Although it looked beautiful and the dark meat was very tender and juicy, the white meat was a bit in the dry side. The gravy was not as good as usual as I didn't have cooking drippings to use. Oh, and you can't make Yorkshire puddings without egg, they stay flat instead of puffing up.
Next time will be a better success!
In case anybody is wondering why I would cook a whole 10-lbs turkey for my self, the reason is very simple: no restaurant can offer a turkey dinner as good as home-cooked and best of all, it provides bones for a soup to come and lots of lunches!!

I made fingerling potatoes to accompany the turkey and chestnut stuffing. When I saw the fingelings at the grocery store, I had to get them: they're exactly like the ones served at Le Splendid in Lyon and just the sight of them brought back delectable memories! I dedicate these ones to Conal, who was generous enough to share his with me at dinner. Breaking bread with Irish people, I learned that they sure do love their spuds and I know how it must have been difficult for him to see me eat most of them!

Is this about Global Warming?

I've never seen Lake Ontario so low! This summer has been very dry so I'm sure precipitations are below normal. But I've heard before that the Great Lakes levels are controlled manually, if that's the case, couldn't "they" raise them? Or should I call Al & Leonardo to discuss the Global Warming issue??

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Nortown Meeting

Frank had the great idea to hold our montly meeting/ride to The Big Apple in Colborne to make it easier for me to join as it's just down the road from here.
I'm not a a big fan of starting a motorcycle ride in the rain so I took my truck instead. A bit embarassing, when I saw them arrived on their bikes, in the rain, all the way from Toronto! After a couple hours of serious business discussion, less serious chit chat and sing along of King of the Road (Destination...Bangor,Maine), the group desided to gear up again and to hit the road as the rain was not letting out and it was becoming foggy.
It was great to see you again Frank, Fred, Cathy and Betty Anne and to finally meet Hazel, hopefully a future member of Nortown! I hope you all made it back home safely.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Ahhh Lyon!

Lyon is the French capital of gastronomie and I wished I could have stayed longer to experience all its speciaties! This business trip was much too short: only there for 3 evenings and we found ourselves booking the same brasserie for a 2nd dinner, so I must recommand this restaurant: Le Spendid in Les Brosseaux neighbourhood. The food was truly splendid! The house salad is not be be missed and make sure to leave room for desserts: they are prepared with care and should be enjoyed with delight!
This is my only picture, taken from the taxi into town on our arrival day. We did not have much free time to enjoy the sights. Maybe next year...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Great Food in Dublin!

I'm far from being an expert about Dublin, but I want to share a few great places.
The first place to go for Irish food is definetely the Temple Bar neighbourhood, any restaurants will have great Irish everything: fare, drinks and music. A must!
At Ely Wine Bar, you are assured of delectable food, exceptional service and an unparalleled list of wines by-the-glass. The expertise of the wait staff is amazing and they will find a wine to suit your desire. Don't forget to keep some room for the Sticky Toffee Pudding!
At the outer limit of town, you will find Brown's Barn, a century old coach house. The original brick shell of the builing has been preserved and it creates a great atmosphere for the dining experience. The Terrine of Black and White Pudding is a must, authentically Irish. Enjoy!
Spar is a chain of convenience store and it's the perfect stop to pick-up lunch on your way to a relaxing afternoon at the park. They have a fabulous selection of out-of-the-ordinary sandwiches! I highly recommand the chicken with onion & sage stuffing in a traditional brown bread! Their flagship location at Merrion Row, a few steps from St Steven's Green will not disappoint you.
The food in Ireland will surprise you: not the bland boring fare you might expect!
I hope that Dubliners with expand this post with their own food places of Dublin.
And I'm very grateful to my employer for allowing me to discover Ireland once again!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Monday, October 1, 2007

Dublin South Coast Tour, Co.Wicklow, Ireland

Bray, Co.Wicklow, Ireland

Bray reminded me of my own Brighton Beach ~
Windy, pebble beach and waves just like at home!

National Corn Dog Day

What a great idea!
Although I don't care much for basketball or beer, maybe I could do a variation to the theme?? So that's a date for a saturday in March 2008! See you all here for homemade corn dogs!