Friday, May 30, 2008

A Midweek Dinner

Earlier this week, we went with our friends, Kathryn, Dave, John and Dana to see George Thorogood perform. He is an awesome entertainer and we thoroughly enjoyed it, he performed almost nonstop for 2 hours.

One of my favourites, Bad to The Bone! (Hmmmm, wonder what that says about me?)

John and Dana, I think they are laughing at Dave!

A nice pic of Kathryn and Dave both smiling very naturally.

And Steve at the head of the table!

I thought it would be nice to have dinner beforehand so planned a simple midweek dinner. I served couscous, feta salad and light chicken casserole with a berry pavlova using fat free yoghurt and cupcake bites for dessert.

The chicken casserole recipe was a new one from Cooking Light and I made the recipe simpler by using precooked and sliced chicken breast rather than cooking a whole chicken. I also substitued the stuffing mix with roesmary herbed calabrese croutons and liked the taste they gave the casserole. The feta salad is a standby recipe I've made for several years and the couscous is from Barefoot Contessa At Home that I previously featured in a January post. The cupcake bites were ones I had frozen from Brittany's brunch and were just as good as when they were first made.

For the pavlova, I used store-made meringue nests, frozen mixed berries and topped with fat free yoghurt this made a healthy dessert.

And, of course, while I kept reminding myself this was a simple midweek dinner I couldn't resist adding a little something to everyone's plate so decorated peppermint patties with a bit of cardstock, a flower, ribbon and a button. I also added a couple of inexpensive kalanchoe plants to the centre of the table.

The embellished pepperment patties:

The set table:

And since there are pictures above of everyone but me, here I am in full Diva mode! This was taken by Holly of Schnider Photography at a Go Scrapping Retreat a few weeks ago!

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm scrapbooking tonight with my daughter and tomorrow with my fun scrapbooking friends! I also hope to pop over to Bad Girls to take advantage of their Summer Workshop free classes, just love their kits! Will post some of my completed projects on Sunday.

Monday, May 26, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

Now that American Idol and Dancing with the Stars are over, this is my new favourite show. I had recorded it and watched it last night and except for one performance, I really enjoyed it(yep, why did they let that guy who likes to be known as 'sex' back on?).

I particularly enjoyed this popper. He is so entertaining, I wonder how he'll do with other dance styles.

Triple The Sketch - Take 2!

Well I fixed the rainbow photo on this layout so its the right way up. Thankfully, before I did that, my friend, who I affectionately know as "The Word Nazi", mentioned that I may have also spelled Caribbean wrong. I checked, and although Royal Carribean spells it with two r's, the correct spelling is with 2 b's. So I fixed that too! I think its really done now!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Triple The Sketch 8

I spent this afternoon cropping with friends and created this layout, using more Carribean cruise pics, based on Triple The Sketch 8. This is a versatile sketch which I turned by 90 degrees and used with three photos.

Edited to add: Now that I've looked at this layout online a few times, I noticed that I've put the rainbow pic on upside down!!!! Hmmm, I have to try to fix that, how will I get the chipboard and glue off the photo without destroying it? I'll take any and all ideas!!! LOL.

Show and Tell Sunday - China, Silver and Crystal

When I saw this week's Show and Tell theme, I just had to participate and show off some of my china as well as the teacups I've collected over the years. I think I'm hoping to use the teacups at a Bridemaid's tea when my daughter's get married, at least 10 years from now!

Here's some of my teacups pictured exactly as I keep them in a china cabinet I was given as a wedding present from my parents(it used to my Grandmother's dining suite on my Dad's side).

The two in the middle a friend gave me years ago. The one with the M commemorates the visit to Canada of Princess Margaret during the British Columbia Centenary in 1958.The other with the EP in the middle commemorates the visit to Canada by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip for the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959.

I think I got the next few teacups from Steve's Grandmother. The first is by Royal Albert and I love its shape and the shell pattern around the bottom of the cup and on the saucer.

I like the shape of both of these teacups, the gold/off-white is by Paragon and the other with the rose and scroll is by the Rosina China Co. Ltd.

The next is by Adderley, I think the handpainted look of the violets is really sweet.

I've had this teacup for a number of years, Lily of the Valley is one of my favourite scents.

This last teacup, by Queen Anne, is another I've had for awhile and its got to be my favourite. I just love the all the handpainted flowers on the teacup as well as the saucer.

A closer view of the saucer.

And you can't serve tea without a tea service and my Mom recently gave me this silver tea service that used to be her Grandmother's, my Great-Grandmother! Its such a privilege to have it and I love it!

A closer view of the detail on the tray.

And lastly, when each of her Grandchildren got married, my Grandmother decided to present us with our good china. I picked out this pattern, Brently by Noritake, after I saw it used on a dining table display in a house tour to sponsor Orchestra London. I loved it then and I love it now! I have to be extra careful with it as is was discontinued shortly after I was married.

The soup bowls as displayed in our china cabinet.

I've always preferred the taller coffee pots.

I hope you've enjoyed this tour of my china and teacups! Thanks for visiting.

PS: I forgot to add that today's Show and Tell is being hosted by Sugar Sugar, do check her blog out and thanks to Leesiebella for hosting.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Finally, a beautiful spring day!

After some cold and very wet weather, we are enjoying a beautiful weekend! As I type,I have the door open to catch the light breeze and am listening to the birds chirp and the windchimes as they gently sway.

The photo above is of one of our small lilac trees. Maybe next year they'll be big enough for me to cut some blooms off to bring into the house.

On a completely different note, Brianne had some friends over last night and created this:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Beady Card

A fun birthday card using beads as suggested at daring cardmakers.

Biggest Swap Ever!

Karin(from the Netherlands) is hoping to host the biggest card swap ever. Click here to join!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More Cards

The first is inspired by CPS sketch 65 and uses lace as suggested at Daring Cardmakers.

The second is for a card challenge at the Scrapping Turtle, one of our local scrapbook stores.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Brittany's 13th Birthday

Brittany turned 13 yesterday and Steve celebrated his birthday today. Now, as Britt loves to remind me, we have two teenage girls in the house!

Yesterday to celebrate both birthday's we had a birthday brunch. My Mom, Grandmother, Grandfather and Brianne's boyfriend came to help us celebrate. Last year we had a BBQ out on our deck, but this year's weather suited an indoor brunch, it was cold and wet!

For brunch I served a hashbrown casserole( a family favourite), a frittata, bacon, sausage, back bacon, fruit, feta salad( another family favourite), chocolate chip muffins, cornmeal muffins, fantasy french toast(from Heather at Younique), peanut butter and jam mousse(also from Heather at Younique) and apple strudel(a favourite from Norris Bakery). For dessert we had cupcake bites, black forest cake and cheesecake.

Brianne made her favourites, the muffins and the hashbrown casserole and, as requested by Brittany, Mom made the Black Forest Cake . I, of course, tried some new recipes including the french toast, the mousse, the frittata, the cupcakes(from Bakerella) and the marbled chocolate cheesecake. I especially enjoyed the frittata and everyone liked the mousse,but then the black forest cake was yummy too! I also served some yummy Strawberry Sparklers from the Divine Domesticity blog, a mimosa with a strawberry twist! A couple of recipes will be posted below and do click the links to see the others!

I set the table with some Martha Stewart table accessories I found on sale at Michaels and also added some treat boxes created with a Making Memories kit(also found on sale). I used the birthday celebration as an excuse to get some fresh flowers from the market, who doesn't like gerbera's, roses and lilies!?

Brittany liked all of her presents, Alex Rider books, jewelry, a CD, some money, a SIMS 2 add on, a movie and roller blades. Steve liked his multitude of Golftown gift certificates and received one for the liquor store too!

After the very filling brunch and cake, we all relaxed and chatted, it was a good day to visit indoors.

The Recipes:

Fantasy French Toast
1 large baguette
2 Caramilk chocolate bar broken into squares
3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tblsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
3 tblsp melted butter
Chocolate sauce (optional)
1 tblsp finely grated orange peel
Icing sugar (optional)

Slice baguette into 1 ½ inch thick rounds. Using a serrated knife, cut through the middle of bottom crusty side of each round to make a slit large enough to hold a square of chocolate. Widen slits and tuck a piece of chocolate into each. Place in a 9 x 13 dish bunching close together to fit.

In a bowl whisk eggs and milk, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Pour over bread. Turn bread over to soak up more egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat over to 450 degrees. Brush a large wide baking sheet generously with melted butter. Leaving space between each piece, place soaked bread slices on baking sheet. Bake in centre of over for 8 minutes. Remove from over. Brush tops of bread with remaining melted butter, then turn slices over. Continue to bake until crusty and deep golden. 8 to 10 more minutes. Place toasts on plates. Drizzle with chocolate sauce, sprinkle with peel and icing sugar.

Makes app 14 pieces.

Peanut Butter and Jelly “Moose”
1 x 8 oz package cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup strawberry jam or jelly
8 strawberries, hulled and sliced

Using food processor whip together the cream cheese, icing sugar, peanut butter and ¼ cup of the half and half.
Slowly pour in the remaining ¼ cup of half and half and mix again.

In a separate bowl whip the whipping cream until it thickens to sof peaks.

Fold the whipping cream into the peanut butter mixture.

Stir the jam or jelly until it is spoonable.

Layer 1 spoon of the jelly and 2 spoons of the p.b. mixture in dish and add strawberries wherever you like.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight until cold and firm.

Birthday Greetings

to my daughter Brittany, my husband Steve and my Auntie Donna!


Sunday, May 18, 2008

St.Lucia Layouts

I created these three layouts of our cruise stop in St.Lucia(such a beautiful island!) last year using some sketches found at some of my favourite scrapbooking blogs.

This first layout is based on sketch 7 at Triple The Sketch

The second is based on sketch this 50 at Sketch This.

And the third is based on a sketch at Pub Calls and is for the National Scrapbooking Day Contest.

Sketches are a fast and fun way to find scrapbooking inspiration!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Animalia Card

A fun birthday card featuring an owl that I think meets this week's Daring Cardmakers Animalia challenge. It also fits in the Purple and Green theme over at Papertake.