Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chocolate Zucchini Cake.

I'm at it again!
And this time it's healthy eating...
Ok, maybe not.
But it's gooood!

And it's the perfect way of getting rid of your abundance of zucchinis!
In the summer I shred my zucchinis and freeze them in 3 cup increments. That way
I'm ready to roll whenever I need to make this cake.

Before I proceed, you're going to need a Bundt pan.
I've never done it in cupcake form, but I assume it would work well.
It's a heavy cake and that's why it wouldn't work well in a regular
cake pan.  It takes forever to cook in a Bundt pan.

So here goes.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 cups shredded and peeled zucchini
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt

Mix butter, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and milk in a bowl.
Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together.

Blend in together. Mix well.

Bake in Bundt pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50-60 minutes.
When you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean, it's ready.

Serve plain or with whipped cream.

Have a Blessed Evening

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins

This is probably the most light and fluffy muffin recipe that I've come across in a long time.
It must be the sour cream.
Dunno but it's divine!

The recipe is a bit long but bear with me. 
It's worth it!


2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 salt
1 cup sour cream
8 Tbs (4 oz) butter melted and slightly cooled
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups 1/4" diced rhubarb fresh or frozen


3 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
Whisk to blend.

In a medium bowl whisk together sour cream, melted butter, eggs and vanilla till smooth
Lightly stir in wet ingredients into dry ingredients with a spatula until batter 
just comes together. DO NOT OVERMIX!!! 
Gently stir in rhubarb. Batter will be thick.

Spoon in muffin cups.

Mix the together topping ingredients and sprinkle  on each muffin.
Bake until they are golden brown and spring back to touch.
Around 18-22 minutes
Serve warm

The recipe says they only keep for one day.
But I kept them for 3 days (yes, they lasted that long)
and just reheated them when we wanted to eat them.

I found this recipe on the website Fine Cooking
Regular size muffins, it makes 12.

As Julia Child would say, "Bone Appetite!"

And yes, I do actually cook.  I don't always just bake.
I'll post my macaroni casserole recipe one day to prove that I can also cook.
Have a Blessed Evening

Monday, February 13, 2017

Everyone loves brownies!

It seems like I'm on a recipe roll.

I'm going to share with ya'll my mom's brownie recipe.

I hope she doesn't mind....oh well.

Brownies Simone

3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar

Mix together and then stir in
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla

Bake at 325 degree Fahrenheit for 25 minutes 
in a 8x8 greased pan.

I've started putting them in tiny cupcake pans and making
two bite brownies.

We had company for supper last night so I made 
Fudge Brownie Pie.

Which is really just a large piece of brownie with 
vanilla ice cream on top drizzled with chocolate sauce.
It's really horrible..not. 

But last night instead of making a large brownie, I shoved the little two bite brownies into
the ice cream.  Again...not very good.
I lie.
It's to die for!

Oh and a great thing about this recipe is that if you eat them standing up,
there's no calories!!! How awesome is that.

I lie.

My mom sometimes makes a chocolate frosting to put on top of the brownies.

So here's the recipe for that.
I'm telling you...I'm divulging family recipes left and right.
What else might I divulge?!

Chocolate Frosting

Cream together 
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp cocoa
2 Tbsp hot water and 
1/2 tsp vanilla
Add 1 1/2 cups of sifted icing sugar
Beat until creamy.

Another thing you can add is crushed walnuts or pecans to the brownies before baking.

Gotta go before I reveal other family secrets!

Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Blueberry muffins

I'm going to divulge my secret blueberry muffin recipe.
But you have to promise not to share it with anyone.
It's just for you.

I can't even remember what cook book I got them out of.
But they're goooood.

So here goes....
just remember it's between you and me.

Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/4 cup sugar 
(hey I didn't say it was a healthy muffin)
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)

Cream butter and sugar
add eggs
Put dry ingredients together
Mix into butter mixture
alternating with milk
Fold in berries
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
Or until a toothpick comes out clean.


The recipe was originally just white flour but I prefer to add one cup of
 whole wheat flour.

I also like to add cranberries or rhubarb with the blueberries.
Spice it up a bit.

Hope you like them.
And don't forget....
it's our secret!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Hair, Hair, Hair

Most women complain about their hair.
I'm no exception, but I really shouldn't complain.

I've inherited my hair from my father's side of the family
since my mother's side all have very thin hair.

My hair is thick, grows extremely fast and I'll be
50 this summer and I don't have any grey yet.
(and don't worry, I check all the time)
My 80 year old aunt still had no grey
so I guess I shouldn't complain...
good genes.

Not everyone is so lucky.
So last year I decided to let it grow to donate it.

And this is the result.
(I guess I could have worn a more flattering shirt.)

I wanted to make sure we got as much length as possible. So we put it in ponytails.

10" of  hair!

Tah Dah!

The finished product!

At first it was kinda freaky...and cold!
Now I'm used to it and I kinda like it.
I'm saving a lot on shampoo...but not on hair styling products.
Phew...that's not cheap.

But the hair is now gone to it's destination.
I guess it takes 6-7 ponytails (one full ponytail) to make one wig.
They actually strip all the hair of it's colour and then redye it to
the desired uniform colour.

So if you've got long, non chemically treated hair...
think about donating it.

I might do it again in a few years.

Have a Blessed Day.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Back in the day *Christmas*

A few weeks ago, I dragged my mother to a writing workshop.
I'm really big on writing down memories.
I love hearing old stories of when she was a child and the
life they led was fascinating.
She was one of 10 children!
Her parents had 5 boys and then 5 girls. 
She's the eldest of the girls.
I keep telling her I'm going to write a book about her and her siblings one day.

This is probably why I write a blog.
It's not very private, but after I'm gone hopefully my memories of somethings will 
continue on.

But as usual I digress.
The workshop was for people over 50.
I'll be there soon enough, so they let me attend.
We were to write a story about ourselves.
From long ago, yesterday,whatever.
So my mom and I chose back in the day stories.

It gave me an idea.
I asked her to send me pictures of my childhood and I would blog about the
 memory that would pop up in my mind.

So here goes. Not one of my usual posts.
Something different.

I was born in 1967.
So the first two pictures are of my second Christmas.
The third, I'm not sure and neither is my mom.
I look to be around 4 or 5.

My dad, me and my mom at my grandparents house.
My aunt Diane, me and my aunt Elizabeth at my grandparents house.

The thing I remember the most about my Christmases as a child 
was my grandparents house.

Back in the day, before global warming, we used to have snow...a lot of snow.

A kids dream.

Christmas eve would start with having supper and my mother would always make this nasty concoction called "Pate a la viande".
It was tea biscuits mixed with stew meat. It was dry and nasty. 
But if I didn't eat it all, we wouldn't open our gifts.
So even though it would make me gag, literally, I would eat it.

I'm not sure why, but around here, it's customary for a lot of families to open 
their gifts Christmas eve.

After we'd open our gifts, we would bundle up and head to 
what people in these parts affectionately call "Pinque Alley".
This is a road that most of my relatives live in and we have the nickname of
"Les Pinques" the Bluejays.  Why, well that's another post.

We'd usually start at my Uncle Alphonse and Aunt Angela. They had two girls that were just a bit younger than I was. By now they had opened their gifts and we could see what they had gotten.

Next was Uncle Joe (his real name was Alfred, don't ask me why they called him Joe) and his wife Cecile. They had two children also. A girl and a boy.
And on and on we kept visiting the rest of the uncles and aunts.
By the time we were done it was late in the evening and everyone
congregated at my grandparents.

The house was small. And when you'd walk in the door the heat of the wood stove and the smell of rappie pie would hit you in the face. 

The small kitchen had a large wood stove that would heat that end of the house.
The even tinier living room held a large Wood Chief stove that would keep
 that end of the house warm and toasty.

When I say everyone would congregate there, I mean around 20 adults and 20+ children in a teeny tiny house.  The adults would chew the fat and us kids would go in the stairs to talk about what we had gotten for Christmas and school woes. The stairs was the premiere spot to be since it was unheated on the second story, so the heat wasn't so bad in the staircase.
But we weren't allowed to go upstairs. It was a bit of a mystery.
Some years we would make up stories about what was really up there.

The food was always there. You just ate as you got there. There was no set time to eat.
As long as you were done for 10pm.
The menu was simple, chicken rappie pie or stew meat rappie pie.
Dessert was jelly rolls (homemade of course!) and Barley candy.
The barley candy was a mystery to us little kids.

There was a place in Yarmouth that would make barley candy. But that was, at the time, over an hour away. And I don't remember my grandparents owning a car.  So how did it get there? 

After everyone had full bellies, my grandparents would sit down in the place of honour and open their gifts from everyone.  Much ouuing and ahhing went on. 
All gifts were admired, didn't matter how small or large they were.

Then ten o'clock was the bewitching hour. 
Everyone needed to leave to go to the midnight mass.
I'm not sure which was worse, eating pate a la viande or going to the midnight mass.
Remember, we were just little kids and waiting in a huge, hot stuffy church for two hours before the mass began was torture.  You couldn't talk, fidget or look around to see where your friends were.

By the time the mass began, most kids were asleep. 
But every midnight mass, one kid was chosen to bring up the baby Jesus.
Oh my, what a honour that was, especially since they got a small gift afterwards.
I never got chosen, because this wasn't our home parish.

After the hour and a half long mass, we were on our way home.

My mom, my dad, my uncle James and myself

It had been a long day. It didn't take long to fall asleep.
The strange thing is that, even though Santa was coming the next day.
I hardly ever remember Christmas Days. Only Christmas eves.

Which means one thing.
Faith, family and fun were more important than gifts.

Have a Blessed Day.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Wife of the year award

Everyone does things for their spouses that they don't really like.
My thing is dill pickles.
I cannot stand the smell of vinegar
and I cannot stand the smell of dill pickles
or pickled beets.
But I do it for him anyway 
cause I love him....
We'll do just about anything for our spouses....

Well I think I should win the wife of the year award
for this one.

A local delicacy we have in these parts is called
"des beurgots picklez"

Pickled whelks.

Yup, you read that right.
Not those tiny little periwinkles you see on the beach.
But these nasty, honkin' big things.
They get caught in the lobster fisherman's traps so they sell them
to people who like to nosh on them, like my husband.

The problem with pickling these suckers is that they are full of slime....
Yup, you read that right also...slime

First of all you have to cook them in a large pot.
Take them one by one and make sure the foot is facing down.
So as they cook they can de-slime themselves.

I must have you just drooling with anticipation by now..
Well wait, I'm not done.

It takes a while to take them one by one to position them correctly.
But after it's done you add a little bit of water and steam them for 20 minutes.
Like you would a lobster. (I'd rather have the lobster)

While they're enjoying their steam bath
you have to make a brine or brew or whatever you want to call it.
Everyone has their own concoction.
We borrowed ours from my mom's neighbour.
It's really just apple cider vinegar, brown sugar,onions, water and pickling spices.
Cook that for a while.

Next you have to find a long pointy stick (we used lobster picks)
To dig them out of their little houses.
And yes, they look like Shrek's boogers.
I'd better stop, I can just imagine my description is wanting to make you run
 to my house and break down the door.

The cooked product.

Note the picture above. Looks like a nasty booger doesn't it?
Well you can't eat the entire thing. Nooooooo...
That would be too easy.
Remember, these things, even though they've de-slimed themselves as
 they were cooking, are still very slippery and slimy.
So you have to take a very sharp knife and cut about a third down.
You don't eat the grey bottom part or even that white middle part.
Just the part that looks like a snail's foot.
Then you have to squeeze it and take the gunk out and rip, 
 what I would call a fingernail, off!
To me it was all gunk, so it was hard to decipher what was edible and what wasn't.
This is the part of the process that takes the longest.

Take a gander at this beaut! Look at the lovely slime coming out of it.
Just beautiful.

Then after you're all done.
Just put in hot jars with the brew, seal and hope to hear the ping and pop
of the seals.

The finished product.

A 5 gallon bucket made seven 500ml jars.
That's a lot of work for a few jars.
We started at 9am and finished at 11am.
I'm selling them at $50 a jar.
And no, that's not a typo.

If you would like to try some of these mouthwatering
delicacies, come and visit me.  
There might be some left by next week.
If hubby hasn't eaten them all.
Wait, don't bother...
he said he won't share.

Have a Blessed Evening!
Happy New Year and a Belated Merry Christmas