February 14, 2009

Valentine Rambling

Happy Valentine's Day!

My sweet husband surprised me with this lovely little swan when he got home from work last night. I adore it, it's such a unique little bud vase. Roses from our backyard will be finding their way to this vase during the summer months, I do believe.

Our Valentine celebrations tend to be fairly simple. We will probably do a cheese fondue dinner by candlelight at home tonight, that's always romantic and fun. Then again, it's been a while since we've had a picnic on the floor...

I remember our first picnic on the floor. I was living in an efficiency apartment, a tiny little thing; the kitchen area was along one short wall of the living/dining room. We were both in college at the time.

We grilled steaks (a rare treat for college students!) on an indoor tabletop grill. I put an embroidered tablecloth on the floor in my tiny living room. Husband (boyfriend at the time) had gotten a pink rose for me, so that was in a vase in the center of the cloth. We heaped plates with steak and mashed potatoes and gravy. I think Husband got the biggest steaks he could find; they were huge! We had those little buttery crescent rolls, too. I don't believe there was a green or leafy vegetable in sight!

We sat on the floor and shared bites and savoured the juicy steaks. We laughed at our extravagance. So silly, but such a good memory. I think I might even have pictures of our feast somewhere, but this was way before digital cameras.

Still love him as much as I did back then, though.

February 1, 2009

Imbolc Planning

Tomorrow is Imbolc and I have been thinking a lot about what I'd like to do this year. I think of Imbolc as the time of earth's quickening and also as a time of clearing out the old to make way for the new. A time of purifying mind, body, spirit, home.

So I think I will take a purification shower and continue with the cleaning I've begun around the house. I've also decided to try a couple of new recipes. The first one being:


2 tablespoons olive oil
3 leeks, white parts only, well-washed and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or more, to taste)
6 cups vegetable broth or water
sea salt
Handful of mustard greens, watercress, or parsley, coarsely chopped
croutons for garnish
sour cream for garnish
sprouts for garnish

1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add leeks, bell pepper,
and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Sprinkle
vegetables with paprika and cayenne to taste.

2. Add vegetable broth or water, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil
and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Add greens and continue cooking
for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. To serve, place a few croutons in each individual soup bowl, then
add broth. Top each serving with sour cream and a couple of fresh

Serves 4 to 6.

This soup is supposed to be rich with flavonoids, and will clear the sinuses and promote healing. Its also full of spring and fiery flavor.

I've always wanted to try making a baked custard and while browsing recipes online, I found the perfect one to try:


1 egg
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. In a bowl, lightly beat the egg. Stir in the milk, sugar, vanilla and salt until combined.
2. Pour into two ungreased 6-oz. custard cups. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
3. Place in an 8-in. square baking dish; add 1 in. of hot water to the pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Other than these simple plans, I will wait and see what other inspirations arise tomorrow.

January 30, 2009

Feline Friday: Snugglin'

Husband caught us nappin' together...

I never thought my Moose-man would ever turn into a lap kitty... but he's become a regular snuggle bug lately.

It's taken almost 8 years to develop this level of trust from my Moose-man. I'm honored that he has decided I'm worthy of it.

... that's the power of love...

January 25, 2009


Oh... I love '80's music... we're listening to Casey Kasem's AT40 Countdown for 1/19/85 on XM80's on 8 and there have been some good (and some bad) totally '80's songs playing tonight.

Like right now its Julian Lennon's "Valotte." I love that song... I had that album when it came out and it was a good one. I really liked Julian Lennon.

We've also heard some awesome Hall & Oates and I went right over Amazon and added some of them to my wishlist. Method of Modern Love, Adult Education, remember those?

And of course, we heard my favorite artist-- Steve Perry! Foolish Heart. God I love that song. I'm such a mushy romantic.

Listening to XM 80's on 8 has inspired me to add quite a few CD's to my wishlist lately-- Taylor Dayne, Level 42, The Outfield, Rick Astley, WHAM!, Pat Benatar. I am not ashamed! I have always said I'm a hopeless totally 80's girl.

January 22, 2009

Still Sexy at 60

"The Voice" turns 60 today! Rumor has is it, he is in the process of recording his first album in over 10 years. Hopefully, he'll post his annual birthday message at Fan Asylum soon and he'll confirm it.

Happy Birthday, Steve Perry!

January 11, 2009

Crab Lasagna Rolls

Thought I would post a favorite recipe. It's simple to make, tastes great and looks fancy-- which make it a nice recipe to serve for special guests/occasions. This recipe makes 8 rolls; serving size is 1-2 rolls.


8 lasagna noodles (cook & drain)
1 jar (26 oz) Italian-style tomato sauce

8 oz. package of imitation crab meat (or real crab, it it is within your budget)
1 1/4 C cottage cheese (drained)
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
1 TBSP dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 egg

1. Start with boiling water for the lasagna noodles. It's important that the noodles are whole, so I cook the pasta in a large skillet. Strange, I know, but I've found it works well.

2. While the pasta cooks, mix the crab, cottage & parmesan cheese, parsley, onion powder and egg together.

3. When the pasta is al dente, drain carefully and spread the noodles out flat on waxed paper. Do not over cook the noodles or they will be too mushy and easily split when you try to roll them.

4. Spread approximately 1/4 C crab mixture along the center of the noodle, leaving about an inch bare at one end. Keep the mixture away from the edges of the noodle and not too thick, or it will make too fat of a roll and will ooze out the ends.

5. Firmly but gently, roll up the noodle from the filled end towards the bare end. Don't roll too tightly or the filling will ooze out! Leave the crab roll with the seam side down to keep it from unrolling.

6. Place crab lasagna rolls seam side down in a pan and cover with sauce. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese and cover pan with foil. Bake covered at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Four to freeze, four for dinner.

7. Serve with a simple salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!

January 9, 2009

Feline Friday: All Grown Up

A miracle has occurred!

You may recall that our Moose-man had some neuroses regarding food and eating habits, so he had his special dish. But no more!

He's all grown up with a real bowl and able to free range feed whenever he wants. Here he is, enjoying his meal at the "cat food station" that my dad made in his wood shop especially for our cats years and years ago, and until now, we've never been able to use.

We do still give him a specific measure for the day, and he's still on his special high fiber food, but he's able to pace himself now and make it last for 24 hours and not gobble it all in one feeding! This is incredible progress, people!

We are so proud of him. It only took about 8 years.

January 8, 2009


Huh. I witnessed an interesting incident today.

I was at the craft store and a woman at the next register over was raising a big stink about the price of wicker basket. She had a whole bunch of things she was buying and the cashier had already rung up and bagged the smaller items when the woman got upset about the price that rang up for the wicker stuff. She started to get louder and more belligerent, arguing with the cashier and then with the manager that came over. She got them all scurrying to make her happy, the manager went to check on the price for her and then, BOOM! She stormed out, saying she didn't want any of the items.

However, she stormed out with the bag of smaller items that had already been rung up and bagged, but not yet paid for because she was arguing about prices. By the time the cashier realized what happened, the woman was long gone.

Some people. Really.

December 22, 2008

New Tutorial

Visit my craft blog for a *new* tutorial on

December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice and warm wishes to all who celebrate today! (And for my blogging friends in the southern hemisphere, Happy Summer Solstice!)

I *did* put up a tree this year-- our small one. It fit perfectly on the coffee table in the living room; that's why I love these "skinny" x-mas trees-- its much easier to find a spot to put one of these than it is a big, bushy tree. I surprised Firehand by having the tree up, along with a few other decorations (mustn't forget the mistletoe ball!) when he got home from work on Friday evening.

I am full of joy knowing that from here on out, the days only begin to get longer and longer! Huzzah! Welcome back, Sun!