Saturday, September 30, 2006

Heathcliffe may have well been Fabio

Where hate means more than love...
But Love means more than life

Why oh why do I have the drugstore version of this book? Dave thought I'd begun to read trashy romance novels, taking my life as a "stay at home wife" one notch furthur.
In all fairness, This cover makes me giggle. I got it at Macondo Books, it's for my book club, we promised each other we'd read it and meet in July to discuss. Apparently we pushed it back to Christmas. I bet mine has the klassiest cover.

PS. I also have a shot of the book on my knee in the Triumph from our last ride before we dropped the car off at the buyer's house. It's so very English, and the light is gleaming in the shot. That'll be a treat for winter.

quilt block

This is a square I made as part of a quilt being made for a woman who's husband died in Iraq this week. I don't think I could ever have married somebody in the military. She's American, so the maple leaf is to show love from Canada. I'm sending it on part of a group of Canadian women I know.
The fabrics are stuff I dyed (and printed) at school. The green velvet was used for wedding stuff, my ring pin cushion and the flower girl's purse (that had her flowers in it). The pink and burgundy are from a line of knickers I was making.
I really need to make more knickers!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

last few pictures were ugly, EDITED THIS ENTRY!!!!

I apologize.
Here's something easier on the eyes, me near Alcatraz in June.

so I was having problems with the ugly photo post and had to delete it (it had double posted and wouldn't go away, it magically did JUST NOW)
I just wanted to note this because well, I would hate for someone to think I was talking about my gorgeous friends, or gorgeous husband..... even if Alison thinks "I can't believe how hideous I look in that picture of me and Gavin eating the delicious. It looks like I have some sort of developmental problem, AND that I'm not enjoying the ice cream, BOTH of which are FALSE. I'm normal and the gelato was wonderful. I shouldn't be in pictures. Or on film. Geez."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Chocolate High

Here is a photographic documentation of "L'Affaire au Chocolate".
I didn't take picture before... I forgot, so you've lost the presentation, but here's what we had (plus cookies a friend brought and Hawaian chocolates from my sister)

1. Dave
2. Lauren
3. Thea, Norah & Kate
4. Alison & Gavin
I’ll find more photos later… I missed the ones of my sister!

Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake and Chocolate Fondue (with pretzels, marshmallows, lady fingers, peaches, pears and raspberries)

makes a 9x13” sheet cake

2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. white sugar
3 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. Coca-Cola Classic (NOT Pepsi, though you can use flat Dr. Pepper)
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1tsp. vanilla
Coca-Cola Frosting (follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa and baking soda in a large bowl.
In a saucepan, melt butter in Coca-Cola, pour over dry ingredients and stir to Blend.
Mix in Buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Batter will be thin. Pour into a greased and floured pan, bake 35-38 minutes and cool for about 30 minutes before spreading with warm frosting.

1/2 c. butter or margarine
6 Tbs. Coca-Cola
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. all-purpose flour

Mix butter, Coke and cocoa in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in sugar and flour, cool slightly.
(I always like to mix flour in for part of the sugar in the original frosting recipes because I don’t like it so sweet, this OG called for 4 c. sugar)

Vegetarian Chili au Cacao and Light Wheat Buns

sauté 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 cup of chopped onions and 2/3 cup of chopped veggies of choice (this time I did mixed peppers) for about 5 minutes, add to slow cooker.
Add, 1 can red kidney beans and 1 can mixed beans (drained and rinsed well) plus 1 can of diced tomatoes, 2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp. allspice, 2 Tbsp. cocoa, 2 bay leaves and 1 tsp of your best chili powder. COOK! (I used my low setting for about 4 hours).
NOTE on spices: always wash your bay leaves, even the dried ones. Also note that McCormick Gourmet Spices now have Chipolte chili powder and Ancho chili powder, experiment with these!!

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 3 Hours 5 Minutes
Yields: 24 servings

2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, beaten
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Mix sugar, salt, 1/4 cup melted butter, egg, and whole wheat flour into yeast mixture. Stir in all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough, cover, and let rise in warm place until doubled again, about 30 minutes.
Grease 2 dozen muffin cups. Punch down dough, and divide into two equal portions. Roll each into a 6x14 inch rectangle, and cut rectangle into twelve 7x1 inch strips. Roll strips up into spirals, and place into muffin cups. Brush tops with melted butter. Let rise uncovered in a warm place 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and brush again with melted butter.

(This is the recipe as I made it, which was adapted from the changes were well received)

Truffles (standard dark and dark-almond)

Chocolate Truffles 101
Makes about 5 dozen
28 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons liqueur, such as Cognac, Grand Marnier, or Poire William (optional)
Best-quality cocoa powder
1. Make the ganache: Place 16 ounces of chocolate and the cream in the top of a double boiler or
a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted; remove from heat. Add butter and Cognac, and stir until combined.
2. Pour mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until mixture is very cold and set but still pliable, about 2 hours.
3. Melt remaining 12 ounces chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted; remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.
4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Using a 1/4-ounce ice-cream scoop, drop ganache onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Chill 10 minutes.
5. Coat the palm of one of your hands with about 1 tablespoon of the melted chocolate. Roll balls, one at a time, between your palms until evenly coated with chocolate. Roll in cocoa powder to coat. Transfer to second baking sheet. Repeat with remaining balls, coating your palm with more chocolate as needed. Chill until ready to serve. Truffles can be stored, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks. I love Martha.

*I divided these in half and did almond extract in one batch, and vanilla for the other, as I had no liquers on hand. I also rolled the almond ones in crushed almonds.


All-Purpose Deep Frying Batter
1 cup all-purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1 cup Water
Mix all of the ingredients together and blend until there are no lumps. Preheat the oil in your deep fat fryer to the proper temperature for the food you are cooking. Drop Mars bars into the batter. Place in the hot oil one piece at a time. Try to keep the pieces from colliding until the batter has had a chance to set (which it does almost instantly). Cook until the batter has turned a golden brown, remove to a paper towel to drain and serve at once.

*chill your mini Mars bars in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to frying. If you are using standard size bars just put them in the fridge overnight (or they make crack open at the temperature change)

Our gelato recipe was from here Chocolate Gelato Recipe from THE ENGLISHMAN AND THE POLISH GIRL Blog. We made it dairy free and used the ginger.

Thanks so much guys it was awesome!!! (I’m going to try their lemon one next!)

Lastly a recipe without Chocolate, Olive Tapenade


500ml Black Olives, pitted and drained (reserve 1/4 cup brine!!)
125ml Capers, drained
some lemon zest
Olive oil
1 clove minced garlic

I was making it in the blender so just added the olive oil and brine as needed to blend. (I used less than the 1/4 cup of brine, just mucked about)

Serve with crackers and crudités.

Friday, September 22, 2006

grown up moment

It occurred to me on Wednesday that Dave and I don't own a coffee maker. (It had occurred to me several times in the past actually, but it never really mattered until I decided to invite a kabillion people over for a zillion chocolate desserts).

Apparently it would be a huge faux pas to have a dessert party and not offer coffee (forget the fact that I have a ton of wine, teas and Gerolsteiner). We went out tonight and bought our first coffee maker.

I am so proud because we bought a brass mesh liner instead of those tree killing paper ones, and we bought "Columbian Supreme" beans and we got to use that nifty coffee grinding machine at the store. (which btw I've ALWAYS wanted to do, but not being a coffee drinker had no reason). So when we got home I made a celebratory pot of coffee, and drank two cups!!

I learnt two things tonight, I actually like coffee, it was probably the brand my mum buys that I don't like, and I shouldn't drink two cups full after 9:30 pm. Whatev'.... At least I got the ganache started for the truffles, and watched Malcolm in the Middle.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Affaire Au Chocolate, preview


chocolate granita (or gelato, I haven't made up my mind)

chocolate fondue with fruit, pretzels and pound cake


deep fired mars bars

chocolate coca cola cake or brownies, depends how I feel

and vegetarian chili au Cacao.

on hand we'll have several wines, teas and beverages.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

this is what's on my desktop:

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo precious!!!
I melt everytime I see it!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

and the reviews!!

So, as I am feverishly sitting at my computer, it's come to my attention in various forms that I have yet to post film reviews, so alas, here we go:

Film #1, The Pleasure of Yourt Company.
meh, it was okay. cute, but a little tired at points, and a little forced. This romantic comedy stars Jason Biggs ans Isla Fisher... basically he spontaneously proposes to her (a complete stranger) and they begin a whirlwind relationship to escape both of their dreary lives and bizarre families. Biggs seems to have lost weight (and gained a six pack) and has WEAK hair.
Movie rates 6 of 10, Bigg's hair rates 1 of 20. Director for standing us up for the after movie Q&A 0 of 10.

Film #2, The Runner.
apparently my Mother-in-Law and I aren't as faced paced as the characters in this Rat Race short that ran directly prior to Film #3 on our schedule, because we missed it.
Rating is n/a

Film #3, Monkey Warfare.
good. (It was about selling *actual* garbage online, personal histories and attachment to objects, counter-culture, BC weed, Toronto hipsters and old bicycles..... and malatov cocktails.)
Movie rates 8 of 10, bonus mini flick in credits another 8 of 10. Soundtrack is 10 of 10.

Film #4, Vier Minuten (Four Minutes)
Brilliant. Set in a women's prision in Germany, a piano teacher and her student. The woman who sat to my left had the most foul breath I've smelt in my life, and I had to eat peppermint lifesavers to have something more pleasant to smell during the length. Damn my fever is getting to me.... okay skip the synopsis, use the link in my previous TIFF post to read about the plot... just know it's effin' brilliant and you MUST, MUST watch this film. The director and two main actors were there for a Q&A, which was very kind as it was a late film.
Movie rates 11 of 10, woman next to me's breath rates foulest breath I've ever smelt, and Film Team rates 100% for acting, 100% for direction and 100% for being keen to answer questions late into the night.

Art Gallery of Ontario Special Exhibit, Andy Warhol:Supernova (Stars, Deaths and Disasters, 1962-1964)
I was surprised by how compact the exhibit was. This exhibit focused on the tradgedies most often overlooked as part of the Warhol collection. It was an interesting group of work, and well worth seeing to compensate for the more famous POP work. This contextualizes a lot of what Warhol was doing, and is worth investigating.
Note: I almost puked when I saw FOOT AND TIRE (1963-64), but that's for more personal phychoses...
Note: I adore the Jackie work, I now understand it more.... it's brilliant.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

Captain Mary Kidd, ARRGH!

My pirate name is:

Captain Mary Kidd

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Sunday, September 10, 2006

saturday OOH OOH!

so my parents came to visit me on Saturday, and they brought fun stuff!! (Some wedding stuff that was still at their place, and.....

I am so excited, the machine is actually made by Brother. It's been tuned and I can't wait to start playing!

Then we hit the town!! We brought my other machine to Sears for a tune-up, and to dollarama for a dish scrub brush (which quickly became a dollar cd hunt-my dad is hilarious, it was his doing. I bought The Crystals Greatest Hits, Ike & Tina Greatest Hits, Ledgends of Blues The Best of Muddy Waters and Essential Classics). We also went to the Pho Kin Doh restaurant where my mum enjoyed some bubble tea with her dinner.

Friday, September 08, 2006

when the cat's away...

dave, this is what your wife does while you are away.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I really need to get out more

there isn't much going on here lately.
We've listed the TR6 on eBay (go buy it now!)
I made biscotti, but didn't like the recipe, the texture is "off".
My fabulous mother-in-law bought us TFF tickets, we are seeing 3 films (and may add another), next Tuesday.
Dave is off to Chicago for the weekend on his first extended business trip.
People have gone back to school, Catherine started at U of T, Ryan is in his last year at Brock, Keith continues at Concordia.
Keith has begun to collect his stuff from his nasty ex-roommate.... I think he's going to lose money to her, but in th eend if it's really the last of her, it'll be worth it.
I am considering having a haircut, but weary of trying a new salon, and I don't know anyone in town for a good recommendation.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

last night's dinner

just because we took a picture with the camera and I'm trying to get to know it's functions and how it works with my computer.

(It's vegetarian, spinachy goodness)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Public Service Announcemnt

my mother-in-law lent us her old digital camera until we buy one!! (we may just put that off for a while then...)
so watch this space for more colourful posts.