Candy Cane Vase with Roses

Materials Required:
Cylindrical vase or clean empty can
Two sided tape (found at most hardware or scrapbooking stores)
Rubber band
Candy canes
Wide ribbon (must be wider than rubber band)
Roses

Instructions:
Wrap the two sided tape around the vase/can once approximately halfway down the vase/can. (The two sided tape will help keep the candy canes from sliding out from under the rubber band.)
Slide rubber band around the vase/can.
Begin inserting the candy cans behind the rubber band.
Tie the ribbon around the vase/can taking care to cover the rubber band with the ribbon.
Fill with water and arrange roses.
Another “Bride Idea”: Use mini candy canes and baby food jars or small fruit cup cans to create small individual vases which can serve as place cards. Just attach a label with your guests’ names to the ribbon.

Spicy Warm Pineapple Watermelon Salad Recipe : Robert Irvine : Food Network

Spicy Warm Pineapple Watermelon Salad Recipe : Robert Irvine : Food Network

Ingredients
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups diced pineapple
1/2 cup medium watermelon chunks
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
Salt
Chopped fresh mint leaves, for serving
Crumbled goat cheese, for serving
Directions
Saute the onion and garlic together over low heat, in a medium saucepan, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the sugar and let it dissolve until almost caramelized. Stir in the pineapple, watermelon, and vinegar and allow to cook until the fruit is coated with the liquid in the pan, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt, to taste, and serve with chopped mint and goat cheese.

I just saw this being made on the show. There were strawberries in it on the show. Maybe strawberries were substituted for pineapple. Too bad they don’t mention that. Anyway, it sounded good. I wouldn’t make it spicy but that’s my taste.

Zack’s Pumpkin Spice Birthday Cake

This is the original recipe. Of course, I had to fiddle with it.

First, no pecans cause my brother is allergic to any nuts except peanuts. He may not even be here for the cake but you never know if plans will change or he could be by and hope for leftover cake the next day.

Other changes: added some vanilla (real vanilla not extract), added cocoa powder and did not have ground cloves. Also, because it’s Thanksgiving we have lots of pumpkin all cooked from fresh pumpkin so I did not use any pumpkin out of a can for this recipe.

I probably won’t serve it with a brick of cream cheese and fruit. It’s a birthday cake! We have candles and I have icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder to make some chocolate icing. 

PUMPKIN GINGER PECAN LOAF

Serve with a brick of cream cheese (soft, for spreading) and fruit.

1/2 cup soft butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 2/3 cup unsifted flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup water
1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Cream together butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.

Sift together dry ingredients, add to creamed mixture alternately with water. Beat well after each addition. Add pumpkin and beat until well blended. Stir in chopped pecans. Turn into greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan and spread smooth.

Bake in moderate oven (350°F) 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out on rack to cool thoroughly.

Makes 1 loaf.

Eat your Christmas Tree

 
What You Will Need:

• Cupcakes, any flavor
• Sweetened Whipped Cream
• Green Food Coloring
• Chopped candied fruit, red

Equipment Need:

• Icing Bag
• Open Star Icing Tip

How To:

1. Whip whipping cream till stiff peaks form.

2. Reserve some plain white icing for the floret border and add a tiny drop of green food color to the rest.

3. Mix the color into the cream very lightly to get a marbled effect.

4. Spread this icing on each cupcake with an icing knife or spatula.

Making the Trees
1. Mix in green food coloring to the remaining icing to make the trees.

2. Fit an icing bag with an open star tip (No. 17 or 18) and fill the bag with the green whipped cream.

3. To start making the trees, pipe out cream in center of the cupcake and bring outwards. For the first few lines, bulge out the icing in the center and then bring out. This will give the base of the tree some height for the other ‘branches’ to stand.

Floret Border:
With the same icing tip and plain white whipping cream, make little florets all around the edge of the cupcake.
Pipe out cream and press slightly on the same place to form a little floret. Make florets close to each other all around the rim.
Decorations:
1. Sort out red colored candied fruit from a mixed pack or use dried red berries.
2. Chop them up and puck into the trees to make tree decorations.
Tips:
Whether preparing for your family or for a party, assembly line is the best way to get these done quick and well. Spread cream icing on all cupcakes first and then make trees on all of them.
Try making the trees and florets on a plate first. Once you get the hang of it, start making them on the cupcakes.

Snapple has Dragonfruit

Dragonfruit: Is that a real fruit? Has anyone else never heard of that? Yet, here I am, a dragon. You would think I’d know about something like that.

It’s been a long time since I tried Snapple, during the drive down to the US, about 15 years ago. It was really sweet. I was offered a sample of the new water, waiting for it in the mail. Should be interesting.

I hope they send dragonfruit flavour. Dragons should have dragonfruit. I expect it’s juicy, a little tangy and just a touch bitter. Not too bitter. Not enough to bite anyone’s head off. But, not all sweet and nice either. The write up about it from the website was funny. Like they know I daydream way too much. 🙂
Added this morning: I found dragonfruit. It has a few interesting names. If you are somewhere this grows can you send seeds or a cutting? Would be fun to try growing this. We have a few exotic flowering cactus. I don’t know what they are all called. I get cuttings from various places and try to keep them alive. 🙂 Most are doing great. They will start getting flowers soon now that the weather has warmed up.

Thursday Thirteen: Valentines Day

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Things I Would have Liked for Valentines Day

1. An actual real Valentine man, a My Funny Valentine kind of guy would be just fine.

2. A pretty locket.

3. A weekend at a bed and breakfast with my Funny Valentine.

4. A box (not massive) of Valentine chocolates, really good ones.

5. Cheesecake, really good ice cream and/ or very fresh fruit salad. (It’s not all chocolate!)

6. A Valentine card, something really pink and flowery.

7. Valentine lingerie for more than full figure type. Something long and luxurious rather than skimpy.

8. A gift basket full of good things: chocolates, really nice smelling shampoo and soap, etc.

9. A car. Not that I actually expect to get something so expensive but lets just put it out there, just cause you never know…

10. A day out for fancy coffee, shopping at the bookstore, and a chick flick.

11. An evening of my Funny Valentine cooking dinner, cleaning it up and making a really good coffee for late night conversation.

12. Flowers, tulips would be nice or something fancier. Something with roots that can be planted in the garden this Spring would be great too.

13. Sex. Not average, man in charge sex, something a lot more fun for me.

Fruitiness

Lady Banana and Lone Chatelaine have both done this one. Surprisingly, Lady Banana was a banana.

You Are a Pear

You are independent, intelligent, and a free thinker.
You can accomplish great things, especially when you do them on your own.

You are direct, honest, and sometimes even a bit brutal.
There’s not much that gets in the way of you and your ambition.

While you are hard nosed, you do have a much sweeter side to you.
It takes times for you to soften toward someone, but once you do, you’ll be their friend for life.

Saturday Morning Breakfast


Well here we are, another Saturday morning.

Saturday morning was a lot more exciting when I was a kid. There were cartoons and my Mom would make a big breakfast. Whatever she felt like whipping up: pancakes, bacon and eggs, fruit salad, omelettes, sausages, french toast, red river cereal, scrambled eggs, bagles, cinnamon buns and just about anything you can imagine as breakfast food. Sometimes something quite fancy and sometimes just a bowl of anonymous flakes in milk. I appreciate it much more now. All those breakfasts in our sunny kitchen on Rouge Hills Drive, West Hill, Ontario. That was a long time ago.

I still really like going out for breakfast, when someone else does the cooking and the cleaning up. Living alone I don’t get inspired to whip up anything for breakfast. I would make pancakes and bacon and eggs and french toast and such when I was married. Until things go not so nice. Then I didn’t bother, didn’t even bother to get up to be with him, let alone cook for him. I ate ice cream when I got up. Not a great plan I have to warn you.

Anyway, that’s what Saturday morning makes me think of. All those mornings in our cosy house and having breakfast together at the table. Being called away from the TV, which was not that interesting anyway. Mom liked to have conversation so we always blabbed about something or other. Sometimes she had a plan for the day or the weekend. She was a firm believer in unplanned plans though. We might go to the flea market in Pickering but end up on a road trip to Niagara Falls instead. There were weekend visits to the Grandparents in Woodstock. Two hours was just borderline distance with four kids in a car. We had a big van for awhile, that gave each of us our own bench. It was pretty cool to stretch out or find some other way to take up all your available space. I had books and a little sister. I could have suggested she go somewhere else but I didn’t mind. Sometimes I had my other sister, taking refuge from my brother. They always competed, over everything. But he was closer to my age and had advantages. That didn’t stop her from trying to win. She was “Queen of Stubborn”, relentless to the point of craziness.

So those were Saturday mornings ages ago. Now I’m just being lazy. I should/ could be working on something practical and necessary and important. Maybe some part of my brain is waiting for breakfast, to come to the table and chat about what we might do today. Too bad it’s noon now. If I make a fresh coffee maybe I can fool myself into self discipline.

Or I could get dressed. Wearing your pajamas till after noon on a Saturday morning is not a sign of a productive day. But, it was fun when we were kids. I don’t want to go back, not at all. It’s nice to have memories but you have to keep making new ones to go with the part of your life you’re living in now.