here and there

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Card 2011

Joyful Joyful Holiday Card
Shutterfly always has unique designs for our holiday cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

T'was the Night!

Last night, I attended 
which Benefitted United Way’s “BeCause” initiative and the National Music Centre
There was a Red Carpet hosted by Lainey Lui of  At first we were not too sure who everyone  was having pictures with, but hear her saying Thanks for reading my Blog!!  Apparently, our pictures of us with her will be featured on Facebook! 


It was a very stylish affair, with the unveiling of The CORE"s 45 foot illuminated Christmas tree.  Along with fireworks that flashed back forth on the glass covered ceiling.  There was entertainment all night , with the feature of singer Chantal Kreviazuk.  

 At first the highlight was sampling holiday-inspired beverages and cuisine..   they had set up food and beverage  stations all through the mall on all three levels.  It amazed me how attractive the samples were, but I shuttered at the waste of all the plastic dishes used for samples.

Bite size desserts where decorated in a delightful way with fruit and chocolate.

 Pan seared Scallops with herbed rice fritters on a bed of fresh tomato salsa.  The arrangement was so cute, the scallops had been cut into small disks and the size of the fritter was the same size.. The fresh salsa as the base was difficult to eat with the picks..  I wondered if it would have looked more colourful and easier to eat if salsa was used a garnish.  It was tasty although scallops were over cooked.

Stuffed turkey Roulade 
This was a very attractive appetizers served in a bass wood boat.. My friends thought at first it was a dessert and to their disappointment found that it was a Yorkshire pudding with slices of turkey, topped with a pinwheel cracker with no particular flavour.   Certainly a great interpretation of Roulade   The word originates from the French word " to roll" and usually meat is rolled with a filling in it.

Two appetizers: Bruschetta and the other a topping with goat cheese that was applied in  pressurized container.

Slices of Bison strip loin served on citrus aioli on crositini , topped with a pecorino cheese and a dollop of apple compote..   This was a very generous serving and tasty.

At the very end we stumbled on the Italian Spiced Duck Breast served on Barley risotto with arugula on a parmesan cheese cracker.. The slices of duck were delicious!  The arugula tied in the flavours of the cracker with the risotto to the duck very nicely.   Some discussion as to this not being risotto as not made with rice.. my understanding of the defination of risotto is the method of preparing different grains by cooking in  liquid to a creamy consistency.  Although I enjoyed this dish, the left over risotto and cracker suggested others didn't!

Then we turned to  shopping!  The sales varied in different stores, we found a place that had 50% on all it's merchandize!!

  All ticket sales will support two local charities working to revitalize Calgary's downtown: BeCause, a next generation initiative of the United Way of Calgary and the National Music Centre Project.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wedding dresses from 1942

My Mom and Aunt married within the same week and had a Family reception in the same town as my Aunt was my Dad's sister.

My Aunt and Mom went shopping together in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, but since it was during war years, there were a shortage of white dresses in Canada, so they settled for pastel coloured dresses.

I remember my mom's dress very well as I used to play dress up in it and stand on pail so that I would not trip on the dress.  I remember all the covered buttons with little loops that fastened the back of the dress and the little bolero with a Peter Pan collar and puffed sleeves with a button cuff.  My Mom choose a pastel pink dress where as my Aunt choose a blue dress.. My Aunt's dress was made by the same designer but not a two piece outfit as was my Mom's. The painted wedding photos show her dress as a powder blue dress but from the pictures below, the colour is more a teal blue.. My Mom's dress was destroyed in a house fire so I was most anxious to get copies of my Aunt's dress.

my cousin wrote the following

My mother's wedding dress wasn't kept in storage; therefore is torn and actually in bad shape.  I guess mom never thought of putting it away for future generations (smile).      I photo'd the back of the dress...the front has buttons, however the collar is missing some material; the fabric is also ripped; missing..not sure why.    You probably have an actual wedding photo to show what the front looked like.    

She also had a slip for under the dress which I sent a picture as well.

1940 Bridal Gown
Jul 1, 1940 12:00 am

The white wedding dress virtually disappeared during the war years. Clothes rationing was introduced in 1941, when fashion almost ceased to exist. A few made brave efforts with parachute silk, whilst others wore gowns borrowed from relatives, but most brides wore uniform.

In a recent article in the Globe and Mail, a wedding picture during in 1944 was of both the Bride and Groom in uniform.  The interesting part is Sonia d'Artois as a secret agent posed as Suzanne Bonvie, a representative of the Parisian fashion company Louis Vuitton. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wild Blueberry Pennsylvanian Dutch Pancake

 This morning I wanted a Pennsylvanian Dutch pancake.. I used to make this for my teenage boys, but could not keep up with their appetite! So stopped making them !

You pour hot batter into a hot cast iron pan!  The base is cooked apples, but since I only had one apple, I decided on wild blue berries from Ontario.. actually our major superstore packages these berries.. And yes, they are small, not the usual berries sold in our groceries as blueberries, that look like they have been on steroids!!

 I heated the cast iron pan in the 425 degree oven , then added blueberries, butter and sugar!
As soon as this was hot, I poured in the batter, but as soon I poured in the batter and the blueberries floated, I thought "oh no!!! Now, I know why you only see recipes for Apple Pancakes!!

But it did cook and parts puffed up and with maple syrup added, it was delicious

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Fulton on 121 Fulton, New Jersey

The Fulton on 121 Fulton
Open only 2week

A previous sports bar which still kept the large TV and took away from the atmosphere of intimate dining. The decor was dark walnut walls, chairs and tables. 

The Fulton Burger was the hit of the three dishes ordered. The burger was staked high dramatically with Gruyere cheese, smoked bacon, grilled portobello mushroom with caramelized onions!

The short rib grilled cheese sandwich with roasted tomatoes, white cheddar and caramelized onions was recommended as a top sellers. The grilled tomato was chewy and I wondered if it was sundried tomatoes, the small portion of short rib was dry, yet the bottom of the sandwich soggy!

My order of Lobster mac and cheese would have been fine if served in it's own casserole dish, instead of being dried out by being heated, probably microwaved and then served in a another dish. There were some small pieces of lobster in the mix

Seeking refuge from the freak blizzard in NY, being cold and wet, it was annoying to be rushed as our table was continually being cleared as we ate, yet having to wait for serve sand then the bill.

Bistro La source on 85 Morris street in Jersey City

Bistro La source on 85 Morris street

Quaint little place with a large outdoor patio, the empty restaurant at noon on a Sunday, should have been a clue! The server did not know the menu, stating she never worked brunches!  

The crepes were served with a side order of Salad which after trying to pick out all the wilted and rotten leaves, I give up on the salad and did mention it to the server with no reaction!

The apple and duck sausage crepe, the crepe it self was good but cold and the small match size pieces of apple were uncooked and did not blend in flavor with the duck sausage, bland and unappetizing.. I had a lump in stomach the rest of the morning after trying to eat this meal. 
If the apples and duck had been cooked together, what a difference in this dish! 

The Brushetta with pulled pork and fried egg on top was tough and tasteless

Alfredos In Regina , Sask

Mushroom Caps - 9
Stuffed mushroom caps with Italian cheeses, fresh herbs and breadcrumbs

Delicious escargot stuffed mushroom caps, a meal in it self!

Yes, this is Saskatchewan where the portions are hugh!

Manicotti - 15
Pasta filled with spinach and Italian cheeses baked with tomato sauce and mozzarella

Cannelloni - 15
Pasta stuffed with beef and Italian cheeses baked with tomato sauce, white sauce and mozzarella

Thursday, November 10, 2011

escargot baked in mushroom caps

This summer, on out trip we  stopped and ordered this appetizer at Afredo's in Regina..  the dish was delicious!

For my son's birthday supper, I decided to duplicate the recipe.  To my surprize there are a few recipes on the net.. Some stuff the mushroom caps, others flip it around and have the mushroom sit as caps over the escargot.  Garlic, shallots, butter and parsley are the main ingredients!

The results were delicious, although I would focus on having more sauce for dipping at the bottom of the mushroom!