Monday, 30 July 2012

Lange Pioneer Village

You'll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut. - Dr. Seuss

Sometimes the nicest things happen when you least expect...they just come to be on their own.  My brother-in-law's family, my parents (visiting from Florida) and my family had a picnic in the countryside, followed by a trip to Lange Pioneer Village.  Honestly, we had no expectations...we were just enjoying the afternoon...but the moment the children walked through the gates, the buildings of the Pioneer Village captured their attention and filled their imaginations.   The village, full of actors/ historians, willingly answered the millions of questions our little crew threw out...
We took our time through shops, houses, the inn...but the children's favourite was meeting the teacher in the country school house.  The children all sat straight and learnt their lessons.
Our afternoon quickly sped by....(and never once, in our four hours spent, did we hear...."Can we go now?"....the only question asked was .... "Can we come back here for school in September?"...) Here is our day in pictures...

Sunday, 22 July 2012

A little pasta...

At the table with good friends and family, you do not become old. - Italian Saying

Being American, my family always had a tradition of gathering around the table for mealtimes.  It was a great way to grow up.  However, being together was more the emphasis...not the food.  My mom never made a soup stock from scratch....I always thought soup stock came from a can....or a packet that you rip off the edge and just dump in....cakes came from a box....not from a cookbook and Pasta sauces came from the pasta sauce isle...(which I did love...and sometimes still enjoy)
But there is something extra nice about making things from can taste the investment and love in every bite...
It is a big deal with my Serbian relatives to gather for homemade meals....they will eat and chat the day away.  And yes, I do think that good food at the table with friends and family does go a long way.  It helps people feel cared for....and helps people stay for just one more bite...and one more conversation.
My husband and I enjoy cooking together and he has inspired me to try many new recipes.  Today I tried to undertake his favourite...pasta (maybe not a Serbian favourite...but anyway)....
Here is my homemade sauce I came up with...

Pasta with Garlic and Herbs (serves approx. 6)
Olive Oil  1/3 cup
6 cloves garlic,  finely chopped
1 small red onion,  finely chopped
2 pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 cup white wine (or chicken stock)
2 egg yolks
Assortment of fresh Herbs approx 1 cup total
(I used:  Oregano 1/4 cup,  chopped
               Cilantro 2 Tablespoons, chopped
               Rosemary 1 sprig,  chopped
               Parsley 1/2 cup chopped)

Fettuchine noodles
feta cheese (for topping)
1.  Heat oil in frying pan
2.  Saute garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute
3.  Add onion.  Saute until translucent.

4.  Add red pepper flakes, mushrooms, tomatos, salt, pepper, garlic powder.  Continue sauteing for approx 5 more minutes until mushrooms and tomatoes are cooked.
6.  Beat egg yolks and white wime in a small bowl.  Once combined, whisk into garlic and olive oil sauce.  cook for approx one minute, stirring constantly.
7.  Add fresh herbs.  cook for one minute more.  Sauce will look about like this:

8.  Toss with fresh pasta.
9.  Top with feta cheese.

Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

A lakeside beach

A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature.  It is earth's eye. - Henry David Thoreau
My niece jumping into the lake behind our house

Growing up in Florida...I expected to see one in five plates on the major interstates from Canada...mostly from Ontario and Quebec.  Florida is a popular destination for Canadians...all year round.  But, I wanted to say, that in summer, Canada' lakeside beaches beat out Floridian Beaches.

A sandcastle built on the shore of lake Ontario
Here is my personal list of reasons (as a former Floridian) to head North this summer for sand and surf:

1.  You will not get third degree burns while walking on the sand from your beach towel to the surf.
2.  You do not have to fear shark attack.
3.  You do not have to fear jelly fish bites.
4.  You do not have to worry about crab bites.
5.  You do not have to worry about sun stroke (well, it is more rare anyway) and can stay out at the beach for an entire day
6.  You do not have to worry about that horrible salt water taste in your mouth all day if you accidentally swallow the water.
7.  You will not feel sticky from salty sea air.
8.  Lake sand is not as adhesive as ocean sand (better for your car, not as much sand tracked in)
9.  You do not have to worry about ripe tides...(they are very real! be careful Florida swimmers)
10.  You only have to apply sunblock one time per day...not every fifteen minutes as in Florida to ward off eminent major sunburn)
11.  There will usually be a refreshing cool breeze blowing...

To find a nice Ontario beach follow this link:   Beaches