Friday, December 30, 2011

Good Times 2011–Part Two

Part One of this recap reminded me of so many fun times this year.  Hard to believe there’s another six months to get through here!



  • Canada Day – always a festive good time in downtown Victoria.
  • Canada Day Fireworks – which ended up being the actual anniversary of my relationship with Michael.  :)
  • Bonfire Campout – good times with friends and dogs.









  • Nada.  Blog breakin’ y’all.



All that’s left is New Years Eve!  I may just sleep until then…just putting these posts together has exhausted me.  And here I thought I was boring.

Thanks to everyone for an amazing 2011!!  Blog readers and supporters are really what makes this all worthwhile and I can’t thank each of you enough for cheering me on throughout the year. 

Here’s to a great 2012!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Good Times 2011–Part One

You know what?  2011 was quite a good year!

  • Happy 2011 – nothing like ringing in the New Year with a great friend and an all night party!










  • Hockey playoffs start – and so do my incessant posts about the Canucks.
  • German Sparkle Party – you know you want to listen to that nutty song over and over again. 
  • Sooke Harbour House – one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had, complete with lovely overnight stay and gorgeous views.  {Part One} {Part Two} {Part Three}



  • Empress Afternoon Tea – nothing but the finest finger sandwiches for my Mom!
  • Backyard Shrimp Boil – bet you didn’t know this is actually where Michael and I met.  That dog in the photos?  Yep, that’s his Burl.  :)




  • Tragedy Strikes – when the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup.
  • True Spirit – stupid people rioted, lovely people cleaned up.
  • V.I.C. Fest – local wine, local beer, local art, local music, local food, good friends and good times.
  • Fernwood Bites – more local food, more local wine, more good friends and good times.


Wow, all of that went down in just the first six months.  If I ever complain of being bored please refer me back to my own blog. 

Part Two tomorrow.

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All Christmased Out


I will leave the decorations up through NYE but I’m so done with the holiday treats.  No more chips and dip, no more missing pieces from the gingerbread house, no more fingers in the cookie tin.


I don’t even know why I kept any of my holiday baking in my freezer.  I’m sure it will only taunt me and wag it’s finger at my too tight jeans.


But you…you!  You still get to enjoy my Nanaimo Bars from afar.  Maybe file this one away for next year.  I don’t want you blaming me for your too tight jeans.


Nanaimo Bars (by a true Nanaimo girl)

* yields 20-25 bars depending on how you cut them


Layer One

  • 1/2 cup butter (or margarine), room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup medium coconut
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

Layer Two

  • 1/4 cup butter (or margarine), room temperature
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp vanilla custard powder, sifted
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted

Layer Three

  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp butter (or margarine)



Layer One

  1. Combine graham cracker crumbs, coconut, walnuts and cocoa – set aside.
  2. Place butter, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla in a metal bowl set atop a pot of lightly boiling water (or use double boiler).  Stir until butter melts and ingredients combine.
  3. Add a big scoop of the warm mixture to the beaten egg and whisk to temper.  Immediately add egg mixture to bowl of warm mixture and whisk to combine.  Remove from heat.
  4. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and stir well to combine.  Press mixture into a greased 8x8 or 9x9 square pan.  Cool.

Layer Two

  1. Using a hand mixer, blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.  Spread over Layer One. 

Layer Three

  1. Using the double boiler set up again, melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring until smooth.  Spread carefully over Layer Two.
  2. Chill for at least one hour before cutting into squares using a sharp knife dipped in hot water.


Every year since 1996 I’ve attempted to make these as good as my Mom used to.  And every year since 1996 one layer gives me grief.  This year the bottom layer is my best yet (!) but the easiest layer, the chocolate, decided to torment me and not get smooth. 

Bumpy chocolate tastes better anyway.  No?


And with that, Chibi says ‘Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight’.


Even hairless dogs get turkey comas.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Memory Walk

Some people like to show their kids where they used to live, or played soccer, or swam in the Summer.  I took my dog for a walk around my old high school.


Parts of it seem exactly the same.  And other parts seem like a totally different school.  I wonder if a community garden would have worked during my high school years?


As we drove up my Mom’s street I realized this Tot-Lot is still there!  It’s not like I never visit, but I guess I just assumed this death trap of a play park wouldn’t be there any more.  Those spring based toys were dangerous!


I swear I rode this horse a thousand times in the 80’s. 

Nothing like realizing that to slap yourself in the face with your age.  :)

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Collage

This year my family decided not to exchange gifts…except for me and my Mom.  Clearly I like songs, TV and kitchen stuff. :)


My uncle did contribute gifts in the form of reprints of pictures of my Grandparents in honour of my Grandfather who passed away recently.

Grandma and Grandpa got married in 1949.  Love this photo.


Then we spent 457 hours preparing dinner and 4.57 minutes eating it.


Our traditional family Christmas dinner:

  • 15lb turkey
  • bread and sausage stuffing
  • gravy
  • the best mashed potatoes in the world (!)
  • smashed carrots and rutabega
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Nana’s Cabbage Salad
  • cranberry sauce (from a can…shhhhh!)


Don’t worry.  The pumpkin pie gets in my belly

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