06/23/15

Hello Ocean

Mr. and I went on an anniversary adventure a couple of weeks ago.

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We went to Prince Edward Island for a few days before hopping on a ferry over to Nova Scotia to finish the trip.

It was magical.

I spent a good portion of my childhood dreaming of the ocean: of living on a rocky shore, or being a pirate, or, because of the movie Pete’s Dragon, being a lighthouse keeper. I’m not sure if this is a pattern, children growing up on the prairies dreaming of the ocean, but it’s what I did. Where do children from the coast dream about living? I don’t know if it would be the prairies.

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On the way there, amidst all of my excitement, I was a little bit worried. (But then, when am I not at least a little worried? Ha ha ha). A person spends all of this time fantasizing, mythologising about a place, putting it up on a pedastal, what if it doesn’t live up to how you imagined it?

But I was worrying for nothing. It was amazing. It was as amazing as I imagined it could be. I would go back in a second.

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Many lighthouses were hugged. There was much excitement.

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Mr., who didn’t grow up dreaming of lighthouses or the ocean, hugged some lighthouses too. He was happy we were having such a fun time.

If you find yourself in Charlottetown and need a bite to eat, here are our suggested stops: the Water Prince Corner Shop (chowder so good we came back the next day to have it again!), and Dave’s Lobster (for lobster rolls that were Mr.’s favourite meal the whole trip. The ‘Some Fancy’ is so good it’ll give you goosebumps.).

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In Halifax we got to spend some time with our friend Dave, who we don’t get to see often enough at all. We went to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, walked the boardwalk, and took a tour of his ship. We got treated to oysters at the Waterfront Warehouse, a first for both Mr. and myself!

For our anniversary, Mr. and I decided to continue the tradition of having a picnic. We went to Point Prim lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on Prince Edward Island, with our treats and our picnic blanket and had a marvellous time.

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I can’t wait to go back. And I’m sure that we will!

To go along with today’s picnic theme I have a recipe for a crunchy, bright slaw that would be perfect to pack in a picnic basket.

Granny Smith and Celery Slaw

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1 Granny Smith apple

5 stalks of celery

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Directions

  • Cut the apple into quarters and remove the core before slicing thinly.
  • Slice the celery into crescents of similar thickness to the apple.

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  • In a medium to small mixing bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard to make the dressing.
  • Add the sliced apple and celery to the bowl, tossing to coat.
  • Serve!
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Crunch!

I think it might be fun next time to cut everything into juliennes, to have it look more traditionally slaw-like. I know some people would rather go to the dentist than cut into juliennes, but I’ve always kind of had fun with it.

 

01/26/14

Keeping Warm

I would like to wish Mr, my lovely husband, a Happy 30th Birthday! 30 is a big year! I love you to the moon and back. And, it wouldn’t be me without getting a little bit mushy and cheeseball, so all I can say is this: “I know you might roll your eyes at this: I’m so glad that you exist”

I’ve got some lovely carnitas to post about later, because he requested nachos for his birthday party (smart man). But for now, here’s those knitting projects I promised to share, and a recipe for a dinner perfectly suited to blustery January days.

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An Extra Warm Men’s Scarf: such a fun stitch, it looks like a plethora of little knots! And all of the interesting stitching is done on the wrong side, to boot.

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Escargot: A lovely cloche hat with a snail shell detail. I had a bit of trouble with the sizing, and so knit it twice before coming out with a hat of usable size. But a lovely pattern nonetheless!

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Shaelyn shawl: So many pretty ways to wear a piece like this one. I especially love how the wavy effect comes out after blocking.

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Elf clobber cuffs: I was sad to give these ones away. They’re a lovely detail piece that can make any old cardigan or long sleeve shirt feel a little more fancy. They came out so so soft! This is one of the first projects that I have done that combines both knitting and crocheting. I’m going to have to make myself a pair!

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And then, I feel really awful about this, but I lost the link I had to the pattern for this lovely scarf. It’s super simple, and best yet reversible! I love a knitting project that doesn’t have a wrong side. All you do is cast on 4x+2 stitches (depending on how wide you want for it to be) and *K, K, Kbl, P* K, K for all the rows. Beginner knitters could do this project no problem, and come out with a lovely to wear scarf. If I can find the pattern again (though digging has so far not yet yielded it) I will put up a link to it here!

I tried my hand at making sausage again! And again, it was so much fun! It came out pretty over seasoned; the flavor profile was spot on but there was just too much, it was too intense. I definitely plan on making the same again, just toned down. That recipe will follow later. Here is what I did with the super intense sausage:

Sausages with Caramelized Onion and Apple

6 sausage links

1 medium sized onion

1 Granny Smith (or other tart) apple

Directions

  • Place a skillet that has an oven safe handle over high heat. When it is good and hot, add in the sausages. Let them sizzle away, turning as they brown.

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  • Set your oven to heat to 375°.
  • While the sausages are browning, slice the onion into half moons.
  • Add the onions to the skillet once the sausages are browned on all sides. Hopefully, in the browning process, they will have rendered out some fat to help lubricate the onions. If not add a little bit of oil to slick the onions with so that they don’t burn and stick to the skillet as they caramelize.
  • Give the onions and sausages a stir before setting the skillet into the oven.

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  • Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every once in a while, until the onions start to caramelize and the sausages cook most of the way through.
  • Core the apple and slice it into batons. Add the apple into the skillet with the sausages and onion.

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  • Let bake for another 10 or so minutes. At this time, the sausages should be cooked all of the way through and be relatively crispy, the onions will be deliciously sweet and brown, and the apple will not yet have gone to mush.
  • Serve with some mashed potatoes and enjoy dinner!

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Even though my sausages came out a little more extremely flavored than intended, this treatment made for a really lovely supper. The sweet from the caramelized onion and the tart from the apple calmed the intensity from the sausages, and the mashed potatoes we ate this dish with were a blanket of calm against all of the other flavors. I am really interested in trying out the apples and onions with other types of sausages too!

Mr enjoyed this supper, of course, because he really loves some sweetness with his savory dishes. He says: “The apples and onions go really well with the sausages. It would be even better if the sausages came out more crisp.” And I agree with his ascertainment of that situation. When I made the dish, I browned the sausages on only two sides. I would really suggest, for any of you contemplating making this dish, to take the time to brown on all sides and get the sausages fairly crispy on the outside before adding the onion and heading to the oven.

Happy eating! And keep warm, spring is coming!

This time last year: Curried Squash Soup

And the year before: Cream Puffs

And the year before that: Woodgrain Cake

06/18/11

The Awesome Thing About Fruit Salad…

is that you can pick out all of your favorite things to put in it! And! You can leave out the parts of fruit salad that may not tickle your fancy so much.

My selections included: mango, pear, apple, cherries and raspberries. They are the fruits I like best, and so that is what we ate. It is nice to be the resident culinarily inclined person who cooks all the time, because you get to pander to your likes and dislikes. Ha ha.

Fruit salad is also a really great breakfast because it takes minutes to prepare and gets you revved up for a busy itinerary that follows. A big bowl of fruit salad, mellowed by a little bit of honey and electrified by a little bit of lime  was a great point from which to launch an awesome day.

All Dana’s Favorites Fruit Salad

Ingredients

1 Macintosh Apple

1 Anjou pear

1 mango

2⁄3 Cup cherries

1⁄2 Cup raspberries

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp honey

Directions
  • Wash all of your fruit thoroughly.
  • Core the apple and pear and dice into half inch pieces, and put them in a large bowl
  • Peel the mango and remove the flesh from the pip, also dicing it into half inch pieces to add to the bowl.
  • Seed your cherries by cutting longitudinally around the pit and twisting the  two halves in opposing directions. One half will pop off easily, and then you can remove the stone from the other side with your fingers or the tip of a knife.
  • Add the halved and pitted cherries to the bowl with the apple, pear and mango.
  • Tumble the raspberries gently into the bowl.
  • Mix together the lime juice and honey so that they will pour easily, and drizzle them over top of the fruit. The lime juice will help prevent the cut fruit from oxidizing, and the honey creates a hygroscopic environment around the fruit that encourages them to release their juices and macerate.
  • Toss the fruit gently to distribute the honey and lime, and then dig in ravenously with a spoon.

This fruit salad fed four for breakfast, and because it was made up of all of my favorites it was pretty phenomenal in my books. What would you put in your fruit salad?

Mister liked my fruit salad, but found it a little tart. He says he would include more melon in his favorite picks fruit salad. What a good idea!