Sunday, October 19, 2014

Monday Mural

I'm linking up at Monday Mural hosted by Oakland Daily Photo.

July 2014 - Toronto ON

Graffiti alley: The colourful murals that run in the alley south of Queen St. W. have so far escaped Mayor Rob Ford’s war against worthless graffiti — and it’s no wonder why. The street art that runs west of Spadina Ave. all the way to Portland St. brightens up an otherwise dank and dirty concrete lane with colourful images and words.

 Ford can say what he likes but turning down this alley is a glorious burst of colour and talent.

My Recipe Box - Sticky Date Pudding

I have become addicted to Gusto TV and found this recipe by Annabel Langbien.
The cake turned out beautifully but the toffee sauce did not work out. It never thickened. My guess is the type of cream I bought, 10% instead of 35%.

Prep time:15 mins 
Cook time:35-40 mins

1 cup pitted dates
1¼ cups water
1 tsp baking soda
60g butter, chopped
1 packed cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1½ cups self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground ginger
2 pears, cored and cut into thin slices

To serve:

Wicked Toffee Sauce

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Grease the sides of a 25cm cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

Place dates, water and baking soda in a pot large enough to hold the entire mixture and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash with a potato masher to break up the dates.

Stir in chopped butter and mix until butter is melted. Mix in sugar and eggs then fold in flour, vanilla and ginger.

Arrange pear slices in a concentric circle around the base of the tin, placing a few slices in the centre. Pour batter over the top and smooth evenly to fully cover the pears.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand for at least 10 minutes before turning upside down onto a serving platter and removing the baking paper. Serve with warm Wicked Toffee Sauce.

This dessert keeps well for a day or two and can be frozen. Thaw and serve warm – heat it in the oven for 10 minutes or microwave it for 2-3 minutes.

Wicked Toffee Sauce

Place ½ cup water in a saucepan. Add 2 cups caster sugar and place over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and comes to the boil, swirling the pot now and then. Boil without stirring until mixture turns a golden caramel colour – approximately 8-10 minutes. (Do not be tempted to stir the mixture as this could cause it to crystallise. To prevent it from crystallising, you can run a wet brush around the sides of the pot, allowing the excess water to run into the sugar mixture.) Remove from heat, add 2 cups cream and 2 tsp vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge and reheated. Makes 3 cups.

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.
My comments are not meant to be recaps of the story lines as I include a link to Goodreads for their synopsis of the book. I am merely stating how I felt about the book without giving any spoilers.


ABANDONED - title?
Thirty Girls

The Glass Harmonica

Synopsis here.

Set on a street in St. John`s Newfoundland, I LOVED this book! I felt like he was writing about our street where we had our house. Crazy neighbours, 
and everyone knows everyone else`s business.
My only complaint is I wish I had drawn a chart with house numbers and names as I got a little confused
as I went along.

My Mother's Secret: A Novel Based on a True Holocaust Story

A novel based on a true story, a mother and daughter risk their lives to provide shelter to two families and a German soldier--all unbeknownst to each other--in a tiny two-room house in Sokal, Poland, during the Nazi invasion. 

Based on a true story, MY MOTHER'S SECRET is a profound, captivating, and ultimately uplifting tale intertwining the lives of two Jewish families in hiding from the Nazis, a fleeing German soldier, and the clever and "righteous" mother and daughter who teamed up to save them.

I liked it but I love anything to do with the holocaust. The writing style bothered me as I felt it was written
for children. Plain sentences and little character development.

The Saint Zita Society

'Someone had told Dex that the Queen lived in Victoria. So did he, but she had a palace and he had one room in a street off Warwick Way. Still he liked the idea that she was his neighbour.'

Dex works as a gardener for Dr Jefferson at his home on Hexam Place in Pimlico: an exclusive street of white-painted stucco Georgian houses inhabited by the rich, and serviced by the not so rich. The hired help, a motley assortment of au pairs, drivers and cleaners, decide to form the St Zita Society (Zita was the patron saint of domestic servants) as an excuse to meet at the local pub and air their grievances.

When Dex is invited to attend one of these meetings, the others find that he is a strange man, seemingly ill at ease with human beings. These first impressions are compounded when they discover he has recently been released from a hospital for the criminally insane, where he was incarcerated for attempting to kill his own mother. Dex's most meaningful relationship seems to be with his mobile phone service provider, Peach, and he interprets the text notifications and messages he receives from the company as a reassuring sign that there is some kind of god who will protect him. And give him instructions about ridding the world of evil spirits . . .

Accidental death and pathological madness cohabit above and below stairs in Hexam Place.

I`m a huge fan of Rendell. This lived up to my expectations. it twisted and turned and twisted again.
But it didn`t have the impact of a lot of her previous books. Goodreads fans did not give it good reviews, but I was entertained.

A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford, #10)

A wallet found in the handbag of a murder victim leads Inspector Wexford to Mr. Grenville West, a writer whose plots revel in the blood, thunder, and passion of dramas of old and whose current whereabouts are unclear. When a second Grenville West comes to light, Wexford faces a dizzying array of possible scenarios--and suspects!

This is an old, from 1978, Rendell story. I enjoyed it but did begin to figure out where the story was going.
It is funny to read a story where someone is raging about Women`s Lib and one has to go to the library to
look up information.

Everybody Has Everything

What happens when the tidy, prosperous life of an urban couple is turned inside out by a tragedy with unexpected consequences? After a car crash leaves their friend Marcus dead and his wife Sarah in a coma, Ana and James are shocked to discover that they have become the legal guardians of a 2½-year-old, Finn. Finn's crash-landing in their lives throws into high relief deeply rooted, and sometimes long-hidden, truths about themselves, both individually and as a couple. Several chaotic, poignant, and life-changing weeks as a most unusual family give rise to an often unasked question: Can everyone be a parent?

And To Think I Saw It...Oct 11 - Oct 17

Last weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving so there will be lots of autumn and turkey photos.

John worked a few days.




Friday My Town Shoot Out - Moody
Weekend Cooking - Kensington Market
Travel Photo Thursday - University of Toronto
Monday Mural - Chinatown
Scavenger Hunt Sunday
Saturday Snapshot - Kensington Market

Sunday John and I attended the National Geographic travel photography seminar. It went from 8:30 to 4:00 with lunch included. It was very good but a long day. From there we headed to Mississauga for our second Thanksgiving with family.

The seminar was held at Victoria College and I had time at lunch to wander outside with my camera.

More photos of the lovely buildings here.


We were invited to two family dinners - one with my sister's partner's family and one with my cousin's family. My niece and nephew were at both.

Monday I cooked a Thanksgiving dinner for the two of us. We both love turkey and enjoy the leftovers.

We had dinner out on Tuesday at the Brogue Inn in Port Credit with friends. Three of us had the steak sandwich and it was delicious.

Wednesday was Monday's leftovers.

Thursday I made curried chicken with chicken thighs, coconut milk and added kale.

We were invited to John and Margaret's for dinner, three doors down from where we used to live. Lots of laughs and great food.

Mulligatawny soup


John painted both bathrooms on Monday.

Main bathroom reveal

I`ll show the other bathroom next week.

Wednesday was a cloudy day which led to a beautiful sunset.

4:07 PM

6:18 PM

I made a video last week of our winter travels for 2013-2014 and created some collages to capture some of the many things we did and saw.  This is some of the art we saw in Mazatlan during the January and February Art Walk.

Some links to posts I wrote during the week of various travels.

British Isles Friday - Liverpool
Weekend Reflections - Montreal
Look UP Look Down - Montreal
Songography - Small Town
Rubbish Tuesday - Gallup NM
Our World Tuesday - Port Hope ON


Black Creek Village

Saturday, October 18, 2014

inSPIREd Sunday

August 2014 - Point Prim PEI

I'm going a little tongue in cheek with today's subject. Here's link to more photos from Point Prim.
We stopped at Hannah’s Bottle Village created by Gar Gillis.

One of the buildings in the village is the church. It was the first building Gar built and named after his grandson.

I think I'll do a post about the rest of the buildings during the week.