Friday, December 31, 2010

Last day of 2010


We are having a BEAUTIFUL day today. The sun is out, the temps are warm, the snow is sparkling, really, we've had a great year here weatherwise in 2010. Tonight there will be a yummy dinner, a movie, Parade Square watching, backyard fireworks, some Times Square ball watching and good laughs with old friends.
Here are some links for this last day of the year...


Managed to make an end of year loan today ...
Kiva, small loans helping small entrepreneurs around the world. $25 CAN make a difference. I tend to fund women's initiatives.

The passing of a legend.
Steve McCurry uses the last roll of Kodachrome film :(

On her blog,
Relyn shares some advice to her daughter.

Some amazing
Aurora pictures from Northern Norway by Bjorn Jorgensen.


Happy New Year.....

Thursday, December 30, 2010

bagels, salmon, chocolate, oh my......


Ok, this is my stop sign.

I... have.... been... eating... far... too.... much! Really I don't know why I feel so out of control. The other night I had some smoked salmon cream cheese on bagel crisps and ate waaay more than was decent. I was up ALL night with indigestion and heart racing. No wonder! So.....once again I am going to try
Weight Watchers. They have a new program that sounds interesting and it can be done online which is much cheaper. Of course I have to navigate New Year's Eve and then my birthday before it is clean sailing.....but as always, we willl see.

This pear is print of mine that is
available here

I'm still enjoying the market. Taking it a day at a time to see if I will stay with it but looks like I will. Was there yesterday and had a good day. Met quite a lot of people from the United States up here for the holidays. I managed to get some painting done which was a big bonus. Also, a friend popped by to let me have a look at her iPad. Wow, so amazing. I would find that a very useful tool.


Back at market again on Sunday.


Don't forget to check out my photography romp, starts January 14th. Click on the camera:)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Rain Snow


We were walloped with a big storm last night but got off easy. The eastern United States got about 20 inches of snow! Here in Halifax it started as snow but soon turned to rain, the northern areas of Nova Scotia have snow and there have been some power outages but we were very lucky here. Messy but not impossible. Just really wet and slushy.

I am in recovery mode. Too much food. Too much food. Too much food. Not enough exercise.
I'm exhausted from lying around the last two days! Time to get some lists going. Action plans for body, soul, house and biz. I love my lists. Makes me feel like I am doing SOMETHING even if I am still just sitting:)

Also, I am running my wee photo romp again. Starts January 14th you can read about it HERE or click the pic.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas~


Wishing you a peaceful year full of good things..............

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve


Christmas Eve and I need a wee army like this to help me. Lots to do today and then I can relax and enjoy the "Season". Off to my mum's tonight for our traditional family get together. We are having a green Christmas here, no snow yet. Such odd weather. My neice who was stranded here by the snow at Heathrow managed to get a flight out last night and will arrive today, Christmas Eve. Hooray! Sad to see her go but happy that she gets to spend Christmas with her family after a term away at University. Okey dokey, I have to hit the kitchen first, got some cooking to do.Have a Happy Holiday!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Purrfect


Ha, who's been snooping in my parcel? This was the handiwork of Monty! A friend of mine sent me some great goodies (THANKS!!) and included some catnip for my wee sidekick. What a funny surprise to see the unopened box in this state. Catnip is da bomb. Monty thanks you too! He says,"More please"

And......in other news...I made it the top 5 finalists in the People's Choice category of the 2010 Canadian Weblog Awards, only three can take 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place, and it is up to you, the voting public, to decide our fates. Even though you must have voter fatigue by now, please do this last wee click and send some Holiday Cheer my way. I am at the bottom of the voters list.

Tomorrow is another Market day! Also Thursday! I'm so busy it is crazy. For some reason I was thinking that Christmas was NEXT week and I had loads of time to prepare. Well.......no.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

market morning


Once again, the view before dawn from the Halifax Seaport Market. Looking towards Dartmouth, oil rig on the right, all lit with lights. Just a strip of sky between the clouds and then.... pow! Looks like the sky is on fire. I did not alter the colour at all. The morning was cold and there was a sea frost in the air.

Isn't it gorgeous! I worked two market days back to back this weekend. Have to say I'm really tired. Lots of pros and lots of cons. Have to figure it out. Not used to getting up so very early. I definitely have to get to bed sooner! Really meeting some terrific people . I LOVE that.

Here is Anna and her hats!

I 've mentioned Anna before but wanted to show you some of her work. Just fab.

Old fashioned with a quirky modern twist.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday


Isn't this so very odd? The light was bizarre, made the picture very surreal. It is the royal bed of someone or other I think. Taken in the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. I loved roaming around the rooms that were set up like.......rooms. In the picture below, I just noticed that my mum is standing framed in the mirror:)

Getting ready for a back to back market session. Will be there tomorrow and Sunday.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yummy curried soup!


I concocted this comforting recipe on Monday. It was a howly, windy, rainy, grey, dismal December day and I was craving a taste of sunshine and golden warmth. Also, as contradictory as it might, I am now wanting a little snow, enough of this rain already......

Curried Sweet Potato, Chickpea, Apple, and Coconut Soup

1-2 Tablespoons oil or butter

1 large onion, chopped finely

1 small stalk of celery, chopped finely

4 cloves of garlic minced 9( or crushed)

1 sweet potato, chopped into fine cubes
2 heaping Tablespoons of curry paste OR 2 tablespoons of curry powder

1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or 1 teaspoons ginger powder
1/2 cup of brown rice ( I used a brown /wild rice mix, you could also use basmati or white)

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (19oz/540ml)

1 apple, chopped into small cubes ( I leave the skin on but you don't have to)
1 Liter of vegetable broth or chicken broth ( 4.2 cups or 1.06 quarts)
1 can of coconut milk ( I use lite) (13.5/398ml) ( You could use cream instead if no coconut milk.Add at end)
1 tablespoon of sugar or honey

Directions
1. In large dutch oven or pot, heat oil and saute the onion, garlic and celery until golden brown.

2. Add the curry paste and garlic, saute for about a minute.


3. Add broth and coconut milk, stir
4. Add rice,chickpeas and sweet potato, stir and bring to a simmer.

5. Add chopped apple and 1 Tablespoon of sugar or honey or sweetner of choice.

6. Simmer gently until rice is cooked and veggies are tender, about 25 minutes. Taste and season with salt.
7. Yum! This is a warming and really delicious soup. If you are a fan of cilantro you could top it with some of that or flat leaf parsley.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday


This was taken last Wednesday from the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market, about 5 pm I think. Gorgeous! It's all about the light isn't it:) The sun popped through a cloud and illuminated the lighthouse on George's Island. Having that glorious view makes the long day a bit more pleasant. I'm there again today. Wonder what the view will be around 5 pm? Market is open 10-6 today.

Merelys Williams,one of the vendors, sells glass sun catchers. Don't they look pretty against the late afternoon sky?

Oh and........ THANK YOU!!! Remember the quinoa recipe food fight I entered a month ago? I won! Thanks so much to any who voted:) I hope you tried it, it is a DELICIOUS recipe. They are accepting chocolate recipes for the next round. Very, very exciting!!! I've never owned a mix-master but have ALWAYS wanted one; my food processor broke a few months ago; I was planning on asking Santa this year for a blender to whip up some green smoothies and my hand mixer is a million years old and on it's last legs. So fortunate. So timely. SO grateful. xo

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cuban Art


Lazaro Herrera Ramirez “Tuty”
“Tin Tiene, Tin Vale”
39 x 31 Oil on Canvas

Take a closer look at that painting. Isn't it amazing! Cuban Art in an unlikely place. One Stop Wood Shop at Bishop's Landing on the Halifax Waterfront. Actually the gallery portion is called Coal Wynd Gallery. Artwork is interspered among Jason Cullen, the proprietor's beautiful wood creations. I popped into the shop last week looking for a Secret Santa gift and was delighted and intrigued to discover the art here.

Some works by Gonzalo Gonzalez on the walls.
Jason Cullen, has teamed up with Andrew Porter to present "The Cuban Collection," featuring work by some of the most prominent artists working in Cuba today. Not often we get to see these.

This is by Alexis Leyva M. "Kcho. It is the artist's wedding invitation, signed by Fidel Castro in 2002 with a small self portrait drawn by the Cuban leader in the top right corner.

I found the art so very different and interesting.

This is a shared collection, some of these works will be shown at various galleries in the Cayman Islands over the upcoming months. Be sure to view these works here in Halifax before they are shipped out!
Lazaro Herrera Ramirez “Tuty” “Don’t swim against the current”
23 x 33Oil on Canvas 2009/10
Here are Andrew Porter and Jason Cullen smiling for the crazy lady with the camera!

Monday, December 13, 2010

simple pleasures


mmmmm, Hows about a yummy mug of sugar, corn syrup solids, hydrogenated vegetable oil, possibly some coconut, palm kernal or soybean oil, modified milk ingredients, cocoa, cellulose gum, salt, dipotassium phosphate, silicon dioxide, artificial flavor, mono and diglicerides, guar gum, and sodium aluminium silicate! ( Carnation' rich and creamy' Hot Chocolate)

OR.... why not try this.
Mix together equal parts of plain cocoa and sugar. Put in jar.
To make a cup, plop some cocoa mix in mug or small pan, add milk and stir. Sometimes I add some boiling water first and then top up with milk. You can heat in a small pan on stove or do it in a microwve. Use soy milk, rice milk etc.
If you want to be fancy you can add some cinnamon or a pinch of cayenne. Try it in an individal serving first.

Makes a great gift. Now which would you prefer?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Three from yesterday


One of the advantages of getting up early to sell at the market! A lovely sunrise over McNab's Island. In the center of frame is a deep sea oil rig brought into the harbour for servicing. Up on the right side is a fake owl to dissuade wee mousies from partying in the building. I am standing on a balcony on the northeast mezzanine level. It was so nice to scoot out there occasionally during the day and have a quiet break. At one point I saw a seal having a look around the harbour. His sleek black head would pop up and then disappear for a bit to resurface in another spot:)

And here we have another buttoneer! Ian Carver wanted not one but two buttons! So cute:)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cold days,hot soup


Yum, this is one of those 0 point Weight Watchers type soups adapted by me.

Mexican Style Guilt Free Soup!

This is no fat, high nutrient soup. I fiddle with it and add what I have. Sometimes I add a can of drained beans.

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
14 ounces canned diced tomato, Mexican-style preferred
blob of tomato paste 1 Tbsp (freeze the rest in 1 T blobs, wrapped in saran wrap)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped
2 cups fresh green beans ( I used frozen)
2 small zucchini,chopped
1 cup cabbage, chopped (optional) Changes the flavour a bit)
1 carrot, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium jalapeƱo (membranes and seeds removed, minced)OPTIONAL, OR dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano)
2 roasted red peppers packed in water, drained, finely chopped (optional)
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

You could also add some corn niblets if desired.

Put a large pot or Dutch oven on stove and heat to Med-High. Add broth and tomatoes. Bring to boil, add everything else except cilantro and lime juice, bring to boil again, uncover the soup, reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until everything is tender. Stir in salt, lime juice and cilantro. Serve immediately. (I did not have any cilantro or lime juice, but it is awesome.) You can also top with crushed nacho chips and some grated cheese but then it would not be no fat:) Also can be topped with sour cream. Perfect for these cool days!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chinese here first?


Bayer's Lake Mystery Walls

Wow, I just came across this documentary and thought I would share. Stuff like this fascinates me. Paul Chaisson is an architectural history professor at Yale.
The documentary will be aired on the History Channel in Canada at 7pm Dec, 11th (this Saturday) I copied this intro from the History Channel site, History.ca

"Paul Chiasson, author of best-seller The Island of Seven Cities, is convinced the ruins on Kellys Mountain, Cape Breton Island, Canada are a pre-Columbian settlement.

After ten years of exhaustive research, this compelling one-hour documentary follows Paul as he explores the history of the ruins on Cape Breton while a colleague studies an ancient settlement in China.

Was it a Chinese colony that passed on their written language and culture to the native Mi'kmaq long before Columbus' discovery of the Americas?

Mysterious Ruins: Cape Breton investigates evidence of Chiasson's controversial claim as well as the naysayers, neighbours and native peoples, as we follow his journey in search of the truth. For the first time since the publication of this explosive theory, Mysterious Ruins: Cape Breton will reveal all sides of the debate over what could be one of the greatest archaeological finds of modern times."

Here is a link to the documentary trailer and here is a link to a news story done by CBC Both so intriguing and the info is strangely compelling.The links to the Mi'Kmaq culture especially so.

I am wondering if those ruins might be connected to the Bayer's Lake mystery walls, which I wrote about here. ( before I knew how to make my pictures larger) There is a set of photos on Flickr here too.

I also wonder if Chaisson is aware of these ruins. They are a archeological mystery as well and are under protection. Curiouser and curiouser.....

Bayer's Lake Mystery Walls

Monday, December 6, 2010

Shopping on a Friday Night


Last Friday night I was invited for some fun "Secret Santa" gift buying! All the shops here at Bishop's Landing were open until midnight and will be again this Friday, December 10th. There were five bloggers Anton, Rene, Laura and Amy. and we met at Cafe Ristretto. Fun to meet new people :) We were each given $50 to spend. My recipient was Feisty Chef, Rene Lavallee (there are accents on the ees but I don't know how to do them) and the lovely gal who received my name was Laura Phillips.

The shops are gorgeous, lots of variety to choose from. Really, you could buy for anyone down here. The picture above is the window of The Unicorn, a very high end clothing store. It has been here in Halifax since 1969. Love those boots! The picture below is from One Stop Wood Shop, full of very affordable pieces of hand turned wood gifts. I bought Renee a cutting board... duh...Chef... easy choice but her main gift I will reveal shortly. There was also some amazing art in this shop which I will write about in another post soon.

I have to say that it was a fun way to do some shopping and support local business. There are terrific restaurants down here ( Ristorante a Mano is one I've heard great things about but have yet to try) so you can really have a nice night out.There were even some carrollers singing to the shoppers. Lisa Drader Murphy of Turbine, was serving bubbly to her customers. Yum.

Lisa is a local designer who produces fabulous seasonal collections of ready-to-wear, handbags, and jewellery. I was tempted.

I finally got the second half of my gift here, at Bishop's Cellar. A deep robust Chilean wine recommended by the staff. I had some help, Renee was on file so they looked up what she likes and voila, easy peasy:) They often have wonderful tastings here, check out their website for when the next one is.

So, all in all it was a fun evening. Oh yes, and what did I get? Well, funnily enough, Laura chose the same shops as I did and I received two really cool candleholder/vases made from wood that had been felled During Hurricane Earl and of course...a yummy bottle of red wine:) Thanks.
So if you are looking for something different to do, pop down to Bishop's Landing on the waterfront, Friday night and shop fashionably late:)