Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Whipped Yogourt Dip

A wonderful treat for the hot days of summer! Makes a great dessert!

Whipped Yogourt Dip

300grams strawberry yogourt (use your favourite flavour)
500millilitres whipping cream
3 tablespoons icing sugar
3 drops red food colouring (optional)

In a fairly large bowl, put in the yogourt (I used 3 individual sized strawberry yogourt cups) and whipping cream. Beat with a hand mixer and gradually sprinkle in the icing sugar to the sweetness you prefer.

Add food colouring drops to add more colour if you wish. Use whichever food colouring colour suits your flavour of yogourt best, for example, blue for blueberry or red and yellow for peach. You can leave it completely natural without food colouring, it won't effect the recipe.

Beat the dip with the hand mixer until fairly firm ridges form. You may refrigerate until ready to use.


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

This is a super lemony, delicious loaf!

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

1/4 cup poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
grated rind of one lemon

Put the poppy seeds and milk into a bowl and let them soak for 30 minutes.

In a medium sized bowl, cream the butter, sugar and one of the eggs together. Beat in the second egg. When the poppy seeds have finished soaking add them along with the milk to the butter mixture and blend.

In a second bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon rind together. Pour this dry mixture over the wet ingredients and stir to moisten.

Spoon the mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350F for 1 hour. (See below ** for further instructions.)

Lemon Glaze

Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup sugar

Combine the lemon juice and sugar into a small saucepan. Heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.

**Take the loaf out of the oven when it is done baking and while it is still in the pan carefully pour the glaze over top of the entire loaf as evenly as possible. Allow this to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Samsara

This is an attempt to explain what Samsara is in modern terms, (from my limited understanding).

The Wheel of Life


Samsara is like a virtual reality simulation.

Samsara's objectives: To keep you in prison without you knowing you are in prison. To keep you from finding out you are in a virtual reality simulation. It does this by keeping you busy and making your experience as real and overwhelming as possible, so that it doesn't even occur to you to find out what is actually going on. If you don't know you are prison, you won't try to get out.

Your objectives: To discover you are in Samsara. To realize this is just a prison for your mind and to escape. You need to change your behaviour and your mind so that you can be released from prison. 

(I woke up in the middle of the night with description rolling around in my mind and I just kept going over it and over it, so I thought I would share it this morning.)


Friday, 16 August 2013

DIY Back Massager

Save yourself tons of money and make your own back massager! I was taught this trick by a physio-therapist.

All you need to make this back massager is:

a long sock (your dryer may provide you one without a partner. lol)

a rubber/tennis ball

and now simply place the ball into the sock. I got the ball at a dollar store and used an old partnerless sock we had.
Sling the ball over your shoulder and position it where you need to massage.
Stand against the wall with the ball between your back and the wall. Now simply press the ball against the wall and move up and down and around to massage out the kinks. Just move the ball all over wherever you need it. You can sling over your shoulders or place from your side, whatever works best to reach your problem area.

This massage technique works great for people with Fibromyalgia.




Thursday, 15 August 2013

Blueberry Muffins

We just had nice freshly baked blueberry muffins for breakfast! Yum!

Blueberry Muffins

1 3\4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup  sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg

In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Add the blueberries and mix to coat them.

Combine the milk, butter and egg together and beat until mixed. Pour this mixture into the dry blueberry mix and stir until moistened. Do not beat.

Divide into muffin tin and bake at 375F for 20 minutes.
These muffins are moist and delicious!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

UFO tv series

I was flipping through things on Youtube one day looking for weird things. I don't have television, so I check out stuff online instead. When I came across this tv program that I had never even heard about before, I had to watch it.

UFO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncSl90PCNx0

The show is strange that's for sure and the very first episode flashes 1980 many times on the screen, to let us know this program is taking place in the future! The uniforms are wild, depending on what section of the team you work for. For instance, the people in the submarine wear mesh tops, even the women!

My favourite of course were the standard wig and make-up issued to the women on the moon base. We may not have had this look in the 80's, but it is the style now!
Purple hair and lots of eye make-up with gems or crystals and eye liner in the crease of eyelid and pale lips! This is awesome! They were ahead of their time by about 30 years.


Sunday, 11 August 2013

DIY Stress Ball

All you need is

balloons
rice, beans or sand

to make a grip stress ball that you can squeeze. These can help you work your hand muscles and relieve stress.
I used rice for one ball and soy beans for the other. I find the larger soy beans have a massaging quality about them when you squeeze them, too.
Find a balloon size that fits the palm of your hand.
Get yourself a portion of the rice or beans that you will be using.
I used a teaspoon to keep the end of the balloon open to get the rice in. If you have the right sized funnel that would work best. The soy beans were easy to drop in one at a time.
Once the balloon is filled it will stand on it's own making it easier to fill.
When you are done filling it, you just tie off the end as you would a balloon filled with air.
And now it's ready to squeeze!










Saturday, 10 August 2013

Don't Throw Out Your Used Dryer Sheets!

After you have done your laundry, keep the dryer sheet! A used dryer sheet has many uses.

1. It cleans mirrors.
2. It makes your taps super shiny! (I have a thing for super shiny taps. haha)
messy tap....
used dryer sheet to the rescue...

look at it shine :-)

3. It cleans small appliances such as toasters and kettles.
*Note: Keep the used dryer sheet dry. If it gets wet it will streak the surface you are working on.

Give it a try! Oh, and let me know if there are other uses for it if you know any! ;-D



Thursday, 8 August 2013

August Avocado Update

Well, since sprouting back in June, this plant is now about 1 1/2 feet tall. Not bad at all, they grow so fast.
The leaves are starting to spread out now. They have gorgeous large leaves when they grow.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Lamingtons

Yes, I have been baking a lot lately. I'm just spoiling my son who's home from university for the summer. None of it lasts long around here. :-)

Here is the link to the recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/lamingtons/

This recipe stems from Australia originally. I made some without coconut for my son, as he doesn't like it. I found the icing to be really runny, so you might want to be careful when adding the milk.

The recipe calls for sifting the flour and other items. Don't worry if you don't have a sifter, I was raised to just use a small strainer. It works great.
To sift, just gently shake the strainer side to side and occasionally up and down. There you have it the poor person's sifter. :-)
I did find these a little dry so you might want to have them with a nice cold glass of your favourite kind of milk.



Monday, 5 August 2013

Frothy Fruit Juice

Frothy Fruit Juice

2 cups strawberries, stem's removed
1 cup watermelon, seeded and diced
juice of 2 oranges
juice of 1 lime
1-2 tablespoons sugar (according to your taste)

Put all the ingredients in a blender and whirl until smooth. 
A nice refreshing drink especially in the summer. :-)




Sunday, 4 August 2013

Cream Cheese Cookies

You can add a dollop of jam to these or just leave them plain. I preferred them with jam.

Cream Cheese Cookies    *These need to be refrigerated overnight.*

1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour

jam

Mix all the ingredients except for the jam together. Divide the dough into even sized balls (two or three) if you wish for smaller cookies.
Roll the balls into logs. Wrap them and chill them overnight in the refrigerator.
The next day when you are ready to bake them, slice the rolls of dough. Place the cookies on a greased baking sheet and put on a dollop of jam if you would like.

Bake in the oven at 350F for 10 minutes.




Saturday, 3 August 2013

Creamy Chocolate Morsels

These are soft cookies with just a hint of chocolate and cream cheese flavour.

Creamy Chocolate Morsels

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
4 ounces  cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1   egg
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons chocolate chips, melted
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar together. Beat in the egg, milk, vanilla and melted chocolate.

In another bowl, stir the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and mix well.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.



Friday, 2 August 2013

My First Knit Scarf

Here my son is modelling the first scarf I knit. (He doesn't like to have his picture taken, so I promised him I would just photograph the scarf.)

I did knit a little bit when I was a kid, but I was never any good at it, as I knit too tight. I decided to give knitting a try again, and this time I figured I'd just knit tight if that's how I knit. I am happy with the results.

I did not use a pattern for this at all, just did straight knitting. To be honest, I have a lot of difficulty following knitting patterns, as I have no idea what all the short forms are or what half of the instructions mean. Seriously, don't people realize when they are making a pattern for Beginners, that it needs to be in a language they can understand? I guess not, they just assume that we all know knitting short hand. Good grief.

So, if you are interested in making this extremely easy scarf, here is what I did. These are Canadian instructions, it seems that the needle sizes are different for American and British knitting, so I have no idea what the difference is.

Needles : 4 1/2 mm

Wool: Use whatever you like. (I used Patons Canadiana in Medium Amethyst - Medium 4.)

Cast On: 55 stitches (so it'll be nice and wide :-D -this is important for our cold winters here. I can pull it up over my face and still protect my neck and chest.)

Pattern: Just straight knitting for the whole thing. I used two balls of wool to get a good length, you can make it as long as you like and then stop.



Thursday, 1 August 2013

Double Rainbow

Having lived in Thunder Bay for quite a few years now, and having lived here a couple of years back in the 90's when I went to college here, I can say we really don't get that many thunderstorms.  I used to experience far more thunderstorms and longer lasting ones when I lived in southern Ontario.

However, we do get a lot of rainbows and it's not unusual to get double rainbows at least once a year here and I have even seen a triple rainbow once, although the third rainbow was only partial. We had a double rainbow a few days ago and my son photographed it and I put it together in a little video. Hope you enjoy it, it's nothing spectacular though. ;-)