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Ok – finally – the table centerpiece for your Christmas breakfast table… this year why not try an edible centerpiece?

Christmas Table Decoration of Mandarin Oranges & sprigs of greenery

And for a five star Christmas Brunch try this menu:

Christmas Morning Brunch Menu … to be continued

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I call this Grandpa’s Granola because Grandpa says he can eat anything. Now as a family we smile knowingly as Grandma never cooked anything that Grandpa didn’t like. And 92 who is going to argue with him?

I recommend you serve this with heavenly banana.

Grandpa's Granola - Served with Heavenly Banana is a match, well, made in heaven

What you need:

  • 10 cups Rolled Oats (not quick)
  • 1 ½ cups Oat Bran
  • 1 ½ cups raw Wheat Germ
  • ½ cup ground Flax Seed
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups mixed unsalted nuts and seeds ( I use trail mix)
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 4 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 2 cups mixed dried fruits (your choice)

What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350oF.

2. Thoroughly mix first five ingredients in a very large bowl.

3. In a saucepan heat oil, honey and vanilla until it bubbles. Pour into the Oat mix and stir thoroughly.

4. Add the nuts and seeds and continue to stir until it is well mixed.

5. Spread out on two large baking sheets (with sides).

6. Bake for ten minutes, turn granola in to the center then spread it out again.  Do this two or three times until the Granola is turning a golden brown and looks dry. CAUTION: Watch closely during the last ten minutes so it doesn’t burn.

7. Remove from oven and continue to stir (so it doesn’t clump) until it cools.

8. When cooled add the dried fruits and mix thoroughly. Store in a sealed container.

Christmas Morning Brunch Menu … to be continued

This is the juice to serve with your Christmas Brunch. It will add a nice splash of festive colour to your brunch and is a slight little change from the usual mimosas that are often served in the morning. And for the record, I think that champagne would go just fine with this as well. 😉

  • 1 can frozen Raspberry concentrate (prepared following directions.)
  • 3 cups Cranberry, Apple or White Grape Juice.

All you have to do is: Mix together and refrigerate until chilled.

Garnish:
Float raspberries, lime or orange slices and sprigs of mint.

Christmas Morning Brunch Menu … to be continued

Do you remember in the late summer, early fall we ran a contest to name  “Anne’s No Name Cereal Dish“?

Well a few weeks ago we were priviledged to have our winner stay at Anne’s Oceanfront Hideaway again.  Of course we had to serve her MARVI. I was going wait until after the holiday season to share the picture of our winner Val eating her MARVI cereal dish, but I decided I couldn’t wait!

It was good to see you again Val!  And thanks for naming our no name cereal dish.

Happy Holidays!

Tomorrow is the first day of December and for me, that signals the time to begin preparations for the Holiday Season.

I always looked forward to December the 1st as that was the day we put up the tree.  It meant the beginning of Christmas decorating, baking cookies, pouring Amaretto over the Fruit Cakes (and taking a sip!) wrapping gifts, and generally getting ready for the family and friends that would share the seasons festivities with us.

I am a bit behind this year as I have a cold, but I will at least be thinking about what I will do.  My preparations always start with a list. Rick rolls his eyes and says I make lists of my lists, which is true because I need to keep myself organized!  First I need a theme – well that is easy as it is Christmas so the colors are red, white and green or a derivative. This year I will be using the Christmas Tree as my main focus.

My first set of lists is for the Christmas Eve Dinner, the Christmas morning breakfast, a snack list, beverage list and dessert list which will generate my food shopping list. And so it goes, five lists to make a food shopping list!

Speaking of Christmas lists… we can help with your shopping list!! We are offering 40% off our gift certificates until December 10th so if you want to give someone you love a night or two of pampering then send them to Annes Oceanfront Hideaway (or if you just want to buy it for yourself to save the 40% that is ok too… we won’t tell!!). The only catch is that it must be used up before the end of March, 2010.

Christmas Morning Brunch Menu

  • Raspberry Razzmatazz
  • Grandpa’s Granola with Heavenly Banana
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
  • San Remo Frittata
  • Cranberry Nut Toast

 

It actually started over a year ago when Bram first came to visit.  Being an inside dog his already trained humans would not allow us to keep him outside. He loves the snow and cool weather of winter and eats ice cubes like candy! He is a rescue dog found in the frozen north of Ontario tied to a box and 15 pounds under his healthy weight and assumed to be a former sled dog that couldn’t keep up. Yet his former life is behind him and the good life keeps getting better. 

Bram has worked very diligently over the past few years designing a human behavioral program suitable to his needs. He has come to enjoy the finer points of self-employed executive living. Rising around 6 am and having a quick bite of breakfast before heading off for his morning run and returning to spend the morning in the office. Snack around ten then back to the office until noon when he takes lunch with other office personnel to discuss the morning activities and make adjustments to the afternoon itinerary. Around 4 pm is time for a peanut butter break then it is back to the office for another gruelling two or three hours depending on the work load. It such an exhausting schedule that many days he can be found sleeping under the desk or resting his eyes in the corner.  Finally around 6 pm he is out of the office and off for a run to clear his head and see if he can find a white fluffy tailed bunny to chase or perhaps a long legged deer.  Set your goals and just keep trying and trying again!

PB Break

Shortly after Bram arrived for a visit our Labrador Chewy, who was an outside dog her entire eleven years watched with interest as this youngster moved in not only on her turf but into places where she was not allowed to go. She soon made it clear that if he could be inside so could she.  Well she was almost twelve and the winter rains and cool temperatures would be hard on her so in she came.  For the first six months of her new life the only way she would go outside was to be bribed with biscuits.  (I think she was afraid we would leave her out!).IMG_1773

We always had dogs that lived outside on long lines and with heated houses for winter. They were well cared for, trained and good friends to us, but coming in the house was as foreign to them as having a dog or dogs move into the house was to us. 

So……..I have been in training of sorts for the last few months.  I have unknowingly been a willing participant in the care and feeding program designed by Bram and Chewy. Both have taken to sleeping in our office and/or bedroom at night, which is a part of the new training. 

Chewy prefers the office for most of the evening moving into her bed in our room around 2 am.  She  wanders into the bedroom, shakes her head which smacks her ears against her head then plods over to her bed (which has a crunchy plastic liner) circles on top of it three times gives a couple of scratches to the mat then lies down with a thud and a grunt.  She quickly goes to sleep snoring loudly and groaning through out the night.

Bram likes his bed tucked in the corner where he spends most of his night. Once in a while he will pick up the scent of a deer outside and he will start shaking his head, snorting and pacing. If I don’t acknowledge the moment I am likely to feel a cold wet nose on my foot, my arm or even my face until I get up.  I used to let him out for what I thought were urgent bathroom duties. but now I know they are the call of the wild, so I send him back to bed. He snorts and sulks back to bed. H is not your typical teenager as he is up with the morning light shaking his head and poking his nose on my exposed flesh.  If I ignore him the bed starts to move as he bumps up against the side.  This guy does what he can each morning to get me moving! 

Now our daily feeding routine is as follows:  we expect a Dentastik before the walk, light breakfast upon their return, snacks at ten, light lunch at noon, snacks at two and again at four, with dinner served at six after the evening constitution.  Oh yes and did I mention that we would like to have a couple of biscuits tossed over the hill each evening so we can play find the biscuit, usually at 8 and again at 10 pm before we settle in for the night? We also very much enjoy the visits from Dan and Janet as that always means extra snacks!

Have you disturbed me for food or can I go back to sleep?

Hanging Around June 2009 003Hanging Around

 

Prince Bram surveying the water for signs of movement.

 

 

 

Please put it back together I want to do it again!

 

Can you put the stuffing back in so I can pull it out again please!

 

 

 

 

A day at Annes jul 09 026

 

Chewy hunts the shorline looking for Starfish, crabs  and shells between playing fetch with a stick.

 

 

 

I doubt my training is complete but I have taken off the training wheels and consider myself to be a graduate of the Bram and Chewy obedience training school for unsuspecting novices. I am fairly sure they have many more classes lined up for future training!

 

 

We left home 5:50 am to catch the 6:15 am ferry from (SSI)Long Harbour to (Vancouver)Tsawwassen.  Once on the ferry we ate breakfast, had a coffee then went back to the car for a nap.  Travelling on the ferry and trying to sleep is like being in the hospital – bells ringing, announcements, people walking around and of course each time it happens you have just gotten back to sleep from the previous interruption.

With a thermos of coffee,  fruit, snacks and a picnic lunch we drove off the ferry into the bright morning sunshine at 9:35 am ready, for our first road trip to Alberta since we moved  to BC in 1995.  We hooked up the GPS to help us through Vancouver,  always a challenge as we seldom find a need to venture into the big land of commuter cars, green road signs,  freeways and stop  lights. (On SSI we don’t have any stop lights plus the only traffic jams occur when the ferry comes in causing a l-o-n-g wait of maybe  ten seconds!).

The traffic was light, the skies clear and a beautiful bright blue. The views were spectacular whether farm land, small or large communities, large plots of open unworked lands, or tree covered hills and majestic mountains.  We were seeing the spectacular beauty and the amazing growth of the communities we passed through new eyes. We had either forgotten or were oblivious. 

Beautiful Scenery
Beautiful Scenery

Our trip to Alberta was planned because we had three exciting events to attend. Although unplanned, they fell into line over the space of two weeks, a bonus for us as it meant we could be there for all of them. 

The first event was very special. Rick’s mom and dad celebrating their 70th Wedding Anniversary on September 26th in Medicine Hat.  It was wonderful to see and visit with so many relatives and to help Rick’s parents celebrate such a milestone. We are so thankful to have them with us.  Rick says he will be 103 when we celebrate 70 years!

70th Anniversary Sept 26 09 017

Some of the family

Some of the family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our second event was in Calgary and it was called “Engage Today 2009“.  This four day mind bending event was organized by Greg Habstritt and his partner Kourosh Assef.  The line up of speakers will be talked about for a very long time. Forgive the name dropping but it  is truely worth note so that I will remember!.

 The first dayas all about accountability. It was opened with President F.W. De Klerk of  South Africa, Nobel Peasce Prize winner 1993 and he  was instrumental in Nelson Mandela gaining his freedom. Following him Dr. Stephen Covey, Lynne Twist, Sean Stephenson, and Janet Bray Attwood. In the evening we attended a K.D. Lang/Bryan Adams concert at the Jubilee Auditorium.  

The second day was about contribution. It started with  His Holiness the Dali Lama, Carol Cone, Bruce Graham, Wyland, Les Brown, Garrett Gunderson and Eben Pagan. 

Day three was about growth. We started the day with Brendon Burchard, Sir Richard Branson, Dr.Barbara De Angelis, Tony Hsieh, and Alex Mandossian who teleconferenced from London.   

Day four was about implementation.  We heard from Michael Drew, Bill Harris, Vishen Lakhiani.  There were also a couple of panel sessions which included some of the speakers plus others such as Joe Polish, Rick Frishman, Jim Kwik, and Marci Shimoff.

I could tell you a more about each of these  interesting, informative and  inspiring people but if you are interested in learning more please google their names. They are very successful in their particular field and the expertise they shared with us in the short time was an invaluable.  A special thank you to Greg, Kourosh and the team that put this high quality event together.

The third event we attended was to help my sister Joan and her husband Neil unpack my mother in her new condo and help her to start settling in.  Most of it was done while we were attending the conference so our participation was insignificant at best. Joan and Neil spent a week of each of the last five months helping my mom to downsize all of her treasured memories. A difficult time for all of them even though the move was a positive one.  Rick and I rather rode in at the end of the process for the last few days.  By then most of the trauma was over and exhaustion had set in for the three of them.  I am not sure how much help we were but I believe she will be comfortable is a very short time in her new surroundings.  Congratulations on your move mom!

We drove back home making it before the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend rush started. We started out with a bit of snow flurries when we left Calgary and a bit of fog around Golden, after that the clouds went higher and the sun came out making a very pleasant drive home.  The rocks were bare and dry on the way out and a bit of snow above the tree line on the return.  A fantastic trip seeing family, stimulating our minds and gorgeous scenery!

Snow Cap

Snow Cap

Snow on the rock

Snow on the rock

The road leads home

The road leads home

 This trip was many things for me from the trials of longevity to the joy and celebration of same, from the challenges of survival to the success of overcoming them and moving just that one step beyond. We all have our story that is unique to us.  How we choose to live that story is what makes us who we are. 
Change is inevitable and I am constantly overwhelmed with how much change there is in that which stays the same.
Education and Information

Education and Information

Giant Pumpkins
Giant Pumpkins
One of several baking sections
One of several baking sections
Youth Cake Decorating
Youth Cake Decorating

Although we were unable to spend the day at the fair, we did make time to at least stop by to take in the Sheep Dog Demonstration, eat perogies, tour the livestock barns and visit the food, fabric and craft displays.  I think a few pictures will give you an  idea.

Zucchini Racers and Parts

Zucchini Racers and Parts

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

Scotch Eggs

Scotch Eggs

These Scotch Eggs have a much larger sausage and crumb covering than mine.  Does that make me more Scotch for using less meat?

Plants

Plants

There were several manicured bonsai trees in this section as well as a selection of natural  decorating materials.

Bpuntiful Baking Tables

Bountiful Baking Tables

Getting very hungry! More Baking

Getting very hungry! More Baking

Demonstrations

Demonstrations

Every boy dream of red tractor! A peek at the past.

Every boy dreams of a red tractor! A peek at the past.

Well I hope you enjoyed a quick tour of the Salt Spring Island Fall Fair.  I didn’t take a lot of pictures as I was too busy looking and enjoying our short time at the fair.
Dahlias

Dahlias

and of course many beautiful quilts .  There was so much to enjoy!
Hope you can join us next year.

They’re calling it a “Pilgrimage for Apple Lovers“. It’s the annual Salt Spring Island Apple Festival and it’s happening on October 4th. And, if our apple trees out front are any indication of the bountiful crop the local farmers are having, then it’s going to be a very large festival this year indeed!

The festival will also feature many of the same vendors you see at our Saturday market … showcasing and selling their jams, chutneys, soaps, and artwork. And all indoors at the Fulford Community Center you’ll be sheltered from the elements outside. But, of course, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining in Vancouver because we just don’t see half the rain the Vancouver residents do. I know… because when Julie calls us to complain about walking her dog in the rain yet again… we often smile and just say “well, it is overcast here but no rain!”.

Since we’re talking apples again this week (check out Anne’s Apple and Cheese Crepes) , it’s only fitting that we feature another great apple recipe. This recipe is a topping. I usually serve it on top of granola and yogurt. It would be lovely on top of Vanilla Ice cream as well.

apple recipesAnne’s Chunky Apple Topping

What you need:

  • 4 Apples cored, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup Apple Juice
  • 1/8 cup Maple Syrup
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Dash of Cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Rum Flavoring (optional)

What you do:

  1. Cook over low heat for 15 to 25 minutes until apples are soft and become very tender (even mushy).Apple Topping Recipe
  2. Cool.Apple Topping small pot pic
  3. Use as a topping for  granola and yogurt for breakfast or vanilla ice cream for dessert.Chunky Apple Topping Recipe

Bed of Basil Poached EggSometimes the chef’s creation is not something you really want to eat. If you’ve seen the waffle sausage sandwich or the egg and friend potato things Rick has create and Julie has shared then you know what I am talking about. But this creation was worthy of serving to our guests. It was delicious, healthy and pretty nice to look at too!

Bed of Basil Poached Egg

What you need (Per serving):

  • 3 – 5 large fresh Basil leaves
  • ¼ cup sliced Mushrooms and chopped Green Onions
  • 1 Tomato Slice – warmed
  • 1 Poached egg
  • Paprika
  • Tablespoon of Salsa.

What you do:

  1. In a frying pan, saute the mushrooms and green onions.
  2. Arrange the Basil in a ‘fan’ on the plate
  3. Poach your egg (click here for instructions on poaching eggs)
  4. Place mushroom and onion mix on top of the basil.
  5. Place tomato on mix.
  6. Top with egg.
  7. Sprinkle with Paprika.
  8. Spoon salsa on side.
  9. Enjoy!
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