Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Cherry Cola Salad

This past weekend was HOT!  It was over 100 degrees in the sun and humid.  Perfect weather for a nice cool dessert, like this Cherry Cola Salad.

Cherry Cola Salad

 I don't know why it's called a salad.  I guess it's because of the cherries... like a fruit salad.  Regardless of it's name, it's very very cherry and very very easy to make.

Cherry Cola Salad

1 - 6oz pkg of cherry gelatin
1 1/2 cups of boiling water
1 1/2 cups of cola (1 can of cola)
1 can (21 ounces) of cherry pie filling
Whipped cream or topping (optional, unless you're me and then it's mandatory)

Dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water.  Add the cola. Watch it fizz!  Stir in the cherry pie filling.
Pour into an 8 inch square baking pan.  Put in the refrigerator until firm.
Cut into 8 or 10, serve.  Add whipped cream or topping.


Cherry Cola Salad
Yes, this is my piece... lots of whipped cream.
You can also make a diet version of this.  Use sugar free gelatin, diet cola and lite pie filling and lite topping.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday - My Little Bliss List

My Little Bliss List (Remembering the things that made me happy this week, because it's so easy to forget them)

A happy coincidence.  Color my bliss list pink this week!  It's one of my favorite colors and this week pink is in each of my photos.

One of the joys of country living is the dreaded country ditch, which runs along the road.  Our's is on the steepest angle and makes mowing very difficult.  We've planted roses and lilies along it.  It looks like they've survived the winter and the early summery weather.  I was so happy to see this brave little rose blooming, with many, many buds waiting to burst into bloom.

Pink rose in the ditch
Brave little pink rose.
Thanks to Operation Write Home, I'm actually taking time to sit and make some cards, which I haven't done in a long time.  Their Memorial Day Weekend Blog Hop starts at midnight tonight and I'm taking part on my other blog, Cruzines.

If you've never heard of Operation Write Home, they provide hand made cards for soldiers deployed overseas to write home to their loved ones on.  They do this through the help of hundreds of paper crafters who create and donate the cards to them.  I love this idea.  I know that when Mr. B. was deployed, I would have loved to have received a beautiful handmade card from him.  Skype is great, but sometimes it's nice to have a handwritten note or letter.  I can't show you what I've made, becauseI have to save it for the Blog Hop, but you're welcome to drop by and take a peek tomorrow.

We had some gorgeous sunsets this week, which I got to enjoy with Mr. B.

Sunset 1
Coral Pink Sunset

Pink Sunset
Pink Sunset
What made you happy this week?  Share your blissful moments.

I am linking up with:


Farmchicks Farm Photo Friday

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Cat In A Fry Pan

cat asleep in a cast iron fry pan
Lakota asleep in a cast iron fry pan on our large dog crate.

What?  Haven't you ever seen a cat in a fry pan before?
I found these today.  I had forgotten about them.  They were taken some time ago, before I turned the dog crate into a "counter", which I posted about HERE

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Italian Casserole

When I don't want spaghetti, I make this casserole.  It's a spin off of lasagna, which Mr. B isn't so fond of.  He does, however, like this and he especially likes that there are always lots of leftovers, which he thinks taste better than the first night.

Italian Casserole
Italian Casserole - Hot and bubbly from the oven.

Italian Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil your casserole dish with olive oil.

Bring a pot of water to boil for your pasta.  I used shells, use rotini, macaroni, whatever you have.   One box of pasta will be more than enough.

While the water is boiling and the pasta is cooking, make your sauce:

In a pan combine:

1 lb ground beef
1 onion chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped

Drain the fat off

Add and simmer:

1 - 24 ounce jar of spaghetti/tomato sauce or 3 cups of your homemade spaghetti sauce
1 tspn oregano
1 tspn basil
1/2 tspn thyme
1/2 tspn lightly crushed fennel seeds ( just lightly broken so they'll release their flavor)

sauce and pasta simmering
Sauce and Pasta Simmering

Drain your pasta and put it in the casserole.

Pour the sauce over the top, along with:

1 cup small curd cottage cheese

Stir together lightly until pasta is coated and cottage cheese is well distributed.

Top with:

2 cups (approx) grated mozarella cheese
1 tbspn finely chopped parsley

Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Cookbook I Love - They Draw and Cook

This is going to be one of those posts where I've removed the girl from the art blog but I can't remove the art from the girl.  I say this because the new cookbook that I'm so in love with satisfies both my love of food and cooking, and my love of art.  Here it is:

They Draw and Cook, presented by Nate Padavick & Salli Swindell

"They Draw and Cook" has 107 recipes illustrated by artists from around the world.  The recipes were also all written by the artists, not by chefs in fancy hats, or celebrities from television (unless of course they are an artist too).  The result is charming and original and very different.  Don't expect every recipe to have neatly laid out ingredient lists and directions.  Think instead of a little work of art on each page and the recipe is part of it.

A peek inside "They Draw and Cook"

Each page is delightful and the recipes look delicious... well they sound delicious.  You don't see the finished product in this cookbook, but I don't miss seeing it.

If you have young budding cooks at home, they would love this cookbook.  I think it would make children want to cook.

But, wait.. I haven't told you the best part.. you don't have to own the cookbook to see all the recipes inside the book.  There is a website:  They Cook and Draw  where you can find every recipe in the book plus many many more.  I browse through there in heaven.. it's part art gallery, part cooking site.  Click on a recipe to bring up a page devoted to it, where you can print the recipe, download high res versions of the recipe, buy prints of the recipe, and comment on the illustration and the recipe itself after you've tried it.

On the website there is even a Dial a Dinner Page  which you can use like a slot machine to randomly give you an appetizer, a main course and a dessert recipe to make for dinner!  I could play with it for ages.  Oh.. and there is a vegetarian version of it too.

If you're an artist, you can submit your illustrated recipe to them for inclusion on the site.  Guess what I'm going to be doing?  Artists go to the Submit a Recipe page on the They Cook and Draw site to find out all the particulars.

There is a shop of course, where you can buy the cookbook and other items, like prints of the recipes and other products.

In short, this book and the website is nothing but pure fun and fancy.  It's proof that you can have fun cooking. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday - My Little Bliss List

My Little Bliss List (Remembering the things that made me happy this week, because it's so easy to forget them)

Another week of blissfully beautiful weather.  I love it.  The dogs love it.  I captured this picture of Pamunky and Otis patiently waiting for me to finish taking pictures so we could finish our walk.

Pamunky and Otis
Pamunky and Otis during a picture taking break on our walk

Mr. B. is home on leave.  It has been bliss.  I love it.  The animals love it.  (lots of love its this week)  I found Mr. B., Otis and two of our cats napping on the couch... so funny.. I tiptoed away to get the camera and tried to be quiet but the cats were very aware that I was taking pictures... Otis and Mr. B., not so much.

everyone piled up napping
Mr. B., Otis, Sniper and Recon piled up on the couch napping

And.. true bliss..  The mama fox and her three kits, which had moved in under our addtion aka the master bedroom, last week, are gone!  Mr. B. managed to get them to move out, after a few sleepless nights listening to them squabble, play and rustle around under the floor boards.  It sounded like they were right in the room with us.  Pamunky and Otis, of course would bark.  It was chaos and no one was getting any sleep.  Not only that, we had to clean up after them every morning.. they would leave the carcasses (snake, chicken, smaller birds, moles, a rabbit) of what they ate outside by the side of the house.  It's been blissfully quiet for three nights now with no signs of them.  We've been able to get a full night's sleep again.

(the quality of the following pictures isn't the best, I was taking through them a window and screen and the foxes were moving)

The mama fox
Mama Fox

one of the kits
One of the kits
Oh.. Tomorrow, I will be sharing my new cookbook from last week's Bliss List with you.  Drop back to read all about it.

This post is being linked to:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Easy Tea Towel Valance

I realize that some of you are wondering what the heck a tea towel is, let alone a tea towel valance.  Tea towel is a "Canadianism" (as Mr. B. says) for a kitchen or dish towel.  It's a little known fact that I was born and raised in Canada and I am full of "Canadianisms".

I'm used to the fact that my "Canadianisms" cause all sorts of confusion.  Like the time I sent my brother in law (Mr. B.'s brother) to the store for a "tin" of tuna. He returned some time later and apologetically handed me a bag.  "Sorry." He said. "I looked and I looked for tins but could only find cans of tuna.  I hope it's okay."  He wondered why I started laughing... I'm giggling while I write this.

I'm getting off topic though.  Let's get back to the valances...  My kitchen window needed a new valance.  I couldn't find any ready made valances that I liked, and I couldn't find a fabric that appealed to me.  One day I was buying tea (dish/kitchen) towels and it struck me... these would look great over my window.  The short side was the perfect valance length.  I loaded my shopping cart up with the towels.

how to make a valance out of tea towels

The valance was super easy to make.  There is very little sewing because the towel is totally finished and hemmed already.  This makes it a great beginner sewing project.

My kitchen window is 62 inches wide, or 5 feet 2 inches.  I used the long side of the towel for the rod pocket, so I bought one towel for each foot of window.  You may want to add one more towels for fullness, or in case your towels shrink when you wash them.  It's a good idea to wash the towels first in case of shrinkage.  

Working with the long side, fold the towels over about an inch to an inch and a half depending on the size of the curtain rod you are using.  Iron the fold and pin.

I started sewing inside the corner hem, so I didn't have to stitch over multiple layers of fabric.  Sew straight across following the inside of the hem as your stitching guide.  Pull the pins out as you sew.  Repeat on each of the towels.

Slip the curtain rod into each of the towels, adjust the gathering and hang.

The nice thing about this valance is that I can reuse it for drying dishes when I decide to redecorate.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Tori's Toasty Tuna Sandwiches

Everyone has their own favorite tuna sandwich recipe.  This one is mine.  The sandwiches are toasty on the outside and warm and delicious on the inside and very messy to eat, especially if you pile them high with the tuna filling like I do.  Lots of napkins are suggested and a fork, or lots of carrot sticks and potato chips to scoop up what oozes out of the sandwich and on to your plate.

Tori's Toasty Tuna Sandwiches

Tori's Toasty Tuna Sandwiches

Serves 2 to 4 depending on how high you mound the filling.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together:
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet pepper (green, red, yellow, orange, whatever you like)
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 can of tuna, drained
1/3 cup mayonnaise
a sprinkle of salt and pepper

Mound your filling onto your rolls.  (kaiser, chiabatta, subway..what's your pleasure?)
Wrap and seal each roll in a square of aluminum foil, shiny side facing the sandwiches, and place on baking sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes.

Unwrap and enjoy!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's, mine included.  Hi Mom!

My mother lives miles and miles away, in Nova Scotia, to be exact, so I'm not able to go and visit her today.  I did wish her Happy Mother's Day twice.. lol.. as I said in my Little Bliss List on Friday.  I called her to wish her Happy Mother's Day last Sunday (a blonde moment) and I'll be doing it again as soon as I'm finished writing this.

If you are lucky enough to be with your Mom today, take the time to enjoy each other and being in each other's company.  No gift is more precious than that.

Mom's Day Off

Here is my Mother's Day gift for you all.  A free seed packet printable.

Mother's Day Gift - Free Seed Packet Printable

Click on the preview above.  Right click on the large version and save to your computer.  Print it out.  Cut it out.  Crease the paper along the flaps and fold over and glue the two long sides first.  Fold up the small flap and glue it.  Fold over the large flap.  Ready to use!  Enjoy!

EDIT:  I forgot to add my Mother's Day gift to all of you.  Added now.  Sorry!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday - Bliss and Morning Walks

My Little Bliss List (Remembering the things that made me happy this week, because it's so easy to forget them)

I called and wished my Mom, Happy Mother's Day last Sunday.. doh!  Don't tell me I'm the only one who forgets that it's the second Sunday in May and not the first.  So, I get to do it again, this Sunday.  Bliss for her and for me.

I finished three pieces of art this week.

I discovered the absolute best cookbook ever!  My new all time favorite.  I will share it with you all... later.  Right now I want to hold it close, all to myself and savor it.

Mr B. finally has the weekend off, after working three weeks straight, with both weekends included in there spent away from home.  It's going to be nice to relax with him, watch movies and just enjoy having him here.

The weather has been gorgeous!  Cool but sunny, perfect for walking the dogs and working outside.

Here's what I've seen this week during my morning walks with the dogs:

Hang The Moon, Photo by Tori Beveridge

Morning Ride, Photo by Tori Beveridge

Good Morning, Photo by Tori Beveridge

Weeder Wanted, Photo by Tori Beveridge
This post is being linked to:


Farmchicks Farm Photo Friday

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Walnut Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Walnut Sour Cream Coffee Cake, fresh from the oven.  I wish you could smell it.
Today's recipe is another family favorite.  My Mom calls this coffee cake "divine", so I thought it would be perfect to share with you before Mother's Day.  It would be perfect for brunch with strawberries and eggs benedict.

Walnut Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9" x 13" x 2" pan.  You'll need 3 bowls.

Topping - Mix and set aside:

1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
4 tbsn white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts


1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs and vanilla.

Combine the dry ingredients and add them to the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream. ( always start with the dry ingredients, then add some sour cream, then dry.. etc)

Spread half your batter in the pan.  Sprinkle with half the topping.  Repeat.
Spread half of your cake batter into the pan and sprinkle with half of the topping.  Spread the rest of the batter on top and cover with the remaining topping.

Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.  Cut into squares or rectangles.

Walnut Sour Cream Coffee Cake.  Enjoy!


Friday, May 4, 2012

My Little Bliss List

This morning, while I was doing my morning coffee and browse before waking up my husband, Mr. B., I stumbled across The Little Bliss List on Choosing Beauty, thought what a beautiful idea and decided to link up.

I think it's a lovely idea to post about the wonderful, blissful things that happen to us, if for no other reason than to remind ourselves of them, because for some reason, we tend to forget them.

So here are the moments that made me happy this week.

My Bliss List

1)  Snapping this picture of Otis' "You talking to me face".  Makes me smile every time I look at it.

Otis' "You talkin' to me" face.  Photo by Tori Beveridge

2)  I ordered our chicken coop this week from The Chicken Saloon.  I took the plunge, because I know Mr. B. just doesn't have the time to build one, and me, well, I'm not the greatest with a saw, unless it's a pruning saw.  It's made me happy thinking about it.

The Rambler from The Chicken Saloon;  our new chicken coop is on it's way.

3)  I found new inspiration for my illustrations/lineart/digital stamps in old fantasy writings I used to do.  One in particular was a menu of drinks I made up for a fantasy tavern and the descriptions had me sketching and doodling with delight.

4)  All the rain has made everything super lush and green and beautiful.  I've had time to enjoy it walking the dogs, in between raindrops.

5)  I finally went to the library in the nearest town and got a library card and took out books.  I love libraries.  I forgot how much I love wandering around in them, browsing through all the books and knowing it will cost nothing to check them out.

6)  I'm reading Debbie Macomber's "The Shop on Blossom Street", just for pure fast reading pleasure at night before I fall asleep.  Yes!  I did get it from the library.

What made you happy this week?  Share your bliss.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Rainy Day Photos

Rain on the window pane over my computer.

View from my chair looking past the rain on the window.

Raindrops on the Mock Orange.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Roast Pork Loin with Roasted Vegetables

Tonight, called for something easy to make.  One of the easiest meals to make is a roast dinner.
The results make it taste and look like you spent all day cooking, but I won't tell anyone how little effort you really put into this meal.  It will be our little secret.

Roast Pork Loin with Roasted Vegetables

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

1 - 3lb  Boneless Pork Loin Roast
3-4   Potatoes, peeled and cut into halves or quarters depending on size
1 large onion, cut into eighths
Baby carrots - a few per person
Asparagus - fresh or frozen 
Olive Oil
1 tspn or to taste of Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper
1 tspn or to taste of Thyme

Lightly grease the bottom of your roasting pan with olive oil.  I use the bottom of my broiler pan for roasts.  Put your roast in the pan, fat side up.  The fat will run down and baste the meat as it cooks.
Place the onions, potatoes and carrots into a bowl and drizzle some olive oil over them.  Toss them gently with your hands until they are well coated with the olive oil, then place them around the roast.  Sprinkle the roast and vegetables with garlic powder, salt, pepper and thyme.

Boneless pork loin in lightly oiled pan with vegetables and seasonings

Pop the roast into the 400 degree oven.  We're going to sear the pork to seal the juices in and give the outside a bit of a nice crispiness.  Set your timer for 10 minutes.  When the 10 minutes is up, turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees.  

Continue to cook for another 30 minutes then take the roast out of the oven  and turn the vegetables and add your asparagus.   Drizzle a little more olive oil over the asparagus and a little on the pork.

Add your asparagus to your roasting pan

Put the pork back into the oven and continue cooking for 40 minutes.  Go and relax, play with the kids, watch tv, spend time with your significant other.  Pork usually takes 20 minutes a pound, but it will cook more slowly with the vegetables surrounding it, so we add an extra 20 minutes.

Remove the roast pork and vegetables from the oven.


Roast boneless pork loin with roasted vegetables.  Delicious!


 Happy May Day!