Friday, June 29, 2012

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.)

1 - Air conditioning!!  I love it.  I melt in the sun and the heat and it's been over 100 here the last couple of days.  I am so thankful for air conditioning.

2 - We had Otis our bulldog neutered this week and he's home now.  Everything went fine and he's "resting" .... unless he sees a toad outside.  He looks for them because they scare him.  They jump and he jumps straight up like a scared cat, all four paws in the air and then he barks at it until it jumps again.. and so on and so on...

Otis and the toad
Otis and the toad

Otis dirty nose
What a dirty nose!  All that snuffling around in the dirt after the toad.

3 - I have pictures of my daughter Melissa in the Bard in The Park production of "Much Ado About Nothing", which played June 12 to June17, in Toronto, Canada.  It's the next best thing to being there.

Coverage by the local community newspaper in the Beach, Toronto.  Click to read the caption.

Backstage preparations

Melissa taking a bow with her co star and boyfriend, Holm Bradwell, who played Benedick to her Beatrice. 

What made you happy this week?  Share your bliss.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - 2 Ingredient Lemon Bars

This morning, I decided to make Toasted BLCTs for breakfast.  That's Toasted Bacon, Lettuce, Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches.

Mr B. LOVED them.  He loves bacon and always enjoys bacon sandwiches of any kind, but this morning he was apparently blown away by this ordinary sandwich.  "That's the BEST BLT I've ever had."  He exclaimed.  "Never mind all that Tasty Tuesday stuff you were going to post today, you have to post the recipe for these."

LOL  Well, I didn't DO anything different than usual, but I did cook up different bacon.  Steakhouse seasoned bacon.  Thick sliced.. always thick sliced.  So, apparently, that's the secret to a superb bacon sandwich.  I thought I'd pass on the secret to all of you, if you have a bacon lover in your house.

It turns out, that I'm two for two today, because Mr B. also really likes the 2 Ingredient Lemon Bars that I'm sharing with you.

I saw these on Pinterest and pinned them onto my DELICIOUS board of recipes that I want to try.  I have so many recipes pinned, that I thought it was about time to start trying some of them.  The recipe originally came from Practically Living .

2 Ingredient Lemon Bars

These bars are not like cake despite being made from a cake mix, so do not expect them to raise up like cupcakes.  They will be thinner, dense and moist, like a cross between a brownie and a cookie bar.

The 2 ingredients in 2 Ingredient Lemon Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix gently, just until cake mix is moistened:

1 Angel Food Cake Mix - Just add water kind (any brand)
1 15 oz can of Lemon Pie Filling (any brand)

Don't over mix.
Spread into an ungreased 9 X 13 inch cake pan.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Dust with powdered sugar when you take them out of the oven if desired.  I chose to skip this and they were quite sweet enough without the extra sugar.  It would look pretty though.

Let cool completely in the pan before cutting.

2 Ingredient Lemon Bars

Delicious alone with a cup of tea or coffee.  Try serving with blueberries or with a twist of candied lemon peel on top.


Friday, June 22, 2012

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.)

Bliss is a cooler day today after so many hot humid days.  It has me re-energized.  All outdoor activities have had to happen between the hours of 6am and 10am because the weather was so hot and humid and the sun was scorching. We seem to get more accomplished, which is always good.

Bliss is listening to the Whip-poor-wills.  They must have known that I needed to get up early, for they were outside the bedroom window calling me with their distinct repetitive song every morning starting at 4:30am.  Sometimes I simply smiled and rolled over and slept for another hour.  It may sound annoying to some of you, but to me it's always had a rather romantic appeal.  I remember when we first moved here, how delighted I was to hear them for the first time, after reading about them in so many novels.

Bliss is a bowl full of cherries...

Cherries, Photo by Tori Beveridge
Cherries, Photo by Tori Beveridge
... and ripe pears. 
Cherries and Pears, Photo by Tori Beveridge
Cherries and Pears, Photo by Tori Beveridge

What made you happy this week?  Share your bliss.

I am linking up to 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June Note Card Party

Once a month, A Haven for Vee, has a Note Card Party.

What is a Note Card Party?  You pick four photos that you have posted on your blog, that you think would make lovely note cards and post them in one post and link up on her page.

A lovely idea!

My theme on this last day of spring, is flowers.  Here is a look back at flowers that bloomed here this spring.

Iris, Photo by Tori Beveridge

3 Day Lilies, Photo by Tori Beveridge

Peach Blossoms, Photo by Tori Beveridge

Blue Hydrangeas, Photo by Tori Beveridge

Visit A Haven For Vee's Note Card Party to see all the lovely photographs chosen by others to be Note Cards, and maybe join in the fun yourself!

A Haven for Vee

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Tzatziki

I love greek food.  I especially love tzatziki, the cool, creamy, garlicky sauce that accompanies souvlaki and is great as a dip with pita and raw vegetables.

Yogurt and cucumber star in Tzatziki


2 cups of plain yogurt, drained  (Greek yogurt is best and doesn't require draining - it's already thick)
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic (chop your garlic on a little salt, the salt will absorb the garlic juices, so none goes to waste)
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, diced and drained
1 tblspn of lemon juice
1 tblspn finely chopped fresh dill

To drain the yogurt, put it on 2 or 3 coffee filters in a colander over a bowl and let sit for about 2 hours.  You want it thick like sour cream.

To drain the cucumber, salt it and leave it in a colander for about half an hour to release the moisture.

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow the flavors to blend.

Serve with grilled meats, pita triangles or fresh vegetables.


Friday, June 15, 2012

My Little Bliss List - Anticipation

"Good things come to those who wait."

This week I'm finding bliss in the anticipation of things to come.

I'm waiting for mulberries.  They are still green for the most part, due, I'm sure, to our dry, hot weather.  There are a few ripe ones, much to the delight of the birds and this squirrel who was having a picnic in our largest mulberry this morning.

Squirrel in The Mulberry, Photo by Tori Beveridge

My daughter, Melissa has been appearing in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" this week in Toronto.  It's the 8th season of Bard in the Park, at Kew Gardens in The Beach.  There are performances tonight and tomorrow night at 7pm and matinees tomorrow and Sunday at 2pm.  Melissa is playing Beatrice.

Admission is free, but donations are always gratefully accepted.  There is limited seating, so picnic blankets or your own chairs are encouraged.  If you're in Toronto, it would be a lovely evening out.

Sadly, I can't be there but I am looking forward to pictures of the performances, which I will blissfully share with you.

Melissa as Titania in "A Midsummer's Night Dream" in 2010.

My daughter Melissa in "A Midsummer's Night Dream" June 2010

Of course, there were many ordinary blissful moments this week, watching and laughing through a couple of hours of Jeff Dunham with Mr. B., gardening, clearing out brush, morning walks... as the Carly Simon lyrics say "these are the good old days".

What made you happy this week?  Share your bliss.

I am linking up with 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Salmon Chowder

If you're a soup fan and like salmon, you're sure to like this delicious Salmon Chowder.  It's thick and hearty enough to be a stand alone dinner or serve a small bowl of it with a sandwich or salad for lunch.

Salmon Chowder At Home with Tori
Salmon Chowder

Salmon Chowder

1 cup of chopped onion
2 celery ribs thinly sliced
2 tblspns butter
2 tblspns flour
1 tspn salt
1/2 tspn dill
4 cups milk
2 cups of fresh or frozen cauliflower, chopped and cooked
1 large 14 3/4 oz) can of salmon, drained, skin and bones removed
1 10 oz pkg frozen peas thawed
1/2 cup grated swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

In a large pan or dutch oven, saute the onions and celery in the butter until soft.  Stir in the flour to make a roux and continue to cook for a minute to cook the "floury taste" out of the flour.  Add the salt and dill.  Stir in the milk and keep stirring while you bring it to a boil.  It will thicken.  Turn the heat down to medium-low.  Add the cauliflower, peas and salmon and heat through.  Stir in the cheeses, until melted.

Serve immediately.  (4-8 servings)


Friday, June 8, 2012

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.)

Listening to the dogs and cats snore.  Yes, really.  It makes me smile.

Knowing that Mr. B. is on leave now for two months!  Count them, two months!  Finally he's able to take all the leave he's been accumulating.. I think he'll still have some left over, he has so much.

Our chicken coop has been delivered!  It's on Mr. B.'s list of things to do, so will be built soon.  I'll post pictures.

Morning walks are always blissful.  At the boat launch, we saw these geese marching in line, with the one in front honking the way.

Canada geese marching in line photo by Tori Beveridge
Geese Marching in Line, photo by Tori Beveridge 

Our nephew, was given an award at school for handing in ALL his assignments this year on time.  Way to go Matt!  I know it made him happy to be recognized for all his hard work.  It makes me and Mr. B. happy too.

I'm a stalker!  I've been stalking a red headed woodpecker, trying to get pictures of him.  He likes to breakfast, lunch and dinner on our old security light pole.  Every time I see him, and try to get a picture of him, he flies away.  I'm determined to get at least one picture and I'll sure have fun trying.  You'll know when I get it, because it will certainly be in my Bliss List.  Why is this in my list?  You'd think it would be frustrating, but it's become a challenge.  I hear Woody Woodpecker laughing in my head every time he flies off. (hahahaha hahahaha hhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa)  The whole situation has become very cartoon like, and it makes me "lol".

Lastly... The berries are coming!  The berries are coming!

Blackberries Photo by Tori Beveridge
Blackberries Photo by Tori Beveridge

Blackberries Close Photo by Tori Beveridge
I don't see any caterpillars.. 

I have fond memories of spending time at my grandparents and walking along the river to a berry patch, dodging the red wing blackbirds as they swooped at me and my sister when we passed near their nest.  We'd watch for otters along the river for awhile and then pick berries, eating as many as we took back.  We'd rinse them and then sprinkle sugar on them and wait for any teeny tiny green caterpillars to crawl out.  There were always a few and I'd wonder how many we'd eaten while picking.  (extra protein our Gramps would say)  We would all enjoy the berries as a simple dessert with milk poured over them.

I think I see berries and milk in my future.

Share your bliss.  What made you happy this week?

I am linking up with


Farmchicks Farm Photo Friday

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Printable Table of Not so Everyday Kitchen Measurements

Have you ever come across a measurement that called for a smidge of cayenne pepper or a dash of worcestshire sauce?  What about a pinch of salt or a pound of flour?  I know I have.

Lucky for me, my grandmother passed on to my mother who passed on to me, a chart of measurements which you don't see everyday, but which you will occasionally come across especially in older cookbooks and family recipes.

I am now passing this information on to you via this Table of Measurements.  I have made it printable, so feel free to print it out for use in your kitchen.

Table of Measurements

table of measurements
Printable Table of Measurements

I'll be back next Tuesday with a new recipe.  I hope you'll join me.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Free E-mag! Homestead Community Post

I'm sitting here drinking my coffee, browsing Pinterest and pinning, when I stumbled across this fabulous freebie e-magazine.  I had to share so you, too, could read it while you enjoy your morning coffee.

Homestead Community Post

Homestead Community Post Free E-magazine
The Homestead Community Post is a new online publication by the Harrison Family at Homestead Drying Racks.  It's beautiful and yes, it really is free, with lots of great pictures and articles.

There are two pdf files.  One for reading online and one for printing a high quality version for those of you who would rather print it out to read.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bliss-Morning Walks & Emergency Mood Kits

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

June 1st!  I think I lost a day or two in May because I really expected it to still be May today.  I think the weather here was feeling the same, because this morning it was in the 40s when I woke up.  Perfect walking weather.

I truly enjoy my morning walks.  They are the biggest part of my bliss every day.  My best thinking, problem solving, inspiration and relaxation comes from them.  I'm very happy I get to share a small part of them with you.

We saw these Canada Geese landing in the lily pad filled water.  Can you guess what those white things are on the right side of the picture?

Canada Geese landing

If you guessed swans, you're right!  What a blissful surprise.


They are so beautiful.  I'll try to get closer shots another time.  There were some close to the shore, but they swam away because the dogs were being very enthusiastic about seeing them.

Here's a closer look at the water lilies.

Water Lilies

The week was filled with ordinary moments, doing ordinary routine things.  Making good food to eat and enjoy, scratching behind a furry ear, polishing a mirror, all sorts of little things.  Little things, but happy things.

I was offered a very large art commission, which made me very happy.  I am going to turn it down, however, which also makes me happy.  It would involve working in mediums which I am not comfortable working in.  With the extra work involved it really does not make it worth the money they are offering.  Saying no to something like this is good for me and it does bring me bliss.

I subscribe to Mary Jane's Farm magazine.  In the latest issue, (June/July 2012) there is an article on the last page written by Rebekah Teal.  In it she says, "Here's the thing... I've always known that I need to teach my daughter how to make beds, brownies, a home, and a living.  Now I know I also need to give her lessons in how to make happiness."  How true!

Rebekah had a fabulous idea and that was to create Emergency Mood Kits, for those times we all have when we are stuck in a bad or sad mood also know as being in the doldrums.  She and her daughter sat down and made Emergency Mood Kits together.

Rebekah's instructions, as interpreted by me, for making an Emergency Mood Kit are as follows:

How To Make An Emergency Mood Kit

  • Start with a shoe box and decorate it with wrapping paper, stickers, bows, turn it into altered art if you like.  I personally didn't have a shoe box, so I used a gift box that I had saved.. it's not however big enough so I will be on the hunt for a bigger box to decorate and use.
  • Collect seven things that make you feel cheery, relaxed, uplifted or comforted to put in the box(the kit).  Examples are, bubble bath, a favorite cheerful, feel good book or movie, or both, a music CD, jelly beans (they're cheerful and colorful), chocolate, etc..
  • Add in a little notebook and a pen.
  • Write 10 things you love about your life on colored strips of paper, one per strip, numbering the strips and put them in a decorated envelope.... more fun with stickers and bows and things.. get creative.
  • Make a favorite quotes booklet to add to the kit.  Write them on cards, punch a hole in the upper left corner and tie together with pretty ribbon.
  • Put everything into the box and your Emergency Mood Kit is ready if (when) the doldrums hit. 

Making an Emergency Mood Kit

I hope you have some blissful moments with a loved one making a kit and hope that the doldrums will be chased away quickly if you need to use it.

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

I am linking up with