Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fall Warmers

Friendship warms the soul.

A morning spent admiring lovely creations of paint, silver and fabric in a cozy gallery followed by a lovely lunch of harvest colours warmed the cool fall day, while the sharing of friendship and hospitality made it shine.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Raising the Macallan

Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.
Mark Twain, American author and humorist (1835-1910)

I couldn't pass up on an opportunity to quaff a few drams this evening at a Raise the Macallan tasting. Of the five variations, I favoured the final "Rare Cask" that retails for $400 a bottle. Suffice it to say, I have fine taste that is unlikely to be satiated any time soon. In any case, I enjoyed the evening's wee spot and am returning home in fine humour.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


Once we hit forty, women only have about four taste buds left: one for vodka, one for wine, one for cheese, and one for chocolate.
Regina "Gina" Barreca, American professor of English literature and feminist theory and humorist
This week's bazaar baking combined two of my favourite things: chocolate and wine (perhaps not in order of preference). Surfing the web on an evening commute home this week, I happened upon Double Chocolate Merlot Cookies (recipe here). Chances are that after a stressful day at the office, the thought of a nice merlot and some chocolate soothed my soul and determined that the recipe be tested.

While my choice in wine might not be a true merlot (admitedly I was drawn to the label's image of Venice), I am very happy with the wine and the resulting cookie. Both provided a good antidote to a blustery, rainy afternoon.

I am counting on there being a number of 40+ women buying cookies at the bazaar who will appreciate the pairing as much as I do.

With the baking done, I am going to slice myself some nice cheese to accompany the leftover wine. Life is good! :-)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Triple the Pleasure

Spread love as thick as you would peanut butter.
Peanut butter formed one of my earliest food groups. At a tender age of not yet two, I persistently asked for peanut butter sandwiches. Regrettably, its smell would invariably bring on a bout of nausea for my poor pregnant mother. I still love my PB, so much so that I can't have it in my home to save my waistline. For this reason PB and jam on toast became my go-to breakfast option when staying at five-star hotels on business trips. I'm sure that I raised a few eyebrows but I would try to be as dainty and as grown-up as possible when spreading it on my expensive toast. I relished these treats.

Dangerously, the cafe at work recently introduced double-decker peanut butter cookies with peanut butter cream in between. Manna from heaven for PB lovers.

I was thus inspired on this holiday Monday as I got started on the baking for the church bazaar's Cookie Walk. An internet search provided the recipes for the cookies and cream and I'm very happy with the result (quality control required that I test one with my afternoon coffee). Now I am thinking of alternatives such as changing out the PB cream for strawberry jam or chocolate cream. I am just not sure that the Cookie Walk can handle that much PB-love all in one place.

Spread the love! :-)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Afternoon Pick-me-up

I'd rather take coffee than compliments just now.
Louise May Alcott, American author (1832-1888) in Little Women
A beautiful 'flat white' at Boxcar Social aleviates the 3pm energy dip. I had not heard of this coffee type before starting my lakeside job. I think it falls between a macchiato and a cappuccino in the espresso to milk ratio, but I'm no barista. The plethora of options makes my head spin . . . I need a coffee. ;-)

A presto!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Of Silk and Bows

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (aka Mark Twain), American author and humorist (1835-1910)

On every trip to Italy I indulge in one clothing purchase. I still wear a beautiful skirt and leather jacket bought in the '80s when I was blessed to be able to spend my summers on archaeological digs. And they bring back wonderful memories when I wear them.

Last week (was it only last week??), Bro and SIL made a little (OK, BIG) detour for me from Piazza San Marco so that I could visit the Banco Lotto 10 shop. This shop is special because it sells clothes handmade by detainees in Venice's women's prison as part of a training programme. Each item in the shop is unique and of finest quality and design.

Certainly clothes don't make the person, but my simple/elegant silk blouse makes me feel so good.


Monday, September 25, 2017


It is a big world, full of things that steal your breath and fill your belly with fire...But where you go when you leave isn't as important as where you go when you come home.

Lindsay EagarHour of the Bees

I am home safe although perhaps not so sound. Never mind the dream last night which had me crawling on my belly through a tunnel encouraging Bro and SIL to follow to some site on the other side. (They responded with a look of incredulity and pointed out that we could walk around the barrier.)

Never mind that my morning coffee tasted bad. It wasn't a cappuccino. We won't mention that the croissant was also absent.

Never mind that the weather is more akin to July than late September with a forecast of 29 degrees today.

No, it's even the little things like trying to figure out where I store dish towels.

Jetlag and a small grain of guilt over being away from the office for three weeks has me on an earlier train, so even the morning commute seems unfamiliar.

Oh well, I will no doubt get back into my routine soon enough. Rats! :-)

A presto!