Ginger Pudding

So this morning I got up and baked.  Because it was delicious and yummy and super easy and fun to make.  This one is from Lesotho, and it's called ginger pudding.  I made a sweet and beautiful custard to pour over it, and enjoyed it all morning for breakfast, and brunch, and lunch...and dessert after supper.  :-)

Thank you Lord for baking!

Ginger Pudding (Lesotho)
This steamed pudding is common in British-influenced southern Africa.

Serves 6-8
375*F / 190*C
50-55 min

Combine in 9-inch square baking dish:
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs vinegar
Stir until sugar dissolves.  Set aside.

In separate bowl combine:
1/3 cup margarine, melted (I used butter)
1/3 cup shortening, melted 
2 Tbs apricot, currant, or plum jam (I used about 5 Tbs of peach jam)
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger (I used...5, 6?)

Mix well, adding a bit of milk if batter is too dry (I did add quite a bit, and here's where I added the extra jam too).  Preheat oven to 375*F (I did this when I started mixing).  Drop cake mixture by small spoonfuls into syrup.  Cover tightely with lid or foil (so it steams) and bake 50-55 minutes or until set.  Serve topped with custard, fresh or whipped cream, or milk. (Whoops!  I forgot to cover mine, but it still set, and was awesome and cakey and had beautiful gooey sauce at the bottom.)

For the custard sauce: (my own recipe)

Combine in saucepan:
2 Tbs corn starch
Pinch salt
2 1/2 Tbs sugar

Beat egg separately, adding a little cold milk. 
Mix remaining of 2 1/2 cups milk into cornstarch mixture.  Add egg mixture by straining through a sieve to remove firm parts.

Cook over medium heat, whisking most of the time until boiling.  Boil 1-2 minutes.  Add:
1 tsp vanilla

Yum yum.  :-)

Enjoy, friends!  Perhaps your entire day will be taken up by ginger pudding like mine was... if it is, let me know.  It's bound to be a good day.

In Him,

Eat, Drink and Be Vegan was the first vegan cookbook I ever got and I've loved pretty much everything I've ever made out of it. Being that I bought it well over four years ago, I thought I was at the point where I'd tried all the recipes that piqued my interest already. Some idle afternoon not that that long ago I grabbed it off my cookbook shelf and did a quick flip-through for the first time in ages and lo and behold - a baked tofu recipe that I hadn't yet tried!

Grilled on an outdoor BBQ is probably my favourite way to prepare tofu. Baking it in a flavourful marinade is a close second, though. The Cashew Baked Tofu, also from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan, is definitely on my Top 5 Winter Recipes list and I thought the orange-sesame version might be a good alternative for the summertime.

Tofu with the quick orange marinade, made with an orange that I juiced myself thank you very much, and into the fridge it goes for a couple hours.

Fresh and flavourful! Too good to last long enough to become leftovers.

Recipe for the orange-sesame tofu found here and the coconut-lime basmati rice recipe is here.

This is Vegan 3rd Veganiversary Giveaway: Winner (Take Two!)

Unfortunately, I never heard from the first winner of my veganiversary giveaway and my attempts to contact her haven't seemed to work. So, I went ahead and made the executive decision to do another draw via my beloved Random Number Generator:

And the winner is...........

Dana Stodgel, who entered via Facebook!

Congratulations, Dana! Send me an e-mail at to claim your prize (a copy of Vegan Express and a copy of Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs & Wear Cows). Be sure to include your shipping address!
Today Colin's sister and brother-in-law had a pig roast.  We had a great time.  I made potato salad and thought you guys might like the recipe.  Sure beats the 'Miracle Whip' kind.

This is the pig bbq that Colin and Glenn built quite a few years ago.    As you can see it's made from an old oil tank.  The pigs turn out best when they use charcoal, but Colin has been know to try to use wood too.

Colin and I helped Glenn carve up the piggy.  Boy was it hot!!

Lots of fixin's to go with the pork.  This is Colin's dad in the hat and Glenn's mom and dad in the background.

One of the guests had a really amazing car.  Colin can't remember the year, but it is completely original/never restored.  Boy, it sure ran nice, sounded much better than the truck  :)

And finally, here's the end of the party.  The kitties quite enjoyed the 'doggie bags' we brought home for them.

To be honest, I won't eat potato salad.  But that's because I like my potatoes hot  :)  My sister on the other hand, will only eat my potato salad.

Start by making the Salad Dressing:

3/4 c oil                         1 egg
1 1/2 prepared mustard          2 t salt
2/3 c sugar, divided                 1/2 c and 2 1/2 T flour
1/3 c vinegar                                1 c water

Mix the oil, egg, mustard, salt and 1/3 c sugar and set aside.
Combine the rest of the ingredients (including the remaining 1/3 c sugar) in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and stir until smooth and thick.  Add in first mixture and stir till smooth.

Potato Salad

12 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced
1 sm onion, chopped fine - I often use green onions (scallions)
1 c celery, finely diced
1 t celery seed
4 hard-boiled eggs, diced
Toss gently in a bowl.

2 eggs, beaten                                  3/4 c sugar
1 t cornstarch                                  1/4-1/2 c vinegar
1/2 c milk                                            1 t prepared mustard
3 T butter                                            1 c salad dressing

Combine eggs, sugar, and cornstarch, add vinegar, milk and mustard.  Cook and stir until thickened.   Remove from heat and add butter and salad dressing.  Stir until smooth.  Pour over potato mixture and stir gently.

This makes a good size bowl, perfect for parties.

Who's looking closely at my pictures?  Do you notice something on our market table that 'shouldn't' be ready yet?
You can "crack" all the jokes you want "butt" believe it or not, I was able to snap this shot on my iPhone  without falling over laughing.   How could he not tell that he was this overexposed?


                                                                            Athen Tane

He was born July 15 while I was away in California at a wedding.  I was a little disappointed that he didn't wait until his due date (tomorrow) because I was invited to be there for the delivery.  I told him that he was starting off on the wrong foot but then he snuggled up to me and smiled (it wasn't gas, I don't care what you say) so we're all good now.  It was probably a good thing that he arrived a little early because he weighed a healthy 7 pounds, 13 ounces.  He would have weighed well over 8 pounds had he baked two more weeks.

Mattew and Kere call him their little Maori baby.  I am not sure if it's because of his dark skin and flat nose or because he makes faces like this.
Do you see a resemblance? 

Athen loves his woombie and sleeps so well when he's wearing it.  I highly recommend it to any new mother.  Seriously, it's the absolute best.  I think this will be the gift I'll be giving at baby showers for years to come.

A baby (not Athen) snuggled up in a Woombie.

Yesterday Athen had a bath in the Spa Baby another highly recommended baby product.  He loved, loved, loved, it.  Did I mention he loved it?   I have never seen a baby so relaxed in the bath before and trust me, I have bathed a lot of babies in my lifetime.  He just lay there and didn't move or make a sound.  

He's a sweet little baby and is a welcome addition to our family.  

Ready for Wychwood tomorrow morning

Andrew is off to bed so when the alarm goes off shortly he can get up.  Not a lot of fresh but some and one big lake trout.  He was a real beauty.  We have quite a bit of smoked and all the flavours.  See you soon and nice to be headed to Wychwood.  It has been a while. 

This was taken last year on a trip to Bowmanville (for Daddy to recoup from the appendix nonsense).   What amazes me is how Ella's holding her crayons almost perfectly!  I've been waiting to teach her to knit, the Waldorf folks say after she's 7, but I think she's ready.  I'm hoping it will help with her attention span and also make the drives to Scarborough/Bowmanville.  The 'are we there yet' questions start before we even get to Bancroft.
This year and this summer really needs to slow down.  Time is going by so quickly.  And I swear I can see Ella growing these days.  That makes times like this even more special.

Ella and I enjoyed a lovely tea party yesterday for 'coffee break'.  We had apple cake and drinks.  I was nursing a headache so I was having a 'medicinal' coke.  Ella was being a princess, so ate her cake with a knife and fork and took tiny, tiny bites.

I am so frustrated with Wal-Mart.  I am making some chokecherry jelly and needed some cheesecloth.  Silly me, I expected to find some at Wal-Mart in the canning department.  But guess what, they don't have any because 'canning season is over'.  Funny, I thought it was just starting.  For my Canadian readers, if you need canning supplies go to Canadian Tire.  They are just starting to get the canning supplies out.

Happy 16th Anniversary!!!

Wow...  Where did the time go?  A day spent in reflection and what wonderful memories of our journey together.  Hope the market went well for Andy and missed him today but will make up for it later on this weekend.  Excited to see what the next 16 will bring us....
On another note.  Smoked some fish up today.  Hoping and crossing my fingers and toes that tomorrow's winds will be calm.  Let you know tomorrow if all is a go!!!

I'm not going to lie, it's kind of been a crappy summer. Between my sprained ankle and the extreme heat and worst of all, our pup falling very seriously ill, there hasn't been a lot of fun going on in and around our house as of late. The one, shining, redeeming moment was the birth our of goddaughter Naya this past week - her arrival was safe and healthy for both Mom and Baby and for that we are so grateful and excited!

Because of all the chaos that Summer '11 has brought our house I'll be the first to admit we've had to rely on convenience food now and again. And while there are many great restaurants that do vegan in KW, I'm always relieved when a new quick and inexpensive option presents itself. Because time crunches suck. As do astronomical vet bills (but not nearly as much as a sick doggy, let me tell you).

Anyway, today I'm going to talk to you about the Burrito Boyz chain, which opened a Waterloo location recently (although probably not too recently - you know I don't get out much). I'm sure this is old news to most of you, but I wanted to blog it anyway.

Why Burrito Boyz? Because they have a vegan burrito. And by vegan burrito I don't mean a veggie burrito. I mean they have a Veggie Soy option, made from TVP, for your complete, filling, tummy-rubbing fast-food-burrito experience.

Just make sure you ask for the vegan guacamole. I'm not sure what is in the regular guac that makes it not vegan, but they keep a vegan one separate and under the counter. The few times we have gone there the staff has specifically asked us (after ordering the Veggie Soy burrito without cheese) if we are vegan and then brought out the vegan guac (love that customer service!). If you aren't asked, be sure to ask them.

Now we just need to get them stocking Daiya!

On behalf of Paul, I will warn you that their hot sauce is not something to be trifled with. Burrito Boyz is not the place for acts of macho bravado. This is coming from two people who drown every meal they prepare in bottled hot sauce. I will not elaborate any further, but consider yourself warned. Don't be a hero.

Burrito Boyz
258 King Street North
Waterloo, ON N2J 2Y9
(519) 747-2690

P.S. Last call for Julie Sheridan as winner of my 3rd Veganiversary Giveaway! I haven't yet heard back from Julie and just recently attempted to contact her through Facebook. If I don't hear anything by Sunday I will draw another name - stay tuned!
Okay. Going out for sushi is one of my favourite things to do but, making sushi? Pretty much at the bottom of the list of culinary endeavors. If you feel the same, never fear, I have devised a solution. In convenient sandwich form. I present: The Sushi Sandwich.

Let me start by saying that you don't have to make your sushi sandwich round, or wrap it in nori, for it to be super tasty. I like to do it because I feel like I'm eating an actual sushi roll but, it does take a bit more effort than your average sandwich. It also really impresses people at parties!

Sushi Sandwich
Serves 6-8*


For the Tempura
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup cold water**
3 tbsp oil, plus much more for frying
1 sweet potato, sliced into disks
2 cups mushrooms, sliced

For the Sandwich
12 slices of white bread***
2 avocados, cored, peeled and sliced to a uniform thickness
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced into disks
Super Sexy Vegan Ponzu-esque Sauce, recipe found here
1-2 nori sheets, cut into long strips, 1 inch wide

For the Tempura: Combine the flour, baking powder, water and oil in a bowl. Do not over mix, a lump or two won't ruin anything. Allow the batter to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. In a deep pan, heat several inches of oil over high heat. The oil should be deep so your tempura can float instead of sticking to the bottom of the pan. Coat the sliced vegetables in the batter and drop them into the hot oil. BE CAREFUL. PLEASE DO NOT BURN YOURSELF. Do not add too many pieces to the pan at once. Overcrowding will lead to problems. Fry for 3 minutes, turning once, until crisp and golden. With a slotted or mesh spoon, remove the tempura from the pan, allowing any excess oil to drip off. Allow tempura to drain further and cool slightly on paper towel.

To Assemble the Sandwich: Using a cookie cutter or something similar, (I use a tupperware container), cut out large circles of bread. Layer your ingredients atop a bread round, I prefer to alternate between fresh green, and crisp tempura. Drizzle your super sexy vegan ponzu-esque sauce over your vegetable layers before topping your sandwich with a bread round. Place your sandwich on top the middle of a nori strip. Bring the ends of the nori strip together, wrapping the strip around the sandwich, and seal them together with a little bit of water.

Enjoy your sushi sandwich adventure!

* This number adjusts depending on whether you are using entire slices of bread, or bread rounds.
** Tempura batter recipes sometimes call for carbonated water instead of flat. The bubbles add to the lightness of the final product.
*** I had wanted to use rice bread to maximize the authenticity of this sandwich. However, after several attempts I decided that rice bread is simply too dry. The texture of white bread most closely provides the experience of enjoying a traditional roll made with rice.

I just had to share this picture for Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real this week.  We've had such an explosion of kittens around here.  We must have 10 of various sizes.  Ella and little Ella had been running with the kittens and sat down on the barn step to take a break.

Will be at Dufferin Tomorrow

Andrew was able to slip out late yesterday afternoon.  He lifted the gear and had some beautiful fish.  So he will be down tomorrow.  Not with a huge amount so the early birds will be happy....

I do find my blogging is rather stop : start.  But this time I do have a valid excuse.  Last blog entry was June 22 2011.  Since that time I have:-
Hosted a workshop at ACAD for the residency participants on Sewing Machine Abuse.  We worked from 9 - 4 and stopped only for a quick pannini.  It was intense.  A few photos....
I challenged participants to make detailed and accurate note taking as screws were adjusted to throw the machines out of balanced tension... Siri followed through beautifully - was that her scientific training showing through?
Living dangerously... no needle guard as we made cords.
Then it was pack-up time for me as I left ACAD for another year... and swapped my work bags for travel bags and our summer holidays in BC.

Spent time in Victoria for Canada Day and got ourselves on the Living flag and on the same front page as Wills and Kate!  We also visited the Royal BC Museum... and at last I found some wonderful quill-work...  Many galleries do display excellent First Nation bead-work but quill-work is harder to find...  John got this lovely shot for me.
Then on to Sooke and Port Renfrew for a week of painting, reading botany and photography.
These curious Mollusca on the beach
We were lucky enough to spot a Giant Octopus locked in a rock pool poor thing.... they are magnificent creatures and we were assured later at the Sidney Marine Science Centre that it would have got back to the sea on the next tide... here it is if you want to see it...

After that a week (nearly) on Salt Spring Island (heavenly) where I was fortunate enough to work with 10 wonderful textile artists as Stitches hosted me as I presented a workshop on Disperse Dye and Beyond.  Spacious workspace too... and a spectacular pot luck lunch - those ladies know how to host!
I was kept so busy that I didn't manage to take any photos but Karen of Stitches has allowed me to use hers.

Spent lazy days exploring the island with the 3 of us holding digital cameras we were never going to be mistaken for locals.
One of the oldest buildings on the Island - and the jointing all cut with an axe.

On our return to Vancouver Island we later visited the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre (thanks for the recommendation ladies) and although lighting was difficult I got some lovely inspirational material.  They even have two nudibranchs there, one was elusive, the other preferred shade (so no photographs of my own, though I did pick up a twitcher devoted entirely to Nudibranchs of the Pacific North-West, Amazing).  I now know I must call them sea slugs to differentiate them from shallow marine worms (who are of course from a different family entirely).

After that back to Calgary and the rain... Friends arrived from England via their coach tour of BC and AB for a week of Millson hospitality.   A highlight being the day spent at Sunshine Meandows and more botany.
All too soon friends departed and I got stuck in to my loose ends:-
Still chasing a mystery guest for ACAD, and it is now 26th July and it still isn't firmed up... dealing with institutions... nightmare....  But all seems to be going ahead-awaiting confirmation from the artist himself... then you will hear all about it.
Looking into getting my work critiqued by ACC (but will I be able to take the comments?) and hopefully the go ahead to improve things and/or supply scarfs to their gallery shop???***????
Making sure I have everything I need for an application that needs to be IN by end of August.
Creating a display method for "Five Creatures" ready for critique by Arlee this Thursday (yikes).  These are for the upcoming Epcor/Contextural show.  I hope they are ready to go to the exhibition (my deadline is Thursday 4th July when I hand them over to Anne as I will be away for the actual deadline) and the write up is written.
Something like this perhaps... I know it isn't exactly a studio shot but you get the idea..

As well as all of that I have been working on a way to display a bit of work from the residency... so that I can take part in their end of residency show.  Just learnt that it isn't going to be in the Marion Nicoll gallery... that is a shame.
Here are 4 pieces, very water-colour-ish with minimalist stiching:-

There are 4 more that form a quadryptic if there is such a word...  but all I have done for them is cover the boards that they will be mounted on.  I still  need to stitch stitch stitch and be happy.
Up to date now?  I guess so....

Best news of all is that I get to produce another TV special for PBS about this event! We'll be shooting all the beautiful quilts and a bunch of interviews, and I'll be sharing more info as it becomes available.

Head back down now to continue the countdown to the show! It's a lot of work, but well worth the effort!

Busy trying to tidy-up the kitchen, we're having the in-laws over for supper.  I almost forgot it was Yarn Along day! 

I've slowed down a bit with my knitting.  It's just been so hot.  I've put away the blanket and the other project just for now.  Luckily, I have a girlfriend who's having a baby in the fall.  So now I've got the perfect excuse to make my favourite baby pattern.  I love to knit Elizabeth Zimmerman's February Baby Sweater.  It's so quick, easy and pretty.  This is about an hour's worth of knitting.  It's from EZ's Knitter's Almanac, a book I can't recommend enough!  We're not reading much, just bedtime books really.  We're just taking it easy and enjoying the summer and trying not to melt (though the last two days have been just gorgeous).

Acton's in Wolfville, NS Review + My Cupcake Kitchen Haul

Last friday, Mark and I embarked on an adventure to Wolfville to look for some wedding things and get some great food. Even though we weren't very successful in finding any wedding things I was looking for, we did find a few cute kitchen accessories and had a fabulous meal.

Every single time we were in Wolfville, we always walked by a restaurant called Acton's and I was always super intrigued by their specials displayed outside and the classy decor you could see from the windows. Honestly, I figured the food would just be okay and I would be super starving an hour later. Let's just say I really was wrong, it was one of the best meals I've ever had at a restaurant.

The restaurant has so many windows bringing in the light! They also have a balcony too!
The inside! So Classy.
The lunch specials they had that day.
 We walked in, and who must be the owner invited us to the restaurant and seated us. The waiter was super nice, explained the specials and gave us our water and menus. The menu seemed pretty posh for the prices and I was still skeptical of how much food we would really end up getting.

Mark ordered a gorgeous dish of mushroom risotto with beef tenderloin. He LOVED it. He also says it was one of the best restaurant meals he's every had and I tasted it, and must say I've never tasted meat so tender. Super yum!
Check out this gorgeous dish!
I wasn't too sure what to order but ended up getting oven broiled haddock with caesar salad. Totally to die for I must say; cooked perfectly and melt in your mouth. The salad was so tasty, well presented and definitely didn't taste like it came from a package like some other restaurants.
Yum yum yum!

Check out this fish! So delish!
Then came dessert. We ordered french chocolate cake with mocha icing. The icing didn't taste very mocha-like, but it was still super rich chocolate goodness. If you know me at all, you know I would pretty much die for chocolate and this was just what I needed.
It tasted even better than it looks..seriously!
If you ever, ever happen to make your way to Wolfville, please just go to Acton's. You will NOT be disappointed.

As for my kitchen accessories, we had to kill some time before the restaurant opened, so we headed to Pharmasave to look around. Of course the first thing I see in there is a huge section of cupcake kitchen stuff. They had aprons, tablecloths, dish towels, etc. Mark bought me the oven mitts and a dish towel that I love so much! His mom bought me a gorgeous cupcake apron from Stokes when she was visiting, so I`m all cup caked out in my kitchen for now!

 I hope you guys enjoy this post! I'll post my healthy lunch ideas next time I write!

Until next time,