Month: August 2015

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Islands for all tastes

On a very recent trip to Toronto, we made a getaway to a whimsical place we used to frequent when we lived there.  It used to be our special time together, hand-in-hand we’d walk through this unusual and quirky little island called Ward’s Island.  He was not my husband then, but we always went off the beaten path to explore and wander away from the crowds.  The Toronto Islands as a whole are a refreshing escape from downtown with a beautiful view of Lake Ontario on one side, and the city skyline on the other.

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Lebanese inspired Roasted Chicken, Potatoes and Chickpeas

Thinking of Selma again as I prepare to cross the pond in a couple of months to visit family and friends.  You see about this time last year, Selma and I had arranged to meet up in Winchester, explore the area and get better acquainted as blogger friends.  But it was not to be, in the end I was not able to keep our assigned date, but had promised that we would try again this year.  I am still so saddened by the tragic loss of a wonderful woman who reached out and touched so many hearts and minds.  She was well loved by all the blogging community.  Looking through her blog again prompted me to try this chicken dish.  I love chicken cooked up in many different ways and this one has to be my all time favorite.  I’ve cooked it a few times and it always receives rave reviews at our house.

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Goan Beef Potato chops

As a child, I used to love when Mom made these savory and delicious mashed potatoes stuffed with spicy ground beef.  It is pretty labor intensive I’ll have to say, but oh so satisfying.  Call it what you will, potato cutlets, patties, potato chops, stuffed mashed potatoes, but they are definitely something you’d want to repeat again and again.  I’ve seen other versions of this same dish in cuisines around the world.  This Goan version is popular in Goa;  Goa is the smallest state on India’s west coast.  Renowned for its beaches and Portuguese influences, Goan cuisine is a blend of Portuguese and Indian flavors.

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Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Salad

The garden is producing an abundant supply of tomatoes, eggplants and a variety of peppers.  It has been pretty rewarding and I’d say our first attempt at these raised vegetable beds have proved successful.  The okra and corn should be ready in a couple of weeks.  I think we’ve had our fill of baby bok choy, and swiss chard.  The squash, beans, and cucumbers have been semi-devoured by the deer, but I do believe we will be getting some leftovers soon :).  I’ve had a fun time trying out various manual settings with my camera, aren’t the colors so vibrant?  (more…)

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Île d’Orléans – Off the beaten path in Quebec

It had been a while since we visited our friends Art and Nicole on this beautiful island, about a twenty minute drive from Quebec City.  So when we decided that it was time to re-visit, we picked up the phone re-connected, and before you knew it, we were packing our bags.  Don’t you just love it when you can pick up where you left off with good friends and get right into it?  This was our 4th visit to the island, the anticipation and excitement of the 12 hour road journey also brought with it a heightened buzz.  I love road trips and I was definitely looking forward to being in classy Quebec again.

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