Sunday, July 29, 2012

Play in the Clay

It's finally here!!! Back in June, I went to Right Off The Batt Pottery in Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island (Canada) with my Mom.  Best girls day out ever!  We had to leave the pieces there, to be glazed and fired.  We were a little worried the pottery might break during shipping, but it was very well packed.  Whew!

Here's my finished pieces.  They came out beautiful!
  1. My blue/white glazed bowl
  2. Both my serving pieces
  3. An up close shot of the design on my serving platter
  4. The zoomed out view of the serving platter
Here's a look at our fabulous girls day out...

Friday, July 27, 2012


My feet at Rustico Beach, PEI.  Wow... they look really white and freaky...
If you're headed up to Prince Edward Island, Canada, and aren't a huge Anne of Green Gables fan, you might be wondering what else there is to do.  Anathema is a Greek word meaning, "a person or thing detested or loathed", in case you're wondering.  Ok, so you may not loathe Anne of Green Gables, but after spending a few days on the Island you may be looking for something to do that doesn't involve red hair and freckles.

Here's a few suggestions:
  • Go to the beach.  I'm not talking the public beaches, they can be SUPER crowded depending on the time of year.  I recommend one of the state parks or the beaches on the tips of the island, such as Tignish Beach on the west or Campbell Beach on the east.  Of course, Cavendish or Brackley Beach are lovely as well, but will be a bit more populated.
  • Walk or bike the Confederation Trail (maybe not all of it, but some of it!), weather permitting.
  • If you go during tourist season, check out one of the festivals or the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts in Summerside (they do concerts, or you can take a tour).
  • Try a Culinary Boot Camp at Holland College if you enjoy cooking.  They were closed for the week when we were there (early June), but I've heard great reviews and want to do this the next time we go! It is a bit pricey, but if you're as obsessed with cooking as I am, it may just be worth the cost.
  • Play in the Clay at Right off the Batt pottery in Borden-Carleton (right off the Confederation Bridge).  This was SO much fun, I'll be posting about this a little later.
  • Check out the many historical sites, museums, and exhibits PEI has to offer (more about them in a separate post also).
  • Visit the Brackley Drive In for a blast from the past Date Night. They show current movies, but the drive in itself is styled like the 1950's including the music they play until the show starts!  The first film is typically a family or kid friendly film, and admission includes 2 full length films and a free soft drink.
 The official PEI tourism site has a ton of information to offer - we got a lot of inspiration from there.  There's literally something for everyone.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Oh My COWS (Creamery)

One of my favorite things we did in Prince Edward Island was tour the COWS Creamery factory.  If you're Canadian, chances are you've at least heard of COWS.  If you're American, you've probably not heard of them.  Bummer.  You're totally missing out.

They have numerous ice cream shops across the province and have expanded across Canada in recent years.

COWS is manufactured exclusively on PEI, with cream and eggs from local farms and dairies. According to our tour guide, COWS premium ice cream is made with 16% butterfat cream, sugar and eggs, and is churned really slowly to make sure that the ice cream you're eating is actually ingredients, not air.

Interesting thought - the tour guide brought this up, but it's true!  Have you ever noticed that some ice cream you can just plow through a whole pint in one sitting, but other brands you can't? The difference is how much air is incorporated into the ice cream when it's freezing.  If you were to let a pint of store brand ice cream totally melt you'd probably end up with around 1/2 to 1/3 of the pint full of liquid.  If you let a pint of COWS melt, you end up with at least 3/4 pint of liquid.  That's some high density ice cream...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dating Your Spouse

The Hubby and me enjoying a picnic 
dinner at the beach
I realize 2 years of marriage does not make me an expert on relationships, but I know personally the power of dating your spouse. 

Let's face it. Life is rough. Life is demanding. On an average day, the average female has about 20 things going on all at once - more like 50 things going on at once if you have children.  I don't at this point, but between working full time and home responsibilities, not to mention taking a few classes... I'm pretty busy all the time.  Add the Hubby's grad classes and full time job to the mix and I wonder when we ever have time to see each other.

Many couples struggle with making their relationships work in the face of everyday stressors (like demanding jobs or a tight budget).  Add the constant time and energy drain of grad school and even fewer couples are keeping their relationships afloat.  If that's you, I feel your pain.  Been there! Am there!

Here's the good news... by making your relationship with your spouse a priority, you are investing in your future.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pancake Breakfast Sandwiches

The Hubby is obsessed with anything related to pancakes...I may have mentioned that previously.  But, he also enjoys breakfast sandwiches.  I've been experimenting with making them at home... he's never been a huge fan of the pancake version, and up 'til now has stayed loyal to the biscuit and sausage variety.   I, however, am not a huge fan of sausage... and marriage was made for compromise, right? So, compromise we did.  He gets breakfast sandwiches. It involves meat, eggs and cheese. And pancakes - and they're WAY better than the "maple flavored" store bought kind.

A couple of reasons I prefer pancake sandwiches over breakfast biscuits.

1. They're flatter.  Weird, I know, but it makes me happy when things stack easily.  Deal with it.  
2. They're portable.

Still not convinced?  Feast your eyes on this! I wish this post could capture the smell.

To freeze, I recommend freezing the pancakes separately on a cookie sheet for about an hour, then assembling the sandwich without the cheese.  Either wrap each sandwich individually for storage, or stack them in a zip-top bag.

You can fit about 8 sandwiches in a gallon-size freezer bag.

There are a few ways to reheat these:
  1. wrap frozen sandwich in foil and warm in a toaster oven on high heat for about 25 minutes.  
  2. Or, you could microwave it for about 3 minutes, but I find it tends to make the eggs sort of rubbery.
  3. Or, you could thaw the sandwich overnight in the fridge, the warm it in the toaster oven for about 15 minutes on high heat.
  4. Last but not least - add a slice of cheese during the 2-3 minutes of reheating in the toaster oven (or last 30 seconds if using the microwaves.
Personally,  I prefer the thaw overnight/reheat in the toaster oven method.  Of course, they're best fresh!
    Ready to make yours?  Check out the recipe on my recipage here.  Comment below if you've got cooking/reheating question, or a favorite breakfast sandwich variation.

    Saturday, July 7, 2012

    Chocolate Cherry Biscotti

    Some things are better together.  Chocolate and cherries.  Biscotti and coffee. Or better, all four at the same time.  Chocolate cherry biscotti with a steaming cup of coffee.  What better way to wile away a rainy afternoon?  Or wind down after a stressful day at work?

    Other than chocolate cherry biscotti, coffee, comfy socks and a really absorbing book...

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    The Fountain of Youth

    One of our recent adventure dates was a day trip to Ponce de Leon Springs State Park.  We live in the city, so it's nice to get away from the craziness and spend time in nature.  And I found a gray hair the other day...yikes... so it was off to the "fountain of youth". 

    Us dipping our toes in the shallow creek bed
    As with many of the dates I plan, this one was a surprise.  I typed up a clue and gave it to M the night before.
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