Thursday, 30 June 2011

Recipe Thursday -Sweet Potato Pancake & Lemon Smoothie

Cooked sweet potatoes were sitting in the fridge just daring me to find a fun and tasty recipe for them.  I pulled out one of my favourite vegetable go-to cookbooks, The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash and started looking.  This is a wonderful cookbook for vegetables as it is divided by vegetable.   My copy is a first edition from 1982, though there is a new printing from 2010 available. 

Each section starts with general information about the vegetable including how to grow it.  Next you learn about basic cooking and then there are recipes where the vegetable is the main ingredient.  I decided that sweet potato pancakes would fill my family's tummys nicely.  I made the waffle recipe and cooked it in pancake form.

Sweet Potato Waffles

This recipe makes light waffles; you can use the same batter for pancakes, but note that they will be fat and flyffy rather than thin and firm.

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes

Melt butter; set it aside to cool slightly.  Sift dry indredients together.  Beat egg yolks, then combine with milk, sweet potatoes, and melted butter.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Fold into sweet potato mixture.  Cook on a preheated waffle iron as instructed by manufacturer.  ( I found the batter rather thick and had to spread it on the pan, next time I would add an additional spoon of milk).

A few weeks ago I came across a site called The Smoothie Handbook.  It has recipes for more smoothies than I can make in many months.  I have printed out their free book and tried a couple of combinations.  I also signed up to receive weekly mailings.  In one of the recent mailings there was a recipe for a Lemon Smoothie.  This interested me.  Lemon is such a refreshing flavour I just had to try it.

Lemon Smoothie

1 lemon peeled, seeds removed
1 banana, peeled, can be frozen
1/2 cup water
sweetener of your choice (I used 3 dates soaked overnight in water and 1 good spoon of honey)

Put in blender and mix well.

I also added 1 scoop of rice protein powder.  The taste of this smoothie was rather tart even with the two sweeteners.  I had to strain it to remove the white membrane from the lemon.  This was not a favourite smoothie for my family.  My son wouldn't touch it and daughter had to add 2 more spoons of sugar.  The concept of it seemed wonderful, but the reality was too different.  Note that the other recipes we tried, we all found quite enjoyable.  I think it's realistic to share with my readers that not everything I make turns out as expected.

Are you in need of a foodie fix, hops on over to Beth Fish Reads for her wonderfully informative Weekend Cooking.  You'll find links to all sorts of food related posts.  Add a link to your own recent post.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

No Books in Waterloo for the Summer!!!

One of the highlights of my Saturday morning is to read the 'Books' page in my local paper.  This is a full page containing book reviews, author interviews and whatever other literary treats can be found.

Imagine my shock and dissappointment this past Saturday when I read that for the next four weeks, this section will not be published.  What?  Everywhere I turn these days I am finding lists of suggested summer reading, tips on the hottest reads of the summer,  books not to miss this summer.  I have even come to realize that not everyone is like me, some people only read during their summer vacation.  What is going on here.  How can my paper  discontinue this section during this massive reading season.  Usually the paper is a great supporter of literacy, yet they are giving it a huge slap in the face.

I couldn't get this out of my mind.  I decided that I would offer my assistance to the paper.  I wrote the Editor a letter and copied my review of a book from a local author and sent it to them as a 'Letter to the Editor'.  I further informed them that I would do so for the next three weeks in a form of compensation for the missing Books section.

I invite the readers of my blog to also send one of their book reviews or perhaps a list of summer reading suggestions.  Letters can be directed to  Be sure to attach a cover photo of the book with photo credits, such they choose to publish your letter.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Needlework Tuesday - Back to Stitching

I'm back for my weekly needlework update.  I spent a bunch of time pondering last week why I haven't been doing much stitching.  I think I am spending so much time reading, that I just haven't gotten to it.  Time to move on to some of those audio books that I have been looking forward to.  This way I can stitch and read at the same time. 

Did I stitch this past week?  Yes. Not a lot, but much more than the week before.  I finally finished the metallic embroidery on the 'list block' for the Scribbling Women quilt.  Don't mind the strip of fabric lying across the last line of the list, that part is a secret.

Sei Shonagon, a Japanese woman portrayed in the book, wrote a lot of lists.  Since I found myself making lists while working on the quilt, I felt I would include a version of one of them here.  I debated check marks, but I like the simplicity of the bullets.

I've mentioned previously that my mother enjoys making fabric postcards.   She made me this one in June.  It measures about 4x8 inches.  It was hand delivered, thus no postmarks.

I"m planning to have a sewing day with my quilt buddies shortly and my mother is going to join us.  She already has her fabric cut for the project.

Needlework Tuesday is where I get together with my stitching buddys and we share our projects and encourage each other when needed.    Have you been stitching this past week?  Write your post and send me the link and I'll add you to our happy group.

Sherrie at Just Books has started her lastest doily. The colour she has chosen to stitch with is gorgeous.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

World War One was such a huge undertaking, that even women were actively encouraged to sign-up and help in any way possible.  Due to an unforeseen event one day, our main character Maisie Dobbs felt compelled to defer her education to enroll as a nurse.  We first meet Maisie in 1929, approximately ten years after her nursing work.

She is now working in a second field that is most unusual for a women at that time: she is running an investigation firm.  Author JacquelineWinspear has created a most fascinating woman in Maisie.  While she comes from the working class, she has attained a high level of education and has worked for and with some of the elite of British Society. 

Maisie's first client is a husband who is distraught over his wife's semming infidelity.  What she discuovers during the course of her invetigation is much more sinister and disturbing than she could have imagined.

This was another one of those audiobooks that  kept me inventing excuses so I could get back in my car and drive around and listen.  I felt so comfortable with Maisie that I wanted to spend all my time with her.  I wanted to make tea with her and talk 'shop'.  She is definitely someone that I would be life long friends with.  Maisie is learned and worldly, yet not spoiled nor is she full of herself.  I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series as soon as time permits.

I listened to the unabridged BBC Audioboos America version.  Read by Rita Barrington.  10 hours 2 minutes.

Additional books in the Maisie Dobbs series:

2  Birds of a Feather
3  Pardonable Lies
4  Messenger of Truth
5  An Incomplete Revenge
6  Among the Mad
7  The Mapping of Love and Death
8  A Lesson in Secrets

Thanks to BBC Audiobooks America for the use of the cover photo.

I am much indebted to Martha at Hey, I want to Read That for posting her reviews of this series.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Tinker's Plague by Stephen B. Pearl

I first came across this book when I attended the Eden Mills Writer's Festival in September 2010.  I didn't meet Stephen Pearl, but I did spend about ten minutes talking with his wife.  She gave me Stephen's card with his web address and I promised I would check it out.

I then visited his website and found that he had posted the opening chapter of his book Tinker's Plague.  I read it and thought that it was pretty good and that I'd have to get a copy.  I didn't act on it right away, but my thoughts kept returning to this book.  A few more months went by and this book was still  on my mind.  Enough, I ordered it through my local independent book store and waited again.

I have to admit that it was well worth the effort, though I do wish I had acted sooner and bought it right away, had bought it at the event.

This is a post apocalyptic novel set right in the area of Eden Mills and Guelph, Ontario.  Brad is a tinker and he travels around from town to town with his horse drawn trailer full of technological wonders.  Life is different in this after time,  The tinkers are a well educated group, Brad has a Doctor of General /Applied Technologies, that are trained by the Novo Gaians.  Today we would view the Novo Gaians as the environmental and the compassionate members of society.  In the after time, the tinkers are the ones who travel the dark lands  selling and trading goods as well as providing various levels of medical care.

Brad is doing just that when he is alerted that a new type of illness is felling people in the city of Guelph.  Is it really a new illness or is it a long forgotten ailment from the before period of time come to wreck havoc on an unsuspecting population.

Mr. Pearl has created a new world.  He didn't make it all perfect and pretty; he included the nasty parts as well.  The thieves, scoundrels and politicians.  What he also included are people such as Brad who have the will to make things better for everyone, not just for themselves.  The people who live in the dark lands aren't bad, many of them have limited education and are living hand to mouth.  They just want to survive and provide for their families.  Pretty realistic.    The Griders seem very self centred and only care about themselves.  If it's not in their best interest, they don't want to get involved and in fact will try and make matters worse.  The Novo Gaians are the altruists.  They truly want to make the world better.

I found this a fully believable set of characters and populations.   I had no problem with horses pulling trailers full of technology. I live in a Mennonite area and view similar events every day.

I am hoping that there will be a follow-up book to Tinker's Plague so I can read more of Brad's travels and adventures.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Awaken The Highland Warrior by Anita Clenney

There is one genre of books that I can't seem to pass up, those that include highland warriors, well really, any man in a kilt will do.  Add in some time travel and a dose of romance and you have my undivided attention.  Awaken the Highland Warrior, went even further, a successful, in charge kind of women. 
Bree Kirkland has always felt that someone was watching out for her safety.  Perhaps an angel.  She thought nothing of digging away in the crypt in her backyard during the dark of night for missing treasure.  Instead of the long sought treasure, she unearthed an ancient Scottish warrior.  Faelan Connor had been interred in that crypt or rather, time vault, for the last 150 years and still bent on slaying the evil demon who had captured him.

Damsel saves warrior and then warrior feels honour bound to protect damsel.  This is one damsel that is quite capable of protecting herself, most of the time, and one who is not going to sit around at home waiting for the big brave guy to do all the dangerous stuff.

This book kept me glued to it page after page as I waited to see what Bree would do next that would infuriate the chauvanistic Faelan.  Really, he just needed time to adjust to 21st century living.

I really enjoyed this search of the evil doers, the quest to determine who was good and who was bad.  To find out how the Archangel Michael fit into it all, you'll have to read the book.  I was fascinated by Faelan's tattoos.  You can catch a glimpse of them on the front cover, but the image painted in my mind was much more exciting.  I can hardly wait till the next book hits the stores.

Author Anita Clenney has two more books in this series:
Embrace the Highland Warrior which is due out Novemer 2011
Unleash the Highland Warrior due out Spring 2012

Thank-you to Sourcebooks for my review copy and the cover image.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Recipe Thursday - Simply Salad

I love it when I come up with a tasty dish using only what I have on hand. 

Fruity Salad

1 pile of salad greens
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
big handful of blue berries
1 pear diced

1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dijon mustard

Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with shredded coconut.  Accompany with a nice grainy bread or crackers.

I absolutely adore visiting Weekend Cooking, a meme which is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.  It gives me my foodie fix with all sorts of links to recipes, reviews of food related novels, movies and cookbooks. All viewers are invited to add a link to their recent food related post.

Upcoming Book Reviews

I've managed to get myself somewhat behind on my book reviews.  In an attempt to encourage myself, here's a list of what I've finished reading but still in need of review.  If you have read and reviewed these books, leave me a comment with the link and I'll add it when I post my finished review.  Thanks.

Awaken the Highland Warrior by Anita Clenney

Tinker's Plague by Stephen D. Pearl
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (audiobook)  Cover photo courtesy of BBC Audiobooks America.

The Heaven Shop by Deborah ellis.(audiobook) Cover photo courtesy of RMW Kids Audiobooks. (Sorry about the small e on the author's name, computer is acting nuts)
Gallows View: Chief Inspector Banks Novel #1 by Peter Robinson (audiobook)  Cover photo courtesy of Tantor Media

Pretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman 
A Duty to the Dead : a Bess Crawford Novel by Charles Todd
Currently listening to: shiver by Maggie Shiefvater
Currently reading: The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Needlework Tuesday - Apathy or Why I didn't get Anything Accomplished

A special thank-you to Sherrie at Just Books for making me this cute button for Needlework Tuesdays.  Feel free to grab it and add it to your Needlework Tuesday Post.    We like to gather here once a week to share our projects and to encourage each other.  Leave me a comment with a link to your post and I'll add you in.

This week I am going to start off with Sherrie's project.  She has been working on a lovely pineapple doily for several weeks.  Today she has posted a pic of the finished project.  Way to go Sherrie.

I wish that I had something to share with you this week.  I had the best of intentions, but they didn't go anywhere.  I did a lot of daydreaming.  A while ago I was sent a link to a 1600 inch jelly roll quilt.  I want to make this one.  It looks like a lot of fun to make with a group.  Check out the video below to see why it might interest you as well.  I don't know that I would do it as a race, but it does look fun.

I have cut a few strips to make this.  I doubt I'll go and buy a jelly roll as I have lots of fabric on hand and like to have a say in my fabric choices.  Have you made this quilt?  Send me a pic and I'll add it to the post.

I am going to stitch this week, honest.

Grandma Coco at Grandma Coco's Designs wrote a wonderful post on how she adapted the February Lady Sweater to meet her needs.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Father's Day Dinner

For Father's Day yesterday, I wanted to make a special meal for my husband and family.  I selected new recipes that sounded interesting and a bit challenging.

I had read about Chicken Saltimbocca on a recent Weekend Cooking post.  I thought it would be perfect.  I searched around and found a version that sounded tasty.    I used the recipe from Canadian Living.

Smashed Potatoes were the perfect accompaniment.  I used a bag of small red potatoes, added oil to the pan, baked them in a 400F oven for 40 minutes.  Then smashed them kind of flat, and tossed them in additional oil.  I then baked them for another 20 minutes.  They could have used a bit longer to crisp up.

For dessert, a lovely Coconut Cream Pie. The recipe is by chef Lucy Waverman.  For many years I watched CityLine on tv and Lucy was a frequent guest.  Her recipes never really appealed to me as I found them to be far too rich and calorie laden.  I'm sure this one is no different.  But, I was making this with hubby's tastes in mind so I put on my blinders.

I can't find this recipe online, so will type it out for you.  Don't skip the toasted coconut on the top, as that's where most of the coconut taste comes from in my opinion.Recipe from the Early Summer 2011 issue of Food & Drink, a magazine from the LCBO

Coconut Cream Pie

Sweet Pastry Crust
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp cold water

2/3 cups sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 cups coconut milk
4 large eggs
3 tbsp unsalted butter,cut into small pieces
1/2 cut desiccated unsweetened coconut (I used sweetened)
1 cup coconut flakes, toasted
1 cup whipping cream

1. Combine flour, icing sugar and salt in a bowl.  stir to combine.  Add butter to flour mixture and cut in with pastry blender until butter is the size of small peas. 

2. Beat egg yolks and water together and add enough into flour mixture to bring dough together.  Gather dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill for 20 minutes or until firm.

3. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to fit a 9 x 1 inch tall tart pan with a removable bottom.  Place tart shell in freezer and freeze for 30- minutes or until firm. (I used a 10 inch pan, and didn't bother chilling my dough first. I patted it into the pan instead of rolling.)

4. Preheat over to 400F.

5. Line tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights.  Bake for 15 minutes or until pastry edge is set.  Remove foil and weights.  Prick base of pastry with a fork and bake for 8 to 10 minutes longer or until pastry is cooked through.  Set aside to cool.

6. Whisk together sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt in a medium-size heavy pot.  Whisk in coconut milk and eggs until uniform.

7. Place pot over medium heat and cook stirring constantly for 5 to 8 minutes or until mixture comes to the boil.  Boil 1 minute and remove from heat.  If mixture looks like it has lumps just keep cooking and the lumps with release.

8.  Whisk in butter and pass custard mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl.  Stir in desiccated coconut.  Press plastic wrap down onto the top of the custard to prevent a skim from forming and let cool to room temperature. ( I found the custard appeared to be grainy, but it was a soft type of grain you couldn't feel with your tongue.  To me this custard didn't taste at all like coconut).

9. Add half of toasted coconut to pie base.  Spoon filling into prepared crust.  Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pie and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until filling is firm.  Remove plastic wrap.  Whip cream until it forms firm peaks, and pipe lines of cream over pie.  Pipe rosettes, if desired. Garnish with remaining toasted coconut.  (I added a spoon of sugar and a 1/2 tsp of coconut essence to the cream before whipping).

My husband loved the pie.  I thought it didn't taste enough like coconut and I would have liked a smoother texture.  I did try and choose a lighter coconut milk, though I didn't get the lightest one available.  That might have affected the texture.  I did purchase a new pie pan to make this.  It is my first with a removable bottom.  What a terrific idea.  It was so easy to cut and serve, and it had a lovely ruffled  flutted edge to the pie shell.  Next I need to buy a new large pastry bag, mine is just too old and blew out the side seam.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.  Be sure to visit and check out all the foodie posts.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Looking for a new Meme to Join?

 I was surprised and very pleased to find that my Needlework Tuesday meme has been included in an updated list of memes and theme days that has been posted at The Bz House That Love Built. 

Needlework Tuesday is where I share with you my current needlework project, whether it is hand embroidery, machine sewing/quilting, knitting or some other needle based project,  I describe to  you what I'm making along with lots of photos showing the whole process including my mistakes.  I welcome any of my readers to write a post about their current project and send me the link so that I can include them in my current post.  I find that it's a great way to encourage me to work on at least one project every week as I feel sad when I can't share my progress.

If you are looking for a new meme to join and several that you want to view, then hop on over to The Bz House that Love Built and check out this listing.  It contains links to hundreds of memes, some weekly and others at all various intervals.  You can also contact the owner to get your meme added to a future update.

Friday, 17 June 2011

First Nations Friday: Song Over Quiet Lake by Sarah Felix Burns

It's been a while since I've had a First Nations Friday post.  While this one doesn't quite fit my requirement of being written by a First Nations Author, I feel that since one of the characters is a Tlingit elder, it would be okay.

It is late 1990's and two very different women are preparing to gradutate from the University of British Columbia.  One, 82 year old Tlingit elderLydie Jim and the other, 20ish Sylvia Hardy.  They are from very different backgrounds and both with horrific events in their pasts which follow them to this day.  Their lifelong friendship began shortly after Sylvia was hired as a tutor for Lydie.

This story is told through several narrators including: Sylvia, her mother Miriam,  her boyfriend River, Lydie, and both her sons Mitchell and Jonah.  The final links in the story are supplied by an old priest lying in his death bed.

For the most part, I rather enjoyed this novel.  The concept of an elder and a young student befriending each other is quite believable.  They both needed and gained something from this relationship.  I was somewhat put off by the use of language.  No swearing.  It made sense to me that Lydie's english wasn't text book perfect, so missed articles and that was fine with me as she didn't learn english till she was at least twelve.  I didn't feel that Sylvia's language was up to that of a woman soon to graduate from university.    The first time she meets with Lydie for tutoring she is adament about keeping everything professional, yet her language made me think of a sixteen year old.  I kept reading and by the middle of the book this became less noticeable to me.

As the two women revealed the past events in their lives, I was surprised at my emotional response to them.  Yes, I cried more than a few times.  I was also bewildered at some of Sylvia's actions, particularly the night after finishing her final exams.  Perhaps that was a true action in some university social circles.

It is clearly shown in this book that we all are not just who we appear to be on the surface.  We all have back stories that follow us, it's how we chose to deal with them that makes us who we truly are inside.

For me, this book was all about Lydie.  I was initially attracted to it by the First Nation's character and wasn't dissappointed by her. 

Author Sarah Felix Burns was inspired to create the character of Lydie after having met a Tlingit elder while she was studing at UBC.

Thank-you to Second Story Press for my review copy.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Needlework Tuesday - Dreaming my Quilt Away

Welcome to Needlework Tuesday.  A fun place to gather and share your current needlework project.  Leave me a comment with a link to your post and I'll add your information after my post.  I find this a great way to encourage myself to keep working so I have something new to share with your each week.

My quilt challenge is over, so it is time to push that quilt to the back and pull the Scribbling Women one back to the front.  I'd doesn't mean that I am going to forget about yellow, black and white, I am still dreaming about the perfect border or borders.  I'm thinking multi-pieced 1/2 square triangles, though I need to sketch it out.

Last week I received an email contribution by quilt designer/author Barbara Haworth-Attard.  I added a few images that worked with the quote and that block is ready to go.

For those not familiar with Barb and her design partner Judy, check my post from September 2010 when they visited my local guild and regaled us with their work and stories for over an hour.

On Sunday I visited with my mother. She embroidered me a wonderful dream catcher in the perfect colours to match the quilt.  I had hoped to find a poem written by Canadian poet Tekahionwake/Pauline Johnson.  I like her poem, "The Song My Paddle Sings", but it doesn't really work with the theme of the quilt.  I have decided instead to write a little story about dream catchers. 

I have a few other ideas I am working on for this quilt and hope to share them with you next week.

Marie at Daisy's Book Journal is working on a rain chain.  I had not heard of these before and am curious to see how it all turns out.  She has promised photos in a future post.

Monday, 13 June 2011

What if Red Ran Out?

Not your everyday question.  You ask it in a group, and it goes silent and they look at you wondering what you could possibly mean.  To be honest, I'm not all that sure myself.

I'll go back to the beginning. 

A few weeks ago I received a package of poetry books in the mail from John at The Book Mine Set.  John is the host of the Canadian Book Challenge.  I'd won a contest, and they were the prize.  As I browsed through the books, one of them grabbed my attention and I couldn't put it down.  In fact, I could barely bring myself to turn from the cover and open the slim volume.

I find that I am transfixed by the question asked in the title, What if red ran out.  What does it mean.   Does it ask, what if all those items of everyday life that happen to be red, just stop existing, or is it that they have just lost their perceived colour.  I am leaning toward the second.  What if we couldn't see that a tomato was red, would it still get ripe?  Would we know the burner on the electric stove was hot?  How would you blush?  Would we have to change the colours of our beloved red maple leaf flag?  What if red ran out?
The question is a line from a poem titled Baffled King Collage.  I keep rereading the poem, but as soon as I get to that line, I'm stopped, I can't seem to put it behind me.

I have experienced a world without red. I'm not colourblind or anything like that.  I have been scuba diving, and red is the first colour that you lose as you descend.   Getting technical, red has the longest wavelength, and travels the shortest distance through water.  You can check the article on Wikipedia for details.  At first you don't really notice, but as you go deeper,  you'll notice that what you are looking at just doesn't seem as rich. It all seems flatter.

Would it be like that on land if for some reason the human population lost the ability to see red?

My daughter wrote a post on this question.

Shannon at Illusion esk.

Does this question resonate with you?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts, or better yet, write a post on your blog and send me your link.  I am curious.

What if red ran out by Katia Grubisic.  Katia is the new editor of ARC Poetry Magazine.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Weekend Cooking: What the heck is Chia?

Last week I introduced you to the nutrition and cookbook Whole Foods to Thrive by Brendan Brazier.   While reading the book I was introduced to a number of new to me foods.  One of them is chia.  It is a tiny seed of a plant from the sage family.  What I found most intriguing is that when mixed with liquids it forms a gel.  On top of that is is called a Superfood.   Some facts about chia: high in calcium, alkaline forming, higher protein than any other seed or grain, a complete protein, more potassium than bananas and it keeps you feeling full.  Chia is gluten free. 

Feel free to add a tsp of chia seeds to your morning smoothie to increase creaminess.  Add the chia to the juice, let it set for 15 minutes before putting it into the blender for smoothie making.  You can read more about chia at The Natural News, Chia Seed Recipes, and an online search will turn up hundreds of more sites. 

 I was interested in a recipe that I saw on the Chia Seed Recipes site.  I adapted it to my own ingredients.

4 tbsp chia seeds
1 can (398 ml) lower fat coconut milk

Mix these together in a medium size bowl.  Stir occasionally for the next 15 minutes to keep from clumping.
 These seeds will swell and the outer coating becomes gel like.
 Add 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp carob or cocoa powder.  Mix well.  Don't worry about any dark lumps, as they will dissolve when you let the pudding sit for another 15 minutes or so.  I added 1 tbsp agave syrup for sweetening.  You can choose your own sweetener.
 In this photo there are still some lumps of carob, but they all dissolved.

I served with a sprinkle of coconut.  Very yummy and kept me feeling full for the rest of the evening. 

Margaret came for a visit and left a link to her site Chia Power.
Louise in Australia wrote about her first encounter with chia on her blog Adventrues in a Low GI World.

My daughter Shannon has posted her first post to Weekend Cooking. 

For more food related reading, be sure to visit Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking meme.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Get Caught Listening - June is Audiobook Month

Over the past two years I have been listening to an increasing number of audio books.  It all started one year earlier when I found 'Book Radio' on Sirius (channel 80).  I listened to it everyday while driving my son back and forth to school.  Once I found out that my local library offered online audiobooks I knew I had to figure out how to get those.  It didn't take long to download the free Overdrive Media Console and start downloading audiobooks.  I transfer them over to my ipod touch for easy listening.  Am looking forward to being able to transfer them to my BlackBerry Playbook, but that option is not yet available.

For my summer listening, I will be visiting Audiobook Community.  It is a free online group that works to promote and discuss audiobooks.  You can join in discussions with other listeners, check for new and upcoming releases and even talk about your favourite readers.

Once you sign-up at Audiobook Community, join the group called SYNC: YA listening.  Every two weeks throughout the summer they will be offering a free pairing of audiobooks that you can download and keep.  One is a current publication and the other a classic.  After listening, you are invited to join in the discussion.  Note, each set of books is only available for one week.

Below is the scheduled list of audiobooks:

Available June 23 - June 29

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
Available June 30 - July 6
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
The Trial by Franz Kafka

Available July 7 - July 13
Where the Streets Had a Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah
A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

Available July 14 - July 20
The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
Beowulf by Francis B. Gummere [Trans.]

Available July 21 - July 27
Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Available July 28 - August 3
Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
Rescue: Stories of Survival From Land and Sea by Dorcas S. Miller [Ed.]

Available August 4 - August 10
Immortal by Gillian Shields
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Available August 11 - August 17
Storm Runners by Roland Smith
The Cay by Theodore Taylor

For those who decide to join up at Audiobook Community, please add me, Heather Pearson, as a friend.  I'd love to know what you're listening to and your thoughts.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Free Ebooks from Sourcebooks June 7-13, 2011

My friends at Sourcebooks are at it again.  They have a slate of new books hitting the store shelves today and they didn't want their readers to miss out.  As an enticement to read these books, for a very limited time, they are offering free ebook downloads of earlier works by these authors.    Scroll down to find out about both the new offering and the free books available.  These can be downloaded directly from Sourcebooks, or you can visit your favourite online retailer.

While you are at it, you are invited to become a  CasaVIP member at Sourcebooks.  It's a free group which delivers ebook offers and Romance information direct to your inbasket.

JUNE eBook Deals from Sourcebooks!

New York Times Bestselling Author, Grace Burrowes has the next book in her delightful regency romance series in stores this month: The Soldier. During this exciting time: The Soldier will be $2.99 for 2 weeks (06/07/2011 – 06/20/2011) and The Heir at $0.99 for 5 weeks (05/02/2011 – 06/06/2011)—so get them both while you can!

In honor of Terry Spear’s latest, Heart of the Highland Wolf, hitting stores Seduced by the Wolf will be FREE during the first week of publication of . Terry’s werewolves act like real wolves—including mating for life!

Have you ever met a hero that can purrrrrr? Find one in The Cat Star Chronicles, the out of this world sexy series by Cheryl Brooks! Book 7, Virgin, is in stores now! To celebrate, you can download Outcast for FREE during the first week of publication of Virgin! 06/07/2011 – 06/13/2011 only.

Read my review of Book 6: Hero

It’s Hannah Montana meets Project Runway! Get the first book in this great middle grade series, The Allegra Biscotti Collection, for FREE this week only, and meet Allegra Biscotti, a fabulous and famous fashion designer—only no one knows because she’s actually Emma Rose, and still in junior high! If you love this book, don’t get your threads in knot—book 2, Who What Wear! Is now available.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you could find out HIS side of the story? Matt Dunn, a women’s fiction author who just so happens to be a guy, tells all in The Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook, which is free this week, in honor of Ex-Girlfriends United hitting stores! Did I mention he’s British?!

Christmas in June? Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley is free for one week! Love her awesome wit, hilarious scenarios and super sweet love stories? Her brand new US release, Wish You Were Here is now available!

Did you know Georgette Heyer wrote two Gothic Regency Romances? The Quiet Gentleman is dark, moody, and not what anyone expects! Still craving the frothy, effervescent tone of Heyer? Get one of her most beloved, Cotillion, for free this week!

Thank-you to Sourcebooks for this wonderful assortment of new titles and free downloads.
Cover images courtesy of Sourcebooks.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Needlework Tuesday - The Challenge Unveiled

Welcome to the latest edition of Needlework Tuesday.  I encourage all my readers who have worked on a needlework project in the past week, or those who are needing a bit of encouragement to join me with a post.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your post and I'll add you to this group of happy stitchers.

Last week, I left you partway through my challenge for my local quilt guild.  To learn more about the challenge, check this post from last week.

Work continued at a rather frenzied pace, building to a climax on Sunday afternoon.  Remember, I needed this finished for Monday evening.

Next step was to fill in the gaps left around the edges.  My son suggested using black both for those triangles and for the large corner setting triangles.
 I still needed to fit in the fifth block.  There were very few rules for this challenge, but using five blocks was a major one.  Now, those rules didn't specify that the blocks needed to be 'complete' blocks.

On the paper pattern I drew two lines corner to corner, dividing the block into four new triangles.
This next photo shows how the block would look as designed, and the third photo shows it's new appearance when I 'blew it out of the box'.
 Now they sort of look like a bunch of geese in flight.  Next, to add a few more like size triangles to these, only in the earlier mentioned black....

This piece currently measures about 28 1/2 inches across.  It definitely needs at least one border if not two.  I am thinking of searching for a fabric that has all three colours, though that might be tough unless I want to use Sponge Bob fabric. I would appreciate any suggestions for the border.

I promised that I would show photos of the projects made by the other members of my guild.  They are mostly a very traditional guild that seems to resist change.  They do wonderful work, but it does tend to be 'safe', nothing 'out of the box'.

I don't know who did each piece as we remained anonymous for the viewer's choice voting.
 I did talk with Elsie who pieced this one.  The five blocks are set in the centre, and she has so far surrounded it with three fancy pieced borders.  She plans to add at least one more pieced border and then a wide print fabric one.  This quilt won 1st prize.
Table runners were the obvious choice.  That would never work for me as it would require me to move all the books and stacks of fabric from my coffee table so I could put the runner on it.

The use of the mauve with the yellow and green is very striking.  That runner won 3rd place.  Oh, did I forget to tell you that my quilt won 2nd prize.  Yippee.
Thanks for joining me for Needlework Tuesday and my mini challenge show. 

Did you make progress on your needlework project this week, do you need some encouragement, leave a comment with a link to your post and I'll share it here with all my readers.

I was just over visiting Lady Penguin at her Knitting Knotebook blog, and she has finished the coolest cuffs.  They are from a pattern 'Antique Alice in Wonderland Spats'.