This and that

Monday, October 8, 2012

Butter Tarts and Canadian Thanksgiving

Today, October 8, 2012, the second Monday in October is Canadian Thanksgiving.  Yes, Canada has a thanksgiving and it is in October not November like the American Thanksgiving.  Did you know that 48 years before the pilgrims gave their thanks in 1621, Martin Frobisher an English explorer held a formal ceremony to give thanks for surviving his long journey to Canada.  This ceremony took place in what is known as Newfoundland, in 1578.

The origins of Canadian thanksgiving is more closely connect to the traditions of the European then the Americans.  The Europeans had celebrations to thank for the bountiful harvest for many years and this celebration was in October.  In Canada for a few hundred years, Thanksgiving was celebrated in late October or early November.  It was declared a national holiday in 1879 and at that time November 6th was the day set aside for Thanksgiving. It was on January 31, 1957 that the Canadian Parliament announced that on the second Monday of October, Thanksgiving would be
"A Day of General Thanksgiving to
Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with
which Canada has been be
observed on the second Monday in October."

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving with parades, gatherings of family and friends, pumpkin pies  seasonal products and lots and lots of Turkey.  Now the meals consist of other foods particularly if the family is of non-European descent.  Do you have a tradition that you carry out when you celebrate Thanksgiving? If you do I would like to know.

Growing up my family always had a Thanksgiving meal of turkey with all the trimmings and pumpkin pie.  We would at times either get together with my mom or dad's family or have them over.  Now as we have grown older and have our own family and live in different parts of the country and the world it is harder to get together.  Although the ones that are still living around where we grew up, still get together during the Thanksgiving weekend.

My own celebration of Thanksgiving is kind of hit or miss, depending if I have to work or not.  As my husband is Togolese, we really don't have any tradition. This year I did make a bigger meal of cornish hens and a couple of sides.  I also made Butter Tarts....something that I think is truly Canadian and something that I have been craving for a long time.  I love Butter Tarts and I think this is the first time that my husband tried them and he also said "they aren't bad."

Butter Tarts
adapted for the Lucky Lake Community Rink Cookbook
Pie crust - either bought or homemade
1/3 cup butter (or margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp milk or cream
1 egg, well beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins (or currants)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Makes 12 tarts
Spray muffin tins with Pam. Roll out pie crust and cut into 5 inch circles and place in muffin tins. Prick bottom of dough.  Set muffin tin aside.
In mixing bowl, mix butter and brown sugar together.  Add milk and egg and beat until well mix.  Add vanilla and then mix in raisins.  I measure raisins and let sit in hot water until I am ready to use, drain water and then add to sugar mixture.  Fill tart shells about 2/3 full.
Place in oven, bake for 8 minutes at 450 degree oven.  Reduce heat to 350 degree and continue to bake until pastry is brown.  Enjoy!


information about Thanksgiving:

Links: Sweet Confession Sunday Link PartyFoodie Friends Friday,Freedom FridaysYou're Gonna Love It

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday October 4/12

It is Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party time again!
Are you ready for a great party!
Great Recipes!
Great Sponsors and Giveaways!
Great Bloggers!

This week's party is sponsored by The LoveBug Collection

But first let's look at last week's party and winners

Sponsor Winners

Most Clicks
Cozycakes Cottages Sun-dried Tomato Chicken Spaghetti
Sweet Heat Chefs Swirly Pumpkin Brownies
Sweet Heat Chefs Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Voted Top 3
Cozycakes Cottages - Sun-dried Tomato Chicken Spaghetti
Twirl and Taste Blue Ribbon Cake
Hungry Couple Pumpkin Crumb Cake

Host Favorite
This weeks host favorite goes to Cooking to Perfection - Pumpkin Biscoff Cookies
my post for these cookies... Pumpkin Biscoff Cookies
Foodie Friends Friday
Add Button to your blog

Now onto this week's Party
We are again going to have rafflecopter for the giveaway
Remember to fill out the rafflecoptor to get your name into the giveaway
You do not have to link up a recipe but it will increase your chance.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

When you link up your recipe, it will be linked to all these great blogs.
Foodie Friends Friday
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Lindsey at Family Food Finds
Cindy at Cindys Recipes and Writings
Michelle at  From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
Jodie at Binomial Baker
R Dawn at Spatulas on Parade
Angie at A lil Country Sugar
Erika at Chef Picky Kid
Amber at Mamas Blissful Bites

Please remember to link up your recipes to Foodie Friends Friday
and the host blog that you linked up with.

Pumpkin, Biscoff YUM and in a Cookie.....

When I saw this recipe on last week's Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party... I just knew that I had to make them.  For one thing they had pumpkin, second biscoff and then third I can add whatever my little heart desired to make them mine.  They had everything I loved in a recipe.  And I had to make them right now, no waiting, no hesitating but right now... But first I need to make a quick trip to the grocery store to find some Hershey Pumpkin Spice kisses as that is what I wanted to put on them for sure.... Well, the grocery store didn't have them and I really didn't want to run 14 miles to Wally-world to get them so I thought I would stop in Shopko to see if they by chance had them... SCORE! they did... I did have to buy more then one package and a few other candies... Harvest M&M's and Candy Corn M&M's but those will be used for the next great discovery..
Onto where I found these great morsels... I found them at Cooking to Perfection.

Pumpkin Biscoff Cookies/ This and That #pumpkin #biscoff #cookies

Pumpkin Biscoff Cookies
adapted from Cooking to Perfection
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup biscoff spread
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup turbinado sugar ( I didn't have any brown sugar)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract  
1 cup Pure Pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, pumpkin spice kisses
4 oz cream cheese
2 tsp butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp Oregon Chai Tea Latte Concentrate

* note links on some of the ingredients are so if you haven't seen these ingredients you would know what to look for, they are not where I buy them from.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with baking mats or parchment paper.
In mixing bowl, add butter, biscoff spread and sugars, cream for 1 -2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well.  Mix in Pumpkin making sure to scrape sides and mix thoroughly.
In separate bowl  mix cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt and flour.  Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend until just combined, do not over mix.  Add optional ingredients of cranberries, white and milk chocolate chips.
I added the cranberries and white and milk chocolate chips to half the mixture and left the rest as original.  Drop large tablespoon size dough onto cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes until set (they should not be brown).
If using kisses, unwrap kisses before cookies are ready to come out of the oven and once out place on top of baked cookie pressing slightly. Do this while warm or they won't stay on cookie.  I use the original mixture for the cookies with the kisses on.
Mix icing ingredients together until thoroughly mixed.  Place small amount of icing on top of cookie once cooled.  I iced the plan and some of the cookies that I put the dried cranberries and chips in.  Enjoy, I bet you can't eat just one.

Pumpkin Biscoff Cookies/ This and That #pumpkin #biscoff #cookies

Pumpkin Biscoff Cookies/ This and That #pumpkin #biscoff #cookies

   Til next time <3 <3 <3 Marlys

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Don't Like Porridge!

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I won't touch porridge with a ten foot pole.... Yes, I call it porridge and not oatmeal or hot cereal.  Porridge is all of the hot cereals... oatmeal, cream of wheat or sunny boy. YUCK! I cringe even writing them down who could eat those lumps smothered in milk.  Not me that is for sure but maybe the reason that I don't like oatmeal is because it was made for dad when he went to work and I think he left even before the cows needed milking... and the pot usually stayed on the stove until the rest of us got up and it was LUMPY! Cream of wheat was the same story and Sunny Boy... who could eat something that was brown and had mouse droppings in it... Well that is what it looked like to me (and sorry if I offended anyone).   So, I learnt to sleep in and jump out of bed just in time to get ready and head of to school with my mom saying... You should eat your porridge it will stick to your bones.  Anyone looking at me knows that porridge wasn't the only thing that stuck to my bones.

I do eat breakfast now as I know that it is important for a person but I still won't eat porridge.  I do make it once in awhile for my husband but I can't eat it.  I have seen many recipes for baked oatmeal and this past week I decided to try and to my surprise I liked it.... Funny thing, though my husband wasn't to keen on it, he thought that it should be crunch... HIM, who loves his porridge smothered in evaporated milk and condensed milk, thought it wasn't crunchy enough.  I found this recipe from At Home In The Kitchen and decided to try it... YUM! So good and tasty and good for you too.

Baked Oatmeal with Blueberry Sauce and Peaches
adapted from At Home In The Kitchen

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (melted) or margarine
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, add brown sugar, butter and eggs, mix thoroughly.  Add milk, baking powered, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, mix well.  Add oatmeal and dried cranberries.  Pour in parchment-lined or greased 9 x 9 pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven until golden brown and firm to the touch.  Serve with fruit.

For the blueberry sauce, I placed blueberries (didn't measure ~ approx 1/2 cup) in sauce pan with small amount of water (again didn't measure ~ approximately 1 tsp).  Bring to a boil until thickening.  Thicken with 1 tsp corn starch if needed.  You could also add sugar to taste ~ I didn't add any as they were sweet enough.

I served mine with slices of peaches and the blueberry sauce. 

 The leftover I cut up in bars for a later date or even for a quick breakfast on the run.

til next time <3 <3 <3  Marlys

Monday, October 1, 2012

YOU got mail and it is not bills ~ September Foodie Penpal

I do a lot of blog surfing and one day when I was doing my surfing I came across this picture on their blog:
The Lean Green Bean
Want to join then go HERE
I clicked on it and thought it sounded like a good thing to do, but that is all I did ~ Thought.  In August I found some other blogs that had the same button on them, once again I clicked on them, and this time I did something about it.  AND I am glad I did.  Each month you are given someone's name to send a gift to and someone else has your name.  It was fun getting to know both people and corresponding with them.

This was my first month  and I was able to send my parcel to Desi from SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl.  I enjoyed reading her blog and trying to figure out what I could send her.  As she has some African heritage in her, I asked if she would like some spices that I had received from her and she jumped at that suggestions. So that went into the box and to see what I else I sent her please check out her blog at SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl.

I was matched up with Katie from If I Knew You Were Coming I Would Have Baked a Cake.  When I saw the name on her blog I knew she was my kind of girl... A CAKE... I love CAKE.  Her first email asked me a lot of questions of my likes and dislikes and one of the things that I told her was I would appreciate something that was authentic to where she lived.  I was so excited to open the box when I received it and when I did, I thought I HIT PAY DIRT! Wow the stuff that was in it...... but I also felt slightly guilty as I felt I didn't send very much to my penpal.   Here is what I got from Katie....................

Look at all this good stuff!

That first morning after opening up the package
I had Chai Tea with honey.
I did send Katie a message that I am not sure that
I am happy as she now got me hooked on honey in my tea :)

The next day I had a 4.5 hour drive to a conference
so the SomerSaults came with me to keep me company
and on the road... Along with another cup of Chai and honey!

The Mia's Kitchen Bistro Marinara became part of a dish that
I made.......

it was supposed to be eggplant lasagna but
ended up more like a soup or stew...
But was delicious thanks to the Marinara sauce from

The Almond Butter and Chocolate are still waiting for me, but I have at least 2 more weeks or longer to wait for my next penpal box to arrive and I want to saver every morsel of this one... Katie ~~ Thank you so very much for the box of goodies, you are a great penpal and I hope that I can send you something back down the line.

Would you like to be a Foodie Penpal 
Here are the details from Lindsay's blog (The Lean Green Bean):

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!
***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at to get involved!

The Lean Green Bean
Click on the button if you would like to join Foodie Penpals... It is fun!

I am waiting patiently or maybe just a little impatiently for this coming month to both send my box of goodies to someone and receive another box.
til next time <3 <3 <3  Marlys 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Foodie Friend Friday - Sept 27/12

I am not really sure where the time goes 
but it is time for another 

This week we will be having another great giveaway ~ 3 randomly picked entries will win  canister labels from A Mustard Seed Dream.  We will be using rafflecopter this week for the giveaway.  You do not have to link up a recipe but it will give you another chance of winning. Everyone needs to enter through rafflecopter to have their name put in the draw.  Please take a minute and check out her wonderful blog.

Last Week's Party Winners

Can I boast just a little bit?  This week my link of  Baked Rice with Eggplant and Zucchini received both Voted Top 3 and Most Clicks... Thank you to everyone that checked out my recipe. 
It makes me truly happy! 

Tin Foil Dinner
Italian Wedding Cookies
Roasted Basalmic Zucchini
Vegetarian Chili
and Fan Drawing - Jessica and Tara

Baked Rice with eggplant and zucchini
Vegan Crunch Wrap
Ginger and Lime Sandwich Cookies

Dark Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Truffle
Baked Rice with eggplant and zucchini
Vegan Philly Cheese Steak
Host Favorite
This week's host favorite goes to Vegetarian Momma for her Tomato Soup

Foodie Friends Friday
Please feel free to grab your button from here or go
to Foodie Friends Friday 

My recipe for Homemade Tomato Soup with a twist
Now onto this week party
Foodie Friends Friday
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Lindsey at Family Food Finds
Cindy at Cindys Recipes and Writings
Michelle at  From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
Jodie at Binomial Baker
R Dawn at Spatulas on Parade
Angie at A lil Country Sugar
Erika at Chef Picky Kid

A Giveaway and Rules:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Homemade Tomato Soup with a twist

If you have been following my blog, you will realize that the morning of the party I like to feature one recipe from the previous weeks party.  To feature it,  means that I need to make it.  I prefer to have made it before I feature it.
Last week we had a Vegan Challenge and I thought it would be appropriate to make a vegan recipe. I have to apologize because I did turn this great vegan recipe into non-vegan by using milk as I didn't have any non-dairy milk in the house.  This Tomato soup recipe was linked up by Vegetarian Momma and tasted so good. The secret ingredient is maple syrup.  Would you have ever thought of putting maple syrup in tomato soup? ~ Me neither but it was GREAT!  My recipe is for only one serving and I used garden tomatoes instead of can tomatoes.

Homemade Tomato Soup with a Twist
adapted from Tomato soup

1 tbsp red onion diced                                            
1 tsp oil                                                                      
3/4 cup crushed tomatoes 
1/2 cup milk (dairy or non dairy)                      
1 tsp maple syrup
In small sauce pot, heat oil and saute onion until soft.  Add tomatoes ( I used a combination of red and yellow tomatoes), bring to boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 5-6 minutes.  Add milk and maple syrup and remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before eating.

I enjoyed my soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.

 When there is a chill in the air, soup is the best thing to eat to warm you up and a bowl full of yummy goodness, made from your garden vegetables.... Oh! So! Good!.
til next time <3 <3 <3 Marlys