Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Quebec City Joy

As a small child my mom would take me to Quebec City for weekends.

It was the 70's and I had a hat with a huge pompom made of navy and kelly green phentex. I remember the clean crisp air, sleeping in a small inn called the Old Homestead Inn. Actually it is the Old Homestead Hotel on Ste-Anne Street accross fom the Chateau Champlain.

Fast forward a couple of years: My dad had a work conference at the Chateau Champlain and he took us. I remember thinking that it was not that luxurious and I was missing the Old Homestead!

Next door a guy was chain smoking cigars, the smoke was wafting through the communicating door...and you would hear the toilet flushing each and every time!

My favorite was to enjoy Quebec City is by walking along the steets of the Basse Ville (lower city) and Le Petit Champlain.

Le Petit Champlain is actually were the city of Quebec was first established.

                                             It reminds me of Paris with snow.
                                              The word that describes Quebec City the best in
                                     my opinion is charming .                                 
                                             Everywhere you look are quaint little shops and restaurants.
                                             Cure B&Bs.
                                             I was so sure it would be all touristy trap but
                                              I was pleasantly surprised!
                                             We had a great supper at a french bistro called
                                              Au Cochon Dingue (the crazy pig), the food was
                                              great and affordable and you can read my review
                                              in trip advisor.
                                            The view was not so geat from the hotel but
                                            it was clean and the staff friendly!

                                            We're already plotting to go back! lol!
                                             We will go back to Au Cochon Dingue and I will have the
                                              Maple Glazed ribs with potato skins, oh yes!
                                             Now time for Cuthroat Kitchen!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cheesy Goodness (in PYREX)

Once in a while a recipe catches my eye and the other when Dan dumped a little booklet on the dining room table with the words : Hey I found those recipes, you might like them....

Those were Easter type recipes and we don't do Easter (we celebrate the holiday, we pray and we usually eat some ham but that is about it)  .

The recipe that really caught my eye was the Cheesy Baked Quinoa.

Here goes

3 tbsp butter divided 
8 cups baby spinach,kale or augula leaves (I used about half a bunch of kale and after I threw in some thawed frozen squeezed dry spinach)
1 leek white part only finely chopped (used an onion here)
1 1/2 cups whole grain quinoa insed and drained.
2 1/2 cups educed sodium chicken broth,divided
1/2 cup 36% whipping cream
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 cups grated medium old cheddar cheese (I used Kraft Cracker Barrel orange medium old cheddar because I want FLAVOUR not just gooyee cheese)

Preheat oven to 350F (180 C)

Heat 1 tbsp butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. add kale or spinach and saute 2 tp 3 minutes or until just wilted, transfer to a boel and set aside.
Add remaining butter and leek or onion and saute for 4 o 5 minutes until golden.
Stir in quinoa until well coated. Aad 2 cups chicken broth. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until most of the fluid is absorbed. This took me more like 15 ish 20 minutes.
Whisk remaining both with cream, mustard and pepper. Stir in quinoa mixture along with reserved kale or spinach and 1 cup cheese. Pour in Pyrex dish if desired.
Smooth top.
Bake, uncovered for  15 minutes and sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake another 15 minutes until bubbly.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

                                It made quite a lot and was delicious! No, really...
                                it was even good room temp!
                                I will freeze this dish for another day....

                                Oh and the bonus is it is gluten free.
                               I serve it with leftove fish but they mention it would be great with chicken or ham


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Thifty JOY

Now thrifting has been dismall and my energy has been LOW.

We're having a NEVER ending winter...and even has another 6 inches of snow today! SIGH

I try my very hardest to stay upbeat and positive, this weather is getting real old.

But on the up side, we had 2 roadtrips in 2 weeks! SWEET!!!

Now first one with my step daughter Vero was in Québec city and I will share those pictures later.

Quebec city is truly a world treasure, a slice of old France! FANTASTIC!

But yesterday we went to NY state on a cat food shopping expedition! Rachael Ray just came out with Nutrish dry cat food (Not available in Canada) and my cats are just crazy about it. We had a Massena/Cornwall expedition about a month ago.

We started by going to Salaberry De Valleyfield which is not too far from Fort Covington NY.

I have to give MEGA PROPS to the Fort Covington population for the huge number of blowmolds in your yards! Santas, Snowmen, Mother Claus, Santa and reindeers with sleigh, Choir boys and girls and Nativity scenes.

I regret not taking my camera. I only had my Iphone and even if the roaming was turned off I am terrified of being charged with crazy charges from AT&T; so the  phone was off.

We got all our shopping in Malone (Price Chopper and Rite Aid) so we were free to roam as we wanted....

We decided to go to Saranac Lake and Lake Placid; 2 of my favorite places. For some reason I feel good vibes there.

Saranac Lake is hippish ,shabby and creative....Lake Placid feels comfy with a snobbish edge and has outlets!

We shopped but besides groceries, didn't buy anything because of the duty restrictions.

Well the border patrol doesn't have a restriction about thrift shops....Good for me

Here's what a got

                                            A cool turquoise green vase $1 and 2 little Pyrex dishes

                                              The stamp under says  Pyrex Double Tough.
                                              Those are obviously restaurant ware and at that thrift
                                              shop there was a lot of it, but I only bought 2.

                                              I used them for slaw tonight

                                              Nighty night !

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


While window shopping I spotted something adorable....

And I totally have a bed sheet addiction, let's face it an addiction about all things linen....sheet, duvet covers, towels.....

 Want a closer look?
 This kitty is sooooo lifelike!
 All sweet and innocent!
I really liked it and wanted it...
But I decided to save my hard earned dollars...
Because why would I want a picture of a kitty cat on my duvet cover....
When I can have the real thing?
Flannel and kitties....A match made in heaven!
Sleep tight.....Bob is waiting!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cold medicine

Now if you're still in the midst of cold I am....

You might need these 2 go to recipes to help you go through a cold.

1st one: Onion Juice.

Now we call it onion juice but it is more onion broth. You take 2 onions, cut them in half and place them in a medium casserole, cover them with water , bring to a boil and simmer gently about 30 min.

Now I don't even bother to put this in the fridge. The onion halves will continue to steep in it and in a maximun of 2 days you will have drunk it all. It is great if you feel you have chest or sinus congestion. It will clean you out too.

Now for the second one: Onion and garlic syrup

                                         You take a Mason jar and you fill it with chopped onion and garlic. I took a 2 cups (500ml ) jar for this. After you drizzle honey in it; it will take at least one cup to have everything covered. Let it steep on the counter overnight. In the morning, strain and keep in a jar in the fridge. You need to take one to two tablespoons in the morning and at night.

We've tested these recipes and they work well.

My Dad just had a baaaaad cold and I was worried because he has COPD. I told him about the onion broth and now he raves about it! Cleared most of the congestion in 48 hours.

Now about the last post....

I don't think I mentionned that everything was thrifted!

                                             The turquoise pitcher 75 cents in Brockville, Ont.
                                              The large seasshell was a gift, the smaller one I got as
                                              a twofer at Value Village for $1.99. The Yankee Candle was $1, new -                                              unused at a garage sale, the big ashtray was a gift as well
                                   and the needlepoint frame was a big ol'quarter at the church basement .
                                   Now just how sweet is that???

I've got to go, SNL is on!
Be well my thrifty friends

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A change

I took a day off today to take care of some business.

And while waiting for the tech to show up....I was able to clean the pantry, the liquid shelf (were the oils,vinegar, soya sauce and assorted liquid condiments live including Tabascos, nuoc mam-fish sauce, Chinese cooking wine)

I also went through the spice shelf. I am very proud of what I did. There never seems to be any time on the weekends....sigh

I also did a bit of decorating

                                             The lighting is always really bad in this corner.
 Sorry . After the Xmas stuff was packed up, I was looking for some decorating
ideas. And then came the 0.75 cents pitcher.....
                                              It is a soft turquoise, not robin egg...a bit darker
                                                 I will take sharper pics and maybe someone can help me identify it.

                                            This is my last thrifty find from last weekend.
                                                    I saw it and had to have it...A North Pole     
                                                    NY glass. It was so dirty I could not pose it before.

                                             I figured it was about time I got a Xmas vintage glass!

                                            This is it for tonight. We ae being whipped left and right by
                                             a late winter snow storm...We are expecting about a foot of snow;
                                            oh well, we do live in Quebec!

                                            Sleep tight!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Out Thrifting!

Do you know just how excited I am to write about thrifting?

My oh my! There was such a thrift drought!!!

Yesterday we were heading west bright and early....

I was out to kill 2 birds with one stone, at least! First thrifting, second a car ride, third Swiss Chalet !!!

Swiss Chalet was on my 2014 restaurant bucket list. It is a canadian rotisserie chicken chain that we had in Québec but along with Red Lobster, Ponderosa and Montana's they eventually packed up and left.

It seems that Quebecers are particular....Well I've been missing Swiss Chalet for quite a while and what passes as rotisserie chicken here; St-Hubert; just left me wanting....

                                           The pitcher I found in Brockville.
                                            The Un-Candles and the hand mixer in Gananoque
                                          Cute cake Easter decor from Wilton
                                          And graduation cake decor!
I was really excited to find the Un-Candles unsed in their original box with wicks and everything!
I have been wanting some since I was a kid. I emember the ads on tv.

Of course they didn't fit in my parents Classic/Napoleon/ Renaissance no Un-Candles

They were quite a steel at $2.00.

As for my lunch; the fries tasted just as I remembered and so was the sauce, the chicken was really tasty and so were the ribs (we shared).

So It is really hard for me to say and I might even be disowned as a bonified Quebecer but I prefer Swiss Chalet over St-Hubert bbq!!! Now I said it! Amen!

            The plan was to take pictues before digging in!!!  
Next post more pictures and stories from the road trip :)
Have a great Sunday night!!!