Monthly Archives: June 2012

Canada Day Cake at the beach.

Canada Day Cake at the beach.

We decided to spend the afternoon at the lake today.  For some reason, oh yes, the butter was sitting out and very soft…I felt I really had to make a cake to take.  To the beach.  For Canada day (weekend).  I had thought about trying to make a polka dot cake…it needs a little work, but this is what I tried:

Mix up a pound cake recipe.  Scoop out some batter and tint it red and leave the rest white.  Spread some white batter in the bottom of the loaf pan.  Put the rest of the white batter into a plastic baggie and snip off the end. (I set the baggies into cups and things to fill them and then hold them up).

Do the same for the red batter, then squeeze out some red lines onto the white batter in the pan.Then squeeze out some lines of white batter to cover up the red lines, trying not to smush the red lines too much.  Then add another layer of red lines.I tried out this plaid type pattern on the top of the cake, but when baked it just spread out into a red layer:When it was baked and flipped out of the pan, this is what the top looked like (it’s setting on it’s side):I pulled the cake out of the oven, tossed it on a cutting board and carried it off to the lake!!  The whole van smelled wonderful!  This is what it looked like when sliced into….not exactly what I had imagined, but still cool…I’ll need to work on the technique to get a more uniform spottiness!!Ahhh….Cake by the Lake!(After eating some cake)  My friend gave me some pointers on how to use my camera (which I badly needed), so I was practicing snapping some photos and was pleased with these pics of our day at the lake:Happy Canada Day Friends!!!

Canada Day, some other ones…


A few snapshots from past Canada days….sometimes we are in the city, my parents’ city, our cousins’ town or even out at camp…it seems to  be different every year.  🙂

Canada Day T-shirts…with robots!


Canada Day is coming up this weekend!!  Here’s our first project for Canada Day:  T-shirts.  There are so many fun designs and ideas for patriotic t-shirts…I’d like to try them all!  (I say “our” project, but I didn’t acutally let the kids help!  We were going to let the kids draw on the shirts, but then decided not to, ha!)

We went for a Robot theme for the shirts, since we were having a robot party….(I’ll post about that later).

I found some free retro robot vector files on  OpenGraphicDesign which I used for one of the designs, which you can dowload at the end of this post!  For the other designs, I used the digital kit Itty Bitty Robots by Mindy Terasawa (personal use only).

T-shirt transfers are easy to make with transfer paper.  I bought this stuff 3 years ago, and it’s still working fine!  When you make a design on your computer, you just need to flip the design before you print it out on the transfer paper.  Then cut it out and iron it onto your t-shirt!  (100% cotton works best).Here’s one of the designs the kids could choose from:And some cute ones (back and front designs) for the little girls:Does that remind anyone else of my favorite robot ever?  Rolie Polie Olie!!  (and the time Pappy lost his happy gear….)the front design:Here are the crazy bots with their new t-shirts on!And here’s the t-shirt design that I have for you to print and use today:The zipped file has two pages in it…one with one of the above designs on, and one page with 3 designs on.   They are for a regular 8 1/2×11 size paper, and the designs are already flipped backwards for you, so they are ready to print onto the transfer paper.  Please just use them for your personal use!!  You can dowload the print-ready image HERE!!  Get ready to celebrate Canada Day, all you Canucks and Canadian-lovers! 🙂

Smiley Face Cookies for the last day of school


Since I’m running short on time for this, and they say a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a couple million words for you in these photos!!

Homemade Yogurt Sherbet

Homemade Yogurt Sherbet

This lovely dessert takes me right back to my childhood, when we called it sherbert and Mom made it from her home-made yogurt!  I’ve always called it sherbert (sounds kinda like Ernie & Bert, another instance of childhood memorabilia!) but then started doubting the name…so I looked it up on wikipedia of course!

“In the United States, sorbet and sherbet (where it is often pronounced /ˈʃɜrbərt/[2][3] and sometimes spelled sherbert) are different products. For Americans, sherbet is the more widely known term and typically designates a fruity flavored frozen dairy product with a butterfat content between 1% and 2%. Sorbet, on the other hand, is considered by Americans to be a fruity frozen product with no dairy content, similar to Italian ice.”

So there we go, I can go on freely calling it sherbert, since I did grow up with Americans 😉  Oh wait!! I had to buzz back to wikipedia to see if I was spelling yogurt right, since I kept wanting to spell it with an “h”….and just for your informative pleasure, here it is:

“In English, there are several variations of the spelling of the word, including yogurt, yoghurt, yoghourt, yogourt, yaghourt, yoghurd, joghourt, and jogourt. In the United Kingdom and Australia, yogurt and yoghurt are both current, yoghurt being more common while yogurt is used by the Australian and British dairy councils, and yoghourt is an uncommon alternative. In the United States, yogurt is the usual spelling and yoghurt a minor variant. In New Zealand, yoghurt is preferred by the New Zealand Oxford Dictionary. In Canada, yogurt is most common among English speakers, but many brands use yogourt, since it is an acceptable spelling in both English and French, the official languages of Canada.”

I know that’s waaaay more than you ever wanted to know about spelling yogurt, but I guess I must be rather geeky, because it interests me, and since I can put anything I want on here, I’ll keep on with the spelling trivia!! haha!  You just never know when you’ll have occasion to remember this informative post!

Anyways, back to the 1980’s, when I was (very) young and my Mom had her own yogurt making machine….we lived in Guatemala and at that time we couldn’t buy yogurt at the supermarket (or any market that I remember), so my mom would make it herself.  I was just wishing I had one of those little machines the other day… ok ok, I know that there’s a method of making yogurt w/o a machine, but didn’t want to go that far!

The other day, and for the first time since I’ve lived in Canada, I decided to make my mom’s old recipe.  It was a nostalgic moment for me, buying good ole Tang at the store!  We eat a lot of Greek yogurt at our house, so that was already in the fridge.  Here are the rest of the ingredients:Eggs, unflavored yogurt, white corn syrup and Tang, that’s all!  (if you can’t get Tang, or just for a “healthier” version, just substitute 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of lime or lemon juice for the package of Tang).

Homemade Yogurt Sherbert Recipe:

(makes about 6 small servings)

3 eggs

1/3 cup light corn syrup (that’s the white or clear syrup, not the golden)

2 cups plain yogurt

1 package Tang drink crystals OR  1/2 cup white sugar and 1/3 cup lime or lemon or orange juice


Mix all ingredients, by hand with a whisk or a mixer, in a bowl.

Beat well!Pour the “batter” into a cake pan and then set it in the freezer.When it’s frozen almost to the middle, scoop it back into the mixing bowl and beat well (again!)Return to the freezer and freeze completely!  Keep checking it, as I find that there’s a “perfect” moment to eat it, when it’s not quite frozen solid!  It is fairly creamy tasting and I can’t guarentee that you (or your kids!) will like it, but if you love yogurt, I think you just might like it!  I surely do.

P.S. I just wanted to mention that if this sherbet is made with Greek yogurt, it has LOTS of protein in it!!  Great for pairing with a low protein dinner….

Fascinating Fred


I’m fascinated by Fred, not just any Fred, though….oh wait, maybe I should have said Freds.  There are two Freds that have captured my attention.  I was just going to post about one Fred, and the day I was doing the “Fred photoshoot” I just happened to see my other favorite Fred on TV, so I guess I should include him here, too.

The first Fred is my new kitchen favorite.  One day, on some website or other, I saw the cutest measuring cups…I really really liked them and dreamed about owning them.  Many many months later I found the same measuring cups at our local Winners store (that’s like Ross in the USA, I think) and I was so excited!  They were a much better price than online, so I quickly bought them and their matching measuring spoons (maybe it was for my birthday?).  Now my kitchen is made cheerful by these cute little matryoshka dollies!!  Have I ever mentioned that I love matryoshka dollies?  Because I do!  They are just too cute.When you pull these dollies apart, each half section is a measuring cup: 1 cup, half a cup, fourth, etc. They were very nice models to photograph, they sat quite still and didn’t complain at all.Aren’t they cute?  I guess by now you’ve guessed that Fred is the maker of cool kitchen stuff!!Here are some more cool things that Fred has produced for the rockin’ kitchen (not mine, just for you to drool over the coolness):Spoons and …..drumsticks!!!  A great gift for your favorite musical chef!Fred seems to make a lot of different ice cube trays.  Here are some cool guitar ones, complete with stir stix:

And the other Fred?  Oh yes, he’s always been a big favorite of mine!!  The super-talented Fred Astaire!!  There’s nothing like his dance on the walls and ceiling!!