One woman's insight into her daily life and some 'adventures'.............cooking, collecting, travels etc. With a lil' bit of this and that...........

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall Garden...Summer's gone.

        Fall is here...even though it is one of my favourite seasons......I do get sad that all our beautiful flowers have gone and the green leaves of the trees and bushes have changed colour or fallen off.. The garden is starting to look like a different place.......even though the colours change it is only for a short time and then everything is just plain bare........
        All the time we spent planting, watering and just plain looking after them daily. The garden is like a never ending job.....and then it's gone. Already I'm planning what I could plant or change around the yard in the spring.
        We have lots of squirrels but lately I noticed that the population was down.....a lil' neighbour down the street told me that there is a big Hawk hanging around....and yes I've seen it. So that explains why there are less squirrels. 
        Can't plant too many herbs as our resident Chipmunks snack on them. They are so pesky and annoying but extremely cute and bold I must say ....I know sooner plant my Flat Leaf parsley and they shave it off....so this year I only stuck to planting the Curly parsley. For some reason they don't care for it or thyme, rosemary, and basil.....so those go untouched.
        Yes how could I forget the Raccoon......considering my city of Toronto is known around the world as "Raccoon City'......they are everywhere. Ever since our yard had a lot of shrubbery removed and inter-locking was put in I noticed they haven't been frequenting our yard as much...only to pick up the Crab-apples that fall off the tree. Sometimes we are awoken in the middle of the night by the Raccoon walking around our roof or peeking into the house through the skylights on the roof.......we hear lots of footsteps as I think the Mother Raccoon is teaching her lil' ones how to hunt and annoy the people for food. I'm bad because I sometimes put food out and if my neighbour knew she would scold me...hey they have to live too.

        Even though we put food out for the birdies in the winter the Squirrels and Raccoons are usually the ones who eat more of the food.

This is my very old Antique statue......Dusty Millers, Begonias and Lavender.
This is a very old antique statue from England .......it was given to me by my Sister in-Laws parents who were moving to another city and didn't want to take it .....they tried to match it and purchased another one you see in the background, but it is  newer one and not antique. The Antique one has some Gargoyles on the pedestal and the newer one doesn't.....you can't see them in the photo because of the Lavender Flowers. Sometimes I wonder where did the Antiques statue stand before and what did it see :-). through time.

Newer Statue and my favourite place to sit and think


Bird bath......sorry birdies no water for the winter .

Lillies of the Valley buried someplace under there

Rosemary and Thyme.

Curly Parsley.......this parsley is left behind because the Chipmunk only eats my Italian Flat Leave Parsley.

Dusty Miller and Lavender Flowers.

Succulence plants.


Brides Wreath bush...gorgeous white flowers bloom in the Spring.

Crab-Apple branch coming out on the side of the Crab-Apple tree.

Lonely Maple Leaf.


Begonia.....lots of fallen leaves inside the pot.

 Lillies......my back of the yard is filled with them.

WELCOME sign....in the back fence, I guess for the lil' animal critters.

Primrose bush with seeds from the Ukraine and Turkey, gorgeous hot pink, yellow and white flowers.

Fallen plaques.

Mint...comes out in full bloom every spring.

Crab-apple trees.....not sure who made the nests, birds or squirrels.

Mountain Ash plants peeking in......from neighbor.  We use to have large amounts but interlocking was put in so it's creeping back.

Lilly plant creeping back in....

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed my tour of one section of my backyard.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Zucchini Chili Fries

Do you grow your own ZUCCHINI in the summer and have loads of it.......and have baked muffins, cakes and loaf breads, basically have had enough. Well this is good way to eat them up and it is very low calories and healthy this recipe. Actually I make it all year round....because summer is over and we are into Fall.
 I have a daughter who turns her nose around when she sees zucchini but this dish she inhales....I think it is the chili and garlic that brings out the flavour.

 Ready and coated to go into the oven at 400F.

 Chili Zucchini Fries

3 Zucchinis
Canola or Olive Oil Spray
2 tsp. chili powder
 1/2 salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne

Pre-heat oven to 400.

Cut off ends of zucchini and the cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips.
Cut strips into 3 inch lengths.
Mix all seasonings in bowl and "zucchini fries".
Place on non-stick coated cookie sheet.
Roast  for 15 minutes and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes; You may adjust the seasonings according to your taste.

Roasted and ready to eat.... it is caramelized and crispy.

Ready to serve.

Thanks for stopping by.....Linking to Foodie Friday at;

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chinese Food Anyone?????

 The restaurant inside of many rooms....it's an artificial tree.

     Yesterday we all went to a Chinese Buffet restaurant here in the city.........this one is a huge chain. I've seen some other Buffet places and they didn't seem to be very clean and the food looked like it was sitting there for some time.......This award winning Chinese Buffet is extremely busy so the food goes fast and they are constantly replenishing the pans....and it is so yummy....and a very large assortment of different types of dishes. The service is also good and very friendly, constantly your dirty dishes are whisked away and new napkins come often and your water glass is refilled so as it goes halfway down......it's like being in the East, because they bow quite often and are very hospitable.

     We came here for dinner for two reasons.......firstly it was my husband's some kind of Holiday and secondly I have to start my diet and when I come here I just can't eat plain undressed green salad and some lil' grilled meat. My will power is basically below knee level when I see some yummy food and I have to eat that unsalted, carb-free, fat-free and no sweets....and I'm hungry. The savoury food I can stay away but show me the sweet table and I'm lost.

Salad Bar 

     It was interesting sitting at the table and watching he people around....next to us was a husband and wife. They were sitting at a table set for six and I figured out they were waiting for someone. Later their daughter came along with her new boyfriend as I heard her introduce him to her parents...... as I was sitting there I could hear the daughter's boyfriend with a heavy accent explain that he is from India and doesn't eat meat and has never been to this restaurant and wasn't sure of Chinese food.....but this place really doesn't have Chinese food to the extreme, basically it is Americanized. Then they were explaining to him there were veggies there he could have. Sometime later they still weren't getting their food and then the son showed up with his new girlfriend as again he introduced her to the parents......well this girl was wearing a wool cap with this huge furry band around her forehead.....and it looked like she should have been in a snow blizzard, well through the whole dinner she sat and ate with that silly hat on. ....and it happened to be a warm day that night. But I guess she loved her hat.

 Seafood on ice.

     The other table on our other side was an older couple......the man had 4 huge plates piled high of whatever they had at the restaurant and for dessert he went for three helpings. His wife did the same, they sure were hungry. Very nice couple they tried to talk to us and told us that they were empty nesters and liked to come here at least once a week........and then go to the Mall across the street for some coffee. It was like a weekly routine for them....I guess I can look forward to this when I become an empty nester.
     Behind us a table of people were celebrating a worker's birthday from an office.........about a dozen or so of them, very noisy but they were all having loads of fun and gossiping away and snapping photos.    
     In front of us was a table of  about eight women with each one had two to three kids each and boy were they loud.......the waiters kept coming and telling them to be a lil' more quiet as I guess someone was complaining....and I noticed the kids were running around and grabbing serving spoons off the buffet tables. The Mother's were just gabbing away in their own language, which I believe was Somalian and I think they were there to celebrate their Holy Holiday Of Eid, not sure though.

     This was my experience at the restaurant last night.....it sure wasn't a nice quiet dinner but usually this place isn't except we like the food and great assortment of everything and clean and that's why we go there.


 Salad and Veggie Bar.

 Watermelon and honey dew.


 Spring rolls.


Thanks for stopping by...linked to; http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.ca/

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rain and Fallen Leaves

FALL is one of my favourite seasons.........but not when it gets dark around 4 pm in the afternoon. It so dreads into a very long evening and night. But I do like the cooler temperatures.

The least favourite is raking the leaves........we have this huge Maple tree in the backyard along with about six very old and tall Crab Apple trees so the raking never ends. The Crab Apple tree drops bushels of apples on the ground.....most we don't rake because the squirrels and raccoons do most of the cleaning up for us. My husband tries not too rake so often so the little critters can have some snacks.

I see the squirrels digging and digging non-stop hiding their snacks.......then in the spring when my husband is digging up the soil for summer plantings we find all sorts of goodies, dried up crab apples, pine cones, peanuts, etc.......I'm sure with hiding so may snacks I don't think they can remember where they had dug them.

Today it rained 'cats and dogs'........oh let me tell you my bones were not good. I was in pain but still managed to get around. This rain was much needed......and after rainfall a lot more leaves fall off the trees.

As I look at my neighbour across the street he doesn't have one leave on his lawn.....and no he doesn't rake at all. It's because the wind blows in our direction and I swear the leaves come from way down the street. I know this is so because I see red Maple leaves and there are none near my house but down the street. Our neighbour is not very handy so he never rakes..... which makes his leaves on his lawn blown over  on our lawn also.....this year he has gotten some gardeners so I see a cleaner front yard on our side.

Hope you all have a good Fall season.........

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sigara Peynir Borek . Turkish Spring Roll

These lil' Cheese Boreks or my friends call them Turkish Spring rolls  are my husband's favorite food from childhood.....they are filled with cheese and herbs.
Boreks are one of the great indulgences of Turkish cuisine – comforting and satisfying. You never can visit anyone's home with the hostess not having any Borek homemade to offer.
Through the years I've noticed on my visits that there have popped a lot of little Borek Shops only making  Boreks, any shape and filling you can think of.....all freshly made daily. There are square shapes, round, triangle and rolled....
These are great as a snack before dinner or they love them there with some Turkish tea a for breakfast.

Crumbled Feta Cheese

2 cups of Feta, crumbled
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
1/2 cup fresh dill chopped
Canola Oil for sauteing

Combine cheese, feta and parsley together.

Roll them up in the pastry leaves and fry with the seam down for a few minutes till golden in a skillet with oil......be sure and turn them around to get an even golden color. They fry very quickly so keep watching them. Put on paper towel when golden  to soak up the extra oils.

**** They can also be filled with spinach and cheese or mince meat with onions and tomato.

****Alternatively...you can brush with with some butter or oil and put on a sheet and bake for 15 min. at 375......till golden.

These little triangle pastry leaves can be ordered on line from


Italian Flat Leave Parsley.

Feta Cheese mixed with the chopped Dill and parsley.

Wet the tip of the pastry with a touch of water to seal the Boreks tight.

Rolled and waiting to be sauteed.

Sauteing in the pan.

Turkish Tea....Cay.

Ready to eat.

Turkish Tea (cay) with a dab of yogurt to dip.

Fall Cabbage Flower.
 Thanks for stopping by....

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