Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sky Watch Friday..........

I know I am two days late.........never mind!!! I bought a new camera today a S51S Power Shot Canon Camera, so wanted to try it out.

These photo's were taken at around 7pm from our back yard.

Click here for more sky watch photos.

FOF for August 31st.........

I popped into A & P for a few things that I forgot yesterday, so of course tried to get some things for free as well. Below is what I got and if I had, had to buy those items would have cost me $13.77. I spent $16.24.

I have had a couple of questions about what FOF is. FOF stands for Its Fresh or It's Free. So basically if I find something expired on the shelves, I get the same item that is fresh (not expired) for free. Now I do have to spend the equivalent in regular groceries.

This only applies to a certain chain of stores in Canada, A & P, Dominion, Ultra Food & Drug. Now that have decided to stop this programme, the reason being, this was taken from their site:

July 28, 2008
Dear Valued Customer:

Effective September 4, 2008, the Fresh or Free Guarantee will no longer be in effect. As of that date, no free or replacement product will be offered at store level for products formerly covered under this guarantee.

Launched in 2002, the Fresh or Free Guarantee helped us achieve new standards in operational practices. It defined our Stores as community leaders in fresh excellence.

After six years, the standards we set for freshness have been met and we are moving on to pursue new programs to express our retail leadership.

To meet the needs of our Customers, we will continue with our Satisfaction Guarantee which is reflected in our return policy.

Stay tuned for exciting new programs launching this fall!

Now what is really funny about all this is that every time I go into the store I find expired things on the shelf. And you know what is really, really see I got another can of coffee for free again today.......well one of the cans of coffee I pulled of the shelf yesterday that had expired last October, they went and put back on the shelf. So I saw that, pulled it back off the shelf and got another fresh not expired can of coffee for free!!!! I will miss this programme as it basically doubles my grocery money, oh well it was good while it lasted.

Will I shop at A & P after the programme ends...heck no.....their grocery prices are higher than the cheaper stores and not when so much stock is expired, despite them reaching their freshness goals ;0) LOL

Tomorrow's post is more about the month of August grocery shopping.

Tuna Macaroni Casserole

I posted this site the other day and decided to make this recipe from there. Its basically a jazzed up mac and cheese but we enjoyed it as it made a change.

Ingredients (serves 4)
145g (1 cup) macaroni pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups skim milk
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1/2 cup grated light tasty cheese
185g can tuna in spring water, drained
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 cup wholegrain breadcrumbs

Pop pasta into boiling water and cook until ready.

Put butter in a pan along with the chopped onion and cook until soft.

Add flour, and stir for a minute.

Gradually add milk, stirring all the time to make a white sauce.

Add mustard:

Add tuna:

Add Cheese:

Add parsley:

Add cooked and drained pasta:

I then had a brain wave, as I didn't have any old bread for breadcrumbs, but I did have some wholewheat Ritz chips. So I crushed some of those up and used them instead of the breadcrumbs.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a 180o C or 350 oF oven, until golden brown. Serve with garlic bread, steamed vegetables or a salad.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

FOF for August 30th.........

Well its the last week for FOF-ing so figured I had better get some last minute shopping in. Did pretty well today and got $44.25 in free items, see below, including that 2 litre of Olive Oil.

I have been buying dh's Glucosamine and Chondroitin pills to go against the free stuff. I now have enough coffee also to take me into next year.

I spent $44.58 today and had $44.25 in FOF items.

We saw Celine Dion in Concert on Thursday night.......

and she was good, I mean really good. We bought the tickets last November and paid the most we have ever had for a ticket at $211.50 each. However we had great seats and they were worth every penny. I had hoped to take some photo's of the outside of the Air Canada Centre but there was construction everywhere, as they are building condos all around it.

Her opening act was a guy named Gordie Brown. Now I have to say I have never heard of him, but he was the best opening act we have ever seen. He was a comedian and an impersonator, and he was good. He had the audience in stitches and we all stood up and clapped at the end of his act.

The photo below is of him impersonating Elton John.

When Celine came on the whole place was on their feet. She can sing and other than the chest thumping thing that she does you can't fault her. Her voice is as good as on her Cd's.

She had a square stage and she rose up out of the middle to start her show. In costume one, which was my favourite.

Where the band was located, those sections also rose and lowered which was pretty neat.

It also had a moving floor, like the ones you see in airports. The dancers did some nifty moves on that floor.

As I said the stage was square in the middle of the Air Canada Centre, basically in the middle of the ice rink, as that's where the Toronto Maple Leafs play and the Raptors. There were two arms extending out of it and we were sitting pretty close to one of the arms. Both Celine and the dancers kept coming to the end of the arms, so we got a great view of her.

Now this is Celine in her second outfit, wasn't keen on this one.

This was her third outfit, wasn't keen on this one either.

It was the shoes/legging/strap things on this outfit that was weird.

This is what she wore on her 1st encore and it was a lovely dress, unfortunately she didn't face our way so I had to take a photo of her on the jumbo-tron.

Her 2nd encore she sang the song from Titanic Now I didn't take a photo of this outfit, as I took a video instead. Now as ds points out if I post it on this blog, I could get into trouble. I didn't like this outfit either, it was a black floaty dress.

I sound like the fashion police don't I...LOL However as I said at the beginning, you can't fault her voice she has a lovely voice.

The only downside to the night was going home. It should have only taken us 30 to 40 minutes and it took us 1 1/2 hours to get home, as Highway 427 was down to one lane due to roadworks, however you first had to get three lanes to go into one lane. Whose ever bright idea that was wants fired, as not only was their a Celine Dion concert on, there was a concert on at Molsen Amphitheatre, plus the CNE is on, and the Chinese Lantern Festival at Ontario Place. The roads were busy, we were not impressed.

Then on our highway to get home the new part where Daisy (GPS system) always has a hissy fit that too was closed off, so we had to make a detour there. Luckily we had turned Daisy off as neither of us were in the mood to hear her wittering on!!!!

Despite that we had a super night. If any of you get a chance to see her in concert do, its well worth the money, and I am not a big fan of hers normally.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sorry and a little quiz, for the end of the week

I promise tomorrow's post will be special..........sorry about today's!!!

*****I wanted to tell you about my new favourite site Tip Nut If you do nothing else today, do check out this site it has a wealth of information on it. ******

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Speed test

Here is a hint about what tomorrow's post will be about:

click on the photo to enlarge

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Homemade Fabric Softener Recipes.......

is something I want to make next. I do have a couple of bottles of Downy left, so will use that up first. I have found a few different ones online, so wanted to post them, and wanted to ask if any of you had tried one of these recipes, and with what results?

As an update: I am loving the homemade laundry detergent, so that's a keeper. Hoping to have the same success with the fabric softener.

The first one is from Recipe Zaar

1 cup baking soda
6 cups distilled white vinegar
8 cups water
10-15 drops orange essential oils (optional) or lemon essential oils (optional) or essential oils, of choice (optional)

1You will need a one gallon container.
2First add the baking soda to the plastic container.
3Next add 1 cup of water to start with.
4Slowly add the vinegar to the bottle as the vinegar and baking soda will start to fizz.
5Then add the rest of the water swirling around & cover venting the top a few times.
6Last add the essential oil.
7Add 1 cup in your final rinse cycle for each load but give the bottle a good shake to stir up the essential oil if using.


Here is another one from Tip Nut

Homemade Fabric Softener Recipe:

1 part Vinegar
1 part Baking Soda
2 parts Hot Water

Place a pail large enough to hold double the amount of ingredients in the kitchen sink or bathtub. Mix the baking soda and water in the pail, stir till the powder is dissolved. Then add the vinegar. Remember that baking soda and vinegar reacts with fizzing, so use a big pail to account for this. Once it’s stopped fizzing, pour into clean bottles, cap, then use 1/4 cup per rinse cycle.
Updated Info: The baking soda won’t be completely dissolved, just shake the bottle to mix the batch up before adding to the rinse cycle.

This one has a video that you can watch, which is really neat, but you do have to have a Downy Ball, so that could be the downside to this, here is the link.

2 Cups White Vinegar
2 Cups Baking Soda
4 Cups Water

Combine slowly and carefully over sink.

Pour into plastic bottle, cover, and shake.

Use 1/4 cup in the final rinse or in a "Downy Ball".

So if anyone has used any one of these recipes please leave a comment. I will try and make a batch of this and will report back.

*********I made the first recipe and used it on my darks and it works. Because I have a front loader machine I had to use a "Downy Ball", but am pretty pleased with the results. I didn't add any essential oils, so there is no smell. My laundry seemed soft and I hung it out to dry and it was fine.

I will say it cost approximately $1.50 to make (I am guessing) and there were at least 14 cups of liquid and if you use a 1/4 cup of liquid per load you have at least 56 loads per batch. Which works out at just over 2.5 cents per load. I will keep using this to see how it goes. I had meant to make the last recipe, but forgot about it.************

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

50 + 1 recipes for Cabbage.....

The fourth in a series of recipes, this week on cabbage.......

1. Cheats Version of Cabbage Rolls

2. My Mother's Coleslaw

3. Pork Loin & Cabbage

4. Pork Cabbage Saute

5. Pork and Cabbage Spaghetti

6. Pork Sausage and Cabbage Pita

7. Cabbage Bake

8. Cabbage and Rice Casserole

9. Cabbage & Potatoes

10. Cabbage & Noodles

11. Smoked Fish Over Creamy Cabbage

12. Seafood Cabbage Pancakes

13. Basmati Rice-Stuffed Cabbage

14. Crockpot Corned Beef & Cabbage

15. Norway Cabbage

16. No Cook Chicken & Cabbage Salad

17. Fried Cabbage Recipes

18. Bacon Stuffed Cabbage

19. Creamy Cabbage Casserole

20. Curried Cabbage

21. Scalloped Cabbage

22. Swedish Red Cabbage

23. Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage

24. Irish Bacon and Cabbage Soup not sure why the bacon must be Irish........

25. Fried Cabbage Texas Style

26. Southern Fried Cabbage

27. Ramen Cabbage Salad

28. Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage Salad

29. Beef & Cabbage Pie

30. Beet Cabbage Relish

31. Brigitte's Cabbage Casserole

32. Cabbage Bean Soup

33. Cabbage Loaf

34. Cabbage Patch Soup/Stew

35. Cabbage Potatoes & Peas Molagootal

36. Cabbage Orzo & Sausage Soup

37. Chicken Fricassee With Red Cabbage

38. Haricot Beans with Cabbage (Fagioli con le Verze) What are Haricot Beans, read here. What are Lardons of Bacon, read here.

39. DeeAnn's Cheesy Bacon Cabbage

40. Carrot and Lentil Soup

41. Scottish Potato, Cabbage and Cheese Bake I am quite sure Canadian or US potatoes will be fine also!!!

42. Cabbage Turnovers I have always said, we British will put anything in a crust and bake it, or put it between two slices of buttered bread, and this recipe proves this point!!

43. Whole Stuffed Cabbage

44. Vichy Cabbage

45. Beef & Cabbage Stir Fry

46. Pork chops with sauteed cabbage & mustard sauce

47. Baked brie with braised cabbage

48. Horseradish and Cabbage Mash

49. Cabbage with Split Peas

50. Noodle Cakes With Bacon and Egg

51. Snapper with Apple and Cabbage

Hope you'll try some of the recipes, next week it is onions.

Nutrition Facts for Cabbage

Serving Size: (100 grams)
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 24

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 18mg 0%
Total Carboydrates 6g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 4g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 3%
Vitamin C 53%
Iron 3%
Calcium 4%

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tomatoes.......what a sorry sight they are.....lots of questions for you.....

Finally I have a beefsteak tomato that is ripe, but look at it?

I cut it in half, expecting it to be bad right the way through, but it wasn't.

There'll be enough for me for a couple of cheese and tomato sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.

I am over run though with cherry tomatoes and have been for a while.

Here is another beefsteak tomato, which is a long way from being ripe and it looks as though it has quite a bit of bad on it that will have to be cut out. Does anyone know why this happens?

These are "brandywine" I think possible yellow brandywine tomatoes, and they feel quite soft, so not to sure what's going on here, as they don't look ripe to me. Now I have just been looking online at brandywine tomatoes and they don't look like mine, also mine seem to be stripey? Any ideas?

One thing I know for sure its been a horrible year for tomatoes.

Monday, August 25, 2008

FOF for August 25th.........

I had to pick up some groceries this morning, so did a bit of FOF-ing at the same time.

This is what I got:

(click on photo to enlarge)

I spent $43.65 and that little lot I got for free, but if I had have to have paid for it, it would have cost me $40.67. FOF is only on for another 10 days, so will be trying to take advantage of the last few days.

Plans, plans and more plans.................

We're going on vacation in a couple of weeks time to the Charleston, South Carolina. Actually we have rented a condo on The Isle of Palms. So as it is stinking hot and humid here (Sunday), I have spent the afternoon researching places to visit. I purchased a couple of books from Book Close Outs to help me on my way and got the 2008 Charleston Visitors Guide.

I have sticky notes in all three books and if we go everywhere I have put down we should have booked a month there!! Here is a list where I would like to visit............however its not guaranteed we will have time to go to all these places.

Cypress Gardens I am determined to visit here as its looks great, plus the admission is only $10 each.

Middleton Place This is a must as well, you've got to visit the plantations when you go south. Full admission to here is $45 per adult.

Magnolia Plantation Again the place looks stunning, and admission for everything is $36 per adult.

Boone Hall For some reason its only $17.50 per adult here.

South Carolina Aquarium This looks so neat and interesting, its a must see place and its $17 per adult, but I have printed a coupon out to save $1 off each admission.

Charleston Museum I wanted to visit here on a hot and humid day, as its indoors, plus we can get a combination admission ticket for $22 per adult and also visit The Heywood-Washington House and the Joseph Manigault House which I thought was a good deal?

I also want to visit the Angel Oak tree

The Charles Towne Landing would make a great day out and a nice place to have a picnic.

There is a Tea Plantation in the Charleston area and I would love to see how tea is grown.

We went for a boat trip in Georgetown last time we were down at Myrtle Beach, so would love to do that again. I would like to do one of these boats trips as well.

Of course you have to go to Fort Sumter Mind you I will say that is on the bottom of my list.......sorry....

Of course I have to go a few stores I want to shop at and would like to pick up another Vera Bradley Purse Even though I am as mad as heck with them as they WILL NOT ship to Canada.............and I can't buy their purses in Canada.

I have to say our first port of call when we get their is to the Charleston Visitor Centre, as they have a Heritage Passport which seems like a great deal and will save us some money, plus they keep Tourist Pack Coupons

Now for those of you who are familiar with the area, my guide books say to pass on Drayton Hall is that right? Also I will have enough trouble dragging dh to three plantation house, I am hoping to visit two, never mind four.

Are there any more places that we must see? We don't mind travelling a couple of hours, so maybe a day trip to Savannah, Georgia. Any suggestions greatly received.

Should say we're not into water sports, we won't sit by the pool or on the beach for any length of time, we don't not into those sort of things.

(I love to shop and tend to buy a lot of things that I know we can't get in Canada, so plan on having two if not three days shopping, and there seem to be a lot of antique shops there!!!!)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I am addicted to books!!!!

Book Close Outs is having a good sale on at the moment, so I took advantage of it. I got a total of 30 books and paid $28.48 for them, then another $13.69 on shipping, handling and tax, so pretty good eh? I will list the reading books, I have ordered a few other books for gifts etc, so don't want to list those.

ISBN: 9780060081652

ISBN: 9780312330613

ISBN: 9780345465177

ISBN: 9780399152306

ISBN: 9780425195901

ISBN: 9780446533669

ISBN: 9780451202826

ISBN: 9780670030880

ISBN: 9780670034024

ISBN: 9780684866055

ISBN: 9780743466301

ISBN: 9780758208415

ISBN: 9780812966817

ISBN: 9781416507338

ISBN: 9780340830109

I got a number of travel books all at $1 each, plus some other books. Guess I am going to be busy, considering I have only read four of the other books I got, I am reading a fifth one now.

Sunday Song - A classic

This song never gets old  I get goosebumps every time I hear it.  We have seen Sarah Brightman in concert twice.  Now I love her voice, but ...