Apr 29, 2013

French Toast Breakfast Muffins

(If you make them with skim milk and make 12, they only have 121 calories each.) Taste just like French Toast.

1/3 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg (preferably room temperature)
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. milk

Topping (option: cut topping in half*)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium-large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined, but still a bit lumpy. Do NOT over mix; over mixing will ruin the texture of the finished muffins. Also? Don't over mix the batter. Finally, don't over mix. Scoop batter into muffin tins that have sprayed with cooking spray. Using a large ice cream scoop, I got 8 medium-large muffins out of this batter; I think you could get 10-12 muffins by distributing the batter a little less generously. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges.

For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place melted butter in another small bowl. Dip the warm muffins in melted butter (you can dip just the top, but it's even tastier to dip the whole muffin!), then dip/roll the muffin in cinnamon sugar.

Source: http://velvetlava.blogspot.com/2009/02/i-am-now-in-muffin-loop.html

Apr 26, 2013

Ladybug Appetizers

2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
Black paste food coloring
1/2 teaspoon minced chives
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
36 butter-flavored crackers
18 cherry tomatoes, quartered
18 large pitted ripe olives
72 fresh chive pieces (about 1-1/2 inches long)

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Remove 1 tablespoon to a small bowl and tint black. Place tinted cream cheese mixture in a small plastic bag; set aside.
Add the chives, garlic salt and parsley to the remaining cream cheese mixture. Spread over crackers. Arrange two tomato quarters on each for the ladybug wings.
For heads, halve the olives widthwise; place one half on each cracker. Insert two chives into olives for antennae. Use tinted cream cheese mixture to pipe spots onto wings. Yield: 3 dozen.
"Ant Acid!!"

Apr 25, 2013

Princess Pie (Coconut Cream Pie)

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans - optional

Mix and pat in an 8x8 inch pan, bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until just beginning to turn golden. Do not over bake.

Layer two:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup whipped topping

Beat together sugar and cream cheese. Fold in whipped topping. Spread on cooled crust.

Layer three:
1 small package coconut cream instant pudding
1 1/2 cups whole milk (any milk will do, but whole milk makes pudding so much tastier)

Mix until thickened. Spread over cream cheese mixture.

Top with remaining tub of whipped topping.

Toast 1 cup coconut. Sprinkle evenly on dessert. Refrigerate

Cute little Louie plays hide n' seek while his "Aunt Erin" dogsits him for the weekend.

OK, let's see if you can follow this chain.  Louie the dog lives with Cathy and Ernie Dick in the Ottawa Valley. They are taking a vacation in Niagara Falls, meaning Louie is staying with Cathy and Ernie's daughter Erin.

After Cathy and Ernie are finished enjoying the Falls, they are going to visit my mother Joan.

Joan will then return to Renfrew with Cathy and Ernie and will stay there for a week. While Joan is in Renfrew, Timmi and I will be staying at her place. 

Scribbles will post updates on location from my mom's St Catharines home for a week.

WHEW! That's quite the chain reaction, eh?


Apr 24, 2013

An orphaned baby elephant walks through mud as tourists take pictures at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nursery within Nairobi National Park, near Kenya's capital Nairobi on April 21, 2013. The orphanage cares for baby elephants and sometimes baby rhinos which have been orphaned by poachers, or lost or abandoned for natural reasons. The orphaned elephants raised by the Trust are returned to join the elephant population in Tsavo National Park when they mature between eight to ten years old. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)

Apr 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Cathy

Birthday girl Cathy Dick
It's my cousin Cathy's birthday on April 22nd and she will spend much of it on the road, traveling back from Niagara to the Ottawa Valley.

Cathy and her husband Ernie enjoyed a mini-vacation in Niagara Falls where Cathy faced her fear of heights with a ride on the city's gigantic ferris wheel.

L to R: Don, Mom, Graham, Cathy, Me, Timmi, Ernie
Cathy says she was surprised to see how much the Falls tourist attractions have grown since her last visit. Then she mentioned that last visit was over 30 years ago on their honeymoon, so I guess things have changed just a tad since then....LOL!

Cathy and Ernie dropped by my mom's place in St. Catharines during their stay in Niagara. Once again, it had been quite a while since they were last at mom's and it was their first time meeting my 7 1/2 year old nephew Graham.

When I arrived at mom's that day, I was greeted by Suzi squirrel. This is the squirrel who takes peanuts right out of my hand. She seems to know me and when she sees my car pull in to the driveway, she's right there waiting for me to feed her. Cathy thought this was pretty cool and although it took a few attempts, she eventually managed to capture Suzi and I on video on her new iphone 5.

As I will be staying at my mom's place throughout the week while mom is in Renfrew, I'm thinking I will need to buy a very large bag of peanuts for my bushy-tailed pal.

photo courtesy Dawn Logan Bende
Their Dream Wedding

Currently on honeymoon, Rhonda Janzen-King posted a message on facebook thanking her family and friends for joining her and her new wife Sharon at their wedding.

"Our ceremony yesterday was everything I dreamed it would be." said Rhonda.

No truer words have every been spoken. Rhonda and Sharon's wedding was everything we all dreamt it would be and a real example of the power of love.

Rhonda and Sharon were married on Friday, April 19th at Delphi Banquet Facilities in Niagara Falls, ON. Although the prior day had been a balmy 22 degrees, it was very cold and windy out on wedding day. Not that this mattered. There was enough love and merriment inside to warm and brighten even the dullest, coldest of days. 

The brides looked beautiful and I was tearing up so much during the ceremony I could barely take pictures or videos (but, not to worry, I managed to capture plenty between happy sobs.)

Later, guests joined the newlyweds for their reception, which included a musical medley featuring Rhonda, Sharon and their bridal party, a delicious dinner and a rockin' dance featuring DJ Shannon Unrau. 

Unlike some weddings, all the events of the evening ran in a timely manner without any glitches. At 9pm they opened the 'Candy Bar' which I spent entirely too much time at. And if you were still hungry, pizza and cake were served a bit later (so much for dieting on this day.)

I want to once again thank Rhonda and Sharon for including Rob and I on their elite guest list. Congratulations and may you enjoy many many years of happiness.

Swing King

Although he was initially apprehensive, it took only a few moments for little Aietch Ruberg to realize how much fun swings can be. With the weather co-operating, Aietch and mommy Tammie went to the park where he experienced the swing for the very first time.  As we see above by his expression, he'll be eager to return again.

Aietch (which we remind you is pronounced exactly like the letter "H") has really grown since we introduced you to him last year and he will turn one on May 23rd.  We'll be sure to share pix of that special day in Scribbles, where young or old, everyone's a star!

Chicken Bombs

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts-makes 10 bombs:
5 jalapenos, sliced in half lengthwise and cleaned
20 slices bacon
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 C colby jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
S&P to taste
1 C BBQ sauce-I used Sweet Baby Ray's

Slice chicken breasts in half (like a hamburger bun), place between wax paper and pound until it's 1/4" thick.
Season with S&P.

Mix the two cheeses together and smear about 1 Tblsp into each pepper half (just use up the cheese between all of the peppers).

Place the pepper on the chicken breast and wrap it up as best you can. I suggest placing the pepper cheese side down so it gets completely covered by the chicken.

Wrap each chicken breast completely with two pieces of bacon. Start at one end, wrap half the breast and finish the second half with the other piece of bacon.

Cook on a preheated 350 degree grill over indirect heat for 30 minutes or until chicken is done. Turn every 5 minutes and baste with BBQ sauce each time you turn it.

For oven: Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until chicken is done. Baste a couple times and finish under the broiler to set the BBQ sauce. **I suggest a 400 degree oven and no BBQ sauce for the first 20 minutes, turning once to help cook the bacon. Then reduce heat to 375, change pans to loose some of the bacon fat (if you don't have a broiler pan), cover in BBQ sauce and finish baking.

Apr 21, 2013


Chip off the Old 'Rock'

Our buddy Bobby Rock posted this amusing pix on facebook recently. 

B.R. told his pals,  "[Here's] Bobby Jr and I before we hit the town today.....I had Taylor Swift playing on the radio in the van when Jr said "Dad, can you put some KISS on instead of this?" The apple doesn't fall far from the tree eh?"

You've got that right B.R. LOL!

Apr 20, 2013

Two Thumbs Up!

Our Renfrew pal Bill McParland really got into the spirit as he celebrated his birthday on Friday (Apr. 19)

Always nice to see someone enjoying their birthday Bill...and you clearly define how everyone should react on their big day!  Happy Birthday Bill!

Apr 19, 2013

L to R: Sarah Meindersma, Geoff Johnston, Judy Wenjina, Darrell Baker, Michael Maloney, Lee Smith, Derek Wagter & Ritchie Carnes [cast pix courtesy 'It Can Damage Your Health' playbill]
As they prepare for a hiatus while their theatre gets renovated, the Dunnville Community Theatre [DCT] pulled out all the stops with their recent live productions of Eric Chappell's 'It Can Damage Your Health'.

The playbill for 'It Can Damage Your Health' best describes the show..."A comically mismatched trio of men share a small men's surgical ward: the cynical Higgins [played by Michael Maloney] who seems to know more about medicine than the doctors, the young and nervous Gary [Darrell Baker] whose inexperience with women is a subject of much discussion amongst his companions, and the weary hypochondriac Palmer [Lee Smith] who prefers being in hospital to living his bachelor life."

The three main characters are joined throughout the show by "naughty" nurse Christine [played by Judy Wenjina -last seen in DCT's deliciously amusing production of 'Kitchen Witches'] nurse Ranji [Derek Wagter's debut appearance with DCT] and Dr. Gibbs [Geoff Johnston]. Cameo appearances were also made by Ritchie Carnes as the 'Silent Patient' and Sarah Meindersma, the show's backstage manager who also portrayed a nurse.

Clockwise from top right: Nancy Erskine, Kathryn Stengel, Julie Turner
'It Can Damage Your Health' was produced by DCT President Nancy Erskine and directed by DCT alumni Julie Turner and Kathryn Stengel [both of whom appeared last Fall in 'Curtains Up'].

Although I've said it before, I can't help but repeat how much I enjoy the live productions put on by the Dunnville Community Theatre. Small but mighty, the group utilizes every inch of its cozy stage to transform audiences to another time and place. Early into the first scene, I was buying into the concept that I was a fly on the wall in a surgical ward, voyeuristically enjoying the misadventures of Higgins, Gary and Palmer.

This was the first time I had attended a DCT show with a mostly male ensemble and it was as impressive as the theatre's all female productions . Although there were a few noticeable missed cues, the cast were brilliant with an added nod going to Michael Maloney whose character Higgins managed to do something no other had yet done...make me tear up.

The prescription for an entertaining night out, was indeed 'It Can Damage Your Health'.

The theatre group will go into limbo mode after this production as the Optimist Hall they perform from undergoes much needed renovations.  The hall has reassured DCT that they will have a place to call home once the reno's are completed, with no definitive date available at this time.

In her playbill message, Nancy Erskine tells us "We have DCT events planned to help fundraise for the necessary and costly work." This will include music nights, children's workshops and theatre nights.

Scribbles will be sure to let our readers know when and where these events will take place and we encourage everyone to support DCT.  You may contact DCT at 905-774-9491 for more details.

The Storybook Romance of Sharon and Rhonda

Once upon a time there was a girl named Sharon Janzen. Sharon lived in the magical peninsula of Niagara, where she turned the art of impersonation upside down with the introduction of the drag king. Word of Sharon's male persona - Mr. Shae D. Davidson - quickly traveled across Southern Ontario and Western New York, spawning a bevy of loyal followers and Shae D. wannabees.

As Shae, Sharon would soon become involved with fundraising events and receive accolades, titles and crowns along the way. This made Sharon very proud and happy, yet somehow it seemed like something was missing from the big picture.

Once upon a time there was a girl named Rhonda King. Rhonda also lived in Niagara and followed Sharon's lead by entertaining the locals as a drag king. She too found happiness performing under the guise of a guy, but Rhonda needed more.
For several years, Sharon and Rhonda would travel the same circles, but as they were both involved with others at that time, their relationship would remain that of friends.

When both Sharon and Rhonda found themselves single again, they would soon start to see each other in a different light. 

That's where the real story begins. Fate had brought them together and it became clear to Sharon and Rhonda that they were meant to be. Anyone who knew them could also see how right they were for each other and it was of no surprise when last year the girls announced that they were engaged.

Sharon and Rhonda were joined by family and friends as they proclaimed their eternal love in a ceremony that took place in Niagara Falls, Ontario on Friday. (April 19th.)

Rob and I were very excited to be on the guest list and I'm got lot of photos and clips to share in a future Scribbles post.

Congratulations Sharon and Rhonda. What you share is truly special and living proof that sometimes fairy tales can indeed come true.



Apr 18, 2013

Springfield Comes to Life at Ken's Home

It's no secret that I have been a mega Simpsons fan since the first time the infamous yellow skinned characters hit the airwaves.

Over the past 24 years I've acquired a very impressive collection of Simpsons memorabilia. It started out innocently enough with a few posters and a Bart Simpson plush toy given to me by a client at one of the bars I used to work at.

Now I have over a hundred small figurines, Simpsons board games (Monopoly, Jeopardy, Operation to name a few), talking toys, Halloween costumed characters, numerous plush characters, Pez dispensers, a Homer Simpson etch-a-sketch, Homer desk lamp, coffee mugs, drink containers, t-shirts, pajamas, books, DVD's and more!

A great deal of the collection came from searching flea markets and yard sales, several items were given to me as gifts and I force myself to eat at Burger King every time they participate in some type of Simpsons collectibles deal. While many of the items were made in mass circulation, I also have some rare finds, worth more than a little mound of plastic really should be.

So where do you put all those Simpsons goodies? Initially, a few wall-mounted shelves were sufficient, but as the collection grew, so did the need for a better place to store it all.

Last week I made quite the find. Someone was selling a very nice cabinet on kijiji. It had been used to store CD's, games and DVD's but I had other plans for it. The 8 foot wooden cabinet is now where I keep most of my Simpsons stuff.

Perhaps this will be where I stop collecting, but knowing me and knowing that they'll no doubt keep making more cool things to collect, I can very well see me devoting an entire room for my precious cargo someday. AY CARUMBA!!


Apr 17, 2013

Embracing My Inner Geek

So here's what you are seeing.... the blurry version of me "today" was taken by my mom at my request.  I posed my right arm as if I was wrapping it around "classic" me. Geeky is what I looked like in grade 7 or 8 and the photo of me standing in front of the brick wall in that hideous outfit was taken as I prepared to go to a school dance.

I know bullying is very bad, but in retrospect, I really can see why kids often picked on me. That bow tie was totally my idea as I recall, so I can't even blame it on my mother by claiming she made me wear it!  What was I thinking?? LMAO!

Apr 11, 2013

Apr 10, 2013

* internet connection required

Our friend Angela Whiteley celebrated her birthday Tues. April 9th and has never looked better.

You remember Angie?  We recently featured an interview with this multi-talented artist who lives in Nova Scotia.

In case you might have missed it, or would like to enjoy the interview and amazing videos once again, click here.