Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fall tastes

Now that it is officially fall and the humidity of the summer has lifted, the cooler air calls for the wafting aroma of delicious soup.
I love soup. I especially love the following soups that I made in the past few weeks.

The first one is from The Pioneer Woman. It may sound a bit weird, but it's a keeper in this family. These recipes make a "pot~load" of soup, so be prepared to be eating them for a few days if you only number 2 as we do, or serve to a happy crowd. They are no-fail and you'll be exceedingly happy you tried these!

I couldn't find a couple of the cans called for, but used regular canned corn and instead of "Rotel tomatoes" used a spicy version located on shelves here. Otherwise all of the ingredients are easily found and kept on pantry shelves for spontaneous meals. The Velveeta cheese was a total surprise and a very delicious addition. Oddly enough, it really makes the soup!

Seven Can Soup - Pioneer Woman

The next one is the only way I really like eating Kale. Kale is the new super food and totally disguised in this wonderful dish:) I used the cured Chorizo sausage and not only does it add zing, but also a lovely trail of orange goodness in the broth.

End of Summer Kale Potato Soup with Corn and Chorizo

The last but not least is a real meal in a dish. It takes a lot of prep, chopping and cooking, but totally worth the extra bit of time. It also induced me to sort through my spice drawer and update my spice collection.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I cannot remember where I found the inspiration for this collection, but I do thank those who post such delicious and tempting recipes on blogs, pinterest, and other social media sites. Thanks for sharing ~ all.

Photo Credits from Recipes web

Friday, September 25, 2015

Another part of the garden

The Bonnefont Cloister Herb Garden

"Plants are grouped and labeled according to their medieval use, whether in cooking, medicine, art, industry, housekeeping, or magic. Most plants had mulitple uses, and virtually all plants were believed to have medicinal value."

Pomegranate in a pot!

Wattle Wattle Wattle


Quote: The Gardens of the Cloisters Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Love this! The Wondercats???

One of the most hilarious things I've seen on t.v. of "late"{pun}.... The Late Late Show with James Corden.....we all need a bit of humour these days. Watch how emotional James gets when Stevie sings to James' wife....Adorable!

"Published on 15 Sep 2015
James and music icon Stevie Wonder carpool through Los Angeles singing some of his classic songs and Stevie suggests he and James start a group called the Wondercats. Stevie Wonder’s 20 city tour "Songs In The Key Of Life Performance" will start Sept 30th in Montreal and end Nov 24th at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Ticket information:"

Credit: Youtube

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pretty much sums it up!

In case you are still following the saga, this is the most recent video put up by the team. In this one you can see our son Gordon speaking about the game. It's interesting that his days at McGill are finally paying off. Turns out this has been a great business plan and they are launching full steam ahead.

Watch this little 3 minute clip and not only can you see a bit of what the game looks like, but also you can see Colby, Gordon and David speaking and designing at their computers while actually working on the game. The last little bit at the very, very end amuses us....


They are still amassing funds for the further development of the game in terms of music scores, and animation that requires specific help. They have a long way to go but are totally inspired by the wonderful backing they are receiving. Because they have reached the minimum goal, they have activated "stretch goals" where they can add extra features to the game.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Doing the Happy Dance!

The best news EVER! The Kickstarter program for Gordon's game is 100% funded  ~ in one day!

 Needless to say we are extremely, happy, proud and relieved that this dream is coming true. We have been barely able to keep the buttons from popping off our chests today!

 Well done Gord, and the entire team. Very exciting. 

This is Gordon's post, and as you can see the animation is just top notch. Very nice reviews coming in from the gaming world, and,  all the parents can sleep tonight!:)

The campaign continues so that they can make even fancier additions like music scores and professional voice overs etc. Don't Stop!

100% Funded!
Posted by IronOak Games

"What a few days it’s been! First of all.....we did it! Thank you to so many people for backing us, sharing the project and showing interest! It’s really amazing, we’ve been humbled and just couldn’t be happier. An extra special thanks to our friends, family and colleagues who supported us as soon as the campaign was live, you people are awesome!

We worked immense hours as the launch date got closer and closer, fine tuning and polishing everything we could think of. It was a great feeling to hit the green Publish button, but I’m not going to lie, we were terrified. It feels really good to have people appreciate something we believe so firmly in.

The next order of business is that we already hit a mini stretch goal, The Dead Shall Rise! As a big thank you, all of our Kickstarter backers will be able to play as the adorable undead and carry on with their adventure even though death clearly came knocking a long time ago. To clarify, the undead skins are just aesthetic alternatives for our 6 core playable characters which grant no gameplay advantage whatsoever.

Looking ahead we are beginning to creep up on the Frost Realm stretch goal! I am so excited because we were forced to make some cuts from the our core set of realms and we made the hard decision of removing it. This was done not because we didn’t want it in the game but because it needs the extra attention to be everything it should be!

The Frost Realm will be a whole new biome with its own crippling weather and secluded boroughs to discover. New scourges, yetis, ice dungeons and other frozen abominations terrorizing the foolish who seek adventure. This will be a truly savage addition to Fahrul’s colorful kingdom.

I should mention that the speed at which this all unfolded blindsided us, sorry for any delays! Stretch Goal reveal will be coming shortly!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Let the Games Begin!

"For The King"  Kickstarter Campaign Begins

Our son, Gord, and his friends Colby Young, David Lam, and Sean Hoyle [The Dev Team] formed IronOak Games. Their first game will be "For The King" and they need money to pay for development. We are shamelessly promoting their rather ambitious Kickstarter campaign at: Kickstarter - "For The King"

I am buying a village "Faire" with a princess who allows you to win valuable prizes in the midway games. I am really looking forward to helping create the concepts. I have a "vision" of how my Medieval Midway will be....full of things like "Whack-a-Mole" or "Shoot the Ducks"!

The Professor is buying a university and a professor-sage character who gives players advice on how to win the game. Not such a leap from reality:)

One does not have to purchase any specific item in the game. You can just back the game with any contribution. $5.00 will do! It all adds up and keeps the dream alive.

It should be noted that none of the money raised through Kickstarter goes to the team. It is all for the development of the game. These kids have given up their "real" jobs and are not taking salaries until the game is up and running. If the game is not funded by their Kickstarter venture, all contributions are returned. I am not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination, one doesn't have to play the game - just supporting the cause, which, at this point might be: Keeping the kids out of the basement!

His Kickstarter Link

Monday, September 14, 2015

Flash Bulletin

We interrupt this trip to NYC for a very important message.

Colby Young, Gordon Moran, David Lam, and Sean Hoyle of IronOak Games are launching a new video game 
 "For The King".

Follow them on Facebook  their website at:  IronOak Games or on Twitter at:  IronOakGames

Gordon is the artist responsible for most of the images you see in the trailer below. I have NO idea about these sorts of games, but in an effort to avoid having Gordon and Rachael living in our basement I am planning on investing in and inventing a "Medieval Faire" sort of component to his creation.

I'd like to think that his elan for creativity has something to do with me, but I am told that I'd best put my money where my imagination is and tell everyone about this Kickstarter campaign which begins tomorrow.

I literally had to call my daughter, who is in Chicago on business, to ensure that I wouldn't end up being a character who was instantly killed the moment the game opened. She will help me with my rendition of the "Faire"....I'm thinking a good name for my character might be "Rosemary La Reine" was either that or Parsley, Sage, or Thyme....get it???? (Scarborough Fair...are you going???)



Stay tuned. They launch tomorrow.

Monday, September 7, 2015

In the Gothic Chapel

Stained glass windows from fourteenth century Austria, carved images from royal and noble tombs of France and Spain fill the chapel-like setting.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Out of the city

The Cloisters Museum and Gardens

"A branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art of medieval Europe, located in Fort Tryon Park in Northern Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson River"

The Cuxa Cloister Garth Garden

"In a monastery, a cloister is a square or rectangular open-air courtyard surrounded by covered passageways. The yard enclosed within these arcades is know as a garth."

This is what it feels like....musically

Quote: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Onward and up the Avenue

A little further along Fifth Avenue is the Frick Collection.

"The Frick Collection is an art museum located in the Henry Clay Frick House on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, New York City at 1 East 70th Street, at the northeast corner with Fifth Avenue. It houses the collection of industrialist Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919)."

We came here in particular to see Flaming June

You cannot take pictures in the Frick mansion but you can get a glimpse of the outside whilst hanging through fences :)

This house and gallery holds a very special meaning to us since it was here that we first learned the news of the expected arrival of our first grandchild. We were visiting NYC with the Schillers and still love this corner of the city.

Quote: Wikipedia

Monday, August 31, 2015

Another Look

These are a few shots of tapestries included in the China: Through The Looking Glass exhibit at the Met. So much inspiration here. Colour, sketching, design. I see collage and quilts and colouring sketches. Breathtaking in real life.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

From Porcelain to Silk

This exhibit was not on my itinerary for this trip, however, as usual, it is easy to get swept up into the momentum of the creative spirit of The Met. I was so happy that I did venture forth and take in this breathtaking installation. It was all rather dark and mysterious thus making the phone camera a bit inadequate, but the following official video is pretty fabulous and I have included a few of my own favourite pics.

"China: Through The Looking Glass"
{click for video}

The shadow play was so intriguing!

The influence of blue and white - China - Porcelain

The wallpaper is SILK! This little corner had me clutching my pearls!!!

The fabulous bamboo forest

What a concept!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Rather Unusual

This was another rather interesting exhibit. Small but compelling.

Grand Illusions

A rather striking entrance by any standards

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mission Accomplished

When we decided on NYC as our destination I decided that I really wanted to spend an entire day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For some reason I also decided not to bring my "big" camera and instead, rely on my iPhone camera. Big mistake. Not that the "little" camera isn't sufficient, but one should never venture out to NYC without the "big" camera. Ever.

I consider "The Met" a bit like can never be done with it, or see it all. It's just a wonderful go-to place and a sanctuary in the heat of summer in the city.

The Professor came with me to the first of my planned exhibits, that of John Singer Sargent. This installation was "Sargent - Portraits of Artists and Friends". He wanted to try my recommendation of lunch in the cafeteria before branching off over Central Park to the Natural History Museum, so he also got to enjoy the Sargent display and in general the entire Met atmosphere. Lunch was wonderful too. Upon his trek back across the park for our meeting at 4 p.m. we indulged in the café overlooking Central Park and revived ourselves for the next leg of the tour.

Through an upper window you can see down into the European Sculpture Court. It's always interesting to look at the big picture even as it unfolds before your eyes and catch the details.

The Big Picture

The Details

This gentleman (bottom right) whose posture mimics the poses in marble. He's looking at his phone no doubt, the women are not. Also mid photo, I can only imagine the conversation going on with the gentleman and the (about) five year old girl :)

As always, you can click on the photos to embiggen

I will post some of the woefully inadequate phone pics, but at least you will get some idea of the works. The website link will be much more informative.

I always get the yearly page-a-day calendar of works from the Met, and have recently added METMUSEUM to my Instagram account. A good way of enjoying this treasure if you can't get there in person.