Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dog Walk

It was such a beautiful day yesterday we took the dogs out earlier than normal for their afternoon walk, and went to the five mile bridge and then part way in to Minnow Lake. Kinoje is not fond of the snow mobile bridge and would not go near it. Old dog sledding memories for him. Big spaces for little dog feet to slip through.

Kinoje hanging back

looking out across the mill road toward the Aguasabon River

five mile bridge

Kinoje feeling much better, getting some love!

Cali (miss bean) is the rolling queen

the dogs love to chase "peanuts", jackpine cones

Happy Birthday to Debbie!

Today is my sister Debbie's birthday!
I am wishing her the happiest of birthdays!
Celebrate you and life today Debbie, I love you!

Debbie, Black Bay in the summer of 2009

My Dad's Black Bean Soup Recipe

Yesterday I made black bean soup from my dad' s old recipe. I had not made it for years, so it was a fabulous treat! It is the best, most delicious, black bean soup I have ever ate. It's well worth the effort. My black beans were very old, so they took a lot longer to cook, I eventually covered the pot completely and they softened much quicker. Yum!

Ken’s Black Bean Soup

1/4 cup olive oil

2 large onions, chopped (4 cups)

8 garlic cloves

3 cups beef stock

3 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed

1 meaty smoked pork hock

1 tbsp. toasted ground cumin

1 tbsp. oregano

3/4 tbsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

4 to 5 pickled jalapeno peppers, finely chopped ( I used fresh jalapeno)


Sour cream

Cooked brown rice

Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat. Add onions and garlic, lower heat slightly and cook covered, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.

Add broth and water; stir in beans, pork hock, cumin, oregano, thyme, cloves and jalapenos. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer partially covered for 2 hours, until beans are tender.

Remove pork hock, and set aside to cool

Puree 1/2 of the soup and return to pot. Shred the meat and add to the soup.

Taste the soup and correct the seasonings, simmer for 10 minutes.

To serve: place a spoonful of hot brown rice in your bowl and ladle soup over top. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream if so desired.

(I doubled the recipe, so that we could have at least two meals from it. It is sometimes nice not to have to cook every night!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Hibernation is Over!

I tried hard to just be a grumpy old bear and hibernate the winter away, but I couldn't do it. Yay for being a little creative, it does wonders for ones soul!
Working with colour is great therapy for long winter days!

frosted violet copper

handwoven recycled t-shirt rag rug

earthy blue sky

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Cone-oje" and Winter Walk

A couple of weeks ago the back door of the cap on our truck slipped and fell and hit Kinoje on his nose. It was really sore and didn't seem to be getting better, so Mark made him an appointment with a vet in Thunder Bay. We thought he had broke a tooth, and would need it removed.
During his examination at the clinic on Friday morning, the vet discovered he had testicular cancer and he had to be neutered. We only had a few minutes to agree and left him there for the day. A long long day, waiting for him to go into surgery and come out of surgery and recover. We went back at 4 o'clock to pick him up. The vet said she discovered he had a tumor on one of the glands on his penis and she removed it as well. He had a drain tube in the incision in his penis.
Our outside dog now had to become a sort of inside dog. We made him a bed in our unheated front porch. He is wearing an Elizabethan collar, an e-collar, and not really very happy about it. Last night, day 1, while we ate dinner, he managed to pull his drain tube out and eat it. Everything looks okay, but he can lick his incision even while wearing the stupid e-collar. We have survived day 2 of 14.. it will be a long 2 weeks.
His sister is beside herself out in the kennel by herself and is very unsettled, woofing and howling. They have been together for the past 10 years, a long time. She misses him a lot.
Mark brought him out in the truck for a short walk with Beanie this morning, so I went out with them again before dinner. At least he can get his business done without excessive pulling on a leash.
Our dog walking road was hit hard in the ice storm in December. The poor trees are bent right down, the road is no longer drivable. It will need some brush clearing come spring.
Oh, by the way, there is nothing wrong with Kinojes nose or his teeth, he must have just bruised it.

Mark bent right over under the arch of bent brush


wintery walk on a snowy day

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

My mom turned 83 years young today!
Happy happy birthday to her!

my mom laughs in the face of birthdays!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gnocchi With Mushrooms and Gorgonzola Sauce

I found this recipe in Martha Stewart Holiday magazine while searching for appetizer recipes at New Years. I made them for dinner tonight, yum, fabulous recipe!
gnocchi with mushrooms and gorgonzola sauce

for the gnocchi:
2 cups flour
2 pounds Yukon gold or russet potatoes
3 tbsp. coarse salt
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
olive oil for brushing

for the sauce:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil
12 oz. fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

Make the gnocchi:
Lightly flour a baking sheet. Put potatoes in a
large saucepan; cover with cold water by
2 inches. Bring to a boil; add 1 tbsp salt.
Reduce to a simmer; cook until potatoes
are very tender
when pierced with a sharp knife,
about 25 minutes.

Drain potatoes. When they are cool enough to
handle, peel and then pass through a ricer or
food mill into a medium bowl. Sprinkle with
flour and add eggs. Season with black
pepper and 1 tbsp. salt. Stir mixture with
a fork to combine.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface;
knead gently until it is soft and smooth,
about 3 minutes. divide dough into 4 equal
pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope about
3/4 inch thick. Cut ropes lengthwise into 1-inch

Roll a cut side of each dumpling against the
tines of a fork with your thumb so each piece
has ridges on one side and an indentation on
the other. Place on the floured baking sheet
until ready to cook (up to 12 hours in
the refrigerator uncovered).

Lightly brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 tbsp
of salt. Add half the gnocchi; when they rise
to the top (after about 2 minutes) continue
to cook until tender, about 15 seconds more.
Transfer gnocchi with a slotted spoon to the
oiled baking sheet. Repeat the process with
remaining gnocchi. (The cooked gnocchi can
be tossed in oil and stored, in an airtight
container, in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.)

boiled gnocchi

Make the sauce:
Bring cream and broth to a boil in a large
saucepan over medium high. Reduce heat,
and let mixture simmer until slightly thickened
and reduced by one third, about 10 minutes.
Add Gorgonzola; stir until melted. Stir in
nutmeg and cayenne. Season with salt
and freshly ground pepper. Remove from
heat; cover and keep warm.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium until
hot but not smoking. Add mushrooms, and
cook, stirring occasionally, until they are
tender and their released liquid has
evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add gnocchi;
cook, stirring gently, until just heated through.
Pour cheese sauce over gnocchi and toss gently
to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

gnocchi tossed with mushrooms

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lake Boats

The whole fall season we did not see any freighters out on the Lake, maybe we were just not looking at the right time. In the past week or so we have seen many many ships, today we saw 9!! Wow, what a fabulous treat! We get very excited to be able to see them out there.
freighter out on Lake Superior

Sunday, January 3, 2010