Archive for March, 2007

A vegetarian alternative to Chicken Parmesan or Veal Parmesan.  We got this recipe from Everyday Italian on the Food Network.  We’ve made it twice now …

Portebello Mushrooms (or Portebellini)

Pasta/Tomato Sauce

Mozzarella Cheese

Parmesan Cheese (the good stuff if you can find it)

Remove stems and grill the Portebellas for a couple of minutes on each side (BBQ or stovetop) until they have pretty grill marks on them.  Meanwhile, lightly spray a casserole dish with no-stick spray (big enough that all mushrooms lay flat).  Spoon some tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish (enough that the bottom is covered and the mushrooms won’t stick).  Once grilled, place the portebellos in the dish with stem side up so they look like little bowls.  Spoon a little tomato sauce in the top of each portebello.  Sprinkle grated mozzerella in each mushroom; sprinkle each with some grated parmesan. 

Place in a 450-degree oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browned.  The juices from the portebello mushrooms mix with the sauce as they cook and then burst in your mouth with every bite.  You’ll love it! 

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Donair Sauce

For those of you who know the sweet taste of donair sauce but now live where they simply wonder, “‘Dawn-air’?  What is a ‘dawn-air’?”, here is a recipe that I found a while ago for a great, thick donair sauce.  It beats the junk out of the crap they sell in a bottle at grocery stores and just about any other donair sauce I have ever had. 

Ready?  Here it is: 

 2/3 c. Canned Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/4 c.  White Vinegar

1/2 tsp.  Garlic Powder

Stir the milk and garlic powder together.  Add vinegar quickly.  You will have to stir the sauce for a couple of minutes in order for the vinegar and milk to mix properly.  Leave it sit for a few minutes.  As the original website says, this donair sauce will last an unnaturally long time in the refrigerator. 

That’s it… who would have thought so much goodness would come out of such a small recipe!   

For the brave, there is a recipe for donair meat at the same link. 

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Brian and I were in Bangor on Sunday and there was no question where we would eat.  I’m not sure what it is about it, but I absolutely love the Olive Garden. 

Maybe it’s the fact that they have many vegetarian dishes for me to choose from.  Maybe it’s those warm, buttery breadsticks and salad that come before the meal.  Maybe it’s that yummy marinara sauce that you can get for breadstick dippin’.   Whatever it is, I never walk away disappointed… at least not in the food. 

Brian and I were driving through Bangor a couple of years ago after having spent the weekend at his sister’s wedding in Ontario and we stopped at the Olive Garden.  The server we had was a twenty-something woman who was either having a really bad day or just not cut out for a job in the food service industry.  She was snappy when I asked questions about the menu, rude at times, and just plain ole unfriendly. 

Brian and I are both of the mindset that a tip is for good service… you give good service, you get a tip.  This lady had obviously missed the mark.  We did ponder over whether to leave her a tip and finally decided to … in the form of a note on the back of the slip saying, “Here’s your tip:  Find a job you like”.  We felt pretty good walking out the door. 

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… the warm weather is making its way.  That’s not to say there won’t be more cold days  and even more snow but today it is sunny, above 0 and beautiful! 

Spring means …

  • Spring cleaning – I’m not talking a quick vaccuum and dusting.  To me, spring cleaning is wiping down walls, ceilings, windows, and vaccuuming every inch of the room (not just around things).  Call me crazy, but I look forward to it. 
  • Planting – This weekend I will be starting seeds at the house that will eventually make their homes in the garden. 
  • Digging out spring/summer clothes (be gone sweaters and ski pants!)
  • The end of curling season – Always a little sad but it does free up one night a week so usually I am ready for it when it comes. 
  • Music festival and Spring concerts – My students and I are practicing festival pieces pretty hard.  The choir will sing in it too.  The choir also has a 60’s-themed concert in April featuring a mix of artists. 

My skis are away… bring on Spring! 

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4th place…

We ended up placing fourth in the Brennan Shamrock. 

Because of the broad experience levels of curlers in the tournament, this is not so bad.  There are beginner curlers, competitive and weekly fun league curlers (like me) … you can’t really mix those up so the weekly curlers end up playing against the other weekly curlers and so on.  So for us, a fourth place translates into winning all three games and finishing first in our “league”.  Not too shabby. 

The rest of the weekend was as expected except for having a beer bottle in hand at 10 am… it actually took until 2 pm. 

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Wow… we’ve gone from above 0-degree temperatures and rain this week to freezing cold and winter storm warnings.  6-10 inches overnight, possibility of freezing rain.  Nice.  I’m probably more of an advocate for snow than most but once you’ve made that last trip to the ski hill for the season, you really look forward to it melting as much as everyone else does. 


This weekend is the annual Brennan Shamrock, a curling funspiel celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day at the Florenceville Curling Club.  In true Irish style, it is as much about the drinking as it is about the ends… okay, maybe more about the drinking but I suppose it depends on who you talk to. 

This one event draws scads of people to the curling club, whether it is to play, drink or dance.  This will be the first spiel this year (for us) where we will likely go pretty hard Friday night and then pick up our beer bottles again for our first game at 10 am.  If you have never tried this, let me give you some advice:  keep a bottle of fireball on hand.  Nothing warms the gullet like a shot of fireball. 


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Drop the needle…

A trip to the dentist this morning revealed that my perfect record is now marred… I have a cavity. 

Aside from the standard wisdom tooth removal, I have gone this long without needing any work done on my teeth.  I’ve only ever gone in for the usual cleaning, which is usually good for a couple days of frequent tongue-over-teeth-gliding… but now this! 

What did I do wrong?  Is brushing twice a day not enough anymore (sometimes it’s even three!)?  Should I stash a toothbrush in my desk and brush at breaks and after lunch?  Are cavities just one of those inevitable parts of getting older? 

Damn, i dread the needle and freezing and drilling and all of it.  I still have hazy memories (isn’t laughing gas just the best thing ever?) of the dentist and nurse talking over me as they heaved and hauled on my wisdom teeth.  The first time I ever truly passed out was after meeting a woman that had her jaw wired shut for some sort of jaw surgery.  She was talking about blending all of her food and sucking it … through… a … str- <And she’s out!>

Just the thought of it makes my stomach turn. 

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