How to make these delicious boozy popsicles:

  • 3/4 cup Raspberries
  • 1 cup Lemon Yoghurt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup Lemonaid (or any fruit juice)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 oz Tequila
  • 2 oz Blackberry Liqueur

Mix together in a blender or food processor, taste the mixture, adjust as needed… maybe more tequila? Pour into popsicle mould and freeze over night or about 4-5 hours. Add whole raspberries to the mould if you like.

Don’t give to kids… obviously.


It’s Tuesday and you’re not even half way to the weekend, so have a drink.

This is how you I make a Martini, there are a few variations and everyone likes theirs differently. This  one is made using a ratio of 8:1 of gin and vermouth. The martini has evolved quite a bit since pre-prohibition. It used to be called a Martini Cocktail and had 3 ingredients: equal parts gin and vermouth, and a dash of orange bitters. Since then bartenders have dropped the orange bitters, and severely changed the gin/vermouth ratio. I’ve tried it with bitters, and it’s not bad. It can’t really be called a cocktail any more, it’s more about the preparation and everyone has a say on how to make the “perfect” Martini. Here’s my say:

Martini (Dry)

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1/4 oz Dry Vermouth

Put a glass in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, you can throw the gin in too. Everything should be ice cold. Fill a shaker with lots of ice and pour in 1/4 oz of dry vermouth. Swirl it around the shaker (but don’t shake it). Pour it in the chilled class and coat the inside of the glass by tilting it downwards and slowly spinning it. Now pour it down the drain. That’s all the vermouth you need. You’ve coated the ice, the shaker, and the glass with the vermouth. Measure 2 oz of gin into the shaker and swirl around. Apparently shaking “bruises” the gin, which sounds very pretentious but we’ll give in and swirl it. Let it sit, swirl some more. No need to rush, the gin needs to be cold. Then pour it in the glass, garnish with an olive or lemon twist. Enjoy.

A bit about the gin: I like Hendricks when I make Martini’s. I’m not a gin snob, it just tastes better when you’re practically drinking it straight. I have other gin I like for gin & tonics, but I save the Hendricks for Martini Time. Ask a rum drinker and you’ll find they probably have a rum they drink on ice and one to mix with coke.

With Downton Abbey season 3 starting soon PBS is re-airing the first 2 seasons and I can’t help but watch again. You miss so much the first time around and the one thing I never really understood was this entail business. After all it’s the basis of the entire plot and being Canadian I just don’t really understand these funny British property laws. Why is some distant cousin going to inherit the entire estate? Why is Cora’s fortune going to this distant cousin and not her own daughters? Why can’t Mary just have it?

Here is my very watered down version of what I’ve learned:

Entail: “A settlement of the inheritance of property over a number of generations so that it remains within a family or other group”.

Downton Abbey is entailed to a male heir because back then a woman’s property was her husbands, so if it was left to a male heir there would be no question that it would remain within the family. If it were inherited by Mary and she had a husband, it would become his and it would be out of the family (and there’s some business in there about titles that just wouldn’t work either). That is why Cora’s fortune is caught up in the estate, it’s now her husbands. The 5th Earl (Lord Grantham’s dad) made it all neat and tidy so that it would be there to run the estate for generations to come (seem’s all very expensive). Which probably sounded like a great idea at the time, but the 6th Earl had no sons and his heir died when the Titanic sunk. So they go back up the family tree and find the next male descendant of one the earlier earls and that’s Matthew Crawley, a 3rd cousin twice removed. So the solution is, and always has been, marry their daughter off to said cousin/heir. (And she wouldn’t even have to get used to a new last name!) They also don’t “own” Downton Abbey, they didn’t buy it, it was entailed to them so they have to pass if off when they die.

Below are some of the articles I found very interesting and helpful, I highly recommend reading them because it’s much, much more intricate than my little summary above.

  • The next is this post is from Law and Lawyers: “The Downton Abbey Entail…” . This is again, pretty specific to the actual laws, most of which fly right over my head. Still an interesting read.

So there you have it, now you can enjoy season 3 without being confused about British property law.

This was the first thing I ever learned how to make. It’s very easy, just fold and press in all the raw edges so you don’t have to bother with serging or zig zag stitching the inside edges. It finishes it’s self!

The measurements are just a guide line, you can make this any size.

We have an electrial panel in our front hallway/ kitchen. It sticks out about 1/2″ from the wall and it’s long so it’s hard to cover it with a picture or anything else. I hate it. It’s really ugly. Not all panels stick out like this (so my electrican boyfriend tells me). Apparently only “older” homes have this. I’m just glad it’s flat.

Now it’s a chalkboard. It’s cute, functional and I love it. It’s also magentic, witch is pretty handy aswell. Total cost: about $9

All you need is come chalk paint, a paint brush, and maybe some painters tape. Apply 2-3 coats following the instructions on the can. Pretty easy.


I haven’t posted in a while but I have a good excuse:

Meet Penny Lane. Our puppy… she consumes all my time and attention. But now that I’ve been distracted by her for a while I can get back to everything else.

She’s a 6 month old Chihuahua/Dachshund or as some call it, a Chiweenie. Cute eh?

Happy St. Patricks Day!

A whole day of the year dedicated to the Irish. What could be more fun. Beer, Baileys, dancing and of course, stew! Here’s my irish stew recipe, it’s a pretty typical Irish stew (why mess with a good thing), but the special ingredient here is a chocolate stout.

First the ingredients:

  • 2-large sticks of celery
  • 2-large carrots
  • 2-medium onions
  • Fresh rosemary (or you can substitute bay leaves, your choice)
  • 1lb-stewing beef
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt and peppercorns
  • 2 cups of stout beer (like Guinness or what I used, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout)
  • 1.5 tbs -All-purpose flour
  • 1-14oz can of diced tomatoes

First thing to do is to prep all your veggies. So peel away and then roughly chop all the carrots, onions, and celery. No need for precision here.

Throw them all in a large heavy bottomed pot or in a Dutch oven if you prefer. Add a healthy amount of olive oil and begin to fry them for around 10mins or so, also at this time add your herb of choice.

While those are frying pull your beef out of the fridge and lightly season with sea salt and pepper.

After the veg has softened up just a little, throw in the beef, flour, the diced tomatoes, and pour in the beer.

I wrote 2 cups of beer, but I usually just free pour from the can/bottle. Place the remainder of the beer (if any) directly in your mouth. Now you’re cooking like a true Irishman.

Stir all your ingredients together well and season with a bit of salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil

Once boiling, put a lid on, and turn the temp down to a simmer.

Let simmer for about 2 to 2.5 hours.

While you’re waiting crack yourself another beer, or two. Or 3?

If after the 2.5hrs you’re still coherent, take the lid off your stew and if its looking a little dry add some water to the mix.

Continue to simmer, with the lid off, for another half hour or so.

At this point everything should be tasting delicious and tender. Pick out your herb stalks and taste to see if it needs a touch more seasoning.

Serve on a bed of garlic mash and with a nice hearty loaf of soda bread or potato bread.


Baby, you got a stew going!

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