Friday, December 31, 2021

Featured Canadian Artist of the Day


1972 work by William Kurelek, titled Balsam Avenue After Heavy Snowfall , showing the Toronto street where the Ukrainian-Canadian artist once lived.

We don't often see winter scenes like this anymore, growing up I did.

Weekend Roundup

 Welcome to The Weekend Roundup...hosted by Tom The Back Roads Traveler

1. New Year
2. A Favorite
3. Festive - Tom's choice

New Year's Day 2021 - we were so looking forward to our vaccines and getting over all this pandemic I await my booster on January 4, 2022.

Toronto City Hall December 2021

Our lobby

Déjà Brew
A catchall for leftover beer, coffee, food, motels and whatever catches my fancy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Tuesday Treasures

 Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

Toronto ON
Click here for a history of Toronto lane naming and a list of other lanes. That post is a work in progress, and gets updated frequently.

Planned by Waterfront Toronto and designed by The Planning Partnership, Trolley Crescent was the first woonerf introduced in Toronto in 2014. This U-shaped street is located in the West Don Lands and runs east from St. Lawrence Street, past River Street then south along the eastern edge of River City, then turns west running parallel to Underpass Park back to St. Lawrence Street.

Never heard of a woonerf before? It’s a relatively new street concept in Toronto that has experienced great success in Europe. This innovative approach to street design places equal priority on pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. “Woonerf” is a Dutch word that roughly translates to “living street”. While cars are intended to use the street, the specially designed paving—with no curbs or defined sidewalks—encourages vehicles to slow down and consider the other uses of the space. Essentially, woonerfs are designed to prioritize pedestrians.

A Dutch woonerf, image by Erauch, via Wikimedia Commons

What a novel concept in Toronto where cars rule!! I doubt this would make any difference to the selfish drivers.

T for Tuesday

  T Stands For is hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard

December 2021 - Toronto ON

Check out this great calendar from She Does the City Toronto artist Gwen Hovey. Each month shows a different woman taking a “bath” in a different tea (eg: orange pekoe, jasmine, masala chai, matcha…). “I loved that I could make art of women relaxing and enjoying a peaceful moment.” 

Canadian Artist of the Day

Montmorency Falls in Winter
Joseph Légaré 1850


Wordless Wednesday Wordless Be There 2day

Toronto ON

I've been collecting the social distancing signs/stickers around town during Covid.

Royal Ontario Museum

Monday, December 27, 2021

My Recipe Box - Gluten Free "Timbits"( Donut Balls/Holes)

Toronto ON

Since John's been gluten free (allergy not preference) he has missed his Tim Horton Timbits.
According to the Taste Atlas:
Timbits are bite-sized doughnut holes made from leftover doughnut dough, fried in vegetable oil and available in a number of varieties such as yeast, cake, apple fritter, honey dip, old fashion plain, chocolate glazed, blueberry, strawberry, lemon, and filled timbits. 
They are sold by fast food chain Tim Hortons. The bit in Timbit is an acronym for Big in Taste, which is an original campaign slogan from the 1970s. In Quebec, people prefer to use the generic term doughnut holes or trous de beigne instead of timbits.

I found a recipe that resembles timbits and I have modified it to my preferences and is NOT deep fried.

makes 48 mini 


Batter Ingredients
1⅓ cups GF flour 
¾ cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup sour cream or yogurt 
¼ (57 grams) cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs - I sometimes substitutes 1/4 cup applesauce for 1 egg
1½ tsp vanilla

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping Ingredients
¼ cup melted butter for dipping
½ cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Muffin Instructions
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and nutmeg. Whisk the dry mixture until evenly combined.

In a mixer bowl combine eggs, sour cream, butter and vanilla. Add half the dry mixture to the mixer bowl and beat until combined. Add the remainder of the mixture then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Grease mini-muffin tins or use paper liners. Using a small scoop fill muffin tins ½ to ¾ full. (Note: If they are too full they will rise over the top of the pan and break when you try to remove them.)
Bake in 350°F oven for 18 minutes, do not under cook.
Cool on rack 5-10 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from the pan. Cool completely on wire racks.

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping Instructions
Melt butter in small bowl and add sugar and cinnamon. Mix very well.
Dip the top of each muffin into melted butter then into the cinnamon-sugar. Spoon the topping onto the muffins.

makes ????

1 cup gluten free flour 
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup butter melted
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup powdered icing sugar 
1/4 cup  milk 
1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). 
Grease mini-muffin tins or use paper liners.
Sift the gluten free flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Sifting is important; you want to remove any clumps of cocoa.

In the same bowl, add in the eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla and stir together until completely smooth. The batter will be thick like peanut butter.

Spoon batter into the pan, filling it right to the top. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the donuts to cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10-15 more minutes before glazing.

Make the glaze. While the donuts are cooling, make the glaze by sifting the confectioners sugar into a medium bowl. Stir in the milk, and vanilla. If your liquid is not thick enough, the glaze may be too thin. If this is the case, add in 2-3 tbsp flour, or arrowroot starch if you have on hand. If the batter is too thick, add more liquid to make it thinner if desired.

Dunk each donut into the glaze using your fingers. Place on a wire rack on top of a large baking sheet to let the glaze drip down. Put in freezer for 5 minutes so the glaze sets. Repeat dunking two to three more times if you want a thick glaze coating. I dunked mine two times. If you run out of glaze, just make more.


1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tsp maple syrup
2 cups (240 ml) icing sugar

Whisk together until smooth. Use immediately.


As above replace maple syrup with coffee granules

Monday Mural

 I'm linking up at Monday Mural

Toronto ON

Last month I saw this cute selfie spot outside a store in the Eaton Centre.

It had changed when I walked by last week.

It will be fun recording the changes.

Youtube video of Toronto street art, many of which I have shown.

Canadian Artist of the Day

The Beckoning Hills Franz Johnston no date

 Francis Hans Johnston RCA, also known as Frank H. Johnston and as Franz Johnston, (June 19, 1888 – July 19, 1949) was a member of the Group of Seven.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Canadian Artist of the Day

Sunset with Deer
Maud Lewis 1964

Maud Kathleen Lewis (née Dowley; March 7, 1903 – July 30, 1970) was a Canadian folk artist from Nova Scotia. Lewis lived most of her life in poverty in a small house in Marshalltown, Nova Scotia, achieving national recognition in 1964 and 1965. She is best known for her cheerful paintings of landscapes, animals, and flowers, which offer a nostalgic and optimistic vision of her native province. Several books, plays and films have since been produced about her. Lewis remains one of Canada's most celebrated folk artists; her works and the restored Maud Lewis House are displayed in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

More Christmas Cheers


Christmas Cheer


December 2021 - Toronto ON

No outings this week. We had some plans and thought we would be going out to lunch but are veering on the side of safety. Omicron numbers are crazy. By the end of the week they reached 9,600 cases on Friday and probably undercounted as there is a shortage of PCR tests available.

Saturday I had a great two hour visit with a friend who lives in the building. We went up to the club on the 44th floor. We also met up on Wednesday to do a quick gift exchange. 
The view - sadly that snow was gone within a couple of days.

Monday I made the decision to cancel going to my cousin's for Christmas. 
The condo sent out its revised rules for public spaces based on the new covid directions from the province. 
On Tuesday we had notification of a covid case in the building. 
We have been advised about elevators back to an occupancy of 2.
More reminders about wearing masks as per the city bylaw and no gathering in public places.

Thanks to Tom The Backroads Traveller for this!

And the cancellations and closures roll in without government orders. Museums - Gardiner, Textile, National Ballet of Canada, gyms have closed. Restaurants are making their own decisions.

Tuesday we took a quick (too quick, we passed some new murals and my driver didn't bite/stop) to stock up on chocolates from the Irish Scottish pop up leaving town on December 24.

Tuesday Treasures - on our neighbourhood
Signs - more social distancing

Since we've been chatting with Andrew High Riser about winter and what we do in preparation for the season, I thought this applied.
Chatham-Kent is a municipality in southwestern Ontario.

The rest of the week we laid low and didn't venture anywhere. 
Thursday my online grocery order came from Longo's. This worked out very well.
The loading dock even brought it up to our door for us.

Friday I spent preparing for Christmas dinner. I prepped the stuffing, made some soup stock for gravy (beef and chicken), cleaned the vegetables and made a tourtiere.


Saturday chicken divan with biscuits, these turned out really well.
Sunday roast beef, mashed potatoes and cauliflower, broccoli
Monday leftover roast beef stew
Tuesday spaghetti and sausage
Wednesday masala chicken thighs and spicy potatoes and cauliflower
Thursday cheese and crackers. Cheeses from our online order.

Best gluten free crackers from Costco.

Friday steak and loaded baked potato
I made tourtiere for Christmas Day using this pastry recipe omitting the sugar and adding salt.

I started watching the Holby Blue series but decided it was something we would both enjoy. So I switched to Endeavour.

Watched an interesting/entertaining Sandra Bullock movie Premonition a 2007 American supernatural thriller film.


I am hooked on the Helen Fields Edinburgh detective series on book 3 - Perfect Death. 

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

 Toronto ON

To all my blog friends!

Jackie and John

Friday, December 24, 2021

Weekend Roundup

Welcome to The Weekend Roundup...hosted by Tom The Back Roads Traveler

1. Starts with "Z" Christmas
2. A Favorite
3. Red and Green - Tom's choice

Starts with Z - Christmas

The Virgin of Zapopan at Lake Chapala Mexico
Counts as Christmas with the Virgin and the poinsettias
BTW - In Nahuatl , the language of the Aztecs, the Poinsettia was called Cuitlaxochitl (from cuitlatl, for residue, and xochitl, for flower), meaning "flower that grows in residues or soil." Today the plant is known in Mexico and Guatemala as ""La Flor de la Nochebuena" (Flower of the Holy Night, or Christmas Eve).

Sorry, but I have to drag this one out once again, it is the epitome of the letter Z!
Curtis Howe Springer made up the name Zzyzx and gave it to the area in 1944, claiming it to be the last word in the English language. He established the Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa in 1944 at the spot, which was federal land, after filing mining claims for 12,000 acres (4,900 ha) surrounding the springs. He used the springs to bottle his water and provide drinks for travelers through the hot desert. Springer also imported animals from around the country to attract more families to visit his ranch. He used Zzyzx until 1974 when the land was reclaimed by the government.


Toronto ON

Déjà Brew
A catchall for leftover beer, coffee, food, motels and whatever catches my fancy!

Russell's New Mexico

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Happy Solstice!

 December 2021 - Toronto ON

And just like that the days will get longer.

Local marker right next to our building in Sheldon Lookout, shows the location of the sun for the winter solstice on Lake Ontario.

We will notice that our sunsets have moved as far west as they do and will now slowly start moving to the right.

I found this image here which basically shows how our sunsets move. BTW this article also mentions our marker above.

T for Tuesday

  T Stands For is hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard

December 2021 - Toronto ON

Signs and tastes of the season.

Tuesday Treasures

 Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

Toronto ON

Click here for a history of Toronto lane naming and a list of other lanes. That post is a work in progress, and gets updated frequently.

In my neighbourhood.
I can't find any information, best guess is there was a brook from Lake Ontario.

On Lake Ontario - There is a public tennis court and the Argonaut Rowing Club.

Annie Craig Drive shares its name with one of two steamboats that ran from Toronto to the Humber River in the late 1800s.

The Annie Craig was purchased in 1882 by the Humber Steam Ferry Co. Three hotel owners (John Duck, Octavius Hicks and Charles Nurse) plus a brewer Eugene O'Keefe were the owners of the ferry company. The hotels were located in Etobicoke Township at the mouth of the Humber River. Access from Toronto was difficult as the streetcar lines did not extend that far west. Initially passengers were carried from a wharf near Yonge Street to John Duck's dock with an intermediate stop at the foot of Bathurst St. The 1885 route had intermediate stops at the Exhibition Grounds and High Park.