Tuesday, May 31, 2022

T for Tuesday

 T Stands For is hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard

May 2022 - Toronto ON

Some teapots found on Bloor West.

And this at Winners.

Canadian Artist of the Day

Blue Sky
Emily Carr 1936

Monday, May 30, 2022

Tuesday Treasures

 Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

Toronto ON

This is an Toronto Archives photo of the northwest corner of Dundas and Yonge.
Taken in the 1950s, it was a Bank of Nova Scotia branch.

In 1890, a building on the site was occupied by T. D. Ball and Company, “gent’s furnishings.” In 1925, a United Cigar Store was on the corner, and remained on the premises until 1950. In that year, the Bank of Nova Scotia constructed the present-day building and shared the premise with the United Cigar Store and Coward Clothing Store. Eventually the bank occupied the entire building and renovated the premises, placing the huge crest above the door on the east façade. It remained a functioning bank into the 1990s.

It still stands today. It has a red door and is a Rogers mobile location. I need to go back and get a photo of the BNS crest.
Click on photo to enlarge.

2018 Forever 21 location.


Monday Mural

 I'm linking up at Monday Mural

May 2022- Collingwood ON

We spent a week in the Georgian Bay area last week. Click here for the links to our road trip.

Click here to visit Collingwood.

Ski Train depicts the arrival of passengers bound for the ski hills arriving at the Craigleith Station in the 1950s. At the time they were often met at the station by Jozo Weider, founder of Blue Mountain, ready to take them to the ski hills on horse-drawn sleigh. The individually hand-sculpted, glazed and kiln fired clay mural is by Richard Gill and was installed in 2001. Ski Train is located at 86 Hurontario Street.

By Blazeworks

Canadian Artist of the Day

The Landing
Lloyd Wilson 2004

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Lost Coffee

May 2022 - Richmond St. Toronto

It was a long holiday weekend but the weather gods were not in the mood for it.
I spent some time cleaning on the balcony and arranging my plants to determine what else I need to fill in the blanks. 
Then horrendous thunderstorms ripped through Ontario leaving damage to homes, trees down and power outages. But worse it left eight people dead.
Uxbridge even had a tornado.

My BFF (Burlington) was texting me that it was the worst storm she'd even seen. I said I can see it approaching. John was down at the golf simulator.
We received weather warnings on our cells and the TV. I started prepping night lights, and cooked some eggs just in case.
It got really dark, the wind sounded strange and then poof it blew over us.

John's two usual golf courses, Remington and Burlington, both sent emails about power outages and damage.

Sunday was a dull, cold day. My cousin texted from their cottage that it was miserable.
We putted and got some laundry done and then just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.

Monday was Victoria Day (Queen Victoria's birthday May 24, 1819) AKA Two Four weekend, the first long weekend of the summer. 
Two Four is Canadian slang for a case of 24 beers (a popular beverage during the weekend).
Nothing was open and traffic was a mess around here, because the city decided to turn Lake Shore into a pedestrian/bike street. 

At 10:40 you can see the orange blockade on the rightish, just passed the shorter billboard.


The rest of the week just rolled on. John used the golf simulator and had physio. He also played golf again this week.
We went for burgers on Tuesday. 
We went back to the new butcher on Bloor West and got the best pork chops ever. We also picked up more steaks. We stopped at Sobey's for potting soil after we got a few more plants on Bloor.

Scotch delivery.

I went shopping at Winner's and found a pair of shoes to replace my trusty favourite Anne Taylors. 
John picked up sushi for lunch on Friday - sooooo good!

Saturday we finally had the dumplings. I also revised my steamed pork dumplings recipe.

Sunday Cornish hens, roasted potatoes. carrots, onions and tomatoes.

Monday John requested fish chowder. I still have to work on getting it thicker. I'm thinking about mashing some potatoes in it.

Tuesday salad eggs, beets, cheese since we had burgers for lunch.

Wednesday air fryer pork chops with colcannon.

Thursday chicken wings and fries.

Friday sirloin steak (from new butcher) bok choy, broccolini and onions.

I made black bean avocado brownies and I also updated the recipe. 
I hate to "waste" an egg for the egg white only in a recipe - here are 25 egg white substitutes.
I used aquafaba (water in which chickpeas or other pulses have been cooked, used as a substitute for egg whites, particularly in vegan cooking) for the first time. I mean I am draining the black beans anyway so why not use it? Brownies were excellent.
As I am writing this, John is reading that egg prices are going to skyrocket!


Wakefield is a psychological mystery revolving around the staff and patients who populate Ward C of a psychiatric hospital in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, centred on psychiatric nurse Nik. Wikipedia has a great list of the characters and their ailments.
We enjoyed this series and it reminded me of the saying "the inmates are running the asylum".

We also watched French Exit.


I'm on a reading binge of Catherine Ryan Howard and if I thought the other two books were great, The Nothing Man is impossible to put down!

I had a lot bit of a letdown with my next book(s). I read Blunt Force an early Jane Tennison. 
The Replacement Wife was a little boring and drawn out.

My Darling Husband was recommended by a blogger and it was available for a 7 day loan.

Canadian Artist of the Day

First Edition
Ken Danby 1973

Friday, May 27, 2022

Weekend Roundup

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

1. Starts with "U"
2. A Favorite
3. UNDER chosen by Tom

Starts with "U"


Rialto Bridge Venice Italy

Canadian Artist of the Day

White Lilacs
John Lyman 1954

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Tuesday Treasures

 Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

May 2022 - Toronto ON

I had never noticed this plaque before.
Ukrainian National Federation –WestToronto Branch, 2397A Bloor Street West

From their website which also includes some interesting videos:
2021 marked the 80th anniversary of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – which unites Ukrainian organizations from coast to coast to coast of our great country. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, supporters and generosity of our donors, the Ukrainian Canadian community today – more than 1.3 million of us – is stronger than ever and ready to lead us into a brighter future.

During Canada’s First National Internment Operations (1914-1920), thousands of men, women, and children were branded as “enemy aliens,” and subjected to state-sanctioned indignities, including internment, forced heavy labour, and disenfranchisement. Internees were subjected to such treatment not because of any wrong they had done, but only because of who they were, where they had come from. The majority of civilian internees were Ukrainians and other Europeans. Racist and anti-immigrant attitudes were common during the pre-war period. Together with wartime xenophobia and ignorance, these attitudes were largely responsible for the internment operations. Internees were held in 24 camps across the Dominion.

The Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union (Ukrainian: Cоюз Українськoгo Студентства Канади (CУСК), French: Union des Étudiants Ukrainiens Canadiens)—commonly known by its Ukrainian acronym in all three languages, SUSK—is a national student organization composed of Ukrainian Students Organizations (USOs) at post-secondary institutions across Canada.

To mark the 100th (2014) anniversary of Canada’s First National Internment Operations, SUSK called upon its member Ukrainian Students’ Organizations and all Ukrainian Canadian students to commemorate and raise awareness of these dark pages in Canada’s history. 
In addition, SUSK encouraged all Ukrainian Canadian students to support “CTO – The One Hundred Plaques across Canada initiative”, organized and led by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation (UCCLF). 100 commemorative plaques were unveiled across Canada. 

Canadian Artist of the Day

Spring, Lasky 
A.J. Casson 1932

T for Tuesday

 T Stands For is hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard

Monday, May 23, 2022

My Recipe Box - Black Bean Avocado Brownies

June 2013 - Toronto ON
Updated September 2021
Updated May 2022

I found this recipe at the I Really Like Food blog. I was a little skeptical as I really don't care for beans but I had some avocado that needed using up. They were DELICIOUS!! Honestly you would never know what was in them.
I have been making these long before we became a gluten-free kitchen!

This recipe gets updates as I find new additions.

Recipe and image source

  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained 398 gram can works
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg whites 1 tbls liquid egg white = 1 egg white OR use 1/4 cup applesauce = 2 egg whites OR 6 tablespoons aquafaba (juice drained from the black bean can) = 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 of a large ripe avocado 50 grams
  • 1 teaspoon olive or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute of choice I use a little less
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • chili or cayenne OPTIONAL
Make a caramel whisky sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 inch baking pan or 9 inch round.
Place all ingredients except the chocolate chips into blender or food processor. Process or puree until ingredients form a smooth batter. Pour into prepared pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips, nuts, or swirl in peanut butter and bake for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out somewhat clean and top of the brownies begin to crack.
Cool pan completely on wire rack then cut into 16 squares.

NOTE sometimes I like peanut butter and chocolate chips. In that case swirl in peanut butter THEN sprinkle chocolate chips.
Tahini is also a good swirl addition.
Sea salt can be sprinkled on top.

Monday Mural

  I'm linking up at Monday Mural

May 2022 - Owen Sound ON

Another mural from our Georgian Bay road trip.

Watch this video featuring Emily May Rose painting the Koodo mural in Carney's Lane.

Koodo hired Emily May Rose to design and paint a mural in Owen Sound, Ontario. The company wanted to give back to the city as it has the highest concentration of Koodo users, they also held an unveiling event with local media where they handed out posters and stickers of the mural design. The mural was completed over five days with the help of Will Gaydos, Jason P, Cameron Chalmers, and Oriah Scott.

Canadian Artist of the Day

Swarm #1
Kim Dorland 2016

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Photographing Public Art

Posting at PPAC #47

May 2022 - Toronto ON

Bloor St. West - red hearts are part of the city's #ShowLoveTO campaign.

My Recipe Box - Steamed Dumplings

Original post - January 2012
Updated - May 2022

I can't believe I haven't posted one of my favourite recipes from a cooking class I took a long time ago.
This is absolutely the best dipping sauce recipe ever!!

For the minced meat I always use ground pork. I don't usually put any wine in it, don't really see any need for it as it is moist enough.
If you want to use ground chicken I have a recipe from a restaurant in Hawaii. Chicken satay potstickers with chili mint dip.

Besides steaming you can also make potstickers. In fact, we do make potstickers with the leftover steamed ones.

Always buy the dumpling covers they are not worth the effort to make.
BUT  if you need gluten free dumpling wrappers I have included a recipe below.

This is my modified rendition of the above.    


1.5 cups cabbage finely chopped - sometimes I leave it out
1 tsp cornstarch
1 lb ground pork
2 tbsp ginger minced
2 tbsp garlic minced
1/4 cup green onions thinly sliced
5-7 Chinese dried mushrooms
Chinese Five Spice
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1.5 tsp toasted sesame oil
Splash of chili oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

Toss the cabbage with a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix well. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes, the squeeze out and drain as much of the extra water as possible.
Mix together 2 tbsp water with the teaspoon of cornstarch and stir into the pork until it forms a paste.
Mix in the ginger, garlic, green onions, mushrooms, 5 spice, soy, shaoxing wine, sesame oil, salt, white pepper, and squeezed out cabbage until incorporated.

Take a dumpling wrapper and place it on the palm of your hand.
Place a tablespoon of filling into the centre of the wrapper - you want it to be full but not so much that it oozes out.
Brush a little water around the inside edges.
Fold the wrapper over and pinch the edges together.
Place the dumpling flat on the table with the pinched edges facing up, and flatten the bottom slightly. Now pinch a few pleats into the dumpling to create a pouch.

Set up your steamer and line the upper part of the steamer with parchment paper, and brush or spray the parchment paper with olive oil or vegetable oil. 
Place dumplings on the parchment paper about an inch apart from each other.
Optional but helpful: Use a spray bottle to lightly mist the dumplings outer part or use a pastry brush and lightly brush each dumpling with water before steaming.
Steam for 10 to 15 minutes to steam over medium or medium-high heat. Don’t let the water boil so hard that it splashes - just get it hot enough that it is releasing steam.
Serve hot with dumpling sauce, fresh chili, or chili oil on the side.

3 tablespoons soy sauce - tamari is gluten free
2 tablespoons rice wine or white vinegar
2 garlic cloves minced
Chili paste or siracha to taste
Drop of sesame oil
1 scallion

Click here for six more dipping sauces!

5 ounces (1 cup) gluten free flour - I love gfJules flour
About 6 tablespoons just-boiled water 

Put the flour in a regular size food processor. With the machine running, and feed tube removed, add the water in a steady stream. Let the machine keep going after all the water has been added, until small pebbly bits have formed. 
if the dough does not come together easily, add water by the teaspoon.
It should feel soft and stick together easily when pinched.
Alternatively, make the dough by hand. Put a bowl atop a kitchen towel to prevent it from slipping while you work. Put the flour in the bowl and make a well in the center. Use a wooden spoon or bamboo rice paddle to stir the flour while adding the water in a steady stream. Aim to evenly moisten the flour. It is okay to pause to stir or add water. When all the water has been added, you will have lots of lumpy bits. Knead the dough in the bowl to bring all the lumps into one mass; if the dough does not come together easily, add water by the teaspoon.
Regardless of mixing method, transfer the dough and all bits to a work surface. Gather and knead into a ball. Place the dough in a zip-top plastic bag and seal tightly closed, expelling excess air. Set aside to rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before using. Or, refrigerate overnight and return to room temperature before using.

For the just-boiled water, half-fill a kettle or saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and after the bubbling action subsides, 30 to 90 seconds (depending on the heating vessel), pour the amount needed into a glass measuring cup and use for making the dough.
This makes a buff-colored dumpling wrapper. For a gold color, add ¼ plus 1/8 teaspoon of ground turmeric to the flour before adding the water. Or, instead of water, use the berry-colored liquid from steaming beets. Juices like carrot or a green juice may introduce particulates, but you can try them out and see!

Canadian Artist of the Day

Out Sketching on Sunday
Henrietta Mabel May n.d.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Good Grief!

May 2022 - Thornbury ON

I did a piece on Simu Liu titled I Am Canadian from the Canadian Music Awards, the Junos.

Saturday we left Collingwood at 9:05 to head back to Toronto on the scenic route along Airport Road. Yikes gas hit $2 a litre that is $8 a gallon!

Great drive.

We had to slow down as a family of geese were crossing, mama in front, six or so babies and papa glaring at the cars, so glad they made it safely. They need this sign.

Home by 11:30 and so nice to be back.

Sunday turned into a day of chores. I made soup from the two bags of vegetables I had frozen. I know, making soup when it's 25C out? But I wanted them out of the freezer and it will be handy for lunches.
Laundry got done.
John cleaned up the balcony, it had a gazillion gazillion dead gnats/midges, whatever they are called. It seems they are called lake flies in Ontario and since we are next to the lake but their season is not supposed to last long. 
Time to think about what plants I want out there. It gets way too hot in the summer for most. Moved the geranium out there.
I did my Trip Advisor reviews of where we stayed and ate.

Monday John went down to the golf simulator.
We filled in our vote by mail Ontario elections and mailed them. 
John played his first game of golf on Wednesday.
I went grocery shopping to find dumpling wrappers but couldn't find them. I did stop for a spicy McChicken, I am not used to how busy the food court was in Union Station!
The puzzle is finished and the dining room table is empty for now. This puzzle (brand new) was missing one piece!

We went to the Mississauga T and T Asian grocery store to get dumpling wrappers.
As we were going in John said let's get duck, so we did.

We bought a whole duck, next time we should just buy these ready made meals.
That was my duck for the year!

Some soy sauce selections! 

We decided we needed to find a local butcher for our steaks. I found one on Bloor West. I We needed some plants for the balcony so took a quick drive up to Bloor West. Midafternoon on a long weekend Friday is perhaps not the best time to head out.

Butcher shop - looks like it might be the one. Bloor Meat Market is an independently family owned shop since 1929.

We took a stroll.

John had never seen this building. I had posted about it in 2018. Now a Shoppers Drug Mart it has been preserved.
Opening in 1927, the Runnymede Theatre was both a vaudeville theatre and a moving picture palace. Designed by the prominent Toronto architectural firm of Chapman & Oxley, the historic 1,550-seat theatre was built by Famous Players. Dubbed “Canada’s Theatre Beautiful”, it cost $250,000 to construct and was one of the first Atmospheric-style theatres in the country.

My first balcony plant purchase of the year.

After a week of no cooking I am happy to be back in the kitchen. John requested Asian dumplings this week. We will now have these on Saturday.

Saturday steak broccoli and baked potato
Sunday curry chicken using red Thai curry paste. Included a sad green pepper and celery hanging out in the fridge.
Monday short rib slow cooker stew.
Tuesday chicken quarters, roast potatoes and broccoli
Wednesday beef nachos 
Thursday Asian pork dumplings along with its dipping sauce I made one from the Bamboo restaurant in Hawaii.  John suggested we just have the duck and pickled daikon since we had it.
Friday steak, chimichurri, sautéed broccoli, onion and bok choy.

Check out this article showing great charts (35) about food and cooking. Love green bananas and it looks like I need to buy Icelandic yogurt.

Since I finished the series Julia about Julia Child's foray into television I have been intrigued by her. I never watched her shows or read her cookbooks. Other than seeing spoofs of her I knew nothing.
Right now there is not a single available copy of any of her books available at the library!
I also started watching on the Food Channel The Julia Child Challenge. It follows eight home cooks as they compete in culinary challenges to find out who has the skills to win the first-ever primetime competition series dedicated to all things Julia.

We continued watching The Staircase 2018 on HBO Max and are enjoying it.

We watched Borrego 2022 thriller, a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you are a fan of Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, The Gilded Age) you'll enjoy this article "Every Episode of a Television Show Written by Julian Fellowes" 


I finished Paula Spenser by Roddy Doyle. Sometimes I love his books other times I don't. This I did.

I also read Wish You Were Here. I don't usually read Jodi Picoult. For the first half I was ho-hum and yeah yeah I see where this is going, but was more interested in the art world and then the pandemic hitting. But WHAM I did not see that coming.

French Braid was a 7-day library loan, but I consumed it in a day. Nothing happens, it is just the history of a typical family from 1959 to the 2020s. Mercy was the worst character in a way but even she had some good points beyond her selfishness and coldness. All the kids turn out well despite their parents' lack of involvement, but then that could be a result of the times. It is about family values and perceptions, accepting how we are different and valuing how we are alike. 

I am a book loving roll this week, not wonder I read so much.

56 Days ago, a couple meet in a supermarket in Dublin the same week as Covid hits. 35 days ago they move in together so they aren't apart...
The book definitely makes you relive lockdowns, imagine being locked down with a relative stranger and you both have secrets?

Started Rewind, also by Catherine Ryan Howard (56 Days). This is seriously good. Love stories that include social media.