Friday, 17 November 2017

Black Friday Thankstaking Dinner

This is the menu so far for the Black Friday Thankstaking Dinner


Arrival drinks and snacks 
  • Coffee ~ Organic, fair trade, shade grown, dark roast. 
  • Ice water
  • Hot, mulled apple cider
  • Eggnog
  • Apricot bacon baked Brie
  • Cracker assortment
  • Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves)
  • Cream cheese & olive stuffed celery
  • Devilled eggs


Dinner
  • Smoked turkey
  • Browned flour turkey gravy
  • Cornbread stuffing
  • Savoury cranberry sausage dressing
  • Scalloped potatoes 
  • Roasted maple bacon yams and butternut squash
  • Spinach parmesan casserole
  • Candied orange cranberry sauce
  • Frosty cold butterbeer

Dessert
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Apple pie
  • Cherry pie 
  •  Dessert coffee

Additional beverages ~ (available throughout on request)
  •  Milk
  • Assorted teas
  • Ginger ale
  • Crystal Light

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Things I enjoy doing, things I'm good at, things I like to think about...

Things that I enjoy doing
I love photography (from both sides of the camera), and have been known to do some pretty crazy things in order to make that "perfect shot" happen.

I dig riding (horses and bikes), camping, hottubbing, swimming, wandering around in the woods, hanging out with my dogs, hanging out with other people's dogs, hanging out with other animals, spending time with my grandkids, cooking, especially inventing new recipes and cooking for other people.

I feel some of the best pleasures in life are luxuriating in smoking fine cigars, drinking excellent, organic coffee, relaxing in a long, hot, scented bath, sensual touch, getting or giving a massage, being served (or, in very rare cases, serving), being pampered, and just sitting back and revelling in all that the universe has to offer.
I greatly enjoy good conversation. It doesn't have to be philosophical or mindbogglingly intelligent all the time to be good. Sometimes silly, juvenile, and just flat out ridiculous can be good!

I LOVE gaming! I always like being able to get smart people to play fun games with me.
Some current favourites are: Cards against Humanity, Fluxx (Monty Python, Zombie, Cthulhu, Pirate, Wizard of Oz) Gloom, Apples to Apples, Give me the Brain, We Didn't Playtest This At All, Kittens in a Blender, Poo, Nuts, Catchphrase, and other such things! (I have most of the aforementioned games.. Just need the players!)

 
I'm not into Facebook type games, WOW, or console games really. I DO love text based, online RPGs, but due to time constraints, limit myself to one. That one, currently, is Legend of the Green Dragon. My character is Moreta, FYI.


I am passionate about educating people in general about all manner of things, and especially subjects that are often misunderstood. I believe that the biggest key to combating the majority of the world's ills is education! I feel that most prejudice is a pretty direct result of ignorance and the spread of misinformation, whether it is about gender identity, sexual orientation, "alternative lifestyles", music, animals, breed specific legislation, addiction, mental illness, self harm, domestic violence, other cultures or anything else.

I love all animals and have been involved in animal rescue in one form or another for much of my teens and all of my adult life. I've worked with everything from mice and birds to wolves and snakes and all manner of creatures in between!

Our house has pretty much always been like a combination animal shelter and zoo, what with rescued and foster cats, dogs and assorted small wildlife critters.


I am active in local Sex Positive community and volunteer for several organizations. I run various events and I have presented workshops on various subjects from effective communication, to consensual slavery, oral sex (cocksucking and pussylicking.. YUM!) decorative scarification, blood play, knifeplay and mindfuck.

Things I'm good at
Singing, writing, web design, graphic design, making soap and other bath and body stuff, crafts, sales, parenting, staying calm and taking charge during crisis, working with animals, being a grammar/spelling/punctuation "Nazi", negotiation, stirring the pot, pushing buttons.


Things I spend a lot of time thinking about
Music, the universe, alternate dimensions, different beliefs, spirituality, education, random things, pranks I can pull, word twisting, work, art, geek stuff.. Really, I think about just about anything.. I love to think.. I can entertain myself for hours on end just thinking about stuff.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Trick or Treat!!

Why do I have to choose? I want everyone to do neat tricks for my amusement whilst giving me treats! Is that really so much to ask?


It's great finally having a place of my own again so I can decorate for the holidays, and Samhain/Halloween/All Hallows Eve/whatever you want to call it is my absolute favourite of them all! 

I got started with just a couple things, and added throughout the month. Next year, I'll have all my belongings unpacked and will be able to have a better setup, and I eventually plan on having decor to rival some of my Halloween scenes of old (olde?). 

Of course, I don't have a late 1800s built, big house anymore like I did back then, so no spooky eyes staring from an attic window, or blacklighted porch with creepy sounds. It's all smaller scale.

 On the other hand, technology has come a LONNNNG way, and supplies are a click away nowadays, so it's a trade off. 

I LOVE Amazon! They sell everything!

This was the first time I made Jack-O-NOT-Lanterns.
AKA, drawing the faces on instead of carving the pumpkin.
 It's also the first time I thought to use other squash in addition to pumpkins for decorating purposes. I have NO idea why I never thought of that before!
 Yes... Yes that kitty-cat-o-not-a-lantern DOES say, "Happy Meow-Loween". And  yes, I AM aware of just how terrible that is. Look at the kitty! Now, think of the bad joke again!
You're welcome.
The butternut Jack is meant to be wearing a top hat. It's the first time I've attempted to draw a top hat - EVER - let alone drawing it on a non flat surface. 
Ahh well. I still think it turned out looking alright.  



At least the face looks cool. Maybe I'll use paints instead of just Sharpies next time.

All in all, not a bad setup on limited time and supplies, I think. 

 I had been planning  a pretty elaborate Queen of Hearts costume since last year, and then wound up having my stuff held hostage for almost 5 months after I moved.
 Unfortunately, by the time I FINALLY got everything, it was far too late to finish constructing it, so I had to throw something together at the last minute. 

Add funky socks, a weird wig, and some makeup to a dress I already had, and it's a costume! I couldn't tell you what, exactly, I'm meant to be.



 A witch, perhaps? I dunno. Either way, I got lots of compliments on the costume, and I had FUN! So, I'm happy. 





Monday, 16 October 2017

Presto Pesto Potato Roast

  As promised in this post, here is another of the recipes born of my extra large produce haul. 

Ingredients: 
  • about 1 lb fingerling potatoes, cut as needed to bite size pieces
  • 2-3 large carrots, sliced thickly, greens removed (don't throw them out! You can use them for the pesto.)
  • about 1 lb fresh green beans, ends snapped off and broken to bite size pieces 
  • several healthy shakes Montreal steak seasoning 
  • about 1 cup presto pesto (recipe here)
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Prep/cut veggies and toss them in a large, cast iron skillet or roasting pan with the seasoning and pesto. 
  3. Roast in 400°F until veggies are tender and slightly browned (about 30-40 minutes), stirring a couple times to make sure everything browns/cooks evenly. 
  4. Serve with a flourish (optional)
  5. Pretend/allow your family or guests to think it took a lot more time and effort to prepare (optional)
  6.  Enjoy! (Probably not optional)
The finished product isn't nearly as pretty as it is in progress, I admit. That said, the textures and flavour more than make up for the presentation. If you really want to make it look better, garnish with a dollop of uncooked pesto and a bit of carrot greens. That will dress it up nicely. My batch got eaten up too fast to allow for any fancy looking garnishes!
 



 









Wednesday, 11 October 2017

What's in a Name?

Just a short, observational note today. 

I was asked the other day what the nickname, "teapot" had to do with submission.
Of course, there is the back story of how the name came to be in the first place. In addition to that though, there are several points to be made regarding the nick.

A tea pot is an object used for serving. It is a vessel, constructed to contain and dispense whatever its owner or user desires. Most are constructed in such a way as to be pleasing to the eye, in addition to being convenient to grip, hold, and otherwise put to use.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Save those seeds! It's not just pumpkin seeds that make great roasting!

It's Thrifty Food Tip time again, and since it's a classic fall morning here at the Wolf Den, I figured this would be the perfect thing for the season.


Roasted pumpkin seeds are definitely one of those things we associate with autumn. Their warm, toasty, nutty, slightly salty flavour makes for a great, healthy snack. While the pre-packaged ones are ok, nothing beats having them fresh, just as soon as they're cooled off enough from the oven! 
(Hmm.. Speaking of which, now I've got a craving! That's a hazard of writing the food-related portions of this blog. LOL)


As tasty as they are, what's even better is a medley of roasted/toasted seeds. You can roast up the seeds from cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, and pretty much any other gourd, squash, or melon you can think of, with delicious and nutritious results. 

That's right; I said nutritious!
Squash and melon seeds are simply teeming with health benefits.


Cantaloupe, honeydew, and other "muskmelon" seeds are super high in antioxidant vitamins, minerals, amino acids, as well as being a great source of fibre and healthy fats. 
Watermelon seeds contain all those too, in addition to a good dose of folate (AKA vitamin B9), iron, and the plant protein, lycopene, which, in addition to being a great protein source, is another heart health booster.

Not to be outdone, squash seeds contain all the above vitamins and minerals, plus zinc, which is another immune system benefactor. Zinc also promotes healthy cell growth and division, sleep, mood, senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and increases prostate health.

 Vitamins A, C, and E can improve and preserve your vision by helping to prevent macular degeneration, and, of course, we all know that vitamin C gives us a great boost to our immune system, which, considering that fall also marks the start of cold and flu season, is an especially good thing.

Important minerals contained in the seeds, like magnesium, phosphorous, iron, calcium, and potassium help control cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and cardiovascular function, improve bone density, immunity, metabolism, and brain function, and decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cancer
The heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases by lowering the levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol in the blood.

Finally, a diet high in fibre adds its own cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose lowering properties, as well as promoting bowel health, for the prevention of things like IBS, diverticulosis, and diverticulitis. 

SO...
With all those health perks, great taste, and a FREE price tag, what's not to love?

Oh! And did I mention that it's mega simple to roast them, you can give them just about any flavour profile you want, and it's a great, fun activity to do with kids? 




Ingredients: 
  • seeds
  • enough oil (coconut, olive, grapeseed, peanut, etc.. whatever you want) to lightly coat the seeds
  • salt, pepper, and/or whatever spices/seasonings you like


Directions:
  1. separate seeds from the bulk of the pulp and give them a quick rinse. Don't worry about removing all of the pulp/flesh. It will roast up nicely and add the flavour and fibre content.
  2. Preheat oven to 300°F. (you can use a higher temp, however, keeping it at or below
    300°F will retain most of the nutrients which high heat will destroy.)
  3. Toss together all ingredients until seeds are coated evenly with oil and seasonings
  4. Spread seeds in a single layer in a cast iron skillet, stoneware, or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake, checking and stirring every 15 minutes, until seeds are crisp and pulp is caramelized, probably about 20-40 minutes. 
  5. Let cool completely before serving/eating (OK.. Who am I kidding? At least let them cool enough to avoid burning yourself or others!)

Seasoning suggestions:
  • Olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper medley
  • Peanut oil, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Add extra flavour and texture with some dried seaweed flakes and/or kick it up a notch with some hot chilli oil. 
  • More savoury seasoning ideas: curry, cumin, chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder, ranch dressing powdered mix, other dry soup or dip mixes
  • coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Add a little sweetness with a drizzle of honey
  • coconut oil, cocoa powder and cinnamon
  • coconut oil, ground cloves and cardamom

What to do with roasted seeds:
  • Use as a coating for fried chicken
  • Add to home made granola
  • Bake into granola bars
  • Top your yogurt
  • Mix into your oatmeal
  • Add to dry cereal
  • Put them in trail mix
  • Add to smoothies
  • Use in whole grain and seed breads
  • Add to muffins, coffee cake, and other baked goods
  • Add to salads
  • Use them in pesto
  • And, of course, you can just munch on them by themselves!

I don't happen to have any photos or seeds to roast on hand today, so I'll be adding pics to this post at a later time, as well as linking some more recipes once they are posted.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Presto Pesto Squashta Pasta

The last batch of summer squash of the season, plenty of my newly invented Presto Pesto Norwesto, some tortellini in the freezer that needed using, and my, perhaps unfortunate at times, penchant for having fun with words conspired to make me invent another new recipe last week. Introducing, Presto Pesto Squashta Pasta!

This is a SUPER quick and simple dish, and if you're using a stuffed pasta containing a protein source, or if you throw in some leftover roast chicken, turkey, or any other sort of meat or meat substitute, you've got an entire meal in 15-20 minutes, tops!

You can make this ahead and chill it as a pasta salad, or serve it hot. It tastes great either way. 


 Ingredients:
  • 16oz (or so) pasta of choice
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 or more medium to large summer squash (any variety - thickly sliced)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 Cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1-2 Tbsp roasted red pepper flakes
  • Italian seasoning (to taste) 
  • Freshly ground pepper medley (to taste) 
  • Sea salt (to taste) 

Directions: 
  1.   Cook pasta according to package directions 
  2.   Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet, add  squash, sun dried tomatoes, pepper flakes, and spices and sauté on medium-high heat until squash is barely tender. 
  3.   Toss pasta and squash with pesto
  4.   Serve hot or cold and enjoy!
Variations: 
  • Add meat or other protein source to make it a meal.
  • Experiment with other spices to change up the flavour. 
  • Add in a few dollops of Alfredo sauce