Thursday, 26 September 2013



I used a soup cup to make this cake as it’s wider and I figured the cake would bake more evenly. I was right btw!

Gently melt butter in the mug in the microwave. You can use a vegan sub for this if you want.   Add peanut butter and stir until blended. Add applesauce and blend well.
Add sugar. Blend well.
Add flour, cocoa, salt, BP and stir well. Then add Choc chips and stir in.
Microwaves vary so check your cake after one minute. Mine is about 1000 watts. I did one minute, dug a hole in the middle to check it and allow the cooking to be more even.  Then another 30 seconds, checked and then another 15 seconds. Perfect! This was by far THE best cake in a mug I’ve ever made! SO yummy!

 Some of my fav ingredients above :-)
 Part way done with the hole I dug in the middle :-)
 Tout fine! Enjoy!

Sunday, 25 August 2013


Like water views? LOTS of water views!? Then you need to visit Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, Canada!  Nestled in the Bay of Fundy, Grand Manan is a bird-watcher’s/hiker’s/photographer’s/cyclist’s/kayaker’s/ boater’s/bum-around-and-do-nothing person’s dream vaca!
 If all you do is stand and stare at the break-taking vistas of ocean, beaches, lighthouses, fishing boats, pleasure boats, and drink in that fresh, salty air, then “Mission Accomplished” as far as your visit is concerned!
Getting there is easy-peasy.  Just Google Map or set your GPS and you’re set to go!  Once you get to the ferry terminal in Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick, it’s a beautiful, breath-taking 1 ½ hour trip across The Bay of Fundy. Please call or book on-line for reservations at least the day before but personally, I’d book the day I knew I was going asap.  There are two ferries: The Grand Manan V and The Grand Manan Adventure. Here’s the site for more info on the boats & schedules:
It is advisable to take your own vehicle but walk-ons are great if you’re hiking/backpacking or cycling. There are no rental cars or public transportation and I don’t believe anyone has a taxi service anymore. You’ll just need to hitch a ride if you’re hoofing it to your accommodations but it shouldn’t be a problem!  Here’s a handy page for where to stay:
Google Map the island and have a look at all the villages and get an idea of the size of the island. Once you’re on the ferry, you will be given a handy tourism guide that will feature some of the places of interest. The map on the front of the hand-out features all the places of interest and inside is the key to the numbers on the map.  I highly recommend the Grand Manan Museum as this will give you a great starting point in getting to know the island’s history.
LOTS of fun things to do and see on Grand Manan! You won’t be bored or disappointed when you book a couple of the activities listed on the back of the tourism hand-out.  Everything from whale watching, island boat tours, Grand Manan Art Gallery, golfing, GM Farmer’s Market (Sat. from 10:00-12:30/see my blog on the market), unique shopping, GM Museum and the Sardine Museum & Herring Hall of Fame (actually is really interesting and cool!) and a host of lighthouse vistas, beaches to experience and one of my fav things,….kayaking (I’ve gone twice and saw things from the water, up close that were amazing!) and my other  fav things to do is beachcombing!
Oh, and you have to try some dulse! Roland’s Sea Vegetables on Hill Rd and other venues on the island is where to buy. Now, if you’d like to “try before you buy” the Sea Shell Restaurant has some dulse that you can sample. Personally I eat one piece a year and that’s my quota! They also carry a few bags to sell as well. They’re just up from the ferry as you drive off, on the right. Great fish and chips btw! 
As far as “where to eat” is concerned, that’s really a personal preference and we’ve not eaten at all the restaurants. There’s everything from fine dining to take-out.  Here’s the personal, recommended list where we’ve eaten:
The Sea Shell  Restaurant (as I’ve mentioned above). Not fine dining mind you but you’ll get the “recommended by the locals “ for their food (two people suggested it to us!).  They have a great menu selection for a diner,  great service and the fish and chips are really good! The fish was flakey and the batter was not greasy. Great fries too! They have a patio out back and if you’re lucky you’ll see the kitten tree! ( two mumma cats and their offspring were entertaining us and the kittens would run up a tree….thus the “kitten tree”!)
Galloways Family Restaurant in North Head (right beside The Surfside Motel) has great food, great service and a view to die for looking out on the water! Lovely patio out back for the al fresco crew. They have a great variety on their menu with many choices even for fussy eaters!
Greco Pizza (in the Save Easy/gas bar/drive through coffee) makes terrific, yummy pizzas and also has donairs, oven subs and a great variety of other menu items. We ordered a medium, 3 ingredient with medium garlic fingers for supper one night and had enough left over for lunch the next day.
Also, the Save Easy grocery store has many take-out foods that are a great option for people on a budget or feeding the tribe.
Shopping is very unique on the island. You won’t find the typical “cookie cutter” stores with the same clothing, jewelry and sundry items. Each store is different and unique in its own character. I went to The Cheeky Magpie (154 Route 776) in North Head and found beautiful clothing, jewelry , yarn and many other items I wanted to buy but I went on the last day of my vaca and my budget was pretty well shot by then….sad face here….The Magpie is many stores within a store so lots of variety and great prices too! Next year I’ll make sure I have Christmas present $$ to spend at The Magpie!
If great artwork is your thing then you’ll not be sorry you bought a prized work of art on Grand Manan.  Grand Manan is blessed with truly talented artists from painters, carvers, potters, jewelry makers and many other artisans. The GM Farmer’s Market features many local artists and you can view many pieces in a short time. Just keep an eye out for signs along the way as you drive the island for artist’s homes & galleries outside of the farmer’s market day. I guarantee you’ll not be disappointed in your choices of great art/craft work! Again I say, very unique and nothing that’s “run of the mill” when you choose any art work from Grand Manan.
So in a nut-shell, leisurely explore the island from head to toe, watch a couple of sunsets (Dark Harbour or Long Eddy Point Light), go on a whale watching tour (the whales will give you a show to remember!), bird watch ,kayak and do a whole lot of looking out to sea! Oh, and it’s good for your health too to go to Grand Manan as you’ll start to feel stress-free the minute you walk on the boat!
 My hubby's fav place to sit, read and drink his morning coffee!
 View from our room at The Surfside Motel

 Long Eddy Point Light and below Swallowtail Light

Thursday, 22 August 2013



Heather Kinghorne beautiful baby wear, quilts, sheet sets etc.
 30 Fathom Doormats by Claus (see my cottage mat last pic below)

 Eric Allaby's artwork
Wilcox Natural Treasures
THE cinnamon buns!!!
Faye Miller and her beautiful knits!


I love Grand Manan Island! My mother’s family is from here and my sister was born on the island. By the time I came along, Dad was stationed in Halifax in the RCN. I was blessed to be able to spend time in the Summers though on Grand Manan and many fond, fun memories will always be with me.
Fast-forward to 2013. My husband’s family is also from the island and every year we hike (actually, we drive!)  on down to the ferry terminal in Black’s Harbour, take a breath-taking ferry ride across the Bay Of Fundy and stay for a few days at The Surfside Motel
Now, right across from The Surfside is the Grand Manan Farmer’s Market. Before I tell you of some of the vendors I need to let you know about the cinnamon buns that are there. YOU HAVE TO HAVE ONE!!! They are incredible and the flavour burst in your mouth will have your taste buds begging for another one!
FYI about the market, make sure you have some cash with you as some vendors are not set up for credit cards. I’m planning on taking some Christmas present money with me next year as I saw some sweaters for my little grand-daughters that they will definitely have for next year!.....and maybe a few things for me……just say’in
Anywho…….back to the market in general. Like I said, right across the street from the Surfside Motel in North Head, is where you’ll find the market on Saturdays from 10:00-12:30. There is food aplenty (have your cinnamon bun for a late morning snack and then a lobster roll for lunch!....and wash it all down with some home- made lemon aid!), beautiful, well- made knit-wear, baby items (home -made crib, Pak N Play sheet sets,  quilts etc), hand crafted jewelry that’s different from your run-of-the-mill stuff that’s out there, food (oh, right…I already mentioned that didn’t I?!), hand crafted mats, art work etc.
Here’s a snapshot of what I saw at the market.
Wilcox Natural Treasures is where I did some Christmas shopping. I know it’s only August but I’m one of “those” people that start in January…..please don’t hate me …
Susan has a lovely booth that was actually difficult to get any good pics of because there was always a gaggle of ladies looking at her finely crafted and fair priced jewelry, home -made soaps (one made with dulse!), lip balms, bath crystals, seaweed face masks and lots of other goodies. Susan was very helpful and I took my time looking through her well organized displays to find my presents for some of my special ladies in my life! A great place to find some treasure for yourself too!
30 Fathom Doormats manned and made by Claus Wolter, is a one of a kind (as far as I know!) craftsman.  He fashions beautiful, unique door mats from reclaimed or new lobster trap rope. I actually have two of Claus’ mats, one for my home and one for the cottage. These mats will make your front entryway “pop” as guests arrive at your door!
Marine Paintings by Eric Allaby are some of the most beautifully created paintings I’ve come across. Eric’s work depicts seascapes of Grand Manan and area and he also has prints, note cards and more. Eric’s work can been viewed on his fb page at:
If woodwork is your thing, Ian Bernard’s beautifully crafted, bird’s eye maple cutting boards are a must-see and a must-buy. I have to admit, that Grand Manan has been blessed with incredible wood-working craftsmen. Ian’s boards and other work ( he also makes furniture and uses other woods as well) will be a much loved part of your home and with care, they’ll last a lifetime. He has some easy care instructions before you take one of his creations home with you. I also saw a beautiful clock that he made and  I REALLY want it……however…..time and more $$$....... I did not have……sad face here.
Heather Kinghorne has some of the most beautiful, unique baby items you’ll ever see. Heather’s work rivals any “label” baby wear you’ll find in the baby boutiques.  Knit wear, crib and Pak N Play sheet sets and lots of other very unique items for your little one. A great baby shower or “Grammy” shop to say the least! Her creations are very well made and will last for many years to the point that you’ll be able to pass them on to the next generation! An heirloom item awaits you when you take home one or more of Heather’s creations.
Faye Miller is a dear lady that I had a lovely chat with! She is an extraordinary knitter and her work certainly shows her talent!  Faye has sweaters for big and small, baby sets and lots of other knit wear for the family.
Another artist I met was Bev Cary who specializes in painting Woodward’s Cove and not to be left out, the Whale Cove knitters had some incredible works of art-in-wool sweaters and other knit items.
There were many other crafts people that I would have loved to mention but the best way to see them all is to plan a trip to Grand Manan, stay for a few days and make sure you can stay over a Saturday for the market! You’ll be glad you did……oh, and did I mention the cinnamon buns?!!!!!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013



As soon as I walked into The Dory Shop in Shelburne Nova Scotia, a flood of memories pervaded my mind. I was once again a kid in a dory with a jig line that my father set up for me, happily jigging away in the hopes of catching a fish. Sometimes I actually did catch a fish but the memory was of having a fun time with my Dad, uncles and cousins.
My family has always lived by and worked with the sea so dories were a natural part of my landscape, at least in the Summer when we would visit my mother’s home of Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy (home of the world’s highest tides btw!) or Swan's Island, Maine where my  mother's sister and family lived/fished.
My grand-father was a fisherman as were some of my uncles and my Dad fished for a while too before going back into the RCN.
Once in the Dory Shop in Shelburne, the smell of freshly cut wood mixed wtih the salt air greets your olfactory senses and you are transported to a time long ago when dory making was not just an art form but a much needed industry. Dories were the work-horses of the sea, where fishermen spent hours a day hauling in their catch. I won’t go into details about dories as I think that would be best left in the capable hands of Master Dory Maker, Milford Buchanan who took me of a tour of the making from start to finish of a dory. To say the least, it was very interesting and if you’re a boat/history buff, you’ll love the history of this fishing craft as told by one of the last master dory makers. Mr. Buchanan is a soft spoken but detailed orator and I leaned many facts I didn’t know about dories!

Mr. Buchanan learned his craft from Master Dory Maker, Sidney Mahaney who is featured in the Dory Shop museum. His story is fascinating to say the least!.....but you’ll have to go there to find out why!

Dories come in different sizes and even styles but there was one in particular that caught my eye as seen in one of the pics below where you’ll read the “why” to this little dory! :-)

Below is the little dory I mentioned above! It's a child's "sea"-saw! Too cute and I SO wanted to buy this for my little grand-daughters but not sure where they would now put it in their oh-so-full playroom! :-)
 Master Dory Maker, Milford Buchanan.

So, when you go to Shelburne, Nova Scotia, make sure you take the time to go through all three complexes of their museum but take a little longer to take in all the details of The Dory Shop and talk and listen to Mr. Buchanan. It will probably be your first and last time to talk and hear a Master Dory Maker and I guarantee you’ll be very pleased that you did!  :-)