Monday, May 24, 2010

Thank you Queen Victoria!

....for the long weekend!
It was a glorious one! We had perfect weather all three days, and I did my best to take advantage of it.

On Saturday, R. and I went to Mahone Bay. We took the long route, Hwy #3, and made a few stops along the way. As it turned out Mahone Bay was hopping this weekend due to the Mussel Festival (who knew?!), but we still managed to find the a super quiet spot to enjoy a delicious picnic lunch of brie + artisan bread + tomatoes and carrots.

The neighbours were very quiet, needless to say!...but we enjoyed their company, particularly Sophia's.
Mahone Bay really is a perfect daytrip for a sunny Saturday. I wish I had taken more photos. It's such a pretty little town. We wandered through some of the shops. I had gone with an idea of finding a pair of shoes at the Mahone Bay Trading Co., but didn't find what I was looking for. It's a little surprising that in this tiny little town, you'll find a HUGE shoe store. It's largest shoe store stocking Clark's I've ever been in (even in Toronto!). All I bought in Mahone Bay was an ice cream (from a new ice cream shoppe and was having a 2 for 1 sale), and a rhubarb custard square. Yum!
Sunday was an eventful day, not so much for me, but for a dear friend who was running the Blue Nose Half-Marathon. Personally, I can't imagine running 21 km, even if I was being chased by someone/something, so in my mind this is really an accomplishment to celebrate.Her fan club wandered around the city to cheer her on, and after it was all said and done, we enjoyed a feast at the Mongolie Grill where you pick your own ingredients for a stirfry. It's a pretty fun concept and delicious too! Afterwards we went back to my place to relax and catch-up and later enjoy a dinner together. I love having people over because it's so much more fun cooking for other people than for just me. I made a moussaka with Greek salad and served pita & roasted red pepper dip with it. And for dessert, inspired by the treat I had in Mahone Bay, I made super decadent rhubarb custard bars. Wow they were good....but you don't want to eat too many of them, that's for sure. They are rich, rich, rich!

Rhubarb Custard Bars

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Cold Butter or Margarine


2 Cups Sugar
7 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 Cup Whipping Cream
3 Eggs, beaten
5 Cups Finely Chopped Fresh or Frozen Rhubarb, Thawed and Drained


2 Packages (3 ounces each) Cream Cheese softened
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Whipping Cream, Whipped

In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Meanwhile for filling, combine sugar and flour in a bowl. Whisk in cream and eggs. Stir in the rhubarb. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 F for 40 - 45 minutes or until custard is set. Cool.

For topping, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Spread over top. Cover and chill well. Cut into bars.

Yield: 3 Dozen

After a game of Dutch Blitz, everyone went home and I went to bed.

And here we are, today, the last day of the long weekend! After such a busy Sat. and Sunday, I was in no rush to do anything this morning. I enjoyed a slow morning with lots of CBC radio and dozing and not much of anything. Stupidly, I saved all the hard work for the heat of the day - and whoa! was there heat! It was 29 C in Halifax (33 w/ the Humidex). But the sunshine was nice, and I'm not complaining. Even when it's hot Halifax is still waaaay better than Toronto in the heat. There's hardly any smog, and being so close to the ocean means that the evenings cool down nicely. I love Halifax in the summertime!

This afternoon I bought some plants and got my patio garden started. I decided to forego with vegetables this year. For the amount of produce my little garden yields, it's hardly worth it. Especially since I can raid my mother's garden for delicious things! ;)

So this year I've decided to go with flowers and greenery. I want a lush, pretty garden this year, rather than practical. The problem is, I'm not sure I know what I'm doing. So today I just bought a few things that looked nice and planted them in my planters. We'll see how they'll do. I did plant a 'salad' box of romaine lettuce and an herb box with parsley, chives and basil.

I still have a little more to do - I want to pick up a hosta and I need to plant another hanging basket, get my scarlet runners planted, and add a couple more plants to my railing planters - but most of it is done now. Soon, I'll be able to sit back and enjoy the greenery and pretty flowers. I hope.

Well, that's it for me. I'm going to sign-off now, and maybe go to bed. The sun and the activity has left me a little wiped.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend as much as I did!

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