Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cauliflower Soup

Holy Stromboli!!!!! 
Look at the size of that cauliflower!
I was strolling around the produce department at the grocery store
trying to decide which of the beautiful veggies to purchase,
when my eye was drawn to the cauliflower.
This wasn't the only huge one either.
I had to buy it and make some cream of cauliflower soup.
I cut up the cauliflower and put it in a pot,
then had to take it out and put it in a bigger pot!
That baby filled my biggest stock pot!
The cauliflower got cooked with water and chicken bullion,
in the mean time I chopped a nice big onion, put it in a pan with 
a stick of butter and salt and pepper and let that sweat on a low heat
until the onions were translucent.
Once the cauliflower was nice and soft,
I used my handy stick blender to puree it.
When it was nice and smooth, I added the onions
and milk.  I used about 4 cups of milk since it was a huge 
amount of cauliflower.
That all got blended and went back on the stove for a while.
It turned out to be just the right consistency for my taste,
if it had been too thin, I could have thickened it with a bit of
flour or corn starch.
Oh and I added a bit of shredded cheddar cheese too.
All ready to eat!
And the verdict is.......
Thumbs up from me!
I'm home alone tonight, so there is a big bowl of soup in the fridge
and there are several containers in the freezer for later consumption. 

Thanks for stopping by today,
now go buy some fresh veggies and make some soup!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ireland #14 A Sad Blue Wall

Slept in a bit
 (9:00 and for those of you who know me well, 
you know this isn't really sleeping in for me)
and after breakfast we were out the door.
First it was Courtmacsherry for a little drive around to see 
the views near the water.

Then it was on to Clonekilty to the SuperValu to do
some grocery shopping.
The last time I was in Ireland they didn't have 
these large grocery stores, so it was interesting to 
see what it was like.
Well, let me tell you it was a lot different than
the grocery stores here in the States.
I don't know about where y'all live, but here in the 
Buffalo, NY area we don't have a parking 
garage connected to the grocery store.
I wondered why there was an elevator near the front door,
when I investigated, I found that there were 3 levels for parking.
Very convenient, how nice to not have to load groceries 
in the rain, or if they had this here, in the snow.
Once we were inside the store, we found lots of things
that would never fly here in the States.
Our health laws are much different, but you know
everything there was very fresh and it doesn't seem like
the differences are hurting anyone.
First was the bakery,
where all the bread and rolls are just sitting out
on tables or in bins.
Same with the donuts.
Although there is a deli where they serve you,
there was this lunch meat out on a cooler table.
I didn't see any bags, so I'm assuming they would 
wait on the customer here too.
This meat in the butcher area was also out and open on a 
cooler table. These were the sales, sirloin steak and "steak mince"
As well as the fish.
I'm not saying that I have a problem with any of this,
but just that this would never fly here,
the health department would be all over it.
In the deli they had this 
"happy face bologna"
How cute is that?
And they had sandwiches, which is what we picked up for
our lunch today.
They had them pre-made, but would make up whatever we wanted.
Boy were they good. They had a lot of different veggies chopped
to add.  My sandwich had roast beef, cole slaw, onions, 
cheese and lettuce on a nice crusty roll.
I'm not a coffee drinker, but they had huge selection
of coffee beans to choose from.
I had fun just browsing around in the store,
checking out different products and prices.
As for those prices, if you look at some of those signs
you'll see that meat is sold by the kg. and 1 kg is about 1/2 lb.
The sirloin steak is 15.99 Euro/kg so it would be about 8.00 euro/.lb
factoring in the difference in US dollars to Euro
that would be about $10.00/lb
And that's the sales price,
the regular price was 23.99/kg or about $15.00/lb
The smiley face bologna was 10.19/kg or about $6.00/lb
The donuts were 6/2.00 so $2.50/6 
Some things were more expensive, some were less,
I think in the long run, averaged out it was about the same as
the stores here in my area.
The last bit of food that I'm showing you is the
Bacon Chops.
I asked Noreen at the B & B about these bacon chops
as she explained
almost anything that is from a pig is called bacon.
These bacon chops are actually pork chops 
and these happened to have some mustard butter with them.
She would cook up the chops and then put the butter 
on top of them to melt, just like you might put
seasoned butter on a steak.
Well, enough about  the supermarket and food.
We were off to check out 
Old Head Light House.
We saw some beautiful scenery on the way there.

We were very disappointed in that trip.
We did see the light house from VERY far away
while we were driving to the area.
BUT as we had been warned at the B & B
we were not permitted to go see it up close.
A private golf course was built on the land around
the light house.
When this was all proposed, it was promised that the general
population would have access to this beautiful light house and
the surrounding area.
That is not what happened and you are not permitted in if you are 
not going to golf.  The cost of golfing was about 
200 Euro or about $250.
We had hoped that there would be at least a view of 
the light house which is one of the most beautiful in Ireland
(you can see it here)
Many of the people who live in this area
are very upset that people are not allowed to see 
such a national treasure.
The views from outside the golf club
were stunning.
These are some of the cliffs that surround the course.

Those tiny little people in this picture are the other 
Celtic Adventurers
taking in the views.
And off in the other direction......
We didn't spend long at Old Head 
then we were off to Kinsale.
On our other trips to Ireland, Kinsale was one of our
favorite towns.  This time, not so much. 
We did like it, but were disappointed in the 
flowers etc.  I think it was just the wrong time
of the year for the flowers.
But we did find some things to shoot.
Here is one of the Guinness signs 
As I've said before, Guinness is huge in Ireland
this sign shows a man holding a whale up with
one finger.  He has a bottle of Guinness on his back
with a hose going to his mouth.
I also found this sign in a window of 
"Mario's Chipper and Pizzeria Take Away"
Had to take a picture of it, I wondered
how these Buffalo Wings compared to 
what we have here in Buffalo.
When we were here the last time we found a wonderful blue
wall.  The pictures of it are great sellers.
You can see them here and here.
Dave and I wanted to locate the blue wall again
and we did.  Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the same..
Here is what the wall looks like now.
It's actually 2 walls on the same little house.
Here's the other one.
Wouldn't have gotten those beautiful pictures on this trip.
I'm sure if we go to Ireland again, we'll visit Kinsale again,
but for this trip it wasn't a huge success.
So we were back to the B & B to get ready for dinner.

Flowers of the Day
Not only was the Kilcatten Lodge one of the most 
beautiful B & B's that we stayed in,
it has some beautiful gardens and views.
These 3 pictures were taken from the car park 
at the Kilcatten Lodge.
So gorgeous.

These flowers are from Noreen's garden
It was the end of the season, but her roses were still blooming
and absolutely beautiful!

Next post,
A Pink Elephant and This Little Piggy

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wedding Gift

I am so excited about this gift I made for my nephew and his new wife!
They had asked me to make their wedding invitations for them
and to make a long story short, Vicki and I found a picture that we loved
that worked with their "Roaring 20s" theme.
I used my Silhouette Designer Edition software
 to trace the sign and lamp post image.
I made a few changes to the basic image 
and added their names and the date
I had used this same image on the reception cards in the invitations.
I knew how much they loved the image and the invitations,
so I made this floating image for them as a wedding gift.
I cut the image from black vinyl,
adhered it to a piece of glass,
placed another piece of glass over it and popped it
into the frame.
I am so thrilled with the way it turned out.
It was quite an intricate cut, 
but my Silhouette Cameo did a beautiful job and 
cut nice clean lines.
I can't wait to see how this looks hanging in their home.

Thanks for stopping by today.
Come again soon.

Until next time, Happy Crafting!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wedding Card for Patrick and Vicki

Hello bloggy friends!
Earlier in the month I posted about making the invitations for
my nephew's wedding.
Well, that wedding is today!
I'm so excited and I know we are going to have a
fabulous time.
And of course I needed a wedding card for 
Patrick and Vicki.
I wanted it to tie in with the invitations
so I used the same papers that I used to make the invitations.
I also used 
"Lg Filagree Heart" (#24601) from 
Eureka! Stamps
I heat embossed the image onto the red card stock 
with clear embossing powder.
I then fussy cut the heart image and added it to the front of the card.
I think this adds just the right amount of 
"pop" to the card.
I know they will appreciate the effort taken to
create a card that coordinates with the invitations
I made for their wedding.

Thanks for stopping by today.
I hope you are inspired in some way.
Come again soon!

Until next time, Happy Crafting!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ireland #13 Middleton and more

When we got back to the B&B the night before,
Dave and I talked with the owners about our itinerary
and realized that our plans weren't feasible.
Joe and Noreen were very helpful and gave us some   
great advice.  So we ended up going to Middleton.
We arrived right around lunch time and found a wonderful
little gourmet sandwich shop called Monty's.
My sandwich was fabulous!
"Spiced beef, leaves, horseradish mayo, gherkins on white bread"
This wasn't just any white bread, it was absolutely delicious.
I know the others enjoyed their sandwiches too.
Dave had a bit of Jane's and said he wished he'd gotten it,
it was one of the best sandwiches he'd ever eaten.
Once lunch was finished the other 5 made their way to the
Jameson Distillery.
I'm not a drinker at all and really have no interest in whiskey
of any sort, so they went and I wandered around town a bit.
Unfortunately, I didn't take a single picture.
There really wasn't much to take pictures of.
I did find a discount store and wandered around in there 
and low and behold, look what I found!
One of our favorite kinds of candy!
We discovered Orange KitKats on one of our previous 
trips and fell in love with them.
We've never seen them in the States and they are sooooo good.
I picked up what they had, only a couple packages.
These were supposed to be to bring home with us,
I knew the kids would be thrilled to have them.
Ha! Fat Chance!
Now don't jump to any conclusions,
I shared them with the others!
And we bought more to bring home,
along with this other treat.
Orange Aero Bars, another candy we had discovered on
previous trips that we didn't have at home.
These both became a couple of our favorite little treats 
while traveling.
I spent a little alone time, writing in my journal and reading
and to be honest, falling asleep in the car.
We had a set of walkie talkies and Ed's voice woke me
up, they were on the way back to the car.
We needed to get to the 
Cobh (pronounced Cove) Heritage Centre 
before it closed.
We made it just in time.
This centre had exhibits about the emigration of people from Ireland.
Many left from this port.
Over a period of about 100 years, over 6 million people emigrated
from Ireland.  About 2.5 million departed from Cobh.
People were picked up here for the fateful journey of the 
Titanic. Cobh was the Titanic's last port of call where 123 
passengers embarked.
At that time Cobh was called Queenstown.
When the Lusitania was torpedoed and sank near Kinsale,
survivors were brought to Cobh and cared for in the local 
hospitals, homes and lodging houses.
This picture shows the building of the Titanic.
These next 3 pictures below depict life on the ships 
headed for British North America, now Canada, 
but the majority of those people settled in the 
United States.
From the late 1700s till the mid 1800s nearly 40,000 
convicts were placed on ships and sent to Australia.

Life on the ships was extremely hard.
There were no staterooms, people were packed into the hold of
the ship.  The food often was insufficient and often spoiled
there was very little fresh water and disease ran rampant.
For these people it was either board the ship for 
America, or face sure death in their homeland.
This was their only chance at survival.
This statue stands outside the 
Heritage Centre, it is of 
Annie Moore and her two brothers.
Annie Moore was the first ever emigrant to be processed in 
Ellis Island when it officially opened on January 1, 1892.
A similar statue of Annie can be found in Ellis Island.
She and her bothers sailed from Queenstown (now Cobh)
on the SS Nevada on December 20, 1891 and arrived after 12 days
of travelling in steerage.
After our enlightening visit to the 
Cobh Heritage Centre
we were off to Kinsale for dinner.  
This evening we ate at 
Kitty O'Se's and unfortunately we were not impressed.
The food was, at best, mediocre.
BUT we did make the best of it, enjoyed each other's company
and picked up some Magnum Ice Cream Bars
for our dessert.
And I must say the facade of the restaurant was beautiful.
Then it was back to Kilcatten Lodge for the evening.

Believe it or not, I have no 
Flowers of the Day 
for this day, the ones on the front of the restaurant 
above were the only ones I took any pictures of.
But, I can tell you a funny story.
When we arrived in Middleton earlier in the day,
Dave dropped some of us off on the main street,
mostly because I was not having the best of days and
we didn't know how far it was to park the car.
He and Jane went off to find a parking lot, 
while the rest of us would check out the lay of the land.
They found a parking lot and parked the car.
Many of the lots in Ireland are "Pay and Display" lots
where you go to a central "machine" to pay 
and receive a ticket to display in your car.
So they walked up to the Pay area,
the window said "in use" so they waited.
And waited some more, until they realized that it was
a public toilet that they were waiting at
not a pay machine and it was a free lot.
We all had a good laugh over that.
This is a picture of the kind of public toilet they were
waiting at.  This one is in Kinsale, but it's the same kind.
I actually used the one in Middleton.
You put in your change and the door opens for you to enter,
once you are inside, it automatically closes.
It's actually very nice and roomy inside.
The soap, water faucet and dryer are automatic.
Once you are done, you hit the 
"door open" button and it opens and you walk out.
Then the door is closed again and the entire inside is cleaned.
The walls, toilet and sink are sprayed down and dried
for the next person to use.
When you enter, the room is clean and fresh.
How cool is that?!?!
But it does NOT give you a ticket to park your car!

I hope you are enjoying my trip to Ireland.
We are about half way through the trip now.
Next post will be about a golf course that got in our way, 
the sad blue wall,
a pink elephant 
and this little piggy.