Snow Day

Just a couple of days ago the shrubs and roses were budding up, and my spring garden cleanup was underway as I raked up the aftermath of several windy rainstorms. Just tiny daily steps, but I was making progress … until this arrived! It’s been softly snowing for 2 days now, and it’s beginning to pile up. Still, it’s been lovely compared to what I’ve been hearing about the full winter blast back East.




My two magnificent sheltering cedars kept much of the snow off the ground. The tiny birds within their branches are very vocal this morning. I’m not sure if they’re singing or complaining.



February Window Garden

February Window Garden

Another gorgeous, sunny but cold day outside . . .
a good day to enjoy my indoor cyclamen blooms . . .



 and some feathered beauty from late fall gatherings.


Morning has broken

Morning has broken

A gorgeous glowing sky this morning … rosy-hued clouds touched with gold. Extraordinary! Glad I caught it … within minutes the colours had faded away.






Whipped Shortbread

  • 1 lb. butter
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • Glacé cherries (optional)

Beat all ingredients like whipped cream.

Drop from spoon onto greased cookie sheet.  Decorate with pieces of cherry or cake decs, if desired.

Bake at 325º for about 15 minutes – do not brown.

Makes 8 – 9 dozen.

French Apple Cake


  • 3 large apples peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup self-rising flour *
    (or 1 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp baking powder, mixed well)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten (set aside 2 Tbsp for topping)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg


  • 2 Tbsp beaten egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325. Butter a deep 9″ round baking pan (which will double as the serving container).

Put chopped apples into pan, spreading evenly. Beat remaining cake ingredients into a smooth batter (I use a food processor). Pour over apples in pan. Level the top, then bake for 40 – 45 minutes until lightly golden.

Combine topping ingredients, mixing well.

Remove cake from oven and spoon topping over cake. Return cake to oven for additional 20 – 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool cake on rack, and serve from pan.

ChickPea and Yam Stew

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large yam, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 6 pitted prunes, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 – 2 tsp garam masala
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until golden ~ 5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Stir in cumin and cinnamon, garam masala and cook just until spices smell toasty ~ 30 seconds.

Add broth, chickpeas, yam and prunes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer, stirring once or twice, until yam is tender ~ about 10  minutes.

Stir in cilantro; add salt and pepper to taste.

Ardith, Gibsons