Saturday, 23 June 2012

A Swedish Sandwich Cake - “Smorgastarta”!

Today I am going to a retirement BBQ, and plan to bring a Smorgastarta for my part of the potluck. Inspired from here. I am making a loaf style “cake”, versus a traditionally shaped cake. The cake will be approximately five inches wide by eight inches long by five inches tall.


  • 1 loaf Calabrese Bread sliced lengthwise
  • 1 small chunk smoked salmon &/or lox
  • small container cooked shrimp
  • long English cucumber
  • radish (for garnish)
  • parsley (for garnish)
  • 1 lb. of cream cheese
  • 1 cup (approx.) miracle whip or mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup (approx.) sour cream
  • melted butter or oil based dressing of choice to “kiss” the bread
  1. In a mixer, whip cream cheese, mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, and sour cream together. Reserve half for alternating layers.
  2. Mix smoked salmon into cheese mixture in mixer. Add enough to “taste”.  I found I doubled the amount in the mixer.
  3. Begin layering your sandwich cake… I put a bit of butter on the “plate” to hold the bottom piece of bread in place.  Then thinly buttered the bottom slice of bread, and spread on approx. 1/4 inch thick spread of smoked salmon mixture.  Another slice of bread, plain cheese mix and thin slices of cucumber, topping it with a slice of bread that had more plain cheese mixture.  Finally covering that slice of bread with another 1/4 inch thick spread of smoked salmon mix, and the final slice of bread.
  4. Cover your sandwich cake with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours before “icing” with sour cream/mayonnaise mixture (I didn’t include those amounts in the ingredients above). Decorate with boiled eggs, lox, radish & carrot curls.  I plan to decorate it in such a way that people will slice it into small squares, vs. slices.

The following pictures show how I made and decorated it!

Left to right:

bottom layer of smoked salmon spread -, middle layer of cheese/sour cream/mayonnaise with cucumber - completed “cake” filled and wrapped, waiting to be decorated!


Below: Completed “cake” iced with more cream cheese/sour cream/mayonnaise icing. Decorated with cucumber, cooked shrimp, radish, lox “rosettes”, and parsley from my garden!DSC01434

I know that it will tend to fall apart when being cut, so I’m taking my extra sharp knife with me to the event! I’m quite happy with how it turned out!

An Eventful Week!

It has been such an eventful week off! Starting with Sunday, and a dinner out celebrating Father’s Day at the Driftwood Restaurant in Oyster Bay, followed by 3 nights camping at Saratoga Beach Resort. Then a quick day trip to Port Alberni with my sister to visit our sister Barb’s NorthStar Cherry tree that we planted in her honor! Today was hearing tests and doctor’s appointments for Marcel, and tomorrow is visits from friends and a retirement BBQ for a co-worker. Sunday will be a stay at home day to recoup before heading back to work. Indeed, it is true that sometimes we go to work for a rest!
Here are some of my favorite pictures of the week so far! Enjoy!
Above: Saratoga Beach
Below: Going crabbing for Stargo

Above: Arlis at Sproat Lake
Below: Cody along the trail at Fossli Park
Barb's Tree

Old Farm along Stirling Arm Drive, Port Alberni, BC

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Just because you’re my friend

Hi! Welcome from the Card a Day Blog, with the first of a new theme, “Just because”
My card began with a trip to the scrapbook store, as I needed a quick card for a dear friend, “just because” I wanted to send her some sweet wishes with a card she would like to even frame as a memento of our friendship.
The first thing I spied was a bucket of flowers marked 60 for $5. Who could resist!?! I found some neat leaves and chose earth toned flowers with a few different colors to contrast (purple, blue and green).
I then looked for and found a rub on set that matched the tones of flowers I picked out, that was suitable for a friend Smile  I love the sentiment, because friends are like flowers to me…. just like sunshine!
Here is what I started with, the card base is 6 inches square, with a coordinating bazzil cardstock in pale blue.
The rub on was from Kaisercraft, the “Peachy Keen Collection”.
I picked out the flowers I wanted to use, and here is my tip… use a coordinating pen to make stems showing the flow of where you want your bouquet to be… it doesn’t have to be exact, and even if bits show later, it will be ok!
When gluing, go from “back to front”, I started with the leaves, then the top 4 flowers, the bottom 2 flowers, and ending with the central flower (the one with the rhinestone).
The best thing about this card, is that it was fast, easy and comparatively cheap to make.
I hope you like it!
Remember to visit the Card a Day Blog tomorrow for some more inspiration from Diana! Don’t forget to join us in some fun with our challenges ~ we love to be inspired by you too!


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A good weed – Lambs Quarters

One of the things I remember about my childhood and gardening, is some of the more interesting things my Mother taught me about gathering weeds to eat Smile  One of my favorite weeds is Lambs Quarters. I let them seed all over the garden, so I can eat them when I want. They have a deep rich taste, and are great steamed and served with butter!

It is best to pick them young, and all it requires is a simple pinch with your fingertips to break them off near the ground.  The lambs quarters in the picture below is about 3 1/2 inches tall. Perfect size IMHO.DSC01309

I picked about 4 cups of lambs quarters, and assembled ingredients for a quick wholesome lunch.

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 cup canned ham (diced, and home canned)
  • Yam fries
  • 4 cups lamb quarters
  • 2 eggs
  • rye bread


Yam fries went into the oven first, as they take about 25 minutes to get toasty and crisp.  I browned the onion in a small amount of oil, and drained the ham “liquid” into another pot to steam the lambs quarters in.  The ham went in with the onions to warm. I poached a couple of eggs (one per person).



After all was cooked, I plated my meal (hubby doesn’t eat weeds, so that meant more for me!). You are looking at the amount of lambs quarters I got from that pot full… under 1 cup cooked!

I neglected to say I served everything with rye toast and chipolte dip I made with chipolte in adobo sauce, mayo and sour cream… it is a must have with yam fries!


So, when you are out in the garden, think of what weeds you can eat!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Garden Comparison, what a difference a year makes

There is an old Chinese saying that “when the house is finished, the man dies” – I think the same saying goes for gardeners.

I always take a picture of the front garden beds after I get finished working on them in the springtime, usually the beginning to middle of June.  The following pictures are from June 2011 (top) and 2012 (bottom).  Once the annuals I planted start blooming, I’ll take a picture again.  I think the work hubby and I did will really make a difference (expanded the bed slightly and put lawn edging in, with lots of mulch).

June 18, 2011

garden 2011

June 4, 2012

garden 2012

I’m quite pleased with the fact that the garden is mostly perennials, but still gives such a nice show of flowers from the middle of April until the beginning of July. Now to figure out what shrubs to replace the “Rose of Sharon” shrubs alongside the sidewalk with.