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Anticipating Autumn

fall sceneThat’s it. They’ve rolled up the sidewalks, and declared the end of summer.

The beaches are alone tonight, the tide relaxed in the moonlight.   The swimming pools have wrapped their chain-link towels around themselves and declared their secret depths off-limits until the sun shines in 2014.

As the evening of Labour Day marks the end of summer, it also beckons you to come peek at what’s coming next.

Autumn.

Summer has been a flash this year my darlings.  My gin and tonics were few and far between. I knew that it would be a whirlwind of work and settling into a new routine. Instead of time off, I’ve had to settle for white-wine spritzers while standing by the BBQ, grilling up a quick dinner.

As much as I’ve always loved the freedom of summertime, I have always, always, always loved September my tart little apples.

With a schoolgirl heart, I look forward to the routine, the cozy cool evenings and the bold beautiful show that mother nature puts on for us all.  It’s time to take stock, check out which parts of life are abundant, and which need a little more attention.

Career in line – check.  Kiddo ready for high school – check. Summer berries and yummies preserved on  the shelf – check.

As summer closes her youthful eyes, Autumn is sweeping across the land.  I’m dreaming of some cozy nights at home with my new man (he doesn’t know it yet), giving ‘thanks’ with good friends, a girls’ roadtrip, making candy apples, applecrisp, pear and pumpkin pies and hiking through our beautiful forests.

Red wine, warm cognac, bourbon straight up, and long, passionate kisses on the trail as the sun sets. Rich stews and soups after days at the market and roadtripping together. Rainy Sunday afternoons, curled under a blanket with a book that never ends, roast in the oven, and leaves waltzing to the ground.

I love fall because it’s time to tuck in and cozy up with all that I hold close to my heart.

Wishing you hope, gratitude and a deliciously cuddly love-of-your-life  to snuggle up with by the fireplace as the air grows crisp and  days grow  shorter.

 

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Men & Meat; Chicks Shouldn’t BBQ

English: Fresh cut meat for Korean BBQ Categor...
English: Fresh cut meat for Korean BBQ Category:Korean cuisine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Women love looking after their man.

You can tell how great a man is to his partner by how well he’s taken care of.

When my friends and I are in relationship bliss with our significant others, we cook for them, buy them little gifties, let them have all the man-cave time they want and think it’s cute, sexy even.

When a man looks after his woman, she gives it back in multiples. Pun absolutely intended.

Cooking becomes more than making sure he eats, it’s a pleasure watching him enjoy his food. His nodding off while lounging at home in the evening is so sweet.  When a man is gentle with his woman, everything is bliss.

…and then there’s reality… 

I think that’s why we have raw meat and flames.   When a man’s manliness gets in the way of relating – he doesn’t listen, he’s insensitive or his head is generally hidden up his butt, there’s always the BBQ; A man’s reliable weapon during the battle of the sexes.

I’m getting ahead of myself though. You perhaps need a refresher regarding the definition of  Man-Dumb. You know what I’m talking about when I say “man-dumb” don’t you ladies? I mean MAN DUMB. As in, you could tell him eight bazillion ways about how you feel and he still wouldn’t get it and doesn’t seem to care to get it- that’s MAN DUMB.

Pointing out how you could have done everything better – cut your hair, baked cookies, spoken to your boss – and then get defensive saying he’s just trying to help – that’s MAN DUMB.

We don’t want you to fix things boys, we want you to wrap your big strapping arms around us and say it’s ok. We want you, as well-groomed and smelling pretty as you very well may be, to be our Manosaurusrex. Anything else at the pinnacle of girl-crisis is MAN-DUMB.  We have our girlfriends for strategy. That’s who we commune with in the war-room of life. We need you for moral support and unconditional adoration.

You, my strapping piece of man-sausage are our rock and knight in shining armor.

So, back to the barbecue. Meat and flames….what gives?

Well, I think when the battle of the sexes has reached a long, cool, stalemate, the last bastion of hope is the grill. There’s something very sexy, primitive even, about a man feeding a woman. It’s like he went out and slayed the big scary  beast and is protecting his woman.  Sorta.

Maybe that’s just the gin and tonic talking sweetheart.  A man at the barbecue  when we’re delusional post-period, can melt our cold little hearts.  The barbecue can turn a man who apparently either can’t hear, read non-verbal cues, or appreciate that he’s in a relationship with a woman, (not his mother) into a sex god.

It doesn’t matter how MAN DUMB your man has been.  If you see him out there, grilling, over a red-hot flame – you can’t help but be turned on a little bit. I mean, can you?  Just think of it, Mr. Sexy-I’ve-worked-hard-all-day-but-I’m-still-takin’-care-of-my-baby…..give him a break ladies.

So, Chicks Shouldn’t BBQ. We should meditate on the meat, er, I mean testosterone standing out there on the deck, and smile knowing what we get for dessert. After all ladies, we all know that summer is the best time for shakin’ up the bacon that the Manosaurusrex brought home.

Have BBQ – auditioning for guest chefs…

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Savoury Sunday: The Best Burgers In the World

There’s nothing like a leisurely BBQ during a long weekend. At our house, we have one every day of the long weekend.barbeque

I prepare a nice bowl of couscous salad, a pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes and black olives, and uncork a lovely bottle of wine.

I suggest Strut Cab Couture – a delicious, chewy wine that makes you smile, ease into your  muskoka chair and offer up a prayer of gratitude to the universe. Thanks to my friend Darlene for introducing us!

This combination is a  simple, easy, way to relax with delicious food and wonderful company.

Trishy McDishy’s Best Burgers In the World

Ingredients

1) 1lb ground beef (extra lean)

2) 1 clove garlic – crushed

3) 1 egg

4) 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

5) 1 tbsp. BBQ sauce

6) Hamburger buns ( I prefer fresh-baked bakery buns)

7) Condiments; ketchup, mayo, thinly sliced dill pickles, hot peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, Dijon mustard, cheese

Method

1) Thoroughly ix all ingredients together using  your hands.

2) Shape into desired size patties. ( I prefer smaller patties, and this makes about 8)

3) Place directly on pre-heated BBQ grill, and cook as desired.

***Don’t worry darlings, I didn’t forget the music. Crank this and enjoy your dinner. I hope you bought two bottles of vino!***

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Anticipating Summer – Top Ten List

flip flops
flip flops (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sun is shining, and the temperatures have finally stretched into the 20’s. Our little corner of the world is waking from the long, cold, winter slumber and reaching out to the hot, humid days of summer.

This is when the world outside comes alive, nymphlike and beckoning us to come and play.

This is the ANDSHELAUGHS Anticipating Summer Top Ten list

 

1) Flip-Flops

2) Wine on the patio

3) Open windows and a fresh breeze at night

4) The smell of the BBQ

5) Dining Al Fresco

6) Running on the trail by the lake

7) The buzz of lights at the baseball diamond

8) The ice-cream truck

9) Prepping the camping gear

10) Planning the garden

What are you looking forward to???

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Savoury Sunday: Very Veggie Couscous with Feta

"Three things are needed for a good life,good friends, good food, and good song."-~Jason Zebehazy~
“Three things are needed for a good life,
good friends, good food, and good song.”
-~Jason Zebehazy~

Eaten warm or cold, this delicious couscous dish is easy to make, and scrumptious!

Pair it with any succulent gilled meat, and a lovely plate of sweet, juicy tomatoes, and you’re all set!

Don’t forget a chilled bottle of French Cross Chardonnay….

 

Ingredients

1 cup dry couscous

1/2 cucumber diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper diced

1/4 cup finely chopped mint, parsley and cilantro

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 lemon – juice of

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

 

Method

1) Add couscous to one cup boiling water. Simmer on low for 5 mins, remove from heat and toss with a fork.

2) Place chopped cucumber, pepper, mint, parsley, cilantro, salt pepper, oil and lemon juice in large glass serving dish and stir until all herbs and vegetables are coated evenly with oil and lemon juice.

3) Add couscous to serving dish and toss to blend with veggies and herbs.

4) Add crumbled feta and toss to blend.

 ***Be sure to include a few of your best pals to add just the right ambiance.***