Asparagus Lasagna

QuickImage Tags: Eat Local Vegetarian

The asparagus is providing an abundance of spears now that we've had rain and warmth. The spears are piling up.

There was a half box of lasagna noodles on the pantry shelf, a few mushrooms lingering in the fridge and chopped leeks in the freezer from the spring harvest.

I sauteed the mushrooms, asparagus (cut in 1" pieces on the bias) and leeks, made up 2 cups of thin bechamel with a splash of white wine, plucked a couple of small sprigs of thyme and layered it all in my rice cooker's slow cooker insert, with enough sauce on the bottom to cover. I shredded a little of 3 different cheeses that I happened to have on hand and put the last of that on top.

No need to cook the lasagna noodles, they will soften in the sauce as it cooks. (Break the pieces to fit the slow cooker.) Better yet, assemble it the night before and give it an extra 1/2 hour to cook.

After cooking on high for 2 1/2 hours, it was ready to eat. It was good!

A little leftover ham or bacon or even prosciutto would give it a little extra protein, it doesn't take much.

Round out the meal with a leafy salad and simmered carrots dressed with a little butter and parsley. Enjoy!

Click on the link below for a different version of pasta with asparagus. Whole Foods is one of my favorite go-to sources for cooking inspiration.

Download File asparagus-and-portobello-farfalle


The Bridge In Valley Mills Is Opening Now

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I'll have to drive it, just to make sure it's open for real.


Hummies Are Here!

QuickImage Tags: Hummingbird Migration

Yesterday I saw the first two hummingbirds of the season.

For the record, that's 5 days after Mother's Day.

The feeders have been up for a week in anticipation of their arrival. The mid-northern feeder has already been claimed.

I've read that the males arrive first. I can't verify that, they are too skittish this early in the season to get a good look at them.

In the garden last week, I thought I heard hummies a couple of times and wrote it off to my imagination. Transients come though first en route to their summer breeding ground.

Soon there will be swarms of hummies vying for position and mating privileges.

Click on the link below to report your sighting.

Download File map.html



QuickImage Tags: Coyotes Wild Things

1. Leash your dog. Pick up and carry small dogs. It is important to have full control over your dog so that they do not run toward, away from, or otherwise engage the coyote.

2. Stand tall and assertive. Coyotes are wary of humans and your presence is usually enough to drive off a coyote. Maintain eye contact. Do not turn your back on the coyote and do not run. Running away can trigger a coyote’s prey drive and may cause him or her to chase you.

3. Haze the coyote until it leaves the area. This may come easy to some but to others seem abusive or unkind. But every coyote advocate will agree, the kindest thing you can do for a coyote is to scare it away, especially if he or she is overly curious about dogs. Keeping up a coyote’s natural fear of humans is the only way to keep urban coyotes alive, for a coyote that becomes too brazen is sure to end up euthanized.

Outside of pupping season (between the months of August and January) haze the coyote by yelling, stomping your feet, shaking a jacket or noise maker, popping an umbrella, flashing a flashlight, tossing rocks or branches at the ground near the coyote and anything else that will frighten the coyote off. If the coyote freezes, or runs a little way away and turns to watch you again, continue hazing and moving toward the coyote untilhe or she leaves the area entirely. Then calmly and assertively walk out of the area.

If it is breeding and pupping season (between the months of February and July) you may be near a den and considered a threat. It is important not to haze coyotes as normal, because coyotes will defend their den site and you’ll only be escalating a situation, causing undue stress on the coyote and potentially forcing a coyote to act out defensively. During these months, the best thing to do is to slowly and calmly walk away without ever turning your back on the coyote.

Stay tall and assertive as you leave the area, even if it means walking backwards. Coyotes will sometimes follow you for a distance to escort you out of their territory, and turning your back may invite them to come in closer to hurry you on your way. Maintaining eye contact and an assertive posture keeps things balanced by letting the coyote know they do not have the upper hand while still respecting the coyotes defense of their den site.

4. Report overly brazen coyotes. If a coyote comes too close, follows you for too long, acts overly assertive or does not respond to hazing, report the coyote to city authorities. The coyote may have become habituated to humans or is being fed by someone, which can result in aggressive behavior. It may be that the coyote can be hazed by city officials to reverse its behavior or, as unfortunately is often the case, may have to be removed.

The media is rather one-sided when it comes to coyotes, reporting with sensationalistic fervor all the instances that coyotes have conflicts with pets, but ignoring the instances where an encounter is harmless, or a coyote is actually defending itself or territory against an intruding dog, rather than being the aggressor. This results in myths and misconceptions about life among coyotes.

While there can be misunderstanding about what is happening during an encounter, what is readily apparent is that the best thing for humans, dogs and coyotes living in the same area is to minimize the possibility of an encounter. Play your role in maintaining a coyote’s fear of humans, and by extension, maintaining distance from pets.

More ways to keep your pet safe

In addition to knowing what to do when your dog is on leash, you can also take steps to keep coyotes away from your neighborhood and your pets safe at home. These step include:

Do not let your pet outside alone, especially at night.

Do not keep pet food outside.

Haze coyotes every time you see them, regardless of if you have a pet with you (unless it is during pupping season).

Avoid having any attractants in your yard, which means picking up fallen fruit from trees, cleaning the BBQ grill, securing lids on trash cans, covering your compost piles, and removing anything else that might be a food, water, or shelter source for coyotes.

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Filled Carrot Spice Muffins

QuickImage Tags: Eat Local Eat Real Entertainment News In Marble Mountain Food & Health Gardening & Food Good Eating!

We need some uplifting news after all the horror (What will Trump do next?) we are seeing in the media and what better way to lift our spirits than something good to eat?

In an attempt to use up what's left in the freezer from last summer's garden, l am on a muffin-making binge. Rummaging around, I came across a bag of carrot shreds.

This morning's treat is Cream Cheese Carrot Cake muffins, recipe from the King Arthur Flour site. I am a big fan of KAF and I purchase their flour whenever I see it in the store.

Next time I make these, I will add freshly grated or candied ginger and some nutmeg and cloves or allspice to the batter to amp up the spice kick. Walnuts, raisins and craisins would all be excellent additions. I prefer the natural crunchy, crispy tops to these muffins, without the heavy sugar sprinkles. My teeth recoil in horror when I bite down on those big, hard, chunks of sugar so they are a no-go for me.

I made these jumbo size (yes, I have one of those pans with double size cups - insert silly joke here) and had to bake them for a full 30 minutes to get them to completely set. They weren't overdone. They're very filling and I was only able to get through part of mine.

Drop by if you want one. Before they're gone. Especially if you're very hungry, they're substantial.

Download File cream-cheese-carrot-cake-muffins-recipe


A Clear And Present Danger: Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador

QuickImage Tags: Dangerous

At the meeting with the Russians in the White house last week, it has been learned that Trump gave sensitive imformation to the Russians that the country doesn't even give its closest allies.

This could very well result in the deaths of Americans and allies.

Download File 530c172a-3960-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html?tid=notifi_bell_breaking-news&pushid=591a17b4fdd5491d0000004b


ALERT! There is a new virus/web malware issue going around.

QuickImage Tags: Technology

ALERT! There is a new virus/web malware issue going around.

If you get a message on your computer saying there is a critical problem and asking you to call a number to resolve the problem, don't do it!!!.

Turn your computer off with the power switch and then start it back up again.

I don't know that this will resolve the problem but calling the number on the screen is a bad thing.

I have one client who did and tonight she is calling all her credit card companies to change all of her information.

It has already hit one person at another client (she didn't call the number, thankfully) and many other people are seeing the same thing.

If you have already been scammed by one of these criminals, call your credit card company's Fraud Division and report it.


Mountain Road in Christmas Island is the worst road in Atlantic Canada

QuickImage Tags: Life In Cape Breton

Shouldn't this say Marble Mountain Road?

When we drove Marble Mountain Road last week, we had to be extra attentive to avoid sinking our car tires into pits of deep mud. The car would not get out of those traps without help from a tow.

Now tell me why Marble Mountain Road isn't at the top of the worst roads list?

Download File mountain-road-in-christmas-island-is-the-worst-road-in-atlantic-.html


The Asparagus Is Up!

QuickImage Tags: Asparagus Eat Local Gardening

The asparagus is up and it looks strong and healthy and perhaps 6" tall. My guesss is that it came up 3 days ago on Saturday, April 29. This may be the earlist yet to have asparagus.

Unless we get a batch of unsually warm weather, I'll have to wait a couple of weeks before it's ready to harvest.

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Grand Re-Opening Of Crowdis Bridge 1-3, Sunday, April 30, 2017

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The bridge repair has proven to be more complicated than originally stated. The new open date will be sometime in mid-May but that won't stop the celebration.