Puffed Wheat Squares!

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If there’s a snack that is evocative of my childhood, it’s got to be the iconic Puffed Wheat Square. This easy-to-make treat was always a hit and disappeared almost as fast as my mom could make it. Now, as a high-school teacher, this has become my standard snack when I’m rewarding my class at the end of term or there is a need for any sort of celebration. I’ve even had students email me after graduation asking for the recipe. If you’ve lost the recipe for this somewhere along your journey, here it is once again!

Puffed wheat
Any brand of puffed wheat will do!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter or margarine                                           1 cup brown sugar

1/2 corn syrup (I use Bee Hive brand)                     1/2 cup baking cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla                                                                        10 cups puffed wheat

Directions: Melt butter or margarine. Add brown sugar, corn syrup and cocoa power. Stir over medium/high heat until mixture bubbles. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir in puffed wheat. Press into a 9 x 13 pan. Let cool and cut into squares.

Enjoy!

Party favours!

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It’s no surprise that my blog is called “Any Excuse for a Party”! Yes, it’s my mantra and I tend to always be looking for ways to celebrate… every day! But I also like to make the smaller moments feel special too; not every occasion is a party, but you can make it feel like one. I love brightening up a dinner party (or a dinner out) simply by providing goodie bags for guests.  They are easy to assemble and don’t really cost a great deal. I buy the organza bags at the dollar store (they usually are 4 for $1.50). Fill them with treats of your choice: chocolates, tea bags, mints, etc. Your guests will love them… and suddenly, it will feel like a party is going on!DSC_0021

Remember to create any excuse for a party!

Stylin’ Salad

Salad is not a meal, it’s a style. (Fran Lebowitz, author & public speaker)

I have to say that Fran has a point. Salads are all about style and they can make or break a meal. I love “the look” of a salad, especially when there is colour involved… but nothing outranks taste and this salad delivers on all counts.

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Roasted pepper and pecan salad

Ingredients:  

Mixed greens (any type or style you like)

Red, yellow & orange peppers, roasted with salt, pepper & olive oil, until tender. Slice into strips.

1 cup roasted pecans

Goat cheese or feta cheese, depending on your preference

Avocado (optional)

Dressing: Mix 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 Tsp. ground mustard & 2 Tbsp. maple syrup. Pour over salad and toss.

Serve either as an appetizer or an accompaniment to your meal. Freshly warmed Focaccia bread is a nice side as well. Pour a glass of your favourite wine and enjoy!

Westholme Tea Farm

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“Yes, that’s it! Said the Hatter with a sigh, it’s always tea time.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

A visit to Westholme Tea Farm is a necessity if you happen to be on Vancouver Island and if you also love tea, hand-crafted pottery, and delightful baked treats. Owned by Victor Vesely & Margit Nellemann, this amazing little tea farm nestled in the Cowichan Valley is a must-see on your Island bucket list.

The cozy little shop also sells Margit’s pottery, an added bonus when visiting the farm. Our table featured an eclectic selection of pottery for afternoon tea! We also sampled a fantastic array of white, black & green teas, not to mention the tasty scones, Raw Brownie Bars, Cranberry Turtles, and Matcha Cheesecake! IMG_5077

It was great to meet Victor, who is a very attentive host in the tearoom and extremely knowledgable about the tea farming process. He was also kind enough to agree to a photo op!IMG_5084

I would highly recommend checking out this wonderful little farm in the Cowichan Valley – it’s well worth the visit. Be sure to stay for tea!

Check out this short video feature on Westholme Tea Farm.