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The Wikipedia Game      (Norm Seli)
   (I got this from Sandi Toksvig – presenter, writer, comedienne in the UK)

Take 2 disparate entries in Wikipedia and try to connect them through the links in Wikipedia Articles.
In every Wikipedia article there are highlighted words, which are links that will take you to another page.  i.e. On the United Church of Canada, there will be a highlighted link “Christian”, which will take you to a page about Christianity.   Using these links you navigate from a random starting page to an agreed upon target page.

You can play solitaire and try to get from one to the other in 6 moves or less
or play it competitively and see who can from one to the other in the fewest links.

Example:  Nella Larson and  Marionettes

Nella Larson was an author in the Harlem Renaissance. On her page is link to “Harlem”.

On the Harlem page there is a link to the “Apollo Theatre”
On the Apollo Theatre page there is a link to “Music Hall”
From Music Hall, we go to “Entertainment”
Entertainment provides “Puppets”
and on the Puppets page is a link to “Marionettes”.

Six jumps from Nella Larson to Marionettes
and some great reading along the way.
I find it a great way to start learning or reading about things that never occurred to me (I miss the old bookshops where I would wander around and grab a book that I’d never heard of on a subject that was entirely new to me).





Banana Loaf   (SJ Bynoe)

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
1 egg
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 ripe bananas mashed
Grated rind of 1 orange
Juice of half an orange

Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and mix. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix. Add the bananas, orange rind and juice. Mix and put into a loaf pan. Bake one hour at 325 degrees.




Beef, Mushroom and Guinness Pie     (SJ Bynoe)

Prep 25 Cook 2 h 35 m Ready In 3 h


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 pound cubed beef stew meat

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 white onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

1/3 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup Irish stout beer (such as Guinness(R))

1 1/4 cups beef stock

1/2 teaspoon ground thyme

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, or as needed

1 teaspoon water

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg, beaten


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and brown the

beef stew meat on all sides, about 10 minutes; set aside. Heat the remaining 1

tablespoon of olive oil, and cook the bacon just until it begins to brown; stir in the

onion, carrot, mushrooms, garlic, and sugar. Cook the vegetables until soft and

browned, 10 to 15 more minutes.

Stir in the flour until smoothly incorporated, and gradually mix in the Irish stout

beer and beef stock. Mix in the thyme, bay leaves, and the reserved cooked

beef. Cover, and bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer until the

meat is tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes; stir occasionally. Remove the

cover, turn the heat up to medium, and let the stew boil until slightly thickened,

about 15 more minutes. Mix cornstarch with water, and stir into the stew; let

simmer for 30 more minutes to blend flavors. Remove from heat; discard bay


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Spread the filling into a 9-inch pie dish; trim the puff pastry into a 10-inch circle,

and place on top of the filling. Pinch and crimp the edges of the pastry with a

fork, sealing it to the dish; cut 2 steam vents into the pastry with a sharp knife.

Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg.

Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is browned, 30 to 40 minutes.





Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken   (V. Witt)


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts

2-3 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (comes in a small can)

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried oregano

28 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (fire roasted if available, otherwise San Marzano tomatoes)


  1. Brown/sear the chicken in a frying pan with some olive oil. About 3 min. per side. Place browned chicken in slow cooker.


  1. Combine seasonings, and toss to cover the chicken.


  1. place 2-3 Chipotle peppers on top.


  1. pour diced tomatoes over everything.


  1. cook on High in slow cooker for 2.5 to 3 hours.


  1. optional: in the last half hour, add some corn and/or 1 can of drained, rinsed black beans.


Shred the chicken in the tomato sauce. Serve over rice OR use in fajitas, tacos OR any such Mexican dish. Good with grated cheese on top too!






Ginger Sparkle Cookies
Makes 3-4 dozen.



  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream all ingredients on medium until mixed.
  3. Place dough into cookie press onto an ungreased pan.
  4. Or you can roll in balls size of walnut and dip in sugar.
  5. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.




Roasted Butternut Squash, Pear and Bacon Soup

(4 servings)



½ (3 lb) butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cubed

Salt and ground pepper to taste

1-1/2 tsp olive oil

4 strips of maple-flavoured bacon – chopped

½ large white onion – chopped

1 red pear – peeled, seeded, and chopped

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

1 ½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary

½ tsp dried thyme

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground dried chipotle pepper

1 ½ cups of chicken broth

1 cup of half & half cream



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Place squash in a large bowl; drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Spread the squash in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast squash in prepared oven for 20 minutes: turn. Continue roasting until softened, 10 to 20 minutes more.
  4. Place chopped bacon into a heavy pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Reserve the bacon drippings.
  5. Place the pot over medium heat; add the onion, pears, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and cook in the bacon drippings until onions and pears are soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the roasted squash and cook another 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, nutmeg, cinnamon, and chipotle pepper; simmer on medium -low until ingredients are very soft and flavours have combined, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream.
  6. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor in small batches. Add crumbled bacon and hopefully enjoy!



Quick Pickles (I LOVE LOVE LOVE these pickles !!)    (W.Miller)

(from Nikki & David Goldbeck’s “American Wholefoods Cuisine”)


3-4 mini unwaxed cucumbers (I like them unpeeled)

1 small onion (thinly sliced into rings)

1 small clove garlic, minced (or more to taste)

1 tbsp fresh dill or 1 ½ tsp dill seed

1 cup hot water

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp salt

3 tbsp cider vinegar


  1. Slice cucumber into sticks. I get 8 out of one mini cucumber.
  2. Layer cucumber and onions in glass jar with lid.
    (sealer, or recycled glass jar) Scatter garlic and dill on top.
  3. Mix water, honey, salt and vinegar in microwavable container
    (large measuring cup?) and heat to dissolve salt.
  4. Pour brine over the cucumber mixture.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before using.



Rhubarb Custard Bars


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 5 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped


  1. In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a greased 13×9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for filling, combine sugar and flour in a bowl. Whisk in cream and eggs. Stir in the rhubarb. Pour over crust. Bake at 350° until custard is set, 40-45 minutes. Cool.
  3. For topping, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth; fold in whipped cream. Spread over top. Cover and chill. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.



Guiness Irish Stew with Cheddar dumplings    (Kevin Collins)



2 pounds boneless beef chuck or stewing beef, chopped into bite-sized pieces or 2 pounds of lamb. I Usually buy the cheapest cut, often steaks which I cut up into cubes.

salt and black pepper

4 sticks celery, chopped

3 large carrots, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 large potatoes, diced

3 parsnips, diced (optional)

1 small turnip (optional)

1 small can (156 ml, 5.5 ounces) tomato paste

1 (8 ounce) bottle Guinness (or buy a tall can, pour in 2/3 drink the rest) and buy at least a six pack so you have a pint to drink with your stew when you serve it.

4 cups low/no sodium chicken broth (1 carton of Campbell’s)

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2-3 bay leaves

3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried)

1 tablespoon cornstarch, or as needed

½ pound cremini mushrooms, sliced (optional)



1 ½ cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/3 cup shortening

Or 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons any combination of fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, and thyme, rosemary (optional)

Or 1 tablespoon dried herbs any combination of : thyme, oregano, thyme, herbes de province



Trim off any fat from the meat, cut into bite size pieces.

In Dutch oven or large soup pot (that is ovenproof) heat to medium high, quickly fry meat until brown (does not need to be fully cooked)

Remove meat from the pot and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium, add oil if required, fry the onion, celery, and carrots until soft and fragrant, adding a little oil if necessary.

Add garlic and fry for another 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste, add thyme.

Pour in the Guinness and Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves.  Allow to come to a simmer and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Add the beef back to the pot and pour in the chicken broth. Add the bay leaf, thyme, potatoes, parsnips (optional), turnip (optional)

Reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 1 hour or until the vegetables are tender.

Remove the bay leaf and thyme branches. If the stew is still thin, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water to form a slurry. Mix the slurry into the stew and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer again, stirring occasionally for another 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Cut in the shortening (or butter or margerine) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the cheddar cheese, then add the milk and stir until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Make small balls (golf ball size) with the dough and place them on top of the stew, leaving them room to expand– they grow a lot as they cook. Place the stew in the oven uncovered and bake until the dumplings are browned and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes.

(If you reached this point and realized your soup pot has plastic handles and cant go in the oven, have no fear, put the dumplings in the summering pot, put the lid on and let slowly simmer for 20 minutes.)

Serve with irish soda bread, baguette or really just any bread you have on hand. And a pint of Guiness (as you choose)



CRUNCHY PEA SALAD                (Pam Locke)


3 cups frozen peas, thawed                                      750 ml

1/3 cup chopped red onion                                      75 ml

1/3 cup diced celery                                                75 ml

¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise                                       50 ml

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese                              75 ml

¼ cup roasted peanuts (optional)                              50 ml


Combine all ingredients (except nuts) and mix well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


In place of celery, I have used water chestnuts for the crunchy texture.  I sometimes put peanuts in a dish beside the salad so that individuals can add extra crunch.


This recipe is great for buffets and potluck meals – colourful, tasty, and easy to make.



Perfect Snickerdoodles – 20 Large


       1 cup butter, room temperature

       3/4 cup granulated sugar

       1/2 cup light brown sugar

       1 egg, plus 1 yolk

       1 tablespoon vanilla

       1 teaspoon baking soda

       1 teaspoon cream of tartar

       1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

       1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

       2 3/4 cup flour




       1/4 cup granulated sugar

       1 tablespoon ground cinnamon




  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add in the egg, the yolk, vanilla, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and cinnamon and mix for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Turn mixer to low and add in flour, mixing until just combined.
  4. In a separate small bowl make your Cinnamon Sugar by mixing together cinnamon and sugar, stirring until evenly combined.
  5. Using a medium (2- tablespoon) cookie scoop portion out the dough and roll into a ball. Then roll each cookie dough ball into the cinnamon sugar mixture until coated.
  6. Place on prepared baking sheet about 2- inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, turning cookie sheet halfway through baking.
  7. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.



Tavern Slow Cooker Pot Roast/Stew

Ingredient Checklist

Total 8 hr | Cook 3 hr | Prep 35 min | Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 4-pound roast (chuck, brisket, top or bottom round)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup flour, plus additional for coating
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 4 carrots, peeled cut into 2-3 inch pieces (note: do not use baby carrots)
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 1 pound potatoes, cut evenly into 3-4 inch pieces (preferably russett, new potatoes, or red potatoes)
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 ½ cups beef or vegetable broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 large onion, cut into ½ inch half moons


  • 1 medium or large pan
  • 1 slow cooker or Crock Pot

Method: Slow Cooker

  1. Salt and pepper your roast on all sides. Cover the roast in flour, shaking off any excess flour.
  2. Heat a medium to large pan on medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the roast on all sides until golden brown all around, about 8-10 minutes total.
  3. Transfer the roast to the slow cooker along with carrots, celery, potatoes, garlic, tomato paste, broth, bay, and thyme. Or, add the carrots and potatoes about an hour after the other ingredients and the meat.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the pan. Cook the onions in the pan until barely translucent, about 4 minutes. Add half the wine and stir onions and wine together. Add to slow cooker along with remaining wine.
  5. Cook in slow cooker on low for 8 hours.
  6. Remove the meat and vegetables from the slow cooker. Discard the bay leaves and thyme. Transfer sauce to the pan. Over medium-high heat, add the flour to the pan and simmer until it is to your desired thickness for gravy.

Method: Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degree fahrenheit.
  2. Salt and pepper your roast on all sides, to taste. Cover the roast in flour, shaking off any excess flour.
  3. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the roast on all sides until golden brown all around. This should take about 8-10 minutes total.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the dutch oven. Cook the onions in the dutch oven until barely translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and stir onions and wine together.
  5. Transfer the roast back to the dutch oven along with carrots, celery, potatoes, garlic, tomato paste, broth, bay, and thyme.
  6. Conversely, add the carrots and potatoes about an hour into the cooking time
  7. Cover the dutch oven with a lid and cook in the oven for 3 ½ to 4 hours, or over the stove on a low simmer for 3 hours.
  8. Remove the meat and vegetables from the slow cooker. Discard the bay leaves and thyme. Transfer sauce to the pan. Over medium-high heat, add the flour to the pan and simmer until it is to your desired thickness for gravy.




Toffee Bits Cookies


  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¼ tsp vanilla ext
  • 1 cup toffee bits (200 g Chipits SKOR toffee bits)



  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Beat sugar and butter until fluffy.
  3. Mix in egg and vanilla.
  4. Add combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt mixture to wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Stir in toffee bits.
  6. Drop tsp of cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet
  7. Bake for 9-12mins.
  8. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheet to cooling rack.



Macaroni and Cheese alla Carbonara

50 mins total  15 mins prep

Servings 8

Marcus Samuelsson’s mac and cheese gets a twist from traditional ingredients in carbonara, including bacon, cream and eggs.


  • 1 pound macaroni
  • 6 bacon slices, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until really crispy, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and onions. Cook until the garlic is golden and the onions are translucent. Add 2 tablespoons bread crumbs to the mixture and toast. Set some of the mixture aside to use later as a topping.
  • Add cream and water to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese until melted. Set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix cream mixture and cooked pasta.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg and egg yolk, marjoram and grated Parmesan. Then, fold this mixture into the pasta, along with butter or olive oil, and sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs.

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