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 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)
- Brown/sear the chicken in a frying pan with some olive oil. About 3 min. per side. Place browned chicken in slow cooker.
- Combine seasonings, and toss to cover the chicken.
- place 2-3 Chipotle peppers on top.
- pour diced tomatoes over everything.
- cook on High in slow cooker for 2.5 to 3 hours.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream all ingredients on medium until mixed.
- Place dough into cookie press onto an ungreased pan.
- Or you can roll in balls size of walnut and dip in sugar.
- Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
Roasted Butternut Squash, Pear and Bacon Soup
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
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- 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.
- Roast squash in prepared oven for 20 minutes: turn. Continue roasting until softened, 10 to 20 minutes more.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Slice cucumber into sticks. I get 8 out of one mini cucumber.
- Layer cucumber and onions in glass jar with lid.
(sealer, or recycled glass jar) Scatter garlic and dill on top.
- Mix water, honey, salt and vinegar in microwavable container
(large measuring cup?) and heat to dissolve salt.
- Pour brine over the cucumber mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before using.