Saturday, February 18, 2017

things don’t always go exactly as planned


It is with deep sadness that the Vinyl Cafe family announces that Stuart McLean passed away today, February 15th, 2017, at age 68.
We are heartbroken. 
But we are also finding comfort in memories of our dear friend. 
Stuart always emphasized that the world is a good place, full of good people, trying to do their best. He believed in people’s extraordinary capacity for love and generosity. And he had faith in our ability to work together for the common good. 
He was, in other words, firmly committed to celebrating the positive, joyful and funny side of life. Stuart assured us that even in difficult times, we can find things to be grateful for and ways to laugh. Now that he is gone, we will try hard to do just that. 
Stuart connected us – to our country and to each other. He entertained us, he made us think, he made us smile. Occasionally he made us cry. And, through all of that, he reminded us that life is made up of small moments. We never know which ones will be forgotten and which ones will stay with us forever. 
So today, and hopefully every day, we’re going to celebrate Stuart’s life by trying to make each moment count and by being grateful for all of them.
We are certainly grateful for each and every moment we shared with Stuart. 
We will miss him.


There will be a public tribute at a later date. The family requests privacy at this time.


The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to:
Stuart worked at Camp Kanawana for five summers, and he often said that it changed his life. This fund will help children and teens without the financial means to attend Camp YMCA Kanawana, a community where they learn to care for themselves, each other and the environment.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Club - Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

"Family first, work second, revenge third."

"Men watch out; the ladies are coming for your toys."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Chocolate Peanut Butter Streusel Cake

We had 2 birthdays to celebrate at work, and you better believe I volunteered pretty fast to make a treat for all of us.  It was time for cake.  It should always be time for cake.

The problem was, I volunteered the day before we needed the cake, and we had an activity 
that night, and some errands, plus the usual dinner/hysterical playtime/PLEASE 
everyone go to bed now so I can too time, and so I had no time to go to the store; 
I needed to make something with whatever I had on hand.

I grabbed my Bon Appetit cookbook off the shelf because I remembered from my 
testing how many wonderful desserts there were.  My first two picks had to be no'ed 
because I didn't have all the ingredients.
I landed on this super easy kitchen staple ready Chocolate and Peanut Butter Streusel Cake.  
 I know!   

In less than an hour the cake was out of the oven and cooling, and because of the streusel 
topping I didn't have to ice it, another bonus.  I was a bit worried that the edges were going 
to be rock hard as I'd had to add some extra cooking time, but the cake stayed nice and
 moist, which was a real bonus as it was a huge cake that lasted a long time.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sunday Dinner - Italian Wedding Soup, bread and brownies

My Mom had gone for lunch with some friends and had Italian Wedding Soup 
and really enjoyed it.  She eats a lot of soup, so they bought the canned 
variety and hated it (as I told them they would, but...), so I made some 
for Sunday Dinner for her.  

When we lived in Calgary we used to go to a restaurant that had very good 
IWS, and also gave you free bread when you sat down.  Neither of us can remember 
the name of it, and so I googled IWS and Calgary in case maybe the restaurant 
had been featured in a publication and it would jump out me, but no luck.  But, one from 
Toronto's Metro News showed up in the search, (?) so I went with it.

I never would have put carrots in IWS, but it worked, and it's extra veggies, 
so there you go.  The soup was easy to make and everyone liked it a lot. 
 The only thing I would change would be to make more meatballs.  You need lots.  
Recipe here.

I made a batch (2 loaves) of Cheddar and Onion Soda Bread.  Excellent.

We rounded out the above with some salad and sliced meat.  
All 3 in the titles were new recipes - the bread was cheese and onion soda bread from 
Paul Hollywood's very good book 100 Breads, and the chocolate peanut butter brownies 
were from Ships of the Great Lakes.