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Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Gardeners for 2017

Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Gardeners for 2017

December is upon us once again and it is time to start thinking about those on our Christmas lists! This list is not in any particular order and are all items I have used or I would love to have! If there is something you think I need to add to the list I want to hear from you!

The Top 10 Christmas Gifts for the gardener on your list on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

To kick off my new 2018 garden series Grow Your Own Food we will start with a fantastic Top 1o list of gifts that won’t break the bank for the gardener in your life. If you are the gardener in your family these are some great ideas you should have on your Christmas list.

 

Bee Houses

A Bee House is on the top 10 list for Christmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

Perfect for the backyard to attract and house solitary bees that work tirelessly to pollinate. Solitary bees do not produce honey, live in colonies or have a queen, their main job is to pollinate the plants all around us from fruits and vegetables to the crops grown by farmers. Just one solitary bees activity is equivalent of up to 120 worker honeybees in the pollination it provides. Now that is a powerhouse pollinator that you want to attract to your yard!  A  Bee House is simply an artificial nesting structure that mason bees, and other solitary bees, can use to lay their eggs.

 

Gazing Balls

Gazing Balls are on the top 10 list of Christmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

Gazing balls have a very long history and have been around since the 13th century first being made by Italian artisans using blown glass. Kings first displayed them in their gardens believing they held magical powers and they were thought to have brought prosperity and good luck to the owner. Over time homeowners would place the  globe near the front entrances to ward off bad things like disease, evil spirits and even ghosts. It was thought to keep witches away when placed near the door to the home, thinking witches would see their own reflection and thus be scared away. I may be a bit late to the gazing ball party and would love one of these as an addition to my yard!

 

Woodstock Chimes

Wood Stock Chimes are on the top 10 list of CHristmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

These are the most amazing windchimes I have ever heard and I cherish the set I was gifted. They truly are musical. (taken from their website- In 1979, musician and instrument designer Garry Kvistad founded Woodstock Percussion with a single great idea – to make the world’s best sounding windchime. He’s been creating his world-famous, musically-tuned Woodstock Chimes ever since. Today his company offers a unique variety of high-quality, affordable, musical gifts from around the world that inspire, entertain and bring pleasure to people of all ages.) Garry is behind the design, development and tuning of all Woodstock Chimes.

 

Mother Earth News

Mother Earth News is on the top 10 list for Christmas gifts for the gardener in you life on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

Mother Earth News is the definitive gardening magazine that  provides wide-ranging, expert editorial coverage of organic foods, country living, green transportation, renewable energy, natural health and green building. Every issues is jam packed with topics that inspire, teach and cultivate the passion to live well! A must have subscription for anyone who loves to garden.

 

Berry Scoop

Berry Scoops are on the top 10 list of Christmas gits for gardeners on Nutmeg Disruped

 

 

If you have done any blueberry or saskatoon picking it can be an enjoyable but time consuming and tedious activity.  There is a better way! Let me introduce the berry scoop! It makes it easy to pick large amount of berries much quicker then hand picking individual berries. A must have for any berry enthusiast.

 

Mushroom Growing Kit

Mushroom kits are in the top 10 list of Christmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

 

These kits are absolutely fantastic! In as quickly as 10 days you can grow and harvest a variety of fresh mushrooms right in the comfort of your own kitchen.  They are very easy to care for and it is quite amazing to watch your crop of mushrooms come in! These easy to grow mushroom kits are a must have for any mushroom lover.

Pruning shears

pruning shears are on the top 10 list of Christmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

There is something to be said for a high quality set of pruning shears. These are a must have for any gardener! They make cutting a breeze from trimming branches on trees and shrubs to chopping up amendments for the compost pile or any task the requires cutting. A good set of sharp shears make the job quick and super easy.

 

Terrarium

Terrariums are on the top 10 list of Christmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

Terrariums are a fantastic gift! Gardening under glass is  great way to bring nature indoors, The gardener in your life will be able to create an amazing zen garden that can be enjoyed year round for many years to come.

 

A Gardeners Tool Seat

The Gardeners Tool Seat in on the top 10 list of CHristmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

 

These are small portable fold up seats that also house all of your hand held tools, row markers or anything you make use of out in the garden. It helps reduce strain on knees and hips by being able to sit low to the ground for a more comfortable gardening experience.

 

Hori Hori Knife

The Hori Hori Knife is on the top 10 list of Christmas Gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

A Hori-Hori knife, sometimes referred to as a “soil knife” or a “weeding knife”, is a heavy serrated multi-purpose steel blade for gardening jobs such as digging or cutting. The blade is sharp on both sides and comes to a semi-sharp point at the end. This one came highly recommended by the most amazing gardener I know. He has had his for 10 years and said it is the best gardening tool he owns.

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a bountiful and prosperous New Year! Be sure to stop back in and follow along with my Grow Your Own Food series throughout 2018. If you have ever wanted to grow your own food but were unsure where to start I will guide you through the entire process from learning about your growing area, what seeds to select and will walk with you from Spring through the harvest in Fall and right up to prepping your yard and garden for 2019.

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Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Gingerbread, a flavour close to my heart. If you look up at the top of the page you will see a section titled Gingerbread Houses, after you’re done here jump over and take a look! There you will find the collection of my gingerbread builds that have raised $1000’s of dollars for charity. Thanks for checking them out, I cherish the fact that with sugar and flour I can make such substantial donations during the Christmas season.

Gingerbread Whoopie Pie From Nutmeg Disrupted

Now about these Gingerbread Whoopie Pies. They looks amazing yes?! I thought so too. I was inspired from all the Whoopie Pies showing up in my Instagram stream a couple of weeks ago from some of the amazing Canadian food bloggers I follow. They were served during a coffee break on the final day of #FBC2016 in Toronto. Due to business obligations I could not attend the conference this year but eagerly watched my social media feeds to capture as much of the action as I could. For days after the conference I was distracted by thoughts of those whoopee pies and knew I had to recreate them at home.

They turned out amazing! Soft and tender, full of traditional gingerbread flavour and a creamy buttery filling, perfection really!

I invite you to give them a try and let me know what you think! Perfect for holiday cookie trays, the quintessential side to a steamy hot cup of coffee or a mug tea, definitely a must try!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a fantastic rest of your day!

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: baked
Serves: 14
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup Crosby molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup granulated
  • Buttercream Icing
  • 4 cups of confectioners/icing sugar
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons of milk
  • pinch of cup of butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients except the ¼ cup of granulated sugar together in a bowl.
  2. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla; beat well.
  3. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.
  4. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a plate.
  5. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Roll the cookie balls in the granulated sugar and place on a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake 8 - 10 minutes.
  8. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove to a cooling rack.
  10. While they are cooling make the buttercream icing.
  11. Cream the butter in the bowl of a mixer.
  12. Add half the confectioners sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk and the salt.
  13. Beat well to combine.
  14. Add the remaining confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla.
  15. Beat well until fluffy.
  16. If the icing appears dry add an additional table spoon of milk.
  17. Spread a generous amount of icing on one cookie and top it with a second creating a sandwich.

 

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What’s new at McDonald’s & A Giveaway.

What’s new at McDonald’s & A Giveaway.

Have you stopped by McDonald’s lately? You should.

There are a lot of new things happening with McDonald’s. From the cool new additions on the My McD’s McDonald’s app to the fantastic Create Your Taste table service burger experience. It is definitely worth a trip. If you have a smart phone take a few minutes to download the new McDonald’s app before you do. To download the app search My McD’s or McDonald’s Canada in the Apple and Android App Stores.

The app has a plethora of information and setting up an account is super easy. Once your account is all set up you can explore all the app has to offer.  It has the nutritional information for all the menu items to help you make more informed decisions. It will show you where the closet McDonald’s locations are. And best of all, there are Mobile Offers to help you save money when you are eating on the go! You can redeem the mobile offers at the drive thru, the front counter and at the kiosk.

There is also something new happening at McDonald’s you MUST check out. You have probably seen the commercials for the new table service burger experience called Create Your Taste. Using the kiosk you build your burger from scratch starting with the bun or lettuce wrap, through the amazing list of condiments to the fantastic toppings, like caramelized onions or crispy fried onions to sauted mushrooms, guacamole or the spectacular sundried tomato pesto (seriously try the pesto, they should sell it by the jar!) You can add additional paddies, each one a 1/3 pound of Angus Alberta beef and bacon to finish it off. The kiosk makes it vey easy to create your burger and you have options for sides like poutine, regular McDonald’s fries or salad.

Once your order is placed and paid for you take a tracker and head to your table.

Create Your Taste table service burger experience at McDonlds from Nutmeg Disrupted

Your order is now being prepared in a special Create Your Taste section of the kitchen and will be brought to your table along with your drinks.

Create Your Taste build a burger table service experience at McDonalds from Nutmeg Disrupted

I have to say the burgers are fantastic! You really have to try it. These are not the McDonald’s burgers you have had in the past. I have had to opportunity to try the Create Your Taste experience twice now, once at a Gastropost Outpost event when they rolled out the program and once last week. The new Create Your Taste burger is comparable to the big box sit down restaurant burgers……only better. Seriously, I can’t say enough about it, tasting is believing.

If you are on Instagram do a quick search of the #createyourtasteCA hashtag to see how creative people are getting with their burgers.

We would loved you try the My McD’s App and the Create Your Taste table service burger experience. We have one $25 gift card, supplied  by McDonald’s to giveaway so your next visit will be on them! All you need to do is be a Twitter follower and share this post on Twitter! The winner will be announced on the 21st of September.

disclosure: The opinions in this post are my own. I was given a gift card to try out the My McD’s app. McDonald’s is supplying the gift card for this giveaway. This contest is only open to my Canadian readers.

 

 

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Char-Broil Gratitude Post & the birth of a smoker.

Char-Broil Gratitude Post & the birth of a smoker.

I have been wondering how to start this post for a while now. It came to me quite clearly  a few days ago to just simply share the story I have been telling so many in the journey to build this smoker. Because how else do you let the world know of a company with customer service so outstanding that you want everyone to own their products? Of a company that stepped up way way above and beyond. A company I had the pleasure of working with last spring when they rolled out their Life Is Better Bbqed campaign.

Of course I am talking about Char-Broil.

My replacement Char-Broil BBQ on Nutmeg Disrupted

In the spring of 2015 I did a 3 post project for Char-Broil. They had a Spring campaign going on with Lowes and I was honored to be a part of it. As you know we love BBQ on Nutmeg Disrupted and to work with such an amazing team was a dream come true. I received a gorgeous Char-Broil BBQ from Lowes to review and grill with for the campaign. The BBQ was mine to keep.

Flash forward a few weeks after the campaign wrapped up standing in line at Starbucks…

My phone buzzed, it was a text from my son. A huge storm was rolling into town and a tree was down in the backyard. As I was standing there I was struck with a bit of panic. Tree down. Which tree. No way it could be the 1000+ pound tree beside the deck. Then he sent a photo from the inside of the house through the patio door. All you could see was leaves.

Indeed it was said tree.

I paid for my coffee then quickly made the 70 minute trip home.

A huge maple tree down from a summer storm.

Massive tree down during a summer storm on Nutmeg Disrupted

A bbq crushed by a massive tree on Nutmeg Disrupted

That was what I found when I arrived home.

I was devastated. Yes that is a bold statement to make about a BBQ, but in that moment I was completely devastated. It took a couple of days to get the tree bucked up and retrieve the crushed grill. Almost every inch of it was damaged.

The evening the tree fell I had Tweeted about the storm and the sad fate of my BBQ. I was thankful no one was hurt, had anyone been grilling out back I can’t even imagine how that would have ended. The smoker that was on the deck took a hit and was damaged but the full weight of the tree was on the BBQ.

What happened next was something so unexpected and wonderful.

Within 24 hours of my BBQ misfortune I had been contacted by the marketing company that represented Char-Broil during the Lowes campaign.

Char-Broil had heard about what happened and they wanted to make it right and send me a new BBQ to replace the one that was crushed. Talk about a company standing behind their product! Because I had done some work for them they were willing to replace their product, not because they had to, simply because they wanted to. Now that is a brand I want to stand behind and do business with.

I may have cried a little when I received that news. BBQ is a passion and to have not only my smoker but my BBQ also taken out in a brief moment was a huge loss.

Char-Broil customer service on Nutmeg Disrupted

After the tree was cleared away we took apart the BBQ to salvage any of the good parts. It felt like a such a waste tossing out such a new piece of equipment and the goal now was to repurpose what we could. Immediately it was decided that we would build a smoker. The only pieces not damaged were the handles off the doors, the temperature gage, the logo and the heating element area of the grill, though bent it was still functioning. With the salvaged bits stored away we set off with a plan of building a smoker. We had an idea of what we wanted for the body of the smoker and scoured the ads for upcoming auction sales. Everything we looked at was just not quite what we had envisioned until one day while in Canadian Tire after a year long search we found the perfect body for our new smoker.

Shopping for a new smoker body on Nutmeg Disrupted

The vision has always been to build a large smoker. Something substantial so that we had the area to do a large cook. Having catered weddings and hosted pig roasts we have had the opportunity to use some very large BBQs and we wanted our smoker to not only be impressive but have the power to do the job.

Adding the Char-Broil details to the new smoker on Nutmeg Disrupted

From there everything started to fall into place. In conversation with Brian our butcher we mentioned that we were building a smoker and he gave us a great idea as to what we could use for the racking inside the unit. The heating element was a close fit and with a bit of work the smoker started to coming together.

Fitting the heating element into the new smoker on Nutmeg Disrupted

We did a few small trial runs to work out the kinks and cooked for an event mid summer.

The first offical cook with the new smoker on Nutmeg Disrupted

The smoker has been getting a lot of attention, it is a gorgeous piece of equipment and with every inquiry I share my Char-Broil story.

In closing I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Char-Broil. Not only have you made this girls BBQ dreams continue, you make a product that I love and your customer service is unmatched. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

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Honeymoon Suite

Honeymoon Suite

Honeymoon Suite in Wembley

Honeymoon Suite in Wembley

Honeymoon Suite in Wembley

Honeymoon Suite in Wembley

Honeymoon Suite in Wembley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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