Sunday, December 14, 2008

you know it's cold when...

1) The dogs who normally love to play outside only run out long enough to do their business then zoom back to the door waiting anxiously for me to open it.

2) The garage door begins to go up then creaks and proceeds to close itself. (a problem fixed when i scraped the ice off the cracks in the door)

3) The sliding glass door is frozen shut.

4)The furnace pumps continuously all day to maintain a liveable temperature.

5) The dogs hop on only 2 of their feet at a time while outside while the other 2 thaw.

6) The snow stays frozen to the car even at highway speeds.

So we're having a bout of really cold weather, not as cold as Winnipeg but cold nonetheless. I count anything below -15 C really cold. Then add a windchill and I practically go into hibernation mode.

The cold weather is good for getting things inside the house done. Such as putting up Christmas decorations perhaps. I think I'm going to do some baking today, I've been hankering some ginger something to have with my hot chocolate...mmm

Thursday, December 11, 2008

winter wonderland

It's official, the snow is here to stay, yay! I am so happy at the thought of a white Christmas. Not so much for the shovelling but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make, besides our snowblower is finally fixed!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

remembrance day

John 15: 12-13 (NLT)
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Thank you to those who have served defending their lands and the lands of others in hopes of freedom for all.

Pray for peace.

Monday, November 10, 2008

ode to the slow cooker

I recently acquired a 3.5 quart slow cooker from a generous soul so I thought I would try out a "big" slow cooker recipe that I couldn't make in my small one. Slow Cooker Chicken Taco soup won because I had most of the ingredients on hand. My modifications included:
  • Chicken stock instead of beer
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 19 oz can of beans
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 12 oz can corn
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • no sour cream
It was delicious though I would add another can of beans next time, with nacho chips it certainly hit the spot.
In case you weren't aware flu season is upon us, and let me tell you some sort of stomach flu bug body slammed me last week. My meal plan went out the window and my husband was so glad I had made the Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup before I got sick.

My father-in-law is coming for a visit this week and we are very excited to see him. While he is here the boys are going to work on our Boler so I will be sure to have some delicious meals for them at supper time to thank them for their hard work.

With that in mind I am off to tidy up the spare room which means hauling boxes of clothing to the basement. A good time to go through my clothes to put summer stuff away and give away the stuff I don't need. Goodbye summer dresses, I will miss you...

Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin with potatoes, squash and corn.


Chili and homemade corn bread

Baked Beans and Ham and homemade brown bread

Shepherd's Pie and salad

Perogies, sausage and salad

Cheesy Chicken and rice or homemade pizza

Be sure to head over to Laura's site for other great menu plan ideas

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Meal Plan Monday errr Tuesday

As the weather gets colder I have been enjoying cooking more and more, it's so nice to have a warm kitchen smelling of freshly baked goods. Soups are so good this time of year to warm you up from the inside out. A few weeks ago I tried out curry carrot soup click here for the recipe. It was very good, but now it is frozen in portions in the freezer as I was unaware that hubby dislikes blended soups...too much like eating baby food he says. Well he was trooper and ate it when he came home from work saying it was good and only later when I was in a less fragile state admitted that it wasn't his if anyone wants to have some curry carrot soup with me come on over! I served it with cheese bread which was more like a cheese biscuit loaf, this was also very good and my hubby loved it.

Onto the menu for this week...

Leftover spaghetti bake

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

Pork Chops with squash, potatoes and carrots

Leftovers maybe in the form of Shepherd's Pie

Baked Beans and homemade molasses brown bread

Perogies with sausage

Leftover buffet

For more great meal plan ideas head over to Laura's site

Monday, November 3, 2008

meanwhile back at the blog

So I didn't take an intentional hiatus just been busy with life but I'm back. Wow, October flew by and we're progressing through November, hard to believe.

October in a nutshell:
Thanksgiving was nice, we were invited to eat with our friends and their family which was so great since we aren't able to visit our family for a while. I even got to try sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, so delicious and to think I've always called yams sweet's sad really the sheltered life I've led.

Next up was my birthday, we decided to be practical and have fun so we took the hour drive to the "big city" haha and went to Costco for dog food and appetizers before we enjoyed dinner at Eastside Mario's and a movie. Appetizers at Costco?! come on if you've ever been to a Costco you know to check out the food section where there are usually samplers = fun and cost effective. Just to be clear we brought the dog food home to the dogs..okay then. There really wasn't any movie playing that I had a burning desire to see so we settled on Nick and Nora's Infinite was kinda funny but soo not my favourite movie. Still it was nice to go out to a movie and enjoy my birthday. Oh AND while at Costco we saw these movie deals for sale, they include two tickets, two pops and a popcorn for $21. Now when we do go out to movies we don't buy movie treats but we splurged and since the movie alone was $10 each it was perfect. Check them out if you are going out for a movie night!

We finished re-painting the living room and hall in a colour called muddy river, it's a nice colour and looks great with the blue kitchen, I loved the sunny yellow but the open concept style of our house just didn't really allow for the two colours to live harmoniously. It is soooo nice to have it all done, furniture back in place and pictures on the walls. My mood has improved drastically since we got everything put back together.
On Halloween night I stayed home with the pups to hand out goodies and decided to dress up because well I just love getting dressed up. I also love carving pumpkins. This year I did an owl but it was too soon and she shrivelled, soooo the backside of that pumpkin ended up as stars and I did another one as a pirate as per hubby's request. We had quite a few kidlets stop by and one in particular cracked me up, not because of his costume but by what he said, it went something like this...

Kid glances into living room while receiving his treats...
kid: "you use one of those??? said in utter disbelief
Hubby following kid's gaze... "use what?"
"one of THOSE" (gesturing wildly with arms in shape of the letter V) "on top of the tv"
at this point my hubby realizes he is talking about our we don't have cable, a sad thing for hubby.
Thanks kid for bringing it was too cute, I bet he has only seen tv antennas on old tv shows or something. Wait til you see our ringer washing machine...just kidding.

Well it's now November and it is also late so I am off to bed to give my body the rest it needs to combat cold season. More posts to come including Menu Plan Monday..tomorrow. I know *gasp* on Tuesday...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I can't believe another week has flown by, and it's almost thanksgiving! I'm planning on making a Thanksgiving meal for just the two of us, it will be a mini version so I might just get some turkey drumsticks or something instead of cooking a whole bird.
I made lasagna last night, modified the recipe according to what I had and wow it was good! Hubby raved and is excited that I made two 8x8 pans so we have one in the freezer all ready to go.
I'm going to get some pictures and recipes up here but for now I'm going to scoot to the grocery store...have a great week!

Lentil Tacos

Potatoes, Veggies and Chicken

Barley Veggie Soup with grilled sandwiches

Spaghetti with Salad

Homemade pizza try this with half whole wheat flour, delish!

Thanksgiving meal


for more great meal ideas check out Menu Plan Monday

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So we were able to stretch our meal plan last week to last another couple of days by eating leftovers on the second night so I'm a bit late getting this put together. We're still working on eating as much as we can from the pantry, fridge and freezer but I'll have to pick up a few things tomorrow.

As the autumn weather is upon us here I have been craving some good hearty soups, if anyone has any good recipes they would like to share please do!

Tuesday: potatoes, vegetables and salmon-missed it last week

Wednesday: creamy burrito casserole

Thursday: grilled ham sandwiches and curried carrot soup

Friday: lasagna and salad

Saturday: pizza- I love this recipe, quick, easy and with half whole wheat flour it turned out perfect! Makes a whole cookie sheet too.

Sunday: Leftovers

for more meal plan ideas and recipes head over to Menu Plan Monday

Thursday, September 25, 2008

food for thought...God's pharmacy

Thought this was neat...

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye… and YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today sh ow s grape s are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food. (For more heart-healthy remedies, visit and

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums.
Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys. (For a natural kidney stone remedy, visit

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (mo dern science has only studied and named about 141 of them)

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility. (For more info about male sexual health, visit

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic
index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

about those muffins...

Here is the recipe as promised for the muffins I made a few weeks ago. They are great on their own but if you like some added sweetness I have included the recipe that my Nanny-in-law sent me for caramel icing.

Yogurt Blueberry Bran Muffins from Muffins: A Cookbook

2 cups plain yogurt (if you use flavoured reduce sugar accordingly)
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup brown sugar or less to taste
2 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups natural bran
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries

1. Measure yogurt into medium bowl. Mix in soda and set aside. (Don't leave too long.)
2. In large bowl beat together eggs, sugar and oil.
3. Stir in Bran and vanilla.
4. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and add mixture alternately with yogurt.
5. Fold in berries.
6. Bake at 350 for 35 mins or until poke in centre comes out clean.

Caramel Icing or Hard Sauce from The Kitchens of Saint John

1/4 cup butter (or margarine)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in saucepan, add brown sugar, Stir over low heat for 2 minutes. Add milk and continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Add icing sugar and beat until creamy. Add vanilla.

You might want to change it a little to thin it somewhat. However, it tastes just right with blueberry muffins.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm back to meal planning after a crazy 2 weeks! This week I really based the meals off of food that we already had on hand to minimize the grocery bill since we just purchased a 1975 Boler, our very first travel trailer. I've included a couple of other family's favourites that I found while meal planning this morning and one of our own, happy meal planning!

Mexican Mesagne

Salmon, roasted potatoes and veggies

Spaghetti and salad

Cheesy Chicken and Rice

Baked Taco Salad, a family favourite!

Quick and Easy Homemade Pizza switched up the recipe to include wholewheat flour


For more great meal ideas head over to Organizing Junkie

Monday, September 8, 2008

mmm mmm meal plan

Mexican is my husband's and my favourite kind of food and I had a hankering but how's a girl to make Mexican food without taco seasoning?? I dug in my spice cupboard and found a good basic recipe then tweaked it. So if you have the spicy hankering and no spice mix here is how you make your own:

Homemade Taco Seasoning
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Mix all together in a container or baggie and keep in your cupboard for your next fiesta. I tripled this and have it stored for future hankerings. *You can add 1/4 tsp onion powder if you have it I just didn't have it on hand.

baked taco salad (recipe below)

Baked Ziti

Baked beans

Curried Carrot Soup with whole grain grilled ham sandwiches

homemade pizza

Chicken Tetrazzini recipe from the happy housewife

Leftover buffet

Baked Taco Salad
1 lb ground beef
1 1/2 cups refried beans
1 cup corn
1 cup shredded cheese
2 Tbsp homemade taco seasoning

Brown ground beef, drain and mix in taco seasoning. Mix beef and beans together to make for easier spreading and spread in bottom of 9x9 pan, layer corn on top then sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 325 for 20-25 mins until cheese is melted.

Layer nacho chips, scoop of above mixture, and toppings of your choice like lettuce, peppers, sour cream, ranch dressing, salsa etc.

My husband loves this and wants me to please please make it again.

For more great meal plan idea visit Organizing Junkie

Saturday, September 6, 2008

just a little sweet

Blueberry yogurt bran muffins with caramel icing (hard sauce) delicious, I'll share the recipes once I have them typed up...but for now I'm curling up with a cup of tea.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Florida with Fay

So we just got back from Florida a week ago. Now you may ask, who goes to Florida n August? well, we do! It just worked out best that way for everyone's schedule and we found a good deal on flights so away we went.

First of all August is hot, we left home during a heat snap of 35+ degrees and ended up in Orlando as tropical storm Fay approached the coast. We landed on Monday night and once we met up with my mom and sister, crammed the 5 suitcases into our rental car we were on our way to Sarasota. Now one of the top ten things you don't want to hear the radio announcer say as you are driving is the name of the county you just entered preceded by the words, evacuation...Fortunately it was for mobile homes in the area but still we listened intently on our 2 hour drive to make sure our condo would still be there when we arrived. As we neared the coast we passed stores with plywood and giant garage doors covering windows, made us a little uneasy but kind of exciting for us Canadians. Before we headed to bed that night Fay was scheduled to make landfall early the next morning on the same coast we were on.

Fay hit 2 hours south of us at 5am and we awoke to high winds, big waves and dark clouds. The beach was still beautiful but not nice enough to stay out for any period of time, so what did we do..well went shopping of course. Had to go behind plywood barricades to make it into Marshalls but we had a good day of shopping. Our next few days were the same as the storm continued to hit other parts of Florida, swooping around us! Thank you Lord.

One evening as we ate supper, I went back into the kitchen to get something and crawling across my path was a bug...from the kitchen the other heard..."ummm what does a cockroach look like?" Mom was convinced it was just some kind of beetle and after using my sister's sandal (much to her horror)to squash it many many times we finally killed it. Mom was still convinced it wasn't a roach until I pointed to our roach's twin on my laptop screen...oh.
Cockroach count = 1

On Friday we packed up and headed back to Orlando to visit Disney World. Orlando was hot, the storm was in Northern Florida by this point. When we first arrived at the house I was about to open the door to go look at the pool when I noticed a bug on the ground, yep cockroach #2. One evening Bronwyn and Nat were laying on the deck as I floated in the pool, Nat looked over at the bottom of the screen and saw a cockroach staring at him then it began moving toward him, I have never seen him or Bronwyn move so fast. Cockroach count = 3. Mom found and killed 2 more "beetles" inside over the next few days.

We packed our days full with Disney and even went home for supper then Nat and I went back to the parks on a couple of occasions to see more sights and ride more rides. What a great trip, we were so sad to leave especially having to say goodbye to my mom and sister for a while.
Cockroach count = 5

Saturday, August 2, 2008

August already?

I can't even believe that June and July are gone and we've only been camping once! It was a great camping trip though, we went to a forestry site on the lake. Free camping makes it that much better. After a 5 or so hour drive with the dogs and all our camping gear we arrived and set up camp. We had the entire 10 sites to ourselves as well as the beach below. The lake was beautiful and it was so nice to get away just for a couple of nights and explore our new province.

Waiting for the fire to get going

Relaxing at the site

Crosby "helping" me with dinner

Nugget seeks his freedom on the lake

We leave for Florida in less than 2 weeks and when we get back it will be nearly September, how has this happened? I do love autumn though and I am excited to be settled this winter so that we can enjoy it together. Maybe even go skiing! Whoa it's only August no talking of such things yet.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer and making the most of each day. The rainy week here is over and the sun is shining but I have decided to repaint the living room/hallway. The yellow I chose just doesn't do our blue kitchen any justice so it's going to go from Mellow Yellow to Muddy River and I'm going to try to tackle the job that took my mother-in-law and I 2 days by myself...I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Me in photos...

Saw this on someone else's blog and thought I'd try just for fun...

1. answer the questions below
2. type each answer into flickr
3. take any picture from the first page of results and post your answers......

Age you'll be on your next birthday

Place you would like to visit

Favourite place

Favourite object

Favourite Food

Favourite Beverage

Favourite Animal

Favourite colour

City where you were born

Where you live now

Favourite Band

First Name

Last name

Favourite Store

Favourite item of clothing

Favourite Movie

Monday, July 14, 2008

Meal Plan Monday

I'm back...I haven't really been meal planning as my mom was up for a 2 week visit and bought lots of groceries while she was here, so we've slowly been cleaning out the fridge. I had to break down and go get some groceries on Saturday so I thought I would figure out what we'll be eating for the week.

I meal planned last week for a camping trip we took and though my husband thought I was crazy cooking before we left to take it with us rather than relying solely on the open fire pit, he was very impressed with our meals in the end. I'll post more about that later.

As always I'm sure the weeks meals won't go as planned particularly because we have a big festival in our town this weekend and work will probably call my husband away during supper time but hey a girl can dream can't she?!

Taco Salad using my friend Katie's recipe for homemade taco seasoning

Chickpea curry over basmati rice

BBQ pork sandwiches with green beens

Grilled Salmon with BBQ'd potatoes and salad

Thai Coconut Chicken with Sesame Chow Mein from some new Jean Paré cookbooks my mom sent me, thanks mom!

Leftover buffet

BBQ burgers with salad and homemade fries

For more great meal planning ideas visit Organizing Junkie

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I'll be found in You

Shadowfeet by Brooke Fraser

I heard this song tonight and it really struck a chord within me. I'm soo soo guilty of being a worrier, and yet I know in my heart that God will never let me down.

Walking in this new path that God has set before us on the other side of the country has really forced me to think about the constance of the Lord and His support. Totally dependant on His guidance is how He longs for us to be and sometimes I need to be shaken in my circumstances to really see that He is taking care of me. I find time flying by which is especially scary when I'm unsure of what the future will bring but in the grand scheme when this life is all over I'll be standing with Him, how great is that?! I'm so thankful that He's controlling my life even when I'm stressing He'll bring me through, the lyrics of this song are so true.."when the world is falling out from under me, I'll be found in You still standing..."

I love it when God uses simple things to open my eyes.

Walking, stumbling
On these shadow feet
Toward home, a land that I’ve never seen
I am changing
Less and less asleep
Made of different stuff than when I began

And I have sensed it all along
Now fast approaching is the day

When the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I’ll be found in you

There’s distraction
Buzzing in my head
Saying in the shadows it’s easier to stay
But I’ve heard rumours of true reality
Whispers of a well-lit way


You make all things new


When the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
When time and space are through
I’ll be found in you
When time and space are through
I’ll be found in you
When time and space are through
I’ll be found in you

Thursday, June 12, 2008

flaking on the bran

Have you ever bought something at the grocery store only to bring it home to find it doesn't taste nearly as good as you had hoped? That's what happened to me when I bought this breakfast cereal. I'm not saying it isn't a great cereal because I have heard rave reviews, just not for my tastebuds. I love bran and I crave fibre so I thought 56%?! I am so in! Maybe because I'm used to the texture and flavour of Raisin Bran Flakes I just didn't enjoy my bowl of Fibre 1 flakes and sadly the honey clusters couldn't even persuade me to eat another bowl. Not one to waste food (a pet peeve of mine) I decided last night was the night to find a use for the underused box of cereal in the pantry.
Enter a favourite site of mine mainly because of the reviews, I like having guinea pigs for my recipes and seeing their feedback. I found a recipe for muffins that included bran flakes and modified it slightly. So if you have bran flakes in your cupboard that you would rather not eat drenched in milk here is a recipe to try.

Molasses Bran Flake Muffins

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cups skim milk
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp oil
2 cups of "your favourite" bran flakes
1/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Mix together flour and soda.
2. In a separate bowl mix together milk, molasses, egg, and oil. Stir in bran flakes then mix in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Bake @ 375 for 15-20 mins until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

The original recipe included salt which I omitted. Also I did 1/2 and 1/2 with the flour but you could probably do all whole wheat, the original recipe called for all purpose flour so I like to do 1/2 and 1/2 the first time I try it. Also the chocolate chips were my little addition just for fun, the recipe called for 1/2 cup raisins but as much as I love to eat raisins alone I am not a fan of them interrupting my enjoyment of a muffin or a cookie.

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