Thursday, December 31, 2009

Shamrock Rolls

Ooooh! These are SO good...and so soft...and so chewy...and so moist! You're going to want to make them right now!!!

Here's how to do it:

1 pkg. dry active yeast (that's 2 1/4 tsp. if you buy in bulk like I do)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup hot mashed potatoes
1/4 shortening (I used Tenderflake Lard)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk, scalded
1 egg
4 to 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • Soften yeast in warm water. Combine potatoes, shortening (lard), sugar, salt and hot milk. Cool to lukewarm.
  • Add softened yeast and egg. Stir in 2 cups of the flour; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour or enough to make a soft dough. Turn out and knead on lightly floured surface till smooth and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double in size, about 1 hour. Punch down. Shape in ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  • To shape rolls, roll balls to about 1 inch in size and place 3 in each greased muffin tin. Let rise about 1 hour, again till double in size.
  • Bake at 400 F about 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 2 dozen rolls.
If you have a stand mixer, here's what I do:
  • Soften yeast in warm water in bowl of stand mixer. Add cooled potato mixture and egg.
  • Add all 4 cups of flour and set mixer with dough hook to "2" (Cuisinart) and set timer for 8 minutes. At about the 4-minute mark, turn dial to "3". Watch the dough. If it doesn't come away from the sides/bottom add more flour. I usually end up adding another cup for 5 cups total.
  • Remove from mixer bowl and transfer to well greased bowl.
  • Continue as above.
ENJOY!!! We're going to have some tonight with our traditional New Years appetizers.

The batch above was made for Christmas...I'll make a fresh batch today.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You have GOT to try this!!!

Enjoy the laugh...courtesy of my dad who sent me the link.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Cookies

What's your favourite type of Christmas cookie? Can you pick a favourite? Or do you just like them all?

If I had to pick one, I'd have to say mine is shortbread. Fortunately, that encompasses an awful LOT of cookies (lucky me!). There's your standard shortbread, brown sugar shortbread, chocolate shortbread, chocolate chip shortbread...and the list goes on!

Since the holidays are upon us, I've been spades! The kids and the hubby are happy (and possibly fat!) people! This has been the week for shortbread...later this week I'm going to make gingerbread cookies (oh! I got the cutest, tiniest gingerbread man!) and peanut butter chocolate chip from my friend Karin's recipe.

Over the weekend, I went to visit my friend Diana (where I also saw Teresa and met Michelle). This is just one of the sweet plates that I brought:
Needless to say, there was happiness all around!!!

The basic recipe for shortbread is this:

1/2 lb. butter
1/2 cup icing (or confectioners) sugar
2 cups flour

There is no baking powder or any other ingredients. And PLEASE! (I'm beggin' ya here) do NOT think you can use margarine in this recipe. This is a Christmas cookie and MUST have butter in it!

Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the flour one cup at a time and blend it in. Roll the cookie dough into a logs about 2 inches around and 8 inches long. Wrap in waxed paper and chill in the fridge until firm. When you're ready to bake them, remove them from the fridge while you preheat the oven to 300F. Slice the cookies about 1/4" thick and bake until the bottoms are just barely golden.

Remove to wire rack to cool completely. These keep well on the counter of if you are in the mood for baking in the middle of summer, they freeze very well.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Happenings

What are your plans for the holidays? They're just around the corner you know!

If you're in the US, you should be ready for Thanksgiving which is in just a couple of days! If you're in Canada, you've got a bit a of a break because Canadian Thanksgiving has come and's not much of a break mind you, because Christmas is just a mere 31 days away!

What would you like your Christmas holiday to be like this year? Is it always chaotic and do you wish for peace? Is it always peaceful and quiet and you'd like to have a bit more noise about you this year?

This year, we are going for a peaceful holiday. DD will have either just had or be soon heading in for open heart surgery and I think a little peace would be a good thing...either before all the excitement of surgery or as some much needed downtime after surgery.

To that end, we're not going anywhere. My parents are in Nova Scotia and the idea of a plane ride (and all those horrible germs in an enclosed space) is not at all appealing. My parents understand of course...they know we can't compromise our daughter's health. Scott's parents are just and hour down the road, so it's not that much of a hike, but it's my thinking that once you have children of your own, you shouldn't have to stress about which house you'll be at or which side of the family you'll be visiting. Christmas should be about those that are most important to you...and while your extended family is certainly VERY important, your first priority should be your immediate family - the people you live with every day.

This year, I'd like to start a few new traditions. The kids are already talking about watching Scrooge on Christmas Eve and I think that's a GREAT idea. We'll add that to the list. I'd like to make Christmas cookies in the week leading up to Christmas. The kids will be off a whole week before Christmas day and what better way to spend the week than making some goodness that everyone can enjoy. I don't know how many cookies will make it to Christmas day, but that isn't the point. The point is, we'll be doing it as a family...and if the cookies are all eaten by Christmas day, then we'll just make more!

I want to continue some old traditions too...when my sister and I were younger, my mom always bought us matching PJ's for Christmas. Our children don't get matching PJ's, but everyone gets a new pair of PJ's. They are wrapped and are the one gift we ALL (even me) get to open on Christmas Eve. Everyone wears new PJ's to bed. I make sure they have at least SOME matching colours in them because the scrapbooker in me wants to make my life easier come scrapbooking time in January!

I want to take more pictures! Last year, we went to Disney World and the year before that Christmas was a less than festive event. I want more pictures! I want to photograph favourite ornaments (not just mine) and record the reasons WHY they are favourites.

For the past few years, Santa has been bringing "bags" instead of filling stockings. Why? I can't find the darn stockings! So this year, I'm buying new ones! If I can, I'll have them personalized with names too! Our family is complete, so I don't need to worry about not being able to find a matching stocking for a baby that might be coming later. This is the year!

I want to make more gifts this year...and not at the last minute either! I seem to have these great ideas every year and then never follow through on them. This year I want to start early and make gifts for the kids teachers and my friends. It's hard to make gifts for the kids because they want the latest and greatest toys...not that they will get everything they see on TV, but they certainly aren't the type to appreciate hand made gifts. I most definitely do NOT want to go overboard. We've bought some gifts already and that is going a long way to not going over budget and breaking the bank in the month of December.

This year, organization will be my friend...I'll start early and avoid all that last minute stress. This is especially important if DD will be in the hospital prior to the actual holiday. The good thing is that she is crafty like while she is recovering we can make gifts together!

That's it for me...what's on tap for you?

Monday, November 23, 2009

So...I guess it's been a while, huh???

The last time I posted was over the summer...lots and LOTS has been going on since then!

We enjoyed a trip to the Mall of America (and even me who doesn't like malls all that much had a GREAT time!). The summer was busy and the kids started school! Lauren is in Grade 10, Colin is in Grade 5 and Jonathan is in Grade 1. All three kids in school full day...can you hear the silence???

In August, I met some new friends:
We met online in my fave stamping forum and then realized that we all lived within about an hour's drive of one another and decided to get together in real life! How fun is that? Lucky for me, I'm right in the middle, so we always meet in Mississauga - BONUS!!!

Teresa makes the most AMAZING jam (I've had two jars) and Karen makes natural bath and body products (divine!!!). Diana is super mom! She has four kids and two of them are just 11 months apart!

Scott and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary and I made him this card:
The cutest thing that happened on that day though, was this:
Jonathan likes to sleep on the couch sometimes, and on this morning, I came out and found his big brother cuddled up with him. Now, like brothers do, they fight and argue - A LOT! So, this photo is really special to me! I'm not sure if the boys think it's so special, but I have it now, so it's too late! LOL!

Nobody wanted their picture taken on the first day of I don't have any of those to share.

Caroline (my Stampin' UP! friend AND BFF) and I were super busy throughout all of September and October as we had 3 major events planned over a 6 week period - note to self: don't do that again!

And here were are coming up to the end of November with Christmas a mere 32 days away! Are you ready?

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I've been cooking again!

This week in the organic veggie box, I got two small heads of Bok Choy. I had NO idea what to do with it, so once I figured out that it WAS Bok Choy (thanks Stacy!), I went searching on Recipe Zaar for something yummy! I found this recipe, but of course, had to add more goodies to it!

I started off with garlic, onion, red pepper flakes and ginger in some olive oil. I didn't have any fresh ginger, so I used ground. I recommed fresh for sure. They flavour would have been VERY different.

Unfortunately, the garlic got a touch more cooked than I like it, but it wasn't bitter, so it was OK.

Then I added some mushroom and zucchini:

which weren't in the recipe, but I have an abundance of zucchini right now, so why not?

After that cooked for a bit, I added the Bok Choy and some spinach for good measure, because really, a little extra iron never hurt anyone!

I covered the whole thing with a lid and let the Bok Choy and spinach wilt. That took about 5 minutes and I ended up with this:

Yes, I KNOW that I still haven't purchased any good plates for photographs, though my daughter did suggest that I get one white plate and one white bowl solely for photographing food!

I added some bacon bits (REAL bacon bits), because EVERYTHING is better with bacon and salt & pepper and it was just perfect!

You should try it out too...let me know what you think!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Birthday Update - a little late!

To celebrate my birthday this year, I was lucky enough to travel to Montreal, along with my family, to visit my sister.

We weren't there for very long, but had a GREAT time! My sister and I enjoyed cooking together (and having a little drink while we were at it - LOL!) We made a Thai curry chicken dish that was just DIVINE!

She even made me a Black Forest Cake (from SCRATCH!!!), but you'll have to wait for that picture!!!

I think I'll put in my request now for next year...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Deliciousness In a Bowl

You're gonna love this! This is by far the best salad I have EVER had!

I don't have an actual recipe for it, because I found it online and can't remember where...

Anyway, into the salad goes chopped broccoli, red pepper, celery, green garlic (looks like green onion, but tastes like garlic - if you haven't had it, you are SERIOUSLY missing out!), sunflower seed and dried cranberries. The dressing is about 2 tbsp. light mayonnaise, 1 tsp. white sugar and 1 tsp. white vinegar for a small salad. You will need to adjust quantities if you are going to make it for a crowd.

Try it tonight! You won't be disappointed!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It is a difficult week for CHD families

This has been a difficult week for CHD families. I cannot put words to the heartbreak so many of us are feeling as two angels have been given perfect hearts and have been called home to God.

The following words were posted on Ethin's care page, in memory of Ethan and while they may be difficult to read, somehow they bring comfort.

He Only Takes The Best

God watched you as you suffered, and knew you had your share.
He gently closed your weary eyes and took you in his care.

Your memory is our keepsake, with that we will never part.
God has you in his keeping, we have you in our hearts.

Nothing could be more beautiful than the memories we have of you.
To us you were someone special. God must have thought so too.

All our lives we shall miss you, as the years come and go,
but in our hearts you will live forever. Because we love you so.

God saw you were getting tired, and a cure was not to be.
So he put his arms around you and whispered "Come with me"

With tearful eyes we watched you suffer and fade away.
Although we loved you dearly, you were not meant to stay.

A golden heart stopped beating, hard- working hands to rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best!

Please hold your little ones a little longer today and kiss them one more time.

Much Love to you All~


Friday, May 8, 2009

My little Change Crusader!

Last week, on April 30th, was the Sick Kids radiothon.

The Sunday before the Radiothon, Jonathan's picture was in the newspaper (used in the advertising). His teacher saw his picture and last Tuesday Jonathan was asked to make an announcement to his entire school. I couldn't pass up this photo op:

He proudly told everyone that his picture is in lots of Sick Kids advertising and that he is even on You Tube - he is!!!

I warn you, the first part of the video is VERY sad. Jonathan appears on his Sick Kids post card near the end at about the 1:26 mark.

This week, he's been going around to each class room and reports that his change crusader bag is getting VERY heavy! I am so very proud of my little hero!

If you have children, or know someone who does, please consider giving to the Hospital for Sick Children because you never know when you might need their resources. Even a little change helps a lot.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's been a while...

...but this one is DEFINITELY worth seeing!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Who's that girl???

Some of my best friends are friends that I have never met. We look out for each other, we worry when we haven't heard from each other in a while and we think about each other often.

One of my friends, Stephanie, went through a difficult time a little while ago with her little boy. Her little boy has a cardiac condition like Jonathan.

I asked her for her address and I'm going to send her this card to let her know I'm thinking about her:

I hope she likes it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On tonights menu...

...Chicken Legs! Just like the chicken wings from Super Bowl Sunday, these were baked in the same manner using much the same spices.

I used salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. I baked them at 350F for about 30 minutes or so (sorry didn't use a timer) and then basted them with barbecue sauce and baked them for about another 20 minutes.

I didn't have much of the President's Choice extra spicy BBQ sauce, so I had to wing it - ketchup, honey, spices, Frank's hot sauce and a touch of molasses made it a pretty close competitor to the PC BBQ sauce - go me!!!

Try it out!

Yeah...I know..."Christyne! If you're going to keep photographing food you need to get some NEW PLATES!!!"

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mojo Monday - Dreams du Jour

I loved today's Mojo Monday sketch, so I got right to work...well, as soon as I got my butt outta bed - this cold is kicking me in the butt!

At least creating made me feel a bit better!

Here's my card for today's Mojo Monday:

I used a Very Vanilla card base of 4 1/4 X 5 1/2. The next layer was Riding Hood Red cut to 4 X 5 1/4 and the next is Candy Lane DSP cut to 3 3/4 X 5.

The main image was stamped in Chocolate Chip on Very Vanilla and coloured using blender pens and SU! markers.

The butterfly was stamped in Riding Hood Red on Very Vanilla and mounted on Chocolate Chip.

What do you think?

Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip
DSP: Candy Lane
Ink: Pink Pirouette, Riding Hood Red, Kiwi Kiss, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Markers, Ribbon

Happy Stampin'! And Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Onion Soup

I just LOVE onion soup! DH loves it too, so I decided to make it for tonight's Valentines dinner. We had steak too, but I didn't take any pictures of that - LOL!

I found the recipe here and it's WAY yummy, though it could definitely have done with some more salt and pepper. I didn't have any white wine on hand, so that didn't go in, though next time I'll definitely add it...or maybe some red. I think it would have had more depth with the wine added to it.

Anyway, I did the saute the onion thing (though it's really more like sweating if you follow the true definition of "saute" which means "to jump", but I digress). Then I tried to put them in the oven, but after about 25 minutes, the molded plastic on my pot lid and handles started to smell funny, so I took the pot out of the oven. I SO need a cast iron dutch oven!!!

Onion soup takes a LONG time to make, but it is SO worth it. Scott and I really enjoyed it and I can see making it again - YUMMY! That gruyere cheese will cost you a pretty penny though, so be warned!

The finished product:
Enjoy! And thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Tomorrow is Valentines Day. Are you ready? Did you get all your cards and goodies made? Good for you!

Today, we're making tiramisu. It has to chill for a long time, so I figure that I might as well get it done today in anticipation of the fancy dinner I have planned for tomorrow night.

This is the first time I've ever made tiramisu and while at first it seemed a little daunting, turns out it's really not that hard to make!

I found the recipe here.

First thing you need to do is soak the lady fingers in a mixture of strong coffee/Kahlua. Seriously, anything that starts out with Kahlua, CAN'T possibly be bad!!!

After the first layer of biscuits is in the pan, you add a layer of the marscapone cheese which has been mixed with eggs and sugar.

Then another layer of biscuits and another layer of the cheese mixture. Finally shaved chocolate. I used unsweetened chocolate because I figured this was going to be already sweet enough.

To note:
  • The recipe said it would make a 9 X 13 pan. I don't have that size pan, so I thought I would make two 8 X 8 square pans and take one to our good friends (also the boys' godparents) as a treat. I don't know if I spread the cheese mixture too thick, but I only had enough for one 8 X 8 pan.
  • The recipe also said to just roll the lady fingers in the coffee/Kahlua mixture so they wouldn't get too soggy. Turns out that they didn't get soggy enough, so next time I'll be soaking them a little longer!
  • I bought WAY too many lady fingers. Based on the amount of tiramisu that the recipe should have yielded, I bought 6 packages. I used 1 3/4. Anyone want some giant lady fingers???
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Me and my little man! food today! Jonathan's class did a little Valentine's presentation that the parents were invited to attend. Following the presentation we went around the classroom and did various crafts. We had a GREAT time!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Potato Rolls - Light, Fluffy, DELICIOUS!!!

These were AWESOME!!!

You can find the recipe here

I can count on one hand the number of days that I haven't used my stand mixer since Santa brought it to me for Christmas. Love Santa and LOVE my stand mixer!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Maple Soy Glazed Salmon

Another easy one, but SOOOO good!

The recipe called for reduced-sodium soy sauce, but I didn't have any on hand...just the regular stuff. I found it too salty, so if I make it again, I'll definitely be getting the reduced-sodium version.

To make the glaze, combine 2 tbsp. maple syrup (the real stuff!), 2 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1/4 tsp. crushed red chili peppers.

Pour over salmon and bake till done. I wrap mine in tin foil to bake, covers the whole pan and makes for easy clean up - WOOHOO!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Roast Chicken

This one is easy peasy!

Rub chicken with about 2 tsp. of butter, sprinkle with sage and Presidents Choice Montreal Style Chicken Spice Blend. Stuff cavity with a quartered onion and roast till done - about 1 1/2 hours for a 4-lb chicken.

Enjoy and Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cinnamon Buns - YUM!!!

These were a HUGE hit!

You can find the recipe here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Chinese Noodle Soup (serves 8 child portions)

This is a recipe from Jonathan's cooking class. He takes them at Loblaws Glen Erin Market and they are great! I'll be sad when he goes to grade 1 next year because it will mean the end of cooking school. Anybody want to rent me a kid so I can keep going???

2 cups thin egg noodles
3 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil (we didn't use this and it didn't seem to matter)
2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 4 tsp. cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2/3 c. chopped cooked ham

1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Once boiling add 1 tbsp. salt.

2. Add noodles to boiling water and stir to separate. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook until noodles are tender. Remove from heat and drain. Immediately rinse with cold water until noodles are cold.

3. Divide noodles equally among bowls.

4. Bring the broth to a boil over medium heat. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and water mixture. Bring back to the boil, then remove from heat.

5. Add the beaten egg, pouring slowly and stirring rapidly in one direction for about one minute.

6. Pour the hot broth over the noodles.

7. Garnish with chopped ham and green onions. Serve.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Today's dinner was Quiche! Scott used to be the quiche maker, but I've pretty much taken over that duty...

So, into my quiche goes: bacon, ham, green onions, cheese, eggs, milk, salt, pepper and the secret ingredient: curry powder.

First thing you need to do is make your pie crust. First things first, DO NOT buy a pre-made pie crust. For the price of a package of pre-made crusts, you could probably get at least a 1/2 dozen pie shells! Second, forget that stuff that comes in the blue tub. Go out and buy yourself some REAL LARD!!! And make sure it's Tenderflake. Don't scoff and turn your nose up on me. Trust me on this one. Pure lard makes the best pie crust you've ever had. And whatever you do, follow the directions on the box. Go ahead and make the whole batch, it freezes really well.

Once you've made the pie crust, go ahead and chill it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. When you're ready, dust your counter top (or where ever you're rolling ) and roll out your crust, it should be about 1/4" thick and big enough to fit your pie plate with a little bit of overlap. You need the overlap because as it bakes, it shrinks a bit.

Once it's rolled out, fold it in four and let it rest for a few minutes. Then, transfer it to your pie plate. The folding in four thing makes it easier to get into the right spot on your plate - aim to have the corner in the middle. Then prick it all over with a fork (or, you could be Alton Brown and "prodigiously perforate"). If you have one of those fancy things that allow you to sandwich the crust between the pie plate and said fancy tool, go ahead and use it. I need to buy one!

Let the crust bake for about 15-20 minutes at 375 F. Keep an eye on it. If it starts to puff up, stick a fork in it.

While it's baking, go ahead and brown your bacon, chop your ham and chop your green onions.

My MIL bought me this cast iron thing since sliced bread!

Once the bacon is nicely browned, drain the fat off by scooping it out of the pan onto a paper towel lined aluminum pie plate.

Add the works to the now cooked pie crust. I put the bacon in first.

Then the ham:

Then the green onions:

Then, grate up about 1 1/2 cups of Monterrey Jack Cheese (this is our fave for quiche) and spread it out over the top of the other ingredients.

Keep in mind I use a deep dish pie plate, so this next part might seem excessive. I beat 5 extra large eggs and then add skim milk (most recipes say to add whole milk or Probably about enough to make 2 1/2 to 3 cups of liquid. Into the liquid goes my spices: salt, pepper, curry powder. I think on one or two occasions, I've added Frank's hot sauce, but it was in the back of the cupboard and I was feeling lazy. Don't hate me.

Pour the liquid into the pie shell until it reaches the top. If your pie crust is uneven (mine ALWAYS is!) and some seeps over the edge into the pie plate, don't stress, it's O.K.

I place my pie plate on a baking sheet (just in case) and bake it at 350 F to 375F (my oven is weird - had to buy a thermometer to put in it) for about an hour. Check the middle of the pie after about 50 minutes. If the middle is still liquid, put it back in, if not, it's ready. Same goes for the hour mark. If it's still liquid, put it back in the oven. You don't want to be eating raw eggs.


Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Half Scratch Spaghetti Sauce

I'm calling it "half scratch" because it's not ENTIRELY made from scratch. I cheat by using canned tomato sauce (Hunts) because it makes life easier...besides, it tastes REALLY good!'ll need:

Ground Beef (I use lean)
Hunts Pasta Sauce (your favourite kind)
Peppers (your favourite colour)

For every pound of ground beef I'm using, I use one can of Hunts pasta sauce. I've tried it with Bravo and it's pretty nasty. Hunts is my fave, but you could also use Primo. Just stay away from the Bravo.

I usually make a big batch because it freezes really well. So, I use four pounds of ground beef, four cans of sauce, 2 large onions (3 if they're small), 2 peppers (usually a red and a green) and about 1/2 dozen cloves of garlic.

Brown your meat in a LARGE stock pot (especially if you're making as much as I do) as this makes a LOT and you'll need the space - trust me!

While the meat is browning, I chop up my veggies and grate my garlic right into the meat - if you don't have a microplane, go buy one - it will change your life!

Once all the meat is browned and your veggies/garlic are in the mix, add your seasonings. I usually add Italian seasoning which is a mix of basil and oregano, plus some parsley. I use dried, it's just easier...

Then, add your cans of sauce (remember, one can for each pound of beef) and then just let it simmer on the lowest temperature all day. Yes, really all day. I usually have my sauce on a simmer around 9 a.m. and dinner is at 5 p.m. Stir it throughout the day, skimming off any fat as necessary.

Cook up your pasta at dinner (doesn't have to be spaghetti - can be your fave pasta) and top with a generous amount of sauce. Add parmesan cheese if you like - fresh is AWESOME if you've got it on hand.


Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Two Picture Day

I decided on protein for breakfast this morning and this is what I made:

Scrambled eggs with some left over Pico de Gallo and a small side of guacamole - YUM! Next time I think I'll try it an omelet and slice the avocado.

On another note, it seems that little stinker Whiarton Willie must have been right and we are indeed getting another 6 weeks of winter. This is what greeted me outside my window this morning:

My friend Karin said she heard the weather man say we were supposed to get about 1 to 3 centimeters. Clearly he needs to go back to weather school, because there was AT LEAST that much on the ground when I took the pic and it's STILL falling 5 hours later!

I'm hoping my friend Kim really did see that robin the other day and that this is just some cruel joke!

Hope you're enjoying the weather wherever you are! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 2, 2009

SuperBowl Revisted

O.K., so my team won - WOOHOO!!! Not that I follow football all that much, but hey - they were closest to the Canadian border, so I figured I should root for them. It was a close call though, lemme tell ya!

I made chicken wings yesterday...nothing spectacular, just your standard chicken wings. I split them myself (go me!) and just put salt, pepper and Montreal chicken spice on them before roasting them up. About 15 minutes before they were to come out, I added some President's Choice Extra Spicy BBQ sauce to them. They turned out pretty good.

There were leftovers, so Jonathan ate this for lunch today:
On another note, the one kid that didn't get the flu shot is home with the flu...FIGURES!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Chili

As I was posting about the cilantro last night, I thought that maybe my POTD for February should be all about food. What do you think??

Today is SuperBowl Sunday. We only watch one football game per year and this is it. We do it right and eat all kinds of SuperBowl food. You know...chicken wings, chili, chips and salsa and the like. Yesterday's "recipe" was the salsa that i make. I don't only make it on SuperBowl Sunday, it's also a staple in our house but mostly over the summer when I can get fresh veggies. This year I got smart and bought a basketful of jalapenos when they were in season. I chopped them up and flash froze them so I could use them throughout the winter.

Anyway...this is supposed to be about the SuperBowl chili I made, so here you go:

SuperBowl Chili

2 lb. stewing beef
1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
1 red or green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
19 oz. can diced tomatoes
1-2 tbsp. pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce or 1 tsp. hot pepper flakes
19 oz. can red kidney beans

Trim any fat of meat and cut into chunks, if necessary. In large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Brown meat in batches and transfer to slow cooker. Add a little more oil to skillet and saute onion, pepper and garlic until lightly softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and pureed chipotle peppers. Bring to a simmer. Pour sauce over beef in slow cooker. Stir well, cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until meat is tender. If adding beans, add one hour before end of cooking.

Recipe courtesy of Barb Holland as seen in the Metro, a free daily Toronto newspaper.

O.K., now here's what I did:

Brown the beef:
I used ground beef instead of the stewing beef because the last time I used stewing beef to make chili, Scott wasn't really impressed. He didn't like the texture all that much.

Then I did the veggies:
I didn't have any cumin, so I didn't use that, I substituted dried coriander instead. I also couldn't find the pureed chipotle peppers, so I substituted some of my frozen jalapenos and threw in some some crushed chili flakes for good measure.

I added it all to the crock pot and let it hang out for the day. About an hour before the SuperBowl started I added the kidney beans. Scott could only find 14 oz. cans, so we went with that.

This is what it looked like just before I scooped it out into bowls:
And this is what it looked like just before serving:
At least that's what mine looked like...Scott is not a big fan of sour cream and shredded cheese on his chili. Jonathan had sour cream and shredded cheese on his chili too and he REALLY liked it!

Enjoy the rest of your evening and thanks for stopping by!

25 Random Things...

This has been going around Facebook for the past couple of weeks, but in case you're not on there, here it is:

1. I was born and raised in Montreal.

2. I can speak French and English fluently and don't have an accent in either language. That means if I'm speaking French, there is no way that you could tell that I was raised in an English family.

3. I went to two different high schools. I chose to switch because the second one's motto was "Dedicated to the encouragement of Excellence". I know, weird.

4. I went to university in Montreal. When I was there, I paid just $500 for each of my first two years tuition. My last year cost me $1000 tuition because the government lifted the tuition freeze imposed in 1969. Quebec is STILL the cheapest place in the country to attend university.

5. I went to university because I could and majored in Spanish. I had visions of being the Canadian ambassador to Spain - HA! I got what I really wanted be a wife and a mom.

6. I moved to Mississauga the day after I wrote my last university exam.

7. I've never lived alone. I went from my parent's house to live with DH.

8. I lived in sin for 4 months before I got married.

9. I have a tattoo that I got because my girlfriend had one and I was jealous. Some guy named Pluto did it for me. I'm pretty sure he was a Hell's Angel, but he did a great job. I want another one.

10. I've always wanted three children...yes, always - got 'em!

11. I've been in all the provinces except for Saskatchewan and Manitoba. My favourites are by far the ones on the East Coast. I haven't seen any of the territories.

12. My DH proposed to me over a clean car...remind me to tell you the story.

13. DH and I were married by Banns, not by license.

14. I spent the entire summer before my wedding traveling for the company where I was working in order to train people on a new cash register system. I had to plan the wedding exclusively on weekends.

15. I postponed my honeymoon for two weeks in order to open the flagship store in Montreal for said company, because I was the only at head office that was trained on the new system and could speak French.

16. DH and I honeymooned in Disney World and I have been hooked ever since.

17. DH and I got new wedding bands for our 10th anniversary. They have Mickey heads on them (see # 16)

18. DH and I have two children with congenital heart conditions (I HATE the word "defect"). It's NOT genetic.

19. I have more online friends than IRL friends. I'm cool with that because they're all AWESOME!

20. I met most of my scrapping buddies online before I met them IRL - how cool is that???

21. The week after 9/11 I flew to Sault Ste. Marie. All my friends thought I was nuts, but I figured it was the safest time to fly.

22. DH and I still celebrate the anniversary of the day we started dating - Feb. 28th, 1986. It works out perfectly as it is almost 6 months to the day of our wedding anniversary. It's kinda cool to have an anniversary twice a year. We always go to the Keg.

23. I have enough SB paper to scrapbook every single photo I have printed (not ones still on computer) and not run out - SCARY!

24. I took 500 pics of DD before she turned 2 - YIKES!

25. My youngest DS had three open heart surgeries before he was 5. He's not done.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fresh Cilantro makes ALL the difference!

So I've been making this Pico de Gallo for a little while now. When I started making it, I could never find fresh cilantro, so I used dried. It tasted pretty good.

There's a company called Garden Fresh Gourmet that makes the most amazing salsa you've ever tasted. It's made with fresh ingredients and you can only find it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

The last time I bought it (last summer), I scrutinized the ingredients and decided that there was a pretty good chance I could make it myself using Pioneer Woman's Pico de Gallo recipe as the base.

DH has been out shopping for Super Bowl fixings (it's the only football game we watch all year, and we do it right), so I could make a new chili recipe he found in one of the daily newspapers he reads and make chicken wings too. I asked him while he was out to try and hunt down some fresh cilantro, since that's what Ree used in her Pico de Gallo recipe. He found some - YAY!!!

When he got home, I already had the Pico de Gallo in the food processor to turn it into salsa. When I was done with that, I chopped up the cilantro and added it to the mix.

OH. MY. GOSH. What a difference!!! This is by far the best batch I have EVER made! I'll never make it with dried herbs again.

I finally figured out what all those chefs I watch on the Food Network are raving if I could figure out a way to get an herb garden going in our apartment, I'd be set!

Thanks for stopping by!

Oh...and P.S. If you've been looking for that photo a day, I've been doing pretty good. I think I got all but 2 days in January. They're all sitting in my Facebook if you have Facebook, you'll have to search for me (Christyne Richardson) and send me a friend request to see the pics. In February, I'm going to try and post them here as well as Facebook.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

If you've been reading for a while then you know that 2008 held its share of challenges.

2009 is starting out on a much better note, as evidenced by this:

Yeah, we got Rock Band 2 for Christmas and the kids (including the big one playing guitar) are loving it!

One of my goals for this year is a photo a day. I'm off to a great start - LOL!

Hope everyone had a Rockin' New Year's Eve!

Thanks for stopping by!