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!