Monday, January 18, 2010

POTD - Over the weekend...

On Friday, I made bread:

This is the recipe I've been using since I got my Cuisinart Stand Mixer from Santa in 2008. I don't know how I ever lived without it! I almost NEVER buy bread anymore, because it's SO much more fun to make it myself...and at least I know what's in it! Six ingredients... that's it...have you EVER read the ingredients list on store bought bread? And you wonder why it keeps so long? UGH!!!

Anyway, the recipe:
  • 1 pkg. dry active yeast (if you buy in bulk like I do, that's 2 1/4 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup very warm water
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 c. flour
  • Dissolve yeast with sugar and water
  • Add vegetable oil
  • Add all the flour
  • Set mixer to "2" for 4 minutes and then "3" for another 4 minutes
  • Remove to oiled bowl, cover and let rise till doubled (about an hour)
  • Punch down and form into two loaves
  • Transfer to greased loaf pans, cover and let rise till doubled (about an hour)
  • Bake at 375F for about 25 minutes
  • Remove from pans and tap bottom of loaf - if it sounds hollow, it's done.
The best part is, the Cuisinart does all the work - no kneading!!!

This time around, I snuck in 1 cup of whole wheat flour. If you're going to do this, DON'T buy bread flour. You should look for whole wheat pastry flour as the texture is much smoother.

One loaf was gone the day it was made...yep! It's THAT good!

On Saturday, I made this card:
Just before Christmas, a friend of mine gave birth (7 weeks early) to an ADORABLE little boy! He's still in NICU due to a few setbacks, so I sent her this card to let her know I was thinking about her family.

On Sunday, this was dinner:
This is SUPER simple to make and EVERYONE loves it...well, except for middle DS, who doesn't like stuff with sauce on it, so he gets the sausage and the pasta separately.

I removed the sausage from the casings and browned it up. While that was happening, I cooked the pasta and made a garlic cream sauce (basically a white sauce with some garlic and Frank's Red Hot for a little kick).

Dinner was ready in less than 1/2 an hour...gotta love when that happens!!!

Thanks for visiting! Have a GREAT day!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


So...this is how my day started out:
Stupid people in over priced cars should pay more attention to the world around them!

And, thankfully, this is how it ended:
Thank goodness for good friends who take the stress away! Diana, Karen, Eilis, Michelle and I had a blast at Diana's! She is an AWESOME hostess...and after only visiting a couple of times, we are right at home in her kitchen, helping ourselves to whatever we need to get the job done. YOU ROCK Diana!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

POTD - Banana Bread

This is a HUGE favourite in our house...I swear the kids let the bananas turn brown just so I can make it!

I've been making it for YEARS and I use my mom's recipe. I'm not quite sure where she got it (probably from HER mom), but I do know that it's been around for a while!

Would you like the recipe? Of course you would!

Banana Bread

1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup banana
  • Cream together butter and sugar. Add banana and then eggs one at a time and blend well.
  • Combine dry ingredients and add to banana mixture.
  • Pour into greased loaf pan and let stand 20 minutes.
  • Bake in a 350F oven for 50 - 55 minutes.
Now, trust me on this, do NOT skimp on the bananas! I usually use at least 3 bananas (I never measure) but 4 is best. If you end up with 6 bananas, just double the recipe and make 2 freezes beautifully...that's assuming it makes it to the freezer!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

POTD - Mmmmm...Pasta with Pesto

Here's today's lunch - YUM!!!
I should have saved some basil to garnish the pasta, but I used it all in the pesto - LOL!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 11, 2010

POTD - Pesto

Can you say YUM??? I was SO thrilled to get fresh Basil in my box of organic goodness from Plan B last week and I knew EXACTLY what to do with it! Make pesto of course!!!

I'm sure there are LOTS of people out there who think making pesto is a difficult undertaking, but it really isn't. There are very few ingredients and it whips up in seconds using your food processor. True...pine nuts can be a little expensive, but they are SO worth it!

Here's the recipe I used:

2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil (depending on how creamy you like it)

Put the first four ingredients into a food processor and pulse to blend.

Start food processor and slowly add oil through feed tube to make a nice paste.
And that's're done. Easy peasy! Now...go make yourself some nice fresh pesto to enjoy on some pasta - YUM!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

POTD - Sound of Music

Have I mentioned how absolutely amazing my hubby is? I'm sure you've heard...

He's the guy that gets the Christmas gift right EVERY SINGLE YEAR without so much as asking me...he always knows just what to get.

Christmas 2009 was no exception! This year, he got me tickets to this:
And I was just thrilled! This has to be one of my all time favourite movies - EVER!!! We had a fabulous time! The little girl who played Gretl (our cast was different from the one in the poster) was just so darn cute that I wanted to scoop her up and take her home!

This movie/stage show brings back SO many fun memories...when I was in Grade 5, we performed this song:

and I can't remember for the life of me what it was we were doing - LOL! I can't remember if it was a talent show, a special performance for parents or what...I know we had a blast doing it and it's still one of my favourite songs! I was humming it all the way home from the play!

So...once again, my hubby goes above and beyond and gets me the PERFECT Christmas gift...did I mention that this was the last day of the play in Toronto? Yep...PERFECT!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

POTD - Hanging out at the ROM

As a Sick Kids Ambassador Family, we get invited to quite a few events. This year, for Family Day, in conjunction with Conundrum Adventures, the Sick Kids Foundation will be hosting a sort of cross between a scavenger hunt and the Amazing Race in Toronto's underground PATH.

Today, at the ROM, we took part in sort of a trial run, on a much smaller scale, obviously. We were divided into teams (our family was one team) and had to solve the clues and puzzles that were given to us at the start of the race. We won!!!!

Here's a pic of us taken by the Conundrum host:
We had SO much fun!!!

Here's a little write up taken directly from the Sick Kids Foundation website:

Toronto’s underground walkway, the PATH, will bustle with excitement this Family Day (February 15) for the inaugural Family Day Race for SickKids. Teams of families and friends will explore sections of the 27-kilometre PATH as they race to solve puzzles and brainteasers.

Groups of four to six people will receive a map to navigate through the underground walkway. They will decipher clues and fill in the blanks of a Family Day story related to The Hospital for Sick Children. They will compete to get the most points within a two-hour period by trying to solve as many puzzles as possible, all while raising money for SickKids Foundation.

To truly make this experience about family fun, the Foundation called upon some current and past patients of the Hospital, known as SickKids patient ambassadors, to help create all of the storybook answers for the puzzles.

These patient ambassadors and their families gathered at the Royal Ontario Museum this past weekend to test out some of the brainteasers and to brainstorm creative clues for the Family Day Race. Teams will use their clues during the official Race on Family Day.

The Family Day Race for SickKids is the first signature event of its kind for SickKids Foundation. The event will begin and end at The Design Exchange at 234 Bay Street. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the Race will take place from 10 a.m. to noon with a ceremony for the top-prized teams and individuals to follow.

Register today for this special event. Grab a few of your family members, colleagues or friends, sign up on the Family Day Race for SickKids website, and begin fundraising for your team!

Get started now!

And here are some of the pics that I snapped:
My Honey

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

POTD - A new knife

Oh how I have been wanting one of these!!! Pioneer Woman uses it, Rachael Ray uses it, Bobby Flay uses it, Mario Batalli uses it...and now I use it too!!! I just love, love, LOVE it!!!

Every year, because my parents live quite a distance from us, they send us some Christmas money. This is what I bought with mine:
Thanks Mom and Dad!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

POTD - Some Cooking Trivia, a recipe and a picture

A little piece of trivia...did you know that most recipes that call for eggs and milk will assume that you will be using large eggs and whole milk?

A recipe:

Lemon Loaf:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Grated lemon peel from one lemon

Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup sugar

  • In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating until creamy
  • Blend in milk
  • In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and lemon peel
  • Pour into liquid and stir to moisten
  • Pour into greased 9 X 5 inch loaf pan (I used 4 X 8 and it's fine)
  • Bake in 350F oven for 50 to 55 minutes
  • Cool in pan for 5 minutes
  • Remove to rack and while still hot, with a toothpick poke holes all over the top of the loaf and spoon glaze evenly over top.
  • ENJOY!!!
And now, the POTD:
See that slice there? I'm going to enjoy it with a hot cup of tea!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

POTD - Tins for Friends

These little Altoid tins are the most fun things to alter - EVER! You can put SO many cute little things in them. These have little tiny thank you cards in them, but you can use them for so many other, mini sewing name it! These will be going to my friend Teresa for the swap she's hosting!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

POTD - My Favourite Place to Be

Don't get me wrong, I love my family and I really do love spending time with them, but this place is my haven, where I can go to get away and escape reality...even for just a little while. And besides, my Caroline is here when I'm here. What more could I want?

Monday, January 4, 2010

POTD - Sleeping Beauty

Today was the first day back to school after the Christmas break (can you hear the silence?) and Lauren's first day back since she had open heart surgery on December 15th. As expected, she was pretty tired when she came home.

She came in the door, dropped her bag and her coat, told me (briefly) about her day and went straight to the couch for a nap! You'll have to forgive the blurriness of the photo...I had to shoot without the flash as I didn't want it to wake her up.

Hope everyone is having a GREAT day! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Embarking on the POTD once more...

Here we go! I'm going to give the Photo a Day challenge another shot this year. Last year I made it to April and completely fizzled out. Not that I stopped taking pictures (hello, scrapbooker!), but I certainly didn't take one a day. I'm sure I took more than 365, but that's not the point, is it?

So far:
Apple Crisp made for my honey. It was DELICIOUS! You can find the recipe here: Mom's Apple Crisp.

This is pouty face:
I think the game he was playing on the computer froze on him before he got a chance to save. We need a new video card. He'll get over it!

And today, LONG after I should have been in bed:
My most wonderful husband drove all over town yesterday and ended up at a Best Buy about 10 km away to find the LAST one to be found just about anywhere in town (I know...we looked far and wide before DD got too tired to hang around the mall anymore).

He brought it home and we tried it out after dinner. I LOVE IT!!! There are SO many activities on it, so you can't really get bored. You could do something different every day for two months because there are over 60 different activities on it. It's FABULOUS!!!

And since 2010 is THE decade, it's going to be my get fit tool. The little Wii board (on the screen) keeps you motivated and congratulates you for all your hard work. Anyway...enough about the Wii Fit Plus...time for dinner!

Thanks for stopping by!