Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dave Cooks the Turkey

One of the best parts of the holidays for our family. Enjoy. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Merry

(tree decorated by The Boy all by himself this year)  (More handmade ornaments added daily)

Have a wonderful holiday week, or wonderful regular week, whatever you do.

Peace and Love.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Instagram - 60 books reviewed

I've done 60 reviews of cookbooks from my shelf, and 45 are staying. 

5 additional books hit the highway without being tested:
A Martin Yan book that I deperately wanted to like, but between difficult to find ingredients and difficult to cook for family, it wasn't a keeper.
A Giada pasta book that wasn't inspiring to me.
An old Best of Bridge.
An old baking book.
An "inspiring women cook!" book from the dollar store.  I found the few recipes that interested me to be vague.  So, no.

Coming up - more Mark Bittman, Emeril Legasse, Ina Garten, and burgers. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Arigato Sushi

We were back at Arigato Sushi last month for a birthday.  They very kindly sent over a platter of birthday sushi!  

(The Boy ate all the crab.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Treats - Sweet and Salty Chex Mix

A special treat for the holidays.  Reminds me a bit of my Moms caramel corn.

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

1 395 gram box Honey Nut Chex
300 grams roasted cashew nuts
1/2 cup mini M&M's, or chocolate chips

In a medium pot, melt butter, sugar and syrup over medium high heat, whisking to combine.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.  Carefully add the baking soda, vanilla, and salt.  Whisk until smooth.

In a large (very large - you need room to pour in the sauce, then stir!) microwave safe bowl, mix the cereal and nuts.  Pour the caramel sauce over and mix carefully, and well.

Microwave the mixture for 2 minutes.  Stir, microwave for 2 more minutes.  Stir again.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Stir, and pour onto a large parchment lined baking sheet.  Spread out.

Let sit for 20 minutes, then sprinkle on the chocolate.

Let sit for another 20-30 minutes, then break up any very large clumps.

Let cool completely.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

How To: Break up ground meat

This is one of those tips that is so easy, so obvious, that when you see it you're 
like - why didn't I think of that???? 

Sometimes when you're cooking ground meat, it's a bit tough to get the meat 
broken into small uniform pieces while cooking. 
The solution? 

Your potato masher.

Use the masher to mash and break up the ground meat as it cooks.

It's easy to break up clumps.

Switch to a spoon or spatula once the meat is broken up as you like, to finish the cooking.


Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Book Club - Unprocessed by Megan Kimble

This book took me a long time to read - nearly 3 months - but there is 
so much interesting and sometimes surprising information
it felt like a book to read slowly.
Some good bits - 
"According to a study by Local First, if 
you spend $100 at a local business, $73 of it will stay in your 
community.... spend that money at a national corporation and only $43 
sticks around."
"Only about 10% of the salt in the American diet 
comes from salt added at the table; the other 90% is already added to 
processed foods." 
"Salt is perfect for processed foods... It is 
cheap...Even better, it binds water and makes foods weigh more, so you 
pay more for heavier packages."
"Salt is one of the most common 
of the 10,000 chemicals added to our foods. Of these 10,000, 1,480 have 
been approved by the FDA; 3,600 more have been deemed GRAS, or generally
 recognized as safe. A thousand more have never been tested by the FDA 
and a further 3,800 are "indirect additives" and so are totally 
"....on average, 91 cents of every dollar American 
consumers spend on food goes to middlemen- to suppliers, marketers, 
"Over the past 50 years sugar consumption has tripled worldwide..."

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Cado English Muffin

The Boy charmingly called avocados "Cado" when he was younger, and it's stuck with The Mister and me.  I'm sure in a few more years The Boy will be irritated beyond belief by our usage of it.

(Another freaking adorable stage was when he called ALL food "Ham".  I loved it!)

We buy avocados almost every week; they are so good for you, and of course, guacamole.
For the kids we mostly cube it and serve it straight up, but I love it squished onto a toasted english muffin and sprinkled with a teensy bit of salt and lots of hot sauce. 

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Intentions for December

This is what I'm hoping to work on this month:

Yoga every day - I've been practicing yoga in classes between 1 and 3 times a week for almost 3 months now, well, once a week for 2 months, then 2-3 times a week for the past month.  I've been trying to establish a home routine for the past few weeks, mostly unsuccessfully so far.  Between classes and home, I want to practice every day, even if it's only a handful of stolen moments when the children can't find me.

Drink more water - I used to be really good at this, but not so much the past few months.  Being hydrated.  So important. 

Drink smoothies a minimum of twice a week - another thing I used to be good at. 

Reading every day - and not blogs or facebook either.  Books.  Real live books.

Be grateful.

Be kind. 

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Gift Guide: Skin Deep

Ahhhhh, the good stuff.

Relax-O-Ring from Saje This is so cool.  It's a massager for your fingers that is instantly both energizing and relaxing. Get one for you too.

Aromatherapy diffuser This is the one I have - also from Saje, but you can find lots of these out there. Use them with your favorite essential oils. Obvs.

Ocean Salt Scrub from Lush. Lovely and gentle.

EO body lotion and potions I am a huge fan of EO. I use their soap, body and face lotions, and the kids use the kids soaps.

Thieves Oil  You may or may not believe that Thieves Oil can help combat illness, but if you don't, it smells good too.

Vitamin C Energizing Face Spray Instant perk up.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Pumpkin cookies and then pancakes too!

 My god, how much puree is IN one of those big cans of pumpkin puree????

After the 2 types of muffins, I still had some puree left, so I made these 
Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.  I had to leave out the dried 
cranberries so The Mister would eat them.  Guess how many he's eaten?????  
ONE.  I should have just left them in.

I STILL had some damn puree left over.  WTF.  It was truly like a never-ending can of the stuff.
I was going to throw it in a smoothie, which really did not sound appealing, so instead I made a 
batch of pancakes for Sunday breakfast.  We use pancake mix sometimes; the kind that you just 
add water to.  I added the puree and some vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.  
They were really really good.

And thank god, the can was finally empty.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Squash Cheat Sheet

This is a super cool page out of the October Rachael Ray Magazine, all about gourds and how to cook them.  Perfect for me, as the only ones I can ever remember are the spaghetti and acorn.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bacon and Egg Bread Cups

The spooky skull may give you a hint as to when this photo was taken - it was not yet 
Halloween, and the Farmers Market was still running.  We treated ourselves to some 
bacon and egg buns from the Erwin's Bakery stand.  Delicious!

We made a similar dish a few years ago, but their buns were wayyyyyy better 
than squished sandwich bread.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Instagram Follow Friday Week 4

Yoga Inspiration Yoga. Inspiration.

Mindy Kaling I admire her so much. Funny and truthful and smart.

Yoga Journal I really love yoga, you guys.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gift Guide - Books

Need to buy a gift? How about a book?

Meditation Coloring Book I have this book and I love it.  It is truly very soothing and calming.  Last week I alternated coloring with trying to figure out what was wrong with my computer.  I stayed shockingly calm.
There are a literal ton of adult coloring books now.  Check em out.

Brave Enough I have not yet read this book, but Wild is one of my favorite books, so I want to read this one.

2,100 Asanas: The Complete Yoga Poses Another one on my to read list, it looks amazing.  Detailed and easy to follow.

Furiously Happy I read"Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson earlier this year, and I woke the baby up from her nap because I was laughing so loud.  I can't wait to read this one.

Good Morning: 365 Positive Ways to Start Your Day I've owned this book for years, and use it yearly.  Gratitude and positivity.  It's where it's at.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

Check out these muffins.  Got to use up more of my pumpkin puree and ended up with some crazy good pumpkin chocolate treats.  

These possibly briefly make me feel a little bit ok with Fall.  A little bit. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Do not become small

When I saw this on Instagram my breath caught in my throat.  
This quote really feels true to my life right now.

The fact is, we are always changing and growing.  All of us. 

I - and my little family - have undergone some enormous changes in the past 18 months.  
Some were amazing, some were devastating.

I am not the same person I used to be.  
But I'm feeling more like me - the real me - than I have in years.  
I'm excited about where I am in life right now and where I am headed.

Some in my life are having difficulty understanding that, and it's been very hard for me to deal with.
It's hard to understand why people would not want to be happy for you, when you are happy.
Do people not deserve happiness unless they fit into your mold of who they should be?

This quote helps me to remember.  
My journey is my journey.  You do not have to like it, or understand it.
It is for me. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Instagram - 50 books reviewed

I've done mini reviews of 50 cookbooks from my collection, and 36 are staying on the shelf.

4 additional books left the house without being tested - a book on savory baking that I'd bought from a charity book sale.  It was super cool, but I just know I'll never cook from it.
Another Gordon Ramsay bargain bin book.  Sorry Gordon.
Also gone  - a Mexican cookbook that was full of long complicated recipes full of ingredients
 that I would never be able to find here.
A book by Paul Prudhomme is also out the door - just not our kind of cooking.

Coming up - Cookin' With Coolio, Will It Waffle?, and Make The Bread, Buy The Butter.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Grocery Shop November 21

coffee, cake mix (shhh), frosting (SHHHH), butter, cheese, cottage cheese, 
cauliflower, avocados, bell peppers, pineapples, pears, ground pork, 
italian sausage, hot dogs, buns, ham, salami, baby crunchies.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

How to : roast and freeze garlic

I remember the first time I tried roasted garlic. 
 I'd read about it in a magazine and for some reason I already owned a little terra cotta garlic roaster, so I picked up a head of garlic and a baguette and tried it out. 
 My boyfriend at the time was a basic meat and potatos guy,and declared many many times he was not interested in trying it. 
No sir, not the kind of thing he would eat! 
Well, once the garlic came out of the oven and was plated with the sliced bread, he materialized over my shoulder and announced that fine! He'd try it! Get off his back! 
 And proceeded to eat the entire thing. 

 Roasted garlic is amazing - on bread, in pasta or sauces - but it takes time to make, so I always have some frozen in my freezer.

 First, roast the garlic. 
 Heat your oven to 400'. Cut just the bare top off the whole heads of garlic to expose the tops of the cloves. 

Place in a baking dish and drizzle well with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper 
and cover the top of the dish with foil.

Roast in the oven for an hour, until tender and golden.

They are ready to use as you like, or cool them completely, and wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then in a freezer bag, and store in the freezer until you need them.

They thaw in the microwave in a matter of seconds, or leave them in the fridge overnight.
So good.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Instagram Follow Friday Week 3

This weeks 3 Instagram follows -

Ina Garten Probably the most gorgeous photography in my feed.

Levenbutt Butts in places you wouldn't normally see butts.

The Compliment Campaign Inspiration and reflection.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sigh. New plate update.

Sooooooooooo.  Less than 2 months after buying our new plates, we have our first casualty.

And of course, it's on one of my favorites too. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Movie night dinner

Do you have "special" family dinners - movie nights, game nights, party nights?
We mostly do movie nights, and sometimes we don't even get to the actual movie!  
For The Boy it's more about the snacks, the blanket and pillow beds on 
the floor and/or couch, and the dinner.
Our 2 special dinners for these nights are either pizza or nachos.  
The Boy prefers pizza because sometimes we get to eat it in the living room 
while watching the movie.  Pretty special.  
I usually prefer nachos because it's quicker than making pizza dough, and also?  Guacamole.  

I made some (what I thought were) killer nachos this weekend, but The Boy 
turned his nose up at them.  Not interested. 
 "I just don't like nachos anymore" he told me, which, ouch.  This is MY child???

So I guess I'm on the lookout for another Movie Night Meal.  
Or maybe nachos for us, and a PBJ for the nacho haters...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Double peanut butter muffins

I've had a large (LARGE) can of pumpkin puree in my cupboard for a few months.
Seriously, why do they need to make the cans so big???

It was time to use it or lose it, so I tried some flourless peanut butter muffins from the interwebs.

These are all about the chocolate and peanut butter.  And they are SO good!

I made them in regular size muffin tins, and added 1/2 tsp of salt.

They are fudgey and delicious and really good for breakfast with a glass of milk.

Monday, November 16, 2015


I am so sad about the latest attack in Paris.  My heart aches for everyone.

I can't even fathom the pain that those involved and affected by this tragedy - and other horrific tragedies around the world - are suffering.

The world is truly in a terrible and frightening place right now.

Pray for Paris.  Pray for the refugees.  Pray for Japan.  Pray for Baghdad. 
Pray for those without water or food.

Pray for the World.
Pray for Peace.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Instagram Follow Friday - Week 2

 Here's this weeks 3 coolio accounts -

Joe Kwon of The Avett Brothers. Food and Music.

Emma Hansen is a BC born model and yoga teacher, among other things.  Emma suffered the loss of her son earlier this year, and has been documenting her journey on Instagram.  She inspired me to share a little bit about the loss of our daughter.

Chrissy Teigen is a model, blogger, cookbook author and tv host.  She is funny, creative, and doesn't give a rats ass what anyone thinks.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Morning photo

This photo contains 3 things I love -

Bacon and scrambled eggs with seasoned salt
My new daily journal

I'd like to think I'm a fairly organized person, but I'm not.  
I'd like to think I have a good memory, which is also not true.
I feel like I am constantly forgetting things, which sadly is VERY true, so I was quite interested when I happened across some information on Bullet Journaling. There is way too much to say about it, but it's a system - a flexible system - of organizing a notebook into keeping your appointments, tasks, goals, lists, pretty much whatever you want to track.

I bought myself a $1.25 notebook and $1.00 worth of small labels at the dollar store to get started.  Then I read some posts over at Miss Zoot, thought about what my goals were with this system, and got started.  I made myself a page for goals/tasks for the month, some pages for notes I think I'll use (Stuff to Know, Gift Ideas, Movies to see, Books to Read), and then a section for daily happenings.  
I've been using the notebook for just under a month now and I'm so happy with it.  I use a couple of elastic bands to keep it shut and throw it in my purse so I've always got it with me in case I need to add something.  (Which I did yesterday!  I felt so grown up pulling it out and adding a note.  Go me.)
I try to remember to check it every morning for not only that day, but the week.  

I definitely feel more organized and while I still don't accomplish as much as I'd like in the timeliest of manners, I'm feeling more like I've got a hold of things, and that's important to me.  

Check out Miss Zoot's posts, and there's tons of stuff (obvs) if you google bullet journal.
If you're super creative or artistic, check out pinterest too. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monday, November 09, 2015


Do you like board games?
When I was a kid I didn't play much - my friends and I could always find something 
more exciting to do; I am an only child, and my parents weren't much into them. 

I loved The Game of Life, and Big Bucks (Canadian Monopoly) and of course, Trivial Pursuit.  My absolute favorite was called Mystery Mansion, where you had to build a house and search for treasure.  Ah, I wish I still had that one.  How could I have gotten rid of it???

The Mister and I used to have a games night with another couple years and years back, once a month.  We'd alternate board games with card games.
We used to take cards and games camping too.

I've always dreamed of playing board games with my kids, and The Boy is showing some interest in actually playing the games, not just flinging the pieces everywhere.

We bought him the Minion version of Trouble in the summer, but man that game can take forever , and the opportunity of sending your opponents back to start over doesn't sit well with him, unless he's the one sending someone back.

I picked up Junior Monopoly last weekend, and we gave it a try.  It was fun, straightforward, and pretty quick to play, so the game was over before his attention span gave out.

Do you play family board games?  What are your favorites?  
Are you a lenient player, or a cutthroat, win at all costs one?

Sunday, November 08, 2015


Today I am grateful for

The Mister and how much he loves me and our family
My Children
Yoga class, and my teacher
The sunshine
A new day

What are you grateful for today?

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, too late for this year

How do you feel about pumpkin seeds? 
I'm pretty iffy on them myself. I always seem to tire of them 
before they're done, and The Mister is not a fan. 

The Boy isn't either, but he begged me to roast some this year.  
I was reaching for the olive oil when I decided to jazz things up and use coconut oil instead.
Coconut oil is a big deal superfood, but it's also really delicious.
A friend of mine who cooks a lot of curries always cooks her meat in coconut oil 
rather than canola or olive. I've started doing that now, and sometimes with our veggies too.

Roast your washed and dried pumpkin seeds in a 350' oven with some coconut oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Cook for 10 minutes, remove and stir, then return to the oven for another 5 to 10
 minutes until colored and fragrant.

Or just come over to my house for all the pumpkin seeds that no one here is eating.  Sigh.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Instagram Follow Friday - Week 1

I have a small Instagram addiction.  I love checking it a few times (ahem) a day.
Here's 3 of my favorite accounts I follow:

David Lebovitz- Mega food blogger.  Records his life in Paris and his travels elsewhere. 

Big Gal Yoga- I love this account!  Not only does Val rock yoga, she's also confidant and super inspiring.

Fowl Language Comics - If you have kids, this will make you say "It me."

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Waffled Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

I impulse purchased a can of pumpkin cinnamon rolls last month 
and then they sat and sat in the fridge. 
My family doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, and I really shouldn't make sweet stuff 
because they don't eat it, and then I feel like I have to, and I shouldn't. 

 I had a eureka moment - I remembered multiple posts on Pinterest 
about cooking cinnamon buns in waffle makers. 
Why the heck not. 

I heated up the ole waffle maker and sprayed it down with cooking spray.
The buns were separated and slightly squished, and then tossed on the iron.

They didn't take long to cook - 4 minutes or so.  
We spread some of the included icing on them and dug in.

They were fun, and good.  The Boy thought they were hilarious, and ate his up, so that was a bonus.
I wouldn't run out and buy another can to make these next weekend, but if I did impulse purchase another tin, this would be in the running.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Hearts for breakfast

I was pretty pleased with this breakfast - coconut yogurt, chopped strawberries, and hemp hearts.

Have you tried hemp hearts?  I've seen them around for a long time but just tried them for the first time last month.  They are like chia and flax, all up in the fiber, protein and omega buisness. 
 But these have a delicious nutty flavor.  So good you could eat them straight up.

Like chia and flax they can be added to smoothies, batters for pancakes 
muffins etc, salads,yogurt, oatmeal.

Also like your other seeds, store in the fridge to keep them fresher for longer.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Monday, November 02, 2015

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Puree

I've used a fantastic book for starting my babies on foods - Cooking for Baby.  I got this as a gift from a fellow blogger when The Boy was born, and it is such a great book.

Now everyone is different, and everyone is entitled to their opinions on stuff.  For me it was important to make baby food.   Some people want to, some don't.  You do you.  

I found this book to be an amazing resource for all things baby food related - how to prepare and store, what foods to start with, what to delay or avoid.  

The recipes are not bland - dal, curry, tabbouli, burritos - babies/toddlers 
don't need to eat boring foods.

One I was anxious to try this time around was the Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Puree.
It was quick to make - only 2 ingredients!  A large red bell pepper is roasted, skinned and seeded, then pureed with 1 1/2 ounces of goat cheese.  

Unfortunately for The Baby, the bell pepper wasn't very sweet and the goats cheese (as goat cheese is) was very tangy.  It did not go over well, and was rejected on subsequent attempts.  

The Mister and The Boy had no interest in it either, so it was up to me to eat it up.  
Some was used as a dip for raw veggies, but my favorite was as a spread for 
toasted English Muffins.  So good!

Check out Cooking for Baby here

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Leftover Turkey Curry

Around day 3 of leftovers I start losing interest.  Doesn't really matter what the
 leftover is, except pizza.  I NEVER get tired of leftover pizza.
Turkey leftovers are always a problem because the turkey always seems to get so dry so quickly.
I figured a curry was the way to go to take care of the last couple of cups of bird.

I used this recipe from Mark Bittman because I had all the ingredients plus it 
only called for 2 cups of turkey.  I used a bag of my handy dandy frozen spinach in 
place of the fresh, because that's what I had.

This was a fast weekend lunch that everyone - including The Boy AND The Baby enjoyed, 
much to my surprise.

This was my first curry I've made that didn't use curry powder or paste.  
I omitted the cayenne for the babies, but it was still nice and flavorful.  
A definite keeper.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Stuffing Waffles

My favorite part of  a Thanksgiving dinner has always been the stuffing.  I could eat a big plate of stuffing and gravy, maybe with a little turkey, and be perfectly happy.  

I admit, I am scared of cooking turkeys.  I'm terrified that I'll under cook them and won't notice, and make my family sick.  So because of this fear I've only cooked maybe 3 or 4 turkeys in my life.  I rely on my parents for a turkey feast at Thanksgiving.  

My mom has moved away from cooking the homemade bread stuffing right in the turkey and either bakes the stuffing in a dish in the oven, or makes packaged stuffing.  
I am not a snob, and have nothing against packaged stuffing.
There's a box of it in my kitchen right now.  There were 2 boxes, but I used one to
make Stuffing Waffles.

After this Thanksgiving my parents tried a stuffing waffle recipe where the dry stuffing mix is processed until it's ground up and then mixed in a batter.  They thought they were ok, but wouldn't make them again.  I did some searching around and found a few recipes where they used prepared stuffing and then mixed in eggs and broth to bind the waffles so they'd stay together while cooking.

To use up our turkey and gravy leftovers, I made a box of stuffing and added some extra water - about 1/4 cup.  I let the stuffing cool for a bit before I made the waffles because I'd planned to add an egg for binding, but decided at the last minute to try without it.  I portioned the stuffing into 4 balls, then pressed each into a squareish shape, slapped them on the waffle maker, and closed it up.

They were ridiculously good!  I loved the crispy exterior with the gravy and tender turkey.
The Stuffing Waffle should not just be saved for leftovers - I would definitely make these to be part of any poultry/gravy feast.