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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Meatball Sub Cupcakes

I found this recipe on Pinterest when I was menu planning for a recent visit from my 
Mother in Law.  I figured it would be an easy dish to prepare and sneak arsenic into, to off her.  Kidding!
She is a lovely woman.

I thought they were adorable, and that The Boy would like them.  And I had everything 
in the fridge or freezer already except for the crescent roll dough.

I went off recipe in two areas; I made my own meatballs - 12 from one pound of beef, seasoned with salt, pepper, onion and garlic, and I used herb and garlic cream cheese instead of plain.  I loved the flavor that it added to the dish.  If I only had regular cream cheese I would definitely 
spice it up before using it.  

Other than finding pressing the dough into the muffin cups a bit annoying, this was a really easy and really delicious recipe.  And the leftovers reheated well too, which is always a bonus.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Book Club - Why Not Me?

"Throwing a tantrum feels good because you think you are ruining everyone's good time 
when you feel your very worst.  But the truth is, you're not ruining their good time, you're 
just giving them another good story."

"I want a guy who is a feminist, someone who knows that all that means is that men and women are equal.  A man who admires strong women, like Hillary Clinton or Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  But not that really accomplished woman from his office who seems cool and put-together.  I don't mean her.  I'd like him to resent her irrationally, actually.  I mean older, stronger women in the theoretical."

"People talk about confidence without ever bringing up hard work. That's a mistake."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Winging it - Lasagne Rolls

I was trying to use up a bunch of leftovers we had after a family visit, but I just 
had little bits of this and that - some shredded roasted chicken, 
about a cup of pasta sauce, a few slices of Gruyere cheese - not 
really enough of everything to make much of a meal for us. I didn't want to have 
to crack open another jar of pasta sauce to make a full meal.
I was trying to get rid of all the leftovers, not add new ones quite yet.
 What about trying something new - lasagne rolls? 
 Could I stretch the ingredients out far enough? 

Yes.  Yes I could.

I chopped up the chicken and cheese and added some mozzarella and a baggie of frozen spinach.
The great thing about the frozen spinach in the baggies for a meal like this is, when you take the baggie out of the freezer, quickly - before the spinach starts to thaw - crush the baggie in your hands.
This will crumble the spinach into little shards so you won't have to chop it.

Then I boiled 6 lasagne noodles and ran them under cold water to cool them down.

 Next!  The pasta sauce wasn't going to go far enough so I thinned it with a few spoons of water 
and then spooned a thin layer in the bottom of a shallow baking dish.

I divided the chicken mixture between the noodles and spread it out to cover the whole noodle, then rolled them up and placed them seam side down in the baking dish.

The rest of the sauce was drizzled over the top, and then topped with a bit more shredded mozza.

I baked them at 350' for about 25 minutes, until the rolls were 
heated through and the cheese was melted.

We all really liked these - especially The Boy, shockingly enough.  He even requested 
the leftover roll be saved for his dinner the next night!  

Lasagne rolls were way easier than I expected them to be.  
The Mister is a big pasta fan, so we'll have to try some other variations soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Update, 10 years later

I was in my blawg archives the other day looking for something, and I came across a silly post I did on November 5, 2005.

2005.  2005!

10 years ago.

My god, time flies.  I can actually remember writing this too.  Crazy.
So much has changed.  We live in a different city.  We've got kids.  We've had some big ups and downs, just like everyone does.  We are not the same people, in good and bad ways.

But what about the really important stuff?  The stuff that really matters?
The vital questions like, do I still like pancakes more than waffles?
And, what IS the color of my pants??????
Burning questions, my friends.

So let's compare the me of today with the sillier me of 10 (TEN! OMG) years ago -

5 movies you've seen recently
2005 Answer - 
Batman Begins (because Scott wanted to see it)
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (kind of funny)
Super Size Me (freaked me the hell out!)
A Very Long Engagement (wonderful!)
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (i love harry potter)

2015 Answer- with bonus comments as per 10 years ago
The Wedding Ringer (meh)
Mad Max Fury Road (I'm too old for this shit)
Serena (disappointing)
The Theory of Everything (fine)
Peter Pan (Disney version)

5 random songs from your mp3 player
2005 Answer -
Smoke and Ashes by Tracey Chapman (such a good cd)
Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall (this one always cheers me up)
It's a Sin by Pet Shop Boys (the 80's!)
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness (they crack me up)
Are We The Waiting by Green Day (I love Green Day and I always will. Especially Mike Dirnt.Grrrrowl!)

2015 Answer (MP3 player, lol)
Style by Ryan Adams
Diamond Mine by Blue Rodeo
Here's To The State by Eddie Vedder
Eyes of a Stranger by The Payolas
Gangham Style by Psy (ahem)

Yesterday I...
2005 Answer -
was completely stressed out at work. Went home and had a couple of drinks, watched tv and went to bed.

2015 Answer -
Dyed my hair.  The Boy did not like how dark it came out (me either). After a long fun discussion on WHY I have grey hair, his final question to me was "Are you a grandpa?"

Today I...
2005 Answer - 
am completely stressed out at work. Have to go pick up my car from the shop and go to the gym before going to the grocery store to find something for dinner, then go home, make dinner, eat dinner, clean up after dinner, then go to bed. I'm tired today.

2015 Answer - 
Baked cookies.  I was craving cookies. They turned out crappy.  Thanks, link from twitter.

Tomorrow I...
2005 Answer - 
hope to sleep in.

2015 Answer - 
hope to shower.

What are you listening to right now?
2005 Answer - 
Green Day, baby!

2015 Answer - 
The Daily Show

What color of pants are you wearing?
2005 Answer - 
Um, I'm wearing green pants, with a brown shirt and black shoes. Did I mention I'm tired today?

2015 Answer -
No pants!   Huh.  I guess I should have thought about that before I teased about an exciting answer to the question in my intro.  No pants because I'm in my nightgown, btw.  I'm not a no pants weirdo.  Yet.

What's on your mouse pad?
2005 Answer - 
Here at work, it's plain black. At home it has a bulls eye on it.

2015 Answer - 
No mouse pad!  I use the chair arm.

Favorite meal - breakfast, lunch or dinner?
2005 Answer - 

2015 Answer - 
breakfast food for dinner.

Favorite snack?
2005 Answer - 
Plain pita chips. In the summer, fresh fruit.

2015 Answer - 

Favorite non-alcoholic drink?
2005 Answer - 
Water or a smoothie.

2015 Answer - 
Water or Ice Tea

Favorite alcoholic drink?
2005 Answer - 
Rye and Coke.

2015 Answer -
I don't drink anymore.

Pancakes or Waffles?
2005 Answer - 
Pancakes. My stupid waffle iron NEVER works.

2015 Answer -
Waffles.  And I have a new(er) waffle iron.

Pasta, Rice or Potatos?
2005 Answer - 

2015 Answer -

What site is a must see for visitors to your city?
2005 Answer - 
I guess the Calgary Stampede. We also have a very nice Zoo.

2015 Answer -
I would say walking trails.  The River Trail on the North and South shores, the West Highlands Trail.
Sun Peaks.  

Stretch your right arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?
2005 Answer - 
My printer.

2015 Answer -
a cookbook.

What is the last thing you watched on TV?
2005 Answer - 
The MTV Europe Awards last night.

2015 Answer -
The Daily Show

With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
2005 Answer - 
My desk fan. Our office building is incredibly warm today.

2015 Answer -
The TV.

When did you last go outside?
2005 Answer - 
Just before noon. I walked to Tim Hortons and got a bowl of chili.

2015 Answer -
About 8:30 pm.  I went outside to see how warm it was and if I could see the stars.

When did you last laugh?
2005 Answer - 
Last night.

2015 Answer - 
About 8:00, while talking on the phone.

What is on the walls of the room you are in?
2005 Answer - 
Some pictures, some work certificates, a calendar and a SpongeBob Squarepants sticker.

2015 Answer - 
Family photos, a couple of paintings we bought from the Leighton Art Centre in Millarville Ab.

Tell me something about you I don't know
2005 Answer - 
I am terrified of dogs.

2015 Answer - 
I never liked the show Seinfeld.

Two truths and a lie. Which is the lie?
2005 Answer - 
I have a hard time sleeping on a regular basis.
I graduated from University.
I used to be a vegetarian, but one day I had an overwhelming desire to have a ham sandwich.

2015 Answer - 
I have a brother.
I just had a birthday.
I love to read.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
2005 Answer - 
Morning person.

2015 Answer - 
Morning person.

What color is your bedroom?
2005 Answer - 

2015 Answer -

What color is your bathroom?
2005 Answer - 
White. We haven't painted anywhere in the house yet. We are still trying to get the basement finished.

2015 Answer - 

What should you be doing right now, instead of this?
2005 Answer - 
Working, but my boss is out of town this week, so I am having an extended lunch.

2015 Answer -
Nothing super pressing.  I guess I could be reading...

Well, I think we've all learned some important stuff here tonight.  Like, I'm still boring.
And I should read more and scroll through my archives less.  And maybe get more hobbies?

Original post here.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Grocery Shop October 19

Action shot!

Potatos,salsa, Star Wars cookies, coffee creamer, iced tea, milk, carrots, blue cheese dressing, salad, oranges, bananas, avocado, raspberries, bread, sliced turkey.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Thursday, October 15, 2015

My first chia pudding

I've been a fan of chia seeds for a couple of years now as a both a smoothie 
ingredient and for chia gel. Chia pudding seemed like a good next step, 
but I couldn't decide on a recipe to try.

I found a very nice sounding one on Food 52 using coconut milk (love it!) and pureed fruit.
Yes please!

Other than needing to puree the fruit, which really isn't a big deal, this is a snap to make, and only needs a couple of hours to sit before it's ready.

I really really liked this a lot.  Of course, The Mister and The Boy did not, but whatever. 
The coconut milk and fruit make the pudding thick and creamy. 
I could see this being a great breakfast when I go back to work, or an afternoon pick me up snack.

Recipe: Chia pudding

Friday, October 09, 2015

Gasthaus on the Lake

Final Penticton post!
 Our last couple of days in Penticton were very very smoky from the fires. We'd planned to hang out at the pool on the last day, maybe go for one final walk, but we pretty much got up 
and started packing to try to get away from the smoke.
Of course packing up and jenga-ing the car took a while, and once we'd made a final stop at the butchers and farm stand, it was time to consider lunch on the road.
My parents suggested Gasthaus on the Lake in Peachland.

The restaurant was so charming -it has a spectacular patio area that I would have loved to sit at, but because of the smoke we sat inside.  The inside is pretty cool too - tons of wood and tchotchkes.  The have an enormous fireplace - truly gigantic - and a massive wine bottle drip candle.  Huge!

The Men both had the daily special.  Schnitzel, spaetzle, currywurst and caesar salad. 
This was a winner lunch.  The currywurst was THE BEST.  I must make it.

The Boy had a pizza and ate the whole thing.

If you are into special nights, you may want to check out Schnitzel Nights on Thursdays

And a Medieval Feast.  Sounds so cool.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

How to: Freeze Spinach

This is a, I think, helpful share for an easy way to store spinach and add it into your meals.

I buy those big bags of spinach that cost only a few bucks and pack one or two large
handfuls into baggies and freeze them. 

Then they're available anytime to be added to smoothies, curries, soups,
rice bowls, pastas, stir fries.
Whatever floats your boat and needs some greens.  

Easy peasy.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Okanagan Almonds

One thing I found at the Penticton Farmer's Market that I was not expecting to 
see was locally grown almonds.  

The vendor offered The Boy and I one to sample, and they were 
delicious and such a cool find, I had to buy a bag.

Here's what they looked like - they had a beautiful green grey velvety outer shell.

The outer shell was split open, so it was easy to pull the seed out.  
It looks almost like a small peach pit.

Along one side of the shell is a ridge.  The shell is soft, so it's easy to pull/tear 
off the ridge down the side of the shell.

Pull the shell open, and.....

There is the almond!

Now repeat that for a whole bag, by yourself while sitting on a hotel bed.  It gets old pretty fast.

I was so excited by the purchase, and trying to keep an eye on all the family at the busy market, that I didn't think to ask the vendor how long they would keep, or any details like that.
I did a quick search on the internet on my phone, but didn't see anything about storing or keeping them, so we ate them quickly.  The texture was a bit softer than almonds you'd buy in the store, and slightly more delicious.  A fun find on our trip.