Friday, November 30, 2018

Book Club - Birdie

'Happiest when she is alone, Birdie wore her need for quiet like a veil.'

'Nope, she does not love the Whippets.  She sees their cruelty and deplores the mirror image in herself.' 

'She sometimes thinks that she was raised by good women and educated by less than good men.'


Last book for the Summer Reading Club -  A Book With A One Word Title

Finished November 12.


Happy to wrap up both NaBloPoMo AND the Summer Reading Club
for 2018 on the last day of November!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

We got an Instant Pot

Our crock pot is super old and is starting to show it - taking longer to warm up and cook things.  It isn't a huge deal at this point as it does still work, but I was keeping my eye out for a replacement before it did completely conk out.

My most lovely Boo (eternal BFF) gave me a generous gift card for my birthday this year with a note suggesting I buy a new crock pot.  She's the best!
I started investigating what kind of crock pot I wanted and quickly switched gears to heavily considering an Instant Pot.

I have a super duper (unfounded) fear of pressure cookers but my cousin was singing the praises of hers earlier this year and there are so many food websites that talk about it now it's hard to get away from.  We went to the store to do a little preliminary research on them and walked out with a 6 quart Instant Pot.

I was so excited to get started that as soon as we got home I opened it all up and started reading about it.  Steaming and venting and pressure and seals all brought back my (very unfounded) fears of pressure cookers and I stuffed everything back in the box and put the box in the corner of my room with my dusty yoga stuff.

A week (or maybe 2, who remembers such details) later I told myself to suck it up, get over it and try it out.  After reading some soup recipes I made a truly delicious turkey soup and bam!  It was on.

I've steamed countless squashes, "roasted" sweet potatos, made more soups, a couple of curries,  plain chicken and a mu shu-ish pork.  Everything has been terrific and easy.  I am a IP fan.

I made this IP Butter Chicken for a work potluck.  Not too shabby.

Above - IP squash.  They come out perfectly every time.
Below the most delicious Red Lentil and Kale Curry

This was one of our first recipes we made - Egg Roll Bowls. So tasty.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Book Club - Laura by Donald Zochert

"I picked a wild sunflower," she said "And as I looked into its golden heart such a wave of homesickness came over me that I almost wept.  I wanted my mother, with her gentle voice and quiet firmness; I longed to hear my father's jolly songs and to see his twinkling blue eyes; I was lonesome for the sister with whom I used to play in the meadow picking daisies and wild sunflowers."

"Ring out wild bells to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die..... 


Adult Summer Reading Club 2018 - Reread a favorite

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Yum Yum Cake

I realized one Sunday morning that I had not planned a dessert for that nights dinner and then I realized we were out of butter and a few other essential ingredients for some quick desserts (chocolate chip cookies) and as always, the internet saved me with plenty of ideas.

I picked Yum Yum Cake because it has no butter but it does have pineapple.......mmmm.
We almost always have a can of crushed pineapple in the cupboard and it is most likely the only ingredient in this that you may not already have in your kitchen.

It's a simple but delicious recipe.  We ate it plain but some whipped cream or ice cream would be fabulous too.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Snapshot - Lovely early Saturday morning

I hunkered down on a Saturday morning with a bunch of cookbooks for a 
while before the fam woke up.  A nice start to the day.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Book Club - Cujo by Stephen King

"Why?  What had something like this been allowed to happen?  How could so many events have conspired together?"


For Summer Reading Club 2018 - Published in the Decade You Were Born

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Sunday Dinner - THE BEST APPLE PIE

For Sunday Dinner there was baked chicken, corn on the cob from Pete Davidson, green beans, potatos, and mushrooms, but all I want to talk about is dessert.  The pie.  Oh boy, THE PIE.

I now have 2 pies listed under the label The Best Pie.

Full disclosure - the crust was store bought.  I have mentioned before I am not good with crusts so I didn't even stress myself out.  I did create the lattice top myself and was pretty dang proud of how it turned out.

This apple pie and this apple pie are truly the 2 best apple pies I have ever made.
Even The Grandfather, when presented with the chance to buy some frozen apple pies from Davison Orchards said no - you make a better one.

Not sure it's true but that is high praise I will take.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Easy and delicious 3 ingredient pancakes

I am always looking for easy and delicious breakfast options that I can take to work and this one is a real home run.  I can make a batch of these 3 ingredient pancakes while I'm getting dressed and packing my bag in the morning, eat them when I get to work and be fuller and satisfied much longer than with cereal or toast.
The original recipe (below) adds nuts as a fourth ingredient, but we don't usually have nuts in the house so I make them without.  I noticed in the comments a few people said the pancakes were better with the oats blended so I tried that with my first batch and they were so perfect that I do that every time.

I top mine with a bit of peanut butter or some honey and it is a great way to start the day.  Try them!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Book Club - Back in the Day Bakery by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day


For Summer Reading Club 2018 - Cookbook (Try a new recipe)
Focaccia Bread and Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Here we are - Post 1,500

I noticed the other day that I was getting close to having 1,500 published posts we are!

Seems like only yesterday ( 5 1/2 years ago) we were celebrating 1,000 posts and now we are at this new milestone.

It's crazy to me that I've had this blog for 14 years.  14!

I've used my limited skills with the Blogger template to share with you the Top 10 Most Viewed Posts from the last 14 years.

Here we go.....

Number 10 - Bitchin in the Kitchin Julia Childs French Bread - 2008
Oh man, this one.  I co-hosted a Daring Bakers Challenge (miss you, Lis!) with Mary at her request, and she had chosen Julia Child's French Bread.  It is a long process.  Not particularly difficult, but long.  We got SO MANY complaints from the baking group.  So many.  And that is why I called my post Bitchin in the Kitchin.  And I never ever made this bread again after completing the challenge.  Also - if you click on Mary's name a few lines above, the last post she wrote for her blog in 2012 is about her making this bread one last time for her blog.  Man, so many of the good old blogs are gone.

Number 9 - Bread Baking Babes - Hamburger Buns - 2011
It was always a nerve wracking time when I got to choose a recipe for the BBB's.  I was always worried that my choices wouldn't be cool or interesting enough for the group.  I didn't pick the most challenging breads but they usually turned out, so that was a point in my favor.  I remember these being pretty good, but I don't think I ever made them again.  

Number 8 - Calgary Spiceland - 2007
I posted about a super cool store we found when we lived in Calgary and it was a dream come true.  I believe it's closed now which totally sucks but I am sure it isn't too hard to find amazing ingredients in Calgary.  It is still not always easy in the 'Loops though.

Number 7 - Bread Baking Babes - Challah - 2008
I am shocked that this is from 10 years ago!  It seems like it couldn't be that long ago.  This was a recipe that I got to pick for the BBB group to bake and it was so fun.  I was so proud of myself for that bread!  I miss that group.

Number 6 - Rhubarb - Muffins, Stewed and Fooled - 2013
Because once the monster rhubarb plants start producing massive quantities of stalks in the Spring, you gotta hit google for some ideas.

Number 5 - Breakfast Sandwiches - Make em and freeze em - 2009
A way to prep some fast breakfasts for on the go.  Pretty sure we never make a big batch and froze them again.

Number 4 - Pork Enchiladas - 2005
I forgot about this recipe!  I loved that Everyday Food magazine from Martha Stewart.  Found a lot of good stuff in them.  This was a super easy and tasty recipe that I will need to make again ASAP.

Number 3 - Broccoli Salad - 2006
This is another one that gets hit a lot - who doesn't love Broccoli Salad?  Never made this one again though.  A common theme on this list apparently.

Number 2 - Irish Spiced Beef - 2007
Lord, what an experience.  Reading this post made me laugh and brought back a lot of memories.
Guess what - never tried this one again either!

Number 1 - Shortbread 2006
My most viewed post every year, because everyone loves shortbread cookies.  I make at least one batch of these a year, so bam!  A recipe from long ago that lives on in my kitchen still.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

I be more positive

I always love a project, although to be honest most of the time time they fall apart or get abandoned part way through but hey, at least I'm optimistic?
My latest project, decided at 4 in the morning one weekend while avoiding existing projects screaming for my attention like laundry and organizing - try things.
I know!  I'm a trendsetter.

There are things I want to try, things I want to get back to doing regularly, things I know I should be maybe if I document some of them here, it might work.  Unlikely, but there is always hope.

Here is my first one - sourced from a tweet from Yoko Ono 9 years ago - Say nothing negative about anyone for 3 days.

Her full tweet is  Try to say nothing negative about anybody for three days, for forty-five days, for three months. See what happens to your life.

And I get that!  It is totally easy to get caught up in negative thoughts and let then wash over you.   And man, it just seems like the media and world is wired to all things negative right now.  We don't need to add to that shit.  Really, why would you want to?

So I said nothing negative about anyone for 3 days - out loud.  And in my head, when my thoughts went that way, instead of going with it like I usually would have, I stopped myself, took a pause and reassessed the way I felt.  Instead of getting annoyed with a coworker who was ignoring my email EVEN THOUGH I COULD SEE SHE WAS RIGHT THERE I took a breath and thought huh, she must be busy.  If I don't hear from her my tomorrow I'll have to remind her I'm waiting for those papers.  And moved on instead of stewing about it.  When someone threw a wrench in my carefully laid plans and I had to reorganize my busy day I changed my thoughts to - it's nice to be able to be there for someone and to help out.
It doesn't always work and it isn't always easy but I'm making progress and that is amazing.
10 tips to overcome negative thoughts
This is how you actually change negative thoughts
10 tips to make positive thinking easy

Monday, November 19, 2018

Book Club - Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard

"That's your family.  I mention it first because that's what matters most."


Summer Reading Club 2018 - Originally Published in a Foreign Language

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Downtown Murals

Kamloops has some amazing mural art in the alleys of downtown. We checked some out this Fall on a walk; this article and this map will take you on a tour of them.  A real treasure in our city.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Sunday Dinner - Chocolate Mousse

The Grandfather and I were talking food one night after finishing eating food, and he mentioned that a dessert of chocolate mousse for an upcoming dinner sounded delish.
I had recently come across a recipe that I  had wanted to take another look at, but then I flipped through a recent issue of Alive magazine and found a recipe for "Raw" French Silk Chocolate Pie, and the mousse filling called to me, so I skipped the crust and made the filling as our mousse dessert.

It's a very cool vegan recipe which uses chilled coconut milk and coconut oil in place of the usual cream and eggs.  I never ever make mousse that contains raw egg, so I really liked the change.

Other than chilling the coconut milk in the can overnight, the mousse is easy to make and SO DELICIOUS.

I was running short of time to get them chilled before dinner so my cups were a bit messy but to be honest, they probably would have looked the same even if I'd had more time.  So I slapped on a filter and here we are.

Try this!  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Book Club - I Know Why The Caged Brid SIngs

Mother whispered "See, you don't have to think about doing the right thing.  If you're for the right thing, then you'll do it without thinking."


Adult Summer Reading Club - Banned book

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Trip to Davison Orchards

We only made it out once this year, but we rode the tractor out to the pumpkin field, which we've never done before.  The weather was perfect and it was a fun day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Kamloops Symphony Book Sale

I am quite pleased with my haul from my first visit to the sale.
They are down in Lansdowne Village again until November 24.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Book Club - Bleachers by John Grisham

"Seems like yesterday, then it seems like a dream."


Adult Summer Reading Club - A book about sports

Sunday, November 11, 2018


Remembrance Day Ceremony and Parade
Riverside Park, Kamloops

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Thai Chicken Pizza

I bought a gigantic bottle of spicy peanut sauce at Costco a few weeks back and used some for the sauce of a chicken pizza on homemade pizza night.
The kids don't like spicy and they don't like to experiment with pizza (boooooring) so this was for me and The Mister.  

Putting a sauce other than tomato on a pizza or what used to be considered "unusual" toppings like chicken on a pizza always make me think about the first different pizza we had on a vacation to the US in the late 80's, and we ate at California Pizza Kitchen and it blew our minds.
I had the Thai Chicken Pizza and whaaaaat?  Chicken!  Carrots!  Bean Sprouts???
We loved it and my parents even bought me a t shirt that came in a pizza box as a souvenier.  
It changed my 'za game.

My children would rather have store bought or take out pizza than homemade, but I usually prefer homemade, unless I am too tired and just want to stop to pick up a pizza after work, get home, throw the ole jammies on and zone out in the living room with my monsters.
Man, that sounds perfect.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Sunday Dinner - Crab Cake Bennies

I am a fan of Chrissy Teigen's first book, and you know that when the second one came out, I got it ASAP.  I have yet to cook from it, but have read it cover to cover twice and once I get everything in my existence sorted out I will start cooking, most likely first will be the Pad Thai Carbonara because how delicious does that sound.

I had her first book out a few months ago when The Grandfather was over for dinner and we flipped through it to see what we could see.  We liked the sound of the zucchini lasagne although it seems so labor intensive.  But I should make it anyway.  My dad hovered on the crab cake benny page for so long I knew that we had to give that a try.

I made a couple of changes - I made real (from a package!) hollandaise instead of the recipes fake version mostly because my dad and kids would not eat her spicy version; and we skipped the bed of arugula because same as the spicy sauce.

These were AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGGG and the 3 grown ups fought over the leftovers for the next day's lunch.  We were all winners.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Book Club - Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

"It's in these moments that I'm a shadow of the person I was.  The person Lucy had meant for me to be."

"There are so many things that Lucy never did.  Not because she couldn't, but because she told herself she couldn't, and no one made her believe otherwise."

"The universe is a strange thing."


For Summer Reading Club 2018 - YA

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

creamed corn with bacon

We had a short but spectacular season for corn this year.  
For a spell we were lucky to eat it weekly as well as prep some for freezing - both on the cob and off.
The best way to eat corn is right off the cob, MAYBE a little butter and salt.
The second best way is Lucy Buffet's creamed corn with bacon.
The book earned a special place in my heart and on my shelf last year and it continues to knock us out with super delicious recipes.

Take a look at the book if you haven't already.

Kids in a corn maze, 2018

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Book Club - The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

"Apparently the majority of ball gown were designed by five year olds armed with glitter guns, but at least this one didn't look entirely like an explosion in a Barbie factory."


For Summer Reading Club 2018 - Adventure

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Marcella Hazan's smothered cabbage and rice soup

This is a beautiful soup that we found very comforting when the weather changed abruptly early in the Fall.  The cabbage takes a while to cook but it's a nice feeling sometimes to slow down and enjoy cooking, not to rush through to the next busy task.
I've followed this method to make 2 clean-out-the-fridge soups since then, almost, but not quite, as good.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Book Club - The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

"There's more than one path to happiness."


Adult Summer Reading Club - Travel Book.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Book Club - The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman

"Sure, death's a little scary, but life's the real bitch."

" "I enjoy you." she said, and Mikey wasn't sure if she was addressing him or the bourbon, so he didn't respond."

"You're afraid of the people you love disappearing."


For Adult Summer Reading Club - Published in 2018.