Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Way back in Calgary times, we would sometimes go to a pub called Limericks - which Google tells me is still there!  We had a few few favorites on the menu - yorkshire puddings stuffed with beef, chips with curry sauce, and boxty - a traditional Irish potato "pancake".

Potatos have always been one of my very favorite foods, so who can be surprised I would love a potato pancake topped with more food?

I was going to make a version like they had/have at the pub; with chicken in a sauce, but stuff happened and so instead I made them for breakfast topped with sauteed onions and bacon.

Check out these recipes :  Traditional Boxty and Creamy chicken boxty

Monday, May 27, 2019

Intentions - get out of this bad weight gain rut

I've put on a lot of weight in the last year and a half and I'm not happy about it.

I'm not happy about it and yet - and yet - I can't quite seem to do anything about it.

My brain has never been wired well to figure out diets - my anxiety slams into overdrive, I can't figure out what to cook for me to lose weight and the family to eat regularly, I get overwhelmed and freeze up.  I want to make changes to the family menu but I don't want to deprive the people who don't have a weight problem, so I eat the same as them and get nowhere.  It sounds silly but I don't know what to do.  I feel stuck.

The biggest culprits for me I think are my age - my metabolism is changing (I'm mid 40's!), snacking due to stress, and sugar.

Sugar is the biggest.

Sugar is BAD.

I am definitely in a one step forward, 2 steps back situation right now.

I want to give up!  But I won't.  So here we go.

I am writing about this here to be accountable.  I've got my current weight written down, and I'm going to list my intentions for the week.  I will be back next Monday and we'll see how I did with these intentions:

1.  No more ice tea.  This is probably my worst habit.  When I gave up drinking I replaced it with ice tea, which sounds pretty good, but I drink a lot of it at home.  A LOT.  This weekend I didn't buy any ice tea when we did the shopping and told The Mister not to pick me up any.  I believe I am drinking the last of it right now - yes, drinking ice tea in the morning is part of my problem.  I am going to focus more on water, and I've also bought a few types of flavored sparking water 0 sugar drinks to try so I don't break down tonight and race to the store for tea.

2.  No more ice caps from Tim Hortons - This is my second worst habit!  I have been using these as a motivation treat the past few months on my way to work.  This is bad for my body and my bank account.

3.  Portion size - I like to think I am pretty reasonable with portion sizes, and sometimes I am, but not enough.

4.  Move this bod every day.  Yoga, walks, some stretching, whatever I can fit in.

OK, those are my 4 things for the week, I don't want to overwhelm myself at the start.

I've got my breakfast and lunch for the day - I bought a protein smoothie powder at the health food store yesterday so I'm going to have that for breakfast, and I've got some plain greek yogurt and berries for a snack, some leftover pasta for lunch (not the best choice but it has to be eaten and it's a small portion) with some veg, and an apple for a snack.

I do have to run to a store downtown today for an errand, so another challenge will be not picking up a "treat" snack for myself.  Can I leave the store with only the one thing I am going there for?

I'm doing this thing.  Send me some good thoughts.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Book Club - I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke


The past can be so full of monsters that won't die.

Light creeps in through the cracks caused by tumbling through the hard spaces of life.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Work treats - fudge and cheese dip - separately

The weekly treats are over at work now, thank GOD because seriously, I am bursting out of my clothes over here.
In addition to the churro brownies that I made (and you should too!) I also made fudge and cheese dip, but not served together.

My dad gave me a handful of my mom's recipe a while back; some are familiar and some aren't, and her fudge recipe is definitely one I don't remember.

There's no notes or details on the page so I don't know the origin but I figured it would be a good work treat - easy to prepare and transport, so I went for it.

And here's the only photo I took - cut up and in a storage container.  Nothing but class over here.

5 Minute Fudge

2 TB butter
1 small can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
1 2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to boil and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.  Stir vigorously for 1 minute, until everything is melted.  Pour into buttered 8" pan.  Cool and cut into squares.


The next time it was my turn I was ready for a savory treat.  

I found this garlic cheese dip in my binder and it spoke to me.  Loudly.

In my effort to have photos in my posts, here's my kids in some trees.

And here's the link to the dip - roasted garlic whipped feta

I served a dollop with some carrot sticks and crackers.  You could also use it in sandwiches, on toast, with eggs, or eaten directly off a spoon.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Book Club - Sinner by Petra Hammesfahr


It must be nice in his watery world, where there were no tunes, and no dark dreams, where nothing could be heard but faint gurgles, and everything was a mysterious shade of green....

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A tale of three mousses

Here's the thing.  I finally tried 2 dessert recipes I've been hauling around forever, and there were SO delicious.  My photos though were hideous, even by my low standards.  So, so bad.

I was going to not write about them because I have no accompanying photos and all the blawgs today say you have to have 400 photos of your dish, all from slightly different angles, before you can share anything. 

But here we go.  I'm such a rebel.

Here's a picture I took last Fall downtown at the farmers market.

The first dessert I made was Apple Mousse from a book called The World in my Kitchen.
I wrote this out back in my notebook heyday when we were in Calgary, so this one has been around a long time.

Apple Mousse
adapted from The World in my Kitchen

Peel 4 Granny Smith apples.  Core and cut into 1" pieces.
Melt 3 TB butter in a small pot or pan.  Add apples and a pinch of salt and cook over low heat until soft.  Removed from heat and puree in a food processor with 1/2 cup sugar and 2" piece of ginger.  Let cool.
Beat 1 cup whipping cream until stiff.  Fold in apples.  Chill.

Soooooo delicious!  I subbed out the ginger for some cinnamon but next time I will leave the ginger in.  This dessert is so light and airy and would be perfect for an after dinner treat on a warm day.


Up next is another moldy oldie that I've had since 2003- 2 0 0 3!  And still hadn't tried.  This one came from Martha Stewart from her Every Day Food magazines.  Loved those.

Here's a photo of my turkeys last month at the Oak Hills Trail.

I'm just going to link to the recipe here  - it is so easy and so decadent.  I didn't make the parfaits, but spooned the 2 mousses side by side in a bowl so everyone could have what they liked.  And boy did we like it.

This tasty and long overdue post is making me want to add on to my every growing list of project that will likely never be finished and cook through all the recipes I've been saving in my binder all these years, plus all the ones saved on my computer, and in Pinterest, and.......... 

Oh look!  Something shiny.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Something I Like - My Favorite Murder podcast

I go through a lot of phases of what to listen to during the work week - classical, nature sounds, yoga music, folk, and currently I'm in to podcasts.
I started listening to MFM last month I was hooked right away.
It's interesting and funny and I have a huge crush on Karen Kilgariff.
It's a bit of an odd choice for me, I think, since I have anxiety and spend a lot of time worrying about bad things happening, but somehow it doesn't send me into a spiral.
Check it out 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Book Club - Lightly by Francine Jay


"Possessions can be powerful psychological triggers; it's almost as if emotions get stuck to your stuff.  When you release physical clutter, mental clutter also gets swept away with it, giving you a jump start on your path to inner well-being."

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Grocery Shop May 6

goldfish crackers, eggs, cheese slices, french fries, croutons, coconut chips, grapes, cucumber, broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower, snap peas, strawberries, bacon, ground beef, chicken breast, bread - whole wheat and white (for meatloaf!), tortillas, deli ham.