Saturday, November 30, 2019

my favorites in november

Here's a list of things I enjoyed in November -

On Netflix -

 Daybreak  - ooooh, that ending!

Outlander - guys, what is this show?  These people have the most toxic relationship and cause nothing but trouble for each other and everyone else.  I made it through Season 1, but I don't know if I can keep going.

On Amazon Prime - 

While ordering a part for our shower door on Amazon, I accidentally signed up for a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime.   Since I've wanted to watch the show Catastrophe since I heard about it, I downloaded the app onto my phone, and started to watch - 


I am a big fan of Rob Delaney and was thrilled to get to watch this show.  I zoomed through the whole thing and loved every minute of it.


Super bummed to find out while googling for this photo that there are only 2 seasons.  Boo.

Podcast - 

My Dad Wrote A Porno 

At the gym one morning I couldn't find any music or podcasts I was interested in, so I gave this a try.  Not a good choice for anywhere public - as this is so freaking hilarious, you will laugh out loud and people will stare at you. 

Head massager from Saje

I got this as part of a set with some essential oil and this thing is a treat.  You might think it looks goofy but dang it's relaxing and soothing.

This Irish Beef and Guinness Stew is perfect Fall and Winter cooking.  I've made it twice now, once on the stove, and once in the slow cooker and it's a delicious meal, even better as leftovers. 

Sushi from Eden Bento - my work pals and I treated ourselves and visited the very tiny Eden Bento Cafe for lunch.  So delicious!

Groovy tunes from John Denver - a super good album picked up from the newish record/vinyl/cd shop in the mall.  We listened to it a few times on Sunday - it definitely had a foggy Fall Sunday morning vibe. 


Have a good day and enjoy the last day of NOVEMBER (jc, wtf???)

Friday, November 29, 2019

Breads The Mister has made

I've mentioned before The Mister has taken up bread baking and he is very, very good at it.

Don't tell him, but I've bought him some "bread making tools" for Christmas. 
I'm so excited and hope he likes them and that he doesn't decide in the next month that he doesn't want to make bread any more.

I thought I'd do a round up of some of the breads that he's made lately.

He's mostly been baking from The Hot Bread Kitchen (his favorite) and 100 Breads.  As I type this, there is a preferment in the kitchen from Bread, Bread, Bread for baguettes to go with tonight's dinner.  Like I said, his hobby blesses us all.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Cookbook Cleanup Books 10, 11, 12

After I decided to donate the Pioneer Woman cookbook to the Symphony Book Sale, I thought I would check my shelves to see if there was anything else that I knew I was ready to part with.

I donated 3 more that day - 

Playboy Bartenders Guide - we've had this for a while, but even when I drank, we didn't use it often.  Now I don't drink, and The Mister has his favorites, so this one deserves a new home.

Southern Living - I bought this from the dollar store, but I just have a hard time with these books that have multiple recipes on a each page - they aren't appealing to me.

Kitchen Express - this one and I have a like/hate relationship and even though I've enjoyed some stuff we've made out of it, I'm not sad to see it go.

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Bookshelf -5  Donated - 7

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Snapshot - Breakfast in Bed

Saturday morning once everyone was awake, the kids and I ended up cuddling back in my bed, talking about our busy day before.  The Girl, who likes to play restaurant, told me she was going to make me breakfast in bed and I was to stay in bed until it was ready.  
She left the room and I figured she'd be back in a few minutes with some pretend food on a plate, or would lose interest and yell for me to get up and be with her in the living room, but shortly after, she came back into the bedroom  - a big smile on her face, carrying my breakfast.  Her daddy had helped her make toaster waffles and fruit for breakfast for the two of us.
The Mister followed behind her with a plate for her, and once she was up in the bed with me, the boys left us ladies alone to enjoy our relaxing meal.
It was such a special gift - that she thought of me and wanted to do something so nice, and to have a bit of alone time, and her beautiful big smile, so proud of what she had done.
I could have stayed there all day, with my big girl, not a baby any more - almost 5.
How can it be?  
What will come next?

Monday, November 25, 2019

Book Club - To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han



"There is a wall between us now and I can feel her moving farther and farther away from me.  

Love is scary: it changes and can go away.  That's part of the risk.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Symphony book sale

The semi annual sale is back and on now until November 30, at the old Value Village location on Seymour.

We went last weekend and all I came home with was 2 books, and the Christmas one was foisted on me by The Mister.
I'm hoping to get back for another visit and maybe have better luck.
We dropped off 2 boxes of books, and that felt good to get some stuff out of the house.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Friday, November 22, 2019

Instant Pot Mac n Cheese

If you are anyone but my children, you would probably like this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.

The bottom photo is mac and cheese with a splosh of my very favorite hot sauce.
 Even better!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Snapshot - lots of bread books

The Misters new hobby blesses us all.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Sunday Dinner - A very good cheesecake

A blurry picture of a deeeelicious cheesecake.

After our sad Thanksgiving cheesecake fail, I had cheesecake on my mind big time.  And also, chocolate.  Always chocolate.

I decided to make a cheesecake for Sunday dinner for my family and then also so I could have some leftovers to take to work for treats.
This cheesecake is easy and delicious and so chocolaty.  Everything you want in a cheesecake.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Cookbook Cleanup Book 9 - The Pioneer Woman Dinnertime

Book 9 is The Pioneer Woman Dinnertime.

I have 2 PW books, I think, and I think I bought this one secondhand.

Her books, if you have never seen one, follow a very photo heavy, step by step process.  Every step in every recipe is accompanied by a small photo, so you can have anywhere from 4-12 or more photos in a recipe, plus pictures of the finished dish and her personal photos of her life.  
There's a lot to look at.

I found it not too hard to make a list of things I wanted to try from the book, and the first recipe  - Greek Yogurt Pancakes - were really, really good. 

The next recipe - Chow Mein - was pretty boring.
And since then this book has sat for probably 3 months, as I've had no desire to try any more dishes.

So this one is going to head out to find a new home where it can be appreciated.  
I'm sure it's a good book, it's just not for me.

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Bookshelf -5  Donated - 4

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Two very good soups

It's Fall; the clocks have gone back, darkness is everywhere, 
it snowed so I've had to stop wearing sandals (although if the snow keeps melting they might be able to be worn a bit more.....), my office swings from freezing cold to boiling hot on the regular, 
it's soup season.

I started us off with a batch of  One Pot Beef Pasta E Fagioli  which was easy and delicious.

Even better was the Sausage and Kale Soup  here, SO GOOD.  
It made a huge pot and I was happy to eat the leftovers for days and days.  This is a great recipe and the instant pot is so good for making soup.

The Mister blessed us with fresh bread for both meals, we everyone was a winner, baby.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Book Club - The Know It All



In a tribe on the island of Santa Maria, old men used to stand by with bows and arrows and shoot every dance who made a mistake.  The perfect way to raise the stakes on American Idol.

"Never say "no" to adventures.  Always say "yes" otherwise you'll lead a very dull life."

Let me tell you: it's a sad sad day when the Encyclopedia Britannica is hipper than you.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019


My dad - aka The Grandpa - had a hankering for a brisket, so he made a deal - he would buy it and I would cook it.  I had never cooked a brisket before, so I combed the internets for a good recipe, and found one that had oven and slow cooker options - I was pushing for the slow cooker version to ensure it was nice and tender.  The Grandpa wanted the oven version, so I nervously went that way.

The brisket turned out pretty darned tasty - although I did not put enough liquid in the bottom and it started to get crispy in there, so I wasn't able to add any of the juices to the sauce, but it was amazing - AMAZING anyway.

And The Grandpa like it so much he went out and bought a corned beef brisket, so now my recipe search has started anew.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Pretzel bites

Here is something to know about me and The Mister - we love soft pretzels.  LOVE 'em.  If they are on a menu, we'll order them.  We've made them a few times over the years, but they are a lot of work and in the Spring and Summer it's easier to buy them from our favorite baker at the farmers market.

We wanted to make some a couple of weeks ago, but the recipe we thought we wanted to make, we decided we didn't like after all.  So instead we made pretzel bites.

They are still a fair bit of work; you have to make the dough and cut the dough and boil 4,000 little bites, but it went quickly and we ended up with a large batch of tasty pretzels to go with our soup and veggies.

Monday, November 11, 2019


Remembrance Day ceremony - Riverside Park 10:30

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Pumpkin pancakes

For Thanksgiving last month I was thinking about making a pumpkin pie, because that's one of The Mister's favorite desserts.  
I was talking dessert at worth with some pals, and one mentioned she was going to make an no-bake pumpkin cheesecake for her dinner.  That sounded even better, so she sent me the recipe, and I showed it to The Mister that night.

He didn't think that particular recipe sounded good, but we were both on board with pumpkin cheesecake, so we found another recipe to try, a swirled pumpkin cheesecake bar.

We made it for Thanksgiving dinner, and it was AWFUL.  
We all hated it.
I was bummed.  We should have made the recipe from my friend! 

I went to work the next day, having decided to keep my bad dessert story to myself, but when my friend showed up, she had her own sad story - the pumpkin cheesecake SHE made was terrible TOO!
Sometimes you just can't win.

I used up the leftovers of the can of pumpkin that was wasted on that awful dessert on these very delicious pancakes.

Pumpkin Pancakes

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3 TB butter, melted
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat a pan over medium heat.
Whisk the puree, butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar until smooth.
Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just smooth.
Add a but of butter or oil to the pan, and spoon in your batter in the size you like your cakes.
Cook, flip, and eat!

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Cookbook Cleanup - Book 8 - Back in the Day Bakery

Book 8 in the Cleanup is Back in the Day Bakery by Cheryl and Griffin Day.

I got this one from the clearance table at the bookstore because my secret dream is to open a bakery and bake breads and muffins and cookies and sell them to the adoring public.

There is so much in this book - muffins, breads, pies, crackers.....There's also some arts and crafts sprinkled in the book - how to's for celebration banners, snack holders, and a chandelier made of marshmallows. 

I started with the Honey Nut Bran Muffins and almost right away 
found something that irked me.

The instructions tell you to preheat the oven, then a few lines later the recipe tells you to refrigerate the batter overnight.  what.  and.  how.


But!  Those muffins were delish!  I doubled the raisins and omitted the nuts and they were perfect.  I've made them quite a few times since.

I also made the Foccacia Bread, Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Shortbread and 
Icebox Pickles - so easy.

The Buttermilk Rolls were super  tasty, and the Bee Sting Honey was a fun new try for us - and we recommend drizzling it on a toasted buttermilk roll with some ooey brie cheese......

I definitely want to try the Apple Brandy Brown Butter Glazed Cake, and helllloooooooo Pimento Cheese Crackers........

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Bookshelf -5  Donated - 3

Friday, November 08, 2019

2 more downtown Kamloops murals

Some more murals for you - 

This first one is one of my favorites.  Love the colors.

Here is the work in progress and finished side on the theater downtown.  The bottom 2 photos are the back side of the theater in the alley, taken early in the morning.

I spotted another mural getting started too - I love this project!  Well done Kamloops.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

How to cook dried beans in the instant pot

Last Sunday I was going to make a soup for Sunday Dinner.  It had mild Italian sausage in it, but "some" people in my family find that can be too spicy sometimes, so I was second guessing myself.  Should I figure out a different meal to make?  Or add some side dishes so if the soup doesn't appeal, there are other things to eat?  Or!  Should I make a second soup????

The Mister was all down with that idea of course, and suggested ham and bean, since we have bags and bags of ham in the freezer from Thanksgiving.  The problem was that we didn't have any canned beans, only dried, and I was trying to make this dinner happen without having to go back to the store.

I had the instant pot out as I'd make some hard boiled eggs that morning, and I couldn't help but wonder, could you cook dried beans in the instant pot?

You can, and I did, using this recipe!

Toss your beans into the pot,

Add some water, salt, olive oil, and optional garlic and bay leaf.

Close it up and cook for 25-30 minutes.  Let the pressure release naturally for as long as you can, 
et voila!  You have perfectly cooked beans!  

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

My mom's waffles recipe and her waffle maker

I pulled out my mom's waffle recipe and her waffle maker on Sunday to make the kids THE BEST waffles ever.  So light and crisp.  The recipe makes a small batch, so if you have a big group to feed, you might want to double it.

The waffle maker is a double sided style, so you pour the batter in, close the lid, flip the whole thing over and make another waffle on the other side.  My favorite kind of waffle maker.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Snapshot - my self care pumpkin

I found this on Health Magazine's Instagram page, and because I really hate carving pumpkins, this was the perfect way to join the family fun but not have to get all messy and ultimately be disappointed when my pumpkin looks nothing like what I envisioned. 

Monday, November 04, 2019

Intentions for the beginnig of November

You guys, there are less than 2 months left in 2019.  Shall we make the most of them?

Make time to read every day.

Lower my expectations while still moving forward on a positive health and wellness journey.

Be mindful of what I eat and drink.

Work on a movement schedule that includes walking, the gym and yoga.