Sunday, April 19, 2020

Book Club - The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan



"You taught me a valuable lesson, Chopra - there is nothing to be gained by being a hero."

"Indians are convinced that elephants possess mystical powers and an innate sympathy for the trials of humankind.  They are our friends; they are our keepers."

Friday, April 17, 2020

Cookbook Cleanup Book 16 - In My Mother's Kitchen

In My Mother's Kitchen by Trish Magwood is the 16th book in this here Cookbook Cleanup.  I bought it on a whim from the sale table at Chapters and as soon as I opened it I was both intimidated and in love with it.

This book has it all - lovely photos, not a lot of chatter, and wonderful recipes.

We tried 8 recipes from the book and I wanted to go on and on, there is so much good stuff in here.
Breakfasts, soups, salads, pastas, main dishes, desserts.  

I started out with 2 dessert recipes - first, Mardi's Shortbread, a good basic recipe that made a ton of delicious cookies.
I also made the Strawberry Angel Dessert - an angel food cake/jello combo that the book says is soooooo good - it was easy enough but none of us were super big fans of the soggy cake.  I was going to take some to work to share but I didn't have enough whipped cream to cover the whole cake and it looked absolutely hideous.  Not one for us.

We tried 3 chicken recipes - Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce, which we all loved, Korean Chicken Thighs, also delicious, and Jamaican Shediac Cape Curry - more labour intensive than marinating and grilling the first 2 recipes, but also a real winner.

The Friday Night Burgers were fine, we didn't find them super flavorful, but they were fine.

Next was the Soy and Honey Sweet Potatos.  
Please enjoy this photo of me using the wrong sized bowl for my potatos.

And here they are on my plate.  I used a combo of sweet and regular potatos because that's what I had.  The Mister and I both loved these, me the most.  The kids were meh on them, but I belive we've already established they can't be trusted.

Lastly I made the chocolate chip cookies because when I was writing out this review I realized I hadn't made the chocolate chip cookie recipe in the book and I couldn't review until we'd tried them.

My verdict is that I truly love this book.  There is so much variety and interesting things just waiting to be tried.  There are definitely a few more chicken recipes I was to try and a maple pork tenderloin, and too many others to be named here.  If you see this book - GET IT!

Cookbook Cleanup results so far - Bookshelf - 9  Donated - 7

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Cherry Sourdough Muffins

The Mister has been baking bread for a while now so he's not a new pandemic bread baker (not that there's anything wrong with that) but he has become a basic bitch in that he's jumped on the pandemic sourdough bread train (not that there's anything wrong with that either.)

His first sourdough starter ended with the starters death around day 6 or 7.  He complained, read some more recipes, decided what needed to be changed, and his next starter has been alive for a few weeks now.  He's made some very delicious bread with the starter and I'm eating way too much of it but it's so good I can't stop.  Will my clothes ever fit again?  Yo, I don't know.

Somewhere last week I came across an article about what to do with your sourdough starter or starter discard, and this muffin recipe leapt out at me.  Sourdough muffins! 

I don't have any frozen blueberries but I do have some frozen cherries, so I cut them up a bit before adding them to the batter.  I also used 1/2 cup cornmeal and 1 1/2 cups of flour in hopes that the kids would like them.

I got 12 regular sized muffins and 12 mini muffins out of the batch.  The temperature seemed way too high to me and the muffins were browning very quickly so I turned it down to 350 which seemed much more reasonable.

It's a light tasting muffin, not too sweet - which I like.  You can't taste the starter, but I don't think that matters.  I LOVED the cherries in it!
If you've jumped on the sourdough train too - a very good train to be on - you might want to give these a try.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Better Homes & Gardens Soups & Stews magazine

The Fam gave me this magazine for Christmas or Valentines, and normally I'm not a fan of these special magazines that cost so much (12.99!) BUT this one is a real winner.  We've tried 7 recipes so far and are just getting started.

The first one I made was the Bolognese Soup.  This recipe alone was worth the price of the magazine.  So good.

We made the Creamy Thai Sweet Potato Soup in the crock pot, and served it with Pesto Foldover Sticks.

Red Wine Oven Stew with Cheesy Potatos was a Sunday Dinner winner.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup was my second top pick, after the Bolognese soup.  Omit the croutons and it is a super soup (heeeeee).

The White Chicken Chili was pretty good, of course the kids hated it, so there were a lot of leftovers.  Also hated by the kids but enjoyed by the adults was the Red Beans and Rice Soup with Cajun Chicken.  At least that one they picked the chicken and sausage out while telling me how much they didn't like it.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Book Club - Untamed by Glennon Doyle



I am sad for her,  but I am thrilled for me.  In our four minutes together she has asked me about the three subjects I know best: drinking, writing and shame.  This is my jam.  I've got this.  Hot damn.

....I resurrect myself every day, in every moment that I allow myself to feel and become.  It's my daily reminder to let myself burn to ashes and rise, new.

"I guess women have to almost die before we give ourselves permission to live how we want."  

"What is better: uncomfortable truth or comfortable lies?"

Saturday, April 04, 2020

First a bunch of jumbled thoughts and then stuff I cooked last week

We are still here, still doing ok.  I hope you are too.
We started homeschooling this week, which is a lot of work.  For me.  More than I expected, and I did not find a good balance this week between doing my own work and dealing with the kids.
If I still drank, I would have had many many large drinks this week.

We don't get out for as many walks as I'd hoped, between me trying to get in a full days work at my desk in the basement and the quite uncooperative weather.  We had a beautiful weekend a few weekends back that made met think Spring had arrived, but since then Mother Nature has treated us to a long spell of cold temperatures, cloudy days, SO MUCH WIND, and then yesterday a full on snowstorm that deposited quite a bit of snow on our driveway. 
We ignored it, but it isn't melting and I feel like we are going to have to shovel but shoveling in April seems so wrong.

I am eating way too much food, especially early in the morning before anyone gets up.  I guess I am looking for comfort somewhere since there seems to be very little in the world right now.  I watch and read too much news and get myself upset and worried and head for the kitchen.  I'm putting on more weight which upsets me but at the same time I can't seem to muster up too much emotion to care.  I feel numb, I guess?  Every day I tell myself today is a new day but I fall into the same patterns as the days before.  Perhaps today will be different?
I just wrote out a post for the last book I finished reading - Untamed by Glennon Doyle, and one line I wrote is :
....I resurrect myself every day, in every moment that I allow myself to feel and become.  It's my daily reminder to let myself burn to ashes and rise, new.

So maybe today can be different.

Hmmmm, what else.  We've been watching a lot of movies lately, especially the Jumanji's - both the original with Robin Williams and the remake, and last night we watched the new one, the third one I guess it is.  I didn't get to hear or see a lot of it as the kids talk and fight and stand in front of me to stare at me, but what I did see what pretty cute and we laughed and I got teary at the end, and I'll have to watch it again to see what else I missed.

I have not been watching any shows for me lately - once I get The Girl to bed I try to stay away for a bit to do one last ill-advised scroll through the social medias before I get all bummed out and try to sleep, BUT 2 shows that I started and want to get back to are Anne With An E  - we tried to watch this with the kids but The Girl isn't old enough to be interested and it didn't have enough guns or action scenes for The Boy and Wynona Earp, which I started watching in February when I got a gross stomach bug and was awake all night so I watched a bunch of episodes all night and Tim Rozon is deeeeeeeelightful to listen to (and look at).


I started following Ina Garten on Instagram last week and she posted a link to her Weeknight Bolognese sauce which I had all the ingredients for (except the wine) and it was very delicious and 3 out of 4 of us liked it and the little one ate all of her noodles that didn't have any sauce touching them.

I have not had rice balls since I posted this THIRTEEN YEARS AGO so it was time! 
I made leftover cheesy bacon rice croquettes with leftover ham instead of bacon and knew why I hadn't made them since having kids - neither kid liked them.  The Mister and I did, and they were super easy, but it might be another 13 years before I get to make them again.

We love Coolio's cookbook, and especially his banana bread, but this is the first time I've made it into muffins.  So good.  And peeking from the back there is Spicy Applesauce Cake from Homesick Texan.  It was AMAZING.  I omitted the chile powder and the nuts and everyone was crazy for it.  A good Sunday Dinner dessert.

Well, if you made it to the end of this your rewards are my thanks and all these delicious recipes you should try.  And also this thought that we should all keep with us today, and maybe all of the days -