Friday, March 22, 2013


Who ever thought up this a genious

The best way to make pancakes.  Why didn't I ever think of this?  And the best part....the g'kids snacked on them most of the day.  Very good all day long.

By the end of the day there was only 1 left over for my daughter to try.

Next time ....maybe I'll add some bacon to the batter.  I still can't get over how good these were.  I lost track of how many the g'kids ate for breakfast.

Use a cookie scoop, don't overfill...and don't use convection setting until after top of muffins have set.  Or they come out ...leaning over.  Since my 24 mini muffin trays are all in storage I had to make do with a 12 muffin tray.  And I forgot to reset the oven for the second batch.  The second batch came out like cone-heads.  But still good.

I think the pancake grill will be retired after this...maybe for pork chops but not for pancakes.  Muffin pancakes are the future.  And these would be great for breakfast on the go.  I can just see it now.  One dixie cup with sausages and the other with pancake muffins on either side of the booster seats for our planned road trip wednesday.  No..maybe I will have to come up with a different container.  But def will make these wednesday morning so that we can get on the road sooner.  I know they will be a hit all day long. banana muffin pancakes choco chip banana muffin pancakes bacon banana muffin pancakes
...maybe mini sausage banana muffin pancakes....that might solve the container issue.  Hmmmm
...maybe with some leftover baked ham....I should buy one...for the road trip munchies.  Best part of the road trip is the munchies.  I usually have two coolers full.  We only have to make pit stops to stretch out the legs and do some running around (g'kids) a ball or fly a kite.  I can hardly wait.


664 kilometers----6 1/2 hours---depending on how many pit stops
...should we go the ferry?
...and which ferry, there are two possible ferries

Kootenay Lake Ferry

Arrow Lakes Ferry

...through the park?
...there are so many different park possibilities
Banff National Park
Emerald Lake/Yoho National park
Around Fairmont Hot springs
Slocan Lake

I've forgotten how beautiful the drive is.

Except for this part....I really Hate, HATE   HATE

It better not look anything like this.......

Maybe we will go one way...and come back a different loop.

Hopefully their parents will have this place all packed up by the time we return.  But I'm guessing....not likely
But one can always dream.....

Thursday, March 21, 2013


It was a beautiful spring day yesterday
....I even had the a/c on in the van.
....I made chicken fingers, rice a roni and green beans
....Then I spotted a 50% off sticker on a row of sponge cakes, and proceeded to search out some strawberries, and vanilla ice-cream.  What better way to celebrate first day of spring than
....Strawberry Shortcake for dessert.  It was wonderful - I ate two servings.

You can't really see the snow falling....but rest's there
So much for spring this morning.  Maybe it was that 2nd serving that brought on the bad vibes for a longer winter

this is what Edmontonians had to look forward to

Thank goodness This scene was just north of here

But I should get off...cause I'm planning on making this  Cauliflower & kale thing with rotisserie chicken.  It was this or cream of cauliflower soup, and this casserole thing seemed to win out.

Everybody have a nice start to spring.   It can only get better ....let's hope we all see a little more melting going on.

And this is my contribution to the red theme...." target="_blank">
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Have you tried this stuff?

I made an interesting Mac & cheese thing couple weeks ago.  I sorta followed "dinner with julie"
I didn't make it in a skillet, and I added leftover chicken instead of bacon.  But it was still interesting....

Then on Friday I was making meatballs ...and didn't really want any spaghetti and was kinda tired of red sauce.  Whattomake....whattomake....?

I had a container of campbells white cream sauce in the pantry and just a couple days before I was reading a meals on wheels fundraising cookbook and noticed a recipe for swedish meatballs.

50+ meatballs
container cambells white sauce
container yoghurt
.....why not

I emptied the white sauce into a pot and then rummaged around in the fridge for something to add volume and spotted a medium container of plain greek yoghurt, so I added it.  Then spotted another container of veg stock ...about 1/3 of a container so in the pot that went.  Some nutmeg - then lea and perrins and finally the meatballs.  ( I gotta add here, that they were some of the best meatballs made to date --- me and the kids kept sampling them as soon as they came out of the oven)   I even added all the brown bits on the parchment paper the meatballs cooked on.

Served them with noodles
Found some pork jelly instead of logenberry


So Yesterday I picked up 3 more containers of the stuff on sale $1.66 each (when you buy 3 otherwise $2.00 each)  So far I've only seen them at Superstore.  But they might be at others by now.

Yesterday it was "empty the fridge soup" --- or better known as Ina Gartens minestrone... you can find it here, or just google it.  I even used cannellini beans from scratch.  (though they still suck---can't get my taste buds around legumes or pulses or whatever they are officially called)

..cooked up 1/2 a pound of bacon, removed them to bowl after they were done.
..sauted 2 onions, 4 garlic and three celery stalks in the bacon fat and olive oil
..added 4 carrots,
..two containers veg stock
..couple shots of braggs and lea & perrins, and celery salt
..bay leaves
..2 baby zuc's, an almost empty bag of frozen french cut beans, scrunched up into smaller bits
..1/2 bag of pasta that I found in the pantry...small tubular, that I cooked seperate then added to the soup pot just before serving
..couple over ripe roma tomatoes
..and this stuff

rinsed it, spun it, then cut them up with scissors before adding to pot.
..Threw some leftover ham shank from sunday dinner and the bacon into the pot. (was worried the ham wouldn't be a good idea since it had a Dr. Pepper reduction and grainy mustard as a glace..but it was very good in the soup after all)
..found container of squash puree, added it to pot
..chopped up flat leaf parsley
..added a big glob of pesto
..added the cooked pasta
Served with loaf of french bread.  It's only going to get better for today.  But it was very good last night.  The  salad greens really made the soup.  I've never seen it before.  I actually was searching for some baby spinach at the supermarket, but spotted this package instead.  And I grabbed the last the shagrin of two other women standing beside me that were both after the same thing.  Apparently it's very good in smoothies.  But I got the last one.  It will be added to the weekly grocery load for sure.  I really think it made the soup.  And my daughter (has smoothies every morning as she drives to work) added it to her daily breakfast smoothie.

I found a box of oven-ready cannelloni and I have plans to use the salad mix with beef/pork mixture and the campbells white sauce instead of tomato sauce.  Just for something different.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I was surfing around pinterest this morning with my coffee, and I spotted a pic of zuccini sticks in bread crumbs.  And promptly ran upstairs and made my own.  Who would have thought to make some...not me. I had everything so why not.  And while they were in the oven I cut up three potatoes with a mandoline and made some microwave chips to boot

the recipe I viewed ....not the way I do them.  I used flour, then egg wash, then seasoned panko.
Otherwise the panko just doesn't stick the way I like it.  Sloop zuccini around in the egg wash till coated.  Before adding them to the panko though.

Put a squirt of ceasar salad or ranch dressing, add some sour cream or yoghurt, stir to combine then stand up the sticks and the chips in the bowl.

Wow I must have eaten three baby zuc's and 3 lg potatoes just by myself....Didn't seem that much at the time.  But it was sure good ....for lunch...with white wine.

Friday, March 15, 2013

I've got the dropsies today
Everything I touch ends up on the floor ...and it's only 10:30 A.M.

1. Poached egg on toast - as I was about to put the fork in my mouth, the fork ended up on the floor, not before bouncing off my lap---the fork had a perfectly gooie, runny ---just the way I love it--- yolk, piece of toast and smear of HP sauce.  Bounced off my lap, hit a chair, did a fancy spin then hit the floor.  You would not imagine that a little piece of food could make such a mess. Smears, bits of egg, and hp sauce everywhere.  Now I'm going to have to change out of my formerly white sweater.

2.  Decided to look for some puff pastry in the freezer section of fridge and proceeded to send five loaded ice cube trays to the the floor. Not before bouncing all over the place.   What a mess.  Didn't find any puff pastry ...stuck everything back in the freezer after refilling ice cube trays.  Slammed the door shut.

3. Opened the fridge for some coffee creamer and dislodged a jar of strawberry jam.  It proceeded to bounce off the shelf onto another shelf then did a final bounce onto the ceramic tiled floor.  Sticky glass everywhere.  After cleaning up this mess I noticed more puddles of former ice cubes.  Cleaned that up also.

4.  Decided I needed something with my coffee...headed back in the kitchen, opened the fridge and pulled out some couple days old (wow this stuff just get better and better) skillet corn bread. If you want some goooood corn bread, try Martha's recipe.  Sliced a couple pieces off, buttered it and was about to leave when I noticed the freezer door ajar.  Opened it and a bag of peas poured out on me.  And bounced around.  3/4 of a bag of the f*cking things. It was probably me that just threw them in without making sure the bag was actually closed.    Cleaned it up.

5.  Had a piece of buttered cornbread hanging out of my mouth (my hands were full) broke off and fell butter side down on yet another puddle of melted ice cubes.  Cleaned this up.

6.  Swore and cursed like a ....well like me - grabbed my coffee and turned to leave the room with the remaining piece of corn bread and managed to splash out 1/2 of my cup of coffee alloverthef*cking kitchen.

I'm not looking forward to the rest of the all --- it's going to be an accident just waiting to happen.  I can just feel it.

It's not so much a dropsie day---more like a bouncy day

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reasons to be cheerful...

1.  I got the afternoon I went to work.
It felt good to sort paperwork, slump over a keyboard for 5 hrs, fight with stupid quickbooks and reconcilation reports.....ooooh what joy

2.  I didn't have to make dinner.....when I got home after 7 - it was already prepared....yay. Not that I like edemane beans, but I suffered through them.  One always has to appreciate your daughters dinners.

3.  Spent the morning surfing around the net looking for vacation deals for mid April.  Too bad it wasn't for me.  But it was pleasant to leave home for a few minutes, if only in my mind.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 for

Wedding in Cancun.

Despite a resort that blew up a week before everyone was scheduled to arrive
Despite a weeks anxiety about cancelled reservations, and rebooking everyone at several different resorts, cancelled reservations weren't cancelled after all.
Despite my credit card being cancelled due to suspicious use the day after the resort blew up and a new card not being issued until we arrived in Mexico
Despite a huge cell phone bill a month after we returned because our phones got hacked. (never never leave your country without a cell plan in place for specific country your planning on going go) and finally getting all charges dropped.
Despite resort being almost empty of vacationers (most were rebooked at other resorts) and the guest to employee ration being something like 1 guest to 10 employees.  No lineups anywhere is always a good thing.
....The wedding went on
....A good time was had by all.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Easter Bunny

I think we spotted the easter bunny on friday.

If you look real's under the table.  It must have been there for about 15 minutes before the g'kids spotted it....and gave chase

It seems we have been doing a "meal plan" on mondays lately so here they are

turkey meatballs
lasagna rolls
Ribs - chez moi, with rice and green beans...but I've been adding some grated ginger lately to the recipe.
Cream of roasted cauliflower soup

Just a little note about the mac & cheese best to say it....might as well just come and say it..
....They sucked.  There...sorry, but there was nothing earth satteringly good about them that just plain buttermilk pancakes with a smooshed banana can't beat...hands down.  I was very dissapointed after the little bit of hype in the book and online from the original recipe holder.  next time when I have leftover mac & cheese I will add a can of tuna and onion and lemon and celery with celery salt and maybe some red pepper and shredded zuccini  some tangy italian dressing ....and make a salad over some romaine.  It's a waaaay better use of left over mac & cheese than these pancakes.

And on Saturday I made the texas chili that was also in the book "cook fight" and it too ....sucked.  Is it stew, or is it chili.  It ended up being neither.  I kept wanting to add beans, but I never did.  And the mext day the chili was even blander than it was the say before.  So far this book is 0-2 in the good/bad recipe ratio.  And On sunday afternoon I returned it to the library.  There are just better recipes out there.

Meal Planning Monday

Friday, March 08, 2013


It's already March 8th.  I swear we're spinning around the galaxy faster.  I can't believe how time has been flying.  Do we age faster if the earth starts spinning faster.....I don't think I like that much.  Or do we look younger as we age faster......hmmm

Sunday was a pork shoulder ...fancied up with cider vinegar, onions, garlic something else my daughter threw on top when I wasn't looking.  It was okay, but we had a late start cause of a cookie making session.  It would have tasted better at a lower temp longer in the oven.  But it was okay.

Monday I roasted up 5 bone-in chicken breast and 6 thighs.  I wanted some chicken leftovers.

Tuesday made chicken chow mein.  Was one of the best.  Everyone was hording it for lunch the next day.  I found some hidden away in the fridge.  And just this morning I loaded a lunch container that someone had used yesterday that had visible chow mein residue into the dishwasher.  So there must have been more hidden away than I thought.

Wednesday was pasta chicken bake ...something I discovered on-line.  But she called it
Skillet Mac'n Cheese.  I didn't bake it in a skillet, but had to add more to feed 6 plus leftovers for lunches. So instead of 1/2 of a 500g pasta I used 300 g pasta and shredded up a chicken breast instead of the bacon (but next time if I use something other than the bacon called for I will add some bacon drippings, cause it was a little bland) .  I added about two handfuls of spinach, cut up and a zuccini shredded and 1/2 cup of butternut squash puree.  Dumped it all into a casserole dish and served it with spicy hot sausages.  So it's probably a good thing the pasta wasn't very spicy cause the sausages sure were.  I also sauted up a container of sliced mushrooms to add on top of each serving.  Cause if there's one thing I learned after watching Juia/Julie or is it Julie/julia??  Whatever.....It's "DON'T CROWD THE MUSHROOMS".  I have followed that rule ever since.  And discovered the reason I hated mushrooms is because no one ever cooked them properly.  I never add mushrooms into a dish before it's cooked....But add them after they are sauted/browned and after everything is cooked. On top...or on the side.  Use two frying pans or do it in batches.  It's worth it

Thursday was muffin meatloaf.  I added the remaining container spinach cut up in a chiffonade a grated carrot and the remaining butternut squash puree about 1/2 cup. And served them over rice.  There were three left last night.  But I had the remainder of the chicken pasta for breakfast this morning cause they were gone. I didn't use any mushrooms and I used a whole egg instead of eggwhites.  I added the final dregs of lea and perrins (to my detriment, cause I didn't have any for my bloody ceasar later, but when there isn't any l&p, it's amazing how a shot of Bragg's works pretty darn good, as long as you also add some lemon juice) and use a silicon muffic tin.  They get nice and brown and much easier to remove from the pan. Saute up the zuccini and carrot and spinach before adding to the ground beef and I used half ground beef and half ground pork.

So tonight it's going to be ......
Mac & Cheese pancakes.
As soon as I saw this recipe from Cook Fight  cookbook.  I knew we had to try it.  I'm going to make mac & cheese for lunch for the g'kids just so there will be leftovers to make the pancakes.  There's some nice pork sausages in the freezer that will go nicely with the pancakes for dinner.

And saturday....well I really should go to work..  I can imagine the stack of paperwork and receipts everywhere.  Now that everything has been removed from the house and garage, I can finally go to work.  I can't believe I'm actually looking forward to it.  So sick of the moving mode i've been in lately.  I've got a bit of a breather before moving into the new place a week after Easter.  I'm thinking I'll take the g'kids for a visit to B.C. over easter weekend so the adults here can start to process all the stuff here into boxes.  That way maybe I won't have to do any of it.  Here's hoping.......

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Reasons to be cheerful...

1.  Finally finished EVERYTHING ....did the final sweep up and dumpster toss.  Everythings in the storage locker and finally I can go to work on Saturdays instead of packing and packing and more packing.  Not to mention cleaning cleaning and more cleaning.  Big heavy sigh of relief. This has got to be the absolutely worst part of moving.  Ugggggh

2. Recently was introduced to my step daughters long lost son that she gave up for adoption (with my prompting) 26 yrs ago.  Have't actually physically met him, but he texted us and since my husband isn't technically savy with sending pic etc. I forwarded many pic's to him of his prospective new fan damily.
I remember years ago I went to a meeting of adult adoptees searching for birth families.  It was a room of very mostly angry people.  All they really wanted was to LOOK like someone.  I sent him many photo's of many people and I especially think he is identical to another family member, so he finally feels like he belongs to something.  I hope it brought him some sense of joy.  My stepdaughter lives in Toronto and this son actually lives here, same city as us.

3. I didn't have to load the dishwasher today after dinner.  Yay....I hate that chore.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Mine have been all stuffed, transported and stacked into storage
These are the leftovers for my daughter to start with
The other day my g'daughter was in her k'garten line-up --- she just casually mentioned the pile of boxes in the dining room.  All of a sudden the dozen or so other 5yr olds in the lineup were recounting the time they moved.  I just love listening into conversations of 5 yr olds.  The things that they talk about are eye opening.  

The date for the big move has been tentatively set for week after Easter.  I figured out just the other day, it's been going on 7 years since I did the moving thing.  That's the longest we stayed at one address.  Who Knew! That was surprising.  

No wonder I had so much to throw into the dumpster.  That's way to long to stay in one place.  

Even with all the weeding out of broken furniture, mixing parts to furniture, piles and piles and more piles of clothes....the storage locker is stuffed to the rafters.  Trouble is....the stuff closest to the door is mostly 5 feet of junk.  It's always the dregs that are stacked up at the door.  The "good stuff" is usually the first in---the last out.  It's all the stuff you really could use some of right now...but no one can actually get to it until all the crap is dealt with first.  I'm getting real sick of my limited supply of clothing that I packed in the one suitcase for both of us.  (even though my husband cheated and snagged some of his "can't live without" clothing everytime he was allowed to go into the storage unit while stuff was still accessible).  And I promised myself I would not buy anything new until after everything was unpacked.  It's been a hard promise to keep.  I think quitting smoking was easier than staying away from retail outlets.  But so good. 

And there's going to be some "NEW RULES" afterwards...about all this potential new crap.  What I should have done was taken pictures of the 3x's I filled the dumpsters.  That would have been a good idea.  I still have to go clean out the dregs out of the garage from the old place.  But that's mostly destined for the dumpster as well.  

I'm planning on opting out of mail delivery as well.

I set up a new email for just snail mail substitutes.  I've kept old mail box for next month to monitor just what we actually receive in the mail.  It's been mostly junk and more junk for the last couple years.  

-no home phone (cell phones only)
-no mail delivery 

Mail delivery is a dinosaur anyway.  

It's kinda comical when I tell those that need my mailing address ...that we don't have's either email or nothing.  

Haven't had anyone refuse yet. Or say they can't comply.

we'll see........

my sister...the postmaster in a small community...said it can't be I have to prove that yes it can be done.  She always criticizes me that I use "self check-outs" at the supermarket...that I'm somehow eliminating someone's job.  I really don't care.  It's all about my convenience....

And....some businesses are like ghost towns.  No longer necessary.  And cost too much money in subsidies to keep around.  If businesses need mail delivery they should be paying for it.  I wonder how much tax $$$ could be saved.  

Well I'm going to do my part.