Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reveal Day

November Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

fpp November Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

Well it's November 30th

My exchange partner was Sarah in Ottawa.

Theme is Winter Solitude:  A cup-a 

                                       ...Matcha tea
                                       ...Maca Hot Chocolate 
Also a jar of creamy white honey and a recipe for spicy honey-milk
My husband ate the Rochef Dark Chocolate wafer
And lastly a handful of Ginger Candies that are real nice with a cup of tea.

Now all I need is the good book and some solitude in front of the fireplace and I'm all set.  Thanks Sarah


Friday, November 29, 2013

...Friday finally

I 've often wondered the sensability of a weekly menu.  Personally I have never done it.  Probably because I always buy groceries based on what's on sale.  I usually stop in at SuperStore on my way home after dropping the g'kids off at school.  First place I check out is the meat department for markdowns.  Then the cheese and yogurts etc.  Then over to the veg and bakery.  I have nothing else to do to entertain myself.  So this is how I get my "high's".  And if there isn't anything of interest at the one closest to me I sometimes drive over to the one on glenmore and deerfoot.  After stopping off at the library to pickup what ever reserves happen to be on the shelf for me, I stop in at the No Fills and check them out.  So the meal planning is usually done around noon.  Everyday.

But this week I did something different
I actually got all the flyers after stopping at Superstore to grab a couple sirloin roasts to grind into hamburger and another one for actual roast dinner sometime in the future and the other half cut into stew meat.  It was like $8/kg .  I also picked up a turkey breast that I cut into cutlets for turkey piccata that was marked down.  A flat of chops that would be good for two meals was also marked down, so into the bag it went also.  A chicken fryer (even though I don't remember the last time I actually bought one of these we usually just get a rotisserie chicken on lazy days) was marked down cheaper than a rotisserie one would have been so some day when I notice another one we may have our own version of that flat Portuguese flame grilled butterfly cut peri-peri chicken.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I had the pleasure of having sampled some of this in Toronto a couple years ago and keep forgetting to try making it. But I'm determined since I actually picked up some Clubhouse Peri Peri spice mixture awhile ago.   Coarse someone's going to have to get those propane tanks filled one of these days first.  But we still need a second chicken so there's time still for that. Hopefully we will manage to have a nice weekend somewhere this winter that will be favorable to outdoor bbqing.   What else did I buy?  Oh yea two packages of bacon marked down to $1.50 each that got thrown into the freezer.  Apple wood double smoked...I'm only sorry there were only two available. A flat of chicken breasts good for two meals also made into my bag a ukaranian garlic coil marked down (my hubs fav thing for snacks) also made the bag and a flank steak.  I've never made bbq brisket before so I quess I'm going to give it a go cause the blank steak also was marked down. It's a good thing I brought two bags because by the time I got out of there I needed the second bag  Cause I picked up some cheemo perogies on sale and some assorted freezer bags and couple jugs of some new lemonade/cranberry drink that was only a buck.  Plus the two huge sirloin roasts that were on sale.  So this whole mess was $110.

I little more than I intended to spend.

I stopped at Co-op and Safeway and Sobey's and grabbed the flyers and then stopped in at No Frills.  The intention was to match prices with the flyers.  A thankless annoying job.  But I really didn't have to do that cause all their prices were less.  I couldn't believe it.  Obviously they've been going through the same flyers and marking everything down less.  I picked up more things than I had intended (obviously that's what they had planned that I would do...and they succeeded)  I was expecting to spend no more than $200.  Under $200 would have been better but I would be happy with $200.

Well......I almost had to get resusitated when the checkout tape read $300.  I gave up on the checking flyer thing after like ten minutes.  I looooove that they also mark down meat and veg (well they are owned by same corp as superstore, so it wasn't really that much of a surprise)  Even  though I couldn't believe I spent that much.  So when I got home I toke out all the flyers and my register tapes and went to it.  Later that day I went back to No frills to pick up somemore bread for those gluten eaters of us to pack into the freezer. I brought my tape and all the flyers back and saved another $8 (not much off the $300...but nice just the same) for several things that were actually cheaper in the flyers.  They matched them all. I managed to get a nice pork loin roast marked down and three pkg's of chicken thigh's marked down 2 striploin steaks and 2 T-bone steaks and some pork loin chops for maybe something stir fry later on, all marked down.

And they overcharged me 3 cents....yes 3 cents for my butter.  So I got the first pound of two that I bought free.  I love when that happens.  I have been known to scout out these things at the sobey's in my old neighborhood first thing in the morning the day after the flyer date.  Cause they never got around to changing the prices....but I was there grabbing things I knew weren't on sale any longer.  Cause if it's marked at a sale price on the self but the checkout charges the new price.  Well it's FREE BABY....If the difference is under $7's free.

I'm surprised that not to many people know this little rule.  Every retailer has to abide by it.  It's a condition of getting the software for their point of sale system.

So instead of having a "Monday Menu Plan"  like I notice several blogs do....I'm having a "Friday ---this was the menu" thingy.  Cause I don't know how to live with a menu plan for the week coming up. That's just the stupidest thing to live with if you purchase grocery's like I do.  Here it is Friday and I just dropped everyone off and I didn't stop at either of the mark down stores.  And my palms are itching......Cause who doesn't like a good sale.  But I'm not going until maybe Tuesday.  Cause my freezer is got more than enough at the moment and no bargain is a bargain if you don't really need it.

Monday - We enjoyed bbq ribs (i had 1/2 a jar of apricot marmalade so I squirted in about 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and then filled the jar with gluten free honey garlic bbq sauce.  I removed that ucky membrain off the back of the wrack and then cut them up after the 3rd bone.  Line a sheetpan with parchment and crowded them up meaty side down.  Slathered on the sauce and into the oven at 250.  Turned them over a couple times and slathered them up each time.  Drained the liquid every once in awhile off the sheetpan cause I didn't want them poached.  Then when only half of the sauce was left and the ribs were sorta read, I toke them out and cut them at each bone after they cooled a bit.  To finish them off I piled them into my magic pot (enameled cast iron pot) poured the remaining sauce over them in layers and returned the whole mess to the oven on the lowest setting of the oven until dinner was served.  Falling off the bone they were.  Yummmmm
Since the oven was on most of the day (i think i started just after noon on this) I threw in (on another sheetpan) four organic baby yams and half a dozen yellow beets to roast up.  I had half a head of cabbage leftover from something that I can't remember so I made some Marinated Coleslaw.  Lots of leftovers---I love day old coleslaw and cold ribs.  The warmed up 1/2 a yam that was leftover was particularly that a word?

Tuesday - was lazy day.  My daughter called me up and asked what my dinner plans were around 3:30.  I didn't have any...was at a total and complete loss (no wine in my system will do that) so I suggested she pick up a rotisserie chicken and some of their nice premade gravy (that she couldn't eat cause the gravy wasn't gluten free...but hey the rest of us love it) and I made some mashed potatoes and she also brought some broccoli to steam.  And there was still some coleslaw left so that's dinner done...with leftovers even for lunches that were fought over

Wed - some of the adults went to a show that evening and had takeout, the other two adults were volunteering at the drop-in center serving meals for 800+then went to a bar with all the other volunteers afterwards so it was just me and the g'kids so I cooked up some honey garlic sausages bought on mark down that had to be this, free that in hormone and pesticide and apparently the piggies were ethically treated and everything else.  I nuked some cheese wiz and cooked up some multi colored fusili and some green beans that looked partliculary festive and fresh got sauted.  And there were even some leftovers for the lunchbunch...

Thursday was stew.  It was very good.  1/2 that sirloin roast cut up into chunks was browned in the magic pot.  Then removed when browned.  Added chopped up onion and garlic and celery into the nice  browned up remains added some grapeseed oil after everything was mellowed out I added a big glug of red wine a couple bay leaves and 1/2 crnt gluten free beef broth the meat was returned to the pot with three over ripe romna tomatoes that I skinned and seeded.  Set that to bring heat up.  Cut up several carrots and a couple turnips brought the whole mess to a boil then stuck it into the oven at 225 for the rest of the day.  Turned it off after the meat sample melted in my mouth.  But kept the pot in the oven.  I picked up some celeric (my hubs and I  watched an episode of Come Dine With Me and one of the contestant made mashed with potato and celeric to rave reviews) to add to the regular mashed.  A great success.  Good thing I picked up a couple cause this is a good.  To serve just scoop up some mashed make a big well in the middle and add the stew to the center.  This stew got raves and the mashed got raves.  "this is the best stew I've ever tasted" said my husband.  In fact he went back for thirds.  The Lunchbunch were looking worried at the potential leftovers that he was scarfing down.  Served that with garlic buttered up french bread  (gluten free corn muffins for those gluten free) and gluten free ceasar salad.  I'm really pissed that I didn't get any for my breakfast this morning.  I should have chopped up the entire roast made a bigger batch  darm.  Ohhh well.

And tonight Friday - It's home made chicken fingers (with some gluten free ceasar salad croutons wizzed up for coating for those gluten free) with panko and greek roasted potato wedges and since I bought a bag of pea pods marked down 1/2 and I have extra garlic butter probably some sauted peas as a veg.

So there you have it.  The Week that was ----menu plan.

The freezer is overflowing and the pantry is full...I will be really pissed off If I have to go back anytime before tuesday to pick anything up.

 Portuguese, flame-grilled, butterfly-cut PERi-PERi chicken.Portuguese, flame-grilled, butterfly-cut PERi-PERi chicken.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I've been busy...

This is what i've been doing this week.

....enough said.

Well since Tuesday morning really.  Geez and it's only Thursday morning.  No wonder I have a headache, and the laundry is piling up and dinner has been kinda slack ass lately.

And.....I might add...I've been reading non stop without any fortification from the wine bottle.
I am so used to that glass (or two) while I'm cooking - that's the one I miss the most.  I wonder if my cooking has suffered?  I had a HUGE bag of jelly beans from Costco in the pantry ---it's gone, so I must have been snacking while reading.  But I really don't remember.  Everyone got picked up and delivered for the last two days.  So that's a good thing.

I think it's been ---more than two weeks now without wine.  But who's counting?
If quitting is the game.....then don't count I say. I've been substituting cranlemonaid from ocean spray.  It's a pretty good sub.  It's a new product I think cause it was at the supermarket yesterday (yes...I even did a major grocery shop yesterday morning) for only $1 for a huge bottle.  I bought two.  Can't be to careful, might have tasted like crap.  But today I'm going back to buy more ....cause it's that good.  I need at least two months supply to get that sewing machine.  Do you think someone might think I was strange when I get to the check-out if my cart is full of the stuff?  I guess we'll see......

This is lunch for the grade onerrrr.  yoghurt stick, cheetos, granola bar, cheese string, the ever present daily jam sandwich that she can't seem to live without...jam is combo of blackberry,plum,rubarb and strawberry, container of applesauce and another of 1/2 a pepperoni stick and couple baby dills.  And some applejuice.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's that means it's day 4 without any WINE....WHINE WHINEwhine!!!!

It's been 33yrs...probably close to almost the exact day...give or take
That I spotted the object of my affection

I remember the it was yesterday.

We were in the process of selling our house in the real estate boom of the 80's.  And we were going to make a nice little profit (3x's) what we paid for the place just 3 years before.  We were going to be moving from Vancouver area to southern interior of BC.  And a dumb idea that we build our own house (how hard could it be...after all we knew less than nothing about it). Our first born was just born that September.  By November the place sold and we were packed up and ready to go.

But my sewing maching of my dreams was waiting for the final sale to go through.  A wooping $900 at the time was hard to justify.  What with buying property and getting all our life put into storage.  A sewing maching seemed like the stupidest thing on earth to buy.  BUT I WANTED IT.  So I had to lie and lie someone to get it.  It sewed through EVERYTHING - the final test was the double double hem of the inside of a pair of jeans.  It seemed I was forever hemming my husbands pants.  Blue jeans were the worst.  I remember taking a pair of his jeans and hemming them in the store.  And didn't break any needles or jam the bobbin.  Pure heaven.

But it's time......
So I've been making a nuisance of myself at the sewing stores and trying machines out.  My's like I want to buy a sewing machine not a vehicle --- for all the difference in price it makes.  I want...I want...Iwant

But will I ever use any of that crap, more than once or twice.

So it's down to

Janome 3160 QDC


Husqvarna Tribute 140C

Janome comes with extention table, quilting walking foot.  and has many features I want....But is kinda narrow between needle and base of machine.  It will be a bitch for those quilts I have to get finished.  Will be alot of work to turn and pivot with the quilt bunched up... But the features are the selling point.  I mean how often will I have a huge quilt to get done anyway.  There's about 6 that I've been packing around for years now.  So Maybe ....this machine really isn't what I need after all hmmmm

The Husky in twice the money
if I want the extention table the quilting feet....
the janome ...comes with them

There's many bad review for both
There's many good reviews for both

I decided that If I really really want either one.  I'm going to have to justify it to myself and my annoying husband.  Who will probably be the first one to be standing in the doorway of my sewing room with yet another pair of pants to hem....

So ....I drank my last bottle of wine Sunday.

Normally I spend waaaaay to much on the stuff - monthly

So I've decided to stop drinking until the machine (whichever one I decide on) gets in the house.

It's been four days now.  That's not tooooo bad cause at first I thought it was only 3 days.  But who's counting anyway.   I wonder if anyone has noticed yet...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I finally got around to making some of that bacon toast.  Wow...what a revelation.  It`s all I can do to contain myself and not make more bacon that way to add the bread to greek salad.

From that book

So basically you line a sheetpan with parchment
arrange the slices on it
after the bacon has been turned over and almost done.....remove the bacon
line the parchment with slices of bread
arrange the almost cooked  bacon on top of the slices of bacon (do not drain any the the bacon grease)
then return sheetpan to oven and turn off the heat

After the meal in question is complete.....remove the bread slathered with bacon grease into (should be toast by now) a plastic bag and save for another day......tomorrow.  But I warn you will be thinking about it until you make the salad.

The Salad:

just your regular greek salad
romas seeded
cuc`s either peeled or or regular..seeded
red pepper chopped
purple onion chopped
greek olives
feta cheese  preferably the masadonian variety or goat or sheep
chopped avacado
dressing....olive oil, balsamic, reg vinegar, splash lea and perrins. good pesto, greek spice blend from club house .....shake it up

cut up the bacon toast and sprinkle over the salad
toss it up
pour dressing over...and toss again

Try not to start chomping on it before it even gets to the table.

Hopefuly the gluten free fanatics don`t take any.  And the g`kids won`t have any.  And the tomato hater at the table will definatly won`t take any.   SO ITS ALL YOURS...

You will be standing in front of the fridge at midnight.   it`s a given

Then for breakfast......

A little bit left for lunch with that first glass of wine.  

That`s it...your done.   Need to buy some more bacon ...and a loaf of really good bread.

Start over....

Monday, November 18, 2013

Estate Sale

I spent the weekend at an estate sale.  Why the weekend you ask?  Was it that big?  That good?  Why the whole weekend?


There's this particular company in the city that overprices on the first day.  Reduces prices 25% the second day and then 50% the third day.

The only saving grace is that it wasn't that far away and I happened to be driving by it for three days.

The first day....Friday.  I picked up one g'kid from kindergarten just before noon and by the time I drove by the sale signs it was after twelve.  The sale started at noon.  I just happened to have my husband with me also, I can't remember why he was in the van, but there he was.  I let him know ahead of time
"I'm stopping at an estate sale on the way home"
"WHAT...are you kidding me.  Are we going on a tour of the city cause it's probably on the other side, right?"
"No, it's on the way, we'll pass it before we get home"
"whine,,,,whine....whine....complain complain complain....Well I"l just stay in the car, cause I"m not walking miles to get to it (there was no parking close by)..."
Then as I was entering I spotted an empty parking spot right in front and called him on the cell to get his but over here and park.
So he took FOREVER to get to it, and then he decided that maybe "I"ll go in just to keep you from spending an arm and a leg from buying some old foggies junk that they don 't need cause they're dead...DEAD.  Your buying dead people stuff.:"  and he shook his head and climbed out of the van.

Meanwhile my 5 yr old g'son and I with my husband trailing entered.

And quickly seperated.  I did not want to hear him tell me what everything is worth.  He's a good one for knowing the price of everything, don't you know.

That was easy, cause it was three stories with a garage.

My husband didn't make it past the garage except to search me out for cash.
Cause he wouldn't leave the place without these super dooper industrial strength booster cables (that came with a fancy spancy leather less).  nor would he leave behind the battery charger...``do you know what these are worth brand new...I`m not leaving unless I can buy both of these.``  And he stood with his hands crossed.  God help me.  booster cables and battery charger.  Who buys that shit at an estate sale anyway....  My husband that`s who

Meanwhile my g`son was dragging a ``gund`` leopard around.  There must have been fifty stuffed animals sitting on this stand thing.  All almost brand new.  Now with all these g`kids in my life I know what a ``gund`` costs.  And he refused to leave without the leopard.   PLEEEEEEASE  BABA...I REALLY REALLY NEED IT. ...
So he had to pick one out for his sister too.  At $4 each.  What the heck.....

Meanwhile the stand they were thrown on is what interested me.  But the price was a little bit overpriced.

So I had to go back Friday for the mark down 25%.  I hummed and hawwed and then went upstairs to check out and hum and haw over all the cashmere sweaters of all colors and all designer labels.  They too were overpriced for what I wanted to do with them.

So I had to go back again the third day for 50% off day.

And finally grabbed the stand that no one else seemed to want.  Of coarse I had to turn it over and poke it and shake it....``Why did`t anyone else want it``
I consigned myself to thinking it might be a good deal.  And besides I was tired of all those cases from the wii all over the room on different tables, and shelves. So now this is called the ``wii stand``

..and it seems I`ve created a monster.  Cause now he expects to go to every estate sale I go to.  Grrr...that will be funnnnnnn----NOT

Monday, November 11, 2013

It's Monday...I'm reading

I was very happy to see
when I spotted it on the "new and noteable" shelf at the library I quickly grabbed the copy to put into my bag.  It did not disappoint - I spent Saturday with the book and a glass (okay a couple glasses) of wine.

I also picked up 

But I'm still waiting for the cheese shop to call with my order.  I really should give them a call before the book is overdue.  Looking forward to reading this one.

Heard about this one on TV, don't remember if it was on dateline or 20/20 or where exactly but ...
Looks like it should be interesting.

Haven't even cracked this one open yet but I noticed it at the bookstore and I always read Michael Smith's books

Then there's

I'm sure I"ve already read this one, but for some reason It was on my reserve shelf so I brought it home

maybe I'll flip through it and then it might come to me why I reserved it.  

I noticed "snacks" sitting on the shelf and since I dooooo love snacks and kinda live for them.  If I lived alone I would probably just snack all day long instead of sitting down to regular meals.  So it only seemed right that the book found it's way into my bag too.  And just flipping through it there were some interesting things.  Specially about the bread and toast and bacon thing.  That is something I definitely will be doing the next time I make bacon.  I've always made bacon on a sheetpan in the oven.  But never this particular way.  I can hardly wait to try the bacon bread salad.....I'm salivating just thinking about it.

This one looks promising...I'll actually maybe to remember to use my cast iron pan

and then there's 

will be making the

cauliflower bake with hazlenut crust crunch. Of course I would roast them before adding the sauce because why boil or steam when roasting tastes so superior.   doesn't the name just sound like the most wonderful thing?

Also on the reserve shelf with my name attached was

I think we will be spending much $$$ at the grocery store this coming week.  Cause I still also have 

there are so many yellow post it notes attached to this book that we will be buying it.  Everything tried has been a winner from this book.  I was even at Indigo on Sunday and forgot to check around for it.  I did manage to load up my quota for the never ending reserve list and even had to add to pinterest cause once again my reserve list is up to 50 max books.  

One of the current fav's (and gluten free cause we've been making it crustless) has been the carrot quinoa pie.  It's on the rotation weekly because it's wonderful the next day for lunches at work.  It never fails to get a recipe request.  You must add the full amount of the cayenne pepper.  Otherwise the flavor will not be as wonderful the next day as quinoa has a way of absorbing everything.  The last time feta cheese was added instead of the soft tofu.  There just is no way to screw this one up.  The pic is from the book on my cell phone so it's not the greatest quality.  But don't let that stop you.  Make it and you too will love this dish.  I'm thinking next time maybe roasted cauliflower might be good chopped up instead of carrots.  Or maybe half carrots half caultiflower.  Anyway we always look forward to this when it shows up usually on a wednesday. 

Almost forgot about

Its the best book I've read on the subject lately....and there's a great recipe for double chocolate cookies that actually works if Red Mill all-purpose baking gluten free flour and xantham gum is used.  REally surprised me.  I only made 1/2 the recipe and I used coconut oil instead of veg shortening. Didn't want to commit to the whole recipe in case it sucked.  Which is what all the other cookie recipes I've tries lately.  But this one worked.  I'm going to have to maybe get a better cocoa powder - the cookie was a little bitter. Or add something ....just don't know what at this time.  But overall....a good gluten free cookie.

and last but not least....

I prepared the Sloppy Joe recipe ---mostly because I didn't have any of those little packets that I usually use.  The results were a little tooooo ketchuppppy.  At least I thought so. But no one else mentioned it. I added a little glug of beef broth cause it just wasn't soupy enough for sloppy joes.  

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Flanders Field

Drove by this site on Thursday and couldn't believe that I have lived here for this amount of time and have never noticed this site on Memorial Drive.  Apparently it's done every year around Rememberance Day.  So on Friday I picked up the grandkids and toke them on a "Friday Fieldtrip".  They just had a rememberance day assembly that morning.
I was quite surprised at how respectful they were.  On several of the crosses they cleaned off the snow that had accumulated.  They were so surpised that Flanders Fields was in their town.  It was really cute.