Saturday, 28 May 2011

Oh how I've missed you.

Just recently I've started drinking coffee again.  It's funny,  I didn't even realize that I missed coffee until our recent trip to San Francisco.  In High school I used to drink coffee all the time but then when I met T I just stopped, he didn't drink it, and I wasn't one of those people who was drinking it because I couldn't get through my day without it.  For me it was more of a social thing .... a couple of us would go, get coffee, sit and chat.  It felt awkward if T and I went somewhere and I'd order a coffee and he'd order nothing, with him sitting there across from me with no mug to occupy his space on the table..... I felt like he was waiting for me, like I should rush or we just stopped going.....we found other things that we both liked.  But then I had a baby, and now I am always tired....always!

 I didn't even realize that I missed coffee until  vacationing in San Francisco when she re-appeared into my life.  Unable to sleep, let alone sleep-in (a side effect of having kids it seems)  I would find myself up every morning by 5:30 or 6:00 after a night of tossing and turning and waking up to look at the clock.  I would find myself jealously staring at T and H while they snoozed peacefully (both boys can easily sleep till 9:30 or 10:00 any day of the week)  Anyway, the hotel we were staying at started their breakfast service at 6:00am so I would dress and creep out of the room go downstairs grab a paper and for the first time in years I poured myself a big steaming mug of delicious caffeinated coffee

Well, now there's no going back.....not for me anyway!  I felt great, I felt energized.....ready to take on the day!  It was great while it lasted but coming home meant returning to a coffee free least it did until yesterday!
Last night after coming home from a much needed girls night I was met with this:

T had totally surprised me and he had even set it up and ran the water cycle so as to clean out the filter so it would be all ready to go for me this morning!  and the coolest thing is that it's not even just a coffee maker, it's called the Cuisinart Beverage Machine and it makes a variety of drinks.  So Pardon me as I go brew my first cup I can't wait to try her out.....I'll let you know how it goes, but I'm guessing it will be nothing short of magical lol!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Creamy Tomato Pasta

Our fridge is in desperate need of some groceries so dinner last night had to get creative.   We got lucky though, it was delicious!  two things I had going for me: 
1. I had ground pork in the freezer
2. I have my own herb garden so fresh herbs are always around

This is what I used

    • 1 (16 ounce) package shell pasta
    • 2 medium red onions, chopped
    • 1 large tomato, chopped
    • 1 pound ground pork
    • 1 Jar of store bought Tomato Sauce
    • 1 cup sour cream (maybe a bit more.....I used whatever was left in the container)
    • 2 Green onions chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • fresh basil to taste

    This is what I did

    Brown Ground pork.
    Add onion and garlic and let cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  

    Stir in Jar of tomato sauce, cumin, fresh basil and sour cream.  

    Combine with cooked noodles and transfer to a serving plate.  

    Sprinkle chopped tomatoes and green onion on top and garnish with whole basil leaves

    I also had a bunch of baby bok choy in the crisper so I sauteed that with a bit of garlic and butter to up our veggie intake.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Somebody Loves Baked Spaghetti!

T and I laughed our way through dinner last night.

 In a Smart (sarcastic) move on our part we decided to give H a bath in the afternoon.....and then proceed to make baked spaghetti for dinner.....needless to say it was a two bath sort of day!

Baked spaghetti for those of you wondering is a delightful treat.
Normally I make spaghetti bolognese and I serve the sauce on top of the noodles but with baked spaghetti once you boil your noodles you stir in the sauce as well as chopped onion and garlic you season to taste and then stir in about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs as well as 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan......these measurements depend on amount of pasta of course as well as personal preference.  Once it's all mixed in you spoon it into personal oven safe bowls (I use my onion soup bowls) and put them into a pre-heated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes then switch on the broiler and let the top get crispy for about 4 or 5 minutes (sprinkle a little Cheddar, Parmesan or goat cheese before the broiler step and it becomes that much more yummy!)
 thank god I didn't make the sauce spicy or there would have been a lot of tears!

Ridiculously dirty!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Fiddleheads, Asparagus, and Shrimp-Oh my!

Last night I cooked fiddleheads for the first time.  They came as part of a locally grown organic basket I have delivered each week.  Never having eaten them before I wasn't really sure the best way to prepare them so in the end I decided on a recipe I took from the Mama Earth Web site:

shrimp and fiddlehead medley


1 pound fiddleheads

6 ounces linguine, uncooked

6 cups water

1-3/4 pounds  shrimp, fresh or frozen

1 teaspoon margarine

2/3 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, diced

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon celery seed

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preparation:  Cut off ends of fiddleheads. Remove scales and wash thoroughly. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan; add shrimp and cook three to five minutes, or until done. Drain well, and set aside. Cook fiddleheads in boiling water for ten minutes. Drain. Coat a large, nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add margarine. Heat until margarine melts. Add onion and green pepper and sauté until crisp-tender. Stir in fiddleheads. Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed, without salt or oil. Drain well, set aside and keep warm.

Add sliced mushrooms, thyme, pepper, salt and celery seeds to vegetable mixture; stir well. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat three to four minutes or until mushrooms are tender, stirring often. Stir in shrimp and lemon juice; cook until heated through, stirring often.

Place pasta on a large platter. Spoon shrimp mixture on top. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

The recipe was a success I am happy to report, although the vegetable that really stole the show was the asparagus! I did both a green salad and a roasted asparagus side dish to accompany the fiddle head shrimp Medley and boy oh boy was that roasted asparagus delicious!

Friday, 20 May 2011

It's Friday Friday!

Spring has sprung and that means .......More cookies!
 neon food dye is the best! is it weird that lime green food colouring can make me so happy?
 these are my regular sugar cookie recipe with lemon tasty, I had tried lime icing, but for whatever reason the lime flavor was lost, lemon stands up a little better for whatever reason?!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

I love Thursdays!!

Since I started ordering these local organic baskets Thursday has become my favorite day of the week!

This is a glimpse into last weeks basket and today I got asparagus, I got baby bok choy and I got fiddle heads!!!!!!!   I"m going to have fun trying to come up with recipes tomorrow!

San Francisco: Greens

Best meal in a long time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While vacationing in San Francisco last weekend I had the pleasure of dining out at several different restaurants and trying a variety of different foods.  My favorite, however, was to my own surprise a vegetarian restaurant.

  Greens had great views of the yacht club and the golden gate bridge, a varied and extensive menu as well as a lively and kind of hip atmosphere.

 quesidillas with mango salsa bean salad, fried plantains and guacamole
 Tofu Spring rolls and roasted golden beets
 Grilled Fava beans
Asparagus risotto 

believe it or not this is only a sample of the food that was brought to the table and I got to taste.... I tried to take a picture of their menu so that I could try and recreate some of the more interesting dishes.....oh well, I guess a return trip will be required ;-)

I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who finds themselves in San Francisco with any kind of an appetite!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Lasagna anyone?

I think lasagna is one of the best kept secrets......well not lasagna in general..... but how easy it is to make.   So many people I know buy the frozen lasagnas from the grocery store, and although some can be quite good, nothing beats home made lasagna!  Lasagna is so simple and fast, I can't believe more people don't do it!  And no, I'm not talking about making your own lasagna noodles from scratch (although I"m sure that would make it taste that much better, and that is something I would like to try)  I'm talking about the average household cook putting something fairly healthy (all ingredients are recognizable and in food form as well as can be pronounced) :-) and super delicious on the supper table. and the best part is because you are the one making it, it is done exactly to your taste, it can be as spicy or as meaty as you like!  How is President's Choice supposed to know you personally would like them to triple the garlic and double the thyme?  Not to mention the biggest complaint I get from T regarding store bought lasagna is that it's nowhere near meaty enough to satisfy his meat tooth! 

Lasagna is 3 things.  
1. Meat sauce
2. Cheese
3. Noodles 

The noodles are simple. I buy the whole wheat boxed ready to bake (none of this pre boiling business......way too annoying!)

The Cheese is simple.  2 eggs beat and mixed into 500g or so of ricotta cheese, season with salt and pepper and a handful of grated Parmesan cheese

The meat sauce, although more ingredient heavy is still very simple.  Brown your ground meat......I like to change it up, I've used ground pork, ground chicken, ground beef, even ground veal........each one gives it a slightly different flavour...... then you just add to your taste,  in our house we add onions, garlic, mushrooms, red peppers, diced tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, cayenne pepper, chili flakes, basil.  I reduce the heat to minimum and then I add tomato sauce, most days to keep it simple I just use a jar of whatever was on salePrimo, or Ragu or whatever but sometimes I do make my own.......that recipe I will leave for another post!

Ladle a couple of spoonfuls of the meat sauce into your pan (I usually use 9x9 I find it's the perfect size for the amount of cheese mixture I've made...keeping in mind as well we like it thick) spread it out so it covers the bottom of the pan then lay down a layer of noodles (if you lay them down east west, make sure you alternate for your next layer and lay them north south, continuing on in that helps the lasagna keep it's form once you've served it) ladle another couple of spoonfuls of sauce, making sure to cover all the noodles then use about a third of the cheese mixture and gently spread it over the meat sauce without mixing it into the sauce (having separate layers looks much nicer once it's been plated)
another layer of noodles, sauce, cheese mixture, noodles sauce cheese mixture (now it should be used up) noodles, just enough sauce to cover the noodles and finish it off with some grated mozzarella and grated Parmesan.  throw it in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour and voila a ton of compliments like: I haven't had lasagna this good in a long time! or this is the best lasagna I've ever had!  
Making lasagna will do wonders for your self esteem lol!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Happy Mothers Day!

This year was my second mothers day as a mom myself, and although my little critter is still a little too young to throw his arms around me and tell me how much he loves me, I still get super spoiled.  I find it so sweet that T uses Mothers day as an opportunity to show me that he appreciates what I do for our little family.  What can I say, I'm so lucky and I love my boys!!!!!!
This year for Mothers Day we had alot to celebrate and women/moms to appreciate!  There's my mom and T's mom of course but My Dads mom was also visiting as well as my sister who is a great mom to two little  boys.  so wanting each of these lovely ladies to feel special and appreciated on mothers day H and I decided to attempt our first joint project in the kitchen........due to his age H was mostly a fantastic cheerleader but he did get in there a few times and get his hands dirty. lol

Our little project consisted of making rolled sugar cookies with almond icing (one of my sisters favorite)



  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter flavored extract (optional but does give the cookies a richer flavour. you can get it at Michael's if you're wondering)
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and flavorings and mix well. Stir flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to batter and mix well.
  2. CHILL 3-4 hours or overnight before using.
  3. Roll cookies out approximately 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Bake cookies at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes. This dough keeps well in a covered container in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
  5. Decorate as desired. enjoy.



  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • assorted food coloring


  1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup. (I like mine to be piping consistency.....which is quite thick)

Pretty cute aren't they!

I hope that all moms felt special and appreciated on Mothers Day!