Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Bake the Grumpy away

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.
I don't know why, it's just been one of those days.

I told myself I'd take a nap when H was napping....sort of push the reset button......but it didn't happen that way, H didn't even nap that long in the end anyway.   Once H did wake up and I took both he and Ella out for an afternoon stroll thinking some sunshine would cheer me up, or at the very least give me a boost of vitamin D, I returned to the house only to look around and feel totally overwhelmed.  Toys were everywhere shoe's were everywhere (shoes are toys to H) the dishwasher was waiting to be emptied and reloaded the laundry was sitting in the dryer waiting to be folded and there were tufts of black dog hair rolling around on the floor as if they were tumble weeds in the desert.  A normal person probably would have come in started to tidy foot in front of the other right?  Not me!  I kept H in his stroller, and just closed that door.  I focused my attention on some tomato plants that a friend of mine had given me and needed re-planting.  Once that was done and H had had enough of his stroller I picked up H, I stepped over all shoes lying haphazardly in the entrance and I plunked H down in his room.  I side stepped the books H had decided would be a great idea to remove from the bookshelf and then leave all over the floor and then I practically jumped over a dozen or so dinky cars or other various toys left strewn throughout my house.  I opened my cupboards and pulled out my sugar and flour......I grabed the butter and eggs from the fridge and I found myself finally able to relax a bit as I measured and mixed my grumpy away.
 As I glanced up over my Kitchen Aid I see H still quietly playing, Ella lying in his room beside him and out of the blue I had one of those moments where you just feel so grateful, grateful for everything really.  I just kept going....I made enough dough for 10 dozen cookies or more.  I wrapped the dough and put it in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.  I cleaned up the kitchen......I peeked in on H who was still playing (thankfully) so I unloaded the dishwasher and re-loaded it, then I moved onto the shoes and then, leaving the toys where they lay, I sat and I played with H......really actually played.....we played cars, built towers , destroyed towers, rolled a ball back and forth and giggled.
I figure once H goes to bed tonight T and I will fold the laundry and anything that's left over......I'll pray for the clean house fairies to pay me a visit while I sleep.
but in terms of my state of mind..... for me, a little baking goes a long way!

For those of you wondering about the recipe.......
*****This is not the same recipe that I used in my Mothers Day Post, they are similar but they are not meant to be quite as thick nor are they as soft as the Mothers Day cookies.....they are however delicious and very flavorful for a sugar cookie*********


  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, almond extract and vanilla. Stir in the flour and baking powder. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/2 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Slow Cooked Ribs

  • 4 pounds pork baby back ribs
  • salt and pepper garlic powder and onion powder to taste
  • 1 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash hot sauce

  • brown the ribs in the oven @ 400 for 15 minutes per side, cut them into half racks and place them in the slow cooker
  • In a separate bowl mix all the other ingredients and pour over ribs making sure to coat all the meat.
  • cook on low for about 6 hours

 We served the ribs with roasted potatoes and Parmesan roasted asparagus and a nice caprese absolute favorite for summer time

Friday, 24 June 2011

Ice cream cake

I made an ice cream cake for the first time last week and it was so easy I can't belive I hadn't tried it before
It was a mint chocolate cake and as you can see from the photo I did it in a spring form pan.
1 1/2 cups Chocolate cookie crumbs
6 tbsp melted butter
Mint chocolate chip ice cream
5-6 Oreo Cookies (topping)
Junior mints (topping)

mix the chocolate crumbs with the melted butter and press evenly into the bottom of you spring form pan
next layer on the slightly softened ice cream making sure not to leave any air pockets.
top with crushed cookies and whole junior mints and place in freezer to firm up (about 2 hours)

This is a beginner recipe, I think over the summer I'll keep experimenting and trying different techniques,  try to achieve a less rustic more pretty physicality and hopefully I'll even graduate to making my own Ice cream to achieve a more delicate and complex flavour, but until then, regular store bought ice cream will do just fine thank you!

Monday, 20 June 2011


Karma, it really exists.
a couple of weeks ago when I was up to my eyeballs in Rhubarb I had made a couple of extra Rhubarb bread loaves to give to friends.  Well today my doorbell rang twice and both times it was a friend returning my loaf pan and as you can see the pans are far from empty! It was such a nice surprise!  and it really felt so good  to realize that sometimes you don't even know it but someone is thinking of you.  In case any of you are wondering on the left is a delicious Banana bread (it's current state is half eaten) and on the right are hand picked strawberries so sweet and tasty I can't bear to bake them into a pie or crumble....nope they will be eaten just as is!  The Peonies were also brought by a friend only two days earlier, the same friend who dropped off the strawberries today, aren't I lucky!

What an awesome Monday!

Happy Fathers Day!

Wow!  What a weekend. 
The entire weekend was fun and sun!

 We celebrated T's 2nd Fathers Day, My Dad's 31st Fathers Day, and a friend of H was turning 1!
It took H a while to get used to playing with so many other kids, but once he did he had a blast, there was lots of food and toys and even pools!  H loves the water and was delighted to spend the entire afternoon splashing!

I was so impressed with H on Saturday, He went straight from a Birthday party to Dinner with Nanny and Papa no nap all day!  I think everyone had an awesome time and the three of us had a great weekend.
Staring contest with Papa

oh and for those looking for the baking aspect to this post check out the amazing cake that my friend made for her nephews party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  completely awesome!!! 

She did the whole thing herself....from scratch, and didn't even do a practice run first!  Oh and did I mention she did this while taking care of and entertaining her almost 2 year old daughter!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Woolies Dryer Balls

My older sister who is currently a SAHM has recently started her own business making and selling a child friendly Eco version of laundry dryer sheets - Woolies Dryer Balls.   I am so proud of her and a little jealous that I didn't come up with such a great idea myself!
If you're interested in finding out more check out her Facebook page @ (  

when I had my own son I was sad to see the bounce laundry sheets go for two reasons : 1. I love the smell 
                                          2.  I hate how static charged your clothes get when you don't use them

But as anyone out there with a new baby at home or who has sensitive skin themselves knows those things, although nicely scented and great for static reduction, are full of chemicals, and perfumes and really should not be used.

According to my sis, By using 4 woolies in your dryer, you can cut an average of 25% off your large load drying time and cut around 30-45% off your small loads. The more balls you use the faster your clothing will dry.

I am so impressed with the Woolies because the wool absorbs the moisture in your clothing. The balls circulate, separate, and fluff the clothing. No need for fabric softener or dryer sheets anymore! So far I totally agree! I recently purchased 4, and last night I tried them out for the first time and I love love love them!!!!!!! (my sister even scented them with lime mineral oil for me) also, I'm no longer going to have to wash my sons clothes separately....Big Yay for having to do less laundry!!!!!!!!!!!!! Another bonus is that they are handmade in Canada using all Canadian products, for those of you like me who like to support local business.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Quarter chicken dinner

No Swiss Chalet Required!

Season Chicken with salt pepper garlic powder and sprinkling of Parmesan cheese place in a 350 oven for about 40 minutes or until the thickest part of the breast reads 180 on a meat thermometer.    serve with your choice of sides!  I chose corn and wild rice sauteed with some diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, fresh basil, and a handful of chopped mushrooms.  Easy dinner, almost no effort required and no recipes necessary.....the side dishes can be whatever you have in the fridge.  Even people who like to cook need nights like that......and lets face it, I can only handle so much pizza!

Monday, 6 June 2011

I met Martha Stewart!!!!!!!!

Today I got to meet one of my Idols......Yes Miss Martha herself!!!!!  I don't even care that it seems a bit cliche, with me being a stay at home mom and all.  I will admit though that for a split second I did feel a bit silly, I tried to imagine a perfect stranger approaching me and asking to take a photo with me and how weird that would seem.... but then I got over it and burst out of my little introverted shell!  
 I mean come on! I would have kicked myself if I hadn't.  I subscribe to all her magazines....well not the wedding one anymore but I used to! and I still flip through them at chapters when I get a chance.  I'm always on her websites and searching through her DIY projects!  I am a huge fan, to say the least.
 I was giddy with excitement when I saw her.....and then she took some photo's with me and even signed a Magazine for me.  She gave H a little hello and a wave and just like that she was gone.

Definitely a cool day for me, I'm still smiling too!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Rhubarb Season

Thursday evening brought a new organic basket and the contents made me squeal with delight......Rhubarb!  The chives were new too and asparagus is always welcome but it was the rhubarb that put a smile on my face!

I started by making a rhubarb crisp.......wonderful, but only for those that have a serious sweet tooth

6 cups diced rhubarb

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter

  • You mix the first 3 ingredients and spread them evenly in your baking dish
  • in a separate bowl mix the rest of the ingredients and then sprinkle over the rhubarb mixture
  • bake in a 350 oven for 40 minutes......serve hot or cold

  • Next came Rhubarb loaf!

  • For 2 loaves you will need:

    • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans and dried cranberries

  • For the sweet crumb top you will need:
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon cold butter

  • It bakes in a 350 oven for about an hour.......Simple!
  • I've still got a bunch of Rhubarb left I'll be sure to post once I figure out how I'm going to use it!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

It's official, Summer is here!

Last weekend T and I started the exciting project of getting the place summer ready!  My Parents drove up for lunch and my dad took T and I to Home Depot with the truck.  We filled her the brim!  there was a patio set, dirt, rocks, plants, planters, and even a barbecue which was a gift from my Dad!
Well we still have some work to do but the space is definitely coming together.  But today was a special day, today we christened the barbecue..... broke her in if you will :-)
I had never tried a charcoal grill before,  it was brilliant!  even before we got any food on there the smell was pure summery heaven!    Anyway we fired her up and let her sit for about 25 minutes getting all toasty and then Wham.....Salmon steaks

 I'm not normally a big lover of fish but in an effort to be more healthy and to make my family more healthy I now eat a lot of things that I never used to really care for .........I wonder if this new introduction of fish to my diet will help my credibility as an east coast girl? :-)
Now comes the best part, and let me give credit where credit is due.......I found this recipe on another food blog that I read @  if you live in the GTA and like to eat out you should definitely check out her blog!  Any way here I copied and pasted the ingredients and instructions from her posting so you can try it out if you want do want to it is delicious!

2 firm-ripe mangoes
1 ripe tomato (substitute only. use 1 red bell pepper)
1/8 red onion (do try fine-slicing correctly, i failed miserably)
1 small handful of cilantro (use your discretion, i’ve got a heavy hand with cilantro)
even smaller handful of thai basil leaves (good with my rations, eh?)
1/4 avocado
pinch (or two) of black pepper
3/4 tbsp of fish sauce
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (try with peanut oil if you have it)
2 tbsp of lime juice
1/2 tbsp of chili garlic sauce (substitute only. use thai peppers or  fresh chilies)
Peel, pit and thinly slice mangoes lengthwise. Add cilantro, thai basil, red onion, avocado, tomato into a small mixing bowl. Add dressing mixture of fish sauce, olive oil, lime juice and chili garlic sauce(you’ll notice that I don’t use sugar). Mix gently. Note: Gently is key.

Generous heaping of thai-mango-avocado-goodness & served with grilled salmon for dinner.

I tried the recipe and was so happy that I did, it was delish!  Here are my pics, Kim has her own on her blog.....nicer than mine......but I'm proud of my creation, and I don't want to rip off her whole post! lol

Thanks for reading and Happy BBQing!