Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Real Life Cooking in 9 Simple steps. here's the thing.  Life doesn't follow a recipe and neither should you. Whatever that means.  Here are 8 simple steps to creating supper without a recipe.  Obviously you shouldn't follow every step EXACTLY the same everytime, or you will have very bored tastebuds.  It's the principle of the thing.

Step 1:  Put a little oil and butter in a dutch oven.  Coat some beef in flour (insert other meats here) and sear it.

Step 2: While you're searing your meat, chop some onions and smash some garlic.  I'm pretty sure everything I make has onions and garlic in it.  They make food taste that much better.  It's the truth.

Step 3:  Pick up unhappy baby. Wipe up blip mess...make his world happy again.

Step 4: Take meat out of pot and throw the onions and garlic into those yummy juices.  Saute a bit.

Step 5: Chop a few veggies.  I used diced portobello mushrooms and whole button mushrooms for tonights special.  Throw 'em in the pot.  Stir them around nicely.

Step 6:  Add some broth say a cup or so. I added veggie, but beef probably would have been lovely.  If you're using chicken, go for chicken.  Add a little extra water too, maybe half a cup.  And add a little something else, too.

Step 7: Throw the meat and any juices in the bottom of the bowl, into the pot.  Add some salt and pepper and perhaps some sage and basil.  Whatever spices are moving you at the moment.  Let that bubble away for a while, until it looks ready.

Step 8:  Mix up a little flour and water (not too crazy much...just a bit) and stir it in your pot to thicken the juice up nicely.

Step 9:  Serve over buttered noodles or rice...or just eat it straight out of the pot.

My crowd can be hard to please sometimes, but this generally does the trick for them.  I guess I should have added a Step 10. Step 10:  Eat it all up. Bon Appetit!


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Words of Wisdom and Wit from the World Wide Web

I love alliteration!

And I love days like today, with our first real snow coming down hard. (I don't say that too loud around here, for fear of being walloped by winter haters.) It seems just the kind of day for writing profound things...but my mind is failing me. I think it needs sugar. So instead of scratching my head bald, I'm going to give the platform to others who've said it all better and go bake apple bars.

Have a great day, everyone!

And last, but not least, my own personal motto...


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Middle Aged Love

I saw them at Marden's while waiting in the car for Olivia to buy her Hilroy scribbler, and stop perusing the book section.

They pulled up beside me in a small, forest green car. The words of the woman, as she climbed out of the passenger seat, caught my attention immediately.

"You're going to buy me a locket? That's awesome!"

They weren't glamorous and young. They weren't old and cute. They were middleaged.

She was wearing stretch pants and a windbreaker. His teeth were brown and crooked. But, when a cheesy smile broke out all over his face, I could see why she fell for him.

She said again, "You're going to buy me a locket? That's awesome!" He grinned again and locked the car doors.

Then, they set off across the parking lot. The woman reached out her hand and grabbed his. Their fingers interlocked and their arms swung back and forth.

Then, just as they reached the store's entrance, she leaned forward and gave him a swift peck on the mouth. And my heart melted.

Forget the fact that he was buying her a locket at Marden's. She didn't seem to care about his cheap choice of stores. He was buying her something. Not practical. Not sensible. He was buying her something pretty, cheesy, and just plain frivolous. Because he can. And because he's in middleaged love.

- from the usually nonsentimental Millie

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Pumpkin Scones

I have a new favourite recipe.  I was craving something pumpkin this morning and even though it took ALL morning for me to finally finish these (due to homeschooling, babysitting and a cranky glued to the hip baby), they were totally worth the persistence!

Now...a big part of me wants to keep these my little secret, but alas, they are just too yummy not to share with you all!

  • 2 cups all purpose flour ( I used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (we used turbinado)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (we used our fresh pumpkin puree)
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half (I used full cream)
  • 1 large egg
Mix the pumpkin, cream and egg in a small bowl.  In another large bowl, combine all the other ingredients and work them together until the butter is crumbly.  Add the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined. Roll into a circle and use a pizza roller to cut into triangles.  Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 425.

Mix a cup of powdered sugar, 2 tbsps of milk and a tsp of maple extract (optional).  Brush over warm scones.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Combine 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 3/4 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp maple extract and just moisten with some milk.  Put in a plastic bag, cut off the bottom corner and pipe over scones. YUM.


Monday, 7 November 2011

Taste and See That the Lord is Good

I was sorting through pictures today and came across the 190 Aimee and I took one day this past summer. We got together to make cupcakes, Root Beer Float and Red Velvet…we read the recipes, used the whole bottle of food colouring and invested in red raspberries out of season.

We went whole hog, I guess you could say.

And we had fun. Aimee got out her frosting piper and I couldn’t stop gasping like a lunatic every time she finished another masterpiece.

There was icing sugar everywhere, bowls in the sink, and our bare feet were sticky. It was good. And suddenly Aimee looked over at me and said. "What are we doing this for, anyway?"

I think I said, "Um."

We kind of stared at each other for a second, and I could feel and see the guilt starting to creep in. I mean, what were we doing? Wasting an afternoon? Spoiling our suppers? Just making something because we wanted to gorge ourselves silly?

We started to talk, and it took a few minutes to reach our conclusion…the reason for believing that the day was actually well spent.

It boiled down to the respect we have of pretty things. And a love for the God of them.

On my shelf I have three books right beside each other. 1000 Beautiful Things, The Book of Awesome and One Thousand Gifts. Every single one reminds me of the Gifts we have around us…the very good things. Poetry, new socks and high tens, sunsets and soap bubbles. They remind me just how gracious God is, a God of the little things as well as our Salvation, but (and here’s the crux of the matter) do I always really know this in experience?

My mind tries to know the goodness of God, but all I see when I get up is a dirty kitchen and the clock telling me I’m late for work.

Sometimes I need to touch and taste the life I have, and see it is good in Him – filled with the blessings of pretty. Which brings me back to cupcakes.

Of course, I don’t pretend every day is well used in baking to satisfy your sweet tooth, but maybe it’s a good start to celebrating the gifts we’re given. These things that might seem frivolous, the ‘trimmings’ of life, can sometimes be the best things to refocus our attitude.

With all this in mind…don’t feel guilty if you bake a layer cake on Wednesday. Or wear sparkly shoes. Or fall asleep in the sun.

Just give thanks for these things, the sentient tips of God’s iceberg of Grace.


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Lie Number Four...

I know...I was supposed to do this last week but I was busy and couldn't come up with a good post. I still haven't but I got a kick out of this one so I'm going to use it.

Lie number four...

Breastfeeding Prevents Pregnancy

(Does anyone really believe this anyway?!)


  This picture makes me feel cheesy because at 14 weeks not much of the belly is actually baby but anyway...

We are excitedly awaiting the arrival of our third baby in the spring!

...and 14 month old big sister is still nursing...    :P