Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Works For Me Wednesday - Finding Recipes on the Internet

Recently on a blog I read, the question was posed, "What are you favourite cookbooks?"

I have about 8 cookbooks. They have never even been unpacked since I moved to this house 3 years ago.

I don't need cook books. I never follow recipes to the letter, I always tweek it a bit.

But ...I always get my recipes off the Internet. Who needs actual cook books when you have recipe sites galore?!

Some of my favourites include: - you can search by dish name or plug in some ingredients and see what matches up. I love that most have photos and they have ratings to tell you what others thought of the dish. - Absolutely mouthwatering photos and simpy by clicking the link, you are taken to the blog of the recipe maker. This is a greaqt way to find new food blogs. You can also seasch by dish name or ingredient.

The Pioneer Woman - you'd have to have been living under a rock not to know who this is. She has great recipes in her Cooking section and she also started the spin-off cooking site, TastyKitchen where members can contribute. Again lots of photos and reviews.

Gina's Skinny Recipes - low fat recipes that still look amazingly appetizing, included WW points

For more great Works for me Wednesday tips, pop over to We are THAT family.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Peanut stops tennis ball with eye

So we had a little accident on Saturday. J went to toss the tennis ball at Peanut's behind, but she swung around and caught the ball in the face instead. It hit her right in one of her big bulgy eyes. Her eye got red and a little swollen but we were hoping she would be OK. After several hours and she was still extremely sensitive, I decided to take her to the emergency vet at 10pm on Saturday evening. Yes we did  something similar this time last year.

When we got there, there was already 2 critical cases that the Dr was working on so we had to wait about an hour before being seen.

Finally, we were called in. They put a freezing drop in her eye, then green dye to look for scratches etc...none of which were found. Then she was given something to dilate her pupil and then anti-inflammatory drops that we have to administer 4 times per day.

I have to take her to our regular vet as soon as possible, I will call Monday morning.

I got up at 6am to give her her drop and she seems much better today.

So the visit to the emergency vet, the single drop of green dye they put in her eye and the anti-inflammatory, cost me a whopping $245 ($140 visit, $28 dye, 48 anti-inflammatory, and taxes).

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Ultimate Recipe Swap - Favourite Fall Dish

My favourite fall dish to make would be homemade mac & cheese.

My son is sick of sandwiches for lunches and has requested I make enough of this on the weekend so that he has lunches all week (and a few dinners).

I don't really have a set recipe - I improvise.

Melt a couple tbsps of butter
Add couple tbsps of flour to melted butter

Wisk together and allow to cook for a few mins

Add some milk

Add some more milk - prob 2 cups total

Add garlic powder, seasoning salt & pepper

Mozza, cheddar & Velveeta cheese

Mix in grated cheeses

Stir till melted and combined
Stir some more
Add mustard powder & onion powder (I forgot before)
Add Velveeta
Wisk until smooth
Once water has boiled...
throw in some pasta
Decided at this point to make taco mac & cheese and added some cumin & chili powder
Add sauce to cooked pasta
Plate and enjoy
Can you see the spices? Yummy!

Monday, 20 September 2010

1st night of Fall TV

Ok so I PVRed the season premiere of House, I'll watch that tomorrow.

Watched The Event...Oh my god was that annoying! They kept jumping the timeline, now it's 11 days earlier, then 13 months prior, then present day, then 5 minutes before present day...KNOCK IT OFF! It is LOST all over again. I will not be watching this again.

Hawaii Five-0 was not bad. Of course I love it just because Alex O'Loughlin is so freakin HOT! I was so disappointed when his previous show Moonlight was canceled.

Ya I could watch this guy in pretty much any show :)
His voice is hot too which is odd because it really isn't his voice. He is actually Australian or something and has an accent. Drives me nuts when I find out actors don't sound like I think they do.

Huge Laurie of House - that was just shocking the first time I heard his real voice. So many of fav actors have fake voices - disappointing. Simon Baker of the Mentalist has an accent as well.

Tomorrow is the new season of the Biggest Loser and then Parenthood.
J's soccer team is in the semi finals, playing tomorrow night at 6pm.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Fall To Do List

Did you know Tuesday is the first day of Fall? So soon?! 

I know my sister D reads this blog so right at the top of my Fall To Do List is ...

  • Finish The Pink Quilt for D! I still have a few blocks to hand quilt around, then I need to measure it on our guest room double bed and see how big of a border I have to add, then add it and bind it. This was a birthday present for my sister from, I think 2 yrs ago - she is VERY used to waiting for stuff from me :)

  • cook and freeze some fall meals. I am thinking frog soup (broccoli), chili, tortiere.
  • do some baking and freeze: muffins, banana bread
  • start thinking about Christmas, gifts, decorating, baking - I need to start earlier this year.
  • pantry & freezer inventory - it is that time of year again - too much food! I need to menu plan big time
  • walk the Peanut at least twice a week - right now she is happy to just zip around the yard, but since it is cooler out and I need the exercise, I will try to get her out at least twice a week
  • clean my office - something I have been putting off. It needs a major clean up!
  • clean out the garden before the frost comes - unlike last year where I left it all til spring!
  • work on some sewing projects - I put them all off for the summer, time to get back to them
  • nag DH to work on the tiles in the dining area - 3 years in this house, this has been like this TOO long
  • paint the front doors & trim
  • paint the garage doors & trim
  • get a curtain rod & lace curtain for ensuite window - we got a new frosted glass window installed in Jan and haven't got around to getting a curtain.
I am sure there are more I will add when I think of them.

I'll check back around November to see how I have done with this list.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Fall TV Schedule

It is that time of year again! New and returning TV shows.

This is what my fall schedule looks like, most of these will be PVRed until I can watch them.
Most of them start next week Sept 20 and on (although Parenthood started this past week and I missed it)

Monday - 8 pm House, 9 pm The Event (new), 10 pm Hawaii 5-0 (new)
Tuesday - 8 pm Biggest Loser (new season), 10 pm Parenthood
Wednesday - 8 pm Lie To Me, 9 pm Law & Order SVU, 10 pm Law & Order LA (new)
Thursday - 8 pm Bones, 9 pm CSI, 10 pm The Mentalist
Friday - 8 pm Medium, 9 pm CSI: NY

What will you be watching?

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Rainy miserable day here

It is only a high of 16 C (60 F) today with rain all day. Yuck!

However, it is now cool enough for me to start using the oven again - I try not to use it during the summer months as to not heat up the house too much.

I baked 2 dozen banana muffins today and made ground beef enchiladas for dinner.

I'm actually looking forward to more fall type foods. Any favourite fall foods you are looking forward to?

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

I'm a picky eater

I didn't used to think I was a picky eater, but after thinking on it awhile, I realize I am one.

I don't like

  • bell peppers, they give me BAD heartburn
  • raw onion - cooked, they can go in anything - but they must be well cooked
  • brussel sprouts - tried but cannot stomach them, hubby loves them
  • mangos - they taste like pine to me
  • sweet potato - argh just cannot stand them
  • turnip - I still have dreams of having to eat this as a child - my father always convinced me to mix them with my mashed potatoes to make them taste better - all it did was ruin my mashed potatoes!
  • most fish - I really don't like fish, there are a couple I can tolerate, but very infrequently
  • broccoli - I really want to like this, and can tolerate it in my frog soup, but not so much just plain steamed
  • eggplant - I find them too mushy. We got 3 huge ones from our 1 plant this summer - we grilled them sliced for K to eat.
  • plums - just never liked the texture of them
  • bleu cheese - ack! K loves this stuff. I cannot tolerate it.
  • squash - I don't hate spaghetti squash, but do hate most other types
  • rice piudding - blech! rice is supposed to be savory...end of story!
  • sushi - have tryed it (the fully cooked kind) but don't like the taste of the rice
  • cooked carrots - they were pretty much the only veggie I would eat as a child and I think I just got sick of them  - I can eat them raw though
  • mussels & oysters - in any preparation {shudder}
  • goat cheese - it taste like um dirt to me :p
 Wow that is a lot of stuff.

So what types of foods do you dislike? 

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Weird TV

I just watched two episodes of a tv show called Freaky Eaters. The first episode was about a woman who since the age of 3 (she is 29 now) has eaten ONLY french fries for breakfast, lunch & dinner EVERYDAY. Her 7yr old daughter is now following in her footsteps so she is trying to address the problem. She is not huge, she has good skin and apparently no health concerns. How the heck is that possible?

If I ate french fries every meal for even a week, I would be deathly ill. That has got to reek havoc on your digestive system.

The 2nd episode was a 21 yr old guy who ate pizza for every meal for approx. 6 yrs. In the past 3 yrs he had developed an illness (surprise?) where he would wake up nauseous every morning with a splitting headache - this lasted approx. 30 mins every morning. He quit school and sports, friends, everything because of the illness. Turns out he has food sensitivities, mainly to dairy. So all the cheese on the pizzas was making him sick, only he didn't think pizza was the prob because he didn't get sick until the next morning. Duh. He was eating something like 480 pizzas a year, which had 80lbs of saturated and trans fats. Blech! Again he looked fit and had clear skin. How the heck do they manage that?

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Ultimate Recipe Swap - Homemade Pita Chips

Today's Ultimate Recipe Swap is snacks.

One of my favourite snacks are chips. I discovered that pita chips aren't nearly as bad for you as regular chips and they are even better if you make them yourselves.

So what you need:

Pita bread - I buy the large ones (make sure you get the ones that separate)
oil spray or olive oil
your choice of seasonings and herbs

  1. I cut the pita in half with a pair of scissors, then each half in half again until I get wedges the size I want. Then I split the 2 layers of the pita apart.
  2. I lay all the wedges rough side up on a baking pan and spray them lightly with oil spray, such as Pam or you could brush them with olive oil.
  3. Then sprinkle with seasoning salt, garlic powder, chili powder & basil.
  4. I bake mine at 350 for about 12 mins - you have to watch them carefully and I also turn the pan - make sure they don't get too brown - they go from golden to burnt VERY quickly - ask me how I know.

These are very addictive so make sure you have lots of pita bread on hand :)

For more great snack ideas pop over to Life As Mom.

The Deafening Quiet

The kid has gone back to school YAH!

The mother in-law has left to visit her sister YAH! I can only take her for a few days.

Hubby has driven her to her sister's and has business in Ottawa so won't be home until Friday.

Peace & quiet is once again mine YAH!!!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

It's that time again...

 Update: All done! Just waiting for her arrive now. Have a great weekend everyone!

My mother in-law is coming for a visit on Friday and staying for a few days until my husband drives her to her sister's place in Ottawa. So you know what that means, right?

I have to clean my freakin house! It really needs it too - it has been neglected a bit.

So here is a list of things I have to accomplish before Friday afternoon, when she arrives.

  • Put clean sheets on guest bed - sheets were washed after my sis stayed here in July, just never made it back on the bed.
  • thoroughly clean powder room
  • thoroughly clean main bath (tub scrubbed yesterday)
  • tidy living room (mostly decluttering)
  • clean kitchen
  • declutter entrance hallway
  • guys to clear their hunting crap out of guest room
  • vacuum entire house (hubby's job :))
I suppose I should get off the computer now and get started huh?

I'll update the list later - if I have time :)

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Ultimate Recipe Swap - Cooking for a crowd

Whenever we attend a potluck or host a BBQ, there are a couple recipes I always turn to, both for ease of preparation and for the amount they make.

Unfortunetly, I don't write down my recipes and just kind of wing it each time - so if you decide to make these, be adventurous, change them up a bit and make them your own!

Sweet & Sour BBQ Meatballs

couple lbs lean ground beef
finely diced onion
1-2 eggs
bread crumbs
garlic powder
seasoning salt
any other spices you may like
milk to moisten if needed

Mix the meatball mixture and then form small ping pong ball sized meatballs.
Cook in oven on broiler pan to allow grease to drain off.

bottle of favourite BBQ sauce
same amount of ketchup
chopped garlic
thinnly sliced onions
couple tbsps of mustard
chili powder
onion powder
seasoning salt
couple tbsp brown sugar
hot sauce

Mix all together.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Put cooked meatballs into large roasting pan, pour sauce over top and cook in oven at 350 for 45 mins.

Greek Pasta Salad

Cooked & chilled pasta  - I usually use spiral or penne pasta
sliced green olives
diced green onion
chopped tomato - I use cherry tomatoes cut into 1/4s

crumbled feta cheese
diced english cucumber
chili powder
seasoning salt
creamy greek salad dressing

I hardly ever have leftovers of either - but if I do, they are both great the next day (and the next :))

For more great recipes, pop over to Life as Mom.

This post is also part of the Tasty Traditions blog carnival at Coupon Cookin' 

Works For Me Wednesday - CSN Stores

What works for me is CSN Stores. I have done 2 reviews for them so far. The latest review is of this Delonghi Convection Toaster Oven with Rotisserie.

We have used it to make frozen pizza, apple crisp, cheese toast, Jamaican patties, crescent roll pizza and frozen fish and chips.

The only thing it doesn't do well is toast LOL but we still have our regular toaster.

I read a bunch of reviews on it online before I ordered it and several complained about the racks not having a middle support so that when you pull them out, there is a place where they tip slightly - I don't see this as an issue at all, you pull the rack out and grab your food, you don't just leave it hanging there.

The CSN Store experience is great! My order was processed quickly and easily and the delivery (to Canada) was very quick.

I highly recommend both this toaster oven and CSN Store. Check them out at

For more Works for me Wednesday tips, pop over to We are that family.