Thursday, July 31, 2008


Yesterday I was feeling under the weather, so our evening meal consisted of hot dogs. Today was the staff appreciation bbq at work, so since we were allowed to bring kids. The kidlets met up with me, and we had our evening meal there. So... there hasn't been a whole lot of cooking going on.

There has however been some ....are you ready for this? Knitting Progress! I have completed the body for the wee baby hoodie I started a while back, and am now progressing on the first sleeve. The baby it is intended for did wind up making an early entrance into the world, but she is a teeny, tiny thing, and her Auntie(the person who requested the knitting of the sweater and bonnet) says the babe is little enough that size won't be an issue.

As for upcoming cooking, I am not going to say that I plan on making Monkey Bread this weekend, 'cause every time I say that, I don't make it.

Today marks the end of the July food themed NaBloPoMo. I didn't technically sign up to participate, but did a good job of posting almost everyday. I think I only missed one day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Insert Witty Caption Here

At the request of Tall Child, I am introducing a new weekly featurette. Random Wildlife Photography, aka:cat pics. The term "Wildlife Photography" and the idea of cute cat pics is being borrowed from one of my favourite blogs, Crazy Aunt Pearl.

The first installment of this new featurette is a photo of Marzipan, taken on Tall Child's bed. Doesn't she look impressed? Marzipan that is, not Tall Child. Tall Child has built in sensors that alert her when someone is trying to take her picture and allow her to evade photos. She has inherited these sensors from her Mother.

Wildlife Photo of the Week

This is where to insert witty caption.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Get Out of Jail Free Card

Flora Photo of the Week

Pretty, purple, petunias in a pot outside of our back door.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sorta True... I Guess

You Are Mayonnaise

You tend to be a very quiet, introverted person. You're happy to sit back and let stronger personalities shine. You value loyalty and harmony. You try to bring people together.

Your taste in food leans toward simple comfort foods. You love holiday meals as well as old school favorites like mac and cheese. You get along with mustard and ketchup personalities. You have an unlikely alliance with hot sauce personalities.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Delicious Cinnamony Goodness

Today's project was going to be Monkey Bread, but as I couldn't really find a recipe that suited me, I instead made Cinnamon Rolls.

In the past, I have tried two different cinnamon roll recipes. Both were good but neither was fabulous, so I decided to try another and see if it was more of what I was looking for. I Think I may have found the one. As usual, I did tweak the recipe just a little. They were oh so soft and yummy. I will be using this recipe more often and I look forward to playing around with different fillings. The tweaks I made are in green.


4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour(I only used 3 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1 envelope FLEISCHMANN'S RapidRise Yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 TBSP cream
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

Cinnamon Filling (recipe follows)

In a large bowl, combine 1-1/3 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt. Heat water, cream and butter until very warm (120o to 130oF). Gradually add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. I didn't refrigerate, I just let the dough rise in a warm spot til doubled then rolled it out.

Remove dough from refrigerator; roll to 20 x 10-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with Cinnamon Filling. Beginning from long side, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal; cut into 18 pieces. Arrange rolls, cut sides up, on greased large baking sheet to form a heart.* Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Bake at 375o F for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from sheet; cool on wire rack.

Cinnamon Filling: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar(1/3 cup white sugar, 2 TBSP brown sugar) and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Stir to blend.

The recipe also calls for an icing sugar glaze, I instead made a cream cheese frosting.

Adapted from

This photo was taken before the second rising and subsequent baking. By the time they were baked all the good light was pretty much gone. Even unbaked, you can see all the sugary, cinnamon, buttery yumminess.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pseudo Elegante Gourmet

Can Pillsbury Crescents ever be elegant, or gourmet? Probably not, but for me most of elegant is in the presentation, and I'm not really a gourmet kinda girl anyway.

These babies were quick, easy and very tasty. I whipped them up this morning as a gift for Patrick, one of my fave supervisors at work who has decided that it is time for him to move on. I will miss him and decided that even though my shift for today had been cancelled, I would take these in when I said my goodbyes. Patrick always appreciated the goodies I brought to work.

I did change up the recipe a little, since I didn't have the exact combo of ingredients. I swapped the pepperoni for salami, and switched up sharp cheddar for the mozzarella. I also omitted both the egg yolk in the cheese mixture and the egg white brush on top. I did sprinkle them with grated Parmesan before popping them into then oven. I'm sure these would work with endless combinations of ingredients.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


These are some pretty, little, white sweet peas that have sprung up out front with the pink lovelies. This is the first year that there have been white ones. I love them and am hoping the make repeat appearances.

Flora Photo of the Week

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sweet Deviation

Today my allergies are still messing me up so there was frozen sausage & cheese pizza and Rice Krispie Square experimentation.

We added cinnamon to the melted butter before adding in the marshmallows, and switched up maple extract for the vanilla. They were quite tasty, though I think I would add more maple next time. Of course there will be a next time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hippy Shake

My seasonal allergies are freaking out, so I'm falling back on my usual cop out, a quiz.

You Are a Chocolate Shake

You are a total hedonist. You are drawn to pleasure. You are an expressive, over the top person. You're naturally dramatic.

You're the type of person who always chooses quality over quantity. Life's too short to not have optimal experiences. You're proud of being picky.

Monday, July 21, 2008

No Monkey, Just Cats

So, as it turned out, I wasn't energetic enough to head out for groceries yesterday, there-by the making of Monkey Bread has been delayed yet again. It will happen, though maybe not this week (especially since I forgot to buy yeast). Perhaps it will be my weekend goal if nothing else comes up.

This evening the kidlets and I made Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies and twice baked potatoes for dinner. As before, I bumped up the recipes a little. This time the Jalapenos were purchased from Sunripe and, with the addition of the Jalapeno Monteray Jack, were quite a bit spicier. Lip burnin', tongue tinglin' spicier. Tall child will be eating most of them as Megz and I are a little tongue tender when it comes to extreme spice. Even T.C said she could only eat a few at a time.

Tonight a new stray turned up in our yard. She's a pretty, sleek, black sweetheart that Megz has temporarily named Scarlet. This makes two strays that frequent our yard. Well, I don't really know that they are strays, but they show up to be fed. The other is a cute little striped tabby T.C has give the name Demi, because she's not really ours and this makes her half a cat to care for. Apparently my crazy old cat lady gene is sending off signals. Heck, I at least thought it would wait until I was 40.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Humid, Hot & Lazy

Yesterday was too warm to think of breathing, let alone baking. It did rain and then cooled down a little, but by that time the last thing I wanted to do was go heating up the kitchen. Grocery shopping was also a bust. First it was too hot to walk there, then it was too rainy, and after that I was just too lazy. Besides I really hate being in the grocery store on a weekend, it is just way too crowded.

Here's hoping that today will be a little cooler and I will be brave enough to venture out and face the grocery store crowds. I will have to soon, otherwise the cats may run out of food. I'm always afraid what the pair of them might do if they don't get fed. As it is when feeding time rolls around, they circle like sharks the whole time it's being dished out.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

In Case of Inclement Weather

Depending on the heat of today, there may be baking. As previously mentioned, I want to make some Monkey Bread and perhaps some Buttermilk Cookies.

I made a batch of the cookies earlier this week and they were amazing. Like little morsels of cakey goodness. The recipe calls for lemon zest, which gave them a nice subtle lemon flavour, and I am thinking they would also be really tasty with orange zest.

But first there must be grocery shopping and that too will depend on the heat. If it's like yesterday I will probably be spending the day in front of the fan. We don't have air conditioning, and if I bake when it is this warm, I might melt the cats.

If baking does indeed happen, I hope to have some photographic evidence to share.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Holy Heatwave

It is so hot here today, cooking is completely out of the question. Dinner consisted of take out pizza, topped with pepperoni, sausage, bacon and mushrooms, and lots and lots of ice water. It's even too hot to take pictures.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Featurette Time

I have decided that the "Flora Photo of the Week" featurette will not be appearing on any particular given day of the week, but will instead float about. After all, it is a pretty seasonal subject and will most likely be replaced in the not so flora friendly months.

Flora Photo of the Week

Here is a lovely Day Lily, sporting a few raindrops, with the pink sweet peas looking coy in the background. Or maybe they're plotting a take over, who knows.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh The Possibilities...

Seriously, how much fun does this look like? My mind started racing with possibilities before the infomercial had even finished. Then I of course immediately looked it up online. I really need to get me one of these. There is a store at the mall that sells all the "T.V stuff". I must remember to have a look next time I'm there.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So Simple, So Cheesy

I was feeling just little lazy this evening, and since the kiddles are with Grandma for the week I can pretty much eat what I want. Before you go there, no I did not have a bag of Doritos for dinner. I had this...

Yes, that is a hot dog (Kelly, just pretend it's a veggie dog), and along side are potatoes, zucchini and red peppers fried to a golden crisp and topped with grated cheddar.


Monday, July 14, 2008

The Forgotten

I can't believe I haven't made this yet. I found the recipe a while back and was waiting on a bundt pan. I finally remembered today that I wanted to give it a try. Well, as luck would have it, now I have two bundt pans ... and not enough yeast. I will be making it this weekend. I must, it has to be done.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Another quiz is semi-food related.

You Are a Spork

You have a playful, eccentric sense of humor. You are creative. You see the world in bold colors.

You are a dabbler. You love to experiment. You aren't an expert in anything, but you know a little about everything.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Still Lovin' It.

Last evening I once again used the Berry Bundt Cake recipe. This is the third time I've used it, and I am loving it more and more. The first time I made it with strawberries as the recipe calls for. The second time the batter was poured into the mini muffin pan with blue berries as the fruit. This time I used blueberries, and my trusty bundt pan. Each time, I have had tremendous success with it. This time I did have to make a couple of modifications due to me not being aware we were out of a couple of items, namely milk and vanilla. I will list the recipe, with my changes in blue, below the photo.

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 cups plus 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk/buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla/spiced rum
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries/1 1/4 pints fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar together with an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the vanilla extract(or spiced rum).

In another bowl, sift together the 3 cups of the flour, the baking powder, and salt. Gradually add this to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk/buttermilk. Toss the berries with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour, and fold them into the batter.

Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake in the center of the oven until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out just clean, 1 1/4 hours. I found it baked up a little more quickly, 55 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the pan over a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Invert the cake into the cooling rack and let it completely.


No matter what berries you use or if you make some of the changes I did, this cake is awesome. It is wonderful served with a little whipped cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or just a sprinkle of icing sugar and a few fresh berries.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lovely, Luscious &

Oh so juicy! Nothing quite says summer like a fresh, sweet slice of delicious watermelon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Protege at Work

This evening, Tall Child made us a wonderfully tasty dinner. Chicken wings with rice and steamed broccoli. I oversaw and gave a couple of bits of advice, but otherwise she was at the helm. Okay, so rice and broccoli are no biggie, after all we do have a rice cooker. The wings however were downright dee-lish. Maybe she will be cooking the meals more often. Here are photographic evidence of the delectableness of the wings and her recipe.

Tall Child's Saucy Wings

2 lb Chicken wings (we cooked 26)
2/3 cup Tomato Ketchup
juice of 2 limes
4 tbsp Brown sugar
1 tsp Ground allspice
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
2- 3 tsp molasses
splash of soy sauce
2 dashes of Worcestershire
pinch celery salt
smoked paprika

Bake naked wings on cookie sheet @ 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Baste with sauce, bake five minutes. Turn wings and baste again, bake five more minutes. Baste again.

Broil 2-4 minutes, turn, baste, broil 2-4 more minutes.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Feature

In celebration of the warm, sunny summer I have decided on a new blog feature... well, maybe it's more of a featurette.

Flora Photo of the Week

Tall Child calls these "Albino Impatiens", cause they are white with pink eyes.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Appetizer & Dessert

Last evening, Tall Child and I tried out a recipe new to us, and a slight variation of one that I have tried in the past.

The new recipe was Pioneer Woman's Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies. They were awesome, and really, really easy. We will definitely be making them again. We added a little grated cheddar before wrapping them up in the bacon. Next time I think we might try adding some herbs to the cream cheese. Or topping them with various grated cheeses.

The recipe variation was of Berry Bundt Cake. I made it a while back and have been dying to try it again with different berries. This time we used blueberries, and instead of making in it a bundt pan, we used the mini muffin pan. They were incredible. Tasty, sweet, little morsels of cake, stuffed with yummy blueberries. I know this recipe will be getting a lot of use in the future and will be the subject of experimentation and of course, taste testing.

No photos this time, everything went way to fast, and I missed the opportunity.

Monday, July 7, 2008


My kitty Mocha is again, still, feeling under the weather, so another quiz.

You Are a Turkey Sandwich

Conservative and a bit shy, you tend to stick with what you know and trust. You are very introverted, and you prefer to blend in whenever possible. Though you may be hard to know well, anyone who does know you considers you a true friend.

Your best friend: The Ham Sandwich
Your mortal enemy: The Tuna Fish Sandwich

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sweet & Easy

Today was a major league, lazy day, Sunday. It was also a low maintenance food day consisting of a grilled cheese, and Rice Krispie Squares.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Have I Mentioned I Love Quizzes?

After my ginormous yammering yesterday I decided I should probably keep today sweet, simple and semi-food related.

You Are Strawberries with Cream

Fresh and uncomplicated, you are always enjoyed but often overlooked. You're confident in who you are. You don't need a facade to feel better about yourself.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sunny Food Adventure

Today we made our yearly trip to Sunfest. We look forward to it every year, it is probably our favourite of the downtown summer festivals. The music is irresistible and there are always interesting and incredible vendors, as well as some really fabulous food. There are foods that we literally wait all year to have, and Sunfest is that time.

Upon arriving we usually hear the chatter of the crowds, and splashes of music from the various booths. Depending on our time constraints we will usually meander through the vendors looking at all the wonderful clothing, jewelry and trinkets. However soon after arriving, the scents of the exotic foods will beckon us to the food row. There is of course your usual festival food of fries, burgers, funnel cakes and such. But then there is the food we have come for, the spicy, the unusual, the "my taste buds are in heaven" kind of stuff we can never seem to find anywhere but Sunfest.

This year the food experience began with something I happened upon last year. Bulani, an Afghan thin sort of turnover, filled with potatoes, onions and served with the most incredible coriander sauce, that is truly a combination of spicy herby goodness. The sauce is my favourite part. We moved on in search of our favourites and new tastes to add to our list of loves.

Next was a stop at the Persian Chicken booth. It was recommended a few years back by a friend of Tall Child's and is it ever good. Chunks of chicken cooked on kabobs over an open grill till toasty, tasty and juicy. It's served in a wrap, and in case anyone doubts how good this chicken really is ... Sunfest runs from Thursday to Sunday, and every year, the Persian chicken booth is sold out before Sunday afternoon.

Third on our quest for food adventure. The Latin Delights booth. We make at least two stops at this booth every year. Our first bit if Latin deliciousness, Pupusas. They are awesome, tasty, pancakesque treats filled with cheese and pork, fried and served with a great coleslaw like side. We move along, knowing that we will be back. The Latin Delights booth is always our last stop of the day when eating at Sunfest.

Something new next, Popsicles. Not your ordinary Popsicles though. Tall Child had a Lulo Popsicle, Megz had a Guava one and I had a Dulce de Leche one. We each tried them all, and I can't speak for the girls, they were all very tasty and refreshing. I liked the Dulce de Leche the best. It was a combination of sweet, smooth, cool, milky yumminess that sort of reminded me of maple fudge.

Barely finished our Popsicles, we stopped for chicken samosas. We made a quick double back for one last Bulani and a slice of Baklava to share and then began our return to Latin Delights for our end of the day treat.

Deep fried ice cream. This has been our regular "leaving Sunfest" food for the past several years. The girls and I literally look forward to it all year. A scoop of cold ice cream surrounded in a protective and yummy coating of corn flake crumbs. Deep fried till just crunchy, and served in a bowl made of a fried tortilla. They then drizzle the whole thing with chocolate sauce and honey, topping it off with a huge slice of succulent strawberry.

This year was actually just a quick visit. We usually make a day of it, however we were there less than 3 hrs.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Being preoccupied with a sick kitty and painting the girls' room yesterday I totally didn't notice that it was my hundredth post. I had planned on writing something hundredy and stuff, then completely missed it.

So here I am, my hundredth and one post. The girls' room is pretty much painted, maybe a few touch ups, and is on it's way to being re-assembled with the new loft beds. It's mauve by the way. The cat is still sick, but at least he is eating some ... when he's not sleeping in my closet that is.

My food relatedness ... five things I plan on making this month. This time of year, I always seem to want to make jams, jellies and such. I quite like making jams, jellies, and salsas, and one day hope to try my hand at sweet pickles.

1. Strawberry Jam I use the same Certo recipe that my Grandmother used when I was a little girl.
2. Red Pepper Jelly
3. Chamomile Pear Jelly. I made some of this a couple of years ago and it was wonderful, and so easy.
4. Sangria Wine Jelly
5. Roasted Garlic & White Wine Jelly

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sick Kitty

Today's entry will be a little shorter than usual. My old boy Mocha is feeling under the weather. He's not eating or drinking and had a quick visit to the vet today. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with him, but it is not looking good. We may very well wind up back at the vet tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

And We're Off ... Again

July NaBloPoMo has begun, let's see if I can pull this one off. With the theme for July being food, I should certainly have a lot of inspiration.

When I'm not working, knitting, cooking or online browsing blogs I am often to be found watching the Food Network. My faves, Barefoot Contessa (I wanna be her when I grow up), Paula Deen, Tyler's Ultimate, and all things Nigella. I also really wanna catch the new show, Sweet Baby James, though I keep managing to miss it. I also really like Jamie Oliver, but I often find his stuff just isn't me.

My point ...I had a point. Oh yeah, here it is.

A few recipes from Food Network that I really, really wanna try.

1. Barefoot Contessa's Parmesan Chicken
2. Nigella's Chicken Mushroom & Bacon Pie
3. Paula Deen's Mystery Pecan Pie
4. Bobby Flay's Grilled Chicken Wings
5. Giada's Hazelnut and Chocolate Pie
6. Paula Deen's Lady and Sons Chicken Pot Pie